Changing The Fire Service Culture

TOPIC: CHANGING THE FIRE SERVICE CULTURE TIME REQUIRED: TWO HOURS MATERIALS: APPROPRIATE AUDIO-VISUAL MATERIALS REFERENCES:Fire Department Safety Officer, 1st ed., International Fire Service Training Association.


           least annually or as needed

III. CHANGES (1-3)

A. Health and Safety Programs

   1. Develop a health and safety program that meets requirements, demands, needs, and concerns of

       organization

   2. Each employee should be required to comply with requirements of occupational safety and health

       standards

   3. Supervisors and members have a responsibility to support and abide by programs in interest of

       improving work environment

   4. Important reasons for using an occupational safety and health program

     a. Ethical obligation for a safety program is evident to prevent injuries, illnesses, and fatalities and to

         reduce property loss

     b. It is a sensible economic investment

     c. It ensures compliance with applicable laws, codes, and standards

   5. Process is a comprehensive team effort that requires management support and member

       participation

 

B. Respiratory Protection

   1. Introduction

     a. SCBA can provide protection against all of these circumstances but are generally used to protect

         against toxic and hazardous atmospheres and oxygen-deficient atmospheres at emergency

         incidents

     b. All masks or respiratory protection must meet minimum requirements for environment that

         employee is in and be able to protect against atmospheric concentration of contaminant present

   2. Respiratory Protection Policy

     a. Written policy covering proper use of all respiratory protection equipment is required by NFPA

          1500 and 1582 and by 29 CFR 1910.134

     b. When adopted by department, it must be communicated to members of department

     c. Respiratory protection policy requires

       1) Selection criteria for respirators

       2) Written program

       3) Inspection criteria

       4) Proper use procedures

       5) Individual fit testing for employees

       6) Maintenance program

       7) Training program

       8) Air-quality testing program

       9) Medical evaluation and certification for those wearing respirators

       10) Procedures for regularly evaluating program effectiveness

     d. Inspection programs for SCBA are established in NFPA 1500

       1) Fire company personnel perform regular (at least weekly) inspections of SCBA

       2) Monthly inspections include a check of entire unit for deteriorated components, air tightness of

           cylinder and valves, gauge comparison, reducing valve and bypass valve operation, and a check

           of the regulator, exhalation valve, and low-air alarm

       3) Following each inspection, SCBA is cleaned before returning to service

     e. Department must maintain a record of hydrostatic tests throughout life of the cylinders

   3. Fit Testing

     a. Individual facepiece fit testing is required of all employees who are going to use respiratory

         protection equipment

     b. Testing must be done before allowing any employee to use mask in a hazardous atmosphere

     c. Requirement for a proper fit prohibits wearing of any facial hair such as beards or sideburns that

         would prohibit a complete seal of facepiece on wearer

     d. Specific steps in fit testing process are found in 29 CFR 1910.134

     e. Medical clearance is required before fit testing

   4. Training

     a. All employees must be trained in use of respiratory protection equipment

     b. Training includes

       1) When to wear equipment

       2) How to don and doff equipment

       3) How to operate equipment

       4) How to perform daily inspection procedures

       5) How to clean and maintain equipment

     c. Training must be an ongoing process

   5. Creation of Database

     a. Final and basic part of respiratory protection program is creation and maintenance of a database