July 2020 BFA newsletter
SECRETARY’S JULY UPDATE
Here we are into another month of COVID19. It has been determined that the 2020 Agriculture Rescue Training hosted by the National Farm Medicine Center in Marshfield has been postponed until spring of 2021.
As many fund raising events have been cancelled in our communities, we will need “to tighten our belts” without our major fund raiser[s]. Feel free to share any information about your event(s) that you will hosting or are cancelling so we can pass these on to our members. In Allenton there will be three events presented by the Allenton Annual Picnic Committee—Drive thru Fish Fries on Friday, July 10th and August 14th. They are also hosting a Drive-thru Pig Roast on Sunday, July 26th. All the events will occur at the Allenton Fire Station, 431 Railroad Street in Allenton. Campbellsport Fire Department will be hosting their annual July 3rd Fish Fry at Firemen’s Park.
I am going to start a series of educational tidbits for us to consider as we progress through these uncharted waters. I encourage you to share them with others. This one comes from “10 Deadly Sins for Fireground Failures on a Blog done by Ron Givens. Givens is with Shut Up and Train, LLC. and serve as a Captain with the South Trail Fire Protection & Rescue Service District in Florida.
INABILITY TO FORECAST WORSENING CONDITIONS
Along with experience, comes that hidden sense to detect what’s wrong and what’s right. Whether it’s in a fire, or on a vehicle accident on a highway, a firefighter must always have their head on a swivel, and detect the possibility of worsening conditions. There are many situations that could arise, but detecting them beforehand is much better than to have to deal with the consequences later.
INATTENTION TO DETAIL
This one is mainly for the IC. Inattention to detail for the sake of this article is in reference to having too many radio channels that need to be attended to, and not being able to hear/understand all radio traffic. Another portion of that would include the ever-so-frequent radio transmission that no one understands, and everyone on scene is looking at each other, scratching their head, with the “what did they just say?” look on their face. Hopefully it wasn’t a MAYDAY. Hopefully it wasn’t a, “We’re out of water” transmission.
In my opinion as firefighters we must always keep in mind “the what ifs.” Secondly, as a former chief officer, I always felt the need to have a second person in command, if we were at a major incident, to help monitor radio traffic. Remember your life and the lives of your fellow firefighters depend on how well we are prepared.
WILDLAND ADVISOR FROM BADGER FIREFIGHTERS ASSOCIATION
The members of the Badger Firefighters Association urges our residents in the Fond du Lac, Dodge, Sheboygan, Washington, and Ozaukee counties to proceed with extreme caution burning rubbish, branches and leaves. The vegetation is still very dry, along with low humidity and strong winds all leads to fire getting out of control very easily.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources recently released the following information:
“By state statute, DNR fire restrictions only cover parts of the state. In others, local fire departments are responsible. (See the attached map)
When the DNR suspends burning permits, they are only suspended for the areas we cover. That means no debris burning on the ground or in barrels. Campfires for warming and cooking are okay, though strongly discouraged.
If you live or plan to burn outside of the DNR’s fire protection area, it is your responsibility to check locally to see if there are any restrictions.”
The map shows that our area of the state is not under this restriction. There are local municipalities that have issued restrictions and others have not. Check with your local authorities if there are any restrictions. If there are no restrictions, use common sense. We have also included a map as of Tuesday afternoon that the Wisconsin DNR posts on their website to show vegetation fire potential. We note that our area is a high potential stage. The northern part of Wisconsin had snow over the weekend, thus that area is at low potential.
This year presents all sorts of challenges with the presence of COVID19, having firefighters responding to what some of us call “nuisance” fires. These are fires that could have been prevented if common sense would have prevailed. These fires put our members in close proximately of each other with very little protection against the virus. Secondly, these fires take time, puts responders at risk responding and working on level terrain, along with lot of effort for most likely very little monetary value.
We ask you that consider the wind, consider the size of the rubbish pile you are igniting, can you keep in control? Is it near buildings? Is it near a field with tall dry vegetation?
FIRST RESPONDERS ADVICE TO THEIR NEIGHBORS
As firefighters and emergency medical providers we are all being asked to be safe, healthy and strong during these challenging times that our communities, our state, and our country are experiencing. We are going through a “Safer at Home” time which means the limiting of travel, limiting interaction with others and much more.
Much of our state is served by volunteer firefighters and emergency medical providers. These people have fulltime jobs to make a living and they have taken the challenge to provide care and assistance to neighbors and strangers 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. In recent years our memberships have decreased due to many factors. Those of us that have stayed involved do this because we care! As first responders we are driven to be the link in someone’s life that has just had a life changing incident and we can help them start the healing process. This could be extinguishing a fire, going to a car accident, or going to a home where someone has fallen or become sick. There is no other more gratifying avocation or vocation than one that allows us to help others.
This all being said, we would like to help you stay healthy and safe with a few pointers. First if you are going to wear gloves while running errands, please think about the possibility of cross contamination. If you grab a grocery cart with your gloves, then touch your phone with same gloves, then touch your child, then touch your cell phone, and then touch your face the gloves were not effective. When you are wearing gloves to do a task, you must remove them safely before starting another task. The CDC suggest the following to remove gloves: “Peel the glove away from your body, pulling it inside out. Hold the glove you just removed in your gloved hand. Peel off the second glove by putting your fingers inside the glove at the top of your wrist. Turn the second glove inside out while pulling it away from your body, leaving the first glove inside the second.”
Second item we would like to discuss is wearing a surgical mask. When you wear a mask the purpose is to give you protection from inhaling contaminated air. You should be sure that the mask covers your nose and your mouth. Pulling the mask down to breathe easier through your nose negates any safety the mask is designed to do. To wear the mask correctly be sure that each elastic loop is secured around each ear so to be effective. We have found that cloth masks work very well and are able to be cleaned and reused. Some cloth masks come with a pocket that allows the installation of a filter. We advise the general public not purchase N-95 masks as this depletes the supply for our medical personnel.
Other important factors to keeping you safe include to clean your hands when you finish a project or task before you start a new task. Increase ventilation in the building you are occupying by opening windows. If you must have a meeting, be sure it is in a large room and sufficient ventilation to have fresh air movement. If you have been out of the house, be sure to clean your hands as soon as possible. Clean door knobs, handles, cooking preparation surfaces often during the day.
One other concern is this—if you wear gloves and possibly a mask, DON’T throw them into the shopping cart. Put them in a waste disposal bin or put in a shopping bag to take home and dispose there.
If you need emergency assistance at your home or work place be sure that you advise the dispatcher of the type of medical emergency and if there are any symptoms of any sort of virus present. The more information you can share the better prepared our first responders will be.
Presented by the Officers of Badger Firefighters Association; Fred Arbuckle, Pete Manning, Jason Ebert, & Ron Naab
FEBRUARY SECRETARY’S REPORT
Your association has been actively involved with supporting some important legislation at the state. The first bill which appears to have fallen in the cracks at Senator Dewey Strobel’s desk is the bill prohibiting the sale of novelty lighters to minors. The senate had a hearing on this legislation [SB 195] in fall. All of the testimony was in favor of having this law enacted. This is the 4 session of state legislature that a bill pertaining to the prohibition of the sale of novelty lighters has been introduced with BI-PARTISAN s
The other legislation that the board of officers has gone on record to support is AB746, Roadside Responder Safety. The accompanying senate bill is number SB 674. The assembly bill had a hearing held on Thursday, January 23, 2020. There were 11 people [law enforcement, tow truck operators and fire service personnel] that testified in front of the Committee of Criminal Justice and Public Safety. Next will be a hearing at the Senate’s Committee on Transportation, Veterans and Military Affairs, chaired by Sen. Jerry Petrowski [Sen.Petrowski@legis.wisconsin.gov]. This legislation was drafted because of the increase of near misses and actual accidents involving emergency vehicles, tow trucks and highway maintenance equipment. The legislation increases the fines and adds possible prison time for incidents where someone has put a first responder life at danger along our roadways. We are asking to please contact your local state assembly person and state senator. upport and each time the bill has either not come out of Senator Strobel’s committee or was never brought to the floor for a vote.
We as a conglomerate of first responders and departments contact Senator Strobel and our local assembly members we can get things done.
as your department holds your “appreciation/awards banquets” that Badger Firefighters Association is willing to honor those with 25, 50 or 60 years of service, along with a chief officer [Captain and above] with a recognition award. In addition we will be looking for your nominations for firefighter of the year, emergency medical responder meritorious service awards. Our Heroism Award is intended to recognize and honor those civilians or first responder or member of your department for heroic actions that had a positive effect on someone. These awards can be given at your banquet by an officer of the BFA and at our Annual Banquet on Sunday, April 26.
Our attendance for the Forest Reeder Making A Difference Seminar was not what we had hoped for. However those of us that attended learned much from this outstanding leader in American Fire Service.
The training committee would appreciate to hear from our members as to what type of classes you want us to provide. Contact Paul Fahey, Mike Auer, Tony Burgard or Ron Naab with your suggestions.
St. Lawrence Fire Company
Is Proud to Host the
65th Annual Badger Firefighter’s Association
This year the bowling tournament will take place at Kettle Moraine Bowl located at 1021 E Commerce Blvd, Slinger, WI 53086. The tournament will take place this year on Saturdays and Sundays from February 8th, 2020 until February 16th, 2020.
Completed entries and all monies are to be mailed NO LATER THAN January 18th, 2020 to:
Entry Form: St. Lawrence Entry Form
St. Lawrence Fire Company
Attn: Dan Wolf
4955 Hwy 175
Hartford, WI 53027
Please make checks payable to: St. Lawrence Fire Company
Please get your entry forms in ASAP to reserve your dates for bowling. The team captain listed on the entry form will be notified via email of dates and times you are scheduled to bowl.
We will also be putting together an ad book for the event. Please see the form included with this packet regarding different sizes and prices. Please email any artwork to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline for placing an ad in the book is January 18th, 2020. Please send payment along with the ad book form to the address above.
Ad Book Form: St. Lawrence Badger Bowling Ad Book Form
All monies raised by the event will be used towards buying vehicle stabilization tools.
Thanks in advance and Good Luck!
St. Lawrence Fire Company