Safety & Health

Five factors have been identified as contributing to firefighter fatalities. Chief Danny Kistner looks at two of these factors—the lack of incident command systems and the lack of thorough risk assessments—to show the impact they have on safe fireground operations.
Safety & Health

Using two reports from the National Fire Firefighter Near-Miss Reporting System, John Tippett shows how command presence can "make it or break it" on the fireground.
Safety & Health

SOPs may fail to address all of the electrical issues firefighters can face during residential structure fires. This article focuses on some of the common yet less known electrical issues, including energized utility panels, solar-power systems, falling wires and more.
Safety & Health

Two biocultural anthropologists set out to test the impact of sleep quantity and quality on firefighters behavior, finding that less sleep generally contributes to more impulsive behavior, but also offering a conclusion that firefighters must find a healthy balance between too little sleep and too much sleep, as the latter can reduce the urgency they need to respond to emergencies in a timely fashion.
Safety & Health

Monte Egherman discusses the idea that for firefighters to effectively do their jobs, they must be performing the proper exercises during training. In other words, they must be performing "fireground-specific" training. Monte then details one such exercise, called the first-alarm hose-pull, that challenges firefighters' strength and endurance in the same way that they would be challenged on the fireground.
Safety & Health

Firefighter fitness is imperative to successful fireground operations, as well as overall firefighter health. Michael Ong discusses three questions every department must consider when adopting a fitness regimen that the entire department will participate in.
Safety & Health

There have been many changes over the years to the NFPA standards related to hazmat PPE. In this feature, Grady Poole offers a look back at what fueled these changes as well as a close analysis of the differences between the two major standards so your department can respond in the correct ensemble.
Safety & Health

John Tippett uses three near-miss reports--one about maintaining situational awareness, one about wearing proper PPE and the last about knowing when to say when on the incident scene--to highlight the importance of being proactive rather than reactive, and really understanding the ins and outs of our jobs.