WFC News

Posted: Jul 22, 2019

Chicago (IL) Fire Department Fire Apparatus Working

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Posted: Jul 22, 2019

Out of My Mind: EMS Delivery and Public Perception

By Richard Marinucci

There is a difference between what the general public thinks the fire service does and what it actually does. This is true no matter where you check, though the degree of difference can vary. People get their perception from a variety of sources including pop culture; television; news sources; personal experiences; relationships with those in the service; and, in current times, social media. In most cases there is a lack of understanding of how complex the job has become when there is a desire to have a quality service. To many, just having a fire truck show up is adequate. Staffing and response time don’t have to be that great as the expectation may be low. Yet, there is a huge variation of services both in what is delivered along with the quality.

One area to consider is EMS. I am not sure the public knows the difference between a first responder, EMT, or paramedic. Yet, there is a huge difference. The hours required to attain licensure and maintain the same are vastly different. The types of procedures that can be delivered are also widely different. As such, the outcomes are expected to be better with a cadre of paramedics than with first responders. But rarely, if ever, is there a mention of the difference as the public doesn’t know what they could be getting, and some of the services are fewer. Add to this that the public often does not know that the fire department delivers both fire and EMS, and you understand the challenges of changing expectations and garnering the proper support. Too often the public is satisfied because someone showed up.

Speaking of showing up, a nonfire-service friend of mine asked me some questions about service delivery. A friend of his lost a son in a vehicle accident. This is a huge tragedy for anyone to deal with. The family is trying to make sense of it. They had heard that there was a delay in response, and the extrication was not very efficient and took a long time. My friend was wondering if they could have played a part in the fatality. I said I couldn’t “Monday morning quarterback” but offered general comments. I said not all departments are created equal. Some are better than others. They have better staffing, train more, and have quicker responses. You can expect better outcomes when this happens. It is difficult to evaluate unsubstantiated facts from an individual event. But, think about what could happen if the public were able to ask certain questions and department actions had to be defended.

Many in the fire service are hesitant to admit deficiencies. I know of organizations that count the first-arriving vehicle equipped with a radio as their response times. They don’t have enough people to make a difference initially, nor do they have the needed equipment. When asked about their response time, they recite the number of the one-person vehicle. They never offer additional, and the public never asks for further information. This would seem to be a bit deceiving and once again contributes to poorer results because of inadequate resources. What is it that prompts organizations to provide information that is incomplete and may be considered deceptive? I know the political reasons and desire to not air poor performance, but how does this help the growth of the department? We should begin getting more information out that not only paints the right picture but also gets the general public to better understand the challenges of providing quality service.

The Fire Department Safety Officers Association and Drexel University have partnered with each other on a grant to examine safety climates and safety cultures. While the focus (no pun intended to those at Drexel who developed the survey) is on safety, the idea of climate and culture applies to all aspects of the fire service. I

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Posted: Jul 22, 2019

New Mexico Firefighter Injured in Fireworks Explosion Dies

ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – The Roswell firefighter who has been fighting for his life in the hospital has died.

Jeff Stroble was hospitalized in Lubbock after an explosion in June left him and Hoby Bonham seriously injured. A few weeks ago, his recovery took a turn when he developed gastrointestinal bleeding. MORE

Roswell’s Fire Cheif issued the following statement:

    It is with great sadness we announce the passing of one of our own Roswell Fire Department Firefighters. Fire Apparatus Operator Jeff Stroble, 46, passed away in a Lubbock hospital today, July 21st, after battling to recover from his injuries sustained in an explosion on June 5, 2019.

    Services will be announced once arrangements have been finalized.

    On behalf the City of Roswell our thoughts, prayers and deepest condolences are with his family and the entire Roswell Fire Department.


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Posted: Jul 22, 2019

New Mexico firefighter dies after battling injuries from fireworks explosion

Roswell firefighter Jeff Stroble, 46, died Sunday at a hospital in Lubbock, Texas. Stroble was working to prepare fireworks for the City of Roswell's Fourth of July fireworks display when an explosion occurred – leaving him in critical condition. Roswell Fire Chief Devin Graham shared the following statement: "It is with great sadness we announce the passing of one of our own Roswell Fire Department Firefighters.
- PUB DATE: 7/22/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KOB-TV NBC 4 Albuquerque
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Posted: Jul 22, 2019

11 Firefighters, Resident Hospitalized After Hazmat Situation in Boston

Eleven firefighters and one resident were taken to an area hospital Friday when a noxious combination of cleaning supplies triggered a Level 3 hazardous materials situation at a building in Boston's South End. The building was evacuated after a combination of bleach and Murphy's Oil Soap created a noxious, potentially dangerous combination on the third floor of a 5-story rooming house, Boston fire officials said.
- PUB DATE: 7/22/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WBTS-TV NBC 10 Boston
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