Blog Posts

Safety ropes: Are they right for every department?

The State of New York Department of Labor is now issuing citations to fire departments that are in violation of the state’s 2008 “Rope Law”.  The statute: 12 NYCRR Section 800.7 requires all interior firefighters serving populations of less than one million in the state of New York working on a building’s second story or higher to be trained and furnished with self-rescue equipment (specifically rope and components). The intent of the law is to provide safe emergency egress in the event that a firefighter must escape from the upper stories of a building through an opening that is not designated…

The tightening of the belt – fire, police and EMS feeling the pinch

The days of public safety being spared cuts during difficult financial times appear to be over – and fire and police departments all over the United States are starting to feel the pinch. As tax revenues for municipalities decline, cities are tightening the belt on police, fire and emergency medical services. Read about some specific examples in this Wall Street Journal article and let us know what you think. Will cuts like these affect your department’s performance? Post a comment below and tell us what you think the impact will be to the general public if cities and municipalities continue to tighten the belt…

Why should I wear body armor?

By Ronald McBride, IACP/DuPont Kevlar Survivors’ Club — for LION Connects A compelling answer is contained in an FBI report of Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted. The report concludes: “Based on an in-depth analysis of situations and circumstances surrounding assaults on police officers, the risk of sustaining a fatal injury for officers who do not routinely wear body armor is 14 times greater than for officers who do.” Body armor is effective in protecting police officers from a variety of threats. Of the documented saves, nearly half involve threats other than ballistic. Two cases illustrate this point.

What’s inside your turnout gear?

Did you know you could produce up to four pounds of sweat during an hour of normal firefighting operations? That can be a problem because the water adds extra weight to your turnout. It also can contribute to burn injuries because it can compromise the reliability of your thermal layer.Your thermal barrier is like the insulation in your house — it traps air in millions of tiny pockets, creating a barrier to your environment. If those pockets fill with moisture, they can’t function as designed. You get hotter and sweatier, and your protection levels diminish. The best thermal liner is one that…

Top 5 mistakes of caring for your firefighting PPE

Don’t ask for the impossible — if you don’t take care of your PPE, it won’t take care of you. Here are the top five mistakes firefighters make in caring for their gear. Mistake 1. Cleaning your firefighter turnout in your home washing machine with commercial laundry detergent. First, your turnout is exposed to a lot of bad on-the-job elements that have no place in your home. Second, a home-style washing machine is too harsh on the materials and can’t effectively clean all of the bulky gear. Third, laundry detergents can compromise the fabrics — so can bleach and softeners. Instead,…

Increase your firefighting staying power — go leather (boots).

Still have rubber boots on your feet? Then you’re working harder, draining your SCBA faster and have more trouble with balance and obstacles than a firefighter with leather boots. So says the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The University of Delaware agrees. Both conducted studies on the safety and health implications of firefighter boots and found that rubber boots — which weigh about 3 pounds more than leather boots and cost half as much — definitely affect on-the-job performance. Yes, leather costs more. But consider these costs: 80,100 occupational injuries, a quarter of which were caused by…