Extinguish the Dangers Associated with Fireworks this Holiday Weekend

With the Fourth of July holiday around the corner, public safety professionals are gearing up for one of their busiest days of the year. Between cookouts, fire pits, and fireworks, it is no wonder there are more fires reported on Independence Day than any other day throughout the year.


The biggest culprit of these fires is often personal firework displays. Every year, people ranging in ages from toddlers to adults are hospitalized from improper use of fireworks with severe burns and other injuries that can even result in death. Civilians are not the only ones at risk. Often during these personal firework shows, nearby cars, homes, and other properties are damaged or destroyed. In previous years:

  • Fireworks have caused an estimated 17,800 reported fires, including 1,200 total structure fires, 400 vehicle fires, and 16,300 outside and other fires, causing 40 civilian injuries and $32 million in direct property damage.
  • Emergency rooms treated an estimated 11,400 people for fireworks-related injuries, 55% of these injuries were to the extremities and 38% were to the head.

However, it is easy to avoid these dangers by attending local firework displays hosted by professionals and monitored by highly trained safety personnel. This Independence Day, please take the safety of your families and friends into consideration while enjoying your holiday festivities!


National Fire Protection Association

U.S. Fire Administration


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Improving the Safety and Health of First Responders

safetyWk2015_squareOrganizations across the country are holding events this week to spread awareness about safety and health for all EMS and Fire personnel. Here are some of the events promoting International Fire/EMS Safety and Health Week:

  • East Whiteland Fire Department – Malvern, Pennsylvania: The East Whiteland Fire Department has a very strong emphasis on health. Many members of the 50 person department spend an hour each shift working on fitness. The fire fighters also regularly test their fitness with real-world tasks during training sessions on a fitness challenge circuit developed by the department. The challenge circuit mimics typical firefighting tasks performed at emergency scenes with an added emphasis on physical fitness. The circuit can be completed in gym clothing, bunker pants, bunker pants and bunker coat, all the way up to full gear and self contained breathing apparatus.
  • West Newbury Fire Department – West Newbury, Massachusetts: The West Newbury Fire Department has created a streamlined training and drill schedule that will promote safety awareness to members throughout the upcoming year. The department issued a challenge to each member to live a healthier lifestyle and make diet and exercise a bigger part of their daily routines. The department also initiated a buddy system to motivate personnel and create a better sense of teamwork, encouraging members to workout at the station.
  • North Lyon County Fire Protection District – Fernley, Nevada: The North Lyon County Fire Protection District is observing Safety and Health Week by focusing on collaborations with all area first responders including fire, EMS, law enforcement, and dispatchers.  The various departments have come together to work on trainings that will make calls more efficient and safer for the health and well-being of the entire team. Throughout Safety and Health Week, North Lyon County Fire Protection District is holding a series of health and safety workshops on topics ranging from local medical hazards to biomechanics of the body.

Visit the official International Fire and EMS Safety and Health website for more resources on how to incorporate training and procedures that facilitate safety and health in your area!

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Creating a Culture of Safety in 2015


This year, International Fire/EMS Safety and Health Week will be observed from June 14-20. Safety and Health Week is a joint initiative of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), and is supported by a network of emergency service and safety organizations.

Safety and Health Week is an annual event that is important to all public safety professionals because its objective is to improve the health and safety of fire fighters and EMS personnel, so that they have an increased chance of survival during emergencies and are healthier in the long-term.

The theme for Safety and Health Week this year is “Creating a Culture of Safety” and focuses on what can be done to improve safety and health in three specific areas:

Fire departments across the nation and throughout the world will take time during this week to increase awareness so that safety and health become priorities in all fire and EMS departments. For more information, please visit the International Fire/EMS Safety and Health Week website today.

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International Fire/EMS Safety and Health Week

culturesafetyJune 14 – 20, 2015 is International Fire/EMS Safety and Health Week.  This year’s theme is “Creating a Culture of Safety.” The goal of this awareness week is to promote and facilitate a culture of safety within local communities and departments.

How can I get involved in my community?

Social Media

Utilize your department or agency’s social media sites to promote Safety and Health Week in your community. Use posts from the 2015 International Fire/EMS Safety and Health Week Social Media Outreach Plan or create your own.  You can also update your Facebook and Twitter banners to ones that help to promote Safety and Health Week.

Flyers and Posters

Download flyers and posters and place them in your local department to provide safety and health reminders. You could also use the 2015 Safety and Health Week flyer in place of an ad in local or state fire service newsletters.

Submit Your Resources, Stories, and Photos

Share a story from your department! Share your department’s safety, health, and training resources in order to motivate others with success stories from your department. Your stories and resources may be included on the Safety and Health Week website and in materials from the IAFC and NVFC regarding the event.

All members of fire and emergency services are encouraged to utilize this week to focus on safety and health training and what you can do to create a culture of safety in your community, your department, and for yourself.

Safety and Health Week is a collaborative program embraced by more than twenty national and international fire and emergency-service organizations.  It is sponsored by the International Association of Fire Chiefs and the National Volunteer Fire Council. The event is coordinated by the IAFC Safety, Health and Survival Section and the NVFC’s Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program.

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Interested in Sharing Your EMS Expertise with Students and Fellow Educators?

emsauthorJoin the Jones & Bartlett Learning EMS Author Team!

If you have a passion for the highest-quality educational content and would like to join the Jones & Bartlett Learning author team, please submit a current CV or summary of your professional qualifications along with any writing samples you have to emseditorial@jblearning.com. Please be sure to include your full name and contact information in the body of the email message.

To help us align our editorial opportunities with your interests and expertise, please tell us a little about yourself and let us know your content preferences by completing this brief survey by June 30, 2015:

Thank you in advance for your interest and time.

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CPR and AED Awareness Week: How Proper Training Saves Lives

Educa_Stud_Ed0002On December 6, 2007, Congress passed a bill that designated the first week in June as “National Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Week.” This designation is intended to promote the necessity of CPR and AED training and to reduce death from sudden cardiac arrest.

There are countless examples of ways in which CPR and AED training has saved lives all over the United States. Here are just a few examples that stand out:

  • In Jacksonville, Florida Boy Scout Leader, Jose Lepervanche was camping with his troop in Georgia when he suddenly collapsed. After calling 9-1-1, scouts came to Lepervanche’s aid using a recently purchased AED and saved his life. Cardiac-related incidents are the number one reason for reported fatalities within the Boy Scouts, highlighting the importance of CPR and AED training. Learn more.
  • In Manhattan Beach, California fifteen-year-old Madi Giese was working at a tennis tournament when one of the competitors collapsed. Giese’s junior lifeguard training kicked in and she immediately began to perform CPR on the fallen girl:

    “I did about 12 or 13 pumps on her chest, she coughed and then began breathing again. The paramedics were there right away and took over. I didn’t think about it at all at the time, I just saw she needed help and there were literally 25 to 30 people there, and I was shocked that I was the only one who knew CPR…It’s a valuable skill that I learned from participating in the Junior Lifeguard Program. I’ve been doing it every summer since I was 5 and this goes to show they teach valuable skills that can empower even a teenager to save someone’s life.”

  • In Milwaukie, Oregon freshman baseball player, Jackson Elkins, fell to one knee and then completely collapsed while having a heart attack in the middle of a game. Athletic trainer Erika Irwin first thought that Elkins was suffering from heat stroke but quickly realized that his heart was not beating. Irwin fell back upon her training to start CPR while another coach called 9-1-1 and a student retrieve the portable AED machine. Irwin, who trains regularly,  had only received re-certification within 90-days of the incident. Elkin’s father, Derrick, does not believe his son would have survived without trained staff and a portable AED device:

    “They truly saved my son’s life.”

Click here for training resources and ECSI Education Centers in your area that offer CPR and other life-saving training.

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National CPR and AED Awareness Week

ECSIblog_CPR_545x363The first week of June is National CPR and AED Awareness Week. This week is designed to bring attention to the importance of CPR and AED training.

Over 325,000 Americans suffer sudden cardiac arrest each year and more than 95 percent of them die before they reach the hospital. If CPR is not administered within 10 minutes after sudden cardiac arrest, the chance of survival is limited. However, in cities where defibrillation is provided within 5-7 minutes, the survival rate from sudden cardiac arrest is as high as 49 percent.

The goal of National CPR and AED Awareness Week is to encourage states, counties, cities, and towns to increase public access to Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) and to establish well-organized programs that provide CPR and AED training to community members.

Here are some events across the country that promote National CPR and AED Awareness Week:

  • Pataskala, Ohio: The West Licking Joint Fire District of Pataskala, Ohio is launching a CPR-centric effort to save lives. As part of the effort, the district intends to offer free CPR classes during National CPR and AED Awareness Week. In addition to offering classes the West Licking Joint Fire District is creating a database that will pinpoint the location of every AED in the area. The district will use the database to ensure that all AEDs are receiving required maintenance. It also could pass on the database information to the county 911 call center, which could use it to alert bystanders to the location of nearby AEDs. West Licking is also applying for grants in order to help businesses obtain AEDs, widening the availability of these life saving machines.
  • Napa Valley, California: The Napa Valley Fire Department has a goal of teaching 5,000 of its residents the hands-only CPR technique. The department is close to this target having already taught about 4,000 people in the area, with about 1,800 being freshman high school students in the Napa Unified School District. The fire department plans to continue teaching students in the next school year.
  • Myrtle Beach, Florida: In honor of National CPR and AED Awareness Week, the North Myrtle Beach Fire and Rescue Division is offering free CPR classes on June 1-3.

National CPR and AED Awareness Week is an incredible opportunity to spread awareness in local communities all over the country. For course materials and training resources, be sure to visit Emergency Care & Safety Institute.

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Geriatric EMS: Treating an Aging Population

Emerg_Firs_0024The elderly population is growing in the United States and is estimated to reach over 72 million people by 2030. As this population continues to grow, there will be an even greater need for emergency medical training to deal with this specific demographic.

The aging population currently accounts for 25% of emergency room visits and with these geriatric emergency patients there may be concerns that are not present in other age brackets, including:

  • Prescription Medications: Many older folks have what is known as ‘bag-o-medicine syndrome’ meaning that they keep all of their medications in a bag or shoebox. It is important that EMS responders take all the patient’s medication with them to the hospital. With worn labels or prescriptions from different doctors, bringing the patient’s medication will be the best way to determine any and all medication the patient may be taking.
  • Fragility Fractures: Fragility fractures are defined as fractures occurring from falls of standing height or less. These fractures occur in one half of women and one third of men over the age of fifty.  EMS responders need to be aware of the risks of fragility fractures and minimize the chance of any lifting-related injuries.
  • Assessing injury: Many individuals in the elderly population have chronic or reoccurring injuries and it may be difficult for EMS personnel to ascertain what symptoms are a result of the emergency and what symptoms are chronic.
  • Treating individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia: Assessing and treating individuals with Alzheimer’s or dementia may be difficult, given that they may not be able to offer specifics regarding their emergency or medical history. Whenever possible, it is important for EMS responders to communicate with caregivers to obtain information on the patient and their history.

Emerg_Firs_0058Communication is crucial when assisting geriatric patients. If the patient uses hearing aids, dentures, or glasses it is important that those items be brought with the patient so that they can properly understand what is being communicated to them.  Also, letting the patient know what you are doing step by step can help them feel more comfortable, especially in unfamiliar surroundings.

Jones & Bartlett Learning is pleased to provide EMS training resources for geriatric patients. Learn more about Geriatric Education for Emergency Medical Services (GEMS), Second Edition today.

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Helping Military Medics Secure Civilian Jobs

Emerg_Onsc_0019A bipartisan bill introduced in April of this year would facilitate the transition process for military combat medics to become emergency medical technicians (EMTs) upon returning to the civilian workforce after deployment.

The legislation, introduced by Representatives Adam Kinzinger (R-Illinois) and Lois Capps (D-California), is designed to provide support in the form of grants to states in order to simplify requirements for veterans with medical training to receive certifications as EMTs.

Many veteran military medics return from deployment and are required to take classes they have already completed in the military to satisfy the civilian licensing system. These duplicated certifications delay veterans’ entry into the civilian workforce and increase educational costs. Lawmakers Kinzinger and Capps argued to the House of Representatives that former military medical technicians would be among the most qualified candidates to fill EMT positions and should not have to complete training courses for skills they already know.

House Resolution 1818, the Veteran Emergency Medical Technician Support Act, would assist states in streamlining their certification requirements for veterans with military medical training.

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Memorial Day: A Reflection of Service

veteransdayFor many of us, Memorial Day is a three-day weekend that marks the unofficial start of summer. The weather becomes warmer, schools and colleges start summer breaks, and friends and families come together and attend events rang­ing from community gatherings to large sports competitions (the Indianapolis 500 motor race, for instance, attracts an estimated 300,000 people on the Saturday before Memorial Day).

However, Memorial Day is first and foremost a day of remembrance to honor those who have died in service to the United States of America. It provides us with the opportunity to reflect upon the dedicated service men and women who are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for our safety.

Memorial Day was born out of the Civil War and a desire to honor fallen service members. Originally called Decoration Day, Memorial Day became a federal holiday in 1971. Although it is unclear exactly where this tradition originated, in 1966 the federal government declared Waterloo, New York, the official birthplace of Memorial Day.

Traditions surrounding Memorial Day have continued and grown throughout its history. Cities and towns across the United States host Memorial Day parades each year, often incorporating military personnel, fire fighters, first responders, and members of veterans’ organizations. Some of the largest parades take place in Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C.

Our Fire and EMS team at Jones & Bartlett Learning thanks all military personnel for your unending dedication and service today and every day.

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