Vector Solutions Safety and Well-Being Trainings
Five complementary online courses for members of the fire service are among 26 Vector Cares trainings that Vector Solutions launched. Two of the five courses are in the realm of community safety (“Human Trafficking Basics for First Responders” and “Opioid Overdose Response Awareness”), and three are mental health-oriented (“Mental Health for First Responders,” “PTSD in the Fire Industry” and “Health and Wellness in Public Safety”). The modules include interactive exercises to measure and ensure full understanding of critical information, to enable members to make safer, smarter and better decisions.
The program also includes courses for law enforcement and the education and commercial sectors.
USFA to Launch Fire Information and Analytics Platform
The new National Emergency Response Information System (NERIS) will replace the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS). The goal of the secure, cloud-hosted NERIS platform, which is being carried out as a partnership between the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, will be to equip local fire and emergency services communities with near-real-time information and analytic tools that support data-informed decision-making. The capabilities for documenting and introducing community risk reduction efforts, associated resilience and mitigation efforts will provide “greater insights into vulnerability gaps where resources can be used to harden communities and minimize future emergency and disaster events,” USFA Fire Administrator Dr. Lori Moore-Merrell said.
Women in Fire/NVFC Discrimination Toolkit
To help departments to protect members by adopting proactive measures to prevent, identify and respond to discrimination, harassment and retaliation, Women in Fire and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) released the “Fire Service Discrimination & Harassment Toolkit.” It’s designed to fill the gaps in understanding for members who might not know what qualifies as harassment and discrimination or what to do if they or someone who they know is the target of these actions. The toolkit was developed in consultation with an attorney who specializes in the issues, but the organizations stress that it doesn’t replace legal advice, and individuals who experience discrimination or harassment are encouraged to contact an attorney for advisement.
Online FSRI Search and Rescue Tactics Training
UL’s Fire Safety Research Institute’s (FSRI) new “Search and Rescue Tactics in Single-Family Single-Story Residential Structures” online course shares tactical considerations to minimize occupant and firefighter exposures during search and rescue operations in single-family, single-story residential structures. Those who complete the course will be able to: identify how isolation affects firefighter and occupant survivability during search and rescue operations; understand how timing of suppression affects these operations and firefighter and occupant survivability; and how these operations might be influenced by differing occupant removal situations.
4 U.S. firefighters died in the line of duty. One died en route to an EMS call, one died from injuries that were sustained when he was struck by a fire apparatus on scene of a traffic incident, one suffered a medical emergency on the fireground and one died from a medical emergency after wildfire operations. This issue of Firehouse is dedicated to these firefighters.
Firefighter Horace Daniel “Dan” Wright, 71, of the Abbott, TX, Volunteer Fire Department, died on April 14. Wright responded with fellow members to a motor vehicle accident that was reported on Interstate Highway 35. Once personnel were on scene, members found a vehicle that was stranded, not a vehicle(s) that had been in accident. Members decided to stay on scene for traffic control until the wrecker arrived to remove the stranded vehicle. As firefighters repositioned the apparatus, Wright, who was assisting with the repositioning, fell. He was struck by the apparatus. He immediately received emergency medical care. He was flown to Baylor Scott & White Health medical center, where he died.
Firefighter Fred Fedeler, 67, of the Chester, SD, Volunteer Fire Department, died on April 22. Fedeler was on scene of a hog containment structure fire when he suffered a medical emergency. He was treated immediately by fellow members who also were on scene, including the initiation of CPR, and then rushed to Madison Regional Health System medical center. He died a short time later from an apparent heart attack.
Deputy Chief Chester Taylor Lauck, 66, of the Frederick County, VA, Fire and Rescue Department, died on April 23. On April 21, Lauck responded with other members to a wildland fire that burned several acres of brush and woods in Gore, VA, and lasted approximately seven hours. After arriving home, he began to feel ill, and 9-1-1 immediately was called. He was transported to a heart specialty center, where he was treated. During this time, Lauck suffered multiple heart attacks, and he was put on life support. After additional diagnostic testing, the family decided to stop all life support. Lauck’s firefighting and public safety career spanned 40 years.
Capt. Roy Sewell Jr., 27, of the North Tazewell Volunteer Fire Department in Tazewell, TN, died on April 24. Sewell was responding to an EMS call that involved a child who was injured in an ATV accident in Claiborne County. While en route to the scene to set up a landing zone for a LifeStar helicopter to pick up the injured child, the apparatus that he was driving left the roadway and rolled down a steep embankment. He was declared dead on scene.