Safety Stand Down for Fire Fighter Safety Scheduled for June 21

The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and 20 other fire service organizations are calling for the nation's fire departments to observe a "stand down" for fire fighter safety beginning Wednesday, June 21, 2006, and continuing until all shifts have been completed.

The IAFF is urging fire departments to suspend all non-emergency activity and instead focus entirely on fire fighter safety.

"Fire fighter death and injury rates continue to occur at a constant rate," says IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger. "Fire fighters work in a dangerous profession where injuries and death are a part of the job, but we can and must do more to reduce the risks. By holding this stand down, we will bring attention to the need to address preventable line-of-duty deaths and injuries among fire fighters."

This year's event will focus on emergency vehicle safety in particular. The IAFF has partnered with the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) to develop a comprehensive emergency vehicle safety program designed to give fire fighters a greater awareness of safety issues when riding on fire apparatus and operating at roadway emergency scenes.

Year after year, emergency vehicle crashes are the second leading cause of on-duty fire fighter deaths," says Acting U.S. Fire Administrator Charlie Dickinson. "This emergency vehicle safety educational outreach provides basic strategies for improving safety during vehicle operations."

Click here for information regarding the IAFF Emergency Vehicle Safety Program. All IAFF affiliates will also receive a DVD of the Emergency Vehicle Safety program.

Throughout the day on June 21, fire departments are asked to call attention to the unacceptable number of line-of-duty deaths and injuries across the nation and are encouraged to check all apparatus and equipment, discuss health and safety regulations, review fire ground safety issues and take stock of training exercises and fitness goals.

"We hope that during this safety stand down, labor and management will work together nationwide to address fire fighter health and safety and help stop the rise in line-of-duty deaths and injuries," says Schaitberger.

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