Greensboro Fire Department & CFAI Host a CPSE Workshop: Quality Improvement Through Accreditation April 12-14, 2017
News on Your Public Safety Answering Points (Communication Centers)
Greg Hauser represents the NC Fire Service on the State 911 Board. In an effort to keep the fire service engaged and make local dispatch centers effective for the fire service, he suggest involvement at the local level by fire officers in the operation of the dispatch center. Here is an update on the 911 Board and some questions for you to consider.
Does Your Local PSAP (Public Safety Answering Points) Use EFD Protocols?
NCSFA Members are encouraged to find out if their local PSAP (911 Call Centers) uses dispatch standards and protocols. These protocols are extremely important and should be followed by all involved in emergency dispatch situations. There are many different types of protocols (Emergency Fire Dispatch ((EFD)), APCO, etc) and each may determine how fire services are dispatched.
PSAP Manager Training:
Training will soon be available for PSAP managers. This newly created program will focus on educating current PSAP about the history, trends, processes and technology in the Public Safety Communications industry. The training was created in cooperation with the 911 Education Committee and Richmond Community College. The program will be an 8-month program. To insure your department is getting the most from your dispatch centers, urge your PSAP manager to get involved.
State PSAP Allocations: Is the Strained Funding Model Degrading Your PSAP’s Effectiveness?
PSAP funding for allowable items is becoming strained in North Carolina. Have your Fire Service Command Staff become engaged with their PSAP managers to ensure dispatch services are not being degraded. If not funded properly, the County/agency may be responsible for finding the necessary funds to support the PSAP. This has the potential to degrade your PSAP’s ability to provide effective fire dispatch services.
Standards for PSAP’s
Nine (9) people were recently approved for the first class of reviewers and their PSAP training will begin in the coming year. Beginning in July 2017, all PSAP will be required to undergo an evaluation of their processes, procedures, technology and fall pack plans. Across NC only 2 PSAP’s are without approved backup plans, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and Franklin County (Franklin County is very close to having their plan approved). The 911 Board Chair is looking into the five (5) PSAP’s that failed during Hurricane Matthew so that they can be turned into teaching opportunities. Finally, PSAP allocations were approved by the board and NCSFA members can go to http://it.nc.gov/nc911board to see their allotment.
The Gatlinburg Firefighters Association has established the Gatlinburg Public Safety Employees Wildfire Relief Fund to aid those Gatlinburg Firefighters and Police Officers who lost their homes and contents in the fire, which in part spread from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park into the eastern Tennessee resort city of Gatlinburg. The fire burned about 1,000 buildings in Sevier County, including hundreds in Gatlinburg, killed 13 people and injured about 85 people.
Donations should be made payable to The Gatlinburg Public Safety Employees Wildfire Relief Fund, Account # 1090021864. Donations may be mailed to
Smartbank, ATTN: Gatlinburg Public Safety Employees Wildfire Relief Fund,
PO Box 1910, Pigeon Forge Tennessee 37868.
Electronic transfers may be sent to Smartbank. The routing number for this fund is 064209216.
For additional information contact Kandra McCarter Phone: (865) 936-7130; Daniel Lindbert (865) 430-8687 or David Puckett (865) 712-0726
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2014
12:00 P.M. EASTERN
11:00 A.M. CENTRAL
10:00 A.M. MOUNTAIN
9:00 A.M. PACIFIC
Philip Oakes, National Program Director
To help identify causes of fatal fires nationwide, NASFM launches online training program
Training focuses on importance of accurately reporting the causes of all fires
Cheyenne, WY, (November 12, 2014) – Last year, fires killed over 3,000 people, injured more than 15,000 and caused an estimated $11.5 billion in damage, Over a five-year period, the cause of ignition in the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) was unknown in almost three out of every five home fire deaths, according to the United States Fire Administration and the National Fire Protection Association. Recognizing the reporting gap in NFIRS, the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) has launched a free, online training program for the fire service, “Understanding Your Role in Fire Incident Data,” available at NASFM’s training portal www.nasfm-training.org.
The new training program is the result of a project by NASFM’s Fire Education Research Foundation, funded by a FEMA Fire Prevention and Safety Grant, to determine the root causes contributing to the reporting gap and develop a training solution to help fire departments across the nation with stronger reporting practices.
“The new training program addresses such an important gap in our national fire incident data,” said Butch Browning, NASFM President and Louisiana State Fire Marshal. “If we don’t know what is causing these fires, we really can’t work effectively to prevent them with solutions that specifically address the root problems. By explaining to fire fighters and chief officers the critical importance of accurately reporting the cause of fires, big and small, in their communities, we can go a long ways towards closing this gap.”
To ensure that the program was applicable in as many environments as possible, the NASFM Foundation developed it in close collaboration with the International Association of Fire Chiefs, International Association of Fire Fighters, National Fire Information Council, National Fire Protection Association, National Volunteer Fire Council, the North American Fire Training Directors, the United States Fire Administration and the Vision 20/20 project.
Research conducted for this project identified four areas that contributed to this data gap that are addressed in the training program:
• Closing the loop. So often, there is a disconnect within fire departments between those who make the initial fire report entry, such as the line officer, and the fire investigator who later determines the cause of the fire, and the initial report is not updated with the new information.
• Clearing the litigation cloud. Fire departments are often reluctant to enter the cause of the fire unless they are 100% sure because of the potential for being called to task later during any court proceedings.
• Black Hole. A number of people interviewed for the project had an inaccurate impression that the information went into a “black hole” and didn’t really make any difference, either locally or nationally.
• Complexity. The current NFIRS systems is perceived as being overly complex and not user-friendly, which discourages those using it from taking the time to accurately enter the information.
This online course at www.nasfm-training.org takes approximately one hour and a certificate of completion is available after finishing the course that can be used for continuing education requirements. In addition, since this training program is self-guided, it can be easily incorporated into recruit training at a fire academy or station level and used by full-time, call and volunteer fire departments.
About the NASFM Foundation
The National Association of State Fire Marshals Fire Research and Education Foundation (NASFM Foundation), a 501(c)(3) organization, works with companies, government agencies, associations, academic institutions and others that strive to achieve higher levels of fire safety for consumers and for the emergency response community. The NASFM Foundation works to support the mission of the National Association of State Fire Marshals — to protect life, property and the environment from fire and related hazards — through science, innovation, research and education.
National Association of State Fire Marshals | PO Box 671, Cheyenne, WY 82003 | 307-433-8078
www.firemarshals.org | Facebook | @NAofSFM
Chief Phil Welch, Gastonia Fire Department
To some people, becoming the president of an organization means you’re finally able to kick up your heels and let the underlings do the dirty work.
A longtime colleague of Gastonia Fire Chief Phillip Welch Jr., the newly appointed president of the N.C. State Firemen’s Association, said that’s the last thing that will happen in this case.
“Phil is a great individual and very dedicated. He’s very well prepared because of all the years he’s served on the board,” said Paul Miller, the 22-year executive director of the NCSFA. “He’s been involved in a number of major decisions that have had a huge impact on our members over the years.”
A Gastonia native, Welch was 19 years old when he began his full-time career with the Gastonia Fire Department in 1980. He achieved his “dream job” of becoming the agency’s 18th fire chief in 2009. And this month, he was the first Gastonia firefighter in the department’s 108-year history to be designated the NCSFA’s president.
“I’ve been blessed to live out my dream,” he said this week, after being honored by the Gastonia City Council with a proclamation Tuesday.
The NCSFA is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year as the lead organization for firefighters across the state. It provides insurance and benefits for its approximately 48,000 individual members, advocates on their behalf and lobbies in Raleigh for legislation that enhances fire safety.
“We work very closely to support any fire safety-related issues that are out there,” Welch said.
Welch began his service on the NCSFA’s state board as the statistician, compiling all data about statewide firefighter injuries and fatalities, and held that position nine years. For the last seven years, he has advanced through the ranks as a high-level director on the board.
Welch said his 16 years with the organization have given him a unique insight into its core values and mission.
“I’ve been one of the very fortunate people to have had many years on the board,” he said. “It’s quite a process.”
His term as president will now last one year.
Long list of accolades
Welch’s entire NCSFA service has come while he maintained full-time positions here in Gaston County. His list of professional achievements is extensive, and includes numerous fire service degrees.
He is a 2004 Executive Fire Officer graduate of the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Md. And he received the Chief Fire Officer designation from the Center for Public Safety Excellence.
Welch started out as an unpaid 18-year-old with the Union Road Volunteer Fire Department, and later served as its fire chief for several years. After joining Gastonia, he left in 1991 to become the first director of Gaston College’s newly constructed Regional Emergency Services Training Center.
Before leaving that year, he told then-Gastonia Fire Chief Bob Murray that he hoped to one day return and fill Murray’s seat. It was a dream he would realize 18 years later.
Murray, a past president of the N.C. Association of Fire Chiefs, described Welch as a “super leader” who he hated to lose in 1991. But it was for the best, he said.
“I give him credit for making the college program what it is,” he said. “It’s one of the best in the state, if not the best anywhere.”
Murray said he has no doubt Welch’s service as NCSFA president will pay dividends for North Carolina, not to mention Gastonia.
“I’m very proud of him,” Murray said. “He’ll do a super job.”
You can reach Michael Barrett at 704-869-1826 or twitter.com/GazetteMike.