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The purpose of the Fire Mechanics Section is to promote standardization of fire apparatus and equipment preventative maintenance, improve safety standards and practices, promote workshops, conferences, and seminars related to the purposes of this Section, and to promote cost savings through standardization of building and equipment purchasing and maintenance.

RECENT FIRE MECHANIC NEWS

Posted: Jan 31, 2017

Creeper Drags Sponsored by Whatcom Electric & Battery

The Washington Fire Mechanics are proud to announce that Whatcom Electric & Battery has become the sole sponsor of the popular creeper drag event held at the WFM annual conference. We are very excited that Whatcom Electric & Battery has elected to be the first exclusive multi year sponsor of this event. It will be unveiled next fall as the Whatcom Electric & Battery Creeper Drags. The event will be held at our new conference location for 2017 The Wenatchee Conference Center
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Posted: Apr 28, 2017

FDIC International 2017 Class: Firefighter Suicide Prevention Approach

Dena Ali outlined the factors involved in the fire service’s “dark secret”─firefighter suicide─and strategies for detection and prevention. The Raleigh (NC) Fire Department officer presented her classroom session “Fire Service Suicide Prevention Approach” on Thursday, April 27 at FDIC International 2017. 

She said suicide can be prevented if the risk factors are recognized. Ali noted that in a given year, generally, the firefighter risk of death by suicide is three times that of death in the line of duty. The fire service must focus the same attention on preventing firefighter suicides as it does on preventing firefighter line of duty deaths. 

Ali shared her own struggle and several case studies that pointed to common factors in this issue. Although a firefighter may appear to be happy and contented on the outside, that is often just a mask to conceal that person’s true feelings.

The precise reasons behind a suicide are often a mystery, since the person with all the answers is gone. However, factors common to a suicidal mentality include a feeling of disconnectedness, a thwarted desire to belong, and the feeling of being a burden to family, friends, and colleagues. These are among the strongest predictors for a potential suicide, Ali said.

Firefighters in this situation may avoid sharing their feelings with others because they perceive it as a sign of weakness. Ali said firefighters perceive their role as “pillars of society”; the strong ones who save others. 

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from continual exposure to the tragic circumstances in emergency response is another factor in suicide, she said. Possible indicators of PTSD include depression, drug/alcohol abuse, and recklessness. Ali said while each factor can be dangerous itself, if two are combined, such as depression and substance abuse, it can have a synergistic effect. 

In creating a suicide outreach and prevention program, Ali recommended following National Fire Protection Association 1500, Standard on Fire Department Occupational Safety and Health Program (NFPA 1500, 2013 ed.) This latest edition particularly addresses critical incident stress as a part of overall firefighter health. She also noted there are several suicide prevention education initiatives are available from fire service organizations such as the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and the National Volunteer Fire Council. Also, the Rosecrance Florian Program offers behavioral health treatment specifically geared to emergency responders. 

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Posted: Apr 28, 2017

Live from FDIC, Day 5

We’re broadcasting the Fire Engineering Radio Show LIVE every day from the Indiana Convention Center during the week of FDIC International 2017.

Today’s hangout features the following groups:

1:00 - 1:35pm EDT – Tailboard Talk
1:35 - 2:10pm EDT – Mikey G & Mikey D
2:10 - 2:45pm EDT - 1st Due Battalion Chief
2:45 - 3:20pm EDT - Tom Merrill
3:20 - 4:00pm EDT – Chris Willis

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Posted: Apr 28, 2017

VIDEO: Susanne Klatt on "LODDs and Safety Standards in the German Fire Service"

By Derek Rosenfeld

On Wednesday, April 26, 2017, Essen (Germany) Fire Department Battalion Chief Susanne Klatt arrived at the Indianapolis (IN) Convention Center from the other side of the world to talk to FDIC International students about the differences between the German and U.S. fire services.

"The subject of firefighter safety is an integral part of every training you can receive in Germany, Klatt said.

Here, Klatt talks about the fitness standards and medical examinations prospective volunteer firefighters go through in Germany.

"I have been an instructor in the fire service since 2003, and that's how long I've been concerned with this topic. Atlhough it's the first time I am presenting something like this subject at an international conference an try to compare the trainings in two different countries."


Klatt called differences between the United States and German fire services "An interesting and important subject."

 

Here, Klatt talks about training and equipment standards in the German fire service.

"Firefighter safety should always be paramount. During some conversations with fellow U.S. fire officers and firefighters, I thought that it might be an interesting topic for FDIC. Also, being a safety engineer, all safety aspects are interesting to me."

Here, Klatt talks about German training regulations and their decision-making processes.

"This is my first FDIC. I heard a lot about this conference from friends but never managed to attend. I always enjoy the networking and the exchange of views as the most interesting things at conferences. My guess would be that this happens a lot during FDIC International."

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If FDIC International students could take away one piece of information from her class, Klatt said, "Stay interested and curious."

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"I'm really looking forward to attending FDIC and meeting some old friends and, hopefully, making some new ones."

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FIRE MECHANIC SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION

Apply today for the
Washington Fire Mechanics Scholarship!

APPLY ONLINE

Application deadline is August 1st, 2016!

Upcoming Events

Fire Mechanics Section Board

Chair

Posted: Oct 21, 2015

Chair

Elliot Courage
North Whatcom Fire & Rescue
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Vice Chair

Posted: Oct 21, 2015

Vice Chair

Mike Smith 
Pierce County Fire District #5
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Secretary

Posted: Oct 21, 2015

Secretary

Justin Claibourn
Central Pierce Fire & Rescue 
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Director #1

Posted: Oct 21, 2015

Director #1

Loren Angiono 
City of Lynnwood
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Director #2

Posted: Oct 21, 2015

Director #2

Paul Spencer 
Fire Fleet Maintenance LLC
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Director #3

Posted: Oct 21, 2015

Director #3

Larry Elliott
Olympia Fire Department
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Director #4

Posted: Oct 21, 2015

Director #4

Doug Jones
City of Redmond
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Director #6

Posted: Oct 21, 2015

Director #6

Brett Annear
Kitsap County Fire District 18
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Director #5

Posted: Oct 21, 2015

Director #5

Jay Jacks
Camano Island Fire & Rescue
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Legislative Representative

Posted: Oct 21, 2015

Legislative Representative

TBD
TBD
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Immediate Past Chair

Posted: Oct 20, 2015

Immediate Past Chair

Brian Fortner
Graham Fire & Rescue

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