Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program

Fire Fighters spraying water on massive fire

The U.S. depends on 1.1 million

There are approximately
career firefighters.

There are approximately
volunteer firefighters.

80 to 100
firefighters die in the line of duty each year.

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NIOSH Safety Advisory – Understanding Multi-gas Monitor Readings: The Importance of Knowing your Equipment

Cover Image for the 2022-155 Safety Advisory: Understanding Multi-gas Monitor Readings – The Importance of Knowing Your Equipment

Multi-gas meters are essential equipment that must be utilized when responding to emergency calls related to propane and natural gas incidents.  Proper utilization of multi-gas monitors will determine if the structure is safe to enter.  Firefighters must be knowledgeable on their specific monitor and have the ability to determine if atmospheric hazards are present. Common atmospheric hazards include the presence of carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide, explosive limit (flammability range), oxygen deficiency, and other toxic gases.

The NIOSH FFFIPP has recently investigated a couple line of duty deaths involving natural gas and propane.

Captain Killed and 6 Firefighters Injured at a Propane Explosion in an Office Building – Maine

One Fire Fighter Dies and Another Injured in Natural Gas Line Explosion

What Structural Fire Fighters Need to Know about Rhabdomyolysis

Cover page 2018-133

Rhabdomyolysis (often called rhabdo) is the breakdown of damaged muscle tissue that releases proteins and electrolytes into the blood. These things can damage the heart and kidneys, result in permanent disability, and can even be fatal. Rhabdomyolysis can be caused by exertion and becoming overheated. Early treatment can prevent serious medical problems.

Because exertion in a hot environment is such a fundamental part of the job, fire fighters need to know the signs and symptoms of rhabdo to be able to quickly recognize the potential danger and get medical attention right away if they are not feeling well.

Safety Tip
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Phase in a mandatory comprehensive wellness and fitness program for firefighters.

Page last reviewed: September 9, 2021