Emergency Service Personnel encounter gas related risks as part of their jobs. However, immediate evaluation of their surroundings is key upon arrival as well as continuous monitoring whilst in a rescue situation are vital for the health of all those involved. This case study features a State Fire Department who provide protection of people and property from exposure to the dangers of fire through the inspection and fire prevention.
The Need – Requirements
A US Fire Department is the state bureau that provides protection of people and property from exposure to the dangers of fire through inspections and fire prevention. The state department has 1,014 fire departments, who serve the training needs of over 30,000 firefighters in the state. The Bureau of Fire Services (BFS) serves as the State Program Manager of the NFIRS 5.0 program for the United States Fire Administration (USFA). The program was developed by the United States Fire Administration (USFA) in partnership with National Fire Information Council (NFIC). The BFS maintains and manages fire data and ensures that it is entered into the national reporting system. Through the provision of this automated reporting system, the state fire marshal, the Bureau of Fire Services, and local fire departments can ensure accurate data and documentation of fire department activities. Fire marshal inspectors survey and examine proper installation and maintenance of fire protection features, i.e.: fire alarm and detection systems, fire suppression systems, construction type, fire separation and emergency power in accordance with the occupancy fire safety rules.
The need for gas detection of Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless, tasteless, poisonous gas produced by incomplete burning of carbon-based fuels, including gas, oil, wood, and coal. It is only when fuel does not burn fully that excess CO is produced, which is poisonous. When CO enters the body, it stops the blood from bringing oxygen to cells, tissues, and organs. CO is poisonous as you cannot see it, taste it, or smell it but CO can kill quickly without warning. For First Responders, the use of portable gas detectors is essential. Toxic gases are produced when materials are burnt meaning flammable gases and vapours may be present. Toxic gases like carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen cyanide (HCN) are present if there is a fire. Individually these gases are dangerous and even deadly, the two combined is exponentially worse, known as the toxic twins.
The International Association of Fire Chiefs, strongly warn of health hazards from occupational exposure to CO among firefighters. Firefighters may be exposed to CO during daily runs as well as overhaul, if respiratory gear is removed. As a result, it is estimated that over half of firefighter fatalities are from line-of-duty sudden cardiac events. Given that CO exposure is linked to heart disease, firefighters are at significant risk of cardiac injury caused or exacerbated by CO. As part of a 3-year strategy CO Safety strategy, the National Carbon Monoxide Awareness Association launched a campaign to ensure all firefighters have the proper CO Safety equipment. Our CO Gasman provides firefighters with the insurance that they are being monitored and protected when entering unknown locations and environments. Due to its small, lightweight and easy to use size, this monitor is a vital piece of equipment for these emergency workers. Along with its ease of use and size, data and event logging are available as standard, and there is a built-in 30-day advance warning when calibration is due, all ensuring the best course of protection.
In a nutshell
US Firefighters are tasked with emergency operations that vary in scale and environment, with various buildings, accidents all with different locations, in which the gas hazards are unknown. Prior to the scheme firemen were not required to wear CO monitors, thereby putting those who work in these environments at risk of CO poisoning. The department now depend on our CO Gasman detector to identify the presence of CO in environments that they work in. A CO monitor can be the difference between life and death; therefore, these detectors must be suitable for tough environments.