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March 16, 2004

15 initiatives to help save us
by Patrick Pauly
 
I was humbled and honored to be among fire service representatives that attended the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation’s (NFFF) first ever Line Of Duty Death and Injury Prevention Summit held in Tampa, Florida this week.

Guests were invited from all over the United States in hope that 50 to 80 fires service persons and sponsors could attend this event.  The 200 participants proved the overwhelming importance of this topic.  Chief and Executive Director Ron Siarnicki of the NFFF orchestrated the Summit along with the assistance of numerous corporate sponsors and the assisitance of several fires departments in an around Tampa, Florida. The goal of the Summit: Reduce firefighter deaths by 25% in the next 5 years and by 50% in the next 10 years, recently stated by the United State Fire Administration.

A joint assembly was held to begin the ceremonies.  Introductions of key persons and addresses occurred including attendance by several LODD “survivors”. Then the work began as statistics of annual Line Of Duty Deaths (LODD) were presented and discussed.  The group was then split into 6 different working groups to focus on major areas of our business that keep killing firefighters.  Those groups subdivided into task groups and worked late into the day on methods to prevent future LODD.  Late in the day the sub-groups reported back to their working groups and voted on the most important issues to reduce firefighter deaths.  Those were then reported back the next morning to the entire group when they reconvened.  There were a total of fifteen inititatives in the final report.

A press release is included from the NFFF with this article.  It can also be read and printed from their website at www.firehero.org.

About the author: Patrick Pauly has spent nearly 34 years in the fire service. He is employed full-time as a Fire Service Education Specialist at the Pennsylvania State Fire Academy, teaching and coordinating the activities of the Resident and “Academy On The Road” training programs. His main topic areas are structural fire fighting, safety and survival, and fire fighter rescue. As a volunteer he spent 31 years in the Lewistown, PA Fire Department, the last 7 as Deputy Chief. He is currently 1st Asst. Chief with the West Granville Fire Co. Pat is nationally certified as a Fire Fighter III, Fire Instructor II, and Fire Officer I, and was a PA Certified EMT for 26 years. He holds an Associates degree in Computer Science Technology. 
 

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