Improving the Health & Safety of all Emergency Responders

FDSOA introduces The 5 Reads class in Orlando

 The Fire Department Safety Officer Association will introduce a new class on five critical fireground “reads” for chief officers, company officers and incident safety officers at the 2019 Safety Forum, to be held January 20th to 24th in Orlando, Florida.


Mike Richardson, division chief of Training and Safety for St. Matthews Fire Department in Louisville, and one of the FDSOA’s Eastern Directors, recently discussed the class in a YouTube video

In the video, Mike Richardson invited both certified Incident Safety Officers and those seeking continuing education to attend the 2019 Safety Forum. He will be involved in two of the courses, including The 5 Reads course.

Richardson said, “This is an excellent course for chief officers, company officers and incident safety officers”. He added, “If you have your ISO certificate, this will be a great continuing education opportunity.”


The 5 Reads course will cover the five critical fireground reads: reading buildings, smoke, hazardous energy, risk and firefighters.

Richardson will also teach a course on thermal imaging (TI) for Incident Safety Officers. “This is a great class for anyone using a thermal imager on the fireground,” said Richardson. “We’ll look at TI’s to understand the pros and cons of thermal imagers and also look at the NIST fire research and combine the fireground operations and imaging and make both more effective and safe.”

The 2019 Safety Forum will over twenty-two programs for safety officers, chief officers and company offers on topics ranging from the eye-opening keynote, You Say More Than You Think! by Janine Driver, to physical and behavioral health issues to fireground topics including understanding and fighting basement fires.

In addition, the FDSOA Safety Forum will be hold the two-day Incident Safety Officer Academy and the Health & Safety Officer Academy on January 21-22.

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The Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FDSOA) was established in 1989 as a non-profit association, incorporated in Massachusetts. In 2013, the offices moved to Michigan. Its mission is to promote safety standards and practices in the fire, rescue and emergency services community. The association is led by a volunteer board of directors and has a small staff to handle the day-to-day operations. The association is dedicated to the issues that affect the critical role of the safety officer in protecting and promoting the safety and health responsibilities of fire departments, communities and first responders. FDSOA works to helps fire departments achieve proficiency and promote the recognition of training, skills and a secure future. In May 2016, FDSOA won the Paul S. Sarbanes Fire Service Safety Leadership Award for its work over 28 years, “as an organization fully dedicated to the health and safety of the nation’s firefighters.”