These sessions include presentations on topic-specific issues concerning fire fighter occupational health and safety and EMS in the fire service. This year's highlights include:
Keynote Address: Four-Star General Barry McCaffrey
General Barry McCaffrey will deliver the keynote address focusing on how to be an effective leader while also taking care of your own physical and mental well-being. Before serving as a professor of International Affairs at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, McCaffrey was the director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy from 1996-2001. He also served as a member of the president's Cabinet and the National Security Council for drug-related issues. He is now president of his own consulting firm, and also sits on the Board of CRC Health Group.
Widely quoted on national security, terrorism and drug policy issues, McCaffrey's message will focus on the leadership challenges that face public safety organizations, including what fire fighters need to know about the future of national security.
Fire Fighters and Paramedics: Responding Under Fire
Recent events such as the Aurora movie theater shooting and the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy - and even the Boston Marathon bombings - bombings at the Boston Marathon underscore the increasing concern in the fire service over "active shooter" attacks by terrorists armed with weapons in public areas, such as schools, shopping malls, churches and other places where large numbers of people congregate. These events typically involve one or more suspects who participate in ongoing, random or systematic shooting sprees or other violence with an intent to harm others and result in mass casualties.
This session will provide detailed instruction and action plans to establish, implement and follow active shooter protocols. The session will also address the growing risk of high-intensity firearm attacks, given the ready access to firearms and the recent spate of incidents across the nation.
Responders under Fire: Israeli EMS Response to Mass Casualty Events
Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel's
National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and blood services,
founded in 1930, is a public nongovernmental organization, which
combines a staff of 1700 paid employees and 11,500 volunteers.
MDA is prepared to handle Mass-casualty Incidents (MCI) and
emergencies by having: Integrated Doctrine, Cooperation with
Responding Agencies, Guidelines and Protocols, Supplies and
associated Command and Control Accessories, Training, Continuing
Education and Drills, Alertness and preparedness Inspections.
NIST High Rise Field Experiments
Many fire departments across the
nation are being challenged by budget crises, rising call
volume, personnel and equipment shortages, security issues and
the overall expectation to do more with less. These and other
factors, all too often, have our responding crews encountering
increasing line of duty risk of injury and death as they
continue to work to reduce civilian injury and property loss.
Even with the technological advances of the last decades, we
have not yet been able to scientifically quantify our
experiences to determine what staffing levels, asset
configurations and response time frames are best when responding
to various levels of fire or EMS events so that we minimize risk
to the fire fighters, paramedics and the public. We believe the
time has come to change that.
Fire Behavior and Tactical Considerations
Fire fighting is hazardous. In 2010, the fire departments in the United States responded to more than 480,000 structure fires. These fires resulted in approximately 3,120 civilian fatalities, 17,720 injuries and property losses in excess of $12 billion dollars. In addition, almost 33,000 fire fighters were injured on the fire ground. Currently, the NIST FRD is conducting a project that will demonstrate, through the use of measurement science, the dynamics of fire behavior in a structure and provide guidance on non-traditional means to mitigate the fire hazard in the structure in a manner that provides optimum safety and effectiveness for the fire fighter. The project has three key focus areas; ventilation, suppression and technology transfer to the fire service.
Boston Bombing & Mass-Casualty Response
During the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013, two pressure cooker bombs exploded at 2:49 pm killing 3 people and injuring 264 others. The bombs exploded about 13 seconds and 210 yards apart, near the finish line on Boylston Street. Rescue workers and medical personnel, on hand to assist runners and bystanders, rushed available aid to wounded victims in the bombings' immediate aftermath. Each explosion caused injuries and death resulting in casualties being transported to 27 local hospitals. At least 14 people required amputations with some suffering traumatic amputations as a direct result of the blasts.
The NIOSH Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program
In 1998, Congress recognized the
need for further efforts to address the continuing national
problem of job-related fire fighter deaths and funded NIOSH to
implement a fire fighter safety initiative. With fire service
stakeholder input, we developed the Fire Fighter Fatality
Investigation and Prevention Program.
Line-of-Duty Death Investigations
Asheville, North Carolina -
July 28, 2011
In the wake of the tragic line of duty death of Captain Jeffrey Scott Bowen on July 28th, 2011, the Asheville Fire Department and Local 865 continues to recover. The need for continuous improvement had never been expressed to the level of necessity as it has following a LODD. Continuous improvement extends well beyond tasks and processes being most important for the organizational behavior and health. This type of continuous improvement has no end point. This program outlines the facts surrounding the incident as well as the recovery process after a LODD.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania -
April 9, 2012
Lieutenant Robert Neary and Firefighter Daniel Sweeney were killed while battling a five-alarm fire at an abandoned factory on April 9th, 2012. The fire broke out just before 3:30 a.m. They were killed when they headed in to investigate an extension of the factory fire at an adjacent furniture store. The rear wall of that building collapsed just before 6 a.m., about a half hour after the fire was placed under control. It took rescuing fire crews about two hours to find them and get them out of the collapsed building.
Houston, Texas - May 31,
On May 31st 2013, Captain Matthew Renaud, Engineer Robert Bebee, Firefighter Robert Garner, and Firefighter Anne Sullivan died after a hotel wall collapsed while they were battling a major blaze at a restaurant next to an Inn in the southwest part of Houston. They had gone into the hotel because they thought there were civilians in the structure. Unfortunately, the building had much more fire in it than was originally thought and the structure collapsed trapping them.
Prescott, Arizona - June 30,
Nineteen members of Granite Mountain Hotshot Crew were killed Sunday June 30th battling the Yarnell Hill fire near Prescott Valley, Arizona. The crew was tasked with digging a fire line and creating an escape route when an approaching storm front caused an abrupt wind shift which drove the fire towards the crew. The crew's lookout saw the blaze change directions and warned his team by radio from his hilltop perch. The new conditions forced him to leave his spot and he was trying to go to another lookout point when the fire overtook the crew. As the conditions changed rapidly, the 19 lied down under their fire shelters but the flames overwhelmed them and all died.