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Spring 2017 / Volume 18, Issue 2







Utah Fire and Rescue Academy Magazine







Visit us online at


Message from UFRA

SPRING 2017, Volume 18 Issue 2 To Subscribe: To subscribe to the UFRA Straight Tip magazine, or make changes to your current subscription, call 1-888-5487816 or visit magazine.html. The UFRA Straight Tip is free of charge to all firefighter and emergency service personnel throughout the state of Utah. UFRA Customer Service Local (801) 863-7700 Toll free 1-888-548-7816 UFRA Straight Tip (ISSN 1932-2356) is published quarterly by Utah Valley University and the Utah Fire & Rescue Academy and distributed throughout the state of Utah. Reproduction without written permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited. Send inquiries or submissions to: UFRA Straight Tip magazine 3131 Mike Jense Parkway Provo, Utah 84601 Phone 1-888-548-7816 Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the UFRA Straight Tip are those of the authors and may not be construed as those of the staff or management of the UFRA Straight Tip, Utah Fire & Rescue Academy, or Utah Valley University.

Providing Objective Feedback

by Dennis Goudy UFRA Quality Assurance/Risk Management Program Manager

An article in the July–September 2014 edition of the Straight Tip provided information about UFRA’s course evaluations and their importance. The article (“Quality Assurance, You Can Make a Difference”) explained that surveys, although seemingly over distributed do, in fact, contain data entry fields that, if completed, genuinely help ensure that UFRA is delivering the best training for firefighters. Therefore, UFRA management analyzes feedback and reacts positively to realistic, fair, and specific information in the surveys as well as suggestions and recommendations with well-written, viable solutions. Survey packets sent back to UFRA that contain realistic, fair, and specific information are instantly viewed as “objective feedback.” Objective feedback can be interpreted as sincere, bias free, and lacking ulterior motives. In fact, most managers respond vigorously and respectfully to well-written feedback. Good, objective feedback helps to make positive changes regarding a product, system, or training classes much faster than feedback that is vague, rude, or full of biased opinions. So, what are some examples of objective feedback vs. subjective feedback and what does including realistic, specific, well-written information entail? Take a look at the survey feedback examples below to see how each statement varies. Which statements provide enough specific information to pinpoint a gap or area for improvement? The presentation visuals for the class were poor. UFRA cannot make adjustments to problem areas with general comments. The comment would be better understood if specific, objective information were offered. How about this: Unit 1 of the presentation visuals contained outdated information. Some dates were inconsistent with the training manual. I recommend updating. This type of description helps to pinpoint a specific area that can be improved. This response would save time and get the fastest and best response. The instructors were not on time. Most likely not all instructors were late to class. This is too vague and does not help UFRA to pinpoint trends or issues. Is this better? Instructor Joe Snuffy was late to class two days out of the five-day course. This description is specific, objective, and provides data that UFRA can use to address instructor performance. Remember that course surveys are anonymous, so using the name of an instructor should not be any cause for concern when providing feedback. In conclusion, remember that UFRA values what you say. Information and feedback provided by you for any class that you attend is processed and treated fairly and taken very seriously. Our job is to provide the best product anywhere, so please remember this the next time your instructor passes around the surveys. What you say can make a difference!

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What a Waist

Active Shooter Events and Rescue Task Force Response


Farmington City Fire Department




Liability Concerns of a Volunteer Chief


Police Vehicle Extrication



Spring 2017 Semester

10 BACK TO BASICS Jason’s Story



Fall 2016 Class #73


The Participation Commitment


How to Develop Firefighters, Not Glory-Seekers


Firefighters are given instruction on safety and fire protection. Establishing a positive water supply is needed at almost every fire operation and starts with assignment of a firefighter to establish a hydrant connection. A well-trained firefighter should be able to make a hydrant connection blind folded. photograph by Russ Young


Editor Kaitlyn Hedges


Design Phil Ah You

Published by Utah Valley University




Fire Alarms and Sprinklers: Verifying Technical Competency



Managing Editor Lori Marshall Y

Enhancing Command Skills Through Computer Simulations VA






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Spring 2017 | 3


Brother and Sister Firefighters, While I am writing to you, we are in the midst of the 2017 Legislative Session on Capitol Hill. As of this writing, the fire service is tracking 31 bills. They cover a wide range of topics, such as unmanned aircraft (drones), wildland issues, firefighter disability coverage, fire and building codes, firefighter surviving spouse trust fund, statewide crisis line, retirement items, exposure blood testing, EMS grants, issues relating to special service (including fire) districts, and funding sources for the Utah Fire and Rescue Academy as well as my office. Many individuals from the fire service gather each and every Thursday morning of the session to form the Utah Joint Council of Fire Service Organizations, better known as the “Joint Council.” Many participate by phone into the conference room at the Cannon Health Building just north of North Temple Street in Salt Lake City. There, all the bills are brought forward for discussion and for a vote on what the standing of the fire service is going to be on each issue and legislative bill. I appreciate all the efforts that go on during the session and for the expertise that these fire service professionals bring as well as the many different relationships they each have developed over the years that help us to get our message out to our respective legislators. Most of you know that during the session, we host a luncheon at the Capitol for our legislators and have a short opportunity to visit with them personally and let them know about how we feel on a few of our more important pieces of legislation. There is a huge amount of work that goes on behind the scenes to coordinate this annual event, and we have always had good participation from our legislators in coming and giving of their time to hear from all of us. If you would like to follow any legislation, you can always go to the legislative web page at and follow the prompts to see legislators, bills, and committees; you can even listen in on live debates or review the audio recordings of committee hearings or floor debates. Although following legislation is not for the faint of heart—and I’m sure you have heard the old adage “One should never watch the making


of sausage or laws”—it can be rewarding and challenging if you get involved. Like a fire scene, there are moments of extreme worry and excitement as well as times when it is “wait and see.” Often the waiting and worrying takes the greatest toll. It is a delicate balance of give and take; it certainly is one of compromise on the part of all parties. May I close this article out by once again asking each of you to make sure that your department has sent my office a current roster of firefighters, including the month and year when they joined the department. These rosters are used whenever any firefighter submits a claim for disability, and it is these rosters that provide families with the proof necessary to be able to claim compensation and retirement benefits in the event of a line-of-duty death (LODD). Make sure that they are current. As always, let's be safe out there!


Utah State Fire Marshal

Coy D. Porter retired from Provo Fire & Rescue after 30 years of service; he then worked for almost four years as the assistant director of training at UFRA. Porter enjoys his association with the firefighters of Utah in his position as state fire marshal.

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After becoming a chief officer, you will unavoidably spend plenty of time sitting. Your days will be spent working on projects, planning, coordinating, staffing, emails, letters, meetings, and many other non-activities that will require you to do an awful lot of sitting. Being this sedentary is guaranteed to have a detrimental effect on your health, if you let it. Any chief will tell you how difficult the battle of the bulge becomes once promoted into the chief ’s ranks. You are invited to meals nearly every day where the contest may seem to be who can get the most for their money. Consuming calories with no exercise will result in you needing to buy a new belt and wardrobe. There is an unfortunate joke of firefighters covering their eyes for fear of being hit by an errant over-tensioned shirt button when it finally breaks free. Too often chiefs put anything and everything in the way of physical activity. We seem to prioritize the meal, the movie, the project, and all else in front of our physical well-being. On the other hand, if your firefighters see you sweating and maintaining physical conditioning, they will grow to respect that. It makes your job of requiring them to do the same far easier as well. In the fire service, we talk often about leading by example. Chiefs lead line firefighters that will be called on to lift, carry, drag, climb, crawl, and push/pull. In other words your firefighters will be called on to do what they were hired to do. As a chief officer, show your members how to maintain healthy routines that will make their careers sustainable. If you are an operations chief, one way of settling into a healthy routine is to assign a crew you work with to lead a shift work out. Participating with the crew will ensure you will get somewhat frequent physical activity the third of the time you are on duty. Off-duty physical activity should be far easier to get with most of your responsibilities removed. Again, it’s all about habits, commitment, and personal priorities. One independent risk factor you should consider is the circumference of your waistline. According to the American Heart Association, your waist circumference goal should


What a Waist Any chief will tell you how difficult the battle of the bulge becomes once promoted into the chief ’s ranks. be less than 40 inches for men and less than 35 inches for women. Go above that and you approach obesity, increasing your odds of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Develop good habits now. Push away from your desk and maintain the physical shape you need to do the work of a firefighter. If you happen to have let your desk get the better of you over the years, don’t worry, it’s never too late to start. Oftentimes the most inspirational act we can do is to show our firefighters that we can improve and grow. It’s never too late to set priorities and goals that will benefit you now and into your retirement.

Paul Hewitt began his career as an Orem City reserve firefighter in 1987. After 20 years with the Salt Lake City Fire Department he served as a fire chief in Arizona before his 2011 appointment to fire chief of the Park City Fire District.

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ACTIVE SHOOTER EVENTS AND RESCUE TASK FORCE RESPONSE IN THE SALT LAKE VALLEY by Captain Steve Crandall, Heavy Rescue Team Coordinator Salt Lake City Fire Department Petzl Technical Institute

On January 14, 1999, a 24-year-old mentally unstable female, De-Kieu Duy, entered the KSL Broadcast House, located in the Triad Center in Salt Lake City, and began shooting. She fired numerous rounds in the building's lobby and other areas of the business, ultimately wounding the building manager and murdering a young female worker who had recently returned to work after maternity leave. Four months later, on April 15, 1999, 71-year-old Sergei Barbarin entered the LDS Family History Library in downtown Salt Lake City at approximately 1030 hours and started shooting. Responding officers were told that there were victims in the lobby with an active shooter inside. Barbarin was eventually shot and killed by Salt Lake City Police Department (SLCPD) officers but not before killing two individuals and wounding four others, including one SLCPD officer. On February 12, 2007, 18-year-old Sulejman Talovic, a native of Bosnia, went on a shooting rampage through Trolley Square Mall, a 239,000-square-foot shopping center near downtown Salt Lake City. The gunman was armed with a 12-gauge shotgun and a .38 caliber revolver. He was carrying nearly 170 total rounds of ammunition. Six minutes and 25 seconds later, this active shooter was killed by members of the SLCPD SWAT team and patrol officers, leaving in his wake five murdered and four wounded. August 27, 2010, at 1527 hours, the Salt Lake City Dispatch Center received a 911 call stating that a man wearing full military 6 | UFRA Straight Tip

gear and armed with a rifle was moving around the perimeter of the Grand America Hotel. Minutes earlier, Brandon S. Barrett, an AWOL U.S. Army soldier, had tried to gain access to the upper floors and roof of the hotel but was turned away by the staff. Barrett was wearing a full military battle uniform, including a Kevlar helmet, flak jacket with rifle plates, and deltoid protectors. He was armed with a scoped AR-15 with a bipod and two side arms. He carried 26 fully loaded 30-round rifle magazines. Almost immediately upon arrival, the first responding SLCPD patrol officer received incoming rifle fire from Barrett. The officer took cover at the rear of his marked police vehicle, returned fire, and killed the shooter. Thankfully, this active shooter event in the making was averted: a true near miss for the citizens and first responders of Salt Lake City. These events, coupled with similar local and national incidents, prompted the Salt Lake City Fire Department to create and implement an Active Shooter Event Standard Operating Guideline, a response matrix, specialized medical procedures, and a training program. For the purposes of this article, an active shooter event (ASE) is defined as any incident where an armed person or persons use or have used deadly physical force on others and continue to do so while having unrestricted access to additional potential casualties. Note that the term “shooter” is often used, but it is understood that deadly weapons other than firearms can and have been used for these violent mass casualty assaults. The seminal moment for our nation’s law enforcement response to ASEs occurred in the spring of 1999 with the Columbine High School massacre. Since then, law enforcement’s tactics and procedures have forever changed and continue to evolve today in the wake of worldwide, modern terrorism. We in the fire and EMS services, however, have been a little slower to shift

An active shooter event (ASE) is defined as any incident where an armed person or persons use or have used deadly physical force on others and continue to do so while having unrestricted access to additional potential casualties. our paradigm from the historical stage of waiting until the scene is “secure” before entry to a more aggressive approach of rapid casualty access and management during these horrific events. That being said, progress is being made both nationally and locally. In the spring of 2014, members of the Salt Lake City Fire Department began working closely with representatives from the Salt Lake City Police Department to better prepare both departments to respond to these hostile mass casualty incidents. After a tremendous amount of research, discussion, practice evolutions, and cooperative micro-drills, we modified then implemented the Rescue Task Force (RTF) concept and initiated our department’s cooperative training plans. Every police officer and every firefighter in Salt Lake City was put through both a didactic classroom portion and a hands-on joint training session. Police officers worked side by side with firefighters within an RTF to access, stabilize, and extricate the wounded from this austere and challenging environment. After months of internal drills and evolutions as well as large-scale scenarios with local hospitals, schools, and other businesses, we had learned a tremendous amount and returned to the SOG to make alterations and modify our RTF procedures. Today, we continue to move forward with the RTF concept and SOG by running every new police officer and every new firefighter through the program as part of their new-hire training process prior to being assigned to the street. Annual continuing medical education, drills, and large-scale evolutions with SLCPD in cooperation with local hospitals, schools, and other large venues reinforce the procedures and protocols. In 2016, we were able to take another giant step forward in improving the response to an ASE: Representatives from every public safety agency in the Salt Lake Valley came together to form a valley-wide ASE committee in an effort to get all of us on the same “operational page.” Both law enforcement and fire/ EMS agencies from every jurisdiction were represented. In the end, we all agreed on and adopted a common SOG and similar RTF general procedures. Collectively, we applied for and were awarded a federal grant for 44 sets of RTF armor and associated medical equipment to be distributed valley-wide. We then

created and conducted a train-the-trainer program that would give representatives the common skills and information to take back to their respective departments and begin their own similar training programs. We have also had the opportunity to share this same program with a few agencies in both the Ogden area and Utah County, hopefully leading to a true “no boundaries” response along the Wasatch Front if we are ever faced with what FEMA and Homeland Security describe as a Complex Coordinated Attack with multiple shooters at various locations. It is the committee’s hope to have all of the Salt Lake Valley agencies trained and ready by the spring of 2017, at which time we will begin conducting large, valley-wide exercises and drills. Our current ASE operational model generally follows the THREAT acronym as outlined by the Hartford Consensus: T stands for threat suppression. This is done by the first arriving police officers as they form up into contact teams and move in to confront and stop the shooter. H is for hemorrhage control of any major arterial bleeding that could lead to exsanguination and is performed by the RTFs and possibly even by the officers as they encounter casualties. RE stands for rapid extraction and emphasizes the need to move casualties out of the line of fire. A is for assessment by medical providers and involves both the RTF medics and the proper triage of the injured at the casualty collection point (CCP). T represents treat and transport to definitive care and also speaks to the issues of triage, treatment, and transfer at the CCP as well as the importance of rapid transport to the hospital. In some locations, Rescue Task Force operations in response to active shooter events are becoming the new standard for fire and EMS services. That is certainly now the case in the Salt Lake Valley. Joint training with local law enforcement and close cooperation among all valley fire/EMS agencies are helping to shape the future. While there is still more work to be done and progress to be made both nationally and locally, for some of us, the paradigm is shifting. One needs only watch or read the news to realize that, sadly, it is not a matter of if but rather when these horrific events will occur again. As we have already experienced the tragedy of multiple active shooter events here in Salt Lake City, one thing is clear: we must all be better prepared.

Steve Crandall currently works as captain and coordinator of the Salt Lake City Fire Department Heavy Rescue Team and as a tactical medic assigned to the Salt Lake City SWAT Team. He has been actively involved in specialized rescue for three decades and an active tactical medic since 1998. He can be reached at steve.

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Leave It at the Station: The Value of Keeping Fire Service Stress Away from Home After finishing my first 24-hour shift as a new firefighter, I walked out of the station feeling on top of the world. The calls went well, I handled the practical jokes with grace, and no one got sick after my cooking. Unfortunately, as I walked to my car, my newfound self-esteem was broken by the familiar voice of my captain, “Whoa whoa whoa . . . What are you doing?” Confused, I stood there anticipating a stern lecture about what I had forgotten. Instead, he looked at my station boots and asked, “You’re not going home in your duty boots are you? Think about where we’ve been, what you’ve stepped in over the last day. And now you’re gonna walk into your house—on the carpet where your kids play? That’s not fair to them.” Unfortunately, not all the harmful products of our service are as easily kept away from our home and families like a pair of dirty boots, especially the products of emotional exhaustion. The UFRA’s Winter Fire School 2017 debuted a new type of class 8 | UFRA Straight Tip

devoted to firefighter spouses only. The Spouses Only class was an encouraging success as spouses came in hopes of gaining an understanding of what their firefighter spouses experience. The class focused on how spouses and families can better understand the mental stresses that aren’t as easily left behind like a pair of station boots after a shift. The class left participants recognizing a known truth: being a firefighter spouse is difficult and demanding. As firefighters, whether career or volunteer, we can use several strategies to make sure we “leave the station boots at work” when it comes to the mental stresses of the job. #1 Take Time—Whether firefighters encounter spilled fluids on a traffic accident, a low-grade hazmat material on a spill, or any number of fluids on a medical call, the first thing they do when they get back to the station is take time to wash their boots off. In the same sense, firefighters need to take time to rid themselves of the imposing stress they experience day to day.

Firefighters can take time by going and doing things enjoyable, exercising, or taking time to process troubling events. Try and get your mind balanced before arriving home. #2 Avoid Traumatizing—Counselors who work with veterans after crises occasionally begin to suffer from vicarious trauma in which they’re unable to separate their emotions from the events being described by a client. As a firefighter, be careful of the stories you tell to your families. While talking with others about stressful incidents is an excellent way to help us process our own emotions, our family members can be easily shocked and saddened by what occurs in the line of service. Some conversations are best kept around the fire house table, not the kitchen table at home. #3 Keep Your Emotions Alive—Firefighters mentally adapt to emergency response by regulating their emotions and disconnecting from the tragedies they encounter. Unfortunately, the disconnect that helps us thrive as responders, sometimes carries over into our home life. Firefighters tend to keep the protective walls up, which is difficult for their families to adjust to and unhealthy in relationships. Home is a place where we can feel free to enjoy the ups and downs of life. Leave the protective barriers for when the pager goes off or the shift begins.

Having a supportive spouse and family can make an immense difference in the long-term wellness of a firefighter and his or her relationships. Look for more offerings of the Spouses Only class through UFRA, and visit the “Spouses Only” section under the mental wellness tab on the UFRA website. Jordon Petersen serves as a captain with the Murray City Fire Department. He received his master’s degree in psychology and is currently completing his dissertation for a doctorate degree in psychology. Jordon’s studies and research revolve around first responder psychology and firefighter wellness.

#4 Validation—Firefighters know what problems are. We respond to property being destroyed, lives lost, and hardships like no other; so when our spouse is upset that the front door still hasn’t been painted, it’s sometimes hard for us to validate those concerns. Successful relationships are founded on mutual understanding and respect. If your spouse is concerned, it’s worth making an effort. #5 Don’t Sell Yourself Short—One of the most prevalent mental health stigmas in the fire service is the one that encourages us to always be stoic around other firefighters. The problem with the constant act of bravado is that it typically ends when we get home. Our families are often the ones who feel the effects of our stressful job; which isn’t fair to them. Make sure that the best aspects of your life receive the best of you, not the other way around. #6 Know Where to Get Help—I’ve tackled more problems with my wife than with any other person, but there are some problems I shouldn’t drag my wife through. When the stresses of the fire service begin to weigh, making our spouses feel like they need to help isn’t fair for them. Instead, go to your crew, your officer, your employee assistance program, or to any number of avenues for help. You wouldn’t call a plumber to fix your electrical problem; having a spouse help with a work problem only makes for two stressed out people. Being the spouse of a firefighter is challenging in many ways, especially from a mental and emotional standpoint. Firefighters tend to bring home too much fire service stress, which is better left at the station. You wouldn’t risk coming home in boots covered in gasoline; let’s leave the mental exhaustion, stress, and distractions at the station where they belong. Our families deserve the best of us. Spring 2017 | 9


Basal Cell Sarcoma Jason’s Story I was honored recently to meet Jason Banfield, an engineer for the Billings Montana Fire Department. Jason has worked for several emergency response agencies in the Montana, recently for the Lockwood Montana Fire Department for five years, and has been with Billings Fire for ten years. He has also worked at the Billings Hospital complex for the last 18 years. We got into the topic of decontaminating turnout gear post fire when he told me his story. A firefighter and responder in Montana for over 20 years, Jason never thought he’d get cancer. In his career as a firefighter, Jason made a habit of using the hook on his turnout coat to snap his mask onto when not in use. He would then unsnap it and place it back on his face for overhaul and re-entry to the fire and smoke. The unforeseen consequences of this seemingly benign practice was basal cell sarcoma of the sweat gland on Jason’s face. His mask rubbed the particulate contamination (soot) from his coat onto the nose cup of his mask. He then placed the nose cup directly on his face and his overheated open pores sucked in the poison.

Figure 2). The skin was pulled together, and the resulting scar will be there for the rest of his life—as will a story he freely tells to other firefighters (see Figure 3). He gets regular checkups now with his dermatologist to look for recurrence. Not only did this take a toll on Jason physically, it was also a financial burden to pay for the treatment—even with insurance paying 80 percent. A $2,000 deductible and an additional 20 percent of the total cost of the procedure left Jason paying $5,600 out of his own pocket for the procedures. Some hard lessons were learned in multiple ways, and we have the benefit of learning from Jason directly.

Back in 2011, the cancer started out as a crusty white area next to his nose until he nicked it shaving one day and it would not stop bleeding, having developed its own vasculature (see Figure 1). His dermatologist did a biopsy, and immediately Jason underwent a procedure that removed the cancer after three tries at removing the margins and cauterizing the open wound (see

I asked Jason what advice he would give firefighters in Utah. He said, “No exposure is the best exposure. Find ways to engineer that stuff away from responders.” In other words, take the necessary precautions to prevent exposure. He stated that in Billings, they implemented the following procedures and practices: • Added three new turnout gear extractors (washing machines) to handle the loads of gear that are washed after each exposure. • Before they leave the scene, there is a gross water decon of the dirty gear before it goes back on the apparatus (see Straight Tip, Summer 2016, pg. 14). • Each firefighter has two sets of PPE. This practice is not completely implemented, but they are working on it.

Figure 1. Basal cell sarcoma

Figure 2. The wound from the excision

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• •

Each firefighter, post fire, takes off their dirty hood and gloves and replaces them with a clean set for breakdown operations. Back at the station, firefighters immediately “shower within the hour” and use Nitrile or Latex gloves to rehab and clean equipment on the apparatus.

The unforeseen consequences of this seemingly benign practice

In Montana, when a firefighter develops cancer, he or she has the burden to prove the cancer was a result of the job. This is extremely difficult without the support of preemptive legislation that presumes a firefighter developed the cancer on the job. Montana has been working to pass a bill for the past 15 years. Thankfully, Utah already has a bill that provides this protection in S.B. 135 Worker’s Compensation Coverage for Firefighters (Effective May 2015). The bill states, “The presumptive cancer was contracted arising out of the course of employment.” The firefighter, career or volunteer, must have been employed by a department for a period of at least eight years and will not have used tobacco in that period as certified by a physician.

was basal cell sarcoma of the

Joel Fassbinder, president of the Montana State Council of Professional Firefighters makes the point, “We’re absorbing these [carcinogens] not inhaling them. We have state of the art breathing apparatus.” Jason would completely agree. He stated, “We’re advocating getting back to clean gear and our habits when we come out of fires that we’re doing gross decontamination because we don’t want to take this stuff home. You have to get it off of you as soon as you can.”

Jason continues the fight against the “Dirty is Badass” culture. That filthy, black, crusty turnout gear is loaded with a toxic mixture of dangerous products and particulates that have been proven to cause cancer in firefighters. That black soot on your hands, face, and neck is killing you.

The NFPA has established a four-phase PPE research project over the next three years that will establish procedures for ensuring optimal contamination removal from firefighter turnout gear. The four phases are 1) identification of contaminants, 2) establishment of soil and chemical contamination/decontamination procedures, 3) establishment of biological contamination/

photography by Jason Banfield

sweat gland on Jason’s face. disinfection or sanitization procedures, and 4) creation of overall fire service guidance. This is long overdue research and should result in new NFPA consensus standards that will essentially empower organizations to provide protective procedures against exposure to carcinogens and other contaminants.

In conclusion, Jason has a question for all of us to consider: “What is it worth to your department to have cancer-free employees and comprehensive procedures that minimize their exposure?” Do you work for a department that has no current procedures in place to protect firefighters? Do you work for a department that doesn’t have current provisions for regularly cleaning gear and immediately replacing contaminated articles, such as hoods and gloves? If you do, it’s time to speak up. Just ask Jason.

Andy Byrnes, EFO, MEd, retired after 21 years at the Orem Fire Department as a special operations battalion chief. He was also a sworn law enforcement officer for 18 years and paramedic for 16 years. He is currently an associate professor at Utah Valley University’s (UVU) Emergency Services Department in Provo, Utah. Andy is the director of the Firefighter Recruit Candidate Academy Program at UVU. Andy is a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program. He holds an associate’s degree in fire science, a bachelor’s degree in public emergency services management, and a master’s degree in instructional technology from Utah State University.

Figure 3. The resulting reconstructive surgery

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Liability Concerns of a Volunteer Chief

Today’s burning question: What legal responsibility does a volunteer fire chief have for things that happen at the firehouse when the chief has left and gone home? If things like drinking on station property (which is already prohibited), minors being allowed to drink, and sexually inappropriate comments being made to female junior firefighters occur, can the fire chief be held liable? Also what are the responsibilities of the officers present who didn’t do all they could do to stop it from happening?

Second, if it turns out the fire chief knew or should have known that such behavior was going on, the liability problem worsens significantly for the fire chief. Without getting too deep into the legal complexities, a chief who knows/should know that such behavior is going on and fails to take reasonable steps to prevent it could be personally liable under several different theories, ranging from negligent supervision to a due process-related claim of deliberate indifference.

Answer: As a general rule a fire chief (volunteer or career) is not personally liable for the conduct of subordinates over which he has no knowledge or control. The fire chief is under a duty to act as the reasonably prudent fire chief of like skill and training. He/ she is not required to be clairvoyant.

As for any subordinate officers who were present and failed to address the misconduct, they too may face personal liability for their failings. “Officers refusing to be officers.” It’s not just a volunteer issue – in fact it is just as big an issue in the career service.

There are a couple of caveats to the general rule. First – the fire department may still be liable for the misconduct that occurs. The fire chief could be sued in his capacity as the chief as a way to hold the fire department liable. The chief would not be personally liable, but could be named in the suit.

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My solutions: 1. Have clear policies on what conduct is prohibited. The policies should address drinking; sexual harassment; and hazing, pranks and bullying to name a few. 2. Train all members on the policies with special emphasis to ensure that folks understand the “whys” behind the policies and the consequences for violations.

3. Train officers separately to ensure they understand their obligation to act like officers. Make it clear that officers are responsible for what happens while they are present. 4. When a member violates the policy, discipline the member. Show no favoritism nor engage in selective enforcement. Punishment does not have to be harsh (in fact harsh punishments can be counterproductive by causing resentment, and leading members to cover up misconduct for fear of unjust punishment being handed down)… but the punishment does need to be enough to ensure the misconduct will not be repeated. 5. If an officer is present when misconduct occurs and he/she fails to (a) stop or (b) report what he/she could not stop – he/she should be dealt with MORE HARSHLY than the member. THIS SHOULD BE TOLD TO OFFICERS BEFORE HAND so they understand that when they accept the promotion, the responsibility to intervene/present problems comes along with it. The members also need to be aware of this so they know when they misbehave in the presence of the officer, the officer has more at stake than they do.

These steps should help prevent future problems. Conversely, the failure to address what you now know to be a problem may set you up for personal liability in the future. Originally posted by Curt Varone on December 8, 2016. Reprinted with permission.

Curt Varone has more than 40 years of experience in the fire service, including 29 years as a career firefighter with Providence, RI, retiring as a deputy assistant chief (shift commander). He is a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine, and served as the director of the Public Fire Protection Division at the NFPA. Varone is the author of two books, Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services and Fire Officer’s Legal Handbook, and remains active as a deputy chief in Exeter, RI.

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Shotguns may be mounted between the front seats or laterally across the headliner in front of the partition.

photography by Russell Young

Police vehicles are built with heavy-duty frames, shielding for the suspension system, light bars, weapon mounts, roll bars, K-9 cages, security glass, and heavy duty components. For pursuit purposes, most police cars can reach speeds exceeding 130 MPH. When these vehicles are involved in a collision, it is often while traveling at high speeds. These high-speed collisions greatly increase the probability that the occupants will become trapped.


POLICE VEHICLE EXTRICATION With vehicle safety features changing on a daily basis—an increasing number of air bags and rollover protection systems and the devices that deploy them—it is essential for rescuers and extrication teams to know the hazards. Now, in addition to this array of safety features, let’s take into account the hazards of extrication involving police vehicles. A 2007 report issued by the National Safety Council analyzed law enforcement data from 2004 to 2006. During that period, there were 81,707 documented crashes involving law enforcement vehicles, for an average of about 27,235 per year. According to statistics kept by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund from 1997 to 2010, traffic-related fatalities were the leading cause of law enforcement officer fatalities. Vehicle crashes account for 44 percent of law enforcement fatalities each year (USDOT/NHTSA 2007). Due to the high number of incidents involving police vehicles, it is imperative that first responders, rescuers, and emergency medical personnel be aware of the dangers they face when responding to a police vehicle accident. For most incidents, standard extrication techniques can be employed to remove trapped victims from the vehicle; however, extra caution must be used when dealing with the additional hazards of police vehicles. The vehicle’s contents, radios, computers, rear seat partitions, and gun mounts will make patient access difficult and will restrict the egress options for passengers.

14 | UFRA Straight Tip

The headliner in a police car may contain a gun rack, and the roof usually carries the extra weight of a light bar and the wires that go with it. Roof removal should be avoided unless the benefit justifies the time and complications associated with its removal. Some auto makers are installing intrusion-resistant glass. This glass will not shatter with a spring-punch. You may need to use a rotary or reciprocating saw to cut through the side or rear glass. A partition or cage between the front and rear seat serves as a roll bar and provides considerable structural support. However, the driver or front passenger may become trapped at the legs when the kinetic energy of the collision is displaced away from the roll bar. On-duty law enforcement officers are always armed. Secure the weapon by removing the gun belt, leaving the weapon in the holster. Use caution when handling the gun belt; it may hold ammunition, mace, pepper spray, a K9 release device, or a Taser. The belt should be given directly to another police officer. The identity of the officer taking the weapon and belt should be noted in your report.

These high-speed collisions greatly increase the probability that the occupants will become trapped. Shotguns may be mounted between the front seats or laterally across the headliner in front of the partition. High-powered weapons, ammunition, tear gas grenades, mace, pepper spray, flash bang grenades, and miscellaneous explosives may be in the trunk or cargo area. Any prisoner, whether injured or not, poses an escape risk, and prisoners may feign injury to make an escape attempt. If there is no immediate danger, leave the prisoner(s) in the vehicle until custody can be secured by another police officer. Police dogs pose another potential danger. If you encounter a police dog, immediately call another K-9 officer to the scene. Protect the dog and everyone on scene by leaving the dog in the vehicle if it is safe to do so. If the dog has sustained injuries, assist in getting it to a veterinarian when safe and practical to do so. A dog with a head injury can become combative just like a person, so use caution. Talk with a K-9 officer about how the dog will respond in this type of situation. The contents of a police car may also include sensitive evidence. Protect all contents from wet conditions with a salvage cover, if necessary. Secure the area until law enforcement personnel take over the scene.

A partition or cage between the front and rear seat serves as a roll bar and provides considerable structural support.

Russell Young is a battalion chief and assistant training officer for the Orem Fire Department, where he is responsible for extrication and ambulance driving operations. He is the chief of the Duchesne Fire Department and has been a paramedic for over 22 years. Young has a BS in emergency services management, is currently completing his MBA, has over 25 years of experience in fire and emergency medical service, and is an instructor and certification tester for UFRA.

Schedule a meeting/training with your local law enforcement officers to find out how their vehicles are equipped and what their procedures are for dealing with a prisoner; talk with K-9 officers to find out the best practice when dealing with their dogs. Understanding the differences between extricating the driver of a private sedan versus a police vehicle will prepare you for the challenges that arise when extricating a trapped law enforcement officer. Stay safe . . . Chief Young

Save the Date Tooele County Regional Fire School April 28-29, 2017 at the Tooele Army Depot • •

High-powered weapons, ammunition, tear gas grenades, mace, pepper spray, flash bang grenades, and miscellaneous explosives may be in the trunk or cargo area.

Forcible Entry Emergency Apparatus Driving Simulator

To register, contact Chief Randy Willden at

Spring 2017 | 15


The Participation Commitment Utah’s Wildland Policy and Fire Management System This system, when implemented over the years, will result in a true reduction in wildland fire risk, catastrophic fire, property loss, injury, and even death. In the Winter 2017 Straight Tip, Utah’s new wildland fire policy was introduced (“Utah’s New Wildland Fire Policy and Fire Management System”). In this issue we will cover ways your community and fire department can meet the annual “participation commitment” as a participating entity within the new system and track your wildfire risk reduction efforts through the year. In the image shown here (blue sheet on page 18), there are numerous options suggested for how to meet your wildfire risk reduction participation commitment. This document, along with complete information about the new fire management system, is available from your county fire warden and local Utah Division of Forestry, Fire & State Lands 16 | UFRA Straight Tip

(FFSL) area office. FFSL’s area offices are located in Logan, Salt Lake City, Heber, Richfield, Moab, and Cedar City, and contact information is included at the end of this article. As you look over the blue sheet of possible risk reduction actions, keep in mind that if your department comes up with an idea that is not listed, your FFSL area manager has the authority to further discuss and potentially approve such projects. The key factor being, “Does the proposed project truly reduce the risk of wildfire to the community?” Using the actions listed in the blue sheet, let’s outline a possible scenario for a participating entity to meet its annual participation commitment. WILDFIRE PREVENTION The first option in this category to tackle, and a statutory requirement for every participating entity, is a Community Wildfire Preparedness Plan (CWPP). As you work with your local FFSL area office staff, including the county fire warden and FFSL WUI (wildland-urban interface) coordinator, identify a neighborhood or community at risk of wildfire. Once this is done, schedule the first meeting and publicize the event by using your social media and distributing fliers on doors. At the meeting, have a sign-in sheet and document the total number of participant hours. At the end of each meeting, schedule the next meeting to continue the planning process.

So let’s look at what this may bring towards a participation commitment this far: • Printing of door invites = $97.50 • Door invites placed by volunteers: Let’s say you have ten citizens or volunteer firefighters, and it takes them two hours to distribute the fliers. Ten times the federal government’s volunteer rate of $23.56 times two hours = $471.20 • Meeting attendees: Let’s say you get ten residents plus four firefighters to participate in the meetings to create the CWPP, and it lasted four hours. Then you’d calculate 14 times the federal volunteer rate of $23.56 times four hours = $1,319.36 So between advertising and the first CWPP meeting, you have created $1,888.06 toward your first year participation commitment! WILDFIRE PREPAREDNESS (25% participation commitment maximum each year) This category is how you can get credit for all of training and equipment purchased to improve your initial attack capabilities. If the department holds wildland fire training, such as the S-130 and S-190 Basic Wildland Firefighter courses, the time spent by each firefighter can count toward your participation commitment. This will be calculated using the actual hourly rate for full-time firefighters or, once again, the federal volunteer rate for volunteer firefighters. These training hours can be tracked on a sign-in sheet.

If the firefighters certify through UFRA, then any associated fees can also be counted. • S-130/S-190: 40 class hours times the federal volunteer rate of $23.56 = $942.40. Then multiply this total by the number of firefighters trained and you have a great way to help meet your annual participation commitment. Another option in the preparedness category could be when a department purchases wildfire-specific equipment, such as a Type VI wildland engine. So for example, say your fire department purchases a Type VI engine for $100,000. The value of this type of larger purchase may be “carried over” for a three-year period, up to the 25% maximum per year for the Preparedness category. In this example, therefore, a municipality with a $20,000 annual participation commitment could claim up to $5,000 of Preparedness spending that year, not to exceed the total value of the initial purchase over the course of the three years. This tracking could get a bit technical, so please ask questions of and work closely with your local county fire warden and FFSL area manager. We want to ensure you’re properly credited for the preparedness work and purchases you make each year. WILDFIRE MITIGATION (50% participation commitment minimum each year) This category is really the on-theground work that will, over time, reduce risk for large, catastrophic wildland fires in Utah; therefore, at least 50% of your annual participation commitment should come from this type of work. Depending on the type of projects outlined in the local CWPP, a department could have several options to meet the mitigation category requirement: • fuels reduction and forest thinning projects (if the participants have proper chainsaw training, experience, and PPE); • community chipper days; • defensible space vegetation removal. Any or all of these options would count towards your participation commitment.

Contracted crews and hourly employees should be tallied at their actual rate. The value of a volunteer’s time would be calculated using the federal volunteer rate. Let’s say you do a defensible space project with four volunteer firefighters and six residents. The firefighters do the cutting with one acting as the safety officer. As they move along, residents come in behind them from a safe distance and stack the cut vegetation into piles. They do this for four hours: • Ten volunteers times the federal volunteer rate ($23.56) times four hours = $942.40 Next comes the community chipper day and you return to chip all of the piles. This time you get ten residents and four volunteer firefighters; plus you can count the rental and time spent picking up and dropping off the chipper: • Chipper rental = $750 • 14 volunteers times the federal volunteer rate of $23.56 times four hours = $1,319.36 And the total amount counted toward your participation commitment would be $3,011.76. As you can see, it will take some effort to reach your annual participation commitment; however, the combined effort statewide will pay off for all of us as wildfire risk is continuously and systematically reduced. This system, when implemented over the years, will result in a true reduction in wildland fire risk, catastrophic fire, property loss, injury, and even death. The benefits from this new policy and wildfire management system far outweigh the potential financial burden that could be placed on a community for the suppression cost of a multi-day wildland fire, not to mention the far more extensive total costs of wildfire (which would make another great Straight Tip article!). As seen in the image on the next page, a standardized form to help you track the progress of your participation commitment efforts is available from your local FFSL area office. Please reach out to them and seek their assistance with learning

more about the new fire management system, including such things as how to create a CWPP or track your participation commitment. Our area managers and their staff are excited to be working with you to help make the new wildfire policy a success for your community. Bear River Area – Logan Area Manager Blain Hamp 435-752-8701 Wasatch Front Area – Salt Lake City Area Manager Trent Bristol 801-538-4818 Northeast Area – Heber Area Manager Mike Eriksson 435-671-9088 Central Area – Richfield Area Manager Ron Torgerson 435-896-5697 Southeast Area – Moab Area Manager Jason Johnson 435-259-3762 Southwest Area – Cedar City Area Manager Ron Wilson 435-586-4408 Lone Peak Conversation Center – Draper Center Manager Gary Peck 801-560-8105 Mike Ulibarri has 29 years in the fire service. He is the acting deputy director for the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire & State Lands, on loan from Unified Fire Authority, where he serves as a battalion chief. The Participation Commitment Actions graphic is on the next page.

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A suppression response (Goal: Strong Initial Attack Capability)

Activities directed at reducing the number of human-caused (Goal: Fire-Adapted Communities)

• • • • •

• • Costs of implementing Ready, Set, GO! program restrictions and/or burn permit violations Volunteer hours for meetings and events that promote, plan or implement CWPPs

• •

PSAs Costs of designing, producing and installing boards/displays

Actions taken to reduce or eliminate risks to persons, property or natural resources. (Goal: Resillient Landscapes)

Costs of equipment and labor (including volunteer hours) used to reduce hazardous fuels in accordance with CWPP (i.e. fuel breaks,

• • • •

activities that support grazing) Costs or volunteer value of equipment and labor toward ongoing maintenance of existing CWPP fuel reduction projects Volunteer hours toward removing hazardous

CWPPs Volunteer hours toward improving ingress/egress

• •

Costs associated with community fuel reduction events (i.e. chipper days) Costs of vegetation management equipment

access to secondary water systems through hydrants, tanks or drafting sites


communication or support Costs of improving or creating additional ingress/egress into Wildland Urban Interface

• •

management personnel Volunteer hours spent in training for wildland

Equipment (PPE) Costs of producing and installing road signs and address markers (including evacuation routes) as part of a CWPP Costs of certifying bulldozer operators Costs associated with enforcement of WUI code Costs associated with installing/maintaining helicopter dip sites Costs of inspecting resident defensible space work to certify for individual tax incentives Costs of producing and/or updating city emergency response plans that address CWPPs Costs of land-use planning that support objectives of CWPPs Costs supporting the development of (CWPPs) Costs associated with gaining “Firewise Community” recognition

Activities that DO NOT qualify: • • • •

Any activity funded by other state or state-administered federal funds Any previously-matched prevention/preparedness Costs of state or federally-provided trainings

• • •

Costs of improving culinary water systems Costs to improve individual structures Costs of existing county employees or programs including weed departments Rev: 10/29/2015


How to Develop Firefighters, Not Glory-Seekers Here are three steps to train firefighters to be comfortable in the spotlight and not need to be in it often manifested in positive ways: these people were the best storytellers or the most skilled instructors. Glory hounds But there is a difference between being comfortable in the spotlight and needing that attention. Those who are needful of attention as a way of bolstering their identities will do whatever it takes to get that attention. If they cannot get it through positive means such as personal achievement, they will do it in other ways. There are many unhealthy ways leaders may demand the spotlight all the time. They may hoard information, so nothing can happen without their direct involvement. They may engage in malicious gossip or play one person against another on the crew. They may grandstand on emergency calls, ultimately making selfish or even dangerous decisions.

I was riding my bicycle to town the other day past a familiar church signboard, and another message caught my attention. It said: “Those who shine from within do not need a spotlight.�

Then there are those firefighters and officers who shine from within. They are confident but never arrogant. They know their strengths and limitations. They readily offer help and are not afraid to ask for it either.

I started thinking about those who always seek attention for themselves — why they do it, what effect this behavior has on the larger group, and how this applies to the fire service.

They don't take themselves too seriously. They accept mistakes as learning opportunities for themselves and others. They are loyal and honest. They value all their teammates, and they let those people know it. They act as mentors.

On one level, fire service culture is the opposite of self-serving attention seeking. There was an unwritten rule on my department that if you got your picture in the newspaper, you had to buy ice cream for the station.

Having a firefighter like this on your crew may seem like a stroke of luck, but in fact, every company officer has the power to cultivate and encourage these qualities among crew members.

It was a joke, but it reinforced the understanding that on emergency scenes, individual achievement did not matter. It was all about the team.

3 steps The most critical step is leading by example. Company officers must do an honest self-assessment. Do you always need the spotlight? Do you reward this kind of attention-seeking behavior in others?

That rule did not mean that we lacked people who sometimes enjoyed being the center of attention. Being the focal point 20 | UFRA Straight Tip

If company officers are serious about developing firefighters who shine from within, they must do three things. First, they must build skills and knowledge through training and experience. Everyone on the crew must have equal access to this kind of training and development, not just those who have already proven themselves or who are more well-liked. Second, company officers must foster confidence among their crew members to apply skills and knowledge. Officers have to truly delegate and let people do the jobs they are prepared to do. They cannot micromanage or grab control back out of fear. Third, they must be generous about recognition and credit. Some fire officers still have the attitude that there is no need to recognize good work, since good work is what is expected on the job. These officers see their role as only pointing out and correcting mistakes. Such an approach undermines confidence and initiative. And it really does not work with younger firefighters who grew up in a world of nearly constant feedback. The need for constant attention and affirmation is ultimately a sign of insecurity. The most competent and confident leaders don't need that kind of reinforcement, and instead focus their energy on building confidence and mastery among all those who work with them. They shine from within. Everyone knows who these good leaders are. And everyone wants to work with them. Linda F. Willing worked for more than 20 years in the emergency services, including 18 as a career firefighter and fire officer. For more than 15 years, she has supported fire and emergency services and other organizations through her company, RealWorld Training and Consulting. She is the author of On the Line: Women Firefighters Tell Their Stories. Linda is an adjunct instructor and curriculum advisor for the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer Program. She has a bachelor’s degree in American studies, a master’s degree in organization development and is a certified mediator. Linda is a member of the FireRescue1/Fire Chief Editorial Advisory Board. To contact Linda, e-mail

REGIONAL FIRE SCHOOL Save the Date Box Elder County Regional Spring Fire School April 21-22, 2017 Tremonton Fairgrounds • Mobile Command • Extrication • Forcible Entry • Wildland Refresher • Firefighter I/II Refresher • Instructor I • Incident Safety Officer To register, email or call 435-734-3333.

Originally posted on on January 3, 2016. Reprinted with permission.

Spring 2017 | 21













E S T. 1 9 0 7

Many associate Farmington with Utah’s largest and oldest amusement park, Lagoon, established in 1886. Others think of Farmington as the county seat, with its historical courthouse and endless classic landmarks impervious to time. Although Farmington remains one of the county’s most well-preserved communities, it has become a hotspot for residential and commercial development. Nominated the 14th best place to live in the U.S. by Money Magazine in 2013, Farmington is now the home of various up and rising fortune companies. Established in 1907, the Farmington City Fire Department (FFD) was comprised

of a handful of volunteers equipped with buckets and hose carts. Farmington also benefitted from one of the earliest hydrant systems in the county and received training from renowned Salt Lake City Fire Chief William H. Bywater. After WWI, veterans from the local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) provided fire suppression services for a number of years. Although the VFW veterans are no longer involved in department operations, FFD maintains a productive relationship with its local, courageous veterans to this day. As decades passed, the department continued to update apparatus and equipment; however, staffing and operations remained unchanged until the 1980s, when volunteers became trained as first responders and EMTs. Shortly thereafter, an on-call ambulance was placed in Farmington until the department provided its own

Farmington Fire Department's annual ice rescue training.

22 | UFRA Straight Tip

ambulance service under the direction of Chief Larry Gregory, the department’s first full-time chief. Chief Guido Smith (appointed in 2011) completed a formal hazard and business assessment that identified a vast range of needed improvements to sustain effective fire and EMS services within and around Farmington’s growing community. A few of these improvements included achieving measurable training and certification requirements, 24/7 staffing, a physical fitness program, fire code enforcement, public education & community outreach (Fire Wise / Sparky Dog), facility improvements (to include a 2nd station), and apparatus acquisitions to help mitigate unique hazards such as large urban interface area with canyon, Utah’s largest amusement park, Utah’s second busiest freeway network, county seat and fairgrounds,

DEPARTMENT commercial multi-story structures, adult and youth correctional facilities, and over 150 miles of trail systems to mention a few. This assessment was well received by the city fathers; however, it was funded cautiously due to the nation’s recent economic decline. With creative staffing practices, financial planning, and aggressive grant pursuits, the department has championed many of the assessment needs and plans to achieve four-handed staffing July 2017. Over the past 110 years, the community of Farmington survived significant events with the support of dedicated volunteers. Although Fire and EMS service dynamics continue to change, the department looks forward to serving another century while preserving its rich history. Farmington FD administration would like to thank all past and present personnel (and families) for the commitment and fortitude displayed since 1907! Farmington City Fire Department – “Proud Protectors of Your Life and Property” – Since 1907 FFD STATS: Stations: 1 Staffed Station, #71: 82 North 100 East, Farmington 1 Non-Staffed Station, #72 (Sub-Station): 720 West Clark Lane, Farmington Current Shift Staffing Model: 3- Handed (4-Handed July 2017) Personnel: • Career: 4 (fire chief, A platoon captain, B platoon captain, and C platoon captain) • Part-Time: 32 (secretary, battalion chief, fire marshal,


inspector, special ops captain, 12 engineers, 12 firefighters, and 3 ambulance technicians) • Volunteer: 2 (chaplain and historian) Apparatus: • Engines: E-71 & E-72 Rosenbauer Timberwolf 4x4 Class “A” Pumper / NWCG Type 1 Engine Peirce Dash Class “A” Structure Pumper • Heavy Rescue: HR-71 Peirce Dash Class “A” Rescue Pumper • Ladder Truck: T-71 Peirce Bronto Quint / 116” Articulating Platform • Brush Truck BR-71 Fouts Bros F550 4x4 / NWCG Type 6 Engine • Water Tenders: WT-71 & WT-711 AMG 6x6 / NWCG Type 2 Tactical Tenders (1500 gal) • Ambulances: A-71, A-711 & A-72 Wheeled Coach 4x4 Type 1 Ambulances • Command Vehicles: F-701 & BC-71 Dodge 1500 Ram 4x4 Ford F250 4x4

UFRA/UBEMS Certification Requirements • All officers—Fire Officer and greater/ Advanced EMT and greater • All fire engineers—ADO Aerial and greater / Advanced EMT and greater • All firefighters—FF2 and greater / Advanced EMT and greater Department Challenges/ Achievements: 1. Due to the rapid growth and wide range of hazard potentials within Farmington’s response areas, FFD invested an inordinate amount of time and energy to educate the public and elected officials about the “method to the madness” of today’s fire and EMS services. 2. FFD created a culture that boasts a workforce of Loyal, Passionate, Professional, Accountable, and Mission Focused individuals who strive for Excellence through actions, not just words.

Specialized Apparatuses & Trailers: SRV-71, Rover-71, Aux-71, HZ-71, HZ-711 • Oshkosh / S&S 4x4 Special Response Vehicle / All-Terrain Mobile Command Unit • Polaris 6x6 Fire & EMS Module • Dodge Charger / Fire Prevention & Public Education • Haz-Mat Trailers x 2 • Support Trailers x 2 ISO Rating 4/9 (Goal of 3/9 in 2017) Average Runs / Annual 1,200–1,300 Farmington Fire holds victim removal training at the Lagoon amusement park. Spring 2017 | 23



Individual kiosks in the Mobile Command Training Center are staffed by students to simulate various apparatus assigned to an incident.

It’s no secret the number of structure fires has decreased significantly since the late 1970s. For those of us in the fire service at that time, it seemed that no matter the size of the jurisdiction you worked for, “working structure” fires seemed to happen on a fairly regular basis. According to National Fire Protection Association statistics, the number of structure fires has declined from 1,098,000 in 1977 to 501,500 in 2015. Risk management expert Gordon Graham frequently refers to the “high risk/low frequency” incidents that involve “non-discretionary time” as the situations with the most 24 | UFRA Straight Tip

potential for accidents, injuries, and fatalities. Structure fires certainly fall within that category. So, the big question is, “What can we do to train incident commanders?” The obvious (and best answer) would be to get practical and mentored fire experience with top notch incident commanders. I was very fortunate in my time at the Chandler Fire Department to be in the role of battalion captain for several years. As the “aide” to an outstanding battalion chief/incident commander, I was able to gather some amazing experience while working as part of a Battalion Command Team. I was able to add significant amounts of information and experiences to my “hard drive” (brain).

The incident commander and support officer function in a “sterile cockpit environment” in an isolated location in the Mobile Command Training Center. photography by Kevin Ward

The concept of “Recognition-Primed Decision Making” (RPDM) or “Naturalistic Decision Making,” extensively studied by research psychologist Dr. Gary A. Klein1, presents a model of rapid decision making in time-compressed situations without using standard analytical strategies. Dr. Klein researched fireground commanders making decisions that didn’t fit within a decisiontree framework. They were acting and reacting using experience gained on successful fire events without “making choices” or “considering alternatives.” They generated and modified plans to meet the needs of the situation.

I found it interesting that someone could acquire the skills strictly through a home flight simulator.

Absent the ability to actually respond to working structure fires, would the experience of using computer simulations enhance and help to hone an incident commander’s ability to manage an incident? The aviation industry has long used high technology flight simulators for pilot training, especially at the higher qualification levels. In fact, I just watched a YouTube video of a guy with zero actual flight training, except for his home computer simulator program, successfully take off and land a Cessna 172. He did it with a flight instructor by his side serving only as an observer and to be there in case of an emergency. Obviously, real flight time is necessary to have the proper skills and experience to safely command an airplane, just like the firegound. Nonetheless, I found it interesting that someone could acquire the skills strictly through a home flight simulator. As a battalion chief in the Phoenix Valley, I had the opportunity to attend command training at the Phoenix Fire Department Command Training Center (CTC). Previously our department had done command training through the use of a fire simulation program. Although that was somewhat effective, the simulation training was now being taken to a new level, as the Incident Command was placed in the front half of a Suburban (as Bruno says, “We sent the back end to California”). It was complete with lights/sirens, mobile computer terminal, and an actual dispatcher. The pressure and anxiety level more closely resembled an actual incident. There was a focus on proper size up, strategy, organizational assignments, and communications. As an instructor for the Utah Fire and Rescue Academy CTC, I believe we have replicated that process to meet our needs for statewide command training. I explain to students that in Phase 1 training, they are going to be involved in some aspect with 36 working fire simulations over the next two days. We place students in an isolated location (“sterile cockpit”) with a support officer and provide fireground simulations designed to enhance all aspects of their command skills. After countless courses over many years, I have observed students’ “comfort level” with scene management increase at each class. I have then witnessed these sharpened skills from the CTC being converted to the actual fireground with great success.

Of course a fireground computer simulation by itself isn’t going to make someone an exceptional incident commander. One still needs to have the practical, real structure fire experiences under the mentorship of a great incident commander! _____________________

Gary A. Klein, Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1999).


Kevin Ward is a 37-year fire service veteran, having been the fire chief for Layton City since 2004. Prior to this appointment, Chief Ward progressed through the ranks from firefighter/paramedic to battalion chief with the Chandler Fire Department in Arizona. He holds several NWCG qualifications, such as ICT3 and Structure Protection Specialist, and is an instructor for the Utah Fire & Rescue Academy. Chief Ward has been an instructor for UFRA’s Command Training Center since its inception.

Spring 2017 | 25


FIRE ALARMS AND SPRINKLERS: VERIFYING TECHNICAL COMPETENCY Are you fully satisfied the fire sprinkler or fire alarm test reports you receive are accurate? Are you confident your fire alarm plan reviewers understand the impact adding an audible/visual fire alarm notification appliance has on line voltage measurements? Can your fire sprinkler plan reviewers explain how design densities change when commodity classifications vary? If you answered “no” to any of these questions, how confident are you that the sophisticated fire protection systems and equipment in your jurisdiction will operate as intended to protect lives and property? Building owners go to great expense to install fire protection systems. The costs of design, installation, inspection, testing, and maintenance add capital and operating costs to the life cycle of a building. Insurance underwriters include fire protection systems in their risk analysis when setting premiums. Regardless of the financial impact, the public and firefighters rely on these systems to provide early warning and fire control to give them time and conditions to survive.

address the gap in assessing technical competence, the International Code Council (ICC) offers five professional certifications for government and industry: commercial2 fire alarm inspector, commercial fire alarm plans examiner I and II, commercial fire sprinkler plan reviewer, and commercial fire sprinkler inspector. Table 1 provides a sample content breakdown of one of the certification exams. Some of these general categories have two or more subcategories with related content.  

Table 1 Commercial Fire Sprinkler Plans Examiner Sample Test Content


Test Weighting (%)

Ability to read plans 9 Use group/construction type/hazard classification 9 Seismic and freeze protection 6 Hydraulic calculations and water supply 31 Standpipes 11 Fire pumps 8 Commodities/storage 8 Fire department connection 7 Materials (pipe/valves/fittings) 11

Verifying Technical Competency Modern commerce thrives on con Total 100 sumer education and awareness. People who buy products and services want to know they are getting value and quality for their investment. In many cases, this combination of service and skill is regulated by An important fire alarm government rules that are intended to protect the public through inspector skill is to determine performance testing and certification to verify that someone is whether end-of-line resistors competent to perform the service they offer. No one questions that we require training and certification for medical personnel. Many states regulate cosmetologists and nail technicians. Even the National Association of Pet Sitters offers a certification program.1 But what do we do with the men and women we task with reviewing, approving, and inspecting the essential life safety and fire protection features of fire alarm and sprinkler systems? To 26 | UFRA Straight Tip

(EOLR) like this one are installed properly. This EOLR is correct because it occurs in the fire alarm control panel and is not used to jumper any other circuits.

Do you know the proper testing protocols for duct smoke detectors? Upon completing the fire alarm inspector certification, you will.

The certification exams are based on the international codes and corresponding National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards, such as NFPA 13 for fire sprinkler systems and NFPA 72 for fire detection and alarm systems. The open-book exams range from 60–75 multiple choice questions over two to twoand-a-half hours. The exams may be taken in paper and pencil or online. Exam fees are $199. For more information and registration details, visit the ICC national exam and certification site at Program History The push for these certifications began about a decade ago when the city of Henderson, Nevada, was evaluating the overall performance of its code enforcement efforts. The building official was able to amend the inspector’s and plans examiners’ job descriptions to require they obtain certifications in the disciplines in which they were working (e.g., plumbing, mechanical, structural). Subsequent negotiations with employees resulted in agreements that since employment conditions had changed, there should be a corresponding change in wages.

Underground water line flushing for the fire sprinkler or standpipe lead-in is an important test to ensure the line is free of obstructions.

Fulton Cochran, assistant fire chief at Clark County Department of Building and Fire Prevention and former deputy fire marshal in Henderson, explained there was a pay disparity of about 8% between the building code plans examiners and those performing fire code plan reviews. To achieve parity, the city insisted the fire plans examiners have an equal number of professional certifications to those performing building plan reviews. At the time, fire-related certifications did not exist, and those produced by the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technology (NICET) were addressed more to the industry side of design and installation rather review and approval. When Cochran became a member of the ICC Fire Service Membership Council, he worked on the Board for International Professional Standards, where he realized he was in a position to influence the development of these new certifications. The ICC conducted a nationwide needs analysis and developed the five certifications and exams based on those results. Cochran said the certification programs are especially important in those jurisdictions that may not have experienced fire service Continued on next page.

Cold climates may require sprinkler anti-freeze loops like this. Are you confident they are installed correctly?

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Continued from previous page.

plan examiners. “If I’m a building official,” he said, “I would like to know my plan reviewers have some level of competence and [are] not just looking at the name of a [design or engineering] company and stamping it off.” Although the certification programs have been available for two years, government and industry participation has been disappointing. There are several fundamental challenges to its success, Cochran said. The first is increasing code officials’ awareness of the programs. Second, he said, current job descriptions may not require the certifications. Cochran suggested jurisdictions shouldn’t wait for a vacancy to update job descriptions but should work with staff and collective bargaining organizations to keep them current. A third way, Cochran said, is in those states where the state fire marshal establishes minimum performance standards, the states could leverage the requirements for certifications. “This would be the fastest way to effect change,” he said. “If all jurisdictions would move forward into certification requirements, we could tell people ‘if you want to have these jobs, you need to have these credentials.’” The fact that we have certifications on the inspection side, he added, provides an avenue for licensing and certification and third party providers. The Future So what does the future hold for these certifications? How does someone convince an employee who has many years of experience in sprinkler or fire alarm plan review and inspection that he or she needs to be certified? According to Cochran, “The counter back is ‘well, how you are going to show me you are in touch with the current standards? Show me you are a 30-year veteran, not a one-year veteran who did something 30 times.’” The quickest way to move toward certification, Cochran said, would be to get a state to adopt it into their statewide performance requirements. Meanwhile, ICC is moving forward with new marketing efforts to explain the programs’ value to government officials and private industry partners. ICC has begun to work with the American Fire Sprinkler Association and the Automatic Fire Alarm Association to gauge their interest in the certification programs. ICC will be reaching out to other trade and governmental organizations over the next few months. Summary Professional qualifications for public and private sector personnel engaged in critical fire and life safety system design, plan review, and inspection are an important way to assess performance and establish baseline qualifications. Testing and certification ensure that minimum qualifications are met, the level of service provided is consistent, and the certified person has been assessed at 28 | UFRA Straight Tip

a high level of competence. Isn’t that the least we should expect from people in this business? For additional information, contact Rob Neale at 202.440.3244 or _____________________ 1

2 These certification exams are open to government and private sector candidates. The description “commercial” is only to distinguish the certifications from “residential” examinations. ICC also offers a residential sprinkler fire inspector/plans examiner certification.

Rob A. Neale currently serves as the International Code Council Vice President for Government Relations: National Fire Service Activities. He is responsible for strategic guidance to help local fire organizations adopt and enforce the most recent version of the model codes based on technical merit and build relationships among code enforcement entities. Rob has served previously developing curriculum as the deputy superintendent for the U.S. Fire Administration National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, MD, and, prior to that, managing the National Fire Academy’s Technical Fire Prevention curriculum. He has more than 30 years of experience in Washington state municipal fire protection as a fire chief, fire marshal, and firefighter. He served as charter member of the National Fire Protection Association Technical Committee No. 1037 for “Professional Qualifications for Fire Marshal,” and represents the International Code Council on the Underwriters Laboratories Fire Council. He is on the Vision 20/20 Steering Committee. Rob graduated from the Center for Homeland Defense and Security master’s degree program at the Naval Postgraduate School. He holds a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies from Western Washington University. Rob has been published regularly in national fire protection trade journals and for many years has been content developer and platform instructor on codes, standards, and fire protection systems to national, regional, and local audiences.

Two New Core Courses UFRA has recently added the following two courses as “core course” offerings. Based on comments and feedback we’ve received, we understand the immense need for these courses and ask that you contact your area’s UFRA program manager to schedule these courses for your department.

Firefighter Mental Health Awareness Firefighters have one of the highest job satisfaction ratings in the country, but somehow also have one of the highest rates of suicide and mental illness. One of the first steps in addressing and preventing mental illness is to understand the reasoning behind the increases in alarming statistics. The Firefighter Mental Health Awareness class outlines how stress plays a destructive role in propagating mental illness, why the fire service is so prone to mental illness and suicide, how fire service culture and day-to-day life add to the problem, and where the true sources of mental degradation reside in the fire service. This class serves as a foundation from which all mental wellness programs originate. In a time in which firefighters are more likely to lose their lives by suicide than a line-of-duty death, this class is a necessity.

One of our current instructors, Jordon Petersen, who has taught mental health–related classes across the nation, was able to give a shortened version of the awareness class at our yearly certification tester seminars that were held in March. He is a dynamic instructor, and his course was very well received.

These are some of the comments we’ve received on the class: • This was well worth my time. I wish every firefighter could see this presentation. • Captain Petersen did a great job in presenting a tough subject.

The presentation provided by Jordan was one of the best I have been part of. His presentation style was professional and yet he made everyone in the room feel comfortable with what is considered to be a tough subject. I believe this topic and training should be delivered to all fire departments regardless of size or type. A clear and concise illustration of the effects of cumulative stress on firefighters, their co-workers, and their families. Mr. Peterson gets to the heart of this significant health issue making it easy to understand at every level.

Spouses Class: Understanding Your Firefighter and Your Relationship The Spouses Class was first presented at Winter Fire School 2017 and received extremely positive feedback. The job of a firefighter, both career and volunteer, is demanding and takes a toll. Unfortunately, the stresses and burdens of the service don’t end with the firefighter but impact the firefighter’s family and spouse as well. Being in a relationship with a firefighter can be challenging for the spouse and the relationship, and it can be incredibly rewarding and fulfilling. The Spouses Class explores what the common stresses are in a relationship with a firefighter, which behaviors are common and which are alarming, what some strategies are to make sure you’re taking care of yourself as a spouse, and what spouses can do to support their firefighter and their unique relationship. Relationships require work, and firefighter relationships require a better understanding of each other to be successful.

UFRA is looking forward to offering these new courses to meet the needs of Utah firefighters and their families. Spring 2017 | 29

Another Great Winter Fire School in the Record Books by Dave Owens Incident Commander WFS 2017

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Winter Fire School 2017 was truly one for the record books. This is the one we will talk about for years to come. Over the years, we have been exceptionally lucky when it comes to the weather during that week in January when the Utah fire service converges on St. George. For the most part we have had good weather for the last decade. However, this year it rained every day during the school, and the weather was making national news. Combine that with the presidential inauguration, and the chances for major problems with getting speakers and instructors in and out of the St. George airport were exponentially increased. The size of this year’s school was similar to previous years: we delivered 52 classes to just over 700 students in two days. Many of the classes were hands-on training (H.O.T.) held outside in the rain. We had students attend from many of the surrounding western states, and this year we had 13 students from Alaska. Four firefighters from Alaska came last year to investigate if Utah’s winter fire school was worth the time and expense. Apparently, it was. They have given UFRA great reviews and are planning on coming back every year, rain or shine, as long as we continue to deliver the same quality of training they have found so far. Our out-ofstate instructors continually tell us what a great school ours is and that it compares favorably to anything they participate in across the country. We, the team at UFRA, are very proud of this. But even though we feel good about what we do, we know it can always be better. So, every year during the school, we ask the student to evaluate us. We ask the instructors to evaluate us, and, finally, we ask the vendors how can we do better. After the school is completed, we compile all the data and suggestions to use it in planning for the following year.

So, first and foremost, I want to thank all of the students, instructors, and vendors who took the challenges in stride and made the most of what we had to deal with. It is true teamwork in action, and that is what the fire service in Utah is all about. Thank you for your understanding and willingness to do what needed to be done without whining and complaining. I can honestly say, I did not hear one negative comment—not one! Second, I cannot express in words how good the staff at UFRA is. I realize we have been doing this for a very long time, and we should be pretty good at it. But this year, their true greatness came out, and it was exactly when we needed it. Through dedication and willingness to do whatever needed to be done, we were able to avert some potential disasters that could have made this event something we want to forget about. Instead, it will be the one we will all remember as the time we came together as a team. Finally, the staff at the venues, like the Dixie Center, the Dixie ATC, and especially the St. George Fire Department, need to recognized for how much they did to make this the success it was. This event would not be possible without their help and cooperation. We are looking forward to next year, and we hope to see you all back in sunny St. George for Winter Fire School 2018. Save the date! It will be on January 19 & 20, 2018. Let’s hope for better weather, though.

I believe you, as the participants and the instructors who are the fire service in Utah, realize what an immense job this event is and appreciate the effort and planning it requires. This year our contingency planning was tested in some very dramatic ways. Due to unforeseen circumstances, two of our subject matter experts had to cancel at the last minute. Of the 700 plus students attending, 213 were affected by these circumstances—almost one third of the students! Also, the weather required our team to come together and work hard to accommodate needs we normally don’t have to worry about. When the school was over, we heard nothing but accolades for how well the school seemed to run. photography by Daniel DeMille

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The fire service is changing more rapidly now than it has in its existence. If your ears aren’t perking up in regards to the influence that the changing environment is playing, I would ask you to unbuckle your radio strap, postpone your next web surfing for fire videos, and tune in long enough to listen to the winds of change. They are prevailing, and they will be with us as long as any of us serving in this profession will be around. For instance, the role that pre-hospital medicine, data analysis, and the science of fire behavior are playing is just the tip of the iceberg. These issues already have changed, and will continue to change, our industry profoundly. However, as a culture, we have a significant blind spot that has the potential to impact our constituents if we don’t look over our shoulders. The Problem We continue to come up with reactive and response-based solutions to the need that our communities ask us to solve. As proof, dust off the mission statement of your organization. Usually, fire service organization mission statements boil down to this: “If you have a problem, we will respond, lights and sirens, to solve it and give you hug to make it alright.” This isn’t bad at its core. But if you need more proof, think of this: Every fire department is able to tell you the number of runs they had last year. It’s a badge of pride. By doing this, we celebrate the misfortune of the very citizens we are dedicated to protect. This is ultimately our collective fault. Is this reactive mentality simply serving our own need to be needed? Do we as an industry focus on response times, task level 32 | UFRA Straight Tip

competence, and specialization so much that we blind ourselves to the potential service delivery we offer to our communities? And is this mentality ultimately weakening our ability to meet the needs of our communities? Our need to intercede when things go bad cannot, and should not, ever go away. We need to be skilled and “battle ready” to rescue those we have sworn to protect from harm. But this should never occur at the cost of our actual duty—to protect our communities. Studies have proven that it takes one heck of a fire department responding to fire at a modern building with modern furnishings to intercede prior to flashover. Yet, despite our collective realization of these facts, we continue to try to solve the problem by repeating the same pattern of increasing our response capabilities alone. An Idea Whose Time Has Come The time has come for us to fix this. How? Quite simply by focusing on the risk our citizens face rather than the incidents we respond to. Study your community diligently and with the same sense of duty, courage, and commitment that we tackle our response work with. Please understand that I am not proposing shifting every front line firefighter to the fire prevention bureau of your organization. Instead, I am challenging the fire service to change its value system. What if we shifted the fire service value system from being based primarily on response to being based primarily on risk reduction?

What Should I Do? The bottom line is, better know your community’s risk. And not the Chicken Little version, but the Gordon Graham version. The sage of risk reduction in our industry got it right: predictable IS preventable. We need to expand this idea to the communities we are sworn to protect. That begins by valuing risk reduction, and then building a comprehensive solution to address that risk. Each community is different, so adapt. But whatever you do, don’t just do something (respond) and stand there (assess). Do a 360 of your community before the emergency ever reaches your PSAP. Be a responsible leader in public safety. Apply the same passion that you invest into your primary search techniques to partnering with your homeless shelter to direct individuals to social services. Put the same energy into your company inspection as you do into your technical rescue training drill. And if you are an executive level leader in your organization, structure your agency in such a way to allocate resources and efforts towards this goal. And finally, be a thought leader that walks the walk on this vital topic. All of us need to collectively get out of our comfort zone and know that the community will always need us. This is not an existential crisis; it’s a lack of situational awareness on our part. We’re experts at situational awareness. Utilize this strategically and community wide, not just on a call-by-call basis. Let’s change our attitude from reaction to pro-action by implementing a system built on comprehensive risk reduction. And that starts by honestly understanding the potential risk in our community and then proactively mitigating that risk through assessment and intervention. I’ll leave you with this: The father of the American fire service, Benjamin Franklin, said that “an investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” It’s time we invested our knowledge of event occurrence and directed that into being proactive. The citizens we serve deserve this act of fundamental courage. It’s time to get to work! Reprinted with permission from Holger Durre. Original article can be found at

Holger Durre is a battalion chief with the Poudre Fire Authority (PFA) in Fort Collins, CO. He has spent 22 years in public safety and was recently selected to lead the PFA’s Planning and Analysis Program. He serves at the agency’s accreditation manager and is a peer assessor for the Center for Public Safety Excellence. He holds a master of public administration degree and is a student in the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program.

UPDATED AIRPORT FIREFIGHTER STANDARD by Lori Howes Certification Program Manager

On November 16, 2016, the Certification Council approved the new Airport Firefighter certification standard. This standard meets all requirements of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1003 standard, 2015 edition. The updated Airport Firefighter standard is available by calling the Certification Office at 1-888-548-7816 or by going online to The Certification Council would like to recognize and extend a voice of appreciation to the following fire service professionals for their work on Airport Firefighter standard. These individuals devoted many hours to reviewing the NFPA standard and the certification test bank and developing the skills for this standard. Thanks to all committee members for a job well done! Paul Bedont, Chief Price City Fire Department Certification Council Representative Pat Vega, Firefighter Clinton Fire Department Paul Harding, Captain Salt Lake City Fire Department James Weston, Captain Hill Air Force Base Fire Department Aaron Allen, Captain Salt Lake City Fire Department Lowell Sorensen, Engineer Cedar City Fire Department Algernon Hoskins, Aircraft Rescue Firefighter Salt Lake City Fire Department Derek Shirley, Firefighter Cedar City Fire Department

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Mastering the Oral Interview In my previous article, “Preparing for the Promotional” (Winter 2017 issue of Straight Tip), I discussed four rules to promotional preparation: 1) testing starts day one on the job, 2) know who you are, 3) understand your job and organization, and 4) know the testing elements! In this article, we will focus on #4 and one particular critical testing element: the oral interview. Preparation: Getting Ready for the Interview To do well in an oral interview, you must prepare in advance, starting with understanding the process. This includes learning what questions may be asked, why they are asked, who is asking (panel selection), and how questions are scored. As an important note, neither this article nor any other article can give someone the right answers—those must come from the candidate. But understanding the process and how to present oneself can go a long way for a successful interview. A lot can be said about oral interviews, but we will focus this article on three basic elements: scoring, question selection, and presentation. 34 | UFRA Straight Tip

#1: Scoring Points matter and are often used to determine testing rank. Most promotional tests are competitive and, in the interest of fairness, are scored using a point system to rank candidates. While the final decision can be and often is based on other factors, in the early stages, points matter. Even though points alone can’t decide who will be promoted, more points are better than less. How do you get more points in an interview? To demonstrate this point in class, I use an analogy involving an orange: I take an ordinary orange and pass it to a student. I ask the student to tell me one thing about the orange, and then pass it along. There are only two rules: they cannot say “orange” and they cannot say anything anyone else has said. As you can guess, as the orange makes its way around the room, people quickly run out of things to say as their knowledge base has been tapped out. So, what’s the point? If I were to ask candidates what the object handed to them was without our two rules, everyone would say

“an orange.” This correct answer would most likely garner them a 5 out of 10. What if a student were to tell me that “oranges originated in China over 2,500 years ago and today there are over 600 different types of oranges” or that “technically, the orange is a berry known as a hesperidium because of its sections and that it grows on evergreen trees…”? I would probably fall out of my chair! Then I would score that student a solid 10 out of 10. The point is, the more you know about any topic and the better you are at expressing that knowledge to others, the more you set yourself apart from every other candidate. #2: Question Selection The selection of questions can vary, but it is safe to say they typically come from the following five categories: o “You” questions: These usually come at the beginning and are very basic questions: “Tell us about yourself ” or “How have you prepared for this position?” While not scripting these, preparing your answer and presenting yourself as confident, not cocky, is important. Check your motivations of why you want the position, and put your best foot forward! (Answering these positively or negatively sets the tone for every other question!) o Job questions: These are specific to the position you are seeking. How much do you know about your job? How about policies, rules and regulations, and processes inherent to the position you are seeking? o Situational questions: These are the “what would you do” questions. For example, “You are returning from a call and your engineer slips on the bay floor, injuring his knee” or “You have just arrived at a twostory house fire” followed by, “So what would you do?” Hint: One or more of your department policies may come into play here. o Values/philosophical questions: These questions check your ethics and value judgements. For example, the question could be direct: “Define ethics and give us an example of when you have had to make an ethical decision.” Or this question could be wrapped in a situational question as in the previous bullet point. To prepare for this, get to the heart of what you believe. Let your integrity shine here! o Last, the “anything to add” question: This is usually the last question asked. Here’s my advice—do not lose this final opportunity to sell yourself! The worst thing you can say is “no” or anything similar. Come prepared to add something—even if it is a question for them. #3: Presentation Now you are ready to enter the room! You have dressed well, arrived early or on time, and done your homework to understand what may be asked of you. What usually kills the average candidate here, though, are nerves. However, if you have prepared, you have nothing to worry about and, honestly, nothing to lose. Enter the room with confidence and do your best (like your mom always said)! Here are some presentation tips:

1. Enter the room with a smile and extend your hand to everyone. First impressions count, so engage everyone (and no limp or death grip handshakes!). 2. Listen intently to everything, including introductions, explanations, and the questions. Listening will ensure the talking is on point. 3. Understand and use non-verbal communication skills: A UCLA study found that 93 percent of communication effectiveness is determined by nonverbal cues1; that leaves only seven percent for what you actually say! Nonverbal cues includes eye contact. Looking someone in the eye establishes trust and believability. Firefighting is based on trust, so interview panels will be looking for honesty. You can ruin great answers if you are viewed as insincere, unbelievable, or untrustworthy. Here’s a great method for establishing trust and sincerity in the interview: • When asked a question, maintain eye contact with the person asking you the question. • Then begin your answer by looking at the person who asked you the question, followed by engaging every other assessor before you conclude. One interviewer may have asked, but they are all listening and scoring your answer. In conclusion, the oral interview is a staple of the testing process. I suggest you find a good mentor or coach—they are out there and can go a long way to getting you interview ready! For candidates who struggle with these, like most of us do, preparation is key to mastering the oral interview. _____________________ 1

Paul Sullivan is deputy chief of the Weber Fire District. He has 36 years combined Fire and EMS experience, including 21 years with the Chandler, Arizona, Fire Department, where he retired at the rank of battalion chief. He has been a certified emergency paramedic for 34 years, currently holding certifications in both Utah and Arizona. Paul has been a fire service instructor for 24 years, teaching command, WMD, truck company operations, leadership, and other topics. Paul has an associate’s in fire science, a bachelor’s in public safety administration, and a master’s of public administration from Northern Arizona University.

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Utah Fire & Rescue Academy Says Thank You to Participating Fire School Vendors On behalf of the Utah Fire & Rescue Academy, we would like to thank you for your participation and attendance at our 2017 Winter Fire School Expo Show. Your presence together with your quality of service and product, feedback, ideas, and customer service are greatly appreciated and have gone toward making the 2017 Fire School a great success. It truly is a pleasure working with you and your colleagues, and we look forward to seeing you next year. Our 2018 Winter Fire School falls on January 19th & 20th, so mark your calendars now!

We would like to extend a special thanks to Bart Caley from Alpine Cleaning and Restoration, Keri Jones from Utah Disaster Kleenup, Clayton Berg from Ross Equipment, and Tracy Henderson from L.N. Curtis and Sons for sponsoring the AM and PM student breaks. We also want to acknowledge and thank Kent Graham from Graham Fire Apparatus/ Rosenbauer for donating a big screen TV for the student drawing grand prize. We sincerely appreciate all donations and contributions!

Once again, we thank the following vendors: UFRA Certification and Blended Learning Utah Valley University Academics (RCA)

Hi-Tech Fire & Safety

Liberty Restoration

Kussmaul Electronics

Motorola Solutions, Inc. / Aircomm


Onspot of North America, Inc.

Veridian Fire Protective Gear

Federal Signal

Weber State University

Border to Border Sales, Inc. Website N/A

Muscular Dystrophy Association

Safe Fleet

First Responder Suicide Coalition

Utah Division of Forestry, Fire & State Lands

Paul Davis Restoration of Utah

Holmatro, Inc.

Firefighters Credit Union

UOSH, Consultation & Education www.laborcommission.utah. gov/divisions/UOSH

Fire and Fuel Apparel Emergency Reporting L.N. Curtis & Sons CargoGlide Ice Rescue Systems Toyne, Inc.

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Allstar Fire Equipment

Advanced Traffic Products, Inc.


Key Hose

Weidner Fire

Professional Fire Fighters of Utah


Cry of the Loon Art Gallery pages/10637797011

Bauer Compressors, Inc. Utah Disaster Kleenup

Ward Diesel Filter Systems Municipal Emergency Services, Inc. Graham Fire Apparatus/Rosenbauer Apparatus Equipment & Service Diamond Back Innotex



Young Auto

Avon Protection

Highway Products


Osage Industries

Alpine Cleaning & Restoration

Mountain West EMS Solutions

Firetrucks Unlimited


Utah State Firefighters Association

Ross Equipment Co. Pierce Fire Trucks Task Force Tips Globe

Utah Dept. of Health Bureau of EMS and Preparedness ess/?formname=profession al_development National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

FIREFIGHTER CANCER REGISTRY ACT INTRODUCED IN THE HOUSE On Tuesday, February 7, 2017, Congressman Chris Collins (New York) and Congressman Bill Pascrell Jr. (New Jersey) announced the introduction of H.R. 931, the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act, with 76 bipartisan original sponsors. The bill would create a national cancer registry for firefighters diagnosed with cancer. Studies have indicated a strong link between firefighting and an increased risk of several major cancers, including colon cancer, lung cancer, melanoma, mesothelioma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, non-melanoma skin cancer, prostate cancer, rectal cancer, testicular cancer, stomach cancer, multiple myeloma, and brain cancer. The heightened risk of cancer among firefighters has been attributed to their frequent exposure to a range of harmful toxins. Studies examining cancer risks among firefighters have been limited by the availability of important data and relatively small sample sizes that have an underrepresentation of women, minorities, and volunteer firefighters. As a result, public health researchers have been unable to fully examine and understand the broader epidemiological cancer trends among firefighters. A specialized national cancer registry would expand access to vital epidemiological data and improve research outcomes. Note: Utah firefighters are currently covered for four major cancers: pharynx cancer, esophagus cancer, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. If a Utah firefighter is diagnosed with any of these four, it would be considered related to an “on-the-job exposure” and most medical related expenses would then be covered by workers’ compensation benefits.

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Congratulations, Fire Officer Designation Recipients! The Utah Commission on the Fire Officer Designation Program is proud to recognize the following individuals who earned the Supervising Fire Officer Designation: These individuals have set themselves apart by demonstrating achievements in the Utah Fire Officer Designation Program’s (UFODP) four categories: training, certification, education, and experience. The UFODP uses these categories to quantify and recognize achievement. The program provides a coherent and attainable guide to career advancement. The UFODP measures a candidate’s capability based on years of varied learning and growing experiences. The UFODP can be used by new firefighters to map out a path for career advancement and by fire departments to help define promotional qualifications. It is important to note that this program addresses two audiences of applicants: •

For applicants who are not fire officers, the UFODP is a fire officer

Travis Ball, West Jordan Fire Department

David Larsen, South Salt Lake Fire Department

development program. Candidates receiving this designation do not need to be fire officers already. In fact, more and more departments are requiring designations from programs such as this in order to apply for the officer rank. •

For applicants who are current fire officers, the designation gives an opportunity to be recognized and to compile documentation of all achievements in preparation for further promotion.

More information about the program can be found at:

The next deadline for applications is June 30, 2017.

Climbing the Ladder The following were promoted: Brian DeLeeuw—promoted to captain Kelly Carter—promoted to battalion chief Karl Steadman—promoted to assistant chief Rusty McMicken—promoted to deputy chief Chad Doyle—promoted to captain Matt Hovermale—promoted to captain Pictured, left to right: Assistant Chief Clair Baldwin, Captain Brian DeLeeuw, Battalion Chief Kelly Carter, Assistant Chief Karl Steadman, Chief Karl Lieb, Deputy Chief Rusty McMicken, Captain Chad Doyle, Captain Matt Hovermale.

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Jonathan Jastram, Murray Fire Department

Salt Lake City Fire Dept.

Provo Fire Department

Climbing the Ladder Clinton City Fire Department Holly Nielson has been promoted to captain and David Powers has been promoted from part-time firefighter to full-time firefighter. Congratulations to both of them.

Holly Nielson

David Powers

New Hires at Provo Fire Department

Knight Woodward

Zachary Erickson

Clayton Clarke

Kyle Stephens

Codie Young

Camron Wilkey

Ben Jaeger

Sean Cooreman

Tooele Army Depot Tooele Army Depot would like to congratulate the following individuals on their recent promotions: Mr. Ben Jaeger was recently promoted to captain and will be leading a crew at Station 1, while Mr. Sean Cooreman was promoted to fire inspector. Both men are excited for the new challenges and opportunities ahead of them.


Aaron Brems On January 10, 2017, Aaron Brems was sworn in as the new chief of American Fork Fire Department. Chief Brems started working for American Fork City in September of 2000, where he had the opportunity to work in the Public Works Department and the American Fork Fire Rescue Department with some of the best people he has ever known. He served as the fire department training officer and has also been on the Utah County Tech Rescue Team. Brems was promoted to captain in August of 2007 and has loved working with all of the dedicated men and women of the American Fork Fire Rescue Department. Chief Brems is excited for this great opportunity to serve the city and the citizens of American Fork. He plans to continue to seek excellence through continuous training and teamwork. He plans for the department to be very proactive in the community, especially in fire prevention and inspections, to help increase awareness of fire safety. And he plans for the department to build on the foundation and the proud tradition Chief Garcia has left and to always serve the public with the utmost respect and honesty.


Penny Thomas Congratulations to Fire Inspector Penny Thomas on her recent retirement from Tooele Army Depot Fire Department. She is retiring with a total of 29 years of federal service, including 21 years of fire service. Inspector Thomas started her government career as a civilian at the Eagle Test Range, and then as a volunteer for Stockton City Fire Department. In 1995 she became a firefighter at Hill Air Force Base and steadily climbed the ranks as a driver/operator. Mrs. Thomas then transferred to the Tooele Army Depot Fire Department, where she became the first ever female firefighter. On November 3, 2013, she was promoted to fire inspector, her dream job and one she thought she

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would never acquire. Mrs. Thomas has truly enjoyed her time as a fire inspector, meeting new people and promoting fire safety. Inspector Thomas has paved the way for the future female firefighters within our department. She has learned so much from everyone she has worked with and will always consider them family. Mrs. Thomas has reached a point in her life where she would like to be home with her family every night. We appreciate everything she has done for our department, and she will be missed. Daniel DuBois Dan was hired as a part-time firefighter with West Jordan Fire Department on February 3, 1987, and became a full-time firefighter on December 16, 1989. He received a Recognition Award on September 19, 1991, for going the extra mile by trimming all the trees surrounding the old Station 25 and helping to prepare and measure out the parking lot for painting. In 2003, Dan was awarded the Safety Employee of the Quarter for the 3rd quarter. Dan takes responsibility without requiring supervision, and his quality of work is excellent. For example, Dan was assigned to learn about “Fire House,” a computer program of fire department data. He took on the assignment and was able to teach the program to other members of the department. He tackled this task as a volunteer, using many hours of his own time, without compensation. His efforts resulted in a more knowledgeable, efficient, and cost-effective department. Dan retired from the West Jordan Fire Department on December 26, 2016. We wish him well and will miss him. Jed Harris Jed started with Salt Lake County/UFA in 1974 and served a full career there until 2000. He was hired with West Jordan on August 7, 2000, as a paramedic and promoted to captain on April 12, 2009. Captain Jed Harris retired from West

Jordan Fire Department on December 31, 2016. We wish him well; he will be missed. Duane Paxton Duane Paxton started his fire career with Salt Lake County/UFA in 1975 and served a full career there until 2000. Duane was hired on August 7, 2000, as a paramedic and was promoted to captain on July 11, 2004. He was promoted again on February 7, 2009, to battalion chief. Battalion Chief Duane Paxton retired from West Jordan Fire Department on December 31, 2016. He will be missed as well, and we wish him the best. Tom Augustus Chief Tom Augustus “Auggie” joined Provo Fire & Rescue on February 20, 1984. Working as an EMT, he quickly rose through the ranks of captain, battalion chief, battalion chief of training, to his retiring position as deputy chief. He provided Provo Fire & Rescue with 33 years of dedicated servic. Provo Fire wishes him the best in his retirement. Ron Wehrle After 31 years of dedicated service at Clinton City Fire Department, Captain Ron Wehrle has traded in his axe for a pair of skis. He started his career at Clinton Fire as a volunteer firefighter in 1986 and has been an essential component in the growth of the department. Ron has also been on ski patrol at Powder Mountain Resort for over 35 years and will continue in his work there. We are so appreciative of the remarkable service that Ron has given Clinton City over the years. He will be greatly missed, but we wish him the best. Dave Nielsen After nearly five decades, Captain Dave Nielsen has retired from the Weber Fire District.

Dave Nielsen began his career in 1971 as a volunteer firefighter in Hyrum, Utah, and began his full-time career with the Weber Fire District in 1978. He was promoted to engineer in 1988 and to captain in June of 2000; in this role, he became a pivotal part of the core leadership of the district. In particular, Dave brought to the district a strong mechanical and communications aptitude that really helped keep the district running. As a Motorola employee and rep on the side, Dave has used his expertise to assist the district in lighting and communication needs. He also spent a number of years in charge of apparatus maintenance. Dave has been a mentor and role model, has an incredible work ethic, and has done more for the district than can be described here. We wish Dave all the best in his retirement and relaxation years (although we doubt he’ll relax much!). Mike Ulibarri After 30 years of service in Fire and EMS, with over 27 of those years spent with Salt Lake County Fire/Unified Fire Authority, Mike Ulibarri retired in January 2017. He says he had a very blessed career, learning from some of the best this service offers. Mike got his start as an EMT at Gold Cross Ambulance. He then received the opportunity to be in the fire service when Chief Ross hired him at Midvale City FD. He was later sworn in as a full-time firefighter with SLCOFD/UFA. He also worked as a paramedic, a flight paramedic for AirMed, and promoted to captain working on engine and ladder companies across the valley. Mike spent time creating the Heavy Rescue Program with an outstanding group of firefighters with whom he responded to the World Trade Center on 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and many more disasters. He then promoted to battalion chief and had the opportunity to oversee the Heavy Rescue Program. He served as the liaison chief to Draper, Her-

riman, and Riverton before accepting his latest assignment as the acting deputy director for Utah’s Division of Forestry, Fire & State Lands (FFSL)—an assignment that has been both rewarding and challenging. He is thankful for the opportunity to have worked with everyone at FFSL and travel from all ends of Utah to the White House, representing the division. He is thankful for the faith and trust placed in him throughout the years and all the many wonderful people he has had the pleasure to stand beside and serve. He is excited to move forward into a new adventure on his new Harley and spend more time with his family, Bobbi, Bailey, and Beau.


Tyson Lee Mason Nov 10, 1987– Jan 22, 2017 Tyson Lee Mason, 29, passed away on Sunday, January 22, 2017, photo by Gina Bell from injuries sustained in an automobile accident. Tyson was born in Bountiful, Utah, on November 10, 1987, the son of Robert Paul and Leanne Hatch Mason. Tyson married the love of his life, Haileigh Harwood, on September 28, 2015, in Murray, UT, and on January 15, 2017, they were blessed with a son, Lukas Sean Mason. Tyson had no fear of becoming a new dad; he was confident and was a natural with his baby boy. Lukas was the light of his life. Tyson’s passion for helping others started at a young age. Tyson entered into the fire academy in Provo at age 18. He attended UVU and studied fire science. He worked at Kaysville City Fire while completing his paramedic program at Weber State. He then started working for Ogden City Fire. At the time of his death he worked as a firefighter-paramedic in Salt Lake City as well as a Life Flight paramedic. When Tyson was not working at one of his jobs, he enjoyed his multiple hobbies, which included mountain biking, riding his mo-

torcycle, tinkering in the garage, hanging out around a campfire, or spending time with his wife and their four dogs. A Memorial Scholarship Fund has been set up for Lukas; please mail donations to Zion’s Bank 33 South Main St, Kaysville, UT 84037 c/o Haileigh Mason for Lukas Sean Mason. Send condolences to the family at: Published in the Salt Lake Tribune on January 25, 2017. Kurt James “Buzz” Peterson On Monday, February 6th, the world lost a selfless, compassionate, loving, humble, funny, and generous husband, father, brother, and friend. He is probably organizing heaven right now, labeling cupboards, arranging drawers, and offering advice on how to keep a clean and systematized garage. He found his piece of paradise in Kamas, where he could wear his cowboy hat in the summer, his Stormy Kromer in the winter, and ride his tractor or his mustang Shelby. Seventeen years ago, he joined the Park City Fire District. It was a relationship of true brotherhood. He loved going to work. But he was most proud of what he considered his biggest accomplishment: his daughter, Alice. Everything he did, he did for her. He gave unconditional love to his family and friends. He was a devoted husband, father, brother, and friend. He is gone, but we will love him always and forever. In lieu of flowers, a Kurt Peterson Memorial Fund has been set up through gofundme. com, to go towards firefighter mental health initiatives, a cause that Kurt championed. Excerpt taken from the original obituary published in the Salt Lake Tribune on February 12, 2017.

Spring 2017 | 43


ES 1150 Community Emergency Preparedness Now is the time to begin working on your emergency services degree or finish the degree you have been working on.

Why Should I Earn a College Degree? • • •

Personal improvement Preparation for promotion Expand career opportunities

What Degrees are Offered? Certificates • Firefighter Recruit Candidate • Paramedic • Aviation Fire Officer

Associate of Science Emergency Services Associate of Applied Science Emergency Services • Fire Officer • Emergency Care • Wildland Fire Management • Aviation Fire Officer Bachelor of Science Emergency Services Administration • Emergency Care • Emergency Management (offered 100% online)

How Do I Enroll? • •

Apply for admissions by going to: If you have attended another college or university, request an official transcript be sent to: UVU Admissions Office 800 West University Parkway MS 106 Orem, Utah 84058-5999

What Will It Cost?

• For official UVU tuition/fee amounts go to: • Some courses have “course fees” in addition to tuition.

For more information regarding admissions and registration, call 801-863-7798 or 888-548-7816 to schedule a phone or office appointment with an Emergency Services Administration Academic Advisor.

44 | UFRA Straight Tip

ESFF FACE-TO-FACE CLASSES ESFF 1360 Recruit Candidate Academy Internship ESFF 281R Emergency Services Internship ESFF ONLINE CLASSES ESFF 1000 Introduction to ES & Physical Ability Testing ESFF 1120 FES Safety & Survival ESFO ONLINE CLASS ESFO 2100 Fire Officer I Supervisor Leader ESEC FACE-TO-FACE CLASSES ESEC 114A Emergency Medical Tech Basic – Part I ESEC 114B Emergency Medical Tech Basic – Part II ESEC 114C Emergency Medical Tech Basic – Part III ESEC 4110 Paramedic IV ESEC 4120 Paramedic Clinical Concepts ESMG ONLINE CLASSES ESMG 310G Introduction to Homeland Security ESMG 3200 Health Safety Program Management ESMG 3250 Managing Emergency Medical Services ESMG 3600 Psychology of Emergency Services ESMG 4150 Humanitarian Relief and Disaster Relief ESMG 4200 Disaster Response and the Public ESMG 445G Human Factors Emergency Management ESMG 4500 Customer Service & Marketing for ES ESMG 4650 Emergency Services Capstone ESMG 481R Emergency Services Internship ESMG 489R Special Topics in Emergency Services ESMG 491R Topics in Cardiology and Medical Trends ESMG 492R Topics in Trauma and Pharmacolog ESMG 493R Topics in Medical Litigation

Please check for current and updated course listings.



ESWF 1410 Wildland Firefighter Intern I ESWF 1420 Wildland Firefighter Intern II ESWF 2430 Wildland Firefighter Intern III

By application only. For more information visit or make an appointment with an academic advisor by calling the Student Center at 801-863-7798.


Enroll early! Please note that courses are subject to cancellation due to low enrollment.

On-the-job internships are available for all RCA graduates. Application deadlines: June 1st for Fall Semester and October 1st for Spring Semester.

PARAMEDIC By application only. For more information visit or call 801-863-7700 or 888-548-7816.

On December 14, 2016, Class #73 of the Utah Valley University Emergency Services Recruit Candidate Academy (RCA) held its graduation ceremony. During the program, CAPS Dean David A. McEntire, Ph.D., and Emergency Services Department Chair Gary Noll, M.Ed., as well as RCA Course Coordinator Andy Byrnes, M.Ed., spoke to the parents, friends, and family of the class. Recruit Arlyn Ramsay was selected as the class officer for Class #73. Candidates Justin Austin, Dallin Beck, and Jaime Mackintosh were awarded the Charles J. DeJournett Recruit Excellence Award & Instructor Recommendation. Firefighter Will Mackintosh was awarded the Outstanding Instructor Award based on a class vote. Candidates Justin Austin, Dallin Beck, Griffin Cannon, Jesse Christensen, Jaime Mackintosh, Matt Moncur, and Shane Till earned the Physical Training Excellence Award. Dallin Beck received the Outstanding Student Award based on a vote by his peers. Andy Byrnes was the RCA course coordinator as well as the lead instructor for the semester, and Captain Charlie DeJournett was the assistant lead instructor.

RCA Graduation

Fall 2016 | Class #73

RCA Graduation Class #73 Picture (left to right): Back row: Jeffrey Madsen, Blake Hanson, Tyler Ottesen, Thomas Kepo’o, Matt Moncur, Brock Minhondo, Dallin Beck, Jesse Christensen, Shane Till, Loyd Sleight, Arlyn Ramsay Front row: Hunter Morgan, Justin Austin, Griffin Cannon, Samuel Milliron, Jaime Mackintosh, Wyatt Herbert, Cody Snyder, Nathan Palmieri, Ashlynn Wolff

Spring 2017 | 45

Nonprofit Organization U.S. POSTAGE

Nonprofit Organization U.S. POSTAGE

Utah Valley University

Utah Valley University




. MS 193 R E A N D R E800 S C UW. E UNIVERSITY A C A D E M Y PARKWAY, OREM, UT 84058-6703

U N I V E R S I T Y P A R K W AY, O R E M , U T 8 4 0 5 8 - 5 9 9 9




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UFRA Straight Tip Spring 2017 - Volume 18, issue 2  

UFRA Straight Tip (ISSN 1932-2356) is published quarterly by Utah Valley University and the Utah Fire & Rescue Academy (

UFRA Straight Tip Spring 2017 - Volume 18, issue 2  

UFRA Straight Tip (ISSN 1932-2356) is published quarterly by Utah Valley University and the Utah Fire & Rescue Academy (