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Hey, are you interested in learning about how the 2019 edition of NFPA 1917, Standard for Automotive Ambulances, addresses the issue of ambulance remounts as well as how they addressed in other documents relating to ambulances? If you are then please join me as I am participating in a panel discussion as part of a webinar that is being hosted by NASEMSO's Ambulance and Vehicle Licensure committee on Thursday, February 22nd at noon eastern time. Along with myself on the panel, there will be a representative from GSA, CAAS, and NHTSA to discuss the issue and potential challenges relating to ambulance remounts. Here is the link to register for the webinar, and I have also included the pamphlet describing the webinar as well. I am looking forward to the webinar and answering as many questions as possible regarding this growing section of the market of ambulances and how the next edition of NFPA 1917 addresses ambulance remounts.

Fire Prevention Week - 2 ways out

 

Introduce Fire Prevention Week all year long to students, members of your community, and high-risk populations. NFPA has several safety tip sheets that you can use and distribute throughout your community.


Download and print out these tools to teach others how to safely escape from different venues in case of a fire.

 

Escape Planning Tip SheetEscape planning (PDF)Plan Ahead! If a fire breaks out in your home, you may have only a few minutes to get out safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Everyone needs to know what to do and where to go if there is a fire.
smoke alarm safety tip sheetSmoke alarms at home (PDF)Smoke alarms are a key part of a home fire escape plan. When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast. Working smoke alarms give you early warning so you can get outside quickly.
home fire sprinklers - safety tip sheetHome fire sprinklers (PDF)Over 80% of fire deaths occur in the home. Home fire sprinklers can save lives and property from fire. They respond quickly and effectively to fire, often extinguishing the fire before the fire department arrives. Only the sprinkler closest to the fire will activate, spraying water on the fire.
fire alarms in apartment buildings - safety tip sheetFire alarms in apartment buildings (PDF)Large apartment buildings are built to keep people safe from fire. Fire alarm systems detect smoke and fire. They will warn residents of danger.
campus fire safety - safety tip sheetCampus fire safety (PDF)College students living away from home should take a few minutes to make sure they are living in a fire-safe environment. Educating students on what they can do to stay safe during the school year is important and often overlooked.
hotel and motel safety - safety tip sheetHotel & motel safety (PDF)Vacations and business travel make hotels and motels our home away from home. It is just as important to be prepared and know what you would do in a hotel/motel emergency as it is in your own home. 
hi-rise apartment and condominium - safety tip sheetHigh-rise apartments/condominiums (PDF)People living in a high-rise apartment or condominium building need to think ahead and be prepared in the event of a fire. It is important to know the fire safety features in your building and work together with neighbors to help keep the building as fire-safe as possible.
fire safety in manufactured homes - safety tip sheetFire safety in manufactured homes (PDF)If buying or renting a manufactured home is in your future, make sure you keep fire safety in mind. By following a few tips and knowing the facts and the safety requirements for manufactured homes, you can help keep your family safe.
kcaponigro

Cancer in the Fire Service

Posted by kcaponigro Employee May 31, 2017

Cancer affecting members of the fire service is top of mind at NFPA. We are addressing this issue at our annual conference this year with a dedicated First Responders Health Forum, and the May/June issue of NFPA Journal covers this topic from different angles.

 

NFPA's First Responder Segment Director, Ken Willette, recently held a live Q&A session discussing this topic. Check out the video clip here (you must be logged in to Xchange to view!)

 

We'd like to hear from you on this topic:

 

  • Does your department specifically address this issue?
  • Do you feel NFPA codes and standards help in this area?

Quite surprised was I when I received an email where the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) invited me to sit in a symposium with 60 other fire fighters from across the Nation including fire fighters from Canada to talk about fire safety in rural area’s. Who would have imagined that a just 2 year serving fire fighter was flying to Boston sharing his “know how” on what could go better in regards NFPA’s influence in rural fire related incidents and issues. When we started our symposium, one of the first questions asked by the NFPA was ‘what are the unique qualities, unique fire problems and unique fire prevention strategies, you all face in rural fire?’. After a very short pause in the audience, a veteran fire Chief spoke up and said, ’when we go shopping locally, we often get recognized and people stop us so they can thank us for what we do in our community’. This made me think, of what a nice gesture these thank you’s actually are, and how the other 59 fire fighters at this symposium responded with a nod, with words like ‘how awesome is that’ or just with a sigh.

Just that small gesture of appreciation does it for this group of fire fighters, they work hard, train hard and spend a lot of time away from their homes to protect their community. According to NFPA’s database over 69% of the fire fighters in our Nation are volunteer/non-paid. These volunteers are 24/7 ready to respond to a call; it could be 3 in the morning, during a Thanksgiving family dinner or their child’s birthday party they are willing to sacrifice their valuable time serving their community.

I really don’t want to address this post to volunteer first responders or fire fighters alone but also to the paid departments and to the other branches of first responders as in EMT, sheriff’s departments, police departments etc. The month of May is mental awareness month and many organizations that are affiliated with first responders have been focusing on the high risk of emotional and mental health of first responders. The jobs high pace work, stress and tragedy loaded events cause often job related trauma, depression and even suicidal thoughts. The numbers nationally of first responders committing suicide don’t lie and show that there is a drastic need of help necessary. There is also a drastic need of a culture switch necessary since the predominant culture in the first response field dictates that any sign of mental health issues show a sign of weakness. First responders act strong, prideful, brave and offer help all the time but rarely ask for help for themselves.

Imagine you receive a page or a call to a fire where you know there are non-surviving children trapped in the building that is on fire, or a call of a vehicle wreck where teens are needed to be extricated that are in critical condition. These tragic events that occur daily do something with the mind and emotional wellbeing of the first responders. Although dressed in uniform, acting with professional mannerism and pridefully showing a badge, these men and women that passionately do their job are just like any other average Joe, build out of the same flesh and blood as you are. It does a lot of emotional damage if you can’t sleep because you have the images of the lifeless children’s bodies imprinted in your mind or you wake up to the helpless screaming of the teens that were entrapped in a car wreck. Yes, it’s true that the first responders signed up for this kind of work and this is part of the job.

But to hear so now and then a ‘Thank You’ makes the same first responder that is struggling with Job trauma, depression or thoughts of suicide feel appreciated and those words are powerful words of healing.

 

 

The General Court of Massachusetts is about to begin its 2017 session. Bills are being submitted for consideration. Retired Longmeadow MA Fire Chief Eric Madison has asked State Senators Eric Lesser (D-First Hampden and Hampshire) and Ken Donnelly (D-Fourth Middlesex) to support a bill to extent provisions in existing law to include “public safety employee[s] …whose death is self-inflicted … as a result of exposure to a traumatic event…in the course of …active duty service.”

 

Chief Madison, who is a member of the Western Massachusetts Fire Chief Coalition on Suicide Awareness and Prevention stated he submitted the legislative request and included portions of the information gathered by NFPA staff related to behavioral health and wellness and suicide awareness and prevention http://www.nfpa.org/news-and-research/fire-statistics-and-reports/fire-statistics/the-fire-service/fatalities-and-injuries to support the legislation.

 

An Act relative to line of duty death benefits:

Bill SD.890

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

In the One Hundred and Ninetieth General Court (2017-2018)

 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

SECTION 1. Section 100A of chapter 32 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2014 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “death”, in line 12, the following words:- ; provided that, the words “killed in the line of duty” shall include any public safety employee, as defined in this subsection, whose death is self-inflicted and a licensed mental health professional, as defined in section 1 of chapter 123, establishes that the death was the direct result of exposure to a traumatic event or set of events in the course of the employee’s active duty service.

Fire Fighter Suicide and Behavioral Health Are Becoming a Concern to the Fire Service.

Part III: Pathway to Awareness and Prevention for Fire Fighter Suicide and Behavioral Health and Wellness

For years, the fire service has recognized that organized, formal training and education have led to consistently well-trained fire fighters in North America. This consistency is obtained from established, time-tested standards, most notably NFPA 1001, Standard for Fire Fighter Professional Qualifications. The job performance requirements in NFPA 1001 center specifically on the physical tasks of the job. However, the realization that the mental aspects of fire fighters need to be recognized and focused is becoming clearer and more prevalent. The adoption of training programs and certification need to be institutionalized, for the same reasons the tasks of safe ascent on ladders are learned, precise search and rescue techniques are used at an incident, and maintenance of tools and equipment are vital to readiness. The same should hold true for fire fighters’ behavioral health and mental wellness. Awareness and prevention of fire fighter suicide and behavioral health and wellness should begin at the entry level during recruit training.

 

A substantive fire fighter suicide prevention and behavioral health and wellness training program has to focus on the following areas:

  • Identifying signs and symptoms of emotional and behavioral health distress, including anxiety, depression, addiction, and challenging circumstances to situations typically not encountered
  • Developing and sustaining a peer support group
  • Seeking established professional mental health services or crisis care tailored to the fire service and/or public safety
  • Recognizing how mental health practices fit into overall health and aid in preventative mental health self-care, including sleep, stress management, resilience, emotional intelligence, and conflict resolution
  • Utilizing awareness level training and education in emotional and behavioral health distress situations
  • Upholding a means of confidentiality
  • Maintaining open lines of communication
  • Appreciating non-judgmental aspects
  • Assisting in a referral process

 

The documented cases of fire fighter suicide indicate that contributing factors ultimately led the fire fighters to take their lives. In many situations, if help had been available, it might have helped prevent a suicide. Fire fighters often mask their distress, and those around them do not see the subtleties that otherwise would initiate an intervention process; without awareness training, the warning signs of possible suicide can be difficult to recognize. Whether it is anxiety, depression, PTSD resulting from one incident or a series of events, a combination of family-life, divorce, or financial hardship, there are signs that indicate assistance is needed. It’s no longer a matter of “Suck it up and deal with it!” It’s time to deliver fire fighter suicide, behavioral health and mental well-being awareness and prevention programs at the fire fighter level.

 

Fire Fighter Suicide and Behavioral Health Are Becoming a Concern to the Fire Service.

This is the third of a three part series of blogs highlighting selected authors, titles, and publications used for fire fighters and behavioral health research. For additional information and the annotated bibliography for each study navigate to: http://www.nfpa.org/ffsuicideawareness

 

National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. (2014). Suicide: What you need to know A Guide for Clinicians. National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. http://www.everyonegoeshome.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2014/01/SuicideGuide_Clinicians.pdf.

 

National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. Suicide: What you need to know A Guide for Fire Chiefs (2014). National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. http://www.everyonegoeshome.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2014/01/SuicideGuide_Chiefs.pdf.

 

Spencer-Thomas, Sally; Hindman, Jarrod; Conrad, Joe. (2016). Therapy for Men Who Consider Sirens Driving Music: Man Therapy™ for First Responders. ManTherapy.org. https://mantherapy.org/pdf/First-Responder-White-Paper-July-2016.pdf.

 

DeGryse, Dab. Chicago Fire Department Suicide Study (November 30, 2015). Rosecrance.org http://www.rosecrance.org/chicago-fire-department-suicide-study/

 

International Association of Fire Fighters. Fire Fighters Calling 9-1-1: PTSD and Cancer. (August 2016). International Association Fire Fighters. http://www.fireengineering.com/content/dam/fe/online-articles/documents/2016/iaff-ptsd-cancer-8-16.pdf

 

United States Forest Service. Learning from a Traumatic Event--Suicide. (2013). USFS. http://www.wildlandfire.com/docs/2013/lessons-learned/learning-from-a-traumatic-event-suicide-fla-report.pdf

 

Morgan, PM. The psychological impact of mass casualty incidents on first responders: A systematic review. (May 2016/14(3)/213-26). Journal of Emergency Management.

 

Arbona C, Fan W, Noor N. Factor structure and external correlates of posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms among African American firefighters. (2016/9/201-209). Psychology Research and Behavior Management. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4986676/

 

Gulliver, S. B., Cammarata, C. M., Leto, F., Ostiguy, W. J., Flynn, E. J., Carpenter, G. S. J., Kamholz, B. W., Zimering, R. T. & Kimbrel, N. A. (Feb 2016/23(1)/65-83). Project Reach Out: A Training Program to Increase Behavioral Health Utilization Among Professional Firefighters. International Journal of Stress Management.

 

Report of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security. (October 4, 2014). Healthy Minds, Safe Communities: Supporting our Public Safety Officers through a National Strategy for Operational Stress Injuries. Fifth Report of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security. http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/HOC/Committee/421/SECU/Reports/RP8457704/421_SECU_Rpt05_PDF/421_SECU_Rpt05-e.pdf

 

Urban Fire Forum. UFF Position Statement: Implementation of Comprehensive Behavioral Health Programs in the Fire Service. (September 2016). Urban Fire Forum position paper. http://www.nfpa.org/news-and-research/news-and-media/press-room/news-releases/2016/fire-chiefs-endorse-position-papers-on-civil-unrest-behavioral-health-and-unmanned-aerial-systems and http://www.nfpa.org/~/media/files/membership/member-sections/metro-chiefs/2016-urban-fire-forum/2016uffpositionbehavioralhealth.pdf?la=en

 

McIntosh WL, Spies E, Stone DM, Lokey CN, Trudeau AT, Bartholow B. (July 1, 2016 /65(25)/641–645). Suicide Rates by Occupational Group—17 States, 2012. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/65/wr/mm6525a1.htm

Fire Fighter Suicide and Behavioral Health Are Becoming a Concern to the Fire Service.

This is the second of a three part series of blogs highlighting selected authors, titles, and publications used for fire fighters and behavioral health research. For additional information and the annotated bibliography for each study navigate to: http://www.nfpa.org/ffsuicideawareness

 

Finney, Emmanuel J.; Buser, Samuel J.; Schwartz, Jonathan; Archibald, Laura; Swanson, Rick. (March-April 2015/21/1-4). “Suicide prevention in fire service: The Houston Fire Department (HFD) model.Aggression and Violent Behavior.

 

Boffa, Joseph W. et al. (Published online: October 20, 2016). PTSD Symptoms and Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors among Firefighters.Journal of Psychiatric Research.

 

Martin, Colleen E. et al. (2017/208/177-183). “Correlates of suicidality in firefighter/EMS personnel.Journal of Affective Disorders.

 

Streeb, Nicole D. (January 27, 2016). “The Capability for Suicide in Firefighters.Thesis: University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, Master of Arts, Department of Psychology.

 

Gunderson, Jonathan; Grill, Mike; Callhan, Philip; Marks, Michael. (2014/39(3)). An Evidence-based Program for Improving and Sustaining First Responder Behavioral Health. Journal of Emergency Medical Services.

 

Sara A. Jahnke PhD, Richard Gist PhD, Walker S. Carlos Poston PhD MPH & Christopher K. Haddock PhD. (May 2015/29(2)/113-126). Behavioral Health Interventions in the Fire Service: Stories from the Firehouse. Journal of Workplace Behavioral Health.

 

Lee JS, Ahn YS, Jeong KS, Chae JH, Choi KS. (June 2014/162/128-133). Resilience buffers the impact of traumatic events on the development of PTSD symptoms in firefighters. Journal of Affective Disorders.

 

Additional Resources:

Moffitt, J., Bostock, J. and Cave, A. (2014/13(2)/103-113). Promoting well-being and reducing stigma about mental health in the fire service. Journal of Public Mental Health.

 

Deppa, Karen F. (2015). Resilience Training for Firefighters: A Proposed Approach. Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) Capstone Projects. Paper 82.

 

Deppa, Karen F; Saltzberg, Judith. (June 2016/p. 2-15). Resilience Training for Firefighters Part of the series Springer Briefs in Fire: An Approach to Prevent Behavioral Health Problems.

 

Couper, Greta E.; Karimi, Leila. (November 2013). HEROES AT RISK: An Overview of How Emotional Intelligence Can Reduce Death and Injury for Firefighters. Presented at the Second International Conference on Emerging Research Paradigms in Business and Social Sciences (ERPBSS), Dubai UAE.

Firefighter Suicide and Behavioral Health Are Becoming a Concern to the Fire Service.

Part I: Recognizing the Need for Awareness and Prevention of Firefighter Suicide and for Behavioral Health Research

 

            Mental health and suicide prevention awareness have long been topics that have been swept under the carpet and thought to have no place in the fire service. Challenged with the increasing awareness of fire fighter and EMT suicide, several organizations—including the International Association of Fire Chiefs, National Volunteer Fire Council, International Association of Fire Fighters, and National Fallen Fire Fighters—are conducting campaigns to raise awareness to this problem. The National Fire Protection Association has collected various research studies associated with fire service behavioral health and mental wellness. NFPA’s effort will continue to focus attention on awareness and prevention and to increase consciousness of fire fighter suicide and behavioral health and well-being. As the standards development authority for the fire service, NFPA’s emphasis will continue to highlight the need for behavioral health and mental wellness practices.

 

            Fire service personnel perform duties and serve the community with the intentional effort of making a situation safe and delivering assistance, whether it’s a residential structure fire or a medical care concern. There are not many occupations where the public is served and the expectations are as high as with the public safety sector (law enforcement, fire service, and emergency medical service). Along with serving the community, first responders come across many situations that affect the community and individuals they serve, but many times there are underlying circumstances that are not readily apparent. Fire fighters are not immune to these same types of circumstances. Not only are they caring for and providing assistance to individuals, they are still human beings with their own life situations. There are times when it is easy to disassociate from an incident to which they've responded. But there are other times when a connection can directly affect the mental well-being and behavioral health of the fire fighter.

 

Suicide is not a direct result of having responded to an incident but rather the end of a series of evolutionary behavioral health ideations, which can include variables such as alcoholism, anxiety, depression, and drug abuse. These tendencies can be caused by a single threat to mental wellness or a series of cumulative events, including but not limited to a traumatic incident leading to PTSD, divorce, family economics, elderly care of a family member, and military service experiences.

          

While the research on fire fighter suicide and behavioral health is limited, significant topics are being explored. For an annotated bibliography of those research projects, navigate to: http://www.nfpa.org/ffsuicideawareness and follow the other four blogs “Firefighter Suicide and Behavioral Health Are Becoming a Concern to the Fire Service.”

NASA 2.jpg

Photo courtesy of NASA. The Orbital ATK Cygnus spacecraft sits on top of an Atlantis V rocket

ready for launch to the International Space Station, where it will drop off supplies before being

used for large-scale fire testing in space.

 

If you've seen the movie The Martian, you have an idea why fire in space is a dangerous, dangerous thing.

 

That's fiction, of course, but in real life NASA is concerned about what can happen if a fire breaks out on a manned spacecraft. To learn more about how fire reacts in low-gravity environments, the government agency is launching its first-ever series of large-scale fire tests in space.

 

According to NASA, these will be largest man-made fires ever in space. The agency has previously conducted small-scale tests at the International Space Station (ISS), but it has never examined how large flames react in space.

 

The experiments will take place aboard unmanned Orbital ATK Cygnus capsules, which are used to transport supplies to the space station. The first mission, called Sapphire l, for "spacecraft fire experiment," launched March 22 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and the fire test is scheduled for June 2, after supplies are dropped off. Safire II and III are tentatively scheduled for late this summer and late December, respectively.

 

The goal of all three experiments, according to NASA, is to better understand how rapidly a large fire grows in space, which fabrics and materials will catch fire, and how those fabrics and materials burn. A better understanding of how fire behaves in space will help NASA develop better materials, technologies, and procedures to reduce crew risk and improve space flight safety.

 

Previous small-scale tests have shown that some materials are more likely to burn in space.

 

For the full story, check out the May/June issue of NFPA Journal.

Check out the attached National Association of State Fire Marshals Fire Research & Education Foundation Report. It sparked some interesting discussion at both the First Draft and Second Draft Meeting for the 2017 edition of NFPA 921. Also go to www.nfpa.org/921next to keep up to date on progress for the 2017 edition. http://www.nfpa.org/codes-and-standards/document-information-pages?mode=code&code=921&tab=nextedition

Are you from outside of the U.S.A.? Check out http://www.nfpa.org/standard_items/international-orders for a list of wholesalers close to you (where you can purchase NFPA 921 & 1033 based on your location).

michaelwixted

IAAI Visits NFPA

Posted by michaelwixted Employee Jan 15, 2016

On January 11th, 2016 NFPA welcomed a guest visit from the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI). There was a great discussion about some of the challenges ahead of the fire investigation community and how each organization can continue to support the industry. See below Dan Heenan, IAAI president ’15-16, George Codding, IAAI 1st VP, Scott Bennett, IAAI 2nd VP, Randy Watson, IAAI Director and NFPA 921 Chair, Deborah Keeler, IAAI Executive Director and COO, Kenneth Willette, NFPA Division Manager, Public Fire Protection, Michael Wixted, NFPA Emergency Services Specialist, Edward Conlin, NFPA Emergency Services Specialist, Ryan Depew, NFPA Technical Lead and Nicole Comeau, NFPA Segment Director.

IMG_4439

At NFPA, we rely on the U.S Fire Administration's National Fire Incident Reporting System to tell us the details of the nation's fire problem,  We get the big numbers from NFPA's annual fire department survey.  We use the two together to create national estimates. You can find our reports at Research.

 

While many countries envy the extent of data we have, there is still more we need to know and room for improvement in the data.  Several groups have received Assistance to Firefighter Grants for data-related initiatives.

 

In 2014, NFPA and the National institute of Standards and Technology co-sponsored a workshop, Today and Tomorrow's Fire Experience Data to share what the different groups were doing.  These results and some other activities were presented at NFPA's 2015 Conference and Expo in Chicago in a session titled What's happening with fire experience data?.  The slides and audio are both attached.

 

Many thanks to all the firefighters who contribute data and to all who participated in and/or attended the workshop or the C and E session.

  The fire incident had ocurred by the smoldering of the plywoods in the container box at Hutchison Port in Busan, Korea, Sep 22. 2015.

These plywood were burned by the ignitions of carbons in other containers two months ago. But anyone didn't know the burning of the plywood which had stored in the container not opened. After moving the container on Hutchison Port, for inspection of the container, the persons concerned opened the door of the container, thus the smoldering of the plywoods proceeded to the fire within a few hours.

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