News

See the OFPC Final Regulations for the Cancer Benefit Program

October 22nd, 2018

The documents posted here that pertain to the Volunteer FF Cancer Benefit program as mandated by GML 205cc are the OFPC Final Regulations, the Final Rule Report with Answers to Comments, text of the Final Rule Report Answers and the OSHA Physical Exam Questionnaire as referenced in the final documents.

101718 OFPC FINAL REG 2018 NY REG TEXT 495278

101718 OFPC 2018 NY REG TEXT 495278 FINAL RULE REPORT ANSWERS FINAL DEC

101718 OFPC 2018 NY REG TEXT 495278 FINAL RULE REPORT WITH ANSWERS TO COMMENTS

101918 OSHA PHYSICAL EXAM QUESTIONNAIRE

Governor Signs Spending Limitation Exemption

August 28th, 2018
The Legislation contained in Bill A10327A/S8019A to amend Town Law authorizing fire districts to exempt the cost of the Fire Fighter’s Cancer Benefit Program from the fire district’s spending limitation has been signed by the Governor.
Fire districts have a spending limitation that applies to certain categories of their annual budget under Town Law Section 176 (18). Under current law, there are sixteen exemptions to the fire district spending limitation; this bill simply adds the newly adopted volunteer firefighter enhanced cancer disability benefits to the list. Exempting the cancer
coverage insurance expense from the fire district budget spending limitation is critical for fire district finances.
This legislation will have no impact on the real property tax levy cap provided for under General Municipal Law Section 3-c. A fire district will be required to follow the current procedure if it wishes to exceed that cap. The fire district budget spending limitation is merely a mechanism to control spending in some but not all budget categories.
We want to take this opportunity to thank the Bill’s sponsors Assemblywoman Gunther and Senator Griffo for sponsoring this legislation to especially help those fire districts who are at the top of their spending limitation.

Lavender Ribbon Report – Cancer Prevention Best Practices for the Fire Service

August 19th, 2018

See the Best Practices for cancer prevention for the fire service in this National Volunteer Fire Counsel Publication.  Down and print this document and post it in your fire stations.

Lavendar-Ribbon-Report-Cancer

Four things a District Must do in a Public Relations Crisis

September 3rd, 2017

Four things a Fire District/Fire Department must do in a Public Relations Crisis

 

Fire Districts/Departments get themselves into trouble all the time and the public backlash can be especially fierce under the harsh glare of social media.   While every crisis is different, there are certain important steps that they should take to avoid turning a crisis into a total disaster.  All press releases should be developed by the authority having jurisdiction whether that is the Board of Fire Commissioners, Board of Directors or the Administrative Officers.  There should be one message from one source by one spokesperson/PIO.  The person delivering the message should be involved in developing the press releases and, should be confident and articulate.  If the district or department does not have such a person, look to the outside for a credible person who has such qualities.

 

  1. Acknowledge and Apologize

Acknowledging the problem and issuing a swift apology is critical. The apology should be immediate and unconditional; that’s an important signal of the character of the organization.  Make a statement quickly, have all stakeholders agree to the statement and be sure it does not come across as half hearted, it should be sincere.

 

  1. Identify the root cause of the crisis

Districts/departments should immediately work to understand the factors that caused a crisis. In an ideal scenario, the organization would commit to making the findings public.  Transparency and a desire to be open and honest about the cause of the crisis is key to restoring trust with the public.  It can also help protect against future crises.

 

  1. Make the necessary changes

Once the diagnosis of the root cause is clear, organizations need to act — and be seen to act — to make the changes that will prevent similar problems in the future.  Make the changes public, not just an internal document, release it to the media.  This is what went wrong, this is what we are doing to fix it and we’ll continue to monitor it.   Only a full-scale intervention will be seen to be credible and authentic to the public.

 

  1. Ongoing evaluation of crisis response

Districts/departments need to understand that rebuilding trust with the public takes time.  They should continue to evaluate their actions to ensure they are fully addressing the causes of the crisis.  They also need to be transparent in their work and investigations, don’t keep it to yourself.

 

DECON Yourself At the Scene of a Fire

June 20th, 2017

Properly Deconing Yourself at the Scene of a Fire

 

  1. Remove Wipes from packet and fully open to take advantage of the whole wipe. If both sides of the wipe become soiled during the process, use additional wipes as needed
  2. Start with your eyelids and external corners around your eyes. Action Wipes contain no alcohol or harmful chemicals to further irritate or harm your skin
  3. Clean your hands, lips and surrounding skin BEFORE hydrating. If you are thirsty and cannot wait to hydrate, be sure to clean your hands off before grabbing a beverage
  4. Your nose has a lot of blood vessels close to the skin that easily absorb contaminants. Clean inside and around the folds of your nose
  5. Be sure to get inside and around the back of your ears
  6. Get all around your neck and make sure you get all sides as well as under your shirt collar
  7. Wipe down your hair
  8. Use a clean side of the wipe to thoroughly clean your arms. Be sure to mop up the soot and debris and not just spread it around
  9. Clean your hands and be sure to get in-between your fingers and underneath any rings or bracelets
  10. Get as much of the debris out of your fingernails
  11. Underarms and groin are dense with hair follicles and very important to clean, since they can capture and hold debris
  12. Be sure to wipe down below your belt and into your groin to remove as much debris and contaminants as possible.
  13. Don’t forget to blow your nose and TAKE A SHOWER at your earliest opportunity

 

Do not forget, these can also be used to DECON Equipment before it is washed or that cannot be washed  {ie. helmet, ear-flaps, SCBA, Portable Radio etc.}

Considering a Municipal Lease Agreement – Read This First

June 10th, 2017

A municipal lease can be much more complicated than you might imagine, read this before you decide to make a move.

MUNICIPAL LEASE OR INSTALLMENT PURCHASE CONTRACT

Comptroller Publishes Updated Report on the Fire Service in New York

April 3rd, 2017

Read the new report on the fire service in New York State here:

fireprotection0317

Comptroller Proposes More Transparency for Fire Protection Districts

April 3rd, 2017

NEWS
From the Office of the New York State Comptroller
Thomas P. DiNapoli

DiNAPOLI PROPOSES MORE TRANSPARENCY FOR FIRE PROTECTION COSTS
New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today proposed changes to the process for local communities that contract out their fire protection services to incorporated volunteer fire companies. DiNapoli’s legislation would require any incorporated fire company to submit an itemized statement of the estimated costs of providing fire services prior to contract negotiations with any town, village or fire district.

“Many communities rely on the efforts of volunteer fire fighters to protect residents and their property,” DiNapoli said “My legislative proposal would help ensure that the public is aware of the costs of providing fire services before contracts are signed and creates a more standardized process across New York that implements best practices.”

DiNapoli’s legislation is supported by the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York, the Association of Fire Districts of the State of New York and the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs.

His office also released a report to help New Yorkers learn about the different ways that communities offer fire protection services to residents. New York’s system for providing fire protection is complex. It can lead to lack of civic understanding, limited participation in budget hearings and special elections, and not enough oversight of financial operations.

The report notes:

  • As of December 2015, there were 886 fire districts in the state.
    · All 62 cities and many of the state’s villages have municipal fire departments.
    · There are over 90,000 volunteer and about 18,000 paid career firefighters throughout the state.
    · Ninety-four percent of fire district revenues come from property taxes.
    · Because fire companies are private entities, they are not subject to many of the laws that apply to municipalities and fire districts.

Between 2011 and 2015, the Comptroller’s office audited 194 fire districts and 113 fire companies. DiNapoli’s office trained approximately 1,200 fire officials across the state in the last three years on financial matters.
Attached is the Legislative Memo related to the new legislation:

oscb-fpc-memo

Attached is actual proposed text of the legislation:

oscb-fpc-text

 

Fire District Surplus Property Limits Go Up!

November 18th, 2016

The Governor signed bill S 5858-B on 11/14/16, which relates to the sale of surplus real or personal property.  The fire district may now sell or otherwise dispose of real and personal property of the district no longer necessary for any of its use or purposes if valued at less than $100,000 but not below $20,000 by resolution which will be subject to a permissive referendum.  If the value of the real or personal property is less than $20,000 a proposition is not needed, simply a resolution of the Board to declare the property surplus.  Over $100,000 a resolution by the Board and a voter referendum is required.  The amounts in Section 176, subdivision 23 of Town law were previously $50,000 and $10,000.

Include fire sprinklers in the code

November 12th, 2016

By David Quinn and Jerry Deluca

In February 2014, one person died of carbon monoxide poisoning in a Long Island restaurant. The state Legislature acted with the appropriate urgency, and two years later, a law is on the books requiring the installation of CO detectors in all commercial properties. This is an excellent example of public officials taking advantage of existing, widely available technologies to improve the public safety.

Sadly, the state Code Council has not demonstrated the same urgency. For some time now, the council has bowed to pressure from home builders’ associations and resisted the inclusion of residential sprinkler systems in New York’s home building codes. This comes in spite of the fact that sprinklers are proven, life-saving technology, and are integrated into the national standard code. The council has, in fact, actively removed the sprinkler requirement from New York’s code, harming the public safety.

If enacted, the sprinkler requirement would apply only to new one- and two-family homes, as well as new town houses. The cost of sprinklers would be approximately $1.65 per square foot — not insignificant, but a small price to pay for protecting one’s home and family, and one that is partially offset by a more favorable home insurance rate. An average home in the Capital Region of approximately 2,000 square feet would cost about $3,300 to equip with sprinklers — often less than the cost of a granite counter-top in the kitchen, and less than what is sometimes paid for a lawn sprinkler system.

This is not just an abstraction: 75 people have already died in 2016 in residential house fires, and we are about to enter winter, when fires typically spike. That is 75 deaths too many, made all the more tragic when a solution is readily available. According to the National Fire Protection Association, 85 percent of all fire deaths occur at home, and the presence of sprinklers cuts the risk of dying by approximately 80 percent.

The New York State Association of Fire Chiefs, the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York, along with our sister associations, the Association of Fire Districts of NYS and the NYS Fire Coordinators Association, are constantly striving to reduce the number of fires and fire deaths. We hold fire prevention classes, inform the public about the benefits of smoke alarms and hold open houses at fire stations, but there is only so much we can do. Those in power must act to protect the public, and fire sprinklers are unquestionably effective in doing so. How many more people must die before public safety takes precedence over profit?

  • David Quinn is chief administrative officer of the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York. Jerry DeLuca is executive director & CEO of the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs.

New Homes Burn Too!!

September 29th, 2016

shutterstock_94846771

 

Connecticut Child Dies in Recently Built Home

A six-year-old girl from Connecticut recently died in a fire in a home built only months ago. Her mother is in serious condition. The incident negates persistent claims made by fire sprinkler opponents that smoke alarms and other safety features “offer adequate protection from fire” and home fire sprinklers are not necessary since “today’s fire deaths and injuries are happening in older homes.”

Built by a local Habitat for Humanity chapter this year using lightweight construction materials and occupied by the family in July, the Connecticut home had at least one working smoke alarm, according to news reports. Moreover, had this home’s construction followed requirements found in all U.S. model building codes—specifically, a requirement to sprinkler new dwellings that has appeared in every edition of these codes since 2009—it should have been sprinklered.

Mirroring action occurring across North America, sprinkler opponents in Connecticut have made a convincing—and oftentimes inaccurate—pitch to state and local decision makers that have kept fire sprinklers out of new homes. “Nobody is dying in new homes from fires,” stated Bill Ethier, CEO of Connecticut’s Home Builders and Remodelers Association, in a 2015 essay penned in response to proposed legislation to sprinkler the state’s new homes. (His full essay is attached to this blog post.) “Sprinklers in new homes will not save the lives proponents claim. “[This technology] is an astronomical cost to save a life.”

“This type of logic is misguided and infuriating,” says Jim Pauley, NFPA’s president and CEO. “Time and again, our data proves the majority of America’s fire deaths are occurring at home, old and new alike. Research also confirms that fire sprinklers are a cost-effective component to new homes that can eliminate these tragedies. They are the solution to our home fire problem. To assume that fire sprinkler requirements are merely an unwanted burden to homebuilders with minimal benefits to society places little value on the little girl who sadly passed away, the more than 2,500 others who die each year from home fires, and the thousands of others injured annually by these incidents.”

Pauley is not alone in promoting safer homes in Connecticut and elsewhere. “You have an 80 percent rate of getting out of a house fire with smoke alarms and sprinklers and only a 50 percent chance with smoke alarms alone, so there’s a big difference there,” Keith Flood, chair of the Connecticut Fire Sprinkler Coalition, told a Connecticut news station following the recent fire. He is currently working with the coalition to secure home fire sprinkler requirements in his state. “Our opinion is that this may have been a different scenario if the house had sprinklers in it.”

 

Embrace The Capital Area Association – Make it Your Association

September 29th, 2015

This is your organization, we understand that you can’t make all of the meetings and we also know that we are operating in a new way, many are getting information through the Capital Bulletin, but we still need to have an administrative structure to govern the Association.  We have grown to 75 member district with only a few districts in the 8 counties we cover that don’t belong.  We are financially strong and have reduced the cost of our workshops.  But, we still have to govern and need your input and participation.  I have been an officer in the Capital Area Association for several years as has President Meehan, we would both welcome anyone who would like to run for an office who is interested in continuing our success.  Please consider attending the November meeting where elections will take place, we don’t want this organization to become limited in scope and control and urge that nominations are open to anyone who wishes to do a good job.  Tom Rinaldi 1st VP.