Posted by Nick Hrkman | Fire and Rescue, Safety
Wednesday, December 11th, 2013 9:12 am

NFPA promotes holiday fire safety on nationwide media tour

By Mike Hazell
For NFPA Today

If you watch your local TV news this morning, there’s a chance you’ll see Judy Comoletti of NFPA’s public education division sharing tips on how to keep your holidays fire-safe. It’s all part of NFPA’s “Project Holiday” campaign, where we’re offering a free online toolkit filled with safety tips, reports, talking points, videos, and fun gift and tree tags to help your family and community understand the importance of fire safety this winter. Get all of the details on our Project Holiday page.

This morning, Judy is stationed at a private home north of Boston, and through the magic of a satellite media tour, is participating in more than 2 dozen television interviews with stations across the country.

Read more on NFPA Today.

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Posted by Francesca Solano | Fire and Rescue, General, Law Enforcement, Safety, Safety, Training
Tuesday, November 5th, 2013 9:11 am

Strength in Numbers: fire service and active shooters

By Russ Sanders and Ben Klaene

For NFPA Journal

IN DECEMBER 13, 2012, LOCAL FIREFIGHTERS were among the first to arrive at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, Connecticut, in response to a shooter in the school. As police entered the building to hunt down the gunman, firefighters helped set up a triage unit at the site to treat the injured. But no injured came. “A few times during the incident I actually [was] hoping that this area [would be] filled with injured people,” one firefighter told CNN. “But fairly early on we realized that wasn’t going to be the case.” People either got out uninjured, or they died in the school. When it was over, 20 children and six adults at the school were dead.

Ten days later, in upstate New York, a 911 dispatcher received a call from an unidentified man who claimed he was under fire. “We are being shot at,” he told the dispatcher, according to NBC News. “Multiple firemen down. Multiple firemen are shot. I am shot. I think he is using an assault rifle.”

Chiefs endorse document on active shooters
At its September 2013 meeting at NFPA headquarters, the Urban Fire Forum endorsed a position paper on active shooters and mass casualty terrorist events. The UFF Position Statement: Active Shooter and Mass Casualty Terrorist Events begins with this statement: “The emerging threat of terrorism and asymmetric warfare, specifically small unit ‘active shooter’ and improvised explosive device (IED) attacks, is a concern for the fire service. An attack by radicals armed with weapons in public areas, such as schools, shopping malls, churches or any other locations where people congregate is a real threat to a sense of security and daily lives.”
Download the position paper as well as free resources, courtesy of Chief Jim Schwartz of Arlington County, VA, to help a community prepare for an active shooter or mass casualty terrorist event.
The Urban Fire Forum brings together the fire chiefs who are responsible for protecting some of the largest urban centers in the world.

The caller was a member of the volunteer fire department in West Webster, New York, near Rochester. Firefighters were responding to a pre-dawn residential blaze in the nearby town of Webster when they were met with gunfire—a man had purposely set his vehicle and home on fire to lure firefighters and other emergency responders to the scene, where he ambushed them. Two firefighters were killed and two more were wounded in the shooting spree. News outlets quickly made the connection that the Webster gunman used the same model of military-style, semi-automatic rifle that the Newtown shooter had used.

The events of last December illustrate how local fire departments need to work with police, as well as with emergency medical services, in responding to events that include a shooter—whether the threat is known, as in Newtown, or unknown, as in the ambush in Webster. Both types are of great concern to fire and police agencies nationwide, and efforts are underway to address issues related to shooter events.

Read the full article here.

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Posted by Nick Hrkman | Events, Fire and Rescue, Safety
Thursday, November 22nd, 2012 8:11 am

Leatherhead Thursday: Seasonal safety

By J.R. Dennison
For the Leatherhead Instructors, LLC

Thanksgiving starts the holiday season for us and with that, comes the meals, outdoor decorations, Christmas trees, travel, and countless other things.  The holidays are typically an enjoyable time, but because of either mechanical or human error; the holiday season is also linked to a large amount of fires and accidents.

A Thanksgiving meal would not be complete without a turkey, and deep frying a turkey is becoming very popular.  There are many safety considerations that you should take note of when preparing a turkey using a deep fryer.  These are some suggestions to keep your holiday meal preparation a little more safe.

  • Keep the turkey fryer at least 20’ from any structure
  • Do not place a turkey fryer on or near a deck or any combustible/flammable materials
  • Be cautious when using a turkey fryer in the rain or snow – the moisture striking the hot oil can cause it to splatter outside of the pot
  • Make sure that your turkey is fully thawed before placing it in the hot oil; this will prevent crackling and splattering of the oil
  • Make sure that the turkey fryer is on a solid, flat, and stable surface
  • Keep people and pets away from the fryer when it is in use to prevent injuries and prevent the pot from being spilled
  • Make sure that an adult is with the fryer at all times when it is in use


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Posted by Francesca Solano | Fire and Rescue, General, Safety, Safety
Thursday, June 28th, 2012 9:06 am

Half of U.S. is Clueless About Emergency Notifications, Survey Finds

By Mary Rose Roberts

For Fire Chief

Federal Signal this week released its third-annual Public Safety Survey at the BE Safe America congressional briefing at the U.S. Capitol. Conducted by Zogby International, the survey provides statistics regarding Americans’ knowledge of and response to emergency notifications, including what most motivates citizens to take action.

“There was an absence of information on a national scale about people’s public-safety awareness or their own preparation [for an emergency],” said John Von Thaden,Federal Signal’s vice president and general manager for alerting and emergency systems. “We felt this information could be a tool for our customers as well as the general public-safety community.”

The survey found 71% of Americans were unsure whether a personal alerting and notification system (ANS) existed in their area, whether via telephone call, text message or e-mail. At the same time, 58% surveyed expected local communities to provide such a service.

Read more.

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Posted by Francesca Solano | Fire and Rescue, General, Safety
Friday, February 17th, 2012 9:02 am

Fire grants under fire

David Mulhausen, Ph.D. recently published this report criticizing the effectiveness of fire grants administered by FEMA for the conservative think-tank The Heritage Foundation:

Ineffective Fire Grants

Fire grants, administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), encompass a number of grant programs. The Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program subsidizes the routine activities of local fire departments and emergency management organizations. The Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) grants fund projects to improve the safety of firefighters and the public from fire and related hazards. Created in late 2003, the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grants are intended to increase staffing levels by funding the salaries of career firefighters and paying for recruitment activities for volunteer fire departments.


Posted by Hayley Fudge | Care and Usage, Care and Usage, Firefighter Combat Challenge, General, Health, Health, Law Enforcement, News, PPE, PPE, People, Performance, Performance, Safety, Safety, Training
Friday, September 9th, 2011 5:09 am

9/11 rememberance

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.

Stay Safe.

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Posted by Nick Hrkman | General, Law Enforcement, News, Safety
Monday, August 15th, 2011 9:08 am

“Swatting” hoaxes affecting more U.S. and Canadian departments


Police in the United States and Canada have been sending out SWAT teams in response to prank phone calls about fake hostage situations, officials say.

The practice, called “swatting,” has been increasing in both countries in recent months, ABC News reports.

A swatter or group of swatters is often behind multiple incidents, and copycatting is common, said Kevin Kolbye, the assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s Dallas office, which headed the first federal swatting case in 2007.

“Same as you find when a highly publicized serial killer is around, you find a lot of copycatting,” Kolbye said. “So when crimes receive national attention, you find people who are intrigued with this type of crime and they emulate it.”


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Posted by Hayley Fudge | Events, Fire and Rescue, General, Health, Health, Law Enforcement, News, PPE, PPE, Performance, Performance, Safety, Safety, Training
Wednesday, June 15th, 2011 8:06 am

Proper training, equipment key to responder readiness

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.

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Posted by Nick Hrkman | General, Law Enforcement, News, Safety
Friday, June 10th, 2011 9:06 am

Supreme Court rules that fleeing police by car is a violent felony

The New York Times reported that the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that fleeing from the police in a car is a violent felony that can subject criminals to mandatory 15-year prison terms, in a 6-to-3 decision.

According to the article, the decision was the court’s fourth encounter since 2007 with a phrase in a federal law, the Armed Career Criminal Act. Under the law, convicted felons found with guns face a maximum sentence of 10 years, but those with three convictions for violent felonies are subject to a 15-year mandatory minimum sentence.


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Posted by Nick Hrkman | Care and Usage, General, Law Enforcement, PPE, Performance, Safety
Tuesday, May 31st, 2011 9:05 am

Some considerations for off-duty carry

By Kevin Davis

Carry All the Time

My eldest daughter, her husband and my lovely granddaughter live only a minute’s drive from my wife and me but when I leave my house to head over there, I carry a pistol.  My daughter asked, “Why are you carrying your gun here?”  I responded that frequently her mother wants me to go to the store or other errands and by carrying a pistol I’m ready for such sojourns.  After all, I had a pistol on my ankle when I walked her down the aisle…


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