Waterous Floto Fire Pump demonstration for S100A Annual Safety Refresher Course for Wildland Fire Fighters (Photo - Doug Richardson)
Section 16 - Pumps & Water Delivery Systems
There are some extra safety precautions when working around pumps.
Use hearing protection
Ensure the pump site is not near danger trees or snags
Ensure pump site is safe from falling rocks
If the pump or the hose lay are on a road, flag the road to warn traffic
Be cautious of a pump site beside a swift flowing river or deep lake
Be cautious of undercut river banks
Set your pump on a flat, fuel free area (no dry grasses, etc.)
Be clear on escape routes away from the pump location
Do not pick up a pump that has recently been running (hot muffler)
Wear goggles as the hose lines and fittings can burst
If foam is being used in the water delivery system you must ensure there is no spillage into any source of water. Report any spills to your supervisor immediately. If you get foam in your eyes or on your skin, wash immediately with large amounts of clean water. Report such incidents to your supervisor and first aid attendant.
Section 17 - Fuel Handling When working with any fuel or other dangerous type of flammable material, exercise caution at all times.
Never smoke near or have open flames near a fuel container.
Do not spill fuel on your clothing.
If you splash fuel into your eyes or on your skin, follow the same procedures as with Foam treatment above.
If you spill fuel into a water system, follow similar procedures as with a Foam spillage.
Always be specific when labeling containers (drums) of "waste" fuel. NEVER mix different types of fuel in "waste" drums.
Section 18 - Emergency Radio Procedures If you have an extreme emergency where your or someone else’s life is in danger, AND you must use a 2 - way radio, you MUST:
Turn on the radio and turn up the volume
Do not change the channel
Hold radio upright, push the transmit button, and speak slowly and clearly, “Mayday, Mayday, Mayday”
State your name
State your location
State nature of emergency
Keep your conversation to the point - this will save batteries
If you do not receive a reply, move a few meters to a new location and try again. Even if you do not receive a reply, transmit your complete message as sometimes you are being heard but cannot hear back. Someone, even a passenger airliner far overhead may have heard your Mayday call and passed on your message to the proper authorities. As a final resort, note the original channel you are using and then carefully try different channels.
When a Mayday call for help is received, ALL radio traffic except that of the assisting parties, must cease. You will only resume normal radio traffic when the Mayday is given the all clear.
If your emergency is NOT life threatening, you may say “Pan, Pan, Pan” or more commonly, “I have an emergency and require assistance”. Follow the above mentioned procedures.
Section 19 - L A C E S Remember the safe work procedures of L A C E S
L - Lookouts. Post a lookout to observe the fire conditions. A - Anchor point. Start the fire guard (control line) from a safe area. C - Communications. Maintain good communications at all times. E - Escape routes. Know where at least two escape routes are. S - Safe areas (zones.) Know where your safe areas are.
Section 20 - Miscellaneous Safety Concerns W.H.M.I.S. Workplace Hazardous Material Information System
This is regulated by W.C.B. (WorkSafe B.C.) and it is mandatory that every worker must be trained in this system. It provides the worker with important information about hazardous material they may be working with at the work site. W.H.M.I.S. describes the hazards of materials used and tells the worker what safety precautions to take when using them. If a container has a
“hatched border” label (the colour does not matter)
(gasoline and diesel should have such a "hatched" border label) you must read the label and follow instructions. The label will refer you to a M.S.D.S. (Material Safety Data Sheet) Your employer must have these sheets available for your access. Ask where they are located.
This is not a W.H.M.I.S. course.
Only your employer can give you current information regarding the dangerous material you may be using or are exposed to.
You have a responsibility to ask questions regarding safety issues.
Heat Stress is a serious situation and must be treated accordingly. Fire fighters are in a work environment that can increase this risk. Heat stress can quickly progress to a life-threatening situation.
Some signs to look for:
reddening in the face
profuse sweating - even if it may be cool
headache, nauseous / vomiting
dizziness, light headed feeling / fainting
pale, cool and clammy skin
rapid pulse and rapid shallow breathing
Treatment: The worker must be cooled immediately. Remove clothing, cool with sponge or sprayed water. Get medical assistance. If worker is alert, give worker water to drink. Worker may drink salty water but do not take salt tablets.
THIS IS A SERIOUS AND POTENTIALLY FATAL SITUATION. ACT ACCORDINGLY.Vehicles
- is responsible for the safe operating condition and operation of the vehicle. Drivers must do a pre-inspection which would include such items as a circle check.
Driver is checking:
for broken lights, mirrors, etc.
telltale oil, grease around wheel lugs, bearings, and fluids under the vehicle
look at tire condition - don’t forget the spare!
look under the hood for loose belts, check the fluid levels, and worn hoses, etc.
when inside, check all gauges, seat belts and door handles are all working properly
first aid kit and fire extinguisher
know where you are going
do not “cut” corners
do not drive close to the shoulders - especially after a rain or in the spring time
straddle deep ruts
do not “play Rambo” with your vehicle - keep it on the roads
know that your brakes may not work well immediately after driving through water
drive slowly over washboard to avoid “bounce”
approach all bridges and cattle-guards with caution
ensure all passengers are wearing seat belts
Slow Down! The Ministry of Forests and the B.C. Forest Safety Council are now monitoring some logging roads with radar
It should be clearly understood that most motor vehicle accidents on back country or forest industry type roads are primarily caused by inexperienced drivers with poor driving skills, often combined with excessive speed.
Why Wildland Fire Fighters DO NOT FIGHT VEHICLE FIRES
The following video is a clear demonstration of what can happen with some bumpers (nitrogen filled absorbers) during a fire.
Never approach from the front or rear.
Tires can also explode and cause serious harm.
Vehicles fires are extremely dangerous! (Even if a fully trained structural fire crew attends a vehicle fire, most often the vehicle is a total "write-off" anyhow.)
Summary - Wildland Fire Fighters do NOT attempt to fight vehicle fires!
STAY AWAY FROM VEHICLE FIRES!
Animals / Bears
Like all animals, they are opportunists. Their “grocery store” is in the bush and if we are working a fire, (or conducting any other forestry activity) we are in or near their “turf” and we must not add our food to their “grocery store”.
Pick up all garbage and maintain a clean, food free, fire line and work camp. A bear passing through, that does not find extra “goodies” will generally not return after about three days and may not become a problem bear. There is usually no need to shoot a bear the first time he/she comes near the work site or camp.
If they do continue to be a problem they must be dealt with by the proper authorities.
These animals are protected and must not be killed “just because we can”. A rattlesnake will not stalk you. If given the chance it will move away. Give it that chance. If you are working in rattlesnake country do NOT put your hands in holes while cold-trailing! Wear your pants loose over the top of your boots. If you are bitten, stay calm and ensure arrangements are made to immediately transport you by the quickest means available to the nearest hospital.
It is extremely rare for a rattlesnake bite in B.C., to be fatal to an adult.
Always think and be aware!
You are responsible for your own safety, and the safety of your fellow crew members!
When in doubt, back out!
The most important aspect of fire fighting is SAFETY!!!