Time Marches On

This marks the 26th year that we present the Firehouse Expo. For 24 of those years, the show has taken place in Baltimore, MD. This year, we salute the Baltimore City Fire Department as it marks its 150th anniversary. In this issue, we are proud to present a pictorial look at the department's history, including some of its apparatus and fire stations, and famous fires. The Great Baltimore Fire of Feb. 7, 1904, nearly wiped the city out, caused $50 million in damage and required the response of firefighters from as far away as New York City. Thanks to retired Baltimore City Assistant Fire Chief Gary E. Frederick for the research and photos from his collection for this historic look back (please see page 140).

Speaking of Baltimore, we are proud to publish numerous training articles in this issue to coincide with the upcoming Firehouse Expo. Mike Dugan discusses rescue techniques involving self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) emergencies. Curtis Massey explains the dangers and hazards to firefighters when dealing with tenant stairs in high-rise buildings. Joe Berry takes a look at open joists in this month's installment of the Lightweight Construction column. In a Guest Commentary, Mike D'Allessandro examines ways in which speed plays a role in apparatus accidents. Dennis Compton discusses the latest development pertaining to the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program in his Fire Politics column. We continue a new series Rube's Rules for Leadership written by DC Fire Chief Dennis Rubin. Ron Moore's University of Extrication presents the latest installment in his series on "Extrication Challenges of Advanced Steel in Vehicles." Kim Alyn discusses what makes a great leader. Mike Wilbur and Tom Shand continue another Apparatus Architect, this month focusing on "Innovations That Make the Job Safer."

Coverage of the recent Jesusita fire near Santa Barbara, CA, can be seen beginning on page 72. The area had not been impacted by a major wildfire since 1964, but during this incident, numerous homes were destroyed. According to the release of the CAL FIRE Green Sheet detailing serious injuries and incidents, one serious accident and five near-misses occurred during the fire. Seven firefighters were injured and several pieces of apparatus were destroyed or damaged in the six individual incidents that occurred simultaneously.

With tough economic times across the country, it may be difficult for some people to travel to Firehouse Expo. This is still a great opportunity for firefighters, fire officers and fire chiefs to attend the conference programs to learn about the latest in strategies and tactics. For apparatus purchasing committees, what better way to see new equipment and apparatus and keep up on the latest developments in the fire service, all under one roof? A one-stop-shop for all your fire service needs. A great way to shop and compare, and see first hand the latest in technology for the fire service.

We have put together a special class on Thursday afternoon, July 23, titled "How to Educate Your Public and Elected Officials." This three-hour, multi-part class is the first of its kind that we have presented. The course is designed to help ensure that fire departments get all the help they can from public officials who may not know the ins and outs of the everyday operation of a fire department. We are focusing on educating local, state and federal officials, and the presentations will feature National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) codes and standards, the ISO rating schedule, EMS, apparatus purchasing, personal protective equipment (PPE) and a tour of the exhibit floor highlighting fire equipment. Don't miss a valuable opportunity for chiefs to bring their appointed and elected public officials for a first-hand look at what we do every day.

Are you doing all you can do to keep the government officials to whom you are accountable up to date as to your department's current and future needs?

For comments, ideas and suggestions, please contact us at comments@firehouse.com.