NVFC releases white paper on training requirements

Are you a volunteer firefighter? Check out the National Volunteer Fire Council’s (NVFC) white paper on minimum training requirements that meet NFPA 1001, Standard for Fire Fighter Professional Qualifications. Click here to read the article and to download the white paper. The NVFC is committed to ensuring that volunteer firefighters have an appropriate level of training to safely and effectively carry out their responsibilities. The organization’s website, www.nvfc.org features vital resources and information for fire and emergency service volunteers.

Need PPE maintenance? Here’s what you should know

It would seem like almost any company in the clothing cleaning and alteration business would be a suitable choice to care for your PPE. However, most commercial laundries, drycleaners and industrial laundries are not familiar with the NFPA 1971 standard that establishes the performance requirements for your PPE. Companies that specialize in the care and maintenance of PPE have developed the knowledge and skill base to effectively clean it and repair it to a safe performance level. You can look to the NFPA 1851 standard for assistance. The standard requires companies that perform major repairs on turnout or proximity gear to…

NFPA 101: NFPA 1971 all about protecting firefighters

Firefighting is a dangerous job. Firefighters come in contact with extreme temperatures and biohazards, as well as physical and environmental factors on a daily basis. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) develops standards for personal protective equipment to help reduce the burden of fire and other exposures to firefighters. These standards are typically revised every five years. NFPA 1971, 2007 Ed. Standard on Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting. This standard specifies the minimum requirements for both structural and proximity fire fighting ensembles and ensemble elements. Ensembles and ensemble elements are required to provide limited protection…

Lessons from Chile: Hope and readiness

Firefighters with the Junta de Bomberos de Chile, the National Fire Service of Chile, have been working round the clock alongside police and military personnel to rescue victims of the 8.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the region early Saturday February 27. Powerful aftershocks further complicate rescue efforts near the already-toppled buildings in the earthquake zone. Locating survivors in the tsunami-struck areas is also proving to be a challenge. Yet their efforts remain tireless, according to a statement on the Bomberos de Chile website: [translated] “we can never rule out finding survivors. We have the cases of Haiti, people who recovered after…

Gearing up for FDIC

Each spring in Indianapolis, firefighters from all over convene for the annual FDIC, the world’s largest firefighter training conference and exhibition. This year’s FDIC is being held April 19-24. The hands-on training sessions held in the first part of the week offer some of the most comprehensive efforts for educating the fire service and improving firefighter safety. The interactive workshops feature educational opportunities on topics ranging from firefighter fitness to fireground situational awareness. The expo, held April 22-24, offers firefighters, EMS and other first responders the chance to see the latest of greatest products and services, as well as the…

Flashover: A firefighter’s story of safety and survival

By Marcus Haynes, Buckeye (AZ) Fire Department – for Lion Connects On Oct. 14, 2009, I almost lost my life. I was involved in a flashover that day while responding to a trailer fire in a mobile home park. There are two things I credit for saving me that fall day: training and my personal protective equipment (PPE). My engine company and I responded to a report of a working fire at a mobile home park on this morning. Upon arrival, we found active fire in the rear of the trailer. As I went in for a search and rescue…

NFPA 101: NFPA 1851 strives to reduce health and safety risks

Firefighting is a dirty, gritty job. Turnout gear that is exposed to fire ground contaminants, as well as bio-hazards (blood-borne pathogens), can be a danger to firefighters’ health. Also, burnt, torn and damaged gear can be a safety risk. Proper care and maintenance helps keep the protective performance of your gear intact. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has designated a standard to help keep turnout gear safer, longer. NFPA 1851, 2008 Ed. Standard on Selection, Care and Maintenance of Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting.

Advanced inspection of turnout gear

Yes, NFPA 1851 recommends that turnout gear undergo an advanced inspection every 12 months, at a minimum, or whenever a potential problem is spotted. And it only makes sense, doesn’t it? After all, your turnout stands between you and extreme heat, chemicals and bodily fluids that can do you harm. This series of LION videos will provide you with the training you need on advanced turnout gear inspection. So, grab your turnout gear and helmet, an inspection form, a length of new reflective trim identical to that on your turnout, a focused-beam flashlight, a bucket, measuring cup, isopropyl alcohol and a fluorescent job light — then…

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…