Wed. Apr 24th, 2024

The Firefighter Air Coalition Presents Air Management

Boise, ID, February 14, 2024 –On February 19-20, 2024, the Firefighter Air Coalition, the nation’s leading authority on firefighter air management, will host a two-day training conference for firefighters in association with Meridian Fire Department. As a result of firefighter cancer, air management training is absolutely critical to help firefighters avoid exposure to hazardous toxins and carcinogens. Resulting from decades of research, the CDC reports firefighters have a 9% higher risk of a cancer diagnosis and a 14% higher risk of dying from cancer than the general population.

“Within two days of opening registration for this training, numerous firefighters registered from Washington, Oregon, Utah and Idaho,” noted Chief Kris Blume of the Meridian Fire Department. “It is an understatement to say this training is about health and safety; for firefighters, it’s about life and living.” The training will focus on the fundamental elements of managing air during fireground operations, physiological resiliency while on compressed air, tactics and operations in high rise and big box structures, and technology to support all of these.

Across American, the building landscape is changing. In urban areas with limited space, high-rise buildings maximize land use. Conversely, rural areas are being consumed by industrial warehousing and distribution centers. Both of these building types are challenges for firefighter tactics and operations because of their mere size. When a bottle of compressed air may last 30 minutes, and one-third is reserved to exit these vast structures for more air, firefighters’ physical capabilities are stressed, especially when lives are at risk. Chief Blume acknowledges, “We can’t halt progress, so we must learn to navigate through these new challenges to protect ourselves.”

During this two-day session, firefighters will be introduced to the Firefighter Air Replenishment Systems (FARS) for high rise and big box operations that allows for air resupply in the structures instead of having to exit for more air. Other technologies such as gas detection to safeguard firefighters from breathing toxicants and carcinogens, and HUDs (Heads Up Displays) that visually display remaining air supply, will also be introduced. “We are finding ourselves in an environment where we can no longer perform firefighting operations without advanced technology,” said Blume.

Among the experts leading this two-day free training session are Cap. Mike Gagliano, (retired) Seattle Fire Department, Capt. Mike Dugan, (retired) New York Fire Department. Deputy Chief of Operations, Jason Krusen, Charleston Fire Department, Chief Brian Schaeffer, Spokane Fire Department, FF Ric Jorge (retired), Palm Beach County Fire Department, Deputy Commander Jack Murphy, Bergen County Fire Rescue, and Lieutenant Paul Combs (retired) Bryan Fire Department.

“The Coalition is honored to bring this training program to the Pacific Northwest. Our objective is to take this free training to firefighters nationwide and this is a great start,” said Mark Fessenden, President of the FAC. Registration is open through February 15, 2024.

Attending departments include Ontario Fire & Rescue, Coeur D’Alene, Meridian, Boise, Fremont, City of Burns, Eagle, Idaho Falls, Zion Fire & Rescue, South Ogden, Eagle Fire, Caldwell, Salt Lake City, Tacoma, Caldwell, Lebanon Fire District, Cascade, South King, Midstar, Emmett City, Clearwater, Vancouver, Central, Spanish Fork, Weber, Ada County, Seattle, Booneville, C&B, and Ucon.

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