COVID-19 Notice: Block O'Toole & Murphy is fully operational in accordance with safety regulations provided by the CDC and local health officials.
Our attorneys continue to provide quality legal representation and are available to discuss your case over the phone, email, or video. Read more from our managing partners.
Block O'Toole & Murphy Block
O'Toole
& Murphy
Premier NY Personal Injury Lawyers

Firefighting: Still A Dangerous Job, Despite Improvements

Fighting fires is a very dangerous occupation.  Injury and death can be the result of smoke inhalation, serious burns, falling beams and chemical poisoning, to name but a few of the risks that firefighters face every day. But it turns out that the majority of firefighter deaths are the result of heart attacks and traffic accidents.  And these causes may in turn be caused by sleep disorders, according to a recent study.

The study, which was published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, found that firefighters with sleep disorders were more likely – almost twice as likely – to experience motor vehicle accidents, fall asleep while driving and suffer from cardiovascular disease or diabetes. They were far more likely to be clinically depressed or anxious.

Are sleep problems among firefighters the consequence of the type of work schedules typical among firefighters? They are frequently scheduled for 24 hour shifts, with 48 hours off after each shift worked.  Although it may be possible to rest or sleep during the 24 hour shifts, no firefighter plans on this. 

Another type of schedule that is required in some fire departments is the three or four day shifts. These are daytime shifts of 12 to 14 hour days, followed by three or four days of night shifts.  They then have three or four days off before beginning the cycle again.

Shift work of any kind is known to contribute to sleep problems, which the study referenced above showed are common among almost 40 percent of firefighters. However, injuries caused by the work itself still represent 40 percent of firefighter injuries and deaths.

Recent news stories show the kinds of on-the job faced by New York City firefighters.  Last month, seven firefighters were injured while battling a fire at a Brooklyn factory fire.  An unknown substance was burning inside a kiln within the factory and seven were transported to hospital because of possible exposure to and inhalation of toxic smoke and fumes.

Three Jersey City, New Jersey firefighters were injured last month while fighting a fire in a vacant building.  Two of them were treated for burns and a third suffered neck and back injuries after falling through a hole in the floor.

Possibly illustrating the results of the study described above, a Bronx firefighter was hospitalized after suffering respiratory arrest while fighting a fire in Morrisania last Friday.

Even though firefighting remains a very dangerous occupation, things appear to be getting better. The U.S. Fire Administration reported that firefighter deaths have fallen almost 20 percent since 2002.  This is attributable both to improve fire safety equipment and fewer fires. Injuries were also down, although by a smaller percentage – five percent. Whether this positive trend continues remains to be seen. 

Speak with a Qualified New York Injury Lawyer Today

Fill out our short online contact form for a FREE, immediate case review, or call us locally at 212-736-5300 today. The lawyers in our firm work on a contingency basis, so we do not collect any money unless we win your case.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Firm Awards and Honors

These are some of the publications and organizations that have recognized our firm and individual attorneys for excellence.

Learn More
Block O'Toole & Murphy - Listed in Best Lawyers - Linking Lawyers and Clients Worldwide Best Lawyers - Best Law Firms - U.S. News The National Trial Lawyers - Top 100 Trial Lawyers Super Lawyers Million Dollar Advocates Forum Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum Irish Legal 100 Martindale-Hubbell - Peer Rated For Ethical Standards and Legal Ability New York Magazine - Top Verdicts & Settlements New York Law Journal www.naacp.org - NAACP Frances Pope Memorial Foundation - Love. Support. Hope. St. John's University - School of Law St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Expertise - Best Workers Compensation Attorneys New York City 2020
Call Block O'Toole & Murphy Today For Help - 212-736-5300
CLOSE MENU  X

What can we help you find?