Toledo fire department plans to improve safety at fire scenes - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Toledo fire department plans to improve safety at fire scenes

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Toledo's fire chief is talking about his plans to improve safety at fire scenes. He says he'll bring back a full time safety officer for the fire department. How will this new officer help?

Toledo's fire chief says he'll bring back the departments safety officer position. A lieutenant, captain or battalion chief will be assigned to the role. They'll respond to all fires and emergency incidents. The chief says he got rid of the position because the system also had flaws.

"I don't know if we really gave it enough attention because it became stagnated after awhile," said Chief Luis Santiago with the Toledo Fire Department.

So the chief put in place a new plan. Today when crews race to the a fire scene.

"First arriving officer who would take command of the emergency scene and then become the safety officer," said Chief Santiago.

The chief says he'll combine the old an new program to help his crews fight fires smarter.  

"They'll do some awareness training with our crews out there, they'll have different topics different points of emphasis whether there's reading smoke," said Chief Santiago.

The changes come just four months after two toledo firefighters were killed in the line of duty.     

"We have made some changes since that fire, but not necessarily because of that fire there were things we were looking at before," said Santiago.

 TFD's internal investigation report on the deaths of firefighters Jamie Dickman and Steven Machcinski is  almost finished.  The chief says they were reviewing their mayday policy.

"Some procedural changes as far as the tones that go out as an example that took away precious time away from somebody being able to verbalize a problem or an issue so we've really backed that down so we give more opportunity to somebody that might be in trouble to verbalize specifics as far as where they are at or what their issue is," said Chief Santiago.

The departments also looking at how crews will attack fires. The fire chief hopes to fill the position by June. Union leaders say they are very pleased the administration is bringing back the position.
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