We will be publishing FireWatch once a month this year and hope you enjoy the stories we found interesting enough to provide links for. If you have any comments please do not hesitate to share them with us.
I recently attended the first annual Brunacini Hazard Zone Management Conference at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. Chief Alan Brunacini delivered the opening remarks and seminar overview. He was in fine form, demonstrating his passion for and commitment to the fire service and the public they serve. His comments were followed by a series of workshops facilitated by first class knowledgeable speakers. The setting was beautiful and the facilities were perfect.
Over the next few weeks I will be sharing some of the highlights of the conference with you starting with:
Wind Driven Fires
Wind can increase the spread of fire gases through a building. Heat and smoke in the corridors and stairways can prevent fire fighters from suppressing the fire from inside the structure. Wind driven fires have caused fire fighter injuries and fatalities.
During the Brunacini Hazard Zone Management (Blue Card) Conference Tim Merinar and Steve Miles of the National Institute of Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) did a presentation on investigations involving firefighter fatalities relating to thermal degradation of self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) face piece lenses. They conducted a review of seven recent fatalities in five separate events where SCBA face pieces may have been thermally degraded while they were still "air on". This was identified by a review of autopsies and medical examiner reports, radio transmissions, examination of personal protective equipment (PPE) and witness reports.
The Blue Card Incident Command Certification Program has been developed by Alan, John and Nick Brunacini to first instruct and then certify fire officers who serve in the role of Incident Commander or as a member of an Incident Management Team (IMT). Through the program fire officers become certified to supervise and manage emergency and hazard zone operations for everyday, local "National Incident Management System" Type 4 and Type 5 events, which account for more than 99 percent of all fire department response activity. This program teaches officers how to command everyday incidents so when a major event happens they know how to react effectively.