Document 61958

A publication of the North Carolina Department of Insurance Office of State Fire Marshal
Fall 2010
Capital City Hosts Annual Conference
Approximately 2,500 fire and
rescue service personnel converged
on Raleigh this August to “Get
Engaged” – the theme of this year’s
Annual Conference presented by
the North Carolina State Firemen’s
Association and North Carolina
Association of Fire Chiefs.
“We want you to get
involved. If you’re not active and
participating and taking advantage
of all that’s available to you, you’re
missing out,” said Paul Miller,
executive director of NCSFA.
“Learn what you can, take it
home, keep your communities
safe, and keep each other safe,”
added Raleigh Fire Chief John
North Carolina firefighters have
traveled to statewide gatherings
for more than 140 years to share
ideas and build skills. Today the
Annual Conference has grown
to a four-day event with speakers
and training sessions, as well as
a memorial service, fire truck
parade, golf tournament and other
For the second year, the
conference was held at the
Raleigh Convention Center.
The convention center’s 150,000
square foot exhibition hall housed
the South Atlantic Fire Rescue
Expo, which showcased fire-rescue
vendors and equipment and
drew attendees from a number
of neighboring states. The expo
presents an opportunity for fire
and rescue personnel to one-stopshop for the latest in fire apparatus
and emergency equipment.
During his speech at the
conference’s opening ceremony,
Insurance Commissioner and State
Fire Marshal Wayne Goodwin
remarked that in these times of
budget shortfalls, the Office of
State Fire Marshal is fortunate to
still be able to provide fire and
rescue grants to help departments
purchase equipment.
“It’s a blessing,” Commissioner
Goodwin said. “We have been
able to work together as a team to
preserve the fire grant funds so that
we can help our departments, and
each and every one of you, have
the tools you need, the supplies
you need and the equipment you
need to be safe in what you do and
efficient in what you do.”
It might seem strange to
some that the keynote speaker
at this year’s conference is not a
firefighter. But he did play one on
“I can’t stand up here and
say firefighting is in my blood,”
Randolph Mantooth told a
standing-room-only crowd. “But I
can tell you this, it sure got under
my skin.”
Mantooth is better known
by the character name Johnny
Gage – the Los Angeles firefighter
and paramedic he played from
1972-1979 on the hit NBC show
“Emergency!” The series, and
subsequent made-for-TV movies,
showed Gage and his partner
Roy DeSoto (played by Kevin
Tighe) rescuing people, providing
emergency medical services and
coordinating with emergency room
doctors and nurses to save lives.
continued on page 6...
(Top) Leanne Greco, Regional Director of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, presents Chief James “Jimbo”
Peele III of the Williamston Fire Department with the MDA Champion of Hope Award. (Center) Commissioner
Goodwin and actor Randolph Mantooth from the 1970s hit TV series “Emergency!” (Bottom) The South
Atlantic Fire Rescue Expo drew vendors, agencies and fire and rescue personnel for a one-stop-shop of the
latest fire and rescue emergency equipment.
What’s Hot Inside
N.C. Building Code................................................................ 3...............Lincolnton Fire Department Bicycle Response Team
Guilford County’s New Station............................................ 4-5.............................. Burlington Fire Department Wins Award
Live Fire Training................................................................ 6-7.................................Reidsville Rescue Celebrates 50 Years
Training Innovations..........................................................10-11.............................. Western Piedmont CC Training Center
The Fire & Rescue Journal
From the Commissioner’s Desk
Prevention Efforts Span the State
by Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Wayne Goodwin
hen many people think
of the fire and rescue
service, what comes to
mind is the response aspect of the
work – reacting to emergencies,
putting out fires or saving lives
that are in danger. However, I
know responding to situations is
only part of the job you do. The
effort you put into fire and injury
prevention and education is also
important. Unlike members of
a money-making corporation,
you’re not trying to drum up
more business; your educational
outreach has prevented untold
numbers of accidents and
tragedies. That is something for
which I am incredibly grateful.
There is a long-standing
tradition of public outreach
during Fire Prevention Week.
This year, nearly 400 agencies
and individuals ordered free
educational activity sheets through
the Office of State Fire Marshal
website to use in classrooms
or at events. OSFM was also
fortunate to be able to include
in each package a free DVD of a
fire prevention video presented
by the North Carolina Jaycee
Burn Center and produced by
the Chapel Hill Fire Department
and Chapel Hill Museum. These
entities invested the time, money
and creativity to make this video
a valuable teaching tool, and they
were happy to allow us to share it
with you to use.
I traveled to Shelby on Oct. 6
to help promote Fire Prevention
Week and Family Fire Drill
Day at the Cleveland County
Fair. There, Safe Kids Cleveland
County volunteers and the
Cleveland HealthCare Foundation
challenged kids to “Be a Fire
Buster” at their safe house exhibit.
That day members of the Shelby
Fire Department were on hand
to help teach the children how
to spot the fire hazards in five
different room set-ups and practice
escaping the house. You could see
the kindergarteners’ faces light up
when the firefighters worked with
them to identify fire dangers.
Also, this September, during
Campus Fire Safety Month, I
was pleased to be invited along
as firefighters from the City of
Raleigh and student volunteers
from Shaw University and North
Carolina State University teamed
up to canvass neighborhoods to
promote fire safety. Together, these
fire professionals and young adults
went door-to-door and installed
alarms provided by OSFM in the
homes that needed them. It was a
valuable and informative service
in one of Raleigh’s busiest fire
districts, but more importantly, we
hope the college students involved
become fire safe citizens for life.
These are just a few examples
of outreach initiatives I have
witnessed recently that involved
the cooperation of fire and rescue
personnel, community members
and schools — I know there are
many more going on across the
state. The need for fire safety and
injury prevention outreach is not
limited to one week or one month,
one age group or demographic. It
is when we can all work together,
sharing resources and ideas, that
we can make the most difference.
Your effort does not go unnoticed,
and I thank you for your
continued service.
Students from Shaw and North Carolina State Universities joined City of Raleigh firefighters to
provide smoke alarms to homes that needed them.
Wayne Goodwin, Insurance Commissioner & State Fire Marshal
Mark Edwards, Assistant Commissioner
Tim Bradley, Assistant State Fire Marshal
Executive Editor
Kristin Milam, Director of Public Information
Managing Editor
Chris Best, Supervisor, Research and Program Development
Associate Editor
Kerry Hall, Assistant Director of Public Information
Editorial Assistant
Karen Holder
Graphic Designer
Trisha Tripp
The Fire & Rescue Journal is a quarterly publication of the
N.C. Department of Insurance Office of State Fire Marshal
1202 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699
Questions, comments or story ideas should be directed to
Chris Best at 919-661-5880 x332 or [email protected]
To sign up for the mailing list or to submit an address change,
contact Trisha Tripp at 919-733-5238 or [email protected]
2,300 copies of the Journal, which is funded through a grant from the North
Carolina Association of Insurance Agents, were printed at a cost of $2,074.
Fall 2010
North Carolina Building Code: Adoption Process and Inception
A Look Back
North Carolina was one of the first
states to adopt a statewide building
code. The state’s first building
regulations were passed in 1903. In
1933, the Legislature created the
Building Code Council and gave
the Council, in association with
the Commissioner of Insurance,
the authority to prepare and adopt
a state building code. In 1935, the
first North Carolina State Building
Code was adopted; it was later
ratified by the General Assembly in
1941. Other editions of the State
Building Code include the 1953
edition, which was later ratified,
reorganized and printed as the
1958 edition. The 1967 edition
was based on the Standard Building
Code and also utilized the egress
chapter from the National Fire
Protection Association’s Life Safety
Code and several chapters of the
National Building Code written by
the American Insurance Association.
Later editions, from 1978, 1991
and 1996, were based on the latest
editions of the Standard Building
Code with amendments prepared
by the Building Code Council with
the assistance of specially-appointed
advisory and ad-hoc committees
made up of code enforcement
officials, contractors, designers and
others affected by the regulations.
The latest editions of the Building
Code, from 2002, 2006 and 2009,
were again prepared by ad-hoc
committees based on the previous
editions of the International Codes.
Need for Changes
There have been several incidents
throughout history that have
prompted the necessity of
standardized building regulations,
and some of these have resulted
in almost immediate changes to
building codes. In 1903, a fire at the
Iroquois Theater in Chicago killed
603 of the approximately 2,500
people in the building at the time.
Non-fire retardant materials (that
were thought to be fire retardant),
blocked exits, inward opening exits,
incomplete fire escapes and several
other issues were contributing
factors in the deaths. In 1911, a
high-rise garment factory fire in
New York killed 146 and injured
70. Factors in that fire included
improper number of exit stairways
(two instead of the required three),
wooden floors, narrow exits and
locked exit doors. These two fires
were major factors in the creation
of NFPA’s Life Safety Code. Some
issues that were addressed as a result
of these fires were the requirement
for sprinklers, fire proofing, outward
opening doors in public buildings
and increased exits in high-rise
Other major fires that
contributed to changes in building
codes occurred in 1942 at the
Cocoanut Grove in Boston, 1958
at Our Lady of the Angels School
in Chicago, 1980 at the MGM
Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, and
2000at the Station Nightclub in
Rhode Island. These incidents
also resulted in several changes to
building codes across the board,
including sprinkler requirements,
fire alarm requirements, restrictions
on the indoor use of pyrotechnics,
exiting requirements and occupancy
Dan Austin is an engineer with
OSFM’s Research & Program
Lincolnton Fire Department Forms Bicycle Response Team
Across the state, fire departments
are proactively pursuing innovative
methods of improving service
delivery to their communities. An
example of this can be found in
Lincolnton, where the Lincolnton
Fire Department has formed a
Bicycle Response Team. The main
objective of this team is to provide
quick response during public events,
as well as response to locations that
would be difficult to access with
a fire apparatus or an ambulance.
When the bike team is deployed
to an event or other situation,
a minimum of two firefighter/
emergency medical technicians can
quickly relay imperative information
to other responding units and
provide basic life support.
The bicycles are outfitted with
rear-mounted racks and equipment
bags to carry an AED, oxygen,
glucometer, bandages and other
assorted medical equipment. In
addition to providing emergency
response, the department plans
to use the bike team as a public
education and injury prevention
resource by having members offer
safe bicycle riding tips and training
to both children and adults. Most
recently, Lincolnton’s bike team
provided emergency response at
the Lincoln County Apple Festival.
This annual, one-day event brings
over 50,000 people to an area of
four city blocks. The bike team
responded to 21 calls for service
during this 8-hour event.
Currently, the Lincolnton
Bicycle Response Team has
seven members. In September,
each member completed a 32hour bicycle training class to
obtain certification through the
International Police Mountain Bike
Association (IPMBA). The course
was taught by Mike Hudspeth, a
long time IPMBA instructor and
member of the Guilford County
EMS Bicycle Emergency Response
Team (BERT). The course covered
subjects ranging from riding
in various traffic conditions to
manipulating obstacles such as
curbs and stairs. Other agencies
with teams participating in the
course were Catawba County EMS
and Lincoln County EMS.
(Above) Bike team members Heidi Heavner and Jeffery Hurt at the Lincoln County Apple Festival.
(Below) Bike team members receive instruction during the IPMBA course.
The Fire & Rescue Journal
Guilford County Fire Department Celebrates Long-Awaited
New Station
ocated to the southeast of
Greensboro, the 54-yearold Alamance Community
Fire Department celebrated
the completion of its new
headquarters station with an
open house on Oct. 10. The new
station was long overdue; the old
firehouse across the street bore
evidence of numerous additions
and renovations, reflecting
decades of effort to keep up
with larger apparatus, increasing
administrative staffing and the
addition of shift personnel.
Perhaps the most telling sign that
the former schoolhouse-turnedfirehouse had reached its breaking
point was the addition of a mobile
construction office next to the
station to allow for needed office
A three year process of
designing and building a new
state-of the-art facility began
to allow Alamance to serve its
community for the next half
century. Discussions revolved
around where the new station
should be located. Many felt
it should be moved away from
Greensboro to facilitate the
city’s growth, while the majority
agreed that the community fire
department could meet the needs
of its citizens by remaining in
the same general area of the old
station. Three tracts of land were
purchased directly across the
street from the old firehouse, and
clearing began in earnest. Two
large farmhouses on the land were
burned by the fire department for
training. Grading and subsequent
construction began in winter of
2009. The department moved into
the station in late June 2010.
This fall, Fire Chief Kevin
Bowers led his 50-member
department in welcoming the
community into their new station
(Above) The new Alamance Community Fire Station 54 was occupied in June of 2010; the old station seen in the background now serves as a meeting place for the
local Boy Scout troop as well as a community center. The bays of the old station are now being used for training purposes. (Below) Congressman Howard Coble and
Chief Kevin Bowers pause for a picture while visiting during the open house.
on a beautiful, warm Sunday
afternoon. More than 500 people,
including former firefighters
and board members, attended
the gathering. Dignitaries in
attendance included Congressman
Howard Coble and Guilford
County Commissioner Billy Yow.
Assistant State Fire Marshal Tim
Bradley represented the Office of
State Fire Marshal and had many
favorable remarks regarding the
new building and its members.
The partially-sprinklered
station contains much needed
additional office space, six bunk
rooms, exercise, training and
conference rooms, as well as
several training features built into
the station itself. These include
a Nance floor prop for basement
rescue training, a second floor
window access for training inside
during inclement weather, and
numerous hard points throughout
the eight apparatus bays for
various rope work exercises. Due
to the economic situation at
the time construction was bid,
the Alamance Community Fire
Department was able to save over
$1 million in the overall cost of
completing the new station.
OSFM Welcomes New Employee
April Rush, Receptionist — April brings
over 10 years of administrative and
office management experience to OSFM.
She and her husband Jerald have three
children, and together they enjoy their
church and neighborhood activities, and
visiting the beach and the mountains.
April is happiest whenever her family
can visit her parents and 93-year-old
grandmother near Williamsburg, VA.
Welcome, April!
April Rush
Fall 2010
Looking Forward
Coming Soon: New Requirements for Rating
by Assistant State Fire Marshal Tim Bradley
n order to effectively prepare
for the future, as well as try to
avoid mistakes of the past, the
fire and rescue community needs
well informed leaders and accurate
data. This was the general consensus
of members of the Gateway group
at this year’s meeting. Gateway,
as you may know, is a coalition of
individuals from the major fire and
rescue associations across the state
that meets twice annually to discuss
legislative needs, trends, current
issues affecting fire and rescue
departments in North Carolina, and
more importantly, how we can work
together to best protect the citizens
of our state.
Numerous issues have surfaced
over the 10 years Gateway has
been meeting, including, but not
limited to: responder health and
safety; responder benefits such as
pension and retirement; workers’
compensation costs and health
benefits; prevention initiatives such
as residential sprinklers and smoke
detectors; legislative issues and how
best to lobby our General Assembly;
and how the different associations
can work together. The success of
the Gateway group, established by
the North Carolina State Firemen’s
Association, has resulted in the
completion of some key initiatives
over the years.
Two key initiatives brought
forth this year involved: (1)
how to get more accurate and
complete incident reporting data;
and (2) how to ensure chiefs
across the state have up-to-date
information on the requirements
and regulations for managing a fire
and rescue department. Both of
these discussions have resulted in
changes to the rules for a rated fire
For more than 40 years, fire
chiefs have been required by law
to investigate and report fires to
which their departments were
dispatched (G.S. 58-79-1). Over a
decade ago, this law was enhanced
by the addition of another law
that requires the fire report to be
completed on a form approved
by the state (G.S. 58-79-45). But
because there was no mechanism in
place for monitoring compliance,
this requirement has gone largely
unenforced, and only 70 percent
of North Carolina fire departments
report their fires. Even though the
United States Fire Administration
requires incident reporting for
eligibility for their grants, many fire
departments still do not report. This
creates a disproportionate balance
of data.
At the request of Gateway, and
after receiving letters requesting the
change from several associations,
OSFM has now implemented
a requirement that ties incident
reporting to ratings inspections.
Effective Sept. 1, when a fire
department is inspected for rating,
they must be reporting to OSFM
on the National Fire Incident
Reporting System (NFIRS), which
is required by the USFA for grants
and is the only reporting form
approved by the state. This will not
affect the three-fourths of all fire
departments that already report,
but it will result in all departments
complying with the law and increase
the accuracy of the data used to
determine North Carolina’s fire
In addition, over the years,
several firefighters or their families
have failed to receive benefits
they should have been qualified
to receive, and departments have
lost funding they were due because
of a failure by the chief officer of
the department to correctly report
information. With the myriad of
information it now takes to manage
a fire department, either career or
volunteer, members of Gateway felt
individuals assuming the level of
chief should be required to take a
short training course approved by
the Fire and Rescue Commission
to make them aware of benefits,
requirements and opportunities
available to them and their
As a result, a second new
requirement for rating, effective
Oct. 1, requires that the chief
officer must take, initially and
within five years of each inspection,
a short course titled “Chief 101.”
The course will be delivered
locally over a few nights in one
week or a weekend. Topics such as
rosters, personnel and employment
laws, state and federal reporting
requirements, firefighter and fire
department benefits, and first
responder safety initiatives will
be discussed. During recent pilot
offerings of the course, most
students agreed they should have
taken it long ago.
These two requirements should
provide for better data and betterinformed leaders. They will possibly
prevent a firefighter’s widow from
being denied huge benefits because
rosters were not submitted or
requirements were not met by a
chief officer. Knowing the actual
number, type and cause of fires
in North Carolina will also help
us legislatively and with injury
prevention programs.
Look for information coming
out in the near future regarding
these two new rating requirements.
A small amount of effort by each
department’s leadership will result
in better security for our firefighters,
families and citizens of North
You can visit and review Gateway’s
reports at
Burlington Fire Department Wins Near-Miss Award
The Burlington Fire Department
has been honored with the 2010
National Firefighter Near-Miss
Award. The award, sponsored by
the International Association of
Fire Chiefs’ Safety, Health and
Survival Section, the International
Society of Fire Service Instructors,
and the Fire Department Safety
Officers Association, is given
each year to the department that
demonstrates the most effective
use of the National Fire Fighter
Near-Miss Reporting System for
improving its overall safety culture.
The Near-Miss Reporting
System collects and analyzes
information about near-miss
events so that it can be used
to improve operations and
training. A near-miss event is an
unintentional unsafe scenario that
could have led to injuries, death or
The Burlington Fire
Department implemented use
of the system in 2008, and it has
become part of the department’s
overall safety methodology with
the North Carolina Department
of Labor Public Sector STAR
Burlington uses the reporting
system to create an awareness of
the hazards firefighters encounter
and a method to involve everyone
in the learning process. The
department’s participation in the
system includes online reporting
of the lessons learned, using
analysis of the system’s annual
report to develop subcommittees
(Left to Right) Deputy Chief Todd Bradley, Burlington Mayor Ronnie Wall, Chief Jay Smith
to address future hazards, and
training personnel by using
reviews of specific near-misses as
teaching tools. The safety culture
that has been established will
be maintained through effective
leadership and encouraging
participation by all of its members
for years to come.
The Fire & Rescue Journal
Live Fire Training:
To Burn or Not to Burn
ne of the biggest questions fire
departments are faced with today is: Do
we really want to assume the liability
of burning a house for training? In years past,
little concern existed regarding this issue
because fixed burn facilities were few and far
between. Often this meant fire departments
jumped at the chance to burn just about every
house they could. Today many fire departments
are somewhat reluctant to take advantage of
the great training opportunity to burn acquired
structures because of the potential liability and
fear of participant injury.
Over the past several years, there have been
many instances of students and instructors
being seriously injured and even killed during
live burn training evolutions. The most
...continued from page 1
Mantooth said one of the reasons
“Emergency!” was popular was its
novelty; most people had never
even heard the term paramedic
before. But just as important to its
success was its attention to detail
and accuracy. He said the actors
trained with firefighters and took
a paramedics class. A handful of
actual members of the Los Angeles
County Fire Department played
themselves on the show. Writers
worked closely with consultants
and technical advisors from the
fire and rescue community when
crafting the script. In fact, the
character John Gage was named
as a homage to Jim Page – a
real-life LACoFD battalion chief
and important advocate of early
emergency medical services who
recent and high profile case involved the
death of a Baltimore Fire Department recruit
who died after a live burn scenario in a row
house. Instances such as her death, combined
with other cases where we have lost fellow
firefighters, have led many departments to
only burn in fixed facilities and avoid acquired
structures altogether. This limits live burn
instructors to only offer training within
the constraints of a burn building. While a
useful tool, burn buildings cannot completely
duplicate or replace the live fire training
objectives obtained in an acquired structure.
Injuries should never be an accepted part
of training. If an instructor teaches with the
expectation that someone will get hurt, that
particular instructor should seriously review
served as one of the primary
advisors on the show.
“They taught us life lessons that
we carry with us to this very day,”
Mantooth said.
The show is credited with
bringing the concept of fire servicebased paramedics into America’s
living rooms when such programs
were in their infancies, and even
with influencing communities to
start their own programs. It also
showed the public how CPR and
first aid can be used in the field.
Mantooth said that he
frequently – nearly every day – is
thanked by people who say they
got into the fire and rescue service
because they were inspired by what
they saw on “Emergency!”
To them, he says, “I’m not your
hero; you’re my hero.”
Even so, Mantooth admits that
their teaching methods. Every instructor,
regardless of the course being taught, is charged
with maintaining good safety practices and
ensuring that all students are accounted for
during class and practical evolutions. This is an
essential requirement during live burn events.
NFPA 1403 mandates a student to instructor
ratio of no more than 5-to-1. This provides
an optimum span of control where students
can easily be accounted for and supervised
while operating in live fire conditions. While
this doesn’t entirely eliminate the chance
of an injury, it does help to provide a safer
environment where students can be more
closely monitored. Failure to follow this part of
the live burn standard can potentially result in
the instructor, Authority Having Jurisdiction
and fire chief to be liable in the event of a
firefighter casualty.
In June 2006 the NFPA produced the
report U.S. Firefighter Deaths Related to
Training. This account studied 100 trainingrelated firefighter deaths that occurred over a
10 year period:
• Apparatus and Equipment Drills: 36%
• Physiological: 30%
• Live Fire Training: 14%
• Underwater/dive: 8%
• Traveling to or from: 6%
• Class/Seminar: 5%
• Swat Medic: 1%
In looking at the breakdown of percentages,
we can see that 14 percent (or 14 deaths) were
attributed to live fire training. However, this
includes all deaths that occurred while the
participants were involved in a live fire training
scenario, regardless of the circumstances
involved. A further analysis of the report
• Two died while caught in a flashover (same
when he first started doing the
show, he didn’t realize the impact
that it would have. He was a young
man in his 20s, and while he
enjoyed being a star on a popular
television program, he sometimes
complained about the long hours
or early calls to the set.
But as time passed, and the
show continued to raise public
awareness about the life-saving
work of firefighters, paramedics,
emergency room doctors and
nurses, Mantooth says he and his
co-stars began to appreciate the
honor of being the “face” of the fire
and rescue service.
“We had the privilege of
working with and being associated
with such a special kind of human
being, a unique breed that selflessly
puts their life and their reputation
on the line every day for the
sole purpose of the safety and
well-being of their fellow man,”
Mantooth said.
After his talk, Mantooth met
with conference attendees and
signed autographs to raise money
for the County of Los Angeles Fire
Museum Building Fund.
Mark your calendar for the next
Annual Conference. It is scheduled
for Aug. 10-13, 2011.
NCSFA Executive Director Paul
Miller said he was pleased with this
year’s attendance, but hopes to see
the conference grow.
“We encourage people to come
back next year and bring someone
with them,” Miller said.
Information about the 2011
Annual Conference will be posted
on as details
become finalized.
Fall 2010
• Two died of smoke inhalation
–– Rookie serving as a victim
–– Assistant Chief lighting fires for burn
–– Six died from cardiac events
–– Only one was an interior participant (a
shipboard simulator)
• Three died while operating as observers
• One died while in command
• One died while operating in an ARFF
training simulator
• Two died as a result of aneurysms
–– one pump operator
–– one preparing to enter the building to
conduct a search
• Two died after being struck by apparatus at
the scene of training
• One ran over by apparatus due to being in
the wrong gear
• One struck in the roadway while assigned to
traffic control
It is valuable to note that only four of
these deaths directly resulted from actively
participating in live fire training in an acquired
structure. It is also just as important to realize
that all four of these tragic losses resulted from
potential errors by the instructor-in-charge
and/or the AHJ. The remaining 10 deaths
occurred as the result of circumstances other
than the fire or the structure itself. The loss of
firefighters to aneurysms and sudden cardiac
events are not exclusive to live fire training,
although no less tragic. With the exception of
the ARFF simulator fatality and the firefighter
that died after participating in a drill inside
a shipboard simulator (burn building), those
that experienced fatal cardiac events were not
participating in interior fire operations. By
removing the 10 fatalities not associated with
fighting fire or functioning inside an acquired
structure from the list, the actual number of
firefighters who died as a result of live fire
training inside an acquired structure was four,
or four percent. The recalculated table would
appear as:
• Apparatus and Equipment: 38%
• Physiological: 38%
nderwater/dive: 8%
Traveling to or from: 6%
Class/Seminar: 5%
Live Fire Training in Acquired Structures:
• Swat Medic: 1%
By looking at the table with the recalculated
values, the argument could be made according
to the data provided by the NFPA that it could
be nearly three times as dangerous to combine
driving to and attending a class or seminar as
it is to burn an acquired structure for live fire
With that being said, how can we as
instructors help to change the growing
sentiment against live fire in acquired
structures? There are a few simple things:
First, follow NFPA 1403. It is the standard
that details what is required to safely conduct
a burn and reduce liability. Second, new
live burn instructors need to apprentice
with experienced qualified instructors who
are proactive in their live fire practices. It is
one thing to help with a burn, it is another
thing altogether to be the instructor-incharge. Remember, the instructor-in-charge is
responsible for everything that occurs during
the burn, as well as adherence to the NFPA
1403 standard. Make all efforts to burn with
the same group of instructors regularly. The
whole operation will run more smoothly if all
the instructors are used to burning with one
another. Finally, be proactive in protecting the
privilege of burning acquired structures that we
currently enjoy. Follow the rules and abide by
the policies. Be upfront with participants and
let them understand what you require from
them in order to conduct a safe and controlled
operation where everyone will learn, and
everyone will go home.
Brandon Hopkins is a captain with the
Zebulon Fire Department in Wake County and a
North Carolina Qualified Live Fire Instructor.
Reidsville Rescue Squad Celebrates 50 Years of Service
Current and past members of Reidsville Rescue Squad in attendance for the celebration.
Saturday, Aug. 21, was a day of celebration for the City of
Reidsville and Rockingham County. The Reidsville Rescue
Squad was formed and chartered 50 years ago to the date.
During a celebration at the squad’s headquarters, members
honored Chief Joel Madren, and Steve Sloan from the Office
of State Fire Marshal presented a certificate of appreciation
on behalf of Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin to
thank the squad for 50 years of dedicated service to the
citizens of Reidsville, Rockingham County and North Carolina.
Other presentations were made by Reidsville Mayor James
Festerman, North Carolina Representative Nelson Cole,
Rockingham County Emergency Services Director Steve
Hale, and Gordon Joyner with the North Carolina Association
of Rescue and EMS. Joyner shared a copy of the roster
displaying the original charter members. Jim Hardy was
recognized as the only charter member still on the active
roster. This was a joyous time of celebration for a welldeserved accomplishment.
The Fire & Rescue Journal
Training Innovations: Urban Search and Rescue
Spotlight on Cape Fear Community College, New Hanover County
(Above) The USAR training prop’s Conex box contains four compartments that represent four different
responder situations. (Below) The second compartment simulates a collapsed second floor scenario.
t is always encouraging to
see innovation within North
Carolina’s fire and rescue
community. Our state boasts
some of the most highly-trained,
motivated and professional
emergency responders in the nation.
The reason for such superior
performance can be directly related
to the progressive thinking and
ingenuity of individuals such as
firefighter Warren Smith of New
Hanover County Fire and Rescue.
Smith has been a firefighter with
New Hanover County Fire and
Rescue for five years. Over a year
ago, he joined North Carolina
Urban Search and Rescue (USAR)
Task Force Team 11.
During time spent
training with the
team, he noticed
a need for realistic
training and exercise
to prepare members
for the multi-hazard
nature of USAR
Team response.
Training for USAR
operations isn’t a
simple undertaking.
Scenarios that require a USAR Team
activation may require locating,
extricating and medical stabilization
of victims trapped in confined
spaces. Events such as structural
collapse, transportation accidents,
collapsed trenches and natural
disasters are just a few types of
emergencies that USAR Teams may
respond to.
Once Smith recognized the
need for USAR specific training,
he took immediate actions to begin
meeting that need. Having owned
and operated his own construction
business since 1993, Smith used
his business and technical skills to
design, fund and build a multi-
faceted, realistic USAR training
prop. With support from area fire
chiefs, Cape Fear Community
College and fellow fire/rescue
instructors, Smith was able to
obtain materials and construct
the prop in less than one day. As
shown in Photograph A, the main
component of the prop is a Conex
box. This was obtained from a
neighboring fire station where it was
no longer in use. Inside, Smith built
four separate compartments. Each
compartment contains different
types of construction components
designed to simulate a variety of
structural collapse scenarios. The
compartments are independent of
one another so that four different
training scenarios can be performed
The first compartment is one
level. It is designed to hold a variety
of items that could be encountered
during a residential structural
collapse. In its latest use, Smith
simulated a structural collapse with
a single victim trapped by common
household items, such as a washing
machine or dishwasher, and various
structural members.
The second compartment,
shown in Photograph B, is designed
and built to simulate a two-floor
(lean to) collapse scenario. The
top floor features a bed frame and
mattress with a victim in need of
rescue. In this scenario, responders
make entry and are required to
shore collapsed materials as they
progress. This scenario also contains
hazards to be identified such as
simulated electrical wiring and
natural gas piping. The presence
of such simulated hazards enables
students to enhance their situational
awareness skills as they note each
hazard they encounter and take
appropriate response actions.
The third compartment is similar
to the second in that it contains two
levels; it is intended to create various
collapse scenarios. The fourth
compartment is constructed to
simulate collapse due to explosion
with multiple victims. According
to Smith, each scenario may take
up to three hours from time of
deployment to victim extrication.
Scenarios are designed to employ
the use of almost every piece of
equipment in the USAR Team’s
cache. Safety was also a major
consideration during construction
of this prop. As shown in
Photograph B, each compartment
contains openings that provide
instructors access to students during
Like all aspects of emergency
services, safe and realistic training
is fundamental to the success
of real life incidents requiring
USAR response. With progressive,
motivated individuals like firefighter
Warren Smith, such vital training is
now available to N.C. USAR Task
Force Team 11 and surrounding
agencies. Innovations in training
such as this are what continue to
propel North Carolina’s fire and
rescue services forward in superior
service delivery and professionalism.
If you have any questions or
would like further information
about this training prop, feel free to
FF/AO Warren Smith
Station 52 C Shift
5901 Murrayville Rd
Wilmington, NC 28411
910-264-1808 cell
910-798-7575 work
If you or someone you know
has made steps towards training
innovations that you would like to
see featured in the Fire & Rescue
Journal, please contact Heidi
Heavner, training specialist with
OSFM’s Research and Program
Development, at
[email protected]
in the months leading up to the
fire, and wooden buildings were
dry from the drought conditions.
The O’Leary’s fire was not the first
in the city. When firemen were
alerted to the fire at the O’Leary’s,
they were slow to respond because
they were exhausted from battling a
large fire the day before. By the time
they arrived, the blaze was already
out of control. It’s believed the fire
could have started with carelessly
discarded smoking materials or a
lantern, combined with the drought
Most life safety educators,
inspectors, code officials, and other
fire and rescue personnel believe
that lessons come from tragedies
and that the Great Chicago Fire
was a “teachable moment” that
evolved into one of the biggest fire
prevention movements of history.
People felt that if this could happen
in a city such as Chicago, building
codes and fire prevention efforts
would have to be strengthened.
Another important lesson should
have come from that same time
span: Small communities are not
Small Communities Are Not Immune
Fire Prevention Week always falls
during the week of Oct. 9. Ask most
fourth grade school kids, as well as
any fire educator, and they’ll tell you
Fire Prevention Week is held that
week every year because of the Great
Chicago Fire in 1871. The Great
Chicago Fire was a conflagration
that burned from Sunday, Oct. 8, to
early Tuesday, Oct. 10, 1871, killing
250 people, destroying about four
square miles of the city, and causing
millions of dollars in damages.
There is also an irresistibly
charming legend about a cow and
a lantern among the stories that
circulate concerning the cause of
this huge tragedy. But according
to reports in the Chicago Tribune,
“The fabled kicking over of a
kerosene lamp by Mrs. O’Leary’s
cow has been widely discounted as
the cause of the fire. Instead, the
cause is seen to have been the city’s
eagerness to grow faster than any
place in history.”
As the city grew, construction
was done quickly and cheaply, with
most buildings and sidewalks made
of wood. Brick structures were
also trimmed with wood and had
wooden roofs. There was little rain
Continued on page 11...
Fall 2010
Inspection Tips
Methods of Survey
What Method of Survey Is Best For My District?
Over the years, we have all heard that the method of
operation directly affects the credit received for the
fire department survey. Each department is given the
responsibility of deciding what method is best for the
district it serves.
The first question that must be answered to determine the best
method of operation is, how does the department function on the fire
ground? You must determine if hydrants are accessed and utilized or if
drop tanks are used to obtain a water supply. The second question to
be answered is, how is the water supply maintained? The department
can continue the use of pressurized hydrants, locate water points
and utilize a tanker relay, or use a combination of the two. The final
question to be determined by the department is, are all pressurized
hydrants, water points and dry hydrants within 1,000 feet of a
structure utilized? This can be achieved when the water department
allows the fire department to connect to the pressurized hydrants and
property owners give the department permission to use water points
and dry hydrants. It is also important to remember to have the soil
and water conservation service or certified engineer in your area certify
the water supply in total gallons available for each water point. Once
the department can determine the water supply’s capabilities and its
functionality, then a method can be selected. The four methods of
operation are:
Method 1 (may result in a split rating): Using only pressurized fire
hydrants for supplying water, with no tanker relay utilized
Method 2 (may result in a split rating): Using pressurized fire
hydrants and/or suction points for supplying water, with no tanker
relay utilized
Method 3 (for a single rating): Using pressurized fire hydrants and
a tanker relay from pressure hydrants and/or suction points to provide
Method 4 (for a single rating): Using a tanker relay only from
pressure hydrants and/or suction points to provide water
Why do Method 1 and Method 2 potentially result in split ratings?
This is due to the district not having enough pressurized hydrants and/
or suction points to equal at least 85 percent coverage without utilizing
a tanker relay. This gives all property owners within 1,000 feet of
the hydrant or water point a grade below a Class 9. If a department
wants to change its method of operation, it is important to notify
OSFM inspection staff before it is due for its next inspection. After
the inspection is scheduled, it is very difficult to change the method
due to potential scheduling conflicts. Departments that currently
have a 9S/9E rating will receive priority in scheduling. A request
by these departments to have an inspection for lowering the grade
below 9 must also be made. To request a method change with OSFM
inspection staff, contact:
A.C. Daniels
1202 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1202
[email protected]
You can also make a request on the OSFM website at http://www. Under the Forms menu on the
left, select Submit Survey Request.
Bryant Waters is a ratings inspector with the Training and Inspections
The OSFM Fire and Rescue Journal Transitions
to Online Format
With the success of OSFM’s website, facebook page and other online ventures, we have
decided to test out a new electronic version of the Fire and Rescue Journal. The electronic
version will be housed on OSFM’s existing website and will provide readers with more
current and up-to-date information about the happenings at OSFM and the fire and rescue
industry. You’ll still see the great feature stories highlighting Live Fire Trainings, Historical
Fires and others, but we’ll also be able to share much more!
Transitioning to an electronic format also helps OSFM remain both economically and
environmentally responsible. We will have one last traditional print edition of the Fire and
Rescue Journal due out later this winter. There we will preview the new site and provide you
all the information needed to access the online version.
The Fire & Rescue Journal
Leaders or Entertainers
Psychiatrist Leo Randall analyzed
the relationship between former
President Richard Nixon and
some of his closest confidants in
the Watergate scandal. Here’s a
conversation he recorded between
Sen. Howard Baker and one of
Nixon’s aides, Herbert Porter:
Baker: “Did you ever have
qualms about what you were
Porter: “No!”
Baker: “Why?”
Porter: “Group pressure. I was
afraid of not being considered a
team player.”
Porter chose popularity over
integrity and lost.
These folks have great resumes and
great stories, but the real quality of
their contributions are in the eyes
of those they work with on a daily
We often define leaders with
very simple words like “good” and
“bad.” Let’s look at some of the
qualities that make a good leader.
Leading well is learned from
following well. One of the
qualities of a good leader is the act
of submission. Submission is not
a word we normally associate with
a leader, but a good leader knows
about submission because they’ve
walked in the shoes of those who
they are leading. Leaders who have
Submission is not a word we normally associate with a
leader, but a good leader knows about submission because
they’ve walked in the shoes of those who they are leading.
Rigid adherence to a code of
behavior – that’s integrity. We
have all identified integrity as one
of the many characteristics of a
good leader. We have many fine
examples of leadership among men
and women in the fire service,
but let’s be careful that we don’t
get leadership confused with
There are more than 750 “Halls
of Fame” in our country, and there
are more than 450 lists of “Who’s
Who.” Many of these individuals
are seen as leaders, but with a
few exceptions, most of them are
actually entertainers who hold
our attention for a short period of
time relative to an entire lifetime.
not been in a position where they
had to submit to authority tend
to be proud of themselves rather
than the organization; they are
unrealistic in their expectations
of others, primarily because their
shortcomings are revealed when
things get difficult; and their
autocratic nature is revealed when
things don’t go according to
“their” plan. Building relationships
and connecting with others
becomes possible because you’ve
walked in their shoes.
British essayist John Foster
writes, “A man without decision
of character can never be said to
belong to himself. He belongs to
whatever can make a captive of
him.” Self-discipline is required
in order to make good, sound
decisions. It is tempting to get
caught up in all the new-age
thinking and jump at every
chance to do something new,
but the ability to wait and
evaluate to determine benefit is
more important than reacting
to the latest fad or innovation.
Probably the most difficult thing
for most people to do, especially
in our culture today, is to wait.
While patience is truly a virtue,
most of us are in-the-moment
types who want what we want,
when we want it. We talk a lot
about the impatience of the
“new generation,” but where did
they get their examples from? In
reality we are all plagued with
the “I can’t wait” syndrome.
Patient leaders are always looking
forward, thinking of the future,
and true leaders want to keep
things moving in a positive way.
While moving forward, we must
be careful not to forget those that
we are responsible for. Finishing
ahead of them or finishing as an
individual should not be a primary
goal. Our primary goal should be
to take as many others with us as
we can to develop leaders. We do
this by intentionally slowing our
pace. Recognize who your people
are, what their skill levels are, and,
maybe most importantly, know
what their personal desires and
goals are. Communicate “with
them,” rather than “to them,” and
involve them in the development
of the vision that keeps things
moving forward. Solomon said,
“Finishing is better than starting.
Patience is better than pride.”
Accountability is another
quality of a good leader.
Accountability in leadership is
often misunderstood because most
believe that accountability is a
willingness to explain your actions.
A good leader recognizes that real
accountability actually starts well
before any action is taken. They
realize that they are accountable
for their actions throughout the
decision-making process, and
the earlier in the process they
recognize that, the better and more
successful their decisions will be
for the entire team.
Ronald Regan said, “No leader
is bigger than the country.” In
that same context, none of us are
bigger than the fire service. We
are here for only a short time.
Entertainers practically buy their
way into our lives for short periods
of time, and when their “moment
of fame” is over we move on to
another person who is popular at
the moment. Leaders are people
who have a lasting impact on
our lives. Leadership is a choice.
Choose integrity over popularity
and leadership over entertainment;
it’ll stay fresher longer in the
memories of those you are
privileged to work with.
Kenneth Mullen is the executive
director of the North Carolina Fire
Chief ’s Association.
OSFM Employees Earn Recognition
Assistant State Fire Marshal Tim Bradley
Earns International Recognition
Safe Kids North Carolina Director Kelly Ransdell
Wins Governor’s Award
Tim Bradley, Senior Deputy
Commissioner and Assistant State Fire
Marshal, was recently named a Fellow
by the Institution of Fire Engineers in
Glouchestershire, UK.
The IFE has more than 12,000
members worldwide, but fewer than 200
have achieved the grade of Fellow. Bradley
is recognized for his more than 36 years of
work in the fire service and with the
International Fire Service Accreditation
Congress and the National Fire Protection Association Professional
Qualification Committee for Fire Instructors. One of his many
accomplishments was co-authoring a paper on Accreditation of Fire
Service Training and Education Internationally.
Kelly Ransdell, Deputy Director of the
Prevention, Programs and Grants Division
and Director of Safe Kids N.C., is the
recipient of the 2010 Governor’s Award
for Excellence, Public Service Category.
Ransdell was nominated by her
colleagues at OSFM for her work
in developing Operation Medicine
Drop, a statewide initiative to prevent
unintentional poisonings, prescription
drug abuse and groundwater
contamination by providing the public with safe ways to dispose of
medications. In its first year, through 186 OMD events statewide,
1.4 million dosages of expired and unused over-the-counter and
prescription medications were collected and destroyed to help protect
the public.
Fall 2010
Western Piedmont Community College Opens
Emergency Services Training Center
As fire and rescue professionals, we all know the value of quality training. While
creative instructors and training officers can orchestrate innovative methods to
deliver high quality training in any environment, the presence of an emergency
services training facility makes such endeavors a bit less arduous. Emergency
personnel who work in areas accessible to training centers can attest to the value
these facilities provide by offering realistic fire and rescue training opportunities.
After many years of anticipation, emergency service personnel in Burke
County will finally be exposed to such opportunities with the opening of Western
Piedmont Community College’s Emergency Services Training Center. Seven years
after the initial plans were formulated, the official dedication and opening of this
project was held on Sept. 14. The center is located in Morganton- Burke’s county
seat. Training props include a Swede Flashover simulator, a residential burn
building, an Enforcer Forcible Entry simulator, a flammable liquids pit, a vehicle
fire and fuel spill simulator, as well as an emergency vehicle driving pad. One
component that makes this training center unique in North Carolina is its multifaceted Liquefied Petroleum (LP) gas training opportunities. Examples of LP-specific training props include a residential gas grill, a propane
fueled forklift, twin 1,000 pound LP cylinders, a Bobtail delivery truck, an off-loading railcar platform, and a bulk LP storage facility with
vaporizer. The ESTC also includes over 300 acres of adjoining land that can be used for SAR and ATV rescue training.
Burke County borrowed $2.5 million to build the first phase of the ESTC. Expansion will continue over the next several years to include
a commercial burn building, a seven-story drill tower with a confined space simulator and high angle training components, a multi-use
building with classrooms, an apparatus bay and a gym.
Mike Willis, the emergency services director of Western Piedmont Community College. has been the catalyst for development of this
facility. From planning layouts and approving designs, to personally putting the final coat of paint on the training props, Willis has taken
extraordinary measures to bring the dream of this training center to a reality.
“I want to help build a training environment that will
allow instructors access to the tools necessary to reach all
levels of learning with all levels of students,” Willis said. “It
is my hope that by blending old school training with new
school training, the ESTC will house concepts and practices
that will educate, enhance skills and provide the safest
environment for training that pertains to our past, present
and future generations of fire and rescue personnel.”
Hickory Fire Department Captain Todd Frizsell was also
instrumental in the process. An adjunct instructor with
Western Piedmont, Frizsell has spent countless hours of
personal time assisting Willis with the construction of the
ESTC. Burke County is fortunate to have such dedicated and
passionate fire and rescue members leading them into the
(Top) WPCC President Jim Burnett, Dean of Continuing Education Lee Kiser, Director of
Emergency Programs Mike Willis, and the WPCC Board of Trustees cut the ribbon at the
new training center. (Left) WPCC Instructors demonstrate one of the many LP Gas training props at the new ESTC.
...Continued from page 8
immune from disaster! Between
the evening of Oct. 8 and Oct. 14,
1871, the worst recorded forest fire
in North American history raged
through northeastern Wisconsin
and upper Michigan, destroying
millions of dollars worth of property
and timberland, and taking between
1,200 and 2,400 lives.
The Great Peshtigo Fire of 1871
occurred at practically the same time
as the Great Chicago Fire, killed
nearly four times as many people,
and had some of the same attributes
affecting its severity. There were
prolonged and widespread drought
conditions and high temperatures.
The small community of Peshtigo
dealt in logging and lumber, and a
saw mill created huge amounts of
sawdust. Since wood was plentiful,
not only were buildings made of
wood, but sidewalks were as well,
with streets and building floors
coated with sawdust to keep down
the dust. The toppings (laps) of
felled trees were left by the roadside
and created dry kindling for fire.
Urban renewal did not exist.
The similarities between the two
disasters concerning fire are hard to
discount, and both communities
saw rapid growth without concern
for construction characteristics as a
huge contributor to catastrophe.
Human nature seems to
promote an “it can’t happen here”
attitude in smaller communities,
and prevention advocates can be
viewed as costly pessimists. The
Great Chicago Fire had a significant
impact on construction for cities,
yet rural America was slow to
follow. If the Peshtigo Fire had
gotten the same publicity in 1871,
perhaps rural fire safety efforts
would have come more quickly.
We still have people who believe
sprinklers are great for big buildings
but a waste on smaller homes.
There’s a Fire Museum in Chicago,
and there is also one in Peshtigo —
located at the city’s oldest surviving
church building. Both are stark
reminders of the devastation that
fire can create in both large and
small communities.
Tim Bradley serves as Senior
Deputy Commissioner and Assistant
State Fire Marshal with OSFM.
The Fire & Rescue Journal
A Rapid Intervention Team Training Pilot was conducted at Cape
Fear Community College from Aug. 16–20. Six instructors from New
Hanover County, Wilson Fire Department and Moorehead City Fire
Department were qualified, and 21 students were certified.
(Right) Instructors oversee window bailout practical. (Below)
Students work on victim removal scenarios.
Just a few weeks later, another RIT Pilot was held in Wilson from Aug. 30–Sept. 3. Seventeen students from seven
fire departments received RIT Certification, and six instructors received RIT Qualification.
1202 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1202
(919) 661-5880
(Top Left) Captain Michael Strange of Rocky Mount
Fire Department demonstrates a ladder bailout.
(Far Left) Captain T.J. Underwood of Goldsboro Fire
Department performs a rope slide.
(Near Left) Edward Harris and Anthony Ladd of
Rocky Mount Fire Department initiate RIT packaging
on a simulated downed firefighter.