2011 a Year of Reflection, Constant Change for Fire Service

The year of 2011 was one of reflection on losses new and old, financial ups and downs, innovation and constant change for the fire service.The nation marked ten years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks occurred this fall, honoring those who made the...

This year marked the fourth year since nine firefighters were killed in the Sofa Super Store Fire.

As part of Firehouse.com's coverage of Fire/EMS Safety, Health & Survival Week, the department's safety officer, Battalion Chief Bryan Kleskie, talked about how firefighters responded after the first Mayday sounded since the 2007 tragedy.

A Chicago firefighter's invention could soon help FDNY crews battle high-rise fires without putting themselves in unnecessary danger.

Lt. Michael Wielgat's HEROPipe -- which can be used to attack high-rise fires from the exterior between floors -- was purchased by the fire department this year.

The FDNY is making other strides in the way they use technology with its new Electronic Fireground Accountability System, which keeps track of firefighters within a building when a Mayday is called.

The new system uses the existing radios and sends information through software to a device controlled by the incident commander.

EFAS has made big strides during the course of this year and is currently operational at fire companies throughout the city.

One technology that could soon be available to all fire departments is the "Slim System" SCBA. Previously known as the "FlatPak," the air tanks used in the device consist of pressure vessels made from a polymetric plastic core braided with ballistic Kevlar and wound with carbon filament.

Not only have there been changes in technology, but also in personnel.

This year, Los Angeles appointed a new fire chief and Boston named a new chief of department.

The U.S. Fire Service as a whole received a new chief as well this year.

Former IAFC president Ernest Mitchell Jr. was nominated to the post of U.S. Fire Administrator by President Obama back in August and was later confirmed.

Firehouse.com recently spoke to Mitchell about his plans for the USFA.

A lot went on in the fire service this year and the staff of Firehouse.com thanks you for joining us for the ride.

Have a happy holiday, a great new year and stay safe!