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LODDs too Common?

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  • LODDs too Common?

    Are we getting to the point where LODDs are just a common place occurance for us now? After all, one of us dies on the rough average about every 4 days.

    Reason I'm curious?

    2 firefighters died Sunday in Ashton Ill. and only 1 post here (by charo on 2/18) informing us and none in condolence (I admit I haven't posted one either). It's like we didn't even notice.

    But Earnhardt's death has 40 posts...

    Ashton FD, my thoughts and prayers are with your fallen, their families and you.

  • #2
    Good point my friend. At least I'm not the only one who notices these things. I posted a topic early in the year regarding the 95 lives that were lost in 2000 and how we need to break our developing habits of complacency, etc (someone else contributed improving our fitness levels). I think I got maybe 7 replies, yet a topic (which I believe started with good intentions and still has some people trying to hold it together) regarding PG County MD gets 240 or so replies of bickering "This company sucks, This chief talks too much, give Engine XX the line, we'll put it out" and "What color fire truck" gets nearly 100 replies.

    Now don't get me wrong, I don't think that we should dwell in the morbid and focus all our efforts on death and it is nice to have pride in your company like some of the PG guys have shown, but maybe just a little acknowledgement for a fallen brother or sister would be a nice sign of respect. Isn't there a tradition of 'glamorous' FD funerals and a tradition of courage, honor and respect?

    Whatever the reason is I just can't put my finger on it. Maybe it's a normal human reaction that we don't want to face up to the reality that this could happen to us as well? I'm no pyschologist so I won't take this guessing any further.....

    To the members of Ashton FD and to all stations who have been tragically affected by one of the already too many LODD's in 2001, stay strong. Clouds will clear and the sun will shine again!!

    [This message has been edited by FFTrainer (edited 02-20-2001).]


    • #3
      S. Cook... I do agree that LODD's tend to get little attention, and that is sad, almost inexcusable, but one must understand that a death with the amount of publicity that Earnhardt had will tend to get more attention simply because word is more widespread, and the more famous a person is, the more focused-upon they become.

      ***I don't excuse the fact, but it still remains.***

      I think, as FFTrainer suggests, that the fact may also be that to take a good hard look at what happens to a brother or sister in a LODD is to realize that the same may happen to someone we know, or work with, or to ourselves. I'm sure that if you read the info surrounding any LODD (as far as the circumstances under which they gave their life) you can pick out similar situations you've been in and escaped from; I know I have. But I'm still here, and they are gone... why did I live? A question like that may be a little tough to answer on one's own.

      And yes, FFT... our people deserve every single bit of tradition that comes with making the supreme sacrifice, and should be shown the respect they deserve. There shouldn't be any reason that the post on a LODD doesn't contain hundreds of entries to show condolances... it lets anyone know that when a fellow firefighter or EMS person loses his or her life, the entire lot of us feels the loss as well. And I'm more than sure that any member of a department who suffers a loss can be comforted by the fact that they are not alone in feeling the grief.

      Now... I feel a bit guilty. So...

      ---To all who have given their lives in the line of duty, or suffered the loss of a cherished coworker, friend... every month I attend a meeting that starts with the Pledge of Allegiance, and is immediately followed by a moment of silence for YOU. You have not been forgotten... I may not know your names, faces, or why you are gone, but you are remembered just the same. Every time I learn of you, it makes me work that much harder to be the best that I can be. And I know that when my time comes, we'll all meet up and wait together for the rest of our brothers and sisters, however they may arrive. God bless...---


      • #4
        Great point, S. Cook.

        I wouldn't be too hard on people for talking trash about the color of fire trucks...it's the nature of the beast, you know? But I agree wholeheartedly that maybe LODDs are so commonplace, that we fail to give them the proper attention and respect they demand.

        I would submit that these are wake-up calls to the fire service. What we do is dangerous - there's no doubt about it. But are we preparing ourselves properly in terms of fitness? Are there things we can do before a fire in terms of training to help mitigate some of the circumstances we read about in these LODDs? How about AEDs on every apparatus - so even if you're not running with EMTs, or the squad is not there, a fellow FF who suffers an MI at least has a chance.

        Great point, great topic. I'd like to see more discussion on fitness and learning from the circumstances of LODDs, especially those that have occurred this year so far. I just attended a firefighter "last chance survival techniques" class, for example, and learned a lot of things that I hadn't known or suspected before.

        Thanks for bringing this up.

        J. Black

        The opinions expressed are mine and mine alone and may not reflect those of any organization with which I am associated.


        • #5
          My condolences out to all our Brothers and sisters who daily put thier lives in harms way, may each and everyone of you make it home safe at the end of your shift. God Bless and Stay Safe Always!!!!


          • #6
            Anyone that know's me knows I'm not very sentimental in the least. In all the time I've been participating here I've never (that I recall) posted condolences to an LODD, but those threads usually get a good response and I pray for peace for their families and friends.

            And I hope I don't sound begrudging to those that lost something in Earhardt, I don't intend too.


            • #7
              I too have been remiss in not offering condolences to the families and comrades of those who have made the supreme sacrifice.
              So, to those who have gone before and those left behind I salute you. You have made the ultimate sacrifice so that others might live. Thank you


              • #8
                I agree. I am sorry for Mr. Earnheart death
                and my greatest sympathy goes to his freinds and family for thier loss. I am not trying to belittle his passing but This is a firefighters forum and we have lost two brothers. Both young
                with long lives to live. They didn't die trying to amuse people they died protecting people.
                Last night I went to the memorial
                service in Ashton and I shook hands with the family of Lt. Clint talley. It was all too
                real. It was a beautiful service and it was
                great to see so many fellow brothers and sisters coming to pay thier respects.
                LODD are too frequent, we are not even through
                Febuary and have lost 15 of our family.

                My deepest condulances and regrets to the Ashton Fire Dept., freinds, and family


                • #9
                  To get back to the point of the original post, YES, there are too many LODD's and we refuse to do anything about them.

                  Look at the numbers. For about 20 years, the percentage of fire fighters dying of heart attacks and strokes is at least 50%. But, physical fitness regulations are fought tooth and nail in many places. FD's refuse to insist that their members maintain some level of fitness to perform a very demanding job. How many times do you see a FF come out of a building hacking and puking and go over and light up a cigarette? My point exactly.

                  There are a high percentage of LODD's occurring in the station, responding or returning to the station, in training, at non-emergency events. If you take the actual number of LODD's that occur during emergency operations, in unpredictable environments, it is surprisingly low. That means that about 75% of the LODD's we see are potentially preventable. That's appalling.

                  You may get mad at me for this at first, but before you start typing, think about it. There are many fire fighters who romanticize the danger of the job. They like the fact that they participate in a job where such a high number of people are killed. They do not wish ill will on anybody in particular, but they don't mind the high statistic. If you really think about it, you all kow people who feel exactly that way.

                  If we really cared about the LODD's, we would put much more effort into preventing them than talking about them.


                  • #10
                    1 every 4 days?! I never thought of it that way.

                    That means that about 75% of the LODD's we see are potentially preventable.

                    I would venture to say that even considering the unpredictable environment, most all LODDs but the occasional act of God are preventable. In my humble and non-scientific estimate, that would put it up around, if not above, 90% preventable.

                    Look at this years LODDs. Almost 20 so far according to this web site and only 3 as a result of operations (2/18 in IL and 1/12 PA). The remainder, medical, driving, struck by vehicle (100% preventable, cops direct traffic) and falling down the station stairs.

                    Also, I think this is a good topic and the commonality of LODDs and our complacent attitude towards them needs to be discussed, but just a little FYI, there is a condolence forum near the bottom of these boards under the title "Dealing with a LODD."


                    • #11
                      And another thing, it's still too early to get a more accurate projection but using todays totals, we're on pace to kill around 140 of us this year (52 days into the year, 20 of us dead = 1 every 2.6 days. 365/2.6 = 140.38, somebody can check my math my feelings won't be hurt.)

                      Ya'll be safe out there.


                      • #12
                        Great Point S. Cook. I believe that LODD's are so common that many of us fail to yield the respect and compassion towards a fallen brother than we did in the past. I feel that it's great to see that we can enjoy other discussions like what color firetruck, and so on, but we also do not give the respect that we need to give to the brothers who have fallen before us. We should be looking for more ways to prevent losing a brother, than fighting about which fire department is better. I dont care what department you are from, if you are paid or volunteer, all i care about is doing our job, saving property and life, but most importantly keeping my borthers/sisters alive to fight another fire. If we cannot realize that we are losing a part of our family once every four days, them what are we doing being a part of this family? Some people die, and i acknowledge that, but some deaths can be prevented, so why not give a little extra time and discussion on how we can prevent a brother/sister from falling..After all, just think back to what we learned the first day of firefighting, Our people come FIRST!


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