Another NIOSH report from another death of a brother firefighter; I know we all support FF Seitz's department and family as they continue dealing with the aftermath of this tragic event.
Beyond the technical issues cited in this article and report, I think it's important to acknowledge one of the cultural characteristics I alternately love and hate about firefighters.
We are "CAN DO" people; and I don't think anyone would have it any other way.
It's one of the best things about our culture; a culture that doesn't always get enough credit for its positive aspects. (Yes, while we have a lot of things we can, and must, improve; there ARE things about our fire service culture that are truly outstanding.)
Need something built, modified, or demolished in short order? Call a firefighter.
Need someone taken care of who doesn't have anyone else to help them? Call a firefighter.
Have a problem nobody else can solve? Call a firefighter. Need donations for a local charity? Call a firefighter.
Unfortunately, our willingness and drive to "make it happen," regardless of the circumstances and constraints, sometimes gets us in trouble. We never say "can't;" and almost never say "no."
My great fear is that, as the effects of the recession continue to be felt in communities everywhere, we — as a service — will try to fill the budgetary gaps by doing what we always do: putting our lives on the line, even when we shouldn't.