"We Got To Do Better"

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“We” as in Firefighters, not just here in Roanoke but everywhere. 115 Firefighters died last year according to FirefighterCloseCalls.com. The website is hosted by Deputy Chief Billy Goldfeder and others who are interested in decreasing firefighter deaths. However, last year seems to remind us that we have got to do better.

The reason why I am writing this right now is because of this incident below where a Scranton Firefighter was killed by electrocution during a house fire when his ladder truck came into contact with a power line. The image is from www.WNEP.com.

How can this happen? I am not trying to monday morning quarterback, and no I was not there. But we got to do better. Captain Jim Robeson, a 26 year veteran, was killed in this incident. God Bless his family and his brothers on the job. We need to learn from this incident.

This is but one of many incidents where firefighters die…and shouldn’t. FirefighterCloseCalls.com has the breakdown of firefighter deaths here. I will post some of the statistics below.

Type of Duty:

24 Responding 20.8%
11 Training 9.56%
37 On-Scene Fire 32.1%
8 On-Scene Non-Fire 6.95%
13 After 11.3%
20 Other On-Duty 17.3%
2 Returning 1.73%

Type of Incident:

5 Wildland 4.34%
48 Structure Fire 41.7%
7 MVA 6.08%
3 Hazmat 2.60%
6 EMS 5.21%
1 Tech Rescue 0.86%
1 Outside Fire 0.86%
1 False Alarm 0.86%
41 Not Incident Related 35.6%
1 Other 0.86%
1 Unknown 0.86%

Cause of Fatal Injury:

19 Caught/Trapped 16.5%
1 Contact with 0.86%
4 Fall 3.47%
55 Stress/Overexertion 47.8%
4 Collapse 3.47%
3 Struck by 2.60%
26 Vehicle Collision 22.6%
2 Lost 1.73%
1 Other 0.86%

Nature of Fatal Injury:

16 Asphyxiation 13.9%
3 Crushed 2.60%
7 Burns 6.08%
2 CVA 1.73%
33 Trauma 28.6%
1 Electrocution 0.86%
52 Heart Attack 45.2%
1 Other 0.86%


Basically, a firefighter dies every three days in the United States. There have been 2 reported by EveryoneGoesHome.com and today is the 6th of January. I guess you could say we started this year on track for last year. Although the numbers of 2006 were a lot better.
They give these statistics:

Firefighter Line-of-Duty Deaths Honored by NFFF
» 2008 LODDs Reported to Date: 2

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