The Baltimore County Fire Department is a combination department in Maryland with 3,000 members. The department has an on-going focus on health and wellness for its members, including requiring annual physicals, an annual physical fitness self-assessment, and completion of an operational readiness course while on-duty. All stations/shifts are required to complete a minimum of 10 hours per month of physical fitness training.
The department will use Safety Stand Down 2019 to focus attention on exposure risk reduction and cancer prevention for its members. Signs are posted at the entry to all living areas of the department’s stations prohibiting turnout gear beyond that point. Posters, including the 11 Best Practices for Firefighter Cancer Prevention, will be hung in all fire stations. During the week of June 16-22, each shift will review PowerPoints, videos, and other information from the Safety Stand Down web site. In addition, specific tasks will be completed each day of the week, including a wipe down of interior/exterior helmets, audit of Plymovent systems, wipe down of apparatus cab interiors, laundering of all bedding/towels, etc.
To ensure that firefighters are best protected from exposures, the department will be rolling out a new SOP on firefighter decon during the week. The SOP focuses on wet-soap decon on the fire scene and showering post-fire. Decon kits (bucket with garden hose, scrub brush, dish detergent, and FireWipes) are being distributed to all engine companies. This SOP will be reviewed and practiced department-wide.