IAFC SHS Section logo SHS
IAFC Safety, Health and Survival SectionRiding Safety for Everyone
It is never acceptable to ride firefighters on the outside of any fire apparatus during any emergency operation.
Yet now the 2016 edition of NFPA 1906, Standard For Wildland Fire Apparatus, believes that it’s perfectly fine to place firefighters in exterior positions while engaged in combat fire operations during wildland-fire incidents. Their reasoning is that the practice is going on anyway and apparatus are being built with exterior riding positions, so it may as well be legitimized by writing it into the standard.
So at what fork in the road during the long fire service quest for firefighter safety, survival, health and wellness has it become acceptable for manufacturers to tell fire departments what is a safe fireground operation?
It’s your #1 responsibility as the fire chief, not a third party’s, to look out for the safety and survival of all of your members. Without your members, you can’t protect your citizens. If you’re riding your folks on the outside of your wildland trucks (such as type 6 engines and brush trucks), you’re gambling with your firefighters’ lives during every wildland fire emergency.
There’s no tactical advantage in this practice. It’s a matter of convenience, not a matter of tactical necessity, to allow this to occur. More than likely, your members are fighting fire this way because it’s fun and exciting.
It is not safe!
Whether you’re a fire department in the plains or the mountains, along a coast or in a swamp state, you can’t allow this practice to continue.
Your IAFC Safety, Health and Survival Section, the IAFC Wildland Fire Policy Committee and several other fire service organizations are now addressing this issue. This new external-riding position was introduced during the public-input period to NFPA 1500, Standard on Fire Department Occupational Safety and Health, as an acceptable practice from various fire-apparatus manufacturers and representatives from NFPA 1906. Both SHS and the Wildland Fire Policy Committee will be working hard to make sure this unsafe practice is discontinued and doesn’t go into the NFPA 1500 standard.
Scott D. Kerwood, Chair
Safety Forum in Scottsdale, Arizona: January 18–22
SHS is assisting the Fire Department Safety Officers Association with this great training opportunity. At the annual Apparatus Specification and Maintenance Symposium and the concurrent Safety Forum, three popular speakers will present:
- James J. Juneau (Juneau, Boll, Stacy & Ucherek in Dallas) will kick off the Apparatus Symposium on Monday, January 18.
- Gordon Graham (Graham Research Consultants, Long Beach, Calif.) will wrap up the Apparatus Symposium and kick off the Safety Forum with his comprehensive program, What Real Risk Management Is All About.
- Billy Goldfeder (deputy chief, Loveland-Symmes, Ohio) a firefighter since 1973, has served on several IAFC and NFPA committees and is a prolific writer and outspoken critic of unsafe practices and stupid decisions. Goldfeder’s passion for firefighter safety and “Everyone Goes Home” has made him the conscience for the North American fire service. Goldfeder and Gordon Graham host and sponsor the FireFighterCloseCalls.com. Chief Goldfeder will wrap up the Safety Forum on Friday, January 22, with his powerful presentation, Why Things Go Wrong—And What Safety Officers Can Do about It.
Keeping Firefighters Safe
Chief Todd Leduc, secretary for the SHS Section, attended the Zadroga rally with our Broward County (Fla.) Local President Walt Dix on the Capital lawn with several hundred firefighters, encouraging passage of Zadroga benefits.
SHS and FDSOA Team Up to Promote the 2nd Annual Crew Resource Management Symposium
Travis County ESD#2, Pflugerville Fire Department and Williamson County Fire Chiefs Association are providing this great training opportunity about crew resource management. Featured speakers include Chiefs Alan Brunacini, Bruce Varner, Denis Rubin, Tim Sendelbach, Larry Schultz and Rick Reily and Dr. Sara Jahnke.
Contact Captain Michael Anderson for more information.
Want to Lead, Educate and Serve? Write for the IAFC’s Media Partner
The IAFC has a media partnership with Praetorian Digital, publishers of FireRescue1.com and FireChief.com. They’re interested in publishing exclusive, IAFC member-generated content on interesting and timely topics affecting the fire and emergency service. Articles should:
- Be tightly written and on point (600-1,000 words)
- Be interesting, informative and accurate
- Serve as a pathway to additional resources (include links)
Articles should include a brief author’s bio, establishing the writer as a subject-matter expert and identifying the IAFC section or committee the author represents. The IAFC’s Strategic Communications Department has effective article writing tips available upon request.
This is a great opportunity for SHS Section members to contribute to the IAFC’s mission to Lead, Educate and Serve through the FireRescue1 Network, which includes more than 300,000 registered firefighting professionals and 400,000 followers across Facebook and Twitter.
Submit articles for consideration to Section Liaison Richard Miller.
Order SHS Coins and Apparel
The SHS Section offers different items you can purchase to support your section and show your loyalty. Products include reflective helmet stickers, 4” stickers, challenge coins, logo T-shirts in black or grey and Rules of Engagement cards. Use the online order form to purchase any of these items (PDF).
Our Thoughts and Prayers
The following firefighters lost their lives during the month of September and October 2015:
- Sep 9: Dennis Rodeman, Lansing (Mich.) Fire Department
- Sep 18: Daniel E. Hampton, Burnet (Texas) Fire Department
- Sep 23: Sean M. Benson, Paramus (N.J.) Fire Department
- Sep 23: Barry Miller, Bergen (N.Y.) Fire Department
- Sep 24: Stuart Hardy, Burton (S.C.) Fire District
- Sep 26: Richard L. Crosby, Casnovia (Mich.) Township Fire Department
- Oct 7: Antonio Smith, Memphis (Tenn.) Fire Department
- Oct 12: Larry J. Leggio, Kansas City (Mo.) Fire Department
- Oct 12: John V. Mesh, Kansas City (Mo.) Fire Department
- Oct 13: Charles “Chuck” Horning, Townsend (Ohio) Township Fire Department
- Oct 14: Gerald “Bear” Celecki, South Amboy (N.J.) Fire Department
- Oct 25: Larry O’Neil, Lone Camp (Texas) Fire Department
- Nov 11: Thomas J. Kolarick, Protection Fire Company #1 of Keasbey, N.J.
- Nov 19: Vince Smith, City of Detroit (Mich.) Fire Department
- Nov 20: Walter Szelag, City of Detroit (Mich.) Fire Department