Rhetorical Lesson No.12: Would Fewer Basics Work in Reducing Our LODDs?

Is over a dozen too many for the upcoming and speed-reading generations?


Back in 2004 we were given 16 items, “Life Safety Initiatives”, to help reduce line of duty deaths and they have been working.

But 10 years, many changes, heated discussions and generations of firefighters later, could we make a change to reach more of the low-hanging fruit?

The firefighters, line officers and chief officers on the job now are different generations that learn, communicate and share differently than the generation that crated the LSI’s.

Law Enforcement, through the Below 100 organization (the loose equivalent of our NFFF and Everyone Goes Home), works on delivering just five basics across the country based on their officer fatality data. While they have not yet reached that goal they are making progress.

68 to date in 2014. 105 in 2013. 126 in 2012 – lowest in over 50 years. 179 in 2011. 177 in 2010 – when Below 100 was created. 140 in 2009. 158 in 2008. 203 in 2007.

What would be your Top Five from the 16 LSI’s

Should we even reduce or change them at all?

This isn’t a critique of the NFFF and EGH, but a look at possible changes in our education.

If you’re working towards zero, your working towards a fantasy. Let’s set realistic goals.


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BioPicBill Carey is the online public safety news and blog manager with PennWell Public Safety, or more specifically FireRescue Magazine/FirefighterNation.com, JEMS.com, LawOfficer.com and FireEMSBlogs.com. Bill started in the fire service, as a third generation firefighter in 1986, on the eastern shore of Maryland and then continued after moving to Prince George’s County. He served as a volunteer sergeant and lieutenant at Hyattsville. Bill’s writing has been on Firehouse.com, Fire Engineering, FireRescue Magazine, FirefighterNation.com, the Jones and Bartlett 2010 edition of “Fire Officer: Principles and Practice”, The Secret List and Tinhelmet.com. His recent writing on firefighter behavioral health has been nominated for 2014 Neal Award for Best Subject-Related Series.

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1 Comment

  • Burton Clark says:

    All we need is one lesson with two parts.
    Follow all the S.O.Ps 100% correct, 100% of the time.
    Reason, anything less can get you and others killed. It also makes you a professional and defines a good firefighter.

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