The First Twenty

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New program alliance with “The First Twenty” on behalf of the Safety, Health, and Survival Section, this is a tremendous partnership and opportunity for the fire service and the IAFC Members. The Section is extremely excited about offering of this program and that firefighter participation in this program will bring a increase in health and wellness of the fire service for years to come.

Over the course of this next year, The First Twenty will provide monthly webinars and information on health and fitness program consisting of physical performance, tactical nutrition, and mental performance to meet the needs of both career and volunteer firefighters.

“The First Twenty is a nonprofit dedicated to improving the health of the American firefighter. Our mission is to decrease Line of Duty Deaths due to heart attack in today’s fire service”, said David Wurtzel Founder/Executive Director of The First Twenty.


The First Twenty is committed to, designing fitness, wellness, and educational programs based on the most up-to-date research creating data systems and bringing together key stakeholders which can contribute to future research on firefighter health and fitness working with universities and hospitals on developing research to make advances in firefighter wellness.

The Safety Health and Survival Section will work directly with the First Twenty to establish a specifically dedicated fund to help offset health screening charges for fire departments. For every IAFC member whom signs up the fund will receive The SHS Section will manage the fund, establishing a scholarship type process to distribute necessary assistance to those whom in the fire service whom are in need of financial support to directly pay for these health screenings.

The SHS is committed to finding ways to have every firefighter get a NFPA 1582 compliant medical physical and reduce firefighter injuries and death.

Please sign up at “The First Twenty” (, and start your path to a long life and member of the fire service.

What is The First Twenty Tactical High Performance Program©?

This holistic program provides critical performance fundamentals specifically designed to address the unique physiological and psychological challenges facing today’s firefighting force.
• Physical Performance Tools and Guidance
• Mental Performance Tools and Guidance
• Tactical Nutrition Tools and Guidance
• Stress Reduction Tools and Guidance
• Challenges with Dynamic Leaderboards
• Accountability and Motivation

Sign up for the program and visit or facebook page to see what’s going on



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The Firefighter Safety Through Advanced Research (FSTAR)

Visit the FSTAR Site:

Watch the Boston Fire Department Video on Firefighter Cancer.

Safety Stand Down June 19-25, 2016 being Safety and Health Week

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Call to Action: SHS Members Needed for 2016 Safety Stand Down

Fire/EMS Safety Health Week

The SHS Safety Stand Down Committee is looking for SHS members to assist with planning and organizing this year’s Safety Stand Down, scheduled for June 19-25, 2016.
We are looking for 12 SHS members to serve on a working group that will develop educational materials on key safety and health issues for all members within a department. The working group will assist in putting together operational procedures, drills and articles for the fire service to use in the Safety Stand Down.
This is an opportunity to play an important role in keeping firefighters safe.
Working group members will be expected to take part in approximately one conference call per week through July 1, 2016, and work together to develop educational documents and other materials.
What is a stand down?

A stand down is a method used by the military to correct an issue that has been identified as a problem throughout its ranks. This stand down is to raise the level of awareness toward firefighter and EMT safety and call attention to the unacceptable number of deaths and injuries plaguing fire and EMS departments.

Please email your resume to SHS Staff Liaison Richard Miller ( if you are interested. If you are selected, a SHS Board member will contacting you.

SURVIVING THE FIRE SERVICE: A National Memorial Conference

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Wednesday April 13, 2016
Nova Southeastern University Steele Auditorium Davie, Florida

Registration click


Firefighter Tim Beaumont, Milwaukee Firefighter and Survivor
Jim Brinkley, International Association of Firefighters Survival Programs Director, International Association of Firefi ers Occupational Health & Safety BREAK
Captain Frank Leto, Deputy Director FDNY Counseling Unit, “FDNY” Experience of Surviving the Service & Peer Counseling LUNCH
Battalion Chief Dan DeGryse, Chicago Fire Department Firefighter Support Systems BREAK
Dr. Vince Van Hasselt and Nova Southeastern/Panel Discussion Panel “Stressors and Peer Support in the Fire Service”
Closing Remarks and Questions
Networking and Social Immediately to Follow
$ 25.00 Registration All Payment Methods Available All proceeds support the 5 and 8 year old children and memorial trust fund of Fallen Firefighter Valadez

Register at or by phone 954-262-7009

Safety Officers Active Shooter/Hostile Event Program

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Safety Officers Active Shooter/Hostile Event Program

The IAFC’s Safety Health & Survival Section (IAFC SHS), in partnership with the Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FDSOA), announced the addition of The Safety Officer’s Role in Active Shooter/Hostile Events program to the annual Safety Forum to be held January 20-22, 2016, in Scottsdale, Ariz.
According to Chief Scott Kerwood, chair of the IAFC SHS, “We have been talking for several years about doing our own conference. This is an opportunity to partner with the FDSOA since we cater to a lot of the same folks.”
The IAFC SHS and FDSOA met last January to discuss the partnership. “We realized we have a lot of the same members and several members of the SHS are presenting at the Safety Forum,” said Kerwood.
The Active Shooter/Hostile Events program is a timely response for fire chiefs and safety officers to the events that continue to occur across the nation and is just one of the programs featured in the 2016 Safety Forum. Other featured topics include: NFPA safety standards, safety leadership, performance management and rules of engagement. []
The Active Shooter/Hostile Event program will be presented by Brent Siegel, EMS coordinator, Northville Township Fire Department, Mich. A certified Incident Safety Officer and a Health & Safety Officer, Siegel is also a tactical paramedic on the Western Wayne County Special Operations Team. His 90-minute program is scheduled for Thursday, January 21st.
Siegel will stress the importance that agencies integrate fire, law enforcement and EMS into their training. “Because this whole concept does not work if everybody is not on the same page. It’s all about communication,” he said.
Understanding the role of the fire department safety officer is critical in an all-agency hostile event. According to Siegel, an active shooter or hostile event is a more chaotic event to manage because the safety officer will not be able to walk around or have free access.
For more information regarding the FDSOA Safety Forum, contact: Rich Marinucci, Executive Director, Ph: 248.880.1864 or visit:

The Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FDSOA) was established in 1989 as a non-profit association, incorporated in Massachusetts. In 2013, the offices moved to Michigan. Its mission is to promote safety standards and practices in the fire, rescue and emergency services community. The association is led by a volunteer board of directors and has a small staff to handle the day to day operations. The association is dedicated to the issues that affect the critical role of safety officers in protecting and promoting the safety and health responsibilities of fire departments, communities and first responders. FDSOA works to help fire departments achieve proficiency, promote the recognition of training, skills and a secure future.

Apparatus Specification and Maintenance Symposium and their concurrent Safety Forum

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The Fire Department Safety Officers Association will offer three popular keynote speakers during their annual Apparatus Specification and Maintenance Symposium and their concurrent Safety Forum in Scottsdale, Arizona, January 18-22, 2016.

The week will feature three of the fire services’ most popular straight-talkers. The three keynote speakers are: James (Jim) Juneau, Gordon Graham and Chief Billy Goldfeder.


James J. Juneau, Juneau, Boll, Stacy & Ucherek, Dallas, Tx, will kick off the Apparatus Symposium on Monday, January 18th.  Juneau, a nationally recognized legal authority on issues relating to fire apparatus and emergency vehicle design and operational safety, is a straight-talking attorney on emergency vehicles and firefighter safety training and across the United States and Canada.


“We’re going to talk about fire apparatus and the law,” said Juneau. “We’ll deal with safety issues, we’ll deal with the kind of things that matter when you go to the court room and we’ll talk about some of the things that can get you in trouble, like crazy driving, ignoring right-of-way intersections, railroad crossings and intoxication on the job.”



Gordon Graham, Graham Research Consultants, Long Beach, Ca, will wrap up the Apparatus Symposium and kick-off the Safety Forum conference, with his comprehensive program, “What real risk management is all about”. Graham, a former California motorcycle police officer, is a police/fire service risk management expert and attorney, dividing his time between study, research, writing, speaking, and consulting in the discipline of risk management.


“The focus is going to be on all the things that an informed fire department, informed firefighters, mechanics and safety officers need to know about risk management and what they can do to reduce the injuries and the deaths through the specifying, acquisition, bidding, transport and the training process,” said Graham.


Billy Goldfeder, deputy chief, Loveland-Symmes, Ohio, a firefighter since 1973, has served on several IAFC and NFPA committees and is a prolific writer and outspoken critic of unsafe practices and stupid decisions.  Goldfeder’s passion for firefighter safety and “Everyone goes home” has made him the conscience for the North American fire service. Chief Goldfeder, along with Gordon Graham, host and sponsor the website

Goldfeder will wrap-up the Safety Forum conference on Friday, January 22nd, with his powerful presentation, “Why Things Go Wrong–And What Safety Officers Can Do About It.”

“There has been no greater time for fire department safety officers to arm themselves with the best information than now!” said Goldfeder. “Never has the fire service and it’s leadership been so aware of the issues related to firefighter safety, health and survival-and it’s the fire department safety officer who can make the connection between their ‘awareness’ and the ‘reality’ and importance of leadership related to FIREFIGHTER SURVIVAL. Truly the fire chiefs ‘right hand person’ when it comes to keeping fire and EMS personnel out of the hospital, and leadership out of the media and the courtroom, the FIRE DEPT SAFETY OFFICER can assure the unnecessary risks are minimal.”

Goldfeder added, “What is the one conference focused EXCLUSIVELY on the Fire Department Safety Officer? This one–the only one!”


The FDSOA 28th Annual Apparatus Specification and Maintenance Symposium will be held January 18-20, while the 2016 Annual Safety Forum will start concurrently with two Safety Officer Academies and continue with the Safety Forum Wednesday thru Friday, January 22nd. The IAFC’s Safety Health & Survival Section is partnering with the FDSOA to host the Safety Forum and bring safety education to as many fire chiefs and safety officers as possible.

For a complete conference agendas and registration information: or contact: Rich Marinucci, Executive Director, Ph: 248.880.1864 or visit:


The Fire Department Safety Officers Association was established in 1989 as a non-profit Association, incorporated in Massachusetts. In 2013, the offices moved to Michigan. Its mission is to promote safety standards and practices in the fire, rescue and emergency services community. The Association is led by a volunteer Board of Directors and has a small staff to handle the day to day operations. It is the Association dedicated to the issues that affect the critical role of Safety Officer in protecting and promoting the safety and health responsibilities of fire departments, communities and first responders. FDSOA works to helps fire departments achieve proficiency, promote the recognition of training, and skills and a secure future.


Best Practices to Minimize Injuries and Deaths while Using Privately Owned Vehicles (POVs) for ESO Responses

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A report exploring best practices while using privately owned vehicles (POV) for ESO responses. The report is a joint effort between the Volunteer and Combination Officers Section (VCOS), Safety, Health and Survival Section (SHSS), and the NVFC.

It contains model policies and recommended procedures fire departments can adopt to minimize injuries and deaths while responders are using their own vehicles during emergencies.


Access this resource — PDF, 1mb

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SHS Order Form

SHS Coins and T Shirts

Help keep the SHS on target with Safety through supporting the Section

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Officers    July 28, 2015
by Sandy Davis,
(Ret. Chief Safety Officer, Shreveport, LA, Fire Dept.)

Video Testimonial

An Open letter to Fire Department Safety
Brother and Sister Safety Officers,
I know many of you personally, as I spent 12 years on the Board of Directors for FDSOA and I have spoken at conferences throughout the U.S. and Canada for many years. I count several of you as close personal friends.  Although I officially retired from the fire service several years ago I will never really retire from my passion for firefighter health and safety.
I was diagnosed with colorectal cancer just over two years ago. More likely than not my cancer is job related as my life style is not conducive to cancer and there is no history of cancer in my family. Over the past two years I have spent way more time in doctor’s offices, hospitals and cancer centers than you can imagine. I have been through radiation therapy, surgery and chemo therapy. I have a permanent colostomy and will be on some type of chemo therapy for the remainder of my life. But do not feel sorry for me; I have been and will continue to be significant with my life.
I would like to share with you what is on my heart in reference to the Heath and Occupational Safety of the firefighters that we are responsible for as Safety Officers. The concept of Safety Officers is about thirty years old in our chosen vocation, having come to the forefront in the mid 1980’s. As the Safety Officer matures into an adult, if you think of the Discipline as if it were a human, so must the way we approach the responsibility of the position in a more mature manner.
When the Safety Officer position was young we thought of the simple things that impacted the health and safety of our members; and in most cases we have been successful in reducing accident, injury and fatalities that come from that low hanging fruit. In fact I truly believe that we have seen a change in the fire service to where we now embrace a culture of safety for the most part.
So where do we go from here as the discipline matures? I believe the answer to that is that we must–I repeat must–start to think about the bigger picture. What is that bigger picture you ask? The bigger picture is the overall health and welfare of our firefighters. We have successfully gotten them to wear seatbelts, we have them using spotters to assist in backing apparatus up, we have them wearing P.P.E. (for the most part, I will address that later in this letter) so now is the time that we begin to look at that bigger picture.
Brothers and Sisters, this will not be an easy task as it will require a totally new look at our safety culture. We won’t be addressing those issues that bring instant gratification, but those that may not show rewards for decades to come. We live in a society that has made us think in terms of what can happen for me instantly; we can get a four course meal from the driver’s seat of our car in ninety seconds, we can chat with a friend half way around the world in real time and we can get information on any subject at our fingertips instantly. With that capability we have become less interested in things that may take time to show results. I challenge you to take a few minutes to think about what I am about to share with you and ask yourself, do I want to be “Successful” or do I want to be “Significant.” Success may only last a lifetime, significant can and will go on for generations.
So how do we make a significant impact?  It will come when you embrace, as my good friend Janet Wilmoth calls it, a “whole-listic” approach to our responsibilities as Safety Officers. We must start to address those things that have a long term impact of Firefighter Health and Welfare. This will not be easy but it will be rewarding–no instant gratification here, but the satisfaction of knowing you have been significant.
These things include, but are not limited to:
Tobacco Cessation- Tobacco use is down in the fire service but still much too prevalent; many of the cases of Heart/Lung Diseases and Cancer can be attributed to tobacco use.
Nutrition- The fire service may have some of the worst eating habits known to man; large volumes consumed as if it were our last meal. A more healthy approach to the way we prepare and cook our meals needs to be addressed.
Regular Physical Examinations – Had I gone for a colonoscopy when my doctor recommended it I may have been able to catch my cancer early enough to have avoided the need for major intervention. Many of the diseases we experience in the fire service can be treated and controlled if we are able to catch them early; regular physical examinations are the answer.
Exercise – Even the slightest amount of exercise can make a huge difference in our firefighters’ health and welfare. You do not have to spend hours in the gym to get positive results from exercise.
Wearing Personal Protective Equipment – Every incident. EVERY INCIDENT.  Eye protection, gloves and mask where appropriate on EMS calls. Full bunker gear and SCBA until the fire is completely out, including overhaul operations.
I truly believe that if I had worn my P.P.E., particularly my SCBA, more diligently that I might have avoided my colorectal cancer.
P.P.E. may be uncomfortable and hot, however you do not want to wear the P.P.E. that I now have. My P.P.E. now involves sitting in a chair at the Cancer Center for six hours at a stretch connected to a cocktail of medicines that takes your body and slams it to the point that you can’t even get out of bed some days.
My other P.P.E. is a colostomy bag that I will wear 24/7 for the rest of my life. My cancer required the removal of my lower digestive system from my descending  colon to the “exit”; if you know what I mean.
Wear Your P.P.E.!!!!!!
Addressing and enforcing these won’t necessarily make you the most popular person on your department, however if you became a Safety Officer to win a popularity contest you might want to rethink your choice.
Do not feel sorry for me because of my cancer instead go out and make a difference; and think about me when you do.
In closing I want to encourage you to attend the FDSOA Annual Safety Forum, September 21-25, at the Double Tree Suites in Fort Lauderdale Florida. This Forum not only gives you the opportunity to hear from some of the most recognized fire service Health and Safety Subject Matter Experts, but just as importantly to have the chance to network with the practitioners that are making a difference daily in the Health and Safety of our Brothers and Sister.

Sandy Davis, (Ret.) Chief Safety Officer,
Shreveport, LA, Fire Department

Safety and Health Week

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Safety Health Week Webinar Links

Tuesday June 16th, Functional Fitness

Thursday June 18th, NFFF Vulnerability Assessment Program (VAP).


Safety and Health Week Quiz Sweepstakes  
The National Fire Protection Association, in coordination with the International Association of Fire Chiefs and National Volunteer Fire Council is  hosting an online Safety and Health Week quiz  that reinforces the messages behind this year’s theme,  “Creating a Culture of Safety.”

Check out these webinars hosted by the IAFC, featuring content from its Safety, Health & Survival Sections We hope you can join us!

This month, the IAFC will feature webinars by the SHS Section in honor of Safety Week.

Two live webinars will be held during International Fire/EMS Safety and Health Week, June 14-20, to help fire and EMS personnel Create a Culture of Safety. The IAFC and the National Volunteer Fire Council sponsor Safety and Health Week annually to encourage fire and EMS personnel to focus on health and safety education and training.

Fundamentals of Firefighter Functional Fitness
Tuesday, June 16, 11 AM ET (1 hour)
Functional fitness is a key component in an overall health and wellness program for firefighters. Heart attacks are the leading cause of line-of-duty deaths, and focusing on proper fitness and nutrition is critical to reducing your risks and enhancing your abilities as a first responder. The webinar will offer suggestions on how departments can ensure all firefighters are physically ready for the next call.
Understand the impact that health-related LODDs continue to have on the American fire service
• Understand the term functional fitness and why it’s important to firefighters
• Describe the primary functional movements and fitness components important to firefighters
• Apply various functional exercises and movements to improve functional fitness
Presented by Dan Kerrigan, Assistant Fire Marshal/Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator, East Whiteland Township Department of Codes and Life Safety, and Jim Moss, Lieutenant, Metro West Fire Protection District
Sign Up Now

Fire Service Vulnerability Assessment Program
Thursday, June 18, 7 PM ET (1 hour)This webinar will review the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation’s (NFFF) Fire Service Vulnerability Assessment Program (VAP). This risk assessment tool is designed to help fire departments reduce and manage their risks to prevent firefighter line-of-duty deaths and injuries.Presented by Victor Stagnaro, Director of Fire Service Programs, NFFF and JoEllen Kelly, VAP Administrator, NFFF