It's a demanding and stressful job and now the National Fire Protection Association has released its annual firefighter fatality report.
Tim Flinn, executive officer with the Parkersburg Fire Department says several years ago the department received grant money for physical fitness equipment that the guys regularly use.
They also do pre-fire plans to become familiar with building construction types throughout the city.
In his opinion, all this contributes to the two-year drop in firefighting fatalities.
“The training requirements that's set forth for each firefighter to be more aware and smarter for each situation that comes to us. Also, many of them are focused on physical stamina,” Flinn says.
He says wellness programs are on the rise in more fire departments across the country, including Parkersburg, which decreases cardiac situations.
Firefighters also learn when to enter and when to be in offensive and defensive mode, so they're better aware of their overall surroundings.
“We keep the physical fitness going; we have training requirements, the state fire commission or the state code indicates we must have two in and two out, which is very beneficial if something does happen to one of the firefighters while they're fighting the fire,” Flinn says.