Firefighter safety is paramount to the successful completion of our mission which is to rescue lives and put out fires. Every firefighter plans to enjoy a long retirement from the fire service. Unfortunately that is not what happens to many firefighters. Too often the lives of firefighters are prematurely disrupted by injuries or death from situations that could have been avoided or even predicted. These include unsafe acts at an emergency scene and personal habits that include a poor safety behavior and not maintaining physical and mental health and fitness.
In response to this service-wide crisis many organizations have created training to educate and change the culture within the service.
Promoting fire fighter safety is a fundamental component of any training program and one of the primary duties of the LBJ Fire Academy. The Texas Commission on Fire Protection strongly recommends that all students attending a Basic Structure Fire Protection Personnel training program complete the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation’s Courage to Be Safe: So Everyone Goes Home program as a component of their Firefighter Safety training. Follow this link to learn more and take the online course, Courage to be Safe.
A buzz word that has taken hold in the fire service that directly relates to safety on fire ground is situational awareness (SA). SA is the ability to absorb information, synthesize it, and make decisions accordingly. To develop situational awareness will require firefighters to be cognizant of their actions, the actions of others, the affect of environmental factors, and be prepared for any surprises.
Another way to improve safety in the fire service is to encourage the acquisition of higher certifications and pursuit of higher education. Both of these are addressed on the Resources page.
Click here to see videos of unsafe situations, watch the videos and think of what could have been done to avoid the situation or to make it safer for firefighters, citizens, and property.