Health & Safety: Safety Messages

June 2nd, 2009

New Response Policy?

UFA Health and Safety Officer / Sergeant-at-Arms Bill Romaka wishes to remind the Membership to take their safety responsibilities seriously at all times. We will continue to highlight and remind our members of "safe actions" as spelled out by the Department. Stay well and stay safe!

With the advent of the new 911/UCT Dispatching system, we wish to remind the membership of the need for a proper and safe response policy to protect our membership from being unnecessarily put in harm's way by a total lack of or incorrect information on these response tickets.

Risk/Reward is based upon information given. What happens when there is no or little information given? In order to best protect our most valuable resource, which is our firefighters, it is necessary to respond in the safest way possible. When you receive an address or cross street with no particulars, it is impossible to tell whether this is a hazardous materials incident or a possible terrorist incident. So the message here is to respond cautiously until more information is obtained. As pointed out in the FDNY's Fire Tactics and Procedures for Haz Mat incidents when such a code is given, this code "...will serve to warn responders to proceed with caution to avoid entering a restricted area." In General Tactics, it further states to "... Minimize commitment of forces as conditions permit. This will expose fewer members..."

Therefore until more information is given, we strongly urge the membership to respond safely and appropriately to protect themselves and their families as if these incidents might be hazardous in nature!


Stephen J. Cassidy

William Romaka
Sergeant-at-Arms / Health & Safety Officer