Fighting fires is, by nature, a dangerous occupation. Firefighters undergo constant training and education about how to keep themselves safe as they work to save the lives of others, and often times that training pays off and firefighters are able return home after putting out a fire uninjured. Unfortunately, not every fire call goes as planned. According to the National Fire Protection Association, approximately 63,350 firefighters incurred line-of-duty injuries in 2014.
A recent house fire in Mississippi injured five firefighters. The house was vacant at the time of the fire, and two firefighters were hurt when they fell through a hole in the floor. Three other firefighters sought medical attention later on, after they experienced pain and discomfort as a result of their efforts to extinguish the blaze. When the five fire firefighters were injured in the aforementioned house fire, it brought the total number of firefighters hurt while fighting fires in Mississippi this year up to twenty.
The causes of work-related injuries among firefighters extend beyond injuries sustained at structure fires, vehicle fires, and brush fires, although those injuries do account for nearly half of all work-related injuries among firefighters. Other injuries occur while firefighters are in transit, either responding to or returning from the scene of a fire or other emergency. Some firefighters get hurt during non-fire emergency calls like natural disaster responses, hazardous materials calls, and rescue calls. Finally, some firefighters are injured during training exercises and other on-duty activities such as inspections and maintenance duties.
The types of injuries that firefighters experience in their line of work range from fire-related injuries like burns and smoke inhalation to strains, sprains, broken bones, and neck and back injuries. Strains and sprains amounted to just over half of the workplace injuries that were sustained by firefighters at fire scenes last year. Many of those injuries were caused by slips, falls, and jumps. Surprisingly, burns accounted for just under two percent of the injuries that firefighters received while fighting fires.
The injuries that firefighters sustain on the job often cause them to miss work and incur medical expenses. Some injuries even result in temporary or permanent disability, and may prevent the injured firefighter from ever returning to active duty. Other firefighters recover fully from their injuries within a few weeks or a few months, after which they are able to return to work in their previous positions. Whenever a firefighter must leave work on a short or long term basis due to an injury, they may endure financial hardship in addition to the pain and suffering that are associated with the injury. Pursuing compensation for a work-related injury can help to ease the strain on the injured firefighter and their family.
Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Helping Injured Workers Throughout Mississippi
If you are a firefighter who has been injured at work, you may have many questions about whether and how you can obtain compensation for your injuries. The Mississippi Workplace Accident Attorneys of the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. may be able to help you find the answers that you need. Please call our office today, at (601) 355-2022.