CFJ Vol. 24, No. 3 (Winter 2010)

Industry News - Issue 24.3 (Winter 2010)

Industry Leaders Revive Class A Training Program

 

The 2010 International Class A Foam and CAFS Academy in Glendale, Arizona will be sponsored by Elkhart Brass Mfg. Co., Inc., Waterous Worldwide, and Phos-Chek/ICL-PPLP.

 

The three-day academy, which begins Feb. 18, will be structured to include roundtable discussions and handson training exercise.

For more info visitwww. elkhartbrass.com, www.waterousco. com, and www.phoschek. com. Registration deadline is Jan. 31, 2010.

 

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Traumatic brain injury:

I have been told that to be successful in any emergency field you must “think outside the box.”In this article, we are going to explore rapid assessment and prehospital treatment of severe Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI). The skull has been often described as the box the brain is enclosed in. With this in mind, let us review the basic anatomy, assessment and treatment for head injuries as well as some common pitfalls when treating the head injury patient in the prehospital environment.

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Relevant Tags: Fire,patient, injury, brain, head, pressure, airway, brain injury, head injury, traumatic brain, blood pressure, spinal cord

10 commandments for public safety educators

In 1975, James Kidd wrote a book entitled How Adults Learn. In his book he outlines 10 “commandments”for adult educators. In this issue, I would like to unpack the first five of these words of wisdom, slightly paraphrased, and apply them to educating our firefighters and EMS providers.

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Relevant Tags: Education and Training,students, safety, educators, public safety, safety educators, compassionate behaviors, our students, skills abilities, knowledge skills

Are we heading in the right direction?

If I were to ask you what the main differences are once you are promoted to a position of leadership in your department, what would you say? Some would glibly answer about the color of their helmet, a new radio, a response light in their POV, new keys getting added to their key ring. Far too often the most important answer is overlooked; more responsibility gets piled on.

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Relevant Tags: Fire,volunteer, fire rescue, rescue ems, fire ems, heading right, carolina fire, right direction, ems journal, ems officers, lenny yox

New for EMS — EMSnearmiss.com

The National Fire Fighter Near-Miss Reporting System has recently added a link to the website specifically for EMS. Those making reports will be connected directly to the website by typing “EMSnearmiss.com.”into their browser. There are many reports in the system that apply to EMS incidents. The following excerpt from Near-Miss Report (#08-066) shows us how we can use the EMSnearmiss.com website to learn from the experiences of others.

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Relevant Tags: EMS,reports, website, fire, near miss, carbon monoxide, learn from, reports can, rescue ems, fire rescue, can use, can learn, around country

Quality Assurance:

Quality assurance (QA)

Just the sound of those words can strike fear and nervousness to the strongest and most confident EMS professionals. Not only does it invoke those feelings but in some cases it has caused anger and resentment.

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Relevant Tags: Fire,ems, assurance, fire, quality assurance, ems professionals, fire rescue, rescue ems, pitt county

Do you ‘just’ drive a fire truck?

In the fire service there are people who just drive fire apparatus, and there are drivers who skillfully drive and operate fire apparatus safely. I have been very fortunate over the years as a guest speaker, to be able to travel to many conferences and fire departments that held safe apparatus operator workshops. Through my travels I have met many skilled apparatus driver/operators and I have also met a number of people who just drive fire trucks. There is a difference. I have been driving fire apparatus myself for approximately 25 years, but have only really been an apparatus driver/operator for about 18 of those 24 years.

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Relevant Tags: KEEPING YOU SAFE,apparatus, fire, incident, driver, accident, drive, fire apparatus, fire truck, run off, just drive, apparatus driver/operator

Serving our community

Regardless of our background in the emergency services, we are charged with the responsibility of serving our community. Most of us realized this when we began our careers, although it may not have been the only reason we chose to follow such a path. It doesn’ t matter whether we are paid or volunteer. It doesn’ t matter if we dispatch the calls, respond to them, or clean up after them. We’ re all in this together —serving our community.

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Relevant Tags: KEEPING YOU SAFE,community, serving, emergency, our community, emergency services, fire rescue, serve others

Searching the crowd for the competent

Is it just me or is excellent customer service getting harder and harder to find? It appears that our national culture is suffering from a lack of commitment in completely and thoroughly assisting a customer to a positive outcome. The root-causes are many: personnel shortages, a stressful workplace, increasing financial and family challenges, low pay, off-shoring, low morale, automation and on and on. In many of my encounters ‘good’seems to be the benchmark but ‘good’ is somewhere in the middle of the customer service continuum; probably better than average but well below outstanding and excellent.

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Relevant Tags: Fire,service, customer, fire, team, customer service, company officer, life death, excellent customer, crowd competent

Windshield removal and rope rescue

I would like to touch on a couple of good products that we used in Guatemala with our training there. One tool has been around for quite a while actually, and is one that does an excellent job at what it is designed to do. Produced by Wehr, the “GlasMaster” is one of the best tools for cutting out a windshield that has come along in quite some time. When windshields used to be set in rubber gaskets, they could be removed by popping off the trim mold, and placing a bailing hook behind the edge of the glass to pop out the window.

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Relevant Tags: Equipment,rescue, ropes, tool, rope, our training, tool has, rear windows, half inch, windshield removal

Advanced steel and new vehicle rescue evolutions

Rescuers across this country are becoming increasingly aware that automakers are integrating new, tougher and stronger steel into their newest model vehicles so they can meet new government crash standards. The industry term ‘Boron’ is becoming more and more familiar to vehicle rescue personnel as well as our rescue tool vendors. Boron is just one of the various types of a new alloy steel family that are called ‘advanced steels.’ Boron, Martensite, Dual Phase, and TRIP steel are all examples of this new generation of steel that is challenging rescue personnel. It is 25 percent lighter in weight and eight times stronger than the steel we are currently used to in vehicles.

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Relevant Tags: Equipment,steel, pillar, advanced, roof, cut, vehicle, rescue, advanced steel, roof rail, cut through, advanced steels, power cutter, fire rescue, vehicle rescue

Planning for mass violence incidents

Mass Violence Overview

A rapid, safe and successful response to a mass violence incident requires preparation. No jurisdiction is immune from these types of incidents. The tragic attacks such as Fort Hood, Virginia Tech and Mumbai, India present a current and growing threat to all response agencies. Today’s “bad guys” (criminals and terrorists) appear to be more determined, violent and heavily armed than ever before. Responders are not only faced with the possibility of large numbers of victims during these incidents, but also with serious threat of harm and death to response personnel.

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Relevant Tags: Fire,violence, fire, incident, mass, response, emergency, incidents, ems, responding, mass violencevviolence incident, other responding, large scale, emergency management

The golden rule

Our essential mission and number one priority is to deliver the best possible service to our customers —or is it?

Do we only show up when someone calls 911? If this is the case, I maintain you are not providing the best possible service to your customer, the citizens that pay your salary, or provide the necessary resources for you to operate.

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Relevant Tags: Fire,fire, service, customer, rescue, department, fire rescue, golden rule, fire department, possible service

Rehab, it’s no longer just for ‘quitters’

We will spend this article examining an issue that no one likes to talk about on the fire ground. Rehabilitation or “rehab” used to be a place where exhausted firefighters who could not continue to function were sent.

Rehab continues to have negative connotations associated with its use. We may be disappointed to learn that our favorite movie star or celebrity has entered rehab in order to battle an unwanted addiction. Likewise, in the fire service, years ago, the incident commander sending you to rehab was synonymous with your mom sending you to your room.

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Relevant Tags: Health and Wellness,rehab, fire, firefighters, vital signs, cooler months, fire ground

Using your equipment and your imagination

In previous articles, I have gone into great detail about standards for rescue, equipment uses, procedures, standard operating guidelines (SOG’s), safety guidelines (especially around water-based and high-angle rescues and helicopter rescue support), and all the things a rescuer must know to be, well, a rescuer. All of this is fitting and proper. It is how we stay alive as we assist our victims in a myriad of circumstances we encounter. These are the “tools of our trade.” It is who and what we are.

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Relevant Tags: Equipment,fire rescue, operating guidelines, using equipment, ems journal, equipment imagination, skills abilities

Decision-making in CWA response

In responses to releases of Chemical Warfare Agent (CWA) there may not be one technology or one “answer” that is correct. The responder must take into account all of the clues present to conclude the presence or absence of CWAs and take appropriate action. Understanding what the clues are and how to layer them to make a decision is critical to successful CWA response.

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Relevant Tags: Rescue,cwa, chemical, nerve, ims, response, response time, proven technology, vapor detection, flame spectrophotometry, color change, cwa response

Trust your meter

Sometimes in the hazmat community (and in a larger scale throughout the emergency response community) we become wrapped up in the latest technology and new “toys” of the trade, and fail to revisit the formative building blocks of our discipline. This is not to say that new equipment and technologies should not be considered or utilized, but rather that we should maintain our grasp of the basics that will see us through in many hazmat situations.

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Relevant Tags: HAZMAT —NCAHMR,meter, oxygen, monitoring, concentration, gas meter, air monitoring, vapor density, oxygen concentration

Producing a fire department yearbook

The Raleigh Fire Department produced a yearbook in 2007, commemorating their 95th year anniversary as a fully paid fire department. The hardcover volume numbered 160 pages and featured personnel portraits, station histories, incident and event photos and other features. This was the third yearbook produced by the Raleigh Fire Department, and the first full-color edition.

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Relevant Tags: HAZMAT —NCAHMR,department, photos, fire, yearbook, committee, fire department, raleigh fire, department yearbook, yearbook committee, producing fire, personnel portraits

Extrication:

When you read this, the holiday season will have passed, and I hope that everyone had a safe and Merry Christmas. Regardless of your beliefs, Christmas is a time to share joy and happiness with your family and friends, as well as those you may not know. We put our lives on the line everyday for people we do not know, because we are a family of caring and dedicated individuals. I would like to personally thank each and every one of you for the job you do, and wish you a very prosperous and happy New Year. May we all stay safe in the jobs we do.

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A comprehensive EMS telemedicine system

Planning, implementation and applications

Recognizing the importance of planning and control, an implementation plan was devised to introduce the system by means of a tightly controlled pilot program. It was decided that this pilot program would:

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Relevant Tags: EMS,ems, telemedicine, stroke, system, assessment, patient, trauma, report, med connect, stroke assessment, lead report, ems telemedicine, rescue ems, fire rescue, telemedicine system, trauma room

Encouraging cooperation in arson prosecutions

Over the past few issues I have discussed certain issues that negatively affect the fire and arson investigator in the Carolinas. This article will be no different. A troubling statistic that hasn’t varied over the past decade is the conviction rate for individuals charged with arson —two to four percent! (USFA). Think about that number for a minute. With only a two to four percent conviction rate, 96 arson cases are either lost in court, nol prossed or the prosecutor chooses not to take the case to trial for various legal reasons. That isn’t acceptable.

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Protecting loved ones: a wish come true

Facing the end of life is a fact of life. It will happen to all of us. As someone who works in Emergency Medical Services, you understand that reality better than most. What can be avoided is putting those you love in the position of having to make confusing, heart-wrenching decisions on your behalf. By being prepared —by making your wishes known upfront —you can save a highly emotional time from becoming impossibly difficult.

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Build Now, but proceed carefully!

The recent economic downturn (or disaster, depending on your point of view) has resulted in some of the best construction prices in years. Construction bids for stations are anywhere from 25 to 40 percent lower than they were only three years ago. If your department is serious about building new or renovating, NOW is the perfect opportunity. Don’t count on ever seeing construction prices this low again.

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Taking command of personal and professional projects

We’ re all very familiar with the incident command or incident management system. You have either been trained on it, or like myself, have applied it to successfully mitigate large-scale, multi-agency responses.  About 13 years ago I responded to a large woods fire. I established and maintained command until the incident was terminated. By the end of the day, fire equipment from the state and multiple counties was requested and utilized. The high number of news helicopters present prompted me to request restriction of air space over the incident in order for forestry aircraft to survey the scene. The extended duration of the incident necessitated delivery of replacement batteries for portable radios. EMS was needed to evacuate invalid residents in the area. 

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Exciting activities to enhance your visit

Pleasantly located on the northern end of the Grand Strand, North Myrtle Beach offers an abundance of exciting activities that are sure to please anyone.  It’s no wonder North Myrtle Beach welcomes millions of visitors each year!

Over the years we have welcomed thousands of our service men and woman for some much needed R & R with family and friends.  There is so much to do in North Myrtle Beach, from year-round festivals and entertaining dinner shows, to challenging miniature golf courses, there is never a shortage of activities.

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FDNY 9-11 Memorial Golf Outing

To the untrained eye the oceanfront party held each May at Springmaid Resort is like so many in Myrtle Beach. Steak and chicken are charcoaled on the grill, a live band pumps out classic rock tunes, and adult libations are the beverage of choice.

But what has now become an annual tradition on the third Wednesday of May is far from normal. Hundreds of people come from New York, the Carolinas, Connecticut and even as far away as Los Angeles to bask in the Myrtle Beach sun, play some of the nation’s best golf courses, and celebrate a bond that only firefighters can appreciate.

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Ambulance transport safety

We are at the beginning of a safety revolution in EMS. For many years, safety issues have taken a backseat to the pressures of keeping the trucks rolling. Throughout the process we have learned about the dangers our paramedics and EMTs face in the line of duty, and it has become increasingly difficult to ignore the facts staring us in the face.

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From the Editor - Winter 2010

How can it be 2010? Weren’t we just worrying about our computers crashing and stockpiling food when we entered the year 2000?

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