For the Record 10/20

Oct. 1, 2020
Firehouse Expo 2020 Going Virtual

Firehouse Expo 2020 Going Virtual

Firehouse Expo, which was rescheduled from July to late October in Nashville, is postponed. In its place, Endeavor Business Media and the Firehouse Expo event team created Firehouse Expo Direct, which will be a multifaceted virtual event experience that will feature top instructors in the fire service, who will lead webinars and panel discussions to exchange information and share ideas.

Firehouse Expo Direct will be held Dec. 8–9. Firehouse Expo 2021 will be held Sept. 14–18, 2021, in Columbus, OH.

For more information, visit

IABPFF Announces First Female President

The International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters (IABPFF) named Carrie Edwards-Clemons as its new president. She is the first woman to hold that position. She joined the IABPFF in 2000 and since then has served as executive vice president, recording secretary and North Central Region Director.

Edwards-Clemons has more than 21 years in the fire service. She moved up the ranks of the Flint, MI, Fire Department, ultimately to become the first woman to hold the rank of deputy fire chief in the department’s history. She also is the grant writer for the department and secured SAFER Grants, Assistance to Firefighter Grants and Community Development Block Grants in excess of $20 million throughout her career.

For more information, visit

Nomination Period Open for Annual EVT Award

Firehouse, in partnership with the Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FDSOA), is encouraging chief officers to submit their nomination for the 2020 Emergency Vehicle Technician of the Year award. The award will be given to one emergency vehicle technician (EVT) to recognize his or her outstanding efforts to promote a high standard of excellence in quality and safety in emergency vehicles.

The award selection criteria will emphasize leadership, professional development, integrity, and a commitment to the safe operation of emergency vehicles for the responders and the community. The award places special emphasis on accomplishments made over the last five years. A select panel of judges will review all of the nominations and jointly select the winner. The deadline for nominations is Nov. 13.

The 2020 Emergency Vehicle Technician of the Year award is sponsored by Spartan Motors and will be presented to the winner in early 2021. For eligibility requirements and nominating instructions, visit

Dräger Ramps Up N95 Mask Production

Dräger opened a new production facility in Montgomeryville, PA, that will manufacture and distribute N95 respiratory protection masks. The 45,660-square-foot facility started mass production of National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)-approved N95 respiratory protection masks for frontline workers. Additionally, the facility will support Dräger’s recently announced contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to produce N95 masks in the fight against COVID-19.

For more information, visit

REV Group in Partnership to Fight COVID in Apparatus

REV Group entered into a partnership with United Safety & Survivability Corporation (USSC) to provide an active air filtration system in fire apparatus that uses UV light and photohydroionization technology to neutralize airborne pollutants, such as bacteria, mold and viruses, including COVID-19. The unit is a stand-alone device that can be mounted in the cab of the apparatus and runs off of the 12-volt wiring. The unit also can be retrofitted into completed apparatus.

“When the COVID pandemic first hit, we knew we were going to have to take some kind of action to keep our first responders as safe as possible,” Mike Virnig, who is vice president of sales for REV Fire Group, said. “We searched for a partner that had the technology to attack this new threat, and we found that in USSC. We are proud to raise the bar on the clean cab initiative and take this next step in protecting those who protect us.”

For more information, visit

Firefighters, PPE and COVID

A report from ESO, which produces data and software for EMS, fire departments and hospitals, indicates a couple of causes for concern for firefighters in the vein of PPE usage.

The “2020 ESO EMS Index: COVID-19 Special Edition” derives from data from at least 2,000 U.S. EMS agencies. Among the findings: a lack of documentation of appropriate PPE usage in conjunction with up to 20 percent of patients who were documented to have COVID-19 at a receiving hospital.

Bill Gardner, who is ESO’s senior director for fire products, tells Firehouse that this underscores the importance for fire agencies to be informed by EMS providers and hospitals on exposure to COVID infections.

Gardner adds that the findings might warrant a discussion about whether firefighters have the necessary tools to safely screen for fever and oxygen saturation to risk-stratify their encounters.

For more, see

Line-of-Duty Deaths

9 U.S. firefighters recently died in the line of duty. Five firefighters died from health-related issues, three died from COVID-19 and one firefighter died while attempting a water rescue. This issue of Firehouse is dedicated to these firefighters. For the latest on COVID-19-related LODDs, visit

AIR BASE MANAGER/WILDLAND FIREFIGHTER ERIC R. ELLIS, 45, of the Salmon Air Base, Salmon-Challis National Forest in Salmon, ID, died on May 21. Ellis complained of left arm numbness during mandated physical fitness training on May 15. The day after the incident, he was hospitalized to treat a heart condition. He died several days later of an apparent heart attack.

FIREFIGHTER III/PARAMEDIC JOSE M. PEREZ, 44, of the Los Angeles City Fire Department, died on July 25. Perez contracted COVID-19 as a result of numerous exposures from positive COVID-19 patients during the course of his official duty. He died from complications related to the virus.

FIREFIGHTER ANTHONY “TONY” CRAIG CHRISTENSEN, 55, of the City of Naples, FL, Fire-Rescue, died on Aug. 4. Firefighters from the department responded to a medical emergency at a nursing home.  The patient exhibited symptoms of COVID-19 and results were received the next day that showed that the patient was positive for the virus. Christensen didn’t respond to this call, but he was in direct contact with fellow firefighters who were exposed to the virus from the nursing home. He subsequently contracted COVID-19 and died one week later.

FIRE EQUIPMENT OPERATOR ERIC HAYASHI, 49, of the Hawaii Fire Department, died on Aug. 8. Hayashi responded to an EMS call at a residence and experienced a medical emergency while on scene. He was taken to the Hilo Medical Center, where he died a short time later from an apparent heart attack.

FIRE ENGINEER PETER HEIN, 61, of the Big Pine, CA, Volunteer Fire Department, died on Aug. 11. Hein was working with the U.S. Forest Service at the Stagecoach Wildfire in Kern County when he suffered a medical emergency and was transported to the hospital. He died from an apparent heart attack.

CAPT. BRYANT ANDERSON, 45, of the City of Converse, TX, Fire Department, died on Aug. 18. During his official tour of duty on July 17, Anderson came into contact with personnel who were treating patients who were COVID-19 positive and exhibited COVID-19 symptoms. Anderson remained at home for several days attempting to recover, but his condition worsened until he was transported by ambulance to a local hospital. He was treated in the intensive care unit for several weeks, until being placed on a ventilator. He died from complications related to the virus.

CAPT. JOSEPH LIEDEL, 48, of the Monroe Charter Township, MI, Fire Department, died on Aug. 23. While in the process of responding to a medical call on July 31, Liedel left his residence to get into his vehicle when he collapsed. He was rushed to the ProMedica Monroe Regional Hospital and then flown to ProMedica Toledo Hospital for further care. He died from a cerebrovascular accident.

FIREFIGHTER/FIRST RESPONDER BRIAN STEPHEN SMITH, 56, of the St. George Island, FL, Volunteer Fire Department, died on Aug. 25. Smith and other fire department personnel responded to a call of a water rescue. Smith went into the water to attempt the rescue but got swept up by the current. He was rescued from the water and taken to George E. Weems Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced deceased.

FIREFIGHTER DAVID CLOSS, 67, of Avis, PA, Fire Company #1, died on Aug. 23. Closs and other firefighters from his company responded to a residential structure fire on Aug. 17. Closs was working scene safety a short distance away from the actual structure fire when he suffered a medical emergency and was taken to the local hospital. He died a week later from an apparent heart attack.

Voice Your Opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Firehouse, create an account today!