The Structure Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is the cornerstone of the Emergency Response program. The Emergency Response program is the only Career Technical Education program housed at Sierra High school and it is the only CTE program in the district that has Sierra, Truckee and North Tahoe high school students attending. Structural PPE consists of the helmet, coat, trousers, boots and gloves you see firefighters wearing. As my program continues to grow fitting cadets in appropriately sized structure PPE is more challenging. I have both females and males enrolled in the program with many size variations. The Structure PPE is cumbersome when it fits properly. When the equipment does not fit correctly it wears more quickly damaging the material resulting in a shorter life span. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards for structural PPE give the equipment a 10 year life span. My equipment will easily last that long if it is fitted correctly on my cadets.
Benefits of Program (10 points)
A large part of the Emergency Response program are physical skills. The skills my cadets are expected to master come directly from International Fire Service Association (IFTSA). The IFTSA manual is used by the different Fire Academies to train their cadets and it is the standard for firefighting.
During the course of a semester we also participate in trainings with the Truckee Fire Protection District approximately every other week. In order to use the equipment we use during the trainings with Truckee Fire the cadets need to be wearing the Structure PPE to meet the NFPA and IFTSA guidelines for firefighter safety.
Success of Program (10 points)
The Emergency Response program would not give my cadets a true feel for what the profession of firefighting is without the Structure PPE and the support of Truckee Fire. For a program only in its third year I am very proud of the accomplishments of my cadets. Up to this point 100% of my high school cadet graduates are CTE Program Completers. To become a CTE Program Completer my cadets must successfully complete the Emergency Response class and then take and successfully complete a Sierra College class in Fire Technology, Health Sciences or Administration of Justice. The Sierra College classes support the Emergency Response professions.
Some of my CTE Program Completers have also successfully complete the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) class and Fire Academy program after graduation. Currently one of my former cadets who graduated from the Butte Fire Academy is working as a seasonal Hotshot Wildland Firefighter out of Carson City.
LN Curtis and Sons, my supplier, does not charge me shipping. Plus they give me professional/discounted pricing when available. I am also asking for two step in bags. The step in bags are used to store and protect the Structural PPE when it is not in use.
Implementation (10 points)
The Emergency Response cadets train in seven main areas that we need the Structural PPE. Each of the seven areas has multiple skills I expect the cadets to master. Many of these skills are expected to be completed in a given amount of time. Donning and doffing the Structural PPE is a timed task and one of our focuses. Since most of the skills and tasks completed by firefighters require the use of Structural PPE IFTSA requires firefighters to don and doff their structural PPE effectively and efficiently. Hose skills also require the use of Structural PPE and some of the skills are timed. The hose metal couplings become warn creating very sharp edges and the hose itself can pick up contaminants like oils and other chemicals, as well as glass and splinters. Therefore, when firefighters manage hoses they are expected to be in their appropriate PPE. When the cadets throw ladders they are expected to be in full Structural PPE. The ladders may have sharp edges or splinters, plus the Structural PPE will act as protection against pinching or ladders falling. During structure search training the cadets wear the Structure PPE to simulate a real search situation as well as protect them from injury as they crawl through obstacles, visually blacked-out ,with a fire tool like an axe or a halligan tool. The cadets use the Structure PPE during victim rescue training. The IFTSA manual requires the firefighters master certain lifts and carries and the Structural PPE simulates a real life situation as well as protest the cadet from injury during the training. Lastly, we use the Structural PPE during our fire behavior and vehicle extrication trainings. The Structural PPE truly protects the cadets during these trainings. The Nomex material and insulation of the Structural PPE protects us from the flames and heat of the fire while the leather and Kevlar in the gloves, jacket and pants protect us from flying glass and sharp metal.
Fitted correctly the Structural PPE will last a minimum of ten years.
Can you share this grant with your grade level or subject team?
The equipment is not shared with directly with other classes in the district, however, it is shared in other ways. My cadets and I will share the Structural PPE at CTE open houses, both district wide and public, allowing participants to feel the weight of the equipment during donning and doffing. The Sierra College EMT students also borrow my Structural PPE during their vehicle extrication training with Truckee Fire. I also have cadets participating in a newly opened Fire Explorer program with North Tahoe Fire Protection District and I have offered the use of my Structural PPE in their program. The training officer of the Explorer program was very excited to have access to the Structural PPE.
Other funding sources
I will use CTE program monies to purchase gloves and boots to support my sizing needed.