Firefighting can be dangerous, although it is a noble profession. Firefighters in Baltimore put their lives on the line daily to rescue and keep others safe.
Firefighters get exposed to hazardous materials like benzene, sulfur dioxide, and other combustible materials in higher concentrations. This kind of exposure makes them more susceptible to cancer and cancer-related diagnoses.
Furthermore, firefighters have a higher risk of suffering from stress-related injuries, hypertension, and exhaustion. Also, they are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure and fatigue.
In Baltimore, the fire department receives about 235 000 calls annually across its 37 stations. It serves a population of over one million. This high number increases the risk faced by firefighters and the need for workers’ compensation. This article looks at the types of benefits available to a firefighter in Baltimore after a work injury.
Who Is a Firefighter by Law?
A firefighter in Baltimore is a person extensively trained in firefighting. They extinguish hazardous fires that threaten life, property, and the environment. Also, they rescue people and animals in their jurisdictions.
According to the law, the following persons are considered firefighters:
- Career or permanent firefighters
- Volunteer firefighters
- Emergency rescue members
- Fire marshals
- Paid fire fighting instructor
- Advanced life support unit member
- A paid member of the state fire marshal’s office
- Volunteer rescue squad member
- Volunteer fire fighting instructor
How Often Do Firefighters Get Injured on the Job?
Firefighters in Baltimore work in environments that are too hazardous, involving fire, explosives, and extreme temperatures and weather conditions. In the United States, an average of 25 592 non-fatal injuries involving firefighters was recorded from 2014 – 2018.
30% of the injuries led to the loss of work time, where 37% of such injuries did not lead to loss of work time. Out of the 19% of injuries treated by physicians, 13% required first aid treatment.
40% of the injuries were outside grade level, and 37% occurred inside structures. From 2014 to 2018, an average of 4,700 volunteer firefighters got injured annually. 39% of those injured required treatment from physicians without loss of work time.
Common Injuries Suffered by Firefighters
Firefighters in Baltimore face a great deal of risk on the job, like injuries and deaths. Most of the wounds they sustain are during working hours and happen inside structures. The most common injuries suffered by firefighters include:
- Smoke and gas inhalation
- Strains and sprains
- Wounds, cuts, lacerations, bruises, and bleeding.
- Thermal stress
- Muscular pains
- Falls and slips
- Heat exhaustion
- Exposure to combustible materials
Common Causes of Injuries Suffered by Firefighters
Firefighters in Baltimore work in complex environments. Unlike other hazardous careers, they cannot fully control their work environment. So many factors cause injuries suffered by firefighters. They include:
- Oxygen deficiency
- Elevated temperatures
- Poisonous atmospheres
- Structural collapse
- Slips and trips
- Overexertion and fatigue
Types of Workers’ Compensations for Firefighters in Baltimore
Firefighters get two-thirds of their average wage as compensation. However, if a firefighter files for administrative or sick leave, they get full payment of their salary.
Furthermore, firefighters in Baltimore also enjoy enhanced benefits for specific injuries. Maryland recognizes that certain illnesses are higher among firefighters due to the nature of their jobs. For example, high blood pressure, heart diseases, and even cancer. The state believes that firefighters are at higher risk of suffering from these illnesses from exposure in their work line.
Other people who get compensation are squad members, and volunteer firefighters. The State Fire Marshal’s office employees also benefit from this compensation. Firefighters would be compensated for certain cancers if the ailment developed after ten years of being on the job.
Cancers thought to affect firefighters in Baltimore, and others in the same line of service include:
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Testicular cancer
- Breast cancer
- Rectal Cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Brain cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Throat cancer
Firefighters in Baltimore receive compensation for medical care if there’s proof they sustained their injuries at work. The available benefits are:
- Treatment with lost time from work
- Medical treatment only
- Injuries and medical treatment that prevent the firefighter from returning to the pre-injury job
- Injuries and treatment that prevents the firefighter from returning to any job
- Compensation for lost wages
- Disability compensation
- Rehabilitation costs
Talk to a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Baltimore!
A workplace injury can be traumatic; no one wants to imagine ever getting injured on the job. If you or your loved one want to get compensation for a work injury, contact an experienced workers’ comp lawyer at Pinder Plotkin. Schedule a free consultation with us today!