Most Common Injuries That Firefighters Receive
It’s no secret that firefighting is a dangerous profession. While on the job, firefighters risk their lives to put out fires and rescue victims from emergency situations. To accomplish these important life-saving tasks, firefighters face several dangers, such as smoke inhalation, collapsing structures, and—of course—fire. Due to the perilous situations in which firefighters are placed, injuries are bound to occur during the courses of their careers. Here are some of the most common injuries that firefighters receive on the job.
Muscle strains and sprains
One might assume that burns are the most common injuries firefighters experience, but that’s actually not the case. According to the National Fire Protection Association, the leading cause of ground injuries is overexertion or strain, which accounted for 28 percent of the total injuries.
As firefighter protective gear becomes more advanced, burn-related injuries are becoming less common. However, such protective equipment can’t protect firefighters from the strenuous nature of the job, which often results in strains or other muscular injuries. The most effective way to prevent such injuries is to maintain a rigorous fitness routine.
Wounds, dislocations, and bone fractures
Some of the other most common injuries that firefighters receive include wounds, dislocations, and bone fractures. Such injuries are typically the result of falls, jumps, or slips, which are the second-leading cause of firefighting injuries. Wounds, dislocations, and bone fractures are most common in the upper extremities, followed by the legs and feet. To reduce such injuries, firefighting agencies should adopt effective risk management programs.
Firefighters are exposed to large quantities of smoke on the job. They’re also often exposed to hazardous chemicals such as asbestos, hydrogen cyanide, carbon monoxide, dichlorofluoromethane, benzene, sulfur dioxide, and other dangerous fumes. Exposure to such chemicals can result in several negative health effects, including respiratory damage. To prevent this, firefighters should always wear self-contained breathing apparatuses in situations where they’re likely to face exposure to harmful chemicals or excess smoke.
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