In 2010, 87 firefighters from 31 states lost their lives as the result of fatal injuries sustained on the job. Luckily, those numbers are decreasing as the average number of firefighter deaths between 2004 and 2009 was 112.
According to the United States Fire Administration (USFA), the majority of firefighter fatalities in 2011 were caused while engaging in activities at the scene of a fire.
Firefighting, rescue, and other types of emergency operations are essential activities in an inherently dangerous profession, and unfortunate tragedies do occur. These are the risks all firefighters accept every time they respond to an emergency incident.
Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) realizes that these risks can be greatly reduced through calculated efforts to improve training and emergency scene operations.
Safety Chief Todd Keathley instructs the class, consisting of firefighters from Truck 1 and 2 and Engines 15, 17, 19 and 30
For the past couple months, all Portland firefighters have been required to take part in a Fire Ground Operations Training Block delivered jointly by the Training, Safety & EMS Division. The training focused on emergency scene operations, firefighter safety, fatality investigations, causation of firefighter fatalities, apparatus placement, radio communications, commercial and residential fires, Rapid Intervention Team, and MAYDAY operations. PF&R has extended an invitation to our regional fire service partners to participate in this training as well. Partners participating to date include Gresham Fire & Emergency Services, Clackamas Fire District #1 and the Port of Portland Fire Department.
Portland Fire & Rescue is actively committed to each and every one of our 703 firefighters’ health and safety. Proactive training blocks not only provide firefighters with the skills they need to improve situation awareness, but also ways to focus on survival and personal safety on the fireground.
Portland Fire & Rescue