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LODD vs ????

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  • LODD vs ????

    Got to thinking the other day (save the wisecracks) and it occurred to me that the way we report LODD's may be doing us a disservice.

    The number of firefighters who die in hostile fire events is a relatively small proportion of each year's total.

    Possibly an equal number of LODDs (as we count them) don't even occur on the fireground (or during a response - ie, MVC's).

    I don't want to minimize the loss of any firefighter - but should we have a separate category for those folks who don't die on the scene of an incident? Instead of a Line of Duty Death, perhaps an On Duty Death? Is the death of a firefighter during physical training an LODD, or an ODD?

    This opens up some gray areas - like the firefighter who succumbs at home (or in the station) within 24 hours of a response. Was it actually due to the incident (ie, perhaps cyanide poisoning), or would he/she have passed away regardless? How does presumption fit into this equation?

    This would also have implications for the PSOB.

    Put away the flamethrowers. As I said, I intend no disrespect for any firefighter who has passed. But this could cause some introspection into why some deaths occur, and how we can work to prevent some of them.
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

  • #2
    Tough call. We have a lot of presumptions. But we also have something called "administrative line of duty death". All benefits are as per line of duty death (LODD) but it is not afforded the same honor as LODD. Even this causes dissension.
    IMO, any death even remotely connected to an individual's service should get the presumption of LODD along with all benefits and honors. Better too many that too few.

    Comment


    • #3
      What is your perceived benefit for separating deaths on the fireground and deaths indirectly tied to the work (cancer, heart attacks, suicide etc)?

      I think it is fairly well accepted that many of these off line deaths are at least indirectly tied to the work due to stress, and environmental exposure. Tracking these deaths seems to me to provide a service to the fire service, by recognizing the working conditions and hazards, even if some of these are not as clear cut as falling through a roof or getting caught in a flashover.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by tree68 View Post

        I don't want to minimize the loss of any firefighter - but should we have a separate category for those folks who don't die on the scene of an incident?
        In word, yes.
        Member IACOJ

        Comment


        • #5
          The issue I have is there is a big difference between a 50 year old guy with 25 years as a busy fireman , dying in his bunk -and a 50 year old that started in the fire service 6 months before and had a massive heart attack 12 hours after a low key training drill. The latter more than likely would have died in the same time frame, even if he had never even set foot in a fire station.
          ?

          Comment


          • #6
            What difference does it make? If the injury, illness or medical emergency that led to the firefighter's death occurred while they were on duty it is a line of duty death.
            Crazy, but that's how it goes
            Millions of people living as foes
            Maybe it's not too late
            To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

            Comment


            • #7
              don't particularly have an issue with truly on duty , its the fat guy keels over within 24 hours of a call or drill. To me , it diminishes true line of duty deaths.
              ?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by FyredUp View Post
                What difference does it make? If the injury, illness or medical emergency that led to the firefighter's death occurred while they were on duty it is a line of duty death.
                I think it does make a difference, because as we increasingly use risk vs. reward analysis of fireground tactics and operations, we need to have a more precise understanding of what the risks of a given tactic or operation are. I agree that anyone who dies on-duty, or immediately after, no matter what the cause, should be entitled to the full benefits and honors that we give a member who dies in the line of duty.

                However, of the 80-90 firefighters who die in the line of duty every year, a very small number of them die as a result of hazards directly linked to fireground operations (collapse, smoke inhalation, burns), and many of those fatalities occur in wildland operations. In 2016, only 2 firefighters died while advancing a hoseline in a structure fire, this article notes.

                Does it change the way we should honor and remember LODD firefighters, or the benefits they are entitled to? No, of course not. But just about every person I have ever heard argue in favor of fire service culture change, and less aggressive tactics, has at some point cited the number of line of duty deaths. When in reality, the vast majority of these deaths (well over 90%), have nothing to do with tactical decisions made during structure fires. I agree we should be making smart tactical decisions that balance risks and rewards. I would just like to see these decisions be based on a more realistic assessment of what the risks really are.
                A closer look at reported firefighter fatality on the hoseline data.
                Last edited by jes82; Yesterday, 07:24 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by slackjawedyokel View Post
                  don't particularly have an issue with truly on duty , its the fat guy keels over within 24 hours of a call or drill. To me , it diminishes true line of duty deaths.
                  Less than the fat guy (and that type of thing has been identified as a problem), I'm concerned about the firefighter who suffers a "heart attack" after returning from a call - and the very real possibility that it's actually cyanide poisoning or something similar.
                  Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

                  Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Lots of good discussion here on a topic that very often triggers some strong emotion.

                    Just for the record, my current department had a member die a few years ago from a stroke 9 hours after responding to an MVA. His only duty on that call was to direct traffic as there was no extrication, and it was ruled an LODD.. At the end of the day, we will never know if the the stroke was caused by the response. In the case of a fire, sometimes there is less doubt as HCN or CO could have easily played a role.

                    As far as the guy changing light bulbs and falling off the ladder at the station being ruled an LODD ...... You could arguable either way and neither position would be wrong. The trick is knowing the data when arguing about tactics vs. resultant LODDs.
                    Train to fight the fires you fight.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      There is no need to a seperate category differentiating between a death occurring during firefighting or rescue activities and those that occur afterwards , heart attack etc, they can all be documented as LODDs with specific identifiers of the exact cause. Isee this as a way for the bean counters to reduce LODD benefits because somehow your death doesn't fill in all the proper boxes for the maximum payment, or any payment at all.


                      I have to agree that we may never know how many heart attack deaths were actually the result of cyanide poisoning or some other attributing factor.
                      Crazy, but that's how it goes
                      Millions of people living as foes
                      Maybe it's not too late
                      To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by FyredUp View Post
                        There is no need to a seperate category differentiating between a death occurring during firefighting or rescue activities and those that occur afterwards , heart attack etc, they can all be documented as LODDs with specific identifiers of the exact cause. Isee this as a way for the bean counters to reduce LODD benefits because somehow your death doesn't fill in all the proper boxes for the maximum payment, or any payment at all.


                        I have to agree that we may never know how many heart attack deaths were actually the result of cyanide poisoning or some other attributing factor.
                        What he said. Any level of presumption that a locality has could probably be taken away. If we can make any connection whatsoever between the death and the fire service, that is what should be done.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          So how do we deal with the roughly 700 firefighters that die from cancer each year?

                          Or suicide?

                          Just pointing out that they are not currently considered LODDs but represent far more than the roughly 100 per year that are currently considered LODDs.
                          Train to fight the fires you fight.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by LaFireEducator View Post
                            So how do we deal with the roughly 700 firefighters that die from cancer each year?

                            Or suicide?

                            Just pointing out that they are not currently considered LODDs but represent far more than the roughly 100 per year that are currently considered LODDs.
                            I don't pretend to have all the answers.

                            We are lucky enough here to have a cancer presumption.

                            If someone were suffering from PTSD (and had been diagnosed) that was job related and subsequently committed suicide I think that death should be classified LOD.

                            Comment

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