Plan Now to Participate in Safety Stand Down, June 19-25

2016-Safety-Stand-Down-bannerThe International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) have announced the theme for the 2016 Safety Stand Down: “The First 5 Minutes – Stretching the Initial Hose Line, Putting Water on the Fire.” This year’s theme focuses on what each member of the department should be doing in the first five minutes of structural fire response, including the Chief, Incident Commander, Company Officer, and Firefighter.

The 2016 event will take place from June 19-25. Fire departments are encouraged to suspend all non-emergency activity during Safety Stand Down in order to focus on training and education related to this year’s theme. An entire week is provided to ensure all shifts and duty crew can participate.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, 64 firefighters died in 2014 while on duty in the U.S. This was a significant decrease from the 97 deaths that occurred in 2013, when three incidents alone claimed 32 lives. The largest share of deaths (22) occurred at fire scenes. As in most years, sudden cardiac death accounted for the largest share of the on-duty deaths (36). In 2014, 63,350 firefighter injuries were reported. Of these, 27,015 were injuries at the fireground.

Safety Stand Down is coordinated by the NVFC and the IAFC Safety, Health and Survival Section. It is supported by national and international fire and emergency service organizations as well as health and safety-related organizations and agencies.

Training Safety Topics are provided to ensure each shift and duty crew can spend quality time reviewing the topic and make it an actionable training event. Resources are available to help fire departments plan and execute local training and activities. Resources include the NVFC’s B.E.S.T. Practices for Firefighter Health and Safety and the IAFC’s Rules of Engagement for Firefighter Survival and the Incident Commander’s Rules of Engagement for Firefighter Safety. Specific training drills and messaging to implement during the week will be available soon.

Originally called International Fire/EMS Safety and Health Week, Safety Stand Down is the unification of the IAFC’s Fire/EMS Safety, Health and Survival Week with the NVFC’s National Firefighter Health Week. Safety Stand Down focuses on the critical importance of responders taking care of themselves both on and off the emergency incident scene. The week is designed to increase awareness and action so that safety and health become a priority in all fire departments. The name was changed to Safety Stand Down in 2016 to emphasize that all departments should focus on safety training during the week.

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About the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC)
The IAFC represents the leadership of firefighters and emergency responders worldwide. IAFC members are the world’s leading experts in firefighting, emergency medical services, terrorism response, hazardous response, natural disasters, search and rescue, and public safety legislation. Since 1873, the IAFC has provided a forum for its members to exchange ideas, develop professionally, and uncover the latest products and services available to first responders. Learn more.

About the National Volunteer Fire Council
The NVFC is the leading nonprofit membership association representing the interests of the volunteer fire, EMS, and rescue services. The NVFC serves as the voice of the volunteer in the national arena and provides invaluable resources, programs, education, and advocacy for first responders across the nation. Learn more at