The Boston Fire Department (BFD) held its inaugural A. Michael Mullane Health and Safety Symposium recently with a focus on fire fighter and paramedic occupational health and safety issues. The 2-day conference was named for the late International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) 3rd District Vice President Mullane who gave 43 years of dedicated service to the Boston Fire Department, Local 718 and the IAFF.
The symposium was preceded by a half-day round table discussion on presumptive cancer, cancer prevention protocols and hood particle permeation. Several members of Boston Fire's command staff, including Commissioner Joe Finn, and Pat Morris from the IAFF Department of Health and Safety made presentations. During the second half of the round table format, attendees participated in open discussion about the next generation of personal protective equipment (PPE), NFPA's standards on PPE, obstacles to change, post-fire decontamination, and fire fighter turnout gear.
The goal of the symposium was to provide timely information and resources to first responders so that they can enjoy long and prosperous careers. The workshop featured speakers from the fire service, the medical field, academia, wellness innovation, the fire fighter's union and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Topics ranged from labor/management cooperation, cancer awareness and prevention, heart disease, behavioral health, tactical athletics, survival in the fire service, and the protection and comfort of structural fire fighter gear. There was also an Ask the Doc session. An exhibit area and networking opportunities rounded out the successful education and engagement program.
NFPA was pleased to support the first-time event as a sponsor and exhibitor; and to reinforce BFD's efforts to make health and safety a priority in the fire service.