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February 4, 2004
Summit to address fire service line-of-duty death prevention initiative
Goal is to reduce firefighter fatalities by 25% within 5 years; 50% within 10 years

The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) announced it will hold the first National Line-of-Duty Death Prevention Summit to publicly address how the fire service can work to reduce firefighter fatalities within the next five to 10 years. The National Summit, to be held March 10 and 11, 2004 in Tampa, Florida, will bring together more than 100 individuals representing numerous fire service organizations. Given the broad appeal of this initiative, the Foundation is extending an open invitation to fire service and emergency personnel to participate in this event.
"The Foundation looks forward to working collaboratively with the full spectrum of America's fire service on this critical initiative," said Chief Ron Siarnicki, Executive Director of the NFFF. "We hope to foster both a dynamic dialogue as well as a resounding commitment to enhancing training, improving equipment, and taking other measures to increase firefighter health and safety."

Presently, nearly 100 firefighters die in the line of duty each year. Among topics to be addressed are some of the more preventable issues, such as heart attacks and vehicle accidents, which account for the majority of fatalities. Additionally, the National Summit will tackle the major issue of decreasing the number of fires in this country, which would naturally reduce the potential of firefighter injuries and fatalities.

Chief Ron Siarnicki

"When America Burning was written, an average of almost 300 firefighters lost their lives in the line of duty each year," U.S. Fire Administrator R. David Paulison reminded us. "Through the efforts of so many dedicated individuals, this number has been reduced to an average of 100 per year, a still unacceptable reality. A rededication and recommitment of the entire fire service and allied professionals to reduce these tragedies further is needed. I applaud the NFFF for this LODD summit opportunity, and know this sharing and team building effort will better serve and protect the lives of America's firefighters."

For more information on the National Fire Service Line-of-Duty Death Prevention Initiative, the first National Summit, or the NFFF, visit