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On-Duty Firefighter Fatalities Down from 2010: USFA

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The United States Fire Administration (USFA) recently announced there were 81 on-duty firefighter fatalities in the United States as a result of incidents that occurred in 2011. This represents an almost seven percent decrease from the 87 fatalities reported for 2010. The 81 fatalities occurred in 33 states, one U.S. territory, and one overseas U.S.military facility. Texas experienced the highest number of fatalities (seven).

North Carolina experienced six firefighter deaths and was the only other state with five or more firefighter fatalities.Heart attacks were responsible for the deaths of 48 firefighters (59 percent) in 2011, nearly the same proportion of firefighter deaths from heart attack or stroke (60 percent) in 2010.

The United States Fire Administration (USFA) recently announced there were 81 on-duty firefighter fatalities in the United States as a result of incidents that occurred in 2011. This represents an almost seven percent decrease from the 87 fatalities reported for 2010. The 81 fatalities occurred in 33 states, one U.S. territory, and one overseas U.S. military facility. Texas experienced the highest number of fatalities (seven). North Carolina experienced six firefighter deaths and was the only other state with five or more firefighter fatalities.

“In 2004 at the initial Life Safety Summit, a number of fire service leaders did not believe we would complete a calendar year with less than 100 firefighter on-duty deaths,” U.S. Fire Administrator Ernest Mitchell said. “We broke through that perceived barrier in 2009, 2010, and now in 2011. We salute and congratulate our fire service family and pledge to continue working closely with the entire fire service community and its partners to maintain and even accelerate this downward trend in on-duty firefighter deaths.”

Heart attacks were responsible for the deaths of 48 firefighters (59 percent) in 2011, nearly the same proportion of firefighter deaths from heart attack or stroke (60 percent) in 2010. Ten on-duty firefighters died in association with wildland fires, the lowest number of annual firefighter deaths associated with wildland fires since 1996. Fifty-four percent of all firefighter fatalities occurred while performing emergency duties. Three firefighters were killed in vehicle collisions.
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RESCUE IV-ADVANCED SCENARIOS

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

We’ve had so many requests for “advanced-level scenario training” that we’ve added Rescue IV to our 2011 schedule. You can add new techniques to your rescue toolbox while putting your problem-solving skills to the test.Challenging confined space and high-angle evolutions, including Roco’s“Yellow Brick Road” multi-station scenario, will give rescuers and rescue teams the most realistic rescue experience possible. This 40-hour course will challenge participants in a wide variety of confined space and high angle rescue scenarios.

RESCUE IV – ADVANCED SCENARIOS (40 hours)
Prerequisite: Rescue I-Plus or Industrial I/II

Challenging confined space and high-angle evolutions, including Roco’s “Yellow Brick Road” multi-station scenario, will give rescuers and rescue teams the most realistic rescue experience possible. This 40-hour course will challenge participants in a wide variety of confined space and high angle rescue scenarios.Advanced problem-solving skills and additional techniques will equip rescuers to function more effectively in time-critical emergency situations. This 40-hour course will challenge individual rescuers and rescue teams in a wide variety of confined space and high angle rescue scenarios. These scenarios will increase in complexity to include simulated IDLH and non-IDLH atmospheres, using both SCBA and SAR air equipment. For training conducted at Roco’s training facility, practice scenarios will be completed in all six (6) types of representative confined spaces. At other sites, the number of types completed will depend on the availability of practice spaces.This course will provide documented confined space practice scenarios in accordance with OSHA 1910.146 and as referenced in NPFA 1006.

OSHA 1910.146(k)(2)(iv)

Ensure that affected employees practice making permit space rescues at least once every 12 months, by means of simulated rescue operations in which they remove dummies, manikins, or actual persons from the actual permit spaces or from representative permit spaces. Representative permit spaces shall, with respect to opening size, configuration, and accessibility, simulate the types of permit spaces from which rescue is to be performed.

NFPA 1006 A.3.3.38 Confined Space Type

Figure A.3.3.38* shows predefined types of confined spaces normally found in an industrial setting. Classifying spaces by “types” can be used to prepare a rescue training plan to include representative permit spaces for simulated rescue practice as specified by OSHA. (*Roco Confined Space Types Chart)
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Corpus Christi Firefighters Save Man Trapped in Grain Bin

Friday, November 04, 2011

How do you rescue a man stuck in grain to just above his waist?  Very carefully — and slowly — said Corpus Christi, Texas, firefighters who built a special wooden box that enclosed the trapped man. They were then able to lower the grain level around the worker enough to pull him to safety, hours after he became stuck in a grain elevator. Thirty firefighters, rotating in teams, spent about five hours in the delicate rescue effort at the Corpus Christi Grain Co., said Assistant Fire Chief Randy Paige.

CNN reported this dramatic grain rescue by the Corpus Christi Fire Department back in April. OSHA has just announced significant penalties and multiple violations for theTexas grain company. Here’s more…

How do you rescue a man stuck in grain to just above his waist?  Very carefully — and slowly — said Corpus Christi, Texas, firefighters who built a special wooden box that enclosed the trapped man. They were then able to lower the grain level around the worker enough to pull him to safety, hours after he became stuck in a grain elevator. Thirty firefighters, rotating in teams, spent about five hours in the delicate rescue effort at the Corpus Christi Grain Co., said Assistant Fire Chief Randy Paige.

The 50-year-old unidentified man was alone inside the grain elevator when he became stuck, said Paige, who did not know what the employee was doing inside or what variety of grain was in the structure. The man was discovered more than an hour later by co-workers, and the rescue began, with a successful conclusion around 8:30 p.m. The man was taken Wednesday night to a local hospital for observation and was in stable condition, Paige told CNN. The man did not complain of injuries.

Firefighters who arrived on the scene opened a hatch on the side of the round elevator, which is about 100 feet in diameter and about 75 feet tall, officials said. They could see the employee who was a few feet above ground level in the tank. He also was standing above valves that release grain to an area below ground, Paige said. As they got to work, they also saw that the grain rose in a “V” shape along the tank’s walls to about 50 feet above the worker, who was in the middle of the elevator, Paige said.

“This stuff is real fine and granular and he was unable to move,” the chief said. Crews used plywood to build wood shoring that was about the shape of a small closet. They put it in position around the employee. When they opened the valve, the grain dropped and they were able to pluck the employee to safety. “We had to be very careful and slow at this,” said Paige. “We were worried about an avalanche effect.”

The fire official was proud of his team, which had three members inside the tank at all times. They had to deal with warm temperatures and were able to get fluids, by water and intravenously, to the trapped man. “Luckily, the dust was not too bad.” It all came down to training and resourcefulness, Paige said.

What were the other options? Plan B called for using a hoisting device at the top of the elevator, but crews were worried about the stress on the employee’s body if they tried to pull him up. Plan C involved a vacuum truck that would have removed the grain.”Luckily, Plan A worked on this one,” said Paige.

OSHA has cited Corpus Christi Grain Co. in Corpus Christi, Texas, for six willful and 20 serious violations with total proposed penalties of $258,900. OSHA‘s Corpus Christi Area Office initiated its inspection at the company’s facility after it was reported that a worker was engulfed while emptying grain from a storage bin. The employee was rescued due to the exceptional efforts of the Corpus Christi Fire Department.

“Employees working in grain storage buildings are exposed to dangerous conditions, and proper safety measures must be taken,” said Michael Rivera, director of OSHA’sCorpus Christi office. “If OSHA’s standards were followed, it is possible this unfortunate incident could have been avoided.”

The willful violations include failing to provide personal protective equipment, such as a body harness and life line, for employees working with stored grain; perform lockout/tagout procedures for the energy sources of equipment, such as augers and conveyors, while workers are inside the grain bins; and have a competent attendant present with rescue equipment when workers enter grain storage bins.

The serious violations include failing to ensure that employees are trained on the hazards associated with grain handling, cover openings with grates in grain bins, ensure that workroom floors are clear of combustible dust, and provide a preventive maintenance schedule for machinery.



References:
CNN
OSHA
Iowa Fatality Assessment & Control (FACE) Program
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Trench Warning from OSHA

Monday, October 10, 2011

Two workers are killed every month in trench collapses. Unprotected trenches are among the deadliest hazards in the construction industry and the loss of life is devastating.Since 2003, more than 200 workers have died in trench cave-ins and hundreds more have been seriously injured. OSHA has three new guidance products to educate employers and workers about the hazards in trenching operations.

The new products include a fact sheet, QuickCard and a poster that warns, “An Unprotected Trench is an Early Grave.”

The three documents may be ordered in English- and Spanish-language versions from the Publications page of OSHA’s web site. See the news release for more information.
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ConocoPhillips-Alaska attends FastTrack 120 in Baton Rouge

Thursday, September 29, 2011

“I have attended other Technical Rescue training programs, and the instruction and training that I have received during this FAST TRACK 120 course has been within the top 3 courses I’ve attended in my 20 years in the Fire Service.” ~ Jason Kuni Diorec, Emergency Response Assistant Chief, ConocoPhillips Alaska, Inc.During a recent FastTrack 120 class in Baton Rouge, we had the opportunity to talk with one of our students who traveled all the way from Alaska.

He told us of his plant’s unique needs based on their location and how they require a wide variety of emergency response skills to handle the responses in their remote area. FastTrack 120 is Roco’s most intense program and includes 12 days of confined space and high angle rope training. Certification testing based on NFPA is conducted at the end of the program, which includes individual skills testing, scenario-based performance evaluations, and a written exam.

Q: Why is this type of training important to your team?

FastTrack student, Will Rogillio, makes patient access through a horizontal pipe during a confined space exercise using SAR at the Roco Training Center in Baton Rouge.

A: We are a unique industrial facility due to our remote location on the Alaska North Slope. We are isolated from any emergency response services for miles, so we supplyour own emergency response services to protect life and property in the Boundaries of ConocoPhillips leased land.

This makes our responses very similar to any other Municipal Fire Department plus the industrial aspect as well, which includes: Hydrocarbon Fires, Structural Fires, Medical Emergencies, Haz Mat, Spill Response, and Technical Rescue.

Q: How or when could these techniques be used at your location?

A: Since our facility operates around the clock, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, our Technical Rescue team has the potential to be called upon at any time.

Student Joe Roske being lowered into a 24" shaft using rapid deployment techniques to make quick access to the patient in a confined space scenario.

Q: How has your team benefited from this training experience?

A: Our Technical Rescue Team has developed a very strong skills set in training and practice. This has allowed us to gain the confidence of the people we protect.

Q: What was your favorite part of the Roco class?

A: My personal favorite was the “hands-on” component. The repetitive skills stations followed by scenario-based practicals allowed me to acquire the skills that I would not have been able to comprehend just from a lecture and book information.

Q: How did you like training at the Roco Training Center (RTC)?

Using a SKED stretcher, Mark Snellgrove and Mike Vaccaro package their patient (Joe Roske) and prepare him for a raise and then a "pick and pivot" exercise over a low point edge.

A: The facility was impressive. It is designed to exceed any skill level of student with the right instructors.

Q: Why did you choose Roco Training?

A: My company, ConocoPhillips, has been trained by Roco for years. Roco has the techniques and skills that best meet our needs.

Special thanks to Jason Kuni Diorec for providing this information – and to Roco Instructors Russell Kellar (Chief Instructor) from Austin, Texas; Bob Kauer from New York; and Neal Thurman from Baton Rouge. We appreciate you guys!
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