3. Risk Management

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Focus greater attention on the integration of risk management with incident management at all levels, including strategic, tactical and planning responsibilities.

This initiative incorporates a range of components that relate to our ability to safely conduct emergency operations in a high-risk environment. There is no question that firefighters are expected to work in environments that are inherently dangerous, however most risks and most of the specific dangers are well known.” The 3rd Initiative asks us to function safely in high-risk environments by implementing risk management controls wherever they can help reduce injuries and line-of-duty deaths.

Too many lives are lost in situations where the risks were not justified. The fire service understands risks, yet the same accidents, injuries and fatalities keep happening. Incidents must be managed with a constant awareness and balance between risks and desired outcomes. High risk is only acceptable when there is a real possibility of saving a life. Fire command must carefully measure and control risks to save valuable property that can be saved. It is not an acceptable risk to attempt to save lives or properties that are already lost. The fire service should remember that if something bad happens it miscalculated, and that we should never use “that’s the way it’s always been done” to ever except a line-of-duty injury or death.

Latest Initiative 3 News

  • After the Fire Podcast – Episode 5 In this episode, we discuss the 2019 McMicken Explosion and near-miss incident of Surprise, Arizona where multiple first responders were blasted over 75 feet as a result of an explosion of a lithium-ion battery energy storage facility.
  • Help Shape the Future of the Fire Service The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation will host the National Fire Service Research Agenda Symposium virtually in February and March to prioritize research that promotes firefighter safety, wellness, and efficiency.
  • After the Fire Podcast – Episode 4 In this episode, we’ll continue to discuss the 1984 toluene tank explosion that resulted in the LODD of Phoenix Fire Department Engineer-HazMat Technician Ricky Pearce. We honor his contribution to industry-wide change, and we explore how Phoenix and firefighting as a whole evolved from this unfortunate event.
  • After the Fire Podcast – Episode 3 In this episode, we discuss the 1984 toluene tank explosion that resulted in the LODD of Phoenix Fire Department Engineer-HazMat Technician Ricky Pearce. We honor his contribution to industry-wide change, and we explore how Phoenix and firefighting as a whole evolved from this unfortunate event.
  • Help Make Responders Safer on Our Nation’s Roadways The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation is conducting a survey to gather data on responder fatalities, injuries, near misses, and struck-by incidents that have occurred during emergency response on our nation’s highways. The survey will be open until December 15, 2020.
    » Take the Survey Now
  • Making the Nathan Espinosa Story Early in 2018, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation became aware of a significant near miss event in Los Angeles, California. A rookie firefighter fell through the roof during operations at his first working fire. Within days, the Los Angeles fire chief took bold action to ensure the firefighter was cared for, activated a critical injury investigation, and develop a plan of action to prevent a future occurrence.
  • Promoting a Better Safety Climate for the Fire Service During Global Pandemic, Civil Unrest, and Wildland Fires The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) and the First Responder Center for Excellence (FRCE), once again, collaborated with Firehouse® and published the 2020 Fire Service Health & Safety Report. The 32 page report, which appears in September’s issue of Firehouse®, includes 13 articles written by respected leaders, authors and experts, covering a diversity of topics, including women in the fire service, the power of podcasts in promoting safety and health and changing the very culture of safety among the nation’s fire departments.
  • Go Down Swinging – The Nathan Espinosa Story On September 19, 2018, the Los Angeles City Fire Department responded to a fire in a commercial structure. Within minutes of arrival, the department experienced a significant near miss event involving serious injury to one of its newest members. Rather than take the incident in stride as “part of the job,” LAFD Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas reviewed the incident and within ten days ordered a top to bottom cultural shift in the department’s response to structural fires. The cultural shift preserved the LAFD tradition of aggressive fire attack, while injecting new practices designed to improve firefighter safety and avoid a repeat event that could lead to an irreversible tragedy. This article tells the tale of how one fire chief and a major metropolitan department recognized a threat and responded by taking bold corrective action before the threat became a tragedy. The story is a model of courageous leadership.
  • UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute Unveils New Report Investigating Near-Miss Lithium-Ion Battery Energy Storage System Explosion UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute (FSRI) today released a report detailing a deflagration incident at a 2.16 MWh lithium-ion battery energy storage system (ESS) facility in Surprise, Arizona. The report provides a detailed technical account of the explosion and fire service response, along with recommendations on how to improve codes, standards, and emergency response training to better protect first responders, maintenance personnel and nearby communities.
  • UL FSRI Releases Research Report on Coordinated Fire Attack in Multi-Family Structures The UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute has released a new research report, “Analysis of the Coordination of Suppression and Ventilation in Multi-Family Dwellings” based on a series of experiments conducted as part of the “Study of Coordinated Fire Attack Utilizing Acquired Structures.”