The most recent recipient of Hale’s Safe Firefighter of the Month award is Captain Zach Stubbs of the Anchorage Fire Department in Alaska. Captain Stubbs has been a firefighter for 11 years, faithfully serving and protecting the people of Anchorage.
Captain Stubbs recently initiated the revitalization of a mini-bus that was originally used to transport people with disabilities into a rehabilitation vehicle for the department. The newly renovated vehicle is now used to evaluate firefighters and provide medical services at the scene of a fire. It is a sterile environment in which blood pressure, pulse and other basic vitals are monitored and firefighters can receive oxygen and first aid when needed.
Because the number one killer of firefighters is cardiac arrest, Captain Stubbs wanted find a way to prevent it whenever possible. His efforts have resulted in fewer firefighters being sent to the doctor and hospital as a result of physical exhaustion. He has also been instrumental in re-writing the dispatch protocol, so that when there is a confirmed structure fire the next closest engine company brings the rehab-bus to the scene. The first crew is then relieved and the second crew takes over to ensure a proper work-rest cycle is maintained.
When asked what he believes is vital to keeping firefighters safe, Stubbs said, “My advice to the other officers is to always look out for your crew, monitor everyone’s condition and know what people are capable of. Firefighters are always willing to give more. Officers need to know when to stop and give them a break.”
A very humble Stubbs expressed his gratitude to his fellow firefighters and employees for making the rehab-bus a possibility. He said, “I could not have pulled it off without the support of our dispatch, maintenance shop, safety officers and administration. The effort to keep our personnel safe and allow them to have lasting careers and lives needs to be a group effort, and I am lucky enough to have had such an experience.”
Hale, based in Conshohocken, Pa., is a fire and rescue equipment company founded in 1914 by three Pennsylvania firefighters who believed they could build a better fire pump. Today, the company has grown through new product innovation and strategic acquisitions to supply pump modules, compressed air foam systems, electronic controls and valves. For more information, visit www.haleproducts.com.