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Posted by rprindle | Fire and Rescue, News
Thursday, May 28th, 2015 3:05 pm

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 help departments counter these trends and increase the number of volunteers, the NVFC was awarded a SAFER grant from FEMA to conduct a nationwide recruitment campaign. The first component of the Make Me a Firefighter campaign consists of a department portal where volunteer and combination fire departments can register for the campaign and post their volunteer opportunities. Starting August 1, the NVFC will launch a public web site allowing potential volunteers to search for opportunities and connect with their local department. Department resources including customizable recruitment materials, training, and tools to help department reach target audiences will also be available this summer.

Learn more about the Make Me a Firefighter campaign and the department portal by watching this video, and share it with others facing recruitment challenges: https://youtu.be/vhfk6lEyNKw

Register with the recruitment campaign and post your opportunities now at http://portal.nvfc.org.


Posted by Francesca Solano | Fire and Rescue, General, News, PPE, Training
Wednesday, January 21st, 2015 10:01 am

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 with no promise of compensation — three of which are women.

Others gave in whatever way they could. Some provided sweat equity at the fire station. The older women in the community landscaped the fire station, cooked meals for the firefighters during training and volunteered for a community response team (think part rehab, part Red Cross, part CERT).”

The IFRM helped provide guidance and needs assessment for the fire station, as well as donating firefighting equipment and a rig. They also brought in experts to help train them from the ground up on firefighting.

John Granby provided his expertise in fire science, PPE and how to fight fires. He helped conduct a physical baseline for volunteers, sized them for gear, and left educational material that they can continue to study and use to train others.

LION’s involvement goes beyond just this trip, we have entered a partnership with the IFRM to help them continue to provide gear, tools and training to firefighters and emergency personnel in under served communities around the world. In addition to donating turnout gear, we manage and house 20,000 sq ft of donated equipment at one of our facilities. LION staff sorts and inventories all brands of used gear, gloves, helmets, SCBA, hose and tools and packs them in shipping containers for future use.

The International Fire Relief Mission is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that is a nonprofit, nonreligious, nonpolitical group dedicated to saving firefighter and civilian lives. IFRM members do not draw a salary and all of the money raised is used to fulfilling the group’s mission. For more information, please visit its website at www.IFRM2007.com.

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Posted by Francesca Solano | Events, General, News, People
Friday, November 21st, 2014 11:11 am

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 from a severe case of epilepsy and whose father is a firefighter.

Graeson Riley Rutmann was born on March 11, 2013 with a rare seizure disorder called Ohtahara Syndrome.  This severely progressive form of epilepsy affects newborns, usually within the first few days of life.  Seizures caused by this form of epilepsy are nearly impossible to control with medication, and the progressive nature of the disorder causes many children to die from it before the age of three.  Treatment is possible, but these children will be totally dependent on others, as their brains make little developmental progress.

Graeson’s father James Rutmann works full time as a firefighter and her mother Claudine works with a local health clinic – providing cost effective care to those in need.  The family is hoping to raise enough money to supplement their income so Claudine can work only part time.  The extra hours available in her schedule will be used to not only ensure that Graeson can receive proper care and attention but also attend to the active lives of their other older daughter and son, Dylan and Ian.

LION employees were happy to work with United Way of the Greater Dayton Area and Epilepsy Foundation of Western Ohio to make the Rutmann family’s goals a reality.  Steve Schwartz, 4th generation family owner of LION and CEO said: “Being a good corporate citizen is a core value of our company.  Graeson’s situation hit all of us very hard as parents and as members of the fire service family.”  Through this collaboration, we will raise awareness in our community about epilepsy and Ohtahara Syndrome and Graeson will be able to continue her fight while under the care of her mother and family.

To learn more about Graeson’s story, visit www.efwoflameofhope.org.

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Posted by Francesca Solano | Events, Fire and Rescue, General, Health, News, Safety, Training
Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 8:10 am

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 will seek assistance from emergency response personnel in the coming months. As the vast majority of EMS in the United States is performed by firefighters who have been cross‐trained as emergency medical technicians and paramedics, it is crucial that we ensure such personnel are properly trained and equipped to respond to such a scenario.

At a minimum, responding departments must provide sufficient personal protective equipment for all responders, including fluid resistant or impermeable long‐sleeved gowns, double gloves, eye protection, leg coverings, disposable shoe covers, and N95 respirators. As we learn more about the disease, additional protections may also be required.

Departments must also provide specialized training to all responders to limit the spread of the disease and provide the highest quality care for patients. Responders must learn to recognize a potential Ebola infection, institute necessary precautions to limit the spread of the disease, and utilize proper disinfection procedures.

You can read the letter in its entirety here.

The IAFC has compiled thorough information and guidance on Ebola for EMS personnel here.

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Posted by Francesca Solano | Fire and Rescue, General, News, Safety
Thursday, February 20th, 2014 9:02 am

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 resides somewhere in between.

The reach and impact of these tools — along with YouTube, blogs, and other channels — was apparent in New York City during Superstorm Sandy in 2012. Following the battering it received at the hands of Hurricane Irene in 2011, the city decided to bolster its social media channels to improve information sharing before and during emergencies. The effort attracted five million followers even before Sandy’s arrival. The city also established a task force of “social media rock stars” from various city agencies to develop emergency protocol procedures for various social media channels.

As Sandy rolled in, Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office closely monitored social media chatter. Daily reports summarizing this information made their way across departments and agencies. Some of the information was very good; Facebook and YouTube highlighted crucial points from official news conferences, and Twitter provided near-immediate responses to questions from residents unable to access the city’s information hotline. The city’s efforts led to an astronomical response: New York’s total digital reach following the storm was more than 2.7 million people, the press conference videos were watched nearly a million times, NYC.gov had 16 million page views, and the city’s Facebook page had a reach of more than 320,000 people, according to “Lessons Learned: Social Media and Hurricane Sandy,” a report produced in 2013 by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Read the full article here.

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Posted by Francesca Solano | Fire and Rescue, General, News, People
Thursday, January 30th, 2014 10:01 am

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 pallbearers.

In addition, firefighters from multiple jurisdictions stood at attention in Class A dress uniforms as bagpipers played traditional music, as is customary when a firefighter is laid to rest.

Read more.

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Posted by Francesca Solano | Fire and Rescue, General, Health, News, Safety
Tuesday, January 21st, 2014 9:01 am

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 much for GPS technology. That’s where shoes containing a digital positioning system developed at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm could make a difference. The shoe contains a processor, antenna, a wireless communication system and sensors including an accelerometer and gyroscope, according to KTH.

Continue reading.

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Posted by Francesca Solano | Fire and Rescue, General, News, Performance, Safety
Tuesday, January 7th, 2014 10:01 am

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 cause of firefighter deaths, accounting for 23.8 percent of fatal injuries. Stress and overexertion was the second-highest cause of fatal injury — 21.8 percent.

Trauma was the leading type of fatal injury this year, claiming 32.1 percent of the deaths. Heart attacks continue to be a concern, causing 19 percent of the fatal injuries.

Read more.

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Posted by Francesca Solano | Fire and Rescue, General, News, Performance, Safety
Tuesday, December 31st, 2013 11:12 am

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, blinding smoke. Infrared sensors on the helmet project real-time, colour-coded surface temperatures onto a head-mounted display, allowing first-responders to judge whether a room is safe to enter. The outline of people trapped inside would also appear on-screen via thermal imagery technology.

Continue reading.

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Posted by Francesca Solano | Fire and Rescue, General, News, People, Performance
Monday, December 23rd, 2013 11:12 am

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,” said Owens.

This allows for response times to be almost cut in half. The average response time for a volunteer fire department is between 6 to 12 minutes. Owens says the use of Page-Out would cut response times by the same amount of time for any additional resource dispatched to a fire scene.

“Without Page-Out, you just had to go through the process, you had to go to the scene, you had to assess your needs and whether you needed other resources,” said Owens.

Read more.

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