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Near-Miss Reporting System Aims to Improve Fire Fighter Safety

March 10, 2006 - As a participating member of the National Fire Fighter Near-Miss Reporting System Task Force, the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) encourages its members to help improve fire fighter safety by sharing near-miss experiences so that all fire fighters and emergency responders can help prevent unnecessary injuries and fatalities.

Ironically, improvements in personal protective gear, equipment and training are putting fire fighters at greater risk. Fire fighter injury and fatality statistics have steadily increased over the last 15 years when compared to a decrease in the number of structure fires.

Modeled after the Aviation Safety Reporting System, the National Fire Fighter Near-Miss Reporting System is funded by grants from the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program and the Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company and managed by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC). The goal of this voluntary, confidential and non-punitive reporting system is to improve fire fighter safety by collecting, sharing and analyzing near-miss experiences that can assist in developing strategies to reduce the number of fire fighter injuries and fatalities.

A near miss is defined as an unintentional unsafe occurrence that could have resulted in an injury, fatality of property damage. Only a fortunate break in the chain of events prevented an injury, fatality or property damage.

IAFF members can submit reports using one of three options:

The IAFC has developed a National Fire Fighter Near-Miss Reporting System Program Kit available online here and includes instructions for submitting a report, sample reports and information on how to get involved, as well as downloadable reporting forms, PowerPoint presentation and other resources that can be printed, copied and shared.

In addition, the IAFC distributes a “Report of the Week” every Friday highlighting a near-miss report and a series of follow-up discussion questions. To subscribe, email nearmiss@iafc.org with the words “Subscribe-IAFF” in the subject line.

For more information, visit www.firefighternearmiss.com.

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