Monday, April 20, 2015


In his book, Fireground Strategies, 2nd Edition, by Anthony Avillo, is outlined an acronym for remembering all the pertinent information on a scene-size up.  The acronym is, “COAL WAS WEALTH”.  

"Coal" by Jeffrey Beall

Life Hazard

Auxiliary Systems
Street Conditions

Apparatus & Personnel

Though intended primarily for scene size- up this can be a valuable tool for pre-planning and understanding the hazards and needs on a facility or within a community.

Construction - what is the construction type?
Occupancy - what is the occupancy type?
Area - how big is the structure (square footage/stories/area)?
Life hazard - what danger to occupants and responders is posed by the structure?
Water - is there a dedicated water supply? where are the hydrants located?
Auxiliary systems - are fire sprinklers or fire alarm systems present and operational?
Street conditions - is the structure accessible or obstructed?
Weather - what impact potential does weather have on the structure or operations?
Exposures - what buildings or structures are nearby?
Apparatus & personnel - what is the required apparatus and number of personnel?
Location - what is the builidng address? how is located on the property?
Time - is time of day a factor for emergency response operations?
Hazards - what hazardous materials or processes are located in the building?

By asking these questions one can start to prepare for various emergencies that may occur, and become familiar with what types of operations actually occur within our areas of operation.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Guide to Hangar Classifications

When working in any aircraft hangar project, the first step is to determine the hangar classification. NFPA 409 classifies hangars as groups: Group I, II, III, or IV. 

This presentation identifies and defines each hangar group.

Related posts:

Monday, March 2, 2015

How to Write an Airport Emergency Plan

The FAA requires airports to develop and maintain emergency plans. Clear guidance is provided within  Advisory Circular 150/5200-31C as to how to plan for this. This is the guiding document or airports.  However, in conjunction with this Fire Departments and communities should utilize NFPA 424, Guide for Airport/Community Emergency Planning.  
"We've got a problem down here..." by [AndreasS]

As airport emergency planning covers a wide range of planning, preparedness, and response considerations, this post will serve as a resource guide and brief overview of the airport emergency plan (AEP).

The following resources answer these questions, “Why does my airport need an emergency plan? Where does it state that this is required? How can I create this? What must it contain?”

  • 14 CFR 139.325 - sets the requirement that an AEP must be place. It also lays out what items must be included, and what types of emergencies must be planned for. This provides the basic framework.
  • FAA AC 150/5200-31C, Airport Emergency Plan - provides all the details necessary to meet the requirements stated in 14 CFR 139.325.
  • NFPA 424, Guide for Airport/Community Emergency Planning - gives guidance and direction on aircraft/airport emergency incidents and planning considerations, for local fire officials and community leaders.  For a complete and effective plan this should be utilized in conjunction with the aforementioned FAA Advisory Circular.

Within these documents you have a complete “toolkit” to creating an effective and compliant AEP. To start your AEP creation process, you must first develop your “Table of Contents” - what items must be in the plan?

At a minimum your AEP must include the following sections:
  1. Basic Plan
  2. Functional Annexes
  3. Hazard Specific Sections
  4. Procedures and Checklists

The Basic Plan should include an overview of the AEP, what is covered, a general overview of the airport operations, and statements of authority and responsibility.

Functional Annexes outline the specific roles and responsibilities for each airport department, community resources, and emergency responders.  This section of the AEP will also state the necessary resources, and what group is responsible for what part of the the emergency incident.

Aircraft accidents, bomb incidents, structural fires, natural disasters, hazardous materials releases, sabotage, power failures, and water rescue should each have their own “stand alone” operational guidance. These, and any other potential incidents, are to be included in the Hazard Specific Sections of the AEP.

In times of emergency it is easy to become overwhelmed by the many components that must work together to affect a positive outcome.  Standard Operating Procedures and Checklists ensure that nothing is overlooked, all issues are addressed, and all agencies and individuals fulfill their responsibilities and assigned tasks.

Each of the documents mentioned include multiple checklists and annexes for direction through this process. The AEP, properly established, will give you clarity on what actions to take before, during, and after an incident.  

For guidance on maintaining operations and essential functions, and getting back to full operational capacity the information in NFPA 1600, Standard on Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs, should be consulted.

If you have questions or would like further guidance and assistance with your emergency or business continuity planning feel free to contact me at,

Monday, February 23, 2015

Healing Burns - Modern Miracles

In his book, MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom, Tony Robbins not only provides clear guidance on money management, but also shows why financial security is important for a bright future.  With the many messages of a future filled with doom and gloom, machines taking over the world, or a return to Thunderdome, it can be discouraging enough to even want to worry about future financial security, or living long enough to see it.  

In the chapter titled, "The Future Is Brighter Than You Think", Tony shares several current developments (in various sectors) that are evidence of a brighter, better, smarter, future.  A future filled with wonderment, a future worth being around for.

The most amazing technology that he shares is a medical device called "the skin gun".  Statistics show that every ten minutes in America an individual suffers a significant burn injury.  The process of healing burns, and applying skin grafts is long, painful, and often met with unsatisfactory results.  The "skin gun" changes everything!  

With the skin gun, healthy cells are harvested and cultured.  The stem cells are then applied to the burned area with the spray gun. Within just 2 or 3 days the burned area is completely healed, with virtually no scarring.

"The world we live in today is a place of everyday miracles, and change is happening so fast that sometimes we don't even notice it."  -Tony Robbins