F.I.E.R.O. PPE cancer workshop


This will be an interactive session reviewing the alarming cancer statistics with a focus on PPE. Included will be a powerful video illustrating the potential extension of chemicals and carcinogens from the fire scene to the members, the rigs, stations, and even potentially the home environment and family members. Additionally, gross decontamination, use of wipes, and locations of PPE storage will all be discussed to mitigate the risks.

Like everything else in the fire service, protective clothing has evolved. It is more sophisticated and provides better performance. PPE is both a significant monetary investment and a critical component in the health and safety of your personnel. When was your PPE last inspected? Does it need to be cleaned or repaired? Should it be retired? This presentation will discuss the When, Who, and How of inspection, cleaning, and retirement based on the requirements in NFPA 1851.

This presentation will provide the results from two projects being completed by the NFPA Fire Protection Research Foundation. First, for research efforts involved in understanding "How clean is clean?" in turnout clothing will be discussed and how that investigation is leading to new ways to characterize the contamination levels in clothing and the effectiveness in removing hazardous chemical or biological contaminants. The impact of this project on industry approaches to cleaning will be shared. Second, significant outcomes and recommendations for future efforts from the "Campaign for Fire Service Contamination Control" workshop held last year in Columbus, OH will be presented.

NFPA 1851 is YOUR user document for the selection, care, and maintenance of your PPE. The committee has just completed the revision cycle for the next edition and there are changes that will affect you and your department. The majority of these revisions were driven by a need to address contamination and cancer issues. We will discuss significant changes to cleaning validation and how this standard affects you and your department.

The companies that develop, design, and sell protective clothing and equipment to the fire service have heard the call to reduce firefighter exposure to the products of combustion. This presentation will provide information on innovations in firefighter protective clothing and equipment as they relate to exposure prevention as well as design and components to make decontamination easier. This will not be a sales presentation, but an effort to increase your awareness of what is out there and what is on the horizon.

HOT ZONE Design has taken root and is changing the fire industry and particularly PPE. After advocating awareness of cancer in fire fighters and developing a system of categorizing spaces by risk within the fire station based on exposure to toxic chemicals and carcinogens, Paul Erickson has continued to advance fire station designs by including enhanced decontamination protocols and spaces within new and renovated stations. You will learn the following: to transfer widely accepted strategies and concepts for proper hazmat incident control to new applications in daily activities at the station; to recognize serious long-term health risks that currently exist at the fire station to develop and implement protocols to reduce cancer; recent international research; and, specific building design strategies and features for both new and existing fire station renovation efforts.

There is a lot of needed discussion and research about PPE and exposures. And, the discussion about fire stations and exposures is starting to occur. But, what about apparatus—the link between the scene and the fire station? This presentation will provide ideas for consideration on how to design and equip apparatus. Included will be considerations for equipment and supplies needed for on-scene decontamination of PPE and equipment.

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