Training and Discussions
Important changes have been made to the AFG Awards Procedures.
The only notification that will be received by the applicant organization will be a single e-mail notification from firstname.lastname@example.org. The AFG Mail Center will also receive a copy of the message.
This year there will be no preliminary questionnaire sent to applicants that are being considered for the award.
All applicants chosen for the awards must formally ACCEPT or DECLINE the award within 30 days of notification. Information on how to do so will be provided in the notification e-mail.
If the applicant doesn’t accept or decline their award within 30 days of the notification, the funds will be returned to FEMA.
Before any awards are accepted, applicants should read the information in the Award Package and the Articles of Agreement. Be sure to pay extra attention to Articles 4 and 5.
If applicants believe they have pre-award expenses or grant-writer fees eligible for funding, they must be discussed with a Grants Management Specialist prior to accepting the award.
AFG award announcements are expected to take place in December. They will continue rolling into 2012 until all of the funds are awarded. Be sure to check your email and the AFG Mail Center often to look for the e-mail notice concerning your application. All applicants will be notified regardless of whether they will receive an award.
Be sure your organization has registered for the Central Contractor Registration (CCR). If you have not done so, please complete the registration at https://www.bpn.gov/ccr/default.aspx. Those that have not completed this registration process, or haven’t completed the required annual renewal and revalidation of CCR data, will not be able to receive grant funds.
Questions can be directed to the AFG Help Desk at 1.866.274.0960 or email@example.com.
For you baseball fans out there, you may recognize this phrase. Usually it is used in discussion about a player that has been struggling and the team has been working with him to slow the game down, so they are better prepared and better able to react. As with many ideas and practices from Major League sports, there are applications in the fire service. This is another case of us being smart enough to learn from others.
At Backstep Firefighter and The Front Seat, we often use “expect fire” when discussing various incidents and how the firefighters responded and reacted to the situation they found. The “expect fire” concept has to do with a mindset, a mental preparation that involves treating each run like it will be a fire, so that when you arrive and it is a fire you are not surprised. Seems simple right? Unfortunately it is an area that we don’t always handle well. There are constantly cases of firefighters arriving at scenes and looking like the carpenter with one foot nailed to the floor, spinning around in circles and accomplishing nothing. Expect fire means that you respond with your gear on, your mind is ready and expecting to go to a fire, you are physically ready to go to a fire.
Imagine arriving at 2:00 a.m. to heavy fire showing, and because you “thought it was a BS run” you weren’t dressed and ready to go. No biggie, right? You can get dressed in seconds. Except when the rig stops, the father of three is standing in the street screaming that his kids are inside. Now you are trying to get dressed while your “customer” is impatiently expecting you to go save his family. How fast can you get dressed under those circumstances? How good of a size up are you performing while you trying and get your arm in your sleeve for the third time while your heart rate hits 130.
Read the entire post here: http://backstepfirefighter.com/2011/07/26/slow-the-game-down/
Earlier this year, we introduced firefighter and fire blogger, Dave LaBlanc. This excerpt is from his most recent post on whether or not fire service has shifted too far from basics to last chance training. Dave appreciates opinions and discussions, so please click through to his blog and share your thoughts.
ARE WE MISSING THE TARGET?
For those of you that follow the news and happenings of the fire service, you may have noticed an increase in the number of bailouts reported. Now certainly some of this is a result of the media figuring out that a firefighter bailing out isn’t a normal occurrence, so as one outlet begins reporting it, others follow suit. But it begs the question, why? Why are so many of our brothers bailing out? Have that many incidents occurred where things have gone that wrong?
This year’s Safety Stand Down had the following theme: Surviving the Fire Ground: Fire Fighter, Fire Officer & Command Preparedness. Now that is a great topic, and certainly one that should be a part of every firefighter and every officer’s training. Knowing what to do when you get in trouble certainly goes a long way toward saving firefighter lives. But what about preventing our members from getting in trouble in the first place? Is that something that we focus enough on?
How many hours did you spend on fire behavior this year? Two, five, ten? How many more did you spend on building construction? Until we understand our enemy, the fire and the building we operate in, how can we expect not to get in trouble? Until we understand what the environment we work in feels like through our PPE, how we can expect our firefighters not to go in too far. Until we address the need for an awareness of the hazards of the situations we operate in, how can we expect our firefighters and officers to make good decisions?
John Norman writes that a firefighter should never put themselves in a position where they have to rely on someone else to get out. Think about that one simple statement. It covers a lot of territory. As firefighters we must constantly evaluate where we are operating, what the conditions are, and what our way out is. We need to do this while trying to accomplish our goals for that particular fire.
Read this entire blog post and share your thoughts here: http://backstepfirefighter.com/2011/07/18/are-we-missing-the-target/
Follow Dave on Facebook: A View From the Front Seat – On Backstep Firefighter
A recent study of Seattle-area firehouses by University of Washington researchers found that the stubborn MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), an antibiotic-resistant bacteria that can lead to severe infections, can be transmitted by fire station personnel. MRSA is associated with approximately 19,000 deaths each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Because fire personnel interact with both hospitals and the population in general, the MRSA bacteria can be carried between the two.
The study, published in the Association of Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, indicates that the MRSA bacteria is found most “in the medic trucks, kitchens, and other areas such as computer keyboards and computer desks.” Medic trucks were the most common area.
Researchers aimed to determine whether the MRSA strains were related to hospital or community strains. Their conclusion: both types can contaminate fire station surfaces.
As a result of this study, the Emergency Management and Response – Information Sharing and Analysis Center has provided a list of recommendations to protect responding personnel from a potentially serious or life-threatening infection.
What to Do:
- Utilize cleaning agents correctly.
- Filter air in stations.
- Confine turnout gear to work areas.
- Reduce the risk of carrying MRSA home by leaving station wear at the station and wash after use.
- Install disinfectant hand gel dispensers at key points between bays and the station. Or install sinks in apparatus bays.
- Have 9-1-1 dispatchers ask if anyone has flu-like symptoms, then wear masks, goggles and gloves when entering a home.
- Replace cloth surfaces with hard surfaces wherever possible.
- Do not share hand towels.
For a complete list of suggestions: http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/downloads/pdf/infograms/23_11.pdf
We are pleased to introduce Dave LeBlanc to the Fire-Dex community. Dave is a Lieutenant in Harwich, Massachusetts and a fire blogger for A View from the Front Seat. With many years in fire service, Dave provides “commentary about today’s Fire Service, training and techniques.” He focuses on keeping members safe while adhering to the principals of the Profession.
Dave began blogging in October 2009 by accident. He wrote a personal post about cancer striking in his firehouse. It was more of a therapy for him, but his friend, Bill Carey of Backstep Firefighter, convinced him to share it.
Recently, he posted a well-received blog that reviewed a fire in New York City hailing the “FDNY and the brothers from 114 truck as they ‘expected fire’ and saved the lives of 11 civilians.” Dave appreciates comments and discussions around the situations he reviews to continue learning from others in fire service.
Periodically, we will share Dave’s work to help educate our fire community. After all, one of Dave’s favorite quotes says it all: “You can do everything right in this job and still get killed” – Paddy Brown, Captain Ladder 3 – lost 09/11/01.