You may not realize it, but #EGH (Everyone Goes Home) is something that I consider very important. It’s not something I’ve posted a lot on (though there are a few articles), but then how much can I really say on a subject that pretty much speaks for itself.
Am I so naive to think that everyone really does go home at the end of each shift? A look at the Statistics and Reports from US Fire Administration and Firefighter Close Calls shows that this is not always the case. The sad reality is that there are many who don’t make it home.
Does this mean that you shouldn’t make the effort?
Of course NOT!!! Each time you go on shift your game plan should include doing what it takes to ensure that you make it home at the end of that shift. In doing what it takes to do your job effectively and safely you increase your chances of making it home alive and in one piece… And, you increase the chances that your fellow firefighter brothers do the same.
What about when the worse happens?
There are a number of organizations out there that offer help when the worse happens. One of the big ones that many of you have probably heard of is the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. These guys have been around since 1992 developing and expanding programs to honor the fallen firefighters and assist their families. Many of these programs thanks to (as I understand) grants through FEMA They have a program called Everyone Goes Home that works to prevent Line of Duty Deaths and Injuries.
What is the best way that Firefighters can honor their fallen brethren?
By continuing to learn and train. Utilize training opportunities anytime they come are offered. Don’t look at drills & training as a waste of time and effort. Instead, give it all you’ve got… All your attention…. All your effort. Treat training sessions and drills as if they are the real thing. One question that is often put out there among the Fire Service world is wether or not training should be done in full gear… My only response to this is when you go to a “real” fire you go in with gear on and ready to go correct?!? – Why not when doing drills?
Another really important aspect is to learn from the mistakes of others… This doesn’t mean Monday Morning Quarterbacking”, it means taking an honest look at what happened and why and (most importantly) what might could be changed or done differently – Making sure not to pass judgement… Remember you may not have been there and, even if (by chance) you were, would not necessarily be in the exact same situation the fallen firefighter was in.
Honor the fallen by Staying Alive (That’s my opinion, but it may not just be my own).
Everyone (hopefully) Goes Home