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The challenges of fire-fighting go beyond the flames

On Behalf of | Mar 2, 2017 | Injuries |

You probably remember the day you graduated from your Illinois firefighters’ academy. Such memories likely fluctuate between feeling as though it all just happened yesterday to feeling like it was another lifetime altogether. Perhaps you’ve kept a record of every fire to which you’ve responded since then; perhaps not. Chances are, you’ve faced some very frightening situations and have bonded with your fellow firefighters to forge friendships you’ll enjoy the rest of your lives. Fighting fire is definitely not for the faint of heart.

In fact, going to work often entails putting your own life on the line to save others. Courageous is a term often used to describe people in your line of work. Many firefighters not only face immediate challenges associated with responding to a call, but they often suffer injuries in the process or other adverse consequences that have long-lasting effects.

Thousands of fire-fighters suffer every year

The following list mentions many of the injuries, illnesses and other adverse situations firefighters commonly face in the line-of-duty:

  • Motor vehicle collision injuries: Data published in 2015 reported that more than 16,000 crashes took place involving emergency vehicles responding to calls or returning from call sites.
  • Bodily injuries: More than 65,000 firefighters suffered injuries on the job that same year, half of whom were hurt at the scenes of fires they were fighting.
  • Non-fireground injuries: Many injuries take place at fire stations or sites other than firegrounds. This might include injuries suffered getting on or off an engine, as well as those that occur during training or at a fire station.

From sprains, back strains or smoke-inhalation problems to exposures to infections diseases such as HIV, meningitis or hepatitis, firefighters often suffer adverse effects associated with carrying out their duties.

A system set to provide benefits

As in most lines of work, your employer is obligated to purchase insurance meant to provide benefits that cover the cost of medical bills and replace lost wages if you suffer an injury during the normal course of your duties. Thousands of firefighters file claims through the workers’ compensation program each year. The system is often complicated, however, and firefighters don’t always immediately receive the benefits they greatly need. From clerical errors to other factors that cause delays, it can be frustrating waiting on compensation to which you’re entitled.

To prevent such delays and help overcome any other types of obstacles that arise in the process, many firefighters choose to act alongside representation from Illinois attorneys when requesting compensation benefits after a job-related injury or illness.