[Video] How Your Bunker Gear Works

[Video] How Your Bunker Gear Works

Tactics in the fire service have changed. It used to be that firefighters stopped the fire at the building. But now they’re going in deeper to stop the fire at the room of origin. PPE is a critical line of defense against the dangerous environment in which firefighters perform their duties. Firefighters need training not only on the performance of their gear and proper donning and doffing but also on the limitations of their gear. This video will provide important information on: How bunker gear is designed to work Why fit is important The reasons to conduct a risk assessment before selecting gear How to properly inspect bunker...
Upcoming Webinar: Cardiovascular & Chemical Exposure Risk Studies

Upcoming Webinar: Cardiovascular & Chemical Exposure Risk Studies

We’re sponsoring a National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) webinar on Thursday, November 17: Cardiovascular & Chemical Exposure Risk Studies at IFSI Research. Conducted by Gavin Horn, PhD, Director of Research, this webinar will provide a high level overview of recent studies conducted at IFSI Research along with partners from UL FSRI and NIOSH to characterize some of the leading health risks on today’s fireground and training ground. Studies will be described and initial results shared as well as a description of where to find more information as it is released. The webinar will be at 1:00 PM ET. While NVFC is hosting the webinar for its members, anyone can register and...
Seeking Balance: Balancing the risks we are willing to assume with live-fire training and the skills it provides

Seeking Balance: Balancing the risks we are willing to assume with live-fire training and the skills it provides

By Tim Sendelbach, editor-in-chief for Firehouse Ask any firefighter how much live-fire training they’d like to have and the response will undoubtedly be expressed in one word—“MORE.” As firefighters, there’s one thing we know for sure: We like fighting fires, and in the absence of an opportunity to respond to and engage at a working fire, the next best thing is live-fire training. Live-fire training is the foundation of what we do. It’s the one and only opportunity we have to witness firsthand the elements of fire behavior and fire dynamics in a supposed safe and controllable environment. It serves as our testing ground and our means of refinement for the strategy and tactics we develop and deploy on the modern fireground. It’s a mechanism in which we can test our endurance and physical stamina within the environmental extremes and, in many cases, right or wrong, it’s the rite of passage to becoming a sworn firefighter. As a fire instructor and training chief, I’ve always been a strong proponent of live-fire training. It was—and for the most part still is—my firm belief that the most effective way to transition a civilian to a sworn firefighter is to expose them to the rigors of live-fire training, not once, not twice, but as many times as the schedule will allow. In June, I had the opportunity to travel to Champaign, IL, where researchers and veteran fire instructors at the Illinois Fire Service Institute (IFSI)—in conjunction with UL, NIOSH, Skidmore College and the University Illinois at Chicago—conducted testing designed to answer some much-needed questions about the hazards associated with live-fire training and the potential...
Can “wearable technology” make a difference for firefighters?

Can “wearable technology” make a difference for firefighters?

By Mark Mordecai, Globe Director of Business Development; Photos courtesy of Fire Fighting in Canada | Canadian Firefighter  There’s been a lot of talk for a lot of years about the problem. Stress and overexertion combine with a host of physiological and environmental factors to trigger cardiac events in firefighters that result in 50% of line of duty deaths and an even larger number of disabilities. With all the advancements in personal protection, operational tactics, and training, this is still an alarming fact. And rescuing a downed firefighter inside a building is still like finding a needle in a haystack with RIT teams often spending valuable time doing necessarily thorough searches in areas where the victim isn’t instead of being able to focus on a narrower and more productive area. So what if you could wear sensors that would allow real-time monitoring of firefighters’ heart rate, heart rate variability, respiration rate, activity levels, posture, estimated body core temperature, as well as 3D location inside a building? And what if all of this critical data could be transmitted outside the building where it could be monitored for safety? Could this technology make a difference? That is the goal of Globe’s Wearable Advanced Sensor Platform (WASP™) – the world’s only system for real-time monitoring of physiology and location designed for firefighters and emergency responders. Enter Bruce Power, a privately owned nuclear generating facility in Ontario, Canada. In November, their fire department held a WASP™ technology demonstration, the first in Canada, at their brand new and state-of-the-art fire training facility. Seven firefighters wore the WASP™ base layer t-shirts with embedded electronic sensors and...
Are you training to survive? Enhancing firefighter safety through tactical resiliency.

Are you training to survive? Enhancing firefighter safety through tactical resiliency.

By Ric Jorge, Tactical Resiliency Training, LLC – In the fire service, we practice the Denver drill, the Pittsburgh drill, the Nance drill, entanglement, wall breech, low profile, and an assortment of packaging techniques. We train in firefighter survival techniques in the hopes of making firefighters more prepared to respond to our own emergency if/when the need arises. NIOSH reviews of LODDs call for firefighters to become better adapted under stressful situations. To perform under these situations, and retain proper decision-making ability, requires more than just physical training. It requires layers of understanding. A few examples of this layering of understanding involve cognition, conditioning of physical/emotional/mental arousal levels, and how to prepare people to deal with their sympathetic nervous system response. The sympathetic nervous system is the part of the nervous system that accelerates heart rate, constricts blood vessels, and raises blood pressure – all potentially critical factors in firefighter safety. It is impossible to get our people from good to high-speed low drag without pushing them physically, and mentally. But how do you know when you’re pushing too hard? How do you know when you’re not pushing hard enough? At Tactical Resiliency Training (TRT), we specialize in the development of training instructors to get the most out of their training and their people. One of the tools we utilize to understand how the sympathetic nervous system affects performance under stressful and extreme situations is the Wearable Advanced Sensor Platform (WASP) system from Globe Manufacturing Company. Using a small electronic module attached to a base layer shirt, WASP monitors the firefighters’ vital signs that indicate maximum heart rate productivity...
How to photograph firefighter PPE

How to photograph firefighter PPE

By Jeffrey O. and Grace G. Stull – When investigating a firefighter injury or death, documenting the condition of the PPE is critical; that includes a visual record When firefighters are injured or killed their protective clothing is often inspected as part of the investigation. These inspections can provide useful information for how the clothing might have been worn as well as provide some insight as to the fireground exposure the firefighter encountered. Therefore, undertaking a methodical and comprehensive examination of the clothing and equipment is an important process of any investigation and the photographs that are taken form a significant portion of its documentation. There are procedures for clothing items covered by NFPA 1971 that are especially useful in fully photo-documenting a clothing inspection. Additional procedures apply to the inspection of self-contained breathing apparatus and PASS device. These items can be subjected to detailed assessment through the NIOSH Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation Program. General information on the turnout clothing inspection process is provided in the chapter on inspection in NFPA 1851, Standard on Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting. However, no guidance is given for what images to capture as part of an investigation. For those not wanting to conduct their own investigation, many PPE manufacturers have both the capabilities and willingness to do it. Solid background For those departments examining protective clothing worn by a firefighter following a serious injury or fatality, it is important to have a suitable inspection area and the right equipment. While it is sometimes convenient to have clothing laid out on a table,...