By Jonah Lehrer
For Wired Magazine
Jeffrey Mitchell, a volunteer firefighter in the suburbs of Baltimore, came across the accident by chance: A car had smashed into a pickup truck loaded with metal pipes. Mitchell tried to help, but he saw at once that he was too late.
The car had rear-ended the truck at high speed, sending a pipe through the windshield and into the chest of the passenger—a young bride returning home from her wedding. There was blood everywhere, staining her white dress crimson.
Mitchell couldn’t get the dead woman out of his mind; the tableau was stuck before his eyes. He tried to tough it out, but after months of suffering, he couldn’t take it anymore. He finally told his brother, a fellow firefighter, about it.
The newly reopened September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of $2.8 billion started taking applications Monday.
The fund is intended to help people who became ill after working at ground zero and others whose sicknesses can be tied to the site. Residents, workers and others can apply, including those whose claims to the first fund were denied.
“Everybody who is eligible should apply for this,” said John Feal, a leading advocate for injured first responders.
The deadline for applying for help is Oct. 3, 2013, or two years from the time a person learns that a physical injury or sickness resulted from exposure to ground zero. The program will run for six years.
By STEVE SCHWARTZ
Message from LION CEO
This Sunday marks ten years since 9/11.
It’s a time for remembrance. Nearly 3,000 people were murdered. Each loss creates an unfillable void for family, friends, our fire service and first responder community, and the nation.
It’s a time for reflection. Right after 9/11, as a country, we stood as one. That sense of oneness has looked and felt increasingly fragile over the past two years of economic and political turmoil in our country.
It’s a time for renewed solidarity: to recommit ourselves to a belief in that oneness that we felt so strongly 10 years ago. The challenges we face in each of our communities and in the nation can only be solved through believing in oneness not divisiveness. Divisiveness is what our enemies hope for.
We must also recommit ourselves to the defense of our country – and to its core values. On 9/11, we were attacked by radical Islamist forces not for a specific policy, but for who we are. Remember: in 1993, under a different president from a different party, there was another deadly terror attack on the Twin Towers. It’s America – and what we stand for – that’s the target.
I thank each of our first responders for putting your lives on the line daily to keep our families and communities safe. I hope our nation never experiences anything like 9/11 again, but if we do, know that we as a company are doing everything we can to keep you safe and ready to respond to whatever challenge you face.
The 2011 World Police & Fire Games, hosted this year in New York City, will resume Monday, Aug 29 with a revised schedule after Sunday’s hurricane cancellation. The following update is from the 2011wpfg.org site:
Jacob Javits Convention Center (No Sport will begin before 2pm)
• Air Rifle: Rescheduled from Saturday to Monday 8/29 at 2pm.
• Badminton: Moved to Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday
• Basketball (5×5): 2pm START. Please check the website and email for updated schedule
• Bench Press: Meeting at 4pm in Room 1E-09 (Combat Room) on the Lower Level. Competition to start on Tuesday
• Body Building: THE EVENT HAS BEEN REVIVED. We will start with weigh-ins at 2pm. Athletes should check into the Body Building room at the back, right corner of the Athletes Village.
• Boxing: 2pm Weigh-ins and 4pm Athletes Clinic and Competitors Meeting in the Special Events Hall (Heroes Hall).
• Darts: 2pm start in the Special Events Hall (Heroes Hall).
• Judo: There will be a Judo meeting at 1pm to decide the future of Judo. Please be there. The meeting will be held in 1E-02
• Orienteering: Rescheduled to Thursday 9/1. Check the website for details
• Rowing – Indoor: Check-in and weigh-in at 3pm. Competition starts at 4pm
• Road Race: We are making an attempt to reschedule for Friday 9/2, however, this will not be a ½ Marathon, more likely to be a 10K
• Soccer – Indoor: Captain’s Meeting at 1pm on the court. Competition begins at 2pm
• Stair Climb: Tentatively scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 3rd.
• Table Tennis: 2pm Start
• Taekwondo: Weigh-in Monday, 8/29 at 5pm. Competition rescheduled from Sunday to Tuesday 8/30.
• Volleyball – Indoor: 2pm Start
• Wrestling: Weigh-in at 5pm in the Combat Arena on the court. Competition starts on Tuesday at 8am.
Situational awareness. Evolving threats. Mission specific. Readiness. These are all terms with which first responders are all very familiar.
Whether it be recent events such as potential backlash from the death of Osama bin Laden, a high-profile sporting event, dignitary visit or an unknown chemical threat, it is critical that today’s first responders are ready to respond when duty calls.
Key criteria in being ready? Being properly trained and having the right equipment to do what the mission is asking of you.
Check out this short video clip from KSTP Channel 5 Eyewitness News out of the Minneapolis/St. Paul area talking to the WMD team from Hennepin County, Minn., who has recently upgraded its CBRN protective ensembles from 1980s charcoal technology to the LION MT94 CBRN ensemble to ensure its responders are ready for action.
May 1-7 marks this year’s Arson Awareness Week. The theme “Working Together to Extinguish Serial Arson” focuses the public attention on the value of a collaborative effort with law enforcement, fire and emergency service departments, and the community to battle serial arsonists.
The goal for this year’s Arson Awareness Week (AAW) is to focus attention on serial arsonists and provide law enforcement, the fire service, and communities with tools and tactics to battle arson in their cities and towns. The USFA is partnering with the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI); Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); USAonWatch; National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM); National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC); and the Insurance Committee for Arson Control (ICAC).
Click here to find out more information including training material, how to establish a community arson watch program and more!
By Duane Wolfe
Here are five tips from PoliceOne for shift workers looking to improve their sleeping habits:
- Make it Dark — The darker the room you sleep in, it the better you will sleep, so darken the windows. Light helps keep you awake — that’s why you seem to perk up when the sun starts coming over the horizon. An old trick I learned in the service was putting aluminum foil over the windows. If you or the chief interior designer isn’t keen about putting aluminum foil over the windows, buy a sleep mask. I know it’s not the most macho piece of equipment, but it works.
- Try Melatonin — Take the recommended dosage of Melatonin before you lay down to sleep. It helps get you to sleep.
- Watch the Caffeine — Caffeine is a two-edged sword. If you drink it only when you need it to stay awake you’ll require less than the officer who drinks it all the time. Stop drinking it two hours prior to when you want to go to bed. That way it isn’t keeping you from sleeping. Be cautious of where you get your caffeine. Sugar-laden drinks have their own drawbacks, including packing on all those pounds we don’t want.
- Eliminate Noise — Buy a pair of ear plugs. If you don’t like the idea of not being able to hear while you’re asleep, buy a large fan or a white noise machine to help block out noises that might disturb you.
- Suggest Changes — If you’re truly stuck with shifts like the one I had, gather documentation and studies to show ‘the powers that be’ that the shift you are working is detrimental to your health and safety (you might add that tired cranky cops get more citizen complaints than well rested officers!).
Read the rest of the article on PoliceOne.com.
By Michael Krueger, Fire Life
One word comes to mind whenever I think about people in the middle years of their careers and that word is “complacent.” In most professions, complacency simply gets you downsized; in firefighting it gets you dead.
The Trouble with Age
You’ve worked your tail off for quite a few years, you’ve paid your dues and now you are a veteran. You feel that you’ve earned some respect and some perks as well. Longevity means something so long as you accomplished something during those years, simply getting by and putting in your time isn’t supposed to be what it is all about. You are here to grow, learn, mentor and thrive not just make it through to retirement.
Too often the “old timers” forget that fires don’t care how long you’ve been a firefighter. Heart attacks and injuries don’t take into consideration that you only have 4 or 5 years to retirement. It’s too easy to “remember when” and forget to “remember how”.
Click here to read the entire article on Fire Link and find out what you need to do to reach optimal health.
From the Brain Injury Association of America
In recognition of March as Brain Injury Awareness Month and the Brain Injury Association’s ongoing commitment to sports and concussions, the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) and its nationwide network of more than 40 chartered state affiliates is continuing its nationwide education and advocacy campaign: “A concussion is a brain injury. Get the facts.” This year’s campaign launches in March with radio and print public service announcements, awareness proclamations and special events. A state advocacy effort to introduce legislation to train coaches and protect youth athletes will continue throughout the year along with ongoing nationwide education.
Source: John Giles/Guardian UK
By David McRaney
for the blog You Are Not So Smart
Do you think you’re capable of goading someone on a ledge to jump, all the while taking pictures and tweeting about it? You might think you’d never do such a thing — but as this blog entry points out, you are not so smart.
The Misconception: People who riot and loot are scum who were just looking for an excuse to steal and be violent.
The Truth: You are are prone to losing your individuality and becoming absorbed into a hivemind under the right conditions.