The 2009 Fire/EMS Safety, Health and Survival Week is starts today June 14th – June 20th.
Protect Yourself: Your Safety, Health and Survival Are Your Responsibility encourages chiefs and fire/EMS personnel to focus on what they personally can do to manage risk and enhance their health and safety. This year’s theme reflects the need for personal responsibility and accountability within a strong safety culture. From IAFC.org
Take the time as you volunteer your time, have crew night, or work your shift this week to review the resources made available to you by the IAFC and IAFF. It is up to us to effect change and this is a great opportunity to learn.
You can also take the time to review the 16 Life Safety initiatives found here.
As of this writing we are at 46 LODD’s for the year, down from 53 at the same time last year. The initiatives were created to stop all LODD’s. While that is a lofty goal, I cannot fault them for shooting for the moon. After all, if they were only trying to get a 10% reduction then it would seem as though they sold themselves short and might have wasted their time.
The initiatives require buy in from FD brass as much as they do from individual firefighters and company officers. Harry R. Carter has a great article on Firehouse.com that gives retrospect to what this week is all about and how firefighters may or may not view it.
It is so easy for us to think that “IT” cannot happen to us. “IT” could be anything that will bring unwanted pain and anguish upon us including injury and/or death. That complacency is exactly what this week is about. The truth is that every year friends and family members of over 100 brave firefighters stand solemnly at a funeral saying that they never thought it could happen to their loved one. “IT” can and will happen to so many of us but it does not have to. The 100 I mentioned earlier were on duty. There are so many more.
We have to make change. We have to want change. We have to demand change.
It is not fair to stand by and say nothing. Talk, listen, and learn. Make the necessary changes so that “IT” won’t happen to you!!!