● Insurers FIREMAN’S FUND and THE BG GROUP awarded the East Norwich (CT) Fire Company an $18,955 grant for a BullEx™ Digital Safety Intelligent Training System™ fire extinguisher training simulator to prepare the company’s firefighters, the general public, and the civilian workforce in the district to combat incipient fires while awaiting emergency response. The grant will also fund the purchase of 18 sets of personal protection emergency medical service (EMS) protective clothing, including jacket and pants specifically designed to protect first responders from contact with blood and body fluid-borne pathogens when responding to an emergency medical call or accident. The grant was funded by Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, which also provides grants to fire departments through its Fireman’s Fund HeritageSM program. Under the program, local agencies like The BG Group are able to direct grants to support local fire departments and the communities they serve. For program information, visit

● Kevin Milan, division chief and training officer of the Golden (CO) Fire Department, says that use of computer-based training systems (CBTs) such as those available from ACTION TRAINING SYSTEMS (ATS) has allowed the department to increase the time available for hands-on training by 30 percent. Golden launched firefighter I, firefighter II, pumping apparatus driver/operator and fire service rescue-a total of 50 ATS multimedia, interactive CBT programs-in 2005 on the Iluminar Learning Management System (ILMS), which resides on the city’s secure server and delivers courses over a network to eight laptop computers.

Using this system, officers can assign training precourse work so firefighters can study independently and arrive more prepared for the drills, according to Milan, and training can be customized according to student training level and department equipment/response needs. The content also matches the NFPA standards, making it a useful tool in preparing for state-certification examinations.

PETZL, a supplier of vertical access and rescue equipment, will supply the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) with EXO descent control devices and other components of a personal safety system to be issued to the department’s 11,000 frontline firefighters. The system was developed through a partnership between FDNY and Petzl.

FDNY sought a rapid, lightweight, and effective safety system after a tragic incident in 2005 in which six firefighters, responding to a three-alarm fire, became trapped in an apartment building fire. Four were seriously injured as they attempted to escape out a fourth-story window; two others suffered fatal injuries after falling almost 50 feet.

Following this incident, FDNY engaged in extensive research into personal emergency safety systems and decided that the new bailout kit must be light and compact, easy to deploy, permit rapid use, and be compatible with a 7.5-mm heat-resistant escape line.

Petzl’s EXO is modeled on the GRIGRI, the company’s belay/rappel device, and is designed to be compatible with the department’s system specification and performance requirements. When used with a heat-resistant escape line, a specially designed anchor, a connector, and a harness, it forms a system that allows trained personnel to exit a burning building very rapidly. This system, along with the utilization techniques and protocols developed jointly by the FDNY and Petzl, will be standard issue for all of the department’s frontline firefighters.

ELKHART BRASS has opened an expanded, state-of-the-art test facility in its Elkhart, Indiana, headquarters. The test facility expands the current test center by 7,500 square feet. It includes a 2,400-square-foot testing booth with more than 30 yards of concrete, creating a 50-ton backsplash, and a 20,000-gallon holding/recirculating tank feeding a CMU two-stage, Waterous pump.

● Montreal, Quebec, (Canada), awarded E-ONE a five-year, $46.6-million contract (U.S. dollars) to build 70 fire rescue vehicles over the next five years. The department has 40 E-ONEs currently in service. The initial order, to be completed over the next two years, includes 16 HP 100 aerials and 16 custom enclosed topmount pumpers equipped with the cold weather climate package, which includes additional insulation and reengineered ducting and heating systems.

● In 2007, RAE SYSTEMS will be creating RAE Authorized Service Partners, distributors specially trained and equipped to perform warranty and after-warranty service at locations throughout the Americas. RAE is transforming its San Jose Service Center into a premium service facility. Among changes to the company’s service policies, procedures, and prices as of January 15, 2007, RAE Systems will no longer offer estimated price repairs on its instruments. Only one-price repair (OPR) and limited lifetime warranty options will be offered for instruments not covered by an original warranty or a guaranteed cost of ownership (GCO) plan. New GCO plans will be offered for products currently without a GCO plan. GCO plans will be discontinued for QRAE, QRAE Plus, and ToxiRAE II. There will be price increases for many GCO and OPR offerings.

“Limited Lifetime Warranty” components are covered for parts only, and there will be a $175 flat labor charge for replacement of a covered component (waived if the component is replaced during service under a GCO or OPR plan). A full one-year parts and labor warranty will be added on all OPR offerings.

Sensor warranties remain unchanged, but there will new sensor warranty replacement policies. Two-year and one-year sensor replacements will be provided; pro-rated sensor expiration dates will no longer be programmed into replacement sensors.

A new Services Price Guide for the Americas Markets available on RAE’s Web site and in print will include more details on these changes. It replaces the service prices and policies described in the 2006 AreaRAE and Integrated Systems Pricing Guide and the 2006 Portable Products Price Guide. These changes supersede all previous service prices, policies, and terms and conditions. The new prices and policies are effective January 15, 2007.

Effective December 31, 2007, RAE Systems will no longer offer support, maintenance, or repair services for MiniRAE Plus, MiniRAE Plus Classic, and DRAE; a year of continued service for these older instruments is offered. Because of their age, these products have become increasingly costly and difficult to service; some parts can no longer be obtained from suppliers. New offers will provide users incentives to migrate from these products to new RAE Systems products. Contact the service center for more information at (888) 723-4800, or by e-mail at



MSA awarded the 2006 Fireslayer of the Year award to Lieutenant Jeff Kraft of the Calumet (IL) Fire Department. On April 15, 2005, the department responded to a three-story apartment fire. Other responding units were hindered by traffic conditions. Flames extended from the second floor to the roofline, and Kraft entered the building multiple times to search for victims. He discovered a 70-year-old woman on the third floor in serious condition suffering from smoke inhalation. Removing his face piece, Kraft shared his air with the victim and carried her to safety. Returning to the building, he found a second victim and assisted in his evacuation.

Click here to enlarge image

MSA presented Kraft with a special leather helmet and a commemorative plaque recognizing his heroic act, and will donate $5,000 on behalf of the Calumet Park Fire Department to the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Burn Foundation. The firm has donated $30,000 to the IAFF Burn Foundation in conjunction with the Fireslayer of the Year Award.

The Fireslayer of the Year award honors the outstanding achievements of individual firefighters and departments that serve as role models for others. Nominations are submitted through the MSA Web site,; the award recipient is selected by a committee that includes fire service industry experts and MSA associates.

WARN INDUSTRIES is giving away a new WARN® 9.5ti multimount winch system, a Necky® kayak, and a Humminbird side imaging GPS system to the fire department or search and rescue department that shares the most outstanding, real-life, on-the-job rescue story in which a winch was an integral part of the operation. The company’s Fire/Search & Rescue Package Giveaway begins on May 1, 2006, and runs through July 31, 2006. All entries must be submitted on the WARN Web site ( A winner will be announced on August 18, 2006. The contest is sponsored by WARN Industrial and Johnson Outdoors, makers of Necky kayaks and Humminbird imaging kits.

SURVIVAIR ® RESPIRATORS, INC. has partnered with OSHAMEDCERT™ to offer a fully Web-based online respirator medical evaluation and tracking system that is easy to use, reliable, and cost-effective. Through this site,, users can receive medical certification in five to 10 minutes. The program provides certification for employees required to use filtering face piece respirators (dust masks), half mask-, or full face piece respirators. Most users qualify by completing the online evaluation. Those that do not qualify on the first attempt may still qualify after a follow-up online Q&A session with a board certified physician. The follow-up questions are evaluated by the on line medical staff and a response will be provided within 24 hours.