News in Brief: July 2020

Fire Industry News

Model building codes stipulate minimum required Sound Transmission Class (STC) and Impact Insulation Class (IIC) values for floor/ceiling assemblies. The latest revisions to DCA 3 include STC and IIC ratings for multiple variations of the fire-resistance-rated floor/ceiling assemblies described within the document.

“The STC and IIC values given in DCA 3 provide an additional tool for designers to use in demonstrating compliance with code requirements and acoustical design objectives,” says Jason Smart, AWC’s engineering technology manager. These STC and IIC ratings were estimated through engineering analysis based on the empirical model described in AWC Technical Report 15, Calculation of Sound Transmission Parameters for Wood-Framed Assemblies. They are also available without charge at https://awc.org/codes-standards/publications/tr15.

EMS.gov adds COVID-19 resources for first responders

The COVID-19 page on EMS.gov features numerous resources for first responders, including a document supporting emergency medical services (EMS) planning for or implementing crisis standards of care during the COVID-19 pandemic. The page will continue to be updated frequently throughout the response to COVID-19. The page includes links to the most relevant guidance for EMS and other first responders from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other federal agencies, as well as sample protocols and policies from state and local organizations.

The documents added this week include several developed by the Federal Healthcare Resilience Task Force EMS/Pre-Hospital Team, comprised of public and private sector EMS and 911 experts from a wide variety of federal agencies and nonfederal partners. They focus on responding to the needs of the prehospital community. Through collaboration with experts in related fields, the team develops practical resources for field clinicians, supervisors, administrators, medical directors, and associations to improve response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Resources released by the Federal Healthcare Resilience Task Force EMS/Pre-Hospital Team include the following:

ASTM International cancels June in-person standards meetings

In light of COVID-19 (coronavirus) and ongoing safety concerns for members and staff, ASTM International announced the end of April that all previously scheduled in-person June standards development meetings (including independent meetings) have been canceled. The organization’s May in-person meetings were canceled as well.

ASTM International staff will be contacting committee leaders to plan alternatives for conducting committee business. The most up-to-date information on meetings is at www.astm.org or www.astm.org/MEETINGS/.

ASTM International is providing no-cost public access to a suite of more than two dozen standards used in the production and testing of personal protective equipment to combat the coronavirus public health emergency. For more information, visit www.astm.org/COVID-19.

COVID-19 symptom tracker app

A consortium of scientists with expertise in big data research and epidemiology has developed a COVID Symptom Tracker app that is designed to rapidly collect information that can assist in the response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, according to senior author Andrew T. Chan, MD, PhD, chief of the Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and director of Cancer Epidemiology at the MGH Cancer Center:

The app collects daily information from individuals in the community about whether they feel well and, if not, their specific symptoms and if they have been tested for COVID-19. The app provides insights on where the COVID-19 hot spots are and new symptoms to look out for, and it may be useful as a planning tool to inform guidelines around self-isolation, identify regions in need of additional ventilators and expanded hospital capacity, and provide real-time data to prepare for future outbreaks.

More than 2.5 million people in the United States and the United Kingdom have generated valuable data about COVID-19 for physicians, scientists, and public officials to better fight the outbreak.

Dr. Chan explains: “This work has led to the development of accurate models of COVID-19 infection rates in the absence of sufficient population testing. For example, the U.K. government has acted upon these estimates by providing advanced notice to local health authorities about when to expect a surge of cases.

“Researchers are also using results from the app to investigate risk factors for infection and the effects of COVID-19 on patients’ health.”

In addition, Dr. Chan notes: “Our app is designed to be entirely voluntary so that they can share information about how they are feeling in a way that safeguards their privacy.”

The app provides insights on where the COVID-19 hot spots are and new symptoms, and it may be useful as a planning tool.

The study was conducted by a team led by researchers at MGH, King’s College London, and Zoe Global Ltd.

References

Massachusetts General Hospital. “Researchers release COVID-19 symptom tracker app: Generated data may help optimize response to the COVID-19 pandemic.” ScienceDaily, 5 May 2020. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/05/200505105325.htm>.

David A Drew, Long H Nguyen, Claire J Steves, Cristina Menni, Maxim Freydin, Thomas Varsavsky, Carole H Sudre, M Jorge Cardoso, Sebastien Ourselin, Jonathan Wolf, Tim D Spector, Andrew T Chan, COPE Consortium. “Rapid implementation of mobile technology for real-time epidemiology of COVID-19,” Science, 2020: eabc0473 DOI: 10.1126/science.abc0473.

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LINE-OF-DUTY DEATHS

March 31. Firefighter/EMT Israel “Izzy, Nudge” Tolentino Jr., 33, Passaic (NJ) Fire Department: COVID-19.

April 7. Firefighter Mario Araujo, 49, Chicago (IL) Fire Department: COVID-19.

April 8. Firefighter/EMT Michael Field, 59, Valley Stream (NY) Volunteer Fire Department: COVID-19.

April 8. Captain Franklin Williams, 57, Detroit (MI) Fire Department: COVID-19.

April 12. Firefighter John Schoffstall, 41, Terre Haute (IN) Fire Department: COVID-19.

April 16. Sergeant John “Andy” Andrew Kuchar III, 41, Burlington (KY) Fire Protection District: cause unknown.

April 21. Fire Suppression Technician Eduardo Ramirez, 43, El Paso (TX) Fire Department: cause unknown.

April 28. Lieutenant Harold “Eddie” Moore Jr., 42, Jackson (ME) Fire Department: cardiac arrest.

April 29. Firefighter/Paramedic Robert David Reisinger, 57, River Grove (IL) Fire Department: COVID-19.

April 30. Chief Donald DiPetrillo, 70, Seminole Tribe of Florida Fire Rescue, Hollywood, FL: COVID-19.

April 30. Captain Mike A. Tipoti, 44, American Samoa Fire Bureau Division of the Department of Public Safety, Pago Pago: apparatus collision.

April 30. Captain Allen L. Velega, 50, American Samoa Fire Bureau Division of the Department of Public Safety, Pago Pago: apparatus collision.

May 1. Deputy Chief Edward J. Ciocca, 62, White Plains (NY) Fire Department: COVID-19.

May 3. Captain Andrew DiMaggio, 57, White Plains (NY) Fire Department: COVID-19.

Source: USFA Firefighters Memorial Database

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