Mitchell: USFA Busy with Myriad of Projects

Mitchell: USFA Busy with Myriad of Projects

News Jan 15, 2013

Things are going full steam ahead at the USFA these days.

While the projects run the gamut, they all have one central theme – enhance the safety of people who are answering the calls, explained USFA Administrator Ernie Mitchell.

Whether it’s educating the public about the importance of home sprinklers, smoke detectors and escape plans or promoting health and safety for firefighters and EMS personnel, he said the staff is always looking for opportunities to partner.

“We understand we can’t do it alone, and we try to engage our stakeholders,” Mitchell told in a recent interview.

He is pleased that the number of on-duty firefighter fatalities continues to decline. However, Mitchell said it’s not time to sit back.

“At least 34 firefighters died of heart attacks last year. Strokes also are killing our firefighters. We need to focus serious attention to those. We continue to emphasize the importance of being fit for duty…”

Mitchell says that all major fire service organizations including the NVFC, IAFC and IAFF have joined the USFA to promote a healthier lifestyle for responders. In addition to making healthy choices at mealtime, they also are encouraging safe practices such as wearing a seatbelt and being cautious while working on a road.

Preventing fires also enhances responder safety, and the USFA head said it’s in everyone’s best interest to promote it. “Here again, we’re partnering with a number of organizations who have great programs. Fires are everyone’s fight.”

Mitchell said he can’t say enough about how important it is for people to install home sprinklers. Furniture and other home furnishings are burning hotter and faster which means a resident’s time for escaping down.

He pointed out that studies on these materials are taking place in various labs. It’s important, he said, that firefighters understand what they’re facing fighting a home fire, and that flashovers can occur quicker.

Continue Reading

Even with everyone feeling the budget crunch, it’s important that the research continue as responders’ and civilians’ lives are at stake. “We’re fortunate we have the expertise of talented people…”

Mitchell encourages responders to use National Incident Fire Reporting System (NIFRS) as they assess hazards in their areas.

He said the staff has been working to make the data base more user friendly so the valuable information can be obtained by fire officials.

The former fire chief from California is quick to admit he promotes education. To be effective, but more importantly safe, firefighters have to keep abreast of the latest techniques, technology and challenges.

He says the staff at National Fire Academy -- where there’s a waiting list for officials to attend classes – has made adjustments recently including issuing letter grades.

“We have great, talented instructors who are always taking it a step beyond…”

 In addition to attending on-campus courses in Emmitsburg, there are an increasing number of classes available on statewide level which cuts down on the expense of travel.

Mitchell added that while times are tough, he expects America’s responders will accept the challenges ahead. “That’s what we’re all about…”

The drill involving over 200 people put multiple first responder agencies to the test.
The training was based on lessons learned from the Columbine shooting and taught school employees safety and security measures.
One third of the state's record-high 376 overdose deaths that occurred last year were caused by prescribed painkillers.
The training will be focused on prescribing buprenorphine, the drug used to assist patients in quitting their opiate addiction and relieve withdrawal symptoms.
One of the paramedics was treated after getting hit with shards of glass after the bullet went through the windshield, but the ambulance is not believed to have been intentionally targeted.
The drones are used to improve scene management by assessing areas that are difficult or dangerous for personnel to reach.
Dozens of firefighters and police officers join the annual week-long Brotherhood Ride to honor 20 first responders who have died in the line of duty in Florida.
The event will be held on August 20, with all proceeds going to Narberth Ambulance, an agency that provides emergency services to 145,000 residents.
Speakers presented on topics such as disaster relief, emerging pathogens, the opioid crisis and cyber security.
The state's Department of Health has established an agreement for UNC and NCBP to collaborate on providing public health data to NEMSIS to better prepare EMS for national emergencies.
State troopers rendered aid before turning them over to responding EMS units and New Castle County Paramedics.
Three people were fatally shot and at least 21 others were wounded in separate attacks from Saturday morning to early Sunday.
Crestline Coach attended the Eighth Annual Saskatchewan Health & Safety Leadership conference on June 8 to publicly sign the “Mission: Zero” charter on behalf of the organization, its employees and their families.
ImageTrend, Inc. announced the winners of the 2017 Hooley Awards, which recognize those who are serving in a new or innovative way to meet the needs of their organization, including developing programs or solutions to benefit providers, administrators, or the community.