NVFC Launches Volunteer Recruitment Portal for Fire Departments to Combat Declining Volunteerism

The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) has launched the department portal component of its new Make Me a Firefighter volunteer recruitment campaign. Departments can now sign up at http://portal.nvfc.org to join the campaign and showcase their volunteer opportunities. Volunteer firefighters make up 69 percent of the nation’s fire service, yet the number of volunteers has declined by about 12 percent since 1984. At the same time, call volume has nearly tripled. In addition, the average age of the volunteer fire service is increasing as departments are finding it difficult to reach millennials – those within the 18-34 age range. To…

LION partners with the IFRM to successfully set up a fire department

This past December John Granby, VP of Government Relations for LION, traveled with the International Fire Relief Mission (IFRM) to help establish a fire department in Barraterre on the island of Exuma, in the Bahamas. Previous to this humanitarian aid trip, Exuma did not have any fire or rescue services despite facing wildland and structural fire threats and having a steady stream of tourists. The people of Barraterre had to band together to raise money to build the fire station. Rick Markley, editor-in-chief at FireRescue1 said they, “organized a leadership structure without any fire service background. They recruited 25 volunteers…

United Way and LION Team Up for Family This Holiday Season

From the United Way of the Greater Dayton Area Vandalia-based LION, a world leader in the delivery of equipment and training solutions for fire departments, worked with United Way officials to adopt a special family this holiday season with a child suffering from a rare, debilitating illness. Each year, as part of their annual United Way campaign, employees at LION adopt at least one family for the holidays as part of their LION Cares program.  United Way officials connected with the Epilepsy Foundation of Western Ohio, a United Way Partner Agency, and learned about a local girl who is suffering…

Fire service organizations send letter to the Health and Human Services Secretary amid ebola concerns

Representatives from the Congressional Fire Services Institute, International Association of Fire Fighters, International Association of Fire Chiefs and the National Volunteer Fire Council sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services asking for their support in protecting EMS personnel against the current Ebola outbreak. These fire service organizations specifically requested the Health Department’s “commitment to ensuring EMS personnel have sufficient training and resources to respond to suspected cases of Ebola.” Here an excerpt of the letter, focusing on preventative measures that can help protect First Responders. It is highly likely that more individuals infected with Ebola…

Are you prepared? The usefulness and the potential pitfalls of social media during large-scale emergencies.

By Fred Durso, Jr. For NFPA Journal SOCIETY’S INSATIABLE HUNGER for immediate information, especially during emergencies, can sometimes make the TV and radio seem like artifacts of a bygone era. Even the Web is regarded by some as insufficiently responsive. These days, more and more people — especially if they’re young and tech-savvy — rely on social media during a crisis, for better or worse. They use Twitter to tweet rushed dispatches to their friends and log on to Facebook for resources and updates. Some of the information they share is spot-on accurate. Some is complete fiction. Much of it…

Boy who died saving relatives from fire laid to rest as ‘firefighter’

By Chris Boyette For CNN Friends and relatives Wednesday paid their respects to Tyler Doohan, the 8-year-old upstate New York boy who helped rescue six relatives from a fire but then perished while trying to save his grandfather. In a Mass at St. John of Rochester Catholic Church, Tyler was honored with a firefighter’s funeral. The funerals of two other relatives who also died in the fire were held at the same time. The church was filled with mourners, including basketball players from Wisconsin Silver Lake College, who were so moved by his story that they traveled to New York to be…

Life-Saving Smart Shoes Track Firefighters

By Alyssa Danigelis For Discovery Billowing smoke increases the likelihood that a firefighter will get disoriented but some of the best GPS tech out there won’t survive leaping flames. A new sensor-laden shoe developed by Swedish researchers could provide firefighters with clear paths to safety. Despite extinguisher-lobbing robots and a way to zap out fires with electrical wands, firefighting remains a very dangerous human endeavor. Investigators piecing together what happened in the chaotic wildfire that killed 19 firefighters in Arizona last summer concluded that fatigue and poor communication were contributing factors. When other conditions are ideal, smoke and heat can still be too…

USFA: 2013 on-duty firefighter deaths jump to 5-year high

By Sarah Calams For FireRescue1 Last year saw the highest recorded number of on-duty firefighter deaths since 2008. According to preliminary statistics compiled by the U.S. Fire Administration, there were 101 on-duty firefighter fatalities last year. A full report is due out later this year. The administration first started collating the figures in 1977. A total of 83 firefighter fatalities were recorded in both 2012 and 2011, 87 deaths in 2010, 93 in 2009 and a total of 118 in 2008. This year’s total marks the first year of increase for on-duty deaths. Being caught or trapped was the leading…

Virtual reality brings new tool to firefighting

By Jim Drury For Reuters A head-mounted virtual reality system to be worn by fire-fighters could revolutionise fire safety, according to its developers at the Vienna University of Technology. The prototype ProFiTex system is designed to provide first-responders with an unprecedented view into the layout and temperature of burning buildings, giving them a better chance of saving lives. Its creators say this prototype helmet could revolutionise fire-fighting and help save the lives of people trapped inside burning buildings. Part of the ProFiTex system, it was designed by a team at the Vienna University of Technology, to help fire-fighters penetrate thick,…

Firefighter develops award winning mobile app

By Chris Arnold NBC News Firefighters across the country deal with the daily struggle of responding to the scene of a fire. For smaller or volunteer departments, that challenge is amplified. However, a fire captain in Hesston has found a way around this obstacle. Captain Stephen Owens and his partner, Carlos Fernandez Jr. developed a mobile app called Page-Out. The app took about a year and a half to develop and was launched in September. Owens says the app serves a practical purpose. “You can now know in a moments notice exactly who is available and who is not available,”…