The Congressional Fire Services Institute and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation have selected the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) as the recipient of the 2012 Senator Paul S. Sarbanes Fire Service Safety Leadership Award.
The award will be presented at the 24th Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner on April 26, 2012, in Washington, DC. Named after retired-Senator Paul S. Sarbanes of Maryland, a strong advocate of our nation’s firefighters and rescue personnel during his 36-year career in Congress, the award recognizes organizations for their outstanding contributions to firefighter health and safety. Both State Farm Insurance Companies and VFIS serve as the corporate supporters of the award program.
The department is being recognized for its Skid Avoidance for Fire Apparatus Drivers (SAFAD) Program. With support from various fire service stakeholders, including the Oregon Fire Chiefs, Oregon State Firefighters Council and the Oregon Volunteer Firefighters Association, DPSST developed the program to address one of the leading causes of line-of-duty deaths in the fire service: emergency vehicle accidents.
SAFAD uses both classroom and hands-on training. The most innovative element of the training is the specially-designed training platform called a “skid truck” that mounts under a Ford F-650. The skid truck, equipped with lights and siren, has hydraulic cylinders attached to each corner that allow the vehicle to be lifted while in operation, simulating a skid but in a controlled setting. Since the program was implemented, more than 25% of the career and volunteer firefighters in Oregon have completed the hands-on training program.
CFSI President Bill Jenaway and NFFF Chairman Dennis Compton issued a joint statement recognizing the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training for its achievements. “Reducing the number of vehicle crashes within the fire service was one of the core issues that prompted the 16 life safety initiatives developed by the major fire organizations in 2004 and used as the major criteria for this award. The Skid Avoidance for Fire Apparatus Drivers Program is innovative and proven to be effective within the state of Oregon to improve driver safety. Our two organizations take great pride in recognizing DPSST with the 2012 Senator Paul S. Sarbanes Fire Service Safety Leadership Award. We hope that this recognition of the SAFAD program encourages other fire service training agencies across the country to replicate the program.”