Volunteer Firefighting: A Noble Cause

Very little else can be as selfless as being a volunteer for something. Personal glory and recognition are a part of it sure, but this doesn’t deny the fact that you willingly give of yourself to help someone else. Even more so is being a volunteer fire-fighter who dedicates not only time and energy, but also one’s life to the service of a greater good. Please read on to get an understanding of the historic background of volunteer fire-fighting in America.

VolunteerThe history of the first known volunteer fire-fighters in America goes back more than 400 years to the colony of Jamestown, Virginia in approximately 1608. Among other things, there was a specific need for someone to battle fires and there were no salaries paid for such services then. Volunteering to fight fires was seen in a more social light rather than a duty like it is today. It was a fantastic opportunity to “hang out” with other men, gain social standing and have a legit reason to do so.

The duties of a volunteer fireman in the 19th century were to push, pull and move the fire equipment to the scene of a fire. Those who weren’t directly using the main body of equipment would help out in any way they could which may have involved helping people out of burning buildings and preventing anyone from trying to go in them. After some devastating fires in 1608 and 1623 there was a serious need for the community to come together and establish fire reduction and avoidance actions and regulations. This in part meant that a team of volunteers would need to be prepared around the clock in case of fire emergencies. Continue reading

Fire Trucks – A Brief History

Were you a child who grew up loving and playing with fire trucks? Could you remember how badly you Truckwanted to ride on one, drive one and be a fire-fighter who could use one someday? Even if you weren’t you can still take a few minutes right now and learn about the history of fire trucks.

In 1841 the very first steam powered fire engine that was self-propelled was built in New York City. What might seem a little humorous now looking back, is that it wasn’t a popular idea at all. It was regarded as an unsafe and unreliable tool by fire-fighters and therefore they didn’t want it to be part of the fire-fighting arsenal. Years would still need to pass before the idea caught on more and the steam powered fire engine could be depended on. Continue reading

Basic Firefighter Safety – Best Practices

If you speak to any fire-fighter with some years of experience, they may be reluctant to confess it but the number of fire-fighter casualties in America is increasing by the year. Whether on the actual fire scene, illness or by suicide, the numbers are climbing and in turn so must the precautions and safety measures taken to protect and save lives. This arrangement of insight has been made to explain how to practice fire-fighter safety by using what is known as the Closed-Loop Approach.

FireThe very first component of this approach is the Daily safety movement. At the firehouse when the beginning of each shift commences, all of the key officers along with the senior personnel members will compare plans for the day as a start-of-shift gathering. The objective behind this meeting is to improve, advise and instruct on well-being awareness in all facets of the fire-fighters’ lives.

Normally, one safety moment per week is centered on the fire-fighters and their officers being able to introduce or update the results of assigned queries they were to have completed answering for this time. Basically, each week there is a selection of material presented and several pieces are left out in order to designate them to others in hopes they can answer and present them accordingly. Continue reading

The Firefighting Physical Exam

Thinking about becoming a fire-fighter as a career or volunteer? If you are, it’s a very honorable yet challenging job to undertake. Passing the examinations to become a fire-fighter is no walk in the park either. They will require the knowledge as well as physical endurance in order for you to achieve success. We will offer you right here and now some hints and tips about how to train for a fire-fighter physical exam. We hope that this insight will be very useful to you in your pursuit for fire-fighting triumph.  Check out the video below for some helpful insight.

The first goal or aim that potential fire-fighters must have in order to pass the fire-fighting physical examination is to be as remarkably fit as you possible can be. This doesn’t immediately mean that you have to eat and exercise perfectly in order to past this test, but you should be strong and coordinated as well as have a great amount of energy and an ideal cardiovascular condition. If you are a little overweight this shouldn’t be an extremely big deal, but you will certainly be tested in areas where this may be cause for a little concern because overall performance will be vital here.

The purpose behind the test

With most physically demanding careers that require a challenging physical test, a fire-fighter will normally pass their (PAT) examination and later on in their career they will be less in shape and slump towards being lazier. The best answer to this is for all fire departments to provide appropriate physical capability examinations because the job requirements cannot be taken too lightly. Fire-fighting is no joke and lives can be lost if the team players aren’t in top condition to battle fires and save lives. However, on the other side of coin it may be unethical or a little unjust to demand a physical examination that is much too difficult. We feel that it’s only fair that a fire department provide testing that will be based upon the selected jobs and the level at which those tasks will be carried out. Justice to the fire department must be served.

The PAT (Physical Ability Test)

This exam is primarily the prospect for a fire department to very effectively evaluate a potential candidate’s physical abilities. It will show the testers what the chances of a candidate’s accomplishments will be in regards to every day fire-fighting activities. Ordinarily this set of tests will be comprised of assigned areas where job-focused exercises will be carried out in a planned sequence and all under a time limit.

Training and preparing for the test

Always remember that strength, biomechanics and cardiovascular conditioning are the vital focus of this testing type. You must be physically powerful enough to handle the equipment and have enough to energy to complete it all. To improve your cardio it would be a suitable idea to practice stair running because this will likely be on the test anyway. Try to incorporate pace and time period training (just as on the test). Focus only about 20% of your training on the interval and the other 80% on your pace. Eventually start adding weight to help you gain strength such as wearing or adding more clothing as you try this exercise. Try doing this form of exercise at least 2 to 3 times per week.

To enhance your strength you should target particular muscle groupings. Grip strength is a good exercise so naturally you should find tools or gadgets that can assist you for increasing muscle capacity in this area such as lifting weights or mountain climbing tools. With weights, exercises like squats, power cleans, thrusters and dead lifts are all ideal to practice.

For biomechanics you must understand how to efficiently use your body in order to get tasks done at an easier level. Sports such as tennis and baseball help you with rotating motions that are similar to tasks that must be carried out on the (PAT). The goal is to prepare you for the dummy drag and the ceiling breach and pull so learning how to use your body weight and using the best muscles for the task are critical. Make sure you do research to ensure that you have the right training requirements as well, because the PAT can be different depending on your state.  Becoming a firefighter in California is slightly different than some of the firefighter training requirements in other states.  For a complete list of firefighting information by state, check out this site here.

Firefighting Tips: Sweat Proofing 101

Sweat can pose as a problem for anyone working hard out in the field, but especially when you are a firefighter. Ladies you may not want to wear makeup because you are afraid it is just going to smear across your face by midday, but there is a possible solution to your problem. You need to find the right makeup that will stay on all day without you having to concern yourself with wiping away the smeared liner or spots of mascara.

There are two brands that I would recommend to you as an answer to your dilemma. This will depend on your budget for makeup. The least expensive option is going to be found at your local drugstore (Walgreens, CVS, etc.) That is going to be the Revlon ColorStay line. This brand in particular can be found at most of your basic stores and runs from about $5-$20.

The lines’ products include foundation, mascara, lip-gloss, lipstick, and pressed powder. There are quite a few products to choose from, you just have to find the best fit for you. From my experience in using the products, it is number one on the list. They do not call it ColorStay for no reason. The lipstick in particular is absolutely fantastic. You can put this on at the start of your morning and not have to put a second coat on for the rest of the day. This includes the periods of the day that you are eating a meal and drinking your energy drinks. There is no stopping this product line.

Now if you are the type to want to invest in a higher-end brand of makeup then MAC cosmetics is the best choice. It is a top-of-the-line product that thousands of people enjoy using. The results are flawless and last all day. This line carries far more options than Revlon but does cost a pretty penny. Although, what most people do not realize is the expensive brands of makeup (sometimes not always) tend to last a lot longer than the cheaper ones. Even if the bottle or tube is smaller the product requires less to apply to the face. A little bit goes a long way with these products, which is why it is not terrible to spend more on MAC. In reality you are spending just as much if not less by purchasing the higher end brand because the cheaper makeup is going to require you to buy a new product every month or even a few weeks.

No pressure on the brands but either of these brands would be perfect for the firefighter looking for a quick sweat-free touch up before starting her rounds in the morning. Revlon can be found at your local grocery story or pharmacy/convenience store and MAC can be found at its private locations or Macy’s department store.

 

How To Prevent House Fires By Taking Care Of Hair Styling Tools

House fires are started by a number of things, but one of the most common causes of house fires is the misuse of hair styling tools. The person who works very hard to take care of their hair must also work very hard to make sure that their hair styling tools are not becoming a fire hazard. Each of the tips below will change the way that people look at their hair styling tools and how they use them.

The Plugs

When purchasing curling wands like those shown at www.betterhairday.com, the user must remember that hair styling products are not designed to prevent fires on their own. Plugging multiple hair styling products into one outlet causes problems when the user walks away from the outlet.

There are outlets that remain relatively safe throughout the day. However, outlets that experience power surges could easily emit sparks that will ignite a fire in the bathroom. Keeping the units unplugged helps to prevent sparks. Also, keeping units in separate outlets helps to spread out the power usage in the bathroom.

The Heat

The heat that is produces by curling irons, flat irons and hair dryers can be a fire hazard all by itself. Hair dryers must be kept in a place that is completely dry and not near flammable items. Placing a hot hair dryer next to tissues, cotton swabs or paper could ignite these items easily. Also, the fires could start after the user leaves the bathroom.

Flat irons and curling irons must be kept on heat-resistant mats that helps to keep the heat from being dispersed in the room. These mats help the units to cool slowly, and these same mats will show users if the unit is still hot. Someone could come into the bathroom, move the unit and catch something on fire by accident. However, seeing the heat signature on a mat will show someone that the iron is still hot.

Home Safety

Keeping these items out of reach of children and pets is also important. Children and pets can burn themselves on these hair styling tools, but they can also knock these units into a sink full of water or catch something on fire. Having a safe place in the bathroom to keep these items out of reach of small creatures in the house is a safety issue in the bathroom.

More Information

Anyone that is looking for helpful hints on using their hair styling equipment should consider these fire safety protocols first. Home hair styling accessories are very useful for men and women who take care of their hair every day, but these same units can be dangerous if they are not cared for properly.

When preventing fires in the home, homeowners must keep their hair dryers, flat irons and curling irons out of reach of children and pets. The units must be kept away from flammable items, and the units should not be plugged into the same socket. After following all these tips, the bathroom becomes a far safer place for the family.

Firefighters on the job: What to Expect

Firefighter2We are not just pulling over to the side of the road when a fire truck goes screaming by us on the road; we are allowing the men and women aboard to do their duty of helping other people live, saving homes or checking on false alarms. Fire fighters are like doctors and nurses: they’re an essential part of our government infrastructure.

A firefighter has many duties that involve more than driving a truck through the streets of town. They are required to respond to all calls and make sure they are ready for whatever situation comes their way. They are responsible for gearing up in a timely manner and determined to get to their destination as quickly and safely as possible.

There are some firefighters that are placed in charge of watching for alarms/calls and others that are put in charge of responding to the alerts. Knowing your position and how to respond is one of the key factors of taking on the role of a firefighter.

Watch duties do go further than just alerting other firefighters of a call. They are required to answer phones and monitor access to the station house all the while making sure to notify station personnel of any high alert situations.

When a firefighter is taking the duty of working on scene they must be completely aware of their surroundings and knowledgeable of how to respond. They must take orders from their superiors and relay any information they come across to them as well. Communication is priority when at the scene of an incident.

The other role in being a firefighter, as mentioned before, is being able to navigate through traffic quickly and safely. The driver of the fire truck must know the laws of the road and be aware of the conditions of the roads, whether they are iced over from the winter or wet from rainfall. Knowing about the conditions will help with the control of the vehicle. It is also very important for the driver to know their way around the roads. What are some of the best routes? Is it safe to take this road? Would it be best to take this road at this time of day? These are some of the countless questions a driver must ask themselves and know the answer to. Navigating around the roads can be tricky and the more knowledgeable you are the more comfortable you will be behind the wheel.

Once a firefighter reaches the scene of the fire they must act based on the orders given to them by their superior. Operating the pumps is one of the obvious instructions provided to them and knowing how to work the pump is a must. A firefighter must know how to connect the hose to a fire hydrant and operate the equipment so the water supply pumps through evenly. They must monitor the pressure of the water, the temperature and the fuel gauge. Their job is to clear the fire properly and safely and shut the hose of when instructed.

Being a firefighter is no simple task but knowing the duties and understanding the role will make you more confident in your role for the town.

In-home fire hazards that you need to be aware of

Every year, plenty of recruits go through fire fighter training and learn all the basics. How to put out fires, what causes fires, how to maneuver safely through a burning building, how to maintain fitness level, and all the rest of it. When these people get into the field, they will quickly learn which skills and knowledge they will need to keep front of mind.

This means, however, that certain things necessarily get moved to the back, and we believe one of those things is basic home or office fire safety. As we will always tell you, prevention is the best method of getting a fire under control.

That’s why it’s so beneficial to get each person on your team to give at least one presentation per year (to a school or business or community group) on fire safety in the home and work place. Just checked out this site and can’t wait to get your Presto? You better remember that it can pose a serious fire hazard! Moving stuff around work and blocking some exits? You could be blocking people’s escape paths!

It’s vitally important that we all remember these things as we go through our day to day lives. It’s simply how our minds work that the longer we go without experiencing something like this, the more we believe we are safe. Just because you didn’t get hit by a car for the last 30 years doesn’t mean you’re any safer when you cross the road. In other words, you have to be constantly vigilant and do whatever you can to remember to take just as much care as when the issue was top of mind. Just because it’s been awhile since you thought about it regularly doesn’t mean you should stop being focused on it. The problems usually happen when you drop your guard.

Typical Hazards

We’ve just finished saying that you need to keep things top of mind so as not to lower your guard. So, here are some (perhaps very obvious) fire hazards around your house:

Stove and Oven – Clearly one of the most obvious hazards, your stove and oven are typically used frequently and get very hot. Then you use pots and pans with handles and cook food and oil, all of which has the opportunity to go wrong and burn or get bumped off or something.

Microwave – Do not put things in longer than necessary, and always keep an eye on the microwave. If you’ve been in a totally different head space thinking about something really important, have you ever found yourself almost putting aluminum foil in the microwave? It’ll spark and start a fire, and you’d be surprised how easy it is to get distracted doing a mundane task like this.

Deep fat fryer – You’ve just got your new Waring model, top of the line, and you’re raring to go. But – have you set it up on the counter properly? Do you know what temperature the oil needs to be? Are you going to make sure you dry all the water off the food pre-fry? Can it be knocked over easily?

Fireplace – Word burning are usually more dangerous, as gas fire places have been put through rigorous testing to be able to be put in homes, and don’t often cause fires. When you’re using a wood fire, it is so easy to do something that is hazardous and starts a fire outside of the actual fireplace. Take care, clear away things from the mouth of the pit, and only add enough wood as is necessary (and always supervise it).

Hopefully these basic, yet important, points will help keep safety fresh in your mind. Too many homes and lives are lost to fire every year, and if a quick refresher like this can save you from harm, we’ve done our job.