For many everyday civilians, first responders are the heroes who put themselves in harm’s way to protect other people from incurring life-altering or life-ending injuries. One result of this, of course, is that first responders and firefighters commonly expose themselves to injury risks.
While first responders are professionals with specialized training that helps them handle situations with appropriate caution and awareness, injuries are still likely to happen on the job at some point. First responders can better protect themselves and take the correct course of legal action after an injury by learning more about the circumstances surrounding some of the most common injuries.
1. Sprains and strains
The U.S. Fire Administration explains that sprains, strains and muscular pains are the most prevalent of injuries incurred by firefighters. These are often the result of overexertions, falls, jumps and slips. (Talk about how ergonomic equipment can help prevent these?)
2. Vehicle collisions
Like many types of first responder injuries, vehicle collisions can occur at the scene of an emergency. Many vehicle collisions are the result of panic or lack of awareness on the part of bystanders. However, some vehicle collision injuries also occur when first responders are en route to a scene.
3. Dangerous exposures
Firefighters and other first responders may commonly come into contact with asbestos as well as other harmful chemicals or fumes when performing a rescue. Injuries resulting from this type of exposure are not immediately apparent but may lead to cancer or other life-threatening conditions in the long term.
Though first responders volunteer to put others before themselves, that does not mean they forfeit their right to receive compensation for injuries they receive in the line of duty. Firefighters and other public safety members should swiftly pursue legal action after sustaining any wrongful injury while on the job.