Fire-Dex Blog

Rapid Fire Podcast S2:E2 Understanding Your PPE and How to Mitigate Exposure Risks

ABOUT THIS EPISODE 

Understand how to reduce exposure risks and the importance of doffing PPE correctly. In this episode, join Andy Starnes, Dr. Farzaneh Masoud, and Richard Kesler as this trio dives deep into THL & TPP, how to reduce inflammation and the future of gross decon.

 
What You Can Expect To Learn   
  • Effects of exposure within the body and cancer risks 
  • How to reduce cross contamination in the fire house  
  • Why PPE is helpful and not a hindrance  
  • The importance of proper doffing  
  • Understand how firefighter PPE works  
 
 

 

ABOUT OUR GUESTS 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud, Director of Research at IFSI, has earned her Ph.D. from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign from Department of Molecular Biology. Dr. Masoud has a broad background in Molecular, Cell and Developmental biology as well as mammalian reproductive biology. Her doctoral research focused on identifying factors that underlies cancer metastasis. Dr. Masoud has joined Illinois Fire Service Institute as the Director of Research in 2019, where she leads numerous research projects concerning the health and safety of firefighters. Prior to joining IFSI, Dr. Masoud was leading large interdisciplinary projects at National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) as a Strategic Research and Proposal Development office and has served as an Interdisciplinary Research Development Officer.

Richard Kesler, Deputy Director of Research Programs, focuses on biomechanics, and physical performance, specifically examining the physiological demands of firefighting activity and the impact of firefighting on the firefighter. Richard serves on the National Fire Protection Association Fundamentals of Fire Control Within a Structure Utilizing Fire Dynamics technical committee. He is also a physical training instructor for the Illinois Fire Service Institute’s Basic Operations Firefighter Academy and teaches in numerous other fire service classes. Richard is a graduate of the University of Illinois with a Master of Science degree in Bioengineering and is currently pursuing his PhD in Kinesiology.  

 

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Rapid Fire Episode Transcript:

 

00:00:22:11 - 00:00:43:05 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

Welcome to Rapid Fire Podcast, hosted by fire addicts dedicated to sharing best practices and lessons learned in hopes of making firefighting a little bit safer. I'm your host, Battalion Chief Andy Starnes. We've got some special guest stars today. I feel really just incredibly excited and honored that they took time away in their busy schedule to speak with us today. 

 

00:00:43:05 - 00:01:14:03 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

And I think one of the things in the fire service that we all could do a better job is all of us listening to those who have contributed and are contributing to the future works of the fire service, whether it be reducing our exposures to helping us do things better in our job and educating ourselves, I think we do a great job with our skill sets, but in many cases we don't do a great job of pursuing the education and reading the works of those who are spending their lives trying to make ours better. 

 

00:01:14:04 - 00:01:38:03 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

We have Dr. Farzaneh Masoud and Richard Kesler from the Illinois Fire Service Institute, and they are going to talk to us today about many concepts involving. And I'll correct me if I'm wrong, but ISI has been around since 1925, is that right? The oldest one around. Is that right? That's right. And you guys and gals train. Now, this blew my mind. 

 

00:01:38:03 - 00:01:41:23 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

60,000 students per year, is that right?  

 

 

00:01:41:23 - 00:01:42:22 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud 

Yeah, that's right. 

 

00:01:42:22 - 00:01:57:12 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud 

That is amazing. I don't know how you keep up much less do everything else you're doing, so. Welcome to the podcast. And I just want to thank you first for taking your time, your valuable time, because as much work as you're doing I mean time is the most precious commodity we have. 

 

00:01:57:12 - 00:02:08:11 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

We can't make any more of it. So I appreciate that so much. So, Doctor, if you start off, give us a little brief overview of who you are, what you do, and what's important to you in this current time frame of what you're working on. 

 

00:02:08:12 - 00:02:33:24 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud 

Thanks, Andy. Thanks for the introduction and thanks for giving us the opportunity to be here and talking about what we are doing and what we are passionate about doing and why we are doing it. As you mentioned, my name is Farzana Masoud, director of ISI Research Programs and I have joined about three years ago on this campus, and I'm a molecular biologist by training cancer biologist. 

 

00:02:33:24 - 00:03:16:07 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud 

The thing that excited me about working at ISI was the interdisciplinary aspect of this research and what we can do and who can be the immediate beneficiary of the research that we can put together. As somebody who has worked on cancer for a long time, it was interesting for me to learn more about the type of exposures that firefighters are dealing with and how that can affect not just the cancer but looking at the common denominator between the two factors that are the common cause of death among firefighters, which is cardiovascular disease and cancer. 

 

00:03:16:17 - 00:03:51:02 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud 

And look to see where is the common denominator in that. So we have put together research that can actually answer those questions, not that these are something that firefighters cannot handle, but all the tools they have at their disposal that they can prevent their exposure to carcinogens and volatile organic compounds. It's at their disposal they just have to know or provide them with information on how to do it and what's the most appropriate best practices. 

 

00:03:51:23 - 00:04:08:03 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

We appreciate your work more than you know. And for someone who has lost friends and coworkers to cancer, I, I can't give you enough praise for the work you're doing. So I appreciate that Dr. Kesler, would you like to give us a brief introduction of yourself and what you're working on and what you're passionate about? 

 

00:04:08:24 - 00:04:25:24 

Richard Kesler 

Sure. Be happy to. Thanks again for having us. It's always great to get the message out because that's one of the the key pieces of our work is if we don't get the information into the hands of those who need it, then what's it for? So again, my name, Richard Kesler. Deputy Director of research programs here at IFSI. 

 

00:04:25:24 - 00:05:04:13 

Richard Kesler 

Been at IFSI since I was a grad student, going on ten years now, doing really any kind of work that impacts firefighter health and safety, primarily focused on how the work we do, how the environment we operate in, how the tools we use, impact the firefighter. And so that's been everything from as far as on. I mentioned the cardiovascular chemical exposure series of tests we've done to more engineering focused tests, looking at the PPE, how the face piece performs under stress to biomechanics and performance testing of how different size air packs in different ways impact our performance. 

 

00:05:04:13 - 00:05:12:14 

Richard Kesler 

So really kind of a whole picture of how firefighting and the firefighting work and equipment impact us as firefighters. 

 

00:05:12:29 - 00:05:35:10 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

From somebody who's been at it a little while now, I never consider myself mastering anything. I'm a lifelong student, but one thing I'm learning 47 years of age is I appreciate ergonomics. I appreciate things that are better designed that reduce fatigue. Personally, some of the things you're talking about and that ties into the work you're talking about, whether it's cardiac stress and and cancer exposure. 

 

00:05:35:10 - 00:05:54:09 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

To go back to Doctor Masoud, if I don't wear my gear well because it's uncomfortable, I may make little adjustments that may not be the best way to protect myself either. So I appreciate that. And the work that Fire Dex has done along with that to make things more comfortable and better for firefighters and cardiac health, too. So thank you so much for your work. 

 

00:05:54:15 - 00:06:14:06 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

We could probably spend just a couple of hours talking about what you're doing, but we're going to focus today primarily on PPE and what's going on in that world and how we can learn more about what y'all are doing, what the firefighters are exposed to, what it does to their general health, and what are firefighters doing and can do to protect themselves. 

 

00:06:14:20 - 00:06:35:18 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

Doctor Masoud is going to start off with a brief overview as far as what they're exposed to and some great information that I am intently looking forward to. So please, if you're listening to this and your earbuds and whatnot, make sure that you play it back, take notes. I love to take notes on my iPhone. It's a great way to to go back and recapture things. 

 

00:06:35:18 - 00:06:40:19 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

So podcast is a great way to educate ourselves. Firefighters. Listen this on the way to work. 

 

00:06:41:04 - 00:07:12:23 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud 

Thank you. There is no question about the firefighters working in an environment that is more hazardous than any average population. I think firefighters know what they are being exposed to is not good but one of the things that they have to consider is as much as I like this job, I have to do it the right way. As well, not for the sake of rescuing people, but for also keeping themselves safe. 

 

00:07:13:08 - 00:07:38:04 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud 

Because if they are not safe, then I won't be safe as a general population. So there are so many things that they are being exposed to and there are different classes of compounds that they are getting exposed to. They can be biological like they can get exposed to viruses and bacteria, or it can be chemicals that they are being poorly cyclic, aromatic hydrocarbons. 

 

00:07:38:04 - 00:08:01:20 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud 

Or I think most of you know, as agents there are pitfalls that it's the topic of interest right now that they're being exposed to or they have been exposed to compounds that they do not degrade. They do not you cannot remove them easily from the environment or it can be as a chemical factory, can be alcohol that they're being exposed to. 

 

00:08:02:17 - 00:08:37:15 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud 

The other factor that they can get explosive is are physical factors such as heat, which I think firefighters know that they do get exposed to heat and also radiation. It can be x rays. It can be radioactive material that they are exposing to and that can cause series of cascade of events inside the body. But the main thing that gets affected by it is once they get exposed to these elements, whether it is biological or chemical or physical, then these inflammatory cascade that kicks it. 

 

00:08:38:15 - 00:09:18:16 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud 

Once this inflammatory cascade kicks in, then it can be inflammation inside the veins that can cause cardiovascular disease, or it can create a cascade of events that alerts the system that there is a carcinogen. And now we are talking about cancer pathways getting activated. So there is no surprise here that they do get explosive news. But through the research that we have done, we know like 85% of these factors, you can actually remove it very easily by using their PPE in a very appropriate way. 

 

00:09:19:06 - 00:09:50:08 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud 

And that's the great tool they have. But they cannot just rely on the tool to protect them, but rather they should know how to use it so they can keep themselves protected. And this is something that Richard has done to breaking it down into different components. And we know what's getting passed through, what doesn't get passed through, what are some interfaces in their view that can be important for them, the importance of basically that they're wearing. 

 

00:09:50:18 - 00:09:58:00 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud 

Those are all the research that we have. Try to break it down in a way that is manageable and is informative. 

 

00:09:59:06 - 00:10:21:26 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

Thank you, Doctor. And one of the things I'd like to add to that is the importance of understanding how those exposures are actually occurring, not just firefighters are doing a much better job of wearing their SCBA today than they used to. And a lot of these exposures are actually coming through absorption. And a lot of it is part of what you are going to talk to us about is how we wear that gear, how we take the gear off. 

 

00:10:22:11 - 00:10:50:19 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

I've been guilty of that many times. In my career where all my gear and then after it's over, we go into overhaul and I take my dirty helmet and put it on my head, which is now sweating and hot and absorbing more of that, or go out pick up dirty hose with my bare hands and that's pathway. So I think we all often lose sight of what we're exposed to when the risk is what we think negated by the fire's out, it's over. 

 

00:10:50:28 - 00:11:14:11 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

And then we drop our guard and drop our gear, and then we go back and do not so good things or smart things that expose ourselves, whether it's not taking our gear off correctly. And unfortunately, someone else said this much better than me. I'm afraid that our careers like a lifelong cancer deposit and many of us make the withdrawal shortly after we retire and that's not a goal we should have. 

 

00:11:15:00 - 00:11:33:19 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

We should not be constantly exposing ourselves to these unknown carcinogens and particulates, and then only to find out you know, in our fifties, when we're wanting to spend time with our loved ones, now we have to spend time in treatment, possibly shorten our lives. So let's listen intently and learn from these experts about how we can reduce that. 

 

00:11:34:07 - 00:11:52:07 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

And it's not a thing about ego. It's not a thing about being less brave. Firefighters need to understand this is about your life and your family. And as she said, if you're not taking care of yourself, how are you going to take care of the citizen and public and your family? So please listen and learn and we appreciate all your work you're doing. 

 

00:11:52:07 - 00:12:13:06 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

Thank you so much. Kesler, would you like to take us in to a brief overview of PPE? Because I think that's something that I have learned about 15 years ago when I started this journey in teaching. I don't understand PPE at all. And as the darkroom suit said, I didn't understand. I was not taking care of it properly, and I expected it to perform really well. 

 

00:12:13:21 - 00:12:23:12 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

And that was on me, the end user not reading the instructions. So give us some oversight and some insight on what we should learn and what we should know. 

 

00:12:24:20 - 00:12:48:16 

Richard Kesler 

That's a great transition because to understand the impact that our environment and that the work has on us, we need to understand what we have to protect us from that. Right. And that primary line of defense is the turn out here as you're well aware, that turn out here has made it three layers. You've got the outer shell which provides the abrasion, resistance and a little bit of protection there. 

 

00:12:48:20 - 00:13:12:21 

Richard Kesler 

Then you've got the moisture barrier primary objective there is to keep those fluids out, whether that's water from suppression or other contamination chemicals if you know, we're working in a chemical environment or auto fluids, any of that stuff, that moisture barrier is going to block some of that transmission. And then we've got the thermal liner again to protect us from that thermal environment. 

 

00:13:12:21 - 00:13:36:00 

Richard Kesler 

That primary way, at least I've always thought of that thermal liner is we work in an hot environment and we want to stay cool, right? So that we want to keep those hot fire gases from from heating us up. But that thermal liner works the other way, too. So as we work on the fire ground is our muscles have high levels of metabolism that's generating heat. 

 

00:13:36:09 - 00:13:55:15 

Richard Kesler 

All of our body movement, we're creating a heat from the inside. And that thermal liner protects us from the outside. But it's also protecting or preventing us from cooling off. Right. There's a reason why when you come out, you get your coat open and you start to feel that cooling effects as the hot air that's trapped inside their leaves. 

 

00:13:55:15 - 00:14:18:25 

Richard Kesler 

So you've really got two competing things. You've got the tip of the NFPA test and TP, but that's the thermal protective performance, right? How well does that gear prevent outside heat from coming in? But the converse of that is the T HL or total heat loss, which is the ability of that gear to release heat from us out into the environment. 

 

00:14:18:25 - 00:14:49:05 

Richard Kesler 

And for the most part, those are pretty competing factors. The higher you get in thermal protection, the less heat loss you have. But companies, you know, like fire decks are continuously working to improve that so that we can increase the protection while also increasing heat loss. And I guess one important thing is that any time we see increased protection, whether it's from the chemical compounds, whether it's from the thermal environment, there are certain unintended consequences that may come along with that. 

 

00:14:49:15 - 00:15:15:05 

Richard Kesler 

And that's what we've really tried to focus our work. And specifically, some of the stuff that I've been doing over the last few years is if we're going to do that and we're going to increase one thing, what what are the the converse impacts? You know, if you think back to your three quarter boots, right. The long coat, as we moved into turnout gear, some of the initial complaints were that it's too hot, right? 

 

00:15:15:05 - 00:15:42:09 

Richard Kesler 

I'm closed up, it's encapsulating, but you have increased protection. Right? We saw that change start to occur. So what we've done is we've tried to take that kind of a step further and say, what happens if we conceptually, if we close off the interface between the coat and the pants or we improve the closures on the cuffs, you know, the interface between the hood and the coat, can we improve that ceiling point? 

 

00:15:42:09 - 00:15:56:00 

Richard Kesler 

And what are the impacts there? Do we reduce exposure by sealing those or are we creating more heat stress? And so those are kind of some of the questions that we've tried to answer over the last couple of years of our studies. 

 

00:15:56:08 - 00:16:17:24 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

And if I may, Doctor, I would like to add to it. And you can you can expound upon this, too. Too many fire departments are focused solely on thermal protective performance. How much heat can this gear take without understanding? Just like you said, the unintended consequences of if I raise this protection usually is an inverse relationship. That drop. 

 

00:16:17:24 - 00:16:51:27 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

So what does that do to the body, number one? And what our Huxley says is a famous human has said what science has actually done is given us improved means to deteriorate. It ends in some cases. So we have a really good concept in TPP. But then if we don't think it through through the whole anatomy and physiology of the body, what does that do to a firefighter when they're under extreme stress, sweating, working hard, elevated heart rates, inability to let that sweat evaporate, why is it important to understand both sides of that and look at gear as an extension of your body? 

 

00:16:52:18 - 00:16:59:03 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

Because if you just look at it as a shield, we're missing the bigger picture in my opinion. So if you'd like to expound upon that, I'd love to hear your thoughts. 

 

00:16:59:27 - 00:17:27:05 

Richard Kesler 

You're exactly right. The gear provides a certain level of protection, but at the end of the day, we have to be able to perform in those conditions. And as the metabolic workload increases, we see physiological changes across the board, whether that's in blood chemistry, whether that's in some of the exposure biomarkers, all of these physiological changes you mentioned heart rate and core temperature, right? 

 

00:17:27:05 - 00:18:00:25 

Richard Kesler 

We see those increase. Those are things that we cannot control, right? No amount of willpower is going to lower your core temperature other than getting out of that environment. Then cooling off rate, the heart rate, once those parameters reach certain thresholds, there's physiological damage that can start to occur. There's things like decision making decreases once you reach certain thresholds, which opens up a whole nother challenge if you're in that hot thermal environment and suddenly aren't thinking as clearly. 

 

00:18:01:06 - 00:18:23:03 

Richard Kesler 

And so all of those play together that understanding the limitation of the gear is one thing, but understanding your physiological limitations within that gear is a whole nother thing, right? That gear may be able to stand up to the most intense fire. But if if your physiology isn't at that level, you're not going to be able to perform very good. 

 

00:18:23:07 - 00:18:54:19 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

As I have traveled and learned we as firefighters don't understand, one, what Dr. Massey was telling us about a what we're really being exposed to and B, why we're not protecting ourselves adequately from everything else. We think only about thermal protection versus about the rest of it, because there's so much more to a fire than just heat. You know, you said it best as far as the anatomy and physiology of ourselves, our heat coming from our bodies and then the exposures when we're not wearing it properly or taking it all and off properly. 

 

00:18:55:00 - 00:19:14:14 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

The other side of the coin, too, is if we're not already in good shape and taking care of ourselves physically, mentally and emotionally, we get in that environment we're more likely to fail and our heart rate may go up even worse and cause even more problems. And then we go from an asset to a liability on the fire ground. 

 

00:19:14:28 - 00:19:27:28 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

And in today's world where they continue to have less and less firefighters on the fire ground, we can't afford to do that. We need more firefighters who are in physically good shape to do the job and the gear should help them, not hinder them. 

 

00:19:27:28 - 00:19:59:29 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud 

So if I may chime in a little bit, just thinking that the effects of these exposures, if it comes from the chemical or heat or biological, they they actually can alter the gene expression. And that's something that when we talk about physiologically, your being affected by this exposure we are talking about even at the cellular level, how the gene expression is being changed. 

 

00:19:59:29 - 00:20:27:24 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud 

So when we talk about, oh, it's just that little bit of heat it's OK or it's just a little bit of sweat, there is a whole slew of activity that is happening inside the body. And if we can inform firefighters, then they can take better care of themselves and actually do something about it rather than thinking that it's it just comes with the job it does. 

 

00:20:28:13 - 00:20:47:27 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud 

So the job is also that higher standard that they think needs to be held accountable because there are firefighters, they are a section of population that they already have a higher standard. That's why you're in this job and we just want to make him to be accountable for their safety as well as the other ones. 

 

00:20:49:10 - 00:21:12:26 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

Well, so it shouldn't just be accountable to our skills and knowledge, but accountable to taking care of ourselves and reducing that risk so we can continue to do that. I like to say a safe firefighter is a well-trained and educated firefighter. Not just one who is simply skilled, because without that knowledge behind it, that knowledge base, we are liable to keep repeating the same mistakes in training and on the fire ground. 

 

00:21:13:04 - 00:21:37:17 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

Not knowing because we haven't taken the time to further understanding it either. You like to comment on what happens to the body when we talk about exposures as far as what happens when my core temperature goes up, what does what does that happen to my dermal exposure, my absorption rates, things of that that many firefighters may not be aware of, especially guys like me who got a lot more dermal exposure here on the head. 

 

00:21:38:10 - 00:21:46:03 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

So enlighten us on where we're getting those exposure. It's not so much breathing it. What else is happening? 

 

00:21:46:29 - 00:22:22:15 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud 

If I can bring an image to your listeners, it's like imagine if you have your heart in your hand and you have to protect it from getting exposed. That's an organ. You can imagine that and if you think of your skin as an organ that is exposed and your is your first line of defense and anything that gets that you get exposed to, then you understand the importance of not letting things get exposed to your skin as as an organ. 

 

00:22:23:01 - 00:22:55:15 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud 

And its its surface area of the skin is pretty a lot bigger than the surface of your heart as an organ. And that requires a lot of care, especially where there is a lot of vasculature that going up and down and taking signals out like around your neck area of behind your ear or groin area, your hands and all those areas are vulnerable locations in your area and that requires extra care. 

 

00:22:57:00 - 00:23:13:06 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

I agree. And that's a good analogy or picture, if you will, because firefighters are the best storyteller. So if you can put a picture or image in our mind that that helps. So that's very good imagery. But the other thing is think about this. If I want to get their attention tell them I'm holding my heart in my hand. 

 

00:23:13:06 - 00:23:34:29 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

No, no, no, no. I'm holding my daughter's heart or my wife's heart. Correct. Now you got my attention because firefighters, unfortunately, don't care for themselves like you should. So put it. I would say hit them in their head or their heart or their pocketbook. And most times you hit them in their heart right there. That's where they care and they're going to listen. 

 

00:23:35:20 - 00:23:58:10 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

So that's a good analogy. I like it. A lot of times things are getting through that we don't realize. Firefighters seem to understand they're not as well-protected as they think they are. They overrelied on their PPE, but yet they don't care for it. Well, they don't understand it. Well, they don't treat it right. And they they sure don't respect it when it comes to the limitations of the heat because they push it past it. 

 

00:23:58:29 - 00:24:18:19 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

So if we're talking about taking care of ourselves, we need to understand how that works, what its limitations are, because by push it past its limitations, then I get mad at the year I'm on the reason that it failed, not the gear. The gear says NFPA 1971 beer shall not melt, ignite drift or separate up to 500 degrees for 5 minutes. 

 

00:24:18:27 - 00:24:42:14 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

But yet we think somehow it'll keep us safe in 1300 degrees for 20 or 30 seconds because that's what the top rating is. But there's as you all know, like exposures there's so many other variables that add into that. So when we talk about exposures, I don't think farmers really understand that if I don't have my coat always zipped up and I've got my, my lapel mike hanging out and I don't have my hood tucked in, right. 

 

00:24:42:14 - 00:25:11:17 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

And I'm not wearing a particulate walking hood. There's a lot of things that go into this that we don't really put that package together or wrap that present. Right. And in the fire and smoke and the heat, the gases are just looking for a way to creep through. So if that makes sense, so anything you'd like to add about what we can do as far as in this relationship where we're going to risk our lives wearing this gear, but are we wearing it properly? 

 

00:25:11:28 - 00:25:23:25 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

And do we understand the risk of not understanding our gear and what that does to our general health? Because I know that was one of our points we wanted to discuss was what does it do to my general health when I don't respect it? 

 

00:25:24:11 - 00:25:48:27 

Richard Kesler 

Yeah, yeah. You mentioned some of the things like the zipper not being up, the collar not being closed. Right. And and one important consideration is that in all of our studies that we've done and anything we've published and reported, we take the extra time to make sure that for our research participants that those are done. The zippers are fully zipped every velcro closure is done, right? 

 

00:25:48:27 - 00:26:12:18 

Richard Kesler 

The zipper on the pants is closed as well. Right. Should we have no gaps between the face piece and everything else? And we still see those levels of exposure that that we report in all of our publications. And so when you take away one of those pieces of the complete ensemble, we would expect the exposure to be significantly higher for real world. 

 

00:26:12:29 - 00:26:33:21 

Richard Kesler 

One example you mentioned the particulate blocking hoods we ran a study and had some participants wearing the blocking hoods, some wearing our standard, you know, two, two ply Nomex hood and then did some sampling outside of the hood, inside of the hood and then on the participants skin. And as you might expect, the outside of the hoods had similar levels of exposure. 

 

00:26:34:11 - 00:27:04:18 

Richard Kesler 

They're working in the same environment same exposure. When we look at the inside surface of the hoods, the particulate blocking hoods did pretty well. Very little exposure on the inside surfaces, pretty close to our minimum level of detection, the Nomex hoods, there was contamination that got through those hoods. The technology we see is working where it gets interesting, though, is when we look at the skin of those firefighters wearing those two hoods, not not a huge difference. 

 

00:27:04:18 - 00:27:25:05 

Richard Kesler 

A little bit of improvement, but not as much as we would expect. And the reason for that is as we come out of that fire, take our gloves off, take your helmet off. What's the next thing we do? Right. Take that hood, then we pull it down around our neck and then go about, you know, getting a new bottle, whatever it might be. 

 

00:27:26:08 - 00:28:02:15 

Richard Kesler 

And so that particulate blocking hood that our our chief or our department just spent a hundred and whatever dollars on. Right. And is committed to improving our health all of a sudden, all that protection is just setting that material right on that highly vascularized skin, the thin skin of the neck and we're exposed to it. So we did a trial with a couple of participants pulling that hood up over the head and avoiding that exposure to the skin and saw that regardless of hood type, we had significantly reduced exposure with a different doffing method. 

 

00:28:02:29 - 00:28:21:18 

Richard Kesler 

And that carries over to our gloves as well. Right? We take our gloves off, come out of the fire, I'm going to go clean up hose or change bottles, grab a drink of water or whatever it might be. And I'm going to pull my gloves off and carry them in my in my bare hands. Well, what if we change that a little bit, right? 

 

00:28:21:18 - 00:28:41:18 

Richard Kesler 

And we take the gloves off a little more carefully only touch the contaminated outsides so we can get on either a clean pair of gloves or some nitrile gloves or whatever it might be, work gloves to do the rest of our operations. And any time we mention that, there's always some pushback, like, you know, real world, am I going to take the time to take my gloves off? 

 

00:28:42:22 - 00:29:06:01 

Richard Kesler 

But the question that I would ask is, you're working on a medical scene, right? And you go to take your gloves off. How do you take those medical gloves off? Right. We do the the don't touch the inside. It's ingrained in everyone's mindset, whether you have patient contact or not. When you go to take those gloves off, you're going to take them off the same way inside out and then toss them. 

 

00:29:06:10 - 00:29:13:20 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

So what we do is we say, Doctor, is that we respect biohazards and infectious diseases far more than carcinogenic stuff. 

 

00:29:14:07 - 00:29:36:03 

Richard Kesler 

Exactly. We know all those blood borne pathogens that that gets ingrained in us. We know the hazards, those chemical compounds, on our firefighting gloves, which we found to be some of the most contaminated stuff. Right. You're crawling. You're working with tools where we're sifting through stuff during overhaul whatever it might be. Some of the most contaminated compounds are right there. 

 

00:29:36:03 - 00:29:57:02 

Richard Kesler 

And we don't have that same respect for those that we would for, you know, maybe a couple drops of blood on our medical gloves. That's a huge one. And I think if we can get to the point where pull them off, you know, clip them on our gear, throw on some some clean work gloves, we can reduce that level of exposure just a little bit. 

 

00:29:57:06 - 00:30:06:20 

Richard Kesler 

Right. Every piece every piece is one less. As you mentioned, the deposit in the the cancer bank. Right. If we can do one less, why don't. 

 

00:30:06:20 - 00:30:29:08 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

We? Very well said. And the other thing that I like to add and challenge is when you said the firefighter said, well, that's not how we're going to do it on the scene is culture. It's change and innovation for breakfast. Every day go to work and you have good information, solid research, back data driven stuff, and you get obstinate objective. 

 

00:30:29:16 - 00:30:51:16 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

We're not doing it that way for X, Y, Z reason. So this change that the fire service is pushing for through great organizations like GOAL is going to be a generational change. And it's starting. It started with clean gear. We're seeing less dirty gear on the fire ground in the stations, which is great. We have the don't take the bunker gear in the bedroom message which is awesome. 

 

00:30:52:07 - 00:31:09:04 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

We're seeing more better care of gear. Departments are washing their gear more often. They're getting two sets of gear, swapping hoods out lots of things are happening there. So these are slow, incremental change, which is the way to go because if you want to kill something, change it too fast, right? It's like trying to do a a crash diet. 

 

00:31:09:04 - 00:31:26:16 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

You know, you lose a lot of weight and then you go right back to your bad habits. So I think we're all headed in the right direction is just good. People like you and Dr. Sue don't give up on us in that time. We're like the wayward child who's not listening. And suddenly in our thirties, we start behaving and we become this perfect little grown up that you've invested in. 

 

00:31:26:27 - 00:31:35:01 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

Right? So this that's that's the fire service where the wayward prodigal child who wants to help, but we need to learn and listen from you guys and gals. 

 

00:31:35:01 - 00:31:56:29 

Richard Kesler 

So I think that's a great point. And honestly, the changes related to exposure reduction have been in some ways extremely fast. Our research, like I mentioned, we want to put it out into the hands of those who use it. You think about some of our partners on campus and other researchers that are doing things that will be ten, 20, 30 years down the road. 

 

00:31:56:29 - 00:32:18:28 

Richard Kesler 

You may have an impact in their field. And that's one of the huge benefits of what we do is that we can put information out. You know, it goes through the peer reviewed process it gets it gets recognized as being, you know, fundamentally sound science. And then we push it out into the fire service here at IFSI. We integrate it into our training curriculum. 

 

00:32:18:28 - 00:32:46:19 

Richard Kesler 

We put it in our academy so folks are getting it day one of their career. And and those changes can start to occur. And that's that's extremely rewarding for us to see that it sometimes feels slow. But in, in the big picture of things, you know, you're cleaning, what, five years ago, six years ago was taboo. And now, you know, to have gear that's contaminated is is taboo almost across the country. 

 

00:32:47:28 - 00:33:14:07 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

Very good. Very good. And I appreciate you sharing your knowledge and expertize with us. And doctor suit, if you will. I'd love to hear about what research are you doing and what's going on currently in that field and information we can share with firefighters. And then perhaps at the end, we can talk a little bit about what you're passionate about about proper donning doffing of our gear, how that affects our exposure and some in our own wear. 

 

00:33:14:12 - 00:33:34:21 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

As you said, Dr. Richard, that we're kind of our own worst enemy when I have that nice particulate hood and then I've put it around my thyroid gland and expose myself and defeat the whole purpose of it. So if you will, dark suit share with us more about the research and the information that you guys have been working on some diligently that some firefighters may not know about. 

 

00:33:34:21 - 00:33:55:08 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

I mean, they there's there's there's my dad says there's 13.6% of the fire service who are nerds like me who read and go into the research papers and study what you guys are putting out. So help help us educate us on what you guys are doing and what can they do about it and what information is there for them to learn from and where can they find it. 

 

00:33:55:22 - 00:33:57:02 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

Before we talk about the end there? 

 

00:33:58:06 - 00:34:36:26 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud 

Absolutely. We have done what we are working in the concentration of our research is focus of our research is on finding out how like a sub you can actually limit firefighters movement because again, we can bubble wrap every firefighters and they don't get exposed to anything, but can they do their job the right way? And are these gears are actually protecting them or protecting them from environment, but aren't protecting them also about their own metabolism? 

 

00:34:37:06 - 00:35:02:26 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud 

And the changes that their physiological system is going through? Are they being protected some of the research that we are doing, we are looking at how do you test for if there is a crack in your face, you and using the technology that is very much available to firefighters and it's your cell phone, is the light from your cell phone. 

 

00:35:03:04 - 00:35:22:28 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud 

Can you do that test before you get in? And what would be the consequences of the shield that is, maybe there are micro cracks in there that you're not seeing it, but through these very simple tests and Richard would share at the end of it the link to all those videos that we have prepared and that people can just watch. 

 

00:35:22:28 - 00:35:47:18 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud 

And it's only a few few minutes of your time, but you learn a lot about it. They also do a lot of research on the effect of firefighting activities on cardiovascular system and that can be a long term, very strenuous activities that they go through. What is the effect of it or versus the short bouts of activity? What is the difference? 

 

00:35:47:20 - 00:36:38:11 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud 

What is the difference on a physiological system there? What kind of stress hormones are there being produced that doesn't lead firefighters to sleep at night or changes their sleep pattern? And how does that affect their decision making the scenario of some of the research we are using is incorporating technology into creating more conditions, more different, diverse conditions that they are being exposed to because it is impossible to put the research out there for every condition, every environment, in every location, so we are using technology as a tool not to replace their training, but as a tool that they can use to be better prepared one of the things to keep in mind, majority of the 

 

00:36:38:12 - 00:37:14:08 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud 

exposure that firefighters are being are experiencing is through training rounds is not actually responding to the call of duty, but it's during training. So we are trying to see how we can keep the training safer for fight but for firefighters, but expose them to more conditions and different varieties of conditions that they are being exposed to. And one of the things that I wanted to touch base, it really doesn't matter how much of our research we put out, it doesn't matter if they hear it or not. 

 

00:37:14:09 - 00:37:39:15 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud 

It's how there has to be a system in place that these changes or these findings can be in force in every department if we wait for a large organization to come up and just tell us we have to do this, maybe it is a little bit too late. If these changes happens at the department's small firehouses, it's like, OK, we are going to restore this, we are going to implement this. 

 

00:37:39:27 - 00:38:09:12 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud 

I always use this example in the Department of Education. They find out that there is a difference between the gender boys and girls, how they retain the information at what level of maturity they can do and learn. And be better students. But we never implemented because we cannot they can do that is too complicated to separate boys and girls and educate them is the same thing we know about all this information is out there readily available. 

 

00:38:10:08 - 00:38:12:22 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud 

How do we enforce it is very, very different. 

 

00:38:13:10 - 00:38:37:09 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

Doctor, if I may, things I like to add to what you just said is is very important is you guys are producing phenomenal information that's life changing, career changing information. But if you said it best, if we wait to a large department adopts it, it's really too late. So in the fire service tradition is to wait till tragedy occurs and tragedy or litigation spurs regulation. 

 

00:38:37:09 - 00:38:58:23 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

That's how many of our NFPA standards have changed, such as the face piece and many others so what I'd like to ask is though, you put it really well earlier in vision, your skin is your heart. You're holding your heart in your hand. So if I can effect the firefighter, the individual, not the fire chief, that's where we make our mistake. 

 

00:38:58:23 - 00:39:28:22 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

We try to start at the top and work down. If I can effect the individual and get them to care and understand and say, you know, a lot of times this information comes across as too too deep, too complicated, or it's not related and experientially relevant ways. But if you can say this affects your heart in this way and this is going to affect your family, this is going to affect your your ability to do your job and have a long and healthy life and we put that out in small tidbits of information and give them more ways to reduce their exposure. 

 

00:39:28:22 - 00:39:49:01 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

That is realistic. I think that's how you're going to affect that change. That one firefighter that they respect all of a sudden does it, and then that next firefighter does it. As Dr. Richard Kesler said earlier, we start at the recruit level now. That brand new firefighter just great. You're starting with good habits. What about this? 32, your hard head here, who's already got bad habits? 

 

00:39:49:14 - 00:40:11:21 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

I think what you said is profoundly important but we have to make it where the individual buys in, not the organization, because I've seen more change done in organizations by individuals who suddenly change and then those change other individuals. And then all of a sudden the organization says, wow, all of our firefighters have bought into this. Maybe there's something to this. 

 

00:40:12:09 - 00:40:38:08 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

And unfortunately, as you also said, some wait till a big X, Y, Z department is now doing it. We're going to do it. That's should not be the impetus for change. It should be as what you are putting out, data driven factual information. This makes sense. And then we need to make it financially achievable for any organization, because 68% of the population is protected by volunteer firefighters. 

 

00:40:38:08 - 00:40:57:18 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

They don't have the funding that municipal arts departments do. So that's the challenge we have. But I think what you guys are doing is phenomenal. But I would love to see more of those videos that you have pushed out in small bite size firefighter ADHD approved, if you know what I mean. One to 3 minutes. 

 

00:40:58:07 - 00:40:59:19 

Richard Kesler 

Yeah. And you. 

 

00:41:00:06 - 00:41:00:25 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

Love to see. 

 

00:41:01:13 - 00:41:36:08 

Richard Kesler 

Those you spot and it takes a champion within a department, right? Somebody who who sees that information or here's something like this podcast all of a sudden is engaged and then can go get more information, right. And develop a following and can can implement change within their company, within their, you know, their cohort. So we've got a toolkit that we put together with all of our information from our cardiovascular chemical exposure series of tests continuously adding to it. 

 

00:41:36:16 - 00:42:07:24 

Richard Kesler 

But one of the key pieces of that is, you know, yes, you can go there and find all of the published papers and all the data, how we did all the studies. But maybe more important to the firefighter is we have translation tools key things that you can do today within your department when you're washing hoods. Right. It's important to consider that the Interior search crew hood maybe shouldn't be washed with your pump operators hood, because both hoods come out with some level of contamination. 

 

00:42:07:24 - 00:42:30:18 

Richard Kesler 

So, you know, things like that that just are easy key takeaways. We provide just enough data to show the significance, but it's it's what can you do? What considerations can you make for training, for fire, ground operations, for laundering, all those in order to improve that first step to get some more information as well. 

 

00:42:30:18 - 00:42:46:27 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

So and I would love to hear your thoughts on the best practices of how we can apply some of that research. As he was mentioning because this information, unfortunately, is not common knowledge to most firefighters. So if you can share with us that, I'd greatly appreciate it. 

 

00:42:47:06 - 00:43:13:00 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud 

Of course, some of the research, as Richard mentioned, as part of that chemical exposure, we are looking at the effect of falls on firefighters. We look at the effects of peer duties on firefighters, what they are being, what's being metabolized in the system. And these chemicals can create cascades of events inside your body as early as the hours. 

 

00:43:13:19 - 00:43:39:24 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud 

So you don't need like a long term to get affected by it. But then once you get exposed to it and then regular basis, it becomes chronic exposure that what we are looking at I think one of the things that we are talking about here is really let my years of research be just a few minutes of your time. 

 

00:43:40:27 - 00:44:17:14 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud 

Something that we find is not like we label it as, oh, that's a research, so I don't understand it. That is, if you look for those information at a society, we put a lot of effort into making scientific findings in a way that the general public can understand. Them, and that's part of my job as a scientist to make it understandable for people who are not scientists and and that that that is a pretty valuable time that you can spend on taking care of yourself. 

 

00:44:17:14 - 00:44:41:12 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud 

And I understand firefighters or you'll have to be selfless to be a firefighter. I get it. But just because you take care of yourself, you take care of like your exposure and you take care of not getting this contamination to your household, to your sons and daughters and wives and families, the older days that you care for doesn't mean you're not selfless. 

 

00:44:43:06 - 00:45:08:24 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud 

It's part of your job. And if we can actually get that message out there, it is your job to take care of yourself. And here's a tool that you have informal PPE or it's your knowledge about what these chemicals are doing to your body. Do your job way the job that you like to do, but do it in a safe way, not only just yourself, being safe. 

 

00:45:09:09 - 00:45:12:06 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud 

Keep your community and your family safe as well. 

 

00:45:14:06 - 00:45:37:18 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud 

Cancer is something that is not like a cardiovascular disease that can be very sudden, right? You see it and then you are aware of it that it sneaks up on you, accumulates. And that's what we are trying to say is never your skin is exposed whenever you take that gear off and you see the suits on your skin, don't wear it like a badge of honor. 

 

00:45:38:00 - 00:45:48:03 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud 

Look at it like that's the exposed heart in your hand. And you are taking that time away from the fun you can have and the job you like to do. 

 

00:45:48:28 - 00:46:08:02 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

Well said. And since you mentioned that, what are some ways that firefighters can reduce this risk by simply taking their gear off differently, proper doffing? Because I know how we take the gear off on the scene. I know we don't always do it the correct way. But as Dr. Kesler said, we respect those biohazards more than we do. 

 

00:46:08:12 - 00:46:23:18 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

You know, when we're taking our hood off and we defeat the purpose. So what are some things that we can do when we're taking our hood off, taking our gloves, coats off? What are what are some ways we can simply reduce the risk on how we undress from taking off our PPE if you will? 

 

00:46:25:01 - 00:46:56:22 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud 

One of the things that we have observed in our research, maximum exposure is happening during doffing and donning and to put nitro gloves on when you are donning, doing, doing, donning, and then you can take those gloves off and put your firefighting gloves off and then taking the gloves off the right way, just like a medical gloves that you're doing and putting them somewhere safe, put a nitro gloves on. 

 

00:46:56:27 - 00:47:26:25 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud 

It takes a really literally a few seconds and then do your doffing after death. And we Richard mentioned the way that you are taking your particular hoods off is you still are on air and then you use the right way of taking these particular foods off over your head, over your as severe as you are on air. They are reduces another layer of exposure that you usually get exposed to. 

 

00:47:27:16 - 00:47:57:23 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud 

And we have videos online that we have groups exposure, redemption videos, how you can use just a simple brush and a hose and then dawn detergent that you can do in quick DEFCON and you remove 85% of those contaminants, how you can put it in and fold it in the right way and, and put it in a bag and get it washed as fast as you can. 

 

00:47:58:15 - 00:48:21:00 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud 

If you are responding to different calls we get it that that can be challenging, but do as much as you can. There are a lot of information on ISI website that actually highlights you can pick and choose, OK, I can do this today. Maybe I can do the best the next day. Maybe I can do half of this this way. 

 

00:48:21:00 - 00:48:49:15 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud 

Of doing it. So don't let the perfect get in the way of doing the good way. So just because you cannot do the best thing doesn't mean you cannot do another way of doing reducing exposures. And more than have the everything that is on ISI side is based on a research that's gone through the scrutiny of the peer reviews and different reevaluation and researching and researching. 

 

00:48:50:06 - 00:48:59:09 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud 

So then we can put together accurate data for firefighters and their family and their community. 

 

00:48:59:27 - 00:49:19:01 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

I would like to add to that family part because my wife now reads a lot of things on cancer prevention, and she knows way too much about that stuff and she's telling me what I should be doing. So I think firefighters who don't think their spouses are reading some of this stuff are falsely informed and some of them, maybe their spouses may know more about this than the firefighter does. 

 

00:49:19:15 - 00:49:49:06 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

So that's a good way to help with change is that their families encourage and on number one, because that should be where your first priority is. Number two, if you're a leader inside the fire station, you're the company officer, supervisor or the the the the well-respected firefighter or driver engineer, as they call my department, if you start setting the right example by, you know, doing that gross decon, the fire wipes and all the different things that we should do, then you're modeling the right behavior. 

 

00:49:49:15 - 00:50:05:18 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

And they're eventually going to start picking up on it, especially if that captain that they look up to hands them a wipe and says, hey, get that stuff off of you. I care about you. I don't want to send you home with that oh, that's that's a good reinforce behavior that you talked about how we get make that accountable. 

 

00:50:05:23 - 00:50:24:22 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

I think accountable is thrown around is like a disciplinary thing. It should be more of a like you said, I'm holding my heart. And if the company officer saying, that's my firefighter, like that's my family member, get that stuff off of you. Let's get your gear cleaned up. Let's get you cleaned up and then move on to the next call that shows that they care. 

 

00:50:24:22 - 00:50:48:15 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

That builds more respect and camaraderie and it helps a lot of things. So I think that's one of those ways we can help with the change is getting those leaders and even the informal leaders to set that right example. And you find those change agents and put them in those videos to both of you. That's a good thing to get those people in there and say, look, I've you know, I've been through cancer or I, I do this and I didn't used to do this. 

 

00:50:48:15 - 00:51:08:28 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

I didn't take care of my gear. I now do. And this is why I think someone else said this best. The trainer, hypocrite and someone who's changed is hypocrisy. I tell you to do something I don't do it. True change occurs when I used to do those bad things, but now I don't. And here's why I had a reason to change was that knowledge was a tragedy? 

 

00:51:08:28 - 00:51:33:16 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

Was it hardship? Was it all of the above? And we've lost firefighters from cancer in my department. I'm the guy who yells at them when they don't hook up the plumber. The exhaust removal system, because that's one simple little thing to stop that exposure. And I think your work should be translated through these change agents, these respected leaders of the fire service at the fire stations. 

 

00:51:34:01 - 00:52:00:21 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

And those people are going to be the ones that gets that message through to that next firefighter and that one does the same to the next one. And it's succession planning and it gets that message out in the videos are great, but the videos need to go to those people and that information needs to be continually pushed. And here's my challenge to you just because you did like I told you about your face piece inspection video that I absolutely love, just because you did it one time that information is not new to a lot of people. 

 

00:52:01:18 - 00:52:26:01 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

I show that video everywhere I go and they had this shocked look on their face. And that video was older right so keep pushing that information out. Eat, regurgitating, pushing it out, because it's not it's not something a lot of people are well aware of. They're more interested in the nozzles, the hose package, what's going on in this next conference than they are about some of these changes that will help them live a longer life. 

 

00:52:26:27 - 00:52:48:07 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

So keep up the good work, but keep pushing out your information. It's almost like keep playing that record even though you've heard it. Here comes my favorite song again. Just keep playing it because you need to keep pushing it out there so that we hardhats to fire for firefighters as stubborn individuals, we are eventually say, well, that makes a lot of sense. 

 

00:52:48:24 - 00:53:09:02 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

And I have a family and I have a group of firefighters I'm responsible for. I need to set the right example. So thank you for your efforts and your work but one of the things I'd like to start with summarize with is tell us about where they can find this information, number one, and how they get in contact with you. 

 

00:53:09:02 - 00:53:24:06 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

How do they find if they wanted to come there, even an experience, some of the things I talked about, how is that all possible? Is it is it is it even possible for somebody like me to come and take a class there with all those other people taking classes? Is there a waiting list? How do I find this information? 

 

00:53:24:06 - 00:53:27:03 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

How do I contact you and how do I take it to the next level? 

 

00:53:27:29 - 00:53:54:16 

Richard Kesler 

First IFSI, Illinois dot edu take you to the main IFSI Web page. You can get to everything else we'll talk about from there. So that's that's your first stop. There's our course catalog is available there. We we love seeing students from around the country. Some of our programs read Under Fire will be, you know, is always a popular class that'll be showcased at conferences across the country this year. 

 

00:53:55:06 - 00:54:18:12 

Richard Kesler 

And so that's always a good one. As far as research, we're always, always, always looking for research participants who are willing to, you know, either provide a single blood sample and some of our simplest protocols to come hang out with us for a week and go through training while we take samples pre post you know, each day, monitor them through the day. 

 

00:54:19:05 - 00:54:46:21 

Richard Kesler 

So we always need participants there there's there's links through our website to find those. We've got the toolkit cardiovascular chemical exposure risks tool kit, which has those peer reviewed papers. It has our translated tools. It has things like prerecorded webinars, online courses. Say you're in charge of a training night and you've got to do a company or a department wide training or something. 

 

00:54:46:21 - 00:55:03:07 

Richard Kesler 

You can pull up this webinar, walk through some of the key findings from from some of our previous studies to to help spread that message and spread that word. And so, yeah, I mean, that's, that's the best way to start finding as Farzana a. 

 

00:55:04:05 - 00:55:38:02 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud 

No, I think you said it all really well. And I really encourage people to go and look at our exposure reduction videos and the trainings that Richard has painstakingly put together. There are different versions I know that goes around, but I would really encourage people to look at it just to know by doing something as simple as just washing the gears, that if you're reducing the exposure to 85% reduction, that's a pretty good numbers that we got. 

 

00:55:38:02 - 00:56:14:12 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud 

And as far as people coming here, and we would love to give you guys a tour of science, the science of the sign research lab, what we do, what our capabilities are and we can't do this without the firefighters participation. We need each other to get the right information out there. And whether it is the research that we are doing or getting the word out there, just like this program that we are attending is just our attempt in getting the information out there. 

 

00:56:14:12 - 00:56:35:09 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud 

You see these videos, you think you learn something from it, please forward it to other people. Encourage other people to look at it. They are there for you. And again, let our decades of research and hard work on finding answers to a few question. Be the few minutes of your time. 

 

00:56:36:08 - 00:56:53:27 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

Thank you both. Last last question for you. Any sneak peeks on anything big coming up you want to hint at or tell us to be looking for? Anything we should watch out for that you're about. You know, maybe something's coming. You want us to watch the Web page for I know you're always working on something. I talked to one of your representatives. 

 

00:56:53:28 - 00:57:06:27 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

A local conference interested me about some other stuff, but what? Anything you want to share about what they should watch for or that you're about to release or anything like that without, you know, breaking any confidence. I don't wanna get you in trouble, but. 

 

00:57:07:15 - 00:57:38:17 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud 

We have a little bit of a ways to go, but we are putting together prototype for how people can put together the ways for a glove they can't, because that's a difficult one. And those are some of the graduate students that we have, University of Illinois, who have been working on it from different departments I think we'd be very proud to put that prototype and the components of it to how people can put it together if they want. 

 

00:57:38:17 - 00:57:49:24 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud 

We can help about how to put it together and then maybe a prototype of our system that is being billed as an aside for mass decline on the scene. 

 

00:57:50:15 - 00:58:10:09 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

Thank you. That is awesome. I love to hear about that. I've traveled a lot and seen how they do different decon procedures overseas and it's mind boggling to see the amount of detail they do in Germany and Sweden, and we just barely wash our gear. So it's encouraging to see that there's stuff already out there and innovation coming. 

 

00:58:10:09 - 00:58:32:10 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

And perhaps as we typically are, the American Fire Service is slow to adopt change that we will adopt these changes in a positive way. But as I told you in the beginning, don't lose hope because things don't get adopted right away. Typically, when I've studied leadership changes, generational. Most of the people that put all this work in didn't see the necessarily the fruits of that labor in their lifetime. 

 

00:58:32:10 - 00:58:53:09 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

They planted the seed and we didn't get to see the oak tree that sits in the yard now. So I thank you for your investment. You're actually protecting the future generation as well, more than you know. And I like to say when one day when we pass on this world, maybe the good Lord will let us look down and see all the people that we we're allowed to impact. 

 

00:58:53:09 - 00:59:14:09 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

And I'm I take a lot of hope in knowing that people like yourselves are impacting that future and making that future brighter for those firefighters that will listen, because a lot of people beat up the millennial generation right now. But I will tell you that the millennials actually listen. They actually read. They actually research. And that's a lot of things that we didn't do. 

 

00:59:14:22 - 00:59:21:10 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

So hopefully they're the ones that are digging deep into this knowledge and stuff that you're sharing and we'll figure that out. 

 

00:59:21:12 - 00:59:32:09 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud 

Well, absolutely. And you and your listeners and yourself, you know how to get a hold of us. You go to I have to say that Science Research Unit and our information is out there. 

 

00:59:33:12 - 00:59:50:00 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

Thank you both for your time. As I said, time is the most valuable commodity we have. And keep up the good work. Look forward to seeing what's coming next. And hopefully I'll see you at some of the conferences as we travel around and we plan attending several of them. So look forward to it. Thank you so much for your time. 

 

00:59:50:01 - 01:00:06:01 

Battalion Chief Andy Starnes 

God bless you both. Thank you. Fired Rex for allowing this opportunity. And we are so thankful for the wisdom, knowledge and experience that you're putting into this. And I just can't wait to see what's coming in the future and how that will impact us and the future of the fire. Service. Thank you both. 

 

01:00:06:28 - 01:00:07:27 

Dr. Farzaneh Masoud 

Thank you for having me. 

 

 

 

 

 

Where To Listen:

Categorized: Rapid Fire Podcast, Andy Starnes

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