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City of Little Rock Public Relations
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Contact(s):Jason Weaver, Captain
(501) 918-3795

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE :
Thursday, June 19, 2008

Little Rock Fire Department Will Focus on Firefighter and EMT Health and Safety During the 2008 Fire/EMS Safety, Health and Survival Week

Little Rock, Arkansas June 20, 2008 — The Little Rock Fire department will focus on the safety, health and survival of firefighters and emergency medical technicians as part of an international campaign to reduce line-of-duty deaths within the fire/EMS service.

In 2007, 115 firefighters died in the line of duty; already this year, more than 40 have been lost. The purpose of Safety, Health and Survival Week is to reduce these deaths and injuries by calling attention to safety practices and improving them.

“We believe it’s critical year-round to emphasize health and fitness, and we will focus on specific training and reviews during this week in June,” said Rhoda Mae Kerr, Fire Chief. She further stated “this is to help ensure that at the end of each shift, everyone goes home”.

The theme of this year’s Safety, Health and Survival Week is “Committed to Long-term Results.” The campaign encourages long-term investments by both fire chiefs and firefighters to enhance their health and safety. The theme reflects the need for organizational action that supports and encourages a safety culture. Safety, Health and Survival Week will bring international attention to the need to address preventable injuries and deaths among fire fighters.

The Little Rock Fire department and its counterparts around the nation and the world will focus on preparing firefighters and EMS personnel for their daily duties by reviewing their training and the proper use of equipment to ensure safe response, mitigation and return from all emergency situations. Failure to remain cautious can cause routine activities to become hazardous, as illustrated by fire-service and EMS line-of-duty deaths and injuries.

The 2008 Fire/EMS Safety, Health and Survival Week is sponsored by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF). Formerly known as the Safety Stand Down, the campaign is part of the IAFC’s new, comprehensive Fire/EMS Safety Support System.

For more information, please contact Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr, 918-3740.

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