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Terry Fund Road Trip!

The Terry Farrell Firefighters Fund will be donating a piece of steel from the World Trade Center to the San Diego Fire Museum. The steel will travel from Baltimore, MD, (where it will be on display at our very own Firehouse Expo) all the way to San Diego, CA with motorcycle escorts. The Terry Fund is looking for volunteers to help along the way. If you want to be part of the motorcycle escort team, or if you want to volunteer at any of the stops along the way, contact the Terry Fund at http://terryfund.org/. Stops will be made in Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Texas and Arizona. The Fund will be selling shirts along the way to help defray the cost of the 3,100 mile trip. Ferrara Fire Apparatus donated a new pumper for the trip.

The Terry Farrell Firefighters Fund was established in memory of Terry Farrell, a decorated member of Rescue 4/FDNY and Chief of the Dix Hills, NY, Volunteer Fire Department. Terry, along with 342 of his brothers, perished on September 11, 2001 in the World Trade Center attack.

 

We Have a Winner

The U.S. Forest Service has announced the winners of the 2011 Smokey Bear & Woodsy Owl Poster Contest. Vaibhavi Patankar, 8, won the fourth-grade category and then took top honors. She received roundtrip airfare and accommodations for four to Washington, D.C., and will go home with a trophy and a $100 U.S. Savings Bond. Patankar’s winning artistry is a poster within a poster, depicting Smokey Bear standing next to a poster of forest animals that has been set on fire with a match.

Students were asked to demonstrate through original 11x17-inch artwork their understanding of fire prevention and basic environmental conservation principles. Students were also asked to use in their drawings Smokey’s motto – “Only YOU Can Prevent Wildfires” – or Woodsy’s motto – “Lend a Hand – Care for the Land.”

The mission of the U.S. Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world.

 

Last Call for Medal of Valor Nominations

The 2010–2011 Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor nomination period ends on July 31.  The highest national award for valor by a public safety officer, this medal is awarded annually by the President or Vice President of the United States to public safety officers who have exhibited exceptional courage, regardless of personal safety, in the attempt to save or protect human life.

To receive the Medal of Valor, public safety officers must be nominated by the chief executive officer of their employing agencies; recommended by the bipartisan Medal of Valor Review Board; and cited by the Attorney General. Those interested in nominating an officer must submit their application through the online Medal of Valor Application System.

For questions about the award or how to nominate a public safety officer, contact the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) at medalofvalor@usdoj.gov.

 

A Tip of the Hat

Lt. Terry Barber of St. Petersburg, FL, Fire & Rescue has received the Hats Off Award, one of St. Petersburg’s highest honors. Lt. Barber was acknowledged for coming to the aid of an individual suffering a heart attack.  This award is given for “going above and beyond” the call of duty, according to District Chief Michael Domante.

Part of Lt. Barber’s job as a Deputy Fire Marshal is to assist with construction meetings, in downtown St. Petersburg, that assure the life-safety code is addressed during the building’s planning phase. He was attending an afternoon meeting when an architect suffered a heart attack and stopped breathing. After quickly assessing the situation, Lt. Barber determined the individual was in full cardiac arrest. He began basic life support procedures (BLS) consisting of one person CPR and rescue breaths until St. Petersburg Fire & Rescue paramedics arrived.

Division Chief Robert Bassett stated in a letter that Lt. Barber, a 28-year veteran of the department, demonstrated his commitment to the community and to his profession in his extraordinary actions. All of the skills performed on scene prior to Fire Department arrival were accomplished without any medical equipment being readily available to Lt. Barber.

 

Facebook Users LIKE Firehouse.com

As business-to-business media companies look for new ways to grow their social media assets, our very own Firehouse.com may have unlocked the secret to engaging niche audiences using a few simple initiatives.  Strategies born out of the brand’s marketing program – “Operation Engagement” – helped to more than double Firehouse.com’s Facebook fan audience to more than 135,000, earning Publisher Mike Natchipolsky and Editor-in-Chief Peter Matthews a coveted spot at the top of this year’s B to B Social Media Marketing Awards in the Facebook category.

“Social media requires consistent engagement, and a sincere attachment to the marketplace,” says Natchipolsky.  "While we use our Facebook ‘LIKE’ links in nearly all of our portal media, print it in our magazine and promote it at our tradeshows, fan conversion is not easy, or a given.  ‘Operation Engagement’ was a marketing program we tested and were pleased at the results.”

Paul Gillin, author of three books on social media, was one of the award judges who cited Firehouse.com as a “visually stunning website” during this week's award ceremony in New York. The program included a panel of other top winners including Matthews and executives from Cisco Systems and LexisNexis Group, companies that were both honored as People’s Choice winners. 

“Facebook keeps us connected with daily topics and trends from firefighters around the country,” adds Matthews.  “Engaging with this public safety audience has been a unique experience that goes well beyond the numbers.”

Firehouse.com is the leading fire and emergency services portal, serving nearly 500,000 unique visitors monthly. The site has also received international acclaim for its interactive coverage.  This year, it celebrates 12 years of serving First Responders. 

 

Ocala Eyes are Smiling

Have you ever wondered what St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are like in Ireland? A group of Ocala Florida firefighters now knows from experience.

In June of 2008, the mayors of Ocala, FL, and Newbridge, Ireland, signed a “twinning” agreement, making the locales official “Twin Cities.” As part of the agreement, Ocala Fire Rescue and Ocala Police Department have the privilege to make the trip to Ireland to meet their counterparts and march in the St. Patrick’s Day parade. This year, firefighters Brian Stoothoff and Tom Thomas and police officers Erica Hay and Casey Walsh paid their own airfare and expenses to represent the City of Ocala.

The delegation brought four flags from home with them to be carried in the parade – an American flag, and flags representing the City of Ocala, Ocala Fire Rescue and Ocala Police Department.

The Newbridge parade was attended by an estimated 30,000 people. At the conclusion of the parade the officials were treated like celebrities, posing for pictures with the locals. 

Throughout the week, many activities were planned for the group, including visits to local manufacturing facilities, a horse race at the Curragh, a greyhound race, and a visit to the Defense Force training facility and museum.

 “The parade and the whole Irish experience was certainly one of the highlights of my career and life,” states Ocala Battalion Chief Brian Stoothoff, a 29-year veteran of the department and a recipient of Firehouse Magazine’s 2009 Heroism & Community Service Award.

 

New Marshal in Town

Oregon State Police (OSP) Superintendent Chris Brown announced Wednesday the appointment of Mark Wallace as the next State Fire Marshal for the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM). Wallace, a 42-year fire service veteran from McKinney, TX, was appointed effective July 1st to replace Randy Simpson who retired at the end of 2010 following more than 33 years in the Oregon fire service.
Wallace recently retired from the McKinney Fire Department, where he served as Fire Chief since February 2001. He has served in every functional position within the fire service and teaches throughout the world focusing on strategic planning and organizational effectiveness.
“We are fortunate to be able to bring in someone with Mark’s background of experience, knowledge and leadership to guide the Office of State Fire Marshal in helping lead fire safety and hazardous materials safety in Oregon,” said Brown.
The author of Fire Department Strategic Planning: Creating Future Excellence, Wallace is also a FEMA-certified instructor of the Incident Command System and a former Lead Adjunct Instructor at the National Fire Academy teaching Fire and Arson Investigation in both the resident and field programs.
“I am honored to be selected as the new State Fire Marshal. This is an exciting opportunity and I look forward to meeting with, listening to and building relationships with Oregon's citizens and our fire service partners,” said Wallace.

 

Hope for Haiti

On April 24, team members from International Firefighters Assistance, Inc. (IFA) presented a fire apparatus along with appliances, nozzles ,bunker gear and tools to the newly founded Association of Haitian Volunteer Firefighters, compliments of the Waverly Iowa Volunteer Fire Department. To many in the U.S. fire service, this vehicle would not have been considered fit for a frontline unit or even part of a reserve fleet. However, to the Haitian firefighters this will be a lifeline for years to come. Currently, the vehicle is equipped with a generator, auxiliary lights, air chisels, rope bags, sledgehammers, pry tools, shovels, small hand tools, life jackets and emergency first aid kits. Over time, IFA anticipates the addition of foam, a port-a-power tool and/or hydraulic spreaders, which will be vital to extricate victims of car accidents and building collapse. This new Rescue Squad will function as the only Special Operations Unit for the nation of Haiti and will service nine million people wherever a disaster strikes.

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