Every job has its risks and challenges. Firefighting has some, though, that are unique to that particularly line of work. Part of the significant risk to any firefighter, whether they are in Pennsylvania or somewhere else, is the unknown.
When these individuals enter into a blazing inferno, they don't always know what they may be facing. Has the structure of the building been compromised by the blaze? Are there flammable products, or worse, explosive materials in the building that could erupt and make things suddenly worse? Regardless of the preventive measures taken and protective gear in use, the unexpected can result in serious injuries to these government workers.
There was a time when a standard of assumed high risk hampered workers in some government jobs from obtaining the workers' compensation that all workers are entitled to when they are hurt on the job. That's not the case anymore, though not everyone may know it. Lack of information, though, should not lead to someone being denied their rightful benefits for suffering workplace accidents.
Hopefully, this won't be an issue for one firefighter who was injured at the scene of the huge chemical fire recently near Doylestown. Officials say the three-alarm fire at the Bucks County site of Arbonite Corporation destroyed a 55,000 square-foot structure. Fire companies from nearly two dozen communities responded and managed to get the blaze under control after about three hours of effort.
Frankly, it's amazing that only one firefighter was hurt. And officials note that the injuries suffered were not specifically fire related. While the nature of the injuries aren't known based on the news reports, it is known the firefighter needed hospitalization.
Hopefully, with the help of workers' compensation benefits to cover medical costs and possible lost wages, this firefighter will be up and around soon.
Source: Doylestown-Buckingham-New Britain Patch, "Three-alarm Fire Sweeps Buckingham Industrial Plant," Sarah Larson, Nov. 20, 2012