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What should count as a LODD?

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  • George Wendt, CFI
    replied
    While most of us would agree that cardiac-related death should be considered as an LODD, the sad reality is that your Federal Government doesn't.

    They describe LODD as:

    >>Line of duty is defined in the PSOB regulations (28 CFR 32) as any action that the public safety officer whose primary function is crime control or reduction, enforcement of the criminal law, or suppression of fires is authorized or obligated by law, rule, regulation, or condition of employment or service to perform. Other public safety officers---whose primary function is not law enforcement or fire suppression--must be engaged in their authorized law enforcement, fire suppression, rescue squad, or ambulance duties when the fatal or disabling injury is sustained.<<

    The Public Safety Officers Death Benefit is not paid when a fire fighter dies of a heart attack unless there is a concentration of CO over 15% and the CO was the proximate cause of the death or their was a traumatic injury.

    You can go to the Bureau of Justice Assistance website for more info on this program.

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  • mongofire_99
    replied
    Some excellent points all around.

    My position...

    No difference in benefits but for record keeping purposes, make the distinction between OD and LODD.

    LODD just has to much of a reverent ring to it to associate somebody wiping out themself and a family when returning to the station after the call.

    But then again, what aboutthe other people on the apparatus?

    Thangs that make ya go hmmmm...

    Leave a comment:


  • Chief Reason
    replied
    Hi Ho, Mongo:
    The pragmatic side of my brain tells me that we want LODD designation so as not to minimize the death of a firefighter. The cynical side tells me that it's a numbers issue. Face it; the safety gurus and lobbyists for fire service funding have been screaming "We are still killing over 100 firefighters a year in this country" for years. They are, of course, referring to LODDs. If we differentiate between death by pizza and death by roof collapse, their argument will lose its strength. Maybe not.
    I think that an LODD occurs when, while performing his/her job duties as defined in their stipulated job description, they succumb to an injury/illness that arose out of or was suffered in the course of their employment. All others would be reviewed for causality-i.e. linked to the job.
    It seems to me that LODD is not about recognition as I believe that it was intended, but about benefits. It's about getting an attorney because their lost loved one wasn't properly trained, equipped or fed OR that their back up guy wasn't properly trained, equipped or fed, causing the death. It's about suing the pants off of an equipment manufacturer because there was a dead battery in the PASS device. It's about settling for large sums of cash, because people get bitter when they lose a loved one. Period.
    LODD and the ensuing funeral brings pause to the bitterness, if only for a brief moment. It allows us to reflect on the reasons that we became firefighters; we re-visit in our minds the scene of the tragedy and struggle to make sense of it. We keep our suspicions, opinions and accusations to ourselves out of respect to our fallen firefighter and their family. We cry as the bagpipes play and we smile as we remember lighter moments. And when it's over, for the reasonable person, LODD is the difference between starting over and college funds for the kids OR it becomes the catalyst for a contentious lawsuit; pitting family member against family member, firefighter against firefighter and Greed against our glorious tradition. How many of you have said "If I die LODD, sue the crap out of Them"? Not many, I would hope but then, we understand!
    Is dying from eating one too many greasy burgers at the fire station different from dying from a floor collapse at a structural? God, yes. In most states, benefits won't be paid if you are engaged in an activity considered non-work such as eating, sleeping exercising, etc. unless it is specifically stated in some form of employment contract.
    I believe that the original intent of LODD has been twisted over the years to where it denigrates the solemnity and sanctity of the ultimate sacrifice into one of profit-taking.
    If I die LODD, keep the blood-sucking, law snakes out of it. My wife will accept with gratitude whatever she is entitled to under existing public policy.
    I will close with two questions:
    1) Whatever happened to the notion of "no fault" and
    2) Why are VFDs hiring drunk monkeys to drive?
    Hats off, Mongo for another thought-provoking topic.
    Peace.

    Leave a comment:


  • lumpy649
    replied
    While I do believe in seperating the two, I do thinkbenefits should remain the same... no matter what the cause.

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  • toneloc177
    replied
    I would agree with the notion that there should be a distinction between LODD, and on-duty death as previously stated, but the question then becomes "what other ways can we differentiate the two? - funds, benefits, etc."

    If someone dies in performance of their duties at the scene of an emergency, or succumbs to injury or illness incurred in doing so, that would be 'LODD'.

    If someone happens to die while on duty, in the firehouse, etc., doing something other than firematic, or job related, that should be an 'onduty death'.

    I tried to make it as vauge as possible, so don't nit-pick, and respond with, "Well, if a guy was climbing a staircase in his firehouse, to get the VCR for a training and fell, . . . "

    These two should be synonimous with respects to procedures for funerals, monitary issues, and respect for a fallen brother firefighter. Everything else can be disputed.

    I'm not even sure if I've making any sense now, so I'll just bow out.

    (Whew Mongo, actually had to think w/ this one. Brain is now fried, stretch a line)

    Leave a comment:


  • Grit
    replied
    Many nights the most dangerous thing we do is walk across the highway for a pizza. that's why we send recruits. They get the full deal if they get splatted on a pizza run, I suppose. hehehe.

    EKUK: You have a point. At the Wall (Vietnam for the uninformed), there is a service every year for those that died after-the-fact, but from causes like agent orange. It's on Mother's Day. BUT their names are not on the wall. Maybe they should be, I dunno. Does my cousin deserve a purple heart because he had just his voice box ripped out thanks to delayed agent orange effects? I dunno that either, but it's food for thought.

    Leave a comment:


  • captstanm1
    replied
    Point well taken Lumpy.....

    Not sure what the answer is....but...I dont see us changing it anyway.

    I have had two close friends die in the same event. It was due to a combination of errors that led to the tragic death of two young firefighters when they were struck by a train as they crossed an unmarked crossing in Virginia On September 28, 1989. First...there was no address posted at the driveway...and they drove by...going a mile to find a place to turn around...then...when they turned into the driveway, from that angel...the train was not visible arund the curve and they did not stop before crossing.

    They made a mistake...does that mean it is not a line of duty death? I see where you are coming from...but...still....

    Leave a comment:


  • lumpy649
    replied
    I think Silver City may be on to something. The term 'LODD' has become too distorted, and I feel it is misused when you may be referring to someone who died from injuries recieved falling from a ladder during training, or going home from the firehouse after responding in for a call. Those would be more appropriately "On-Duty" deaths.

    How is it possible to place someone into the LODD category when they died by not following safe practices in training, or when "straightening out a curve" at 90 miles an hour when going home after a run with a rural VFD? True, they were serving their community, but I find it a little unreasonable to group those into the same category as the brothers that pass during an explosion and collapse of a hardware store, collapse of a roof, or (as stated earlier) falling after trying to grab an infant dropped from the fifth floor.

    I fully believe in paying respects to those who served should they pass, no matter how it happens, but I belive the LODD distinction should be handed out a little less liberally.

    Would you hand out a unit citation to EVERY unit on the scene of a challenging call, regardless of their actions on the scene, or just the ones who got deep into the thick of things to make a difference? Same thing... proper recogniton has it's place. Not depriving anyone of that recognition, but there are varying levels...

    I could easily die watching TV when a filing cabinet gets knocked over and crushes my skull, but do I deserve the same LODD title as the crew who dies after plunging through a burning floor while searching for a victim? I would sure hope not...

    [ 09-02-2001: Message edited by: lumpy649 ]

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  • captstanm1
    replied
    Mongofire...

    I know we dont agree on a lot of things...but...
    I feel that if you are on duty, responding, training, fitness training...etc...anything that is an extension of your job and you pass away, it is a LODD.

    Even despite the fact that you may be out of shape or make a mistake that leads to the passing.

    Bottom line is..you are on duty...and serving your community.

    Leave a comment:


  • bbeall
    replied
    You can bet your sweet bippy that benefits would be cut if we start differentiating between LODD and "on-duty not LODD". No argument there, Chief.

    But, for the sake of this discussion, forget the benefits for a moment.

    If a firefighter dies in his sleep or in a flashover, everybody should show up at his funeral in Class A dress, mourn the loss of a brother, and take care of his family. It's not because he was "on duty" or because he a died in a fire, it's because he's firefighter. It should be the same if the same firefighter dies in a car accident on vacation.

    So, take away any "benefit" to dying in the line of duty, and what's everybody's opinion? If I go home from a call from my little VFD driving like a drunk monkey and straighten out a curve at 95mph, I would hope that people wouldn't consider it a LODD. I wouldn't WANT them to. I'd still honor a brother for being a firefighter if he did the same thing, however.

    Just my opinion.

    [ 09-02-2001: Message edited by: Silver City 4 ]

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  • Chief79
    replied
    I wasn't implying you intended to rob anyone of their benefits. Nor would I. However, I am afraid if we start differentiating between dying on duty and dying while performing our duty, someone (our employers?) may want to change the rules on benefits. I know none of us want to see that!

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  • mongofire_99
    replied
    For clarity, I ain't interested in robbing anyone from their due benefits.

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  • Chief79
    replied
    Should there be any distinguishment in dying while on duty as opposed to dying while performing your duty? If a person dies during their sleep while on duty I feel their families should receive all the benefits a person who dies while performing their duties will receive. However, would you consider their death an heroic death? A very hard question to answer mongo. Somehow there should be some way to differentiate between the two types of death without making eother seem trivial. I don't know how that could be done, but there must be a way.

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  • mongofire_99
    replied
    And as for the motivation, it's just a topic for discussion, something I was pondering.

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  • larry cook
    replied
    Mongo,
    this is a good question. I beleive that there may be many causes of LODD. Firefighting is perhaps the most dangerous job that there is. Many times stress (a leading cause of heart problems) may cause a death. Mongo, are you ever really off duty. I am sure that if you were on holiday and if you seen a wreck, your instincts would take over and you would do what you could to help. If someone hit your car while you were turning around to get to the scene and you were killed, i would call that a line of duty death. You could even offer aid to someone on a hunting or fishing trip and get snake bit. You were acting in the greatest tradition of firefighters everywhere. Giving aid to your fellow citizens. A firefighter does this where ever they are.
    These are just my thoughts
    Larry

    Leave a comment:

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