PPE Symposium is coming March 16-18, 2015 - watch for more details soon!
2013 topics included:
“An Exciting New ‘Human’ Sweating Manikin System and What It Can Tell Us about Heat Stress in Structural Firefighter Suits” by Kevin Ross — Textile Protection and Comfort Center (T-PACC), N.C. State University, College of Textiles
A new “human” thermal manikin system has been developed that can simulate human physiological response to clothing and wear conditions. It can predict core and skin temperature at varying metabolic work rates as well as measure clothing insulation and whole garment THL. Kevin will describe how this human manikin system has opened new ways to understand how turnout gear impacts heat stress and the factors that reduce heat stress in turnout gear.
“Blazing New Trails in Improving Heat Stress and Radiant Heat Protection in Wildland Firefighter Protective Clothing with RADMAN™ and Friends” by Dr. Alex Hummel — Textile Protection and Comfort Center (T-PACC), N.C. State University, College of Textiles
T-PACC has developed new test methods to measure the radiant protective performance (RPP) of wildland gear, including a new RPP test method and a new instrumented manikin, called RADMAN™. Shawn will describe how these new testing systems, and advanced heat stress tests, are pointing the way to thermal protection and more comfort in wildland protection. He will discuss the potential impact on RPP and THL requirements in the NFPA 1977 Standard.
“Electronic Safety Equipment for Emergency Responders and PPE” by Chief Bruce Varner (retired) — BH Varner & Associates & Dr. Chris Spoons
Electronics continues to emerge in numerous ways as a PPE tool in the fire service. Chief Varner will provide insight into what is going on in this quickly developing field. He will describe the benefits of electronics and outline the current challenges facing the industry. His presentation will include current NFPA requirements and possible new requirements.
“Everything You Always Wanted to Know About SCBA, But Were Afraid to Ask” by Lieutenant Dan Rossos — Portland Fire Bureau
Lieutenant Rossos is chair of the NFPA’s Technical Committee on Respiratory Protective Equipment. In addition to SCBA (NFPA 1981), his committee has responsibility for Breathing Air Quality (NFPA 1989); Wildland Respirators (NFPA 1984) and the standard on care and maintenance of SCBA (NFPA 1852). This presentation will be providing the latest information in the fast changing world of firefighter respiratory protection.
“Gear Contaminated? What to do?” by Jeff and Grace Stull — International Personnel Protection, Inc.
Fire departments increasingly encounter various hazardous materials at the fire scene which contaminate their gear. Jeff and Grace will take you through the steps to be taken for deciding if decontamination is possible and, if it is safe for continued use. Case studies will be reviewed and instructions provided on developing SOP's for handling these situations.
“Houston, Do We Have A Problem?” by Captain Joel Calfee — Houston Fire Department
The down and dirty basics of what your PPE is and its limitations. This program looks at PPE from the firefighter’s perspective. Every fire department needs a person like Captain Calfee involved in their PPE program. After listening and watching this tremendous presentation, you will see why!
“Intriguing Projects of NFPA’s Fire Protection Research Foundation" by Casey Grant — NFPA Fire Protection Research Foundation
In recent years there have been a multitude of research studies completed providing important information to help improve firefighting equipment, fire ground tactics, and fire fighter safety and health. The Fire Protection Research Foundation has been at the center of a number of completed, planned, and on-going projects. Casey will review recently completed and on-going projects that are directly and indirectly related to fire service PPE, and provide an update of the needs expressed for future research based feedback from NFPA Technical Committees and other fire service venues.
“Issues Regarding the Aging of PPE” by Dr. Rick Davis and Dr. Shonali Nazare — NIST
The aging of PPE and subsequent decision making process to retire or repair is a headache for any fire department. NIST has been studying effects of accelerated weathering on performance of outer shell fabrics. This presentation will provide the results of the study with the aim of improving guidelines for the retirement of firefighters' turnout gear.
“Matching PPE to Today’s Firefighting Environment” by Tim Sendelbach — Editor-in-Chief, FireRescue Magazine
New information continues to emerge on fire behavior and modern day building construction. New technology developed for modeling the fires is challenging conventional wisdom about the fire suppression. Tim Sendelbach will discuss how PPE should relate to this changing environment. Is the fire service using the appropriate level of fire attack aggressiveness?
“NFPA 1971 and NFPA 1851 Update” by Tom McGowan — NFPA
Dave is the Staff Liaison for the NFPA’s Technical Committee on Structural and Proximity Fire Fighting Protective Clothing and Equipment. This committee has responsibility for NFPA 1971: Standard on Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting as well as NFPA 1851: Standard on Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting. He will give an update on these two high-profile standards, both of which have just been revised.
“Participating in the NEW NFPA Standards Making Process” by Tom McGowan — NFPA
As the world has gone electronic, so has the NFPA standards making process. Dave Trebasacci is the NFPA Staff Liaison for almost all of the Technical Committees responsible for emergency services PPE. He will go over the new process and show you how easy it is for ANYONE to participate in standards development. Remember: To participate in the development of standards, neither NFPA membership nor a fee is required to submit proposals or comments.
“PPE Findings in Line-of-Duty Death Investigations” by Angie Shepherd — NIOSH
This will be a heavy topic - but one that needs to be discussed. Angie Shepherd will review the investigative findings related to the PPE worn by firefighters who died in the line-of-duty. This presentation will definitely provide you with information you will want to take home to your fellow firefighters.
“PPE Moving Forward” by Rich Duffy — IAFF
Rich Duffy is a living encyclopedia of matters pertaining to firefighter’s personal protective clothing and equipment. He will call upon his vast history of working in the PPE field to formulate his thoughts on where we are headed in personal protection. If you have an eye for the future, you will not want miss hearing and seeing what Rich has to share.
“The Legal Perspective” by Jim Juneau — Juneau, Boll, Stacy & Ucherek
Attorney Jim Juneau, a well-known board certified personal injury trial lawyer, will lay it on the line! Understand your liability and the liability of your department for failure to comply with PPE related standards and laws. Mr. Juneau will get your attention and challenge your "comfort" zone.
“The SCBA Face Mask Issue” by Dr. Anthony Putorti — NIST
The SCBA face mask lens might be the weakest link in a firefighter’s protective envelope. This should not be. NIST has been working diligently to identify and correct this problem. Dan will report on their latest findings related to several face mask failures. Firefighters must have an understanding of this issue if you hope to avoid becoming a victim of mask failure.
“Thermal Management” by Captain Mike McKenna (retired) — Mike McKenna & Associates, LLC
Captain McKenna, founder of Michael McKenna & Associates, will certainly grab your attention with a discussion on thermal management. Highlights include learning to recognize and deal with the thermal limitations of structural PPE. This presentation explains the impact of fire behavior on firefighting protective clothing and equipment.
“THL” by Dr. Aitor Coca — NIOSH
Total Heat Loss (THL) continues to be a highly discussed and misunderstood topic in firefighter’s PPE. This will be an enlightening presentation of the results of a study comparing THL values from different methodological approaches. Two sets of gear of the same design, but with materials of different THL values, were compared. The comparison was among three methods: the sweating hot plate, a thermal manikin, and human testing.
“Tools to Conduct a Risk Assessment” by Captain Bart McCool, Springfield Fire Department (retired)
Feedback from the last PPE Symposium has prompted this presentation. Participants wanted a tool on how to conduct a risk assessment. The risk assessment is the foundation of PPE selection and provides the justification for the decision. Captain McCool is a PPE Specialist and will provide you with the tools you need to conduct this process.
“NFPA’s Public Fire Protection Division—Looking Ahead” by Chief Ken Willette, NFPA Public Fire Protection Division Manager
Chief Willette will provide insight into the activities and the vision of NFPA and its Public Fire Protection Division. He will share how NFPA is poised to support the emerging role of first responders as an all hazards, quick response force. Other topics will include:
- The role of NFPA in fostering responder safety for the EMS community
- Challenges of emergency responders in the “green environment”
- How the development of new products will assist users in applying NFPA standards
- NFPA’s efforts to provide open access to NFPA standards
"Firefighter Burn Injury Awareness and PPE" by Sergeant Jan C. Sipes, DCFD
Through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG), the DC Burn Foundation has recently developed a program for the fire service about burn injuries. This presentation will be an excerpt from that program. It will focus on how fire fighters are burned while wearing PPE and how these burns can be prevented. Included will be information about performance based specifications, selection of PPE, care and cleaning of PPE, and the limitations of PPE. In addition, through graphic photos, participants will learn about the types of burns and the impact on a firefighter's life.