Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Flammable Liquids Storage

Certain sections of the code require all flammable liquids to be stored in a cabinet.  The United States Fire Administration has provided a guideline outlining the requirements for constructing a code compliant Flammable Liquids Storage Cabinet.

The allowable amounts of flammable and combustible materials in a designated area are outlined in NFPA 1:60.1.3.






Monday, April 25, 2011

Kentucky State Dorm Fire

Story from LEX18.com


Investigation Into Fire At Kentucky State Dorm Continues Previous Next Investigation Into Fire At Kentucky State Dorm Continues

Kentucky State Police continue to investigate after a fire erupted in a dorm room early Sunday morning, sending the student who was inside to the hospital.


State Police say the fire broke out on the second floor of Chandler Hall. Investigators say campus police and security were able to get a female student out of the room when they arrived. Police officers put out the fire before the Frankfort Fire Department got there.



EMS took the student to a local hospital, where she was treated and released.



"It definitely could have been a lot worse in any situation where you have multiple occupants of a building, such as a college campus," Kentucky State Police Arson Investigator Kevin Dunn said.



State Police haven't said whether or not they consider the fire suspicious.



Students living in the building had to leave for several hours while a State Police Arson Investigator, the State Fire Marshal's office and University Police investigated.



"Things like that that happen on campus scares everybody, especially us that's living on campus. We feel like it should be safer," Jazmine Larkin, a student who lives in Chandler Hall, said. "We don't know what happened yet, so, as of right now, I don't really know how to feel about it, you know, depends on what happened."



But not all students think the fire is cause for concern.



"I really think it's probably an accident. I don't think somebody would really try to do something as far as arson," Brent Marshall said.



State Police say the dorm room sustained minor fire and smoke damage. The fire was contained to that room.




For more information on being fire safe at college, check out Campus Fire.org

Check out the Dorm Room Fire Test posted by the Fire Prevention Geek.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sprinkler Save

On Tuesday (4/19/2011) a multi-million dollar clubhouse was saved great loss by a properly functioning sprinkler system.  This fire started with some rags in a dryer. The damage was contained to the dryer (and of course the replacement of 1 sprinkler head).

Below are some photos:









Monday, April 18, 2011

Public Servant?

Can you imangine an ambulance company that pays wages at the European scale, gives a month of vacation and expects you to take it - and embraces a never-say-no model of customer service? -Bruce Evans, "Make No Mistake, Emergency Service is Big Business", Fire Chief Magazine/March 2011

In his article, Chief Bruce Evans, chronicles two companies that are  fulfilling the above quote.  Private companies that place a high value on their employees, and an even higher value on providing exceptional customer service.

As I was making my entrance into this career, the main draw was the fact that I would get to serve the public.  I desired to be a public servant.  To help others.

My first job out of the fire academy was working at an ARFF department for a private company.  The job was great. At one point there was an employee union strike at the airfield facility, and the fire department was asked to provide security (which consisted of driving rounds of the facility).  Then, like others on the department, I complained.  My job wasn't to provide security, I was a firefighter! However, being a private company, customer service was most important.  Meeting the customers needs; serving the customer.

A couple years later, I left that positions and went to work for at my first municipal department, now I was really going to change the world. I was going to serve the public.  It didn't take long to realize why there was such a demand for private services.

Have we forgotten our primary job description, public servant?  We treat our positions as neither public nor with an attitude of servant-hood.  It seems that more effort is made to keep our disciplinary actions, budget expenditures, employee practices, and operational procedures private, rather than public. The term public should never invoke images of closed-door meetings, or special treatment for department "insiders".

Have we neglected the 'serve' part of our duties?  The pervasive attitude is that if it is not in the contract then it will not be done.  We feel that the public owes us, we bring in union negotiators to get us the best deal.  As servants shouldn't we be doing what is best for the master, the public? Most departments are funded by tax dollars, yet when we are requested to perform a standby or some other special event, we want to bill extra for it.  Wouldn't it make more sense, and maintain public trust, if we just provided what was asked, served? 

 By continually neglecting to serve the public, we may be putting ourselves out of work.

I challenge those in this Firefighting profession to remember what we are called to.  We are called to be public servants, to serve the public.

Are your actions reflective of a servant?  Do you serve the public? Do you provide exceptional customer service (to external customers, not just internal)? Or is your attitude concerned with what can the public do for me?