Safety Objectives for the Fire Service

Safety Objectives for the Fire Service

Five objectives for the Fire Division of the Public Employees Section of the National Safety Council were developed at the annual meeting in Chicago. They were:

  1. Conduct an educational program based on fire fighters’ safety problem areas.
  2. Develop safety standards to guide manufacturers of fire fighters’ tools, equipment and apparatus.
  3. Prepare and distribute safety educational material.
  4. Conduct research on personal protective equipment.
  5. Provide an accident-injury data bank which all fire departments could use to measure their accident-injury experience.

Robert J. Firenze, the new division chairman, depicted the Fire Division as a center for fire fighter safety whose goal is the reduction of accidents and injuries and a reduction in the associated heavy economic costs to municipalities. The division established an advisory board of 25 experts from such areas as medicine, physics, electronics, industrial hygene and mechanical engineering to make their services available to the fire service.

The major accomplishment reported at the October meeting was the development of a universal method of recording and reporting fire department accident-injury experience. The development of apparatus safety inspection standards also was reported. Both the accident and apparatus standards are available from the Fire Division chairman, Robert J. Firenze, Field Safety School, Naval Ordnance Systems Command, Poplars Midtown Motor Hotel, 400 East 7th Street, Bloomington, Ind. 47401.

The need for more modern thinking concerning the safety of fire fighters was emphasized by Second Deputy Fire Marshal James B. Neville, supervisor of training for the Chicago Fire Department. He indicated that management must consider operational effectiveness and the safety of fire fighters as going hand-in-hand. Neville also voiced his feeling that there is such a thing as making a fire fighter oversafe and stated that there is a point somewhat less than 100 percent where we must draw the line as to how much man is to be protected.

The Fire Research and Safety Act of 1968 was discussed by John A. Rockett, chief of the Office of Fire Research and Safety of the National Bureau of Standards. In describing safety system design characteristics, Firenze stressed the techniques of building an effective safety organization for fire departments.

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