Career or volunteer, our days are busy, at least most of the time. Nevertheless, training and drills are an important and integral part of the job we do. If you’re in a busy department, you may feel that all the calls that you run are enough training. If you’re a volunteer, you hardly have enough time to take care of the family, work full-time and respond to the calls you can! And to be honest, most of us like to train when it’s convenient. The problem is, the emergencies we respond to don’t know what “convenient” means and it is imperative for us to know and know well, everything we have to do to mitigate any emergency.
My guest, Chief Dennis P. Reilly, currently serves as the Assistant Chief for the Davis CA Fire Department and is a 40-year veteran of the fire service and a veteran of our armed forces. When you look at his topic, some may get all blustery and will be ready to argue, while others may ask themselves, “I wonder where we may be missing something.” It all depends on if you view the “glass half-empty or half-full.”
The Chief makes an excellent point when he discusses the difference between, “training” and “drilling.” For example, you take a 3-hour class on thermal imaging cameras. Great class and you feel as though you’ve learned a lot. However, for the next three months, you don’t pick up a TIC. Are you still prepared to use that tool to possibly save the life of a civilian or even a firefighter?
After you listen to Chief Reilly’s podcast, think about his conversation and bring either the podcast or his wise words, back to share with your department. Training and drilling cannot always take place at times that we feel are convenient. Then again, neither is Mrs. Smith’s emergency when her house erupts into flames. Remember – we don’t want to “fall short” on the scene of an emergency!
You’ve seen it happen. You may have even done it yourself. No, not being a few minutes late for your shift! No, not horsing around in the day room! We are talking about making the type of judgement error that could cost you your job and possibly, your career! So, listen up – this podcast applies to all first responders.
My guest is Chief Dennis L. Rubin, currently serving as the first Chief of Fire & EMS for Upper Merion Township in Pennsylvania, not too far from the great city of Philadelphia. Chief Rubin has been the Chief in Atlanta, Washington DC and Petersburg VA, before coming to PA. He has several books published and is a well-traveled speaker, instructor and mentor. This is his third appearance on “5-Alarm Task Force,” where he has discussed his principles of leadership and, along with his dear friend, the late Chief Alan Brunacini, was on the podcast to discuss the Wingspread VI conference, which is held once per decade!
In this episode, Chief Rubin cautions us to avoid those actions which could be, “career crushers;” actions and/or reactions that could result in serious consequences to the point that you could be terminated and lose your ability to work in the profession. As he put it, “Don’t be the one when the public safety tabloids say, ‘What was he/she thinking!’”
On Chief Rubin’s entry on our website page for our guests, (www.dalmatianproductions.tv) you will find two of the posters he uses to educate his members. While some of the suggestions seem simple enough, you can never be sure just how someone else may react. Remember – whether you’re a firefighter, EMT/Paramedic or in law enforcement we hold the public trust. When you screw up, you tarnish the badge for all of us!
For most folks, especially those who are first responders, if they someone in pain or truly distraught, they won’t have the heart to just pass it by and go on with their shopping, run, picking up the dry-cleaning, etc. My two guests on this podcast, Jeff Rountree and Bill Hamilton, are “cut from the same cloth.”
This past May, while first-timers at promoting International Firefighters’ Day in Clay County, Florida, they found out about the scourge that is devouring great firefighters every single day – CANCER. Their background is the insurance business, so they were well aware of cancer and the toll it wreaks upon both the patient and those around him/her. But they had no idea of how strongly it was depleting the American Fire Service of great firefighters, of all ages.
Not ones to sit around and do nothing, they create and non-profit organization, “Hoods for Heroes.” Their goal is to present each and every one of the approximate 1.2 million firefighters in the U.S., with a newly designed, flash hood, with a processing that traps particulate matter from soot before it reaches the most vulnerable areas of our body, the thin layers of skin around the neck, ears and scalp.
The numbers of diagnoses are climbing. In a relatively recent study with the Boston Fire Dept., a firefighter were being diagnosed with cancer every THREE WEEKS! Moreover, the type of cancers being found in firefighters are either highly aggressive or new strains and type that oncologists and researchers have see little or none of, before this.
Listen as Jeff and Bill tell their story. See to whom they are turning to for help. Your employer just might be a perfect match!
It is what it is! This job that we love to do has inherent risks and now, besides everything else, we know, all too well, that one of those risks is cancer. It’s a fact that firefighters have higher occurrences of cancer than the average American. However, we also have excellent medical and research teams around the country who are doing everything they can to learn about our behaviors, exposures, the equipment we use and more, in the herculean effort to help us reduce these risks.
One of those teams is right here in South Florida at the University of Miami – Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. Two of the leaders are Dr. Alberto Caban-Martinez and Dr. Natasha Schaefer-Solle. For at least the past four years, the medical and research teams have worked diligently to glean the facts of what we are exposed to and the means to reduce that exposure as much as possible.
Dr. Schaefer-Solle was an integral member of the team that recently developed a gross-decon bucket that was made available to every fire department in Florida and for each apparatus that they have! Inside the bucket are various tools, instructions and videos to instruct members how to perform a gross decon BEFORE they get back on the apparatus and leave the fireground.
Join us, as we look back where we were six months ago when the doctors first joined us and see, not only where we are today, but where we are headed for tomorrow.
For specific information on the links mentioned in this podcast, please visit www.dalmatianproductions.tv, and under the NEWS tab, you will see the FIREFIGHTER CANCER INITIATIVE tab.
Stay Safe & Stay Well!
When we have one “cookin,” we know we’re going to need water and lots of it. In most cases, if you’re located in an urban or metro area, water will probably not be a problem, but perhaps pressure may. But, what if we could use less water and what we do use, would have a greater effect on our efforts to extinguish the blaze?
My two guests on this podcast, Quincy Emmons and Peter Sells, discuss their product which, they say, can actually accomplish the statement in the last sentence above – “…use less water and what we do use, would have a greater effect on our efforts to extinguish the blasé.” Their Toronto-based company is Fire Rein and their new product is “Eco-Gel.”
Both of these men are or were firefighters, Peter was even a District Chief for training. Together with their science team, they developed a product made entirely of food-grade bio products and approved by UL Laboratories and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Instead of me trying to tell you about the product here, you’re better off to tune in to the podcast either at www.dalmatianproductions.tv or your favorite podcast streaming service and hear what they have to say. I will add, that I would really like to receive your comments about this product. If you listen on our podcast host site at http://Bit.ly/5AlarmTFPodcast, you can leave a comment there. Otherwise, please send me an email at dalmatprod-at-outlook.com.
When you’re on the fireground, it often looks like organized chaos. Why? Because, rarely does the situation remain stagnant. Things are always changing. Whether its redirecting a hose line, raising the stick, one crew heads out to rehab, while a fresh one gets ready for entry. Change in wind direction, etc.
My guests on this podcast, Dep. Chief PJ Norwood and Capt. Sean Gray, have seen this occur over and over again through their years of experience. However, more than the simplistic view that I’ve provided above, they have looked at the fireground in a much more focused manner, seeing, “The Evolving Fireground,” which is the name of their current book.
Based on research-based data they use in the text, we discuss key areas such as, “How firefighting activities affect the fire tetrahedron,” “How to stay safe while working in the flow path of the fireground,” “Search methods that isolate the firefighter and victim” and several others.
Their years of experience, together with the data they have culled from numerous research projects, provide them with a solid foundation that they look to share with firefighters, both in the U.S. and around the world. Tune in at www.dalmatianproductions.tv or your favorite podcast streaming service and give them a listen. I think that not only will you understand their ideas, but you will embrace them, as well.
If you’ve been riding the apparatus for as little as a few months, you already know that there is something special about being on the first arriving piece at a “worker!” That’s the first arriving piece, not the first due piece. Traffic, construction, etc., can and does often get in the way, making the first due the second or even third to arrive.
As our guest, Capt. Joe DeVito points out in this podcast, there is a great deal of responsibility that falls on the shoulders of the first arriving crew, especially the officer. And there are and will be times, that due to staff shortages, this responsibility may fall on the driver/engineer/chauffeur or even someone in a jump seat!
Capt. DeVito explains his new acronym, C.L.U.E.S., as Conditions, Location, Utilities, Exposures and Survival spaces, to help with your size-up and 360. He also makes the important point that whomever is making the size-up, should never leave the TIC (thermal imaging camera) on the apparatus. That device can help you devise your initial attack plan and could make the difference between life and death. Capt. DeVito knows of what he speaks!
As always, tune in to “5-Alarm Task
Force” at www.dalmatianproductions.tv or via your favorite podcast streaming service. Stay Safe & Let’s Make Sure Everyone Goes Home!
Looking back over the last several months, there have been several firefighters, EMS workers, LEO’s and recovery personnel, who have lost their lives on the scene of an emergency, on active roadways. Sadly, this is nothing new. As the number of distracted and/or drivers under the influence have increased, so have the numbers of deaths and injuries to emergency and recovery workers.
This issue hit very close to home for Chief Victor Conley and the members of the Irving TX Fire Department, when one of their ladder trucks that was blocking an emergency scene, was hit by a fully-loaded tractor-trailer, throwing three firefighters in all directions and totaling a million-dollar tiller. Luckily, all three survived, but this incident was the proverbial, “straw that broke the camel’s back.”
Chief Conley never wanted to see this occur again and set to work, together with the City of Irving, to create a new program that would use retired apparatus to be the “official” blocker vehicle at these types of emergencies. Whether your department already has a blocking program, (as Irving did) or you haven’t created one yet, you need to hear Chief Conley discuss the Irving blocking program!
Tune in to this episode of “5-Alarm Task Force at www.dalmatianproductions.tv or your favorite podcast streaming service and learn!
When we think of the fire service, we think of the one where we live. But how often do you think about the fire service in other countries? Luckily, many of our listeners are spread out across the globe. And in this podcast, a good friend of the show, Exec. Asst. Chief Todd LeDuc shares with us hos recent visit to the Irish Fire Brigade. Chief LeDuc traveled to Ireland on behalf of the IAFC-SHS (The International Association of Fire Chiefs – Safety, Health and Survival) Division.
While there, Chief LeDuc shared with the important information on the Firefighter Cancer and Behavioral Health Initiatives, among other issues facing fire departments no matter where one might be located. We all share the same basic job and we all finds ways to carry out our duty.
In October, Chief LeDuc was at the National Fallen Firefighters’ Strategy Summit, which was held in Nashville TN at FIREHOUSE® Expo. To augment that topic, Chief LeDuc will join with Bill Carey of Firefighter Nation for a FREE webinar on December 6th, dealing with occupational cancers and the importance of early detection. Bill will also share his personal fight with occupational cancer. You won’t want to miss it.
So tune in to this episode of “5-Alarm Task Force at www.dalmatianproductions.tv or your favorite podcast streaming service and learn!
What happens when you’re the co-creator of a new tool that, although you see it works very well for its original purpose in construction and demolition, you have the feeling that it could do so much more? That’s exactly where co-creator of Nestorbar®, Mark Slafkovsky found himself. He had this new, remarkable tool that combined a standard pry bar with a doubled claw hammer, in three different lengths and, which created its own fulcrum point wherever it might be used.
After Hurricane Sandy, Mark started to use the Nestorbar®, to assist his neighbors in the demo of major sections of their homes that had been flooded and severely damaged. Instead of using a simply pry bar that poked a small hole in the drywall, the Nestorbar®, made a much larger hole going in and a huge one coming out!
This work being a citizen “first responder” gave Mark the idea that real first responders could use the Nestorbar® not only for overhaul and demo, but for actual rescue work. Imagine someone with their arm pinned by a toppled drill press in a garage. Using the Nestorbar®,, rescuers could slip the double claw under the heaviest part of the tool and by exerting downward pressure on the long handle, lift the machine high enough to remove the patient from the entrapment, long before the air bags could be deployed and filled.
Listen, as Mark Slafkovsky explains the Nestorbar®,, from creation to its many uses, especially for the fire-rescue services.