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Beyond the fireground: injuries in the fire service.

Authors
Poplin-GS; Harris-RB; Pollack-KM; Peate-WF; Burgess-JL
Source
Inj Prev 2012 Aug; 18(4):228-233
NIOSHTIC No.
20040004
Abstract
Background: Although firefighting and emergency medical services are high-risk professions, few studies have identified the aetiology of injury in the fire service beyond the fireground. Methods: Data were collected for work-related injuries in a medium-sized metropolitan fire department. In a descriptive study, the factors explored included the nature of injury, agent, mechanism, body location, environment, abbreviated injury scale (AIS), functional capacity index (FCI) and lost time status. Results: From 2004 to 2009, the annual injury incidence rate averaged 17.7 per 100 employees. One-third of all injuries (32.9 percent) resulted from physical exercise activities, while patient transport, training drills and fireground operations resulted in 16.9 percent, 11.1 percent and 10.2 percent of injuries, respectively. For all job operations, sprains and strains were the most prevalent type of injury (40.2-85.2 percent), followed by contusions and lacerations (7.7-26.1 percent). The third most common injury was related to the conventional hazards of the individual job operation. Most injuries (n=862, 95.6 percent) were minor in severity, while 4.3 percent of injuries were classified as having some impedance of normal function (FCI 3). Moderate injuries (AIS 2) were infrequent, but comprised a greater proportion of fireground injuries (8.7 percent) than the other activities (1.0-4.1 percent); however, lost time injuries were more frequent for patient transport (46.1 percent) than other operations 22.0-29.1percent). Conclusions: Physical exercise, patient transport and training activities were responsible for a greater percentage of injuries than fireground operations. Focused efforts to improve the characterisation of risks during these more diverse set of work processes should help guide the development of salient strategies for injury prevention.
Keywords
Fire-fighting; Fire-fighters; Fire-hazards; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Mortality-data; Mortality-rates; Emergency-response; Emergency-responders; Rescue-measures; Rescue-workers; Physical-exercise; Physical-fitness; Job-analysis; Work-practices; Worker-health; Transport-mechanisms; Statistical-analysis; Lost-work-days; Occupational-hazards
Contact
Gerald S Poplin, 1656 E. Mabel, PO Box 24515, Tucson, AZ 85724, USA
Publication Date
20120801
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
poplin@email.arizona.edu
Funding Type
Grant
Fiscal Year
2012
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-R01-OH-009469
Issue of Publication
4
ISSN
1353-8047
Source Name
Injury Prevention
State
AZ; MD
Performing Organization
University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
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