Tag Archives: first responders

Avoid Accidents! Invest in Proper Reflective Gear


Traffic-related incidents are one of the leading causes of Line-Of-Duty deaths. Between automobile/motorcycle/bicycle crashes, and the potential to be struck on the side of the road while on duty, the deaths are increasingly disturbing. The safety of these men and women who respond to emergencies on our nation’s streets, roads and highways is of the utmost importance.

The Division of State and Provincial Police, among other safety advocates, recognizes the seriousness and the persistence of this problem and is committed to finding ways to ensure the safety of law enforcement officers while they are out on the roads. The more visible a firefighter or police officer is, the better chance a driver has to slow down and move over. The ANSI published standards for high-visibility clothing in 1999. The standard defines three classes of successively more-visible garments, to protect workers exposed to successively higher levels of risk from motor vehicles and heavy equipment.

  • Class 1: Activities that are relatively low hazard from slow-moving vehicles, for example, in a parking lot. Garments must have retroreflective strips 1 inch wide and a minimum of 217 square inches of fluorescent material.
  • Class 2: Activities that take place in proximity to vehicles moving up to 25 miles per hour, for example, railway workers or school crossing guards. The standard requires reflective bands of greater width and 755 square inches of conspicuously colored fabric.
  • Class 3: Activities that take place near traffic moving faster than 25 miles per hour, for example, highway construction. The standard requires at least 1240 square inches of fluorescent fabric, and two-inch retrorefector bands. Only very large vests have enough area to meet this standard, so full sleeves may be required.

There are a variety of different vests to help workers be seen with more ease.

  • reflective vestFor the sheriff, it is important to have a tactical vest with multiple capabilities. It should include utility pouches,  a radio pouch, mic clips, among other features.
  • For security, the vest should be reflective and have 4-season adjustability that allows for accurate sizing in any weather, even over bulky coats.
  • For EMS, the vest should be reflective with a 5 point breakaway system. It should include hook and loop closures and radio pockets.
  • For a selection of all high visibility vests, click here!

Officers, road workers, emergency responders and firefighters serve tirelessly to protect us and our communities; it’s time we do our best to protect them too.

Drone Technology Used By Firefighters

Drones armed with cameras and sensor payloads have been used by military and border control agencies for decades in order to improve situational awareness. They can be used across public-safety services, from transmitting birds-eye video of a forest fire to incident commanders, to mapping out hard-hit areas after a natural disaster. Here is some information from The Fire Chief about drone technologies for fire and emergency response operations.

elimcospain1. ELIMCO E300

This is a UAV with a large payload capacity and low-noise electrical propulsion being used by INFOCA, the Andalusian authority for the wildfire management in Spain, to track wildfires at night.

The E300 can be launched remotely and operated for 1.5 hours with a radio control from up to 27 miles away. During night flights, the E-300 can loiter over a fire for around 3 hours and get as far as 62 miles from the launching point.

eBee-Ag-Launch82. Sensefly’s Ebee

Switzerland-based Sensefly’s eBee drones are small in comparison to other drones; they have a 37.8-inch wingspan and weigh 1.5 pounds. The foam airframe eBee drones are equipped with a rear-mounted propeller and feature a 16-megapixel camera to shoot aerial imagery at down to 3cm/pixel resolution.

The drone has a flight time of up to 45 minutes, which is long enough to cover as far as 10 miles in a single flight. In addition, users can pre-program 3D flight plans using Google maps prior to deployment, with up to 10 drones controlled from a single base station. Then, using its Postflight Terra 3D-EB mapping software, it can create maps and elevation models with a precision of 5 centimeters and process aerial imagery into 3D models.

uav-f-1024x9413. Information Processing Systems (IPS)

IPS Mobile Command Vehicles and incident command mobile carts are deployable, customized, public-safety vehicles that integrate aerial, ground and subsurface remotely controlled robotic platforms. MCVs basically are custom mobile ground control station for UAVs and other public-safety robotics.

The truck can house security cameras, sensors, radar and communications infrastructure. It can be outfitted with trailers to carry drones, which then can be commanded form within the center.

Having a mobile command center for drone deployment allows wildland firefighters working in remote areas to take their entire communication system with them to launch a UAV or drones over a wildfire and map out affected areas.

uav technology4.  L3 Communication’s Viking 400-S

The Viking 400-S Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) is integrated with Autonomous Take-Off and Landing technology supplied by L-3 Unmanned Systems’ flightTEK system. It operates for up to 12 hours and can be equipped with up to 100 pounds of payload technologies, including chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear detectors for hazmat emergencies.

The CBRN payload would let a first responder stay up to 70 miles line-of-sight away from a hazmat incident and, instead, send a drone to collect CBRN information from the scene and transmit it wirelessly back to incident command. UAS units carrying high-resolution cameras can capture bird’s-eye images of a manmade or natural disaster.

Ghouls, Goblins and Fire Preparedness


Planning ahead can help make this Halloween a safe one. The National Fire Safety Association reiterates the importance of taking simple fire safety precautions, like making sure fabrics for costumes and decorative materials are flame-resistant.

  • When choosing a costume, stay clear of billowing or long trailing fabrics, as they are more likely to catch fire. If your child’s costume includes a mask, be sure that the eye holes are large enough to see out of clearly.
  • Encourage your community and your children to use battery operated candles or flashlights as opposed to real, open flame candles to avoid the risk of a fire. Streamlight flashlights are a safe and reliable choice.
  • If you choose to use real candles, be sure that children are watched closely around the flames. Practice fire safety with your children, such as “Stop, drop and roll.”
  • Check that all exits are clear of decorations in case of a fire emergency where a quick escape is required. Be sure that lit pumpkins are well away from anything that can burn easily, and far enough away from trick-or-treaters, front doors and walkways.
  • Provide children in your community with whistles, so they can be found more easily in the case of an emergency.
  • Consider investing in a first aid medical kit, so you can be prepared to take action if need be.

Galls wishes you a safe and happy Halloween!


Eye Opening Photographs Of California Wildfires

The traditional wildfire season has only just begun, and it is off to a blazing start. California firefighters have battled at least 1,000 more wildfires than in a typical year. The California department of Forestry and Fire Protection has sent crews out to nearly 5,000 fire locations. According to a statewide fire activity update issued this week, a combined 92,139 acres on non-U.S. Forest Service land have been charred.

Cooler early fall temperatures is expected to bring strong winds, creating “critical fire weather conditions” for much of the eastern Northern California region, according to the National Weather Service. Fire officials have said drought has worsened fire conditions and has significantly dried out vegetation, creating fast-moving flames.

Galls thanks all of those working to contain the various wildfires and urges all involved firefighters out west to stay safe during this time! Here are some mind blowing photographs of the events taking place.


california wildfire 2014

california wildfire 2014

california wildfire 2014

california wildfire 2014

california wildfire 2014

california wildfire 2014

california wildfire 2014

california wildfire 2014

california wildfire 2014

Photo Credit: AP Photo/YosemiteLandscapes.com, Darvin Atkeson, Noah Berger / Reuters, The Fresno Bee, Mark Crosse, Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Ground Zero – The Symbol Of Strength

9/11 is a day to remember forever. It was detrimental to our nation, but even more so, a test of our strength. The past 13 years have been a powerful remembrance that a strong country conquers all. As Obama said in his speech this past May, “No act of terror can match the strength and character of our country.”

Thank you to all of the heroes and families who risked or sacrificed their lives for the unification and reparation of our nation. Most of all, thank you citizens of America for keeping faith in our country and remaining forever strong. Here are our favorite photographs of the reconstruction of ground zero. Let’s roll.

ground zero reconstruction

firefighter ground zero


ground zero reconstruction

ground zero salute

freedom tower from above

ground zero reconstruction

ground zero memorial


police salute ground zero


police salute ground zero

ground zero memorial

Photo Credits: The Atlantic, Jason Hawkes

Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare – National Preparedness Month!!

emergencyIt’s September, National Preparedness Month. Take the time to think about emergency situations: hurricanes (had some of those), black-outs (had some of those), cold nights (yes, had some of those too). Are you prepared to get through these tough times? Can you help others around you become better prepared for an emergency? Here is what you need to do:


Build A Kit

A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency. A suggested list of supplies include:

  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered  Weather Radio and extra batteries
  • Strong flashlight and batteries
  • First aid kit and medicine kit
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Personal hygienic products
  • Mask or cotton t-shirt, to help filter the air
  • Maintenance Kit, including at least pliers, a can opener, a wire cutter and a knife
  • Proper clothing sustainable for all kinds of weather
  • Bedding or a sleeping bag
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Paper towels
  • A tent
  • Cash
  • Matches in a water proof container
  • Signal flare
  • Disinfectant
  • Important family documents

Devise Your Plan:

Devise a plan that works best for you and your family. Your family may not be together when a disaster strikes so it is important to plan in advance. Ask yourself these questions: “How will you get to a safe place?” “How will you contact one another?” “How will you get back together?”

Get Involved

  • Volunteer: Volunteering in your community is a great way to become informed and protect your surroundings. Find out how to become trained and volunteer with a Community Emergency Response Team.
  • Be a part of the community planning process. Connect and collaborate with your local emergency planning group, Citizen Corps Council or a local emergency management agency.
  • Donate: Support major disasters by donating cash or goods which may help meet the needs of your community in times of disaster.

For more emergency preparedness products by Galls, click here!

Worst Of The Worst Natural Disasters

The world has seen some horrific natural disasters, but some stand out among the rest. There are many criteria as to what makes a natural disaster horrific, ranging from lives lost, to costliest, to property damage and much more. Here are 5 Natural Disasters that have left a mark in history.

1. Hurricane Katrina

hurricane katrina

This category 5 storm hit the Gulf Coast in 2005, ranking the sixth strongest overall to hit the United States. It was also one of the costliest, with estimated property damages of $81 billion. More than 1,800 people lost their lives and eighty percent of  New Orleans completely flooded. With 175 mph winds, Katrina was deemed the fourth most severe Atlantic hurricane at the time.

The road to recovery was not an easy one. Katrina received emergency response from federal government agencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), state and local-level agencies, federal and National Guard soldiers, non-governmental organizations, charities, and private individuals. Tens of thousands of volunteers and troops responded or were deployed to the disaster.

2. Indian Ocean Tsunami


This 9.1 magnitude Sumatra quake, centered off the coast of an Indonesian island, was the third largest recorded quake in history. It wasn’t just the strongest, but it was the longest quake. For over eight minutes, the ground rumbled with such force that the entire planet vibrated as much as 1 centimeter. This was only the beginning. The quake caused a tsunami that killed 200,000 to 310,000 people along the shores of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, South India, and Thailand.

Operation Unified Assistance is the name of the United States military’s response to the tsunami. More than 12,600 Department of Defense personnel were involved in the relief effort. Indonesian public opinion of America tremendously improved during the year after the tsunami, jumping from 15% in 2003 to 38% in 2005.

3. Haiti Earthquake


This 7.0 earthquake rocked Haiti in January of 2010, with 59 aftershocks, ranging from 4.2 to 5.9 magnitudes in strength. The strongest earthquake to hit the country since 1770, it had led to over 200,000 deaths, 2 million homeless, and 3 million people in need of emergency aid.

US involvement in Haiti recovery and reconstruction is monumental. From relief (rapid, life-saving emergency assistance), to clean up, to education, to endless recovery campaigns, $195 million has been given from the US, along with another US $120 million pledges from different countries.

4. Afghanistan Blizzard

Afghanistan Blizzard

The Afghanistan Blizzard marks the second worst blizzard in modern history, with an estimated death toll of 1,337 due to temperatures that fell below -30 degrees celsius. The hospitals performed frostbite amputations on at least 100 people across the country, as many walked barefoot in the freezing cold mud and snow. The weather also claimed more than 100,000 sheep and goats, and nearly 315,000 cattle died.

The blizzard had a huge effect on the war because of low visibility. US troops multiplied as they brought in food and supplies to help Afghan citizens cope with the conditions.

5. Tōhoku Earthquake and Tsunami

 Tōhoku Earthquake and Tsunami

A 9.0 magnitude quake, followed by a major tsunami hit the coast of Japan in March of 2011. This was the single largest earthquake to ever strike Japan in recorded history, and was documented as the 7th largest earthquake in the world. 250,000 buildings were damaged or destroyed and caused a near nuclear disaster when there was a partial meltdown in 3 reactors of the Fukushima nuclear plan.

United States designated its military response to the earthquake and tsunami as Operation Tomodachi. The United States was the largest contributor in monetary aid. Various branches of the military participated, notably the USS Ronald Reagan carrier group, and aviators based at Yokota Air Base, among several other personnel.

Throwback Photos of the U.S. Coast Guard

August 4th marks National Coast Guard Day – a day to celebrate and honor those who have put their lives at risk to serve our country. When Hurricane Katrina struck the Atlantic coast of America, the US Coast Guardsmen saved over 33,500 lives, an estimated 24,000 of these were rescued from peril in severely dangerous conditions.

The United States Coast Guard is this nation’s oldest and its premier maritime agency. The history of the service is very complicated, as it is the joining of five Federal agencies. Here are unbelievable historic photos of the US Coast Guard.

coast guard history 3 coast guard history 4 coast guard history 5 coast guard history 6 coast guard history 7 coast guard history 8 coast guard history 9

old coast guard 1 old coast guard 2 old coast guard 4 old coast guard 6 old coast guard 7old coast guard 3

#DriveSoberOrGetPulledOver – Your Guide To A Safe Independence Day Celebration

driver_sober1_300Fourth of July fireworks, barbecues, parties galore – celebrating America’s birthday in style is a big affair. For many, this celebration involves the consumption of alcohol, which sometimes can lead to drunk driving. In 2011, there were 9,878 fatalities in the United States involving drivers who were legally drunk at the time of the crash. To crack down on drunk driving this Fourth of July, law enforcement will be on the lookout for those who are impaired behind the wheel. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for a safe holiday celebration:

1. Be sure to have a designated driver – a friend, family member, taxi service, or public transportation. Make sure this is all in line before the time of the celebration. Otherwise, a ride home from a party will be the LEAST of your worries. You could be looking at a possible misdemeanor, felony, the loss of your job, or the loss of your life.

2. If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.

3. If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact your local police department. In the long run, you may be saving someone’s life.

4. WEAR YOUR SEATBELT! If you haven’t heard this enough, we will tell you again.

5. Don’t speed and be aware of your surroundings. Even if you haven’t consumed alcohol, others on the road might have. Be sure to keep your distance, and to be on the lookout for drivers swerving, slamming on breaks, or failing to use headlights.

Now, let’s make this year’s celebration the best one since 1776. Galls wishes you a safe and happy holiday!