Health & Safety: Safety Messages

65-2 #41 May 24, 2007

Safety Message #04 "Safe Actions"

UFA Health and Safety Officer / Sergeant-at-Arms Bill Romaka wishes to remind the Membership to take their safety responsibilities seriously at all times. We will continue to highlight and remind our members of "safe actions" as spelled out by the Department. Stay well and stay safe!

It is with sadness that we pass along our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of a firefighter who passed away in Connecticut this week. Captain John Keane, of the Waterbury Fire Department (IAFF Local 1339), was killed as the result of an accident involving another apparatus. We fully understand that while accidents occur, we should continue to be diligent in making certain we respond safely to all emergencies, and minimize the chances of these tragic outcomes. It is no coincidence that as we responded quicker (response times going down) in 2006, there was a marked increase in apparatus accidents. It is on record that when we responded more safely in 2005, accidents decreased. In 2006, accidents reverted back to the unacceptable 2004 level. It is time once again to familiarize yourself with the UFA's Safety Initiative sent out in January of this year that spells out the reasons why safety should be a daily function of our emergency responses.

In the August 25th, 2005 issue of The Chief Leader", the article "FDNY's Crash Course to Safety, Getting Off the Road to Ruin" highlights the high-end NASCAR simulators in the Emergency Vehicle Operators Course. This course is designed to emphasize safety. Particular emphasis can be placed on the following passage:

"Instructors stress to new recruits that they can't rely on the sirens to clear the way for them. Sirens in the city are like birds in the country, they say, and so defensive driving becomes the number one preventive tool recruits are expected to use."

*As safety should always remain of utmost importance to our members, please take the time to review previous safety messages and respond accordingly.


Stephen J. Cassidy

William Romaka
Sergeant-at-Arms/Health & Safety Officer