Improving the Health & Safety of all Emergency Responders

Safety, Health & Survival Track featured at Safety Forum 


The International Association of Fire Chiefs’ Safety Health & Survival Section (IAFC SHS), in partnership with the Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FDSOA), announced a special five-track program that will be presented as part of the annual FDSOA Safety Forum, January 17-18, 2018, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The IAFC SHS and FDSOA have partnered the past couple years to offer programs focused on emergency responders’ health and safety. Among the 22 programs featured at the Safety Forum, the IAFC SHS’ Track will include:

  • Safe or Unsafe–Can You Prove it?  David Daniels, IAFC Safety, Health and Survival Section Director-at-Large, will focus on methods a safety professional can use to prove safety management systems are either functioning or not by focusing on performance management. Learn the objective indicators or performances that can prove you’re doing the right things and help justify resources or prove you’re not and need to change course.


  • We’ve got bedbugs! Now What? Kenneth Jenkins, battalion chief, Health and Safety Officer, Charleston Fire Department, will share how the department received national attention when an outbreak of bedbugs surfaced at several stations. While a new experience for the department, bedbugs are a scourge the hotel and medical industries have been dealing with for quite some time. This presentation will walk through Charleston’s experience, delivered by the HSO who was the “tip of the spear” for resolving the pesky issue.


  • The Emergency Services Road Map to Health and Wellness: A Revision of the NFPA 1582 Guide Todd LeDuc, Assistant Fire Chief, Broward County Fire and Rescue & IAFC SHS Secretary, along with Richard Miller, IAFC staff, will explain how FSTAR (Firefighter Safety Through Advanced Research) and the IAFC’s Safety, Health and Survival Section evaluated, updated and transformed the original NFPA 1582 guide into The Emergency Services Road Map to Health and Wellness based on firefighter medical survey results. FSTAR Health and Wellness focuses on firefighter physicals, partnerships with medical providers specializing in NFPA 1582 and researchers working on advancements in firefighter health and safety.


  • Near-Miss Reporting: A Tool Safety Officers Can Use to Prevent Injuries and Accidents with John Russ program manager, National Fire Fighter Near-Miss Reporting System. Russ will walk attendees through the system and provide recommendations for how the system’s data can be converted to useful programs to reduce injuries, fatalities, and equipment loss.


  • The First Five Minutes: A guide to what safety officers need to address as they establish themselves in the hazard zone with John B. Tippett, Interim Fire Chief, City of Charleston. The incident safety officer (ISO) typically arrives at an incident after operations are well under way. Even though “safety is everyone’s responsibility” on the incident scene, ISOs know the momentum of operations can seem like that of a runaway train. Tippett incorporates real world scenarios and case studies to help the ISO get oriented and active. The goal is to provide strategies for developing a systematic approach to embedding in a dynamic hazard zone as the incident safety officer. “The First Five Minutes” will provide strategies to stepping into the fire ground whirlwind and becoming a dynamic participant in getting everyone home.


The full 2018 Safety Forum program and registration information are available at


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.”