April 4, 2005
Railroad Association Recommended Procedures For
O btaining Hazardous Materials Information.
here for information.
NEW YORK STATE - DEPARTMENT OF STATE
OFFICE OF FIRE PREVENTION AND CONTROL MEMORANDUM
TO: State Fire Instructors, County Fire Coordinators
James A. Burns
DATE: July 1, 2004
RE: Training Authorization Letter
Attached for your information and use are the Training
Authorization Letter and associated policy statement for its
use. Use of this form and policy is to ensure that all students
attending training courses delivered by the Office of Fire Prevention
and Control have the necessary medical clearances and authorization
to attend certain courses. In addition, student firefighters under
18 years of age must have parental or legal guardian approval to
attend any training course.
fire chief’s (or assistant chief’s) authorization and
medical clearance portion of the Training Authorization Letter will
be phased in from August 1, 2004 to March 31, 2005. Students will
be encouraged to submit this form before any units that require
the use of Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) for the training
courses listed in the attached policy. Effective April 1, 2005,
Authorization Letter will be required at the time of course
registration (first unit) for the training courses listed in the
second portion of the form, pertaining to student information and
parental/legal guardian consent to participate in a training course
for students under the age of 18 is effective immediately. Without
this authorization, students under the age of 18 cannot attend or
participate in training courses offered by OFPC.
take the time to read and understand the attached policy statement.
If you have any questions concerning this policy and its implementation,
please contact the Fire Service Bureau fire protection specialist
assigned to your county, Chief Thomas Wutz or Deputy Chief Andrew
Dickinson at (518) 474-6746.
Updated February 23, 2005
What Separates the Winners from the Losers in Grants?
(Article taken from VolunteerFD.org)
departments, particularly volunteer departments, fight a continuous
and ongoing battle in funding their existence. Shrinking tax bases,
poor economies and swings from the budget axe take their toll on
all departments daily and have become the norm, instead of an occasional
problem area. Most fundraising activities are marginally successful
and generally allow us to keep fuel in our vehicles or keep the
lights and phones turned on at the station and little else. So how
do we continue to wrestle with this beast and serve our populations
and keep our members safe?
answer to that question is through the use of grant strategy; planning,
researching, developing and applying for grants. The grants ballgame
is very much like playing the lottery and simply stated,”
If you don’t play, you can’t win”. Quite a few
of you are obviously playing the game, as 24000 of you applied for
this grant last year. Many of you got your “Dear John’s”
last week and this might have been the second or third time you
have received a rejections notice for the Assistance to Firefighters
Grant Program. I am sure many of you are asking the obvious question,
“What separates the winners from the losers”?
past year I purposely took on 18 departments who had previously
had their grant applications rejected for a minimum of 2-3 years.
This was done purposely, with the intent of conducting an experiment
to see what impact “applying the rules” would have on
the outcomes. Apparently my observations about what they were doing
wrong were correct, as 14 of those departments were funded this
year after using this approach to their grant applications.
of this problem lies in not understanding exactly what a grant is,
or what is required to get a grant. Let’s examine these two
issues and see if a little knowledge can tear away the frightening
mask that covers the face of this imaginary “boogey man”.
of Mr. Webster’s definitions of a grant is particularly applicable
to fire departments grants: “giving to a claimant or petitioner
something that could be withheld”. In the world of public
safety “grant” means; a gift or monetary award to perform
certain deeds or services and to achieve certain goals while solving
a particular problem(s) exclusive to your agency and your served
for, and being awarded a grant, is not just simply saying,”
I need money” and then sticking out your hand. In that scenario,
the only thing likely to be placed into your hand will be a rejection
notice. All grant programs are offers to fund solutions to problems
that exist for your community and, for which no other source of
funding is available. Grants are, in essence, a program / project
to resolve community problems. Please pay particular attention to
the use of the word “program” here.
YOUR PLAYBOOK AND PLAY BY THE RULES
first thing everybody needs to understand is that all grant programs
have” funding priorities” assigned to them .We need
to remember that it is “their” money ,and if you want
“their” money, you must address “their”
priorities. If you don’t, you have just failed the basic test
of getting your grant into the competitive range.
the AFGP Guidelines document the “primary reason” for
this program is stated as being “to enhance firefighter safety”.
What can we infer from this statement? They are seeking to make
the individual firefighter safe. Those of you who applied should
now ask yourself what your response was to the question that was
asked in the grant application, “How many firefighter related
injuries has your department had during the last three years”?
Almost without fail, every rejected application I read had answered
that question with “0”. Now, if the primary purposes
of the grant is to enhance firefighter safety and you answered that
you had no injuries in three years, what do you suppose a grant
reviewer, or in this case the “computer reviewer” would
conclude? The computer will assume that you run a very safe operation
and that you do not need any help with safety related matters. Guess
what? In the words of the noted southern comedian, John Engvall,
“Here’s your sign!”
incorrectly assumed that they meant a “workman’s comp
related injury” or one that “required formal medical
intervention” didn’t you? Wrong! All they asked you
for was how many “injuries”. They did not say what severity,
or ask you how many went to the ER, they simply asked how many reported
injuries did your department have. True, none of us wants to be
labeled as having an “unsafe” department but, let’s
be real here folks. Your workman’s comp insurer and the State
reporting requirements specifically tell you what type of injuries
need to be reported to them. USFA is not asking you that. You are
trying to read too much into what is being asked.
many of you have been fighting a structure fire and the smoke column
shifted with the wind and you sucked in some smoke? You probably
had to go get into the clean air, or sit on the rescue truck and
suck some O2 and then you went about your business. If your grant
request was for SCBA equipment does it not make sense that you should
have some “smoke inhalation” injuries in order to justify
the need for new SCBA and individually fitted face masks? The key
to this is you need to have “documented” these injuries.
That can be as simple as making a notation on a run record that
FF Smith suffered a small cut on his right hand which was treated
at the scene and no formal medical attention was needed.
inquiries of these Chief’s also showed that many of you did
not understand how critical these answers are that the application
asks you to answer in the front of the grant. People, there were
24000 applications received for this program. Do you think that
a human being reads every one of them first? No, they don’t!
When you are dealing with this many grant applications you have
to “screen” them somehow. A computer tabulates and assigns
points to the answers you provide in those questions. If, in the
end, your score does not reach a certain level you never make it
into the competitive range. That means a human being never reads
your request! All of the work you did in the narrative section now
is vitally important that the answers to those “activity specific”
questions are not put in “willy-nilly”. The numbers
need to be researched thoroughly. They should be accurate and they
need to be complete. You have to do some research here folks; just
throwing in a number is a sure-fire way to get your grant scored
lower than it needs to be. Do the work, do the math!
A COMPLETE PICTURE
grant writer must be an artist. You are providing the funding source,
or “grantor”, with a picture of your community, its
problems, your department’s problems, and the proposed solution.
Many times I have received grants for review and am presented with
what amounts to a black and white picture describing the proposed
program. What is needed is an 8 x 10, color glossy, 5 mega pixel
digital image. The problem with them is they lack sufficient detail.
A person sitting on a review panel should not be left with unanswered
questions about your proposal when they are finished reading it.
are several elements asked for in this grant application narrative.
You should address each of these and use the headings provided by
USFA, the reviewer is then assured that you are addressing each
of those concerns by doing so.
Description – This defines the problem you are experiencing
in your department. Why does it exist? What have you done to try
and correct the problem yourselves? Why haven’t you funded
this project yourselves? How many runs or calls did you answer last
year? How many of them were for mutual aid? How big is your service
area? How many people live there? What critical infrastructure do
you protect? You will generally need three years average and the
most current yearly figures for the grant application. This is also
the area where you should tug at the emotions of the reader. Grant
writers call this the “make em’ bleed, make em’
cry factor”. It is critical to grab the attention of the reader
and impress upon them that you need outside help to solve this problem.
Need – Here is where you need to know where your budget is
derived from. How much was it last year? How much did you spend
on the lights, building mortgage, maintenance of vehicles, fuel,
equipment repair etc.? Why can’t you fund this yourselves?
Did you even bother to ask your governing boards for assistance?
Did the voters turn down the last tax referendum? Did you have two
major corporations shutter their plants and move to Mexico? Why
are you in need? These are the questions you need to answer or tell
the reviewer about in your grant application. You have to provide
hard facts here, so start digging up those statistics and newspaper
articles about why you can’t fund these activities with your
current budget. What is the primary economic structure of your community?
What is the average median income for a resident of your community?
This is all statistical data which is published and available on
the Internet or through your own records. The reviewer needs to
understand why you are in the financial predicament that you are
in and what efforts you are making to deal with it. Quote your debt
service on mortgages to build the firehouse or pay off your apparatus.
Let them know that the City just paid for a new water plant to bring
the water pressure up and to extend lines and hydrants into new
service areas. Bring in the “bean counters and number crunchers”
amongst your members here. This is not a place where you should
be short sighted. It takes experience to put an accurate budget
down on paper. Most of us do not have this skill, it is one that
is taught and this is an area where you should call upon the first
rule of proper management, “surround yourself with competent
people and listen to them”. If you do not have a budget expert
amongst your staff, seek one out. Most communities are happy to
lend the expertise of their city treasurer, a bank loan officer
or similar type person to assist you in preparing a proper and accurate
Benefit- Otherwise known as “bang for their buck”. All
grantors, or givers, want to know that the most people will benefit
from the least amount of money spent. They don’t give away
money to be spent willy-nilly or to benefit just your individual
department. You must show that the community and other surrounding
agencies as well (think Mutual Aid here) will benefit from your
good fortune and their generous gifts. It is vitally important that
you properly address this in detail. You have to get out of the
“us” mode and into the “we” mode here. The
guidelines document mentions the words “interagency interoperability”
at least 3-4 times. That is you clue here. You must show how helping
you. Will help them as well.
Outcomes –This is new area in this year’s application,
so pay attention closely. This is where you must explain to the
reviewer what the results will be in increasing your operational
capabilities or efficiency. You should talk about how obtaining
the new equipment increases your capacity to fulfill a void that
previously existed in your capabilities. It is also where you should
discuss the difference it will make in how you did things before,
and how you will be able to do things now.
that play by the rules closest, usually win! Good luck with your
applications this year.
Updated February 17, 2005
Stress Debriefing TEAM
I have mentioned at previous meetings and emails, Richard Angehr and
Dutch Egglestone from the Ellis Hospital Mental Health Unit are involved
in the process of establishing a Stress Debriefing Team for Emergency
Responders. They have been training for over a year.
have used the team in the county a few times, and have been very
successful in their debriefings. They are now in a position to be
seeking volunteers from Police, Fire and EMS to join the team to
widen it’s understandings and capabilities in providing debriefings
to the emergency response community.
few years back there was some interest in forming a unit in the
county, but it never came to pass.
Hospital and their Mental Health Unit have decided to undertake
this worthwhile project, which will be a major assistance to our
response community, in the time of need.
the attached note (below) states they are in the process of soliciting
interested volunteers to attend a training session in March.
interest is appreciated in assisting to expand the team with volunteers
who are capable of participating and being involved.
you for your assistance.
CRITICAL RESPONSE EMERGENCY WORKERS
We are a team of concerned individuals who have been trained
and have come together to offer support to those in the community
who are impacted by traumatic events. Our services are primarily
for emergency services personnel (EMS, police, firefighters, nurses,
hospital workers, disaster relief workers, etc.) but may also include
schools, businesses and other groups and individuals who may suffer
a traumatic event. Emergency service workers provide care to our
community in situations which are often physically draining, dangerous
and may be emotionally traumatic. They provide care for us, but
who provides care for the caregivers? It is our goal to make this
care available to our community.
train in Critical Incident Stress Management, which is an organized
and accepted method of assisting emergency personnel to appropriately
manage the psychological trauma of emergency work. CISM is a psychological
and educational process designed to lessen the impact of major events
on emergency personnel and accelerate the normal recovery of normal
people who are experiencing high levels of stress after an abnormal
event. We provide intervention shortly after these events occur
and make appropriate referrals for follow up care as needed.
Line of duty
death or serious injury of a fellow emergency worker
of a fellow emergency worker
Serious injury or death of a civilian as a result of operational
events involving children as victims
of a victim’s life following a prolonged or an extraordinary
that attract excessive media interest
incident charged with profound emotion
where victim is a relative or is known to rescuers
incident where circumstances are so unusual or distressing as to
high level of immediate emotional reaction.
are recruiting emergency personnel to be part of our team. We are
looking for police officers, firefighters, EMS workers and others
of the first responder community to join us. We are going to be
providing, at no charge, a two-day training on March 11 and 12,
2005. This is the first level and will be followed later this year
with a two-day advanced course. More information on CISM can be
found at www.ICISF.org.
completion of this training, we will be holding a monthly meeting
to manage team business and for further educational purposes. We
plan on a team of 40 members so that the number of call-outs to
any one individual should not be excessive. If you are interested
in providing this service to our community, we will be glad to meet
with you to see if our team is right for you.
may contact Dutch Eggleston, Team President, at 330-3674 or 831-6966,
or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org,
or Rich Angehr, Clinical Director, at 831-6970 or email@example.com.
Kidde has determined that the thread area on certain
black Zytel nylon valve assemblies installed into welded steel cylinders
can be subject to various levels of degradation under certain conditions
over time. The head of the extinguisher could separate from the
cylinder. Here is the web site with all the info:
Cylinder Explodes During Equipment Check, Virginia Beach FD
(The following information is forwarded by the New York
State Association of Fire Chiefs Public Relations Committee for
your information - February 10, 2005)
ensure that your oxygen cylinder is properly secured in the ems
bag. When you check off the O2 cylinder, remove the cylinder from
the bag to a well vented area and check the pressure and then bleed
off the residual in this well vented area. Not inside the rig! Make
sure that you are using a proper none sparking device to turn the
cylinder on (not a steel adjustable wrench), make sure your o-ring
is in place and
finally, make sure that penlights and other battery operated devices
are properly stowed.
The crew of ladder 16 narrowly escape major injury and a large fire
that could have burned the rig up. After checking off the ems bag,
it was zipped back up and placed back in the compartment. The MRL
bag was placed on top. The FF then removed the suction bag and started
to check it off when fire emitted from the ems bag. The FF grabbed
the bag and tossed in on the bay floor where other FF's tried to
extinguish it. The relief valve was sounding and the impinging flame
from the relief valve caused the cylinder to fail. Notice the breech
in the cylinder wall at the shoulder of the cylinder. No one was
injured in the fire or cylinder failure, but imagine the burn to
the face level of a FF when the cylinder failed if it was still
in the compartment.
A preliminary investigation suggest that the ignition sequence could
have been a pen light (found melted to the underside of the cylinder)
and under the pen light was a adjustable wrench. The O2 somehow
leaked and saturated the bag. The ems bag was replaced back in the
compartment and MRL placed on top. The weight of the MRL compressed
the cylinder on the penlight against the wrench.
This information is still preliminary and was put together with
the help of BC Mike Gurley, BC Vance Cooper and John Lyons. We will
attempt to find the cause of the oxygen leak through a couple of
channels formally. As more information comes forward, we will certainly
let you know.
It is amazing that these circumstances (Dominos) can come together
and cause such a terrible event---but no one was hurt this time
(except for noise exposure), and damage was confined to equipment.
Please check your ems gear and make sure pen lights are not floating
in the bottom of the bag and that your wrench is plastic or non-sparking
and that you have the regulator gasket/o-ring in place and you turn
the O2 completely off. Pressurized gases including oxygen and air
are dangerous and you need to handle them carefully.
Thank you for your attention, if you know of any similar circumstances
involving O2, please email BC John Harvey or myself.
Stephen T. Miles
Shift Safety Officer "A" Shift
Virginia Beach Fire Department
Updated February 2, 2005
2005 Assistance To Firefighters Grant (AFG) Workshop
Latham Fire Department
226 Old London Road
Latham, NY 12110
attend please email the following information to: firstname.lastname@example.org
indicate the session you plan on attending:
1:00 PM or
Name of attendee
Fire Depart./Company /EMS agency name
Grant contact name
Phone & Fax numbers
Department Email address & website (if applicable)
Name of Chief
has appropriated over $600 million for the 2005 Assistance to Firefighters
Grant program. The application period is tentatively scheduled for
March 7 to April. Potential applicants and interested parties may
view the entire workshop schedule as well as the other fire grant
program information, at http://www.firegrantsupport.com (to be posted
in near future)
Fire Grant program for this year is very similar to the program
from last. Congress has made a change allowing the program office
to award a limited number of grants (on a competitive basis) to
Emergency Medical Service (EMS) organizations that that are not
affiliated with a fire department.
and assistance may be obtained from email email@example.com
Or by calling 1-866-274-0960
to Latham Fire House:
Proceed East, Route 2 (east of Latham Circle), (stay in left lane)
Take left turn on to Old London Road, at the Mobil Station, go approximately
2/10 mile to fire house on left.
Updated January 25, 2005
DHS Releases Applicant Workshop Schedule for 2005 Assistance to Firefighters
January 19, 2005 - The Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program
posted today the initial schedule of applicant workshops for the 2005
year, the Congress has appropriated over $600M specifically for
Fire Grants. The application period is tentatively scheduled for
March 7 to April 8. Potential applicants and interested parties
can view the schedule, as well as other fire grant program information,
the coming days and weeks, the AFG Program expects to revise and
update the schedule, as new locations are added or currently scheduled
workshops are amended. Potential applicants are encouraged to check
the AFG website from time to time to verify information in the schedule.
Requests for additional workshop locations should be made to one
of your AFG regional representatives. Regional
contacts and telephone numbers are also available at http://www.firegrantsupport.com
The Fire Grants for this year are very similar to those from last
year. There is little change. One change is that the Congress has
directed the program office to award a limited number of grants
(on a competitive basis) to Emergency Medical Service (EMS) organizations
that are not affiliated with a fire department.
AFG program office, in addition to updates of the schedule, plans
in the near future to post a copy of the PowerPoint presentation
used at the workshops; Fiscal Year (FY) 2005 Program Guidance; frequently
asked questions (FAQ's), and; a link to the online tutorial for
the FY2005 application. All of these will help an
applicant submit a competitive application for the FY 2005 fire
grants. In FY2004, the online tutorial was especially helpful for
applicants, and received over 80,000 individual visits.
about the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program may be directed
by electronic mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or you may call the toll
free number at
Updated January 4
New USFA online course helps prepare Emergency Medical Service responders
to operate at multiple casualty incidents
D.C. - Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary of the U.S. Department
of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response, announced
today a new online course designed to assist Emergency Medical Service
(EMS) personnel to respond more effectively when faced with a Multiple
Casualty Incident (MCI). The new independent study course, EMS Operations
at Multi-Casualty Incidents is a 4-hour, web-based course that addresses
preparedness planning; management of the incident; safe and efficient
triage, treatment, and transportation of patients; and the de-escalation
of the response. It is not intended to provide detailed steps in
the care of patients.
a day passes without reading or hearing about a multiple casualty
incident occurring somewhere in the nation," said Brown. "President
Bush, Secretary Ridge and I continue to ensure that all first responders
continue to receive courses like this to support their efforts to
protect and better serve our communities."
successful completion of this course, the participant/student will
be able to:
the characteristics of multiple casualty incidents.
Describe the types and indicators of CBRNE incidents.
Describe the steps of responding to a Multiple Casualty Incident,
including preparedness planning, triage, treatment, transportation,
and incident demobilization.
Describe the purpose of triage and how to perform it.
Describe the purpose of decontamination and the resources required
to perform it.
Describe specialized medical treatment that can be administered
to victims of CBRNE incidents.
MCI can occur as a result of many situations, including a transportation
crash, the collapse of a building or bleachers, a civil disturbance,
a severe weather event, a hazardous material release, or a terrorist
attack to name a few. Since September 11, 2001, EMS responders are
keenly aware of the dangers of MCIs and the additional challenges
presented by terrorist attacks involving chemical, biological, radiological,
nuclear, or explosive (CBRNE) agents. The course includes information
on safely and effectively dealing with an MCI resulting from an
attack involving a CBRNE agent.
subject matter experts from across the country worked with training
specialists at FEMA's U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) to develop
this course. The course can be found on USFA's Virtual Campus at:
http://www.training.fema.gov. The USFA has many other training programs,
both online and classroom-based, that are designed to assist emergency
responders in becoming better prepared for all types of emergencies.
Information on these training programs and other USFA initiatives
and publications can be found at www.usfa.fema.gov.
March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland
Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is
to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively
manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national
incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains
first responders, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program
and the U.S. Fire Administration.
Updated November 18
Recall Notice - 11/8/04
Access CardioSystems (the "Company") has notified
Bound Tree Medical that an urgent recall notice has been posted for
all AccessAED and AccessALS Automated External Defibrillators. The
recall is a result of potential situations in which the device may
experience a catastrophic failure of the shock delivery circuit and
potential situations in which the device may turn on unexpectedly.
Bound Tree Medical is working to gather additional information from
Access CardioSystems and will communicate further information as it
becomes available. We recommend that customers immediately discontinue
use and remove from service the items identified in the following
manufacturer statement regarding this recall:
CardioSystems has become aware of two potential issues involving
certain AEDs that warrant your immediate attention. The following
is a description of each potential issue followed by instructions
for discontinuing use of all your Access CardioSystems AEDs.
FAILURE OF THE SHOCK DELIVERY CIRCUIT
Company has become aware of a situation involving certain of its
AEDs in which the device may experience a catastrophic failure of
the shock delivery circuit. The Company's investigation indicates
to date that this failure mode is restricted to a specific batch
of one device component. To date, the company has received 11 complaints
of this occurrence in devices containing the component shown to
be associated with this failure mode (representing 0.8% complaint
rate within the
affected units). When this potential problem occurs, it is not possible
to deliver additional defibrillation shocks.
the investigation of this issue is still ongoing, the Company has
determined that AEDs with the following serial numbers may have
Catalog Number: 9100-0100
Affected Serial Numbers: 075690 - 077140
OF THE AED TO TURN ON UNEXPECTEDLY
Company has also become aware of a situation involving certain of
its AEDs in which the ON/OFF button of the device may become inoperative
after the device turns on unexpectedly. The Company's investigation
indicates to date that this failure mode is related to a specific
manufacturer of a specific device component. To date, the Company
has received 33 complaints of this occurrence in devices containing
the component (representing a 0.3% complaint rate within the affected
units), none of which have involved a patient treatment. If this
potential problem occurs, the device may not defibrillate.
the investigation of this issue is still ongoing, the Company has
determined that AEDs with the following serial numbers may have
Catalog Number: 9100-0100
Affected Serial Numbers: 075180 - 084760
IMMEDIATELY DISCONTINUE USE OF AND REMOVE FROM SERVICE ACCESS CARDIOSYSTEMS
AED DEVICES WITH THE ABOVE REFERENCED CATALOG AND SERIAL NUMBERS.
Important: Certain of the AccessAED or AccessALS AEDs in your possession
may have one, both, or neither of the issues described above. However,
the Company has made a business decision, effective November 3,
2004, to discontinue manufacturing and marketing ALL models of its
AEDs and to discontinue supporting its AEDs that are currently in
the field. The Company is no longer accepting orders for disposable
parts used with their AEDs. Therefore, when your supply of disposable
parts is depleted, please immediately discontinue use of and remove
from service all of the Company's AEDs that you have in your possession.
It is your responsibility to equip yourself with AEDs that meet
your medical needs.
additional information, we encourage you to contact the Company
150 Baker Avenue Extension
Concord, MA 01742
of Colonie Home