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
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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…
Organizations understand the need for being prepared and ready for disasters, but often consider the process for getting better prepared as cumbersome and complicated. Since its inception in 2008, the Ready Rating program has been recognized by preparedness experts as the much needed, easy to understand and not intimidating solution for helping an organization take the steps to become prepared to respond to and successfully withstand a disaster and other emergencies.
You might laugh, but the CDC has set up a page of widgets and resources for your website to promote being ready for the coming zombie apocalypse. With the tagline “If you’re ready for a zombie apocalypse, then you’re ready for any emergency,” the social media promotion hopes that if people prepare for the comically worst, they’ll actually have a plan in place in the event of a real disaster.