Document Sample
					                                                                                                                     F e b r u a r y 2 0 06

                                   NFFF PRESENTS HEALTH AND WELLNESS
 Health & Wellness
 Mini Summit
                                   MINI SUMMIT AT FIREHOUSE WORLD
 Seal of Excellence         2         The National Fallen Firefighters    of the seven-hour session, group        on how to overcome the obstacles
                                  Foundation presented the fifth of       facilitators presented results to the   and design such programs.
 A Matter of Life or       3-4
                                  its six scheduled Mini Summits on       entire assembly and each partici-           Numerous other critical health
 Death                            the Firefighter Life Safety Initia-     pant voted on what they considered      and wellness issues were discussed
 by Dennis Compton                tives at Firehouse World in San         were the recommendations that           in this important full-day session,
                                  Diego in February. More than 50         would have the most impact on           among them mental health screen-
 Firefighter Deaths in      5
                                  committed fire service leaders          reducing line of duty deaths.           ing and substance abuse concerns;
 Kentucky                         participated in this successful in-         As voted by the participants, the   a “near miss” reporting system for
                                  teractive session, which yielded        top three recommendations were:         health testing; how “macho” atti-
 CTBS Program               5     significant dialogue on creating a       • Conduct a landmark study dem-        tudes often make it difficult for
 presented in Montour             healthier fire service to stem the      onstrating the value of a health and    firefighters to address emotional
 Falls, NY                        tide of line-of-duty heart attack       wellness program in preventing          and psychological problems; and
                                  deaths and increase firefighter         injuries and illness, the costs asso-   advocacy of fitness/wellness edu-
 FLSI Advocacy              6     longevity.                              ciated with line of duty injuries       cation for firefighters nationwide.
 Program                              Extending the concept of the        and illnesses, and so forth. It was         The Health and Wellness Mini
                                  original national Life Safety Sum-      believed that such a study will         Summit was a great success. A
 Support NIST              7-8    mit, held in Tampa, Florida, in                                                 more detailed report will be posted
                                                                          provide a strong case, in terms of
 Recommendations                  2004, the purpose of the mini sum-      cost vs. benefit, for influencing       on the Everyone Goes Home web-
                                  mits is to explore in greater depth     city managers to support and adopt      site in March.
 Calendar of Events         9     and generate national dialogue in       a strong health and wellness pro-
                                                                                                                   “Playing It Safe”
                                  the six critical “domain” areas of      gram for the fire department.
 EGH and Wildland           9     vehicle operations, wildland fire-       • Develop a medical standards              The Firefighter Life Safety
 Firefighters Founda-             fighting, structural firefighting,      awareness program for fire depart-       Initiatives Team has identified
                                  reduction of emergency incidents        ments. Many departments in the           five root causes of firefighter
                                  and risk, training and research, and    United States are unaware that           line-of-duty deaths.
                                  health/wellness.                        national medical standards for             Take some time now to
                                      Health and Wellness Mini Sum-       firefighters exist, much less insti-     think about and list what you
                                  mit participants were split into four   tute medical standards as a matter       believe are the root causes, and
                                  groups to identify priorities, de-      of policy.                               why.
                                  velop strategies, and make imple-        • Explore fitness-for-duty pro-
                                  mentation recommendations in                                                        Remember, all possible at-
                                                                          gram issues and promote its imple-
                                  four key areas;                         mentation whenever possible.             tributable causes of prevent-
                                  • medical standards and health          Participants identified that most        able firefighter line-of-duty
                                  monitoring;                             fire departments do not have a           deaths must fit within your five
                                                                                                                   root causes.
                                  • physical fitness and operational      policy or program that periodically
                                                                          tests firefighters for duty fitness        Send your list of five root
The Everyone Goes Home            issues;
Firefighter Life Safety Initia-
                                                                          after their entry level physical.        causes to us at our website:
                                  • Wellness issues; and                  Numerous obstacles to such a pol-
tives Program is made possi-                                                                             
                                  • behavioral and psychological          icy were discussed. Four of the
ble through the efforts of the                                                                                        Those who identify the five
                                  factors.                                approximately 50 participants said
National Fallen Firefighters                                                                                       root causes will receive the
Foundation, with funding             Within these areas, group dia-       their fire department had success-
                                                                          ful fitness-for-duty programs. The       Everyone Goes Home bracelet,
provided by the Department        logue and recommendations fo-
                                                                                                                   helmet sticker, patch, and pin,
of Homeland Security, Assis-      cused on the categories of educa-       group concluded that the fire ser-
                                                                          vice needs to actively identify such     and we’ll publish your results
tance to Firefighters Grant       tion and training; codes/standards/
                                                                          fitness-for-duty programs.       The     in the next EGH newsletter.
and the generosity of Fire-       regulations; policies and proce-
man’s Fund Insurance.             dures; attitude or behavioral           group concluded that the fire ser-
                                  change; research; new technology        vice needs to actively identify such
                                  or technology transfer. At the end      departments and learn the lessons
                                                                                                                                    Page 2

                                                                                                     WHY IS YOUR
                           What are you doing to assure
                            EVERYONE GOES HOME?
                                                                                                     I M P O R TA N T ?
                                                                                                     HERE’S AN
We’re looking for those who have initiated a personal, department, organ-                            IMPORTANT ITEM
izational or community program that includes and endorses the 16 FIRE-                               FROM JOHN SACHEN,
                                                                                                     HAZ-MAT OFFICER/
FIGHTER LIFE SAFETY INITIATIVES.                                                                     INSTRUCTOR, DELTA
The purpose of this program is to recognize those who have taken the Fire                            (MO) FIRE
Firefighter Life Safety Initiative Program’s 16 Initiatives and the slogan,                          DISTRICT
“EVERYONE GOES HOME,” to the next level - that of implementation.                                        Recently several law enforce-
                                                                                                     ment agencies in Southeast Mis-
                                                                                                     souri issued a recommendation
If you, or a department you know, has incorporated the Firefighter Life                              that officers contact the closest
Safety Initiative Program’s 16 Initiatives and the slogan, “EVERYONE                                 fire agency when they have an
GOES HOME,” we want to hear from you.                                                                incident involving hybrid vehi-
                                                                                                     cles, whether or not fire and extri-
Send a description (samples, pictures, and program) of your implementation                           cation are involved.
to:                                                                                                      Hybrid vehicles (HV) are not
                                                                                                     often encountered outside of the                                                                       larger metropolitan areas, and
                                                                                                     even then firefighters may not be
                                                                                                     aware of the special hazards in-
                                                                                                     volved. HV electrical systems on
  SEAL OF EXCELLENCE AWARDS                                                                          the newest vehicles include 300-
                                                                                                     Volt DC battery packs and 165-
  PRESENTED AT FIREHOUSE WORLD                                                      IN               horsepower electric motors oper-
                                                                                                     ating on 650 volts. AC.
  SAN DIEGO                                                                                              To address this situation, a
                                                                                                     Hybrid Vehicle—Awareness
     The Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives Program Team officially launched its Seal of Excel-     Level PowerPoint presentation
  lence Award Program at Firehouse World in San Diego. The purpose of this program is to             has been developed by the Uni-
                                                                                                     versity of Missouri—Fire and
  recognize individuals, fire departments, and other organizations who have taken the 16 Fire-
                                                                                                     Rescue Training Institute. The
  fighter Life Safety Initiatives/Everyone Goes Home Program to the next level-that of imple-
                                                                                                     HV-PPT has 23 slides with in-
  mentation.                                                                                         structor notes and introduces the
     Chief Ron Siarnicki, Executive Director of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation,         Hybrid Vehicles to Fire/EMS/Law
  presented the awards in appreciation and recognition of support shown to the Everyone Goes         Enforcement agencies, city/
  Home campaign. “We want to recognize those who have taken the program from talking to              district officials, and community
  walking, from showing to telling, and from hearing about it to implementing it,” said Siarnicki.   groups.
     Fireman’s Fund Insurance and its Heritage Program received the first Seal of Excellence
                                                                                                            Response agencies may
  Award for providing critical financial support for the Everyone Goes Home program at the
  outset. “We are honored to present our Seal of Excellence Award to a corporate sponsor who             download the presentation free
  stepped up to the plate, who in the very beginning had the courage and the belief in what we                   of charge at:
  were doing and provided the matching funds needed to make us eligible for the Fire Act Grant
  that has allowed us to move forward with the Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives Program, work-
  ing on the campaign so that Everyone Goes Home.” Danielle Cogan, director of community
  relations for Fireman’s Fund Insurance, accepted the award.                                                     download/
     A Seal of Excellence Award was also presented to Harvey Eisner, editor in chief of Fire-      
  house magazine, of the Cygnus Public Safety Group, who has consistently demonstrated the
  highest commitment to the Everyone Goes Home Program. Harvey has provided personal                       Send your input/feedback/
  assistance to the project, engaging the support of Firehouse and Cygnus to market, campaign
  share, and endorse the program.
                                                                                                          information on firefighter life
     Congratulations and many thanks to Fireman’s Fund Insurance, Harvey Eisner, and all the                    safety issues to :
  people who advocate and implement the Everyone Goes Home Program and the Firefighter
  Life Safety Initiatives.                                                                     

                      FIREFIGHTER LIFE SAFETY INITIATIVES NEWSLETTER                                                   February 2006
                                                                                                                                 Page 3

A    MATTER OF                       LIFE           OR       DEATH
   The fire service has significantly increased the emphasis       survival.
on the health and safety of firefighters over the past fifteen         • Fire vehicle crashes that occur during emergency re-
years. We are training more effectively, providing strong          sponse and non-emergency travel are a major cause of fire-
Incident Command, relying on Standard Operating Proce-             fighter injuries and deaths each year. Members must always
dures, using better equipment, and monitoring compliance           take special care while driving or riding to (and from) calls.
with regulations and standards. In addition, health evalua-        They must stay seated and wear seat belts...period. If we
tions, emphasizing psychological, emotional, and physical          follow this edict, and also take appropriate steps to protect
wellness, tracking chemical and medical exposures, and using       firefighters from traffic while they work at emergency scenes,
safety officers, have also contributed to improving the health     firefighters will have a better chance of survival.
and safety of firefighters. The fire service mission, by its
very nature, involves risk to our members in a variety of              • Fire Officers need to stop putting firefighters in offen-
situations. Therefore, those who occupy positions of leader-       sive positions on what are obviously defensive fires. If fire-
ship must accept and act out their responsibilities in ways that   fighters are improperly positioned, and things happen that
impact health and safety in positive, practical, and effective     compromise the structural integrity, increase the extent of the
terms. Leadership and supervisory practices of fire officers       fire, change the ventilation profile, or a number of other fac-
make a difference in the safety and survival of firefighters.      tors, the result could be tragic for firefighters. The incident
                                                                   commander is in place to determine the strategy (offensive or
   Leadership and supervision tend to regulate the effective-      defensive) based on an ongoing evaluation of critical fire-
ness of safety efforts and guide attitudes towards safety.         ground factors, command and control, and through the man-
Positive leadership and skillful supervision can improve the       agement of an incident action plan. The building should not
odds of firefighters surviving the emergency situations we         decide the strategy by running firefighters out at the last min-
send them to. No matter what formal positions of rank we           ute or by seducing leaders to take risks with firefighters’ lives
hold, leaders demonstrate their commitment to safety through       that are not worth what they’re trying to accomplish tacti-
their behaviors and actions. These actions send a stronger         cally. If the appropriate strategy is offensive...then get with
message than anything they might simply “say” to those they        it. Half-hearted offensive attacks are dangerous to firefight-
lead.                                                              ers. However, if the appropriate strategy is defensive, get our
   There are many things that leaders should stress on a regu-     firefighters out of, off of, and away from the structure...and
lar basis, and that must include an emphasis on actions and        the leader needs to be willing to take the heat for those deci-
events that get firefighters injured or killed. Data from the      sions if needed.
United States Fire Administration (USFA) and the National              • The risk vs. gain assessment is ongoing, and must be
Fie Protection Association (NFPA) clearly identifies the most      standard practice by the leaders at all types of emergency
common contributing factors to firefighter injuries and fatali-    incidents. Leaders must ask themselves initially, and again
ties. Although all injuries and fatalities can’t be prevented,     periodically throughout the incident, “Is the risk I’m taking
following are some intervention strategies that can be empha-      with my people worth what we’re trying to accomplish
sized to significantly lower our risk.                             here?” If the answer is yes, then keep going...but if the an-
   • Firefighters and fire officers must stay mentally alert to    swer is no, then stop doing what you’re doing. Keep the fol-
the many ways the we can be injured at the station, in train-      lowing risk model in’s been around for several
ing, during response, or at the scene of an emergency call.        years:
Inattentiveness or complacency affect our actions or decision.          We will risk ourselves a lot, within a structured plan, to
There is no such thing as a routine call or task. Remember,        save a savable life.
minor injuries are usually just a matter of good luck...often,
the injury could have been more serious than it was...maybe             We will risk ourselves a little, within a structured plan, to
even fatal.                                                        save savable property.
   • Many firefighter tasks involve hard, strenuous work per-          However, we will not risk ourselves at all to save lives or
formed with little time for warm-up. Lots of firefighters die      property that are already lost.
of heart attacks and strokes, or experience other career ending        • On the fireground, firefighters assigned to crews, com-
injuries during training or while working at emergency             panies, or teams must not get separated from each other...they
scenes, or shortly afterwards. Maintaining a reasonable level      must not get lost. We should always remember that if we
of fitness, physical strength, and flexibility, combined with an   find ourselves alone and things take a sudden turn for the
emphasis on psychological and emotional fitness, will signifi-     worse, or if we get disoriented, we could die...alone. .
cantly improve a firefighter’s odds of survival. If we add to
this an active and effective rehab component to emergency                                                 Continued on Page 4
scene management, firefighters will have a better chance of

                       FIREFIGHTER LIFE SAFETY INITIATIVES NEWSLETTER                                                 February 2006
                                                                                                                                    Page 4

A   MATTER OF                         LIFE              OR    DEATH
                                                                                          (CONTINUED              FROM PAGE        3)

When firefighters get lost in a structure fire, there       We should never minimize the potential risks
is only one good thing that can result from it..         firefighters face, but as leaders and supervisors,
They get found alive. Every other possible out-          we can reduce the risk and improve their odds of         About the Author:
come is bad. Everyone must stay connected to the         survival. The National Fallen Firefighters Foun-             Chief Dennis Comp-
system and the Incident Commander, through               dation (NFFF) and the United States Fire Admini-         ton is a well-known
their company, or unit, or sector/division/group.        stration (USFA) have committed to meeting the            speaker and the author
Freelancing must not be allowed at any level             following ambitious goals:                               of several books includ-
within the organization structure.                       1. Reduce Firefighter line of duty deaths by             ing the When In Doubt,
   As leaders and supervisors, our comments and               25% over the next five years.                       Lead! series, Mental
                                                                                                                  Aspects of Performance
actions towards health and safety significantly          2. Reduce firefighter line of duty deaths by 50%         For Firefighters And Fire
impact other members’ attitudes and actions re-               over the next 10 years.                             Officers, as well as
garding these issues. How we (as leaders) func-                                                                   other articles and publi-
                                                            If we made the changes to the fire service lead-
tion, to a large extent, regulates the way our mem-                                                               cations. He is also the
                                                         ership, management and supervisory practices,
bers view the importance of safety practices, and                                                                 co-editor of the current
                                                         and culture that are suggested n this article...I
therefore, dictates how they function themselves.                                                                 edition of the ICMA’s
                                                         mean really made the volunteer and ca-         textbook         titled,
      Within ancient leadership concepts developed       reer services...we would most likely achieve those       “Managing Fire and
in 600 BC in China, Lao Tsu professed and taught         goals. We can do that!                                   Rescue Services.” He
that one leads primarily by example. The inabil-                                                                  serves as a national
                                                            Take the time to review your department’s
ity or unwillingness of those in leadership posi-                                                                 advocate and executive
                                                         practices and procedures relating to the safety
tions (regardless of rank) to practice this basic                                                                 advisor for fire service
                                                         issues I’ve discussed...then review your own per-
leadership concept in a positive way, setting the                                                                 and emergency man-
                                                         sonal safety attitude and your leadership behav-         agement issues and
appropriate example, undermines firefighter
                                                         iors as well. The most dangerous firefighters and        organizations.
health and safety as much as any other factor.
                                                         fire officers I’ve every known have been the ones
   Leadership and supervision includes modeling                                                                       Dennis served as the
                                                         who thought they were “fully trained” very          fire chief in Mesa, Ari-
the behaviors and expectations we have of others.        cautious working around them. Let’s take care of         zona, for five years and
Leaders are always teaching others how to behave         each other all the time, and as leaders and supervi-     as assistant fire chief in
and perform by their own example...good or bad.          sors, demonstrate that commitment through your           the Phoenix Fire Depart-
Imagine the positive effect of putting emphasis on       own words and actions. We’ll all be better      ment, where he served
safety and survival leadership issues every day,         health and safety, as well as in many other ways.        for 27 years.       Chief
and at every emergency incident. We could sig-           It can be a matter of life or death for our firefight-   Compton is the past
nificantly impact firefighter safety in the specific     ers and ourselves.                                       chair of he Congres-
areas I’ve mentioned, which happen to be the                                                                      sional Fire Services
contributing factors in 90% of all firefighter fa-                                                                Institute’s National Advi- and volunteer.                                                                                  sory Committee, and
                                                                                                                  serves on the Board of
                                                                                                                  Directors for the Home
                                                                                                                  Safety Council (HSC).


The Everyone Goes Home Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives Program team is in the development stages
of a very important project that will strongly affect the American Fire Service. Plans are underway to
launch a program to assist U.S. fire departments in the implementation of the 16 Firefighter Life Safety
Initiatives by providing a packet of media tools to help departments’ in their quest for safety and to help
ensure that all firefighters go home at the end of the day. We sought out fire service leaders and subject
matter experts to provide their expertise and recommendations on how we can build a safer fire service.
Please keep checking our website for updates on this project. Thank you for your support. Stay safe.

                        FIREFIGHTER LIFE SAFETY INITIATIVES NEWSLETTER                                                   February 2006
                                                                                                                                          Page 5

KENTUCKY IS FIFTH IN FIREFIGHTER                                                                            COURAGE TO BE
                                                                                                            SAFE PROGRAM
DEATHS THIS YEAR                                               CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4                          PRESENTED IN
—   COURIER-JOURNAL DECEMBER 27, 2005                                                                           MONTOUR
                                                                                                                FALLS, NY
   Kentucky ranks fifth in the nation in fire-        attributed to stress and overexertion, according
fighter deaths this year with six, a statistic that   to U.S. Fire Administration documents.                   Robert Colameta, consult-
has fire officials looking for more money and                                                               ant/instructor for Public
                                                         Day said the problem is occurring nationwide
better ways to train volunteer and paid firefight-                                                          Safety Education Network,
                                                      because a lot of volunteer fire departments are
ers.                                                  staffed by people older than 35 who might not be      presented the Courage to Be
   Kentucky Fire Commission officials plan to         in the best shape and most departments do not         Safe program at the New York
ask the legislature for $3 million for health,        have physical fitness requirements.                   State Frederick L. Warder
driver training and safety programs that could                                                              Academy of Fire Science in
                                                         The occupational safety agency has suggested       Montour Falls, New York, on
prevent deaths, said Ronnie Day, executive di-        providing screenings and annual medical evalua-
rector of the commission.                                                                                   February 10. The program was
                                                      tions to all firefighters, along with other medical
                                                                                                            attended and enthusiastically
   “If we have even one death, we are concerned       tests. The State Fire Commission agrees with
                                                                                                            received by 35 New York State
about it. These are our brothers and sisters los-     the federal recommendations.
                                                                                                            fire instructors who plan to
ing their lives. If there is something we can do,        “It’s all well and good to be dedicated, but       take what they have learned
we want to do it.” Day said.                          volunteer firefighters should always make sure        and spread the word in their
   The funds would go toward helping train fire-      they are healthy enough to fight fires,” Day said.    departments. A PowerPoint
fighters in the state’s 768 volunteer fire depart-       Day said the commission is asking for $1           presentation was supplied by
ments, often the primary source of fire protection    million to pay for physicals for each firefighter.    the Public Safety Education
in rural areas.                                                                                             Network and was distributed
                                                         Many volunteer departments don’t realize that
   The state was second n the nation in 2004,         the National Fire Protection Association requires     on disk to attendees to assist
with seven volunteer firefighters, which make up      annual physicals for all firefighters and requires    them in presenting this pro-
two-thirds of Kentucky’s fire departments.            all new firefighters to pass a physical before        gram.
   The deaths fall into three categories—traffic      joining, Day said.                                       Plans are currently under-
accidents on the way to emergencies, on-duty             Mike Kurtsinger, a division director at the        way to launch the presentation
heart attacks and strokes, and injuries sustained     Kentucky Fire Commission, said the commis-            of this program in Albany and
while fighting fires or using equipment.              sion will ask the legislature to spend $1 million     then in Syracuse.
   The most recent death occurred Nov. 23 when        on simulators to help teach driving safety for           We thank Jim Burns, state
a fire truck ran over West Van Lear volunteer         firefighters.                                         fire administrator, for his
firefighter Charles McKenzie at the scene of a           It’s a move aimed at curbing the number of         strong support and vision for
house fire. McKenzie had founded West Van             traffic fatalities, Kurtsinger said.                  the program, Tom Wutz, chief,
Lear’s volunteer fire department in 1964 and                                                                fire services bureau, for his
                                                         At least seven Kentucky volunteer firefighters
continued to volunteer at 75.                                                                               hospitality and leadership ex-
                                                      have died since 1994 in on-duty traffic accidents
   According to a preliminary report from the         in which they were not wearing seat belts, ac-        ample;      and      to    Dan
U.S. Fire Administration, McKenzie drove a            cording to reports from the occupational safety       McDonough, New York Liai-
tanker to the scene of a fire. After he got out of    agency.                                               son for National Fallen Fire-
the truck it jumped into gear while pumping and                                                             fighters Foundation and FDNY
                                                         Nationally, 117 firefighters died in 2004, with
rolled forward, pinning him underneath.                                                                     Rescue 3 (Ret.) for his commit-
                                                      the majority being volunteers. The U.S. Fire
   “One of the concerns we have is whether the        Administration is seeking to reduce firefighter       ment to firefighter safety and
equipment was sound.,” said McKenzie’s son-in-        fatalities by 25 percent in 5 years and by 50 per-    promoting program in New
law, Kenneth Williamson, who is a Winchester          cent within 10 years.                                 York.
city battalion chief. “Most volunteer depart-
                                                         Day said he thinks most volunteer depart-             Would you like one of Everyone
ments buy equipment that other departments                                                                  Goes Home Speakers Bureau mem-
                                                      ments provide excellent fire protection, but they
want to get rid of.”                                                                                        bers to present on the Firefighter Life
                                                      can still use better equipment and training.
   The National Institute for Occupational Safety                                                           Safety Initiatives at your department
                                                         It takes a special person to be a volunteer        or your conference? Please contact
and Health has issued reports on several of the
                                                      firefighter,” Day said. “They have hearts as big      us at:
Kentucky fatalities that point out deficiencies
                                                      as buckets. They are heroes.”               
and recommend how to minimize risks with
better training and policies.
                                                                                                                If you have an article or news item
   Heart attacks were listed as the cause of five                                                           related to firefighter safety that you
of the eight on-duty firefighter deaths in Ken-                                                             would like to share with our readers,
tucky last year and three of this year’s deaths.                                                            please submit to Bill Manning at:
   The deaths occurred soon after the men re-                                                     
sponded to emergency or fire calls. They were

                         FIREFIGHTER LIFE SAFETY INITIATIVES NEWSLETTER                                                        February 2006
                                                                                                                                       Page 6

Firefighter Life Safety Initiative Advocates Program Launched

   On February 22, 2006, the Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives        •   developing intrastate email networks to keep the message
Program Team launched its Regional/State Advocates program by               alive and stay connected;
conducting a telephone conference with 10 fire service leaders
                                                                        •   using advocates for feedback/input regarding program
who expressed a desire to do more to prevent firefighter line of
                                                                            priorities and specific state needs;
duty deaths in their states. The Advocates program takes a grass-
roots outreach approach to develop networks of advocates to help        •   presenting the Courage to Be Safe program at the Florida
broaden awareness of the 16 Life Safety Initiatives and help fire           Chiefs Conference in April;
departments develop ways to implement them. The advocates               •     how to make use of advocate’s time and provide them with
serve as a critical communications conduit from the local fire de-            the tools for promoting the cause in their states.
partments back to the Foundation regarding the Firefighter Life
Safety Initiatives Program direction and implementation.                Those who participated in the first advocates meeting include:
                                                                        Heather Burford, Battalion Chief, Manchester (CT) Fire-
   Among the numerous topics and ideas discussed were:                  Rescue-EMS; Rob Dahl, Deputy Chief, Boring (OR) Fire Dis-
  •    organizing advocates regionally and by state—one advo-           trict, Rob Franklin, Captain/Training Officer, Lancaster (TX)
       cate for each state and one for each of the 10 regions out-      Fire Department, Leigh Hollins, Battalion Chief, Cedar Ham-
       lined by FEMA;                                                   mock (FL) Fire Department, Rich Marinucci, Chief, Farming-
                                                                        ton Hills (MI) Fire Department, Scott McCullom, Fire Chief,
  •    making plans to present the Courage To Be Safe program
                                                                        Swift Creek (NC) Fire Department, Ken McMahon, Chairman,
       train-the-trainer course in all 50 states.
                                                                        Delaware Fire Commission; Mike McNamee, District Chief,
  •    creating a forum on the Everyone Goes Home website for           Worcester (MA) Fire Department (represented by Paul Rogatz);
       better communication of ideas, advocacy, and implementa-         and William Mora, Captain, San Antonio (TX) Fire Depart-
       tion, listing advocates on the site with click-on links;         ment.
                                                                        We’re off to a great start.

Become an Advocate for the Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives
Program—Make a Difference!
   The Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives Advocates (FLSIA) will       •   Share with the FFLSIP team awareness and knowledge of
play a key role in helping to bring about awareness of the Initia-          activity within your region.
tives and act as a conduit for resources to enable departments to
                                                                        •   Keep abreast of new developments and trends; make rec-
implement and advocate them.
                                                                            ommendation to FFLSIP team on desirable additions or
   Following are the expectations and responsibilities for this             suggested changes to enhance program and/or process.
important position:
                                                                        •   Participate in periodic teleconferences with Regional rep-
   Expectations:                                                            resentatives.
   Advocates will be expected to represent their state in the pro-
                                                                        •   Identify and report on best practices within your state.
motion, presentation, and awareness of Firefighters Life Safety
Initiatives. They will serve as the eyes and ears of the FFLSI          •   Submit stories or provide input to the FLSI newsletter.
Program for their state.                                                    Make recommendations for Seal of Excellence recipients.
   Responsibilities:                                                    •   Assist in Coordination, oversight of performance/delivery
  •    Monitor and review programs presented within your re-                of FLSI programs and presentations.
       gion that are relative to Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives.   •   Keep abreast of new developments and trends in the re-
  •    Attend, represent, or arrange to have a designate attend or          gion; make recommendations to Regional Advocates on
       participate in activities, events, programs, and training            desirable additions or suggested changes to enhance the
       where there is an opportunity to promote Firefighter Life            program and/or process.
       Safety Initiatives or assist in their implementation.
  •    Develop a reporting and sharing plan between you and the
       State/Local Advocates as well as with the FFLSIP team.

                        FIREFIGHTER LIFE SAFETY INITIATIVES NEWSLETTER                                                   February 2006
                                                                                                                                          Page 7

R E C O M M E N DA T I O N S N O W : A N O P I N I O N
Editors Note: The following is offered in light of the critical role that enhanced active and passive fire protection systems and building con-
struction play in firefighter safety in high-rise operations. Generally speaking, the model code groups are the genesis for important enhance-
ments such as those recommended by the National Institute of Standards and Technology following its World Trade Center Collapse investiga-
tion. There is no doubt whatsoever that the fire service has not invested enough of itself in the very code enhancements that would increase the
chances of every firefighter going home. With that in mind, we offer this editorial commentary on a most critical subject.

    After three years of investigations con-      technologies and the standard operating                against time. Critical suppression/
ducted under the National Construction            procedures and capabilities of the fire            mitigation and evacuation/rescue func-
Safety Team Act, at a Congressional               service in responding to the high-rise             tions, with their extraordinary logistical
Hearing on October 26, National Institute         emergencies.                                       and resource demands, are measured
of Standards and Technology (NIST)                   NIST’S recommendations are focused              against time and incident severity.
released their final report of the World          on:                                                Whether that window of time enlarges or
Trade Center Collapse investigation. As                                                              shrinks depends in large part on the per-
emergency responders first on scene to all        • increasing the structural integrity of the       formance of building construction and
types of emergencies at high-rise build-          high-rise buildings to avoid progressive           built-in passive and active fire protection/
ings, it is of utmost importance that we          collapse and total structural failure              life safety systems. To some degree, we
recognize that the NIST recommendations           enhancing the fire resistance of the struc-        as firefighters are at the mercy of the ar-
have direct relevance to firefighter life         tures protecting the structural members to         chitects and engineers designing these
safety and the safety of the public. NIST         prolong burnout and structural soundness;          high-rise buildings, and at the crux of it,
is not a regulatory agency and does not           • requiring active fire protection systems         we are relying on the strength of the
have any enforcement authority, thus their        enhancing tenability and providing fire            building codes under which these struc-
recommendations would not be imple-               safety for the building occupants;                 tures were built.
mented until they are incorporated into           • improving the means of egress provid-
                                                  ing for full building evacuation and allow-        Not surprisingly though, the design crite-
the body of the building codes. It is only                                                           ria for the design professional are not
logical, then, that all fire service organiza-    ing for rapid occupant egress;
                                                  and improving communication technolo-              necessarily identical to the fire service
tions put their support and influence to-                                                            needs, and cost plays a major role in their
ward implementing these recommenda-               gies and procedures for emergency re-
                                                  sponders.                                          designs and the levels of built-in life
tions and incorporate them into the body                                                             safety and fire protection they provided in
of the building codes developed by both              Of course, these recommendations
                                                  have great relevance for the fire service.         the high-rise buildings. In addition to the
of the national model code groups, the                                                               building officials and the fire service rep-
National Fire Protection Association              And one prominent commonality is time.
                                                  Structural improvements and passive fire           resentatives in the national code develop-
(NFPA) and the International Code Coun-                                                              ment processes, developers, building
cil (ICC).                                        resistive enhancements provide for addi-
                                                  tional time prior to structural failure. Ac-       owners, manufacturers, engineers, archi-
    A quick glance at the NIST report re-         tive fire protection systems provide occu-         tects, etc. all play a major role in the de-
veals that even though these recommen-            pants additional time before tenability is         velopment of the building codes. The
dations came in the aftermath of a horrific       compromised. Means of egress enhance-              construction industry exerts a heavy influ-
terrorist event, none of these recommen-          ments decrease the time to evacuate the            ence in the code adoption process, and at
dations are solely based on terrorist             building, and by reducing counterflow              times its interests are in opposition to
threats; rather, they have multi-hazard           problems it also decreases our time to             those of the fire service.
response applications. These enhance-             stage our interior operations. And simi-               The old adage “time is money” applies
ments recommended by NIST have a di-              larly, modifications to the elevators would        in our case; our need to expand the ten-
rect impact on protecting both the build-         also save us time in getting the firefight-        ability/survivability in high-rise buildings
ing occupants and the emergency re-               ers and equipment to the staging floor.            translates to increased construction costs
sponders from all types of incidents that         Enhancements to the fire communication             to the developers and the building owners,
require full building evacuation and inte-        systems provide us real time information           and thus to the design professionals. Eve-
rior emergency operations. This is pre-           for all our fire command and control pur-          ryone likes a good barbeque, but no one
cisely the reason that all fire service or-       poses.                                             wants to have their “ox gored,” if you
ganizations should support implementa-                                                               will. The costs associated with imple-
tion of these recommendations. NIST’s                Our risk analysis and decision making
                                                  at high-rise operations are measured               menting the NIST recommendations into
recommendations are not futuristic and
were developed based on the available                                                                                   Continued on Page 8

                            FIREFIGHTER LIFE SAFETY INITIATIVES NEWSLETTER                                                     February 2006
                                                                                                                                          Page 8

the building codes and requiring a higher degree of fire and life              Based on the views of the proponents of the “probabilistic analy-
safety in high-rise buildings has put the interests of the owners and       sis” approach, there should be absolutely no reason to have spent
the design professionals in opposition to ours.                             hundreds of millions of dollars upgrading security arrangements in
    In general, the construction industry and the design professionals      the airports, since after all, the probability of such occurrences were
representing them oppose incorporating the NIST recommenda-                 astronomically low. But again, September 11, 2001, was a para-
tions into the body of the building codes. And this was quite evi-          digm shift, and despite the miniscule odds, our government cor-
dent in a recent model code development committee meeting,                  rectly decided to take corrective measures and spend hundreds of
where their board showed the least of interest in incorporating the         millions of dollars to enhance the security in our airports to reduce
NIST recommendations into the building code. The board believed             the possibility of such attacks in the future. Do the model code
that the cost impact of implementing the NIST recommendations               boards believe that these measures were too cost prohibitive and a
into the building codes was too prohibitive. The board believed             waste of our resources? The proponents of the “probabilistic analy-
that, based on the historical safety records of the high-rise buildings     sis” approach are quite aware of the more stringent security checks
and the fact that the majority of our fire losses and firefighter fatali-   at the airports and the fact that even their nail clippers are confis-
ties occurred in the other types of occupancies and structures than         cated by the TSA at the metal detector gates. Yet, they fail to apply
high-rise buildings, there was not enough justification to implement        that logic to our high-rise buildings and acknowledge that even
the NIST recommendations. The board believed that the high-rise             miniscule probabilities could prompt tremendous societal concerns
buildings could not be designed to take the impact of an airplane as        and costly preventive measures.
it was done in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The board            The façade of scientific “probabilistic analysis” is a strategic
believed that to make changes in the building codes, scientific data        tool to drag the implementation process, which would effectively
must be presented and “probabilistic analysis” must be performed            kill the NIST recommendations. The pronounced cause of death?
proving the need for implementation of the NIST recommenda-                 “Analysis paralysis.”
tions.                                                                         Considering that the code proposal submittal process for the
    These views are very different from the fire service’s perspec-         2009 edition of the building code developed by one of the major
tive. Whereas the opposition argues about cost, we seek adequate            building code groups is scheduled for March 2006, there is not
time to evacuate the building and perform our interior operations to        much time left, and the opposition’s delay strategy could prove to
mitigate the hazard. The fire service is not naïve or inconsiderate         be effective. As a non regulatory agency, NIST’s recommendations
as to the cost issues that would result from implementing the NIST          would not automatically translate into the building code language,
recommendations. What’s required are cost-effective solutions to            and will not be implemented. Not unless we put all our efforts in
provide for our desired level of fire and life safety—not disregard-        getting them implemented. The federal government has done all
ing our need for increased safety altogether. Bottom line is we             they could. It is now up to us to take a stance.
don’t want our brothers and sisters, in addition to the occupants of           Unfortunately, we are in a two-minute drill and must snap the
these high-rise buildings, paying the ultimate price as they did on         ball without a huddle. We can’t afford to run the clock and let time
September 11, 2001.                                                         run out, and wait for the next code adoption in 2012. We should
    We are also astute in evaluating risks in our own ways of course,       direct our representatives in the code development and technical
and are not naive about the concept of “probabilistic analysis.”            committees to take a strong stance in support of adopting the NIST
After all, we utilize this risk-based approach in our daily opera-          recommendations into the model building codes. All fire service
tions, in our daily decision making. That being said, since we are          organizations must stand unified in their support of implementing
responsible for responding to virtually every type of high-rise             the NIST recommendations. After all, as emergency responders, we
emergency in high rises, we know quite well that the concept of             are all impacted and are all in it together. Surely, we owe it to our
“probabilistic analysis” should not only be limited to the fire re-         brothers who fell in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to
sponse, but must be viewed from the multi-hazard or all-hazards             work towards improving the construction and fire and life safety
perspective, as well.                                                       features of future high-rise buildings so that our children won’t
    To support our perspective in rebutting our opposition’s argu-          have to face what they did that terrible day.
ments regarding this issue, it should be explained that to all of us,
as Americans, the September 11, 2001, events were a paradigm
shift that should have alerted us to abandon our naiveté and recog-
nize that “we are not in Kansas anymore.” Merely applying the
“probabilistic analysis” approach in a reality vacuum would prove
that since hundreds of thousands of flights take place and millions
of people travel by air around the world every year, logically, air
transportation is actually the safest mode of travel. But 19 terror-
ists and four airplanes changed the history of our country and the
entire world.

                          FIREFIGHTER LIFE SAFETY INITIATIVES NEWSLETTER                                                       February 2006
                                                                                                                     Page 9

                                            Courage to Be Safe—State of Pennsylvania
                         The program is scheduled at various venues throughout the state of Pennsylvania
                            Check website for locations:—Coming Events

                                                  FDIC Indianapolis—April 28, 2006
                                          Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives Program Forum

                                                Firehouse Expo 2006 —Baltimore, MD
                          Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives Program Seal of Excellence Award Presentation

                                          Fire Rescue International—September 11, 2006
                                                   Courage to Be Safe Program

   Depending on the year, approxi-         Coordinating Group, training organi-
mately 25 percent of the National          zations, and others, the key for fire-
Fallen Firefighters Foundation’s con-      fighter life safety messages will ad-
stituents are wildland firefighters.       dress the wildland fire group, using
This constituency directly overlaps        their nomenclature, graphics, and
that of the Wildland Firefighters          management hierarchy.
Foundation (WFF). The WFF has                 The WFF is the broadest voice for
proposed to assist the NFFF in the         the wildland community and it’s mis-
development and delivery of the Eve-       sion is closely aligned with the NFFF.
ryone Goes Home program and the            Recognizing this, the US Forest Ser-
16 Life Safety Initiatives.                vice has issued a “Grant of General
   The WFF will modify these pro-          Authority” that provides the WFF full
grams and develop them to address          and free access to all U.S. forest ser-
the needs of wildland firefighters.        vice Fire Camps.       The Foundation
Through research and input from the        looks forward to its advocacy work
wildland firefighting community, fed-      with the WFF.
eral agencies, the National Wildland

                    FIREFIGHTER LIFE SAFETY INITIATIVES NEWSLETTER                                            February 2006