WFC News

Posted: Jun 18, 2018

Grant funds exhaust capture devices for Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue stations

The city reports that the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) from FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency provided the fire department with approximately $200,000 in grant funding to install exhaust capture systems in five of the city’s six fire stations. Station No. 6 was ineligible for the grant due to being a newer station, according to a post on the city's Facebook page.

The devices are designed to remove nearly 100 percent of the cancer-causing products in diesel exhaust. The new systems will provide clean air for firefighters and visitors to the fire stations.

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Posted: Jun 18, 2018

Joliet Fire Dept. Gets Grant For Hazmat Team Equipment

The grant will be used to buy headsets for the hazmat team.

The team responds to any hazardous materials leak, spill or condition that threatens the public or environment of the city. It was created in response to the ever-increasing quantity of hazardous materials located, manufactured or transported through Joliet, according to the department’s website.

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Posted: Jun 18, 2018

Apple's iOS 12 to Share Emergency Location Info with 911

iPhone and 911 emergency information

iPhone users in the United States who call 911 will be able to automatically and securely share their location data with first responders beginning later this year with iOS 12, providing faster and more accurate information to help reduce emergency response times.

Approximately 80 percent of 911 calls today come from mobile devices, but outdated, landline-era infrastructure often makes it difficult for 911 centers to quickly and accurately obtain a mobile caller’s location. To address this challenge, Apple launched HELO (Hybridized Emergency Location) in 2015, which estimates a mobile 911 caller’s location using cell towers and on-device data sources like GPS and WiFi Access Points.

Apple today announced it will also use emergency technology company RapidSOS’s Internet Protocol-based data pipeline to quickly and securely share HELO location data with 911 centers, improving response time when lives and property are at risk. RapidSOS’s system will deliver the emergency location data of iOS users by integrating with many 911 centers’ existing software, which rely on industry-standard protocols.

“Communities rely on 911 centers in an emergency, and we believe they should have the best available technology at their disposal,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “When every moment counts, these tools will help first responders reach our customers when they most need assistance.”

In keeping with Apple’s focus on privacy, user data cannot be used for any non-emergency purpose and only the responding 911 center will have access to the user’s location during an emergency call.

“911 telecommunicators do extraordinary work managing millions of emergencies with little more than a voice connection,” said RapidSOS CEO, Michael Martin. “We are excited to work with Apple to provide first responders a new path for accurate, device-based caller location using transformative Next Generation 911 technology.”

The FCC requires carriers to locate callers to within 50 meters at least 80 percent of the time by 2021. iOS location services are capable of exceeding this requirement today, even in challenging, dense, urban environments. This new feature allows Apple to make these benefits available to local 911 centers now rather than years from now.

“We’re thrilled that Apple is giving 911 centers access to device-based location data via a thoroughly-tested, standards-based approach,” said Rob McMullen, President of the National Emergency Number Association, the 911 Association. “This will accelerate the deployment of Next Generation 911 for everyone, saving lives and protecting property.”

“This new functionality is an example of how companies and first responders can use technology to dramatically improve public safety,” said Tom Wheeler, FCC Chairman from 2013 to 2017. “Lives will be saved thanks to this effort by Apple and RapidSOS.”

“Helping 911 services quickly and accurately assess caller location has been a major issue since my time at the FCC,” said Dennis Patrick, FCC Chairman from 1987 to 1989. “This advancement from Apple and RapidSOS will be transformative for emergency response in the United States.”

Apple revolutionized personal technology with the introduction of the Macintosh in 1984. Today, Apple leads the world in innovation with iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV. Apple’s four software platforms — iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS — provide seamless experiences across all Apple devices and empower people with breakthrough services including the App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay and iCloud. Apple’s more than 100,000 employees are dedicated to making the best products on earth, and to leaving the world better than we found it.


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Posted: Jun 18, 2018

Out of My Mind—Advancing Past Adequate

By Richard Marinucci

Almost everyone should remember the old spelling bees in school. There were some kids who did really well and others (like me) who got knocked out early. Everyone could spell the easier words, but as they got more challenging, there was a separation of talent and dedication. Of course, the basic classroom spelling bee has evolved into a national competition with some really smart kids who can spell better than Daniel Webster (I think he published the first dictionary). The point here is that just because everyone can spell the easy words doesn’t mean they are all good spellers. It takes a level of talent and a lot of hard work to become the best or even really good.

Everyone in the fire service is probably an adequate firefighter. Some are better than others, and if we had a fair and equitable way to keep score, we could determine who the best was. It is not like spelling where there is a definite right or wrong answer. There is a lot of subjective opinion involved. But, there are ways to determine if you are doing better or improving. You would have to ask if you are training every day. If you don’t practice regularly and routinely, doing things the right way, you are not going to get to the top of the list of the best of the best. And this is just one aspect. You do need to keep score in the areas that can be measured. For example, you should know how quickly you can don your PPE. You can then compare to others in your organization to see where you rate or look for standards to meet. You should also look at team performance. What is the expectation to deploy your typical lines at a fire? Have you timed the teams lately to see where you rate? If you just talk about how good you are, you are not working to improve your capabilities—not only to maintain performance but to ascend to the top of your profession.


Speaking of getting ahead in your profession, I am still amazed at how many departments don’t participate regularly and routinely in training and education outside their own communities. This can go from top to bottom. At the top, there are many chiefs who have bosses who don’t support this either financially, as part of employee development, or both. I recently met a person who was attending a training that was completely covered financially by a grant but the individual could not get release time from his boss and had to use personal time. That sure seems short sighted to me in so many ways. First you hinder advancement. Second, you affect motivation and moral.

Of course, there are other perspectives. I have spoken to fire chiefs who have offered training to personnel. They (the personnel) then make outrageous demands for pay including overtime from the time they leave their house until they return. As I understand it, this would be 24 hours a day if they are gone. Now I know that it is time away from family and other obligations. But, there is a little bit of game playing. One might call this request ridiculous. It might be just an excuse not to go. But if you want to grow and improve in your profession, you need to show up at various training programs when the opportunity arises. I would be interested in hearing some legitimate reasons why some don’t participate. Is it budget, lack of awareness, unwillingness to put in extra time, too mu

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Posted: Jun 18, 2018

Talking Trucks & Equipment—AXIS™ Smart Truck Technology

Chris Mc Loone talks with Jeff Zook, marketing manager for connected solutions, IDEX Corporation, about AXIS™ Smart Truck Technology, a secure system that is engineered specifically for the fire service.

The AXIS™Smart Truck Technology provides:

  • Access from any computer, laptop or mobile device to vehicle information through a web based dashboard
  • Important truck information at a glance with the ability to delve further into specific truck data and diagnostics
  • Monitoring of up to 5 vehicle networks
  • Remote updates to multiple components and faster support from the dealer and OEM when service is needed
  • Real time vehicle notification via text and email to mobile devices
  • An open architecture design allowing for the adoption of additional technology partners to further improve fire ground operations and more.

More information: REV Group Fire Division Introduces AXIS™ Smart Truck Technology for the Fire Service

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