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Former Pierce Manufacturing President, CEO Dies
Doug Ogilvie, a former long-time president, general manager and CEO of Pierce Manufacturing, died on March 17. He was 94.
Ogilvie started working for Pierce shortly after his discharge from the Air Force after World War II, where he was a flight engineer and a top gunner. When he started at Pierce, the company had only 15 employees. During his decades with the company, he helped it grow to become an internationally recognized fire apparatus business with approximately 1,600 employees on the payroll today.
In 1958, Ogilvie became vice president of the company and, in 1960 was elected president and general manager. In 1986, he became the CEO of Pierce and retired from the company in 1993 after 43 years.
Pierce is marking its 100th anniversary this year and Ogilvie was at the helm of the fire apparatus maker for nearly half of its existence.
OSHA Takes On Combustible Dust Fires
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published Firefighting Precautions at Facilities with Combustible Dust, a new, informative booklet that outlines safe procedures for emergency responders who may face fires and explosions caused by combustible dust.
“This booklet will keep both emergency response and facility workers safe by giving them a framework to prepare for potential emergencies involving combustible dust,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels.
Since 1980, more than 130 workers have been killed and more than 780 injured in combustible dust explosions. The publication describes how combustible dust explosions occur and uses previous incidents to illustrate how firefighting operations can prevent combustible dust explosions. The booklet explains the preparations emergency responders can make before a response and how these preparations will affect the operational plan during a response. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
Report Provides Evidence of Toxic Health Risks
As reported by our own Billy Goldfeder on his website www.FireFighterCloseCalls.com, a groundbreaking new study published by environmental toxicologist Dr. Susan Shaw and co-authors provides new evidence that brominated flame retardants in burning household materials endangers the health of U.S. firefighters. It is the first study to measure brominated dioxins and furans in firefighters’ blood and shows for the first time that exposure to these chemicals during fires may carry even higher risks for cancer and other health problems than already demonstrated. Highlights of the report include:
- During fires, large amounts of cancer-causing dioxins and furans are produced by combustion of materials containing brominated and chlorinated substrate. Since firefighters are known to have high rates of cancer, the study focuses on the exposure of firefighters to these compounds while firefighting.
- Brominated dioxin and furan concentrations in firefighter blood were extremely high, and were 21 times more toxic than the chlorinated dioxins and furans. The authors conclude that brominated dioxins and furans may pose a greater cancer risk to firefighters than previously thought.
- The firefighters had elevated levels of two perfluorinated chemicals, PFOA and PFNA. PFOA, a cancer-causing chemical that is linked to the risk of stroke, was phased out of commerce in 2001, but is released in large amounts from household and building materials during fires.
- The findings of this pilot study indicate that firefighters are at risk for cancer and serious health effects from their occupational exposure. A larger study of firefighters is planned.
The full study can be found at www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0045653513000313.
FDNY, V Foundation Announce Grant for Cancer Research
FDNY Fire Commissioner Salvatore J. Cassano, along with The V Foundation for Cancer Research President Emeritus Nick Valvano and CEO Susan Braun, announced a $1 million grant to Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, NY. The grant will fund research to study early detection of hematological cancers that effect first responders.