Articles by Month: May 2014
Creating a Maintenance Program for Personal Protective Equipment – Article Highlight #1
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1851, Standard on Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting, incorporates common practices and procedures derived from the input of firefighting professionals, manufacturers, and industry specialists for maintaining personal protective equipment (PPE).
This article breaks down the standard by function and gives examples of how you can implement a program. Not all aspects of the standard are addressed, and the coat and trousers are referred to primarily when discussing cleaning and repairs. The document and training will fill in the information gaps. The standard is so comprehensive that all its aspects cannot be fully addressed in an article; it would require a book.
About the Author:
Mitch Lopez is an engineer with the Highlands Fire District in Flagstaff, Arizona, where he has served for six years. For four of those years, he headed the personal protective equipment (PPE) overhaul program. He has been trained in National Fire Protection Association 1851, oversees the PPE needs for a combination department of 50 personnel, and assists mutual-aid agencies in maintaining their PPE.
Fire-Dex is pleased to offer this article published via Fire Engineering free for all in fire service. Click here to download your PPE Training Guide from Fire Engineering sponsored by Fire-Dex.
There is no question that Fire Fighters have a long and proud history across the world. For years brave men and women have faithfully served to protect the people. But how far back does the Fire Fighting tradition go? It might surprise you that the oldest team of Fire Fighters on record traces back to Ancient Rome.
Wealthy Roman governor, Marcus Licinius Crassus, is on record as having created the first organized fire brigade. However, Crassus was no hero. In ancient times Rome was particularly susceptible to fires due to a combination of the city’s early urban architecture, and the heat of the Italian summer. Crassus took advantage of this by creating his brigade of 500 men who would rush to burning buildings at the first sign of trouble… and negotiate a satisfactory price before beginning to fight the fire. Soon after, early Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus, saw the need for a city-wide fire brigade and in AD 6 created the proud order of the Vigiles Urbani, the Watchmen of the City.
The Vigiles were stationed in city barracks and would patrol the streets for unsupervised fires. Upon finding a budding fire a cohort of Vigiles would dispatch from the barracks with a horse-powered fire engine, and an expert in the city’s water supply – known as an aquaria. During their time as servants of the city, the Vigiles saved many lives, putting out fires, and often laying out mattresses and blankets to allow people to jump to safety. Little did they know that their vigilance would begin a tradition of honor and bravery that would stretch all the way to the 21st century and beyond.
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