Study Shows Trends of Urgent Care Visits for First Responders

“An estimated 669,100 law enforcement officers were treated in emergency departments across the nation for nonfatal injuries between 2003 and 2014, according to a study by researchers at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

The study, which is the first to examine nonfatal injuries among officers on a national scale, was published online this month in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Law enforcement officers (LEOs) have historically high rates of fatal and nonfatal injuries. The new research shows that officers are three times more likely to sustain a nonfatal injury than all other U.S. workers, and is the first to capture nonfatal injuries sustained from assaults and unintentional injuries such as accidental falls or motor vehicle crashes.

“Studies based on evidence are an important feature of public health and this principle extends to studying the law enforcement community and their work,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. “The safety and health of both police and citizens depend on understanding how policing tactics impact officer and citizen injuries.”

Read more here!

New Boston Fire cancer video shares the story of firefighter’s battle and reinforces preventative practices

(Shared from this month’s NFPA e-newsletter)

“NFPA has shared many of BFD’s efforts to raise awareness about occupational exposure including their initial video showing the number of Boston firefighters that have been stricken with the deadly disease, a follow-up contamination-prevention clip, a study with Dana Farber to assess exposure in firehouses, and the department’s commitment to improving overall health and safety. Boston Fire Commissioner Joe Finn and fellow members of NFPA’s Urban Fire Forum are also doing their part to amplify the issues of contamination and cancer. BFD may be a leader in furthering awareness and education on this topic, but they are certainly not alone in their advocacy. Departments across the nation and organizations like NVFC and the Fire Service Occupational Cancer Alliance are also doing their part to inform others about occupational hazards and best practices.”

Project to establish cleaning procedures for firefighter PPE

“Firefighters are exposed to highly toxic substances on the fireground which is an increasing health concern, and there are currently no industry standards that reliably show if clothing is being adequately cleaned. A new Research Foundation project intended to establish definitive guidelines to the fire service for effectively decontaminating and cleaning their PPE.”

Image and article shared from:

Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation to Deliver Health Benefits to Volunteer Firefighters Across New York

“Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today (10/22) signed legislation to deliver health care benefits to volunteer firefighters who have been diagnosed with certain cancers.

“New York is forever grateful to the 96,000 volunteer firefighters who selflessly put their own personal safety at risk in order to keep their neighbors and communities safe,” Governor Cuomo said. “With this measure, we will provide these courageous New Yorkers the protections they need and the peace of mind they deserve.”

Currently, volunteer firefighters are eligible for accidental disability and death benefits through Workers’ Compensation if they are injured in the line of duty. Effective January 1, 2019, firefighters will also be eligible for health benefits to support treatment for life-threatening cancers.

Under the bill (S1411B- A711B), volunteer firefighters who contract certain cancers will receive access to tax free disability and death benefits. Specifically, volunteer firefighters diagnosed with lung, prostate, breast, lymphatic, hematological, digestive, urinary, neurological, reproductive systems, or melanoma cancer will be automatically eligible for health benefits if….”

Firefighter equipment operational environment: evaluation of thermal conditions

“With the changes of construction materials, insulation, and furnishings, fires today are very different than they were 50 years ago. Firefighting tactics and PPE have also changed, but are the current thermal performance standards for firefighter PPE and safety equipment appropriate for the current operational environment?”

More information here.


Fire loss in the United States

“More than 1.3 million fires were reported by fire departments in 2016, resulting in an estimated 3,390 civilian deaths-the highest number of fatalities since 2008. NFPA’s new report discusses trends and statistics of structure fires, deaths, injuries, property losses, and more.”

Read more here!