The willingness to put themselves in harm’s way and brave the dangers of any emergency is why firefighters are celebrated as some of the most iconic everyday heroes. However, if you’re considering a career in firefighting yourself, the importance of firefighters’ personal protective equipment cannot be overstated. For a better understanding, let’s discuss the most common injuries that firefighters receive.
While you may expect burns to be the most common injuries, given the nature of the job, they are actually very uncommon, considering all the flame-resistant protective clothes and equipment a firefighter wears. Instead, the most common injuries that firefighters receive are related to overexertion. Firefighting is a strenuous and physical job, meaning it’s easy to sprain, strain, and push your muscles beyond their limits. As firefighters must spring into action at any moment, there’s hardly any time for them to get a warmup in before they’re racing off.
Slips and Falls
The other big culprit of injuries can be seen in many other industries as well—gravity. No matter how skilled or physically capable you are, it seems like taking a fall is only inevitable, especially when a structure is giving away or debris covers the ground. Take into consideration that when a firefighter falls, they fall while wearing all their heavy equipment, which can only worsen the injuries of falling. Consider also that when they break out the fire hoses, the environment can quickly become wet and slick, so it’s incredibly important that firefighters have non-slip soles on their boots.
Injuries as a result of vehicle collisions and accidents aren’t terribly common, which speaks more to how effective a firefighter’s gear is at protecting them from threats like flames or blunt force from falling debris. That said, collisions and accidents can still happen. Between the size of fire trucks and ambulances and how urgently they need to get to their destination, accidents can happen as they’re careening down the road and trying to maneuver around traffic.