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Captain Mike Dugan hangs the  American flag at the World Trade Center after the 9/11 attack.

Why Have I Never Heard of This? 

By Michael M. Dugan
Captain, Ladder Company 43, FDNY (ret.)

        FARS, the short version of "firefighter air replenishment systems," are an in-building air system similar to a standpipe that firefighters use to replenish their air. When firefighters see this system and find out they can get immediate air, where they need it, in large structures they want it. It’s a no-brainer for safe, effective operations in very challenging structures. This leads to some obvious questions:
  1. Why is FARS not mandated in every high-rise building?
  2. Why have so many firefighters never heard of FARS?
  3. Why are Fire Chiefs and Fire Marshals not using their authority to adopt 2015 International Fire Code FARS Appendix L, the Uniform Plumbing Code FBARS Appendix F or soon-to-be NFPA 1 FBARS Annex in the fire code and get these systems into their new high rise buildings?   
      In the fire service, we are often reactionary. We make changes only after fatal fires or multiple fires with the same underlying issues. This is especially true with our air and air management. We can go back to the disdain that existed when SCBAs were introduced to the fire service and the resistance to using them and adopting effective air management. The fire service is very slow to change.

      Back in the day, people who used SCBA were looked upon as cowards or wimps. If we didn't use those things we were tough guys. Most of the people who thought that way are long gone, and a lot of them suffered at the end of their lives from the choices they made. Many today are dealing with the horrible effectives of breathing smoke in the age of plastics. We all know some names and it is heartbreaking to witness.

     More changes came. We moved up to getting off the back step. Those of us who rode the back step loved it and remember it fondly, but we don't like to remember our brothers and sisters falling off the back step, getting into accidents when members were thrown off the rig. Then women began trying to join the fire service. "They will never be able to cut it." "They do not have the strength or ability."  Wrong again! Along came bunker gear, and we said we weren't going to wear it. We will become overheated, it will limit our movement, and we won't feel any heat until it's too late. And finally, there's the use of seat belts. We fought that for years. Why?


Take The FARS Demo At FDIC

   For the first time ever, RescueAir will be exhibiting at FDIC and we'll be giving live demonstrations of FARS right from our booth.  
   Stop by booth #13133 and see for yourself why FARS is the fastest, safest and most reliable way to provide air replenish- ment to firefighters.  
    We'll have a special thank you gift for the first 1,000 people who do the demo.  
     Don't miss it!


Register for The iWomen Leadership Conference
    As part of our sponsorship of the International Association of Women in Fire and Emergency Services, (iWomen), we're helping to underwrite their annual leadership conference, "Taking Charge of Change," which is scheduled for April 23-24 and co-located with the Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC) in Indianapolis. 
      You can register for the conference here.
Watch John Ceriello's Webinar on High-Rise Firefighting  
      FDNY Capt. John Ceriello looks at the evolution and tactics of high-rise firefighting as well as the changes that were made in the tactics following several LODDs. He covers command and control at these structures, air supply management, FARS, and the changes brought about by new challenges introduced by modern fire dynamics research.You can watch the archived version here.
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