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Firefighter safety is paramount to the successful completion of our mission which is to rescue lives and put out fires. Every firefighter plans to enjoy a long retirement from the fire service. Unfortunately that is not what happens to many firefighters. Too often the lives of firefighters are prematurely disrupted by injuries or death from situations that could have been avoided or even predicted. These include unsafe acts at an emergency scene and personal habits that include a poor safety behavior and not maintaining physical and mental health and fitness.

In response to this service-wide crisis many organizations have created training to educate and change the culture within the service.

The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) has created an online training program called Courage to be Safe aimed at changing attitudes and creating a safer work environment in the fire service.

The International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) has created an online training program called Fire Ground Survival. The premise is that the fire service trains for success on the fireground but rarely if ever trains to react to failure. Many of these failures are catastrophic and result in fatalities.

A buzz word that has taken hold in the fire service that directly relates to Fire Ground Survival is situational awareness (SA). SA is the ability to absorb information, synthesize it, and make decisions accordingly. To develop situational awareness will require firefighters to be cognizant of their actions, the actions of others, the affect of environmental factors, and be prepared for any surprises.

Another way to improve safety in the fire service is to encourage the acquisition of higher certifications and pursuit of higher education. Both of these are addressed under the Professional Education tab.