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Press Releases

FIREFIGHTER TECHNICAL REVIEW COMMITTEE HIGHLIGHTS

Submitted by David Ellingson, WFCA Representative to the L&I Firefighter Technical Review Committee 

February 2019 Meeting:

1. General findings are listed here. Use these reports as resources for your fire department to avoid L&I findings and/or fines for noncompliance. Review the Dirty Dozen pamphlet on the WFCA web site for a list of most common findings issued by L&I during fire service inspections. Encourage employees to use this pamphlet as a handy reference during inspection/walk around of your facilities and equipment.
a. Keep accurate maintenance records on apparatus and equipment.
b. Free access to electrical panels must be maintained. Storing material in front of electrical breaker panels prevents prompt access during an emergency.
c. If using areas above office spaces for storage, ensure load limits are posted and limit floor loads to prevent ceiling collapse.
d. Maintain accurate records of firefighter response training and live fire training.
e. Workplaces should be clean, sanitary and free of debris.
f. Compressed air nozzles must be limited to 30 psi. Most safety nozzles have vent holes at the nozzle to reduce high pressures at the nozzle.
g. Open pits create fall hazards in shop areas. Ensure safety barriers are installed to prevent inadvertent falls into the pits.
h. Ensure personnel have asbestos awareness training.
i. MSDS’s must be readily available for all chemicals used by the fire department.
j. If secondary hazardous material containers are used, they must be appropriate for the hazardous material and labeled accordingly.
k. Ensure all personnel sleeping quarters have a CO detector installed.

2. Personnel performing maintenance on firefighting vehicles and equipment must be ASE certified or have completed factory qualifications specific to the equipment.

3. Fire districts that have firefighting responsibilities (designated in an ILA) must be trained for aircraft specific hazards.

4. Eyewash stations are required where caustic or hazardous chemicals are used. Those eyewash stations must have free, unobstructed access.

5. UPS batteries sometimes fail causing the batteries to overheat and generate toxic fumes. Ensure the situation is correctly assessed, control the scene, limit access and respond with personnel wearing appropriate PPE.

6. For departments that have diving missions:
a. Ensure divers are outfitted with reserve breathing air (required only for training dives).
b. Document safe practices to be used by the divers.
c. Maintain training logs for all personnel.

Click here to view past Firefighter Technical Review Committee meeting highlights.


WORKERS' COMPENSATION PREMIUM ESTIMATOR FOR 2019 RATES

Labor & Industries has developed an Excel Spreadsheet to use as a tool to help fire districts estimate their workers’ compensation premium costs. Click here for the 2019 version. It includes the preliminary experience factor for each fire district. For further information, visit www.Lni.wa.gov/Rates.


$24 MILLION IN COPs HELP FUND EQUIPMENT FOR MUNICIPALITIES

Submitted by Leo Marquez, Outreach Coordinator, Washington State Treasurer's Office

Washington’s Office of the State Treasurer (OST) successfully sold almost $24 million in Certificates of Participation (COPs) on September 12, 2017. The offering attracted 12 different bidders with Morgan Stanley & Co, LLC (Morgan Stanley) offering the lowest bid.

The COPs will help finance equipment needed by 18 local governments across Washington. Morgan Stanley bought $23,890,000 Series 2017B COPs, bidding 1.396718% on the certificates; this was .028899 less than the second lowest bidder - Janney Montgomery Scott LLC. After resizing, the total cost of financing the Series 2017B COPs will be $24,180,000. The COPs will reach final maturity on July 1st, 2027. The sale’s closing will be finalized on September 28th.

These COPs will be used to finance many different local projects. For example, in Kittitas County the Cle Elum-Roslyn School District will purchase three more school buses with their COP proceeds.

Washington Treasurer Duane Davidson remarked, “As a former Benton County Treasurer I’m well aware how COP financing can save local governments money. The Treasurer’s Office COP program can be a great option to get low cost financing for local capital projects. We want more local governments to consider this as they review their capital financing options.”

COPs are certificates issued by OST as a way for school districts, fire districts, cities and other local municipalities to finance equipment and real estate at a low rate. The state issues the certificates using the state’s credit rating, and the local groups who want to finance their equipment make the repayment. By using the financing power of OST, local districts get a fixed low cost rate, likely considerably lower than what they would pay if they were financing this equipment or real estate on their own.

You may contact Leo Marquez, Outreach Coordinator, Office of the State Treasurer, at 360.902.9034, or visit the Washington State Treasurer's Office online at www.tre.wa.gov/


UPDATED RECORDS RETENTION SCHEDULE NOW AVAILABLE

Submitted by Washington State Archives

The Local Records Committee (LRC) approved the Local Government Common Records Retention Schedule (CORE) v. 4.0 at its May 18, 2017 meeting. The CORE 4.0 takes effect immediately and may be accessed online by clicking the following link:  CORE

A detailed Summary of Changes has been posted for your reference, and the online database will be updated as well. Do not hesitate to contact Washington State Archives with any questions you may have relating to the management of your agency’s records. Just send an email to: recordsmanagement@sos.wa.gov


MRSC ROSTERS

Save Money and Staff Time on Your Public Works Rosters

Cities, Counties and special purpose districts can use MRSC Rosters to maintain their individual Small Works, Consultant, and Vendor rosters to make the roster contracting process easier. Join MRSC Rosters to save your agency money and time; click here for more information.