Hot Topics - Health and Safety  - Two firefighters working at an incident

Hot Topics - Health and Safety

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There are many risks beyond the fire

Firefighters risk their lives and health in many ways – not only in the incident itself. They are exposed to carcinogenic and otherwise toxic substances. Awareness for these risks and cleaning the equipment are crucial for their safety.

The unseen dangers

Why is cleaning your equipment after every incident so important? What dangers are presented by unclean equipment? What are the risks to a firefighter's health? Learn more about a firefighter's increased cancer risk, toxic gases that may be present at an incident, and the best ways to clean and disinfect exposed equipment. Take action now to reduce the risk.

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The silent danger

During an incident, your personal protection equipment can become contaminated by fire residues and hazardous substances. The transmission of external contamination poses serious health risks.

Download infographic

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The safety of the intervention teams

Incidents involving vehicles with alternative propulsion systems can cause a wide range of phenomena. Regardless of the propulsion system, one of the major challenges is the possibility of flammable or toxic gases, vapors and liquids.

Discover valuable tips on how you can protect yourself effectively in our infographic created especially for this situation.

Download the infographic

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The safety of the intervention teams (BG)

Incidents involving vehicles with alternative propulsion systems can cause a wide range of phenomena. Regardless of the propulsion system, one of the major challenges is the possibility of flammable or toxic gases, vapors and liquids.

Discover valuable tips on how you can protect yourself effectively in our infographic created especially for this situation.

Download the infographic (BG)

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The safety of the intervention teams (SI)

Incidents involving vehicles with alternative propulsion systems can cause a wide range of phenomena. Regardless of the propulsion system, one of the major challenges is the possibility of flammable or toxic gases, vapors and liquids.

Discover valuable tips on how you can protect yourself effectively in our infographic created especially for this situation.

Download the infographic (SI)

Tackling the challenge of contamination

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At Dräger, we aim to protect you every step of the way and not only when the danger is visible as is the case in firefighting missions.  Your safety and your long-term health drive our technology/innovation and actions. We remain committed to providing solutions that help you and your department to mitigate and address potential health risks.  For this reason, we proudly continue to support the work of a particular firefighter-led organization, Healthy Firefighters.

Healthy Firefighters not only provides educational resources but also strategies to address risks in a pragmatic and realistic way from different levels of resources, timelines and team experience. 

Healthy Firefighters has developed procedures that can prevent the exposure to invisible hazardous substances, which accumulate during and after a fire on responder clothing and equipment. These procedures can be implemented at the scene, en-route to the station and in the workshop.

The full implementation is a journey that depends on local conditions. Luckily, great achievements in the work environment can be made for everyone just by very small changes. As the representatives from Healthy Firefighter like to point out, it is all about getting started. Every day not getting started is a day wasted.

Reducing Risk for Cancer and Other Fire-Related Conditions

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The contributions that job-related exposures have in illnesses such as cancer has grown steadily in recent years. One important reason for that: the amount of potentially carcinogenic substances in modern building materials. A growing body of research and data shows that harmful correlation.

But how can the current situation be improved? First and foremost by raising an awareness about this critical topic and by providing firefighters with the right knowledge and equipment to protect themselves effectively. Before, during and after a call.

Wearing SCBA or cleaning personal protective equipment after returning from a call helps to minimise the risk of getting exposed to carcinogenic substances. Find out what else you can do to address this serious health and safety issue in the fields of Training, Incident and Readiness below.

Cancer Awareness - Training

Efficient cancer prevention starts with the physical health and fitness of firefighters. Another important building block in minimizing the cancer risk is the enhancement of daily routines and workflows. New standard operating procedures, that incorporate comprehensive trainings, must also be established.

Cancer Awareness - Incident

The sole focus of firefighters is on saving other´s lifes. But too often it is overlooked that they themselves could become victims: by getting exposed to hazardous substances. The risk is much higher than in other professions. Recent studies show that impressively. So the question arises: what needs to change and how?  

Cancer Awareness - Readiness

After returning to the safe surroundings of the fire station firefighters still could get exposed to carcinogenic substances. The residues of gases are still present on the PPE. A proper self-handling, the cleaning and maintenance of equipment is therefore as equally important as the protection during an incident.

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Professional Cleaning of PPE for Fire Services

Even after the flames are put out, these substances remain in soot and vapors on the surface of the protective equipment, contaminating it. Learn more about the health risks which come with this and how you can get rid of the hazardous substances with the right solutions for an appropriate cleaning approach.

Download brochure

Additional downloads

A poster that can save lives
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How can you minimise the risk of direct contamination? Which standard operating procedures are compulsory? Our info poster shows important prevention tips at a glance.

Cancer Awareness: Training
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Fitness should not be under-valued as a preventive solution. Furthermore, the value of proper training procedures and regular medical check ups cannot be overlooked. Find out more in this whitepaper.

Cancer Awareness: Incident
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How can routines and workflows be improved? Is there an efficient way to mitigate exposures and adjust standard operating procedures? Find out more in this whitepaper.

Cancer Awareness: Readiness
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There is an increasing demand in the fire service for new processes which emphasize better asset management and safe cleaning processes. Find out more in this whitepaper. 

Toxic Twins

The “Toxic Twins” - Dangerous individually, more deadly in combination

Two of the most dangerous smoke-borne gases you can encounter are carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen cyanide (HCN). They’re called the “toxic twins” because where you find one, you usually find the other. Each gas is toxic on its own. But in combination they are exponentially worse – combining to form a chemical asphyxiant that can cause heart attacks at the time of the fire and cancer decades later. Measuring each gas against its individual threshold does not provide effective protection.

Dräger X-am® 5800

Dräger X-am® 5800

​The X-am® 5800 multi-gas detector measures up to six gases and is equipped with a particularly shock-resistant CatEx sensor. With the Dräger Gas Detection Connect software, it offers live data transmission and powerful asset management. Designed for personal monitoring, the X-am 5800 offers you the highest level of safety at a low cost of ...

Product details

Related downloads

Understanding the Toxic Twins: HCN and CO
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Check out our whitepaper, Understanding the Toxic Twins: HCN and CO. Learn about the lesser known twin, HCN – which is 35 times more toxic than CO – and how to protect yourself.

Toxic Twins Infographic
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We’ve created an infographic poster that gives you the facts about the toxic twins at a glance. It’s a great way to help the firefighters in your department understand this danger and how to protect themselves.

Safe Handling of Contaminated PPE

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After a fire is extinguished, toxic soot particles settle in the surroundings – and also on the clothing and equipment of the fire fighters. A few rules should be followed when on site and also when cleaning the equipment in the workshop, in order to minimize the danger from contact with these particles. 
Get more insights in the following infographics. 

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Residues from fires, such as toxic soot particles, can settle on firefighters’ clothing and personal protective equipment. The prolonged exposure to this contamination poses serious health risks to firefighters and the people around them.

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Residues from fires, such as toxic soot particles, can settle on firefighters’ clothing and personal protective equipment. By following appropriate procedures in the workshop you can stay away from hazards which come with exposure to contaminated PPE.

Modern Workshop Design

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Protecting you every step of the way: How to make your cleaning job a safe job

After the call is before the call: The cleaning of contaminated self-contained breathing apparatus, full face masks and chemical protective suits involves severe health risks for fire workshop technicians. Following a clearly defined process, separated in dirty and clean phases, helps to protect your technical staff from the exposure to harmful substances sticking on the contaminated equipment. Learn how to benefit from a well-structured cleaning course, stocked with modern work stations and defined steps.

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Cleaning Your Equipment and Workshop Solutions

You are not prepared for the next incident until your equipment is properly cleaned. Dräger wants to make sure your cleaning activities are safe, thorough and effective. We provide valuable information and support you with tailor-made services and workshop solutions for optimised workflow and equipment maintenance.

Learn more

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How to make your cleaning job a safe job

Modern workshop design supports safe cleaning processes for workshop technicians. Our info poster shows the relevant steps at a glance.

Download poster

Physical Fitness for Firefighters

Fitness is key for fighting fire

Firefighting requires endurance, strength and stamina. You have to clear obstacles, haul heavy equipment and save human lives – all under time constraints, while wearing complete firefighting gear, and in high temperatures. This combination can be dangerous, as many firefighter fatalities can be traced back to heart failure, circulatory collapse and overexertion. You can, however, protect yourself with a regular workout that strengthens your body and prepares you for the demands of your job, as well as eating a well-rounded diet. See below for exercises you can do anywhere, recipes that fuel the body with required nutrients, and Dräger products that always keep you ready for the next call.

Get fit, stay fit – from anywhere

Firefighters rarely have the time or energy to visit a fitness studio after their shift. Chris Cerci, firefighter and Firefighter Combat Challenge Champion, shows you how to improve your conditioning effectively in these videos. They are easy to do at the fire station or at home and only take 15-minutes to complete.

Dräger Fire Service Training: Functional Fitness (Part II)

Functional Fitness (Part II)

Dräger Fire Service Training: Core Training

Core Training

Dräger Fire Service Training: Stretching

Stretching

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Fitness exercises made just for you

These workouts were specially designed for firefighters, designed for building muscle, strength training and stretching – at a glance.

Download workout poster

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Fuel your body with healthy food

Those whose jobs are physically demanding should fuel their bodies and fill up their energy reserves properly at every meal. Download our Fire Services cookbook for some delicious and nutritious recipes.

Download cookbook

Always be ready for the next call

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Fitness equipment

Our range of exercise equipment, such as bikes, horizontal/vertical treadmills, arm ergometers, steppers and impact apparatus, test physical fitness before entering a training gallery.

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Training galleries

With our solutions, you can do both: work on your fitness and prepare for the specific challenges of your mission.

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Alcohol and Drug Detection

Dräger alcohol and drug detecting devices are trusted by professionals around the globe. Our stringent quality controls ensure screening equipment delivers reliable results.

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Dräger VOICE

Dräger VOICE is an essential tool for the safe handling of hazmats. One click and you’ll receive relevant information and specific recommendations of safety equipment for more than 1,500 hazardous substances in its database. Give it a try – it is so simple.

Related Topics

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Fire Services Safety Solutions

Our firefighter gear brings you usability, connectivity, safety and serviceability – so you always know you are prepared and protected on every call.

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Hot Topics - Firefighting Tactics

Firefighters face very different and increasingly difficult challenges. Learn more about the proper tactics to overcome them.

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Hot Topics - Innovation

For over 100 years, Dräger has been driven by the desire to help protecting and saving people’s life. That’s why we continuously improve our products and strive for innovation that helps protecting lives even better.

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