Health & Safety

Fire departments represented by Michigan Association of Fire Fighters (MAFF) are hosting events throughout September and October in honor of National Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 7-13, 2018. Fire Prevention Week is observed on the Sunday through Saturday period in which Oct. 9 falls to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of Oct. 8-9, 1871 that killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). This year the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) fire prevention week theme is “Look, Listen, Learn: Be Aware. Fire can happen anywhere.”  It reinforces the three essential steps to reduce the chances of having a fire and how to escape safely. Visit National Fire Protection Association website for fire safety prevention tips.

Local Fire Prevention public events include:

  • Augusta Charter Township Fire Department Open House
    Time: Noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018
    Location: 10985 Whittaker Rd., Whittaker, MI 48190
    Contact: (734) 461-9500 or www.augustatownship.org
    Fire trucks and Huron Valley Ambulance will be on display. The event will also feature a smoke house where adults and children can learn fire safety, spray the fire hose and knock down a pretend fire. Augusta Township Fire Pup will visit the children. There will be free food and drink, literature and coloring books, and raffles for gift cards and other items donated by community businesses.
  • Burton Fire Department Open House
    Time: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018
    Location: Fire Stations 1, 2 and 3.
    Station 1, 2031 E. Bristol Rd., Burton, MI 48509
    Station 2 Department Headquarters, 1320 S. Belsay Rd., Burton, MI 48509
    Station 3, 4515 Davison Rd., Burton, MI 48509
    Contact: (810) 742-2158
    Enjoy free hot dogs, chips and face painting for kids. Meet firefighters, tour the station and trucks, receive free smoke detectors and batteries, fire safety handouts and view a reflective sign demonstration.
  • Chelsea Area Fire Authority Open House
    Time: Noon - 4:00 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018
    Location: 200 W. Middle St.
    Contact: (734) 475-8755
    The event will feature bounce houses, a petting zoo, jaws of life for children to cut cars, spray fire hose, face painting, balloon animals, fire truck tours, Red Cross and Huron Valley Ambulance on scene, popcorn, doughnuts and cider.
  • Clay Township Fire Department Safety Tikes at Clay Township Park
    Time: 10-11 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018
    Location: 4768 Pointe Tremble Rd., Clay Township, MI 48001
    Contact: Cindy at (810) 794-9320 or the fire department at (810) 794-9347.
    The event will feature Paw Patrol characters.
  • Flat Rock Riverfest – Fire Safety
    Time: 6-11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14, 2018; Noon – 11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15 and noon to 6 p.m.. Sunday, Sept. 16.
    Location: Flatrock Community Park, 28700 Arsenal Rd., Flat Rock, MI 48134
    Contact: (734) 789-2332
    Flat Rock Fire Department provides a free large fire safety/firefighting obstacle course at the Festival. Youngsters can crawl through smoke inside the obstacle course tubes, go to framed windows (donated by Wallside Windows) and practice opening them to get out. The course also includes ramps and a hose they can use to pretend to put the fire out. The obstacle course is so popular, it’s taken on the road to neighboring communities. Riverfest also features many free events including bounce houses, music concerts, fireworks and more. Visit http://www.flatrockmi.org/index-coe-event.asp?Event_ID=836#NavMenu for more information. Flat Rock Fire Department also plans to visit area preschool and elementary classrooms this fall to talk about fire safety.

The Firefighter Injury Research & Safety Trends program (FIRST), led by Drexel University Associate Professor Dr. Jennifer Taylor of Dornsife School of Public Health, is working to share fire fighter safety research findings with fire fighters nationwide.

FIRST is a research enterprise based at the Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA, organized to support the United States fire and rescue service through objective data collection and analysis.Their goal is to make their research findings publicly known and free to access. An article on a recently published manuscript in the American Journal of Health Behavior can be found here.

Through a newly awarded Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) funded grant supporting FIRST's partnership with the Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FDSOA), research on U.S. Fire Service safety culture will continue.

IAFF issues statement urging fire fighters, paramedics to hold Ebola stand-downs

Excerpted from ohsonline.com

The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) is warning it is "highly likely that more individuals infected with Ebola will seek assistance from emergency response personnel as the disease spreads," and urging fire and EMS personnel to hold a safety stand-down and review all infectious exposure policies, procedures and guidelines.

The AFL-CIO union that represents more than 300,000 full-time firefighters and paramedics in the United States and Canada, has posted a statement which lists 11 minimum elements IAFF says those policies, procedures and guidelines should address.

They include: not returning to the firehouse if there is a potential exposure or the crew thinks they have been affected; developing policies for monitoring and management of EMS personnel potentially exposed to Ebola; fit testing all personnel for N95 respirators and appropriate eye protection; and establishing sick leave policies that are "non-punitive, flexible and consistent with public health guidance."

The policies should ensure fire and EMS personnel exposed to blood, bodily fluid, secretions, or excretions from a patient with a suspected or confirmed Ebola virus immediately:
• Stop working and wash the affected skin surfaces with soap and water and irrigate with a large amount of water or eyewash solution.
• Contact an occupational health supervisor for assessment and access to post-exposure management services.
• Receive medical evaluation and follow-up care as appropriate. Medical evaluations should include fever monitoring twice daily throughout the Ebola incubation period, which is two to 21 days.

Click here for a complete list of guidelines.

Consolidation trend continues for Michigan fire departments

As revenue to communities continues to evaporate, employers are looking for ways to cut costs. Unfortunately, fire services are not exempt from these cuts and the growing response is consolidation.

Michigan was particularly hard hit by the recession as communities try to come to grips with the lengthily loss of revenue due to the cap on property taxes caused by Proposal A of 1994. Until 1994, property was valued at half of its market value, or State Equalized Value (SEV). Now the growth in taxable valuable is limited to the rate of inflation or 5 percent, whichever is less. Since taxable value declined when the real estate market collapsed in 2007 and inflation remains around 2 percent, some communities have lost up to 20 percent of property tax revenue. In those municipalities, it could take up to a decade to fully recover the same revenues.

Chlorine Institute Briefing Paper
Car/Truck Emergency Response Emergency Kit "C": Proven Equipment for Chlorine Tank

Introduction

Fittings (i.e. pressure relief device and valves) leaks on chlorine tank cars and tank trucks rarely occur. Should a leak occur, prompt corrective action is required by trained, competent personnel. The first steps a responder should take are identifying the source of the leak and determining the proper course of action. Most often a leak can be stopped by simply ensuring all valves are completely closed. However, if a leak cannot be stopped by simpler mitigation techniques, a properly trained responder will need special equipment to stop the leak until the contents can be unloaded safely. A proven and widely accepted package of equipment that meets this critical need and has been used for more than 40 years is the Chlorine Institute (CI) Emergency Kit "C" (or C-Kit), which is specifically designed for use with standard U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) compliant chlorine tank cars and cargo tanks.

What is in an Emergency Kit "C"?

The C-Kit contains devices and tools to stop leaks in and around the pressure relief device and angle valves used to load chlorine into and unload it from the tank. These valves are located within a steel enclosure (housing) mounted on top of the chlorine tank car or tank truck. The C-Kit is the chlorine emergency kit for chlorine tank cars and tank trucks that is manufactured to design recommendations of The Chlorine Institute. Since being introduced in the late 1960s, more than 5,500 C-Kits have been supplied to emergency responders all over North America by Indian Springs Manufacturing Co. (www.indiansprings.com), Baldwinsville, N.Y.

Who Typically Uses the C-Kit and How Are These Personnel Trained?

Public- and private-sector emergency response organizations own C-Kits and are trained to use them. Public-sector responders typically include fire departments, while private-sector responders would include CHLOREP (Chlorine Emergency Plan) teams, from Chlorine Institute member companies, or hazardous materials emergency-response contractors (ER contractors). The Chlorine Institute periodically provides free training for both public- and private-sector responders on C-Kit use through both TRANSCAER® (Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response) sessions and individual member outreach. For example, in 2011 the Chlorine Institute in cooperation with the Union CI Briefing Paper C-Kit- Proven Equipment April9, 2012 Pacific Railroad trained over 400 emergency responders in Los Angeles and Chicago how to deal with a chlorine emergency, including how to apply a C-Kit.

If a particular emergency situation permits, it is recommended to activate the CHLOREP Network, because these responders are typically the most knowledgeable and experienced in chlorine tank car release mitigation. If the situation presents an imminent risk to public safety, it is crucial that public responders on the scene are trained on proper use of the C-Kit. For public responder organizations that feel they need C-Kit training (either first time or a refresher) and are not located near a location planned for a TRANSCAER® training event, contact The Chlorine Institute for help coordinating a C-Kit training session. Individual training sessions will typically be provided by Cl member companies. TRANSCAER® participating organizations conduct training nationwide on hazardous materials emergency response. For more information, refer to the TRANSCAER® website - http://www.transcaer.com/.

The Chlorine Institute also has a video, "How to Use the Chlorine Institute Emergency Kit "C" for Chlorine Tank Cars and Tank Trucks," and an instruction booklet, Chlorine Institute Emergency Kit "C" for Chlorine Tank Cars & Tank Trucks. These training materials are both available via the Cl Web site - www.chlorineinstitute.org - for free to all emergency responders. In addition to specific instruction on the C-Kit, Cl has a general first responders video, "Chlorine Emergencies: An Overview for First Responders," which is provided free to all upon request via email or the Cl website.

Can You Provide More Information about the CHLOREP Program?

The Chlorine Institute has divided the United States and Canada into regional sectors, each with a CHLOREP team from plants that produce, package and consume chlorine. These sectors are arranged primarily along state or provincial boundaries. When a CHLOREP team is dispatched to an incident, it will come from within the region and from the closest team resource (plant or contractor), or the team that can reach the incident fastest. The CHLOREP system is set up to provide technical assistance to first responders. That assistance may be provided by phone or a team sent to the site of the emergency, if the incident commander deems it to be necessary. If a CHLOREP team is dispatched to an incident, it arrives with the appropriate emergency kit to deal with the situation, as well as protective gear to enter a potentially hazardous area. You can learn more about the CHLOREP program by visiting www.chlorineinstitute.org. In the United States, CHLOREP teams are activated through CHEMTREC (Chemical Transportation Emergency Center), www.chemtrec.com, which is administered by the American Chemistry Council. In Canada, CHLOREP assistance can be coordinated through Canutec, www.tc.qc.ca/enq/canutec/menu.htm.