SAFER Monthly Meeting Minutes - January 2016

SAFER Meeting Minutes

January 15, 2016

SAFER Board Attendees:   VP Wiese, Seely, Quinn, Sposato, Past President’s Gurrola and Dolan

Hosted by: Los Angeles County Fire Department

  Fire Camp 2

1000    Meeting called to order – Past President Gurrola Introduced B/C Tom Sullivan who welcomed SAFER and opened the meeting, led the flag salute and moment of silence to remember our fallen brothers and sisters in the fire, police and military. Keith reviewed the purpose of SAFER and its committee structure. The planned program from Chief Brunacini (Blue Card Program) will be presented at the Safety Officers Conference in Scottsadale Arizona. Capt. Dick Weise, an NFPA committee member, will be presenting today’s program – “Firefighting PPE”

Thanks to  Fire Camp 2 for use ofthe facility andhospitality.

SAFER email :, twitter, facebook etc.


Program: Firefighting PPE

Fact, Fiction, and Crossing the Barriers to Reality

Capt. Weise / SAFER VP is a sitting member on the NFPA 1971 Committee, 1851 Committee and the 1977 Committee as well as a FDSOA member.

Dick gave a brief description on the NFPA 1851 standard, its content and origin with SAFER’s development.

NFPA 1851 Is on a five year update rotation. (Selection, care and Maintenance – SCAM document). Some states like Texas is an “NFPA” state which means they will, by LAW, comply with NFPA standards –“recognized national standards”. Manufacturers “run” the many NFPA committees with agency representatives occupying a minority of committee seats. Design and protective qualities are measured to accommodate requests / suggestions by end users. They currently don’t test  “full ensembles”, only individual parts of the ensemble. Older standards failed to address the “hazardous material” that may remain on various PPE elements after an exposure. Current standards mandate cleaning and evaluation of PPE.

TTP – (Thermal Protective Performance) – Originally determines by exposing sailor’s to heat till a second degree burn was observed. Now tests are measured in a laboratory environment and data collected to determine the protective qualities of each part of an firefighting ensemble. Sometimes referred to as “breathability”.

Insert TTP Chart here:

Helmets need to be replaced at least every 10 years (two review periods). Helmets can only be tested using “destructive testing” so inspection / evaluation must be done periodically to insure minimum performance. OSHA and ANSI require retiring “hard hats” after 5 years for general use.

THL – (Thermal Heat Loss) – A person under “working conditions” develops heat that needs to be released. This can be measured to evaluate the appropriateness of a specific PPE product. 

“Second sets” of PPE are becoming more common. Each firefighter injury carries such a high “direct and in-direct” cost that providing the best possible protection IS WORTH THE COST of providing and maintaining superior PPE in the fire service.  

New face piece qualities were discussed: Heat exposure (tested to 500 degrees), communications equipment such as “Bluetooth” connectivity to crew Tac as well as command Tac. “Fit Testing” standards were discussed as well as flow performance.

Insert Temperature Effects Slide here:

“Routine House Fire” - 93% are single line fires in LACoFD. Most firefighter deaths occur in single family houses due to flash over. Contamination + Surface moisture + heat cause “Contamination Burn” due to “stored energy”.

It is critical that all PPE elements are inspected after exposure to products of combustion.

Cancer:                                               Insert Cancer Chart Here:

Test cancer (2.02 times greater risk)

Multiple Myeloma (1.53)

Non-Hodgins Lymphoma

Chemicals in smoke, soot dissolve in oil not water and readily pass through the skin. Full structure PPE has vapor protection capabilities whereas wildland PPE doesn’t which is what we often use for overhaul where the highest levels of carcinogens and “toxic twins” exposure. Our gear will cross-contaminate everyone who comes in contact with it, or is exposed to “off-gassing vapors” from residual material absorbed into the fabric or onto the non-porous surfaces. We need to wash hood after every fire, so we need two hoods per guy. No PPE should be in quarters, only on the engine room to minimize contamination of the station and exposure to toxic vapors.    

  • Exposure increases 400% for every 5 degrees of temperature increase.

Gross decontamination “on the fireground” is the best way to reduce personal exposures. Over 100 sets of turn-outs from all regions have been collected by an NFPA committee and are being tested for residual toxic materials.

Hydroxycolomine is a drug given to any smoke inhalation patient.

  • See the “White Paper” on firefighter Cancer – it’s on the internet, look for the second paper soon.

  • See Boston FD Cancer video on UTUBE

Discussion on “Single Layering”, some agencies are currently using the single layering concept. Now looking to provide no drip, no burn undergarments with good moisture wicking and anti- microbial fabric for under-garments. 


Capt. Dick Weise (951) 808-1914 Cell /


Business Meeting:


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Marquis Campbell- JPL

Alex Villegas Capt.-  JPL

Carlos Ulloa – JPL

Jerry Francel - JPL

Stuart Scott Safety – Building construction is changing and fire behavior is different, SCOTT is working to improve SCBA and integrated communications systems to improve ff safety. Discussed accountability system using bar-code status.

Joe Sposato ; AllStar Fire Equip / Vender Liason: Related the venders will be asked to participate to ensure adequate funding of the SAFER organization. Feb 2 and 3rd in San Diego – FIREHOUSE WORLD, get passes at AllStar table. Related the passing of an old friend (Charlie) who designed and manufactured a lined fire hose to handle 1800 psi for high rise fire protection systems. (Tested to 1200 psi) at the time.


Paul Alvarado – Long Beach FD: Discussed airport issues and the use of AFFF and related that FAA says it now must meet Military Specification. Loe Sposato added “Mil spec must all be compatible with other AFFF’s to prevent the AFFF from gelling in the tank when mixed”.  

Jeff Wilkerson – Camp Pendleton FD

Jim Dolan –LAFD retired

Russ Snyder ORCO FD: New academy starting – most are from other agencies. Has had a problem with gloves delaminating. Conducting BC testing this month.

Scott Perigou-UniMac Extractor’s

Eric Higgins Bestway Laundry systems. Has equipment (extractors etc), cleaning solutions. Sales, Installation and service.

Louie Garcia – Western States Fire Equipment. Will be at Firehouse World in San Diego

Ensinitas Fd- Many promotions occurring, Ensinitas works closely with other area agencies for select support needs.

John Cardenas – LAFD Risk Management

Scott Quinn LAFD – Open hiring, classes graduating a new class, looking at SWR contamination risks. Now sampling all water when exposing crews after SWR. Advises to decon after any SWR exposures. Working on an OSHA citation with a $20,000.00 penalty for a heat illness incident.  MUST document all Heat Illness, Injury training. Aerial Crush Injury- guy got his foot caught. A training tower accident resulted in a firefighter head injury after a fall from a prop during construction. CalFire conducted a class on “How to investigate a SERIOUS Injury Incident” with LAFD and other area agencies – suggests this as a future topic.

Jeff Howe Burbank FD: Has built a “re-hab” apparatus that responds to all fire incidents. All Burbank flashover container training is nowfollowing LAFD policy: No OSB products to be used to eliminate the associated toxins we expose our crews to. Limit the PPE used to a few that are dedicated to the drills. Looking for recruits – had a limited amount of participation in a recent recruiting event.

Jack – Fed Fire Ventura County Fire – Recently has taken delivery of several new apparatus.

Al Brewer LACoFD – Completed training with CalFire for investigations of SERIOUS Accident Incidents. Related a recent commercial fire event which resulted in four injuries from falling through a roof in an unoccupied building. Build a cadre within the county to assist any agency with accident investigations.

Pete Browne – Downey Fire Dept: Hiring soon, New Peirce Type 1’s being delivered. Having problems with new Dodge Chassis when loading gurneys due to loading height of deck. Several agency representatives offered assistance.

John Price LACoFD (Retired) Rep for MES – Thanked Dick for touching on Cancer in his presentation. Will have booth in SD, 1130 till 600 pm.

Brian Joran – LACoFD – Safety Officer: North Ops, “Blue Sheet Writing GURU”. Related an incident where an older lady pulled a gun on the crew. Another incident where a homeless guy pulled a knife on the PM’s. Related a recent fire where the crew saw only light smoke showing, entered without SCBA, discovered a room and contents fire. Breathed some products of combustion, resulted in illness at t home the next day (passed out twice at home) and eventually ended up in Hospital with CO exposure injury. Dick Weise related exposure to CO results in slowing of blood flow on arterial and venous sides.  Important to use the cyanide / CO RX after exposures. Related the LACoFD is developing standards for bloodwork on crew members with products of combustion exposures resulting in hospitalization, acceptable levels for returning to duty.   

Frank QualaCom – Provides communications equipment: sales, installation and service.

Mike Schlags - Rescue Carts Related a transport cart he designed and now manufactures for numerous incidents. Described some of the capabilities it offers and tied it’s use to injury prevention.

Mike Evans Solutions Safety – Complimented Dick on the PPE presentation and related the long history they’ve had in the NFPA 1851 standard. Related the various agency / departments that have implemented excellent SCAM programs to comply with 1851.  Encouraged all agencies to obtain extractors to cleanse PPE properly to reduce FF exposures and injuries.

Dick Weise LACoFD: KME prices are likely to increase as they have lost NYFD contract. Rosebourg Fire Equipment is looking to increase sales / service capability in the area / region.

Keith Gurrola Ventura Co FD (Retired) now Santa Paula FD -  Two out of four exposed crewmembers from the Mission Incident have retired, two more pending. One Type 1 apparatus retired as it was not able to be decontaminated after the exposure.    

Eric l. Higgins - Bestway Laundry systems, Manufacturer rep and sales / service for extractors.

      Lazaro Martinez – AllStar Fire Equipment,


  • 1200 Meeting Adjourned

  • Next Month Long Beach FD (Tentative)





Vender’s, Manufacture’s and Consultants represented at this meeting:


Michael Schlags – Cobra Rescue Litters


P.O. Box 1981

Buelton, CA 93427-1981

(805) 896-7993


Eric l. Higgins – Vice President    Bestway Laundry Solutions – UniMac Sales and Service

Scott Pereguy

1035 E. Third Street

Corona, CA92879

Phone (800) 542-6166 ext204

Cell (951) 532-7700


Tyson Raner – Systems Consultant –  Construction Innovations

(855) 725-9555

(916) 502-3414

5716 Folsom Blvd Suite 155

Sacramento, CA95819

Self-Contained , Portable Fire Alarm System


Ford Davies – B&D Safety Systems Inc. (Business Development)

(916) 765-8648 Cell/text

(800) 983-3518 Central Station

Associates with: SecureWatch and FireWatch electronic monitoring units


Frank Uram- President  -  Quala-Tel Communications

Tel (858) 577-2900

Fax (858) 693-4109

Toll Free (800) 442-1504

Cell (858) 945-1659

9925 Business Park Avenue- Suite A

San Diego, CA92131-1171



Louie Garcia – Western States Fire Equipment

(909) 510-4266

(213) 272-5680

13800 Valley Blvd.

Fontana, CA


Jay Terry   Terry’s Canvas

2925 Palomino Court

Ontario, CA 91761

Phone (909) 947-7998


Stuart Lovi – Regional Manager - SCOTT Safety

(626) 241-0093

(626) 205-2158 Fax


Jim Evans – Solutions Safety


Lazaro Martinez – AllStar Fire Equipment

(626) 255-0433 Cell


 Meeting Attendees (Sign-In's)



Phone #


Los Angeles County Fire

Dick Weise

951 808-1914


Downey Fire (Retired)

Chuck Seely

(562) 824-3225

Los Angeles County Fire (Retired)  / MES

John Price


Frank Uram


Camp Pendleton Fire (Retired)

Jeff Wilkerson

(949) 830-4087

Santa Paula Fire

Keith Gurrola

AllStar Fire Equipment

Joe Sposato

H3 Safety Marketing

Brian Harvick


Bestway Laundry Solutions

Eric Higgins



Russ Snider


Burbank Fire

Jeff Howe

Cobra Litters

Michael Schlags


AllStar Fire Equipment

Lazaro Martinez


Los Angeles County Fire

Alvin Brewer

FireWatch Alarm

Ford Davies

FireWatch Alarm

Tyson Raner

Los Angeles County Fire

Mark Mihaljevich

Los Angeles County Fire

Brian Jordan

Western States Fire Equipment

Louie Garcia


Bestway Laundry Solutions

Scott Perguy


Los Angeles City Fire (Retired)

James Dolan


SCOTT Safety

Stuart Lovi

Los Angeles City Fire

Scott Quinn


Santa Paula Fire

Austin Macias

Santa Paula Fire

Dustin Lazenby

Encinitas Fire Dept

Jim Gibson

Encinitas Fire Dept

Mike Guralski

Long Beach Fire

Paul Alvarado


Los Angeles Fire

John Cardenas

Fed Fire Ventyra County

Jack Koltaj

SC Products

Jim Evans


Alex Villegas


Marquis Campbell


Carlos Ulloa


Gerald Francel