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Firefighter Uniform Adapts To Cancer Risk, Active Shooter Threat
Firefighter Uniform Adapts To Cancer Risk, Active Shooter Threat

More than an outfit. More thought than one leg at a time. Putting on the uniform is not just an ordinary daily task, but a habitual part of preparing for the unexpected. Yes, a firefighter’s uniform is more than an outfit. Think about who is wearing it and the risks they are exposed to on a daily basis. The firefighter comes from a long line of heroes, a brotherhood and sisterhood, with traditions to uphold and a reputation to maintain. Their uniform is no different. Its historical navy-blue threads. Classic, professional appearance. Tactical features. Technology-driven fabric. Over time, the uniform’s engineering has needed to adapt with new designs and react to worsened exposures and more dangerous rescue missions. The 21st Century firefighter’s uniform is unique and specific to the job with current trends fixating on the best user experience while future plans focus on preventative and safety measures due to increased societal and architectural risks. Comfortable firefighter uniform So, what does the 21st Century firefighter want? Comfort. Beyond Personal Protective Equipment, it is an overwhelming plea for a more comfortable uniform to wear. This includes garments that are easy “wash and wear” materials that do not require additional ironing. Firefighters do not want to lose the professional appearance or tactical functionality of the uniform The trend calls for lightweight, breathable, cool-weather wear that is less restrictive and offers more give and more stretch so firefighters can perform their job responsibilities more efficiently. However, they do not want to lose the professional appearance or tactical functionality of the uniform. “We need something that looks presentable every time,” said Chief Robert Burdette of Grand Blanc Fire Department, Michigan. Additionally, more firefighters are also starting to wear polo shirts or mesh T-shirts under their Turnout gear, for a lighter weight, more breathable option from the traditional uniform shirt. The trend calls for lightweight, breathable, cool-weather wear that is less restrictive Risk of cancer Unfortunately, comfort is not the only concern firefighters have when it comes to uniforms, or their safety in general. As risky and demanding of a profession the fire service can be, the fires have proven not to be the most hazardous or life threatening. According to the Firefighter Cancer Support Network, “Cancer is the most dangerous threat to firefighter health and safety today.” A study conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) concluded that firefighters have a 9% increased chance of being diagnosed with cancer and a 14% increased chance to die from cancer compared to the general United States population. Chief Dennis Jenkerson of the St. Louis Fire Department in Missouri is one of many chiefs actively fighting these statistics. Responsible for 32 firehouses, Jenkerson has witnessed the reality of this threat with the loss of four of his own and understands the validity of the situation. For the last 18 months, the St. Louis Fire Department has made headway implementing a drastic culture change by evaluating everything from equipment, apparel, lifestyle and more.  Cancer affecting firefighters “It is so prevalent that everything we do anymore has to do with some emphasis on protecting firefighters from getting cancer,” said Chief Mike Ramm of Sylvania Township Fire Department, Ohio. “Cancer is the most dangerous threat to firefighter health and safety today” According to the Firefighter Cancer Support Network, the cancers that have mostly affected firefighters are respiratory (lung, mesothelioma), gastrointestinal (oral cavity, esophageal, large intestine) and kidney. “Testicular cancer is through the roof,” added Jenkerson, who has pushed his firefighters to get tested for cancers earlier than normally necessary. He also explained that the imagery of a firefighter drinking from a fire hydrant can no longer happen. He emphasized the importance of cleaning up instantly after every fire. Think of the simple act of removing grimy gloves after a call – at least one hand has been exposed to the cancerous contaminants if it was accidentally used to take off the other glove. If that unwashed, contaminated hand touches food that goes into the mouth of the firefighter, he/she is essentially eating what may cause esophageal, oral cavity or gastric cancers. Cancer is the most dangerous threat to firefighter health and safety today According to the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) via the Firefighter Cancer Support Network, cancer caused 61% of the career firefighter line-of-duty deaths from January 1, 2002 to March 31, 2017. Additionally, 70% of the line-of-duty deaths for career firefighters were because of cancer in 2016. Unfortunately, this hazard is not going away any time soon. The new building materials and new house furnishings have become the culprit for this major concern. These materials are man-made and are not of natural resources. When burned, they create deadly carcinogens that the firefighters are getting exposed to firsthand. Immediate decontamination process Jenkerson’s implementation of a culture change includes an immediate decontamination process following a fire, which involves getting hosed with water, cleansing wipes for all soft tissue areas of the body and an immediate shower back at the station. “Any place you can get a five degree rise in skin temperature, the absorption level goes up 10 times,” Jenkerson warned. His firefighters are instructed to remove their bunker gear, uniform, helmet and all other equipment right away that get immediately washed once they have returned to the station. Hems, collars, cuffs and cargo pockets are areas of the uniform where toxins get caught He also restricts all firefighters and EMTs from going on a second run until they have showered and have put on a new, clean set of clothes, all the way down to their underwear. “There are no two-runs. We have to get this stuff off [of them].” Uniform manufacturers are tasked with finding a solution to help facilitate Jenkerson’s and other Fire Chiefs’ visions by designing a uniform with as little gaps and fold-over materials as possible. “Everything needs to be sealed tight,” Jenkerson explained. Hems, collars, cuffs and cargo pockets are all areas of the uniform where toxins get caught. A lightweight shirt option that offers a crew collar with a two to three button placket and a lightweight, ventilated hidden cargo pant could be the future of fire uniforms. “There isn’t another profession that has the thousands of dangers that we have every day,” Ramm explained. Additional and ongoing efforts currently underway according to the NFPA Journal, include those by the Firefighter Cancer Support Network, the Congressional Firefighter Cancer Registry, the Fire Protection Research Foundation, the FPRF Campaign for Fire Service Contamination Control, and the International Association of Firefighters. Active shooter emergency response Firefighters and EMTs increasingly need to wear bullet proof vests with the surge in active shooter calls An additional and unfortunate trend that is also sweeping the nation is the need for firefighters and EMTs to wear bullet proof vests. Departments are trying their best to arm their men and women with this protection along with ballistic helmets in certain regions due to the surge in active shooter calls. “In areas that have a lot of gang-related activity, [bullet proof vests] would be beneficial,” said Jason Reyes of Allen Fire Department, Texas. “Sometimes you go on calls when the city doesn’t have enough police to respond to calls, which creates a situation that leaves firefighters unprotected and vulnerable.” Currently the market has ballistic vests available that can either be worn over or under a firefighter’s uniform and under their bunker gear. Uniform manufacturers also offer an external vest carrier option that is worn over a firefighter’s uniform to look like part of the uniform shirt to maintain a professional appearance. Distinguishing firefighters from law enforcement “Firefighters find themselves becoming targets more and more these days,” added Deputy Chief of Operations Dwayne Jamison of Bartow County Fire Department, Georgia. “Many departments, including my own, are looking to outfit their firefighters with bullet proof vests.” Although this trend has not affected every region, industry experts can see the need becoming more widespread if threats continue to increase the way they have been. Along the same lines, firefighters want to be identified as firefighters and not mistaken for law enforcement. “We don’t want to look like police,” Jenkerson said. “We want to be identified as firefighters. Even if it takes a different stripe.” When it comes to uniform trends for firefighters, it is clear there is more to focus on than the technical details. For many fire departments, future trends could serve as a tool to prevent deadly toxins from being absorbed and from lethal bullets puncturing unprotected firefighters and EMTs. The uniform is more than an outfit. With a larger purpose than to shield a body, the uniform goes beyond the navy-blue threads, professional appearance and tactical features to one day supporting what could be a lifesaving concept. Sources Firefighter Cancer Support Network, Preventing Cancer in the Fire Service National Fire Protection Association,  Firefighters and Cancer NFPA Journal, Fast Track: Some of the national efforts underway to fight cancer in the fire service; Roman, Jesse; 2017 

Saving Lives And Property During And After A CBRN Event
Saving Lives And Property During And After A CBRN Event

  The speed and efficiency of CBRN response are critical to its success Michael Peters and John Breedlove of Intelagard, Inc., industry leaders in CBRN decontamination and containment and fire suppression, explain how best to prepare for and respond to a CBRN incident. "CBRN responders, you must honestly assess your current capabilities to determine what is needed to strengthen the effective response to a CBRN incident. Your initial response will have a dramatic impact on the final outcome. Consider collateral and residual damage factors. Continue to develop or improve capabilities over time following a defined plan. Many of the technologies used in response to an incident may also be used as every day tools. The first signs of a CBRN event may be discovered via hindsight. Indications may be subtle or hard to separate from normal "background" levels. "Eyes on the street" such as doctors, businessmen, public transportation workers and teachers should be trained to look for and report signs of a possible incident. As soon as an incident is recognized, response time and effectiveness are critical. Initial actions for maximum response efficiency can lessen the need for remediation later. Recognize and plan for the impacts of an imprecise response - and remember to never assume that a situation is safe. Chemical weapons are simple to make and deploy. Typically, a limited area is affected, yet impacts may be devastating. Biological threats may be manmade, such as the 2001 anthrax mailings in the US, or naturally occurring, such as avian flu or tuberculosis. Dirty bombs (Radiological Dispersion Devices, or RDD) may not include an explosive device. There may be no bang or any other obvious clue that a release has even taken place. Discovery may be after-the-fact, when people exhibit symptoms or with remote detection monitors. The technology and materials for dirty bombs and improvised nuclear devices are not hard to acquire. While a radiological attack may be primarily economic, contamination of historic or symbolic targets can generate significant psychological impacts along with related terror and panic. A plan of recovery is critical for symbolic, historic, governmental or financial targets where demolition and abandonment are not viable options. Take action now. Demystify the process. Make event drills as common as fire drills, to eliminate terror as a factor. Focus on an effective response to maximize recovery while minimizing long term damage (including economic and psychological). Employ tools for CBRN recovery that may be used for additional applications while waiting for that day. The more frequent the use, the better trained personnel will be for effective response.   Consider your resources - do you have enough CRBN-trained responders?   Emergency responders should consider a number of alternate routes to any locale in case critical infrastructure is damaged.  Local responders trained on pre-positioned equipment may provide the most effective and timely response. Consider the resources that you have that are functional and available during planning exercises. There may be abandoned vehicles, broken gas and water mains, uncontrolled fires, downed power lines, impassable roads, frantic parents trying to find children, scared children looking for parents and more at the scene of an incident. Do you have an adequate number of trained responders with resources to deal with these factors? Civilian responders should know how to shut off air intake systems in the buildings where they work and live, where their children go to school, and possibly where they shop to keep from drawing contaminated air into the building, and making the situation much worse. What plans are in place in case water systems fail or become contaminated? Contaminated water can't be used to fight fire without spreading contamination. How will you know if the water is safe? What's the plan if water can't be used? Who knows the flow pattern of storm water drain systems? If the water is contaminated, what impact may it have? What's the plan to stop or divert the flow of contaminated water? How are you going to handle contaminated waste, and where are you going to dispose of it? Who is responsible for the waste stream and impacts? More citizens than just traditional first responders should be trained. Consider including teachers, transportation workers, civic leaders, and others. Equip responders in advance, which may include personal protective equipment in high-risk areas. Responders must be able to immediately respond to the initial incident with pre-positioned equipment and supplies, and be well trained. Have secondary response capabilities available to recover impacted areas to limit economic damage. Establish personnel to deal with human impacts (injured and dead), other personnel to deal with impacted physical locations to minimize economic impact, and another group to minimize psychological impacts (to deal with panic, help connect parents with children, know where the injured have been transported, and effect rumor control). Advanced familiarity with response tools is critical. Make them every day tools so when emotions are intensified, rather than paralysis, people will take action. Prepare for panic, which may exacerbate the problem and make contamination control more difficult. Take charge and have a viable, effective plan. Have means ready to identify contaminant(s), including levels and extent. Identify the contaminated area, control the spread, and keep responders safe. Transport the injured and dead. Pre-identify hospitals and morgues, and consider transportation options if the infrastructure is down or if individuals, alive and dead, are contaminated. Don't make the situation worse. For example, an RDD spreads radiological contaminants. While tacking the contaminants in place is required, using available materials such as paint or oil to tack contaminants in place will make recovery more difficult. Not only is the area still contaminated, now you have to remove the paint or oil as well. Consider a combined solution for immediate deployment. A well chosen decontaminant may be used for both chemical and biological agents and is benign to equipment, PPE and the environment. Use the same solution for industrial accidents, natural biological events (H5N1, TB, staph infections etc.), and other domestic applications. That makes the solution more broad spectrum, and provides opportunities for hands on training. Keep up with evolving CBRN weapons. Decontaminants must be designed to remediate sophisticated weaponized agents as well as common materials, such as mold and bacteria, to make the solution more cost effective. It also allows for cross training and increased familiarity with technology, equipment and procedures. Utilize the same deployment systems for CBRN events, fire suppression, mold remediation, vapor suppression and HAZMAT response. Deployment systems such as those offered by Intelagard are scaleable and economical, and can be used for all of these applications and more. The more applications for the deployment system, the more economical it becomes and the more training opportunities present themselves. Choose scalable deployment systems to stretch between large- and small-scale hazmat and CBRN applications   What resources do you already have? What could be pressed into service in an emergency? Recovery of radiologically contaminated extraction solutions can be completed by using modified everyday equipment. It can be truck mounted, using manifolds for large recovery operations, or smaller systems for localized recovery. Commercial evaporation units are available for radiological waste concentration. Grouting concentrated radiological waste is an economical approach for disposal. Commercially available waste treatment equipment may be utilized in emergency situations for waste handling. This is an identifiable, existing resource which may be repurposed in an emergency. A cement mixer might also be used. You may have more resources than you realize. All of these items must be integrated into a cohesive plan prior to an actual event. While it is tempting to save the budget, chances are good that your responsibility is to save lives and property. Using multi-functional deployment systems and decontamination solutions appropriate for multiple purposes is economical AND will provide you with the tools you need to save lives and property. Being caught unprepared will cost much more in terms of lives and property than preparation ever will. The choice is yours. Choose wisely. Michael Peters & John Breedlove - Intelagard, Inc.

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Emergency One Announces The Launch Of Its Flagship New Appliance “E1 Scorpion” In February
Emergency One Announces The Launch Of Its Flagship New Appliance “E1 Scorpion” In February

The event, hosted by E1 and sister company, Clan Tools and Plant Limited, at their state-of-the-art specialist appliance manufacturing plant in Scotland, welcomed attendees from Fire and Rescue Services throughout the UK, as well as many from airport and industrial FRS. E1 have been at the forefront of specialist vehicle design and manufacture in the UK for 30 years, and they are now the largest such company based in the UK. Many of their developments have become widely adopted and recognized as industry standard. Through detailed engagement with the UK FRS’s, dedicated research and development, collaborative engineering and a passion for innovation, the E1 SCORPIONTM was born. Innovate and Evolve Whilst the E1 Scorpion concept is not new (water tower pumping appliances have been around for decades), the manufacturing and systems engineering and technology employed with this vehicle certainly are new! The E1 Engineering and Design Project Team were issued with the following simple Design Brief: Improve Firefighter and Public Safety Robust and Reliable Engineering Full BS EN 1846 Compliance / Full Pumping Appliance Capability Full Water Tower Capability / High Flow Rates / Optimize Monitor Performance Offer Choice – Full Customization of Build and Chassis Options Develop and Improve Existing Technologies and Solutions Simplify Operation The resultant development of the E1 Scorpion therefore required the creation of many new and innovative systems and componentry, as well as the refinement of many existing technologies – all of which were also on display at the Launch event. piercing lance system The pump features a custom E1 designed manifold system, facilitating the high flow characteristics of the appliance A 20m High Reach Extendable Turret (HRET) system is installed (designed and manufactured in England by E1 UK partner Translink International), featuring the “Fire-Spike” piercing lance system. The installation facilitates up to a 20m vertical reach and 14m horizontal reach, with full 360º rotation. Water and Foam delivery is available via the boom-mounted high flow monitor (up to 6,000lpm), or via the “Fire-Spike” (1,000lpm). CCTV and Thermal Imaging Cameras are also installed, with images relayed to locations such as the cab or pumpbay system controls and/or the chest-pack remote control system. The impressive Fire Engineering installation features a Godiva Prima P6A pump (6,000lpm), along with an (optional) Cobra Ultra High-Pressure abrasive / cutting system. The pump features a custom E1 designed manifold system, facilitating the high flow characteristics of the appliance. Radio Frequency Identification Full BS EN 1846 Pumping Appliance capability is upheld, with the appliance featuring a 6-person cab/crewcab, individual crew seats (c/w integrated BA), an 1,800 liter water tank, 100 liter foam tank, and a 1,200kg operational equipment inventory capacity. A unique (optional) pumpbay canopy door provides safe shelter for the pump operator, who benefits from the latest widescreen version (“Evo”) of the industry-standard E1 “ePumpControl” HMI system. The rear body superstructure includes the all-new “E-1” Roller Shutter Door system, and “E-1 Streamline” smooth, flush sided profile – with no overhanging door furniture (a narrower body and reduced accident damage potential). The E1 Technology arm of the business was on show, with the E1 Scorpion featuring the latest iterations of their “e1fleet” specialist appliance telematics system, the “e1Tag” Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) on-appliance asset management system, and the “e1Connect” mobile Wi-Fi hotspot. High-Pressure firefighting system We are delighted that the E1 Scorpion has been met with such enthusiasm" To enhance the list of firefighting options available only from E1, the “E1 Nebula” system was also launched. The Ultra High-Pressure firefighting system (38lpm @ 200bar) includes several lance options, robust PTO drive (low maintenance, improved reliability and performance), full integration with ePumpControl and e1fleet, and options for foam and abrasive cutting upgrades. The system was demonstrated in its alternative, portable (self-contained) form. Also unveiled was the E1 Scorpion’s big brother, the E1 ManticoreTM; a fully configurable industrial appliance, available on 18, 26 or 32tonne GVW Chassis Day/Crew Cab variants. Mike Madsen, Managing Director, Emergency One (UK) Limited and Clan Tools & Plant Limited, commented; “We are delighted that the E1 Scorpion has been met with such enthusiasm. It’s important to me that we offer our customers choice – hence the E1 Scorpion is fully customizable and offers a unique, no-compromise build solution along with a comprehensive option list.” design and manufacture process The build quality and truly innovative design features are testament to the quality, passion, drive and commitment of our employees and the collaborative approach we adopted throughout the design and manufacture process. Working closely with our partners in Manchester, Translink International, I am proud that the E1 Scorpion showcases the best of British engineering, innovation and manufacturing.” Finally, key supplier partners on the E1 Scorpion project were on hand to discuss and display their own products, along with many of the E1 and Clan Partner Companies, such as Magirus, Lukas, Vetter, Leader and BioEx.

Magirus Announces Sponsors And Key Highlights Of Its Conrad Dietrich Magirus Award
Magirus Announces Sponsors And Key Highlights Of Its Conrad Dietrich Magirus Award

The application period for the Conrad Dietrich Magirus Award is over. Two high-ranking juries of experts have assed all fire department team submissions and pre-selected the entries for the upcoming online voting. This task has been even more demanding because not only the number of applications in all categories has increased, but also the entire range of operation types has been convincingly shown. “We are very pleased about the great interest of fire department teams and the numerous applications received from many different countries. The high quality of the operations promises a very exciting competition,” says Marc Diening, President & CEO of Magirus, summarising the completion of the application phase. Festive Award Ceremony For the ‘Firefighting Team of the Year’, ten international and ten national missions can be chosen from In addition to the increase in the number of submissions, the even deeper commitment of the award sponsors shows the increasing importance of the award. For the ‘Firefighting Team of the Year’, ten international and ten national missions can be chosen from. In the category ‘Special prize for Social Engagement’, six teams are hoping for many votes in support of their social campaigns and projects. The winners of the title and the coveted statue will be announced at the festive award ceremony in Ulm (Germany) on March 1, 2019. For the first time, a partner from the UK, Emergency One, could be secured. Including Special Equipment “Firefighters are available 365 days a year in the service of society and often reach their limits during missions. With the Conrad Dietrich Magirus Award, this dedication receives special attention and appreciation beyond national borders. We are happy to support that,” explains Mike Madsen, Managing Director of Emergency One, about the sponsor’s commitment as a Gold Sponsor. The company is a provider of fire and rescue vehicles and the associated equipment in the United Kingdom. For the third time in a row, Endress Electrogerätebau GmbH and Dönges GmbH & Co. KG are also supporting the Conrad Dietrich Magirus Award. Endress develops power generation units for the world market, including special equipment for firefighting and civil protection operations, and has become the provider of electricity producers in Europe. Among other things, the system supplier Dönges furnishes fire departments with complete ranges of devices for their vehicles. Hydraulic Cutting Device LUKAS was the first provider to develop a hydraulic cutting device for rescue operations The company's portfolio also includes equipment, tools, warning materials, extinguisher and auxiliary devices, tool sets and illumination products. Vetter GmbH, AWG Fittings GmbH and Lukas Hydraulik GmbH are again among the Silver Sponsors. In 1972, LUKAS was the first provider to develop a hydraulic cutting device for rescue operations, thus laying the foundation for 40 years of experience in global deployment scenarios. The rescue device producer Vetter provides fire and rescue services around the world with specific equipment such as pneumatic rescue tents and lift cushions. As a global provider of firefighting fittings and fire protection devices, AWG Fittings supplies fire departments with sophisticated and innovative products.

Conrad Dietrich Magirus Award Receives Unprecedented Support Via Renowned Fire Brigade Suppliers
Conrad Dietrich Magirus Award Receives Unprecedented Support Via Renowned Fire Brigade Suppliers

ENDRESS Elektrogerätebau, Dönges, LUKAS Hydraulik and Vetter support Conrad Dietrich Magirus Award The Conrad Dietrich Magirus Award pursues the goal of placing the work of firefighters all around the world in the foreground and giving them the special recognition they deserve. For the second successive year, ENDRESS Elektrogerätebau GmbH (Gold Sponsor) and Dönges (Silver Sponsor) companies are co-sponsoring the competition. As the third sponsor LUKAS Hydraulik GmbH together with Vetter GmbH join to support the award as a Silver Sponsor. Together with this year’s finalists they are eagerly awaiting the award ceremony, that will take place on Ulm 27th January 2017. Recognising firefighter’s efforts “Often, people are not aware of all the things that firefighters do to keep us safe. We find it admirable that the Conrad Dietrich Magirus Award was created to recognise their efforts. It is a platform for honouring the difficult and important jobs these people do and we are happy to support it,” explains Christian Weissinger, Managing Director of Endress Elektrogerätebau GmbH. The company develops power generators for global markets, including special devices for fire brigades and disaster response. Due to its innovative technologies, ENDRESS has become one of the leading providers for electricity producers in Europe. Sponsors System supplier Dönges provides fire brigades with a complete range of devices for their vehicles. The company’s portfolio also includes the custom manufacturing of equipment, tools, warning materials, extinguishing and assistive devices plus illumination products. In 1972, LUKAS was the first provider to develop a hydraulic cutting device for rescue operations, thus laying the foundation for an entire industry. The rescue device producer Vetter provides fire and rescue services around the world with its equipment, including pneumatic rescue tents and lifting bags. The three sponsors have supported the entire competition so far- from the announcement, through to the application and evaluation and this will continue until the January award ceremony. At this prestigious event firefighters, important association representatives and experts from around the world will meet, to honour the achievements of the firefighters and to award the “Firefighting Team of the Year”. Also, the sponsors will be present and will be cheering the participating teams on. “The fact that notable sponsors demonstrate their respect for the work of firefighters through their commitment is fantastic" Firefighting Team of the Year “The fact that notable sponsors demonstrate their respect for the work of firefighters through their commitment is fantastic. It shows how positively our endeavour to support fire brigades and to raise the profile of their work amongst the general public is received by the firefighting sector”, says Michael Kretzschmar from the competition organiser, Magirus. Online voters could pick between 10 national and 10 international applications for the “Firefighting Team of the Year”. The “Special Price for Social Commitment” category saw 5 finalists competing. An international high-profile jury of industry professionals, selected the finalists from all applications. These teams were then eligible for online-public vote. A combination of both results – the jury’s and that from the online voting – will decide the overall winners. The winners will then receive the coveted Conrad Dietrich Magirus statue. The winning teams – national and international “Firefighting Team of the Year” can look forward to a trip to New York City to visit their colleagues at the New York City Fire Department.

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