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NVFC Establishes Volunteer Firefighter Health and Safety Priorities

NVFC Establishes Volunteer Firefighter Health and Safety Priorities

Monday, 02 March 2009

The NVFC has always been active in promoting and implementing initiatives to keep first responders healthy and safe. This includes launching the Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program in 2003 to proactively combat the leading cause of line-of-duty firefighter deaths – heart attack. Now, the NVFC has released the Volunteer Firefighter Health and Safety Priorities to more effectively address the health and safety issues impacting the volunteer fire service.

The Volunteer Firefighter Health and Safety Priorities were developed by the NVFC’s Health and Safety Committee, established in the spring of 2008 to further the NVFC’s focus on protecting first responders. The Committee provides the NVFC insight on issues and policies relating to the health and safety of volunteer firefighters and emergency personnel, including providing input for the Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program.

The health and safety B.E.S.T. practices as set forth in the Volunteer Firefighter Health and Safety Priorities are:

Behavior

  • Operate all emergency apparatus and privately owned vehicles to conform to the highest road safety standards and enforce the use of seatbelts.
  • Develop, practice, and enforce recommended health and safety standards for all personnel.
  • Monitor and ensure that all active emergency scenes maintain the utmost level of safety and fireground accountability.
  • Support the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of all personnel.

Equipment

  • Provide and require the proper use of full personal protective equipment.
  • Maintain all equipment based on established safety recommendations.

Standards

  • Encourage the use of all smoke, fire detection, and fire suppression devices to include fire sprinkler systems in all structures.
  • Vigorously enforce all fire safety codes and ordinances.
  • Obtain apparatus and equipment that meet national safety standards.

Training

  • Utilize fire training programs that conform to the highest professional standards.
  • Operate a safe fire training ground at all times.
  • Establish, maintain, and deliver fire safety programs for all age groups.

Learn more about the Health and Safety Committee. For more information on how to stay healthy and safe at the department and at home, visit www.healthy-firefighter.org and www.nvfc.org/page/1149/Health_and_Safety.htm.

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