News You Can Use

Drones and Firefighters

The 21st Century has brought many changes to the fire service. New technologies come to market every day and the challenge is to decide if and how we can incorporate those changes into our daily operations.  Drones are one of these new technologies. The NFPA has recently released their standards for drones. NFPA 2400 Standard for Small Unmanned Aerial Systems used for Public Safety Operations details three important areas for consideration before investing in an unmanned aerial system (UAS). These areas are creating and operating a drone program, professional qualifications and job performance requirements for pilots and a section on drone maintenance and reporting.

To read more about the new NFPA standard go to:

Also worth a look is a recent Fire Engineering article, “WhatDoes the New NFPA Standard Mean for your department.”


The FDIC Connection:

Unmanned Aircraft Systems in Emergency Response

Tuesday, April 09, 2019: 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM



Participants are introduced to the emerging technology of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and the ways they can be used by emergency responders. This course incorporates demonstrations and hands-on exercises in Live Fire (structural and wildland), Hazmat, Search and Rescue, Drop Mechanism usage (for water rescue and other applications), and Autonomous UAS operations (waypoint setting, mapping applications, grid search patterns). Administrative concerns including Federal Aviation Administration regulations (obtaining waivers, authorizations, and certificates of authorization), local/state statutes, and privacy concerns are addressed. Certified FAA Part 107 UAS pilots with numerous years of experience in the fire service will instruct participants as they rotate through stations, including a station where students new to this technology can experience flying a drone with instructor supervision. Advanced students can fly UAS platforms while participating in scenarios designed to enhance an already existing skill set.


Cancer and Firefighters

In August of 2018, President Donald Trump signed into federal law the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act of 2018 (H.R. 931). The law establishes a national cancer registry for firefighters. This is a good start, but the responsibility for the safety and well being of your department members is still the responsibility of every chief, every officer and every member of a fire department.  All fire department big or small need to be aware of the cancer risks every time a rig rolls. Every incident, not just Haz-Mat, means the potential for contact with possible cancer causing agents.

To read more about what you can do to protect yourself and your department from cancer risks, go to this online article from Fire Rescue 1:

“Trending in 2018 and Beyond: Firefighters and Cancer”

For download: Healthy In, Healthy Out



The FDIC Connection

Preventing Cancer in the Fire Service

Wednesday, April 10, 2019: 3:30 PM - 5:15 PM


In 2014, the Tucson Fire Department (TFD) partnered with the University of Arizona to investigate firefighter exposures to carcinogens. The study identified carcinogenic exposures and toxic cellular effects in firefighters and is currently evaluating the effectiveness of interventions designed to reduce carcinogenic exposures and, therefore, the risk of cancer. The instructor will explain the nature of the study and the roles of the participants, particularly the baseline tests involved; the results of some of these tests; exposure, prevention, and contamination-reduction protocols and policies the TFD implemented; and the firefighter education programs added. 


The Doctor's View of Firefighters and Cancer

Friday, April 12, 2019: 8:30 AM - 10:15 AM


 Dr. Thomas Hales, who led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) firefighter cardiac/medical fatality investigations for more than 16 years, discusses the scientific evidence linking firefighting and cancer and provides students with knowledge, tactics, and tools for protecting against cancer.  Dr. Hales explains how firefighters can reduce their exposures to carcinogens on and off the job and evidence-based screening tests for cancer that all firefighters should be undergoing. 


Fire Smoke: The Hidden Dangers

Thursday, April 11, 2019: 3:30 PM - 5:15 PM


Firefighters continue to experience exposures to dangerous toxicants on the fireground that often are not recognized. Learn about the hidden dangers in fire smoke and how to eliminate complacency. The focus is on the common problem areas in which firefighters continue to suffer unnecessary injuries and raising awareness of the increased health risks on the job that often lead to early retirement and health complications in retirement. Students learn behavioral changes for improving their safety. Among topics covered are the toxicity of smoke, air management, atmospheric monitoring, care and maintenance of personal protective equipment, firefighter decon, and emerging innovations and trends in the fire service.