Why do many of you shy away from the LODD reports that are issued by NIOSH?
They are written in layman's terms, comes with pictures and diagrams and lays out a blueprint of what contributed to the FF death.
I have been reviewing NIOSH LODD reports for many years, have commented on many of them-some good; some bad-and always pick something from them that I can share with our fire department.
So; why do we ignore the reports? Or rather, why would you READ THEM and not share your thoughts?
I know, I know; you don't feel "qualified" or "I don't want to get beat up" or "I didn't think I could add anything"...blah, blah blah.
I know that NIOSH is interested in what you have to say about them. How do I know? They TWEET me.
Give my latest blog a read and please, post your thoughts; here and there.
Unlike some, I DO want to hear from you; good or bad.
http://www.firefighternation.com/profiles/blogs/trading-precious-re...

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You know, I just read the little blurb on the assistant chief who died while trying to use an aerial apparatus to do maintenance on the truck bay at his fire hall.

My mind was screaming, "Right tool, right job!" the whole time...

Here's a veteran firefighter, probably decades of experience, an assistant chief, doing a simple task around the fire house by himself with an entirely wrong choice of equipment.

I can't imagine using our Bronto Skylift for fixing one of the bay doors in our hall, it's just too big!

He took the apparatus out of the bay (somebody must have heard the truck start, right) and drove it out onto the deck in front of the hall then set it for aerial ops and moved the aerial (from within the bucket I assume) back into the bay to work.

What strikes me most is this was a completely avoidable incident that happened when everyone was caught off guard. You're relaxed at the fire hall, at ease. You don't think about dangers or potential risks. No one thought, "Hey, who started the truck, why is it leaving the bay, is there a call?" If he told someone what he was going to do before doing it, why didn't anyone suggest using something simpler like a ground ladder meant for maintenance (as opposed to a fire ladder.)

I hope the department had a long talk about why this should have never happened and what, "right right tool, right job" is supposed to mean.
Art;
I believe that not reading NIOSH LODD reports is akin to whistling in the dark, a superstitious act to ward off evil (in this case, LODD's). I guess some people think reading them is just bad juju.
I read them as I come across them. I like to think of it as aversion therapy, the more of them I read the more I'll be able to avert a disaster of my own.
There is no such thing as knowing too much, but it all depends on how you incorporate what you know with what you do.
I'll move over to your blog and read that next.
Reasons why NIOSH reports are unread by some, discounted by others, based on personal fire service and work experience:
1. Recommendations are believed to be coming from 'pencil pushers' and bureaucrats who have an agenda to push.
2. Referenced materials as part of recommendations are considered having very little value; authors of such are considered 'out of touch with real firefighting' and are 'seeking to push their latest book' or 'are pushing an agenda.'
3. "NIOSH reports are all the same, just a template with changes in date, location and cause of death."
4. "Recommendations are unrealistic; cost too much to implement; would shut down the department; are out of touch with actual firefighting."
5. "Most are for medical reasons, which is the fault of the individual not taking care of themselves."
6. "How many times do you need to be told to do a 360 or have a RIC?"
7. "That department was screwed up from the beginning; we're not like that."
8. Some NIOSH reports involving well-known departments are often discounted because the investigators allegedly did not do a decent interview; did not investigate the people who were actually there (spoke to chiefs only); or are contrary to the department or other independent investigation(s).
9. NIOSH reports come out late, sometimes a year later, and the incident has already be "critiqued to death."
10. News of the event unfolds rapidly in this day and critiques, both formal and informal, give to greater discussion/debate. Readers minds are generally "made up" about "what went wrong" in short order.
11. Very few people actually take time to read.


Just a few off the top of my head.
Hey Art. Very nice discussion. Our Chief actually gets these reports in his e-mail and brings them up to us at our monthly meetings. After the meeting, he hangs them on the message board at the station for us to re-read if we want to. Whenever we get a run, he let's us all know about the most recent ones he has gotten and then again brings them up at the monthly meeting. He has gotten very serious about our safety in the past year or so. He is doing his dambdest to make sure we are safe out there.
Every time I receive one in the mail I review it, then I'll go over it with our members. After that it's on the table for others to review. Some departments might not be reviewing it, knowing they commit the same acts as what has been found out through the investigations? Kinda turning a blind eye to it???
Why do many of you shy away from the LODD reports that are issued by NIOSH?

I don't really know what you are getting at here Art, what do you mean to shy away from these reports? Are you referring to comments on reports on this site or what?

Like some others have stated we also get these reports and do review them as a department, especially the ones to truly learn from. I'm not saying that a LODD due to heart attack or medical issue is not important, but there is only so much to learn from that. After all, we do have a health program in place, we have annual physicals, we do work out etc, and that tends to be such recommendations after such LODD. We already have that in place. Then there are LODD's, easily prevented such as responding in a POV, or apparatus accidents with seatbelt issues etc. Again such things have been addressed for us. The ones which do get reviewed more are those where there was a fireground issue and we will look at it and address how we would operate if encountering such issues and how to prevent that on our level, with our staffing. Simply speaking some recommendations do relate to staffing and in reality that is out of FF hands.

As for commenting on here, sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. Personally I don't like seeing how some comments are made especially with hindsight being 20/20, or the blame game is made. I don't want to comment on a health related LODD or such a preventable accident as saying "We told ya so" etc or "they should have known better"...yes they should have, but I don't see a reason to berate a fallen FF or imply how the dept screwed up etc and place judgements. There are those which can be commented on and that people can learn from, such as a floor collapse, tactics, safety issues etc. Many of these reports should be addressed within an individual fire depart or at least to remember that depts do differ and to ask themselves internally, "How do WE address this". I seen many posts here of people saying we have 2 in 2 out, despite reports that it takes many more to handle a RIT emergency. Goes to staffing stuff again, but I can't address other dept issues, but can address how we operate.

There are definately LODD reports to learn from, but some don't really apply when such recommendations have already been in place by an individual department.
You just answered your question, John.
I use to think, "LODD-another heart attack". But then I started looking at them more closely to see whether it was a diagnosed medical condition that may have been ignored or whether the firefighter was engaged in very recent and strenuous fireground activities, whether the fallen FF became ill after a couple trips interior on a very stubborn fire or whether the heart attack may have been triggered by CO or cyanide, for instance.
Naturally, those that are a result of some type of trauma needs to be reviewed and discussed.
But, I wanted to point out that there might be cases where the cause could be obscure, innocuous or otherwise lost in the generalities of recommendations.
You know me well enough to know that there is always reasons for my questions/comments.
TCSS.
Art
Game. Set. Match, Bill.
Well done.
Art
Unfortunately this happens all to often. No one wants to have their flaws pointed out to them. Especially when it comes to the safety of their crews. Our dept. has came a long way with safety since we started reviewing these reports. We now have a dedicated safety officer who is revamping all of our safety related protocols. Like I said, we have came a long way but we still have a ways to go.
Stay safe everyone!!!
Not insinuating there isn't a reason, I was curious as to the application. Like I stated there may be some LODD posted here which I won't comment on and some I will, it doesn't mean that they don't get reviewed, so just wondering what you meant by shy away?

You have good points concerning the cardiac stuff, but my point is that the dept I'm on has addressed those issues and followed such recommendations. We do have an annual physical exam, we have annual fit testing of SCBA facepiece and even N-95 mask, we mask up for any smoke or IDLH environment. We have an extensive rehab program in place to prevent such issues of several trips inside for a stubborn fire. That is what I mean by some recommendations don't really apply when those recommendations have been addressed by a dept. Hence the reason I tend not to comment on such LODD reports.

I am not promoting that you can't learn from every LODD, because you can, it is just sometimes the factors leading to such an LODD has been addressed. Problem is that not every department will learn from other LODDs, until it smacks them in the face. Such simple things like seatbelts, driving with Due Regard, and so forth are easy to implement. Yet we still hear of vollies dying because of response in a POV, we hear about deaths because of not wearing a seatbelt and so forth. To be perfectly honest and not afraid to admit it, but our own dept had to suffer an LODD, before we really did get it. We learned from our own mistakes and have gone on to present lessons learned to other departments so they don't have to learn it on their own.
It is interesting, I've heard speculation that many of the LODD's that we thought were heart attacks, may have actually been from cyanide poisoning or CO due to extensive overhaul without SCBA...maybe with or without concurrent cardiac conditions.

I think we definetely, as a whole, doff SCBA way too early way too often.
Has anyone else noticed that the reports now get a peer review by people like Chief Billy Goldfeder, Chief John Tippett and there have been subtle changes in the reporting format itself.
I think that there has been a change in how the investigator is communicating their findings in the report.
IMHO.
Art

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