Be at Your B.E.S.T.
June 16, 2014
The NVFC developed the B.E.S.T Priorities for Firefighter Health and Safety to provide departments with a series of practices they should adhere to in order to keep personnel safe and ensure everyone comes home. These priorities are divided into a series of B.E.S.T. Practices covering the topics of Behavior, Equipment, Standards and Codes, and Training.
The B.E.S.T. Priorities for Firefighter Health and Safety are as follows.
- Support the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of all personnel.
- Operate all emergency apparatus and privately owned vehicles to conform to the highest road safety standards and enforce the use of seatbelts.
- Develop, practice, and enforce recommended health and safety standards for all personnel.
- Monitor and ensure that all active emergency scenes maintain the utmost level of safety and fireground accountability.
- Provide and require the proper use of full personal protective equipment.
- Maintain all equipment based on established safety recommendations.
Standards and Codes:
- Encourage the use of all smoke, fire detection, and fire suppression devices, including fire sprinkler systems, in all structures.
- Vigorously enforce all fire safety codes and ordinances.
- Obtain apparatus and equipment that meet national safety standards.
- Utilize fire training programs that conform to the highest professional standards.
- Operate a safe fire training ground at all times.
- Establish, maintain, and deliver fire safety programs for all age groups.
The NVFC provides a series of resources and tools to help departments implement the B.E.S.T. Practices. These include the following:
- Health and Safety Section of the Web Site: Visit the NVFC’s Health and Safety pages to find resources and tools relating to each of the B.E.S.T. subject areas, including physical health resources, the Share the Load™ support program, vehicle safety guide, guides for implementing safety standards, equipment management templates, health and safety training, and much more.
- Is Your Department at its B.E.S.T.? – This on-demand training course, offered through the NVFC’s Virtual Classroom, covers each of the topic areas in the NVFC’s B.E.S.T. Practices to help departments operate at their B.E.S.T. and increase safety and efficiency to prevent line-of-duty injury and death. In honor of International Fire/EMS Safety and Health Week, the NVFC is offering this course free for the month of June.
- B.E.S.T. Poster – The NVFC has developed a poster that you can hang up at the station to keep the priorities in the minds of your personnel and serve as a constant reminder of the B.E.S.T. Practices your department should be following to keep your members safe. To order hard copies, contact the NVFC office at 1-888-ASK-NVFC (275-6832) or firstname.lastname@example.org.