Protection is the Best Medicine

Roy Bumgardner, retired firefighter with 26 years of service, and cancer survivor, share’s his story with the Not in Our House campaign. My story begins on Labor Day weekend of 2014. While camping with my wife in a nearby state park, I had a coffee ground textured bowel movement. I immediately knew this meant that I was bleeding from an unknown internal place, but I couldn’t call the doctor until Tuesday due to the holiday. After visiting my doctor and undergoing an endoscopy and colonoscopy, I was informed the doctors found a quarter-sized spot in the lining of my stomach;…

Why MedPro?

Fire departments respond to a variety of call types creating the need for specialized personal protective garments. While fire departments are responding to more calls year over year, only 4% of the calls are fire related1. A finding of the NFPA report, Fire Loss in the United States During 2015, was that medical aid (ambulance, EMS, rescue) represented 64% of fire department calls in 2015. During the same year, 60% of fire departments in provided emergency medical services with either basic or advanced life support1. Many departments are considering application-specific protective ensembles; that is, ensembles that meet the differing needs…

Not in Our House

Not in Our House, a firefighter cancer awareness campaign, was launched in LION’s booth at the 2017 Fire Department Instructor’s Conference (FDIC). Since 2002, more than 60% of career firefighters added to the IAFF memorial of LODD’s have died from cancer. Scientist associate the rise of cancer related deaths among firefighters to the synthetic materials now used in homes. These materials burn quicker, and release more cancer-causing particles into the air. Not in Our House asks firefighters to sign an online pledge of safety on the website, www.notinourhouse.com. The site provides downloadable resources, awareness statistics, and an outlet to share…

NVFC Launches Volunteer Recruitment Portal for Fire Departments to Combat Declining Volunteerism

The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) has launched the department portal component of its new Make Me a Firefighter volunteer recruitment campaign. Departments can now sign up at http://portal.nvfc.org to join the campaign and showcase their volunteer opportunities. Volunteer firefighters make up 69 percent of the nation’s fire service, yet the number of volunteers has declined by about 12 percent since 1984. At the same time, call volume has nearly tripled. In addition, the average age of the volunteer fire service is increasing as departments are finding it difficult to reach millennials – those within the 18-34 age range. To…

Mitigate Turnout Gear from UV Over Exposure

By: DuPont, vendor partner of LION Firefighter turnout gear is designed to provide firefighters with protection from thermal, physical and liquid borne biological hazards while minimizing heat stress. The minimum performance requirements are outlined in NFPA 1971, Standard on Protective Ensembles for Structural and Proximity Firefighting. In addition, NFPA 1851 outlines the selection, care and maintenance of the ensemble and recommends that all elements should be retired after 10 years from the date of manufacture. Any extraordinary wear and tear, prolonged exposure to weathering and heat, or mechanically repetitive impact can compromise gear physical properties and potentially reduce protective performance.…

Leatherhead Thursday: Physical fitness in the fire service

By Shane Wells of the Leatherhead Instructors Many departments across the United States require that new recruits pass a physical fitness or abilities test of some kind prior to their appointment to the position. So why aren’t more departments requiring their firefighters to keep up some type of physical fitness performance level? One reason might be a rejection from the local union. They may fear losing their job if unable to meet the fitness requirements. Many cities have or are implementing work place wellness programs that are voluntary. These programs are sometimes encouraged by workers compensation for lower rates. My question…

Leatherhead Thursday: The importance of precision

By James R. Dennison of the Leatherhead Instructors Saws, hand tools, ladders, hoses, nozzles, rescue equipment, and gas tools can be found on all fire trucks across America. There are many similarities between manufacturers of the equipment, but there are also many differences. The manufacturer of the equipment is unimportant, but the knowledge needed to use your departments’ equipment is absolutely monumental. The operations and abilities of the tools that we regularly use are second nature to us, but the stuff that seems to spend more time on the rig than in use may be far from familiar. The proper start…

Leatherhead Thursday: Firefighter injuries and physical fitness

By Shane Wells of the Leatherhead Instructors Firefighters are at increased risk of musculoskeletal injuries and cardiorespiratory illnesses compared to other occupations. Each year tens of thousands of firefighters are injured while fighting fires, rescuing people, responding to emergencies, and training incidences. Occupational injuries are the leading cause of disability and early retirement.  Cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of work related death.  All of these injuries contribute to a significant human and financial toll. In addition departments suffer lost work hours, higher insurance premiums, increased overtime, disability and early retirement payments. Despite measures to prevent injuries such as improving…

LION partners with the IFRM to successfully set up a fire department

This past December John Granby, VP of Government Relations for LION, traveled with the International Fire Relief Mission (IFRM) to help establish a fire department in Barraterre on the island of Exuma, in the Bahamas. Previous to this humanitarian aid trip, Exuma did not have any fire or rescue services despite facing wildland and structural fire threats and having a steady stream of tourists. The people of Barraterre had to band together to raise money to build the fire station. Rick Markley, editor-in-chief at FireRescue1 said they, “organized a leadership structure without any fire service background. They recruited 25 volunteers…

Leatherhead Thursday: Training Props and Aids

By Shane Wells of the Leatherhead Instructors Firefighter educational services use training props or aids almost every time that we train. The costs range from free or inexpensive to multi-million dollar training towers or burn buildings, but they provide  a hands on experience. The training props and aids are a more interesting training method than a standard lecture, and they also allow us to test skills and gain an understanding of how the student is doing. There are many companies that manufacture training props, BullEx is one company that offers many options for professional and innovative training aids.  BullEx offers everything from…