Wild land Fires and stats!
Depending on where you work, Wild land fires can be something you see on the news or something you are neck deep in. Some websites give a lot of great information on training and strategies but few give realistic statistics and the amount of damage they have done. TheNational Interagency Fire Center gives a good statistics page of wild land fires in different states as well as expected weather to keep an eye on the high risk locations in the united states. the website is only limited by the states that provide information on large wild land fires.
Some of the goals of being a firefighter should be to honor those who have fallen and always remembering them. It is important we learn from them and the situations that they were out in so that we can be better prepared for the next big one.
The widget is compliments from the National Fallen Firefighter Foundation. Please visit them for information on fallen firefighters and the work they do supporting the family's of those who have fallen.
Firefighter Cancer Research!!
It's been a long time coming to finally get some research behind firefighters risks of cancer. Thanks to University Of Miami Sylvester Research, we can finally look forward to finding the root cause and stop cancer in it's tracks. The research is currently focusing on South Florida departments and are getting work done with annual blood testing, Surveys, and cancer screenings. The research digs deep in to finding our habbits at work and at home. More departments are now providing a "clean hood replacement" program after every fire as well as providing decon kits for engines to use on firefighters exiting the fire BEFORE they touch their own gear. Departments are also allowing crews time to clean the contaminated gear before putting it in the cabs and going back in service which has been proven to spread carcinogens in the vehicles.
The article goes in to the second year of funding the research. Judging by what has been done so far, we should expect some big changes nation wide that will be found in this research. Keep your ears open for updates!
Wanted to take a minute to mention the Fraternal Order Of Leatherhead Society. The organization was established in 1995 and have chapters all around the world. The organization started in central Florida who are now referred to as "The Founding FOOLS". If you do not have a chapter in your community, you are able to start one your self through their website.
The F.O.O.L.S. are not a political organization. They do not get involved with any union activities, management, or any other political issue. They are about preserving the tradition and heritage of the fire service and taking care of our brother and sister firefighters. They have been involved with fundraisers, charity events, and helping disadvantaged children receive gifts for Christmas. Other than helping the community in which they work in, they also provide amazing training through out the year for members and non members. Individual chapters are limited only by the leaders and have the potential of making big changes all over the nation. Whether you are a chief, firefighter or volunteer, the FOOLS accept all individuals who stay true to the brother and sister firefighters, and to the department.
Here is their mission statement:
"The F.O.O.L.S. exemplify the true meaning of the Brotherhood by providing training opportunities to Brother and Sister Firefighters worldwide. We organize benefits to assist not only a firefighter and their families in need, but our communities as well. The F.O.O.L.S. exist to strengthen the Brotherhood of our chosen profession and fuel the flame of passion we have for our calling."
It is no surprise that I'm writing about heart attacks after mentioning firehouse recipes! Although, it is not the only thing that causes heart attacks on firefighters. Firefighters live a life of preparation, resourcefulness, and surprise. Proper preparation is the key component to staying alive while helping others. We all do this by training regularly and exercising daily while maintaining our diet as much as possible. Our field demands it more then any other field out there. Research has shown that repeatedly waking from a dead sleep making your heart rate go from 60 to 100 in seconds can influence poor heart health. Your department probably already has helped by creating softer tones that increase in sound gradually or turning lights on from a light dim before the tones go on. No matter how much the department does for you, we still need to take care of ourselves more so then the average person to avoid the extra stress on our heart during the surprises.
I am sure most firefighters know how to diet and exercise for the most part, but if you need some help on anything from nutrition, fitness ideas, or programs visit www.healthy-firefighter.org. Healthy Firefighter has a site that provides FREE nutritional assistance such as healthy recipes and calorie intake, fitness videos, literature from research and how to improve your lifestyle and more. The site has good videos and literture that will give assistance to anyones goals and provide great education.
Another site to reference that's geared more towards health and not so much firefighters is www.choosemyplate.gov. This site focuses on proper health and has just about anything you can ever think of and goes well beyond the 5th grade food triangle. From breaking down Saturated fats, sodium, and other chemicals in your food and body to giving you a good idea on how to choose your meals and drinks. Each part of this site is geared toward making people healthy by providing tools and facts.
Florida Firefighter Safety and Health Collaborative
Firefighter safety is one of the most important roles on any fire ground or EMS call. Safety is much broader than any one topic and it is everyone's responsibility to look out for each other in any IDLH environment. This is why Florida Firefighter Safety and Health Collaborative is worth mentioning.
Their mission statement “Our commitment is to focus on Firefighter Safety and Health by providing education, training, and sharing of best practices to minimize risk and exposure to our Florida Firefighters”.
The FFSHC is somewhat a new Organization that was founded by Captain Chris Bator and Firefighter/Paramedic Ryan Gallik who met at the Florida Fire Chiefs Association Safety and Health Conference in Orlando Florida. With each making small impacts in their local community, they came together and now will soon impact more 150 departments in the state of Florida by early 2017.
Safety for the guys at http://floridafirefightersafety.org means cancer awareness, emotional wellness, firefighter fitness, firefighter rehab, active shooter, PPE and much more. The organization is committed to providing FREE safety classes to fire departments throughout the state of Florida concentrating on proper decontamination, good PPE handling habits, and research behind how carcinogens hurt us as firefighters and how we can prevent bringing it home to our family and friends. With the help from the University of Miami Sylvester Institute and Committees such as the FACE (Firefighters Attacking Cancer Epidemic) team, Organizations like this are sure to make a great impact on Firefighter wellness. We will have to wait and see if organizations like this one expand to become nationwide known.
We all want to keep our helmet looking used and abused as a sign of pride and experience. Unfortunitely, leaving a helmet like this in your locker, in the apparatus, or even bringing home to your family is proven to spread carcinogens which cause cancer. Be sure to clean your helmet after every fire for yourself and the people around you.
Finding a career as a firefighter is not always the easiest task. A lot of key factors go in to finding a department you want to work at and preparing for the interview once all your schooling is done. When you walk in to an interview, you want to create a image of your self that you have gone above and beyond to be here today. Different things you can do to create that image is make your presentation on point, don't be the guy who doesn't wear a suit! Show that you care, show you woke up early and prepared yourself for the day, and be confident. It's okay to be nervous but be confident by knowing in your head you are the perfect person for the job. At some point in the interview they will most likely ask a question that you will be able to provide an open response, For example; Tell us about yourself?. These questions are intended so you can build yourself up by saying what you have done other than the minimum requirements to get there. You also want to do some research on the department. If the department has any programs that help citizens in the community be sure to mention that you would like to be apart of that to show that you know what the departments about.
Some big No No's - Never ever bash a fellow interviewer for any reason, or anyone at that matter, and never ever act like you are owed anything from the department.
This was just a short paragraph on key factors that I think are important and obviously could go on and on about what to say and what not to say but realistically speaking, there are plenty of more experienced individuals who can teach you more than I will ever know. Here is some information that I found useful when I was getting hired.
www.911hotjobs.com - Always refer to indeed, monster and local listings for open positions near you. most of those offer a registration to sign up for so they can email you when something comes up. 911 HotJobs is one of the best sites I have used. They are nation wide and have an amazing search program where you can find exactly what you are looking for. They post jobs for Firefighter, Police, EMT's and more. They also sell books that can help with examination preparation in categories like Aerial Apparatus, Building Construction, Chief Officer. Fire Officer, Fireground Operatons, IFSTA Essentials, Instructor, and more.
If you are done with school and ready to interview, I recommend a book called "Smoke Your Firefighter Interview" by Paul S. Lepore. The book is simply a list of popular interview questions that the author provides with the proper responses for each and explains why that response is best. Half way through the book you will come across the realization that most of the questions revolve around the same kind of answers. It breaks down to Life safety, Doing the right thing, and having integrity.
FirefighterLinks.com is a website made to provide Firefighters an index of information to be used for research, education, and fun. This site will provide useful information about new technology, firefighting news, training techniques, videos, and even recipes for the firehouse! Check out our "LINKS" page for specific information to some very useful sites. Please read the website disclaimer for any safety information and reliability.
IF YOU ARE A FIREFIHGTER!!! Feel free to send me any training ideas, videos, pictures, recipes or anything else you want to make public in the firefighting world. Please remember to get permission and follow your department policies.
Check the "LINKS" page for more up to date story's from grest sites. Here are some I found interesting.
- Ohio firefighter MAYDAY, Great pictures and information can be found at FF clos calls, FULL STORY
- 3 firefighters injured in 5 alarm fire. Check link for ffclose calls article and pictures, CHECK IT OUT
One of the best parts of being a firefighter is having amazing meals put together by our fellow firefighters. Their are so many websites out there that can give you recipes and most can be found straight off google, but not many are made by other firefighters. The Fire Stations.com is a great site to reference. The site it self has some useful information worth looking at but I would say the best part to take from it is recipe page which has posted recipes by other firefighters all over the states. Check for desserts, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even some very special sides people have posted. The site owner gives credit to everyone who participates in releasing their recipe which is a great thing. Some of the recipes are simple and easy and some are a little more complex. Be sure to check them out!
Also reference Healthy Firefighter fore recipes that have the proper nutritional balance so we can stay healthy. The site is also geared towards firefighters and has some very helpful information.