Archive for category Fire Service News

NFFF video – Boyd Street

Boyd Street: NFFF’s Compelling New Documentary

The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation announces the release of Boyd Street, created in partnership with the Los Angeles City Fire Department and Full Vision Productions.

Boyd Street recounts the harrowing and heroic tale of the 2020 Toy District Fire, which sent eleven LAFD firefighters to the hospital—some with life-altering injuries.

The documentary details not only the day of the incident, but the months of recovery and departmental self-assessment that followed, as told through the voices of those involved. It is a story all fire departments can relate to—and learn from.

Boyd Street from NFFF on Vimeo.


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Aurora Township Fire Protection District history

This from Larry Shapiro for #TBT

Aurora Township Fire Protection District Engine 604 – Ford C-Series / Grumman TigerCat top-mount pumper; #TBT;; #larryshapiro; #FireTruck; #AuroraTownshipFPD; #FordC-Series; #Grumman; #TigerCat;

Larry Shapiro photo

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Of interest … EMS procedure

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The New Orleans EMS administered blood to a woman shot on Bourbon Street Sunday morning while she was still in the street. They say this is a rare ability for EMS services across the country and saves lives.

Thomas Mauro was the paramedic who gave her the blood using a Lifeflow device. He was able to get blood into the victim in just 10 minutes as opposed to the normal 40 or so minutes it can take to get victims’ blood in a hospital.

“Quick, rapid blood administration is the most important thing you can do besides getting them to the hospital as quickly as possible. I feel better now that I can make more of a difference than I could before,” Mauro said.

This was the 100th time New Orleans EMS was able to use this service since it launched almost exactly a year ago. They say they are seeing much better outcomes for people facing trauma that received the treatment, as opposed to those who didn’t in years past.

“My first ever blood administration the patient normally would not have done well but by the time we got that patient to the hospital they were talking, and they weren’t talking before,” Mauro said.

Other EMS services across the world are looking to them as an example and are trying to institute the practice in their own cities.

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Fire Service News … Advanced Practice Providers working with paramedics

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Scott Perryman, a battalion chief with the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District and also a paramedic, put himself through physician assistant school at Stanford. When he went back out into the field, there were a lot of issues he saw as a paramedic that could be treated in the field to prevent a trip to the emergency room.

A lot of 9-1-1 calls were for something as simple as medication, so he decided to pilot a program in Sacramento where Advanced Practice Providers (physician assistants or nurse practitioners) accompany paramedics.

“The beauty of that is it saves the patient from going into the emergency room and spending resources there,” Perryman said. “And saves the hospital because they’re not taking patients that don’t need to be there. So now they can focus on the patients that truly need to be there.”

These APPs can educate patients and prescribe medications, bringing direct and definitive care.

Three hospitals — Sutter Health, Dignity Health and UC Davis — gave $1.1 million to fund the pilot program which is already saving patients, hospitals, and insurance companies money.

“We saw those high utilizers of 9-1-1. We decreased their 9-1-1 use by 55%, saving the system over $350,000 in just a three-month period,” he said.

One area of impact is psychiatric emergencies. “A lot of the time, they have to go the emergency room to be medically cleared before they can go in a psychiatric facility,” Perryman said. “We’re able to do that medical clearance in the field.”

This would get patients the correct care they need the first time to free up paramedics for more critical patients.

Several municipalities in Southern California have instated this program. 

Perryman is now turning to insurance companies to step up funding for the program. He said research from the year-long program is about to be released that will prove it is effective and economical. 

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Of interest … Boston firefighters helping out

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A high school student from the Boston neighborhood of Roslindale got the perfect Halloween costume to complement his wheelchair on Friday. Jose Bello suffers from muscular dystrophy, which leaves him wheelchair-bound, but he also loves firefighters. 

This Halloween, his mother reached out to a company called Magic Wheelchair to get her son a costume. Much to her surprise, the company, along with the Boston Firefighters Local 718, made her son a firetruck costume complete with lights and sirens. 

“When I heard of Magic Wheelchair and saw the incredible work that they have done especially for MDA families, I knew I wanted Jose to have this experience as well,” said mother Stephanie Bello. 

She filled out the application and said he wanted a fire truck.

“For as long as I can remember Jose has always admired and loved firefighters,” Stephanie said. “Jose talks about how brave firefighters are and how strong they are and how he wants to be just like them.” 

The Muscular Dystrophy Association, the local firefighters union, and Magic Wheelchair all said events like Friday’s are important to raise awareness about the disease. 

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Illinois Fire Service News

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A new state law that goes into effect Jan. 1 requires all homes to have smoke detectors with a 10-year sealed battery life or a hardwired system.

The Rockford Fire Department and the Illinois Firefighters Association held a news conference on Wednesday to draw attention to the law and urge property owners to make the necessary changes now. The sealed-battery smoke alarms are considered more reliable than previous technology, where 9-volt batteries could run out of power or be removed by owners while cooking who then forget to replace them.

There were 97 residential fire deaths in Illinois in 2021, and nearly 70% of those deaths happened in homes without a working smoke alarm, according to Margaret Vaughn, Illinois Fire Safety Alliance and Illinois Fire Association government affairs director.

Smoke detector laws aren’t new. Since 1988, the Illinois Smoke Detector Act has required all dwellings to have the devices. Home built after 1988 have been required to have hardwired systems, but those built prior to that could use battery-operated alarms. The change represents a change in technology that provides for longer battery life, and the new law will largely apply to homes built before 1988 that will now be required to use the 10-year sealed system.

You are more likely to die in a residential fire today than you were years ago because of the toxic gases emitted from the synthetic materials in modern homes, as flashover can how happen in three to five minutes as opposed to almost 30 minutes a generation ago.

The 10-year battery smoke alarm doesn’t require battery replacement. At the end of its life cycle the alarm will automatically alert the homeowner to replace it. It should also save the average homeowner $40-$60 in battery costs over the life of each alarm, according to the Illinois Fire Safety Alliance.

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Fire Service news

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A newly published guide is intended to help firefighters talk with their health care provider about the unique health risks they face on the job.

Developed by the National Volunteer Fire Council, the International Association of Fire Fighters, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, and the First Responder Center for Excellence, the Provider’s Guide to Firefighter Medical Evaluations details the physical challenges firefighters face and how they impact health. It also features research findings on the risks of cardiovascular disease, cancers, sleep disorders, lung disease, and behavioral health.

For instance, the guide lists 19 different types of cancers that firefighters are at increased risk of as a result of on-the-job exposures. They include bladder, lung, kidney and colon cancer. In addition, it lists 11 different carcinogens found in smoke.

In June, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer officially classified firefighting as a carcinogenic profession.

In a letter to firefighters accompanying the guide, the groups note that although the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force offers recommendations for the general public regarding health exams and screenings, they aren’t designed for occupational groups with increased risks.

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Fire Service News

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Pierce Manufacturing Inc., an Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE:OSK) company, announced it has secured a contract with the Gilbert Fire and Rescue Department in Arizona to place a Pierce® Volterra™ zero-emissions pumper with an Oshkosh patented parallel-electric drivetrain into service with the department’s busiest station, Station No. 2. This will be the third placement for Pierce, with others including the City of Madison, Wisconsin Fire Department, and the City of Portland, Oregon Fire and Rescue. All locations represent vastly different climates, allowing Pierce to collect vehicle performance data for the Volterra electric fire truck in various environmental conditions.

Gilbert Fire and Rescue’s Volterra Electric Vehicle Configuration includes:

  • Pierce Velocity® custom chassis, expanding continuity among Gilbert’s current Pierce fire apparatus fleet
  • Seating capacity: 6
  • GVWR: 42,000 lb
  • TAK-4® Independent Front Suspension
  • 500-gallon water tank
  • 1500 gpm single stage pump
  • Compartmentation: 150 cu ft plus ladder storage
  • Hose capacity: 1000’ of 5” / 850’ of 2.5”
  • Oshkosh patented parallel-electric drivetrain featuring an electro-mechanical infinitely variable transmission
  • Zero-emissions operation when powered by the integrated onboard batteries, coupled with an internal combustion engine to provide continuous and uninterrupted power to the pumping system or drive system
  • Exceptional operational range tailored to the fire department’s needs and duty cycle for full-shift operation
  • Fire station-based, all-encompassing vehicle charging infrastructure offers a thorough, simple, and fast charging solution through – Pierce’s expert energy solutions provider.

In 2019, Gilbert launched an initiative to become the “City of the Future,” which includes carbon footprint reduction and fleet technologies and systems to improve efficiencies. Fleet electrification is an integral part of moving the city’s vision forward, in addition to multiple initiatives to explore how to make Gilbert a sustainable community for future decades.

In collaboration with Gilbert Fire and Rescue, Pierce will continue developing and evaluating the Pierce Volterra electric vehicle. As part of this development process, Gilbert’s arid, subtropical climate, intense heat during summer months, and high UV index will provide valuable exposure and insight to additional operational environments the electric vehicle must withstand.

thanks Martin

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Fire Service news

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A lack of oxygen can reduce even the most furious flame to smoldering ash. But when fresh air rushes in, say after a firefighter opens a window or door to a room, the blaze may be suddenly and violently resurrected. This explosive phenomenon, called backdraft, can be lethal and has been challenging for firefighters to anticipate.

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have a plan for informing firefighters of what dangers lie behind closed doors. The team obtained data from hundreds of backdrafts in the lab to use as a basis for a model that can predict them. The results of the study suggest that the model offers a viable solution to make predictions based on particular measurements. 

Currently, firefighters look for visual indicators of a potential backdraft, including soot-stained windows, smoke puffing through small openings and the absence of flames. If the cues are present, they may vent the room by creating holes in its ceiling to reduce their risk. If not, they may charge right in. Ultimately, they must rely on their eyes in a hazy environment to guess the correct action, and guessing wrong could come at a steep cost.

At NIST’s National Fire Research Laboratory, engineers conducted experiments where they lit a stream of gaseous fuel that poured into a small chamber and then sealed its door shut. In each case, the door remained closed for several minutes as they continued to pump gas into the chamber and the fire burnt itself out by depleting its available oxygen. Then, they remotely sprang open the door. Some experiments were rather uneventful, with no hint of reignition. In others, fireballs accompanied by pressure waves erupted in the doorway.

Throughout nearly 500 experiments, in which they altered factors such as the type and amount of gas injected into the chamber, they recorded temperatures, pressures, the dimensions of the fireballs and more. To determine the abundance of the fuel in particular, they improved upon an instrument developed at NIST decades prior called a phi meter.

The meter sampled fuel and air gas mixtures from the chamber, added a known amount of oxygen and then combusted the sample internally, measuring the difference in oxygen before and after. The less oxygen consumed in the reaction, the greater the relative abundance of fuel in the mixture.

They used a machine learning algorithm to establish a predictive backdraft model from their treasure trove of information. As an initial trial for the model, they fed it readings of gas concentrations, fuel richness and temperature taken at a single location in the chamber before the door opened during their experiments. Based on that information alone, the model had to estimate the chance of a backdraft occurring.

Taking an estimate of above 50% as an affirmative prediction and below 50% as a negative, the model was correct in 70.8% of the experiments it was tested on. The accuracy increased to 82.4% with the addition of measurements taken at a second location in the chamber.

The next steps are to develop a portable device that houses the measurement technology they used in the lab as well as their computer model and then battle-test the technology in a more realistic building fire scenario. They envision firefighters using a handheld device would either probe the air of a room through existing openings, such as cracks around a door, or create small openings.

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Of interest … Make-A-Wish Foundation and fire department help 7-year-old

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A dream became a reality Monday for one brave 7-year-old in Hanover County, VA. Javi Guzman anxiously waited for his Make-A-Wish day for months due to the pandemic. Now, he is officially sworn in as the newest and youngest addition to the Hanover County firehouse.

“He’s been waiting for this day to come,” his mom, Amy Guzman said. “Every time a siren goes past our house, he always runs outside.” “As a little boy I remember all the time when he was little, he said ‘I wanna be a firefighter one day’ and I said ‘well, you have to work hard, one day you will,’” his dad Martin Guzman said.

His wish was granted in a special ceremony and day of adventure, thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

“It was an easy yes without even having to consider it,” Hanover Fire Chief Jethro Piland said. “Javi is truly an inspiration to us with his courageous and brave behavior.”

Javi is a true fighter, facing obstacles that most firemen never have to go through. He’s battled a form of blood cancer since he was a toddler. Now, he’s in remission.

However, there’s a deeper reason he looks up to these firefighters. Months ago, the Guzman family suffered heartbreak after a house fire, but Javi was inspired by those who stepped in to help.

“These are the firefighters that responded to his home when he had a fire,” Chief Piland said.

Now, he’s a part of the brotherhood and was officially sworn in as a firefighter in a special ceremony. As a part of his day as a firefighter, he got to ride in a firetruck and tour the firehouse. He faced an obstacle course, got to use a fire hose, and climbed dozens of feet in the air on a ladder.

All of his classmates got in on the fun and attended his ceremony.

His mother says his bravery knows no limits. His biggest request was to take a ride in a helicopter, so Make-A-Wish made it happen.

It is a day he will never forget, surrounded by a support system that will always have his back.

“When you have that you just feel like you can get through some really tough times,” Amy Guzman said, fighting back tears.

Make-A-Wish is in need of volunteers. If you want to help kids like Javi, click here.

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