Define and advocate the need for a cultural change within the fire service relating to safety; incorporating leadership, management, supervision, accountability and personal responsibility.
Culture is generally defined as the behaviors, attitudes, values, and beliefs that are shared within a group or organization. It reflects the collective perception of right and wrong, good and bad, or desirable and undesirable actions and characteristics.
The safety culture within a fire department is reflected through its members’ behaviors, attitudes and actions in and out of the station as well as on the fire ground. The 1st Initiative asks us to explore the characteristics of our departments to bring about a higher commitment to safety.
Nationwide, the firefighter’s personal protective ensemble, apparatus and equipment technology, available training and safety resources, and safety standards are at the highest, safest levels ever experienced in fire service history. However, United States Fire Administration statistics reveal a ten-year plateau of more than 100 firefighter line-of-duty deaths and approximately 10,000 serious line-of-duty injuries each year. To worsen matters, firefighters are being injured and killed on incidents at rates close to those of 20 years ago. Case analyses show that most of these line-of-duty deaths and injuries are preventable. Within the context of Everyone Goes Home® and the 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives, no advocacy point carries more importance and potential than the need to change the culture of safety from within. Clearly, the fire service must change its attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors toward safety if reductions in firefighter injuries and fatalities are going to be reduced.
Initiative 1 Resources
- High School Fire and EMS Programs and Academies: Opportunities and Challenges
- Wildland Fire Safety Strategy Meeting
- National Safety Culture Change Initiative (NSCCI)
- The Vulnerability Assessment Program Webinar
- Health & Wellness Concerns PowerPoint Presentation (4MB)
Initiative 1 Research
- Four Commonsense Steps to Preventing a Firefighter Mayday
- Why Have a Junior Firefighter Program
- Fitness Program: Start with the Recruits
- 3 Decision-Making Tools To Keep Your Crew Alive
- A Healthy Discussion About Diversity in the Fire Service
Latest Initiative 1 News
- New Report Calls for More Unified Approach to Reducing Wildland Firefighter LODDs – Each year, approximately 19 wildland firefighters die in the line of duty, representing almost 20 percent of all firefighter line-of-duty deaths occurring in the U.S. annually.
- Company Officer Development: Are We Doing All We Can for Our Up and Coming Leaders? – The lack of training opportunities for officer development is not the fault of the firefighters moving up. We shouldn’t forget that every department – even stations within large departments – operates differently. A structured chain of command, training requirements and officer development are not universal.
- NFFF “New Goals” Campaign: Taking Steps to Survivability – Often, the path to sustained change is through incremental improvements. Of course, some issues are so important they must be dealt with immediately. By prioritizing what needs to be accomplished and taking small, manageable steps we see progress occur that is both sustainable and important.
- Resolve to reduce line of duty deaths for the New Year – The most important element in firefighter safety is you, the firefighter. Join the NFFF in reducing firefighter injuries and lowering the number of LODDs each year to below 50.
- Annapolis Residents Benefit from Emergency Responder Safety Grant – The Annapolis Fire Department will benefit from the $10,000 BGE grant submitted by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF). NFFF presented the alarms at today’s event, after purchasing them from the world’s largest manufacturer of fire safety products, Kidde.