Ore. Agency to Receive Sarbanes Award at CFSI Dinner

Officials who created an innovative hands-on driver training program will be honored later this month at the CFSI annual dinner.

The Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training will receive the 2012 Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes Fire Service Safety Leadership Award.

The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and CFSI announced their selection, saying the effort will save responders’ lives.

The Oregon agency is being recognized for its Skid Avoidance for Fire Apparatus Drivers (SAFAD) Program.

The most innovative element of the training is the specially-designed training platform called a "skid truck" that mounts under a Ford F-650.

The skid truck, equipped with lights and siren, has hydraulic cylinders attached to each corner that allow the vehicle to be lifted while in operation, simulating a skid but in a controlled setting. Since the program was implemented, more than 25 percent of the career and volunteer firefighters in Oregon have completed the hands-on training program.

With support from various fire service stakeholders, including the Oregon Fire Chiefs, Oregon State Firefighters Council and the Oregon Volunteer Firefighters Association, DPSST developed the program to address one of the leading causes of line-of-duty deaths in the fire service: emergency vehicle crashes.

In a joint statement, NFFF Chairman Dennis Compton and CFSI President Bill Jenaway said: "We hope that this recognition of the SAFAD program encourages other fire service training agencies across the country to replicate the program."