CFJ Vol. 29.3 (Winter 2015)

Not One Step Back!

Our Thirtieth Year — 1985-2015. Thank You!

Going into our 30th year at Carolina Fire Rescue EMS Journal we have never been more proud of the people we represent and the fire products we present to them and the vital training our superior writers provide.

Having served in the military, I know that soldiers are frequently asked, “When it’s on the line, who do you want in your fox hole?” Someone commented, “Loyal, steadfast in their mission, well trained and possessing the right tools and skills to get the job done. They’ve got your back and you trust them.”

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Relevant Tags: FROM THE PUBLISHER

What are your 2015 promises?

Mary Pat Knight is a leadership coach and her idea is that, “Resolutions don’t work. Make promises instead.” Why a promise? A promise is personal.

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Relevant Tags: FROM THE EDITOR

Photoionization Detectors: Kings of Concentration

In the realm of hazardous materials response, one of the primary pieces of information we need to know is the concentration of any harmful vapors or gases we are dealing with. One of the primary tools we utilize in our “hazmat toolbox” — especially for substances for which we do not have a dedicated, direct-reading sensor — is the photoionization detector (PID). Just as with any other piece of hazmat equipment that we utilize, we should have a thorough understanding of the operating principles, idiosyncrasies, and proper situations in which to use the PID. We will discuss those points in the discussion that follows.

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Relevant Tags: SIXTY ONE DELTA ONE

Biological Attack:

Prior to the Fall of 2001, very few individuals in the United States, outside of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) or the military, gave much thought to the possibility of a biological attack on this country. The events of September 11, 2001 and the anthrax attacks through the Postal Service in October of 2001 changed the perceptions of most Americans. While anthrax, smallpox and other biological agents have been media buzzwords for the past seven years, many other agents remain unknown to the general public. One of these unknowns is Staphylococcal Enterotoxin B or SEB.

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Relevant Tags: HAZMAT

Free Training from CTOS for First Responders

CTOS-Center for Radiological/Nuclear Training has trained more than 158,000 first responders over the past 15 years in the prevention of, and response to, radiological and nuclear weapons of mass destruction (WMD) incidents.

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Relevant Tags: HAZMAT

Quick and Easy Anchor System

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and is looking forward to the coming of warmer weather. Personally I am not much of a cold weather person and I’m looking forward to the spring myself. It’s a good time for training and working with our equipment, to become familiar and more proficient at what we do. I will have some good things to look at this year in the forthcoming issues.

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Relevant Tags: TOOLS OF THE TRADE

Quick Step Anchor For Safe Roof Ventilation

I try to stay up with newer products and recently heard of the Quick Step Anchor. So I immediately did what most of us would do and googled it. I was intrigued and wanted to know more.

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Relevant Tags: TOOLS OF THE TRADE

Rock Quarry Rescues

Perhaps one of the most challenging fields in rescue involves the myriad of potential and very real rescues that can occur in rock quarries. By their very nature, quarries contain equipment and infrastructure that require numerous rescue disciplines, sometimes required within the same rescue event.

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Relevant Tags: RESCUE A-Z

Best Practices for Active Shooter Incidents

I think it’s safe to say that no one chooses law enforcement, EMS or fire fighting as a career path without having a desire to serve and help others. We collectively do a fantastic job the majority of the time. But one area that is becoming an increasing risk to first responders in every community, from Los Angeles to the smallest town in Kansas, is active shooter incidents. Two incidents occurred within the United States during the time I was composing this article. So my question is, why are we scared to implement a tactical EMS program within our communities? It should not even be a question. Every community should have a plan, equipment, and education in place for these situations. Aurora and Sandy Hook should be an eye opener to the fact that these incidents are not isolated to larger cities. Yet we continue to avoid it.

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Relevant Tags: CFJ

Ebola: What A First Responder Should Know

With the ongoing Ebola outbreak in Western Africa, it is important for EMS personnel to be familiar with characteristics of the disease, how to screen for it, how to protect themselves, and how to care for these patients. The chance of taking care of an Ebola patient is quite low. There have been only two patients in the United States who have been exposed to and contracted the disease within this country. There were two additional patients who were exposed to Ebola oversees and then developed the disease after arrival in the United States. In total this means that only four people have developed Ebola while in the United States. Given that the U.S. is a country of 300 million, this means that there is a very low risk of a healthcare worker being exposed to a person with Ebola and an even lower risk for the general population. That being said, it is the role of EMS personnel to train in how to recognize, care for, and work safely around possible Ebola patients. In this way EMS can help ensure that the United States is kept safe from an Ebola outbreak.

 

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Relevant Tags: NEWS FROM THE DIRECTOR OF THE NC EMS ASSOCIATION

Everyone Goes Home in EMS Too

In public safety, the primary objective of each and every shift is to ensure that everyone goes home. And while it may sound a bit cliché, no one wants today to be his or her last. EMS personnel face many challenges in the 21st century — from violent patients, to hazardous materials in clandestine labs, to the threat of infectious disease. But of all the potential dangers that lurk in the EMS workplace, driving is the one that statistically changes the lives of more personnel and threatens that idea of everyone going home. So what is being done to change this situation? How serious is a threat that is encountered every minute of the day being taken in the classrooms and boardrooms? There is momentum for improvement, but the pace is slow. And the numbers of incidents keep accumulating.

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Relevant Tags: EMS 2015

Moulage for Electrical Burns, Lightning

Objective

The objective of this moulage training scenario is to assist responders in creating moulage specific to electrical burns caused by lightning, treating the symptoms that may accompany an electrical burn and assisting educators in creating training scenarios that enable utilization of appropriate triage interventions and wound management.

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Relevant Tags: EMS 2015

Ritz Carlton Patient Satisfaction in EMS —

It’s two p.m. on a Sunday afternoon and you and your crew find yourself searching for an address in a beaten up mobile home park. A 75-year-old female is living alone and suffers a fall and likely has a broken hip. The neighbors wave you down as your vehicle finds its way through the crowded streets. The woman’s name is Ms. Jones and she is clearly in a significant amount of pain. Her morphine dose is ready to be given, yet her skin is so brittle and her veins so flat that multiple attempts at an IV fail. She screams in pain each time the needle pierces her skin and she yells “20 out of 10” when you question her about how bad it hurts. Your three-person crew gently rolls her onto the long board after administering the narcotic into her left thigh. The neighbors watch in horror, as Ms. Jones’ screams seem louder than the sirens coming from your vehicle as it pulls out of the community. En route to the emergency department, Ms. Jones asks if someone closed her front door so that the cat would not escape. The silence following her question brings her to tears and her despair peaks as she is rolled into a frigid emergency department, the bright lights glaring into her eyes. The transfer is made to the hospital gurney just as Ms. Jones’ son walks into the room. His eyes quickly search for the person who can answer the questions about his mother. Nurses fill the room and a white coat walks in as your EMS crew gently backs out of the chaos and quickly heads toward the ambulance bay to the quiet calm of the rescue vehicle.

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Relevant Tags: EMS 2015

Heavy Lifting with Airbags

Last issue we looked at how airbags work and the physics behind how they do the lifting that they do. Many do not understand how the lifting process works and how the true capability of airbags is calculated.

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Relevant Tags: EXTRICATION EDUCATION

What is an Accident?

I have had the privilege and honor to be serving in the fire service for well over two decades now. Sometimes it feels as if it has only been a year but when I look back at the technology, terminology, and tactics changes, it feels as if it has been three lifetimes. I still can remember when wearing self-contained breathing apparatus and seat belts were optional and reporting required a pen and did not require an Internet connection. The National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) used to have three options for fire cause: undetermined, incendiary and accidental. Undetermined was used when the heat source and item first ignited could not be found. Incendiary was used when someone purposely set the fire. Accidental was obviously used anytime the fire was an accident. At some point — in the blur of the past two decades — NFIRS changed the fire causes to Undetermined, Intentional and Unintentional.

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Relevant Tags: CFJ

Ask Ernie - Winter 2015

What is the biggest and/or tallest aerial apparatus produced for the fire service in the United States?

I think that that claim may go to E-One with their Heavy Duty CR-137. It reaches 13 stories above ground level. For outside the U.S. market, the Bronto HLA-112 articulating and extending unit will reach heights of 367 feet and the Rosenbauer L-62 at 203 feet. While not for firefighting, the Abilene High Lift Aerial at 328 feet is stated as the tallest aerial lift in the U.S.

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Relevant Tags: CFJ

The Irresponsibility of ‘Fairy Dusting’

More than 25 years ago, I stood alongside a rural road at the scene of a two-vehicle MVA with six casualties, four critical. I had no medical training and watched in awe as teams worked to extricate the victims. Ambulances, fire trucks, police cars and helicopters came and left. The sights, sounds, smells, and overwhelming sense of helplessness left an indelible impression on me. Something brought me to that scene and several weeks later I was enrolled in an EMT-A class at a local hospital. Does my story sound familiar?

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Relevant Tags: CFJ

Moving Forward

“In communications, familiarity breeds apathy.”

William Bernbach (1911-1982)

At a recent fire department meeting the fire chief was addressing several concerns regarding the blatant disregard of departmental policies and numerous safety related infractions by some of the members. The list was quite long, and each item cumulated in what the chief described as ignorance and/or apathy. Two bewildered looking firefighters were sitting near the back of the room when one whispered to the other, “What the hell is he talking about?” The other firefighter defiantly replied, “I don’t know and I don’t care!”

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Relevant Tags: CFJ

Community Risk Management and Your Department

Every day, local elected officials, leaders, managers, and fire chiefs are faced with decisions that relate to providing fire protection, emergency medical care, disaster response, and other services for their communities. Now more than ever, these local leaders are faced with the constant pressure of doing more with less, and many local governmental executives are hard pressed to justify any increase in expenditures unless directly attributed to improved or expanded service delivery in the community. This effort has been hampered by the lack of a nationally accepted set of performance criteria by which a community can evaluate the level and quality of fire, EMS, and other services it provides to its community.

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Relevant Tags: CFJ

No More Alphabet Soup!

As kids — maybe adults too — we can all think back to a meal or particular food that our parents forced us to eat and we couldn’t help but think, “man I am tired of this junk.” Not having an option, we regrettably consumed whatever was on our plates or went to bed hungry. Well listen up fire service colleagues, “I ain’t drinking the kool-aid anymore and I’ve had my fill of the alphabet soup.” I can’t idly stand by and continue to accept the almost daily bowl of stew being forced upon us. I say no more and I ask all of you to examine the acronyms below one spoonful at a time. You don’t have to agree with me, but you can’t deny that we tend to place a great deal of time and value in conjuring up these little gems. The sad part is, many are looking for a hefty pat on the back for their clever achievements rather than helping our brothers and sisters do the job. All too often, a new idea, concept or strategy is presented and what’s next — we wait for the ensuing flood of acronyms to take hold so one can place their mark on the fire service. The list is a bit long, but it only scratches the surface of the number of acronyms being hurled into the fire service arena.

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Relevant Tags: CFJ

9 Steps to Being an Improved Person and Manager

It’s that time of the year! We are starting a new year with fresh ideas and new ways to improve our lives. We all make those famous New Year’s Resolutions to lose weight, to love everyone more and to do the right things. We all know what happens in about three months — we give up on all those resolutions and fall back into the normal pace of life and forget all those new ideas. I truly understand! I have bought at least one or two exercise machines that seem to work well as a plant stand!

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Relevant Tags: BARNYARD MANAGEMENT

The Importance and Structure of a Health Related Fitness Program

A surprising majority of fire departments do not have a health related fitness program (HRFP). A HRFP includes fitness assessment, exercise training and health promotion activities. As a firefighter, your health and wellness is imperative for mission readiness. In order to improve the health and overall well being of fire fighting personnel, a proactive approach is the most beneficial means to ensure department members are able to perform when called upon. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1583: Standard on Health-Related Fitness Programs for Fire Department Members is your go to resource for the creation and maintenance of a proactive HRFP. NFPA:1583 was written and designed to be used in conjunction with NFPA 1582: Standard on Comprehensive Occupational Medical Program for Fire Departments and NFPA 1500: Standard on Fire Department Occupational Safety and Health Program.

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Relevant Tags: HEALTHY LIVING

Water Supply 101

After a bout of writer’s block, it took a working fire to give me the connection to finding the focus of this issue’s article. Even though my department and surrounding departments are located in an area with 10,000 square foot homes, we still have issues with water. I always think of hydrants as mystical red watering devices and have come to realize that a lot of people overlook the abilities of a successful water shuttle operation. At this particular fire, three tankers were able to successfully keep an aerial flowing a master stream of 900 to 1000 gallons a minute — all in a water tanker/tender operation.

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Relevant Tags: ALL ABOUT TRUCKS

Preplanning for your Commercial Laundry Equipment Needs

The Basics

In the past we have discussed the purpose of washing turnout gear as recommended by the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) being both a part of regular periodic maintenance and also for at least the following various safety reasons. Turnout gear with soil buildup from previous fires can flashover and catch fire itself. The firefighter, loved ones and even those the firefighter is trying to help, can be exposed to harmful carcinogenic soot and other contaminants like blood borne pathogens deposited on the exterior of the ensemble. Soot from past fires also increases conductivity therefore creating greater electrical shock risks if exposed to live wires.

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Relevant Tags: THE STATION HOUSE

Facility Design and Construction to Meet Specific Emergency Requirements

Over the past decade, increased emphasis has been placed on how to properly train and equip our fire stations and emergency personnel. Advancements in equipment, technology and training continue, and these should be considered when planning to design and build an emergency facility. Here is an overview of some of the latest trends and technologies in fire station construction.

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Relevant Tags: THE STATION HOUSE

Hiring the Architects You’d Play Golf With

(This is part nine of an ongoing series.)

Last issue we discussed the Construction Document (CD) phase of the design process. Referring back to the American Institute of Architects, I will repeat the last sentence of the definition.

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Relevant Tags: THE STATION HOUSE

Plan Wisely for Your Future Construction

I realize that I’m getting old, but I’m reminded just how old I’m getting when I look back at the construction cost of the fire stations we designed in the 1980s. At that time you could build a quality station — we’re not talking pole barn — for $80 plus per square foot. I’d love to reminisce and trace the three-decade history of how those costs have changed over time, but suffice to say quality stations cost a little more than that today!

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Relevant Tags: THE STATION HOUSE

Partnership Brings New Emergency Medical Science Degree Program to Meet Workforce Demand

In August, CPCC launched its new Emergency Medical Science degree program. This new program is a result of a partnership between CPCC and Carolinas HealthCare Systems (CHS) and will meet a growing need in Mecklenburg County for paramedics. For more than a decade, CPCC has provided entry-level EMT programs, while CHS and its Center for Pre-Hospital Medicine have offered paramedic programs through the Carolinas College of Health Sciences and Mecklenburg County Emergency Medical Services (MEDIC). The new EMS program at CPCC will produce well-trained graduates needed by MEDIC to meet current and future workforce demands. Nationally according to the Department of Labor, the employment demand for degree-level paramedics is expected to grow by 33 percent over the next five to eight years.

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Relevant Tags: EDUCATION FOR THE FIRST RESPONDER

Your Personal Roadmap to Promotion

“What do you think it takes to climb the career ladder?” This is a loaded question that does not have an easy or short answer. Many books, articles and lectures have been written on this subject and there is no magical incantation or sure-fire method that will get you where you want to be. First of all, becoming a leader in your department more closely resembles a journey than rungs on a “ladder.” The directions to where you want to be may seem to be a twisted road full of wrong turns, but I think we can take a few of the many ideas out there and formulate a basic road map to get to where you want to be. The ideas and methods in this discussion are not by any means new or the only way. The goal here is to help take stock of where you are, where you want to be and hopefully start moving in the right direction.

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Relevant Tags: CFJ

Returning to the Foundations

(This is part two of a two part series.)

One of the most important themes we tend to carry year-round is fire prevention. Traditionally thought of during Fire Prevention Week, fire departments all over the country seek to educate youngsters. “Stop, Drop and Roll” mated with “Exit Drills in the Home” and working smoke detectors not only save young lives, but also can have a serious impact on all ages.

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Relevant Tags: CFJ

Performing the Job, Not the Title

Many times in the fire service and EMS we see people that want to move up the ladder and into different leadership roles. We see people that have a burning desire for certain positions and we welcome growth in our profession but we have to validate one thing before we make that promotion ... do they want it for the title or the job? Promoting someone means generally more money, more responsibility, more duties, and the list goes on. But it also means that those within the department will be looking up to these individuals for guidance and for “how to” moments. Validating that the person wants to do the job for its true meaning and not just for the title will ensure we’re putting people who need to be in those positions there and not the ones who want the new gold badge or the title. If we put the wrong individuals in these positions, we’ve then set our departments up for failure.

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Relevant Tags: CFJ

Behavioral Health: Not just Another False Alarm

Being a fourth generation firefighter helped me receive many lessons early on. My grandfather would always chime in with his words of wisdom and story telling. He would say, “Remember, any time you talk on the radio, take a deep breath and say what you want to say to yourself ... then key up the radio and say it.”

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Relevant Tags: BEHAVIORAL HEALTH

Make Time for BUNKER TALK

What do you guys talk about? Do you talk about family, politics, your childhood, and current events, fears? What about the future? I have a feeling that the one subject you don’t talk about is his bunker gear/turnout gear. Why not? Most likely you guys have an agreement that what happens at the fire department stays at the fire department. However, this is one conversation you need to have.

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Relevant Tags: THE HOMEFRONT

Interventions for First Responders

This is the second of a series of articles based on a panel discussion originally presented to Gainesville Fire and Rescue in 2013. Last issue we discussed alcohol and prescription drug problems in firefighters and first responders; suicide and contributors of stress and PTSD. This issue we discuss the indicators and behavioral signs of alcohol or drug intoxication, impairment and after-effects.

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Relevant Tags: BEHAVIORAL HEALTH

The DEVIL within

None of us ever wants to admit defeat. It is not in our nature. What makes it even more difficult for people like us is what we do. We are the ones going in, giving aid, support, sacrifices and sometimes even our lives in order to save others. We are supposed to be the invincible ones and for the most part we are. But ultimately we are all human; we act and react differently to situations both in and out of the “job.”

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Relevant Tags: RUBBER BOOT WARRIORS frontlines of the community

Industry News

PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY PLACES PINK PIERCE® PUMPER, “COURAGE,” INTO SERVICE TO PROMOTE CANCER AWARENESS

Atlantic Emergency Solutions, Inc. (Atlantic) and Pierce Manufacturing, an Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE: OSK) company, has delivered a Pierce® Velocity™ pumper to Prince George’s County, Maryland Fire/EMS Department (PGFD) located in Largo, Maryland. Nicknamed “Courage” through a contest conducted through the department’s social media outlets. PGFD chose to have the pumper painted pink with a lavender stripe — the first ever new Pierce vehicle so painted — as a way to promote its campaign to fight breast cancer and all other types of cancer.

“This new Pierce pumper expands a conversation between our department and the citizens of Prince George’s County; it’s a real community relations builder,” said Fire Chief Marc Bashoor of PGFD “When we ordered these six Pierce apparatus, the decision was made to paint one of the pumpers pink in order to build momentum for our ongoing cancer awareness program. The typical reaction we get is that of amazement, but the underlying goal is to encourage citizens to get screened and tested on a regular basis.”

Atlantic Emergency Solutions serves the states of Delaware, Maryland, the District of Columbia, North Carolina, Virginia and the West Virginia counties of Berkeley, Morgan, Mineral and Jefferson as a total solution provider.

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Relevant Tags: Industry News

Winter 2015 New Deliveries



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About the Carolina Fire Rescue EMS Journal

Welcome to the Carolina Fire Rescue EMS Journal! We want to provide you with timely online information and breaking news that best equips you to meet today’s emergency challenges. Among our firefighting articles, you will find the latest in firefighter technology, firefighter training, leadership development and the newest products and services presented in an “Act Now” user friendly format.  We want to be your best online source for the fire and rescue information, resources and reviews you need.
 
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