Tue, 23 Dec 2008|
Chief Bobby Halton discusses the major stories of the week, including the recent firefighter rally over budget cuts in Philadelphia.
Hello I'm Bobby -- Editor in chief of fire engineering magazine and welcome to fired hearings we can review for the week of December 14 2008. This week -- news begins in Philadelphia where firefighters. Were facing cutbacks including the elimination of five Asian companies. And two truck companies took to the streets to protest these proposed cuts. Union members were joined by -- present -- Shakespeare. Who together were expressing their extreme concern as to how these cuts will affect fire -- and citizens' safety. Quoting the IFF general president in the neighborhoods where they're going to be doing this cutting they're going to be playing Russian roulette. In other related news the -- firefighters have filed two lawsuits the try to halt these proposed eliminations. These cutbacks -- not eliminate any firefighting positions however over 140. Firefighters. Will be reassigned. And five engines and two truck companies will be closed. We hear fire engineering are following this story closely. As we feel that these cutbacks -- gonna continue in cities across the country we need to remain steadfast. In our commitment to staffing and having companies available to respond quickly and effectively where they're needed. -- many city managers and others of their type. We'll be showing east charts and statistics and graphs that show how response times and such will be covered but they do little to show what will happen. When a citizen who's relying on our fire protection passed away. And experts excess to I'd Oklahoma where on December 16 at approximately 11 AM. Firefighters responding from -- were met with an SUV that had collided head on with a tanker truck carrying 6000 gallons of gasoline and 3000 gallons of diesel. 9000 gallons of fuel the resulting collision forced the tanker truck off the road the saddle tanks on the diesel erupted into flames engulfing the cab. The SUV sustained extensive damage and the suvs extra occasion of the driver was extremely complicated. Firefighters from I don't we're joined by union valley Stonewall -- and being fire departments. Using flawless coordination these departments were able to quickly extinguished the flames and prevent any of the fuel in the tanker from becoming involved. The story shows this is a good reminder that -- community is large -- small high risk highly complicated events can happen every day. Large -- small metropolitan -- rural high risk and complex events will and can happen. Being prepared is the hallmark of a professional and interagency coordination. As the light a fire departments and their neighboring -- showed is the key to successful operations. Sadly the driver of the SUV succumbed to his injuries. But further damage the environment and the protection of the cut community was accomplished by these highly trained and highly dedicated -- -- Firefighters across America understand just how dangerous carbon monoxide can be. And candles. Our next two stories about those very issues we need to remember our national campaigns to keep emphasizing. The dangers. Of carbon monoxide. -- Unattended candles. The story begins Schenectady, New York where sadly firefighter -- Fazio and his wife Eileen. Succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning. Firefighter Fazio was described as an actual fire -- and a dear friend -- -- fire chief Bob -- said. Firefighters believe that the cause of the carbon monoxide was a generator set up near the doorway to the -- -- Fazio home. Interior door was open. And it's believed that the storm door was closed. The assumption is that the proximity of the generator. To the home allowed enough carbon monoxide to fill the house and -- the lives of the -- -- Our deepest condolences go the family and friends and all the members of the Schenectady fire department. And related story candle on December 4 caused the fire Hampton Virginia. Claiming the lives of three residents and creating a fire that destroyed over twelve apartments. These two stories at this time of the year especially remind us with this recession coming on. How these things will become more and more common. Space heaters generators and candles are combinations of firefighters he often as the cause of unnecessary death and destruction. We know that this year -- winner awareness campaigns must inform citizens of the dangers that these three elements -- Firefighters need to be acutely aware of how carbon monoxide can also be a danger to them. Recently we've seen several stories were firefighters responding. Fumes and owners nearly succumbed to the effects of carbon monoxide. With the fuel crisis on hand. And the recession coming on a strong we know that folks will be using alternative methods to heat the fuel -- homes one of them is gonna be generators. Carbon monoxide detectors need to be present when ever and wherever a generator is present. As a fuel source. Next to stories involve the issue of fire based EMS. Let's begin in Cumberland county North Carolina. Fire officials are trying to desperately fix a system that can only be described as broken. Cumberland county is served by -- hospital based ambulance company which currently response eight ambulances. To the area. Fire chief Freddie Johnson president of the Cumberland county chiefs association believes that he as a solution. Using common sense commodity we all know to be far less than common. Johnson is proposing putting ambulance responses. Under the control of the fire department. And staffing them with cross trained firefighter medics who will actually be in the neighborhoods and nearby where the calls come in. Currently Cumberland county residents can wait for 21 hour for medical transport to the fact that the private ambulance companies are tied up under. Other calls. The solution was proposed by the hospital based company would be to create a new triage category. They're gonna call -- the -- category. In this particular category they will send no one. Based on the information that they're gonna gather over phone call according to Michael -- a hospital based ambulance system chief to quote. We have to temper service with some reality. Unfortunately Michael the reality is that not all people under severe stress can express exactly what is going on when a loved one. Is suffering a medical emergency. The fire service as long standing -- had. Our own phone number it's not 11. You call it and we'll -- We will do everything we can to fix your problem. If you don't need to the hot go to the hospital we're not going to force you. In a related story in New York the town of water built is going to go into the ambulance transport business this week. The fire department Waterville following -- leave from of their neighboring departments Troy has decided to go into the ambulance transport business. Troy, New York has budgeted at one point five billion dollar revenue for the air ambulance service for 09. Cross trained firefighter medics from Waterville will be can transport this week there will also partner with a private company will remain in business there. A fire engineering has long maintained. The fire based EMS is the best solution for every community's emergency medical needs. The fire service for our entire history has provided state of the art medical care since our inception. And our great great grand dad's -- it was good -- bad air out. Rolling people over barrels doing CPR and every other innovation that's come down the pike the fire service is readily adapted. We would like to. Take that concept and continue to push it forward especially as America now more than ever needs us for more information on fire -- the MLS. Go to advocates for fire based EMS dot com. And learn how you can be part of the solution. A final note this week we would -- clear up any rumors which may have been generated. By some other news services regarding the status of our good friend superintendent of the national fire academy Dennis O'Neal. -- reports this week intimidated that doctor O'Neill would be accepting the position of deputy director of the US fire administration. I spoke with doctor -- yesterday doctor O'Neill would like us to report that he has no intention of leaving the national fire captain. The good doctor will just be writing up as we say in the fire service into the position of acting deputy director. Until the selection process can find a suitable candidate. For that position was which was vacated by the departure of our good friend Charlie Dickenson who retired earlier this year. Superintendent O'Neal would like everyone to know that he fully intends that is -- to return to his duties as the superintendent national fire academy. As soon as president elect Obama. Has the time to name the new fire administrator and they can fill the position of deputy director as well. In other industry news we would like congratulate fire chief -- bird this week was named the chief of lake city's Texas. We'd also like to congratulate our friend Scott Thompson. This week except that the job of fire chief for the colony Texas. Both Curtis and Scott -- longtime contributors to fire engineering and noted instructors and FDIC. Which this year begins on April 20. The conference is coming up fast both chorus and Scott will again be teaching their hands on program. Just as a reminder spaces filling up fast and already several conference glasses or -- make a reservation to be at the fire services longest running. And most extensive training conference and educational -- conference in the world. The 82 running of the FDIC with over 160 classes 22 hands on training revolutions and workshops. Are now being filled fire engineering and FDIC has long been the gold standard in fire service education. Don't miss your opportunity to train with the best leaders the American -- service at the greatest fire service training conference. In the world go to FDIC dot com and register today. Now as we enter the holiday season we would like to wish all our friends a very Merry Christmas and a blessed Chanukah. We hope that all of our friends in the fire engineering family have a safe and joyous holiday season. I'm Bobby Alton this has been fired hearings we can review and remember. Be careful out there.