The role of using personal protective equipment (PPE) for fire-fighters to reduce injuries during confrontation incidents in Saudi Civil Defense
The invention of fire by man was one of the greatest inventions that have stood the test of time. Fire has been used by man from time in memorial in his daily activities that included cooking his food, warming his body during the cold season and more in scaring wild animals during the Stone Age era. As time went by man learnt to use fire to clear bushes for farming and then the Iron Age started and he used fire to melt metals and make tools out of it. Today fire continues to be a major player in man’s activities as he hasdevised other means of using this great resource to advance his way of living. On the other hand un-proper handling of fire has led to some destructive consequence on the lives of people and property. When there is a fire outbreak lives and property are usually lost as the fire consumes everything on its way and it leads to un-imaginable consequences (European Commission, 1999).Firefighters have over time been used to help mitigate some of the risks of fire spreading in homes and industries. The use of the personal protective equipment by fire fighters has proved very helpful in saving the fire fighters lives and the lives of people being rescued. This equipment range from helmets, protective clothing andgoggles among other tools that fire fighters use to protect their bodies form injury. The protective equipmenthelps to shield the fire fighters from hazards such as heat, chemicals, physical matter and biohazards. Organizations nowadays have embraced firefighting skills in their firms as they try to mitigate risks of fire razing down their property and the lives of employees put at risk (Gudgin, 2013).
Despite for a fact that most fires are handled by firefighters and handled successively does not mean that the fight is over. A proper audit of many fires in organizations and homes may be caused by electrical fault, or mishandling of equipment by employees and the need to train and enforce firefighting skills in homes and organizations. This research study seeks to find he role played by personal protective equipment by fire fighters to reduce injuries during confrontations especially in Saudi. The case of fire fighting in the Saudi civil defense where fire fighters use personal protective equipment is effective as it helps to protect eh fire fighters from bodily injury and harm. However cases in the Saudi Civil Defense have in many cases led to casualties and thus the need to emphasis on the proper use of personal protective equipment during fire confrontations so as to reduce injuries form happening that have detrimental effects on the lives of fire fighters. The aim of this research is to get to the bottom of this tragedy that seems to affect many fire fighters and more so in the Saudi Civil Defense.
The scope of the problem
Fire-fighters are professional individuals who have dedicated their lives to help put out fires in civilian population and organization in many countries across the world. They have undergone special training to equip them with proper skill that include rescue missions in fire tragedies, accidents and other potential dangers that may face the lives of people and property in a given country. Over the years fires have been reported across many countries in the world and this put the lives of firefighters at high risk as they confront these fire tragedies in a move to save lives and property. The main goal of training and equipping firefighters with safety equipment is to shield them from the razing fires that may cause bodily harm. It’s thus been very crucial for a country to indulge in firefighting skills and havethe right attire for such an exercise. In the Saudi civil defense there have been many unfortunate occurrences where firefighters don’t have access to personal protective equipment. The need to equip the Saudi Civil Defense with personal protective equipment or what is normally referred to as PPE is a way to reduce injuries during confrontation incidents in the country.
Project research questions
This research project seeks to answer some of the questions that will help to find a lasting solution to the Saudi Civil Defense. The following are the questions the researcher wishes to answer in relation to the use of personal protective equipment in Saudi Arabia:
- What training programs does the Saudi Civil Defense undergo through in their firefighting career?
- What is the reality of using personal protective equipment in the Saudi civil defense?
- What are the causes of injuries during confrontation of accidents in the Saudi Civil defense?
According to OSHA which refers to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in the US Firefighting is a lifelong dedication by trained individuals on firefighting skills and prevention. OSHA provides that firefighters must have personal protective equipment that will shield them from bodily injuries that might be caused by fire and other falling equipment during fire tragedies. A requirement for firefighters is to undergo the PPE program to help them understand various aspects of fire and other hazards that might occur (United States, 1970). Employers in various sectors of the economy need to ensure that they have firefighting equipment at their disposal incase a fire arises which needs to be put off. Firefighters are thus required to be highly trained with firefighting skills and equipped with the right equipment that will shield their body from injuries during fire confrontations. The Saudi Civil Defense has been faced with a number of challenges that range from engineering to expertise and the number over a couple of years. These challenges have placed the department at high risk of collapse and a subsequent outcry by citizens for the government to finance and train their only firefighting organization in the country. Failure to mitigate effects of fire in a given country can lead to an economical decline where lives and property worth millions are lost through such tragedies.
For a fact that in2010 more than thirty thousand cases of fire occurred in Saudi Arabia and the Saudi Civil Defense had to deal with this cases despite their training and poor equipment made their sacrifice in safeguarding the lives of people. Those incidents in 2010 led to a number of casualties and more so among firefighters that were either injured during the confrontations. That year alone, four firefighters lost their lives while more than fifty suffered body injuries and suffocation due to poor equipment. Continued loss of lives would discourage more firefighters from answering their call for help from various sectors in the economy. The need to emphasize on the use of personal protective equipment has been done across all countries in the world. OSHA provides that all firefighters need to have the required skills that pertain to specialized confrontations with fire and other tragedies that face human beings. In order to face some of these tragedies specialized equipmentare needed that help shield the lives of the firefighters from bodily injury and exposure to fire hazard (Shultz, 2012).
Personal protective equipment is a vital need for all fire fighters during the confrontations with fire and other tragedies that face human beings across the world. There is a high need to train and equip firefighters with skills that pertain to putting off fire and operating the firefighting equipment (European Commission, 2000). A firefighting program needs to be initiated in Saudi Arabia given the high number of fire occurrences in the country and the lack of proper gear for their firefighting department. A monitoring program needs to be initiated in the country due to the risk of fire that continues to rise and put the lives of firefighters at risk. Proper training on the use of protective gear should be a priority for the management of the Saudi Civil Defense in a move to reduce the number of death and injuries among firefighters in the country (LaTourrette Et Al, 2003).
Methodology can be defined as the process by which data in a research undertaking are collected, analyzed to give credible information about an area of study. This information is importantin decision making as a research tries to find a lasting solution to a problem in the environment. The data can be collected form past records or from present sources and this will help in understanding more about a problem.
A researcher tries to find all the information he needs concerning an area of study. The case of the Saudi civil defense is one of the few where firefighters have lost lives and others injured during the line of duty andthis has led to a concern for the use of personal protective equipment. The study procedure involves the use of edited materials from different part of the economy in Saudi Arabia. The country has one of the highestoccurrences of fire and despite its growth trend it seems not to indulge different stakeholders in the fighting fire tragedies. The communities in the country are affected daily by fire hazards that raze down their houses and destroy property. The need to equip the Saudi civil defense with the state of the art personalized fire equipment will help mitigate some of the destructive nature of these hazards. A study sample of the employees who work in the Saudi civil defense has helped the researcher in finding crucial information in regard to the use of PPE in the department. The firefighters who participate daily in the rescue mission and putting off fires are always at risk of injury as most of them lack the required safety gear and the right training to undertake such duties.
Officials and supervisors in the Saudi civil defense department lack proper funding and training on issues of firefighting as the state has failed to allocate enough funds. The firefighting department has in most cases lacked crucial equipment that pertains to safeguarding the lives of their employees during confrontation with fire and other tragedies that may arise in the country. Different risks arise and the needs to mitigate some of these risks have been the desire of the country. The risks that these firefighters are exposed to can be minimized by proper training and equipping them with personal protective equipment as the y tackle fire in homes and organization (Gudgin, 2013).
Throughout the research study the researcher has found out some revealing informationabout the situation of firefighters in the country and how the situation can be salvaged. The lack of personal protective equipment among firefighters is seen as a major cause of death and injuries among the dedicated team. Secondly is the lack of proper training among firefighters and this has led to low information about how to safeguard their own lives and the lives of other team members. The Saudi civil defense need to initiate programs that will help their employees confront fire hazards in an enlightened and safe way to avoid injuries.
Proposed time frame
The research has been an undertaking of the condition of firefighting in Saudi Arabia from the year 2001 to 2010 where different cases have led to death and injury among firefighters. The need to use personal protective equipment among firefighters is paramount. The PPE help to reduce injuries among firefighters during confrontations in the country.
Previous research in master’s degree program
Firefighting in the world is considered one of the brave and daring careers a person may join and thus the need to equip and train firefighters is a priority among many nations. Due to the occurrence of many home and wild fires in the United States the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been involved in developing programs that help firefighters apply their skills and expertise in firefighting using personal protective equipment (United States, 1970). This requirement has proved crucial in tackling fire tragedy across the country and safeguards the lives of firefighters from death and injury.
European Commission. (1999). Useful facts in relation to the personal protective equipment (PPE): Directive 89/686/EEC. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.
European Commission. (2000). Personal protective equipment (PPE): Useful facts in relation to directive 89/686/EEC. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.
Gudgin, D. E. F. (2013). Personal protective equipment for chemical, biological, and radiological hazards: Design, evaluation, and selection. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley.
LaTourrette, T., Peterson, D. J., Bartis, J. T., Jackson, B. A., Houser, A. N., Rand Corporation., Science and Technology Policy Institute (Rand Corporation), United States. (2003). Protecting emergency responders: Vol. 2. Santa Monica, CA: RAND.
Shultz, R. (2012). Marines take anbar. Naval Institute/TH/Oct.
United States. (1970). Procurement; preproduction evaluation (PPE) contracts. Washington.