News You Can Use

Let's Be Careful Out There

It happens all the time all over America.  It has happened again; this time a MABAS Division 24 department has been involved in an accident while on the scene of another incident. 

Illinois: Markham Fire Apparatus Struck on Interstate 57
Saturday, March 09, 2019
A civilian passenger died and the driver was critically injured early this morning after the vehicle rear-ended a Markham (Illinois near Chicago) fire apparatus on I-57.
The crash happened at 0310 hours while the Markham fire apparatus was stopped on the northbound left shoulder to work the initial crash.
The two occupants of the SUV were taken to the hospital, the passenger died later on, this morning, and the driver is in critical condition.
A Markham Firefighter was also hospitalized with NLT injuries.

Fortunately, the firefighter injuries in this incident were non-life threatening, but it could have been worse. Daily we face the possibility of wrong place, wrong time.

Across the country civilians are injured or killed in traffic accidents. What is really sad is that firefighters and police officers are sometimes secondary victims of these traffic incidents. We need to start thinking about how we can best protect ourselves at the scene.  We equip our vehicles with flashing lights and reflective stripes, we wear reflective vests and our turnout gear carries reflective markings, and yet we are still victims at roadside accidents. 

What can be done? Have you and your department recently reviewed SOP’s for traffic management at roadside events? Have you talked about how vehicles should be placed? Have you discussed at morning coffee what can be done to insure that everyone goes home safely at the end of the shift?

There are organizations available to help us. Emergency Responder Safety Institute offers free videos and training materials via their website,  You will also find links to other helpful websites. This organization also offers a You Tube channel Responder Safety.Com You Tube Site

Additionally, the International Association of Fire Chiefs has a Safety, Health and Survival Section  International Association of Firefighters offers Emergency Vehicle and Roadway Safety Scene Safety Program 




Active Shooter and Firefighters

The recent shooting in Aurora reminds us that we all face a potential active shooter situation. If you have a school, church, mall, hospital, business park or other place where groups of people gather in your community, you have the potential for a mass shooting. Are we prepared to safely do what is needed to save lives?  While we are thinking about the recent shooting, so close to home, it is a good time to dust off our active shooter response plans, talk about them with each shift and make necessary changes.

Below you will find some resources about this topic:

The IAFC’s Active Shooter Incident Response Toolkit includes a 15-minute video of a presentation by Chief James Schwartz of the Arlington, VA. Fire Department entitled “Responding Under Fire.”


Read more about this important topic:

NFPA 3000™ (PS)Standard for an Active Shooter/Hostile Event Response (ASHER) Program. This standard addresses all aspects of the process, from identifying hazards and assessing vulnerability to planning, resource management, incident management at a command level, competencies for first responders, and recovery.


Training for a firefighter mission shift: Mass casualty incidents

The role of the firefighter is changing as mass shootings, natural disasters and mass casualty events increase in frequency, requiring additional training

David Cain
Dec 20, 2017


How police, fire and EMS can coordinate active shooter response

Here's how to integrate the NFPA 3000 Active Shooter/Hostile Event Response Program standard into your agency’s training and response plans

James Dudley
May 7, 2018


The FDIC Connection

Responding to and Preparing for Acts of Violence

Monday, April 08, 2019: 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Steven Hamilton
Fort Jackson (SC) Fire Department


All aspects of fire and EMS response to violent incidents are addressed in this interactive workshop: single-unit response to scenes of violence, multiunit/multiagency response to active shooter incidents, civil unrest, terrorism, hazardous materials response from intentional acts, incidents involving explosives, and suspicious packages. The instructor shares his experience as a sheriff deputy and a fire department company officer, case histories, and emergency response critiques to highlight course objectives and enhance learning. Strategy and tactics discussed provide guidelines and best practices for departments of any size or configuration.


Rescue Task Force

Wednesday, April 10, 2019: 1:30 PM - 3:15 PM

Mark Litwinko
Fort Wayne Fire Department


Over the past 20 years, the public safety approach to high threat mass-casualty incidents (HT-MCIs), such as an active shooter event, has undergone significant changes. Law enforcement made the first significant change when it was decided that the police would no longer wait at the perimeter for specialized units to arrive and manage the high-threat incidents. This shift to a very aggressive initial response significantly decreased the time to bring the situations under control.  The next important paradigm change involves fire and EMS personnel. The Rescue Task Force (RTF) concept, which is within the framework of risk/benefit analyses and combat-proven, evidence-based medicine, allows for point-of-wounding care, which saves crucial seconds and can extend the life clock of the injured until further definitive care is available. The RTF is about integrating tactic and allowing for a cohesive response to HT-MCIs. This course provides an awareness level of understanding of the RTF framework, explains how to integrate the RTF into the methods and tactics of an HT-MCI successfully, and how to adopt Tactical Emergency Casualty Care guidelines


Is Your Department Ready to Respond to an Active Shooter Event?

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

Bill Godfrey
Chief (Ret.)
Deltona (FL) Fire Department


Many organizations have done some active shooter training. Some have developed policies. Is it enough? Are there holes? This session discusses at the leadership level how to fully prepare your organization for a response to an active shooter or hostile event. Topics include the complex and often misunderstood incident management challenges, needs, and expectations of law enforcement; common mistakes of fire service organizations; things that should (and shouldn’t) be in policy; essential training and exercising; and best practices. Saving the lives of bleeding casualties necessitates an integrated response across law enforcement, fire, and EMS disciplines as never before. Don’t miss the opportunity to prepare your organization and save lives!



Fighting in the Gray Areas at Active Shooter Incidents

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

 David Greene
Deputy Chief
Colleton County (SC) Fire-Rescue


Today’s active shooter incidents are not designed solely for fire/EMS (“red team”) or law enforcement (“blue team”). These terrible incidents require practitioners that can fight in the gray area where “red” meets “blue.” The majority of active shooter incidents do not occur in metropolitan areas. Most happen in jurisdictions that are protected by fewer than 100 law enforcement officers. This means that smaller fire departments and law enforcement agencies must be prepared to deal with these incidents where both agencies could potentially be instantly overwhelmed by one or more shooters and multiple casualties. Since mutual aid is not likely to arrive until after the threat is neutralized, fire/EMS and law enforcement must be prepared to work together. This preparation necessitates more than just planning. It involves resolution of the multiple operational perspectives, training together, and identifying weaknesses that can be strengthened. Anything less leaves your community at risk for higher casualties. Collaboration between the “red team” and the “blue team” beforehand serves as a force multiplier and can greatly affect the outcome of the incidents.

CFFBF Meeting

Community Firefighters Funeral Benefit Fund, Inc will hold its annual meeting on March 20th at 0900. The meeting will be held at the Brian Carey Training Center located at 1023 West 191st Street, Homewood.

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.