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How far have we really come?

Take a look at the clip below. It comes from the show “Rescue 911”. If you have ever read the blog before then you already know that Rescue 911 was a huge influence on me.

People before me had Emergency to influence them and drive them to the Fire and EMS services, but the biggest influence for me other than my dad was this show.

The show was great but that’s not what I want to focus on today. This episode aired in 1993 which means the incident probably happened in either the late 80’s or early 90’s. Some people will look at this and see the apparatus, gear, SCBA, and think that we have come a long way in the fire service since then. I know in the last 15 years (since I have been on the job) leaps and bounds have been made in technology of PPE, SCBA, and fire apparatus. When I was riding an open cab Seagrave Ladder truck as a 17-year-old kid I would never have believed you that one day Fire Trucks would have airbags, at the time my car did not even have one!

Of all the things that have changed, one thing from this video that seems to have not changed is the attitude about our own safety.

Sure back then we did not know a lot of things we do now, but now we know that smoke is dangerous, we know that heart disease is rampant, we know that most of our LODD’s are cardiac related. Furthermore we know how to control those factors (wear your PPE, SCBA, work out and eat better) or at least minimize their risk. Yet you still see guys going into fires without SCBA, or proper PPE. We still see guys stuffing their faces at the table and not working out. We still see guys NOT TRAINING!

At the end of the video the fireman who almost lost his life even says that he feels he was saved to tell firefighters to be more physically fit and watch what they eat. THIS WAS BACK IN THE EARLY 90’s, almost 20 years ago and we still have not learned our lesson.

So how far have we really come? Are we now more advanced than our yester year counterparts? Or are we more ignorant than them because we have all of the things they never had, and yet still choose not to use them.

Sure one day we may all be called to make the ultimate sacrifice, but let’s make sure that we have done everything in our power to minimize that risk by wearing our PPE and SCBA, working out, eating right, and getting physicals. We need to fight for ourselves so that we can fight for the citizens, and people we serve.

No one is foolish enough to think that 100 percent of LODD’s are preventable, or that we will ever get to 0 LODD’s. However the number CAN be reduced by taking control of the things we have an influence over. You control your physical fitness, you control how much you eat, you control your PPE and SCBA usage, and you control your seatbelt usage.

Do not forget to keep following along on twitter @averagejakeff

Also remember that FDIC is right around the corner, sign up for the 5k Courage and Valor Fun Run, or the 9/11 Stair Climb or BOTH. I will be doing the fun run, along with my wife @stickysidedwn .


As usual thanks for reading, spread the word, and STAY SAFE!

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