Each year close to 100 hundred firefighters die in the line of duty. 80,000 are injured. There is no estimate on number of near misses each year. In an effort to reduce the number of LODD's the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation developed 16 Life Safety Initiatives. Initiative #9 is thoroughly investigate all firefighter deaths, injuries and near misses. Investigation of these events is a complex process that needs to be preplanned.
In June of 2008, my department experienced two events that illustrated the need to develop a team of trained individuals who could be called upon to investigate these events. First during a commercial building fire, a roof collapse nearly took the lives of 10 firefighters. Five days later one of our fire captains was burned over in a wildland fire.
We realized that we need a team of individuals who were trained to investigate near misses and injuries. We worked with Cal Fire to investigate the wildland burnover. Using Cal Fire's investigation program as a starting point, the Sacramento area fire agencies develop a regional serious accident review team. The regional team was developed because of our extensive use of automatic aid. The team has investigated several incidents since its inception.
The California Fire and Rescue Training Authority will be presenting Serious Accident Review Team training. The “SART” Team Member Training Program will prepare the student to understand the roles and responsibilities of each position on the SART team. Students will gain an understanding of the responsibilities of these positions through case studies and will participate in a simulated SART activation. This course will provide a framework for developing a SART program within individual agencies or regions.
The course is scheduled for Nomember 18-21 in Sacramento. You can register at the CFRTA website. Cost is $225
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