February 2019
Published by the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal
All eyes on the Capitol

A s most of you are aware, the busy legislative session began in January, and will likely roll all the way into fire season. Our 2019-2021 submitted budget focuses on our efforts to reduce the loss of life and property as a result of fire and hazardous materials. Your support as we move through this process is greatly appreciated.

We are feeling good with the Governor’s recommended budget, and will testify before the Joint Committee on Ways and Means SubCommittee on Public Safety in February 25 -28. One note of interest is our Policy Option Package that proposes to incrementally increase the Petroleum Load Fee over the next two years. This package will help secure a long-term funding solution to meet the increasing demands and costs of the Regional Hazardous Materials Emergency Response Teams program.

Our office will also be an active participant on the Governor’s Council on Wildfire Response, discussing topics on forest health, smoke management, prevention, response, and adequate funding.

In addition, we are keeping an eye on several bills pertaining to crude oil transportation:

  • HB 2064 & SB 99 - Directs Environmental Quality Commission to adopt rules applying certain oil spill prevention and emergency response planning requirements to high hazard train routes in this state.

  • HB 2209 - Requires railroads that own or operate high hazard train routes to have oil spill contingency plans that have been approved by Department of Environmental Quality.

  • SB 229 - Directs Office of State Fire Marshal to include training in plan for coordinated response to oil or hazardous material spills or releases that occur during rail transport.

I also wanted to make you aware of several Building Codes Division bills that pertain to small homes:

  • HB 2423 - Adopts Small Home Specialty Code to regulate construction of homes not more than 400 square feet in size.

  • HB - 2416: Requires a person applying for issuance or renewal of recreational vehicle registration for small home to attest home meets certain conditions concerning mobility.

Legislators have many demands on their time during this period, however I encourage you to reach out to your local representative(s) and let them know your concerns from a fire service perspective and the importance of the services you provide to your community. The fire service is held in good esteem and you have the opportunity to capitalize on this with an open and honest dialogue with your political leaders on issues important to you, your department, and your community. Be sure to double check who your local representative(s) are as there may have been some changes with last November’s elections.

As always, I appreciate the support of the Oregon fire service in helping us move forward.  

Thanks for all you do!
Oregon State Fire Marshal Jim Walker
Smoke alarms save two lives: Lifesaving Partnerships in Action
T he American Red Cross, through their Home Fire Campaign , which focuses on   installing free smoke alarms in neighborhoods at high risk for fires and teaching people about fire safety, has now reached a remarkable accomplishment. To date, at least 511 lives have been saved through fire safety education and the installation of free smoke alarms in homes throughout America.

In Oregon the Red Cross Cascades Region, has partnered with the Office of State Fire Marshal and local fire agencies to install more than 8,000 free smoke alarms in at-risk communities across the state over the last four years.

A recent home fire in Madras, Oregon, illustrates the lifesaving impact of these successful partnerships. Red Cross Cascades volunteers installed smoke alarms and provided education and resources to the family in July of 2018. Three months later, they were able to react quickly when their alarms alerted them to a home fire. This example highlights the importance of working smoke alarms and home fire escape plans. The details below come from the Red Cross:

“Madras, Oregon (Cascades Region): Around 3:00 a.m. on September 30, 2018, a mother was sleeping, when she awoke to the sound of her electric heater beeping. She noticed the power go off and on. She investigated and saw flames coming from an electrical outlet. Then, her smoke alarms began to sound. Thankfully, she knew exactly what to do as a result of the home fire escape plan that she had made and she quickly evacuated herself and her four-year-old son through the nearest exit and waited safely outside for the fire department to arrive. On July 6, 2018, a volunteer in-home visit team had installed smoke alarms, helped the family create a home fire escape plan, reviewed a home fire safety checklist, as well as safety checklists for wildfire and flooding.”
The in-home visit was a result of the successful collaboration between the Red Cross Cascades Region, Red Cross volunteers Jack Crowell (shown in photo above) and Debra Slade (shown in photo to the right), the Jefferson County Fire District, and the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal. Two lives were saved that day due to these partnerships. Red Cross Cascades volunteers also assisted the family following the fire.

The OSFM is thankful for these partnerships that help protect the lives and property of Oregon residents from home fires. A heartfelt “Thank You” to the Red Cross, their volunteers and employees, and to our local fire service community partners! 
Hazmat Rail Preparedness 
Governor Kate Brown signed House Bill 3225 into law on July 20, 2015, making it part of Oregon Revised Statute 453.307 to 453.414 relating to the safe transport of hazardous materials. The law provides for the Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM) to coordinate training, preparedness, and response planning activities with a specific focus on oil or hazardous materials spills or releases that occur during rail transport. In part, this law mandates the OSFM to adopt by rule, a plan for the coordinated response to oil or haz­ardous materials spills or releases that occur during rail transport, identify response resources (existing and needed), and to coordinate training for emergency responders.

As OSFM continues collaboration efforts on Hazmat by Rail preparedness with local, state, federal, tribal, and private entities, we would like to take a moment and highlight some accomplishments in 2018.

Emergency Planning
• OSFM finalized a Hazardous Material Transportation by Rail State Agency Re­sponse Coordination Plan. This plan is an Appendix within Emergency Support Function (ESF) 10, in the Oregon Emergency Operations Plan (EOP).

• OSFM’s Hazmat Rail Program provided funding opportunities to eight Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs) across the state to develop compre­hensive Hazmat by Rail Emergency Response Plans. These planning districts were Multnomah, Klamath, Linn/Benton, Morrow, Umatilla, Marion, Polk, and Clackamas counties. At this time, all eight have been completed and are currently in operation and several have been tested through actual incidents or exercises.

• As mandated by the U.S. DOT Emergency Order Docket No.DOT-OST-2014-0067, rail carriers transporting in excess of 1,000,000 gallons of Bakken crude oil contin­ue to be required to notify the Oregon State Emergency Response Commission (SERC). The last updated report was provided by BNSF Railroad on June 1st, 2018 which added Multnomah County as an area where Crude Oil will now be trans­ported through. This information is disseminated and made available to appropri­ate emergency management and response agencies for planning purposes.
Training and Community Outreach

• In 2018, the OSFM facilitated the delivery of several Hazmat Emergency Re­sponse and Incident Command Operations courses.

• Over 2,000 personnel training hours were delivered.

• Multiple disciplines attended these trainings, including firefighters, Hazmat technicians, emergency planners, executive level managers, and public offi­cials, along with other Hazmat by rail first responders.

• The OSFM took delivery of and funded the installation of one retired railroad tank car in Hermiston, donated by BNSF, for use as a training prop.
The 2018 Annual Report can be located on our website https://www.oregon.gov/osp/Docs/2019_AR_HB3225.pdf

Registration Open for 2019 Task Force Leader Symposium!
OSFM’s 2019 Task Force Leader Symposium will be held April 17-18 at Seven Feathers Resort in Canyonville, OR. 

The event will begin Wednesday, April 17 th at 1300 hrs and will end at 1500 hrs on Thursday, April 18 th. Please register to attend by following this link:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2019-osfm-task-force-leader-symposium-tickets-54935702164

Registration and lodging reservations are separate. To make lodging reservations, you can either call 1-888-677-7771 and refer to “OSFM INCIDENT MANAGEMENT TRAINING 2019” or use the following link (recommended method):  https://book.b4checkin.com/chameleon/sevenfeatherscasinoresort?groupCode=101

This event is intended for Task Force Leaders, Assistants, and those hoping to fill the position during the 2019 season. 

Anyone with questions may contact mariah.rawlins@state.or.us
Code Corner
by OSFM Code Deputy David Mills
Upcoming Residential Wildfire Hazard Mitigation Regulations
Expanding urban residential development into traditionally nonurban areas have increasingly brought Oregonians into direct contact with wildfires. The unrestricted growth of development in wildfire hazard areas is a potential threat to life and property from fire and resulting erosion. The new Wildfire Hazard Mitigation regulations, Section R327 of the Oregon Residential Specialty Code (ORSC) has as its objective, the establishment of minimum special building construction regulations for the safeguarding of life and property from the intrusion of fire from wildfire exposures, fire exposures from adjacent structures, and to lessen structure fires from spreading into wildfire fuels.
We appreciate the State Building Codes Division and the Oregon Home Builders Associations' cooperative spirit, and the attention to detail, in assisting the Oregon fire service in developing and adopting wildfire hazard standards that are workable for Oregon.

With this new rule wildfire hazard mitigation provisions will be available for local adoption in the ORSC. Communities can then work to map Wildfire Hazard Zones as outlined in the Oregon Department of Forestry, OAR Chapter 629, Division 044. As outlined in OAR 629-044-0210, the purpose “is to set forth the criteria by which Wildfire Hazard Zones shall be determined by jurisdictions.” Such a determination is necessary before the provisions of ORS 93.270(4), portions of the Oregon Residential Specialty Code, Section R327 be adopted by a local jurisdiction. The determination of Wildfire Hazard Zones by jurisdictions is voluntary.

The regulations establish minimum standards for the location, design, and construction of buildings and structures. The construction provisions in R327 are intended to supplement the requirements of the Oregon Residential Specialty Code and address mitigation of the unique hazards posed to buildings by wildfire and to reduce the hazards of building fires spreading to wildland fuels.

One of the ways this is accomplished is by requiring ignition-resistant construction features/materials on buildings that make them less susceptible to ignition from direct flame contact, radiant heat, and ember intrusion. Construction features regulated include underfloor areas, roof coverings, eaves and soffits, gutters and downspouts, porches and decks, exterior walls, doors and windows, ventilations openings, and accessory structures.
Data Connection
  News from the Analytics & Intelligence Unit
by Analytics & Intelligence Program Coordinator Kayla Brookshire
To borrow from a National Association of State Fire Marshals report * called “Conquering the Unknowns,” here are a few expressions that stress the importance of inputting good NFIRS data, which you have undoubtedly heard before:
* http://www.nfic.org/docs/NASFMFoundationFinalReportConqueringtheUnknowns.pdf

However, even when an NFIRS incident validity score is at 100%, there is still a substantial lack of meaningful NFIRS data. The validity score only measures whether there is data in all of the required fields and that one box of data does not contradict another box of data in the run form (for example, you may receive an error if you attempt to put actions taken in a canceled en route call). In terms of performance, getting 100% validity is compared to the bare minimum of showing up to the game. But just showing up doesn’t mean that you’ve done your best to help your team.

What more does it take to provide meaningful NFIRS data other than just getting to 100% validity?

For meaningful data, you must be as specific and precise as possible in all areas of the NFIRS report, including incident type code, cause of ignition, factors contributing to ignition, equipment involved, property use, etc.

Avoid responses such as “ undetermined,” “ unknown,” “ other,” and “ none” if it is at all possible. While those ‘unknown’ type responses are occasionally the best fit for particularly unique incidents where nothing else in the list of choices applies, these should only be used on rare occasions. The reason to avoid this is because “unknown type” responses do not contribute to the bigger picture of understanding the fire problem at the local, state, or national level.

For example: The number of residential cooking fires that each fire agency in Oregon responds to each year can be quantified, and that information can be used to guide community risk reduction efforts and prevention programs—but if your agency’s NFIRS report doesn’t specifically identify the correct incident code, cause of ignition, property use, and equipment involved, the cause of the fire cannot be determined.

NFIRS data showed 560 residential structure cooking fires in Oregon in 2017. But we’ll never know how many of the 139 unknown cause residential fires and 117 under investigation residential fires were actually cooking fires.

Per the 2017 Supplement ( https://www.oregon.gov/osp/Docs/16ARS.pdf), how big of a problem was “unknown” data in the Oregon 2017 NFIRS data set *?

  •  “Other” made up 65% of the area of origin for residential structure fires
  •  “Other/Undetermined” combined made up 47% of factors contributing to ignition in residential structure fires.
  •  “Other/Not Reported” made up 82% of home structure fire Equipment Involved in Ignition
  •  “Undetermined/Not Reported” made up 26% of Structure Fire Smoke Alarm Presence
  •  “Undetermined /Not Reported” made up 54% of Home Structure Fire Smoke Alarm Operation.

For the area of origin data, it is a major challenge to design education materials without being able to pinpoint the place where most residential fires start. NFIRS provides 98 options to choose from aside from “other” (see the table below). It would be much more effective to design education materials if we could use the data to show a specific room of origin as the most common room where residential structure fires begin.

We appreciate everyone’s diligence in providing meaningful NFIRS data. Analytics & Intelligence understands the immense effort, time, and energy that goes into providing quality data. Thank you for all your contributions.
Nominations open for 
Sparky Awards
T he OSFM is accepting nominations for the 2019 Golden and Silver Sparky Awards.

The Golden Sparky recognizes a fire service member or fire agency for outstanding achievement in fire prevention or public safety education.

The Silver Sparky recognizes a civilian or civilian agency for outstanding achievement in fire prevention or public safety education.

Nominations are open February 1 st -March 15 th. Please submit your completed  Sparky Nomination Form    with an explanation and examples of your nominee's achievements.

For more information, contact Sally Cravinho at 503-934-8205 or  sally.cravinho@state.or.us

Competency Recognition Program 
The Office of State Fire Marshal held a Competency Recognition stakeholder meeting in November to propose amendments to the Competency Recognition Program. Since that time, the OSFM has shaped plans to move forward with amending competency levels, updating and creating new curriculum, expanding access to learning, and for the tracking and maintenance of training records.

Currently, we have begun revising the Authorities and Responsibilities course (previously Fire & Life Safety Awareness I) and anticipate completion in March. Revisions and creation of remaining classes will begin in March, and will be completed intermittently over the course of this year. 
What’s Next: Monthly updates will be provided to stakeholders, and we will work with a focus group for alpha and beta testing and direction as curriculum is developed. We will begin a formal rulemaking process later in the year. If you wish to receive monthly updates, please email valerie.abrahamson@state.or.us to be added to a notification list.

We are excited for the future of the Competency Recognition Program and would like to recognize the support of the fire service in providing guidance and encouragement.

Please note: Any changes to the Competency Recognition Program will not be final until we have acceptance from our stakeholder group and a formal rulemaking process has occurred.
Fire & Life Safety Services Division quick facts
Fire and Life Safety Services Division
Quick Facts :

The Field Operations Unit, consisting of 2 Supervisors and 13 Deputy State Fire Marshals (DSFM’s), traveled over 240,000 miles during 2018 in response to fire and life safety inspections, and fire investigations throughout these districts. 

  • The DSFMs complete access and water supply plan reviews and deliver training to Oregon Fire Service.

  • The Fire & Life Safety Services Division processed 250 requests and certificates for competency recognition for training in Company Inspector, Fire and Life Safety Awareness I & II, and recognition for Fire and Life Safety Specialist I & II, and Fire Marshal certifications.

  • The DSFMs were requested to investigate 203 structure fires.

  • Deputies completed 2,350 inspections of varied occupancies, including but not limited to schools, lodging, processing extraction, day cares and special hazards.
Two Deputy State Fire Marshals in the Codes and Technical Services Unit conduct state property inspections of vulnerable populations, as well as delivering great customer service providing above-ground tank plans review, code interpretations, and answers to the many questions from the general public. 

  • The Codes and Technical Service desk answered 859 inquiries during 2018.

  • Deputies traveled over 11,000 miles to inspect and re-inspect 249 vulnerable population state properties.

  • Reviewed and revised the Exempt Jurisdiction program.

  • Reviewed over 40 above-ground tank plan reviews.

  • With input from stakeholders, the code adoption process of reviewing 2018 International Fire Code with Oregon Amendments (soon to be known as 2019 Oregon Adopted Fire Code) continues.
The Healthcare Unit of the Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM), in partnership with the Oregon Health Authority and Department of Human Services, conducts unscheduled surveys at licensed healthcare facilities statewide.

The three OSFM healthcare compliance specialists have traveled over 30,000 miles in conducting over 220 l ife safety and emergency preparedness surveys of existing healthcare facilities. These facilities voluntarily agree to comply with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 101 Life Safety Code and NFPA 99 Health Care Facility Code as part of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services conditions of participation.

The Healthcare Unit has performed 57 plans review of care facilities remodels, reconstruction, and new construction for compliance with Life Safety Code requirements .
Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness (HMEP) Grant now accepting applications
The grant application period for the FY 19/20 HMEP Grant is now open. The application period will run through March 29, 2019. This will be for the performance period of October 2019 through September 2020.

Each year, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) makes funding available to states and territories in the form of a grant, which is utilized to enhance hazardous materials emergency response by supporting planning and training activities. 

Oregon receives approximately $250,000 in annual funding to support these projects. The following link will take you to the application packet on the Office of State Fire Marshal website:  https://www.oregon.gov/osp/programs/sfm/pages/default.aspx under the “Happening Now” box. Oregon Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs), and emergency planning and response agencies are encouraged to apply.

If you have questions, you can contact Terry Wolfe at terry.wolfe@state.or.us or (503) 934-8245.