DripDrop Hydration, a rehydration therapy company, and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), the association representing the volunteer fire, EMS, and rescue services, announces a new partnership to provide dehydration relief to the nation’s volunteer firefighters. The need has never been greater amid a wave of summer heat, wildfire season, and a COVID-19 pandemic that has pushed the healthcare system to the limit of its capacity. DripDrop ORS will provide a one-to-one ‘buy on...
In their second year of partnership with the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), Anheuser-Busch has committed to donating more than 1.5 million cans of emergency drinking water in 2020 to volunteer fire departments across the country as they navigate unprecedented challenges. This month, the first wave of deliveries – totaling more than one million cans – will be delivered to 151 fire departments across 38 states to help ensure local volunteer fire departments have the resources...
As we continue to settle into our new norm brought on by COVID-19, it’s become hard to imagine what the world will look like on the other side. If ever there were a clearer definition of a paradigm shift in the making, it’s this time. Yet, it’s not the only paradigm that has shifted in the last few years. As the climate has continued to change, helping to create more fuel for wildfires, we’re experiencing compounding changes at a global scale. And, the light at the...
Anheuser-Busch and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) have been named a 2020 Silver Halo Award winner in the Disaster Prevention/Relief category for the Emergency Drinking Water for Wildland Firefighters program. Keeping firefighters hydrated during long incidents or disasters such as wildfires is a critical need for fire departments, yet many volunteer departments struggle with limited budget and resources. To help departments meet this need, Anheuser-Busch teamed up with the NVFC in 2...
The Ontario government has taken additional steps to protect people and property during the wildland fire season, including an increase in base funding for emergency forest firefighting by $30.2 million, and ensuring safety measures are in place to protect Ontario's highly trained fire rangers from COVID-19. On May 16, 2020, Ontario is lifting the Restricted Fire Zone (RFZ) designation that was put in place last month across Ontario's fire region. The province will continue to assess fore...
First responders and emergency workers risk their lives and wellbeing on the COVID-19 front lines every day to care for families, friends, and communities. To support these everyday heroes and shoulder some of their to-do lists at home, Cub Cadet is partnering with TaskEasy to offer them free lawn mowing. Free lawn mowing service Cub Cadet, a manufacturer of lawn care equipment, and TaskEasy, an on-demand lawn care service serving more than 12,000 U.S. cities, are offering a free month of lawn...
Thanks to Anheuser-Busch, volunteer fire departments who respond to wildland fires can now apply for canned emergency drinking water through the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) for their immediate or upcoming wildfire response needs. Fighting Wildfires The Emergency Drinking Water for Wildland Firefighters program supports volunteer departments across the U.S. fighting wildfires throughout the year by helping provide critical hydration when it is needed most. “We appreciate Anheuser-Busch’s commitment to support our volunteer boots on the ground responders in fighting our nation’s wildland fires, especially since many volunteer departments often work with limited budgets and resources,” said National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) Chairman, Steve Hirsch. Supporting fire and emergency ground responders It’s critical that firefighters are well-hydrated to ensure the proper level of response" Steve adds, “It’s critical that firefighters are well-hydrated to ensure the proper level of response. Anheuser-Busch has been an outstanding partner, and we are excited to continue our relationship together through this invaluable program to support our volunteer firefighters’ health and safety.” This is the second year of the program, which is an expansion of Anheuser-Busch’s longstanding tradition of providing emergency drinking water and supplies for disaster relief efforts. In 2019, Anheuser-Busch teamed up with the NVFC to deliver over 1 million cans of clean drinking water to help hydrate our nation’s firefighters. This year, Anheuser-Busch has pledged to continue this support through a donation of 1.5 million cans of emergency drinking water to support fire departments across the country. Enhancing firefighters’ safety “Volunteer firefighters selflessly put their lives on the line to help protect our friends, families, and neighbors,” said Adam Warrington, Vice President, Better World at Anheuser-Busch. “We are proud to provide valuable hydration support through our emergency drinking water program to our nation's brave firefighters and to work alongside our partners at the NVFC, highlighting their efforts and sacrifices for the continued safety of our communities.” Departments will have two key opportunities to request water in 2020 to support immediate and upcoming wildfire-related incidents. Application Period 1: March 15 – May 15. NOW OPEN! Application Period 2: July 1 – August 31 Applying for emergency drinking water Departments in a declared emergency due to wildfire will also be able to request water outside of the application periods to help with their immediate wildfire response needs. To apply for emergency drinking water from Anheuser-Busch and the NVFC, departments must meet the following requirements: Responded to wildfires in 2019 and plans to respond to wildfires in 2020 Be all-volunteer or mostly-volunteer (over 50%) Serve a population of 25,000 or less Be located in the U.S. and be legally organized under state law Must be available to accept the water delivery, store requested amount, and utilize amount by ‘best by’ date on package (canned water has a shelf life of 365 days from the packaging date) Demonstrate a need for the water Departments are encouraged to submit one application per year. Subsequent applications received for that department will be subject to additional review. NVFC members will have priority to receive the water donation.
The new Turbo-Spritze 2090 from AWG Fittings has been specially developed for fighting forest and wildland fires. Capable of achieving outstanding water coverage, this highly portable solution is said to be the perfect piece of kit for call-outs. Portable firefighting solution The people tasked with saving lives and protecting valuable assets should be able to rely on their equipment and tools, especially as their own safety often depends on having fully functioning gear. AWG Fittings urges customers to put their trust in its product portfolio if their work involves rushing to the aid of others in danger or taming the unwieldy forces of nature. Fighting forest and wildland fires AWG supplies fire departments, industrial companies and other users globally with sophisticated products As a full-service provider of fire-fighting fittings, fire protection systems and hydraulic rescue equipment, AWG supplies fire departments, industrial companies and other users all over the world with sophisticated and innovative products. Forest and wildland fires, in particular, are proving to be an extremely demanding challenge for both people and gear in equal measure and climate change is making them all the more commonplace. On top of that, extinguishing water is often hard to come by, which makes supplying it to the incident site particularly difficult. Turbo-Spritze 2090 AWG is looking to change that with the new Turbo-Spritze 2090, specially developed for use with type-D hose lines. In fact, this innovative solution can be used to project extinguishing water as well as wetting and foaming agents, and only requires flow rates of 30 liters per minute to achieve maximum coverage. That’s enough to spray 3,000 liters of extinguishing water for approximately 100 minutes. What's more, despite weighing just 1.5 kilograms, the Turbo-Spritze 2090 is extremely robust, and it’s on/off lever and hand grip can easily be used as a pull handle, helping firefighters maintain maximum mobility while at the scene of an incident. Ideal product for ‘pump-and-roll’ operations All these characteristics make the Turbo-Spritze 2090 perfect for ‘pump-and-roll’ operations and other techniques for fighting wildfires using pumps with limited outlet pressure. An additional benefit of not projecting too powerful a water jet is that this reduces the risk of firefighters getting injured during decontamination. Besides all its special new features, the Turbo-Spritze 2090 also includes all the functions customers have come to expect from the AWG Turbo-Spritze product line, such as two pointers for easy handling (even in low visibility), a flushing function and the ability to adjust the spray jet.
Perimeter Solutions, a global pioneer in the production of fire retardants, foams, and water enhancing gels, along with a wide range of services for managing wildland, industrial, municipal, and military fires, announced the commercialization of PHOS-CHEK® Class A/B foam concentrate, a new fluorine free firefighting foam capable of extinguishing Class A and B fuel fires with a single product. Structural and industrial fires demand swift action and suppression. Too much is at stake with uncontrolled fires involving Class A and B fuels. Only the best, most innovative foam technology can be trusted to prevail in such fire situations. PHOS-CHEK Class A/B foam concentrate is the first UL 162/ULCS564 listed fluorine-free synthetic foam concentrate specifically designed to rapidly control and effectively extinguish fires involving either Class A or B fuels. PHOS-CHEK A/B firefighting The foam concentrate is a superior wetting agent for use on Class A fires in accordance with ANSI/NFPA 18 This firefighting foam is both flexible and environmentally responsible, capable of delivering high quality foam performance without any PFAS ingredients commonly found in Class B fluorinated products. PHOS-CHEK A/B firefighting foam is user friendly and effective for use in a variety of applications including structural and residential fires, general facilities protection, Class A hazards (ordinary combustible materials such as wood, cloth, paper, rubber, and many plastics), Class B hazards (non-fuel-in-depth, e.g. vehicle fires), and foam training exercises. Designed for use on Class B hydrocarbon fuel fires at 1% proportioning, PHOS-CHEK A/B foam concentrate is not intended for use on Class B polar solvents or water miscible fuels. The foam concentrate is a superior wetting agent for use on Class A fires in accordance with ANSI/NFPA 18. When used as a wetting agent, PHOS-CHEK A/B foam concentrate is UL/ULC Classified 0.1% proportioning for Class A fires and 0.25% proportioning for Class B Non-Water Miscible Fires. Conventional firefighting equipment PHOS-CHEK A/B fluorine free foam concentrate is a highly flexible product, compatible with conventional firefighting equipment such as low expansion non-air aspirating and air aspirating nozzles, monitors, medium expansion foam devices and Compressed Air Foam Systems (CAFS). With ever-increasing global environmental awareness on PFAS containing Class B foam discharge solutions, PHOS-CHEK A/B fluorine free foam is an environmentally responsible next generation product and fire service solution to the growing review by regulators who look to restrict PFAS containing foam from being used for firefighting and training or prohibit its sale or distribution.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has received just shy of a million dollars in Fire Prevention and Safety Grant money from FEMA to develop a free public safety drone compliance program that includes educational training and a searchable knowledgebase that tracks fire service drone programs and usage. Fire departments have rapidly expanded the use of drones as more communities have realized the lifesaving impact that aerial technology can have in response to structural fires, wildland firefighting, search and rescue efforts, hazardous material responses, natural disaster efforts, and any other events that would benefit from increased situational awareness. drone safety policies The new initiative will follow the successful NFPA Emerging Technologies training development and dissemination model Although drone safety policies and standards continue to evolve, many U.S. fire departments are without the proper information, knowledge, and experience needed to establish and maintain a legally sound public safety program that is compliant with FAA regulations, and the standards produced by ASTM International, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and NFPA. Without proper understanding of how to integrate drones into public safety efforts, fire departments may deploy unmanned aerial devices inaccurately; may inappropriately gather information during an incident; and may interfere with manned and unmanned flight operations in the area. All these missteps needlessly expose fire departments to liability. public safety drone programs The NFPA drone project will generate the guidance, learnings, and best practices that U.S. fire departments need to establish a compliant, successful drone program by: Assessing the current level of understanding, policies, and standards on public safety drone usage Developing a drone program framework, including resources, education, and an accessible portal which allows departments to comply with current regulations and standards Tracking fire service drone programs and their relevant use cases Freely disseminating essential information and training so that departments can establish regionally and nationally compliant public safety drone programs The new initiative will follow the successful NFPA Emerging Technologies training development and dissemination model that has been in effect since 2010. technical advisory panel The Fire Protection Research Foundation, the research affiliate of NFPA, will begin by performing a literature review of the fire service drone landscape and collecting compliance and usage data. NFPA will then collaborate with subject matter experts at the Center of Excellence for Advanced Technology Aerial Firefighting at the State of Colorado, Department of Fire Services to conduct a comprehensive review of the latest public safety drone usage research, testing, regulations, policy, and training content. The Research Foundation will convene a technical advisory panel consisting of fire authorities, standards developers, public safety officials, emergency managers, researchers, regulators, and government leaders to advise on the project’s scope, messaging, curriculum, and deliverables. The NFPA data and analytics team will synthesize the collected information to support curriculum development efforts and populate the portal. The Research Foundation will host a public safety drone workshop for interested stakeholders and findings will be distributed. safety drone deployment The NFPA data team will build a freely accessible online repository for all information captured Public safety drone subject matter experts and curriculum developers will build a self-paced, interactive online training program, educational videos, and immersive augmented virtual reality tools as part of a full educational suite. The curriculum will cover proper administration, operation, safety, and maintenance of public safety drone deployment. All materials, research, and information collected as part of this project will be available for free to U.S. firefighters on the NFPA website. The NFPA data team will build a freely accessible online repository for all information captured, and host all deliverables on a dedicated, interactive, searchable web portal so that departments can upload and search drone action incident reports. Unmanned Aerial Systems “As we have seen with NFPA alternative fuel vehicle and energy storage system training, the fire service is eager to learn about emerging technologies that may present new hazards, or in this case, help to mitigate and monitor safety challenges,” said Christian Dubay, P.E., NFPA Vice President and Chief Engineer. “The new educational resources and portal will help fire departments across the country confidently establish and maintain public safety drone programs.” In 2018, NFPA released NFPA 2400, Standard for Small Unmanned Aerial Systems to help the fire service address organizational deployment, professional qualifications, system selection, as well as care and maintenance for public safety drone programs. The new NFPA drone research project will begin in fall 2019, with deliverables expected to be completed by September 2021.
MSA, DuPont, and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) have teamed up again to help volunteer fire departments obtain much-needed gear through MSA’s Globe Gear Giveaway. This annual program began in 2012 and has provided 255 sets of gear to 45 departments to date. In 2019, another 13 departments will each receive four new sets of gear. The first 500 applicants also received a one-year NVFC membership, courtesy of MSA. The first two recipients of the MSA’s 2019 Globe Gear Giveaway are the Aguila (AZ) Volunteer Fire Department and Jacobstown (NJ) Fire Company. Recommended Safety Standards The department is called upon to handle many, if not all, emergencies that arise in the area Aguila Volunteer Fire Department (AVFD) is a small, rural department located in the AZ desert. The department is called upon to handle many, if not all, emergencies that arise in the area. It is the only protection for fire suppression, EMS, hazmat, and wildland fires and responds to small aircraft and railroad incidents. The department is also responsible for two smaller surrounding communities with mutual aid approximately an hour away. Four women and nine men make up AVFD’s 13-person crew. However, the department only has 12 sets of gear available – all of which are more than 10 years old and not compliant with recommended safety standards. The department is unable to afford new gear for its members due to budget constraints. Primary Fire Department “Safety is our number one priority,” said Assistant Fire Chief Roger Zdrojewski. “Our volunteers need to be prepared and ready for any hazards that may arise in the district. To do this means decent, safe, and compliant turn-out gear. The addition of 4 new sets will help immensely in keeping our firefighters safe and able to help our community to the best of their ability.” Jacobstown Volunteer Fire Company is the primary fire department in North Hanover Township, NJ. It serves a population of 7,500 people over 17 square miles and responds to approximately 200 calls each year. Recent community outreach has helped the department’s recruitment efforts, and membership is at record-breaking numbers. Responders are currently required to complete Firefighter I to operate as interior firefighter. Highest Level Of Protection This turnout gear will help provide the highest level of protection to our members working on interior fires" The local fire academy recently added Firefighter II, so members are now encouraged to pursue Firefighter II training and certification, which will become a requirement in the near future. Many of its members also cross over between fire and EMS, providing a consistent, high level of service for residents. The company has 35 sets of gear for its 27 firefighters; however, all but three of those sets will be over 10 years old within the coming year and out of compliance according to national standards. “This turnout gear will help provide the highest level of protection to our members working on interior fires,” said Deputy Chief Robert Gancarz. “New members often receive the oldest gear and gear that is not fit specifically to them. While necessary due to budgetary and equipment restraints, this is not best practice. More times than not members continue to use this older and often well-worn gear after training is complete. This period may last years until the budget is able to support new gear purchases.”
The undergrowth fire on the Lydd Ranges is now fully extinguished after three days of firefighting. On July 26, 2019, the emergency phase of the incident led by Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) officially came to a close after all firefighting operations were completed. Duty of care has now been handed back to the land owner. Lee Rose, Assistant Director Channel Tunnel and Resilience at KFRS, said: “On behalf of the service and all other agencies that have been involved throughout the incident, we would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has worked on the site to help us extinguish the fire as soon as physically possible. We would like to thank the local community and anyone living or working near the site for their cooperation over the past three days while firefighters worked to make the scene safe.” Immense efforts to reduce the fire’s impact The service would like to praise the Rapid Relief Team, the Ministry of Defence and local businesses for their support “Our firefighters have worked incredibly hard in tough conditions to tackle the blaze and the efforts our crews went to in order to reduce the impact of the fire has been immense. The pure scale and complexity of the fire, combined with the extreme heatwave this week, meant we also had teams on-site to assist crews and keep them hydrated during firefighting operations. The service would also like to praise the Rapid Relief Team, the Ministry of Defence and a number of local businesses for their support during the incident.” The cause of the fire is yet to be established. So far, this year the service has already attended over 400 fires on grassland areas, and during periods of such hot and dry weather, incidents like these have the potential to become much bigger wildfires. Use of 20 fire engines and vehicles The incident on the Lydd Ranges is one of the largest fires that Kent has had in a number of years. At its height, over 100 firefighters and 20 fire engines were at the scene, along with a variety of other specialist vehicles. Crews worked throughout the three days to extinguish the blaze and dampen down any remaining hotspots. To help KFRS reduce the risk of further wildfires this summer, follow their simple yet vital grass fire prevention tips – which include disposing of any smoking materials safely and only having barbecues in authorized areas.
One Los Angeles firefighter made $360,010 in overtime last year, and 18 employees of the department each earned more than $200,000 in overtime pay. In all, more than 90% of LAFD employees received overtime – an average of $27,737. Excessive overtime is an ongoing challenge at many fire departments around the United States, and the situation can often attract the attention of auditors and budget-conscious city managers, who may be concerned, or even suspicious, about the additional costs. There may be questions such as whether overtime hours are being allocated fairly. There are often calls for more oversight and regulation. Transparency is critical when tax dollars are being spent, and those who allocate the funding have to face voters. Working culture of long shifts For firefighters, overtime pay can provide a welcome boost to their household finances and make firefighting jobs more attractive. Working long shifts (and overtime) is a part of the culture of firefighters. But at what cost to departments? Is overtime pay the best use of resources? Is overtime pay the best use of resources? Might other employment models be more cost-effective? Extremely high overtime payments to a handful of individuals at least suggest a need for more balance in how overtime is distributed. Burgeoning overtime expenditures also may reflect other issues, such as inadequate staffing or recruitment challenges. For example, the Baltimore City Fire Department is paying overtime to fill nearly a third of its firefighter and medic shifts every day, according to The Baltimore Sun. The department is relying on volunteer “callbacks,” when a firefighter or medic who just finished a shift is asked to work another one. Montgomery Fire/Rescue $2 million over budget Last year, Montgomery, Ala., Fire/Rescue went $2 million over budget because of overtime pay needed in response to a multi-year worker shortage. In some cases, overtime is a temporary solution to an ongoing problem: recruitment and retention of firefighters. Another element of overtime is a department’s “constant staffing” model, which requires a fire station to be staffed 24/7 for fires, medical calls or other emergencies. There may also be a need to cover for employees who are on leave for health reasons, military service or for disciplinary issues. There are vacations to consider. Leave requests may occur with little prior notice, and overtime may be the only practical means of covering for the absences. Another element of overtime is a department’s “constant staffing” model, which requires a fire station to be staffed 24/7 for fires, medical calls or other emergencies Avoids hiring additional staff Some say paying additional overtime saves money in the long run by avoiding having to hire additional staff and pay their benefits. However, in some cases, reduced benefit expenditures – such as pension cutbacks – are changing the calculus. In the case of wildfires federal or state disaster funding may absorb the costsGiven the shifting variables, it may be less expensive in some cases to hire additional employees than to swallow the overtime costs. However, in a competitive employment environment, what are the chances that a new recruit may be lured away by another department despite a huge investment in training? In some cases, the costs of overtime may be reimbursed to local jurisdictions. In the case of wildfires, for example, federal or state disaster funding may absorb the costs. For special events, city employee overtime may be reimbursed by an event organizer or venue. Shifts not comparable to business world There is also an argument that how firefighters are scheduled requires that issues of overtime be examined through a different lens. A firefighter might work a 24-hour shift, three times as long as a typical eight-hour workday. A firefighter might work a 24-hour shift, three times as long as a typical eight-hour workdayTherefore, overtime issues are not equivalent, or comparable, to the business world. Assuming that’s true, it suggests a need for more education and explanation to city managers and the general public about the specific differences and how they impact the need and/or desirability of overtime. Large amounts of overtime also raise concerns about fatigue and morale. For example, a firefighter is likely less effective after working multiple long shifts. Given the life-and-death nature of firefighting and emergency medical care, employees should always be at their best. Overly tired firefighters could possibly put additional lives at risk.
The wildfire season in 11 Western U.S. states has started out slower than last year, although deadly fires could still develop in the second half of the season, as they did last year. Meanwhile, wildfires in the Arctic have reached new levels, especially in Alaska and Siberia. Wildfires in the West killed 160 people and caused $40 billion in damage in the past two years, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information. The trend is toward larger fires burning more acres – especially in years that are warm. This year has presented some relief. Through mid-July, California’s wildfire numbers were down: from 34,957 large fires on 3,554,03 acres in 2018 to 23,378 fires covering 2,371,397 acres in 2019, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. 87 wildfire incidents reported so far In Alaska, a dry spell this year has exacerbated 58 large fires throughout the state, including the Hess Creek Fire The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection reported 310 significant incidents (consuming at least 10 acres) in 2018, compared to only 87 significant incidents so far this year. The largest has been the Lonoak fire in Monterey. There were 38 wildfires that burned at least 2,000 acres in California in 2018; there have been only four such blazes in California through mid-July 2019. However, five of California’s largest fires last year happened in the second half of the year. In Alaska, a dry spell this year has exacerbated 58 large fires throughout the state, including the Hess Creek Fire, the largest so far in 2019. Effects of wildfires on Artic ice On the international level, the scale of wildfires in Siberia has been unusually high and dangerously close to population centers, and some environmentalists are concerned the soot from the fires can deposit on Arctic ice, speed up its melt rate, disrupt the local ecosystem, and even increase the sea level rise. Some fires are also in remote areas that are difficult to reach. Fires throughout the Arctic – in Greenland, Siberia and Alaska – are producing plumes of smoke visible from space. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has called the Arctic blazes ‘unprecedented’. Fires throughout the Arctic – in Greenland, Siberia and Alaska – are producing plumes of smoke visible from space Arctic fires are not only the result of dry vegetation; in some cases, the underlying peat has caught fire. “The amount of [carbon dioxide] emitted from Arctic circle fires in June 2019 is larger than all the combined CO2 released from Arctic circle fires in the same month from 2010 through 2018,” the WMO says. Forests are more vulnerable during droughts Throughout the Western U.S., higher temperatures correlate well with larger wildfires: The warmest weather years have equated to the most fires. Forests are more vulnerable during droughts, but even a wet winter may not relieve fire risks, according to Climate Central. The moisture can spur growth of grasses and shrubs, which dry out on warmer days and provide additional fuel The moisture can spur growth of grasses and shrubs, which dry out on warmer days and provide additional fuel. Climate Central’s analysis is based on data reported by the U.S. Forest Service covering Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. Data shows that many states are struggling to use prescribed burns to reduce fuel for out-of-control blazes, but there is much less federal funding for prescribed burns than for fire suppression, according to Climate Central. Compressed wildfire season expected Looking forward, an active but compressed wildfire season is expected across the West as the southwestern monsoon becomes more active in August. While this will effectively end the season across the Southwest, lightning-induced fire activity is expected to increase elsewhere, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. By October and November, California will reenter the fire season amid concerns of higher-than-average fire potential due to the presence of an abundant crop of fine fuels in the lower to middle elevations.
From students to policymakers, safety professionals at all levels will gather at the NFPA Conference & Expo, June 17-20, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas. The multi-faceted event will include a technical session addressing standards development, a product and services exhibition, and education sessions about a range of topics, some of them relating to the fire service. The NFPA Technical Meeting, also known as ‘Tech Session,’ is an important element in the standards development process, ensuring that consensus is achieved on proposed changes to NFPA Standards prior to Standards Council review. Education sessions There will be 120-plus education sessions at the Conference & Expo During this meeting, supporters and opponents of certified motions voice their opinions, and qualified NFPA members vote on proposed changes. The three-day Expo, June 17-19, highlights products and services from 350-plus suppliers that are needed to meet and maintain compliance with prevailing codes and standards in the design, construction and operation of buildings and facilities. There will be 120-plus education sessions at the Conference & Expo. Here is a sampling of some of the education sessions related to the fire service. Engaging Local Officials for Wildfire Risk Reduction - Case studies from organizations around the world illustrate the impact of engaging local officials early and effectively to reduce wildfire Integrating Wildfire into Public Education Messaging - The National Fire Protection Association's Wildfire Division will host an interactive conversation about professional development, engaging residents in wildfire risk reduction, and the resources available to help integrate wildfire into public education outreach efforts. Improving Fireground Visibility Using the Internet of Things - A system incorporates cost-effective, lightweight Internet of Things (IoT) devices, an advanced real-time analytics system, and visualization capabilities to enable incident commanders and firefighters to leverage data from the scene in real-time. Enhanced Smoke Alarms and New UL Testing Standard - Research has enhanced technology that can recognize different fire and smoke characteristics created by changes in home design, building techniques, and modern furnishings -- resulting in fewer nuisance alarms. Cancer and Firefighting PPE - The reality is that firefighters are regularly exposed to carcinogen contamination. Considering dermal exposure, inhalation exposure, and off-gassing, how much protection can firefighters expect from their PPE? Wildfire Tactical Support - The UK’s Response to the Record-Breaking 2018 Wildfires. The United Kingdom’s ‘Wildfire Tactical Advisors’ (WTA) model provides valuable lessons on fire department engagement, including experienced fire officers who support the fire incident commanders at wildfire incidents. ROI on Smoke Alarm Installation Programs - Panel members from NFPA and the Red Cross will explore approaches to smoke alarm program evaluation using the Reach, Efficacy, Adoption, Implementation, and Maintenance (RE-AIM) framework to guide discussion. Foam Firefighting Technologies of the Future - Pressurized Instant Foam (Pi Foam) stores the premixed foam solution initially in a calm environment, and then in a pressurized vessel with soluble gas. At the time of the incident, ready-made foam covers the fire without any foam generator. Connected Technologies for Water-Based Fire Protection Systems - Smart Connected Things (SCoT) used in water-based fire protection systems will enable both owners and service providers to determine system status and perform some inspection and testing functions remotely.
The Rabun County Fire Services, located in the northeast corner of Georgia, has placed a Lake Assault Boats fireboat into service on Lake Rabun, an 835-acre reservoir with 25 miles of shoreline. The new craft provides fire suppression and emergency response services for homeowners, visitors, and Georgia Power facilities located on the lake. “The combination of hydroelectric plants and a growing number of high-end waterfront single family homes in a region susceptible to wildfires make our on-the-water emergency response capabilities a critical part of our department’s mission,” said Captain John Murray of the Rabun County Fire Services. “The new fireboat has greatly improved our emergency response performance and significantly reduced our ISO rating.” Lake Water For Firefighting Operations The 26-foot craft can quickly transport water into a network of standpipes located along the shoreline – that were furnished by neighborhood homeowners’ associations – to supply lake water for ground-based firefighting operations. Moreover, its deck-mounted monitor enables the craft to conduct direct fire attack. The fireboat is powered via twin 175 hp Mercury outboard engines and features a 1,250-gpm fire pump The fireboat is powered via twin 175 hp Mercury outboard engines and features a 1,250-gpm fire pump driven by a marinized V-6 engine. The TFT Hurricane monitor is rated at 1,250 gpm and there are four discharge ports including one that feeds a 5-inch large diameter hose (LDH). Other features include a 63-inch hydraulically operated bow door capable of transporting ATVs, a swing-out side dive door, and a Davit crane with two access points. Easy To Operate Fireboat The T-top pilothouse is seven-feet long and has an interior clearance height of 76 inches. Its componentry includes a helm station with fire pump and monitor controls, and a 12-inch touchscreen commands a full suite of advanced electronics, including: forward looking infrared (FLIR), sonar with side structure scan, chartplotter, and GPS. “We’ve been blown away by our new fireboat’s performance – it is smooth, agile, quick to plane, and very easy to operate,” added Murray. “Plus, once on the scene, we can be flowing water in a matter of seconds.” Located in a mountainous region in the far northeast corner of Georgia, Rabun County Fire Services protects 361 square miles with a department that includes 200 volunteer firefighters, six paid personnel, 12 volunteer fire stations, 17 engines, 11 tankers, 11 mini pumpers and three fireboats. Each year the department responds to approximately 2,000 calls.
The Kirchdorf Volunteer Fire Brigade's scope of operations brings up many challenges: on the one hand, there are busy traffic routes including motorway tunnels, while on the other, there are many industrial and commercial enterprises, as well as a hospital. The EMEREC information management system is an important tool in keeping track of demanding operations. Wide Range Of Tasks Kirchdorf is equipped with special equipment, such as the ASF respiratory protection vehicle from Rosenbauer At first glance, with just 5,000 inhabitants, the district capital of Kirchdorf in southern Upper Austria exudes a sense of tranquillity. In many respects this may be true - but not for the local fire department and their wide range of tasks. This is because the favorable logistical position at the Pyhrn highway and the Pyhrn railway between the provincial capitals of Linz and Graz brings with it the fact that over 3000 businesses have established themselves along this corridor - including large industrial and commercial enterprises. In addition, the special topographic conditions in the limestone foothills of the Alps make them advantageous for the construction of road tunnels. ASF Respiratory Protection Vehicle The approximately 100 volunteer firefighters of the Kirchdorf brigade are deployed around 250 times each year. The majority of these are technical operations, mainly resulting from traffic accidents. As a hub fire brigade, Kirchdorf is also equipped with special equipment, such as the ASF respiratory protection vehicle from Rosenbauer and a forest fire trailer. If required, these devices can be called up for operations anywhere throughout the district. The EMEREC operations management system already plays an important role in the journey to operation sites and is used primarily as a navigation system. The tracking function also provides the operational leader with information about the current locations of vehicles. Emergency And Fire Protection Plans The Kirchdorf Voluntary Fire Brigade has a useful tool at its disposal with EMEREC Of particular importance is the information provided by EMEREC, even in operations in large commercial and industrial enterprises. The emergency and fire protection plans of the individual facilities can be called up in seconds, providing the fire brigade with all information, plans and pictures relevant to the operation. A special case in this context is the Kirchdorf state hospital, as platoon commander Harald Rachlinger says: "Without appropriate information and planning material, a target-oriented approach in such a large building complex would be very difficult. With EMEREC, all decision-relevant information is available on-site." Another significant advantage: thanks to the central system administration, this data is always current and up-to-date across the various mobile devices. Help For Personnel Involved Whether for traffic accidents in motorway tunnels or firefighting missions in large commercial buildings - the Kirchdorf Voluntary Fire Brigade has a useful tool at its disposal with EMEREC, which is a great help for the personnel involved in these challenging tasks.