NIOSH to investigate firefighter line-of-duty deaths under federal budget proposal

NIOSH to investigate firefighter line-of-duty deaths under federal budget proposal

A provision in President Clinton`s fiscal year 1998 budget would allocate $2.5 million to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to investigate the death of every firefighter killed in the line of duty, according to the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF). Currently, the IAFF notes, there is no standard for examining and evaluating the circumstances of these deaths.

“The need for such federal investigations has never been greater,” noted IAFF General President Alfred K. Whitehead. “At a time when many communities are cutting fire fighter staffing, reallocating resources away from fire departments, and cutting corners to save money, our nation`s fire fighters are exposed to greater risks of death and injury than at any time in our past,” he concludes.

The IAFF has been pressing for federal line-of-duty death investigations since 1994 and reports that it will “communicate the importance of this new program to members of Congress during upcoming deliberations on the budget.” The IAFF is asking that other fire service organizations join in the campaign.

For additional information, contact George Burke at the IAFF at (202) 737-8484.

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