Firefighters use their skills for a good cause

Firefighters use their skills for a good cause

Firefighters use their skills for a good cause

There are many ways in which firefighters can save lives, from carrying someone out of a burning home to providing individuals with a ladder so they can climb out of a smoky high-rise apartment. However, these are not the only ways these rescue workers’ firefighter training can be used to help others. In some cases, firefighters can even have a little fun for a good cause.

Climbing with a purpose
Although it may seem like torture to some people, asking firefighters to compete in a stair climb race for a good cause is not uncommon. After all, those who are in this line of work have already completed enough firefighter training drills to know how to run up stairwells while suited up for the worst possible situations.

Art Weichbrodt of Washington’s Kent Fire Department is among the firefighters who will race up 69 flights of stairs inside Seattle’s Columbia Center, according to the Kent Reporter. He does not mind the fact that he will be decked out in full fire gear, including a self-contained breathing apparatus, on February 2, because he realizes what is at stake.

The firefighter, along with 13 of his peers from the Kent Fire Department, will participate in the 22nd annual Scott Firefighter Stairclimb, which is designed to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. For Weichbrodt, this is a cause that hits close to home, as one of his friends lost a daughter to leukemia, and another friend has a child with the disease.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the country in Massachusetts, firefighters from three Cape Ann communities are preparing for a stair climb of their own, the Gloucester Times reported. On February 2, rescue workers will converge on One Boston Place in Boston for the 2013 Fight for Air Climb, which is being organized by the American Lung Association. These professionals plan to race up 82 flights of stairs in honor of Michael Smith, a Gloucester firefighter, who lost his battle with lung cancer this past July.

Putting their stamina to the test
Whether firefighters are charging into burning buildings or dousing flames in unbearable temperatures, they need to have stamina. However, there is no rule that says their abilities can only be used when something is on fire. That is why rescue workers from New York’s Greenville Fire District will soon use their skills during the Cycle for Survival cycling event this March, with proceeds going toward the fight against cancer The Greenburgh Daily Voice reported.

Like many other firefighters who participate in fundraisers, Stuart Evans feels a personal responsibility to take part in this event. After all, he was a friend of the event’s co-founder Jennifer Linn, who succumbed to soft-tissue sarcoma, a rare type of cancer, two years ago.

“There are not many people nowadays that haven’t been affected by cancer some way or another,” Evans said. “People know their money is making a difference.”

President Obama meets with law enforcement to discuss gun safety

President Obama meets with law enforcement to discuss gun safety

President Obama meets with law enforcement to discuss gun safety

In recent months, the U.S. has been the site of many mass shootings, from an incident in an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater on July 20, 2012, to the tragedy that unfolded at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14, 2012. Not all individuals who hold law enforcement jobs have had to respond to shootings on the level of the tragedies in Aurora and Newtown, but that does not mean they underestimate the importance of gun safety.

Someone else who understands how deadly powerful firearms can be is President Barack Obama, who has made reducing gun violence a major focus of his second term.

The Obama Administration’s stance on guns
According to the White House’s website, Vice President Joe Biden presented Obama with his policy proposals for reducing gun violence across the nation. Biden’s plan details ways in which legislative action could ban assault and high-capacity magazines, provide more people with access to mental health services, increase school safety and prevent dangerous weapons from falling into the wrong hands.

Unfortunately for the president, Congress has not been as eager to pass Obama’s legislation. This, in turn, has pushed him to seek help from those who understand the importance of new gun laws.

Obama turns to law enforcement for help
On January 28, 2013, Obama looked to gain support from law enforcement officials from several parts of the country. Both the president and vice president met with police officers, chiefs of police and sheriffs from Aurora, Colorado; Newtown, Connecticut; and Oak Creek, Wisconsin, as well as representatives from the Major Cities Police Chiefs and Major Counties Sheriffs’ organizations, according to a White House press briefing.

During the meeting, which was held at the White House, Obama urged law enforcement to pressure lawmakers into taking action. While he recognizes that this issue is one that people nationwide have strong opinions on, he said it is important to listen to what members of the country’s police force have to say, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“If law enforcement officials who are dealing with this stuff every single day can come to some basic consensus in terms of steps that we need to take, Congress is going to be paying attention to them and we’ll be able to make progress,” said Obama, as quoted by the news outlet.

Online Emergency Services Training Company, Critical Information Network, Receives Outstanding Review on CECBEMS Accreditation Site

emt training

“This is truly an honor and a significant achievement for CiNet,” noted Lonny Wilder, CiNet’s Vice President, of Public Safety.

Dallas, TX (PRWEB) January 30, 2013

Critical Information Network (CiNet), a leading online training and record-keeping provider for public safety professionals, is honored to be accredited by the Continuing Education Coordinating Board for Emergency Medical Services (CECBEMS). After a two-day visit by two CECBEMS auditors, CiNet was recognized for its needs assessment, course development and implementation and evaluation processes.

In the results, CECBEMS noted that it…“found clear evidence that CiNet not only adheres to CECBEMS standards and policies but embraces and employs them. We are thoroughly impressed with the efforts you take to build quality into your educational processes.”

“This is truly an honor and a significant achievement for CiNet,” noted Lonny Wilder, CiNet’s Vice President, of Public Safety.  “We are dedicated to building a curriculum that not only addresses both the personal and public safety demands of Emergency Medical responders, but also helping these professionals stay current with the most accredited training possible.  CECBEMS recognition clearly demonstrates that we’ve made that achievement a reality.”

This accreditation is for CiNet’s PULSE Emergency Medical Update content and encompasses the entire Emergency Medical curriculum training library. CECBEMS was interested in how needs assessment, program committee processes, medical direction/oversight, concept, production, delivery, evaluation and end-user reporting all come together for the benefit of the individual EMS provider.

The audit report by CECBEMS of CiNet’s PULSE Emergency Medical Update content outlined specific findings, including:

-CiNet’s Program Committee, whose members all have long histories of EMS management and education, has oversight of all coursework. -The Needs Assessment; a worksheet is given to users so they may provide feedback to CiNet, is reviewed and used by the committee in ongoing course development. -CiNet’s Director of Education works closely with the Program Committee and production, and  is a full time fire fighter and paramedic. -Course content authors often use the CECBEMS policy and guidance, ensuring course attendees receive standardized courses and testing every time.

About CiNet Critical Information Network (CiNet) has been training Public Safety personnel for over 23 years. Established in 1986, CiNet’s unique approach to online training has enabled us to be a true industry leader. CiNet’s eLearning Performance Center collects and organizes data from across the public safety, healthcare and industrial operations industries and transforms it into learning solutions that produce results. CiNet is home to one of the largest libraries of eLearning content in the world, merging voice and video data together to create interactive learning experiences in real-time, providing the right training information to organizations when they need it.

About CECBEMS CECBEMS was chartered in 1992 by the following sponsoring organizations for the purpose of developing consistent criteria for the review and approval of EMS CE activities nationwide:

  • American College of Emergency Physicians – acep.org
  • National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians – nremt.org
  • National Association of Emergency Medical Services Physicians – naemsp.org
  • National Association of State EMS Directors – nasemso.org
  • National Council of State Emergency Medical Services Training Coordinators – nasemso.org
  • National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians – naemt.org
  • In 1998 the National Association of EMS Educators – naemse.org –  became a sponsoring organization
  • In 2003 the American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physicians – acoep.org –  became a sponsoring organization

Video laryngoscope improves patient care

Video laryngoscope improves patient care

Video laryngoscope improves patient care

When emergency medical technicians (EMTs) respond to calls, they need to be prepared to handle any type of situation. Not only can EMT training provide these professionals with the knowledge and skills they need to do a better job, but it may also educate them about technological tools they can use to save lives.

The King Vision portable video laryngoscope is one piece of technology that is making it easier for the emergency crews with New York’s Thousand Islands Rescue to find out why patients have trouble breathing, YNN reported. This device, which is manufactured by King Systems, comes equipped with a video screen and allows EMTs to complete indirect laryngoscopy, as well as routine and difficult endotracheal intubation, according to the company’s website.

In the past, workers with Thousand Islands Rescue had to position themselves to get the best look at patients’ airways, and identify the cause of any obstructions. With the King Vision, they can efficiently position the device and quickly find the source of the problem.

“It will give a faster, more accurate visualization and proof that the endotracheal tube [has] actually been placed correctly in that very critical situation,” Rolly Churchill, Thousand Islands’ EMS chief, told the news source.

Police learn how to contain shooters on the loose

Police learn how to contain shooters on the loose

Police learn how to contain shooters on the loose

Recent months have seen a number of horrific shootings dominate the news, proving that armed individuals can spread violence anywhere at any time. As the actions of shooters can be so unpredictable, it is essential that police officers complete law enforcement training so they can bring dangerous incidents to a swift and safe conclusion.

With recent tragedies like the 2012 shootings at an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater, and Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, still fresh in people’s memories, many police departments are looking for ways to improve their officers’ response to similar incidents. Here are how two departments are preparing for the worst:

School serves as setting for quick response training
This past Martin Luther King Jr. Day, while students who regularly attend Illinois’ Casey-Westfield High School had the day off, approximately 20 officers from the Casey and Marshall police departments, as well as the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and the Illinois State Police went back to school to learn, the Journal Gazette & Times-Courier reported. However, rather than working through complex math problems, these law enforcement officials were training to take down a fictitious shooter wreaking havoc in the school’s hallways.

Over the course of their training, officers divided into teams of two as they learned how to move through long hallways, stairwells, doorways and other areas safely. In a world where school shootings happen too frequently, Mark Jenkins, the chief of the Casey police department, told the news source this type of training is something that “should be a big priority” for everyone in law enforcement.

Police head to court for training
As court was not in session on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, local law enforcement and court officials participated in a training session at the Winnebago County Courthouse in Wisconsin, The Oshkosh Northwestern reported. In this imaginary incident, a court hearing went terribly wrong, with a man shooting his ex-wife during a child custody hearing gone awry.

“Something like this has never happened to us,” David Keck, a family court commissioner, told the news outlet. “But now we’ve thought through some things and now if something like this would happen, we would know how we would handle it.”

The police officers who took part in the training session had worked through similar scenarios in school and business settings, but this was their first time navigating the halls of a courthouse.

Firefighters should watch for stress symptoms

Firefighters should watch for stress symptoms

Firefighters should watch for stress symptoms

Individuals who wish to complete firefighter basic training and become professional rescue workers understand that this line of work comes with many challenges. As firefighters put their lives on the line every time they strap on a helmet, it should come as no surprise that this occupation has the potential to be incredibly stressful.

One of 2013’s most stressful jobs
Recently, job website CareerCast identified what it believes to be the 10 most stressful professions of 2013. In the third-place spot, just behind enlisted military personnel and military general was firefighter. Overall, this occupation had astress score of 60.45, which was based on multiple factors, including the role’s competitiveness, hazards encountered, amount of required travel and physical demands.

Why is firefighting so stressful?
According to CareerCast, the risks associated with rushing into burning buildings and dropping into forest fires are not the only reasons why firefighting is so stressful. There is also the fact that professionals in this line of work have a responsibility to protect people and property – not to mention themselves and their fellow firefighters.

A report from the U.S. Fire Administration and the International Association of Fire Fighters explained that despite advancements in the fire service industry, rescue workers are still losing their lives or becoming injured on the job.

The effects of stress
If individuals complete firefighter training and are unsure as to whether or not the stress of the job is taking a toll on them, they may want to figure out if they are showing the symptoms of this negative reaction to life’s demands. According to the Mayo Clinic, headaches, fatigue and sleep problems are all symptoms of stress. At the same time, it is not uncommon for individuals to feel restless, irritableor depressed, or become socially withdrawn.

Finding ways to cope with stress
A decade ago, firefighters and other first responders may not have acknowledged the stress they were feeling, Robert Czerwinski, fire chief for Massachusetts’ Pittsfield Fire Department, told The Berkshire Eagle. Today, however, individuals who hold these occupations are being taught to recognize their stress.

“Our heartbeat goes flying high and there are stressors building up in the body and the adrenaline is rushing while you’re driving to the scene,” Czerwinski said.

In Pittsfield, firefighters have an opportunity to meet with counselors through an employee assistance program, so that stress does not get the best of them.

Rescue workers overcome their disabilities

EMT Training

Whether individuals hold jobs as emergency medical technicians (EMTs) or firefighters, they need to possess the right combination of physical stamina and communication skills in order to help those in need.

Whether individuals hold jobs as emergency medical technicians (EMTs) or firefighters, they need to possess the right combination of physical stamina and communication skills in order to help those in need. As a result, some may assume that people who are deaf or hard of hearing cannot complete EMT training or firefighter training and serve the public. Anyone who makes this assumption would be wrong, based on those who have not let their disability stand in the way of their dreams.

Amber Tansey – deaf and driven
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, EMTs should possess good listening skills, as they have to determine how extensive patients’ injuries or illnesses are. Unfortunately, these are skills 28-year-old Amber Tansey does not have, as the California native is deaf, The Press Democrat reported. Still, this does not mean she cannot communicate in other ways.

In fact, Tansey communicates in every way possible, from sign language and hand gestures to written notes and computer messages. All of her hard work is helping her achieve her goal of becoming an EMT – something she knows she can do.

To date, Tansey has had the opportunity to ride with San Francisco firefighters, paramedics and EMTs. Currently, she is trying to figure out whether she would be better suited for a job in an ambulance, on a fire truck or in another area of emergency medicine. Despite her disability, there are those who believe in Tansey, including former instructor and ambulance paramedicBryan Smith.

“She is driven,” Smith said. “She might have to be willing to be creative, and the company she works for might have to be willing to be creative. But I definitely believe she can do it.”

Deaf firefighters find ways to serve
Just as those who hold EMT jobs must have good listening skills, firefighters need to possess strong communication skills in order to work as part of a team in dangerous settings. While they may not be rushing into burning buildings, four deaf graduates of the Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf still find ways to help as volunteer firefighters, according to the school’s website.

These individuals rely on hearing aids, lip reading, vibrating pagers and other techniques to help them show they can be just as helpful as firefighters who are not hard of hearing. The volunteers are not permitted to enter burning buildings, but that is fine by them.

“There’s enough other work that needs to be done,” David Hazelwood, a member of New York’s Chili Volunteer Fire Department, told the website. “I want to feel like I’m giving back.”

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