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New York Personal Injury Attorneys

Types Of Work Injuries Common Among Firefighters

Working as a firefighter will always come with the daily safety and health risks of dangerous and unpredictable working conditions. The National Fire Protection Association releases a yearly report on United States firefighter injuries. According to the 2019 report, over 60,000 firefighters in the country were injured on the job. Below are the most common injuries that occurred in 2019 and information on how firefighters can prevent these injuries and stay protected on the job.


Sprains, Strains and Muscle Pain


Making up 41 percent of total injuries reported, the leading type of firefighter injuries that occurred were sprains, strains, and muscle pain. Carrying heavy equipment and over-exertion are the likely causes of these injuries.


The Candidate Physical Ability Test was developed in 1977 to evaluate applicants’ physical abilities. The purpose of the test is to assess candidates in an unbiased process. The test consists of eight different physical activities while wearing a 50 lb vest. Training for the CPAT prepares prospective firefighters for the job’s physical demands and hopefully helps prevent such injuries.


Smoke/Gas Inhalation


The NFPA 2019 report shows that over 7,000 firefighters were exposed to hepatitis, meningitis and HIV on the job. It was also estimated that over 20,000 firefighters were exposed to asbestos, radioactive materials, chemicals and fumes. A Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) is a device that provides firefighters with clean air to prevent them from breathing in toxins. The SCBA is attached to the facemask by a hose to protect firefighters from any flying embers, smoke, fire, dust and toxins. It’s important to keep your mask concealed and tight while at fire scenes.  . It is recommended that a firefighter’s SCBA is up-to-date and changed every three months to prevent the air from becoming stale.


Thermal Stress


Thermal stress during a fire can cause heatstroke. This happens when the body is unable to control its temperature. Symptoms of heatstroke may include confusion, loss of consciousness, high body temperature, high blood pressure and seizures. To prevent heatstroke, firefighters should be sure to drink a large quantity of water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Although the nature of fires cannot be controlled and working conditions are unpredictable, it’s important to take this precaution to help avoid thermal stress.


Consult the Firefighter Injury Attorneys at SPBMCC If You Have a Case


The firefighters of the New York City Fire Department regularly risk their lives to protect and serve their community. Sometimes unpredictable working conditions, a lack of proper protective gear and the taxing demands of the job can lead to serious injuries in firefighters and can even be fatal. That is why the passionate team of injury attorneys at Sullivan, Papain, Block, McGrath, Coffinas & Cannavo P.C. help firefighters and their families seek compensation to help alleviate the impacts of such injuries and losses.


As the Uniformed Firefighters Association’s General Counsel, we see it as our duty to stand with these brave men and women, serving as advocates and providing a full array of legal services and representation. To learn more about laws and regulations impacting firefighters in New York City, visit our informational site for UFA firefighters here. To receive a free consultation about injuries and other injustices suffered in the line of duty, contact SPBMCC today.

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