Author Archives: Paul Soriero

Health Care Reimbursement Program

The N.J. State Firemen’s Association has announced a health care reimbursement program for active and qualified fire service members of the Association. It is designed so that qualified members can stay at home instead of moving to the Firemen’s Home in Boonton, thus keeping the patient closer to family and in a home setting. In addition, the spouse of a qualified member may also qualify for reimbursement for being the caretaker. For additional information, please see the attached flyer or contact the Firemen’s Association at www.njsfa.com  

Basic Evalution Procedures for Abandoned and Vacant Buildings

Capt. Tony Tricarico (Ret) FDNY Special Operations Command has submitted a short training manual titled The Basic Eevaluation of Abanoned and Vacant Buildings, published by FEMA and the U.S. Fire Administration . In view of the disaster that occurred in Baltimore, MD earlier this year, where three Firefighters lost their lives while operating in an abandoned building, it may be beneficial to review this document. Click on the link below to download.

Building Intelligence

As part of your Incident Pre-Planning procedures, it is vital to have Building Intelligence readily accessible as part of your department’s dispatch and response protocols for high rise buildings and other targeted locations. Jack J. Murphy presents a short slide show demonstrating the reasons to increase your department’s Building Intelligence and offers a program called e-BISG Building Intelligence Solutions Group LLC to assist you. Click on the link below to download.

Meeting Minutes December 14, 2021

March Statewide Monthly Meeting

The next Statewide Monthly Meeting wil be on Monday, March 7th, 2022 at Bella Napoli, 1640 Broad Street in Bloomfield, NJ   The pre-meeting will start at 1800hrs., regulat meeting at 1900 hrs.

FireLine Week 2-22

The Story of the Oldest & Highest Ranking Firefighter Killed on 9/11

NJ PEOSHA Meeting Minutes July, 2021

MEETING MINUTES

PUBLIC EMPLOYEES’ OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY & HEALTH ADVISORY BOARD

Thursday, July 22, 2021 Virtual TEAMS Meeting

MEMBERS PRESENT

Luis Alamo, Representative for Public

Howard Black, Designee for Commissioner of Labor & Workforce Development Wayne Blanchard, Representative for Employees of Law Enforcement

Richard Hogan, Representative for Municipal Employees Paul Malarcher, Representative for County Government

Gina Mayer-Costa, Representative for Institutions of Higher Education Michael McLinden, Designee for Commissioner of Environmental Protection Lennie Parham, Designee for Commissioner of Education

Robert Shannon, Representative for Municipalities

Mark McLane, Representative for Rutgers, The State University John Saville, Representative for Public

Michael Smith, Designee for State Treasurer Robert Weissman, Representative for Public

MEMBERS ABSENT/EXCUSED

Gary Centifonti, Designee for Commissioner of Health

Timothy Rudolph, Representative for State Government Employees VACANT BOARD POSITIONS

Designee for Commissioner of Community Affairs              Employees of Public Health Care Facilities Correctional Institutions                     Local School Boards

Employees of Correctional Institutions                                  Employees of Local School Boards

Employees of County Government                                        Fire Services Public Health Care Facilities

NJ DEPARTMENT OF LABOR & WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT SUPPORT STAFF

Justin BakerTheresa KramarzMark Wadiak
Krishna JagannathanTom LipskiThomas Wilson
James Revak  

NJ DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SUPPORT STAFF

Glenn Pulliam OTHERS PRESENT

Kristen Affrime, CWAVictoria Fisher, CWAFrancisco Masini, Monmouth Co
Nicole Benowitz, NJDOLCrissandra Garcia, NJDOLSteve Matthews, NJDOL
Wanda Caudle, HPAETim Grilo, NJDOLWilliam Ruch, SIFNJ
Kenneth Child, PMA GroupShari HainesJanice Thomas, NJDOL
Ivan CohenPura Jackson, CWACarol Tiedeman, OSHA
Salvatore Fama, NJDMVDr. Koshy Koshy, Rutgers 

Meeting Motions:

  • Motion to approve the April 22, 2021 meeting minutes. Robert Weissman motioned; Wayne Blanchard seconded. Motion approved.

Assistant Commissioner Howard Black called the meeting to order at 10:05 a.m. After the flag salute, Theresa Kramarz called roll and determined there was a quorum. After providing brief opening remarks, Assistant Commissioner Black moved to approve the April 22, 2021 meeting minutes. Robert Weissman motioned; Wayne Blanchard seconded. Motion approved.

Report of the NJ Department of Health’s (NJDOH) PEOSH Enforcement Update – Glenn Pulliam:

Glenn Pulliam reported the following:

  • NJDOH’s PEOSH enforcement activity report was distributed and covered the period of April 1 – June 30, 2021. During that period, 23 IAQ/Sanitation complaints/referrals and 26 five-day complaints were received. Sixteen (16) initial on-site and no follow-up inspections were conducted. Twenty-five (25) cases were closed. Six (6) programmed inspections were also conducted in accordance with the five-year strategic plan at: local fire department (4), DPW (1), and sewer treatment plant (1). Three (3) Orders to Comply (OTC) were issued containing 14 citations.

Report of the NJDOH’s PEOSH Consultation Program Update – Glenn Pulliam:

Glenn Pulliam reported the following:

  • NJDOH’s PEOSH consultation activity report was distributed and covered the period of April 1 – June 30, 2021. During that period, one (1) initial consultation request was received; one (1) initial onsite consultation and one (1) follow-up inspections were conducted.
  • Due to COVID-19 response efforts, consultation staff has been assisting the PEOSH enforcement unit.
  • Two (2) educational seminar/conferences were conducted.

Lennie Parham requested an e-mail regarding the five schools that were reported.

Report of the NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) – Assistant Commissioner Howard Black:

  • PEOSH is in the process of preparing the FFY 2022 23(G) grant application which is due August 2, 2021. The FFY 2022 50% Federal OSHA funding base award level increased by $30,700 for a total base award level of funding of $2,121,100. The NJDOL/NJDOH will provide 50% matching funds. Any additional amount over the 50-50 OSHA/State matching funding shall be provided by DOL/DOH at 100% overmatch for the balance of the FFY 2022 23(G) grant total.
  • The Spring 2021 OSHSPA/OSHA meeting was held virtually on May 18-19, 2021 with NJDOH and NJDOL PEOSH in attendance. The Fall OSHSPA meeting will be hosted by Michigan, scheduled for September 28-29, 2021.
  • Executive Order 192 for the protection of workers against COVID-19 in New Jersey terminated as of July 4, 2021. Any remaining private sector cases are in the process of being prepared for transfer to Federal jurisdiction for action as deemed appropriate.
  • On June 10, 2021, Federal OSHA announced it will issue an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) on COVID-19 for the Healthcare Industry in addition to updated guidance for mitigating and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. On June 21, the ETS was published in the Federal Register. The NJ PEOSH state plan is adopting the ETS identical with no modifications.

Report of the NJDOL’s PEOSH Enforcement – Chief Thomas Lipski:

Chief Lipski reported the following:

  • NJDOL’s PEOSH enforcement activity report was distributed and covered the period of April 1 – June 30, 2021. During that period the following inspections were conducted: 40 general inspections, three (3) complaint investigations, and five (5) accident investigations.
    • There were no public employee fatalities. Three (3) fatality investigations are in progress.
    • There were no new discrimination cases received and eight (8) open penalty cases.
    • There were no penalties collected during this time period.
    • The most frequently cited standard was N.J.S.A. 34:6A-33(a).

Robert Weissman asked what the top frequently cited standard was about.

  • Tom Lipski responded it is the general duty clause.

Report of the NJDOL’s Public Employees Occupational Safety Consultation and Training – Assistant Chief Krishna Jagannathan:

Assistant Chief Jagannathan reported the following:

  • NJDOL’s Public Employees Occupational Safety Consultation and Training activity report was distributed and covered the period of April 1 – June 30, 2021. During that period, 11 safety consultation visits and four (4) follow-up visits were conducted. The most frequently cited standard was 1910.303 electrical general requirements.
    • Under PEOSH Safety Training, two (2) courses were presented to 13 participants. The most requested training included: Personal Protective Equipment and Confined Space Awareness.
    • Staff attended the following training:
      • On April 13, 2021, one PEOSH staff attended a “COVID In The Workplace” webinar hosted by the Rutgers School of Public Health.
      • On April 22, 2021, one PEOSH staff attended a “Creating a Culture of Safety” webinar hosted by the Rutgers School of Public Health.
      • On May 7, 2021, a PEOSH consultant completed the OSHA 502-Construction Trainer Update virtual class at the Rutgers School of Public Health/Atlantic OSHA Training Center.
      • On May 10, 2021, a PEOSH consultant attended the OSHA Region 2 COVID Virtual Summit webinar.
      • On June 10, 2021, the Assistant Chief and one PEOSH Consultant completed the 8-Hour Annual Refresher for Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) offered by the Atlantic OSHA Training Center/Rutgers School of Public Health.
    • PEOSH Consultation and Training continues to offer virtual services and limited on-site activities only as necessary.
    • PEOSH Consultants continue to reach out to their clients to provide information regarding COVID precautions.

Presentation:

Dr. Koshy Koshy from Rutgers School of Public Health (SPH) provided an overview of education and outreach activities at the Rutgers SPH.

New Business: No new business. Old Business: No old business. Open Discussion:

Paul Malarcher shared the following with the Advisory Board:

  • Since 1992, the National EMS Memorial Service has held annual ceremonies to remember and honor those emergency medical services personnel who have died in the line-of-duty and to recognize the ultimate sacrifice each made. The National EMS Memorial Bike Ride is an organization that was formed in 2001 to honor EMS personnel by organizing and implementing long distance cycling events that memorialize and celebrate the lives of those who serve every day, those who have become sick or injured while performing their duties, and those who have died in the line of duty. This weekend, these organizations will come together for a “Weekend of Honor” in Arlington, Virginia. On Friday, the EMS Bike Ride will conduct a 45-mile ride during which the riders will carry pairs of dog tags with the names of the honorees. At the end of the ride, one dog tag will be given to the family of the honoree, while the rider keeps the second as a continuing memory. The 2021 National EMS Memorial Service will be held on Saturday.
    • The 2021 honorees include the following NJ public sector honorees:
      • John Careccia, Chief/EMT, Woodbridge Township Ambulance & Rescue Squad, Iselin – line of duty death due to COVID-19, 4/17/2020
      • John Ferrarella, EMT/EMT Instructor, NJ Sports & Exposition Authority, East Rutherford – line of duty death due to COVID-19, 4/14/2020
      • William Lightbody, Rescue Member/Firefighter, Paramus Rescue Squad, Paramus – line of duty death due to medical emergency, 9/18/2004
      • Edward McEvoy, Paramedic, Underwood Memorial Hospital/NJ EMS Task Force, Millvale – line of duty death due to WTC-related illness, 8/16/2020
      • David Pinto, EMT, NJ Sports & Exhibition Authority, East Rutherford – line of duty death due to COVID-19, 5/17/2020

Kristen Affrime asked about indoor air quality in state-leased offices. She has been attending worksite meetings in state-leased offices and is having a difficult time obtaining what the MERV ratings are and how often air filters are changed. She indicated the information from state-owned buildings have been received; it’s the leased buildings that she is having a problem with.

  • Glenn Pulliam recommended to contact the manufacturer of the HVAC unit. He also noted that the MERV rating should not exceed the rating for which that system is designed. Also, he recommended that the installer of the system would also be a good source for information about the system. The IAQ standard is on NJDOH’s website.

Robert Weissman wanted to thank the NJDOL and NJDOH staff who have been working on the fatality investigation related to a fellow firefighter’s in the line of duty death.

Michael McLinden asked if the NJDOL will still accept complaints regarding COVID now that EO192 has been rescinded.

  • Assistant Commissioner Black responded yes, the complaints will be handled as a PEOSH complaint.
    • Glenn Pulliam also noted NJDOH’s FAQs page is a good resource for information.

Assistant Commissioner Black adjourned the meeting at 11:01 a.m.

The next PEOSH Advisory Board meeting is scheduled at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 28, 2021 via Teams.

Neptune System Deployment Guidelines

                             The Division of Fire Safety has issued new guidleines concerning the request and deployment of the Neptune Pump System. Below is a copy.

County Fire Coordinators, Chief Fire Officers:

Over the many years that the Neptune Pump System has been a valuable resource to the fire service, time and time again OFDP region coordinators as well as our county fire coordinators have found it difficult to convince the Incident Commander of its value and resource to extinguish a major fire, creating a loss of valuable time in extinguishment.

County coordinators and OFDP staff realize its ability to supply large amounts of water, and the ability to conserve manpower and fire resources.

 Since it is the responsibility of the state fire coordination system to provide all available fire resources to that Incident commander, to extinguish a major incident. The following will be implemented.

Upon arrival of a county fire coordinator or state region fire coordinator, and it is determined that the Neptune Pump System will be an asset to the Incident Commander, the Neptune System will be requested to deploy. During the response time, the advance team and county fire coordinator or deputy will determine the best location for the placement of the system.  This information will then be relayed to the Incident Commander. If at this time the Incident commander does not wish to utilize the Neptune System, it will be staged at a location determined by the team. OFDP staff and county fire coordinators are well versed with the operation and deployment of the Neptune System, and are available for an informational presentation or discussion.

Monthly Meetings

Until further notice, all monthly meetings have been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Meetings will resume as allowed by state directives.