Many volunteer departments are forced to make do with an inadequate amount of turnout gear or with worn-out, non-compliant gear they can’t afford to replace. That’s why MSA, DuPont, and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) are working together again in 2019 to distribute new turnout gear to volunteer fire departments through MSA’s Globe Gear Giveaway Program. This annual program began in 2012 to help departments in need properly outfit their crew. To date, the program has...
Registration and course selection are now open for the National Volunteer Fire Council’s (NVFC) Training Summit. The Summit will take place June 14-15 in Portland, OR, and is open to all volunteer firefighters, EMS providers, department leadership, and other fire department personnel from across the United States. This two-day seminar is an opportunity to share ideas and best practices, network, and participate in valuable training. The conference will be held at the Doubletree by Hilton...
To celebrate and support the nearly 70 percent of firefighters who volunteer their service, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire has announced a partnership with the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC). A donation of $75,000 will be made by Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire to the NVFC to help support volunteer firefighters nationwide. Health & Safety Of Firefighters The NVFC is a non-profit membership association representing the interests of volunteer fire, EMS and rescue services. The...
Did you know an estimated 30% of smoke alarms in the UK are inoperable due to missing, flat or disconnected batteries? For a property to comply with The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, it is vitally important that all fire safety equipment is kept in perfect working order at all times. This involves checking that the fire safety equipment is accessible, well maintained and hasn’t been tampered with. There are many ways you can take care of your fire safety equipment, to ensur...
The effective digital transformation of the UK’s emergency services is essential if it is to continue to provide the best possible Blue Light services, the General Manager of Public Safety & Defence at telent warned today. Barry Zielinski urged the sector to harness every technological tool available to them as a new white paper revealed that between 2015 and 2019, emergency fire and rescue services face – on average – a 22% reduction in their budgets due to government fun...
Taking short lead times and convenient delivery to new heights, manufacturer and supplier of specialist passive fire protection products, Quelfire, has launched QuelQuick, a new same day delivery service to businesses and project sites across North West England. Fire Containment Systems Expert With over 40 years of experience and expertise in fire containment, Quelfire provides a wide range of high quality and certified products and services to specifiers, architects, engineers and contr...
Meesons announces that its FPJ140 2SF has now achieved an EI60 Fire Rating from both directions. The FPJ140 2SF now joins FPJ140 1AF Security Portal in providing fire protection and smoke control on both sides of the flat side doors as per the European Fire Resistance norm: EN 13501-2 & EN 1634-1: 2014. Achieving the fire rating on both directions of the flat side of the portal means that architects and specifiers have reassurance that the Meesons FPJ140 2SF and FPJ140 1AF Security Portal will provide the required levels of resistance to fire. The certification means the portals will retain their structure and integrity in the event of a fire and prevent the passage of flames of hot gases as well as limiting the temperature on the unexposed face of the unit. Cost Effective Solution Meesons FPJ140 2SF and FPJ140 1AF are the only Security Portals that have been specifically designed as fully integrated stand-alone units The FPJ140 1AF can be supplied with a fire rating to meet either EI60 and EI120, providing 60 or 120 minutes respectively. FPJ140 1AF EI60 provides a more cost effective solution and with an option to increase the resistance to fire up to 120 minutes. Meesons FPJ140 2SF and FPJ140 1AF are the only Security Portals that have been specifically designed as fully integrated stand-alone units, which have been independently tested by an accredited third party laboratory, to meet the fire rating requirements set out in EN 13501-2 & EN 1634-1: 2014. Both Security Portals prevent tailgating and are suitable for new buildings and retrofitted into existing openings to create a safe, secure fire line. Fire Safety Strategy Achieving the fire rating on both sides’ means that architects and specifiers can specify Meesons FPJ140 2SF and FPJ140 1AF Security Portals as part of a wider fire safety strategy ensuring the containment or prevention of fire spreading. Meesons fire rated Security Portals prevent tailgating by only allowing the transit of one person at a time As well as maintaining a secure fire line, Meesons fire rated Security Portals prevent tailgating by only allowing the transit of one person at a time, ensuring only authorised users can gain access to a secure area. “Our FPJ140 2SF and FPJ140 1AF are the only Security Portals that have been specifically designed to meet fire rating requirements as a single, fully integrated unit,” said Jeremy Terry, CEO at Meesons A.I. Ltd. “Gaining fire rating on both sides of the flat side doors provides specifiers with the assurance that the portals will perform exactly as tested and from both directions.” Entrance Control Solution The FPJ140 2SF and FPJ140 1AF Security Portals are available with Attack Resistant Class 3 & 4, EN1627-30:2000 or Bullet resistant glazing up to BR4–EN 1063 on the external curved side. This makes them an ideal entrance control solution for highly secure areas that also require the fire line to be maintained. Meesons FPJ140 1AF Fire Rated Security Portal features a manual swing door with automatic sliding curved doors. The FPJ140 2SF features automatic sliding curved doors and flat doors. Both Security Portals can be customised to suit individual client requirements with different types of finish options available as well as the integration of third party devices. Battery backup is also provided, so in the event of power loss the units will remain operational for up to 6-8 hours.
Effective sprinkler systems are often the decisive criterion for immediately stopping the frequent fires from developing their destructive power. To ensure that these important technologies will always function safely in an emergency, experts all over the world rely on the practical VdS Guidelines CEA 4001en for planning and installation. Europe's largest institute for fire protection has now comprehensively updated this standard reference work. Importance Of Sprinkler Systems In Fire Safety Every five minutes a fire breaks out in a company in Germany Every five minutes a fire breaks out in a company in Germany. Equal numbers can be assumed for many other countries with fire damage even in the rather small Netherlands with fire damage costs reaching 1 billion Euros every year. The decisive factor for successful firefighting is always the immediate response in this emergency – making sprinkler systems probably the most important mechanism for the protection of human lives and property against the enormous destructive forces of fire. Until these systems were invented, fires were regarded as natural disasters that could not be controlled and repeatedly destroyed entire cities. VdS, Europe's largest institute for safety, has been testing sprinkler systems since they were first in use on our continent – and is bundling its more than 110 years of experience in loss prevention in the international standard for the safe planning and installation of these important systems: The Guidelines VdS CEA 4001en. This technical support tool, known in the industry as the “Sprinkler Bible”, is now available in a comprehensively updated version. The Guidelines VdS CEA 4001en – “Sprinkler Bible” The regulations for ESFR extinguishing systems have also been greatly expanded" Frank Bieber, head of Product Management VdS Inspection Services, explains the new features: “The core revisions concern, for example, specifications for pipe holders and the use of systems in buildings equipped with SHEVs. Important were also changes for optimal frost protection, requirements for shelf sprinklers specially for the protection of small parts stores, automatic monitoring of systems and the connection of additional users to the water supply." "The regulations for ESFR extinguishing systems have also been greatly expanded. In addition, we have clarified all points about which questions have arisen from our partners in recent years. The new edition of the VdS CEA 4001en offers all those responsible for technical fire protection the usual practical, precise assistance adapted to the latest technologies and conditions. Goal: Proven effectivity in the implementation of reliable sprinkler systems”. Together with experts from practice, science and authorities, VdS inspectors continuously work on the further development and updating of the institute's Guidelines. For users, this ensures optimum protection and fire safety at all times.
When a trade fair decides on a lead theme, that is just the beginning. It is then up to exhibitors to take the next steps by breathing life into the lead theme – by featuring it at their stands, providing hands-on demos and sparking dialogue. "We are absolutely delighted at the early, strong commitment of our exhibiting partners and companies at INTERSCHUTZ 2020," says Martin Folkerts, Global Director of INTERSCHUTZ at the Deutsche Messe group of companies. "Our exhibitors are in the process of developing an abundance of great ideas and concepts which they will be showcasing at the fair, highlighting the opportunities that digitization and connectivity will provide for fire brigades, rescue services, civil protection and security." The following details some of these. Sharing International Experience Digitization, automation and connectivity are more than just modern buzzwords for us" "Digitization, automation and connectivity are more than just modern buzzwords for us," says Dirk Aschenbrenner, President of the German Fire Protection Association (vfdb). "The application of digital technologies is a prerequisite for speed and effectiveness. The use of robotics in danger prevention, for example, is no longer merely a utopia, but, in many areas, has already become a part of everyday life. Let me simply mention the use of firefighting robots or drones to explore emergency deployment sites." In Hannover in 2020, the vfdb association will present the current state of research in the field. "INTERSCHUTZ 2020 offers the best opportunities for sharing international experience among developers, manufacturers and users," says Aschenbrenner. The German Fire Service Association (DFV) is taking the connectivity lead theme literally and planning a showcase whose visualizations are all interconnected by an overarching network/web. Securing Livelihoods At a number of different levels, the web will symbolize the importance of connectivity for the further development of fire protection. "Under the keyword of 'Fire Brigade 4.0', there are already visible opportunities and capabilities to improve, accelerate and change the tasks of the emergency services – even if this might seem a long way off," says Frank Hachemer, Vice President of the German Fire Service Association. "But these opportunities are also associated with challenges that need to be mastered, such as data protection, training and budgets." In addition to technological and tactical connectivity, there is also connectivity between people. "Political and social connectivity will become increasingly important and intensive for mastering problems, for securing livelihoods, for the further development and daily work of the fire brigades," says Hachemer. Digitized Production Different conditions apply to the area of fire prevention and civil protection" "Connectivity is therefore the keyword, not least for the fire brigade associations and – as their umbrella – the German Fire Service Association, which we, as the central element, are placing at the core of our activities – and not just at INTERSCHUTZ." The keyword 'Fire Brigade 4.0' is derived from the oft-cited term 'Industry 4.0', which refers to digitized production and a high degree of connectivity between industrial enterprises. The two terms however cannot be equated. "Different conditions apply to the area of fire prevention and civil protection," says Dr. Rainer Koch, from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Paderborn. "High-connectivity solutions are possible for areas like preventive fire protection and resource planning. And 3D simulation systems for managers and staff training are already available in the training sector." Smart Home Technologies But the conditions for emergency services are different, he maintains. "For information systems to support us in this area, they need to offer a maximum of robustness, user friendliness and speed," says Koch. "In addition to providing already prepared information, these systems would then also be able to interact with building systems – and initial projects for the use of smart home technologies have already been launched. Digitization and automation can definitely facilitate the work of the emergency services here." When it comes to game-changing digital technology, industry is called upon to gear up, and by that I particularly mean industrial manufacturers and automotive makers. "Especially in an age of rapid technical change, INTERSCHUTZ is a definite must for everyone on the lookout for innovations," remarks VDMA Managing Director Dr. Bernd Scherer. Digital Assistance Systems The central prerequisite consists of reliable, manufacturer-independent standards" "Real-time communication over ultra-fast 5G networks, networked deployment processes, digital assistance systems and electric drives are high on the industry's innovations agenda." But digitization must not be an end in itself, as Scherer also makes clear: "Manufacturers of chassis, superstructures and equipment who are members in VDMA rely on reliable, robust and intelligent technology, true to the motto that what is sensible is also that which is useful for the purpose at hand." According to VDMA, the advantages of digital technologies include the promise of transparent and sustainable processes, effective coordination and a significant increase in operational reliability. These promises are not, however, a guarantee. "The central prerequisite consists of reliable, manufacturer-independent standards," says Scherer. "This is the only way for interfaces to function smoothly – regardless of whether they are mechanical, hydraulic, electric or digital in nature." Partnership-Based Networking Rosenbauer is one example of a vehicle manufacturer that has been relying on its own developments and innovations in the field of telematics systems and IT-supported deployment management for over ten years. "These systems are now being massively further developed, with the focus on customer benefit," says Michael Friedmann, Head of Group Strategy, Innovation and Marketing at Rosenbauer International AG. "This is not only about digital solutions for vehicles, but connectivity now also includes new technological options, with the keyword here being drones or smart wearables." Friedmann is convinced that a trade fair is also the right place for this, even in the digital age: "We want direct communication on site, because as the innovations, technology and world market leader at INTERSCHUTZ, we act as a platform for partnership-based networking on the megatrends of our time and on approaches for joint solutions." Optimization Of Processes Digitization, communication and overarching forms and systems of cooperation play an obvious role in this" The fields of rescue services and civil protection are also positioning themselves in relation to the lead theme. Johanniter Unfall Hilfe, for example, focuses on connecting people and technology for the benefit of people. "In the rescue service and in civil protection, everything revolves around the optimization of processes and procedures in order to serve the ultimate goal of saving human lives," points out Hannes Wendler, State Director of Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe (German Order of St. John) in Lower Saxony and Bremen. "Digitization, communication and overarching forms and systems of cooperation play an obvious role in this.” The challenge lies in enabling rescuers and helpers – equipped with specialist skills and all the available technical aids – to consistently act in a targeted and manner based on the situation at hand. Advancing Urbanization "We see ourselves as networkers for people – including our staff members and volunteer helpers," he says. "In addition to progressive HR development, this also includes space for innovative projects and services like telemedicine in offshore rescue and VR rescue simulations." As the flood of data grows, so does the complexity of the decision-making process Stefan Truthän, Managing Partner of hhpberlin Ingenieure für Brandschutz GmbH, focuses on civil security. His company deals intensively with the digital answers to new challenges, such as advancing urbanization, growing infrastructures and the increasing strength and frequency of natural phenomena. At the same time, digitization itself presents people with new challenges: As the flood of data grows, so does the complexity of the decision-making process. Concrete Connectivity Scenarios This leads Truthän to demand: "If civil security wants to take its mission seriously, data and thought silos need to be cracked open and the growing volume of data intelligently connected," he says. At INTERSCHUTZ 2020, hhpberlin will display a series of showcases highlighting the potential of digitization for civil security and fire protection. "Together with RXSK GmbH and selected partners from the digital industry, we will be using concrete connectivity scenarios to demonstrate the possibilities of new, non-redundant and latency-free collaboration," says Truthän. "Only if all actors interact more intensively and transparently than in the past, can cities become safer in the long run."
Tripwire Operations Group, a renowned tactical security and training academy founded and run by first responders, will host the international BRAVO-3 Training Conference & Vendor Show in Daytona Beach, Fl., March 4-6, 2019. This all-inclusive, multi-discipline event will offer unsurpassed training opportunities for those in all emergency services vocations. Police/SWAT, fire, HAZMAT, EMS, Bomb Squad (HDS/EOD) technicians, K9 teams, and specialized members of the military, can benefit from the conference, which will be taught by some of the most world prominent and highly respected authorities in those fields. Ensuring Practitioners Operate At Optimum Levels BRAVO-3 was founded by, and is comprised of, organizations and personnel that have decades of real-world experience within their respective career fields"By leveraging the knowledge and experience of the leading experts in the industry, Tripwire is fulfilling its mission to ensure that all practitioners are operating at optimum levels," said Ryan Morris, founder and CEO of Tripwire, headquartered in Gettysburg, Pa. The BRAVO-3 Conference is designed for those who want to stay at the forefront of their specialty by receiving the most up-to-date and comprehensive information, technology, and TTP's. In addition to quality instruction and demonstrations, this gathering of elite professionals also offers a perfect setting for procedure sharing and professional networking with some of the most well-respected and trusted operators, technicians, and instructors from around the globe. Comprising Of Vastly Experienced Personnel Classroom and practical training is scheduled to take place over the course of two full-days at several locations, including the main conference venue, The Plaza Resort & Spa, as well as the Daytona International Speedway and Southern Coast K9. Hands-on involvement and on-site demonstrations will add to the one-of-a-kind experience the conference provides. BRAVO-3 was founded by, and is comprised of, organizations and personnel that have decades of real-world experience within their respective career fields, including: SWAT, K9/MWD, BOMB SQUAD/EOD, FIRE, HAZMAT, TACMED, SOF, and more. "This is an exceptional opportunity for attendees to have one-on-one interactions, and learn from some of the best in their respective fields," Morris said. "You will not find a more complete collaboration of professionals, whose goal it is to serve their tactical/first responder communities." Showcasing Speciality Equipment And Tools A small sample of the topics offered includes sessions on blast injuries, criminal use of explosives, comprehensive IED electronics, and much more A small sample of the topics offered includes sessions on blast injuries, criminal use of explosives, comprehensive IED electronics, active threat response, extremist interdiction, tracking and human remains detecting, K9 high-risk deployment, and much more. During the event, more than 60 vendors will showcase their products and services, providing a unique one-stop shop that will showcase the top dealers in specialty equipment, tools, training, services, and information. "The importance of highly-trained emergency personnel in the coming years is indisputable. The benefit they provide to a community—and the country—is invaluable," Morris said. "We want to make sure that, no matter what occurs, there are trained individuals ready to deal with it."
The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) is pleased to announce that the fifth NVFC Training Summit will take place June 14-15, 2019, in Portland, OR. Attendance is limited; pre-register today to secure your space. In addition, applications are now being accepted for a travel stipend. NVFC Training Summit 2019 This two-day seminar will provide an opportunity to participate in valuable classroom training as well as exchange ideas and best practices with attendees from across the country. The conference is open to all volunteer firefighters, EMS providers, department leadership, and other fire department personnel nationwide. Attendees will be able to select six out of 12 breakout sessions to attend, with sessions addressing critical issues in first responder health and safety, recruitment and retention, and fire prevention. Full registration with course descriptions will be available in February 2019. The NVFC Training Summit will be held at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Portland The registration fee for the Summit is US$ 99, which includes two days of training from industry leaders, a networking reception with vendor expo, and most meals. To help more first responders attend, a travel stipend is available for select attendees. Stipends will be awarded on a monthly basis, with deadlines on the first of the month from February-April. The stipend will reimburse up to $600 for any combination of the following: hotel room nights, ground and air transportation, and the event registration fee. NVFC Membership Mandatory For Travel Stipend Full details and criteria are available on the application form. To be considered eligible for the travel stipend, the attendee or company must be a current member of the NVFC. Membership options and benefits can be found at www.nvfc.org/BeYourBest. Portland, OR, is located on the Willamette and Columbia Rivers on the border between Oregon and Washington, providing easy access to both urban and outdoor activities. The NVFC Training Summit will be held at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Portland, which is on the light rail line providing quick transport from the airport and downtown. The Doubletree is also within walking distance of shops, restaurants, and other attractions.
Globe, DuPont Protection Solutions (DuPont), and the National Volunteer Fire Council teamed up once again in 2018 to distribute 52 sets of turnout gear to 13 volunteer or mostly-volunteer fire departments. This annual program began in 2012 to provide departments in need with new turnouts to better protect their personnel. Shinbone Valley Fire and Rescue (Delta, AL) and the Barnsdall (OK) Rural Fire Department are the final 2018 gear recipients. Shinbone Valley Fire and Rescue has 16 volunteer firefighters. All are operating with turnout gear that is over 10 years old, which is not recommended according to national safety standards. The department responds to multiple calls a year, including mutual and automatic aid. Training exercises Calls coupled with monthly training exercises and a yearly visit to the Alabama Fire College has left their expired gear very worn, which puts their members at risk. Volunteers do their best to use their oldest and most worn gear for training exercises to preserve the newer sets for structure fires and vehicle incidents. The department actively fundraises to keep up with operation costs but has found it difficult to purchase new gear to ensure the safety of their responders. This new gear will help our dedicated team to have the protection they need when they are in the trenches" “Receiving this gear gives peace of mind to our firefighters and the people we serve,” said Assistant Chief Travis Strickland. “Thank you to Globe and the NVFC for this donation. Your help goes a long way with our community and our department.” Purchase new gear Barnsdall Rural Fire Department serves over 1,100 residences across 122 square miles. Barnsdall is a rural location with an abundance of ranchland and homes, which make wildfires very prevalent. The department responds to an average of 80 calls each year and provides additional assistance to the city and surrounding fire departments. Only 10 of Barnsdall’s 24 volunteers have turnout gear, and all sets are over 10 years old and not compliant with recommended safety standards. Most of the department’s financial resources are utilized for equipment, leaving them unable to purchase new gear for their responders. “We want to ensure that our team has the best chance to do a good job and stay safe at the same time,” said administrative assistant Brittanie White. “This new gear will help our dedicated team to have the protection they need when they are in the trenches and extend our limited resources beyond what we are currently able to provide.”
I gave a lot of thought to identifying the biggest challenge facing the American fire service in 2019. Many things came to mind: funding; fire prevention - if every building was sprinklered and all had working smoke alarms, it would solve a lot of other problems; political influences; initial, regular and ongoing training, and a bunch more. But the one constant that kept popping up is the people issue. Staffing. This obviously isn’t the first time you’ve heard that. Normally, when we talk about staffing, we talk about the number of firefighters on the apparatus. That is not exactly what I'm talking about. What I mean is, in 2019, we better figure out where our next group of recruits is coming from. Measurable Drop In Applicants If one fire department is paying more than another, members jump ship On the career side, numerous areas are reporting a measurable drop in applicants—in other words, they need people who want to be firefighters and medics. In some areas, it’s a bidding war. If one fire department is paying more than another, members jump ship. And who can blame them? They have families to take care of. But when the dust clears, there are still far fewer people interested in this job than we need. Some theories are that the new generation: Doesn’t like helping people Are self-focused Aren’t into doing physical things Are lazy Can make the same money without shift work Can make the same money without risk None of these theories gets us far in addressing the problem. The goal of any fire department is to deliver staffed, trained interior firefighters just a few minutes after someone dials 9-1-1 Big Picture Focus On the volunteer side, all you have to do is listen to a fire radio nearly anywhere in the U.S. (and Canada) and you will hear volunteer fire departments toning out... toning out... and toning out—with little response when members are responding from home or work. It, too, is a measurable problem. There are volunteer departments with little funding and others with plenty of funding. Regardless, there seems to be little “big picture” focus on solving the problem based upon what’s best for the people having the fire. Some say to simply hire career firefighters. Is it that simple? What are the pros? And are there any cons? There certainly are. Trained Interior Firefighters Some departments solve the problem by having their volunteers on duty, in quarters, ready to roll The old model of volunteers responding from home or work doesn’t work very well when you consider the proven fire spread in 2019 vs. fire spread even just 20 years ago. Some departments solve the problem by having their volunteers on duty, in quarters, ready to roll. That may be the least expensive option depending upon the local model. Some hire part-time firefighters. Some unfairly and regularly rely on mutual aid. Some have a fair and balanced mutual aid system. Some have their heads in the sand. The goal of any fire department is to deliver staffed, trained interior firefighters just a few minutes after someone dials 9-1-1. If we don’t have people knocking on the fire station doors to become career firefighters or to volunteer, that goal is in jeopardy. I simply can’t see a bigger, more immediate challenge for 2019 than the “people” issue.
In order to recruit and retain, you must change your mindset to that of a business. While we continue to scratch our heads on how to recruit and retain members among the ranks of our departments, we might want to take a look at ourselves. Sometimes looking in the mirror is a hard thing to do, as it may give us a clear view of who and what we are as an organization. For years, the volunteer fire service has had to overcome many obstacles such as funding, a not-so-friendly environment or poor leadership, to name a few. They may even have had to re-create themselves. Business Mindset And Reputation Whether you are in a rural, suburban or urban area, what drives us? Is it pride? Is it fulfilling a need to belong? Ultimately, it is the end user, the customer – the resident, the taxpayer. In order to target new membership, we must be able to sell ourselves as a good, a service and a product. Business models have been around for years and, if followed, yield positive results We need to begin to think about running our volunteer organization like a business in order to be successful. Businesses that are successful have a great reputation. People want to work for them and they easily retain and recruit top talent. Business models have been around for years and, if followed, yield positive results. Building Community Of Employees Let’s take Google for an example, a company with more than 64,000 employees with growth to the tune of billions of dollars each year. When looking at Google’s performance, it raises the question: what is Google’s success secret? How can a company amass $9.7 billion in revenues mostly from advertising? How can they keep great help and recruit? The answer is its leadership being innovative, actively advertising, creating a unique and rewarding work environment as well as creating and executing their business model daily. A business that goes above and beyond by treating their employees great will in return get motivated and loyal employees. Google allows their employees flexibility to work on passion projects and tap into their creativity. Google also encourages its employees to become teachers and coach one another to help build a more creative, satisfied and intimate community of employees. One needs to make fire departments attractive to potential recruits, there are small moments of observation that are then used to make bigger decisions are called “thin slices” Positive First Impressions In this day and age, we need to be ahead of the curve. People want to be informed and they want it now. They want a quality product and will shop around until they find it. They also want to be part of something big. They want to be recognized. Remember the statement, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”? Well, it was the tagline for a Head & Shoulders shampoo ad campaign in the 1980s. Are we continuing to make our fire department attractive to potential recruits? How do we expect to garner new membership if we don’t make that “first impression” a positive one? These small moments of observation that are then used to make bigger decisions are called “thin slices.” Potential candidates for membership are constantly assessing us, slice by slice, as “recruiters". Business Model For Your Demographic We need to create a business model and execute it at all times Is the fire station in good shape? Is it clean and orderly? Is the organization structured? Is the leadership strong and decisive? Or are there cliques and groups that work against the common goal or the command? These are easily seen and quickly discovered by potential candidates. They are looking to see what we are offering them: why should I risk my life, my health, my safety – what’s in it for me? How do we take all of these “thin slices,” package them together and make them attractive for potential recruits? We need to create a business model and execute it at all times. In order to sell, we need to advertise. In order to advertise, we need the leaders of our departments, the innovators and recruiters, to all come together and develop a business plan that works. It should work for your demographic. It should pour information to the masses. It should build on a reputation that you are a place that you’d want to work for! We need to begin to think about running our volunteer organization like a business in order to be successful Utilizing Current Volunteer Membership We need to begin to think about running our volunteer organization like a business in order to be successful. So, what does this mean for “my fire department”? Simply put, it means that you need to rely on the staff you have in place; lean on them and their expertise. Your current membership may hold the keys to your success. Develop a mission statement that is creative and energetic Canvass your current membership for professionals who could be utilized. You may have trained CPAs, human resource professionals, CEOs of corporations, advertising and marketing experts or veterans already inside your organization. They may remain quiet as they are unsure that they are needed to assist. Ask for the help and utilize them! Learning From Shortcomings Do not hesitate to implement them into your business plans. Help them look at how to target demographics in your area. Remember that great leadership will work to identify an individual’s strongest points and work to utilize them for maximum effectiveness. When you create a plan, be sure that you set obtainable goals. Develop a mission statement that is creative and energetic. Don’t eat the elephant in one bite: set a timeline in your plan. Meet often with your team, as you will learn more from your shortcomings than from your successes.
Maintaining adequate staffing is a key challenge facing many volunteer fire departments. While not a new issue, increasing population and call volumes along with the expanded services many volunteer departments now provide have made recruiting and retaining volunteers a top priority in the fire service. The federal government supports volunteer recruitment and retention through the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program, administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). SAFER has provided more than $300 million in grants to help fire departments recruit and retain volunteers from FY 2010-2017 and will distribute approximately $42 million in the FY 2018 grant cycle, expected to open in the near future. Annual Contribution Cap Give volunteer emergency responders increased access to mortgage and other housing assistance programs through the U.S. Department of Agriculture The National Volunteer Fire Council’s (NVFC) legislative agenda for 2019 is heavily focused on recruitment and retention. In addition to advocating for funding for SAFER, we will be asking Congress to: pass legislation exempting nominal benefits that volunteers receive as a reward for their service from federal income and withholding taxes clarify the tax status of length of service award program (LOSAP) to make plans easier to administer (the NVFC was successful last year in doubling the annual contribution cap on LOSAP from $3,000 to $6,000) make volunteer emergency responders eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program through the U.S. Department of Education, which forgives the student loan debt of public servants who have served for at least 10 years give volunteer emergency responders increased access to mortgage and other housing assistance programs through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Free Department Portal In addition, the NVFC recently received a SAFER grant to continue its work with the Make Me A Firefighter campaign. Launched in 2014, this is the first national volunteer recruitment campaign of its kind. Fire and emergency service agencies can use the free department portal to find resources and tools to help them with recruitment as well as post their volunteer opportunities in a national database. Department composition should reflect the community’s demographics, and yet many groups, such as millennials, women, and minorities The campaign also works to raise public awareness of the need for volunteers and connects potential recruits with their local fire department through the web site. With the new grant, additional focus will be given to retention of volunteers. Department composition should reflect the community’s demographics, and yet many groups, such as millennials, women, and minorities, are drastically underrepresented in the fire service. Diversify Their Ranks These target groups present significant areas of opportunity for fire department recruiters. As part of the Make Me A Firefighter campaign, the NVFC is working to help departments diversify their ranks and reach these key audiences. Volunteers make up 70% of the U.S. fire service, and most small, rural communities depend entirely on volunteers to respond to emergencies of all kinds. Recruiting and retaining volunteer firefighters, EMS providers, and support members is critical to ensure adequate protection of our residents. The NVFC will continue to provide advocacy and resources to help local departments in their efforts.
Speciality vehicle maker, Triel-HT of Brazil, has adapted over 120 Allison-equipped Scania firefighting trucks for its national airport and fire corps customers. Among the reasons for choosing Allison fully automatic transmissions, Triel-HT cites 35 per cent faster acceleration, better vehicle control and ease of integration. Nine different Scania chassis have already been adapted for airport and industrial firefighting, civil defence and special explosives transport, among them the P250, P310, P360 FF, P440 FF and G580 models. Manoeuvring Agility These trucks are already present in more than 70 airports and air bases throughout Brazil, including remote units in Manicore and Fonte Boa in Amazonas, the Alcântara Air Base in Maranhão, and the recently renovated Viracopos airport in Campinas, in the state of Sao Paulo. Triel-HT develops the vehicles using in-house manufactured or adapted equipment. The vehicles equipped with Allison automatics comply with international standards for extreme performance and work in harmony with the trucks “The automatic transmissions are preferred due to their convenient operation, ride performance, manoeuvring agility and also the ease of gearbox integration with the essential components and electronic controllers of the fire truck,” said Triel-HT executive Claudio Vincentini. The vehicles equipped with Allison automatics comply with international standards for extreme performance and work in harmony with the trucks, according to Vincentini. Significant Investment Programme Allison automatics accelerate up to 35 per cent faster than manual or automated manual transmissions (AMTs). In addition to the 120 vehicles already delivered, another 12 Scania units with Allison automatics are now in the final stage of preparation, as part of a significant investment programme for airport vehicles. Five of them are for Infraero. Another four units have been ordered by the Department of Civil Aviation and will be sent to the airports of Comandatuba (BA), Barreirinhas (MA), Pato Branco (PR) and Patos, in Piauí. Two units are for the Fire Corps of Maringá, State of Paraná in the south of the country, and another unit is for an explosives transportation application in Peru. The trucks are equipped with diverse gear that can include special clothing, reptile pick-up accessories, pumps for water launch with high flow capacity, and liquid foam generator and dispensing equipment (LGE).
Ramtech Electronics, supplier of the UK’s wireless fire alarm systems, is flying high at the £1bn Manchester Airport Transformation Project following deployment of its WES3 and WES REACT platforms. As one of the largest construction programmes in the North of England, the transformation will more than double the capacity of the airport when it is completed in 2020. The complex project comprises the expansion of the Terminal 2 building, to become the airport’s primary terminal along with The Link, a new bridging space as well as new stands and piers, offering better departure gate facilities. Minimizing False Alarms WES3 is a completely wireless, EN54-compliant fire alarm system designed specifically for complex construction projects Laing O’Rourke, the main contractor of the project has specified a combination of WES3 and WES REACT to protect the 1,500 construction personnel that will be on site at its peak. These two innovative systems combine to provide construction teams with a simple and secure means of communicating fire, medical and similar site emergencies. WES3 is a completely wireless, EN54-compliant fire alarm system designed specifically for complex construction projects such as this. Features include a medical alert, allowing an alarm to be raised in the event of a medical emergency from any call point without having to cause a complete site evacuation. Also, an Inspection Delay feature, which enables site personnel to verify that the alarm is genuine before deciding whether to evacuate site, therefore minimizing false alarms. Wireless Mesh Networks When used in conjunction with the WES REACT cloud-based mobile app, WES3 becomes a total fire alarm solution. All WES3 manual call points in their respective zones are interlinked, creating four individual wireless mesh networks, that can be activated simply by activating any call point on site. Once internal fitout begins, WES3 heat and smoke detectors will be added to the system, to provide automatic protection on site 24 hours a day. WES3 utilizes the best quality Category 1, Euro-harmonised radio in compliance with European standards covering the use of radio technology in emergency equipment (ETSI 300-220-1), meaning it won’t interfere with other radio-based systems used on or near the airport. All Point Network The challenges at Manchester Airport Transformation Project were centered on the need for a wireless fire alarm system that was scalable to a project of this size, whilst being fast and easy to reposition the call points. To put this into context, it is the fastest growing construction project in the UK with £1m of new infrastructure added each day. The system also overcame the challenge of scale by incorporating link units into the call point network to boost the wireless signal over larger distances Being a wireless system means that WES3 call points can easily be added and removed as the build progresses, and there’s no wiring, so no need for specialist installation. The system also overcame the challenge of scale by incorporating link units into the call point network to boost the wireless signal over larger distances. The WES3 system was split into four zones covering four concurrent developments within the overall project. Cloud-Based Monitoring All units in their respective zones are interlinked, creating a completely secure wireless mesh network. Andrew Swindells, Laing O’Rourke Programme Health & Safety Lead, explained: “Manchester Airport Transformation Project is a large and complex development and at its peak there will be over a thousand workers on site. We specified WES3 because it is a wireless system, making it very easy to set up and reposition as well as being fully compliant with EN54. WES REACT also provides us with a highly effective cloud-based monitoring platform.” WES3 has a three-year battery life under normal usage, reducing maintenance costs and waste on site. Once the development at Manchester Airport is completed Laing O’Rourke can simply transfer the units to another project as and when required.
Drones and UAVs being increasing employed to ensure public security Small unmanned aerial vehicles, colloquially known as drones, are being adopted by more public safety agencies around the world than ever before; and the number of lives they’re saving is climbing dramatically. On one recent day, four people were saved by drones, in three separate incidents around the world. Drones Security Drone manufacturer DJI calls it a ‘marked new milestone in public safety drone use,’ in a press release issued last month. On May 31st, Wayne Township Fire Department in Indiana used a drone to drop a life jacket to a fleeing suspect, who had gotten himself into a near drowning situation in a lake. Thermal imaging camera on drones On that same day, officials in a Texas town near Dallas dropped life jackets to a mother and daughter who found themselves in rising floodwater; and police in the UK used a drone with a thermal imaging camera to find a stranded hiker on a dangerous cliff. “We are seeing more and more life-saving stories coming out of these agencies,” says Matt Sloane, CEO of Skyfire Consulting, a group who works with public safety agencies to adopt drone programs. “This technology can no longer be written off as a ‘toy’ or a plaything. It’s a front-line tool in public safety, and it’s already saving lives.” The UAV is one of the most exciting tools to come along that improves first responder safety and efficiency" UAVs for Public Safety For many agencies, including the Wayne Township Fire Department, the technology has been a game-changer. “In my 32 years working in Public Safety, the UAV is one of the most exciting tools to come along that improves first responder safety and efficiency,” said Captain Mike Pruitt, Wayne Township’s UAV program manager. “The possibilities of what we can do with these aircraft are endless.” Pruitt, who worked with Skyfire to start his drone program, says he’s flying the departments’ aircraft several times a week in his area, and in other parts of Indiana where he’s called to assist. Water-resistant drones They even flew last week in heavy downpours with DJI’s Matrice 210 aircraft, a water-resistant drone. More than 900 public safety agencies around the country are flying drones, according to a recent Bard College study, up 200% from last year’s report, but this is only the tip of the drone iceberg, says Sloane. “There are over 100-thousand public agencies in the US,” he says. “Early adopters like Wayne Township are showing the other 99-thousand agencies out there that this technology can be implemented safely, effectively, and will truly save lives.” Public Safety UAV symposium Skyfire has worked with over 120 of those 900 agencies, including the Los Angeles Fire Department, Orlando Fire Department, Miami-Dade Fire, and most recently, Houston Fire. “Big and small, our clients are taking their response capabilities to the next level, and I don’t see this trend slowing down anytime soon,” Sloane says. Skyfire will be holding a public safety UAV symposium with Memorial Villages Police Department and Houston Fire Department July 30th and 31st in the Houston Area.
KIMTEK's FIRELITE and MEDLITE units installed aboard emergency vehicles KIMTEK CORPORATION, manufacturers of modular skid units for firefighting and emergency medical transport in ATVs / UTVs, and brush trucks, recently implemented their latest line of skid units that support energy efficient electric vehicles. KIMTEK's commitment to environmental sustainability, quality construction and convenient, modular design features provides important advantages for makers of electric vehicles such as Polaris GEM and Ranger EV models and, most recently, for the California-based Tropos Motors team. KIMTEK FIRELITE Transport 300 series truck skid units Tropos Motors has just debuted its ABLE FRV and ABLE EMS fire and medical first responder electric vehicles with KIMTEK FIRELITE Transport 300 series truck skid units and the MEDLITE Transport MTSTR-104 Transport Cot Units aboard. Ideal for first response coverage at large events, parking garages, commercial buildings, and entertainment venues featuring smooth or paved surfaces, electric vehicles allow fire and EMS personnel access to hard to reach areas where standard full-size fire and rescue vehicles do not fit. "Our latest pairing of MEDLITE and FIRELITE skid units with electric vehicles is part of KIMTEK's history of partnerships with American manufacturers to serve the varied and emerging needs of public safety professionals," KIMTEK's Founder and President, Kimball Johnson, said. "We are constantly seeking relationships that reflect energy efficiency as well as product combinations that best adapt KIMTEK equipment with the needs of our first responders in the many environments in which they work." For more information about KIMTEK's full line of public safety skid units for fire, rescue, EMS, and brush trucks, including those specifically for electric vehicles, please visit the KIMTEK websites at kimtekresearch.com and brushtruckskids.com.
Schaefer luxury yachts feature SecuriFire 500 fire panels Located in Southern Brazil, luxury yacht builder Schaefer Yachts manufactures motor yachts up to 24 metres in length. Founded in 1992, the luxury yacht builder helped to establish the Santa Catarina area in Southern Brazil as a yachting hub. The shipyard made its mark with the Phantom line of luxury motor yachts and grew to become one of the country’s largest boat manufacturers. Infusion technology for waste management Today, there are more than 3,000 Schaefer luxury yachts around the world. Schaefer Yachts collaborates on the design of some its luxury yacht models with major international design studio Pininfarina. The Brazilian luxury yacht builder manufactures performance motor yachts utilising infusion technology in order to create minimal waste for the environment. SecuriFire 500 fire alarm panels The Schaefer 830 model brings design and technological advantages that serve as an example for the industry sector worldwide. Its range of 300 miles with its 3 Volvo IPS engines of 1200 hp combined to its cutting-edge engineering, unique design and infusion production technology, ensure performance, durability and a comfortable navigation. Its four bedrooms and lounge that includes dining and living room translate all the sophistication offered to a different audience. The yacht also contains a garage for personal watercraft and inflatable boat up to four meters. Securiton’s partner Engesul has installed SecuriFire 500 fire alarm panels including some SecuriStar fire detectors in two of the Schaefer 830 models.
Ara Safety's Fire Interruption Technology® helped prevent spread of flames and minimised fire damage In three recent fires, Ara Safety's Fire Interruption Technology® helped prevent spread of flames, minimized fire damage, and aided in victim recovery. First to arrive on scene of a kitchen fire in Montague, NJ, Fire Chief Jesse Brace of the Montague Fire Department, found heavy smoke coming out of the right side of the structure. Upon inspection, Chief Brace found a disoriented occupant who had collapsed in the family room. With the fire quickly spreading from the kitchen to the living room and the second floor, Chief Brace made the decision to use Ara's device to slow down the extension of fire and buy time for crews to arrive. He then carried the occupant to safety through the sliding door by the kitchen, and off the deck. On January 27, Assistant Chief Dave Taylor and Fire Chief Charles Poillon of the Mount Sinai Fire Department arrived on scene of a fully involved kitchen fire in Mount Sinai, NY. With smoke coming out of the residence and information that occupants may be inside, the decision was made to deploy Ara's device to allow safer entry into the structure and buy time for crews to arrive with additional resources. The Fire Interruption Technology helped contain the fire and prevent spread of flames to the other rooms in the house. With tremendous heat inside the structure, Ara's device prevented a likely flashover situation. It was later confirmed that all occupants had escaped safely. One day later, firefighters from Flanders Fire Department used Ara's device to knock down a fire that started in an ambulance located in the Flanders fire and rescue building. Despite the large size of the bay and the amount of venting, Ara's device knocked down the flames and bought time. Fire Chief Fred Detoro of the Flanders Fire Department said that Ara's device would have knocked the fire out completely had there not been a ruptured oxygen line giving the flames greater intensity. Damage was largely contained to the ambulance, with no damage to neighboring vehicles.