Injuries on the fireground: risk factors for traumatic injuries among professional fire fighters


This case-control study within a metropolitan fire department evaluated the effect of self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) and other risk factors on three types of injury at the scene of a fire (smoke inhalation, burns, and falls). Data on 75 injured fire fighters and 144 controls came from telephone interviews and department records. The two sets of uninjured fire-fighter controls were matched to cases on incident (n = 72) or on job position and fire type and size (n = 72). Smoke inhalation cases were not significantly different from controls in SCBA use, cigarette smoking, previous fires in the shift, or injury history. Jobs with high risk of burns included nozzle operator, engine officer, and forcible-entry person in first-due companies (OR = 20.1). Other risk factors for burns were: basement origin of fire (OR = 10.2); prior fire-fighting training outside the present department (same fire: OR = 11.2; similar fire: OR = 3.9); and on-duty injury in the prior 12 months (same fire: OR = 4.3; similar fire: OR = 3.5). When other risk factors were considered, consistent SCBA use was associated with falls (same fire: OR = 11.8; similar fire: OR = 4.3) but not with burns. Risk of falls also was elevated among members of truck companies (OR = 17.7) and fire fighters without children (same fire: OR = 8.4; similar fire: OR = 7.4). On-duty injury in the past 12 months was associated with falls when one compared cases with similar-fire controls (OR = 5.5), but not with controls attending the same fire. Neither age nor experience was related to injury in this population.

Heineman EF1, Shy CM, Checkoway H. | 1989
In: Am J Ind Med, ISSN 0271-3586. | 15 | 3 | 267-282
Placement code: 
Yzermans collectie