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Monday, April 7, 2014

The Conversation at Lunch: Body Armor on the Shooting Range

Shakopee officers put on body armor before heading
to the range at the SCALE Regional Training Center.
Does your police department require everyone on the shooting range to wear body armor? That was the conversation at lunch at one of the recent loss control workshops. The answer for a number of officers at the table was “no.”

“It’s crazy that we don’t,” was one of the remarks. Another officer added: “It’s the one day you know you are going to be around gunfire.” While range officers and safety officers do everything they can to prevent accidental discharges and they very rarely happen, they still do happen. We also have officers injured when a bullet strikes something in the backstop and pieces of it ricochet back at the officers. It happens.

The discussion began to focus on why? Some thought that because many of the officers are off duty and in civilian clothes, that somehow translates into the idea that they don’t need their vest. But body armor and shooting ranges go together, just like body armor and uniforms go together. 

Body armor needs to be mandatory for everyone at the range, and it needs to be a policy. If it is not department policy, make it your policy. On that we had complete agreement!

Remember:

                                                    Responder Safety = Public Safety



Up next…More Conversation From the Workshops

In the meantime, stay safe and be careful.



Rob

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Annual Spring Loss Control Workshops

The LMCIT Spring Loss Control Workshops start March 25. This year, we are offering a full day of public safety training.

The morning Police Track will start with a workshop entitled “Keeping the Cart in Front of the Horse,” which will focus on managing changing technology. The session “Why Police Reports Are a Big Deal” will concentrate on police reports. This class has been requested by police administrators from around the state and will offer practical tips and simple strategies for writing quality police reports.

The Fire Track is back this year, offering firefighters an afternoon of sessions with very interesting titles: “Avoiding the Big Hurt,” “I Could See It Coming–The Training Safety Officer Program,” and “Avoid the Burn–Hot HR Topics for Fire Departments.”

The $20 registration fee includes course materials, snacks, and lunches. If you are attending one of the half-day sessions, you are welcome to attend any of the other courses being offered throughout the day.

Locations and Dates
March 25–Bemidji
March 26–Fergus Falls
April 2–Springfield
April 9–Duluth
April 16–Brooklyn Park
April 17–Rochester
April 22–St. Cloud
April 24–St. Paul

Register today at: www.lmc.org/LCW14RB

Remember:

                                                      Responder Safety = Public Safety



Up next…A Report From the Workshops

In the meantime, stay safe and be careful.



Rob

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Perham Fire

Firefighters battled flames throughout the night.
It was interesting that almost all of the news reports covering the January 21 large potato warehouse fire in Perham mentioned the emphasis on firefighter safety. This quote from Fire Chief Mark Schmidt was typical of the on-scene coverage: "There's a lot of freezing water going on, so we want to make sure no one slips and falls and gets hurt.” And no one did get hurt.

The Numbers
The “numbers” make that accomplishment even more impressive. The firefighting efforts during this incident involved 17 fire departments, 130 firefighters, 17 water tankers, 3 ladder trucks, -20F temperature, and a gusty wind that drove the wind chills down to -30F. The responders also pumped 1.2 million gallons of water.

Communications and Coordination
Chief Schmidt added that communication went well and described how three radio channels were used to keep the operation coordinated. Due to the size and location of the warehouse, water had to be trucked in to crews working on one side of the building. The tanker operation needed to synchronize the truck’s movements with the fill and dump sites, while tankers were guided through heavy smoke and maneuvered into position. They were assigned their own radio talk group that functioned similarly to an airport flight control system. 

Cooperation
The chief cannot talk about the fire without crediting the good working relationship with the surrounding departments. He is also quick to thank and credit the county dispatchers, area law enforcement, the Perham hospital, the Salvation Army, and Bauck Busing for providing a bus for firefighter rehab.
Firefighters worked in brutal conditions with no injuries.


Safety
In an open letter of appreciation, the chief wrote: “Thanks to all the firefighters for staying disciplined and keeping safety in high regard. I’m very proud of the command staff that I had around me that night, and how well they did with giving me information so we could make decisions to best keep all fire operations running smoothly and safely.”

This fire serves as a good example as to how communication, cooperation, and coordination are linked to fire scene safety. Congratulations to the Perham-area public safety responders.

Remember:

                                             Responder Safety = Public Safety



Up next…A Loss Control Workshops Preview

In the meantime, stay safe and be careful.



Rob