Posted by Nick Hrkman | Fire and Rescue, General, Law Enforcement
Wednesday, November 16th, 2011 9:11 am

Putting analytics to work in emergency response situations

Pete Lorenzen
for FireEngineering.com

Of the many challenges first responders face, perhaps the greatest is communication — or lack thereof. Effective communication is essential in any emergency situation, yet too often, police, firemen and other public safety officials operate with multiple and incompatible radio and communication platforms. In some cases, the operational command systems and databases back at headquarters aren’t linked across agencies, making matters worse. The result, rather than a seamless emergency response system, is a jumble of disconnection.

To address this problem, and make public safety systems “smarter,” cities around the world are beginning to harness the power of analytics fed by sensors, global positioning systems, cameras, radio frequency tags and integrated communications to make more intelligent decisions. As analytical programs mine the incoming data, public safety officials can instruct local, state, federal and non-government authorities on how best to respond to emergencies and better protect citizens from harm.

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Posted by Nick Hrkman | Fire and Rescue, General, Law Enforcement
Tuesday, November 8th, 2011 9:11 am

Don’t panic! Nationwide TV, radio emergency test to be held November 9

From the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau:

The EAS is a national public warning system that requires broadcasters, cable television systems, wireless cable systems, satellite digital audio radio service (SDARS) providers, and direct broadcast satellite (DBS) providers to provide the communications capability to the President to address the American public during a national emergency. The system also may be used by state and local authorities to deliver important emergency information, such as AMBER alerts and weather information targeted to specific areas.

The first Nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System will be carried out on November 9, 2011. For more information about the test or access to the participant reporting system, please click here.

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Posted by Francesca Solano | Fire and Rescue, General, Law Enforcement
Monday, November 7th, 2011 9:11 am

Daylight Savings Time brings scam artists along with public safety reminders

Daylight Savings Time is always a perfect opportunity for fire departments to remind the public to tackle seasonal safety projects.

The most common reminders are:

  • Replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and test both devices to make sure they are in working order.
  • Clean gutters and downspouts to keep debris from accumulating. This is especially important now that the leaves are falling.
  • Make an appointment to have your furnace cleaned and inspected by a qualified technician so it is working properly and efficiently all winter.
  • Have your chimney cleaned so your fireplace will be ready for use.

Unfortunately scam artists are using this to target vulnerable consumers.  Fire Engineering reported that:

To date this year, the Better Business Bureau says it has received more than 380 complaints against chimney cleaners, up from the 342 complaints received in all of 2010.

In some cases, consumers have reported calls saying that the town fire department recommends the resident’s chimney be cleaned. The calls go on to recommend a particular chimney sweep and endorse their services on behalf of the fire department. Though town fire departments do recommend having chimneys cleaned on an annual basis, they do not endorse any particular company or inspect chimneys.

Safety tips courtesy of Kanetix.ca.

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Posted by Francesca Solano | Fire and Rescue, General, Law Enforcement
Thursday, November 3rd, 2011 8:11 am

Have you joined the Movember movement?

On November 1st many firefighters across North America  from Salinas, California to Coquitlam, British Columbia  started the month clean shaven and will be growing out mustaches to raise awareness and money for prostate and testicular cancer.

Movember (coined from “Mo” the slang  word for mustache) began in Australia but has become a worldwide event. Men are not allowed to shave for the entire month of  November, becoming walking billboards for the cause.  They help educate other men about the health risks they face, increasing the chances of early detection, diagnosis and treatment.

Men who participate, affectionately referred to as Mo-bros, are from all walks of life.  Firefighters in particular are active supporters of Movember since studies consistently show that firefighters are at a significantly higher risk to develop cancer especially prostate and testicular cancer.

If you want to have fun while raising awareness for a good cause visit www.movember.com

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Posted by Nick Hrkman | Fire and Rescue, General, Law Enforcement
Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011 9:11 am

More than 10,000 first responders have completed virtual electric vehicle safety training course

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and Chevrolet and OnStar are pleased to announce that more than 10,000 firefighters and first responders have completed virtual electric vehicle safety training. The online training, hosted by NFPA, became available in April 2011 and features an inside look at the newest technology and safety systems on the all-electric 2011 Chevrolet Volt.

The collaboration with Chevrolet and OnStar is part of NFPA’s Electric Vehicle Safety Training project. In addition to the online training, the nationwide project began the classroom-style, train-the-trainer sessions at fire academies across the country this summer.

“Through our work with Chevrolet and OnStar, we have been able to reach 10,000 firefighters and first responders with important information in a very short time period,” said Andrew Klock, NFPA’s senior project manager for the program. “The number of hybrid and electric vehicles on the road continues to increase. Whether firefighters and first responders take the online training or participate in our classroom-based electric vehicle training, we want to ensure they all are equipped with necessary information about this new vehicle technology.”

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Posted by Nick Hrkman | Fire and Rescue, General, Law Enforcement, Safety
Thursday, October 27th, 2011 9:10 am

FEMA launches emergency preparedness mobile apps

Now available in the Apple App store and Android Market

The FEMA App contains preparedness information for different types of disasters, an interactive checklist for emergency kits, a section to plan emergency meeting locations, information on how to stay safe and recover after a disaster, a map with FEMA Disaster Recovery Center locations (one-stop centers where disaster survivors can access key relief services) and Shelters, general ways the public can get involved before and after a disaster, and the FEMA blog. Terms of Use for the FEMA App: http://www.fema.gov/app.

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Posted by Nick Hrkman | Law Enforcement, PPE
Tuesday, October 25th, 2011 9:10 am

Marines train for CBRN attack in LION ICG

By Lance Cpl. Erica Disalvo
For DVIDS

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. — Suit up, get down range, assess the situation, decide what tools to use on site, control contamination while fully encapsulated in a “Level A” hazardous material suit with a limited amount of air and an alarm that goes off after every 12 seconds of non-movement, come back and go through multiple level decontamination. You have 45 minutes; go!

A Marine must be able to do all of these things and be as proficient at these skills as to instruct others on how to accomplish the same mission as a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear instructor.

While most Marines associate the CBRN job field with running the gas chamber for annual training, CBRN units do more than that, explained Sgt. Joshua M. Duncan, the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar CBRN school non-commissioned officer in charge and a Sacramento, Calif., native.

CBRN defense specialists go through a five-month training school where they learn hazardous material detection, containment and decontamination. This involves learning wind patterns that show where hazardous gases and vapors can range, different types of hazards, and practice for multiple types of scenarios they may come across.

Read the full article on the DVIDS site.

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Posted by Nick Hrkman | Fire and Rescue, General, Law Enforcement, PPE, Training
Thursday, October 13th, 2011 9:10 am

Oregon National Guard Participates in Interagency Exercise to Train for WMD Threats

From the Salem News

Oregon National Guard, 102 Civil Support Team, conducted a joint training exercise at the Port of Portland, and in Astoria, Ore., Sept. 27-29.

The 102 Civil Support Team trained with multiple federal and local agencies in Exercise Columbia Crest, which was designed to test their ability to respond to potential Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) threats.

The exercise also supported essential interagency coordination and partnered with first responders.

Also participating in the exercise was the Job Corps’ tug M/V IUKA with full crew from Job Corps. The 103-foot tug was commanded by Captain Patrick Albers.

Some of the agencies which participated in the training exercise were; FBI, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, TSA, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Columbia River Vessel Boarding Security Team (VBST), a MH-60 Jayhawk Helicopter Crew from Air Station Astoria US Coast Guard, Port of Portland Fire & Police, Portland Metropolitan Explosive Disposal Unit (MEDU), Port of Portland Marine Security, Oregon State Radiation Protection Services, HAZMAT 07, HAZMAT 11, Department of Energy RAP 8, Oregon National Guard’s 102 Civil Support Team (CST).

The mission of the Oregon National Guard’s 102 Civil Support Team is to provide support to community and state authorities in the event of a natural or manmade chemical, biological, radiological, or weapons of mass-destruction incident.

Click here to see some excellent photos of the LION CBRN garment being put to the test by the Oregon National Guard.

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Posted by Nick Hrkman | Fire and Rescue, General, Law Enforcement, News
Thursday, October 6th, 2011 2:10 pm

LION announces partnership with DuPont

LION Connects proudly announces our new social media partnership with DuPont, one of LION’s largest supplier partners. The new collaboration will work to share news and technical data about the gear you trust to keep you safe in the most extreme environments.

Our first video in an ongoing series about turnout gear helps to clarify the difference between the heavy structural firefighting gear and the lighter USAR and wildlands gear and the purpose each garment serves:

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Posted by Nick Hrkman | Fire and Rescue, General, Law Enforcement, PPE, PPE
Thursday, October 6th, 2011 9:10 am

FDNY Center of Terrorism and Disaster Preparedness highlights LION MT94

The FDNY Center of Terrorism and Disaster Preparedness is one of the most technologically advanced organizations of its kind in the world, entrusted to keep New York City safe from any and every threat imaginable. Part of their ongoing training and planning involves the LION MT94 multi-threat CRBN garment. The Center put together an overview video to highlight its many advanced capabilities and precautions, and you can see the MT94 being discussed in the PPE section around the 4 minute mark:

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