Southwestern Fire Chiefs Association

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Firefighter safety in warmer weather

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.

Strategic Partner 2018

 

Passing of former President of IAFC-Southwestern Division

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.

Passing of former IAFC President and Division President

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

http://www.ralphrobinsonandson.com/obituaries/Ray-Jacks/

Shedding light on firefighter PTSD

This article is provided by Lexipol

By Sean W. Stumbaugh, Battalion Chief (Retired)

When I was a supervisor in the fire department, my crews had a nickname for me: The Red Man. I embraced the moniker to some degree and I would joke with them, “Don’t make me take out the Red Man.” This was a term of endearment (at least that’s what I liked to believe) in many cases, but I knew it was born from numerous times that I led with anger. In hindsight this is not a great way to lead.

So, what was really going on here? I hadn’t been brought up in some military academy where I learned to be a drill sergeant when things didn’t go my way. Was there something else at work? Something I couldn’t really put my finger on? After retirement, I realized some of this behavior was born out of stress I was feeling, at work and at home.

I was confident retirement would fix this issue and my life would be a breeze. I soon found out that retirement was something I wasn’t fully prepared for. I went through a two-year transition that was more difficult than being at work. Fortunately, I had some support mechanisms that helped see me through

This experience made me want to know more about the stress we face as firefighters. So I reached out to an expert in the field, Jeff Dill, founder and CEO of Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance (FBHA). In this article, I’ll share some insights Jeff opened my eyes to, with the hopes that they might be eyeopening for you, too. And in my next article, I’ll share three steps all fire service professionals can take to combat the negative effects of work-related stress.

1,100 and Counting One of my goals when I was a training chief was to design training programs that reduced the risk of line-of-duty deaths (LODDs) by targeting the root causes of LODDs. We commonly use the number 100 to explain how many of us die on the job each year. This number is an average, and the actual figure fluctuates, but unfortunately the deviation is small.

Jeff Dill stresses an entirely different number: 1,102—the number of confirmed firefighter and EMS suicides he has validated since he began studying the issue. “These are not merely numbers, they are the names and faces of brothers and sisters who have left us behind,” Jeff says. “That’s always been our message at the FBHA. We never want to forget them.” Jeff now dedicates his professional life to helping reduce this growing number.

Call It By Name So, what is it we are struggling with? We can—and should—call it Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) or PostTraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). We’re hardly alone in being at risk for PTS; military personnel, police officers and other first responders face it too—not to mention anyone who experiences a traumatic experience, such as being assaulted or witnessing death or abuse.

Learn more about how Lexipol can protect your most valuable asset…your people!

lexipol

IAFC-SW Division Strategic Partner

IAFC Director Roy Robichaux

Chief Roy Robichaux has been involved with the IAFC for nearly 40 years.  His contribution to the fire service and the IAFC has been a vital part of the growth of the organization as well as his knowledge and experience has been to expertise of the Louisiana fire service.

Robichaux

Chief Roy Robichaux has been with the Belle Chasse Volunteer Fire Department since he began as a volunteer in 1972. He worked his way up through the ranks within the department, becoming the fire chief in 1978. The Belle Chasse Volunteer Fire Department covers approximately 27 square miles of Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana and is located on the west bank of the Mississippi River south of New Orleans. Since 1978, the department has grown from a one-station, total volunteer department to a combination department with five stations.

Chief Robichaux earned a bachelor of science degree in Engineering Technology from Nicholls State University, Thibodaux, LA. He has completed several classes offered by the National Fire Academy including Community Fire Protection Planning, Commanding the Initial Response, and Fire Fighter Safety and Survival. In 2010, Chief Robichaux retired from ConocoPhillips where he was the fire chief and emergency response superintendent at the Alliance Refinery for 23 years. He currently serves as Superintendent of Fire Departments for Plaquemines Parish Government. As superintendent, he oversees the parish’s seven fire departments. One of his many accomplishments during his tenure is having assisted each department in transitioning from total volunteer to combination departments.

Chief Robichaux joined the IAFC in 1978 and currently serves as Southwestern Division International Director on the IAFC Board of Directors after serving as division president, division secretary-treasurer and division state (LA) vice-president. He has belonged to several IAFC sections and has agreed to serve as a board advocate to the Industrial and Fire Safety Section.

Chief Robichaux is active in many fire service organizations, including the Louisiana Fire Chiefs’ Association, the Louisiana State Firemen’s Association, the Louisiana Fireman’s Supplemental Pay Board, and the Plaquemines Parish Emergency Planning Committee.

Additionally, Chief Robichaux served as an adjunct instructor at LSU Industrial Fire Chief’s School, University of Nevada Fire Protection Training Academy, and at Williams Foam School.

 

 

Arkansas VP Chief Dayringer

Chief Dayringer joined the IAFC Southwestern Board of Director’s in 2015 to replace 1st Vice President Shauwn Howell.  He is currently residing in Fayetteville, AR and an Oklahoma native.  Chief Dayringer is an intregal part of the SW community.

Dayringer

David Dayringer has served as Fayetteville Fire Chief since January 2010.  He previously served as Deputy Chief for the Tulsa Fire Department, where he worked for 28 years.

Dayringer received an Associate of Science degree from Tulsa Community College in Fire Protection Technology and received a Bachelor’s of Science in Industrial Operations Management from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. He is also a graduate of the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer Program and a Chief Fire Officer Designate from the Commission on Professional Credentialing.  He is a Member in the Institution of Fire Engineers and is a National Registry Emergency Medical Technician.

Visit the Fayetteville Fire Department on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/FYVFIRE/

 

 

A Word from President Parr

Parr

It is an honor and a privilege to serve as your president during 2018.  I look forward to continuing to build on the progress and momentum of the previous presidents and leadership of the division.

As we move into 2018, the fire service continues to be challenged to be more efficient and effective in the use of our customers’ (taxpayers’) funds.  This is not a localized issue but one that is evident across the country, including the five states that comprise the Southwest Division.  This is occurring at the same time that our country and our region is experiencing the most costly series of wide spread disaster level incidents in the country’s history.  The numerous hurricanes and flooding experienced along the Gulf and Atlantic Coasts and Puerto Rico and the wildfires in the western states have resulted in devastation of homes, commercial properties and public safety assets.  This will compound the physical effects of these incidents by lowering the values of or removing properties from the tax rolls putting further pressure on local government funding streams.

These storms have brought out what is good and honorable in our profession as departments from across the country have donated significant resources into the affected areas.  A significant number of good, serviceable apparatus have been donated into the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast region from several departments across the country, allowing for smaller cities such as Rockport, Texas to return to providing service to their communities.

The focus of the Southwest Division during the next year is to expand its leadership course offerings throughout the division’s five-state area.  In doing so, the goal is to bring relevant and timely discussion topics to the attendees at each venue and do so at an affordable price point to encourage attendance.

 

I look forward to this year and hope to see you at one of the conferences or meetings being scheduled.

 

Chief Randall Parr, Fire Chief

Tomball Fire Department

President- IAFC- SW Division 2017-2018

Louisiana State Vice President Roberson

Assistant Chief Chad Roberson took the oath of office on October 7, 2017 to represent the state of Louisiana on the IAFC-Southwestern Division. Before joining our board, he has been heavily involved with the IAFC by volunteering his time on various committees within the organization.

Chief Chad Roberson is a 29-year veteran and assistant fire chief for the St. George Fire Protection District in East Baton Rouge Parish. Roberson has a master’s degree in Executive Fire Service Leadership from Grand Canyon University as well as a bachelor’s degree in history from Louisiana State University (LSU) and an associate degree in fire science from Louisiana State University Eunice (LSUE). Roberson graduated from the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer (EFO) Program, the International Association of Fire Chiefs Fire Service Executive Development Institute (FSEDI) program and has been awarded the Certified Fire Officer (CFO) designation from the Commission on Professional Credentialing. Roberson currently serves on the Emergency Management Committee for the International Association of Fire Chiefs and is a current executive board member of the Louisiana Fire Chiefs Foundation and the Louisiana Municipal Association. He is also currently serving as President of the Louisiana Fire Chiefs Association

 

1st Vice President Howell

The 2017-2018 Board of Directors didn’t waste any time in continueing the work by the previous board of directors.  Led by President Randy Parr, he is being assisted by the 1st Vice President Shauwn D. Howell.

Fire Chief Howell is currently the Fire Chief of Pine Bluff Fire Department in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.

Chief Howell was promoted to Fire Chief on December 30, 2011. Before the appointment he served as the interim chief for 7 months.

Howell is a graduate of Dollarway High School, has a bachelor’s degree in industrial technology from the University of Central Arkansas and an associate’s degree in fire science from Southeast Arkansas College. Howell has worked for the department for 12 years, serving as a firefighter, engineer, lieutenant, training director, public information officer, deputy fire chief and interim fire chief. Howell has been deputy fire chief since 2010. Howell has served in a supervision position with the department for six years. He worked part-time as an adjunct instructor for the Arkansas Fire Academy in Camden from 2007 to 2009.

His training credentials are as follows:

B.S. Industrial Technology
AAS Fire Science
EMT-National Registered-NREMT
Firefighter 1 – 2 – IFSAC
Company Officer 1 – 2 – IFSAC
Instructor 1 – IFSAC
Arkansas Fire Academy Instructor

To learn more about Chief Howell please visit his page with Pine Bluff Fire Department

http://pineblufffire.com/members.html?id=2106

 

 

Meet our 2nd Vice President

Chief Robert Benoit of Lafayette, LA was elected as the 2nd Vice President by the members at the annual business meeting which took place on October 7 in Houston, TX.

The role of the 2nd Vice President is to assist the President and First Vice President of the Division.  In the absence or inability of the President and First Vice President shall assume all duties of the President. He shall also be the Chairman of the Membership Activities of the Association.


Chief Benoit began his career in 1979 when he entered rookie class for the Lafayette Fire Department.  He rose up the ranks in Lafayette with numerous positions.  He was appointed the Fire Chief in 1993 and remains in that position today. During his tenure with LFD he served as an adjunct instructor for LSU-Eunice from 1992-2000.

Chief Benoit has been a member of the IAFC since many years.  He has also served many positions on various committees representing the Southwestern  the IAFC Constitution and By-Laws Committee.

We welcome Chief Benoit to the Executive Committee of the Southwestern Division. He brings with him many years in education and training and will be beneficial to the mission of the Southwestern Division of the IAFC.

Chief Benoit will host the 2019 Executive Leadership Conference in his home town of Lafayette, LA.  He currently is also on the Education/ Conference Planning Committee.

 

Benoit

Chief Benoit- 2nd VP 2017-2018

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