SAFER Monthly Meeting Minutes - August 2018

SAFER Meeting Minutes

August 17, 2018

SAFER Board Attendees:  Past President Duran , President Quinn,  Wilkerson, Seely , Vendor Liaison Sposato, Russ Snyder   

Orange County Fire Authority Headquarters / Training Center

0940    Meeting called to order – President Quinn, welcomed SAFER and opened the meeting, Russ Snyder led the flag salute and a moment of silence for those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice. Assistant Chief Sanchez welcomed SAFER to the OCFA and related his experience with SAFER as a young firefighter and realizing the value of the organization as he grew and promoted within the OCFA. He thanked the fire service membership and venders for attending the meeting today -.  “Make a change for the better”. He related the importance of the efforts being made to prevent the occurrences of Cancers in our profession.


Committee Reports:

NFPA – Dick Weise – Absent - Nothing to report

Cal-OSHA –  Scott Hudson (via email): A Grant opportunity to Provide Health and Safety Training:

OSHA Susan Harwood Training Grant Program is accepting applications to provide training and education programs. State or local government agencies are not eligible to apply. So, your fire department would not be eligible, but employer associations and labor unions would be. So, your fire unions could apply for this grant. There is not much time but maybe there might be a current program that could qualify.

If interested you can go to the OSHA website or call 847-759-7700. Applications are due by September 2nd.

If you have any questions. Please let me know

Vendor Liaison – FH World will be in LA City March 24-28, 2019 at the Downtown Convention Center.  FRI last week in Dallas, was well attended. Reno November 6,7 & 8, 2018. Grants are being awarded for facilities. Recommends getting a professional grant writer to help with your grant applications. (Over 90% success). Vendors need to be members of SAFER ($100 / Year) to help support the ongoing SAFER program.

Safety and Training: Nothing reported

Apparatus: Nothing reported

Technology – See Website, Facebook, twitter, linkedin

Treasurer – Savings and Checking was reported to meeting attendees. (Not posted herein for privacy / security reasons)

Communications – Tracy / Tony: Please “sign-in” to receive emails and be included on meeting minutes. 


Up Coming Event:

Behavioral Health Conference – October 24 or 25, 2018 – 0900-1700 Hrs.

Hosted by Orange County Fire Authority

1 Fire Authority Road, Irvine 92602


Kim Lightley – USFS / Pineville Hotshots

South Canyon Fire on Storm King Mountain Survivor – NFFF Stress First Aid for Wildland Firefighters


Battalion Chief Joe Krebbs and Firefighter Frank Ungaro – FDNY

Founders of Peer and Family Support Services FDNY (established 9/12/2001)


Fire Chief Frank Babinec and Captain Chris Bator – Coral Springs – Parkland FD

Captain Bator – President of Florida Firefighters Safety and Health Collaborative


Captain Jeremy Hurd – Palm Beach County Fire Rescue

Mental Wellness Director of Florida Firefighters Safety and Health Collaborative


**To enroll, visit:





Program: Cancer Prevention in the Fire Service

Presented by: Captain Jeff Hughes – OCFD & Dr. Jeffery Burgess

Capt. Hughes (OCFA) opened the presentation on the status of the OCFA Cancer Awareness / Prevention program(s). Capt. Hughes related the evolution of the OCFA’s program and its openness to offer “lessons learned” from their experience(s). OC has an individual with an “Industrial Hygienist” background in their Risk Management Department. He discussed the new video the agency produced dealing with cancer.

Insert Video here:

“Two out of three professional firefighters will be diagnosed with cancer in their lives”

PowerPoint Notes:

“Taking a Stand Against Cancer “ – The Organizational Changes

August 2017 SAFER Meeting Presentation

New OCFA Cancer Awareness Video

Instructor Lead CA


CDC States that man have a 1 in 2 lifetime risk of developing CA

Firefighter’s have a 9% higher risk of getting Ca and 14% higher risk of dying from Cancer.

Risk Management Options – Hierarchy of controls slide shown

Org changes vs Cultural changes slide shown.

OCFA Gold Standard: Discussed OCFA CAPP components / SOP’s:

  1. Create emotional impactful video

  2. Deliver instructor lead awareness to all members

  3. Branding Campaign

  1. Posters

  2. Clean Air

  3. Clean Body

  4. Clean Gear

  1. Policies & Procedures

  2. State and National Outreach

  3. Selection Care and Maintenance of Protective Ensembles for Structural FF

  1. PPE Exchange Programs – Second Set,  Flash Hoods, Structure Gloves, Helmet liners

  1. Respiratory Protection

  2. Use of Multi-Rae 6 gas monitor

  3. Use of Exhaust Extraction (DRAFT)

  1. Proper Use of System

  2. Pneumatic

  3. Magnetic

  4. Preventative Maintenance Program

  1. Post fire Decon Procedures (DRAFT). Video being developed.

  1. “While effective at removing PAH had no apparent effect on VOC concentrations as decontaminated gear provided similar off gas levels as the gear…”

  2. “Cleansing wipes were able to reduce PAH contamination on neck skin by a median of 54%” (Removing Metal Oxides is the goal)

  3. Clean CAB measures – SCBA & other contaminated gear OUTSIDE of crew cabs.

  4. Exposure Reporting:


  2. California Professional Firefighters PER

  3. CSFA

  1. Asbestos Exposure During Emergency Incidents (DRAFT)

  1. Suspected in structures built pre-1980

  2. Deconstructing is what we do

  3. Firefighters have more than 100% greater risk of getting mesothelioma

  4. 30-50 year latency period

  5. Asbestos testing is available, but tedious to perform. – New ISP is available in Corona who can test and clean PPE with asbestos exposure.

  1. How clean is clean?

  2. ISP’s

  3. Sampling Procedures

  4. What about other tools and equipment?

  1. Micro Learning

  1. “Potty” Training

  2. 52 Small Training Nuggets

  3. “QR” Code training products

  4. Video or written

  1. Investigators

  1. SCBA Use

  2. PAPR / w-CBRN Filters

  3. Wipes

  4. Decon for Work Vehicles

  5. PPE DECON (Periodic)

  1. NESTE Renewable Fuel

  1. 100% renewable & Sustainable

  2. Up to

  3. ....

  1. FACE Team:

  1. 30 Members Strong

  2. Decentralizes Work

  3. Training Opportunities

  1. Vehicle DECON

  1. Equipment exposed ….

  1. Research Projects

  1. Statistical Power

  2. Incidence VS Mortality

  3. Examination of risks in other groups

  1. Control for potential bias – “Healthy Worker Effect”

DR. Jeff Burgess MD, MS, MPH - University of Arizona

Dr. Burgess Conducting research and analysis of Firefighter Health and Safety related to toxic / carcinogen exposure(s).

  1. Evaluate carcinogen exposures

  2. Measure biomarkers of carcinogenic (epigenetic_ effect)

  3. Reduce fire service carcinogenic  exposures

  4. Inhalation and dermal exposure


  1. Fireground Urinary PAH-OH Results slide shown – notable observation was engineers had similar results. Tucson FD now has pump operators on SCBA. Investigators now wear smaller “industrial” SCBA’s and Tyvek suits.

  2. 1-Naphthol slide showed results of intervention effectiveness in Tucson, AZ.

Cancer Pathways – Latency period 5-30+ years 

  1. Exposure

  2. Cellular

  3. Cancer

Epigenetic Changes –

  1. Changes in gene expression with changes in DNA sequence


MicroRNA Results showed incumbent firefighters genetic changes are related to Cancer occurance.

Firefighter Cancer Cohort Study (>10,000 subjects) was described by Dr. Burgess. Program goals and aims were shown.

Colorectal Cancer is 30% increase in firefighters – is “low handing fruit” in the battle against Cancer.

Other chemicals and known carcinogens are possibly going to be added to the studies at the request of stakeholders (CPF, IAFF and others).

Question: is exposure to “purple water” being used for training at risk for firefighters?

Answer: This has not been studied by the above study programs but he wanted to follow-up with the questioner. Note: “purple water – reclaimed waste water” does NOT meet AWWA standards for domestic use.

Question: Have there been any studies on the use of sauna after fire incidents?

Answer- No data yet, but Tucson, AZ is conducting a local study at this time.

Question: Has fire scene contamination transfer to station vistors, family and citizen – patients been documented.

Answer: Tests have been done to demonstrate the transfer using a dye material. 


How can you dispel the notion that a particular station is a “Cancer Cluster” workplace.

Dr. Burgess related that epidemiologist’s typically study and identify “Cancer Clusters” after study of occurrences. Epidemiologists are available through Health agencies, Universities and NIH.


Captain Hughes related his availability to present this program to other agencies or to share program resources with others.

Captain Jeff Hughes – OCFA – Operations Training and Safety

(714) 573-6756

(949) 560-7197





Steve Hoyle – California Fire Museum

Jack Koltaj – Ventura County Federal FD

Cristina Hero Wipes – Acquired Rescue wipes , Now DBA Rescue Wipes, Has Fire Decon and EMS Decon Wipes.

Tracy Rabe – Line Gear – New Catalog available

Jon Hunter – Swede Rescue Systems – Has a line of Swedish Rescue Equipment – Has a new Decon system to clean tools, SCBA Masks etc..Known as Solar Rescue

Dr. Burgess – Thanked SAFER for the opportunity to present his study information.

Jeff Wilkerson Camp Pendleton (Retired) - Calif Fire Museum moving along slowly.

Bill  Ward – Pump Pod - Helo Pod developed (A dip tank device)           Has a system to pump test, train pump ops and save water.

Steve Hanks – SCOTT Safety – Discussed XP-Pro has a removable harness and waist pad for decontamination. Demonstration units are available.  

Russ Snyder – ORCO – Nothing to add.

Justin Carr – Newport Beach – First time at SAFER – Hosting SAFER in November.

Kirk Owen – Veridian – Update on 1851 – Meeting Sept in Fort Lauderdale to finalize updates on 1851, release expected next year. Study Identified hazardous material on gear, how to clean and how to measure cleanliness. Best practices are being defined, maintenance standards and methods. Cleaning techniques must be accredited as being effective.

Jordan Evans – Citrosqueeze – Developed a Gross Decon SOP available.  

Bob Wood – CalFire Riverside – Has Double set of PPE per employee. Have new extractors in several spots in the organization including the drill tower. Has cooling containers for heat injury prevention.  All tees shirts are being background printing instead of solid printed.

Joe Sposado – AllStar Fire Equipment – Related SAFER has been in front of the PPE SCAM standard from the beginning. CalFire should be getting their SCOTT SCBA’s soon since

Tony Duran – LACoFD (Retired) – now with NH3 Institute: Classes: Torrance Fire next month (1/2 day) Check website for NH3 link.

Michele Trout – Lion Gear – Complimented Dr. Burgess for his efforts for firefighter safety, NFPA ensemble available .

Jim Cleary – Plymovent – Related the exhaust extraction systems are very important to reduce Cancer occurrences’ in the fire service. Jim related he appreciates the friendships and business opportunities within the SAFER community.  

Jeremy Verderber – Marken ISP – In Corona, can clean asbestos.

Bret Nunez – Torrance FD – Thanked OCFA for hosting. Torrance had units out at statewide fire incidents including overhead assignments.   

Next Meeting: Corona Fire in September