November 2008

Know Your Breathing Apparatus, Part I

by mobrian on November 29, 2008

It’s very likely that as part of your travels to become a fire fighter you have learned how to “don” a breathing apparatus (BA), or SCBA.  In fire one and two you trained countless times to make sure you hit all the key steps in order to pass the State’s practical examination or to even show up your fellow fire fighters.  Since that great day, how many times have you but on your BA?  Have you mastered this task?

I have taught the courage to be safe program in many areas of the State and we preach about wearing your seat belts.  Then we get statements on how difficult it is to don your BA while wearing a seat belt.  The simple statement on not following the law (even department policy) and wearing your seat belt usually points to a deficiency in training at the company level.

This is the drill, put your turnout gear on, in under 60 seconds, get on the apparatus, put on your seat belt, and the don your BA as if you were were responding to a working fire, and then step off the truck.  This simple drill usually produces some odd results from the rookie to the most senior fire fighter.  Fire fighters, company officers, and engineers (going through the training, engineers should never don a BA while driving an apparatus) will find themselves entangled in a web of seat belt, forgetting the safety lock on the bottle, or even failing to remember some of the simple safety steps required to pass fire fighter I.

Why does this drill produce odd results?  Is it [click to continue…]


News for the week of November 17, 2008

by mobrian on November 24, 2008

DFD Pays Respect to a lost Fire Fighter

Walter P. Harris died while fighting a fire in the City of Detroit was laid to rest on Friday.  Harris was remembered as a father with a warm smile and the message to live your life, like you only have 38 years to live.  Harris was a senior fire fighter who was soon to be promoted for engine 23.  Fire fighters came from across the Midwest and Canada to pay their respects for this hero.

Light Weight Truss, fire fighter falls through Floor

Sean Decrane and Ozzie Mirkhah are two of the mover and shakers in the fire service.  Their combined efforts highlight the dangers of lightweight wood truss on our fire service.  This article provided by serves as a great reminder of the need for situational awareness for firefighters in every aspect of the fire fight.

Other News Items


FHWA sets Interim Final Rule on Safety Vests

November 22, 2008

Feds Create Common Sense Exception Days Before Rule is in Effect The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued an Interim Final Rule to address safety concerns raised by the firefighting community regarding high-visibility safety apparel (see Worker Visibility Final Rule – 23 CFR Part 634, below). The Interim Final Rule: Revises the definition of “worker” to […]

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NIOSH endorses National Seat Belt Pledge

November 21, 2008

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) announced that the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has added its logo to the National Fire Service Seat Belt Pledge 100% Participation Certificate. This endorsement of the seat belt campaign, by NIOSH Acting Director Dr. Christine Branche, reinforces the importance of wearing these safety devices to the […]

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Detroit 17 Year Veteran Fire Fighter Dies

November 16, 2008

Engine 23 fire fighter dies in vacant building fire On Saturday November 15, 2008 close to 5 am, Engine 23, Squad 3, and the other units of the first alarm assignment responded to a working fire on Sheridan street.  The dilapidated house had a working fire on the second floor which was initially knocked down […]

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Ul Lightweight Wood Truss Training

November 2, 2008

Last year, Underwriters Laboratories (UL) received a fire grant from the DHS to do a research study on lightweight construction.  UL conducted a series of tests, and just this month posted the results of their study titled “Structural Stability of Engineered Lumber in Fire Conditions” on their UL University website. This is a great online […]

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