Tag Archives: #fireofficertrust

Pass It On!!!

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Got the tremendous opportunity to share some things with an incredible Fire Chief, Billy Goldfeder.  He put them in a book with the addition of some other fire and emergency personnel.

Click here for more: Pass It On

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Be the Thermostat…Not the Thermometer

 thermo

by John Alston

(podcast “PLAY” button below)
 When talking to Fire Officers I find that many, sometimes, fall into two basic categories:
“Thermometers” and  “Thermostats”
Sometimes they find themselves, in one of two of these categories, through no fault of their own.  Through discussion at meetings and by gauging the types of questions that they ask; or positions they assert; I wonder how they arrived there.  Is it the “climate” where they work?  Maybe the orientation or initiation they received.  I surmise that  long before they rose through the ranks, their indoctrination, association and/or training dictated their category… and they can’t shake it. Was it osmosis???  The old nature-nurture debate???  No one can give a definitive answer.A more pertinent question: Is there a system or process in place to move Fire Officers into one of these two categories?  Is there a process to change them from one category to the other?
Thermometers:
Thermometers (definition – an instrument that reads or measures temperature) read the temperature in the room and display there findings. They do not initiate their own actions.  They wait until something happens and then display themselves. They change constantly, based on other conditions.  Thermometers are sometimes fickle or, at best, just register/report/represent the “ambient” temperature.  In other words, you don’t get a true read.  Sometimes there is a delay in their response. They do not initiate anything.  They react and respond to outside influences.
Thermostats:
Thermostats (definition – an automatic or manual device for regulating temperature), on the other hand, are changers. They have the ability to effect and affect their environment.  They can cause us to become warm or cold.  They can alter the atmosphere.  They can make us/others uncomfortable or motivate us to change.  They can have a negative effect, at times. But if they are set right, they continue to do their job correctly.  Thermostats can handle the heat and the cold, seamlessly.  The good ones do their job efficiently.
Which One Are You?
more to follow…

Copyright 2015 John Alston. All rights reserved.

MayDay and Mask Confidence

Take a look at this simple but effective Mask Confidence and May-Day training evolution.  Many times firefighters find themselves in trouble, when they lack situational awareness.  They panic or even call for help too late.

Notice the importance or air management and communication.  These two issues, along with others (teamwork, situational awareness and practice), aid the entangled or trapped firefighter to participate in his/her own rescue.

Rigorous and routine training in mask confidence will build up the attitude and skill set needed. Calling the MayDay, when MayDay parameters are encountered, will aid greatly in more positive outcomes.

I, recently, had a super session with some firefighters on just talking through the basics of safety and survival.

Questions like: How do you orient yourself, while moving through a building?  How do you communicate with each other?  How do you navigate additional hazards?  How do you maintain accountability and crew integrity; when the fecal matter hits the ventilation system???

Which Way is Out???? 

_DSC0011 _DSC0013Bumps to the Pump!

It was a productive and informative session.  (and I hope they got something out of it too….LOL).  #fireofficertrust

TIME to ACT:  Review your agency’s MayDay procedures today!  Update them, if needed.  Train on them until you know them cold!

The firefighter you save could be you!

Taking a Break…I Think

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Just a quick note to let you know what’s going on…lol

Got a call from a dear friend who has been following my social media stuff for a while. She said, in essence, “Are you moving away from your usual altruistic love of the fire service / angst stuff??” To that I said, “What???” She then told me that it appeared I had posted a lot of things regarding a lot of things. …Not the Fire Officer Trust that she had come to know…..

I then said, “AH Ha”. I explained that we just made the move to this format: WORDPRESS at www.fireofficertrust.org and that we  needed to post something of interest for everyone…

Then I explained that I am studying for my DC Exam, at the end of the month and that I wasn’t my usual self…

She bought that. Thanx for noticing.

I’ll be back soon!

JCFD: Seidler Street Fire 2015

Homeowner, Firefighter Dead After Overnight House Fire

April 13, 2015, 7:34 AM by Brandon Van Westen
Updated: April 13, 2015, 8:43 AM

Homeowner, Firefighter Dead After Overnight House Fire
BRANDON, SD -A homeowner and firefighter died in a Monday morning house fire in Brandon.According to Brandon Police Chief David Kull, homeowner 47-year-old David Smith was transported to a Sioux Falls hospital where he was pronounced dead.At 10:41 p.m., firefighters were ordered to exit the home and at 11:01 p.m., a Valley Springs volunteer firefighter was reported missing. At 1:30 a.m., his body was located in the basement of the home.The identity of the firefighter has not been released at this time.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
The age of David Smith has been corrected after receiving revised information from authorities.

“Congrats”, Dr. Onieal!

Dr. Onieal

Congratulations, Chief!

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Former Jersey City Fire Chief and native son Dr. Denis Onieal, who is now Superintendent of the National Fire Academy, has been selected by the Congressional Fire Services Institute’s Board of Directors as the recipient of the 2015 CFSI/Motorola Solutions Mason Lankford Fire Service Leadership Award. The presentation will take place at the 27th Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner on April 16th at the Washington Hilton, in Washington, D.C.

Established in 1998 and co-sponsored by CFSI and Motorola Solutions, the Mason Lankford Fire Service Leadership Award recognizes individuals who have been proactive at the local, state and federal government levels to improve and advance fire/emergency services and life safety issues. Representing a cross section of the fire and emergency services, previous recipients include chiefs, instructors, career and volunteer leaders and public safety advocates.

Dr. Onieal has served as Superintendent of the National Fire Academy since 1995, providing leadership to advance the professional development of fire service leaders of today and tomorrow. Through his efforts, the National Fire Academy has greatly expanded training opportunities for fire service personnel and enhanced NFA’s executive, management, and all-hazard community response and risk reduction curriculums. Working closely with State fire training agencies, NFA courses are now offered through every accredited State training agency in the country. Under Onieal’s leadership, the NFA curriculum has been completely revised to include equivalent college credit recommendation and continuing education units for all resident, off-campus and on-line deliveries. For the first time ever, fire degree programs across the nation are following a standard curriculum and syllabi, and work in close cooperation with State fire training agencies. This combination of standardized training and education is the foundation for professional status for the fire and emergency services.

Acting as a catalyst to improve the fire service, Dr. Onieal continues to write articles and deliver presentations across the nation on professional development within the fire service. His work in this regard has reached thousands of fire service personnel, providing them the encouragement to pursue their academic studies in addition to their fire service training. While rising through the ranks of the Jersey City (NJ) Fire Department, he pursued his own professional development opportunities which eventually lead to a Doctor of Education degree from the New York University in 1990.

“The CFSI Board of Directors congratulates Dr. Denis Onieal on being selected as the recipient of the 2015 CFSI/Motorola Solutions Mason Lankford Fire Service Leadership Award,” said Bill Jenaway, President of the Congressional Fire Service Institute. “He embodies the passion and dedication that the late-Mason Lankford demonstrated in making the fire service a safer profession. We look forward to honoring Dr. Onieal at the 27th Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner.”

For additional information about the 27th Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner and Seminars Program, visit the CFSI website at www.cfsi.org. This event benefits the mission of the Congressional Fire Services Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan policy organization designed to educate members of Congress about fire and life safety issues.

Contact: Bill Webb (202) 371-1277

Catch a quick podcast I was fortunate to grab with my friend and mentor, Dr. Denis (CHIEF) Onieal.

UPDATE: Fresno Fire Captain Pete Dern

Fresno Fire Captain Pete Dern
Fresno Fire Captain Pete Dern

March 31–Fresno firefighter Pete Dern remains in serious condition and faces skin grafts and weeks of other intensive treatment for burns he suffered Sunday when a roof collapsed at a garage fire and he fell into an inferno, the medical director of the Leon S. Peters Burn Center said Monday afternoon.

“He remains stable but in very serious condition,” said Dr. William Dominic. “This is a very serious, certainly life-threatening burn.”

Dern, 49, had inhalation injuries as well as second- and third-degree burns to about 65% of his body, Dominic said. Dern was rushed Sunday afternoon to the burn center, which firefighters helped build in the 1970s.

Dern is on a ventilator to help him breathe. He has had one surgery and is looking at many more, with an operation scheduled for Wednesday to remove dead tissue and do temporary skin grafts. “This could be a very prolonged situation,” Dominic said.

Dern was leading several firefighters across the roof to provide ventilation for the safety of attack crews when the roof collapsed, the fire department said. A video posted on Facebook that captures Dern’s fall into the flames has received national attention.

After falling through the garage roof, Dern was rescued by fellow firefighters within minutes. That was critical to his survival, Dominic said. “No. 1 was getting him out … as quickly as possible,” Dominic said. And the protective firefighting clothing Dern was wearing reduced burning, he said. Without the protective gear: “It’s highly unlikely he would have been alive long enough for someone to help him out.”

Dern’s clothing and gear have been saved, Fresno Fire Chief Kerri Donis said. Members of the Occupational Health and Safety Administration are in Fresno to investigate the work injury, she said. But she also is bringing in an outside team of independent investigators, she said.

A firefighter first and foremost

Dern is a 25-year veteran of the department and has been a captain for 17 years. On Monday, dozens of fellow firefighters gathered at Community Regional Medical Center in support of their colleague. All of them described Dern as a leader.

Capt. Bob Van Tassel, who began his firefighting career with Dern, was chosen to speak for the captain’s family members. They want to thank the community for its support and hospital staff for its care, but they’re “sort of overwhelmed,” he said. “We’re hoping to get them some rest.”

Van Tassel said Dern “is a husband, a father, a firefighter and he’s our friend.” Dern has one daughter “that he’s very proud of,” he said. A firefighting family drove her to the hospital from the college she’s attending, he said.

He’s known Dern for years, and Van Tassel describes his friend as someone good at assessing situations, possibly a trait from his time as an Army Cobra helicopter pilot. But he also has an aesthetic eye. Dern built a house in Shaver, which he sold. He also took an old oak branch on the property and fashioned a mantel for a fireplace, Van Tassel said.

But foremost, Dern is a dedicated firefighter. He’s worked at the busiest fire department truck company for the last five years, Van Tassel said. He could have moved to a less “brutal location,” but chose to stay. Dern stepped out and put himself at risk hundreds of times, Van Tassel said.

A speech at a 1998 Exchange Club luncheon honoring Dern as the city’s firefighter of the year epitomized him: “Pete Dern is the kind of employee who sees a job that needs to be done and does it,” said Capt. Michael S. Gill. “He never complains, and never boasts about his deeds or accomplishments.”

On Monday, Donis said the captain is “a leader among leaders in this department. He’s probably trained every single one of us who have come through the ranks at some point.”

She also praised Dern’s team. The firefighters did everything right in a worst-case scenario, she said.

Donis said the fire likely started in the garage, but the cause is still under investigation. “We haven’t ruled out anything yet,” she said. “There are some avenues we’re pursuing.”

Van Tassel said the team broke the garage door down to get Dern out, got his clothes off, called for an ambulance and continued to fight the fire. “I’m very proud of them,” he said. “They all knew what had happened was very bad, and they feared he wouldn’t make it out alive.”

Firefighters have connection to burn unit

Donis said Dern was fortunate that the Leon S. Peters Burn Center is located at Community Regional Medical Center in downtown Fresno. “He needed immediate burn attention from the experts,” she said.

Fresno firefighters and the burn center have a long connection going back four decades.

“The center started in 1974 as a result of a Fresno firefighter who was injured,” said Sandra Yovino, the center’s clinical director. The firefighter had to be rushed to San Jose, the nearest burn center at that time, she said.

In the 1970s, burn centers were a new idea, Yovino said. There were only a few nationwide. But Fresno firefighters raised initial funds to help open one, she said. The 10-bed center now admits more than 200 burn patients a year and treats another 500 yearly as outpatients.

For years, the Fresno Firefighters Association has held “Fill the Boot” fundraisers for the center.

The burn center’s hyperbaric oxygen chambers to treat smoke inhalation and hard-to-heal wounds are thanks in large part to fund-raising efforts by Fresno firefighters, Yovino said. “One reason we maintain our hyberbaric department is for our firefighters,” she said.

In the past three years, the burn center has treated nine firefighters, Yovino said. Dern is the first Fresno firefighter among them, she said.

It’s a surprisingly low number of firefighters Dominic says he’s treated for burn injuries in 23 years at the center. “They do a very good job of working safely.”

 Contact Barbara Anderson: banderson@fresnobee.com, (559) 441-6310 or @beehealthwriter on Twitter.


Further Update:

Fresno Fire Capt. Pete Dern returned to surgery Friday morning to prepare his burn wounds for skin grafting.

Surgery once or twice a week is not unusual for patients such as Dern who have sustained major burns to a majority of the body, said Community Regional Medical Center staff.

Dern was burned over 70% of his body March 29 when he fell through a garage roof while fighting a house fire and was engulfed in flames.

Late Thursday afternoon, Dern worked with physical therapists to stand for a short time as part of a regimen important for maintaining muscle strength, said Sandra Yovino, clinical director of the Leon S. Burn Center at the hospital.

During the therapy session, Dern was able to enjoy a hug with his wife, Kelly.

Firefighters from Sacramento and Bakersfield visited the hospital Thursday to support Dern and Fresno firefighters.

Contact BoNhia Lee: blee@fresnobee.com, (559) 441-6495 or @bonhialee on Twitter.

Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/2015/04/10/4471309_burned-fresno-fire-capt-dern-hugs.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

Copyright 2015 – The Fresno Bee

A Bad Day for a Great Officer.

This graphic video is not to second guess or “armchair quarterback” an incident.  It is, however, a brief snapshot into an evolving incident.  A snapshot that allows all of us, who “are of the cloth” (Blue), to say,there but for the Grace of God...”.

Our thoughts and prayers are extended to our Fresno Family.

There has been a lot of discussion and, as always, that is how we learn and hone our craft.

Anyone with further information…please, respectfully, post in the comment section.         Stay safe out there…

Know Your Enemy!!!

Learn all you can about fire behavior and fire dynamics!