The Taskforce March05pub by mifei


									      THE TASKFORCE
     Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services

         Issue No. 14                                                                       March 2005

A Message from the Fire Chief
Two important projects occurred within the department this month. The first project was in conjunction with the
County’s Human Resources Department to hire a recruit class to begin in April. The second project was the Emergency
Medical Technicians–Intermediate (EMT-I) Course being completed by the end of the month. These two projects are
critical to the future of our department’s ability to reach the goal of having an advanced life support provider on every
piece of equipment. In order to accomplish this goal over the next five years, we will need to increase the number of
paramedics in the department from 80 to 130.

The department currently has 22 vacant positions and on April 1, 2005, an additional ten new positions will be added to
the department. Therefore, we are planning on hiring 32 new trainees on April 11, 2005. A close working relationship
between the Office of Human Resources and the department is enabling the process to proceed in a timely manner. The
recruitment and testing were the first steps followed by eight weeks of mentorship to prepare for the Candidate
Physical Ability Testing (see article on pg. 8) followed by interviews, background checks and medical examinations. The
Training Staff has processed the majority of these new trainees for uniforms and protective equipment pending their
arrival on April 11, 2005. These recruits will fill the vacant spots in the stations after their graduation in late September.
As the recruits report to their companies, we will begin a new EMT-I Class and bridge the current EMT-I’s to

The EMT-I Class, as of this date, has completed their written testing and will begin taking their practical test on March
24, 2005. This group of nine career and three volunteers has performed magnificently over the past five months and
they will be returning to their assignments at the end of March to begin their precepting process to become advance life
support providers. Developing and teaching the bridge course from EMT-B to EMT-I was a major undertaking.
Captain John Jerome, Battalion Chief Chris Shimer, Lieutenant Kevin Buker and Dr. Kevin Seaman were the project
team that pulled it all together. Their efforts and the efforts of those in the EMT-I Class have allowed us to become a
learning organization that enables us to continue improving our capabilities to deliver fire and rescue services.

I want to express my sincerest thanks and best wishes to our four retirees this month: Battalion Chief Stephen Ricker,
Battalion Chief Stephen Watts, Lieutenant Gary Clark (see photos on pg. 7) and Master Fire Fighter/ Paramedic
Michael Aubrey. Each of these members made many contributions in the department while achieving many of their
personal goals. They will be sorely missed.

Lastly, I would like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of Battalion Chief Chris Cangemi in organizing the
2005 Annual Awards Ceremony. I look forward to seeing a great turnout this year! (see details on pg. 7)

In closing, on behalf of my wife, children and myself, I want to thank all of you for your outpouring of support,
thoughts, prayers, cards, phone calls, fruit baskets, plants and flowers that were extended to us during the recent illness
and death of my father-in-law. It was very comforting to know so many people cared.
The Fifth District Volunteer Fire Department, Station 5, was established in Clarksville in 1947. In addition to
providing traditional fire, rescue and EMS service, Station 5 has a boat for water/ice responses and a dive team.
The team presently has 9 trained divers and 6 tenders, all nationally certified.

Lifeguard Systems has provided a significant amount of the rescue dive and ice training for the department.
Entry level divers must have Open Water I certification before advancing to public safety diver training classes.
Tenders and divers both complete classes in Dry Suit Diving and Maintenance, Black Water Diving, Rapid
Deployment, and Large Area Search.

Diving operations require 5 people: a primary diver, primary tender, back-up diver, back-up tender and a 90%
ready diver. The three divers can then rotate after each 20-25 minute dive. All diving is done with length marked
ropes with each diver having a tender. Tethering not only helps ensure the diver’s safety but allows an accurate
profile of the area searched to be recorded. Divers practice in water with zero visibility and can recover golf balls
and carabiners just by feel while doing a methodical search pattern. All divers carry at least one additional air
supply in case of entanglement or an out of air emergency. Dry suits and full face masks are used to provide
better protection from the environment. Emergency procedures are constantly practiced.

Tenders are taught witness interviewing and how to determine the search area as well as dressing divers and
keeping track of their air consumption and areas searched. The tender’s job is just as important as the divers and
everyone is responsible for the team’s safety.

        The team has also been trained in Surface Ice Rescue I and II. Surface Ice Rescue training complements
the Ice Diving Operations training and divers and tenders are instructed in dynamic operations. While one group
of rescuers is trying to reach the victim over the ice, the diver is trained to travel under the ice to the victim. This
is very beneficial because if the victim submerges, the diver is on the way and can be recovered that much faster.
The diver can also provide buoyancy to the victim while waiting for the sled to take them back to shore and they
can help the rescuers and victim in situations where the ice is constantly breaking making surface rescue difficult.

In-service training is done regularly, usually bi-monthly, at locations around the county such as: Savage and
Nichols Quarries, the lakes at Centennial, Kittamaqundi, Elkhorn and Wilde Lake, Patapsco State Park,
Brighton Dam and Scott’s Cove. Ice training has been done at Williams Lake, NY and swift water at the power
plant in Dickerson, MD.

While the dive team has responded to and located victims in several local drowning incidents, it has also partici-
pated in other diving operations to support law enforcement. These have included a successful evidence search
for the Howard County Police and involvement with a multi-day dive for the FBI in the Anthrax Investigation in
Frederick County.

                                           (continued on next page)
(continued from previous page)

Diving is not usually a rescue operation and thus is not necessarily conducted as an emergency activity. The dives
conducted by the Baltimore City Fire Department Team at the scene of the Water Taxi incident is a good exam-
ple. However, immediate response by Fire & Rescue to the scene of a water/ice accident is essential. Like most
fires, any rescue will usually occur prior to the emergency services arrival. Information provided to the first
responding personnel will be essential to a safe and successful dive operation. While the divers are being assem-
bled, interviews with witnesses and any evidence concerning the victim’s location etc. should be preserved and
provided to the dive team upon their arrival. Keeping witnesses at the scene is always preferred.

We in emergency services know better than most that it is not always possible for us to save every life no matter
how hard we try, most are gone before we are even notified. Whether a fire or water accident, when there are
victims, we do our best to return them to his/her family in a professional manner as quickly as possible, and re-
turn our members home safely. To this end, the Fifth District Volunteer Fire Department Dive Team is

                                                                       Engine 5 “A” Shift

                                                                     MFF Richard Moyer
                                                                    MFF/HVO Dave Bathras
                                                                     MFF Cardell Sample
                                                                      MFF Caitlin Foster
                                                                       Lt. Rodney Miles
                                                                     MFF/P Kevin Frizzell

                                                                       Engine 5 “B” Shift

                                                                    MFF Renita Howze-Willis
                                                                        Lt. Dave Fisher
                                                                       MFF Levet Brown
                                                                   MFF/HVO Franklin Johnson

                                                                          Not Pictured
                                                                       MFF/P Wayne Sutphin

                                                                       Engine 5 “C” Shift

                                                                       Captain John Bean
                                                                        MFF Jerry Abel
                                                                        MFF Paul Hahn
                                                                      MFF/P Rick Leonard
                                                                     MFF/HVO Pete Divirgilio

                                                                         Not Pictured
                                                                    MFF James Singletary
                    February Response Times
       Medic Unit                                          Engine Company

Unit   Responses           Seconds              Unit          Responses   Seconds

65        140                83                  91              248        92
 95       252                86                 101              148        98
 55       94                 88                  61              147        98
 85       130                90                  52              64         92
105       161                93                  82              112        99

                                  Special Service

                    Unit            Responses          Seconds
                   TWR 10             111               110
                   TWR 7              110               113
                    SQ 2               73               122
                    T-6                53               122
                    SQ 1               42               146
                                                                      In November 2004, some of the department’s most
                                                                      skilled athletes decided that it was time to show the
                                                                      citizens of Howard County their firefighters were
                                                                      “Masters of the Hardwood”. Many of our depart-
                                                                      ment’s members are former high school and
                                                                      collegiate all stars in sports like football, hockey,
                                                                      baseball, basketball etc. So, when the call went out
                                                                      for those interested in participating in “Rec. League
                                                                      Basketball”, the competitive juices started flowing
                                                                      immediately. FF Clayton Belle (Company 1/C shift)
                                                                      and Lt. Lou Winston (Company 8/C shift) were able
                                                                      to get as many as 19 members for the initial team
                                                                      roster. Due to personal obligations and scheduling
                                                                      conflicts, the final roster ended up with 15 players.
           Local 2000 Winter 2005 Div. 2 30 + Runner Up
  Back row:                                           The league was comprised of 19 teams playing in
                 #7 Steve Bettis, #6 Rich Blankenship, Jr., #33 Ray
                 Norris, #17 Chuck Bittorie, #55 Gregory Banks,
                                                      two divisions with eight teams in each division on
                 #23 Joe Calo, #11 Dave Dwyer, #22 Tim Dorsey,
                                                      Tuesday nights between 8:15pm and 10:30 P.M.
                 #34 Clayton Belle, and #5 Antonio Concha.
  Front row:                                          Each team would have an 8 game schedule with one
                 #20 Matthew Grigsby, #8 Lou Winston, #1 Cardel
                 Sample, and #32 Levet Brown.         bye week in the regular season with single game
  Not pictured: #5 Alphonso Conner and #21 James Beatty
                                                      elimination playoffs to follow. Play began on
                                                      January 4, 2005 for Local 2000 “B-Ballers” and
would run through April 5, 2005 (Championship Game). League rules and play were setup similar to
college rules, with two twenty-minute halves. Modifications to the traditional college rules like a run-
ning clock, aided in a brand of fast play basketball at all times. Competition took place throughout the
county at various middle school locations. Local 2000 played their games at Harper’s Choice and
Dunloggin Middle Schools.

Our “B-Ballin” firefighters started off strong with a win over their first opponent. However, in game
two, a team that was made up of former college basketball players overmatched them. The loss would
be the only loss of the season for Local 2000 basketball. Our guys were able to string together 6 straight
wins after the loss to secure second place all alone in Division 2. The inaugural winter season of Howard
County’s Recreation and Parks Men’s 30 yr. + Basketball League, saw Howard County’s bravest finish
with a respectable 7-1 record and runner-up in their division heading into the playoffs.

In the spirit of March Madness, IAFF Local 2000 Basketball is primed and ready for their own version
of the brackets. Playoff basketball will commence on Tuesday, March 15 at 9:15 P.M* at Elkridge
Landing Middle School. Local 2000 will go in as a #2 seed from Division 2, to play the Division 1 #7
seed. Visit to read about the season as chronicled by FF Clayton
Belle entitled, IAFF Local 2000 Basketball Diaries. Detailed league information regarding the playoffs,
rankings, awards, game times, and venues can also be found on the site.

Your cheers and support are always welcomed at all of our games. Look out for future fundraising
basketball events that will include Local 2000 and other area and regional public safety departments. In
the meantime, your attendance throughout the playoffs will help us on the road to capturing the overall
league championship.

* Note: This article was completed on March 15, 2005 at the conclusion and win of playoff game #1.

                Special thanks to Clayton Belle (Engine 1C) for contributing this article
       Howard County Retired Firefighters Association
Top Row (Left to Right)                    Appointment Date   Retirement Date

                          Dave Daugherty        8/21/72            8/01/02
                          Dennis Beard          9/05/74            6/30/03
                          Jim Loar              3/22/71            6/30/98
                          Marty LePore          4/20/70            7/01/91
                          Gerald Curry          1/01/64            7/02/90
                          Benny Mullins         3/22/71            9/01/94
                          Pat Lynch             8/06/75            6/30/02
                          Kevin Aftung          7/27/73            6/30/03

Bottom Row (Left to Right)                 Appointment Date   Retirement Date

                          Ricky Barnes          1/29/69            6/30/99
                          Dave Hoff             1/01/69            1/31/92
                          Ronnie Hoffman, Sr.   3/25/68            4/01/98
                          Richard Shaw          1/01/62            3/31/91
                          Don Merson            4/01/60            1/31/92
                          Dave Tumblin          11/9/72            7/11/97

   Members who Attended the February Meeting at the Training Academy            6
 Congratulations to the Newest Retirees of Howard County Fire and Rescue !

        Battalion Chief                   Battalion Chief                      Lieutenant
        Stephen Ricker                    Stephen Watts                        Gary Clark
    Photo of Retired Master Fire Fighter/Paramedic Michael Aubrey Not Available
The next Retired Firefighters Association Meeting will be held on April 18th in Room
303 of the Gateway Building. The meeting will begin at 1900 hrs and all are welcome.

BA Tech Butch Moschler is in Sinai Hospital - he had triple bypass surgery on the morning of 3/21/05.
According to his wife Mary, he came through the surgery fine and at this point can only have family as

As of 3/21/05, Retired Lt. Dave Tumblin is at St. Joseph's Hospital - he had another stent put in.
According to Benny Mullins, Dave will most likely be released within 24 hours.

The Taskforce would like to extend our sympathy to:

Chief and Cindy Herr on the passing of Cindy's father, Blake Fohl on 11 March.

D/C David and Jill Balthis on the passing of Dave's dad, David, on 11 March.

                                        Annual Awards Ceremony
                            Monday April 25, 2005, 7:00 p.m. (Banneker Room)
                                     George Howard Building
                                     3430 Court House Drive
                                      Ellicott City, MD 21043                                        7
The CPAT program consists of 8 weeks of regularly scheduled fitness task training sessions for
the candidates in the hiring process. Fitness trainers in the department and firefighters (task
experts) have been trained on the CPAT process and have personally gone through the CPAT
prep course. They came together and ran a program for 8 weeks to get these candidates ready
for one of the toughest physical tests in their lives. We are very proud to recognize these trainers
for their dedication and commitment to preparing candidates for this test. Please thank each
and every one of these people the next time you see them; they are truly dedicated to their job.

                                      Capt. John Butler
                                      Lt. Colleen Angelo
                                        Lt. Tim Dorsey
                                       Lt. Mike Sharpe
                                      Lt. Dan Dushanko
                                    MFF Molly Dunnington
                                         Sue Shainline
                                      MFF Steve Bettis
                                    MFF/HVO Chris Brown
                                      MFF Greg Banks
                                      MFF Mike Bowen
                                      MFF Dave Dwyer
                                     MFF D. J. Marasco
                                     MFF Bernard Arnold
                                    MFF/HVO Jim Dwyer

CPAT trainers worked tirelessly training and preparing the candidates for their big physical
entrance test. Due to their dedication, we had the largest CPAT passing rate in the history of
fire and rescue. Every candidate that came to mentorship regularly passed CPAT and praised
the trainers for their exquisite ability to help them achieve their goals. They all signed a card
and gave it to the training team. Most of them have called several times to thank them for their
hard work and that they could not have done it without them. This team took the time to learn
each and every candidate’s strength and weakness to build a training program that would be
successful for every one of them. Every Tuesday and Thursday, they would meet and train 3
hours at a time. Saturdays they would train a total of 6 hours. This break down would be 3
hours with the morning group and 3 hours with the afternoon group. They focused on what
each candidate needed and kept them focused even when they were having a bad day. These
trainers had a great connection with the candidates which made all the difference in the
outcome. This is the most connected group that has ever worked with CPAT and it showed by
the success of the candidates on test day. Therefore, I feel they would be recognized for their
strong dedication to getting people in shape to be the best firefighters we could hire.

Captain Joanne Rund
Special Programs                                                                                 8
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                             Contribute to The Taskforce contact the
                                   Public Relations Group at

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