Open burning season started on January 15 and ends on May 1; April is usually the worst month for brush fires. Check with your local fire warden or fire chief to see if open burning is allowed in your community. Enclosed in the DFS Briefs this month are Safety Tips for Open Burning Season.
Also included in this month’s Briefs are several training opportunities and conferences as well as public safety information.
Please be sure to avail yourself to all of the important information contained in the April DFS Briefs.
Members of the Career Recruit Firefighter Class #226 graduated on Friday, April 10, 2015 at 1:30 p.m. in a ceremony at the Department of Fire Services, One State Road, Stow, MA. The 23 graduates, all men, represent the 12 fire departments of Acton, Arlington, Centerville-Osterville-Marston Mills, Concord, Fitchburg, Needham, Norton, Tewksbury, West Springfield, Westford, Westminster, and Woburn. The guest speaker was state Representative Harold Naughton Jr. of Clinton, house chair of the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security.
On April 9, 2015, teams of high school teens and their media teachers received awards on for their creative YouTube™ videos as part of the 7th annual statewide YouTube ™ Burn Awareness Video Contest. State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan was joined by contest co-sponsors Ron Meehan from the Mass. Property Insurance Underwriting Association (aka The FAIR Plan) and Capt. Rick Tustin, president of the Mass. Association of Safety and Fire Educators (MaSAFE). The ceremony was held at Shriners Hospital for Children in Boston. Winning videos can be viewed on the DFS YouTube Channel.
Deputy State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey said, “If you plan to burn brush this season, do so early, while there is still snow on the ground on a day when the winds are low.” Open burning season, in communities where it is allowed is January 15 to May 1. Every spring, wind and weather conditions combine to elevate the hazards of brush fires. Once the snow melts it reveals dried grass, leaves, and fallen branches. Warm winds, low humidity and bright sunshine combine to make them tinder dry. This combustible debris provides the fuel for brush and woods fires.
2015 Cape & Islands CISM Conference
MFA is offering the NFA Course The New Fire Chief I: Challenging Issues on May 5-6, 2015. This course is designed to develop the managerial, administrative and leadership skills necessary for chief officers and new fire chiefs. This course addresses critical knowledge and skills pertaining to the responsibilities of a fire chief including such topics as local politics, liability and risk management, and resources.
This 5 hour Senior Fire Officer Forum discusses Green Buildings. As the concept of “green building standards” has become increasingly popular as regulations and consumers push home building and commercial construction to utilize green practices whenever possible. Green buildings are now presenting new and unique challenges to code enforcement and firefighting. This seminar will explore those challenges and will utilize a case study of a commercial building fire in which green construction features created some unique challenges for firefighters.
Nationally recognized speaker Gordon Graham will present a seven-hour program on the concept of creating the highly reliable organization. The program will cover how to identify the true cause of tragedies that plague our profession by focusing on the concept that a predictable event is preventable event. Mr. Graham will provide attendees with a number of ways to achieve the goal of reducing accidents and injuries through an effective program of organizational risk management.
Despite all the snow this winter, the construction of the DFS Springfield Campus has continued. The roof was completed in time to allow interior work proceed. All under slab utilities have been installed and the concrete floor poured over them. The windows have been installed and all exterior brick masonry has been completed. We are on track for completion and move in next fall!
Deputy State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey reminds us that when we change our clocks this Sunday, March 8 we should also change the batteries in our smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms. “We have had 12 fire deaths so far in 2015, and the one common thread between many of them is the lack of working smoke alarms,” said Deputy State Fire Marshal Ostroskey.
The Massachusetts Firefighting Academy will be hosting several National Fire Academy (NFA) courses at the Department of Fire Services Stow campus in the spring and fall of 2015. The great offerings include: Decision Making for the Initial Company Officer, Emergency Response to Terrorism – Strategic & Tactical Considerations for Supervisors, The New Fire Chief I: Challenging Issues, Introduction to Unified Command for All Hazard Incidents, ICS and Resources Management for the Fire Service, and Commissioning new Occupancies For course descriptions and registration information, go to the NFA in Mass. webpage.
Once again this winter, the Department of Fire Services is running the Keep Warm, Keep Safe winter home heating safety campaign. This is includes a Toolkit for local fire departments (and other educators) to use to promote the key fire and carbon monoxide (CO) safety messages locally. Heating equipment is the leading cause of CO in the home. The kit includes tip sheets in multiple languages, television and radio public service announcements, logos, op-eds, and one-stop shopping for handouts on winter heating safety, working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and the importance of practiced home escape plans. The campaign includes steps to prevent winter heating fires and links to fuel assistance programs
This presentation gives guidance to public safety agencies on donning and doffing personal protective equipment (PPE) for high level infectious diseases, in response to Ebola concerns. It includes the U.S. Centers for Disease (CDC) recommended N-95 respiratory protection level and the optional full face respirator for respiratory protection. The Department of Fire Services, in collaboration with the Mass. Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), the Mass. Department of Public Health (MDPH), the Boston Fire Department and others, developed this in response to numerous requests for guidance and is not intended to be a mandate. It will be updated based on further recommendations from the CDC or MDPH.
“Heating equipment is the leading source of carbon monoxide (CO) in our homes,” said State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan. “With the first really cold snap of the season headed our way, it’s important to make sure you have working CO alarms on every level of your home,” he added. Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless gas that comes from burning fuels.
The Fire Chiefs’ Association of Mass. (FCAM) and the Department of Fire Services are working together to develop, train and equip a statewide network of regional Technical Rescue Teams. A PowerPoint™ presentation provides an overview of the capabilities of the regional teams, the areas they are trained in, and how to activate the regional or a specialty team. Technical rescue covers: rope rescue, trench rescue, response to structural collapse, confined space rescue and dive teams. Specialties include swift water, surf, tunnel rescue, wildland search and rescue and vehicle and machinery rescue. The overview is located on the DFS Emergency Response and Fire Investigation webpage.
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