CFJ Vol. 24, No. 4 (Spring 2010)

From the Editor - Fall 2010

Community and volunteer fire departments, are like Friday nights and high school football, or October and pumpkins. In communities across North and South Carolina, you can’t drive very far without spotting a volunteer fire department. You can’t participate in your community events without running across a volunteer, a fire truck at a parade or a barbeque at the local department.

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From the Editor - Spring 2010

I recently spoke with a chief from a rural volunteer fire department. He told me about the recent death of one of his men. As I listened, my mind remembered other deaths from other departments when the chief asked, “Are you going to write about it?” I thought he was asking if I was going to put something in The Journal about his department’s loss, but soon realized that was not his question. He wanted to know if I was going to write about what we can do to stop these deaths. He wanted an answer, and he wanted a solution.

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Combustible metals: where fire meets hazmat

It is always interesting to find the points at which the various responsibilities with which the modern fire service is tasked intersect. For instance, paramedicine and auto extrication can frequently intersect inside the patient compartment of a vehicle during patient care efforts. Technical rescue intersects fire ground operations at the story of a building just above where the tip of the aerial truck reaches. One intersection between fire ground operations and hazardous materials operations is the presence of combustible metals.

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A new era in swiftwater rescue training facilities

If you’ve ever taken a swiftwater rescue course, you probably took a long drive on narrow back roads to a remote venue. You probably experienced varying and unpredictable water levels, and may have even found yourself longing for basic facilities like a restroom. Swiftwater training professionals have struggled to find areas on rivers that provide the basic requirements to fulfill their training obligations. A new type of river has emerged that provides for all those training needs — the artificial whitewater river. 

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You have just arrived on the scene of a major hazmat incident and are looking forward to going into the Hot Zone to use what you have learned in Technician Class to “save the day.” Your well-intentioned plans, however, are derailed when the Hazmat Branch Director tells you that you are now the Research Group Supervisor. The natural response of most hazmat responders would be to hang their head down and trudge over to the hazmat unit, as the “job” of Research Group Supervisor is often the most maligned position in the hazmat organization. This does not have to be the case, as hazmat research can be greatly simplified by knowing how to utilize clues that are presented to the responder to guide research efforts, and by knowing the proper tool to use for the specific research task.

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As the hurricane and storm season approaches, we need to evaluate our capabilities to perform swiftwater rescues. Of course, one major factor is your equipment. Do you have the required equipment for the task, and is it in proper working order. The next big question — “are my rescuers properly trained to use our equipment.” Having poorly trained folks with the best equipment would be like having a half million dollar fire engine and no one knows how to flow water out of it. It could prove to be a sad and embarrassing situation. So let’s look at some ways we can prepare our department for water rescue.

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Personal protection equipment for emergency preparedness

Committed to improve emergency preparedness and safety, fire and rescue departments across the U.S. have continuously searched for new personal-protection equipment (PPE) that provides greater protection from an ever-growing list of nuclear, chemical, biological, radiological, bomb and ballistic threats as well as infrared radiation and heat. As a frequent lecturer at the world’s top security conferences, I have witnessed firsthand the archaic nature of the field of radiation protection and the need for fire and rescue departments to deploy practical solutions.

Historically, even health care workers in hospitals and medical clinics have lacked the right options to address their basic needs for adequate protection from X-rays and other sources of radiation associated with the daily delivery of health care. The same holds true for other professionals exposed to radiation, including everything from airline stewardesses to airport security personnel. It’s no wonder, then, that as the threat of nuclear and other attacks became more prevalent in recent years, fire departments have become increasingly concerned about ensuring they have access to the best-possible PPEs to protect their personnel and the public.

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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 (SOGs), 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. Read More »

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A new type of hazmat incident

Imagine the typical structure fire, and the various functions to be performed on the scene; fire attack, search, ventilation, water supply, overhaul, rapid intervention team (RIT), command, safety, etc. An important function commonly left off this list is air monitoring. Every structure fire responded to is essentially a hazardous materials incident. OSHA defines a hazardous substance as an “exposure which results or may result in adverse effects on the health or safety of employees.” The toxic smoke generated from a structure fire definitely satisfies the criteria for a hazardous substance.

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How much rope training is enough?

As a fire/rescue instructor, I was recently asked this question, “In today’s modern fire service, just how much training does one need in ropes?”

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NCSFA launches fund for NC firefighters

North Carolina’s 50,000 firefighters are this state’s everyday heroes. To ensure these men and women are safe, healthy, comprehensively trained and well-educated when called into action, the N.C. State Firemen’s Association (NCSFA) has formed the North Carolina Firefighters Fund.

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Spring is here and we are going to see more folks on the road enjoying the weather and traveling, which also means more motor vehicle crashes. Now is the time to start training again in vehicle extrication — especially before the summer gets here and it’s vacation time and so hot that it’s hard to get your folks to train. Grab your gear and let’s get at it.

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Safety and karma: a correlation?

I can somewhat relate to Earl Hickey, the fictional character portrayed on the now syndicated series “My Name is Earl.” Earl has a shady past to say the least. His one stroke of luck (winning the lottery) was immediately preceded by getting hit by a car. While recuperating in the hospital, he realizes that he has not changed and his bad actions are the actual cause of all the bad things that continually happen to him. With time on his hands, he compiles a lengthy list of wrongs he has committed. By making good on his misdeeds, crossing the bad things he has done off his list, he is convinced his “karma” will improve. It seems to be working.

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A comprehensive EMS telemedicine system

(This is part three of a three part series on telemedicine.)

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Can you hear me now?

When I began my career in the fire service, lime bags were used to communicate which direction the apparatus turned. If you are nodding your head, you understand the concept of throwing lime bags, and you probably recall where and how to throw the bags so other firefighters responding knew which direction to turn. Talk about turning the corner on communication — I think we have arrived.

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What is next in prehospital telemedicine?

What do roadside recovery and home delivered groceries have in common? They are both inspiring new approaches to prehospital care. The culture within the prehospital realm has been to treat and transport, but it is time we begin to move towards treating and discharging. This will eventually reduce healthcare costs by reducing transports and overcrowding at facilities, for what may be a minor condition. The idea of bringing the physician to the patient instead of taking the patient to the physician is nothing new. This just brings a new meaning to home visits.

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Fire volunteers: A dying breed?

How many times have you heard in the past that we are losing our volunteers in the fire service? We all know the story; we are losing them due to work schedules. Too many people are working two or three jobs, they are traveling longer commutes to get to their job, which takes them out of the community they live in and want to help protect.

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Bridging the gap

As a rookie firefighter in a suburb of Detroit, I was excited to get on a truck and “put the wet stuff on the red stuff.” I quickly realized that the job involved more ambulance work than the heroic adventures portrayed on the television that I watched so intently as a child.

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Doing Your Homework

In 2009 the Department of Homeland Security received slightly over 21,000 applications for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program. They funded approximately 9,000 of those. In 2009 only one in eight applications received under the Vehicle Acquisition category was funded. In 2010 the funding available for the AFG program has decreased by over $100 million. This makes the program even more competitive than it has been in the past. But there is hope if your AFG application is not approved or you want to save your AFG for other department needs. There are a number of other options available to you.

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The care and feeding of chief’s vehicles

Congratulations, you have been elected Chief of your volunteer fire department. Here is your white helmet and in many parts of our country here are the keys to your new chief’s rig. To take this scenario one step further, there are also many departments who issue department vehicles to other members with chief rank designations such as Deputy Chief or Assistant Chief. Unfortunately, when writing an article about chief’s vehicles in a national publication such as this, I also must acknowledge that there are many departments who do not issue vehicles at all.

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Communication breakdowns

In almost every after action report I have ever read involving a major incident, one of the things that has been pointed out as a challenge or point for improvement. is on scene communications. As an industry, we have scrutinized almost every angle to this problem to include equipment, maintenance, SOGs (standard operating guidelines) and training. Has your department, system or squad developed an SOG or SOP (standard operating procedure) on proper radio use and etiquette? Does your department have a standardized “Mayday” policy or protocol? If you have an SOG or protocol in place, have you been trained, other than the customary, “Here is the protocol, read it, know it and sign here”?

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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 last quarter’s Journal, we talked about the first five commandments. In this edition I would like to unpack the last five of these words of wisdom, slightly paraphrased, and apply them to educating our firefighters and EMS providers.

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Concord HS Fire Academy dedicates newest member

Concord High School in Concord, North Carolina has a special program for its students interested in the fire service. The NC Dept. of Public Instruction and the Office of the State Fire Marshal have joined forces to offer this program in the hope that it will permit students the opportunity to learn more about the fire service as well as providing the opportunity to receive certification as Firefighter I,II through the Office of the State Fire Marshal.

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Special guest star at South Atlantic Expo

The North Carolina State Firemen’s Association will hold the 123rd Annual Conference and the South Atlantic Fire Rescue Expo August 11-14, 2010 at the Raleigh Convention Center.

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Hazmat, firefighters, and other first responders who have been tasked with incident scene management need reliable information available to them in a timely manner in order to effectively manage incident response. Perceived biological attacks, such as the frequent white powder attack are no different. These white powder attacks usually consist of a victim receiving a threatening letter through the mail that contains a white powder alleged to be Anthrax or some other harmful biological agent. Unlike victims of a chemical or explosive attack where the attack is obvious from an obnoxious odor, burning sensation, or explosion, victims of such a biological attack will be unaware they have been infected until symptoms manifest hours or days later. And during this incubation period, the attack can spread exponentially as contagious victims contact others and unknowingly spread the deadly pathogen.

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Crew Resource Management

The evolution of the public sector and the limitations of scarce resources increasingly require fire departments to provide more with less. The unintended side effect of this situation is that as fire service practitioners are overloaded with more responsibilities and tasks to maintain proficiency, the probability of error, inefficiency, and undesired outcomes rises. The human organism can be proficient in only so many things.

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(This is part one of a three-part series on health for first responders.)

As occupational medicine physicians, we get a lot of questions from fire departments about the 1582 Standard. In this three part series, we will take a look at some of the most common questions, about the standard, including how to implement the 1582 Standard, what the tests actually mean, and how to get the most bang for your buck.

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Plan your practical training at the new firehouse

One of the biggest challenges of any department is providing the needed hands-on, practical training for the firefighters.  For paid departments the training usually results in dedicating so many hours per year of the firefighters “on the clock” time to send them to the proper facilities. This increases the department budget by duplicating personnel needed to cover the one away at training. The volunteer departments face the problem of finding opportunities for their personnel to have time away from their regular jobs for training, which usually means evenings or weekends. Much of this training will require that valuable apparatus be out of service as well. Out of service personnel and apparatus will have adverse effects on your ISO ratings. None of these scenarios are unfamiliar to any department.

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What about Bob?

One of the constant challenges of being a leader is trying to keep the troops motivated. A good leader is always seeking new and innovative methods, procedures and methods to keep their staff, and members, with a positive attitude about work and life. However, it’s simply not an easy thing. There seems to always be something that somebody is unhappy about. Maybe the last training session was boring or things were not done “right” on the last call. No matter if it’s the last promotion they did not get; the last pay increase they did not receive; or some perceived slight by the leadership of the department. There always seems to be somebody who is not a happy camper! As a leader, this is always on your mind. You realize that your own attitude drives much of the organization’s attitude. Regardless of how you feel, you must always put your best foot and face out front.

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Sustainable building and design

Responsibility to community -- Every place of business should provide their employees an environmentally friendly and safe workplace. Fire stations and emergency response facilities are no exception. They know the importance of clean air. Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is only one of many ways we should move toward a more environmentally friendly place of work. One the most recognizable methods of IAQ in fire stations are separation of chemicals and installation and maintenance of proper ventilation and exhaust systems that remove air borne chemicals from living and administrative areas. Emergency response personnel are exposed to chemicals of some kind on nearly every 911 response. Even the decontamination areas are treated with special care — isolating from living quarters. Precautions are not an option, but a mandate for the safety of all.

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Well, summer is on its way out and it is time to start setting up those training sessions. Your folks are back from vacations and the weather will be cooler and easier to work in. We tend to do more training in the spring and fall, due to the cooler weather and better conditions. The heat of the summer makes it tough and the winter brings on the holidays and sometimes bitter weather, another situation that we do not want to train in. But do remember, vehicle crashes do not pick only the good weather to happen. My philosophy is to train in all types of conditions.

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Safety, Health and Survival Week 2010

The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) have announced the theme for the 2010 Safety, Health and Survival Week: Fit for Duty. Safety Week is June 20-26, 2010.

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Change in the fire service, is never an easy thing. No matter what we are trying to change, it is almost always met with resistance. Being a group that endears tradition, we as firefighters cling to the ways of old, very tightly, sometimes too tightly. A lot of the resistance to changes of the way we do things stems from a long history of failed attempts at changes. Every firefighter will be quick to tell you of the “crazy idea” the chief tried to spring on them overnight, and how it was a good idea that just wasn’t thought through.

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Returning to the foundations: portable extinguishers

I come again to you, the respected readers of this blessed periodical, in hopes to attempt to open eyes and expose those of you looking for “new” ways to train. We’ve all heard the term “Back to Basics” for a while now, and to be honest, I’m tired of it.

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Distance Education: Is it really for EMS?

Distance education has grown over the years, and it has been estimated that more than three million people are taking at least one online class this semester in the United States. Online programs have become very popular in almost all industries. One could look at advertisements in various publications and see a wide range of degrees and courses being offered through regionally accredited colleges and universities. A college that is not offering classes at a distance is definitely in the minority, and is not maximizing their potential for offering advanced degrees and certificates to people who are not able to attend traditional classes.

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UNC Charlotte’s EMS Management Institute celebrates 30 years in 2010

Offered for the first time in 1980, UNC Charlotte’s EMS Management Institute will enter its 30th anniversary year with the upcoming 2010-2011 offering, beginning early October. Sponsored through the University’s Department of Continuing Education, the Institute is a management training opportunity for Directors, Supervisors, and Training Specialists in the EMS field and often attracts participation from paramedics aspiring to future leadership positions within their agency.

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Time management and effective fire companies

All firefighters realize and understand the importance of time when it comes to responding to an emergency incident. Time is recognized as one limited resource that must be maximized in every aspect. A difference in seconds may mean the difference between a fire being confined to the point of origin, verses a fully engulfed room, or a person clinically dead verses biologically dead. Time is critical in every case.

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Inaugural EMS Disaster Management program

The EMS Administration and Medical Disaster Management Program at the University of North Carolina is accepting applications for the inaugural EMS Administration and Medical Disaster Management certificate program at the University of North Carolina, School of Medicine. This will be a 110 hour continuing education program taught in a cohort fashion to begin in Asheville for a 16 hour session in July. The following four sessions (in order) are taught in Greensboro/October, Chapel Hill/November, Wilmington/February 2011 and returns to Chapel Hill to finish in April 2011.

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Salaries remain high for Fire Protection Engineers

Despite the lethargic economic rebound, salaries in one industry are still holding strong. The median USA total compensation for fire protection engineers is now $110,500, a 12.5 percent increase since the previous survey was conducted in 2007.

Fire protection engineering is a unique profession that uses science and technology to make our world safer from the destructive impacts of fire.

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What’s in your big red tool box?

Monty Hall used to say, “Let’s see what’s behind door number one.” Or, “I will trade what you have for what is behind door number two,” and so on.

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Carolinas HealthCare System (CHS), based in Charlotte, is one of the largest and most comprehensive hospital-based systems in the U.S., and the largest in the Carolinas. It includes 32 hospitals, more than 1,500 employed physicians, plus post-acute care and long-term care facilities.

In the Charlotte metropolitan region there are eight acute care CHS hospitals including Carolinas Medical Center (CMC) in Charlotte, a Level I Trauma Center and Academic Medical Center Teaching Hospital, serving western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina; CMC-NorthEast in Concord, a Level III Trauma Center; CMC-University and CMC-Mercy in Charlotte; CMC-Pineville; CMC-Union in Monroe; CMC-Lincoln in Lincolnton; and Cleveland Regional Medical Center in Shelby, a Level III Trauma Center.

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Mobile computing for your truck

As we all know, “emergency response” involves more than just fighting fires or tending to someone who has been injured.  That is not to say that suppressing a fully involved structure fire or resuscitating an unresponsive heart attack victim are simple feats. Rather, they are the public-facing actions that are typically prefaced by behind-the-scenes information gathering and analyzing that is oftentimes performed while en route to the call. Whether it is a paramedic accessing past medical records, or a firefighter reviewing a building layout for a facility before arrival, the information that is available will ultimately shape the means by which the emergency — whatever it may be — is approached and handled.

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Natural disaster Preparedness

The Florida weatherman is in a floppy poncho holding his microphone in one hand and his yellow hood to his head with the other. As he pushes towards the wind to stay in view of the television camera, he sternly declares, “Severe weather is coming — the biggest we’ve seen in years.” Of course, the local television and radio stations follow with, “it is headed our way in a few days.”

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Water rescue  equipment considerations

Spring will soon be here and so will the storms that follow. With our ever changing environment, storms can bring down a lot of water in a short period. With the onset of increasing growth and development, this water sometimes has no place to go. The result is flooded streets and populated areas. We also have to consider the seasonal water activities of the public, thus resulting in more water recovery operations. Let’s take a look at some of the personal equipment needed for this type of operations.

Keeping our personal equipment in mind, even if we are not directly involved in water rescue operations, you may still be in close proximity to the rescue and thus need to make sure you have on the correct protection.

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We talked last time about how the diving industry has come a long way since the 70s, and the fun I had diving with Jacques Cousteau, yeah, right. Once you obtain that open water certification, you need to move into your advanced open water and put some specialties under your belt. This will also give you more dive time and experience.

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Soft and hard = just right

If you are old enough, you may remember the TV commercials depicting the kindly supermarket manager named Mr. Whipple squeezing the Charmin toilet paper? It was neither too hard nor too soft; it was “just right.”


From an employer’s viewpoint, what makes an employee “just right?” What traits do employers — including emergency service providers — actually seek when hiring or promoting someone?


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Time honored rescue skills that will never be outdated

Rescue training has changed greatly in the last 30 years, what with the advent of new rescue equipment and the skills required to apply, or utilize, that equipment effectively and safely. There are more varieties and types of equipment to perform various rescues than ever before. The “general rescuer,” and even the rescue specialist, have more tools available now than ever. New standards for rescue are more prevalent, along with ever-changing protocols, SOPs, SOGs, etc., all in an effort to be the “best and safest we can be.” We NEED to be proficient with new technologies, procedures and skills. The public has a right to expect this, and we have an obligation to provide it, right?

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Fire and football

Despite all of the other things with which we are tasked, fire is still our middle name. We spend the bulk of our time doing down time stuff — check and clean trucks, train, and prepare for calls — more than we spend time actually operating on calls. Take nothing away from this. Our monotonous tasks that are labeled as routine and boring are very important.

Imagine your favorite football team playing your biggest rival without ever practicing plays or checking to see if their helmets and pads fit properly. Such an occurrence may result in an outcome similar to the football game in 1916 during which the Cumberland, Tennessee Bulldogs were beaten unmercifully by the then called “Engineers” from Georgia Tech. The final score of that game was 222 to zero. That is not a typo. 

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NCSFA ‘Hurricane’ night

Mark your calendars for the NC State Firemen’s Association night with the Carolina Hurricanes! On Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. join us at the RBC Center in Raleigh, NC and watch the Hurricanes take on the Florida Panthers. 

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This helmet passed the test

This month I will be starting something new here in my tenure with the Carolina Fire Journal as I review different firefighting items. Hopefully, this will assist you in researching products to make your work in firefighting easier.


Product Review

Cairns 1044 Fire Helmet

Recently, I tested and got familiar with the Cairns 1044 fire helmet. Cairns has been making fire helmets for many years, and makes helmets that range from manufactured leather to standard 660 helmets — many call “salad bowls.” 


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Charleston County EMS wins Service of the Year award

Charleston County EMS has been awarded the 2010 National Paid EMS Service of the Year award. This award, given by Cygnus communications, is given to one paid EMS system in the United States each year.

Charleston County was chosen due to various areas, such as it’s innovation in pre-hospital care, program upgrades, the high certification level of its personnel, worker safety and well-being, it’s excellent EMS education and training program, the involvement in the medical community, its illness and injury prevention project and public education initiatives, among other things.

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industry news

Industry news for Spring 2010

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Hazards of the patient assessment

The patient assessment algorithm is drilled into our heads from day one in EMS. It does not matter what class you take: EMT-B, EMT-I, EMT-P, ITLS, PEDS, PALS, GEMS, NRP, AMLS, ASLS, or any other combination of letters someone can come up with. They all revolve around some form of the patient assessment chart. Some of the classes use the same one, a few adjust them to fit the specific topic of the class, but they all use some form of it. Everything we do in EMS is based on what we find during the patient assessment.

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Decision-making in CWA response

(This is part three of a three-part series on gas detection.)

In responses to release 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.


CWA Identification

After a chemical has been located and classified in some special situations it is necessary to identify it. Speciation (typically spectroscopy) technologies allow us to identify chemicals so that additional actions can be taken. “Spectroscopy” is the study of how electromagnetic radiation interacts with the atoms and molecules:


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How SMART is your triage?

When training or preparing for the call that stretches you and your service to the limit, a consistent and efficient approach to triage is advantageous. The SMART triage system provides the user with a simple, clear, and concise methodology to completing field triage of patients in the setting of a mass causality incident.

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Fire investigation for the First Responder

One of the most important components to a successful fire service response is a properly completed origin and cause fire investigation. We state this as fact for two important reasons: to recognize an intentionally set fire and to subsequently assist with placing those individuals responsible into the criminal justice system, and also to properly identify certain dangerous practices or faulty equipment that may spark accidental fires. Neither of these end results could be possible without proper scene preservation and other important functions conducted by the first responding crews.


Scene preservation

If proper scene preservation is not a priority, and there is little thought and direction as to how to proceed after the fire has been deemed “under control,” the case may suffer. Fire pattern analysis, evidence collection and a complete scene examination may become much harder, or even deemed impossible by the investigator, dependent upon each individual scene.


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Mass shooting active shooter

It appears that the “bad guys” (criminal elements and terrorists) are more determined, violent and heavily armed than ever before. Crisis situations such as terrorist threats, criminal attacks and active shooters are occurring with alarming frequency. 


Dispatch and Response Phase

  • Nature of the call and location are important. When responding get all the dispatch information available.
  • Current threat environment and intelligence could be applicable to a mass shooting/active shooter response. Is location a school, college or high profile business? 


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ICS and Hazmat: where do we fit in?

Hazmat personnel are regularly faced with the question of where do we — hazmat teams and related personnel — fit in within the overall scheme of things in the incident command system (ICS)? Some folks, my wife included, will oftentimes state that we hazmat types don’t ever “fit in” in a given situation. All kidding aside, the ICS template mandated by the National Incident Management System (NIMS) serves as a clear roadmap to our success as hazardous materials responders in relation to the “big picture” of incident or event management.

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Should you convert to a Roth IRA?

For many, the funding of a Roth IRA has not been an option for saving for retirement. However, since January 1, 2010, a new opportunity is available for those interested in a Roth IRA. New IRS rules are making it easier than ever to convert to a Roth IRA. All taxpayers are now eligible to convert a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA, regardless of income or filing status. In addition, individuals can convert some types of qualified retirement plans, including 401(k) plans, profit sharing plans, governmental 457(b) plans, and 403(b) plans. A Roth conversion allows individuals to convert future taxable income to future tax-free income.

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The Scott World Firefighter Combat Challenge

The Scott World Firefighter Combat Challenge will be held in Myrtle Beach this year, bringing in approximately 5000 people to Broadway at the Beach on Nov. 8-12th.


Both Myrtle Beach and Horry County Fire departments have spearheaded the effort to bring the Challenge to Myrtle Beach. Details are being finalized to make this year’s Challenge as exciting  and memorable as possible in the hopes that the event will return here in 2011.

Much like the South Carolina state challenge, this event will bring in firefighters from all across the United States, along with numerous international countries such as New Zealand, Canada, Chile, Germany, Argentina and South Africa.

The rules for this event remain the same. A firefighter will carry a 45 pound hose pack up a four story tower, hoist a 45 pound hose roll up to the fourth floor, run down the tower, hit a Keiser machine that weighs 165 pounds — simulating forcible entry — run through 75 feet of obstacles to pick up a charged hand line, drag the charged hose back the 75 feet, and finish it off by dragging a 175 pound mannequin 100 feet to the finish line.


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When I attend fire conferences and shows, I am always on the lookout for new and innovative equipment that would be good to evaluate and write about. I look for things that would make your life as a rescuer easier and safer. While attending the South Carolina Fire and Rescue Conference this past June, I came across a small piece of equipment that I thought was interesting and served a purpose for some of those in the fire and rescue field.

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2010 SC Fire-Rescue Conference June 7-12

The 2010 South Carolina Fire-Rescue Conference will be held in Myrtle Beach, SC, June 7-12, 2010. The goal is to provide a training and education conference that is entertaining and professionally stimulating. 


Pre-conference seminars and classroom sessions are taught by nationally recognized experts, and premier South Carolina fire service instructors, who have proven leadership skills developed under fire.

H.O.T. classes/workshops

  • Advanced Automobile Extrication

  • Fire Ground Command Simulation

  • Techniques of Searching Fire Buildings

  • The Art of Not Breathing Smoke

  • The Four R’s of Accountability and Fire Ground Decision Making

  • Firefighting Technicians — Truck Company Style

  • Chief Officers Academy

  • This House Rocks

  • Rapid Intervention Crew Awareness and Mayday Communications


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Risk tolerance: A matter of capacity, attitude, perception

Risk is a major factor in our financial lives. We all know that. However, most of us have a hard time deciding the level of risk we are willing to take — and an even harder time being consistent and disciplined about risk.

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Fun things to do at Myrtle Beach

Whether you’re on vacation with friends or looking for things the whole family can enjoy, your vacation at Myrtle Beach is guaranteed to be the best you’ve ever had. The Myrtle Beach area, also known as the Grand Strand, features something for everyone. Sixty miles of pristine uninterrupted beach, water parks dripping in fun, shopping excursions, toe-tapping live theatre shows, over 1,600 restaurants and more than 100 championship golf courses, it’s no wonder that the Myrtle Beach area one of the leading vacation destinations in the country!

Myrtle Beach’s most popular attraction is, of course, the beach. Besides working on an even tan, beachgoers can swim, surf, parasail, fish, jet-ski or kite-board. Sea shell collecting is at its prime in the clean, fine, white sand, while sand castle building is a must. The fishing is plentiful, either right in the surf or from the eight fishing piers along the Myrtle Beach area coastline.

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Anchor-Richey to sell Smeal...Bobbitt Selected for Indian Land VFD Addition and Renovation...Elkhart Brass Introduces Electric Remote...Idaho Technology, Inc. launches RAZOR Simulant Training Kit...Kimtek MEDLITE Transport Used on Extreme Home Makeover Show...Lenoir Firefighter Wins Firefighting Turnout Gear In TenCate Sweepstakes...100 Percent Exhaust Removal with No Loops...MetalCraft Marine Chooses OceanView Technologies’ Premium Zeus Night-Vision Camera for New 70-Foot Fire Boat...Pierce Manufacturing and Fire Chief Magazine Honor Career and Volunteer Fire Chiefs of the Year...Radiation Shield Technologies’ Demron Maximizes Public Safety, Minimizes Economic Impact

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Product Review: Spill Away Plus

I recently met Mr. John Paparone from Environmental Solution, Incorporated (ESI) at the Buies Creek Fire Department. ESI manufactures and distributes products that clean spills, for example, after motor vehicle crashes. They also sell products that clean vehicles. These products are also environmentally sound in that they reduce hazardous wastes.

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Wake Technical Community College opens new Public Safety Facility

The old saying that you can’t judge a book by it’s cover is ever so true for Wake Technical Community College’s new Public Safety Campus.

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