Fire departments provide invaluable services to communities nationwide. They respond to all emergency situations. They also respond to nonemergency service calls and good intent calls. Often what is described to dispatchers does not reflect the actual incident. Nevertheless, fire departments are trained and prepared to respond to a broad array of situations. While "fire" is part of the department name, less than 10 percent of runs made by fire departments actually involve fire.'The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) reports 170,527 hazardous materials incidents resulting in 2,857 injuries and 137 fatalities from 1999 to 2008.''An estimated 36 percent of fire departments involved in hazardous material response have not provided formal training in those duties to all involved personnel.'" In 2008, 114 fire fighters were killed in the line of duty.'^ These profound statistics place the health and safety of first responders at significant risk. Additionally, there is no established mechanism for identifying fatalities that result from illnesses such as forms of cancer that develop over long periods oftime, and which are often related to occupational exposure to hazardous materials or toxic products of combustion. The lAFF, therefore, requests continued renewal of funding under the NIEHS Hazardous Waste Workers Training Program (HWWTP) to further train first responders in hazardous materials, with a focus on health and safety. In the following paragraphs, the lAFF will document its past successes and effectiveness in planning, implementing and operating worker health and safety training programs and employing adult education techniques. Since receiving its first NIEHS award in 1987, the lAFF has updated its existing programs and developed new programs to meet the changing needs of the target population. To date, the lAFF has developed 15 training programs to meet the needs of first responders. Many of these classes are offered in an Instructor Training/Train-ttie-Trainer (TtT) format, allowing departments to develop their own, in-house cadre of instructors. The lAFF's past successes in performance and effectiveness of training programs will be discussed in great detail throughout this proposal. lAFF training programs are designed to meet or exceed minimum requirements of federal regulations and national industry standards. These training programs incorporate information on potential hazards, describe appropriate actions including the use of personal protective and other rescue equipment, and stress the importance of preplanning. Additionally, lAFF training programs are designed to meet the needs of the adult learner, and incorporate students'accumulated knowledge and experience. The lAFF provides seven key components of adult learning: 1. An environment where students feel safe and supported, where individual needs and uniqueness are honored, where abilities and life achievements are acknowledged and respected. 2. An environment that fosters intellectual freedom and encourages experimentation and creativity. 3. An environment where instructors treat adult students as peers, accepted and respected as intelligent experienced adults, whose opinions are listened to, honored and appreciated. 4. Self-directed learning, where students take responsibility for their own learning. The lAFF designs individual learning programs that address what each person needs and wants to learn, in order to function optimally in their profession. 5. Pacing or intellectual challenge. Optimal pacing is challenging people just beyond their present level of ability. 6. Active involvement in learning, as opposed to passively listening to lectures. Where students and instructors interact and dialogue, where exercises and experiences are used to bolster facts and theory, adults grow more. 7. Regular feedback mechanisms for students to tell master instructors what works best for them and what they want and need to learn, and instructors who hear and make changes based on student input. Summarv of worker health and safetv activities for the last five years for the maior participating organizations in the proposed program.

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International Association Fire Fighters
United States
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