8.196721

Are we truly on target with everything we aim at?


To date, there are 61 line of duty deaths officially accounted. Instead of driving deeper into the statistics let us consider the entire official total in this post.

Among that number, not including wildfire, are five firefighters who died actively participating in the fire attack as defined by the various reports of the incident. This includes advancing, operating a hoseline, conducting a search and checking for extension. For greater interpretation of our line of duty death data, this does not include fatalities occurring on the fireground outside of the true fire attack.

Those five died in the following manner:

1: Killed in ceiling collapse

1: Killed in roof collapse

1: Killed in wall collapse

2: Killed in reported flashover in private dwelling

My math may be rusty, but five is 8.196721 percent of 61, or simply 8%.

So with all the efforts directed at preventing line of duty deaths on the fireground, it may appear there has been a positive effect. But what does the other 92% say about these same efforts?

And while we’re discussing this tell me again why some continue to throw out “an average of 100 firefighters die in the line of duty each year fighting fire.” Are some of us beginning to use that as some identifier, a badge of honor?

I shoot competitively and if in a 100-round match only 8% of my shots hit the 10-ring I would say that I suck.
Greatly.

The focus on preventing true fireground, fire attack, line of duty deaths is making progress but are the rest of our rounds hitting their target?

We encourage and support constructive dialogue and debate. View our comment policy.

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1 Comment

  • Chris says:

    This post needs to be read by every firefighter in the country. Why? We are very good at not talking about the real issue behind annual LODD stats. The bottom line modern firefighters are dying due to poor personal responsibility and accountability. Cardiac compromise is always going to be our biggest foe until ALL members of the fire service take their PERSONAL health seriously. You have to at a high level of health and fitness to do this job. Period.

    Also a key factor is the Home Town Heroes act. Take that away and LODD numbers would be reduced. I’m not down playing those that have received those honors but I do believe some of those would have had a heart attack regardless of running a call. The 40-60 male category is still the target audience. The 20-40 crowd needs to stay vigilant in their health, which in the next few years will be reflected. When we educate our people right out of basic academy on health and safety we will have better long term results.

    This is National Fire Service Health Week. Get a physical, eat good whole foods, exercise everyday and I will see you on the job for many years to come.

    Chris Huston
    Advocate for Everyone Goes Home

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Backstep Firefighter

“To provide a point of critical thought about certain acts and events in the fire service while incorporating behavioral education and commentary in a referenced format.”

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Comments
Bill Carey
Wanted: Honest Discernment in Our Fire Service Discussions
Thank you Ed.
2014-10-22 14:26:50
Ed Hartin
Wanted: Honest Discernment in Our Fire Service Discussions
Excellent article Bill!
2014-10-14 12:47:14
Ron Ayotte
Complacency and Awareness: History Lessons from the Mog and Rangers
Bill.. I agree with Tony C. The situations we respond to sometimes reuire that we tune and tweak SOPs and SOGs "on the fly" in order to complete the tasks given. Fire doesn't care what is stated in our SOPs/SOGs.
2014-10-11 22:14:29
Bill Carey
Complacency and Awareness: History Lessons from the Mog and Rangers
Thanks Tony.
2014-10-06 11:06:34
Tony C.
Complacency and Awareness: History Lessons from the Mog and Rangers
A great read, Bill. I see so much of this in the fire service. I forgot to pull up my hood on the last fire and I didn't get burned. I didn't buckle my waist strap on the last fire and I didn't get tangled up. I didn't check my bottle before my last fire…
2014-10-05 15:37:05
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