Wednesday, July 25

UC Davis: Student Resident Firefighter Program

UC Davis is one of only three universities in the country that has its own fire department and a student residency program that gives ... all » undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to work alongside career firefighters. Alumni from the firefighting program have gone on to work in fire departments throughout the United States. Some have stayed local, including the assistant fire chief, Wes Arvin. For more information about the program, click here.

Mechanical Failure Causes Dallas Gas Explosions

Click here to watch 10 minutes of the raw fire footage
Investigators on Wednesday said a gas canister leak sparked an explosion at an industrial supply plant near downtown Dallas that injured three people, forced evacuations and closed down freeways.

According to a City of Dallas press release, a mechanical failure of pig-tailed acetylene cylinders is to blame for the blasts at Southwest Industrial Gases at 538 S. Industrial Blvd. at around 9:50 a.m. The "pig-tails" are the flexible hoses that attach to the top of the tanks.

"There were 100,000 cubic feet of acetylene gas in individual containers in a trailer located at the dock area. A leak was discovered. The employee that discovered the leak went inside and told the owner of the company. The owner and the employee went to the dock area with a fire hose in an attempt to keep the cylinders cool. Before they could cool the tanks a fire ignited," according to the release.

The co-owner of the business, 56-year-old Daniel McMurry, and company manager Randall Bibb, age 52, suffered burns when they attempted to put out the fire. They were listed in serious condition at Parkland Hospital.
A third man injured was a truck driver for GWS Welding Supply who was at the facility to refill empty cylinders. His employer, Buddy Dean, told FOX 4 that the building exploded before the driver could enter.

The driver hurt his back when he jumped from his truck. He was taken to Methodist Central Hospital.

The blast spewed flaming debris into the surrounding area, including parts of tanks that flew like missiles onto nearby I-35. Other debris broke windows several hundred yards away at Reunion Arena and the Hyatt Hotel.

Emergency workers decided to evacuate one-mile perimeter around the site, including several businesses and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Acetylene is a colorless, highly flammable and explosive gas used for metal welding and cutting.

Acetylene poses a minimal health risk when burned, according to health officials on the scene.

Dallas County health officials were at the scene monitoring air quality and said they had not detected any toxic or hazardous gases.

An eyewitness who works in the nearby courthouse said the explosion caused that building to shake.
TXU said it had cut power to Union Station at the request of the fire department to protect firefighters from electrocution.

A team from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board is investigating the incident.

The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating industrial chemical accidents. It does not issue fines or citations but instead makes safety recommendations.

Tuesday, July 24

Job Security

Firefighter's Prayer


When I am called to duty, God
Whenever flames may rage,
Give me the strength to save some life
Whatever be its age,
Help me embrace a little child
Before it is too late
Or save an older person from
The horror of that fate
Enable me to be alert and
Hear the weakest shout
And quickly and efficiently
To put the fire out
I want to fill my calling and
To give the best in me,
To guard my every neighbor and
Protect his property
And if according to my fate
I am to lose my life,
Please bless with your
protecting hand
My children and my wife.

Monday, July 23

Two firefighters among four killed in San Pablo fire

San Jose Mercury News - Two firefighters among four killed in San Pablo fire They were caught in the flashover while attempting to rescue the occupants.
SAN PABLO, Calif.—An early-morning house fire Saturday killed four people, including two firefighters trapped by surging flames while trying to rescue one of the home's residents, authorities said.
Fire Captain Matt C. Burton, 34, of Concord and Fire Engineer Scott P. Desmond, 37, of Brentwood died in the blaze that broke out around 1:45 a.m., said Emily Hopkins, spokeswoman for the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District.

A 67-year-old man and a 62-year-old woman who lived in the San Pablo house also died in the blaze. Their names were not yet released.

One of the residents had already been found when the firefighters plunged back into the burning building to find the other person.

Firefighters on the scene then "heard kind of a whoosh sound, and the fire started going through the rooms," Contra Costa Fire Chief Keith Richter said. "That trapped the firefighters."

The men were wearing standard safety equipment when they were caught in a "flashover" in which hot gasses trapped in a burning structure ignite in a sudden burst of flame, Richter said.

PEPCON Explosion in Henderson NV

Training BLEVE


Water & elements that don't play well together

What happens when alkali metals enter in contact with water? (I'll give you a hint, it goes BOOM!)3:16


What is that funny sound the news crew wonders? uh oh.

Drunk Cowboy

Cowboy gets pulled over for DUI. It appears he is both a happy and talented drunk...just not a smart one! lol 2 mins. enjoy

Wednesday, July 18

Fire Crew Tests Skills -on Wrong House

ABC News: Fire Crew Tests Skills _ on Wrong House
D'oh! Don't you hate it when things like this happen?
It looked like a textbook training exercise, but there was something amiss.

Firefighters drove to a vacant house on Tuesday, cut holes in the roof and walls, and broke windows to test their tools and their proficiency.

The problem? It was the wrong house.

They were supposed to be two blocks away at a house slated for demolition.

The owners of the damaged home now want the town pay for the mistake, but they're trying to keep a sense of humor about it.

"Accidents happen," said Jeffrey Luu, who owns the house with his brother, Clayton. "Luckily, nobody got hurt," added Clayton Luu.

The home had been vacant since an electrical fire last year left a scorch mark up one side. The knee-high grass had not been cut in several weeks. The owners were planning a renovation of the house just not this much of one.

The fire department is conducting an internal investigation, Deputy Chief John Donahue said in a statement, but officials otherwise remained tightlipped and red-faced about the incident.

Meanwhile, the house where the firefighters were supposed to train was demolished later Tuesday as scheduled.

Tuesday, July 17

Firefighter Impersonator Scams Restaurants: There's a hair in my food!

Funny, he didn't LOOK like a firefighter....
Firefighters are warning people to look out for a man posing as a Casselberry fireman in order to get refunds from restaurants.

The manager of a local Mexican grill said the man told him that he took food to the firehouse for the other guys and there was hair in it, but it didn't seem to be true.

Officials said not too many firefighters are 5 feet 11 inches and 550 pounds.

It is a felony to impersonate a fireman.

Click here to watch the video.

Firefighter Arrested For Making False 911 Calls

A South-Central Kentucky firefighter has been arrested after allegedly making false 911 calls because he was bored.

Eighteen-year-old Joshua Garmon is a member of the East Barren Volunteer Fire Dept. Garmon was charged July 15, 2007, with nine counts of falsely reporting an incident.

The false calls came from cell phones that don't work, except for emergency calls.

Detective Rusty Anderson said Garmon reportedly made false reports of fires and wrecks with injuries because he wanted to go on fire runs.

Click photo to enlarge!

Training Mistake

Vapor density. Flammable range. Movement of gases. Apparently all this firefighter knew was that gas makes big magic.

Japan earthquake in pictures-WWFD?

The city of Kashiwazaki was hardest hit by a 6.8-magnitude earthquake that struck central Japan on Monday. These are photos of the damage. Here is the story.
WWFD? (What would FEMA do?)

Another reason to plan your escape!

Wildland Fires & Resources

Fire in Reno area briefly forces hundreds to evacuate
RENO, Nev.—A fast-moving wildfire Monday threatened hundreds of homes and briefly forced the evacuations of many residents in the upscale Caughlin Ranch area in southwest Reno.

Reno Fire Department spokesman Steve Frady said the smoky blaze that broke out around 2:30 p.m. was fanned by winds gusting to 30 mph and had burned more than 900 acres of brush and some timber. More than 180 firefighters were battling the fire, aided by two air tankers. More fire crews were en route to the area.

Frady said officials had ordered evacuations of 150 to 250 residences, as the flames crept up to some backyards. By Monday evening, the fire began moving south, away from the homes, and most evacuees were allowed to return. Residents who lived closest to the fire line remained under the evacuation order.

Fires Force Evacuations Near Santa Barbara- Firefighters Tackle Stubborn Wildfire In Wine Country; Hundreds Are Advised To Leave Their Homes
Firefighters tackled a stubborn wildfire Tuesday in the mountains of Santa Barbara's wine country, with several hundred residents advised to leave their homes over concern that a shift in the wind could push flames their way.

Officials issued the voluntary evacuation notice — the first since the fire began on July 4 — Monday evening.

At the time, the 43-square-mile blaze in the Los Padres National Forest had come within about two miles of some homes, said Santa Barbara County Fire Capt. Eli Iskow.

The notice covered a swath of land where Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch is located. Jackson has not been living at the ranch. It was unknown if residents or staff members had evacuated.

The evacuation affected more than 1,000 residents living in and around Los Olivos, a popular tourist spot northwest of Santa Barbara known for its wineries.
For more information on wildland fires check out the following links:
National Interagency Fire Center: Current fire information for the United States
Wildfire Interactive Photo essays, the worst U.S. fires, facts on fire science and health issues. Home of the Wildland FirefighterHere you'll find current wildland fire information, along with wildland fire photos, current news, jobs, training, links, and much more.
Wildland Firefighters Foundation: Care of burned wildland firefighters.
Wildland Firefighter Magazine: Articles on events and issues in wildland firefighting.
Wildland Fire Training Local Area, Geographic Area, National, and other Wildland Fire Training information. The home page also contains current training news and a comment section.
A wildland firefighter speaks. From National Geographic. What's life like for the men and women who fight the nearly 100000 wildfires in the United States each year? Hear a wildland firefighter in his own words.
Wildland Firefighter Apprentiship Program Information on wildland firefighter apprentice recruitment, academy dates, academy pre-work, apprentice forms.
Firewise Resources for homeowners, community leaders, planners, developers in Urban/Wildland Interface Zones.
International Association of Wildland Fire Facilitate communication and providez leadership for the wildland fire community.
Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center
Let Malibu Burn: A Political History of the Fire Coast An exploration of the creation of a fire community.

Friday, July 13

Before pallet blaze, fire officials considered closing company

Before pallet blaze, fire officials considered closing company
Click the link above for the entire story. More photos and video at the link!
Phoenix fire officials said the department was considering shutting down Sonoma Pacific of Arizona before Thursday's pallet-fueled blaze at 27th Avenue and Buckeye Road.

Three fire marshal visits in the past four months resulted in documentation of various fire code violations, including improper wood storage, weed overgrowth, and fire apparatus location. Company officials maintain they corrected the problems as soon as they were notified.

The fire, possibly sparked by an arsonist, started at about 9 p.m. and burned through piles of wooden pallets at the Sonoma Pacific of Arizona. The blaze spread to parked semi-trailers at a neighboring trucking company. The surrounding area is a mix of homes, business and industrial yards.

Phoenix Fire Department Chief Bob Khan said the fire was difficult to extinguish because of the code violations.


Employee Opportunity
Fire Prevention Specialist I:$3576.10--$4346.77 Monthly
Knowledge of: English grammar and report writing techniques; Mathematics sufficient to compute fire prevention statistics; Computer data entry skills.

Ability to: Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing; establish and maintain cooperative relationships with those contacted in the course of work; learn the operating procedures and details of the fire prevention function of the City's Fire Department.

Experience and Training: Any combination of experience and training that would likely provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying.

License or Certificates: Possession of a valid California Driver's License.

Fire Prevention Specialist II:$3845.34--$4674.03 Monthly
Knowledge of: Codes pertaining to fire safety, life safety and building construction; Hazardous materials, use and storage; Basic fire science and fire terminology.

Ability to: Understand, interpret and enforce fire and life safety codes and regulations. Assist in fire investigations. Maintain records and prepare reports. Respond effectively, orally and in writing, to citizens' inquiries and complaints. Establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with fire department personnel and others encountered in the course of work.

Education: Certification as a Fire Prevention Officer I through the State Fire Marshal's office or the completion of 15 units or a comparable number of hours in Fire Science related courses with emphasis in Fire Prevention, Fire Protection and Fire Investigation.

Experience: Two years of fire prevention experience in a governmental fire agency.

UC Berkley: Deputy Fire Marshal/EH&S Specialist II (Until Filled)
Annual Salary Range: $52,620 – $96,588
City of Woodland: Fire Marshal/Battalion Chief (Closes 8/6)
Annual Salary Range: $82,070 - $95,006
City of Gilroy: Paid Call Firefighter Salary: $12.81 Hourly; Firefighter I/II Paramedic Salary: $82,247.00 - $104,604.00 Annually

Mark your calendars! City of Las Vegas will be accepting applications for FIREFIGHTER TRAINEE October 1-12, 2007. Click here for more information!

Thursday, July 12

She told her boss she was "hung up" in traffic!

Wildland PSA

Rod Serling hosts this PSA from long, long ago. In the style of "The Twilight Zone" TV series (for those of you old enough to remember) Enjoy!

So you wanna be a hotshot?

Promo video for the San Juan Hotshots. Learn about the job! 1:51

Sawtooth Fire (Critical Rate of Spread)

This video was shot by Dominic Pulsipher from inside the cab of CalFire Engine 3582 during the Sawtooth Fire.

Textbook strategy kept firefighters alive

Textbook strategy kept firefighters alive -
The firefighters aboard the first engines to arrive on West Saratoga Street saw flames shooting from the church's steeple. Five lugged hoses through the front door and climbed up the tower.

But the fire was getting too big, the commander recalled yesterday. Worried that the steeple would collapse, fellow commanders quickly decided the men had to get out. Calls went out over the radio. One man left, but four others remained inside.

"They weren't coming out," recalled firefighter Richard A. Altieri II, who had helped set up the hose line. Altieri raced into the building and found the men three stories above ground where they were struggling to bring the hose up a narrow staircase. "I started yelling at them to get out," he said.

An air horn blasted. It was another warning to evacuate. The men got out so quickly they left their hoses in the tower. Less than a minute later, the church steeple collapsed.

"I'm not a religious man, but somebody was looking out for us," Altieri said. "We had enough time to turn around and look at it when it came down."

...Robert Solomon, an engineer with the National Fire Protection Association, said that when a church is ablaze, the first concern of on-scene commanders is a steeple collapse.

"It is a small footprint," he said. "So if you get a lot of heat consuming the wood, that part of the structure can be weakened. That forces the fire department into a more defensive firefighting position."

...Fourteen high-pressure hoses - each capable of delivering 750 gallons a minute - sent water arcing into the 140-year-old church, Heinbuch said, adding that hoses and firetrucks were hooked up to 10 hydrants.

Firefighters attached big hoses to seven aerial ladders. They also used five "deck guns" - powerful nozzles attached to fire pumper trucks - to spray water onto the roof. Another hose was positioned on the roof of an adjacent building and one was on the ground.

Heinbuch recalled seeing a deluge of water pour down the church steps while the roof was burning. "The water has to go somewhere," he said.

The weight of water poured onto the church increased the load on the already weakened structure, making it more vulnerable to collapse, he said.

At least five of the church's buttresses were cracked yesterday, and there was a gaping hole in the roof that was visible from the ground. But none of the stained-glass windows appeared to be damaged, Heinbuch said.

Four safety officers were at the scene yesterday, he said - a staffing level that would not have occurred months ago, before the department started a new safety initiative.

At a fire, a safety officer is responsible for watching tactics and making sure that firefighters follow safety rules. The safety officer's orders can trump those of the on-scene commander, but it rarely comes to that.

Heinbuch said at one point the safety officer told him that some of his men were too close to the fire. He disagreed, but moved the men, anyway.

"It just reiterates that you have to be cautious," he said. "Our guys, they just want to go in."

Wednesday, July 11

Texas Firefighter's Death Spurs Physical Fitness and Wellness Program

Texas Firefighter's Death Spurs Physical Fitness and Wellness Program - In The Line Of Duty
For the entire story, click the link above.
NACOGDOCHES, Texas-- The death of 51-year-old Nacogdoches Fire Department Captain Ed Ivy in April saddened the family of local firefighters, but it also amplified the importance of physical fitness in their strenuous line of work.

Heart attack deaths such as Ivy's receive less attention than line-of-duty deaths that occur inside burning buildings, but, according to a 2006 International Association of Fire Fighters study, almost 45 percent of firefighter deaths stem from health-related issues.

To improve the health of its firefighters, NFD will soon begin a physical fitness and wellness program that will educate its employees while also requiring them to work out.

"I think they all realized it was important, but I think (Ivy's death) made it all more personal," said NFD Chief Keith Kiplinger. "You can read the numbers in a paper all you want, but now we've seen it."

In 2006, the Texas Commission on Fire Protection issued a mandate that all professional fire departments shall assess the health of personnel and address their needs. The department began working on a fitness plan before Kiplinger became chief in November, and the plan will begin taking shape in the next two months, the deadline for each firefighter to take a physical.

Instead of just meeting the minimum requirements laid out by the commission, Kiplinger said the department plans to improve every employee, from the most out-of-shape to the healthiest.

"Getting a call and jumping on the truck and racing down North Street can be stressful, and it gets your adrenaline pumping, but there is nothing more physically demanding than fighting a fire," Kiplinger said.

..."You can be the strongest guy in the world, but if you don't have the cardio, it's null and void," he said.

Link to Blackboard

Sunday, July 8

Intense wildland fire behavior

This clip is used in the curriculum for S290, Intermediate Wildland Fire Behavior. Amazingly intense fire behavior. This all happens in just two minutes.

Firefighter Prank

Added: June 19, 2007
From: bombero911az
After a firefighter finishes his work... After a firefighter finishes his work shift, he notices his red pick up truck has the doors opened by some other firefighter in "B-shift". He knew they wanted to prank him, so he decides to prank them back...

Saturday, July 7

Another firefighter harassment case, another big jury award. Why do we keep risking taxpayer dollars?

Fire alarm - Los Angeles Times
SUDDENLY THAT $2.7 million the City Council offered Tennie Pierce — the black firefighter who sued the city for racial discrimination after co-workers laced his dinner with dog food — is starting to look like a bargain. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa vetoed that settlement, opting to let a jury decide whether Pierce deserves compensation.

Well, this week a jury handed a whopping $6.2 million to Brenda Lee, a gay, black firefighter, finding that she was harassed because of her race and sexual orientation. She cited arbitrary, grueling drills and urine in her mouthwash.

This is the third payout in connection with Lee's case. In March, a jury awarded $1.75 million to firefighter Lewis "Steve" Bressler, who said he was retaliated against for supporting Lee. Gary Mellinger, who like Bressler is white and made the same retaliation claim as well as one on age bias, settled his part of the case in November for $350,000. That's $8.3-million worth of anti-gay harassment and racial and age discrimination. When the Fire Department sets out to discriminate, it certainly covers all the bases.

What makes these payouts infuriating is that the behavior behind them has been all but banished from every other place of business in this country. There should be no courtroom deliberation regarding urine-contaminated mouthwash or the comical merits of dog food for dinner. We should be focusing on the Fire Department's heroics — on display again just weeks ago as it contained the Griffith Park fire and saved surrounding homes. As that blaze reminded us, the Los Angeles Fire Department is an elite emergency response agency that saves lives and property in one of the most difficult and dangerous areas to cover in the United States.

Yet it's also, unfortunately, home to an enduring frat boy culture that roils the department with alarming frequency. Over the past 30 years, two chiefs have been forced to resign, millions of dollars have been paid out in settlements and judgments and the number of female firefighters has actually declined. Now the Lee settlement is making news from New York to North Carolina, Australia to Britain. And gay media throughout the world have taken note.

Of course, there's no telling what a jury will decide in the Pierce case — one recently rejected the claim of another black firefighter, Jabari S. Jumaane, a 21-year veteran who sued the city for $7 million. And there's always a chance the Pierce jury will have a Delta House sense of humor. But the gamble that the city can successfully defend the Fire Department against Pierce's claims just got a lot riskier.

Friday, July 6


Job Security

City dismisses two more fire officials

City dismisses two more fire officials -
The Baltimore City Fire Department has dismissed two more commanders for being "negligent" and "incompetent" in their roles at a live-burn training exercise in which instructors violated dozens of safety rules and a 29-year-old recruit died.

This brings to three the number of fire officers fired in the wake of the Feb. 9 fatal exercise, a significant development for leaders at fire departments around the country who are monitoring what's happening with training in Baltimore as they decide how -- and even if -- they will conduct live burns.

Lt. Joseph L. Crest, the lead instructor at the fatal exercise, and Lt. Barry P. Broyles, the instructor in charge of an ill-prepared rescue team, will lose their jobs effective Aug. 2 and Aug. 4. The head of the fire academy, Battalion Chief Kenneth B. Hyde Sr., was fired two weeks after the burn that led to the death of Racheal M. Wilson.

"The message here is that this kind of incompetence is not going to be tolerated at the Fire Department," said Rick Binetti, a Fire Department spokesman. "They are asked to do a job, they are asked to follow safety regulations. When that is not done, people's lives are in danger."

Wildfires Burn in California, Utah

Wildfires Burn in California, Utah -
LOS OLIVOS, Calif. -- Wildfires scorched hundreds of acres of forest and rugged mountain land in Southern California Thursday, as Utah mourners buried a father and son who died last week after being caught in a separate blaze.

A separate wildfire in San Bernardino County had spread to over 400 acres since erupting Thursday afternoon, authorities said. About 200 firefighters worked to contain the blaze after 60-mph winds fanned it across a sparsely populated area near the backside of the San Bernardino Mountains, said Bill Peters, spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Forest management may lead to worse wildfires

Forest management may lead to worse wildfires - earth - 11 June 2007 - New Scientist Environment
This is a really interesting article. It seems that removing the dead wood after a fire, may lead to a worse fire next time!
Forestry management techniques used after wildfires may actually lead to worse repeat fires, say researchers who studied one of largest forest fires in recent US history.

The 2002 Biscuit Fire in southwest Oregon engulfed more than 200,000 hectares, over 18,000 of which had been burned previously, in the 1987 Silver Fire. In the three years after the Silver Fire, more than 800 hectares were logged to salvage any wood that could be sold, and the land was replanted with conifers.

"For a long time there was a perception that by salvage-logging fire-killed trees, you would be removing a lot of potential fuel for future fires," explains Jonathan Thompson of Oregon State University. Such logging also enables commercially interesting trees such as conifers to be planted.

Using before and after satellite images from both fires, Thompson and colleagues found that areas that these "managed" areas burned more severely during the second fire than areas that had been left to regrow naturally.

This type of forest management should, therefore, not be used in an attempt to limit risk of future fires, he says.

Conifers to blame?
The satellite data available was not sufficient to allow the team to determine whether it was the logging or the replanting that made the second fire worse in certain areas.

Salvage-logging operations can leave a lot of the higher branches on the ground where they can fuel future fires, but it is difficult to say how much of an effect this would have had 15 years, Thompson says.

He believes it is more likely that the conifers that replaced the original forest provided a homogenous fuel to the 2002 fire, causing replanted areas to burn more. Thompson notes that this could create a positive feedback, where each forest fire makes the next one worse.

Journal reference: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (vol 104 p 10743)

Thursday, July 5

What's wrong with this picture?

Pool Drain Sucks Out 6-year-old's Intestines

MINNEAPOLIS - A 6-year-old girl who sat on an open drain in a wading pool lost part of her intestinal tract to the drain’s powerful suction, her family said.

Abigail Taylor was injured in the wading pool on June 29, according to her family.

Her father, Scott Taylor, said the suction caused a 2-inch tear in Abigail’s rectum and pulled out much of her small intestine. Doctors had to remove the part of her intestines that remained, according to the family’s lawyer, Bob Bennett.

Abigail remained in intensive care at Children’s Hospital on Thursday and appeared to be improving, Bennett said.

She was to undergo surgery on Friday, Bennett said. “She’ll receive her nutrition through a port for the rest of her life,” he said.

Bennett said the swimming pool’s drain hole was improperly uncovered. However, the general manager of the club where the pool is located said he didn’t think anything was wrong with the pool. He referred questions to the attorney for the club’s insurance company, who declined to comment.

Several states have passed pool-safety laws after children drowned or were disemboweled by drain suction. North Carolina, for instance, requires pools to have dual drains to diffuse the force of the suction and prevent children from being trapped.

Did you know...
Certain groups of children are at higher risk for drowning.
 Children ages 4 and under have a drowning death rate more than three times greater than other age groups and account for 80 percent of home drownings.
 Male children have a drowning rate more than two times that of female children. However, females have a bathtub drowning rate twice that of males.
 Low-income children are at greater risk from non-swimming pool drownings.
 Drowning fatality rates are higher in southern and western states than in other regions of the United States.

Rural areas have higher drowning death rates than urban or suburban areas, in part due to decreased access to emergency medical care.

More than half of drownings among infants (under age 1) occur in bathtubs.
 More than 10 percent of all childhood drownings occur in bathtubs; the majority of these occur in the absence of adult supervision.
 Female children have a bathtub drowning rate twice that of males.
 Since 1983, there have been at least 104 deaths and 162 nonfatal incidents involving baby bath seats.
 Children can drown in as little as one inch of water and are therefore also at risk of drowning in wading pools, bathtubs, buckets, diaper pails, toilets, spas and hot tubs. Since 1984, more than 327 children, 89 percent between the ages of 7 months and 15 months, have drowned in buckets containing water or other liquids used for mopping floors and other household chores. It is estimated that 30 children drown annually in buckets.

More than half of drownings among children ages 1 to 4 are pool-related.
 Among children ages 4 and under, there are approximately 300 residential swimming pool drowningseach year. More than half of these drownings occur in the child's home pool, and one-third occur at the homes of friends, neighbors or relatives.
 Most children who drown in swimming pools were last seen in the home, had been missing from sight for less than five minutes and were in the care of one or both parents at the time of the drowning.
 Since 1980, more than 230 children ages 4 and under have drowned in spas and hot tubs.
 African-American males ages 5 to 9 have a swimming pool-related drowning rate four and a half times that of their white counterparts. African-American males ages 10 to 14 have a swimming pool-related drowning rate 15 times that of their white counterparts.
 Installation of four-sided isolation fencing could prevent 50 to 90 percent of childhood residential swimming pool drownings and near-drownings.

Children ages 5 to 14 most often drown at open-water sites (rivers, lakes and oceans).
 In 2003, 21 children ages 14 and under drowned in reported recreational boating accidents. In 2003, 62 percent of children ages 14 and under who drowned in reported recreational boating accidents were not wearing PFDs or life jackets. It is estimated that 85 percent of boating-related drownings could have been prevented if the victim had been wearing a personal flotation device.
 In 2003, 200 children ages 14 and under sustained injuries in reported recreational boating accidents involving personal watercraft.
 Approximately half of all boating deaths occur on Saturdays and Sundays and between the months of May and August.

For more information about pool safety, check out the following:
CPSC Issues Warning for Pools, Spas, and Hot Tubs
Avoiding entrapment: layers of protection not only guard against drowning, but also reduce pool drain hazards
Phoenix Fire Department: Water Safety and Drowning Prevention
Facts About Childhood Drowning
Water Watchers
Drowning Support Network

Wednesday, July 4

Sons that Dad ‘forgot’ in fire

icWales - Sons that Dad ‘forgot’ in fire
Another tragic story. Click here for more information on Alchohol and Fire Death Rates.
A FATHER-OF-TWO who had been drinking before a blaze tore through his flat “forgot” his young sons were asleep in a bedroom, an inquest was told yesterday.

After he had left his home to raise the alarm the lifeless bodies of Konnor Owen, three, and brother Kyal, four, were recovered by firefighters.

At an inquest into the tragedy yesterday their father Michael Thomas admitted he may have fallen asleep while a cigarette was still alight following a drinking session at the property with two friends. North West Wales coroner Dewi Pritchard Jones, recording a verdict of accidental death, said though it was not the job of an inquest to apportion blame it was “clear from the circumstances where the blame lay”.

The inquest heard how Mr Thomas and his friends had ordered a taxi to bring back 32 cans of beer to the flat before the deaths on September 2.

Mr Thomas told the inquest, in Llangefni, on Anglesey, he had no recollection of how much he had drunk before the fire. “I remember putting the children to bed [about 9pm], but after we started drinking I can’t remember what we did. I don’t know how much I had to drink.”

Mr Pritchard Jones asked, “Do you think it’s possible you could have fallen asleep with a cigarette remaining alight?”

“I could have done, yes,” Mr Thomas answered.

Forensic scientist Stephen Andrews said he believed a “smouldering cigarette being dropped” onto the sofa was the most likely cause of the flat fire at Llanfaethlu, on Anglesey.

He told the inquest the most likely scenario was that after his two friends had left Mr Thomas had woken to find the sofa on fire and had attempted to battle the flames with his T-shirt.

After leaving the flat he spoke to a taxi driver and two women who had parked near the property.

One of the women, Bethan Parry, told him to go and warn his landlord of the blaze.

The other woman, Rhian Richardson, later heard the two boys’ screams and mounted a failed rescue attempt with taxi driver Mark Barker.

Mrs Parry, Mrs Richardson and Mr Barker all told the inquest they believed Mr Thomas had forgotten about Konnor and Kyal.

It was only when Mr Thomas returned moments later and he was told of the boys’ presence in the flat that he realised his mistake, they said. The inquest heard he fought his way back up to the children’s bedroom, but the youngsters had left this room and headed for the lounge, probably in search of their father, where the fire was at its most intense.

Mr Andrews said had they remained in their room they probably would have survived long enough to be rescued by firefighters.

Mr Thomas smashed a window in the room to enable him to breathe before spending up to five minutes searching for the boys. After realising they were not in the room he leapt from a first floor window.

The fire investigation that followed the blaze recovered two smoke alarms from under the kitchen sink that were not being used when the blaze took hold. The flat also had two fire safety doors between the lounge and the boys’ bedroom, which the inquest heard may have been left open. One of the doors had a self-closing device that had never been fitted.

Mr Pritchard Jones said, if used properly, both the smoke alarms and the fire safety doors might have saved the boys’ lives.

Home office pathologist Dr Brian Rodgers said the boys died as a result of carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide poisoning – fumes created by the fire.

Tuesday, July 3

Methane Gas in Pit Kills Five on Farm

BRIDGEWATER, Va. (July 3) - Deadly methane gas emanating from a dairy farm's manure pit killed five people - a Mennonite farmer who climbed into the pit to unclog a pipe, and then, in frantic rescue attempts that failed, his wife, two young daughters and a farmhand.

They all climbed into the pit to help," Sheriff Donald Farley said. "Before they hit the floor, they were probably all dead."

Farmers typically take pains to ventilate manure pits where methane often gathers. A family member questioned whether cattle feed could have trickled into the pit and accelerated the formation of the gas.

"You cannot smell it, you cannot see it, but it's an instant kill," explained Dan Brubaker, a family friend who oversaw the construction of the pit decades earlier.

Scott Showalter, 34, apparently was transferring manure from one small pit to a larger holding pond on Monday evening, the sheriff said.

About once a week, waste is pumped from the roughly 9-foot-deep pit into a larger pond. When something clogged the drain, Showalter shimmied through the 4-foot opening into the enclosure, which is similar to an underground tank. He would have climbed down a ladder into about 18 inches of manure.

"It was probably something he had done a hundred times," Farley said. "There was gas in there and he immediately succumbed."

Click here to read the rest of the story!

BBQ Expert Dave Foley

Summer safety and BBQ fun. From the Craig Killborn show. 3:14

Safety First on the 4th! - tons of free videos!
A funny PSA? for firework safety. :32

Is that a roman candle in your pants? - tons of free videos!
Kids, don't try this at home. God has a sense of humor.

The dog who got a firework

Nothing says 4th of July like fireworks and HOT DOGS! roflmao. Enjoy! :23

Fireworks Accident Caught On Tape

This was a fire in a fireworks factory in the Netherlands.


Check out this website about Fireworks! from Nova.
This explosive NOVA presents the colorful history of pyrotechnics and reveals how hi-tech firing systems are transforming public displays into a dazzling, split-second science. Here's what you'll find online:
Name That Shell
Watch video clips of fireworks bursting in air and find out how well you know your chrysanthemums from your peonies, your roman candles from your palm trees.

Anatomy of a Firework
Where you see brilliant light and vivid color, a pyrotechnician sees a successful lift charge, black powder mix, time-delay fuse, bursting charge, and other essential ingredients.

Pyrotechnically Speaking
Dr. John Conkling, adjunct professor of chemistry at Washington College and former executive director of the American Pyrotechnics Association, describes what it is about fireworks that gets him, well, all fired up.

On Fire (Hot Science)
This virtual laboratory lets you explore the basics of combustion, including how a fire ignites, what a flame is made of, and how burning molecules rearrange themselves.

If you like that, you might also be interested in the following sites
The Science Behind Fireworks
Chemistry of Fireworks Colors
National Campaign for Firework Safety -A UK site dedicated to the safe use of fireworks and to the prevention of firework injuries.
Absolutely for Firework Safety -
Before any fireworks display read these safety guidelines to make sure that you and your family is safe from the potential hazards of Fireworks Display.
Firework Safety Tips -To help you celebrate safely this Fourth of July, we offer safety tips on choosing, handling and attending firework displays.
More resources for fireworks, click here!