Our Core Values: Pride, Respect, Duty, Unity, Integrity and Compassion. Fire / Explosion: 7. Hazardous Condition: 8.

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1 The Monthly Newsletter for the Urbandale Fire Department... June 2014 On the Line Our Core Values: Pride, Respect, Duty, Unity, Integrity and Compassion. In This Issue Chief s Corner Safety Tips Support by Fire Lt. Gentosi.. 4 Upcoming Events October 5-11 Fire Prevention Week Be Healthy Rob Harris.. 4 Congratulations Prevention/Training Efforts 6 Be sure to check the pub-ed calendars for upcoming events! You ve Been Caught Letters 7 Safety Incidents. 7 Around the Department Member Profile: Travis Boots Picture This. 9 UFD statistics for May Calls for service: 263 YTD: 1,250 Average response Time All incidents: 6 minutes and 7 seconds Average response Time Emergency incidents: 5 minutes and 50 seconds Emergency Medical Service calls: 192 Average Response Time EMS: 5 minutes and 59 seconds Emergency: 5 minutes and 45 seconds Types of Fire Calls The 71 fire calls we had in May fall into the following categories: Fire / Explosion: 7 Hazardous Condition: 8 Service Call: 7 Good Intent Calls: 15 False Calls: 32 Over Press/Heat: 2 Non-Emergency: 6 minutes and 12 seconds Fire related calls: 71 Average Response Time Fire: 6 minutes and 23 seconds Average turnout per fire incident: 6 people We received mutual aid one time for an EMS call. We provided mutual aid eight times four times for fire calls and four times for EMS calls. Eric Ennen June 2 Jon Rech June 8 Rob Light June 10 Cory Young June 11 John Ouverson June 25 Craig Pope June 27 Urbandale Fire Department On the Line June

2 Chief s Corner Chief Jerry Holt Pets! People love their pets and sometimes, pets get into trouble. Be it they wonder out on to thin ice, they get stuck in a confined space, or just happen to be in the house that is on fire, they sometimes need our assistance. The question always comes up, how much risk should we take to save a pet? Is there a difference in the amount of risk we will take for a family pet versus a wild animal? All animals present risk when they are in need of rescue. The truth of the matter is that if we don t take some risk, the pet s owner will. That often leads to the would-be-rescuer needing rescue. We must acknowledge the value of the pet to the pet s owner and be willing to expend some risk to save their family member. Let me start by saying I get it. I understand the love a family has for their pets. I have had pets in my family as long as I can recall. My family has always been partial of dogs or dawgs where I come from. Some of them were proven protectors such as a German Shepard named Pat that was prone to look for a reason to attack a non-family member. Others like Candy and Max were merely mutts that loved playing catch, chasing anything that would run or that could be thrown, or simply being there when you had a bad day. They were and remain loyal and forgiving companions. There were many others in my life and there still are pets in my house. They are loved as part of the family. I get it I understand the love for a pet I am a pet lover. There are several schools of thoughts on pet rescues; some departments will expend all resources to save an animal. Others are more conservative and will only take a calculated risk when the benefit has been carefully considered and still others will not take any risk when a rescue involves an animal. Funny thing is, a successful animal rescue will make the news often the front page! I believe a department can get more and better coverage of a pet rescue that they can on almost anything that they do day-to-day. Having said that, the truth remains; a pet s life is never as valuable as a human life. It is not okay to lose or injure a firefighter while trying to rescue a pet so the risk benefit analysis should be carefully considered. Once a decision has been made to attempt a pet rescue, the action plan should be carefully considered and rescuer safety must remain the highest priority. Last week, two Belgium firefighters lost their lives while trying to rescue a swan. What a tragic loss of life trying to save a wild animal. The Pet Rescue Go or No Go? swan was apparently stuck in the current and while one firefighter fell in during the recuse attempt, the other one jumped in to save the first resulting in the double line of duty deaths. We do have an animal rescue policy as it relates to ice rescue. Domestic animal rescues are at the discretion of the IC and should only be attempted if the safety of rescuers can be assured. When conducting a risk/benefit analysis, consideration should be given to the possibility that untrained bystanders will attempt an animal rescue if we do not intervene. The IC should consider this during their risk / benefit analysis of the situation. Every attempt should be made, including police intervention, to mitigate the possible bystander s rescue actions. There are many cases where fire departments didn t have the necessary equipment to attempt an ice rescue of the family pet. The end result was that the department received significant public criticism. We have even had it happen right here in Urbandale. The dog perished the fire department was criticized. Once a decision has been made to attempt a pet rescue, the action plan should be carefully considered and rescuer safety must remain the highest priority. At the end of the day, and as hard as it may be, we need to be prepared for that kind of criticism. Some rescues are too risky and while all of our hearts break for the loss of the pet, I promise that loss is so much less than the loss of a rescuer. We will take a risk when that risk has been carefully considered and when the likelihood (benefit) of a successful rescue outweighs the risk. We will not risk our lives to recover a dead pet. We will take calculated risk to save pets. We will take calculated risk to save wild animals but with the understanding that as traumatic as it might be, wild animals die tragic deaths in nature. It is nature s way. While we will try to avert those from occurring where we can, we approach those rescues with the understanding that wild animals are wild. While we intercede on behalf of the animal, we should understand the value is our effort in keeping others with less training from attempting a rescue that when it goes wrong, forces us into a dangerous situation to rescue the would-be-rescuer. We don t rescue cats from trees. The danger is too great. The cat is going to continue to climb higher and higher forcing the would-be-rescuer to take more and more chances as they climb higher. The cat will come down eventually. It is not worth a firefighter falling in an attempted rescue. Continued on the next page... Urbandale Fire Department On the Line June

3 Pet Rescue Go or No Go? Continued from previous page When attempting the rescue of any animal, it is important to remember that the animal may, and often will try to bite or scratch the rescuer. This is true of both pets and wild animals. It is their defense mechanism and the animals are scared and use their only given defense to fight. We all understand the fight or flight process and this is a great example of that in action. Unfortunately, they are fighting the very people who are trying to help. We have invested time in learning to help animals. We had several people attend the Basic Animal Rescue Training (BART) and we were fortunate enough to had received oxygen mask for animals. All of this is in an effort to keep you safe while we try to rescue our animal friends. Make sure you know where the equipment is and how to use it and keep these tips in mind: When conducting an animal rescue, the snare pole shall be utilized to prevent the animal from biting the rescuer. Approach the animal and stop at a safe distance. Adjust the snare pole to the desired length. This will ensure that a safe distance from the animal is maintained at all times. Attempt to place the snare loop over the animals head and neck area. If unsuccessful, the snare loop can be placed on the animal by whatever means is deemed safe. Once the snare loop is in place on the animal, secure and tighten the loop. Maintain a safe distance from the animal at all times during the extraction process. Rescuer extraction procedures will remain consistent during all rescue operations. Animals will try to bite and scratch you wherever they can, Keep your hands and face away from the animal. They might look sweet and appear to want your attention only to respond with a significant bite. Remember, it is a pet. That pet may mean an awful lot to the owner but the value of the pet is pale in comparison to your health and safety. It is NOT okay to be injured or killed to rescue a pet. Ever. We will risk a lot when there is a lot be gained. We will risk a little in a highly calculated manner when the risk to us is high. We will risk nothing when there is nothing to be gained. Often our level of risk is driven by the knowledge that if we don t make an effort, the public will and they will face a dangerous situation that may ultimately require our intervention. Wild animals present special risk but the same scenario applies if we don t make an effort, someone else will. Animal rescue should be considered very carefully. Responder safety is job one! Safety Tip from So many times we get wrapped up on scene with what we are doing and forget to pay attention to the things around us. We are great at using our apparatus for blocking, but hope that the below will have you pay a little more attention at the scene. I know I have been on a scene several times where vehicles don t pay attention to the emergency vehicles and they simply do what they want including cutting through the middle of the scene because that s the route they want to take. PEDESTRIAN TRAFFIC DISRUPTS EMERGENCY SCENE During a call to a MVC with injuries, the involved vehicles were moved from a major thoroughfare to a side street area. The medic was moving between vehicles (which were on opposite sides of the street from each other) so that they could quickly return to their commute to work when all the paperwork was done. When the medic had completed patient care, he turned and started to walk across the street without looking for traffic. This road was a new cut-through but not a major one. There was a vehicle coming down the road and it was not slowing down even with all the lighted vehicles on scene. The medic as well as others were all wearing bright reflective safety vests. I proceeded to yell and scream at the driver of the car and the medic to pay attention to what was going on. He turned and the driver made a hard break. The driver acted as if we were an inconvenience to them and sped through the scene. I advised the medic to pay attention to his surroundings as drivers won't look for him and his safety. Urbandale Fire Department On the Line June

4 Support by Fire Lt. Mike Gentosi Obviously, we have spent a great deal of time and energy into Transitional Attack. We have trained on it both in the classroom and at the tower. Often, we like to compare ourselves to the military as we are para-military in some aspects. How does this transfer over to the fire ground? There are a couple items worth mentioning here. First, one must remain calm, cool, and collective. I have experienced both ends of the spectrum both on the fire ground and in country. There is nothing more frustrating than having a commander that has no command presence especially during crunch time. Luckily, we enjoy command presence at the UFD. Command presence from a military aspect allows your forces freedom of maneuver (FOM) yet denying the enemy FOM. In the fire service, our enemy is the fire that is burning, growing, and consuming. Having command presence will allow our forces FOM on the fire and denying the fire FOM burning, growing, and consuming. Command presence doesn t have to mean a Chief or other officer. It goes down to the lowest person. Each person is expected to make decisions and act at their level. It is important from the newest employee to Chief himself. When coming into contact with the enemy, forces must gain fire superiority. This is accomplished by laying down a base of fire with a Fire Team, Squad, or Platoon. Then, there are other elements put into place: support by fire, assault, and typically a unit in reserve. Support by Fire elements in the military are your Weapons Squad and will plus up the unit initially being engaged, if you got ambushed 9- man squad (not trying to be gender specific here, but the Infantry is still all male for the very short, time being) with two 240 Bravos. They lay down a massive amount of rounds in order to gain fire superiority, and yet distract the enemy from the assault element s movements. The assault element will maneuver to close with and destroy the enemy. The reserve unit will hang back to provide support wherever it is needed. These can easily be paralleled to what we do on the fire ground. Support by Fire is what I would deem as our Transitional Attack. You roll up, see fire, and directly engage it with lots of water from, potentially, a larger stream. This gains superiority on the fire. Other units on the fire ground are then able to maneuver inside a structure and attack an already weakened enemy, i.e. the fire. The fire is kept in check and denied FOM. We will have a reserve unit (RIT) in case someone gets into trouble. I know we have been hitting this hard, but I have been thinking about this a while and wanted to put a different and hopefully more interesting spin on this method. If you think of it from the aspect of being engaged by the enemy in direct contact, you can easily parallel it to basic Infantry tactics. Thanks! California burrito bowl submitted by Rob Harris This recipe has become one of my favorite recipes. It is clean, tasty and cost effective. 4 medium sweet potatoes 1-2 tablespoons olive oil 1 1/2 tablespoon chili powder 1 tablespoon cumin ¼ teaspoon red pepper 1/2 teaspoon turmeric coconut oil cooking spray or avocado oil in an oil mister 2 pounds chorizo sausage 1 avocado, mashed (I use three avocados and make guacamole for topping) ¼ teaspoon lime juice ½ white onion, diced 4 tomatoes, diced cilantro, chopped 1 jalapeño chopped ½ cup red taco sauce (optional) 1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Peel the sweet potatoes. Cut them into ¼-inch fries. Soak the fries in a large bowl of water for 1 hour. This will remove some of the starch. Drain them and pat dry with a paper towel. In a large bowl, toss the fries with the olive oil, chili powder, cumin, red pepper, and turmeric. Line two baking sheets with foil. Spread the fries out in a single layer, making sure not to overcrowd them. Bake for 20 minutes, flip and cook an additional 10 minutes. 2. While the fries bake, cook the chorizo in a large frying pan over medium-high heat for 7-10 minutes. Crumble the chorizo with a spatula as it cooks. Mash up the avocado and mix in the lime juice. 3. When the fries come out of the oven, transfer them to a plate. Top them with the chorizo, onion, tomato, cilantro, avocado, and jalapeños. If desired, drizzle red taco sauce on top. Urbandale Fire Department On the Line June

5 Congratulations! To Paula Merfeld for 26 years of service. Paula retired on May 31st. Congratulations Paula!! Left: Paula receives her badge on plaque from Chief Holt. Right: B-Shift presented Paula with a special presentation acknowledging her years of straightening teeth! Left: Paula received a memory box and membership to the City s Wellness Center from Mayor Andeweg. Photos: A/C Rob Light To Fire Marshal Jon Rech. FM Rech completed the National Fire Academy s four year program, Executive Fire Officer Program! Congratulations on your hard work!! Urbandale Fire Department On the Line June

6 Other programs/training/projects completed by UFD in May: Training Report: 755 hours of training were completed in May. Fire Training: 497 hours EMS Training: 258 hours Prevention & Inspection Activities: Completed 31 Inspections Completed 39 re-inspections Completed 8 preplans Conducted 18 plan reviews Conducted 15 Car Seat check Conducted 2 CPR classes for 12 people Conducted public education for 500 people-254 children and 246 adults Installed 13 smoke detectors, installed 17 batteries. Concluded the Citizen Fire Academy 2014 Citizen Academy Pictures Photos: Paramedic Julie Stuckle Urbandale Fire Department On the Line June

7 You ve Been Caught Doing An Outstanding Job Letters... We continue to recognize your efforts. Whenever we receive a thank you letter, card or a phone call, we pass that along to the people involved in the form of a You ve Been Caught Doing An Outstanding Job letter. As of June 1, 2014 we have sent 81 notices to our personnel. The following people received You ve Been Caught notices since our last newsletter: Fire Marshal Rech, Lt. Birkett, Eric Ennen, and Bryce Landers We received a thank you note from Children & Families of Iowa for our participation in CFI s Super Incredible Party at Incredible Pizza. They raised $4,775 for CFI programs at this event. Lt. Bissell, Brennan Burke, David Burns, Chad Jackson & Craig Pope Timberline Church at st invited the on duty station crew to their church picnic on Sunday. After eating the crew stayed around and showed children and adults the fire truck and ambulance. We received a thank you note for joining the church at their picnic and for providing the tours of the trucks. Gentosi and D/E Jamie Erie. We received a $50 check for installing batteries for six smoke detectors. The check was from Roxy Ventling, Oakwood following the installation of the batteries by Lt. Gentosi and D/E Jamie Erie. Lt. Routson, Josh Boyle, Chad Jackson, Craig Jensen, Paula Merfeld, Demir Miljkovic, and Ed Palizzolo We received a Compliment Form from the father of a patient we cared for last year. The person sending the form is Sam Scott a WestCom Dispatcher. He wrote My 1 day old daughter was having trouble breathing. I have experienced good service in my life, but this was beyond great service. Everyone involved made us feel like we were family. They went above and beyond what my expectations would have been. I work at WestCom and was always proud to dispatch for the community that I lived in. I was, and am now BEAMING for the simple fact to be a small part of Urbandale EMS and Fire Department. My wife was amazed at the professionalism, and the feeling of family the staff imparted. Thank you for what you do, and thank you for doing it so well. Samuel, Amanda, Nicklas, Kaitlynn (The Scott Family) I am not sure why this form took so long to get to us but it was received 5/20/14 and this is another great example of going above and beyond even if it was from last year! Nice job to all of you!! Cody Nicely-Green, Lt. Wilson, Cory Young and Bryce Landers We receive a thank you note from Lee & Bonnie Roy (#337) for EMS week presentation done at Illahee Hills. The note read Thank you for all that you do. Thanks to all of you for providing outstanding service!! Last Safety Incident as of May 1st: 8 days without a safety incident 36 days without a lost time injury Last Lost Time: Fractured fibula during rappelling training Last incidents: 3/28/14: Twisted ankle on an EMS call. 3/31/14: U419 ran over an SCBA Mask. 4/25/14: Employee was participating in rope rescue training. As he transitioned from vertical to horizontal his feet got out from under him and he twisted his ankle breaking his distal fibula. 5/20/14: Splashed gasoline in eye while refueling gas can at City pumps 5/23/14: Door came open on 425 while leaving station-nothing fell out. This year hasn t been too good for safety incidents...let s get the streak going again. No More Non Thinking Syndrome (NTS) injuries/accidents! Take care of yourself, each other and our equipment! Urbandale Fire Department On the Line June

8 Member Profile: Travis Boots, Firefighter EMT-B (paramedic class) Length of time with Urbandale Fire: 1 month What got me interested in the Urbandale Fire Dept.: I had great experiences as a student riding with UFD. The crews were helpful, I witnessed some unique training opportunities, and overall it was an environment that I wanted to be a part of. Previous EMS experience: None Previous Fire experience: POC FF/EMT West Des Moines Fire Department since Family: No wife, no kids, and no pets. Pretty boring. Member Profile... Activities or hobbies I enjoy: Cycling. You re going down McCannon! Favorite TV programs: Community, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Turn, Vikings Favorite movies: The Hurricane, Cool Runnings, Waiting, A League of Their Own Last book that I read? It s Not About the Bike by Lance Armstrong. I decided to reread it after he finally told the truth about his past. Turns out he might have a future career in writing fiction novels. Personal goals: First and foremost I want to become the absolute best at this job that I can possibly be. I know that sounds super cheesy, but I honestly believe that if you don t put forth your absolute best effort, then you are wasting your and everyone else s time. Along with that, I look to complete my Paramedic certification and down the road I plan to finish my four year degree. What I enjoy about UFD: A lot can be said about looking forward to going to work. Favorite Saying: Being afraid will only hold you back. There is nothing wrong with having fear; it is natural. But once you start to let those fears overpower you, you start to lose your ability to act, react, and most importantly, live. Honorable Mention: It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. What s Happening Around the Department We continue to work through the hiring process for several positions.: The Firefighter/EMT testing will be in the second week of June. Our goal is to have the new positions coming on during the second week in July. Two of the new hires (Heuer and Nicely-Green) will immediately be assigned to shift. The new hire FF/EMT may or may not need orientation but our goal will be to get that position assigned to a shift as soon as possible. Once the testing and interviews have been completed, the list must be approved by the Civil Service Commission and accepted by the City Council. Once that is complete, we can make a job offer. Interviews for the Part-time Public Education/ Prevention Specialist will be held on Friday, June 6th. We hope to have someone on board by the first or second week in July. The A/C position interviews to establish a list will be conducted on June 5th. Just like the FF/EMT position, the list must be approved by the Civil Service Commission and City Council before a job offer may be made. There continues to be a lot of road construction going on. Please be sure to check the city s web site and your for any announcements on road closures. We do not want to get in to a position where a response is delayed because we were unaware that we needed to take a different routes due to road closures. Drew Stiles volunteered to be the department s rep for the WestCom Ops/tech Committee. Thanks Drew!! Demir Miljkovic and Michael Kaduce volunteered to represent the FD on the City s Core Values development project. The renovation project is in full swing. Things are progressing as planned with just a minor delay due some rainy weather. The foundations and slabs have been poured and we look forward to seeing more progress very soon. We are moving forward with a concrete pad being added to the training area. That should be poured soon. It will provide a location for extrication training that will allow us not to plug up the parking lot and travel area with cars used for training. Urbandale Fire Department On the Line June

9 ON THE LINE EMS Open House 2014 Urbandale Fire Department On the Line June