The McCrady Fire and Emergency Services is a career department located at the National Guard’s McCrady Training Center in Eastover, SC. The 24 members worked to create a Culture of Safety during the 2015 International Fire/EMS Safety and Health Week by participating in training activities, collaborating with other agencies, and evaluating what the department and community can do to focus on safety and health in the long-term.
During the week of June 14-20, department members, other agencies, and the military community they serve joined together for a series of training sessions that covered a variety of safety topics. These courses included:
- Fire Extinguisher Training
- Basic Wildland Firefighting Safety
- Workplace Safety Training
- Is Your Department at its B.E.S.T.?
- Blood Borne Pathogen Training
- AED Training
- Cancer in the Fire Service
- Emergency Driver Safety
- Life Net Landing Zone Safety
- Physical Fitness
- Back Injuries in the Fire Service
- 16 Life Safety Initiatives
This training was just the first step in the department’s planned ongoing efforts to make safety and health a top priority. Many of the subjects taught during the Safety and Health Week activities have been added to the department’s recurring training roster, and additional ones will also be introduced.
To further enhance their focus on safety, the department is establishing a Safety Committee that will convene quarterly to discuss, identify, and/or improve their in-house training and fireground safety practices. The Safety and Health Week activities also fostered increased collaboration with agencies such as the South Carolina Forestry Commission and others which the department may need to work within the event of an emergency.
“Our focus will always be SAFETY FIRST!” said Chief Andrew James. He noted that safety concerns and initiatives are meticulously built into all departmental SOGs and policies.
To help encourage healthy lifestyle changes among members, the department will have dedicated duty time for members to exercise and will bring in a certified military instructor to implement the “Army Move!” exercise program.
The McCrady Fire and Emergency Services will continue to build on all of these efforts to create a lasting culture of safety for their department, for their members, and for their community.
“This is a great enterprise, and we thoroughly enjoyed taking part in it,” said Chief James of his department’s participation in Safety and Health Week. “This was our inaugural year and we look forward to continuing and building on this outstanding initiative and culture you’ve created. This started as an intradepartmental training event that quickly outgrew our expectations and expanded into an installation-wide event thanks to the resourcefulness of our Fire Prevention Inspector / Safety Officer Mr. Kevin L. Powers.”
Read more about the McCrady Fire and Emergency Services’ Safety and Health Week activities.