3. Risk Management


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

  • 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.
  • NFFF New Goals Campaign: Wildland Firefighting From the October issue of Firehouse® Magazine By Chief Ronald J. Siarnicki Our hearts were heavy this past August when three wildland firefighters were killed battling the Twisp River Fire in Washington State, and two died battling fires in California. These tragedies shook their communities and saddened our nation. These devastating deaths and other injuries… Read more »
  • Assessing Risk Never Stops The concept of risk permeates the fire service. We talk about risk/benefit analysis. Our “golden rule”—risk a lot to save a lot, risk little to save little, risk nothing to save nothing—is ingrained into us in the academy.
  • 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.