Board Members in attendance: Scott Quinn, VP; Joe Sposato, Vendor Liaison; Tony Durán, Treasurer.
Attendance: Adam Bandos, LAFD; Frank Uram, QualaTel; Tracy Rose, LineGear Fire; Tom Foley, Workrite; Kelly Whitt, Workrite; Lazaro Martinez, MES; David Molinatti, ISC; Barry Owens, Cal Fire - Riverside; Steve Hoyle, Cal Fire Museum; Eric Higgins, Bestway Laundry; Aaron Ford, Super Vac; Tom MArtin, Responder Solutions; Joe Sposato, AllStar Fire Equipment; Jack Koltaj, Fed Fire Ventura County; Tony Durán, SAFER Treasurer; Jeff Wiljerson CPEN (Retired); Abel Ramos, Tempest Tech; Alexis Labbe, Tempest Leader; Jim Evans, Solutions Safety' James Golodzinier, LACoFD
The November 17, 2017 meeting was hosted by the National Technology and Development Program, San Dimas, California. The meeting was opened at 0930 hours by SAFER V.P., Scott Quinn by welcoming everyone in attendance and leading us in the pledge of allegiance and a moment of silence. Refreshements were provided by VP Scott Quinn and Tracy Rabe of Line Gear Fire. He then introduced our hosts and speaker.
The presenter, Robert R. Manwaring, Fire Equipment Specialist with NTDP and a former USFS Firefighter, provided an overview of the center and the projects that the centers in San Dimas and Missoula, Montana focused on through 2017. The highlights of the program were:
Fuel Geysering - a phenomenon occurring when fuel caps were removed from tools or storage bottles that caused the fuel to suddenly shoot out "geyser" out of the storage compartment. This event has occurred in several locations throughout the United States and causes fuel to spill out, often causing the operator to be drenched with fuel. Only one event has been noted in California. The event occurred in the Sierra Nevadas and it is unknown where the fuel involved in the event was purchased. It is believed that with all the regulations on California fuel, this may fortuitously prevented the described event from occurring. It is still not clear why the events occur. The centers have been testing fuel containers to determine if their design was in some way a factor in this event phenomenon. Check out: http://bit.ly/fuelgeyser_home for further information and to report events.
Situational Awareness for ground operations - technology is being developed to its most advantageous ability by allowing the leadership on the fire ground to locate and track various pieces of information in real time. The objective of the program is to provide a recommendation for situational awareness systems for ground operations.
Vehicle Test using the Wildland Flame Front Simulator - the survivability of vehicles when faced with direct flame impingement was tested. As a result of similar testing, Australia is replacing all synthetic materials in the interior of its apparatus with natural fibers to increase the survivability inside the cab of an engine. It has been noted that the glass windows are the universal weak point of the apparatus.
Ignition Potential for Handheld Mechanized Equipment - the experiments attempted to determine under what conditions sparks from equipment may ignite dry brush. It was interesting to note that even though many sparks may be created, not all contain the heat potential to ignite a material.
Discussion of Vehicle Specifications and Standards - the discussion focused on reducing the cab crush potential during a rollover accident. The center is working with the apparatus manufacturers to build rated roll cages in cabs. It has been noted that the rear "fire package" acts as an impromptu roll protection (see photo). Structural polyfoam may be added in the ABC posts and roof structure of the apparatus. The US is way behind Australia and other European countries' standards.
The centers are looking at water handling equipment.
Pulaskis - the centers noted that this popular hand tool has not changed design since its inception. Firefighters, however, are taller and have been suffering from bending injuries. The handles' lengths have been tested from 36" to 48" and it is believed that a 42" handle is optimum for the comfort of the firefighter without compromising the strength of the tool's handle. (Greater lengths than 42" were breaking during use). A summary of the projects for 2018 was provided. A tour of the facility followed the presentation. Everyone in attendance was given a commemorative pin of the facility.
Cal/OSHA: No report
NFPA - Dick Weise had just returned from an NFPA meeting and was unable to attend this meeting. Tom Martin reported that there will be a task group meeting of NFPA 1851, PPE Care and Maintenance, on January 9, 10 & 11, 2018 in Los Angeles at the Airport Marriot. Jim Evans offered that there have been rewrites of four chapters. There are more guidelines specific to building an SOP. "Gross DECON" and scene mitigation (of PPE contaminated with products of combustion, i.e., potentially cancerous) has suggested that personnel will bag their PPE and store the bags outside of the passenger areas of the appratus, unless the bags are of a filtered type. Personnel must have a second set of PPE available or be out-of-service until after they are able to obtain a clean set of PPE. California AB2146 is currently going through a financial feasibility study and, if passed, the state will have to fund AB2146. Barry Owens, Cal Fire, Riverside provided a brief overview of a Cal/OSHA violation they received regarding this issue.
Apparatus: No report
Vendor Liaison - Firehouse World will be moving its venue as San Diego is too far and difficult to reach due to the traffic. Most vendors do not remain overnight. The new venue has not been decided at the time of this meeting.
Treasurer report - $XXX - checking, $XXX - savings. As the year ends, everyone is now due for 2018.
Alexis Labbe, Tempest Leader informed the group of the Fresno Training Officers Conference.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 1200 hours.
December meeting: December 15, 2017 at Santa Fe Springs Fire Department, check the website for details.