Life is what happens when you are making other plans~ John Lennon
An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind~Gandhi
The time is always right to do what is right~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The True Heroes: The Unsung Heroes

-Rescuers extensively trained in the process of putting out hazardous fires that threaten populations of people and property, rescue people from car accidents, collapsed and burning buildings, and other emergency situations.
-Firemen, aka fire fighters, can also provide medical services. In some countries, the fire service is known as the fire and rescue service, fire brigade, fire department.
-The term "fire fighter" has been in use since 1903.
-The term "fireman" has been replaced since many women now serve as fire fighters and the term "fireman" might also apply to an arsonist, the exact opposite of the fighting role

Goals of Firefighting
-There are many goals here. In order of priority: personal safety, saving victims's lives, saving property, protecting the environment. The skills for safe operation are practiced on a regular basis. In the US, the fire training and standards organization is the National Fire Protection Association(NFPA).
-Initial skills are taught during local, regional or state approved fire academies.
-Fire fighters work very closely with other emergency services, and also state and local police departments, mainly because they all have a goal to attain; emergency services tend to the victim; fire departments fight the fire and police arrest any one they deem suspicious.
-Fire fighting has basic skills: prevention, self preservation, rescue, preservation of property, fire control. Can also be broken down into skills that include size-up, extinguishing, ventilation, salvage, and overhaul.

-Attempts at this ensure that no place has the right mix of ingredients such as fuel and air flow and sufficient heat to produce a combustion.
-It is highly recommended that buildings have fire sprinkler systems that automatically go off at the first sign of smoke. Correctly working sprinklers automatically reduce the risk of death from a fire. 1-2 sprinklers usually cover most rooms if they are small.
-Another thing is that fire investigators are called upon to make sure a building is up to par on fire codes. These fire codes ensure that there is no risk of a fire spreading to potential hazards and having flashovers, and that occupants can be safely evacuated.
-Another type of prevention is removing hazardous conditions and preventing dangerous acts from being committed.

Self Preservation
-Many tools of the trade are used. Like for example, a self contained breathing apparatus(SCBA) or breathing mask that delivers air to the firefighter through a full face mask that can protect the wearer's face from smoke inhalation, heat, toxic fumes, and heated gasses. Another device is called a Personal Alert Safety System(PASS), which alerts others to when a fire fighter is not moving. They also carry rope to provide themselves with another escape. Lack of ropes were said to be the cause of death for 2 New York City Fire Fighters, Lt. John Bellew and Lt. Curtis Meyran, who died after jumping from a 4th floor burning apartment building in the Bronx.
John Bellew

Curtis Meyran
-In the US alone, 25% of fatalities to fire fighters are caused by vehicle accidents while responding to/returning from an accident. Many fire fighters are injured or killed by vehicles while working at an accident. Since 2008, a new law was made requiring fire fighters to wear bright yellow reflective vests over their turnout coats while working car accidents to be more visible to other drivers. Cardiovascular diseases also account for 45% of fire fighter deaths while on duty

-Rescue operations consist of searching for/removing trapped occupants of hazard situations. Animals can also be rescued, if resources and conditions are good.
-Triage and first aid are performed outside.
-Searches for trapped victims are exhaustively detailed, often including searching cupboards, closets and undr beds. The search is broken into primary and secondary. The primary search has the workers qorking quickly and thoroughly, starting in the area closest to the fire, which has the highest risk of exposure. The secondary search starts when the fire is under control.
-May also need spreaders, cutters, hydraulic rams aka Jaws of Life to remove metal from the patient.
-More forms of resuce include rope rescue, swiftwater rescue, confined space rescue, and trench rescue. These are hazardous and physically demanding. They require very extensive training.

Fire Control
-This consists of depriving the fire of fuel(Reducing agent), oxygen(Oxydizing agent), heat and/or chemical chain reactions that are needed to sustain the fire or rekindle(also known as the four ingredients of the fire tetrahedron). The Fire Tetrahedron is a triangle consisting of the items needed to sustain a fire or needed to start a fire. Fire fighters are equipped with a very wide selection of equipment to accomplish this. Some tools include a ladder truck, pumper truck tanker truck, fire hose, fire extinguishers.
-Structure fires can be attacked either by interior or exterior resources. Exterior crews would pour water from the pumper trucks into the windows/other openings.

Structure fires
-Buildings made of flammable material such as wood are different than "fire resistant" buildings such as concrete high rises. Generally, a "fire resistant" building is designed to limit fires to a small area or floor.
-While some fires can be limited to small areas of a structure, collateral damage can still occur, such as water and smoker damage, and burning embers. Shutoff of utilities, such as gas and electricity is typically an early priority of fire crews. Fire prevention is also a must when there are hazardous materials being used/stored.
-Sometimes fire fighting can also be destructive. For example, during "ventilation" firefighters are often forced to open holes in the roof or floors of a structure, which is called "vertical ventilation" or open windows/walls, called "horizontal ventilation" to remove smoker or heated gases from the interior.
Firefighter funerals are among the biggest ones, usually including Scottish bagpipe players either playing Scotland the Brave or Amazing Grace
-Such ventilation needs are also used to locate victims quicker as visibility increases and helps preserve the life of the trapped or unconscious victims due to poisonous gases inside.
-Vertical ventilation is very vital to firefighter safety in the event of a flashover or backdraft situation. Releasing these flammable gases through the roof takes away the chance of a backdraft and removal of heat the possibility of a flashover. Flashovers, due to intense heat(900-1200 degrees Fahrenheit) and explosive materials are VERY fatal to firefighters. They take precautions, such as busting a window out, often revealiing backdraft situations.

-Fire fighters are always the first responders to HAZMAT situations. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration standard 1910.120 states four levels of training operations; Hazardous materials technician, and Hazardous materials specialist.
-HAZMAT is basically a shortened moniker for Hazardous Materials.

Occupational Health and Safety

Cardiovascular Disease
-The career of fire fighting has long had health problems plaguing it, especially cardiovascular ones. In the United States, the most common cause of on-duty fatalities for fire fighters is sudden cardiac arrest. In addition to personal factors that might put an individual at risk for coronary artery disease or other cardiovascular problems, occupational exposures can significantly increase a risk for a fire man/woman. Carbon Monoxide, present in nearly all fire environments, and hydrogen cyanide, formed during the combustion of paper, cotton, plastics, and other substances containing carbon and nitrogen, interfere with the transport of oxygen in the body. Hypoxia(low levels of oxygen in the blood)can lead to heart injury. Also, chronic exposure to particulate matter in smoke is associated with atherosclerosis(thickening of artery walls as a result of fatty materials or particulate matter, like that in fire smoke). Also, noise exposures can cause hypertension(chronic high blood pressure) and quite possibly ischemic heart disease. Other conditions include stress, heat stress(higher than normal body temperature), along with heavy physical exertion

Heat Stress
-Injuries/conditions from heat is a major problem in this field of work. They wear insulated clothing, and can't shed the heat from physical exertion. Early detection of heat issues is very critical to stop dehydration and heat stress from becoming fatal. About 10-20 seconds after a fire fighter stops moving, their PASS alert goes off.

Structural Collapses
-Another cause of death is collapsing of buildings while firemen/women are in there. Burning buildings(walls, roof, ceilings, truss system) can collapse at any time. This can happen without warning, and it may crush or trap firefighters in the area of the fire.

Around the World
-In Germany, volunteer fire departments, called the "Freiwillige Feuerwehr" are located in every town; even the biggest German city, Berlin, with more than 3.6 million people, has volunteer firemen in addition to career fire service. Only 103 German cities have a career fire service.

-In Austria, there are only 6 career fire services in Vienna, Graz, Innsbruck, Klagenfurt, Salzburg, and Linz.
-In Venezuela, there are, beside the types mentioned before, University Firefighters. They attend  any emergency inside the campus and zones around; they also develop new technology thanks to the very high level of education of its members.
-In Japan, fire services are organized on a city/town/village order. There are 894 fire headquarters and 3,598 volunteer fire corps. They have a total of 155,000 active career fire fighters and 21,000 vehicles with 4,800 fire houses. 920,000 volunteer fire fighters share an addition 51,000 trucks
-England fire stations

Dockhead fire station in what I think might be London, idk
 Rank System

Fire fighter
-Collar/Epaulette markings: None
-Helmet color/pattern: Yellow helmet with no markings

Crew Manager
-Collar/Epaulette markings: Two bars
-Helmet color/pattern: Yellow helmet with two 12.5mm horizontal black stripes

Watch Manager
-Collar/Epaulette markings: Two impellers
-Helmet color/pattern: White helmet with one 12.5mm black stripe

Station Manager
-Collar/Epaulette markings: 3 impellers
-Helmet color/pattern: White helmet with one 19mm horizontal black stripe

Group Manager
-Collar/Epaulette markings: One impeller inside wreath
-Helmet color/pattern: White helmet with one 12.5mm and one 19mm horizontal black stripes

Area Manager
-Collar/Epaulette markings: One bar and one impeller inside wreath
-Helmet color/pattern: White helmet with tow 19mm horizontal black stripes

Assistant Brigade Manager
-Collar/Epaulette markings: One impeller and one large impeller inside wreath
-Helmet color/pattern: White helmet with one 38mm horizontal black stripe

Deputy Brigade Manager
-Collar/Epaulette markings: One bar, one impeller and one large impeller inside wreath
-Helmet color/pattern: White helmet with one 38mm horizontal black stripe

Brigade Manager
-Collar/Epaulette markings: Two impellers, and one large impeller inside wreath
-Helmet color/pattern: White helmet with one 38mm horizontal black stripe

US firefighter rank system

Other Histories
-Often seen with firemen are Dalmatians. But in reality, most fire fighters just take mutts from the street. Because Dalmatians have a reputation to be skittish and most of the time have congenital defects, such as deafness, due to inbreeding
-Also, some firehouses produce calendars of it's members for fundraisers. These calendars consist of handsome and/or muscular firefighters appearing scantily clad grasping some kind of firefighting tool.
RESCUE ME!!!!!!!!!!

Is it getting hot in here or is just me?

That's it, I'm getting one for 2013
-Also to be known, some firefighters are good cooks. This is because some firefighters have long shifts and can't leave the station for food. Most stations have a kitchen or lunch hall with cooking appliances. Firefighters who can cook often take turns in making lunch or dinner meals. Sometimes they use these culinary skills for fundraisers. Common firefighter made food is chili beans soup or fried fish.

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