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Despite data from NFPA's latest "Firefighter Fatalities in the United States" report indicating the number of on-duty firefighter deaths in 2011 is the lowest annual total in 35 years, fire service experts continue to promote an analysis that has the ability to further decrease this figure.
In the latest issue of +NFPA Journal+, columnists Ben Klaene and Russ Sanders outline a risk-versus-benefit fire analysis that identifies the likelihood of firefighters being injured or killed in a fire and weighing those factors with others related to saving endangered lives. NFPA 1500, +Fire ++Department Occupational Safety and Health Program,+ provides guidance on developing this analysis.
"Until the fire is controlled, the risk to firefighters increases and the possible benefit of saving lives decreases," state the authors in their column. "It is critically important that first-arriving units and the incident commander conduct a risk-versus-benefit analysis, which includes continuously reevaluating and reassessing the situation and developing a strategy and incident action plan that adequately protects firefighters."
-Fred Durso, Jr.</p>