9/11 Muslim first responder: I’m American, too

As you’re well aware, there’s a tremendous amount of controversy surrounding the construction of a mosque near Ground Zero. The animosity generated by the idea led some extreme groups to host a “Burn the Quran Day” on this past September 11. Firefighters, EMT’s, law enforcement officer and others in the first responder community shouldered a large loss of life when the World Trade Center towers fell, not to mention having to endure the health risks and prolonged hazardous exposure involved in the cleanup that followed. We found a video interview with Rudina Odeh-Ramadan, a Muslim-American first responder that was on…

Safety of key importance to fire departments large and small

Safety is at the top of the list of concerns for every fire department in the world – volunteer or career, small town or big city. Many departments have a dedicated safety officer. While the role of a safety officer might vary from department to department, he or she is typically charged with ensuring the safety of all department personnel, ensuring the safety of all equipment and apparatus, ensuring compliance with safety regulations and certifications and ensuring the department is current in its response protocol, technology, etc. As tactics change, certifications are updated and new generations of personal protective equipment…

Do you care enough to wear pink?

Guardians of the Ribbon will kick off their Pink Heals Tour 2010 tour on August 17 in Broomfield/Aurora, Colorado. The Guardians dress in pink fire suits and helmets and drive across the country every  year in pink trucks to raise money and awareness for the non-profit entities that help women throughout the United States. The group’s goal is to provide a national movement for the support of women across the country by wearing the color pink. They support all types of cancer relief efforts and focus on women as a whole in whatever type of cancer they battle. In a recent newsletter, Dave Graybill,…

World Trade Center workers’ compensation registration deadline: Sept. 13

People who performed rescue, recovery, or clean-up work at the World Trade Center have until Monday, Sept. 13, 2010, to register with the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board to preserve their eligibility for future benefits, should they ever need them. Since its introduction in 2006, 35,980 people have filed the WTC-12 form. It contains eight simple questions and must be notarized before filing. While the law typically has a two-year limit on opening a workers’ compensation claim, the WTC-12, while not a claim in itself, allows these workers — both paid employees and volunteers — to file future claims…

NFFF announces new behavioral health initiative

From the Everyone Goes Home website: The way to help firefighters who have dealt with potentially traumatic events is changing. Much has been learned from the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation’s work in New York after September 11th and following the loss of nine firefighters at a furniture store fire in Charleston, S.C. in 2007. A briefing on this new model at Firehouse Expo in Baltimore later this week will answer all your questions as to how—as a chief officer, family member or colleague—you can help firefighters deal with the stress, grief and trauma that often goes along with this profession.…