Tucson Fire Dept. measures to prevent firefighter deaths - Tucson News Now

Tucson Fire Dept. measures to prevent firefighter deaths

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Firefighters have to deal with a number of dangers when it comes to battling a fire, whether it is a house fire or a wildfire in a forest. 

A recent study shows there has been an increase in the number of firefighters that have died in the line of duty.  Here is break down of numbers and an explanation of what one local fire department is doing to prevent line of duty deaths.

In 2013 there were a total of 97 firefighters that died while on duty, their ages ranged from 19 to 70 years old. 

The National Fire Protection Association said one reason for the higher numbers were two tragic events - the Yarnell Hill Fire in Arizona that took the lives of 19 Granite Mountain Hot Shots and a fertilizer plant explosion in Texas that killed nine firefighters and one EMT.

The leading cause of death in the report was internal trauma, followed by sudden cardiac deaths and burns; another major cause of death, vehicle accidents involving firefighters.

To try and prevent those accidents, Tucson Fire does driver training every two years, a refresher on evasive driving and other skills.

Also after every fire TFD has a mandated rehab.  Fire crews are required to get out of their gear, cool off and their vitals are taken.  If the vitals are not in the acceptable range, the firefighter is held back from service.  Another safety measure is for firefighters to get annual physicals.  The NFPA says the study show the importance of firefighter safety.

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