July 2018
Published by the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal
Taking Care of Our Own
W e’ve already experienced a number of wildfire starts here in Oregon, and given the warming temperatures, drought conditions in at least six counties, and a diminished snowpack, it’s easy to conclude that we can expect many more fires this summer.

Fire years are becoming more complex and demanding. This means a high likelihood of many IMT deployments and a higher operational tempo for all firefighting resources.

However, we can’t let this active pace distract us from our most important mission, keeping all of our firefighters and supporting resources safe. And I don’t mean just keeping folks safe from fire, but safe from burn out, safe from exhaustion, and safe from depression. We MUST keep a lookout for each other. We must protect and take care of our own.

Most of us would agree that being a member of the firefighting community is like being part of a big family. And just like a family, we need to protect each other from harm. That means all types of harm – physical and mental.

The best families ensure they always check on each other to maintain the safety of each individual and the integrity of the group.

As a community and a family, we are much more effective when all of our members are able to perform at their best.

When we have long summers of responding to wildfires and multiple rapid deployments, we can easily get caught up in our public safety role and forget to take care of ourselves and look out for our own safety. That’s why we need our firefighting “family” to help look after us.

One of the best ways to do this is to talk to each other. Burnout can be a real risk, and having coworkers checking on each other, just to ask how things are going, can make a big difference in our ability to cope under extreme conditions.

I also encourage everyone to be honest with their coworkers about how they are feeling physically and mentally. It is not a sign of weakness to admit to struggling with whatever issues(s) that might be affecting you and your ability to perform at your best. It’s more a sign of strength to seek help rather than ignore something that puts yourself and possibly others at risk.

We are all human, and with that comes the issues and conditions we experience. We can get tired, forgetful, clumsy, stressed, sad, depressed, and more. However, what also makes us human is our ability to help each other, to communicate, to console, and reach out when needed.

If we keep our eyes and hearts open to the condition of our fellow workers we will be able to recognize the situations and conditions that are having a negative affect on the well-being of our “family members” and their safety.

And so it begins -
As I am finishing this column, we have recently returned resources from the Graham Fire near the town of Culver (see article below). Although this was a fairly short mobilization, it should serve to get our attention and get us ready for more frequent and possibly longer deployments. Let’s take this early opportunity to sharpen our focus and attention to taking care of each other.

By reaching out and acting as a touchstone for each other, we can help build a culture of resiliency, camaraderie, and shared experience that can help us all maintain a physical and emotional balance that will allow us to continue the public safety roles we love.

 Thanks for all you do!
Oregon State Fire Marshal Jim Walker
Graham Fire - first conflagration of 2018
T he Graham Fire, which was threatening the town of Culver in Jefferson County, became this year's first declared conflagration on Thursday, June 21st.

The OSFM mobilized the Green Incident Management Team (Incident Commander Les Hallman) and five task forces from Clackamas, Lane, Marion, Multnomah, and Washington counties to help protect the 200 threatened structures.

By the following Sunday afternoon, the structural threat had lessened enough for deployed resources to return home.

Lake Chinook Fire Chief Don Colfels gave credit to local crews, other Central Oregon agencies, ODF, and the OSFM for helping bring the fire under control and protect structures.

"In addition to the fire crews," said Colfels this community has helped itself by working hard to create defensible space around many of their homes."

Two residences, nine outbuildings, and four RVs were lost prior to OSFM resources arriving on scene.
A total of 99 IMT and task force personnel were deployed to the fire which destroyed 2,175 acres.
Contacting an OSFM
Duty Officer
R otating each Tuesday morning, members of the OSFM management team take turns serving 24/7 as the on-call OSFM Duty Officer.

The on-call OSFM Duty Officer is requested through the Oregon Emergency Response System (OERS) by calling 800-452-0311 (or in Salem, 503-378-6377).

OERS is the primary point of contact by which any public agency provides the state notification of an emergency, disaster, or requests access to state or federal resources.

As OSFM is responsible for the coordination of state firefighting and hazmat response resources through the Oregon Fire Service Mobilization Plan, OERS notifies the OSFM Duty Officer for requests such as wildfire conflagrations, regional hazardous materials emergency response teams, fire investigations, incident management teams, OSFM’s mobile command vehicle, train derailment firefighting foam trailers, or for other major incidents requiring statewide fire service resources.

Please update your contact information for the OSFM Duty Officer to the OERS phone number. Older contact information referencing pager or cell phone numbers should be deleted.

For questions about the Duty Officer Program, please contact Michael Heffner at (503) 934-8030 or michael.heffner@state.or.us
New videos from the OSFM regarding mobilizations
T he Office of State Fire Marshal has posted two new videos of interest to the fire service regarding mobilizations. 

The first can be used as a module for refresher training or viewed alone. This is an overview of the mobilization system in Oregon with an emphasis on paperwork and processes for responding personnel.  https://youtu.be/ggzma3yOJ-c

The second is an update regarding the newly adopted flagging standard and OSFM’s intention to use ESRI for our GIS needs during this coming season.  https://youtu.be/wFjcVrCRmg4
While the OSFM has communicated the plan to use Survey123 to complete structural triage, the video talks about the next step. 

The GIS Specialist will provide usernames and passwords to resources when they arrive at an incident, which will allow resources to enter triage information without the QR code. 

It will also allow resources to use the Explorer app (also an ESRI product) to view residences which have been triaged in real time. Until you are issued a password at the incident, you can still use the QR code or link to practice using Survey123. And as always, paper forms will be available.

As we enter summer, and with the first conflagration of the season behind us, this is a good time to re-familiarize ourselves with mobilization processes and procedures. 

More information can be found at :   https://www.oregon.gov/osp/SFM/Pages/Oregon_Mob_Plan.aspx
Fireworks media event kicks off the consumer fireworks sales season
T he OSFM and Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue hosted a very successful fireworks safety media event on June 22 nd to provide fireworks safety messaging and fire prevention awareness for July 4 th celebrations.

The event was supported by representatives from the Oregon Department of Forestry, Oregon State Parks, U.S. Forest Service, Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Legacy Emanuel Burn Center, and the Oregon Humane Society, who all delivered a range of safety messaging.

Retail fireworks sales began June 23 rd and are allowed to continue through July 6 th .

During 2017, there were 318 reported fireworks-caused fires in Oregon, resulting in eight injuries and more than $860,000 in property loss.

Given the risk fireworks can present in such a dry season, the OSFM strongly encourages citizens to attend one of the many excellent public fireworks displays taking place throughout the state.

If people decide to light their own fireworks, it’s important for them to make sure they are using Oregon consumer legal fireworks which can only be purchased from Oregon permitted fireworks retailers. We also encourage them to make sure they use them as they are intended, and in a legal location.

“We want everyone to be safe using fireworks so everyone can have a positive experience and go home safe,” said OSFM Regulatory Services Manager Mark Johnston.

Oregon law prohibits possession, use, or sale of any firework that flies into the air, explodes, or travels more than 12 feet horizontally on the ground without a permit issued by the OSFM.

“Please remember that fireworks are illegal on all federal public lands,” said USFS representative Rachel Pawlitz. “Let the Eagle Creek Fire be a reminder of the kind of devastation that can be caused by a few minutes of careless fun.”

Laura Klink from the Oregon Humane Society urged citizens to be aware and considerate of the effects fireworks can have on pets. “If people remember nothing else,” says Klink, “please keep your pets indoors in a safe secure area and that includes closing the windows, because animals can jump through screens.”

Officials may seize illegal fireworks and charge offenders with a class B misdemeanor which could result in a fine of up to $2,500 per violation and a civil penalty of up to $500. Those who misuse fireworks or allow fireworks to cause damage are liable and may be required to pay fire suppression costs or other damage. Parents are also liable for fireworks damage caused by their children.

We hope everyone has a happy and very safe holiday.
Code Corner
by OSFM Code Deputy David Mills
Aircraft Hangar Fire Suppression Update
The current trends within the aviation industry are for small regional aircraft and corporate jet usage for point-to-point air travel. As this trend grows, new aircraft hangar construction has increased.

These smaller planes are often stored and maintained in small to medium size hangars, typically classified as Group II hangars. Group II aircraft hangars are limited to an aircraft hangar access door height of 28 feet or less, with a maximum single fire area as outlined in the 2014 OSSC, Table 412.4.6. Currently, there is an Oregon amendment that exempts foam fire suppression from certain size aircraft hangars as outlined in 2014 OSSC, Section 412.4.6 Exception 2, and in the 2014 OFC, Section 914.8.2 Exception 2.
By their nature, aircraft hangars pose unique challenges for the fire protection of contents, structure, occupants, and firefighting operations. Protecting these assets requires addressing a hangar’s unique challenges.

They are large, open floor areas with tall roof decks to house high-value aircraft contents. Large quantities of liquid jet fuel are present and aircraft maintenance activities offer a variety of potential ignition sources.

A number of new hangar buildings have been proposed in Oregon intending to utilize the amendment, but needing clarification in applying the exception correctly.

The Building Codes Division (BCD) and Office of State Fire Marshal have worked together to clarify the current statewide application of this exception. As many in the aviation industry are seeking greater allowances from installing foam fire suppression systems in aircraft hangars, BCD is committed to a complete review with the idea of revisiting the current exception with stakeholders input.
Photo credit: Dale Evasin
A complete review of the current Oregon amendment is anticipated by the Building Code Division in the very near future. Input will be sought from all stakeholders in order to encourage economic development and strive for innovation with an eye on cost effectiveness in construction, especially construction in rural or remote areas of the state.

Our purpose for evaluating current codes is to provide a reasonable degree of protection from fire for life and property in aircraft hangars, based on sound engineering principles, test data, and field experience. The Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal believes that the solution to these problems lies in collaboration between the general aviation industry, the building & fire service, and the professionals who design, build, and use these facilities.

For questions, please call the OSFM Codes Hotline: 503-934-8204.
Emergency Response Guidebook update
D aily throughout North America and around the world, emergency first responders come to the aid of communities during accidents and disasters to help achieve and maintain public safety. While performing this vital and necessary service, responders often turn to the Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG) to provide guidance for their initial responses to hazardous materials transportation incidents. 

The ERGs are developed as a joint effort between PHMSA, Transport Canada, and the Secretariat of Communication and Transport of Mexico, and are updated, improved, re-published, and distributed every four years.

PHMSA is interested in receiving comments from emergency response personnel and other stakeholders to possibly improve the forthcoming ERG due to come out in 2020.

Please send comments to PHMSA’s mailbox for consideration: ERGComments@dot.gov

The current contact for requesting 2016 ERG’s for your agency is Chad Hawkins, Oregon State Police- Office of State Fire Marshal, chad.hawkins@state.or.us or 503-400-4671.
NFPA announces Fire Prevention Week theme
T he National Fire Prevention Association has announced that the theme of this year’s Fire Prevention Week is “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere.”
The theme works to educate about the three basic but essential steps to take to reduce the likelihood of having a fire – and how to escape safely in the event of one:

“LOOK” for places fire could start. Take a good look around your home. Identify potential fire hazards and take care of them.

“LISTEN” for the sound of the smoke alarm. You could have only minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Go to your outside meeting place, which should be a safe distance from the home and where everyone should meet.

“LEARN” two ways out of every room and make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily and are free of clutter.

Also, Sparky the Fire Dog® has a new friend, Simon, who is helping teach this year’s FPW messages – he’s a smart, resourceful character who will join Sparky in spreading fire-safety messages to adults and children alike. 

Stay tuned – NFPA’s new Fire Prevention Week web site will be launched late July 2018 at:
Smoke & CO Alarm Law requirements when selling or renting a home
T he OSFM is offering free training on Oregon Smoke & CO Alarm Law Requirements When Selling or Renting a Home . Real estate agents will receive one continuing education hour in Real Estate Consumer Protection. If you would like to register for training, click on the appropriate link for the day you want and complete the registration form.

Upcoming training :

July 10, 2018, 10-11 a.m., Pendleton Convention Center, 1601 Westgate, Pendleton. Register by July 5, 2018 .

July 11, 2018, 9-10 a.m., Baker City Fire Dept., 1616 2nd St., Baker City. Register by July 5, 2018 .
OFCA annual awards part II
L ast month in the Gated Wye we highlighted some of the Oregon Fire Chiefs Association annual awards they handed out in May. This is the remainder of the awards. Thanks to Stephanie Watson from the OFCA for supplying the photos and award descriptions.
Excellence in Safety
presented by the Oregon Safety & Health Section and SDAO

Pictured: (left to right) Jason Jantzi, Special Districts Association of Oregon; Dave Pickhardt, Oregon Safety & Health Section; Jim Davis, Canby Fire District; and award recipient Matt English from Canby Fire District.

Excellence in Safety
presented by the Oregon Safety & Health Section and SDAO

Pictured: (left to right) Jason Jantzi, SDAO; Dave Pickhardt, Oregon Safety & Health Section; award recipient Jon Peterson, Medford Fire & Rescue; and Tom McGowan, Medford Fire & Rescue.

Jeff Griffin Inspiration Award

Jeff Griffin, Oregon Fire Chiefs Association (left) receives the inaugural award from current OFCA President Tim Moor.

President's Award and Past President's Plaque
OFCA Past President Les Hallman (left in both photos) receives the awards from current OFCA President Tim Moor.

President's Ring
Current OFCA President Tim Moor receives the President's Ring from incoming OFCA President Darren Bucich.