Firefighter Safety Essay

Words: 1190
Pages: 5

Firefighter Safety

We are the most technically advanced nation in the free world but yet we have not been able to reduce the number of firefighter fatalities over the years. Its one of the great mysteries of the world today. Our gear is better than what they wore thirty years ago, its better than what they wore ten years ago and we still lose an average of one hundred firefighters every year. I know that not all are dying in structure fires but just one is one too many. Today we have many of our guys who like to push the envelop. Our gear is the best and it will protect us in any kind of conditions. But is still has limits. You may be protected from the heat and fire to an extent but you can only go as far as the SCBA will let
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With all this “Methyl Ethel bad stuff” that’s flying around in the air during the fire, we still see firefighters entering the structure and on the roof ventilating without their SCBA on. The have it on but don’t have the mask on their face, defeating the purpose of wearing the extra forty pounds.
And now we come to NFPA 1710. It is probably the most controversial piece of material known to the fire service. It sets a standard for minimal staffing to successfully and safely conduct interior operations but only a minority of fire departments follow it. We let our elected officials dictate if we can follow this or not. Its funny how they say that NFPA standards are only a suggestion and we don’t have to follow them. But we follow NFPA 921 on fire investigation because if we don’t a case will be thrown out of court because we didn’t follow the standard. We follow NFPA 1500 on building fire stations and setting up physical fitness programs but lets not talk about NFPA 1710. It’s a taboo subject. You mention it to city leaders and they say it will cost to much money. They pour millions into useless projects elsewhere in the city but cannot hire a few firefighters to ensure public safety as well as having adequate firefighters on scene to protect our own.
In summary I don’t see this trend ending anytime soon. We have engineers and builders who don’t care about our safety when we