Monday, July 16, 2012:
RAE Systems Inc., the leader in connected gas and radiation detection solutions that help increase responder and public safety, will collaborate with the Fire Smoke Coalition to deliver the "Know Your Smoke: The Dangers of Fire Smoke Exposure" Symposium for firefighters, first responders, and medical providers in Hickory, North Carolina, July 20-21, 2012.
The free training will take place at Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory, NC. Interested parties can register for this first-responder training event online at http://www.firesmokevss.org/attend/.
The conference includes a classroom session on Friday as well as a live burn practical on Saturday. The live burn practical will focus on the proper use of atmospheric monitoring equipment with an emphasis on monitoring HCN and CO. These are the only two treatable toxicants if smoke exposure occurs.
During the live burn practical session, the instructors will focus on teaching firefighters how to conduct atmospheric monitoring at every fire scene through practical burn training exercises while burning household items such as plastics, foams, synthetics, laminates and roofing materials.
"Know Your Smoke" Seminar Educates Emergency Personnel on Toxic Twins: CO and HCN
Toxic gas monitoring systems are an essential life-saving component of fire department equipment. The "Know Your Smoke" event will help educate firefighters and emergency personnel on their effective use to avoid dangerous smoke inhalation, most especially during overhaul operations. Leading fire service experts on hydrogen cyanide (HCN) and carbon monoxide (CO) smoke toxicology will speak in a classroom setting.
"In today's smoke-filled environments, it's not about how much you can stand, it's about how little will kill you," said Chief Rob Schnepp, Alameda County (Calif.) Fire Department.
The "Know Your Smoke" event offers invaluable education about the dangerous chronic and acute effects of smoke exposure. Focus areas include the following:
Fire Smoke: Perceptions, Myths and Misunderstandings
Air Management and NFPA 1404
Atmospheric Monitoring on Every Fire Scene (HCN & CO)
Pre-hospital HCN Hydrogen Cyanide) Assessment and Antidotal Treatment
Smoke-Related Injuries Increase Need for CO and HCN Detectors
According to the NFPA, between 1981 and 2010, 174,145 firefighters were injured by smoke inhalation. Firefighter Injuries in the United States, Michael J. Karter, Jr. and Joseph L. Molis, 2011.
In the United States, residential fires are the third leading cause of fatal injury and the fifth most common cause of unintentional injury death, yet the majority of fire-related fatalities are not caused by burns, but by smoke inhalation.
Despite the amount of fires in the U.S. decreasing each year, the amount of civilians dying in fires is actually increasing. For example, in 2009, 1,348,500 fires were attended by public fire departments, a decrease of 7.1 percent from the year before; however, 3,010 civilian fire deaths occurred, which is an increase of 9.3 percent.