Washington’s union fire fighters/EMTs/paramedics serve their communities by engaging in public safety and education initiatives, such as fire prevention, burn awareness, and medical safety education and awareness. They conduct this important public safety education on their own time, as volunteers in their communities.
Washington's union fire fighters: Protecting and enhancing the safety of our communities.
Find information here that can help keep you and your family safe and healthy.
Falls are the leading cause of injury-related hospitalizations in Washington State. Learn how you can protect yourself and your loved ones.
Falls Are Not Always Funny!
Laurel and Hardy. Abbott and Costello. The Three Stooges. Many of these famous comedian teams used funny falls to bring us joy and laughter. But for tens of thousands of Washington residents, falls are not funny. They seriously hurt.
Falls are the leading cause of injury-related hospitalizations in Washington State, resulting in more than 20,000 hospitalizations, according to the latest statistics from the Washington State Department of Health. Falls are the third-leading cause of injury-related death.
Adults age 65 or order are the most at risk. They represent 2 out of 3 hospitalized falls and 8 out of 10 fall-related deaths. Falls among older adults are the leading cause of injury hospitalizations here in our state.
Your Washington Union Firefighters, EMTs and Paramedics are the first on the scene to provide medical assistance after a fall. We notice that many falls can be prevented by making simple changes in your living areas, as well as personal and lifestyle changes. Here are some tips from Washington’s Union Fire Fighters and the National Institutes of Health to keep you and your loved ones safe:
Improving lighting in your home. Make it easier to see potential hazards. Good lighting on stairways is especially important.
Install handrails and grab bars.
Move items to make them easier to reach.
Remove items that could cause you to trip or slip while walking. This includes small furniture, throw rugs, electrical cords, pet dishes or toys.
Arrange furniture to give you plenty of room to walk.
Be sure that carpets are secured to the floor and stairs by using non-slip strips or double-sided tape.
Try to avoid wet floors and clean up spills immediately.
Be careful when walking outdoors. Watch for uneven areas.
During the winter, ask someone to spread sand or salt on icy surfaces.
Place a lamp within easy reach of your bed. Put night lights in the bathroom, hallways, bedroom and kitchen.
Keep flashlights by your bed and near your sofa and other favorite sitting areas, in case the power goes out unexpectedly.
Properly placed grab bars in your tub and shower, and next to the toilet, can help prevent falls.
Rearrange often-used items in your home to make them easier to reach. Store food, dishes, clothing and other everyday items within easy reach.
If you would like help spotting fall hazards in your home, contact your local union fire fighters. We are happy to come to your home for a free home safety inspection. We care about you!
Cancer, not fire, is the leading cause of line of duty death for firefighters. In 2017, the WSCFF published "Healthy In, Healthy Out" a best practices manual in conjunction with nationally recognized standards to help fire fighters apply correct cleaning/decontamination approaches and limit continued exposure to persistent chemical, biological, or particulate hazards, reducing the risks of exposures to carcinogens. The goal was to encourage safe and healthy practices from the first day on the job to retirement and to reduce the number of fire fighter line of duty deaths and occupational illnesses due to cancers caused by carcinogens. Funding was provided by the State of Washington, Department of Labor & Industries, Safety & Healthy Investment Projects (SHIP). This was a partnership project between the Kent Fire Department and the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters. All members of the project technical panel were currently employed by a career fire department and all were member sof an IAFF affiliate local. In addition to the original printed brochure, a video and a brochure and video in Spanish were produced. The materials have been widely distributed throughout Washington and requests have come in from around the USA and Canada.
The WSCFF is always proud to have a representative in your area speak at educational events. Whether it's in a town hall or a school classroom, we are always looking for ways to educate the public about safety in their homes or businesses.