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;…

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…

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…

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…

Leatherhead Thursday: Here comes winter again!

By James R. Dennison of the Leatherhead Instructors The long warm days of summer and fall are gone and the bitter cold has arrived!  The winter months present some real challenges to us as firefighters when dealing with emergencies and how we operate.  We are faced with slippery, snow covered roads that are often our work station for hours upon hours.  We are going to talk about some basics that can protect us through this season. We all have large trucks and equipment that we respond to emergencies in, and there are some things that we should address.  Most of our…

Fire service organizations send letter to the Health and Human Services Secretary amid ebola concerns

Representatives from the Congressional Fire Services Institute, International Association of Fire Fighters, International Association of Fire Chiefs and the National Volunteer Fire Council sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services asking for their support in protecting EMS personnel against the current Ebola outbreak. These fire service organizations specifically requested the Health Department’s “commitment to ensuring EMS personnel have sufficient training and resources to respond to suspected cases of Ebola.” Here an excerpt of the letter, focusing on preventative measures that can help protect First Responders. It is highly likely that more individuals infected with Ebola…

Fire Academy Friday: Retirement of PPE

It’s Fire Academy Friday! LION Fire Academy provides fire department members with online training on PPE and Continuing Education Units for successful completion.  Fire instructors can incorporate PPE education into their classes and have their students earn credits.  If you are a fire student or contemplating a career in firefighting, you’ll find helpful quizzes, videos and links on PPE and other firefighting topics. NFPA 1851 and NFPA 1500 training modules are valid for any brand of PPE. This week’s video makes sure you know when your PPE has made its last run and how do to dispose of it. After you’ve finished…

Fire Prevention Week is Approaching – Enhance Your Efforts with Fire Corps

By the National Volunteer Fire Council Fire Prevention Week is October 5-11, and fire departments around the country will be conducting activities to spread important fire prevention and safety messages in their community. Fire Corps can assist with these efforts and help departments keep fire prevention programs going all year long. Through Fire Corps, which is administered nationally by the National Volunteer Fire Council, local fire departments bring in community members to help with non-emergency tasks, such as fire prevention and safety education. There are currently over 1,500 Fire Corps programs in 49 states. Starting a new Fire Corps program…