FEMA Basic Academy graduation – first one in Illinois

The time has come to welcome all of our graduates of the FEMA Basic Academy here at DuPage County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management!

“This is the first FEMA Basic Academy offered here in Illinois and we are proud to bring this Emergency Management foundation education here to DuPage County.” said Academy Instructor Kevin Sur. “The skills learned during this intensive course from November through March builds the framework for all Emergency Managers combining knowledge of all fundamental systems, concepts, and practices of leading actions for future leaders.”

The course started in November 2019 where participants were exposed to all mission areas including a myriad of case studies that highlighted the importance of collaboration and coordination in the response and recovery phase of any disaster or emergency.

In January 2020, participants took a deep dive into the science of disasters as well as planning to better help and understand the threats and dangers to each of their own communities.

To understand our hazards, we must understand legit science so that we can use the right resources to solve the problem.

The last week in March 2020, the class focused on the hot button topic of Homeland Security Exercise Evaluation Program and the Public Information and Warning course. Special thanks to new FEMA MEPP DuPage County OHSEM Sup Corey Mulryan for teaching with me on this one.

Participants debated the use of mass notification systems, social media in targeting specific audiences, and the value of the Public Information Officer (PIO) who’s role is so vital to the success of the agency.

Proud to be a part of the Instructional delivery team to get this first class here at DuPage County OHSEM.

Who’s who in the zoo? Well, we had participants from 6 different states, 3 different FEMA Regions with a diverse crowd from local, county, state, and Federal partners.

OUTSTANDING!!!!!

As we rolled into the graduation, I was able to make some opening remarks and thanking our most esteemed guests in the room.

Glad to hear from the new FEMA Region V Deputy Regional Administrator Kevin Sligh.

Deputy RA Sligh is a graduate of the program and is proud to see this foundational course being used as the marker of success for local Emergency Managers.

We also got a chance to hear from FEMA Region 5 Training & Exercise Manager Jessica Mitchell on the value of training. She is a proud resident of DuPage County.

And finally, to close things out, ladies and gents….put your hands together for Former IEMA Director and former Director of DuPage OHSEM….FEMA Region V Regional Administrator James Joseph!!!!

@rusnivek = #HypeMan

Great to hear his words of wisdom as his start here at DuPage and move on up has been solid.

Oh yeah…..social media. Yeah, I haven’t been posting a ton of stuff. Been concentrating on instruction and delivering the best class stuff.

Buttttttttttttttttttttttttt since I am one of the few FEMA Master PIOs, I figured it was only appropriate that I take a class selfie right?

#engagement #selfie

But seriously, I’m super proud of all the work that everyone contributed in class.

Lots of love for all of them.

More importantly, I know who I can count on during an activation/disaster.

Rusnivek’s 2020 Objective-1: Instructor certified FEMA Basic Academy – completed.

From the bottom of my heart, mahalos to my colleagues for the support throughout the academy.

Reporting live with a huge smile on my face…..

@rusnivek

You should know about the Worcester-6 Cold Storage Warehouse Fire #W6

Take a few moments to learn about the now infamous Cold Storage Warehouse Fire in Worcester, Massachusetts.

fire1

Honor your fallen Firefighters who gave their life on December 3, 1999.

  • Worcester Fire Rescue-1 Firefighter Paul Brotherton
  • Worcester Fire Rescue-1 Firefighter Jeremiah Lucey
  • Worcester Fire Rescue-1 Lieutenant Thomas Spencer
  • Worcester Fire Ladder-2 Firefighter Timothy Jackson
  • Worcester Fire Engine-3 Firefighter James Lyons
  • Worcester Fire Engine-3 Firefighter Joseph McGuirk

***In my opinion, this fire is a defining moment in fire service history***

All Firefighters should know about this fire by heart.

Well, even if you don’t read the entire NIOSH report, at LEAST read the summary below.

SUMMARY

On December 3, 1999, six career fire fighters died after they became lost in a six-floor, maze-like, cold-storage and warehouse building while searching for two homeless people and fire extension. It is presumed that the homeless people had accidentally started the fire on the second floor sometime between 1630 and 1745 hours and then left the building. An off-duty police officer who was driving by called Central Dispatch and reported that smoke was coming from the top of the building. When the first alarm was struck at 1815 hours, the fire had been in progress for about 30 to 90 minutes. Beginning with the first alarm, a total of five alarms were struck over a span of 1 hour and 13 minutes, with the fifth called in at 1928 hours. Responding were 16 apparatus, including 11 engines, 3 ladders, 1 rescue, and 1 aerial scope, and a total of 73 fire fighters. Two incident commanders (IC#1 and IC#2) in two separate cars also responded.

Fire fighters from the apparatus responding on the first alarm were ordered to search the building for homeless people and fire extension. During the search efforts, two fire fighters (Victims 1 and 2) became lost, and at 1847 hours, one of them sounded an emergency message. A head count ordered by Interior Command confirmed which fire fighters were missing.

Fire fighters who had responded on the first and third alarms were then ordered to conduct search-and-rescue operations for Victims 1 and 2 and the homeless people. During these efforts, four more fire fighters became lost. Two fire fighters (Victims 3 and 4) became disoriented and could not locate their way out of the building. At 1910 hours, one of the fire fighters radioed Command that they needed help finding their way out and that they were running out of air. Four minutes later he radioed again for help. Two other fire fighters (victims 5 and 6) did not make initial contact with command nor anyone at the scene, and were not seen entering the building. However, according to the Central Dispatch transcripts, they may have joined Victims 3 and 4 on the fifth floor. At 1924 hours, IC#2 called for a head count and determined that six fire fighters were now missing. At 1949 hours, the crew from Engine 8 radioed that they were on the fourth floor and that the structural integrity of the building had been compromised. At 1952 hours, a member from the Fire Investigations Unit reported to the Chief that heavy fire had just vented through the roof on the C side. At 2000 hours, Interior Command ordered all companies out of the building, and a series of short horn blasts were sounded to signal the evacuation. Fire fighting operations changed from an offensive attack, including search and rescue, to a defensive attack with the use of heavy-stream appliances. After the fire had been knocked down, search-and-recovery operations commenced until recall of the box alarm 8 days later on December 11, 1999, at 2227 hours, when all six fire fighters’ bodies had been recovered. NIOSH investigators concluded that, to minimize the risk of similar occurrences, fire departments should

    • ensure that inspections of vacant buildings and pre-fire planning are conducted which cover all potential hazards, structural building materials (type and age), and renovations that may be encountered during a fire, so that the Incident Commander will have the necessary structural information to make informed decisions and implement an appropriate plan of attack

  • ensure that the incident command system is fully implemented at the fire scene

  • ensure that a separate Incident Safety Officer, independent from the Incident Commander, is appointed when activities, size of fire, or need occurs, such as during multiple alarm fires, or responds automatically to pre-designated fires

  • ensure that standard operating procedures (SOPs) and equipment are adequate and sufficient to support the volume of radio traffic at multiple-alarm fires

  • ensure that Incident Command always maintains close accountability for all personnel at the fire scene

  •  use guide ropes/tag lines securely attached to permanent objects at entry portals and place high-intensity floodlights at entry portals to assist lost or disoriented fire fighters in emergency escape

  • ensure that a Rapid Intervention Team is established and in position upon their arrival at the fire scene

  • implement an overall health and safety program such as the one recommended in NFPA 1500, Standard on Fire Department Occupational Safety and Health Program

  • consider using a marking system when conducting searches

  • identify dangerous vacant buildings by affixing warning placards to entrance doorways or other openings where fire fighters may enter

  • ensure that officers enforce and fire fighters follow the mandatory mask rule per administrative guidelines established by the department

  • explore the use of thermal imaging cameras to locate lost or downed fire fighters and civilians in fire environments

 

 

worc six

 

@rusnivek