Monday, October 16, 2017

Staffing for ARFF Departments



Osan airmen by DVIDSHUB

For those departments having airport rescue firefighting NFPA 1710 references NFPA 403, Standard for Aircraft Rescue and Fire-Fighting Services at Airports for minimum staffing requirements.

ARFF operations should be minimally staffed according to the index rating of the airport, as shown in these tables from NFPA 403.






Staffing above these minimums should be determined by the performance of a task analysis.  The task resource analysis is conducted in six stages and based on the needs and demands of the airport. The task and resource analysis model is outlined in Annex D of NFPA 403.

Stage 1: State the goals and objectives of ARFF services and tasks.
Goal:
Objective:
Task:

Stage 2: Identify potential incidents. These should be worst-case scenario based on event history, fire data, and facility statistics, and a risk assessment.

Stage 3: Identify types of aircraft most commonly used at the airport.

Stage 4: Identify worst-case scenario incident locations or possible areas of incident occurrence.

Stage 5: Combine Stages 2, 3, and 4 - correlate accident types with possible worst-case scenario locations.

Stage 6: Based on the scenario in Stage 5, conduct a task and resource analysis to determine minimum ARFF personnel. This analysis should be conducted as a table-top exercise in real time and in sequential order. Elements should include:
  1. Receive call, dispatch ARFF units.
  2. Respond to scene, operate ARFF vehicle.
  3. Apply extinguishing agents and deploy equipment.
  4. Assist passenger and crew evacuation.
  5. Access aircraft for firefighting, rescue, and other operations.
  6. Support and sustain continuing firefighting and rescue operations.
  7. Support and sustain water supply.
  8. Replenish foam supplies.

NFPA 1710 further requires that aircraft incidents have a dedicated incident commander.  Any airport fire department with structural fire protection requirements should meet the staffing requirements of NFPA 1710, section 5.2.2.



Monday, October 9, 2017

Fire Prevention Week 2017



The week of October 8-14 will be nationally recognized as Fire PreventionWeek. The theme this year is “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out”. Having an escape plan can spare lives when seconds count.  This years theme reinforces the need for families to have, know, and practice a fire escape plan.

Fire Prevention Week has been observed every October (always the week of the 9th) since 1922. The NFPA established this week to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. This fire, rumored to have been started by Mrs. O’Leary’s cow, claimed more than 250 lives, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures and burned more than 2,000 acres. 

Public education plays a critical role in a communities fire prevention plan.  Here are some resources to utilize with this weeks focus on fire prevention.

Our public education efforts should focus on programs that are interactive, engaging and provide maximum benefit to the community. Interpreting the data and identifying the risks will focus your attention on the programs that are most needed. Here’s how it’s done.

A key component for effective risk reduction is face-to-face interaction with community members. This can be achieved through public events, fire station visits, and, most effectively, home visits. Community risk reduction programs, and fire crews involvement in them, produces three distinct benefits.

The most important component of community risk reduction (CRR) is strategic contact with the public. A strategic contact consists or much more than handing out stickers or plastic hats at the mall.  The strategic contact is a contact made that meets the objectives of the communities CRR plan, and is immediately beneficial to the person contacted.  This can most effectively happen in fire department home visits





    Tuesday, October 3, 2017

    Career, Combination, or Volunteer?


    NFPA 1710, Standard for the Organization and Deployment of Fire Suppression Operations, Emergency Medical Operations, and Special Operations to the Public by Career Fire Departments


    NFPA 1720, Standard for the Organization and Deployment of Fire Suppression Operations, Emergency Medical Operations, and Special Operations to the Public by Volunteer Fire Departments


    These standards outline minimum staffing requirements for fire departments.  But which one should your department follow?  Is your department career, combination, or volunteer? For this answer we must look in the definition section of NFPA 1720.  Here we see the magic number, 85%.  


    If the department personnel is comprised of 85% or more volunteer members then the department is classified as volunteer. Fire departments composed of less than 85% majority of either volunteers or career personnel is classified as a combination department. Volunteer and combination department must comply with the staffing and organization requirements of NFPA 1720.  Departments having greater than 85% career personnel must comply with the staffing and organizational requirements of NFPA 1710.

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    Monday, September 25, 2017

    How many firefighters do you need?

    The purpose of NFPA 1710 is to provide minimum criteria to address “the effectiveness and efficiency of career” fire department personnel and operations.  This standard outlines seven objectives that must be met.  Fire department staffing levels should be based on the ability to meet these objectives and to deploy firefighting resources as outlined in the standard. This task analysis should account for, life hazards to the public, safety of the firefighters, property loss potential, types of occupancies and properties to be protected, and fireground tactics, apparatus, and expected results.

    Sunset with burning building by Petteri Sulonen

    NFPA 1710 defines the following types of incidents and deployment criteria.
    • Single-family dwelling, defined as 2,000sq.ft., two-story, single family dwelling (no basement, no exposures)
    • Strip shopping center, defined as an open-air shopping area of 13,000sq.ft. - 196,000sq.ft.
    • Apartments, defined as a 1,200sq.ft. unit inside three-story, garden-style building
    • High-rise buildings, defined as structures with the highest floor greater than 75’ above the lowest level of fire department vehicle access.


    Minimum staffing for full alarm assignments to single-family dwelling fires require a total of fourteen personnel, divided as follows:
    • (1) individual dedicated to incident command
    • (1) personnel to establish and maintain water supply
    • (4) personnel to operate handlines, (2) per line, minimum of two handlines required
    • (2) handline support members, (1) per attack and backup line
    • (2) personnel assigned to victim search and rescue team
    • (2) personnel to raise ground ladders and assist with ventilation
    • (2) personnel assigned to the initial rapid intervention crew (IRIC)


    Minimum staffing for full alarm assignment to an open-air strip shopping center fire incident requires a total of twenty-seven personnel, divided as follows:
    • (2) personnel assigned to incident command
    • (2) personnel to establish and maintain water supply, (1) per supply, minimum two required
    • (6) personnel to operate handlines, (2) per line, minimum of three handlines required
    • (3) handline support members, (1) per attack, backup, exposure line
    • (4) personnel assigned to victim search and rescue, (2) teams of two personnel
    • (4) personnel to raise ground ladders and assist with ventilation, (2) teams of two personnel
    • (4) personnel assigned to RIC, (1) officer (3) members
    • (2) personnel to provide initial medical care


    Minimum staffing for full alarm assignment to an apartment fire incident requires a total of twenty-seven personnel, divided as follows:
    • (2) personnel assigned to incident command
    • (2) personnel to establish and maintain water supply, (1) per supply, minimum two required
    • (6) personnel to operate handlines, (2) per line, minimum of three handlines required
    • (3) handline support members, (1) per attack, backup, exposure line
    • (4) personnel assigned to victim search and rescue, (2) teams of two personnel
    • (4) personnel to raise ground ladders and assist with ventilation, (2) teams of two personnel
    • (4) personnel assigned to RIC, (1) officer (3) members
    • (2) personnel to provide initial medical care


    Minimum staffing for full alarm assignment to a high-rise fire incident requires a total of forty-one personnel, divided as follows:
    • (2) personnel assigned to incident command, (1) officer with (1) aid
    • (2) personnel assigned incident command at fire floor, (1) officer with (1) aid
    • (1) incident safety officer
    • (1) officer, at interior staging area two floors below fire floor
    • (1) officer, building lobby operations
    • (1) officer, external base operations
    • (1) individual assigned to establish and maintain water supply to the standpipe system
    • (1) individual assigned to monitor and maintain building fire pump operations
    • (4) personnel to operate handlines, (2) per line, minimum of two handlines required at the fire floor
    • (2) personnel to operate handline, (2) per line, minimum of one handline required at floor above fire floor
    • (4) personnel assigned to RIC
    • (4) personnel assigned to victim search and rescue, (2) teams of two personnel
    • (4) personnel assigned to evacuation management, (2) teams of two personnel
    • (1) individual to manage and monitor elevator operations
    • (2) personnel assigned to firefighter rehab, (1) ALS trained
    • (4) personnel assigned to vertical ventilation, (1) officer (3) members
    • (2) personnel for equipment transport
    • (4) emergency medical personnel, (2) teams of two personnel

    These numbers represent only the minimum requirements for the initial alarm. As the incident escalates, it is understood that additional personnel and apparatus may be needed.

    To provide effective and efficient staffing levels, a thorough knowledge of the community must be had. This is why the conduct and maintenance of a community risk assessment is critical to, not just fire prevention, fire department operations as a whole.

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    Thursday, September 21, 2017

    The Guide for Fire Protection Solutions


    McKinsey & Company is the most widely regarded and renowned management consulting firms. Their methods of analyzing problems, creating effective solutions, and managing the process is what distinguishes them as “the most influential private organization in America”.  The systems and processes that McKinsey uses for problem solving in the manufacturing, energy, transportation, healthcare, communications, and pharmaceutical industries, can also be applied, with great effectiveness, to the fire protection industry.


    This free guide, The Consultative Approach to Fire Protection Problems, walks the reader step-by-step through the problem solving process. Through a series of short articles the reader will be able to practically apply this process to create fire protection solutions.


    • Analyzing fire protection problems
    • Creating a work plan
    • Achieving solution buy-in
    • Managing the implementation team

    Monday, September 18, 2017

    Braidwood's Fire Prevention Principles





    In the year 1824, Edinburgh, Scotland was faced with a fire crises. Major fires were occurring throughout the city, the insurance company fire brigades were less than effective as they lacked discipline and failed to work together. The municipal leaders, not happy with the situation, set out to take control of their fire problem.  So it was that, one of fire service history’s most influential and progressive thinking officers, James Braidwood was selected to become the first Master of Engines for the Edinburgh Fire-Engine Establishment (EFEE).

    In 1830, Braidwood wrote, “Not having been able to find any work on fire engines in the English language, I have been led to publish the following remarks, in the hope of inducing others to give further information on the subject.” These “remarks” became the 138-page book, On the Construction of Fire Engines and Apparatus: The Training of Firemen, and the Method of Proceeding in Cases of Fire.

    Braidwood's book covers much more than how to build a fire engine. It is a guide to building a fire service. He details fire engine use, maintenance, equipment, and water supply, he discusses hiring practices, firefighter training, and self-escape.  Most importantly, Braidwood's book provides one of the earliest guides "on the causes of fires, and the means of preventing them".

    His fire prevention plan can be broken down into the following seven principles:
    1. Know your community.
    2. Have a plan.
    3. Enforce the code.
    4. Conduct plan review and field inspections.
    5. Investigate fire incidents.
    6. Educate the public.
    7. Ensure adequate staffing.

    #1 Know your community --

    “...every exertion should be used to keep the firemen on good terms with the populace.”
    “He should also make himself well acquainted with the different parts of the town in which he may be appointed to act, and notice the declivities of the different streets, etc. He will find this knowledge of great advantage.”

    “...[in examining the Table, 1824-1829] serious fires decrease as the number of alarms increase...the cause of so many alarms...arise from foul chimneys...the number of houses, shops, and assessable places...is 29,000...average of fires for...five years is about 105...cases of foul chimneys...being one fire to each 276 houses.”

    #2 Have a Plan --

    “The person having the principal charge of the engines should frequently turn over in his mind what might be the best plan, in such and such circumstances, supposing a fire to take place.  By frequently ruminating on the subject, he will find himself, when suddenly turned our of bed at night, much more fit for his task than if he had never considered the matter at all.”

    #3 Enforce the code --

    “As almost all fires arise from carelessness in one shape or another, it is of the utmost importance that every master of a family should persevere in rigidly enjoining, and enforcing on those under him, the necessity of observing the utmost possible care, in preventing such calamities, which, in nineteen cases out of twenty, are the result of remissness or inattention.”

    #4 Conduct Plan Review and Field Inspections --

    “Great carelessness is frequently exhibited by builders, when erecting at one time two or three houses connected by mutual gables, by not carrying up the gables or party-walls with a skew on the outside, so as to divide the roofs.”

    “It is not uncommon thing, too, to find houses divided only by lath and standard partitions, without a single brick in them.”

    “In theatres, that part of the house which includes the stage and scenery should be carefully divided from that where the audience assembles.”

    “The subject of fire-proof buildings might occupy a considerable space...To make a building fire-proof, the stairs must be of stone, and the doors of iron…”

    “...the next thing to be considered is a supply of water.”

    #5 Investigate Fire Incidents --

    “The most immense hazard is frequently incurred for the most trifling indulgences, and much property is annually destroyed, and valuable lives often lost, because a few thoughtless individuals cannot deny themselves the gratification of reading in bed with a candle beside them.”

    “...leaving their houses to the care of children.”

    “Intoxication is also a disgraceful and frequent cause of fire.”

    “...approaching with lighted candles too near a bed or window curtains.”

    “...going under a bed with a lighted candle, and placing a screen full of clothes too near the fire.”

    “...cinders falling between the joints of the outer and inner hearths.”

    “...foul chimneys.”

    #6 Educate the public --

    "When a fire actually takes place, every one should endeavor to be as cool and collected as possible…”

    “The moment it is ascertained that fire has actually taken place, notice should be sent to the nearest station where there is a fire-engine.”

    “...shut all the doors and windows as close as possible, which greatly retards the progress of the flames…”

    #7 Ensure Adequate Staffing --

    “...however complete in its apparatus and equipments, must depend for its efficiency on the state of training and discipline of the firemen.  Wherever there is inexperience, want of co-operation, or confusion amongst them, the utmost danger is to be apprehended in the event of fire.”

    “The description of men from whom I have been in the habit of selecting firemen are slaters, house-carpenters, masons, plumbers, and smiths.”

    “In each company there is one captain, one sergeant, four pioneers, and six or eight firemen.”

    James Braidwood would eventually leave Edinburgh for London where he became  
    Superintendent of the London Fire Engine Establishment. At the age of 62 the "Father of the British Fire Serivce", James Braidwood, was killed in a building collapse, while fighting a large warehouse fire.

    In recent years standards such as NFPA 1730, NFPA 1452, NFPA 1300 have been created to discuss and present the "new" concept of community risk reduction or CRR.  I share the story of James Braidwood from 1830 to demonstrate that the principles of fire prevention, and effective fire prevention organizations have been around for a long time. Though the terminology may change, new buzz word may come and go, these seven tenants for effective community fire prevention remain the same.