The Evolution of Firefighter Training

On December 15, 2013, in Fire Training, by RC Fire

The plain and simple truth about fires is that they won’t just get easier to fight on their own. So many measures have been made to prevent fires before they start, but there will always be a way. Although fire will always be fire, it does seem to change behaviors so the training in how to fight fires has definitely been modified and will continue to evolve into the distant future. We cannot possibly cover every jot and tittle of this evolution, but some beneficial information will be provided here for those who are interested in how fire-fighter training has changed over the last twenty years and how it may continue to change.

firefighter trainingThe first reason why fire-fighter training had to change is because the number of fire-fighter deaths has unquestionably increased over the past twenty years. Although fire-fighters put their lives at risk every single day in their line of work, the goal in fire-fighting is to save as many lives and property as can be salvaged. Fire behavior has changed gradually over time and it is estimated that only 1% of a fire-fighter’s training is based upon this. New ways are being developed to fight changing fire patterns through using realistic scenarios. There is no better way to learn about fire than actually fighting it, whether the fire is simulated or not.

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Firefighter Hazards – How to Be Safe

On August 5, 2013, in Fire Training, by RC Fire

Now more than ever it’s important to make sure as firefighters your safety is watched out not only by the firefighters you are working with, but by yourself as well.  Proper training is extremely important, especially in urban firefighting training and we will cover what urban firefighting training is in depth here below.

The Importance of Urban Firefighter Training:

FileBeing a fire-fighter despite its dangers and risks is actually quite a wonderful thing to be. Imagine loving others enough to serve them and put your life on the line for them each and every day. It doesn’t matter how much glory and honor one fire-fighter may attain over their career because the fact still remains, they were unselfish enough to give their all just for you and I.

Throughout the next paragraphs we shall take a brief look at urban fire-fighting and why its training is so vital to each and every fire-fighter around the globe. City fire-fighting not unlike wildland fire-fighting exhibits very extreme and distinctive challenges for all involved. Close calls such as entrapments result in on-duty fire-fighter deaths each and every year. In all areas of fire-fighting, safety always falls in as the first priority. This is why training is very important for all fire-fighters both on the job and off.

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Camaraderie Through Facial Hair in Fire Halls

On July 23, 2014, in Leisure, by RC Fire

One thing we know firefighters best for (besides saving lives and extinguishing fires) is their facial hair. Mustaches, beards, goatees, you name it. It’s become a symbol of brotherhood, friendship and unity. Looking back through history, the beginning of the fireman’s moustache had to do with regulations for the respiratory masks they wear during entering burning buildings. It’s said that the regulation states that facial hair cannot grown beyond certain parts of the face in case the mask cannot properly seal, resulting in smoke inhalation, lack of oxygen, and possibly death.

Back when there was no breathing apparatuses, firefighters used to grow long beards and mustaches and wet them down. It would serve as a filter and allow them to breathe a little easier and longer during firefighting missions. This was very common at the time, and gave a name for the longer beards and mustaches we see old firehouse photos and the like. For some, this is still the case.

Some firefighters across America have been “grandfathered” into being allowed to have a beard. This is because they had grown their full beards and longer mustaches and kept them for some time before the rules for facial hair were put in place. This raised quite a bit of argument when the rules were put in place. Some men did not find it fair that other were allowed to keep their longer facial hair, while they were not. For the most part, through modern day regulations, mustaches cannot be grown beneath the lip, or down past the side of ones mouth. This has given us the image of the thick, well groomed fireman’s mustache that we see so often now (very Magnum PI-esque).

Fireman or Magnum PI? Hard to tell, have to ask!

When you share something so historically rich and traditional with people you work with, there’s an instant connection there. Fire fighters spend so much time together, whether out on the job or waiting at the fire hall for a call, they share values with one another. They may not have anything in common outside of being a firefighter, but bonding over something as seemingly superficial as facial hair has brought the profession together a whole. Friends have been made in and out of fire halls, and many conversations are had during down time regarding the facial hair tradition.

Not all firefighters have facial hair, especially with some being women these days. This hasn’t put them below the rest who do by any means. Just because it’s a tradition doesn’t make it mandatory. In fact, about 60% of male fire fighters don’t have any facial hair! It’s pretty common these days for them to have a clean shaven face.

Whether hairy or clean shaven, fire fighters have a very tradition filled occupation. We’ve had them around for generations and it’s unfortunate but true that we’ll need them for generations to come.

 

C4

As a firefighter, they have the duty to plunge themselves into the darkness of thick scorching smokes filled with poisonous gases and chemicals. That’s why there are special equipment meant to be used by firefighters when doing their job. One of the most important thing that they need is probably the flashlight – which enables them to see through darkness (if the fire broke at night) and through smokes (special firefighter flashlights can pierce through smokes).

There are many excellent fire fighter flashlights out there and we tried to hammer them down to a handful ones, those who can bring the best service to firefighters or even to those home users. So enjoy and pick the ones suitable for your needs.

Streamlight® Survivor C4

Made by one of the best flashlight maker, Streamlight®, it offers a powerful array of features for both firefighters and home users. Some features include:

  • Flashlight is made from high impact, super tough nylon and is “O” Ring sealed
  • Unbreakable Lexan Lens with silicone anti-scratch coating is assembled in a heavy duty bezel
  • 3-watt Luxeon LED, impervious to shock with a 50,000-hour lifetime
  • Run time high is up to 3 continuous hours and low is up to 6 continuous hours
  • 6-3/4-inches high by 2-3/4-inches wide; 3-inch diameter

Built tough to take the knocks and bumps from excessive use, the brightness of Streamlight® Survivor C4 could reach as high as 110 lumens. In addition to that, its long battery life is ideal for prolonged operations and they use AA batteries which makes the so easy to replace. The beam of light could easily cut through fogs very well as well as in smokes. Price ranges around $58 per unit.

Surefire G2D

Simple and powerful, Surefire G2D offers powerful LED emitters with three output levels for easier switching. Features include:

  • Virtually indestructible LED emitter regulated to maximize output and runtime
  • Three output levels: 15, 60 and 115 Lumens Two 123A Lithium Batteries
  • MIL-STD-810 rated, safe for explosive atmospheres
  • Tough, lightweight Nitrolon body with deep grid pattern for secure grip
  • Tailcap click switch? Press for momentary-on, press further to click constant-on

It’s an excellent light for EMT’s and rescue. The three light switching functionality is a great way to select your desired output to save battery power and do your work efficiently. Price ranges around $110 per unit.

Pelican StealthLite® 2400

Using only four AA cells, the astonishing level of brightness that Pelican StealthLite® 2400 could be a great help when delving into thick smokes. It’s once featured on a Science Channel aired on Canada. Features include:

  • 4.0 hrs. Battery Burn Time
  • 4 AA Alkaline Batteries (Included)
  • Tested Lumen Value 25
  • Precision Aluminum, Xenon Fired Lamp Module

The new generation photo luminescent material in the plastic absorbs the energy from any light source – fluorescent lights, the sun, or even the flashlight’s own beam. It’s very portable and can be carried around virtually anywhere, perfect for delving into dark and narrow places. Price ranges around $48 per unit.  While we do not SELL or personally endorse these in any way shape or form, they are a few that we’ve found to be effective.

 

Firefighters are just about the most beloved people on the planet. Seriously, how many other professions out there are as fulfilling and as thrilling? Firefighters are quite the kind of men that women really would want to spend their lives with- and why not? They are very fit and caring. Also, most of them are very good cooks. Yes, as if to add cherry to the frosting, firefighters are very good at cooking. You only need to check out the numerous firefighter cookouts that they conduct. They are good at their cooking. Why? Here’s why:

  • They are pretty much trained to be detailed-oriented- Many of the mistakes made within the kitchen are because of ingredients being forgotten and sometimes using the wrong ones. This tends to increase the chances of making culinary mistakes. Firefighters are trained to have very keen observation skills. That is why, in the kitchen, they make less mistakes as they are good with their focusing on the task.
  • They are sensitive to temperature and are good with fire- It may seem contradictory for a firefighter to be good at something that involves burning flesh and vegetation, but this proves to be an advantage for firefighters as they are more sensitive and somehow more careful and prone to controlling the flame in the stove. They also have much knowledge on burning and melting points of objects so they are really good at guessing the kind of flame needed for cooking something. This helps them cook up something just right and not burnt or raw.
  • They are used to machinery that requires delicate care in operating- Though there are obvious and stark differences between the fire hose and the kitchen appliances, like the ones discussed in www.lemonsinthekitchen.com, but they have one good similarity: they are all machinery that need to delicate care in operating. Firefighters can use them correctly and easily without causing any damage to their recipe.
  • They understand that time is of utmost importance- Many if not most of the mistakes committed in cooking somehow has something to do with timing. Some people leave the stove or oven on for too long or are just too impatient and end up having half-done outcomes. Firefighters would not have this kind of problem. They would know how to budget their time within the kitchen. Though they are used to fast-paced moving and being able to make split-second decisions, they are also taught that there are also bad times and that sometimes it is best to wait a while. This gives them the great ability to time their cooking perfectly. With this, they get the best result with their dish preparing.
  • They are good with teamwork- When the situation calls for it, firefighters are some of the most organized team players there are. When it comes to the kitchen, they can also cook side by side to make great dishes. They can be very organized and are very good at coordinating their movements with each other. Since they are trained for life and death situations, they really appreciate now doing anything that can jeopardize the team as a whole. As a result, in the kitchen, firefighters can also be as organized as gears and they really can cook as a whole and function as flawlessly like clockwork.

Though known to be tough guys, firefighters can also be very handy in the kitchen as their training practically taught them to be.

 

What Are Wildfires? Definition and Causes

On April 2, 2014, in Fire Safety, by RC Fire

Wildfires are often started innocently enough, without malice. A campfire spark, a careless cigarette, and even lightning can spark a dry landscape into flames. The danger in wildfires is how quickly they can grow out of control.

Wildfires can sweep through a forest, down a mountainside, or across a desert faster than they can be put out. The biggest concern is the speed with which wildfires move.  It doesn’t take long to for a fire to eat its way towards populated areas and towns.  Even if you own a fire safe for your valuables, or keep your valuables locked in a gun safe (which aren’t always fire rated), you won’t necessarily have time to gather up your belongings before being ordered to evacuate.

California Wildfire

One such fire swept through a national park, down the mountainside, and into a quaint California town a few years ago. After a long and dry summer compiled by a drought, a fire ignited and swept through the mountains, out of control within hours. No one knows how that fire started, though there were speculations of a careless cigarette butt tossed out of a window. The local authorities had banned fires, including campfires, that season due to the dryness of the landscape and the drought.

As the fire raged out of control, the local fire department and volunteers from nearby towns struggled to contain it; all hopes of putting it out had been lost. It had come to the point of containing the fire until it could burn itself out. The hope was to herd the fire away from the town.

Evacuation Order

In a precautionary move, the townsfolk and tourists had been ordered to evacuate their small valley until the fire burned out. They packed up their vehicles with their luggage and boxes of valuables, taking with them all things that had sentimental value and were irreplaceable. The townsfolk left that morning knowing full well the possibility that they might not be returning to their homes. The very real consideration they might lose everything weighed heavy on their minds.

It was a poignant scene. Many sad faces, tears, and often angry outbursts as the people quickly gathered up what meant most to them. The entire population of the small town moved around like busy ants that morning through a haze of smoke and bits of burned ashes that floated through the sky like snow. With eyes red from smoke and crying and lungs burning from the smoke, they prepared to leave their homes.

The Aftermath

Weeks later, the authorities were able to exert some control over the fire and herd it away from the town into undergrowth and trees that had been wetted down, and the fire finally went out.

The townsfolk returned to their small valley town. Delighted that none of them had lost their homes, or their lives, in this tragic fire. They were devastated to learn that the local diner, owned and operated by the same family for over 50 years, had been lost in the flames. All that was left of the town’s favorite restaurant were charred remains, a burned out building, and sooty skeletons of the grill, booths, and counters. What had been an icon of the town for decades was gone, a ghost of a memory.

 

EMS Emergency Protocols for pre-Hospital Treatment of Gunshot Wounds Vary from every State in the United States, this is a general description of priority actions as designated by the NAEMS team. All EMS professionals must be Certified and Licensed to be eligible to serve patients in their state.

EmergencyEMT Basic Treatments Protocols – “The purpose of these protocols is to provide a uniform treatment standard through-out a designated E.M.S. Region of the U.S., for certified pre-hospital care providers and first responders.”

While this is the typical overview of what to expect from your EMS response team, proper gun safety should always be practiced and many gun related incidents would be prevented if more individuals were responsible enough to lock  up their firearms securely.

First on the scene pre-hospital care providers or EMT’s provide on-the-scene recognition and treatment of life conditions that risk mortality or morbidity should treatment be delayed. Enter the patient into the E.M.S. system and begin immediate meaningful interventions.

For patients not immediately in life or limb threatening conditions, provide entry into the E.M.S. System, provide initial stabilization, safely transport to an emergency facility.

A third goal of protocol, for patients requiring immediate hospital stabilization, using only minimal on-site delay: examples like gunshot wounds, pre-mature infant, chest or stab wounds, deteriorating neurological status, or severe pulmonary edema.

In the case of multiple casualty incidents (MCI), the fourth goal protocol is on-scene triage. To achieve goal protocols of pre-hospital care, the EMT must quickly recognize the need for on-scene intervention using rapid patient assessment. At primary survey identifying needed interventions needed to be acted on immediately will interrupt the survey procedure then upon stabilization, survey is continued.

Examples of survey interruption:

  • deal immediately with airway problems
  • treat sucking chest wounds
  • provide oxygen and immediate treatment if patient is having a MI

Once life and limb threat is stabilized continue primary and secondary surveys.

A base hospital physician will give medical direction to Not Give C.P.R. to a pulseless, apneic patient.

Triage Priorities:

  • Red – immediate (first transport and treat)
  • Respiration over 30
  • Pulse – no radial pulse
  • Mental status – unable to follow simple commands
  • Yellow – Delayed transport and treat
  • Other more seriously wounded cannot walk on their own
  • Green – Minor (Transport for treatment)
  • Patients can walk without assistance
  • Black – Dead or Dying – no respiration after head tilt and OPA
  • Pulseless
  • Apneic

Priorities: ABC’s, Scene Safety, Get needed Assistance en-route to Scene. If there are 5 or more critically injured patients needing immediate treatment, contact base hospital to call an MCI. Some agency approved assistance upon an MCI call:

  • Aircraft Assistance
  • Special Needs such as Haz-Mat, Buses, etc.
  • Mutual Aid
  • Constant updates to Base Hospital

Additional resources will assign: Triage, Staging, Scene Safety and Security

The most obvious trauma may not be the worst risk of death, some trauma victims have died of mechanical airway obstruction while more dramatic injuries were being treated. EMT’s should continue primary and secondary surveys as soon as they are able during treatment.

In the event of a firearm wound, first responders perform the initial rapid assessment, then time permitting do the detailed head-to-toe assessment, visually then hands on. Check the following signs of trauma: Head, Neck-including major blood vessels, Chest, Abdomen, Pelvis, Extremities, watch for wounds, hemorrhage, crepitus, deformity and mobility. Note any potential circulatory compromise or hypotension from hemorrhagic shock.

Symptoms of gunshot wounds are influenced by many factors, including type of firearm, type of bullet, location of wounds, organs involved, patient health and condition. As preparation for transport, apply cardiac monitoring and pulse oximetry. Keep contact with base hospital regarding administering bolus fluids and any changes in vital signs.

When immediate interventions are indicated, such as chest wound with interval thoracic injuries, EMS may be required to perform chest decompression with needle thoracostomy before transport. All protocol regarding blood pressure in a gunshot wound victim is subject to local protocols, EMT level and base hospital physicians’ orders.

Depending on locations of wounds, treatments will vary from bandaging, application of pressure, immobilization, intravenous lines, blood and fluid replacement, pre-warmed blankets to avoid shock. Once the patient has been stabilized for transport, some of these procedures can be provided en route.

Monitoring in Transit:

  • Score the following:
  • Eye opening
  • Verbal Response
  • Motor Response
  • Abdominal rigidity
  • External Bleeding
  • Deformity of head or extremities
  • Fluid secretions, eyes, ears, etc.
  • Bruising
  • Decreased Breath Sounds
  • Pulse Deficits
  • Pain
  • Reduced or Absent Sensation
  • Skin Color
  • Temperature

Accompany Patient into emergency room to update physician in charge.

While this has been a good overview, please remember that the #1 thing you can do to prevent firearms accidents is to ensure that you are proactive in your approach to firearms.  There is nothing worse than having one of these situations as a result of recklessness and carelessness when it comes to how someone handles a gun.  Make sure you find a way to keep your firearms secure at all times, and dial 911 immediately in the event of an emergency.

 

If you have just graduated senior high school, college or university and went through to become a fire-fighter and are looking for financial information, then this article is just for you. We will be taking a simplified look at the first year average salaries in fire administrations throughout some 10 selected States. A brief summary on being a first year fire-fighter will follow after that.

We shall begin with the highest average salary offered for a first year fire-fighter which can be found in New York. For a rookie hired on an administration there they will be looking at a starting salary of about $29,000 annually.

Surprisingly, the State of Georgia holds the next highest salary with an average of about $28,000 per year for a rookie fire-fighter.Rookie

Illinois as possibly expected pays a competitive average starting wage to their beginning fire-fighters where they are offering approximately $27,000 annually.

California and New Jersey rank fourth on our list where a first timer there can expect to pull in an average income of roughly $26,000 in their first year of service.

Texas and Florida come next in line with an average income of about $23,000 annually for any fire-fighters looking to begin their careers in the American south.

Our dry States of Nevada and Arizona unfortunately don’t seem to be as competitive as other State administrations where they are only offering an average beginning salary of $20,000 in one year.

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