Are You a Tactical Athlete?

Are You a Tactical Athlete?

By Todd J. LeDuc, MS, CFO, FIFirE, Assistant Chief with Broward County (FL) Fire Rescue You may have heard the term “tactical athlete” a lot recently. The term itself is not confined to the fire service and firefighters but other high-risk professions such as the military. The United States Marine Corp (U.S.M.C.) defines a “tactical athlete” as an individual who trains for combat readiness using a comprehensive athletic approach. Tactical athletes use all facets of strength, power, speed, and agility to improve their combat fitness level to their highest potential. The Marine Corps recognize that using speed and agility training will improve maneuverability of an individual in a combat situation such as maneuvering under fire. Additionally, focusing on power lifting exercises in a training regime improves total body power and increasing success in combat engagement. The U.S.M.C. has also added “High Intensity Tactical Training (HITT)” to enhance operational fitness levels and optimize combat readiness and resiliency for the essential tasks that Marines are expected or likely to need to be able to perform in combat. Firefighting is a rigorous profession and the essential job functions that firefighters are called upon to conduct impacts nearly everybody system. Our actions on the fireground physiologically stress many responses that respond differently than from a homeostatic state. Below are some of the systems affected: Cardiovascular Hematological Thermoregulatory Respiratory Metabolic Immune/endocrine Nervous Muscular Firefighters essential job functions are measured in “MET” values or “Metabolic Equivalent of a Task.” This is the rate of oxygen consumption during a task as compared to resting, and can be used to compare levels of exertion across various types...
How to Clean, Maintain & Store PPE

How to Clean, Maintain & Store PPE

By Patricia Freeman, Technical Services Manager, Globe Manufacturing Company Proper cleaning, maintenance, and storage of protective clothing are essential to improving firefighter health and safety. The following requirements are per NFPA 1851, Standard on Selection, Care and Maintenance of Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting, 2014 Edition. It should be noted that this standard is a comprehensive user document, and all fire personnel should read it to get a fuller picture of PPE cleaning, maintenance, and storage. The proper way to perform advanced cleaning (machine washing) Front loading washing machines (aka extractors) are preferable. Do not overload the machine. Pre-treat heavily soiled or spotted areas. Do not use chlorine bleach, chlorinated solvents, active-ingredient cleaning agents, or solvents without element manufacturer’s approval. Separate outer shells from liners, remove drag rescue devices and suspenders, and wash independently. Turn the liner system inside out. All closures (zippers, hook and D-rings, plush and loop) must be fastened prior to laundering. Water temperature should not exceed 105 degrees F. Use mild detergent (pH factor of 6.0 to 10.5), as indicated on safety data sheet or product container. Adjust the washing machine so that the g-force does not exceed 100 g (follow machine manufacturer instructions for proper setting or program selection). Inspect after cleaning and rewash if necessary. If the machine is also used to launder items other than protective ensemble elements, the machine must be rinsed out by running the machine without a laundry load through a complete cycle with detergent and filled to the maximum level with water at a temperature of 120°F to 125°F. Dry in an area...
New download: 10 Considerations Related to Cardiovascular and Chemical Exposure Risks

New download: 10 Considerations Related to Cardiovascular and Chemical Exposure Risks

Significant advances have been made in our understanding of the hazards associated with structural firefighting. A research team recently conducted a large-scale, comprehensive study to better understand how operating in an environment typical of today’s fireground impacts cardiovascular events and chemical exposures related to carcinogenic risk. The team consisted of the Illinois Fire Service Institute (IFSI), the UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute (FSRI), and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), with support from Globe and academic researchers from Skidmore College and University of Illinois Chicago. During this study, the following were measured: The production of heat, gases, and particulates in the fire environment; Contamination of firefighters’ PPE and skin; Absorption of that contamination into the firefighters’ bodies; Heat stress and cardiovascular responses; How these variables were influenced by tactical decisions (interior only vs. transitional attack), operating location (inside ¬fire suppression/search vs. outside command/vent vs. overhaul); and Effectiveness of mitigation techniques (skin cleaning, gross decon, off-gassing). Based on findings from the study, the research team identified 10 key considerations related to cardiovascular and chemical exposure risks, broken into three categories: Tactical Considerations Related to Occupant Exposure 1. Getting water on the fire 2. The value of the hollow core door 3. VEIS from the inside? Exposure Considerations for Outside and Overhaul Operations 4. Heat stress during outside vent and overhaul 5. Hydrogen cyanide exposure to outside vent crews 6. High concentrations of PAHs and particulate exposure on the fireground Cleaning and Decontamination Considerations after the Fire 7. PPE and skin contamination 8. Gross decontamination 9. Hood laundering 10. PPE off-gassing For details about these 10 considerations, suggested...
Helping to Protect Our Volunteer Firefighters

Helping to Protect Our Volunteer Firefighters

Since 2012, we’ve partnered with DuPont Protection Solutions and the National Volunteer Fire Council to provide 351 sets of new, state-of-the-art turnout gear to volunteer fire departments in need – a value of over $800,000. Through our Globe Gear Giveaway Program, an additional 13 departments will receive four sets of gear each in 2017. Awards in the 3rd quarter were made to the following departments: Gustavus Volunteer Fire Department (AK) ‒ The Gustavus Volunteer Fire Department is located in a rural community 50 miles west of Juneau and covers nearly 38 square miles plus mutual aid to Glacier Bay National Park. The department serves a population of over 500 in the winter and up to 2,000 in the busy summer months during the tourist season. With only 10 sets of gear available for their 27 volunteer firefighters, this donation will enable the department to train and respond safely and in accordance with state and national standards. Island Heights Volunteer Fire Company (NJ) ‒ The Island Heights Volunteer Fire Company is funded entirely by donations, fundraisers, and grants. Their members, comprised entirely of volunteers, devote countless hours to training, emergency response, fundraising, administrative duties, and maintaining equipment, apparatus, and the station. Firefighters are trained in all aspects of fire suppression, ventilation, search and rescue, forcible entry, ladders, salvage and overhaul, water and ice rescue, hazardous materials, and CPR. Many members also pursue additional training as fire officers, instructors, wildland firefighters, incident commanders, and more. While all 30 of their volunteers currently have turnout gear, 18 of those are more than 10 years old and no longer compliant with safety standards....
[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...