For the Record 5/23

May 8, 2023
The Colorado Springs, CO, Fire Department is the 2023 Excellence in Fire Service-Based EMS Award recipient.

CFSI Honorees

The Colorado Springs, CO, Fire Department (CSFD) is the 2023 Excellence in Fire Service-Based EMS Award recipient. The recognition results from the department’s development of a multitiered response program that dispatches resources and personnel based on the needs of the patient. The honor was bestowed on the CSFD by the Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI) and medical technology company Masimo.

The CFSI and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation awarded the 2023 Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes Fire Service Safety Leadership Award to the Greater Tucson Fire Foundation (GTFF). Among the Foundation’s achievements: its three targeted programs (health and wellness, mental health and cancer screening) and the fact that the GTFF covers the cost of the program for firefighters. State Farm Insurance and VFIS are the corporate supporters of the award program.

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Volunteer Fire Officer Training

The redesign of the volunteer fire officer training course from the University of Kansas’ Center for Certification & Competency-Based Education and its Kansas Fire & Rescue Training Institute makes the course more accessible to volunteer firefighters in the state. The redesigned course now is remote and takes place over eight weeks, with classes held one evening per week. Previously, those who wanted to attend the course had to travel to Lawrence, KS, and stay five days. Assessments are more interactive than they were and now allow students to work as a team and problem-solve together.

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NVFC/MSA Helmet Giveaway

The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) and MSA randomly will award three NVFC members a Cairns XF1 fire helmet in 2023. The helmet will be personalized to fit each recipient. It includes an integrated light module, and its soft goods are removable, washable and replaceable, which helps firefighters to align with awareness programs as written by the Firefighter Cancer Support Network.
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2023 ESO EMS Index

2023 ESO EMS Index

The 2023 version of ESO’s annual EMS Index includes two new facets. Unlike previously when measurement only assessed whether a stroke assessment was carried out, the 2023 index’s stroke assessments are linked with hospital outcomes. Pediatric respiratory assessment also was added. This is important, because respiratory distress is a common reason for EMS encounters in children.

The company also released its 2023 Fire Service Index.

Go to for a video about the latest EMS index.

Smart Culture Award to Fire-Dex

PPE manufacturer Fire-Dex is a recipient of a 2023 Smart Culture Award. The award honors organizations that demonstrate cutting-edge practices that allow culture to drive performance, make the organization an employer-of-choice and positively affect the bottom line. The recognition marks the third time that the company received the award. 

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Support for Tornado-Ravaged Communities

Darley, Sunbelt Fire and Turtle Plastics delivered 23 pallets of Darley Safe Water Boxes (5,000 gallons total) to the United Way in Vicksburg, MS, to help in the aftermath of devastating tornadoes that swept through western and central Mississippi on March 24, 2023.
“Helping those in need is a core value in our company,” Paul Darley, who is CEO, president and chairman of Darley, said in a press release. “We are grateful to have trusted partners, like Turtle Plastics, Sunbelt Fire and United Way, to help get safe water to those in need across Mississippi.”

Alaska Deploys Sonar for Search and Rescue

The Alaska Department of Public Safety, which primarily comprises the Alaska State Troopers and the Alaska Wildlife Troopers, added to its search and rescue departments with the purchase of a dual-frequency side scan sonar system from JW Fishers Mfg. The equipment can be deployed from a small vessel and operated by one person if needed. The so-called towfish component of the system is towed behind the vessel at slow speeds in an effort to paint a picture of the bottom of the body of water that’s searched. It allows teams to search large areas quickly without putting a diver’s life at risk.
The main dual-frequency side scan sonar systems that the company offers are the single-frequency 600 kHz configuration and a new 450/900 kHz model that utilizes compressed high-intensity radiated pulse, or CHIRP, technology.
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Line-of-Duty Deaths

10 U.S. firefighters died in the line of duty. Two died during fireground operations, two died after suffering a medical emergency at a training exercise, two died from a health-related incident, one died en route to a fire, one died from injuries that were sustained when he was struck by a moving vehicle on scene of a traffic incident, one died during wildfire operations and one died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. This issue of Firehouse is dedicated to these firefighters.

Second Assistant Chief Steve “Bullwinkle” Haskin Harris, 56, of the Fort Johnson, NY, Volunteer Fire Company, died on Feb. 13. On Feb. 12, Harris experienced shortness of breath while he geared up to respond as mutual aid for a structure fire. He and another firefighter left Station 2 in Engine 4, with Harris as the passenger. Harris’ condition quickly deteriorated. The other firefighter pulled into Station 1. Harris was transported immediately to the hospital. Shortly after, he went into cardiac arrest. Hospital staff got his heartbeat back. Harris was in critical but stable condition when he was flown to Albany Medical Center the next morning. Harris died soon after.

Engineer/EMT William “Bill” Fore, 38, of the Brady, TX, Fire/EMS Department, died on March 9. On March 8, Fore was on duty at the station. He missed roll call at 7:45 a.m. Members found him severely injured from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was transported immediately to the Shannon Medical Center in San Angelo, TX, where he died the next day.

Firefighter Matthew Brian Smith, 41, of Bartow County Fire & Emergency Services in Cartersville, GA, died on March 21. On March 16, Smith became unresponsive during a search and rescue training exercise. He quickly was removed from the training to begin resuscitation efforts. Smith was transported to Piedmont Cartersville Medical Center. He did regain cardiac function and was placed on life support. He died six days later. The cause of death wasn’t determined as of press time.

Chief Minton “Butch” Beach, 68, of the Oak City, NC, Volunteer Fire Department, died on March 22. On March 13, Beach attended mandated training at the station. During training, he felt ill and returned home. Members checked on him later, and he still was feeling ill. Beach was transported to the hospital, where he remained until he died on March 22 from an apparent heart attack.

Firefighter Jeff Pfeiffer, 66, of the Deptford, NJ, Fire Department, died on March 23. Pfeiffer responded to a smoke investigation, but no fire or smoke was found. On the return to the station, he began to cough. At the station, the coughing became more aggressive, and Pfeiffer began to experience shortness of breath. He suffered a heart attack and became unresponsive. Pfeiffer was transported immediately to the hospital, where he remained in critical condition. On March 24, there was no sign of brain activity. His family decided to discontinue life support. Pfeiffer was the past chief of the department.

Firefighter Edward “Eddie” Hykel, 60, of the West, TX, Fire Department, died on March 28. Hykel and other members of the department were providing traffic control on Interstate 35 at the scene of a vehicle on fire. The inside lane was shut down with traffic control devices, a fire truck and two troopers’ vehicles. A semitrailer that was traveling on the inside lane struck Hykel, the fire truck and the troopers vehicles. Hykel was transported immediately to the hospital, where he died a short time later.

Firefighter/EMT Jermaine Pelt, 49, of the Chicago Fire Department (CFD), died on April 4. The CFD responded to a residential fire. During the fire attack, a mayday was called. Ten minutes later, Pelt was located at his hoseline. He was transported immediately to the hospital, where he died a short time later.

Lt. Jan Tchoryk, 55, of the Chicago Fire Department, died on April 5. Tchoryk responded to a fire at a high-rise building. While heading down the stairway from the fire floor, he collapsed. He was treated immediately by crew on scene and then transported to the hospital, where he died a short time later from a heart attack.

Anthony “Tony” Cornelius Duivenvoorde, 62, of the Sussex, NJ, Fire Department, died on April 12. Duivenvoorde responded to two calls; the second was a fire at a diner. After extinguishment, he returned to the station and then went home. That evening, Duivenvoorde was found dead from an apparent heart attack.

Cody Mullens, 28, of the West Virginia Division of Forestry, died on April 13. Mullens was fighting a forest fire in Fayette County when a tree fell on him. He was killed instantly.

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