Firefighters fill a vital role in their communities. While rewarding, the work certainly comes with challenges, including the increased risk of injury on the job.
Understanding common injuries that firefighters may receive can help you recognize if you experience something similar while on the job.
1. Muscular injuries
Some of the most common injuries occurring at the scene of fires include muscular injuries such as strains. Notably, firefighters have an increased risk of back injuries that cause ongoing pain. Strenuous physical exertion during the course of the job, as well as accidents such as trips or falls, can cause painful muscle injuries of all kinds.
The severity of muscle strains varies. Many resolve on their own, but the most severe can necessitate surgery.
2. Cuts, scrapes and burns
Firefighters often work outdoors and in unstable conditions. Exposure to both extreme cold and extreme heat can cause injury. Additionally, accidents on the scene may lead to various abrasions, from minor scrapes to more serious wounds.
3. Mental health concerns
The nature of the job means firefights repeatedly expose them to incredibly stressful, dangerous and high-stakes situations. Over time this may take a toll on mental health, leading to issues such as PTSD or related mental health concerns directly related to working as a firefighter.
If you develop an injury either in an accident or over time due to your work, you may qualify for workers’ compensation. Each state upholds unique workers comp policies. You should consider looking into your options and understand your rights as a California firefighter.