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Fire Safety Division

The Fire Safety Division logo

The Safety Division maintains a daily two person staff consisting of a Chief Safety Officer and a Fire Safety Officer. The Chief Safety Officer is responsible for the administrative day to day operation along with secondary response such that a Safety Professional may be at every major emergency in the city.

The Safety Division is active in defining new laws, consensus standards, new technology and operating guidelines to maintain efficient firefighting operations for the Fire Department; from Personal Protective Equipment to Thermal Imaging to Driving Simulation, Fire Safety Officers are instrumental in obtaining and evaluating new technological advances in the fire service.

To date, the Safety Division has originated, submitted, and provided the initial training on twenty five Standard Operating Guidelines. The Safety Division teaches Safety as well as Substance Abuse policies to all new employee Training Academies. A Fire Safety Officer is present at all high hazard training exercises.

One of the major areas of activity by the Safety Division is facilitating medical treatment. Interaction with our Occupational Medical provider is crucial in obtaining the most cost efficient treatment for injured firefighters. Interaction with the City-Parish Risk Management Division is critical to minimize cost and lost man-hours for the Fire Department. The Fire Safety Officers immediate response to accidents and injuries along with documentation and reporting has minimized the City’s liability in contested claims. The Safety Division has realized significant savings in Workers Compensation cost by implementing a Wellness Program along with Temporary Modified Duty and Case Management for fire fighter injuries. This trend reduction is reflected in Workers Compensation claims for the following years.

2007
$310,000

 

2008
$244,744

2009
$138,968

 

2010
$134,480

The Safety Division is responsible for developing and maintaining a long term Wellness/Fitness program. This program assist employee’s with their physical and mental well being by providing an annual wellness physical. Since the program’s inception in 2003, the Safety Division has coordinated over five thousand wellness physicals. Fire Safety Officers were also instrumental in obtaining federal grant monies for fitness equipment that is currently placed in every fire station throughout the city.

Fire Safety Officers in the Baton Rouge Fire Department are specially trained in hazard/risk assessment in order they may act as observers, advisors, enforcers, on terminating or suspending unsafe acts at emergency incidents. These activities are in consideration for the safety of fire fighters as well as the general public. Through specialized training and National Certification, Fire Safety Officers gain a different perspective on emergency incidents. Command officers and fire fighters strive toward the goal of protecting citizen’s lives and property, while the Fire Safety Officer strives toward protecting employees and the public from imminent hazards. This countering balance eliminates tunnel vision and the unnecessary risk of injury or death. The Federal government mandates by law a Certified Fire Safety Officer be present on all Hazardous Material emergencies.

Safety Officers touch every part of the Fire Department. Their presence is an indication of the value we place on the firefighters that protect this city. They act as liaisons between the firefighters and the administration of this department. Building trust and credibility has and will continue to change behaviors and actions. Industry and city municipalities recognize that to control hazards you must manage risk. The most commonly accepted experience is that for every $1 spent on safety, the return on investment is $5-$7 in benefit.