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Free Emergency Response Training Information - Firefighting, Paramedics and First Aid Techniques

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Becoming a Workplace Health and Safety Officer

Being safe in the workplace is very important and that is why some companies have health and safety officers who are types of managers that will oversee all the well-being of the workers in any kind of dangerous working environment. Individuals who go into this field of work must know all the laws and be able to apply them in order to make their workplaces safe.

There are a different things one must do in order to become a health and safety officer. First it is required that they take some post-secondary courses in occupational health and safety. Some companies do allow on the job training but a degree is going to help you more in the future so that you can move up the career ladder. Courses can be found through community colleges as well as four year universities. There are also some online courses. Make sure that the courses you pick focus on biology, physics, chemistry and health.

You also should get a professional certification in occupational health. This usually is not required by most employers it does offer a person training that will help them advance within the company. You can get certifications through community colleges and four year universities.

Another thing you may want to consider is to get some on the job training and internships. There are a lot of schools that offer safety studies that will inform students of internship opportunities. By having on the job training you will be provided with practical applications for the knowledge you gain in the classroom. An internship can provide networking and chances to find a job in the future.

You also might want to consider getting an advanced degree in occupational health and safety. These degrees and courses should be ones that are designed for the work industry that you think you will be working in.

It is also a good idea to gain as well as maintain any additional certifications that might increase your chances of getting employment. For instance train for special health hazards or issues that might be commonly encountered in a particular work industry.

You should also consider joining a professional society as well. These societies often publish journals that help keep safety offers current on the changes in their industry, changes in laws and procedures of occupational health and safety. They also provide opportunities to network, continue education as well as participation in different conferences.

Make sure to network with others trained in the field so that you can keep current with the job market and be made aware of any opportunities opening up for a healthy and safety officer.


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What Firefighting Training Actually Entails

Just about the only thing as a kid that is cooler than a big red fire truck is the person who rides in one. Firefighters are the ones that get to maneuver through the streets at high speeds and get to climb ladders to great heights. However, what kids don't realize is that it takes firefighter training to to become one of these highly skilled specialists who risk their lives each day fighting fires for us. It is however, easy to see how children can aspire to become firefighters serving as a community hero always going on adventures. It does however take a lot of brute strength and courage to become one.

Before anyone can become one of these local heros they have to take firefighting training and they will need to spend at least 600 hours in this training over a period of 12 to 14 weeks. That's about 40 to 48 hours a week which makes the training a full time job. The training is usually given at a fire academy where it is often run by the fire department, the government or a university.

If someone wants to take firefighting training they must be at least 18 years old and in some areas they need to be 21 years of age. They must have a high school diploma or a GED and some fire departments now require some college education. The person must be very physically fit, have a very good vision of 20/20 either with or without glasses and they must have a clean criminal record.

Firefighting is very competitive and there are thousands of people who apply every year all over the country, but most of those that apply are turned away. Often fire departments will hire every two years or so and will give the staff positions to about 30 new applicants at a time. Some departments will only require that applicants hold a high school diploma others might require a minimum of two y ears of college at an accredited college or university. Firefighting can be so competitive that many of the applicants will become an EMT or paramedic before even thinking of applying as a firefighter because t his makes them far more desirable to those departments who are hiring. Even more applicants also get a four year degree in Fire Science or other related fields which of course makes this field even tougher to get into.

To enter into a firefighting training program applicants will need to take three different exams: a writtent one, a Candidate Physical Ability Test and an aptitude test.

The main focus of the physical ability test is to test for agility, upper body strength and their endurance. All the tasks are timed and are meant to test the applicant's ability to endure sustained physical activity. These test will vary from academy to academy.

In order for the firefighter to survive they must be able to think critically and clearly and to be able to solve problems under extreme stess. This can be really difficult during a real fire so the instructors will conduct live fire training drills where they set buildings on fire on purpose to give those training the ability to develop skills. The overall goal of this training is for behavior training to instill good habits through repeated exposure to burning buildings and the dangers they pose.

If a person doesn't want to take the intensive training but still want to be able to help out they can become a volunteer firefighter. Even though they may need to follow all the same guidelines of a paid firefighter they usually don't have to be certified. Most work other jobs and will help out when they can. Most of the fire departments will offer weekly or monthly training events to help these volunteer firefighters develop the needed skills in order to survive a fire. There are even some departments that have nothing but volunteers working for them.
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Why Even Small Businesses Should Have Fire Safety Training for Employees

Even if you are a small business fire safety training is very important and necessary. It is vital that as a business owner you provide your employees with a safe and healthy place to work and it is recommended that all employees be trained about fire safety.

The first thing you should do is to evaluate training needs. This starts with identifying the different hazards in the workplace and then develop protocols. This can be done by doing a walk around in your place of business and then writing down potential hazardous areas and situations. You can also get input from your employees who may know of issues they feel are also hazardous that you can put into your fire safety training program. Next form a “safety team” within your company to discuss the different protocols and all of your training needs.

Your standard fire safety training should include all the different locations of exits and where all your fire suppression equipment is located. You also should include the protocol for alarm activation, evacuation and reporting. You can also get free information from your local fire department on how to evaluate your training needs and requirements.

No matter how safe you think your business is, every workplace has safety hazards so it is vital that you identify all of them during your evaluation. You will need to be able to include in your training the different fire safety hazards as well as other hazards in your training and make sure that you create a dedicated program that can be presented to all your employees in training sessions.

In order to have a successful fire safety training program, you need to be able to look beyond the obvious. You need to train employees to be aware of things, to know procedures, protocol and how to report hazards. It is also important to try and include possible risks and hazards that might be posed by other businesses in the same area so that your employees are prepared in case something happens in a nearby business that could still affect them and your workplace.

So, who get trained? For your general overall fire safety training all employees need to be included. However, if there are specific issues that need to be taken care of during an emergency then you may want to have certain employees specifically trained to take care of specific duties. This all depends upon the type of business that you are running.


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How to Make an Emergency Evacuation Plan for Your Family

No one will ever know when an emergency might strike. This is why it is important that you create your emergency evacuation plan for your own family. Whether the danger is a forest fire, earthquake, hurricane, tornado or even the threat of a terrorist attack, the chances of you and your family's survival is going to be increased in you have a plan that is in place and you have a well stocked emergency supply kit. Your plan should involve everyone who lives in your home and it should be practiced on a regular basis so that everyone will know the plan well.

The first thing you should do when making your emergency evacuation plan should be to draw up a floor plan for your house and make sure to identify all the doors and the windows people can safely use for emergency exits.

Then you should also identify on this floor plan any and all fire extinguishers that you have in your home and where they are located. If you don't have any, it's a good idea for you to go out and buy some for your home. For a home that is multistory, you should also have portable escape ladders and show where they are stored on your floor plan. You should also show how to shut off all the utilities electric and gas a well as the water.

Make sure that your floor plan for your emergency evacuation plan shows where all of your important family documents are kept. These documents should be things like your bank, credit cared information along with your Social Security information, any insurance polices you have and inventory of all your possessions. You also may want current passports along with birth certificates, health records and the different prescriptions your family may have. Also, don't forget any property deeds you might have. Since you should not put your life in danger trying to get these documents, it's a good idea that they are all together in one place so that they will be easy to grab when you are in a hurry.

It is also important that you have a list of emergency telephone numbers that should even include out of state friends and relatives that you may need to get in touch with when you have to evacuate your home and neighborhood.

You will also need to make sure that your emergency evacuation plan includes a safe place to meet should any family members get separated when you are evacuating. There should also always be a Plan B in case the prearranged meeting place is not available at the time. You might also want to include a third party that you family members can check in with during an emergency. Also include in your emergency evacuation plan where the closest emergency shelter is to your home.

It is important that you write up a set of rules for the children to follow in case of an emergency, for example one key rule might be to tell them not to try to save their toys or don't open up a door if it feels hot or don't cross over a pool of water if you don't know how deep it might be.

Make sure that you have a checklist of all the emergency items you will need such as:
  • Bottled water
  • Battery operated radio
  • Flashlights
  • Spare blankets
  • First aid kit
  • Snacks
  • Matches
  • Small hand tools
  • Duct tape
  • Cell phone chargers
  • Food for family members and even pets
  • Show on the emergency evacuation plan where the emergency preparedness kit is at.
  • City map with three escape routes highlighted.
Make sure that once you have the plan drawn up, make copies of it and give one to all your family members and make sure there are extras made up and kept somewhere in the home in a place where everyone knows where they are at, like a kitchen drawer.


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What are the Main Principles of Emergency Management

Emergency management is a function that is managerial in form and is in charge of developing framework that is within individual communities to help reduce their vulnerability to different hazards and to be able to cope with disasters that might hit a community.

The vision of all emergency management teams is to try and promote safer and less vulnerable communities with the ability to be able to cope with all hazards and disasters. Their missions are to protect their communities by making sure to integrate all the activities needed to build, sustain and to improve the capability to prepare for, respond to and to recover from natural disasters, acts of terrorism or man made disasters.

There are several principles that all emergency management teams need to follow:
  • Must be comprehensive: This means that emergency managers need to consider and take into consideration all hazards, all phases, stakeholders and all the impacts that are relevant to any disaster.
  • Must be progressive: This means that all emergency managers need to anticipate future disasters and to try and take preventive and preparatory measures to help build a disaster resistant as well as disaster resilient community.
  • Must be risk driven: All emergency managers must use sound risk management principles such as hazard identification, risk analysis and impact analysis when assigning priorities.
  • Must be integrated: This means that all emergency managers must ensure unity of efforts among all the different levels of government and all the elements of the community.
  • Must be collaborative: They must create as well as sustain a broad and sincere relationship among all individuals and organizations that will encourage trust, advocate a team atmosphere, build a consensus and make sure there is open and clear communication.
  • Must be coordinated: They need to be able to synchronize all the activities that are relevant to stakeholders in order to achieve a common purpose.
  • Must be flexible: Emergency managers need to be able to use creative as well as innovative approaches when solving disaster challenges.
  • Must be professional: They must be able to value a science and knowledge based approach that is based on education, experience, training, ethical practice, continuous improvement and public stewardship.

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The Duties of a Fire Marshal and Their Office

A fire marshal investigates the causes of fires and compiles reports about theses fires. This can be accomplished by requiring that all Fire Chiefs where there are any, Mayors or Township Clerks to help investigate the cause of each fire and to report the particulars to the fire marshal. They will then categorize them and do an annual report on the causes and damage costs and send to the governor of their state. If it is discovered that a fire was caused by violation of fire laws or with criminal intent, the fire marshal will proceed with a full investigation, make needed arrests and turn their findings over to the courts to be prosecuted.

The main duty of a fire marshal is to prevent fires. Make sure building standards for fire safety are in place, do annual reports and to apprehend anyone who violates any of the standards that are set down by the fire marshal's office.

Proposed construction of some buildings or additions, alterations or changes to any existing buildings all need to be approved by the office of the fire marshal and building code examiners will review the construction plans to see if the projects meet the fire and life safety codes as well as handicapped accessibility.

The fire marshal's office is also responsible for conducting inspections of the following:
  • Buildings such as schools, day care centers, jails, hospitals, government owned properties, prisons and other correctional facilities.
  • Liquids that are flammable.
  • Assisted living homes.
  • Health care facilities and rehabilitation facilities.
  • Modular homes and manufactured homes.
  • All fire and life safety equipment.
  • Condemnations of dilapidated properties.
They also have arson and explosive specialists that investigate fires and figure out the origin and the cause of the fires. These agents work with local authorities to bring those responsible to trial. They also have special agents who are certified as Hazardous Materials Technicians and are trained to either seize or clean up hazardous places such as meth labs for example.

Their bomb technicians are trained to be able to identify, handle, inspect and make safe any explosives and explosive devices.


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How to Survive a Disaster Through Disaster Preparedness

If an emergency or a disaster strikes you and your community you live in, you may not have access to food, water or power for quite some time. But, with disaster preparedness you could get through a disaster far easier. You just need to take time to put together your emergency water supplies, food, and disaster supplies kit.

Even though generally an emergency or a disaster won't cut you off from food supplies for two weeks or more, it's a good idea to make sure you have a supply of food that will last at least that long. The top priority in disaster preparedness however, is making sure that you have a good supply of clean water. A normally active person needs at least a half a gallon of water a day. You also will need water to help cook food and personal hygiene. Store at least one additional half gallon of water per person for each day. You should try to store up to two weeks of water for each person if possible. You also will need to take your pets and service animals into account when preparing your supply kits.

Disaster Supplies Kit

This is a collection of basic items you might need during a disaster. These can be used at home, in the office in a vehicle or school.
  • Water one gallon per person (3 day supply for evacuation, 2 week supply for home)
  • Food should be nonperishable and easy to prepare items (3 day supply for evacuation, 2 week supply for home)
  • Flashlight
  • Battery powered radio
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • 7 day supply of medications and medical items
  • A multipurpose tool
  • Personal hygiene items and sanitary items
  • Personal documents like medication list, medical information, proof of address, passports, birth certificates and insurance policies
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Emergency contact information and family information
  • Extra money
  • Emergency blanket
  • Maps of the area
  • Medical supplies like glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane, etc.
  • Baby supplies
  • Games and activities for children
  • Pet supplies
  • Two way radios
  • Extra car keys and house keys
  • Hand can opener
  • Whistle
  • Surgical masks
  • Matches
  • Rain gear
  • Towels
  • Work gloves
  • Tools for securing home
  • Extra clothes, hats, sturdy shoes
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Duct tape
  • Scissors
  • Bleach
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
Make sure to pack the items in containers that are easy to carry and make sure that you label what they are and store them where they are easily accessible. Things like duffel bags, backpacks and even trash receptacles are good for storing these items in. The most important thing about disaster preparedness is to make sure that you have all the items you need for all in your family and this includes your pets.
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Emergency Procedures for the Workplace to Protect Employees

There is nothing you can do about an emergency happening because they can come up at any time and any place. So it is very important that you have an emergency procedures plan for the workplace in order to keep employees and visitors safe from harm. The procedures that you put into place should be based on the type of business that you run.

Evacuation/Escape Plan Make a plan for an evacuation of your building in case there is a fire or a chemical spill. The procedure needs to identify the conditions that warrant the evacuation as well as a location of all emergency exits. If your business is open to the public and you have customers, you need to make sure that the plan includes a way of assisting them in exiting your building. Figure out which employees will need to be the ones that stay behind to shut down the building if that is necessary.

Reporting Emergencies You will also need to create a plan that shows who the proper contacts are that are considered emergency personnel. For instance, if it's a medical emergency, the procedure would of courses be to call 911. If it's a fire, workers need to know the location of fire alarms and the different circumstances that might require them to use them. If you are a manufacturing plant there might be a number to call internally that alerts emergency and management personnel.

Medical Aid There might be situations that come up where medical attention is needed while the emergency responders are still in route to your business. You should have staff who are trained in CPR and first aid procedures and make sure there are areas that are fully stocked with first aid items.

Power Outages Power outages can cause the entire business to shut down or even result in an injury if there are dangerous processes going on during the outage. Make sure you have some sort of backup power source like a generator that is available and also keep plenty of flashlights on hand all over the business. Make sure to also have a plan on how to account for any visitors or customers you might have there when there is a power outage.

Dangerous Weather If you are located near areas susceptible to dangerous weather such as hurricanes and tornadoes make sure to have a procedure in place that every

one knows, so they know what to do if one of these situations come up. For instance if it's a tornado, designate safe places in your building like a basement where everyone should go to until the danger has passed.
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Fire Prevention Tips for Your Home

Statistics show that there is one home damaged every minute by fire and more than 10,000 individuals that get injured each year in home fires and every three hours someone dies in a home fire. This all could be reduced by knowing proper fire prevention. By having working smoke detectors in all rooms of the home is one step toward saving many lives and stopping any serious damage. Most fires in homes generally begin in the kitchen or during the night when people are sleeping. To avoid this families need careful planning by making sure they use protective devices in their homes.

Probably the most effective way to prevent house fires is to make sure locate and get rid of any fire hazards. This should be the first rule of thumb when it comes to fire prevention. One way to eliminate fire risk is to never smoke in bed where there is that chance of falling asleep. Also, parents should discuss with their kids how dangerous it is to play with lighters or matches and making sure these items are well out of their reach.

Another important fire prevention tips is preventing electrical fires. You can do this by not overloading your circuits or your extension cords. By plugging in too many electrical cords into one place could cause a fire hazard. Avoid putting cords and wires under any rugs as well. Make sure that you turn off or at least unplug any appliance that starts to spark or has a strange odor coming from it. Either get the appliance fixed or buy a new one, do not continue to use it. Also, if you are not using the appliance make sure to unplug it when not in use.

You also need to take precautions when it comes to keeping your home warm. If you use kerosene heaters make sure to read all the directions carefully, they are there for a reason. Make sure that you keep your portable heaters a minimum of three feet from anything it could catch on fire. When you go to bed or you leave your home it is important that you make sure all of your portable heaters are turned off. If you have a fireplace, it is wise to use a fire screen for fire prevention purposes, this will help to keep sparks from jumping onto the floor. You also should make sure that the chimney is cleaned at least one time a year because of the oily buildup that can easily cause fires that will rapidly spread through the home.

Make sure your kitchen is safe. Make sure that you never leave any food that is broiling, grilling or frying unattended. If you do need to leave the kitchen then make sure you turn the stove or oven off. When you bake or cook always make sure to use a timer in order to remind you not to forget about the food that is cooking. Try to avoid putting any pot holders, paper towels, towels close to the stove. Always keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen.

Every month you should make sure that all of your smoke detectors are in proper working order. Make sure to replace the batteries each year. It is also important that you have a plan in case of a fire. Develop the plan and practice the escape route with your family so that everyone knows what to do and where to meet if a fire does occur.


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Electrical Fire Safety in Our Homes

Electrical fire safety in our homes claim over 280 lives a year and injure at least a 1,000 more. Often these fires are caused from electrical failures and many others can be caused from wiring that is installed incorrectly or circuits that are overloaded as well as bad extension cords.

During a normal year, electrical problems in the home causes over 26,000 fires and at least one billion dollars in property loss and almost one half of all the residential electrical fires are caused from faulty wiring.

This is why fire safety is essential in order to keep both your home and your families safe from such damage and trauma.

The Causes:
  • Fires that are caused electrical distribution are caused from problems that have “fixed wiring” like bad electrical outlets and old worn out wiring. Cords on appliances and extension cords with worn plugs and electrical items with worn switches can cause many of these fires.
  • Faulty light fixtures, lamps and light bulbs can also cause electrical fires.
  • The misuse of electric cords like overloading a circuit, bad maintenance and running cords under rugs in areas of high traffic are also hazards. Fire Safety Tips:
    1. Check your appliances and wiring on a routine basis. Make sure to replace any worn out, old or damaged cords on your appliances right away. Never try to repair them yourself.
    2. Only buy those appliances that have a label on them that has a recognized testing lab displayed.
    3. Never use an extension cord for large or small appliances. Make sure they are plugged right into the outlet. Always unplug small appliances when you are not using them.
    4. Get a new electric tool if it causes any shocks, overheats or shorts out when you are using it.
    5. Only use surge protectors and power strips that have an internal overload protection system and has a testing lab label on it.
    6. Keep all clothes and curtains and other flammable items at least three feet away from any space heaters.
    7. Only use light bulbs with the wattage that is recommended by the lamp.
    8. Don't put your electric cords where they can get pinched or crimped by furniture, under carpets or across any doorways.
    9. Use extension cords for temporary use and contact a professional to determine if you need additional circuits installed.
    10. Have electrical work done only by a professional.
    Also, make sure that you have a smoke alarm that works. The alarm will increase your chances of surviving a house fire. Also make sure that you have a home escape plan and you know how to use it.
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