Volume 3 Number 25
June 19, 2006

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STAND DOWN FOR FIRE SAFETY THIS WEEK

Please join thousands of fire departments across Florida, the United States and Canada for the 2006 International Fire Fighter Safety Stand Down. Starting on June 21, and continuing until all members have participated, the stand down will suspend all non-emergency activity to focus on fire fighter safety.

Departments will respond to all emergency calls as normal but between calls fire fighters, officers and chiefs will take the time to conduct safety training and drills, review our safety-related standard operating procedures, discuss accident reports and have open conversations about fire fighter safety in the department. The focus of the stand down is on emergency vehicle safety—in particular, on seatbelt use and driving safely through intersections.

“The State Fire Marshal is committed to serving the residents of Florida. Keeping our fire fighters safe and healthy helps us respond effectively to keep our community protected,” said Tom Gallagher. “While fire fighter safety is always a priority, the Stand Down is an opportunity to dedicate a significant amount of time to the safety of our personnel.”

The stand down also serves to remind the citizens of Florida to do their part in keeping fire fighters safe. Remember to pull to the right when fire trucks or ambulances are responding, and use caution when driving by emergency scenes where fire fighters or paramedics are helping accident victims.

Last year, 106 fire fighters died in the line of duty in the United States; 26 of these deaths occurred in emergency vehicle-related accidents. Thousands more were injured while on duty. The purpose of the stand down is to call international attention to these unacceptable numbers of line-of-duty deaths and injuries and devote an entire day to the critical issue of fire fighter safety.

The stand down is sponsored by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) and the IAFC’s Volunteer and Combination Officers’ Section in partnership with nearly 20 national fire service organizations. For more information, visit www.iafc.org/standdown/.