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The safety and health of investigators is often taken for granted since
most investigators assume that by the time they arrive at a fire scene, most
hazards are either eliminated or diminished to the point that they are no
longer a concern. However, today’s fire investigators work in environments
and conditions that are considerably more hazardous than those of 20 to
30 years ago.
Fire scenes by their nature are dangerous places. Fire investigators have a duty to themselves and to others who may be endangered at fire scenes to exercise due caution during their investigations.
Sixteen percent of on-duty firefighter fatalities occur each year while responding to or returning from incidents, with the majority of fatalities resulting from vehicle crashes. Vehicle collision is the second leading cause of firefighter fatalities.
This site provides links to best practices and recommendations for safer emergency vehicle and roadway incident response.
During the overhaul phase of a structure fire, gases and particulates liberated from these burning materials often contain toxic, reactive and otherwise unhealthy chemicals that are both inhalation hazards and skin absorptive hazards. This study of Phoenix structure fires shows the various chemicals present during overhaul.
A study on the smoke and gas exposure firefighters confront during firefighting operations and subsequent contact exposure resulting from residual contamination of personal protective equipment.
Researchers this summer purchased 42 children’s chairs, sofas and other furniture from major retailers and tested them for toxic flame retardants that have been linked to cancer, birth defects, diminished I.Q.s and other problems.
Every Firefighter should know how to Read Smoke and recognize the warning signs of Hostile Fire Events. Proper Size-Up will not only assist with establishing a good Action Plan, but it can also save the lives of Firefighters. The "Art of Reading Smoke" was originally developed by Dave Dodson and has become very popular among Firefighters of all ranks. This type of training should become a standard part of every FF Rescue/Survival and Rapid Intervention curriculum.
“An independent federal agency investigating chemical accidents to protect workers, the public, and the environment.”
“WISER is a system designed to assist first responders in hazardous material incidents. WISER provides a wide range of information on hazardous substances, including substance identification support, physical characteristics, human health information, and containment and suppression advice. “
“The mission of the Firefighter Cancer Support Network is to provide Fire Department members and their families with an opportunity to receive assistance when dealing with cancer.”
The Florida Firefighter Safety and Health Collaborative is an organization formed to provide our members shared knowledge and resources based on best practices and research available from a myriad of confirmed sources. This website serves as a vehicle to share this information. It is not the intent of the Collaborative to operate for the benefit of private interests, to sponsor or endorse any specific agency, vendor, manufacturer, or product. Nor is it the intent of the Collaborative to support or endorse any political candidate or campaign for elected office.
An organization and Web site to educate firefighters and public servants on the dangers of emergency response and to raise funds for research.” The incidence of Parkinson’s Disease (PD) within the Fire Service is staggering compared to the civilian population. In the civilian population, 3 out of 1000 will be afflicted by PD. In the fire service, 30 out of 1000 will be afflicted by PD.
Excellent Article by Doug Ross
This is a voluntary, confidential, non-punitive and secure reporting system with the goal of improving fire fighter safety. By collecting and analyzing information on near-miss events, improvements can be made in command, education, operations, and training.
This site provides a "No BS" history of bringing forward issues to get firefighters to refocus on "what's important”. The site provides solutions, a weekly fire drill and a SOP/SOG section.
Recognizing the need to do more to prevent line-of-duty deaths and injuries, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation has launched a national initiative to bring prevention to the forefront.
JOIFF is the International Organization for Emergency Services Management. Originally known as the Joint Oil and Industry Fire Forum, this organization has grown to encompass all aspects of firefighting on a worldwide basis. JOIFF produces the quarterly magazine "Catalyst" which is available through the site. Both site and magazine contain a wealth of suppression information on a global basis.
“Our mission is to honor and remember America's fallen fire heroes and to provide resources to assist their survivors in rebuilding their lives.”
National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) - http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/ - “NIOSH conducts scientific research, develops guidance and authoritative recommendations, disseminates information, and responds to requests for workplace health hazard evaluations.” NIOSH uses the knowledge gained to produce products and services, including scientific information products, training videos, and recommendations for improving safety and health in the workplace.
OSHA works to effectively stimulate management commitment and employee participation in comprehensive workplace safety and health programs.
The National Safety Council educates and influences society to adopt safety, health and environmental policies, practices and procedures that prevent and mitigate human suffering and economic losses arising from preventable causes.
The SHS Section has one clear mission: reduce the number of preventable line of duty deaths and injuries in our fire service.
Working in partnership with the fire service, research departments and agencies, FSRI executes cutting-edge firefighter research and makes the results widely available to the global fire community. With a team of pioneering experts and access to UL’s leading infrastructure, equipment and vast knowledge and insights, FSRI conducts and disseminates cutting-edge research and training programs that focus on the changing dynamics of residential, commercial and industrial fires, and the impact they have on the fire service tactics and strategies.
We have been told by some departments that they have been running into "smoke in structure" calls that turn out to be intrusion alarms activating smoke emission equipment. This is an idea which comes from Great Britain, the country that is also the greatest supplier of artificial smoke and smoke generators used by fire training centers. You will probably be seeing a lot more of these types of systems over the next few years. The attached link will take you to one manufacturer/supplier having the best Q&A we have been able to find.
Firewise offers workshops, and web-based, interactive training geared toward homeowners, forestry professionals, firefighters and others on a variety of wildfire safety topics.