NIOSH is revising its policy on the use of Emergency Breathing Support Systems (EBSS), also known as Buddy Breathers. This policy change is being made coincident with the addition of requirements related to the use and operation of these devices in the NFPA 1981, 2013 edition. This policy change will be applicable only to SCBAs meeting the requirements of NFPA 1981, 2013, or subsequent editions. NIOSH will recognize NFPA 1981, 2013-compliant EBSS systems as a part of the NIOSH SCBA approval for users who have received the appropriate level of training. Users will be able to identify approvals for SCBA which incorporate the required hardware by the explicit listing of an additional EBSS statement to the standard cautions and limitations on the approval label. The statement will signify the EBSS components have been evaluated by NIOSH and accepted as meeting the requirements for EBSS under the requirements of NFPA 1981, Revision 2013.
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration advises emergency responders that recent train derailments and resulting fires indicate the type of crude oil being transported from the Bakken region may be more flammable than traditional heavy crude oil. (PDF, 50 Kb)
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a safety communication on HeartStart automated external defibrillators from Philips Healthcare. Certain HeartStart automated external defibrillator (AED) devices made by Philips Medical Systems, a division of Philips Healthcare, may be unable to deliver needed defibrillator shock in a cardiac emergency situation. These devices were manufactured and distributed between 2005 and 2012 under the names HeartStart FRx, HeartStart HS1 Home, and HeartStart HS1 OnSite.
The U.S. Fire Administration has released an updated report on home electrical fires. From 2009-2011, an estimated 25,900 home electrical fires were reported to fire departments within the United States each year. These fires caused an estimated 280 deaths, 1,125 injuries and $1.1 billion in property loss. Home electrical fires resulted in greater dollar loss per fire than nonelectrical fires. Download the free report from our website at www.usfa.fema.gov
The theme for this year's Arson Awareness Week (May 4-10) is Vehicle Arson: A Combustible Crime. For more information and resources you can use to increase awareness about vehicle arson in your community, visit the U.S. Fire Administration's website at www.usfa.fema.gov/aaw/.
In support of National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) users, the U.S. Fire Administration is now publishing NFIRSGrams: short bulletins that provide coding help to fire department personnel using NFIRS. NFIRSGrams address frequently asked questions and common mistakes made when completing incident forms. Visit www.usfa.fema.gov/fireservice/nfirs/training/ for the latest NFIRSGram bulletins and to sign up to receive them through email.
The Federal Interagency Committee on EMS (FICEMS) has reached consensus on a strategic plan that maps action steps for federal support of optimal emergency medical services (EMS) systems nationwide. The five-year plan provides a framework to synchronize interagency efforts and strengthen EMS practices, principles and strategies throughout the United States. Download the FICEMS Strategic Plan from the EMS.gov website at www.ems.gov/ficems/plan.htm
Our latest study report, Emergency Vehicle Safety Initiative (2014), provides best practices and recommendations for safer emergency vehicle and roadway incident response. Topics covered include common crash causes and crash prevention, internal and external factors for improving response and roadway safety, vehicle design and maintenance, and regulating emergency vehicle response and roadway scene safety. Download this free report from the U.S. Fire Administration's website at www.usfa.fema.gov.
A new report from USFA's National Fire Data Center shows that an estimated 6,600 residential building garage fires occur each year, causing 30 deaths, 400 injuries and $457 million in property loss. Fires originating in residential garages tend to be larger and spread farther than fires that start in other areas of a residence. Garages equipped with built-in protection help control fire and life safety risks. An accompanying Coffee Break training bulletin explains.
Mortality patterns and cancer incidence among a group of 29,993 U.S. career firefighters employed between 1950-2009 in the cities of San Francisco, Chicago and Philadelphia were examined. Cancers of the respiratory, digestive and urinary systems accounted mostly for the higher rates of cancer seen in the study population. The higher rates suggest that firefighters are more likely to develop those cancers. Visit our website to read more about the findings and to download the Occupational and Environmental Medicine peer-reviewed journal article.
The application period for 2013 Assistance to Firefighters Grants opens Monday, November 4 and closes December 6, 2013. Start planning your grant application now by reviewing the Application Assistance Tools located on the AFG website. These tools were produced to help applicants begin to plan their grant applications ahead of the application period.
Two updated reports from the U.S. Fire Administration's National Fire Data Center examine the characteristics of fires in one- and two-family and multifamily residential buildings for the period 2009-2011. Annually, an estimated 2,375 deaths, 12,775 injuries and 6.7 billion dollars in property loss result from fires in these building types.
This free guide from the U.S. Fire Administration is a fire and emergency medical services (EMS) resource that can be used to support planning and preparation for active shooter and mass casualty incidents.
The U.S. Fire Administration announced today the release of the report Firefighter Fatalities in the United States in 2012. There were 81 on-duty firefighter fatalities as a result of incidents that occurred last year. The fatalities occurred in 31 states, one territory, and one overseas military facility. A record low number of firefighter deaths were caused by heart attacks (39) but deaths caused by vehicle crashes were back up with 18 firefighters killed as the result of 14 accidents, six involving POVs, six involving apparatus, and six from two incidents involving aircraft. Visit www.usfa.fema.gov to download this free report and previous reports back to 1986.
From 2009 to 2011, an estimated 200 fires in residential buildings reported to United States fire departments resulted in multiple fatalities. These fires annually caused 740 deaths, 175 injuries and $34 million in property loss. The information in this report can be used not only to assess our progress in reducing fire fatalities but also to understand the nature of multiple-fatality incidents and implications for targeting of prevention programs.
An estimated 86,500 nonresidential building fires were reported to U.S. fire departments each year and caused an estimated 85 deaths, 1,325 injuries, and $2.6 billion in property losses per year. Cooking was the leading cause of all nonresidential building fires (29 percent). Smoke alarms were not present in 52 percent of the larger, nonconfined fires in occupied nonresidential buildings. Storage buildings accounted for 29 percent of the fire deaths. Download our free report to learn more about the characteristics of nonresidential building fires.
An estimated 360,900 residential building fires were reported to U.S. fire departments each year and caused 2,495 deaths, 13,250 injuries and $7 billion in property losses. Cooking was the leading cause of these fires. Download our free report to learn more about the characteristics of residential building fires.
An estimated 1,600 fatal fires in residential buildings occurred annually from 2009 to 2011. These fires resulted in an annual average of approximately 2,495 deaths, 625 injuries and $188 million in property loss. The information in this report can be used not only to assess our progress in reducing fire fatalities but also to understand the nature of the fatal fire problem and its implications for targeting of prevention programs.
On Dec. 11-12, 2012, in response to an invitation from the U.S. Fire Administration, 28 leading national organizations representing the fire service, fire researchers and other stakeholders in home fire safety came together at the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute in College Park, Md., to explore how changing building construction methods, materials and building contents are affecting the way fires grow and develop in today's homes. The report from this workshop is now available for download.
In the spirit of this year's EMS Week theme - One Mission. One Team. - U.S. Fire Administrator Ernest Mitchell emphasizes the number one mission of the EMS team: take every measure to ensure your health and safety, not just for EMS week, but throughout the year.
America Burning provided a pathway for a federal role in overcoming the American indifference to fire protection and prevention. It is safe to say that America Burning offered us all the highest moral motivations to make the United States a safer place to live and work.
The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) is pleased to announce the theme for the 2013 Arson Awareness Week: Reducing Residential Arson. The goal for this year's Arson Awareness Week is to provide all residents with strategies to combat arson in their neighborhoods. Tools and tips for the fire service and communities are available on the USFA's website at http://www.usfa.fema.gov/aaw/
This topical fire report focuses on the characteristics of civilian fatalities from residential building fires for the period 2009-2011. Unintentional/careless actions (16 percent) and smoking (15 percent) were the leading causes of these fatal fires. Forty-five percent of civilian fatalities in residential building fires were between the ages of 40 and 69 and 13 percent of those killed were less than 10 years old.
This topical fire report focuses on the characteristics of civilian injuries from residential building fires for the period 2009-2011. Thirty-four percent of injuries resulted from trying to control a fire followed by attempting to escape (25 percent).
According to a new report from the U.S. Fire Administration, cooking remained the leading cause of all residential building fires and injuries for the period 2008-2010. The report, Cooking Fires in Residential Buildings (2008-2010), addresses the characteristics of these fires. An estimated average of 164,500 cooking fires in residential buildings occurred in the United States each year and resulted in an annual average of 110 deaths, 3,525 injuries and $309 million in property loss.
The U.S. Fire Administration, supported by the National Institute of Justice, and in partnership with the Cumberland Valley Volunteer Firemen's Association's (CVVFA) Emergency Responder Safety Institute, announces availability of a guide to help emergency services departments increase the visibility of emergency vehicles to motorists in order to keep responders safe during roadway operations.
While the winter fire months always bring a spike in home fires, the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) says home fire deaths reported on by the news media are above those reported at this time last year. According to media reports, home fires have already claimed 148 lives this month, 24 more than reported during Jan. 1-16, 2012. Older adults (50 deaths) and children (28 deaths) have accounted for more than half of these deaths.
The U.S. Fire Administration announced today a provisional total of 83 on-duty firefighter fatalities in the United States as a result of incidents that occurred in 2012, the same number of firefighter losses as in 2011. The 83 fatalities were spread across 34 states. Pennsylvania and North Carolina experienced the highest number of fatalities with nine firefighter deaths each. New York had six firefighter deaths, including the most recent tragic shooting deaths of two firefighters in Webster. California and Texas, each with five firefighter deaths, were the only other states with five or more firefighter fatalities in 2012.
The U.S. Fire Administration issued a special report today examining the characteristics of highway vehicle fires in the United States from 2008-2010. Approximately one in seven fires responded to by fire departments across the nation is a highway vehicle fire. This does not include the tens of thousands of fire department responses to highway vehicle accident sites. Unintentional action (32 percent) was the leading cause of highway vehicle fires.
Extraordinary efforts on the part of fire/rescue and EMS agencies have to be taken to protect first responders and achieve success in saving civilian lives when responding to scenes of violence. Deputy U.S. Fire Administrator Glenn Gaines offers universal steps to help ensure fire and EMS personnel are prepared to meet this unique and challenging threat.
U.S. Fire Administrator Ernest Mitchell today announced changes to the selection criteria for senior fire executives and other qualified officers applying to the National Fire Academy's (NFA) Executive Fire Officer Program (EFOP). These changes will be implemented over the next two years.
Application procedures have been announced for the 2013 Harvard Fire Executive Fellowship Program. Senior fire executives who are selected will be awarded fellowships to attend Harvard's annual Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government. The three-week program is conducted on the Harvard campus in Cambridge, Mass. Selected fellows are assigned to attend one of the two session dates: June 3-23, 2013 or July 8-26, 2013.
While a warm home and a hot meal on a cold winter's day may conjure up thoughts of safety and security, the unfortunate reality is that winter is the leading time of year for home fires in the United States. Through a jointly sponsored initiative - Put a Freeze on Winter Fires - NFPA and USFA are working collaboratively to tell the public about ways to stay fire-safe this winter. The effort targets home heating and cooking, which represent the two leading causes of U.S. home fires. Both types of fires peak in the winter months.
The three Regional Strategy Committees (RSC) of the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy (Cohesive Strategy) have recently completed Risk Analysis Reports identifying strategies for addressing wildland fire management risk in their respective regions. The Risk Analysis Reports contain key elements that can be integrated into strategies for addressing the shared goals of the National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy: resilient landscapes, fire-adapted communities and response to wildland fire. Each RSC is comprised of representatives from federal, state, local and tribal governments and non-governmental organizations with interests in wildland fire management.
The U.S. Fire Administration issued a special report today examining the characteristics of intentionally set fires in residential buildings. An estimated 16,800 intentionally set fires in residential buildings occur annually in the U.S. These fires result in an estimated average of 280 deaths, 775 injuries and $593 million in property loss each year.
The U.S. Fire Administration's National Fire Academy (NFA) announces the availability of two new NFA Online courses: Data Gathering Instruments to Support Applied Research Projects (Q170) and Designing an Applied Research Project Proposal (Q171). Both courses are available to the public and will also support Executive Fire Officer Program (EFOP) students in their completion of Applied Research Projects (ARPs).
In recognition of Fire Prevention Week, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the U.S. Fire Administration are providing new statistics on fires in American homes and urging consumers to install smoke alarms in their homes and check to make sure all smoke alarms are working properly. It is also vitally important to develop and practice a family fire escape plan. The top cause of fires in the home is cooking equipment, accounting for an estimated 147,400 or 40 percent of residential fires each year between 2008 and 2010. Cooking was also associated with the largest percentage of fire-related injuries, an estimated average 27.4 percent or 3,450, in the home.
A new USFA report, Portable Heater Fires in Residential Buildings (2008-2010), examines the characteristics and causes of these fires. While portable heating fires were small in number, the consequences were substantial, accounting for nearly half of all fatal heating fires in residential buildings. Many of these fires were preventable as human error - placing the heater too close to combustible items or leaving the heater unattended - was a contributing factor.
Fall begins this Saturday, and with it comes cooler temperatures and the resulting seasonal increase in the number of home heating fires. To help Americans understand the nature of the heating fire problem, the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) today issued a special report: Heating Fires in Residential Buildings (2008-2010). Heating is the second leading cause of all residential building fires. Home heating fires are preventable! USFA reminds everyone to maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected annually by a qualified professional.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the U.S. Fire Administration are warning consumers to be vigilant when using portable generators to deal with power outages after Hurricane Isaac. The exhaust from gasoline-powered generators contains high levels of poisonous carbon monoxide (CO) that can quickly incapacitate and kill within minutes. Generators should only be used outside, far away from homes. Never run a generator inside a house, basement, garage, shed or near windows or vents to your house or a neighbor's house.
The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) announce a partnership initiative to 1) identify individual and organizational behaviors that adversely impact firefighter health and safety and 2) develop strategies to mitigate them.
The U.S. Fire Administration issued a special report today examining the characteristics of clothes dryer fires in residential buildings. The report, Clothes Dryer Fires in Residential Buildings (2008-2010), shows that failure to clean is the leading factor contributing to the ignition of these fires.
The U.S. Fire Administration, in partnership with the DHS Office of Health Affairs and the International Association of Fire Chiefs, announces the availability of a new online educational program for physician medical directors of local fire departments and agencies involved in emergency medical services (EMS) response. This web-based program for current and prospective EMS medical directors provides information in a conveniently accessible format to support key roles in the provision of EMS to communities.
To provide guidance to address complex ethical questions, the National Society of Executive Fire Officers and Congressional Fire Services Institute jointly have released a firefighter code of ethics that can be adopted by local fire and emergency medical service organizations. In acknowledgement of the importance of this first of its kind fire service ethics statement, the U.S. Fire Administration has posted the statement throughout the National Fire Academy's (NFA) facilities and will now include the statement in all course materials distributed to NFA students.
The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) announced today the release of the report Firefighter Fatalities in the United States in 2011. There were 83 onduty firefighter fatalities in the United States as a result of incidents that occurred in 2011. This represents a continuing decline in the overall number of firefighter fatality deaths in recent years and an almost five percent decrease from the 87 fatalities reported for 2010. When analyzing the overall trend in the United States going back to 1977, accounting for the Hometown Heroes added to totals since the law changed in 2004, the 2011 total represents the lowest year of record for the second year in a row.
The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) has completed a review of fire service operations surrounding the challenges faced in April 2011 as fire departments in the southeastern United States responded to a significant weather event.
The U.S. Fire Administration, supported by the DHS Office of Health Affairs and the National Emergency Medical Services Management Association, announces the release of a new guide for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers: Operational Templates and Guidance for EMS Mass Care Incident Deployment. The guide is intended to provide information to local-level EMS and fire departments on the development and enhancement of the organization and preparedness for mass care incidents, including natural and man-made disasters, large gathering and pandemic events, and other emergencies potentially resulting in large numbers of patients.
The U.S. Fire Administration issued a special report today examining the characteristics of smoking-related fires in residential buildings. The report, Smoking-Related Fires in Residential Buildings (2008-2010), was developed by USFA's National Fire Data Center. According to the report, an estimated 7,600 smoking-related fires in residential buildings occur annually in the United States, resulting in an estimated average of 365 deaths, 925 injuries, and $326 million in property loss.
Learning Objective: You will be able to identify components associated with a water storage tank connected to a fire protection system. Also included with this training bulletin is a summary report of your feedback on Coffee Break Training and how you use the material. (PDF, 675 Kb)
Learning Objective: The student will be able to develop discipline-specific feedback during the process of scheduled instructor evaluations as they relate to curriculum delivery and/or development. (PDF, 369 Kb)
Learning Objective: The student will be able to explain why the national cohesive wildland fire management strategy, called the Cohesive Strategy, was initiated; identify the three goals; and briefly describe some wildland fire mitigation activities in which local fire departments can participate. (PDF, 473 Kb)
Learning Objective: The student will be able to calculate a sample fire-protection water requirement using the method from National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1142, Standard on Water Supplies for Suburban and Rural Fire Fighting. (PDF, 577 Kb)
Learning Objective: The student will understand the key points in implementing an intervention strategy, step 4 of 5 in the publication Public Fire Education Planning - A Five Step Process. (PDF, 362 Kb)
Learning Objective: The student will be able to select values from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1142, Standard on Water Supplies for Suburban and Rural Fire Fighting Occupancy Hazard Classification (OHC) and Construction Classification (CC) number tables. (PDF, 594 Kb)
Learning Objective: The student will be able to describe the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1142, Standard on Water Supplies for Suburban and Rural Fire Fighting water supply calculation method. (PDF, 574 Kb)
Learning Objective: The student will know the process of conducting a community risk assessment (Step 1 of 5) as presented in the publication Public Fire Education Planning - A Five Step Process. (PDF, 358 Kb)
Considering this week's extremely cold temperatures across most of North America, take a few moments today to revisit this past Coffee Break Training bulletin, Preventing Freeze-up Impairments, for tips on dealing with fire protection systems during inclement weather.