Dublin Brigade pulls breathing air apparatus

The management of the Dublin (Ireland) Fire Brigade, in January, withdrew all air cylinders not attached to breathing apparatus from service immediately. The action was welcomed by the Irish Fire and Emergency Services Association (IFESA). IFESA had been petitioning the Dublin Council to take action after several incidents in which the breathing apparatus failed. Along with the withdrawal of cylinders, the Brigade management also issued instructions that the number of firefighters entering an environment that requires breathing apparatus be increased from a minimum of two to three.

The union is asking that a full independent scientific analysis and risk assessment be conducted on the breathing apparatus, and the IFESA is requesting that the test results on the cylinders be made public.

Line-of-Duty Deaths

January 4. Inmate Firefighter Crisanto Leo Lionell, 54, California Department of Corrections: cause to be determined.

January 6. Firefighter William “Jumbo” Elliott, 49, Pompano Beach (FL) Fire Rescue: injuries sustained when he fell from an extended aerial ladder while inspecting it.

January 8. Chief Samuel Butler, 52, Evans Crossroads Volunteer Fire Department, Maxton, NC: accident while responding to a motor vehicle accident in his privately owned vehicle.

January 9. Firefighter David Crenshaw, 63, Anderson County (SC) Fire Department: cause to be determined.

January 18. Firefighter Brandon Little, 19, United Hook and Ladder Company 33, New Oxford, PA: injuries sustained when his privately owned vehicle crashed into a tree while responding to a structure fire call. Investigation underway.

January 18. Firefighter III Duane Ibarra, 50, Maui County Department of Fire and Public Safety, Kahului, HI: found unresponsive in fire station workout room.

January 19. Firefighter Bruce Turcotte, 58, Hopelawn (NJ) Engine Company No. 1: cardiac arrest.

January 21. Captain Walter C. Sumner, 49, Cranesville (PA) Volunteer Fire Department: heart attack.

February 1. Senior Firefighter/Engineer/Paramedic Doug Haase Sr., 60, St. Charles (MO) Fire Department: cause to be reported.

February 2. Chief David M. Flint, 49, Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Department, Edinboro, PA: injuries suffered in a motor vehicle crash while returning to the fire department. Local and state authorities are investigating.

Source: USFA Firefighters Memorial Database

NY clinic for 9/11 survivors expands

Stony Brook University’s World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program, in Suffolk County, New York, expanded to Nassau County in January, according to the Associated Press/The Wall Street Journal (http://online.wsj.com.) The new site is at Winthrop-University Hospital’s “Wellness Pavilion” in Garden City. The Stony Brook program has cared for about 6,000 first responders over the past 10 years. Patients are being treated for respiratory problems and various other conditions related to toxic exposures at the WTC site.

NFA implements new identification process

The National Fire Academy (NFA) has announced a “major change” to its admissions process. Effective April 15, 2012, it will no longer use social security numbers in its paper and online application process. To protect personally identifiable information (PII), the NFA will use instead a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Training Identification Number (FTIN) as a unique identifier for individuals. Information on how to apply for this identifier is at http://www.usfa.fema.gov/nfa/about/attend/ftin.shtm. The FTIN will be required for all FEMA academies/schools. NFA Superintendent Denis Onieal asks that this information be shared with students, subscribers, clients, members, organizations, and list servers.

FDNY Rescue 4 mobile remembrance of 9/11

In July 2011, when Fire Department of New York (FDNY) Rescue 4 was going to be scrapped by the City of New York, a group of firefighters acquired it from the city. According to Chris Gantz, firefighter/project leader, the objective was to make Rescue 4 the focus of the educational, not-for-profit Remembrance Rescue Project directed especially at members of society who were too young to understand the full meaning of the tragic events of 9/11. The mobile memorial will also serve as a remembrance of all fallen firefighters throughout the country.

The project is a national campaign. Any funds generated will be used to restore Rescue 4 for activities for the children of firefighters lost in the line of duty throughout the United States, Gantz notes.

MABAS (Mutual Aid Box Alarm System)—Illinois is providing secure storage for Rescue 4 in its 70,000-square-foot readiness facility. The rig is housed in a place of honor with Homeland Security and Illinois Terrorism Task Force statewide emergency response vehicles.

Volunteers will operate the project, with assistance from host fire departments throughout the country. The Project works with host fire departments to coordinate educational sessions about 9/11 for local schools, community events, and memorials.

Volunteers had performed the restoration work on Rescue 4. In the Project’s first few months, Rescue 4 was a part of a variety of community events and memorials involving more than 150,000 people. So far, more than 50 host fire departments have requested its presence during 2012.

In December 2011, the Project acquired Rescue 5, the last of the rescue trucks from 9/11. Rescue 5 was brought to the Project’s Chicago facility and will be undergoing restoration in 2012. Additional information is available at www.TheRRP.org.

Associations issue white paper on firefighter suicide

The International Association of Fire Chiefs, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF), and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) are urging members of the fire service to become familiar with the many tools and resources available to assist firefighters and their families who may be coping with depression or thoughts of suicide. A release from the NVFC notes that “suicide is a very complex matter for which there are no simple answers …. Each situation is different and requires special intervention and support.” Fire service members who consider themselves at risk or know of anyone who may be at risk are urged to contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 373-TALK (8255) or seek emergency medical assistance.

In July 2011, the NFFF held a two-day summit in Baltimore, Maryland, at which the nation’s leading experts on suicide were present. The White Paper from this symposium can be found at www.lifesafetyinitiatives.com. Another recommended resource on the topic of suicide is Why People Die by Suicide by Thomas Joiner of Florida State University, who attended the Baltimore summit.

The NVFC explains that the three organizations are working on the next steps identified during the Baltimore meeting. In the meantime, they remind fire service members to support each other and not to hesitate to reach out to one another or to obtain assistance from the organizations if they feel it is needed.

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