The NIOSH Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program (supersedes 2007-154)
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The NIOSH Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program (supersedes 2007-154)

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  • Alternative Title:
    Fire fighter fatality investigation and prevention program
  • Journal Article:
    DHHS publication ; no. (NIOSH)
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  • Description:
    The United States currently depends on approximately 1.1 million fire fighters to protect its citizens and property from losses caused by fire. Of these fire fighters, approximately 336,000 are career and 812,000 are volunteers. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the U.S. Fire Administration estimate that on average, 90 to 100 fire fighters die in the line-of duty each year. In 1998, Congress recognized the need for further efforts to address the continuing national problem of job-related fire fighter deaths and funded NIOSH to implement a fire fighter safety initiative. With fire service stakeholder input, we developed the Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program. The NIOSH Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program (FFFIPP) conducts independent investigations of select fire fighter line-of-duty deaths. We do this to provide recommendations to prevent future deaths and injuries. The FFFIPP is a public health practice investigation program. We do not conduct our investigations to enforce compliance with state or federal job safety and health standards. We also do not determine fault or place blame on fire departments or individual fire fighters. Our program's goal is to learn from these tragic events and prevent future similar events. We do not investigate every fire fighter death. We have investigated approximately 40% of fire fighter deaths since the program's start in 1998. We prioritize fatality investigations using a decision flow chart, which is available on the FFFIPP website. Investigation priorities may change based upon the ongoing review of fatality data on leading risks to fire fighters and on fire service stakeholder input. Program Objectives: 1. Better identify and define the characteristics of line-of-duty deaths among fire fighters; 2. Recommend ways to prevent deaths and injuries; and, 3. Disseminate prevention strategies to the fire service.
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