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Posted: Oct 13, 2015

Follow Up: Firefighters say Vancouver oil train terminal would 'put too many lives at risk'

If Washington Governor Jay Inslee approves a controversial oil train terminal in Vancouver, firefighters say a disaster would be a catastrophic. They didn't beat around the bush Tuesday in front of Port of Vancouver commissioners. "What I'm here to talk about is to urge you to remove the oil terminal as a matter of business for the port," said Mark Johnston, president of the Vancouver Firefighters Union.
- PUB DATE: 10/13/2015 3:10:07 PM - SOURCE: Northwest Cable News
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Posted: Oct 13, 2015

Follow Up: Firefighters say Vancouver oil train terminal would 'put too many lives at risk'

If Washington Governor Jay Inslee approves a controversial oil train terminal in Vancouver, firefighters say a disaster would be a catastrophic. They didn't beat around the bush Tuesday in front of Port of Vancouver commissioners. "What I'm here to talk about is to urge you to remove the oil terminal as a matter of business for the port," said Mark Johnston, president of the Vancouver Firefighters Union.
- PUB DATE: 10/13/2015 3:10:07 PM - SOURCE: Northwest Cable News
Read more
Posted: Oct 13, 2015

Follow Up: Firefighters say Vancouver oil train terminal would 'put too many lives at risk'

If Washington Governor Jay Inslee approves a controversial oil train terminal in Vancouver, firefighters say a disaster would be a catastrophic. They didn't beat around the bush Tuesday in front of Port of Vancouver commissioners. "What I'm here to talk about is to urge you to remove the oil terminal as a matter of business for the port," said Mark Johnston, president of the Vancouver Firefighters Union.
- PUB DATE: 10/13/2015 3:10:07 PM - SOURCE: Northwest Cable News
Read more
Posted: Oct 13, 2015

Follow Up: Firefighters say Vancouver oil train terminal would 'put too many lives at risk'

If Washington Governor Jay Inslee approves a controversial oil train terminal in Vancouver, firefighters say a disaster would be a catastrophic. They didn't beat around the bush Tuesday in front of Port of Vancouver commissioners. "What I'm here to talk about is to urge you to remove the oil terminal as a matter of business for the port," said Mark Johnston, president of the Vancouver Firefighters Union.
- PUB DATE: 10/13/2015 3:10:07 PM - SOURCE: Northwest Cable News
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Posted: Oct 13, 2015

Maximizing the Benefits of Technology

RICHARD MARINUCCI

The development of technological advances has not slowed down and does not promise to do so in the foreseeable future.

This means that the fire service will continue to be exposed to new products that promise to make things easier, faster, more efficient, and more effective. Obviously, not all of these advances will be beneficial to every department and every situation. Departments need a system to evaluate new products and services so that good decisions can be made.

Sometimes I admit to others that I have a basement full of good ideas. This is said metaphorically to emphasize that on occasion an attempt to acquire something that was sure to make my job easier didn't deliver exactly in the manner it was supposed to. What seemed like a good idea at the time didn't pan out and a decision was made to move on to something else and discard the product. This meant that we bought something that was not used or didn't produce the intended results, leaving a problem unresolved and costing sparse resources. Hopefully, every one of these offered an opportunity to learn a lesson so that a repeat would not occur.

Don't Need to Be First

Regarding technology, there is a desire in some to be the first one on the block to get the latest and greatest. When the new iPhone® is released, long lines await the opening of the store so individuals can get the device before anyone else. When Apple released the iWatch®, some people wanted it so badly that they couldn't wait to see if it was really something that would be advantageous. Maybe functionality doesn't matter and it is more about status and what others may think. I, like many, sometimes get caught up in this thought process and want to get in the lead. But, I have learned that there are some steps that should be taken to increase the likelihood that the new technology will actually help and last long enough to have a good return on investment.

If you are looking for examples in the fire service, there are many. The first generation or two of PASS devices offered great promise. For many who thought this was the answer to finding lost firefighters on the fireground, getting these as soon as possible was the goal. The proposed benefit seemed like the proverbial "no-brainer." Unfortunately, organizations found limitations and issues. The units required that the firefighter activate them when donning the self-contained breathing apparatus. Many did not remember this step. In other cases, the devices had a sensitivity that caused mostly false alarms. They became similar to car alarms in that they were ignored-not a good thing to have happen with life safety on the line. Ultimately, these issues were resolved, and PASS devices have become more reliable and critical for fire service operations. Those departments that took the leap initially may have some nice relics for their museums!

Evaluate

Regardless of the product, someone has to be first. The reasons for opting to be early in the process should be sound and make sense for the organization. They should not be based on being first for the sake of bragging rights or being cool. It shouldn't be because your neighbors have one and you need to keep up to appear progressive. There must be a proper evaluation that considers the critical factors before any significant investment is made. Does a need exist? Will the product address the need? Can you afford it? Will there be the right return on investment? These are the simple questions that have to be asked.

There are certain issues that lend themselves to quick purchases. Certainly anything that can improve firefighter safety will generate interest and sometimes the urge to take a shortcut. Your depa

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