My good friend, Shawn Longerich, Executive Director for the Cyanide Poisoning Treatment Coalition (CPTC) at www.FireSmoke.org sent me the video “Out of Air”; currently in Beta testing.
The video is just under an hour long and it is, as Captain Mike Gagliano of the Seattle Fire Department and a board member at CPTC pronounces; an homage to those firefighters who have succumbed to the effects of smoke inhalation.
“Out of Air” opens with a description of four cases, where firefighters died within hours or days of their exposure to smoke at working fires.
Captain Mike Gagliano narrates the video that is interspersed with commentary by Bobby Halton, Editor-in-Chief of Fire Engineering; John Norman III, FDNY Chief Retired; Alan Brunicini, Phoenix FD Chief Retired; Asst. Chief Brian Schaeffer of Spokane, WA FD; and Firefighter Bart Bradberry of Forth Worth, TX FD, who describes his near-miss at a residential fire.
Statistics are used sparingly to drive home the numbers of exposures and documented deaths due to exposures to smoke.
The video briefly discusses the effects of the “Toxic Twins”-hydrogen cyanide (HCN) and carbon monoxide (CO).
The most riveting part of the video was the fire ground radio traffic from Houston FD. They were working a high rise fire when a firefighter searching the fifth floor ran out of air. The urgency of the stricken firefighter’s radio transmissions had me wringing my hands.
Among the many issues discussed in the video are:
-Air management program directives
-Key components of an air management policy
-Air consumption that includes the Reilly Breathing Technique (RBT) Study
-Rules of Air Management (ROAM)
-R.E.A.D.Y. Check (Radio, Equipment, Air, Duties, Yes)
-CARA (Conditions, Actions, Resources, Air)
The video concludes with a policy statement on the need for air management programs, which states: “The need for a change in the way you do air management is clear due to the many firefighters that are perishing due to asphyxiation and smoke inhalation across the country".
Out of Air® will roll out at FDIC on March 22, 2011.
You won’t want to miss this. It is a program that will absolutely save firefighters’ lives by educating them to the deadly effects of smoke and the importance of wearing and using SCBAs when smoke is present.
Bobby Halton summed it up very well. When an otherwise healthy firefighter dies in their sleep, it leaves everyone wondering what happened. Was it a heart attack from over exertion or was it from the toxicants that entered the body at a fire that caused the death?
In the words of Captain Mike Gagliano; “The days of leather lungs and foot-long snot rockets are things of the past”.
WEAR YOUR AIR!
The opinions and views expressed are those of the article’s author, Art Goodrich, who also writes as ChiefReason. They do not reflect the opinions and views of fireengineering.com, Fire Engineering Magazine, PennWell Corporation or his dog, Chopper. All articles by the author are protected by federal copyright and cannot be reproduced in any form without expressed permission.