WIN $5,000.00 Worth of Equipment!

FEMSA LogoFAMAFEMSA/FAMA is at it again.  They want you to win $5,000.00 worth of equipment (plus an iPad) for your department!  They are running the 2015 FEMSA/FAMA State of the Fire Service Survey on the Economy for several weeks.  This is their 12th ANNUAL endeavor to collect valuable insight about how end-user customers assess needs and pursue grant funding.

If you are a firefighter, department officer, emergency medical provider or a department director, all you have to do is take a survey, nothing more.  This automatically enters you in for the chance to win an iPad and $5,000.00 worth of equipment!

Either of these links will get your there:  OR 

Thank you for assisting in this valuable effort and GOOD LUCK!


Find the Firefighter in YOU!



The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) has launched the department portal component of the “Make Me A Firefighter” campaign aimed to help departments recruit the next generation of volunteer first responders. The NVFC, with support from a SAFER grant, has invested in the development of this research-driven recruitment and retention campaign designed to reach a broader audience of interested individuals.

“Recruitment is a challenge for many volunteer and combination departments across the country,” said NVFC Chairman Kevin D. Quinn. “Yet our research shows that 44 percent of millennials are interested in volunteering with their local department. Many simply don’t know the need for volunteers exists. The Make Me a Firefighter campaign will help build awareness among the public as well as provide departments with the tools and resources they need to recruit to this and other target audiences.”

The online fire department portal is designed to help fire departments every step of the way in their recruitment and retention efforts and it’s completely free for departments to participate. It is very important that departments register for the campaign NOW at and post their volunteer opportunities.  This enables those departments to be ready when the public site launches August 1, 2015.

To learn more about the Make Me a Firefighter campaign and the department portal, view this video, and share it with others facing recruitment challenges: 

AND, don’t forget to register with the recruitment campaign and post your opportunities now at

Know Your Fire Fighting Nozzle!







Can you identify the most common firefighting nozzles produced today? What are they?

  1. Automatic Nozzles
  2. Fixed Flow Nozzles
  3. Smooth Bore Nozzles
  4. Selectable Flow Nozzles

Now….do you know the benefits and limitations of each device? Even if your department uses one specific type of firefighting nozzle, it’s good to know what’s out there and what you could possibly run across.

  • Automatic Fire Nozzles
    Pros: self-adjust to provide quality stream and reach, regardless of GPM flowing.
    Cons: can furnish a great stream and reach, though perhaps not flowing ample water
  • Fixed Flow Fire Nozzles
    Pros: fixed GPM and Nozzle Pressure; pre-determined by department
    Cons: can have poor stream and reach at low pressures
  • Smooth Bore Fire Nozzles
    Pros: high GPM flows at low Nozzle Pressure
    Cons: can lead to firefighting hose kinking
  • Selectable Flow Fire Nozzles
    Pros: nozzle person can “select” the flow rate desired
    Cons: GPM selection indicator can be set at incorrect GPM

Regardless of the fire nozzle that is being used, it is absolutely imperative to familiarize yourself with how it works and its limitations! Train with it…Flow it…Then… train with it some more!

Familiarizing yourself with the benefits and limitations of all types of firefighting nozzles will improve safety, reduce risk and equip you to assist in determining the most suitable fire rescue tool for your department, allowing you to get the wet stuff on the red stuff effectively.

Shelby Glove is Flex-Tuff!

ShelbyFlexTuffThe fire service is always looking for new and better preforming PPE. Shelby has answered the call:  the Shelby Flex-Tuff HS with Hybridshield for Extreme Fire Protection.

Shelby’s use of HybridShield® technology is combined with a Kevlar® Simplex® knit, a legacy fire resistant fabric. HybridShield® – Thermal Arrays are applied directly to the Kevlar® knit providing an innovative fire blocking interlayer that relays extreme fire protection to underlying materials.

The Flex-Tuff HS provides enhanced elasticity that improves hand flex and finger articulation delivering better user dexterity and comfort. This provides for extraordinary improvements in firefighting performance with minimal weight, negligible water absorption and improved impact protection.



Some key features of the Shelby Flex-Tuff HS glove:

  •  Proudly made in the U.S.A.
  • 3D liner and barrier system uses the next generation Crosstech Film Technology.
  • Thermal Protection Zones provide a second lightweight thermal protection system that relays 50% more protection than other barrier/thermal liner layups of equal or greater thickness.
  • Tapered trigger finger/index finger results in superior index finger dexterity.
  • Glove G-Block wrist blocking system prevents gloves from creeping during fire operations.

The innovation and advanced design of the Flex-Tuff HS increases safety while providing firefighters with a secure, comfortable and responsive fit in an NFPA 1971 certified glove. If you are looking for quality, comfort and safety, then look no further than the Shelby Flex-Tuff HS firefighting glove.

Shout Out to City of Scottsdale (AZ) Fire Department!



The Congressional Fire Services Institute and Masimo (NASDAQ: MASI) have honored three fire departments for best practices and innovative solutions in the delivery of emergency medical services with the Excellence in Fire Service-Based EMS Award. The award presentation took place on April 16th at the 27th Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner in Washington, D.C.

We’re very pleased to share that one of our customers was among the honorees:  City of Scottsdale (AZ) Fire Department.  Congratulations for your innovative practice of establishing an alternate care site at large events to take care of patients in need of medical attention.

The three fire departments to receive the 2015 Excellence in Fire Service-Based EMS Awards were:

  • Caribou (ME) Fire and Ambulance Department: Improvements in staffing to provide better emergency medical care to patients, and enhanced rehab protocols to insure the health and wellbeing of responding personnel.
  • County of Henrico (VA) Division of Fire: Cooperative relationships with the U.S. Military and Department of Defense that have enabled the agency to gain access to equipment and training used by the military to treat soldiers in combat. Through these efforts, Henrico Fire has improved its trauma care.
  •  City of Scottsdale (AZ) Fire Department: Establishment of an alternate care site at large events to identify and treat alcohol intoxication so patients could be safely discharged to home and bypass the emergency department.

“CFSI takes great pride in co-sponsoring the Excellence in Fire Service-Based EMS Award with Masimo,” said CFSI President Bill Jenaway. “Through this program, we are able to recognize important innovations in fire service-based emergency medical care that other fire departments can adopt to enhance their own emergency medical care systems.”

Awesome Resource on Fire Safety

Don’t miss this great resource on fire safety: UL | New Science | Fire Safety

“For more than a century, UL has advanced Fire Safety with the goals of helping prevent fires, injury and loss of life and to minimize property damage. Advances in materials, design and construction techniques offer new benefits but also present new challenges and risks, making fire more dangerous today than in the past. UL continues to progress safety science across the increasingly complex Fire Safety ecosystem. We analyze field data and conduct live burn experiments to expand our understanding of fire behavior. We develop new firefighter tactics to help make firefighters safer and better prepared. We innovate computational modeling techniques to more extensively examine potential fire risks. And we study electrical fires to gain new insights about this growing hazard.”

Getting Engaged by Jesse Roman

Author, JESSE ROMAN, is staff writer for NFPA Journal.  Article first published in NFPA Journal May 1, 2015

Boosting fire service involvement in the codes + standards process.

MORE THAN 100 NFPA codes and standards affect firefighters—including the training they receive and the equipment they use—but the vast majority of fire service members do not participate in the code-development process. Many don’t even know they can.

To address that disconnect, NFPA has launched a campaign called “NFPA Standards in Action: Your Voice Matters.” Through a just-launched website, fire service members can quickly find and review public fire protection standards and see which ones are currently open for public input and comment. They can also leave feedback and comment on proposed changes.

As part of the initiative, NFPA will also work with the fire service to help members become more involved in the creation of these standards, which can have a significant impact on their day-to-day operations. “If one of NFPA’s standards has requirements that make firefighters’ jobs more challenging or doesn’t help them do their work in the most effective way, we want and need to know about it,” said Ken Willette, NFPA’s division manager of public fire protection.

At the moment, though, not enough of that feedback is taking place. A recent NFPA survey found that most firefighters either don’t know how to get involved in the standards-making process or don’t think their voices will be heard. According to the survey, 86 percent of respondents had never participated in NFPA’s codes and standards process. Meanwhile, 75 percent said they want to know more about how the process works, while 81 percent said they want to be notified on deadlines for input and comments.

Learn more about the NFPA codes and standards that relate to the fire service, as well as about how to get involved and provide input at the Standards in Action webpage.

The Exposure Factor by Ken Willette

Author, Ken Willette, division manager for Public Fire Protection at NFPA.  First printed in the NFPA Journal: First Responder

Firefighting, Hazardous Environments and NFPA Standards
I recently learned that, almost 40 years ago, hundreds of airport rescue firefighters may have been exposed to a toxic hazard as part of their training and response duties. Investigations had found that the aircraft used in this training had been part of a fleet that previously sprayed Agent Orange, a dioxin-based defoliant, during the Vietnam War, and that traces of the cancer-causing chemical remained in the airplanes.

The news was of interest to me, since I was one of those firefighters.

While our exposure was far less than that of the aircraft crews, we did frequent training and familiarizations in these planes, often with no personal protective equipment (PPE). We never decontaminated our PPE, and routinely washed our station uniforms at home with the family laundry. I thought of my fellow firefighters from this era of my career and how many of them have been lost to cancer.

I use the term “IDLH”—short for “immediately dangerous to life and health”—to describe the work environment firefighters operate in. The term conveys the potentially severe impact this environment could have on firefighters—cancer, respiratory afflictions, and other problems—if they do not protect themselves.

What they should protect themselves against varies depending upon whom you ask. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, for example, focuses on exposure to airborne contaminants that are “likely to cause death or immediate or delayed permanent adverse health effects or prevent escape from such an environment.” The Occupational Safety and Health Administration warns against situations that pose “an immediate threat to life, would cause irreversible adverse health effects, or would impair an individual’s ability to escape from a dangerous atmosphere.” In short, an IDLH area is a bad place to be.

For over 40 years, NFPA has sought to protect firefighters against the IDLH atmosphere, producing a library of PPE standards that provide protection from airborne contaminants as well as atmospheres of low oxygen, toxic gases, and high temperatures. NFPA 1971, Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting, and NFPA 1981, Open-Circuit Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) for Emergency Services, form the backbone of this protection by stating design, testing, and certification criteria. The recommendations have evolved to improve levels of protection, exemplified by embracing advanced textiles for PPE and improved materials for SCBA facepieces.

To ensure the PPE worn by firefighters achieves the intended protection, NFPA supports development of NFPA 1851, Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting, and NFPA 1852, Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Open-Circuit Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA). These documents list routine inspection criteria, as well as when PPE requires a simple cleaning, decontamination, or removal from service. Equal responsibility is placed on the user and the agency that supplied the PPE, because they each bear a high level of risk if the equipment fails.

PPE is an important part of a firefighter’s protection against exposure to carcinogens, but it needs to be maintained and cleaned, as recommended by NFPA 1851. SCBA should be worn during overhaul as well as active firefighting. As my own experience illustrates, you never know what you’re exposed to.