Sunday, September 11, 2011

Honoring a Recipient Press Release

When its an honor to be given an achievement award, the sample press release must relay the person's role and sacrifice for the community and must be written in a respectful, formal manner.

Congratulations to Chief Hal Doughty of Durango Fire & Rescue

The June winner of Safe Firefighter of the Month is Chief Hal Doughty of Durango Fire & Rescue in Durango, Colo. Prior to coming to Durango two years ago, he was with the Farmington Fire Department for almost 20 years.

During his time with the company, Chief Doughty has implemented a program for company performance tasks (CPTs) that involve “playbook” operations for structure fire calls. He has expanded this to cover wildland fires, and continues to expand the CPTs to other fire service operations such as engineering and leadership roles for captains and BCs.

Chief Doughty saw a need for a fitness program as most line firefighters had no particular regimen in the gym, and fitness seemed relatively voluntary. He did quite a bit of research and came up with the Cooper Institute for health and fitness evaluations. These evaluations give individuals a baseline fitness level and goals to make for the next year. The bottom line is if you participate at all in the program you will improve.

Along with the Cooper evaluations, the department does a pack test every year, and Chief Doughty has also implemented a Fitness Assessment Test (FAT) for return to duty for a line firefighter who gets injured on the job. Chief Doughty has written a Fitness SOP to include a medical physical plan, Annual Fitness Assessment Test, Pack Test, Fitness Program and Wellness Program.

In addition, Chief Doughty is working with neighboring mutual aid fire departments on a countywide accountability SOP to include passport placards and on-scene company tags. He is also working on a countywide Rapid Intervention Team (RIT) SOP. Other things the chief is working on to keep his team and community safe are:

  • Developing expectations for fire captains;
  • Supporting efforts for a preplan program;
  • Forming a CADET program at the high school level to teach a Firefighter 1 class;
  • Setting up Blue Card, Acting In Capacity (AIC) Engineer, Captain and BC programs.

He is also working on Operational SOPs to include ICS/Command bundle, Staging SOP, Accountability SOP, Communication SOP, Response SOP, Structure Fire SOP, RIT, Technical Rescue bundle, EMS bundle and HazMat bundle.

Chief Doughty feels that by implementing these programs and SOPs, as well as others to follow, it makes following the “Rules of Engagement” or the 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives more natural and second nature.


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