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Attendees can expect six to seven, approximately 45-minute presentations from industry experts. They will receive a resource manual that includes: printed reference material; a CD or USB thumb drive holding electronic copies of all presentations; and, other reference material. Certificates of attendance will be provided to attendees who complete the day.

Module 1-Health and Safety Risks by Cindy Ell of the International Fire Fighter Cancer Foundation; or Keith Tyson of the Firefighter Cancer Support Network

This module will focus on the cancer risks associated with dirty and contaminated PPE. The "C" word is part of the genesis of the NFPA 1851 standard and minimizing your risks as a fire fighter being diagnosed with cancer is an on-going initiative of several organizations. This presentation will provide insight into these initiatives and provide guidance on measures every fire department can take to reduce fire fighter exposures to carcinogens.

Module 2-Risk Assessment

The basis of any PPE selection is the Risk Assessment. This presentation will provide you the tools to:

  • Meet required OSHA laws
  • Become compliant with NFPA, especially NFPA 1851
  • Develop a process to determine actual needs rather than perceived needs
  • Demonstrate fiscal responsibility
  • Leverage fire fighter safety over other factors

Module 3-Selection and Purchase

This presentation will describe an unbiased approach to PPE selection that will meet the most stringent ethical guidelines. You will learn how to: conduct a needs analysis, conduct research on available components and latest technological advances, collect data, work with purchasing agents, manufacturers and vendors, write custom designed PPE specifications that meet your departments unique needs, conduct field tests and analyze submitted bids.

Module 4-Selection and Materials

This presentation will examine the various components available for turnout gear. You will be provided the tools to assess the various features of the thermal liner, the face cloth, the moisture barrier, the outer shell, and reinforcements. You will also learn about the correlation between TPP (thermal protective performance) and THL (Total Heat Loss) and how material selection impacts these two protective factors.

Module 5-Inspection

This presentation will show you how to do routine and advanced inspections of all the elements of the fire fighting PPE ensemble: helmet, hood, coat, gloves, pants, and boots. You will learn what to look for and how to look for it. PPE inspection may seem elementary, but there are many details unique to PPE. For example, damage to the moisture barrier and the thermal barrier are usually not visible to the naked eye. This presentation will show you how to find that hidden damage.

Module 6-Cleaning and Drying

This presentation will examine routine cleaning and advanced cleaning. This includes gross decontamination on the scene, information about washer extractors, chemicals used for cleaning, and drying equipment. You will learn about the dangers of selecting and using a cleaning equipment distributor or cleaning service that is not educated about NFPA 1851. Cleaning of helmets, hoods, gloves and footwear is also included.

Module 7-Verification and Certification by a representative from Intertek Testing Services or Underwriters' Laboratories

Verification: What is it? It's a fairly new term to the fire service and a key part of NFPA 1851, with an entire chapter devoted to the subject. You will learn the meaning of this term and what it means for and Independent Service Provider (ISP) or an organization to be verified. You will also gain an appreciation for the stringent quality control measures required in being verified. This presentation will be given by a representative of one of the nation's two organizations that are qualified to verify an organization.

Module 8-Storage by Kirk Owen, Veridian and retired Assistant Chief of the Plano Fire Department

This presentation will explain the importance of the proper storage of PPE to extend its useful life and minimize mold and mildew. Participants will learn how to store their PPE in the station, how to transport their PPE, and how to store PPE in a storage room when it is not issued to a fire fighter. Emphasis will be given to light exposure and ventilation.

Module 9-Is it Clean?

This presentation will describe specific approaches for evaluating clothing for contamination levels, both chemical and biological. You will learn about new non-destructive techniques to determine how to clean and decontaminate clothing for safe reuse, or determine if the clothing must be discarded. This presentation emphasizes the need for frequent clothing cleaning and other preventative measures that limit firefighter exposure to carcinogens, blood borne pathogens, and other hazardous substances.

Module 10-Panel Discussion

This can be panel of local fire departments and/or a panel of the speakers. The panel discussion provides an inter-active opportunity for the panelists to share "lessons learned" and you to ask questions about the day's presentations or issues you have in your fire department. Examples of issues that may be discussed include record keeping and retirement/disposal of PPE.

Module 11-1/2 day Cleaning and Inspection Training

This half-day module will be taught by a verified ISP providing attendees with the required training to complete routine and advanced inspection and cleaning according to NFPA 1851. This module is designed for members who are responsible for the inspection and cleaning of their department's PPE. The training will include the key elements of establishing a PPE Care and Maintenance Program. The proper procedures and equipment needed for advanced inspection and cleaning will be demonstrated. A certificate of training will be provided by the ISP.

Some of these modules could be combined if requested. F.I.E.R.O. welcomes suggestions for other modules and speakers based on the needs of your department/region.