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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β€œTo 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.”
Comments
John Pignataro
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2014-08-23 01:12:28
Ben Waller
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Actually, the "Women and children first" idea cane from the sinking if the HMS Birkenhead. Now known as "The Birkenhead Drill", this stemmed from the ship beginning to sink, an inadequate number of lifeboats, and the Royal Marines and soldiers on board being called to formation and standing in ranks while the ships crew put…
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Ron Ayotte
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Bing-freaking-o!
2014-08-21 02:49:30
Brian Gary
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2014-08-21 02:04:23
Ric Jorge
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2014-08-21 01:41:12
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