The Coral Springs-Parkland (Florida) Fire Department received the prestigious Billy Goldfeder Organizational Safety Award sponsored by the IAFC Safety Health and Survival Section and VFIS.
Since late 2015, Coral Springs-Parkland (Florida) Fire Department has made health and safety a priority. Beginning with overall health, the department has annual Lifescan health screenings in conjunction with annual physicals, to alert members to any possible anomalies early enough to treat.
Cancer prevention is another major focus for the department. In addition to adopting specialized decon procedures in their department SOPs and SOGs, Coral Springs-Parkland (Florida) Fire Department has instituted a hood and glove swap, and provided each member with a second set of bunker gear so that a clean set is always available. One of their biggest initiatives has been the Clean Cab Concept, which is designed to keep carcinogens outside the apparatus. They have taken delivery of several new Clean Cab trucks, and retrofit several other units to be compliant. The goal is to have the entire fleet be Clean Cab and so far, the department has 26 vehicles in compliance, including Engines, Aerials, Rescues, and Staff Vehicles. The department’s newest stations are also designed to keep toxins outside, and separate from living areas.
The department focuses efforts on mental wellness too. Together with their Safety and Health Committee, Chief Frank Babinec has added a department Chaplain as a member resource, a strong Peer Support Team and a vetted and specially-trained Clinician Response Team designed to deal with the specific issues that first responders face.
The goal of Chief Babinec and the department is to give every firefighter the best chance at a healthy career and a healthy retirement. Much of the inspiration for this began when one of their brothers was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Their story is told in a video created in hopes that other departments will institute some of the same preventive measures.
Under Chief Babinec's direction, the Health and Safety Committee chairs searched for the best practices for health and safety to springboard creating their own. Today, Chief Babinec and his S&H committee chairs share these practices nationwide at conferences and meetings. One committee chairperson has taken it even further, forming the Florida Firefighters Safety and Health Collaborative with individuals from other departments across the state. Chief Babinec also works on these issues as the chair of the Florida Fire Chief’s Association State Section for Safety and Health. For these reasons and more, the Coral Springs-Parkland Fire Department was awarded the Billy Goldfeder Fire Service Organizational Safety Award.
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