Baltimore County Fire Department in Towson, MD, is a combination department comprised of 2,000 members.
During the 2023 Safety Stand Down, they partnered with their hazardous materials (hazmat) team to provide daily training related to lithium-ion battery incidents. Due to the department’s unique shift configuration (2×10 hour days, 2×14 hour nights, four days off), they extended Safety Stand Down by one day to ensure all companies could participate equally.
During the two days each shift was scheduled, every company attended a 90-minute in-person training session. This included a 60-minute lecture and 30-minute hands on session demonstrating the importance of searching for batteries, as well as the mitigation tools that can be used to overpack compromised batteries.
The hazmat team taught four classes each day for eight days in a row, for a total of 32 classes. During night work, companies reviewed the department’s new standard operating procedures on lithium-ion battery response and participated in an online question and answer session.
To keep Safety Stand Down’s message top of mind, daily announcements were read over the dispatch channel during each change of shift throughout the week. The department also disseminated daily social media posts that focused on public safety relating to lithium-ion batteries. Their efforts did not go unnoticed — a local news station featured their story and training on the evening news.
While the 2023 Safety Stand Down may be over, Baltimore County Fire Department plans to continue, advance, and expand their commitment to firefighter health and safety. They look forward to participating in future Safety Stand Downs.
What did your department do for this year’s Safety Stand Down? Submit your story here.