It is always great to talk to Fire Fighters and Fire Officers, no matter where in the world I find myself. It was one of the tremendous highlights from my recent trip to South Africa.
Thanks to the fire fighters of Johannesburg and Durban for sharing keen insights into their departments and operations. It was a great exchange. There are so many similarities to Fire Fighters and Fire Stations all over the world that they are too numerous to mention (including the mop bucket, lol).
Got to see their equipment and discuss issues. Many of the same things that we struggle with in the USA are there as well. Pre- and Post- Apartheid Firefighter selection, staffing and training mirror some of the departments in the USA. I say that in terms of our own attempts at equal opportunity employment, post the Civil Rights era. A different scale and yet the same issues. We were able to discuss Officer selection and development; strategies and tactics; the attitude of the population, as it relates to Public Safety; and the future of department goals and objectives.
I felt right at home with this Pierce Attack Pumper, until I climbed into the cab and realized that the steering wheel was on the “wrong side” and that I had to do my pump calculations in the metric system. The “Rule of Thumb” still applies. It was nice to tour the city in the Operations Vehicle (equivalent to my Battalion Chief’s SUV, at home). The only difference is that theirs is a Mercedes SUV. It was then on to one of the Ladder Trucks.
The equipment was great to review and compare, yet we all agreed that the equipment is nothing and ineffective without proper human resource management.
I want to thank Thato and Trevor for a great time with the South African Fire and Emergency Services Division. Stay safe and hope to chat again soon.
The National Board on Fire Service Professional Qualifications (Pro Board) is pleased to announce an initiative to assist the men and women of the Department of Defense (DOD), especially VETERANS RETURNING FROM SERVICE OVERSEAS in finding career and employment opportunities in the Fire Service when retiring out of military service.
Continue reading ProBoard Adds “Vets”!
Denver firefighters opened their doors and their hearts to share painful lessons to help improve firefighter safety across the country and around the world.
The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) has released Denver Fire Department: Leadership So Everyone Goes Home, a documentary highlighting the department’s efforts to make improvements after the tragic loss of three Denver firefighters over a six-year period
Great Video by Dale G. Pekel, on YouTube, for Donning your SCBA more effectively.
Practice, Practice, Practice!
Just a short clip to assist with the dialogue concerning MayDay transmissions.
County regulators ordered the department to remove the devices last week after fire officials were unable to produce documentation showing Compton firefighters had been properly trained to use the equipment.
The action comes after The Times disclosed in March that nearly one in four city firefighters lacked a permit to perform emergency medical care, a key credential required by other local fire agencies.
“If they aren’t going to follow directions and it’s not going to be a safe use of the equipment then you have to put a stop to the program,” said Cathy Chidester, head of the Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services Agency, which oversees 911 service in the area.
Officials say it may take several weeks to train the firefighters or verify their credentials. In the meantime, some units that arrive first at the scene of a cardiac arrest could be limited to providing CPR until highly trained paramedic rescuers arrive to deliver an electronic shock.
Continue reading AEDs Removed From Calif. Department’s Rigs
June 11, 2015 – Dozens of IAFF members from the Uniformed Firefighters Association (UFA) Local 94 and Uniformed Fire Officers Association (UFOA) Local 854 stormed Capitol Hill today to urge Congress to reauthorize the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. The fire fighters and fire officers arrived by bus to attend a hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Health specifically on H.R. 1786, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act. Following the hearing, Local 94 and Local 854 members met with New York and New Jersey members of Congress.
H.R. 1786 was introduced by Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Peter King (R-NY) and Jerry Nadler (D-NY) earlier this year. The bill has quickly gained the support of 82 bipartisan cosponsors, and the bill’s broad support was evident at today’s hearing. Members from both sides of the aisle were quick to offer their support for the bill, as well as and praise the first responders in attendance.
The bill would reauthorize the World Trade Center Health Program and the September 11 Victims Compensation Fund, which provide health monitoring, treatment and compensation for 9/11 responders and survivors in all 50 states. Unless the programs are reauthorized by Congress, they will begin to expire in October 2015.
General President Harold Schaitberger submitted a statement to the Subcommittee urging them to advance the Zadroga Reauthorization Act.
“The survivors of 9/11 should not have to worry every few years that their health care might vanish,” said Schaitberger. “They should not have to worry about how they would support their families were they to become ill. They should not have to worry about partisan politics in Washington, DC when their lives and livelihoods are on the line.”
The hearing ended on a hopeful note; Subcommittee Chair Joseph R. Pitts (R-PA) predicted that the Zadroga Reauthorization Act would soon pass the Subcommittee and Committee on its way to consideration by the full U.S. House of Representatives.
Read President Schaitberger’s Zadroga_Testimony to the Subcommittee on Health in its entirety.
A recording of the hearing is available on the House Energy and Commerce web site.
Continue reading FDNY Fire Fighters, Fire Officers Urge Congress to Renew Zadroga Act
Let us never forget the tremendous sacrifice our firefighters, their families and coworkers make. Their efforts and legacy must be one of honor, remembrance and learning. Hear, in their own words, their story. Special thanks goes out to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation for this presentation and the their tireless efforts to assist firefighters in getting home.
To my friends in the Charleston, S.C., Fire Department, I am proud of your long, albeit painful, and continuing recovery process. Your story is one of lament, progress and hope. Your strength and resilience is inspiring.
A lesson for us all…
The Ultimate Sacrifice…