Safety improving for firefighters

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — Firefighter deaths are down across the country.

This is the fifth time the number has been below 70.

Chattanooga Fire Chief Chris Adams says it starts with fire prevention.

“The fire deaths are probably down, major reason is because of fire prevention efforts across the country. If we can reduce the fire the best fire is the one that never happened,” Chief Adams says.

There will never be a day when fires won’t happen, so the best thing to do is to focus on keeping firefighters safe.

Over the years fire safety equipment has become more advanced and tailored to each firefighter as opposed to shared community equipment of years past.

“When I came in my captain they would tell when they reported for work they’d borrow a set of boots and a coat and a helmet so they didn’t even have gear issued to them,” Chief Adams continues.

Even with all the safety advances, last year in the U.S. 69 firefighters died – with volunteer firefighters accounting for more than half of that number – and the majority of those deaths occurring while firefighters were responding to and from fires.

“But that’s only because more vehicles. The more vehicles respond the more chance of someone having the fatal incident. So, when we’re responding, we’re responding four or five people in one truck and volunteer department may have one person per vehicle so you know that ups your odds of having a lethal accident greatly,” he says.

The job will never be 100% safe, but with continued safety advances technology will keep firefighters safer by monitoring the effects of fire on the human body in real time.

“We’ll be able to sit there with a command board in the future is my belief and we’ll be able to see what the firefighters are doing and we’ll know that you’ve exceeded 110 degrees we’ve got to get you out,” Chief Adams also says.


Categories: Chattanooga, Local News

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