Good Example Of Essay On Health And Safety Program Management
The incident is an ideal case of negligence in regard to safety measures. The two firefighters in question underestimated the importance of dispatching an alarm about the smoke coming out the basement of the building. They took matters in their hands and went on to investigate the root of the smoke. The only safety measure they upheld is the use of the self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). Nevertheless, the victims failed to advise dispatch on the changing conditions of their response. Initially, they were responding to a 911 call on a downed power line, but the situation took a different twist in the sense that the downed power line had caused some fire in the basement of a nearby twin dwelling. The capacity of the unit deployed to the area was only sufficient to deal with fire issues concerning the downed power line and not fire in the basement of a building. Therefore, it was urgently required that the communication of the changing conditions would be made to other units so as to help in countering the fire in the basement, something that did not happen. In fact, the SCBAs used by the victims ran out of the air and thus the fatalities. Since they were found without their masks on, the victims inhaled excessive smoke and soot leading to their unresponsiveness and the eventual demise.
However, the fatalities would have been avoided. Perhaps, the victims wanted to assess the gravity of the situation before calling for assistance from other units. This was a brilliant idea; however, they contravened the standards and guidelines of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1500 that requires that firefighters besides having the Personal Alert safety System (PASS) devices integrated with the SCBA, the devices should be activated at all times during emergency situations (NFPA, 2012). The essence of this provision is that the safety of the firefighters is guaranteed. Nonetheless, the victims in question had their PASS devices, but were not keen to ensure that they were activated. The devices would have alerted them of the depletion of air in the SCBAs, and hence exit the basement in time. The level of negligence associated with the incident cannot be overemphasized.
All in all, the important thing here is to learn from past incidences rather than condemning them, and it is against this backdrop that recommendations are inevitable. It is recommended that fire fighters ought to ensure that adequate communication is made in regard to advising dispatch of prevailing changes in conditions that would call for additional or modification of the units responding to an emergency. Apparently, the response to a downed power line was a routine, but non-fire response. However, the conditions changed when they fire fighters came to learn of the smoke emanating from the basement window of a nearby building. Had the firefighters taken appropriate action and alerted dispatch, additional support would have been dispatched to the incident with immediacy and the fatalities would have been avoided. The idea is that with additional support, sufficient firefighters would have gone into the basement with the victims to investigate the matter.
It is also recommended that fire fighter should be vigilant of the basic safety measures. For instance, fire fighters ought to wear PASS devices whenever they are engaged in emergencies, such as firefighting, rescue among other hazardous situations. The two victims were not meticulous in ensuring that their PASS devices were activated. Had they activated their devices, it would only take 30 seconds before the audible alarm, integrated into the devices would go off right after the firefighters became motionless and responsive. Perhaps, the other firefighters would be alerted and help their colleagues get medical attention in time.
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). (2012). Understanding & Implementing Standards
NFPA 1500, 1720, and 1851.Quincy, MA: National Fire Protection Association.
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