Date of Award

Summer 2016

Degree Type

Non-Thesis Project

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Industrial Hygiene

Committee Chair

Julie Hart

First Advisor

Terry Spear


Annually about 100 firefighters die in the line duty, in the United States. Firefighters know it is a hazardous occupation. Firefighters know the only way to reduce the number of deaths is to change the way the firefighter (FF) operates. Changing the way a firefighter operates starts by utilizing traditional industrial hygiene tactics, anticipating, recognizing, evaluating and controlling the hazard. Basic information and history of the fire service is necessary to evaluate FF hazards. An electronic survey was distributed to FFs. The first question was, “What are the health and safety risks of a firefighter?” Hypothetically heart attacks and new style construction would rise to the top of the survey data. Review of the survey and existing line of duty death data revealed “job stress” and “health and wellness” as the top hazards for FFs. Thus the hypothesis was not completely correct. Standard Operating Guidelines/Standard Operating Procedures can be implemented, updated or revised to reflect hazard reduction. Additional ways to address reducing “job stress” and “health and wellness” include implementing National Fire Protection Agency recommendations, educating FFs with existing national campaigns and utilizing ideal fire instructors.