FIREFIGHTER SAFETY IN WARMER WEATHER
By Scott Eskwitt
As we come into the spring months, it’s a good time to review some Lexipol policies relevant to the changing weather and firefighter safety conditions. The changing weather conditions create special issues impacting operations, personnel performance and firehouse safety. Additionally, remember your equipment needs specific attention both at the scene and back at the station.
Following are some policy areas to review with your crew in advance of responses that come with warmer weather conditions. Understanding their application will enhance firefighter safety and improve fire operations.
General Operations Incident Management: As the weather begins to warm, consider planning for personnel to establish and staff a Rehab Division upon arrival to a scene where investigation or operations may continue for longer than 30 minutes.
Emergency Response: Drivers should be aware of the potential for rapidly changing road conditions, including bridges freezing before roads, melting snow or freezing rain. The area around the station may be dry, but road conditions can change en route. Set engine retarders and traction controls according to department policy and as conditions dictate.
Swiftwater Rescue and Flood Search and Rescue Responses: With runoff from winter snowpack, local waterways may flow at a higher level and faster rate than normal, catching pedestrians and motorists off guard. Personnel should be reminded to wear appropriate PPE, including personal flotation devices. Only personnel trained for water search and rescue should participate in these operations.
Wildland Firefighting: Dry conditions already exist in many areas of the country and other areas are drying quickly. Refresher training on wildland fire tactics and response should be given to personnel.
Staging: When possible, avoid staging over running water from melting snow or ice. Consider staging away from surrounding conditions that could cause other vehicles to lose control or create unsafe conditions for personnel or apparatus.
Training Wildland Fire Shelter Deployment: Fire shelter deployment training should be provided for all personnel who respond to wildland fire incidents. A review of National Wildfire Coordinating Group pamphlet #2710 “The New Generation Fire Shelter” as well as practical exercises should be included.
This informative article is provided by our strategic partner Lexipol.
It is with great sorrow and sadness that we announce the passing of one of our beloved members of the IAFC, former President and past Secretary/Treasurer of the Southwestern Division Fire Chief Ray Clark. Chief Clark held the position as Secretary/Treasurer for over 30 years. Within this time, he saw many changes to the IAFC and the Division. He had a very deep love and respect for the IAFC and his fellow members. He wanted to see the Division grow and flourish. Although Chief Clark’s loss will certainly be felt by the many friends and loved ones he had across the country, the legacy he has left behind in the amerian fire service has indeed made an last impression for this and future generations of fire service leaders.
Mr. Clark passed away May 14, 2018. Ray had many titles throughout his life including Boat Captain, Electrical Engineer, Square Dance Caller, Volunteer Fire Chief, Jack-of-all Trades and Pastor. He was best known as a husband, father, brother-in-law, gran-daddy and great gran-daddy. Ray worked at Sandia National Labs for 30 years. Ray was active in the Bernalillo County Fire Department and Fire District #6, International Association of Fire Chiefs, United Methodist Church, Disciples of Christ Church and NM Shriners’. He is survived by wife his of 56 years, Beth; his daughter, Bett Clark (Chrissie Gerding); daughter, Rebecca Jee (Chuck); grandson, Raymond Jee (Clara); granddaughter, Monique Jee (Chris Chavez); great grandchildren, Aiden and Adele Jee; and special friends, Troy and Marsha Humble, and Lorenzo and Jen Abrahm.
He was our rock and the wisest man any of us ever knew. The most important lesson he ever taught us was to love everyone unconditionally whether a random couple in a restaurant or stranger walking down the street and he showed compassion for everyone. Ray believed in working hard and putting your heart and soul into everything you do. He always said to leave room for dessert and taught his grandkids that it was OK to eat ice cream first. We will always cherish the plethora of memories we have of him and hope his friends will do the same. The family wishes to give deep and heartfelt thanks to the staff of Kaseman Hospice who assisted in the transition of his life with loving care, support and hugs.
Ray has been cremated and all are invited to his Celebration of Life to be held on Saturday, June 9, 2018, 2:00 p.m. at Los Altos Christian Church, 11900 Haines Street NE. Ray gave generously to the community and were great supporters of Shriner’s Medical, Shriner’s Hospital for Children and Veterans Integration Services, Albuquerque, NM. Memorial donations may be made to those charities or the charity of your choice.
It is with great sadness to inform you of the passing of Retired Fire Chief William Ray Jacks. Chief Jacks served the City of Pine Bluff for total of 49 ½ years beginning September 1, 1949, during that tenure he was promoted to Fire Chief August 22, 1972, serving for 26 ½ years before retiring March 7, 1999. Chief Jacks was 90 Years old at the time of his passing. In addition to service as the Fire Chief for 26-1/2 years, Chief Jacks also served as Past President of the IAFC and Past Division President.
Pine Bluff Fire and Emergency Services would like to thank him for his dedicated and committed servers to Pine Bluff Fire and Emergency Services and the Fire Service throughout the State of Arkansas and the nation.
Our prayers go out to him and his family. Gone but not forgotten.
To leave comments or words of encouragement to the many family and friends of Chief Jacks, please follow the link below