The Fort Wayne Fire Department will be participating in the 2007 International Fire and EMS Safety Stand Down, being held the week of June 17-23, 2007. The Stand Down is sponsored by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) and the Volunteer and Combination Officers Section (VCOS) of the IAFC.
"We are looking forward to participating in the Stand Down," said Chief Tim Davie. "Safety is paramount in all that we do day in and day out so taking the time to join with our fellow firefighters in this safety review is necessary to learn all that we can to keep our firefighters and community as safe as possible."
The Stand Down, themed "Ready to Respond," will focus on preparing firefighters and EMS personnel for their daily duties by reviewing their training and the proper use of equipment to ensure safe response, mitigation and return from all emergency situations. Failure to remain cautious can cause routine activities to become hazardous, as has been shown in the many fire service and emergency medical service line-of-duty deaths and injuries.
In 2006, 105 firefighters died in the line of duty; already this year, 45 have been lost. The purpose of the Stand Down is to reduce these deaths and injuries by calling attention to safety practices and improving them. Stand downs have been used by the military for years to correct issues that have been identified as a problem throughout the ranks.
"We will be reviewing safety in all aspects including in regards to our use of apparatus and personal protective equipment as well as personal health and remembering those who have died in the line of duty. Something new this year will be the kick-off of FWFD's Biggest Loser Contest. Our Peer Fitness Instructors will work with those interested in participating on steps to follow from exercise to diet," said Chief Davie. He added, "We truly believe in the slogan of our FWFD Wellness Initiative, 'Better Health, Better Service'."