Many U.S. fire departments are struggling to provide firefighters with the PPE and SCBA needed to keep them safe from contaminant exposure. That’s according to NFPA’s Fourth Needs Assessment survey, which was sent to every fire department in the U.S.
Findings from the 2015 survey show that:
- 13% of U.S. fire departments do not have enough PPE for each emergency responder
- 72% of U.S. fire departments have some PPE that is more than 10 years old
- 53% of firefighters are not equipped with SCBA
- 69% of firefighters use SCBA that’s at least 10 years old
The survey also shows that many fire departments aren’t inspecting, testing or cleaning contaminated PPE on a regular basis:
- More than half (57%) of all U.S. fire departments do not inspect or test their PPE yearly.
- Almost half (46%) of departments do not have laundering or external services to clean the contaminated PPE.
To learn more about the findings from this survey, sign up for “Factors Relating to Cancer and Contamination in the U.S. Fire Service,” NFPA’s upcoming, free webinar on Tuesday, May 23, at 12:00 p.m.
Hylton Haynes, NFPA’s senior research analyst, will lead the discussion with an overview of the Needs Assessment survey findings on PPE and SCBA. He’ll be joined by Casey Grant, executive director of the Fire Protection Research Foundation, who will provide an overview of the latest research efforts to better understand and address contaminant exposure among firefighters; Chris Farrell, an NFPA emergency service specialist, will cover issues related to the upcoming edition of NFPA 1582, Standard on Comprehensive Occupational Medical Program for Fire Departments.