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Fire Service Safety Leadership Award to Be Presented to Three Organizations for Their Work to Improve Firefighter Health and Safety

Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue, Office of the Oregon Fire Marshal and the Governor's Fire Service Policy Council Selected to Receive 2013 Award

The Congressional Fire Services Institute and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation have selected Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue, the Office of the Oregon Fire Marshal and the Governor’s Fire Service Policy Council as the recipient of the 2013 Senator Paul S. Sarbanes Fire Service Safety Leadership Award.

The award will be presented at the 25th Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner on May 9, 2013, 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. State Farm Insurance and VFIS serve as the corporate supporters of the award program.

The three organizations are being honored for a joint research project titled, A Study on Chemicals Found in the Overhaul Phase of Structure Fires Using Advanced Portable Air Monitoring Available for Chemical Speciation. This eight month-long project used advanced portable detection technology to identify and quantify the airborne hazards present after a fire was extinguished. The findings provided new information on previously undocumented toxic chemicals found during the overhaul phase that can pose serious health risks to firefighters and fire investigators. The study also provided a wide range of techniques that can be employed by first responders to offset the effects of smoke exposure.

CFSI President Bill Jenaway and NFFF Chairman Dennis Compton issued a joint statement recognizing the three organizations for their work: “This project embraces six of the 16 life safety initiatives developed by the major fire organizations in 2004 and used as the major criteria for this award. We applaud these three organizations for their shared commitment to this project. Research is the cornerstone of progress and through this study, the fire service can achieve greater progress in protecting firefighters against exposure to toxic chemicals that would otherwise threaten their health and safety.”

Please visit the Congressional Fire Services Institute’s website for additional information about the 25th Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner and Seminars Program. Approximately 2,000 fire and emergency services leaders throughout the nation are expected to attend the annual program. In addition to the dinner and seminars, attendees will schedule meetings with their members of Congress to discuss important fire and life safety issues.