PAR Check for SHS Members

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Have you Voted
On behalf of the SHS Elections Committee, we are concerned we are missing a few members! The Personnel Accountability Report (PAR) is a roll call procedure initiated by Command to confirm that all personnel assigned to an emergency incident are physically accounted for. I am writing about a very significant matter. So I am conducting an accountability PAR check of all members who have not voted. Currently, only 17% of eligible SHS members have cast votes. For those of you who have “Checked in” cast votes already, our thanks.

Voting is a very important responsibility. As SHS members, we determine our association’s leaders.

Voting ends July 11, 2016, at 11:59 PM, Eastern Daylight Time.

If you have questions or need assistance, please contact Richard Miller, SHS Staff via  email or phone at 703-537-4846.

Yours in service,
Chief Carol Brown
Chair, SHS Elections Committee


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Inspect Your Facepiece Today for Safety Stand Down 2016
This week is Safety Stand Down, quiz has also been extended through June 25 so departments can incorporate it into their week’s activities. 200 participants will receive a special edition challenge coin.and departments are encouraged to spend the week focusing on safety training for all personnel.

“The First Five Minutes, Stretching the Initial Hose Line, Putting Water on the Fire.” for all personnel. Find resources and training materials relating to this year’s topic on the Safety Stand Down web site. Also refer to the FSTAR web site for additional health and safety research. The NFPA’s Safety Stand Down Quiz will also be open until June 17 – test your knowledge for a chance to win a special edition challenge coin.

The theme of the 2016 Safety Stand Down is “The First Five Minutes: Stretching the Initial Hose Line, Putting Water on the Fire.” Use this week to educate your department on what all personnel should be doing in the initial five minutes of fire incident response to ensure the safest, most efficient response.

The following resources are designed to help Chiefs, Incident Commanders, Company Officers, Firefighters, and Training Officers focus on the first five minutes of fire response. Use these materials during Safety Stand Down to make sure all members of your department are ready for the next call.

Safety Stand Down 2016 Training Resources: The First Five Minutes

SCBA and Facepiece Inspection

Additional Resources

In addition, the following resources can help you focus on the safety of personnel:

SHS and FSTAR Health collecting data on firefighter physicals

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The Firefighter Safety Through Advanced Research (FSTAR) program is dedicated to advancing firefighter safety. We began in 2013 with the idea that research could improve all aspects of the fire service, including operations, health and wellness, and fire prevention.

 FSTAR Health [] is collecting data on firefighter physicals. Please take this 10 minute survey [hyperlink to survey] to answer a series of questions on your experiences in getting a firefighter physical.

Research is finding that firefighters are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, musculoskeletal injuries, behavioral health issues, lung disease, sleep disorders and infectious diseases. Clinical monitoring through comprehensive annual physicals including frequent screenings have the best chance of catching any of these occupational related diseases early. FSTAR Health promotes annual physicals that consider the unique health risks of firefighters, as described by NFPA 1582, Standard on Comprehensive Medical Programs for Fire Departments.

This survey is a first step in understanding and evaluating the issues associated with firefighter physicals. The survey is a follow-up to a 2006 survey [].

Please share this survey with your networks.

Get Out the Vote

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As members of the IAFC and SHS Section, you should have recently received an email containing instructions on how to vote in the current IAFC election for 2nd Vice President, choosing either Chief Gary Curmode or Chief Nathan Trauernicht. There are also two bylaws questions to be voted on as well. Only 18% of the IAFC members voted in last year’s election, and we would like to see a much greater turnout this year. It only takes a moment for you to help decide who will serve as your next president as well as providing governance with the bylaws questions, and every vote counts.

So, I urge you to cast your vote if you have not already done so, and thanks in advance for continuing to be members of the IAFC and SHS Section.
Vote Today!

SHS 2016 Elections Candidates

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Date: 2016 SHS Section Candidates

From: Chief Carol Brown, SHS Section Nominating Committee Chair

Candidates for the 2016 SHS Section Elections are as follows:


Chair (uncontested), Chief Scott Kerwood, Hutto, (TX) Fire Rescue

Vice Chair (uncontested), Deputy Chief John F. Sullivan, City of Worcester, (MA) Fire Department

Secretary (uncontested), Deputy Chief Todd LeDuc, Broward (FL) Sheriff’s Office Department of Fire Rescue & Emergency Services

Treasurer (uncontested), Chief Jake Rhoades, City of Kingman (AZ) Kingman Fire Department


Election June 10th to July 10th 2016

4 positions available – Three at-large directors (3-year term, expiring 2019)  One at-large director (2-year term, expiring 2018)

The first three highest vote receivers will receive the 3-year term and the next will receive the 2-year term.

Director-at-Large Daniel J. Kerrigan, East Whiteland Township (PA) Department of Codes & Life Safety

Director-at-Large Chief Greg Willis, Wetumpka (AL) Fire Department

Director-at-Large Chief Kenneth Morgan, Meriden (CT) Meriden Fire Department (Incumbent)

Director-at-Large Division Chief, Nicholas Hempel, Racine (WI) Fire Department

Director-at-Large Assistant Chief, Joanne R. Rund, Howard County (MD) Department of Fire and Rescue Services

Director-at-Large Chief Shawn Oke, Albemarle, (NC) Fire and Rescue Department (Incumbent)

Director-at-Large Fire Chief, Rick Kane, Township of Manheim (PA) Fire Rescue Department (Incumbent)


Dan Kerrigan SHS

 Dan Kerrigan, MS, EFO, CFO, CFPS. Assistant Fire Marshal for the East Whiteland Fire Department (PA)

I am a 29+ year veteran of the fire service, co-author of Firefighter Functional Fitness: The Essential Guide  to Optimal Firefighter Performance and Longevity, where I also serve as  the  department’s health and fitness coordinator. Over the past several years, I have worked tirelessly on a personal, organizational, and national  level to raise awareness on the health-related  issues facing the fire service today, regularly working locally and with the IAFC, NFFF, NVFC and  other organizations to promote a variety of firefighter health and wellness initiatives.   My  commitment to firefighter health and safety increases  daily, as I focus on mentoring those I come in contact with to become champions of firefighter health and fitness with the overarching goal of reducing line-of-duty injuries and deaths, increasing longevity, and ensuring healthy retirements by:

Working towards access to NFPA 1582-compliant physicals for every firefighter in the country
Access to and emphasis on firefighter functional fitness programs
Access to behavioral health resources
Supporting and participating in current and future fire service research in the area of health, fitness and firefighter safety
Increasing cancer awareness throughout the service, along with measures to reduce occupational exposure
Working with the SHS board on other projects as directed and assigned
My approach is summed up in three words: Attitude, Accountability, and Action. I stand committed to putting forth the effort required of a board member, and I would be honored and humbled to have your support.


Greg Willis SHS Election

 Greg Willis, Fire Chief, EFO, CFO, City of Wetumpka Fire Department Alabama

As a longtime member of the SHS Section, I have been active in serving our mission. This service includes four years on the Program Planning Committee, where I have been Chair of the Safety, Health and Wellness educational tract workgroup on multiple occasions. I have represented the SHS section at the Harvard Diet and Workplace Health Conference, participated in the most recent Physicals Summit and served on multiple committees for the SHS section, including Chairing the Election Committee.  My educational background, which includes degrees from Troy University in Business Administration and Oklahoma State University in Fire Protection and Safety Engineering Technology, has formed a strong foundation in advocating for firefighter health and safety. I am a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer (EFO) Program and have been awarded the Chief Fire Officer (CFO) designation from the Center for Public Safety Excellence. My career has encompassed 30 years and includes service in both volunteer and paid positions. For the last 10 years I have served as Chief of the Wetumpka (Alabama) Fire Department, a combination department. I am proud of the significant progress that our Section has made. As a board member I will support the continuous implementation and improvement of programs through evaluation of data and also seek advancement in additional areas that need to be addressed. I will courageously insist that the importance of our Section’s mission be heard and understood by all who can affect our success. I would be honored to receive your vote and support.



K Morgan SHS Election

 Kenneth E. Morgan, Ph. D., CFO, EFO, MIFireE. Fire Chief Meriden Fire and Emergency Service, Meriden, CT.  

I have been a member and advocate for the Safety, health and Survival Section of the IAFC for most of my IAFC membership. I am encouraged by the influence the SHS section has on the fire  service, I have been the Chief of the Meriden Fire Department for the last 3 years. I have 28 years in the fire service, including 23 years with Clark County Fire Department. I am an advocate for  fire fighter safety. As such I and have published several articles which reflect issues addressing unusual safety issues. They include papers on the Effects of Extended Working Hours in the Clark County Fire Department, Pro’s and Con’s of I joist construction, Sudden Collapse of a Structure: Strategies for Preventing Casualties, as well as articles on mentoring and succession planning. Additionally I successfully lobbied for funding for more ergonomic PPE, PPE washing equipment, and a two hood policy within our department to ensure clean PPE for all members. I also advocated on the state level for a Cancer Bill for firefighters.

I am excited to represent the SHS section members on the board. We have lots of work head promoting the science FSTAR research contributes, addressing Wildland vehicle operations safety, and continuing our support of The First Twenty Project in our effort for health and wellness in the fire service. I would like to thank you in advance for the opportunity of representing you in the future.




 Nick (Nicholas) Hempel Division Chief City of Racine (Wisconsin) Fire Department.

I have spent 33 years in the fire service, serving in the US Air Force, USDA as a wild-land firefighter and almost 27 years with the City of Racine FD. I believe I possess the professional  qualifications for this position, including a Master’s in Public Administration, B.S. in Fire Science, CFO and CEMSO designations, but the educational achievement I am proudest of is the  IAFC’s Fire Service Executive Development Institute. I cannot recommend it highly enough. I have experience at the Board of Director level, currently serving in board leadership positions for  two non-profit organizations locally. I have presented on behavioral health in the fire service locally, within my state and nationally at FRI. I work daily on improving the safety, health and  well being of our firefighters. There is no more noble a calling in our profession than reducing the line of duty deaths of our firefighters. Safety, Health and Survival have long been a focus of mine. I feel that merely surviving your career in the fire service is unacceptable. We freely and selflessly give of ourselves and many of us end up scarred, both physically and emotionally.

I would like to advocate for the mental wellness of our firefighters. PTSD, suicide, anger and depression has plagued the fire service long enough. I will work to eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness and to increase the research, treatment and acceptance of mental health in the fire service. Further, I support physical fitness for our men and women. Physical wellness for firefighters is as important as physical fitness is for a professional athlete, additionally; physical wellness has a direct positive effect on mental wellness.



J Rund SHS Election 

 Joanne R. Rund, Assistant Chief, Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services, MD

I would like to announce my candidacy for the position of Director-at-Large. I have dedicated 14 of my 29 years in Emergency Services on enhancing the safety and health of our responders.  I manage the Bureau of Occupational Safety and Health for a department of nearly one thousand volunteer and career emergency services responders. We must break the sequence of unsafe events that continue to plague our nation’s emergency services. I am driven to improve the essential elements needed to change the culture of our  leadership, and require personal responsibility. I will bring my unwavering focus on the continued effort of reducing emergency services fatalities, injuries, and near misses, throughout our nation, by:  Advocating for the implementation of the 16 Life Safety Initiatives which work toward enhancing the overall culture of departments, educating our fire and emergency services responders on the focus of integrating risk management tactics, in an effort to reach our goal of zero tolerance for any/all unsafe acts and unsafe conditions. With increasing numbers of suicides among our responders, we must build the support systems needed to provide behavioral health programs for all, and continuing to be available for our most tenured and even retired members. Our efforts must continue to cultivate an accepting culture of behavioral health assistance. We walk a fine line in the effort to save the lives and property of our citizens, while building a culture of reducing the loss of life of our responders.




oke SHS Election

 Shawn Oke, EFO, Fire Chief, City of Albemarle, NC

My commitment to safety makes me a great candidate to continue as an At-Large Director with the Safety, Health and Survival Section. During my tenure as fire chief for the City of    Albemarle and on the Section Board I have become an even stronger supporter of creating a safer fire service. My commitment to safety has been demonstrated in my actions as well as my  words.  My commitment to safety has included many changes within our department since I became fire chief in 2009. Those changes include purchasing two new engines that greatly  enhanced our ability to utilize wetting agents in fire suppression, increasing the number of thermal imagers in the department so all on duty personnel have an imager, purchasing a personal 800 mhz. radio for all personnel and greatly improving the quality of our annual physicals to make them NFPA compliant. In addition to the safety improvements within our department I have continued my work as the co-founder of the Kill the Flashover project.     It has been an honor and privilege over the past three years to represent you on our Board. During my time on our Board, I have been active in our Board and played an instrumental role in the development of the Wellness Pavilion at Fire-Rescue International (FRI). I have represented our Section on the Program Planning Committee for FRI since my appointment. In addition to these areas I have been active in assisting our Board leadership as they have seen the need.



Rick Kane SHS Election 3

 Rick Kane, Fire Chief/EMC, Manheim Township Fire Rescue

My name is Rick Kane and I am seeking re-election as a Director-At-Large for the IAFC Safety Health and Survival Section. I am the Fire Chief of a combination agency in central  Pennsylvania that serves over 40,000 residents from 3 stations in 24 square miles.  In my first term on the Board, I was assigned and took on the task of organizing the yearly Safety and Health Week project. After several years the program needed an overhaul, and I worked to assemble a working group to revamp the project, and today we have been able to move that back to the Safety Stand Down. I along with our working group developed field deliverables for you and your agency to use to assist in bringing the important message of the Safety Stand Down to all your personnel. In addition to the Safety Stand Down project, I am assigned as a liaison from the Board to the Fire Fighter Burn Injury project, and recently participated with the Firefighter Injury Research and Safety Trends joint advisory Board.

I appreciate and have been honored with the opportunity you have provided me to serve you on the Board. I am now respectfully requesting your support for a second term on the Board so I may continue to expand the Safety Stand Down program so it is relevant to all segments of the fire service, and so that I can continue to advocate for the safety and health of all personnel in our great fire service.

Safety Stand Down June 19-25, 2016

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“The First Five Minutes”

“Stretching the Initial Hose Line, Putting Water on the Fire.”


Use this week to educate your department on what all personnel should be doing in the initial five minutes of fire incident response to ensure the safest, most efficient response.

Safety Stand Down is a joint initiative of the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC). The event is coordinated by the NVFC and the IAFC Safety, Health and Survival Section, and is supported by national and international fire and emergency service organizations as well as health and safety-related organizations and agencies.

Fire departments are encouraged to suspend all non-emergency activity during Safety Stand Down in order to focus on training and education related to this year’s theme:  Learn more about this year’s theme.

Safety Stand Down 2016 Training Resources: The First Five Minutes

In addition, the following resources can help you focus on the safety of personnel:



SHS-FDSOA Safety Forum

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Call for SHS members to present at Safety Forum
January 18-20, 2017
Wyndham Orlando Resort
Orlando, FL
The Safety, Health and Survival Section (SHS) has partnered with the Fire Department Safety Officers Association to deliver an informative, high level conference geared toward leadership, safety and health in the fire service. Six speaking slots have been allocated to SHS to address topics related to those subjects.

Some of the topics SHS is looking to address include:

  • Overcoming safety challenges in a department
  • How the speaker demonstrated leadership in implementing a successful health and safety program in their department
  • How leadership in a department implemented a successful health and safety program
  • Transitional attack (or fire dynamics) implementation success stories
  • “Safety” Leadership in an “Extinguishment” Environment
  • You and Your Safety Officer: partnership or pain in the neck?
  • Other topics that may be relevant to the leadership-safety-health categories

SHS is seeking recommendations for speakers to fill the six speaking slots. If you know a dynamic SHS member or someone in your organization that has a compelling story to tell related to one of the topics listed above, contact John Tippett (

2016 Paul S. Sarbanes Award presented to FDSOA

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The 2016 Senator Paul S. Sarbanes Award for Fire Service Safety Leadership was presented to the Fire Department Safety Officers Association on Thursday, May 5th, at the Congressional Fire Service Institute’s 28th annual National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner in Washington, D.C.

FDSOA Press Release on Sarbanes Award

IAFC Declares Support for National Fire Service Cancer Initiative

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The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) Board of Directors has adopted a position statement in support of the National Fire Service Cancer Initiative.

Submitted by the IAFC Volunteer and Combination Officers Section (VCOS) and supported by the IAFC Safety, Health and Survival Section (SHS), the position statement encourages chiefs of fire and rescue departments to support the initiative being facilitated by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and the Firefighter Cancer Support Network.

“With the rate of firefighter deaths linked to cancer growing every year, we also encourage departments to look for other ways to be proactive in alleviating exposure to known toxins and carcinogens,” the statement says. “We strongly support the funding for, and provision of, secondary firefighting hoods and gear bags to transport Personal Protective ensemble (PPE) as ways to mitigate exposure to such carcinogens. Furthermore, we encourage the continuous use of SCBA through overhaul and the use of disposable wipes at every fire during rehab to remove potential carcinogens.”

The statement says the IAFC “strongly recommends that all fire and emergency service agencies/organizations develop written policies and have procedures in place to support and enforce these policy recommendations.”

The position statement was adopted by the IAFC Board of Director on May 12, 2016. Read full position statement.

The First Twenty – The Foundations of Functional Fitness Webinar

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SHS invites everyone to join in on this important topic on Fitness.
The First Twenty - The Foundations of Functional Fitness Webinar May 19th @ 11 am EST.
From increased health and safety to injury prevention and stress reduction, Dr. Mark Abel will talk on the different inputs that went into the development of The First Twenty’s Crash Fire Fitness Program.

Register at: Foundations of Functional Fitness

Firefighting creates unique challenges that often compromise firefighters’ health, safety, and performance. The First Twenty has developed an innovative and comprehensive approach to address these challenges. This Webinar will provide an overview on the evidence-based strategies The First Twenty has implemented to enhance firefighter health, safety, and performance. Topics, such as injury prevention strategies, exercise training with firefighting equipment, fitness vs. fatness, and how to safely train firefighters on-duty will be discussed. In addition, we will explore innovative research endeavors that represent the future of creating a more prepared Fire Service.

Presenter: Mark Abel, Ph.D., CSCS*D, TSAC-F*D, USAW is an Associate Professor and Director of the Exercise Physiology Laboratory in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Abel is a former firefighter who conducts research to improve the safety, health, fitness, and occupational performance of firefighters and law enforcement officers. He has authored more than 25 peer-reviewed publications and 2 book chapters on related topics, presented 50 papers at conferences, and has been funded by State and National Agencies. He recently received the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s prestigious Tactical Strength and Conditioning Practitioner of the Year Award (2016).