by Ben Klaene & Russ Sanders
From the new issue of NFPA Journal®
One way firefighters can avoid injury or death on the fireground is to follow the many safety requirements spelled out in codes and standards such as NFPA 1500, Fire Department Occupational Safety and Health Program. These codes and standards not only explain safe operations, but also require that provisions be made to rescue firefighters when they are lost, trapped, or otherwise unable to make their way to safety. We advocate full compliance with these codes and standards, including an immediate call for assistance when firefighters are in trouble.
While unexpected circumstances can delay rescue, placing firefighters in even greater jeopardy, certain tricks of the trade can increase your chances of survival while waiting for help. Intentionally creating confusion and disorientation during training exercises is an effective way to reduce the likelihood of panic during a real incident. It is also important to familiarize yourself with the building during pre-incident planning.