LFR's 2018 injury rate the lowest in 13 years
Running into burning buildings and saving lives takes a toll on firefighters.
The demands of the job are causing injuries and in some cases claiming firefighters lives.
In the past five years more than 500 members of Lincoln Fire and Rescue have been injured on the job.
"70% of firefighters within their career will have an injury that requires time off," Captain Kelsey Romshek of Lincoln Fire and Rescue said.
2018 saw the lowest number of firefighters injured in 13 years.
So what is the department doing to reduce those numbers?
"What we've really done is brought awareness to how we're getting injured then focusing on the big top injuries," Cole Henn, the chair of the LFR Wellness Committee said.
The most common injury in the department is to shoulders.
Firefighters and paramedics are constantly carrying heavy equipment and lifting patients, so the LFR Wellness Committee began to educate its members.
They taught them ways to strengthen their shoulders and how to lift properly. But heavy lifting is not the only health hazard on the job.
"In a super heated environment like a structure fire causes a phenomenon in the body called stress induced coagulopathy and that can continue 24–48 hours after the period of heat exertion," Captain Katie Brown of Lincoln Fire and Rescue said.
The phenomenon causes increased blood clotting making it difficult for blood to flow through the body and increasing the risk of a cardiovascular event like a heart attack.
Exposure to carcinogens while battling fires also increases the risk of cancer in crew members by 110%
LFR is making sure it's firefighters avoid these health hazards by making sure members stay hydrated while on scene and by being screened for things like high cholesterol and other factors that could put them at an increased risk of having a heart attack.
Fire wipes have been added to their rigs so firefighters can wipe down their face and hands reducing the amount of toxins being absorbed into the body.
The department says by making these small changes and educating their members LFR says the number of injuries will continue to go down.