The Metropolitan “Metro” Fire Chiefs Association, a Section of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) held its 2021 annual meeting virtually on May 10, 2021. More than 85 Metro chiefs attended the meeting and elected the Association’s 2021-2022 officers and board members. The officers are: Chief Don Lombardi, President; West Metro Fire Protection District, Lakewood, Colo. Chief Robert Rocha, Vice President; Corpus Christi Fire Department, Corpus Christi, Tex. Chief Edward “Loy” Senter, Jr., Secretary; Chesterfield County Fire and EMS, Chesterfield County, Va. Chief Ernest Malone, Treasurer; Indianapolis Fire Department, Indianapolis, Ind. The new board members are: Chief John Butler, Board Member; Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, Fairfax County, Va. Chief (retired) Dr. Denis Onieal, re-elected as the Senior Board Member for a second year; Jersey City Fire Department, Jersey City, N.J. Chief Trisha Wolford, alternate board member; Anne Arundel County Fire Department, Anne Arundel County, Md. Chief John Lane, immediate past president; Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service, Winnipeg, Man., Canada Outgoing Metro Board Member Chief Mike Duyck issued the oath of office to the new officers and board members. The Metro Chiefs bestowed the following 2021 Metro Awards and Honors: Chief Mary Cameli of the Mesa (Ariz.) Fire & Medical Department was named Fire Chief of the Year. Chief (retired) Mike Duyck, Tualatin Valley (Ore.) Fire & Rescue, received the Russell E. Sanders Lifetime Achievement Award. Motions of Interest 2023 and 2024 Metro Conferences will be hosted by the Columbus (Ohio) Division of Fire and the Tulsa (Okla.) Acting USFA Administrator Chief Tonya Hoover, NFPA President and CEO Jim Pauley, Acting IAFC President and Chair of the Board Chief Ken Stuebing, and IAFC CEO and Executive Director Chief Rob Brown addressed the membership. Motions of interest include the endorsement of Chief John Butler for the position of 2nd Vice President of the IAFC, and donations to the Canadian Fallen Fire Fighters Foundation, the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, and the National Fallen Fire Fighters Foundation. Program Presentations A comprehensive education program is traditionally held in conjunction with the annual business meeting, but due to the pandemic, the 2021 Metro Education Program will be presented virtually. The education program will include six, one-hour presentations delivered by a distinguished group of international experts both from within and external to the fire service. The program, which will begin on June 10, 2012, and will conclude on July 15, 2021, will focus on three major themes: COVID-19, DEI, and Labor/Management Relations. The COVID-19 presentations will address Research – Scope and Intent, Best Practices/Lessons Learned, and Economics. The DEI presentation will address Intent vs. Perception, Unintended Bias, and Understanding Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI). The final series of presentations will include updates from the Secretary of the DHS, the FEMA and USFA Administrators, and a live discussion with IAFF General President Ed Kelly and Metro President Chief Don Lombardi. This final presentation will include both chiefs and local union presidents and will include a variety of topics including Building Strong Labor/Management Relations at all Levels, the Long-Term Impact of COVID-19, Dwindling Revenues, and more. Thank you note A special thank you to Metro President Chief John Lane and the entire Metro Executive Board for providing outstanding leadership during a time of unprecedented challenges. The 2022 Metro conference will be hosted by Chief Gina Sweat and the Memphis Fire Department. The conference is scheduled for May 14-19. The 2023 and 2024 Metro Conferences will be hosted by the Columbus (Ohio) Division of Fire and the Tulsa (Okla.) Fire Departments respectively. The Metropolitan Fire Chiefs (Metro) Association brings together fire chiefs from large metropolitan fire departments to share information and focus on major issues affecting policy changes in the U.S. and abroad. Its members belong to the IAFC and NFPA and are the fire chiefs of jurisdictions with minimum staffing of 350 fully paid career firefighters.
Fire chiefs endorse position papers on hot work safety, the economic impact of firefighter injuries, suicide prevention, the National Firefighter Registry, data analyst/chief information officer, and the Centre for Homeland Defence and Security Fire chiefs from Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States participated in the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Urban Fire Forum (UFF) last week at NFPA headquarters in Quincy, Massachusetts. NFPA President and CEO Jim Pauley welcomed the chiefs and provided an overview of the association’s mission, reinforcing the critical role urban fire service leaders play in reaching the Association’s goals and initiatives. Special guests at the Forum included Chief G. Keith Bryant, Administrator of the United States Fire Administration (USFA); Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC) President, and Chief of the Edmonton, Alberta Fire Department Ken Block; United Kingdom Chief Inspector Crown Premises Fire Safety CFO Peter Holland; Chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council of the United Kingdom (NFCC), CFO Roy Wilsher; and, International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) acting Executive Director Chief Rob Brown. Six papers The group endorsed six important documents as official UFF-Metro Chiefs position papers: Hot Work Safety The Economic Impact of Fire Fighter Injuries Suicide Prevention Support for the National Firefighter Registry Data Analyst/Chief Information Officer (NFPA Standard) Support for the Center for Homeland Defense and Security Beyond the immediate hazards at the incident scenes, these exposures can cause physical and mental health concerns" “Today’s firefighters respond to a broad range of emergencies and catastrophic events that have become commonplace in the United States and throughout the world. Beyond the immediate hazards encountered at the incident scenes, these exposures can cause physical and mental health concerns that can surface long after the actual incidents. To adequately manage these situations fire chiefs must understand, track and document risk exposures and be prepared to identify and address issues in the early stages,” said NFPA Metro Chiefs Executive Secretary Russ Sanders and coordinator of the event. “The position papers endorsed by the Urban Fire Forum Chiefs provide the information and resources needed to effectively address the ever-changing challenges facing today’s fire service.” UFF Core Group The above listed position papers and supporting documentation are available on the Urban Fire Forum website. Sanders points to the particular timeliness of the Post Traumatic Stress and Suicide Prevention presentations, as well as other important topics discussed, such as the Fire Fighter Cancer Registry, the NFORS Exposure App, Staffing Safety, the latest research reports from FM Global and UL Fire Service Research Institute, and how to effectively use Social Media. The following officers of the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association (Metro) Executive Board make up the core group of the UFF: Chief Mike Duyck - Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, Tigard, Oregon, President Chief John Lane - Winnipeg Fire & Paramedic Service, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Vice President Chief Don Lombardi - West Metro Fire Protection District, Lakewood, Colorado, Secretary Chief Robert Rocha - Corpus Christi Fire Department, Corpus Christi, Texas, Treasurer Chief (Ret.) William “Shorty” Bryson - Miami and Miami-Dade (Florida) Fire Rescue, Senior Board Member Participating chiefs The officers and Senior Board Member of the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association (Metro) Executive Board make up the core group of the UFF. These chiefs are joined by a select group of at-large Metro Chiefs. This year’s participating chiefs were: Chief Ken Block - Edmonton Fire & Rescue services, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Chief Rob Brown - Interim Executive Director, International Association of Fire Chiefs Chief Keith Bryant - Administrator, United States Fire Administration Chief John Butler - Fairfax County Fire Rescue, Fairfax, Virginia Chief Mary Cameli - Mesa Fire Department, Mesa, Arizona Commissioner Joe Finn - Boston Fire Department, Boston, Massachusetts Commissioner Richard Ford - Chicago Fire Department, Chicago, Ill. Chief Reginald Freeman - Hartford Fire Department, Hartford, Connecticut Chief Peter Holland - Chief Inspector Crown Premises Fire Safety, London, England Chief Kara Kalkbrenner - Phoenix Fire Department, Phoenix, Arizona Chief Ernest Malone - Indianapolis Fire Department, Indianapolis, Indiana Chief Daryl Osby - Los Angeles County Fire Department, Los Angeles, California Director Gina Sweat - Memphis Fire Department, Memphis, Tennessee Chief Roy Wilsher - Chair, National Fire Chiefs Council, Hertfordshire, England Lauren Depew - Social Media Manager, NFPA Casey Grant - Executive Director, Fire Protection Research Foundation, NFPA Kenny Fent, PhD - Head, National Fire Fighter Registry, NIOSH Meghan Housewright - Director, Fire and Life Safety Institute, NFPA Heather Issvoran - Director, Strategic Communications, Center for Homeland Defense & Security Daniel Madrzykowski, PhD - Senior Research Engineer, UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute Birgitte Messerschmidt - Director, Applied Research, NFPA Lori Moore-Merrell, DrPh, MPH - President and CEO, International Public Safety Data Institute Laura Moreno - Senior Engineer, NFPA Abby Morris, MD - Medical Director, IAFF Behavioral Health Center Erin Oehler, JD - Associate Project Director, National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention David O’Keeffe - Senior Consultant, Center for Homeland Defense and Security Jim Pauley - President and CEO, NFPA Michael Spaziani - Manager, Fire Service Programs, FM Global Urban Fire Forum The Urban Fire Forum brings together fire chiefs who are responsible for protecting some of the largest urban centers in the world. The program objectives are to provide the chiefs an opportunity to learn from their peers and expert speakers, and for NFPA to stay abreast of current trends and needs in the fire service. As part of the overall mission of the UFF, chief officers share UFF deliverables and related information with fire officers from all over the world. The Metropolitan Fire Chiefs (Metro) Association brings together fire chiefs from large metropolitan fire departments to share information and focus on major issues effecting policy changes in the U.S. and abroad. Its members belong to the IAFC and NFPA and are the fire chiefs of jurisdictions with minimum staffing of 350 fully-paid career firefighters. For more information, contact Metro Executive Secretary, Russ Sanders.
Global safety equipment manufacturer MSA Safety announces the deployment of 750 state-of-the-art G1 self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) and integrated thermal imaging cameras to the Memphis (Tennessee) Fire Department (MFD). The contract was awarded to MSA in July and the deployment represents a significant shift in the department’s SCBA technology. It also makes Memphis the largest department in the U.S. to equip every firefighter with integrated thermal imaging technology. Respiratory protection technology “What this means for our firefighters is that they now have the latest in respiratory protection technology. This not only improves firefighter safety and performance, it also enhances our ability to protect the safety of our citizens,” said Gina Sweat, Director of the Memphis Fire Department. The G1 breathing apparatus was developed by MSA based on feedback from thousands of firefighters over a five-year period. The G1 breathing apparatus was developed by MSA based on feedback from thousands of firefighters “As we were designing and building this new platform, our engineers relied heavily on what we heard from the market,” said Nish Vartanian, MSA President, and Chief Executive Officer.” What resulted is the most technologically advanced, balanced, and customizable breathing apparatus the company has ever developed, and we are incredibly honored that the Memphis Fire Department has entrusted MSA to help protect the men and women who help keep their citizens safe each and every day,” he continued. Innovative design features The G1 SCBA platform represents the single largest new product development effort in MSA’s 104-year history. The breathing apparatus was introduced in 2014 and features 12 patents and 3 additional patents pending. Among its many innovative design features, one of the most significant is the elimination of all electronics from the SCBA facepiece, which provides firefighters with a nearly full and unobstructed field of vision. The facepiece design also enables improved voice amplification and includes darkness- and smoke-piercing ‘buddy lights’ that provide visible indicators of critical air-supply data and the whereabouts of fellow firefighters. From a comfort perspective, the G1 SCBA’s unique ergonomic design, combined with an adjustable waist belt and wide shoulder straps, allows more SCBA weight to be carried on a firefighter's hips. Thermal imaging camera According to Director Sweat, this is one of the main factors that attracted the MFD to the G1 SCBA platform Collectively, these features make the SCBA more comfortable to wear for longer periods of time. Additionally, the G1 SCBA includes a ‘Central Power’ feature that powers the entire unit from a single, rechargeable battery compartment, eliminating the need for additional batteries. Also available on the G1 SCBA is an optional integrated thermal imaging camera (iTIC) that’s built right into the G1 SCBA’s control module and puts thermal imaging capabilities into the hands of every firefighter. According to Director Sweat, this is one of the main factors that attracted the MFD to the G1 SCBA platform. Improving firefighter health “In addition to being cost effective, incorporating this technology into a firefighter’s SCBA eliminates the need to carry an additional piece of equipment,” she said. In developing the G1 SCBA, MSA’s vision was to create the most advanced and versatile SCBA platform available; one that allows firefighters to add new technology as soon as it becomes available, Mr. Vartanian explained. “This is a mindset we deploy in all of our product development efforts. So whether it’s firefighter helmets, turnout gear or breathing apparatus, our vision for the fire service is to continuously raise the bar when it comes to deploying technology that improves firefighter health and safety,” he concluded.