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What is killing firefighters?

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  • What is killing firefighters?

    Here are some facts about the causes of firefighter deaths based on 1999 (they dont have the studies done for 2000 yet) statistics.

    This data comes from USFA and other sources and is used as the source on one of my NFA reports.

    87% of deaths have been emergency related of which 25 deaths were from heart attacks, 14 asphyxiation, 8 burns, 8 internal trauma, 3 electrocutions and 1 each of heatstroke (wildland incident) and drowning.

    There were 52 other than emergency deaths.

    There were 26 deaths that happened when responding to or returning from a call of which 13 were heart attacks, 2 were stroke, 11 traumatic injuries.

    Stress/over exertion contributed to over 49% of deaths, which shows why fitness. conditioning is important.

    Collpase, getting lost, or being struck by an object made up small single and teen digit numbers of deaths in 1999.

    There were 112 deaths in 1999.

  • #2
    Well California has had 2 Lodd's that I know off, 1 was Firefighter Matthew Smith of Redwood City Fire due to a heart attack and another was also up north caused by a drowing during a training excerisise

    I think the reason most Firefighter's have been suffering heart attacks, Due to the lack of fitness and well improper nutrition


    • #3
      Last years data (what they have of it done) shows a dramatic increase of heart attacks and strokes. About a 25% increase. It's looking like fireground action related deaths are the minority of the deaths in 2000.

      This shows safety is being addressed, while fitness and conditioing is not.

      You also dont get fit fighting fire since its STRESS!


      • #4
        NIOSH has also reported that when you take an average of all deaths from 1977-1998 the number of deaths due to heart attack is around 49.8% and has doubled since 1992.

        This shows that you must be in shape and physically conditioned to perform or operate on the fireground.


        • #5
          "Stress/over exertion contributed to over 49% of deaths"....

          Because of this, Boston being the traditional, yet "progressive" dept that it is, changed their bunker gear policy. Now you can fight fire in your coat and boots if you want. You don't have to wear the pants.
          The guys say they are much more agile and don't get worn down as quick. They love it and they're not getting burned- because they use proper tactics.


          • #6
            NIOSH and USFA disagree with you.
            The stats prove what they say.

            In the longterm you will find out your wrong.

            A department that doesnt require full PPE is opening itself up to legal troubles later on. There is something called risk management and liability that most firefighters have no clue about. Chiefs have liability and have to weigh it as a cost/benefit.


            • #7
              thanks for the education

              [This message has been edited by mamaluke (edited 05-02-2001).]


              • #8
                Another point is that if your going to have a heart attack while wearing bunker pants your going to have one when not wearing them.
                Makes no difference. There is the same stress whether you wear bunker pants or not.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Nate Marshall:

                  This shows safety is being addressed, while fitness and conditioing is not.

                  You also dont get fit fighting fire since its STRESS!
                  Hm. If conditioning decreases your chances of a heart attack, why did we have a firefighter die on your almighty treadmil?

                  Doc DC3


                  • #10
                    who says?? professor marshall???


                    • #11
                      I agree there is the some potential for legal trouble later on however that is with firemen who claim they were not properly equipped. This happened in NYC a few years back. One of the cases was Drennan v. City Of New York. It was one of many costly cases pending against NYC.

                      However Boston has attempted to mitigate this type of litigation by allowing personal choice over what types of gear one will wear. PPE(PERSONAL protective equipment) hence personal choice eliminated the costly litigation that NYC experienced from the firemen that thought they deserved better.

                      Boston tried bunker gear for many years and while burn injuries stayed statistically the same...heart attacks and stress related(heat and otherwise) casualties went up.

                      So in the long term they found out people like you Mr. Marshall were wrong.(At least for them) The gear created more problems than they solved.

                      So being progressive, they are trying out where members choose what they will get to wear. They set out to prevent the spike in injuries and deaths that they were experiencing.

                      I understand San Fransico's policy to be similar in that they still wear the old wool pants or Bunker gear(at night) depending on preferences. I'll let the Brothers from San Fran expound on that topic.

                      Mr. Marshall you are telling us the stress is the same whether one is wearing encapsulating bunker gear or 3/4's and a long coat? Do you have some documentation for that claim?

                      You are full of it. What is your experience with 3/4s? Have you ever worn them? Ask any fireman that wore both will tell you the bunkers are warmer and are heavier. I tried the 3/4's a few times when I was a vollie and noticed a big difference in heat stress & weight. How do you know that there is the same stress? Do you have some studies that show that?

                      You are saying they would have stress induced heart-attacks regardless if they were wearing bunkers or 3/4s....So you are a doctor now? Did you perform the Autopsy?

                      How come there are countless published articles from Chiefs about increasing the amount of rehab time for firemen because of Bunker gear. That is a big issue to Chief officers in the quest to bring down the incidents of injuries from stress...

                      That leads to the question why a Super educated fire-god like yourself isn't privy to that info? Perhaps you are talking to much and not reading and listening enough. Or is it because those articles are written by those "uneducated", out of shape Chiefs from the East coast whom you have an obvious bias towards?

                      I think that if one is serious about looking into deaths by stress needs to look at all posible causes not those to which he doesn't have a bias toward.

                      If you are going to make claims and tell others they are flat wrong you better have the either the experience, facts or figures to back up those statements of yours.

                      Two cents from a fireman.


                      [This message has been edited by FRED (edited 05-02-2001).]


                      • #12
                        Nate seems to also be an expert on medical issues, especially cardiology.

                        I wonder what training you have, Nate, and where can I get it?

                        Myself, I have over 9 years in as an EMT, and, after 18 months straight of schooling and clinicals, I have just taken my paramedic exams, and the results will be mailed to me in a few weeks.

                        Oh, one more thing. In my limited experiences and education, I don't KNOW what caused the M.I.'s in the fallen Brother/Sister firefighters. NEITHER DO YOU!!!


                        Let us never, ever forget those of us that have gone before us in the line of duty. Because those brave souls have given all, it is up to us to always keep them alive in our hearts and our memories.


                        [This message has been edited by Jolly Roger (edited 05-02-2001).]


                        • #13
                          My data comes from reading all 112 firefighter fatality reports that NIOSH and USFA have from 1999. 2000 havent been completed yet. They do extensive reports taking data not only from their officers and chiefs but also from coroners reports and data collected from medical experts. This directly shows all factors that contributed to the death of each firefighter. They also take medical histories and family medical histories, those who have heart attacks and strokes also have had their lodd data reviewed by cardiologists and neurosurgeons as well as pathologists.

                          This data was supplied to me as my project for EFOP. It's objective and it's also open to the public, if you take the time to review it all you will learn what I did.

                          The problem with most of your answers is your citing personal bias and not what the investigations have shown nor any real facts or data which exists.


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