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The 2008 NFPA Standard on the Rehabilitation Process (NFPA 1584) is out and here are some highlights:  It establishes what the exact criteria is for rehabilitation  on the emergency scene.  It also says the department "shall establish a rehab section" at any incident and that personnel shall be trained to set the rehab area up.  In this context saying that a department SHALL DO these things is pretty straight forward.  It means that you should do it.  Of course these standards are not laws.  They aren't laws until tested in court.  NFPA standards have a long history of being held up as the "best practice."  So here is a case where areas which have separated fire and EMS are going to have to work pretty hard together to make this work.  In most areas this won't be a problem. This is a good thing.  If you want to check it out, log in to NFPA's website (it's free unless you want to download something)  Contact HOOT for information on Rehab Training.

In February, a Kansas fire chief was crushed between two apparatus the Linn Valley Lakes VFD.  The station was designed for two apparatus but housed three.  A fire fighter thinking that he had parked the engine in the left bay too close to the tanker in the middle pulled it out and then backed into the bay.  When he exited the apparatus, he found the chief crushed between the two vehicles. Very sad.  Upon investigation, it was found that neither the backup lights or the audible backup alarm works. As you may imagine, NIOSH entered the investigation and found a lot of problems that we probably don't think about.  The first thing cited was NFPA  1500 for firefighter safety. The citation mentioned that there was supposed to be a spotter, but there was no SOP so there was no training on it. That of course went along with the beeper and backup lights.  It also mentioned the capacity of the engine house, that the engine was over 25 years old so probably was not equipped properly and had non-standard mirrors.  The engine was retired from service later.  This points out that NFPA standards should be looked at as "best practice". This small department will probably get whacked by NIOSH because the court will say that "best practice" was not followed, and they'll cite 45 other departments that are doing it correctly.  It could happen anywhere.

One of the newest problems that fire fighters face is electric and hybrid automobiles.  You can watch a good training video done at the Chicago Fire Department by clicking HERE

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