PEFO Update

Erik Link NO Comments

At this point, I have been to nearly all of the structures in the park to conduct the annual fire safety building inspections. The bulidings did pretty well, and there were no really serious issues. As is common throughout the Park Service, ITM on the portable fire extinguishers was not being performed, or at least noted, each month. The park is in the process of fixing this issue with their revived building safety warden program. This week I have been working on putting my findings into work order requests.
Another project I have worked briefly on was the park's Building Warden Program. This program was developed several years ago for use at the park for a monthly safety check of each building. In the past few years however, the implementation of the program faltered. PEFO is now making an honest effort to restart the program. Each division of the park management has one employee assigned as a building warden for a period of time. Their duties include acconting for other staff during emergencies and conducting a simple monthly safety check of their building. There is a check sheet to be filled out that includes inspections of fire extinguishers, first aid kits, exit signs, emergency lights, electrical panels, and fire exits. This inspection sheet is due each month at the park's Safety Committe meeting where issues can be discussed. If there is a more severe problem discovered during the inspection, the building wardens are instructed to report their finding immediately. Hopefully with a strict deadline and follow up discussion, these inspections will be done routinely. I met briefly with each building warden and sat in on the safety committe meeting during their discussion of the program.
I am currently in the final stages of my report on the fire protection evaluation of the Painted Desert Visitor Center and Administration building. This was a project Brian Johnson asked each of the interns to work on for a historic structure at their park. We were asked to look at the buildings in a prescriptive manner (straight from the code requirements) and a performance based manner (what are the real hazards and solutions). This was a good project and used some of the knowledge from class. It was a way to use the classroom learning from ENFP 250 and portions of ENFP 411 in the real world. It's an important reminder that the code is often just a starting point, especially for existing and historic structures.
Last week I assisted the PSFC with the training of several employees in the use of fire extinguishers. At PEFO, employees are provided a hands-on fire extinguisher training opportunity each year. There is a very cool training device called a BullEx that the park uses. It is a propane fueled burner (similar to a grill, but big fire) that employees put out with a water extinguisher. It is electronically controlled and can simulate different class fires.
Additionally, I have just started looking at the park's Occupant Emergency Plan for the administration building. This document lays out the procedures and responsibilities of employees during several different types of emergencies, including fires. I hope to clarify and update it in the next few days.
It's not been all work and no play though... Luckily, Arizona is a diverse landscape and I have been able to enjoy it on my days off. I've been almost all the way through the state, from Phoenix to Flagstaff and a weekend at the Grand Canyon. It's unbelievable that just 2 hours north of 110 degree Phoenix you can be over 12,000 ft on top of the highest mountain in Arizona, where it's just a touch above 60.


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