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Review of NIOSH fire fighter structure fire fatality investigations.

Tarley JL
NOIRS 2003-Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2003, October 28-30, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh, PA: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2003 Oct; :62
The National Fire Protection Association and the U.S. Fire Administration estimate that on average, 105 fire fighters die on the job each year. From 1992 through 2001,283 firefighters lost their lives while responding to structure fires (excluding the 340 firefighters who died during the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center September 11, 2001). NIOSH investigates occupational fire fighter fatalities to characterize the circumstances surrounding those events for the purpose of developing, evaluating and disseminating prevention recommendations in report form to fire fighters and fire departments across the country. A review of NIOSH's Fire Fighter Investigation reports indicates that from 1997 to 2001 at least 20 fire fighters lost their lives and 5 fire fighters suffered severe injuries after becoming "lost" or "disoriented" while inside a burning structure. The objective of the case series presented here is to describe details from four specific investigations in which fire fighters became lost or disoriented due to poor visibility. The need for fire fighters to effectively navigate in low visibility conditions and to be visible to others for tracking and rescue efforts will be discussed. It is crucial to identify visilibity products that are available and determine the extent of their usage. Additional discussion will take place to determine ways to collectively focus our research efforts to address these safety concerns.
Fire-fighters; Fire-fighting; Mortality-data; Injury-prevention; Occupational-hazards; Mortality-rates; Traumatic-injuries; Safety-monitoring; Safety-research; Emergency-responders
Publication Date
Document Type
Abstract; Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Source Name
NOIRS 2003-Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2003, October 28-30, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division