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A program plan links to the strategies or broad approaches to facilitating change identified in the program plan. According to THCU, activities are products or services that are made or held for a given audience, such as an event, a phone-in counseling service or a self-help group. Ideally, healthy workplace plans are flexible and allow individuals to indicate the changes or supports they need in order to work well and be productive.
Formative evaluation plans must be created during the program planning phase, before implementation.
There are three types of evaluations to consider[2], not all of which will necessarily be used for every program.
Formative evaluation measurement can help improve the program during and after the implementation.
Generates information that can be used to demonstrate the results of the program to funders and the community. Focuses most on program activities, outputs and short-term outcomes for the purpose of monitoring progress and making mid-course corrections when needed.
Helpful in describing the quality and effectiveness of the program by documenting its impact on participants and the community. When conducting evaluations, practitioners should think about expected outcomes, how achievements will be measured and the role of the workers themselves in program planning, design, implementation and evaluation.
There are many things to think about when developing an evaluation plan, only some have been explored in this Info-Pack. An organization’s healthy workplace committee is responsible for developing a detailed work plan.
A healthy workplace committee used an organizational culture audit ? a type of situational assessment.
Online Health Program Planner provides additional information and helps users develop a full, comprehensive plan.
In Canada and the rest of the world, not enough research has been conducted to find the workplace interventions that are good practices, those that work well and those interventions that do not work as intended.
Psychological Support: A work environment where coworkers and supervisors are supportive of employees’ psychological and mental health concerns and respond appropriately as needed. Provide a portable computer to enable an employee’s ability to work at home or at unusual hours when needed. Create opportunities for training and mentoring to enhance managers’ interpersonal and people management skills. Ensure widespread awareness of the company benefits and programs that employees can access to address and support their mental health.
Create “stay-at-work” policies and programs to assist employees who remain at work while dealing with mental health concerns including formal and informal accommodations, such as allowing an employee to temporarily work part-time when they are returning from an absence. Create a support net for new employees by pairing them with a mentor and a peer during their orientation.
Create an organizational mission statement that incorporates values of trust, honesty and fairness and display it prominently for staff and the public. Create standardized orientation sessions for new employees with information about company’s mission and values and standards for employee behaviour. Identify role models or mentors for new and junior employees to strengthen and ensure the continuity of organizational culture. Hold all members of the organization accountable for their actions and ensure that managers and leaders are held accountable to the same or higher standard.
Clear Leadership and Expectations: A work environment where there is effective leadership and support that helps employees know what they need to do, how their work contributes to the organization and whether there are impending changes.
Develop a schedule of ‘check-ins’ with employees and managers to address issues of concern. Create mandatory training sessions for management and aspiring managers that builds skills around emotional intelligence, mental health in the workplace, assertive and non-violent communication, leadership and ethics.
Civility and Respect: A work environment where employees are respectful and considerate in their interactions with one another, as well as with customers, clients and the public. Create a “Matter of Respect” policy that goes above regulatory requirements to foster an environment that respects diversity and ensures a safe workspace where employees feel comfortable to be themselves. Give equal consideration in employment and advancement decisions to qualified persons with mental health disabilities. Psychological Job Fit: A work environment where there is a good fit between employees’ interpersonal and emotional competencies, their job skills and the position they hold.
Hire managers and leaders based on their ability to demonstrate and understanding and commitment to leadership capabilities and supportive management practices rather than technical skills.
Have employees complete a personality and skills assessment before they are hired and placed into a position. Provide reinforcement and praise for employees’ demonstration of interpersonal and emotional competencies. Growth and Development: A work environment where employees receive encouragement and support in the development of their interpersonal, emotional and job skills. Create a mentor program that links new employees to experienced employees to create a social and professional support.
Host an annual education fair that highlights opportunities for personal and professional development and provides information on the company’s reimbursement policies. Develop an internal training and development syllabus that lets employees know about all available opportunities in the company for growth, education and training. Provide seminars, workshops, lunch and learns, seminars, conferences and educational activities for employees that focus on both individual and department needs. Recognition and Reward: A work environment where there is appropriate acknowledgement and appreciation of employees’ efforts in a fair and timely manner.
Celebrate employee dedication by providing an INDIVIDUALIZED GIFT to the employee on their 10, 15, 20-year employment anniversaries and recognize to the whole organization in a newsletter, email or announcement. Reward long standing employees with scholarships for their own growth or child-education savings accounts. Three or four times during the summer, the company hosts a free barbecue lunch to which all employees are encouraged to come. Provide employees with constructive informal rewards such as closing the office early on a Friday after a hard week or allowing an employee who has done a good job the opportunity to try a new role and to take on additional responsibilities.
Provide dental, vision and mental health coverage that takes effect on the first day of employment. Encourage employees to publicly acknowledge and thank their peers for exceptional effort, doing an outstanding job, enhancing the work environment, showing tremendous passion for the job or for providing leadership. Involvement and Influence: A work environment where employees are included in discussions about how their work is done and how important decisions are made. Ensure management is approachable and available to communicate by implementing an open door policy and by being visible around the office.
Involve employees in the interviewing and screening for job candidates to ensure that existing team members are comfortable with hiring decisions. Encourage employee participation and involvement during times of organizational change, providing empathy and support throughout. Workload Management: A work environment where tasks and responsibilities can be accomplished successfully within the time available. Train managers to be flexible with schedules to accommodate staff needs and to model good practices.
Engagement: A work environment where employees enjoy and feel connected to their work and where they feel motivated to do their job well. Conduct an annual satisfaction survey where employees can evaluate and provide feedback on their manager’s performance in the areas of communication, leadership, conflict management and innovation. Balance: A work environment where there is recognition of the need for balance between the demands of work, family and personal life.
Provide personal days rather than sick days – this allows additional flexibility for employees who have childcare or eldercare concerns. Allowing workers to take paid or unpaid time during the day for medical appointments or deal with urgent family issues encourage employees to take time off to spend with family. Family Day open-house event where the family is invited to join staff for a day of games, tours, stories and food. Hold employees accountable to getting all the work they need to get done finished, but enable them to work in the evenings or mornings at home if they cannot spend their full day in the office. Allow a full-time employee to job share rather than quit by allowing them to become a part-time employee and hire a second part-time employee to cover the other half of the work. Provide telecommuting options during the summer so that those with school-aged children, employees caring for aging parents or employees with other circumstances can opt to work from home. Psychological Protection: A work environment where employees’ psychological safety is ensured. Provide Mental Health First-Aid training during employees’ regular hours and funded by company. Encourage a safety culture by rewarding areas that have low accident rates with points towards prizes or bonuses. Host emotional wellness seminars to teach employees new skills and strategies for staying psychologically fit in an emotionally demanding job environment. Provide retraining and gradual return to work for employees as needed who have been away for an extended leave. Providing employees the option to turn off fluorescent lights in their offices and bring in floor or table lamps. Provide a quiet break room or an enclosed office for employees to go to when they need a break. Providing a private space for employees to make phone calls during the day for personal or professional support. Situation: To reduce turnover, Lee Valley wanted to show employees that there was room for growth within the organization. Result: Employees see that opportunities for growth and development come in many shapes and forms and many employees have grown and developed their careers at Lee Valley through these measures. Canadian Best Practices Portal for Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention, by the Public Health Agency of Canada, is a database of evaluated, best practice interventions. Logic Model Workbook, by THCU, provides an overview of logic models including what they are, why they are important and how to use their four-step approach to creating program logic models. Residents with home alarm security systems are reminded that, per City ordinance, they are required to register their alarm systems with the City. The National Hurricane Center has lifted the Tropical Storm Warning for the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. According to Public Works Commissioner Darryl Smalls and VITEMA’s 911 Emergency Communication Centers, there were no reports of flooding, trees down or any other type of damages as a result of Tropical Storm Isaac’s passage near the Territory. The Virgin Islands, however, will continue to experience showers and thunderstorm associated with the back end of Tropical Storm Isaac through Saturday morning. At noon today, VITEMA Director Elton Lewis convened a final conference call with the National Weather Service, the Virgin Islands Emergency Management Council, FEMA Region II, VI Delegate Donna Christensen and the US Coast Guard. In response to potential impact from Tropical Storm Isaac, VITEMA partially-activated its Emergency Operations Centers territorywide on Tuesday and ramped up to full activation on Wednesday. Jean Greaux Jr., the governor’s Director of Communications, also activated the Joint Information Center website, to provide the most timely and accurate emergency information from local and federal response agencies. The Human Services Department opened a shelter at the Herbert Grigg Home for the Aged at 7 p.m.
The Department of Health also opened a Special Needs Shelter at the Charles Harwood Complex.
On February 14, 2000, a 44-year-old male and a 30-year-old female, both career fire fighters, died in a restaurant fire. On February 14, 2000, two fire fighters died while performing an interior fire attack at a restaurant fire.
Meetings and interviews were conducted with the Chief, Assistant Chiefs, District Chiefs, Safety Officers, fire fighters who were at the scene, the department's training officer, a representative from the District Attorney's Office, a representative from the City Special Crimes and Arson Unit, representatives of the City Fire and Arson Bureau, the county Fire Marshal, and representatives of the International Association of Fire Fighters.
On March 22, 2000, two Safety and Occupational Health Specialists conducted additional interviews. The career fire department involved in this incident is comprised of 3,800 total employees, of whom 3,400 are uniformed fire fighters. The building involved in this incident served as a restaurant, measuring 110 feet by 39 feet. Additional companies responded to this incident; however, only those directly involved are included in this report. Upon a request from NIOSH, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) completed a fire model of this incident. On February 14, 2000, at 0430 hours, Central Dispatch received a call reporting that a restaurant was on fire.
At 0438 hours, Medic 73 was the first to arrive on the scene and reported to dispatch that they had visible fire emitting through the roof (approximately 6-foot flames). The IC directed one of the fire fighters from Ladder 76 to set up a positive pressure ventilation (PPV) fan outside the west side door to help clear the smoke from the building. After stretching approximately 20 feet of additional hoseline to the victims, the Captain from Engine 76 reentered to find his crew.
The Captain from Engine 76 had exited the structure and relayed that they could not find the fire. At 0446 hours, District 10 (District Chief) arrived on the scene and after completing a walk-around size-up, he assumed command.
Other fire fighters in the vicinity and the Captain and a fire fighter from Engine 73, who were using a thermal imaging camera, later stated that the heat had intensified and became more noticeable. The IC ordered the Captain and a fire fighter from Ladder 75 to act as the rapid intervention team (RIT) and enter and search for the victims. The fire fighter from Engine 73, who was on an interior hoseline prior to the evacuation tone, heard the IC sending fire fighters inside and decided to reenter to search. The Captain and a fire fighter from Ladder 76 pulled a 2½-inch line off Engine 76 and applied water from the exterior through one of the drive-through windows to hold back the fire in the kitchen area. At 0510 hours, Engine 82 arrived on the scene and attempted to shut off the gas (a second time). At 0517 hours, the Captain from Ladder 75, who had put the ladder up to the roof line, stated that he heard a PASS device going off in the kitchen area.
At 0528 hours, Ladder 68, which arrived on the scene shortly after Engine 68, forcibly opened the rear (north) steel door (see Photo 10). At approximately 0600 hours, the Chief radioed dispatch and requested a crane to the location to remove the large HVAC unit. The medical examiner listed the cause of death for both victims as asphyxia due to smoke inhalation. Department SOPs state that a Tactical Evaluation and Assessment Plan should be established to gather information on buildings within the fire department's jurisdiction. As a part of the prefire plan or inspection, fire departments can visit buildings in their jurisdiction that are under construction and make notes of the interior building components. Discussion: Accountability on the fire ground is paramount and may be accomplished by several methods. Discussion: One of the most important size-up duties of the first-in officers is locating the fire and determining its severity. Departments should ensure that the first officer or fire fighter inside evaluates interior conditions and reports them immediately to the Incident Commander. Discussion: Ventilation is necessary to improve the fire environment in order for fire fighters to approach a fire with a hoseline for extinguishment.
Recommendation #6: Fire departments should ensure that fire fighters use extreme caution when operating on or under a lightweight truss roof and should develop standard operating procedures for buildings constructed with lightweight roof trusses.
Discussion: The lightweight, wood truss incorporates wooden members which can be as small as 2- by 4-inch timber connected with metal gusset plates. The above-referenced document also states that fire fighters should be extra careful when responding to a fire in a fast-food restaurant at night.
Develop standard operating procedures for buildings constructed with lightweight roof trusses.
Standard operating procedures should be developed and implemented for buildings constructed with lightweight roof trusses. Discussion: There is no specific time limit on how long fire fighters should operate under or on truss roofs that are exposed to fire. Fire fighters may have difficulty in finding the exact location of fire in a building, even though heavy smoke makes it clear that fire is present. Recommendation #9: Fire departments should ensure that, whenever there is a change in personnel, all personnel are briefed and understand the procedures and operations required for that shift, station, or duty. Discussion: If a change in personnel is made, such as adding a new officer or fire fighter, a briefing process should take place. Discussion: When fire fighters are in a building, the building is now occupied and all exits should be available, even if the doors must be torn down. Discussion: Communication on the fireground between fire fighters and Incident Command is paramount. Discussion: Fire departments should ensure that SCBAs are serviced, perform properly, and are reliable. The following recommendations apply to building owners, utility providers, and municipalities.
Recommendation #14: Utility suppliers should ensure that all exterior building utilities are accessible and in working condition.
Discussion: Utility providers should ensure that the building's exterior utilities can be turned on or shut off if necessary. Discussion: Information regarding the building's construction is very valuable to fire fighters if a fire would occur. Discussion: There are currently building codes and standards which are used as guidelines for new building design and construction. The self-contained breathing apparatus maintenance program was evaluated by Tim Merinar, Engineer, and Thomas McDowell, Physical Scientist, Division of Respiratory Disease Studies, Respirator Branch. The development of the fire model for this incident was by Dan Madrzykowski, Engineer, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Technical review and assistance in completing this report was provided by Brad Newbraugh, Physical Science Technician, and Richard Current, Engineer, Protective Technology Branch, Division of Safety Research.
Expert review was provided by Vince Dunn, retired Deputy Chief, New York City Fire Department, and Francis L. For example, “building healthy public policy” or “creating supportive environments” are strategies. Flexible work programs support everyone within the workplace, they enable every employee to be more productive, less stressed and have overall better mental health. This shows whether the program was successful and can be used to decide whether it should continue. Although data may be collected throughout the program, the purpose is to determine the value and worth of a program based on results. In order to begin an evaluation plan, effective process and outcome objectives need to be created.
Indicators are the units of measurement used to assess the extent to which objectives have been met. The work plan should outline the program objectives, activities and evaluation methods in each phase of the plan. Mentors can help develop skills and competencies and can teach new hires how to successfully navigate the organization’s culture. This can involve an outline of possible career planning opportunities and include the technical and personal leadership expectations of all employees.
These educational opportunities could be provided by internal experts or external organizations. Employees can receive two hours of tutoring a week within their regular work schedule at no personal cost and employees are paid for one of the two hours. Working well can be determined by providing exceptional service, supporting organizational programs, fostering teamwork or by staying late during a heavy work period. This can help reinforce positive communication, provide a venue for thinking about coworkers’ positive characteristics, break down communication barriers between staff members and help to frame staff interactions positively. Also, allow employees a venue for communicating their thoughts and concerns with senior executives. This helps increase feelings of control, alignment or buy-in to the company’s mission and increases employees’ sense of pride in their work. Ideally their involvement would be included from the beginning, if not however they should at least be consulted before the plan is finalized.
Stay interviews are where new employees meet with a human resources manager after three months and then again after six months to have a formal retention interview. These practices can help reduce work-conflict and unhealthy stress and can improve productivity.
This also creates a succession plan for if the employee decides that they do want to retire or stop working all together.
This gives employees first crack at these positions and many people have grown and developed their careers through this feature. Parkinson, “Establishing a Core set of Sustainable National Mental Health and Well-being Indicators,” Scotland Journal of Public Mental Health (2006) 5.1. Registering your alarm system is free, but there is a $99 penalty for unregistered alarms.
The rain bands have the potential of generating enough runoff to cause low-level flooding in some locations.
Acting Commissioner Darice Plaskett reported that four special needs individuals sought shelter at the Harwood facility. At 0430 hours, Central Dispatch received a call from a civilian who reported that fire was emitting through the roof of the restaurant. Both victims were using a 1¾-inch hoseline inside the building when the roof collapsed. Fire Administration notified the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) of this incident.
Investigators visited the site, and the Engineer and Physical Scientist from NIOSH conducted an evaluation of the department's respirator maintenance program.
On September 12-13, a Safety and Occupational Health Specialist from the NIOSH Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program and an Engineer with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) conducted additional interviews with fire department personnel to assist in the development of a fire dynamics model for this incident (see section titled FIRE MODEL INFORMATION). The department serves a population of approximately 1.8 million in a geographical area of 617 square miles. The origin of the fire was determined to be in the office, which extended into the void space above the suspended ceiling.
The fire model demonstrates fire growth and the fire's reaction when different variables are inputted. Note: Based on information obtained from the City Fire and Arson Bureau, the fire started in the office area approximately 25 minutes prior to Medic 73's arrival (see Photo 3).
The fire fighter from Ladder 76 retrieved a PPV fan from their ladder truck and placed it approximately 12 feet behind the railing of the west door. He noticed a small amount of fire in the middle interior section of the restaurant and then walked back to the west side.

At 0448 hours, the Captain and a fire fighter from Engine 75 grabbed the 1¾-inch hoseline that the other fire fighter from Engine 73 had stretched to the door, and entered approximately 8 feet inside through the west side door.
At this time the following fire fighters were still inside the building: the fire fighter from Engine 75 (on the nozzle of one of the hoselines), the Captain and a fire fighter from Engine 73 (with the thermal imaging camera), Victim #1 and Victim #2 (in the kitchen area and behind the counter with a hoseline), the Captain from Engine 76 and a fire fighter from Engine 73 (on the same hoseline in the dining area). They were given the assignment to enter through the west side door, and follow the victims' hoseline to the nozzle. Dispatch toned out Engine 39, Engine 82, Engine 60, Engine 68, Engine 69, Ladder 68, Ladder 69, Rescue 11, Rehab 17, and Safety 2 as the second-alarm companies. Assuming that his Captain was behind him, he reentered and followed the line that he had previously taken in, all the way to the nozzle.
The fire fighter from Engine 73, who was still inside applying water, stated that he did not feel that he was making any progress and the heat was intensifying.
As they attempted to shut off the gas, the Captain from Ladder 75 put a ladder up to the roof line on the west side to look down inside the building. Dispatch toned out Engine 48, Engine 57, Engine 78, Ladder 28, Ladder 78, Ladder 51, District 21, and the communications van as the third-alarm companies. Assuming that Victim #2 was in the general vicinity where Victim #1 was found, the IC ordered Rescue 11 to enter the rear door and search for her. Neither of the victims were equipped with a portable radio nor were found with a portable radio near them.
Additionally, fire fighters can record information regarding structures in their jurisdiction that incorporate a truss system.
It is the responsibility of every officer to account for every fire fighter assigned to his or her company and relay this information to Incident Command. The smoke conditions can provide the Incident Commander with additional information about the fire. The roof system should be one of the first things that is determined before fire fighters enter a burning structure. The Incident Commander should ascertain the age of the building when determining strategy or tactics. Information such as time of incident, time fire was burning before arrival, time fire was burning after arrival, and type of attack, is some of the most important information the Incident Commander could have. Since the IC is staged at the command post (outside), the interior conditions should be communicated as soon as possible to the IC. Additionally, smoke, heat, and gases should be vented above the fire to prohibit conditions necessary for a flashover.
It is important that fire fighters are able to identify them and the dangers they may pose. The majority of fast-food restaurants are designed to incorporate large open spaces for dining. The loads are generally HVAC units, compressors, air ducts, cooling lines, rest room ventilation fans, grease exhaust ducts and exhaust fans, snow, and ice. The lightweight trusses are designed in a series of triangles which create the trusses' structural integrity.
Fire or heavy smoke from the roof indicates that the trusses are on or have been exposed to fire. The SOPs should be provided to all fire fighters and training should take place to identify buildings constructed of lightweight roof trusses (see also Recommendation #5).
A time limit is often used by fire departments as a guide for operation under or on truss roofs. Although most officers and fire fighters will complete the same training, procedures and operations can vary by personnel, shift, or station crews.
The doorway should be clear and free of any debris, so fire fighters and any other occupants can exit if needed.
Fire fighters will enter buildings as a pair or team, and generally a company officer will accompany them. To monitor and enforce the service and maintenance of SCBAs, fire departments should establish written standard operating procedures, ensure record keeping, and conduct annual evaluations.
Any problems with utilities that the owner may encounter should be reported to the appropriate utility when they are found to be inoperable or in need of repair. Unfortunately, before municipalities adopted or enforced specific codes and standards, many buildings were designed and constructed without incorporating such standards.
Metal Gusset Plate Used on Roof System of Restaurant Note: Photo was taken of a restaurant similar to the one involved in this incident. HVAC Units and Cooking Vents Positioned on the Roof of the Restaurant Note: Photo was taken of a restaurant similar to the one involved in this incident. Fire's Point of Origin Was Determined to Have Occurred in the Office of the Restaurant Note: Photo was taken of an office in a restaurant similar to the one involved in this incident.
Drive-Through Window of Restaurant, Located Across From the Office Door Note: Photo was taken in a restaurant similar to the one involved in this incident. West Side of Restaurant Note: Photo was taken of a restaurant similar to the one involved in this incident. East Side of Restaurant Note: Photo was taken of a restaurant similar to the one involved in this incident. Rear Door Used by Fire Fighters to Gain Access During Search for Victims Note: Photo was taken of a restaurant similar to the one involved in this incident.
Location of Victim #1 Note: Photo was taken in a restaurant similar to the one involved in this incident.
Location of Victim #2 Note: Photo was taken in a restaurant similar to the one involved in this incident.
Each strategy contains one or more activities.  Planning terms may vary between organizations. Many practices that are used to promote mental health are also strategies for supporting employees who have mental illness. The majority of Canadians are reporting higher levels of burnout, major depression, anxiety and other mental health problems[1].
A mix of health and business indicators should be used and if organizational levels of change have been included, indicators regarding the workplace culture, including the psychosocial environment, will be necessary. One of the issues flagged was that employees felt their stress levels were almost unmanageable.
This way, employees are able to know what skills are needed for them to progress to the next level.
Find out from the team what they would value receiving by giving them a choice between a couple of different prizes, one example of a prize could be a gift certificate to the cafeteria.
This can help managers understand what they are doing well and what the managers and the organization as a whole could do even better to support their employee. For employees who want to further their education, Lee Valley has an education policy, paying the tuition as long as it has some relevance to their job or is along the lines of professional development. Medic 73 was first to arrive on the scene, followed by Engine 76 (Captain, Fire Apparatus Operator (FAO), and two fire fighters (Victim #1 and Victim #2).
When the victims failed to exit upon the IC's interior evacuation call, the IC ordered additional fire fighters to enter the building and search for the victims. On March 6, 2000, three Safety and Occupational Health Specialists from the NIOSH Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program, as well as an Engineer and a Physical Scientist from the NIOSH Respirator Branch, investigated this incident. Investigators also examined the victims' SCBAs and the turnout gear that they were wearing during the incident. On September 14-15, a Safety and Occupational Health Specialist from the NIOSH Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program conducted additional interviews with fire department personnel and met with a representative from the City Code and Enforcement Department.
The department requires all new fire fighters to complete 31 weeks of training at the department's fire academy.
Investigators with the City Fire and Arson Bureau had confirmed this to be the point of origin, based on the scene evidence. Grabbing onto a hoseline he thought the victims were on, he followed the hoseline past the front ordering counter and then turned around a corner wall.
At 0445 hours, Engine 10 arrived on the scene and was ordered by the IC to catch a plug on the east side and assist with the fire attack. The Captain from Engine 76 then turned and followed the same hoseline to the exit, thinking he would meet his crew. As they opened the nozzle to apply water over the kitchen area they could feel debris falling from above.
He then pointed it back towards the floor and the screen went completely white, indicating uniformly high levels of heat.
There were now approximately 30-foot flames extending from the center section of the building and the IC could see heavy fire in the kitchen area. He then ordered the Captain and two fire fighters from Engine 75 to enter the building through the west side doors with a 1¾-inch hoseline, to hold back the fire as the fire fighters entered. At approximately the same time, one of the fire fighters from Engine 75, who was on the hoseline inside the west door, exited the building. The IC then ordered Engine 69 to enter the east side with a hoseline and hold back fire on that side as crews searched. At approximately the same time, the IC radioed the Engine 82 crew, which was still inside on the east side, to exit. The fire fighter from Ladder 68, who found Victim #1, reentered with Rescue 11 (Captain and two fire fighters) and showed them where Victim #1 was found. Based on the amount of fire throughout the incident, the time which had elapsed to this point, and the location where they thought Victim #2 to be, the Chief had declared this incident as a recovery. For example, a Captain with the Phoenix Fire Department put together a photo log which contained information on all buildings with truss systems in their responding territory.
Accountability on the fire ground can be maintained by several methods: by a system using individual tags for every fire fighter and officer responding to an incident, or by a company officer's riding list, stating the names, assigned tools, and duties of each member responding with every fire company. It determines the number of fire fighters and the amount of apparatus and equipment needed to control the blaze, assists in determining the most effective point of fire extinguishment attack, and the most effective method of venting heat and smoke.
For example, if the fire is in the roof and burning roofing materials, the smoke would probably appear to be thick and black. The type of structure could provide the Incident Commander information such as how the building may hold up under fire conditions, or if the building is generally subject to collapse under fire conditions.
The age of the structure can provide the Incident Commander with information to help determine the building's integrity or other vital information such as construction methods or construction materials. The protection of exposures near or connected to a burning building should be included in the strategic plan. Additional loads, which could be applied after the truss is in place, are antennas, satellite dishes, flags, banners, large air-filled advertisements with air blowers, and improperly stored items. The truss voids in the ceiling may harbor a well-concealed fire that is ready to burst out with almost an unbelievable fury when oxygen is admitted to a void containing heated carbon monoxide. Even though standard fire engineering calculations show that lightweight trusses may be expected to collapse after about 10 minutes in a fully developed fire, it is not recommended to set a time limit.
For example, fire-rated suspended-ceiling panels create a space between them and the top chord of the roof truss. Additionally, "Infrared thermal imagers assist fire fighters in quickly getting crucial information about the location of the source (seat) of the fire from the exterior of the structure, so they can plan an effective and rapid response with the entire emergency team.
Fire fighters should be aware of the building's exits and be trained how to force open different doors they may encounter in a building.
In most fire departments, the company officer or one of the fire fighters will be equipped with a portable radio to keep a line of communication with Incident Command. Although there were no SCBA problems noted in this investigation, the fire department requested that NIOSH evaluate their SCBA maintenance program (see Attachment 1). The exterior utility shut-off controls should also be in a position where fire fighters can access them.
New or improved codes have been established which can improve the safety of existing structures.
Self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) maintenance program evaluation, NIOSH Reference: TN-11399. Mezzanotte, Mark McFall, Safety and Occupational Health Specialists, Division of Safety Research, Surveillance and Field Investigations Branch. It’s important to be realistic about what can be accomplished with the human and financial resources available. Therefore, one benefit of implementing many of these programs is that they also aid people with mental health issues.
Mentally healthy workplaces provide mentally healthy options and programs for all employees. Process indicators help you decide whether your program was implemented in the way you intended. The program work plan needs to be revisited regularly to check on progress and to make any necessary modifications. For example, social and environmental support is extremely beneficial when trying to promote behaviour change. Curriculum could feature mathematics, adult literacy, GED preparation, English as a second language, basic computing and life skills classes. Upon arrival, dispatch was notified by the two companies that there was visible fire emitting through the roof. Victim #1 was located, removed from the building, and transported to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead. The training consists of 640 hours toward fire fighter Level I and II certification, weight training, a physical fitness test, and 240 hours of emergency medical technician (EMT) courses. The roof system was formed using lightweight wood trusses, consisting of 2- by 4-inch and 2- by 6-inch lumber connected with metal gusset plates (see Photo 1). Additionally, it was reported that one of the suspects broke out the first drive-through window (closet to the north side wall), which provided a direct path of air flow to the office (see Photo 4) All companies that responded to the incident stated that it was very foggy and hard to see, which caused a delay in their response. Note: Based on the NIST fire model it was concluded that the PPV fan was not a significant factor to the fire's growth. He met up with a male fire fighter whom he thought was Victim #1, but he was actually the fire fighter from Engine 73 who had stretched a line in by himself. At the same time the Captain from Engine 76, who was following the hoseline taken in by the fire fighter from Engine 73, crawled past the ordering counter to the corner when he felt debris fall from above, almost knocking him completely to the floor. It is believed that the roof had already collapsed in the kitchen area during this time, however, no fire fighters can recall seeing or hearing the collapse take place (see Photo 9). Based on this observation of the fire conditions, at 0452 hours the IC decided to evacuate fire fighters from the interior and order a defensive attack. Instead, they followed the hoseline taken into the building by the fire fighter from Engine 73. As the Engine 75 crew advanced the line into the building, the Captain and fire fighter from Ladder 75 (RIT) exited. The IC walked around to the east side and ordered the Captain and two fire fighters from Engine 10 to enter through the east side doors with a 2½-inch hoseline and search for the victims.
As he attempted to exit, his SCBA air cylinder became entangled in fallen wires and debris. The Captain from Engine 73 noticed that his fire fighter, who had entered through the west door, had never come out and the Captain became concerned. The IC immediately ordered Engine 82 and Engine 68 to enter the east side to search for the victims. The Captain and two fire fighters from Engine 69 entered through the east side window with a 1¾-inch hoseline. The Captain radioed the IC stating that he felt they were close to the victims because they could hear a PASS device in the area. As they waited for the crane to arrive, the Chief and fire fighters discussed how they would remove the HVAC unit when the crane arrived. To obtain a copy of the safety notice contact Scott or your Authorized Scott Service Center.
Prefire plans or inspections provide a wealth of information to fire fighters when responding to an incident. The log consisted of pictures, addresses, occupancy of buildings, operating hours, roof systems (truss, bowstring, etc.), flammable materials, and additional notes.
One copy of the list should be posted in the fire apparatus and one copy carried by the company officer. A proper size-up begins from the moment the alarm is received, and it continues until the fire is under control. It is generally formed by 2- by 4-inch or 2- by 6-inch lumber, attached together with metal gusset plates.
For example, if heavy smoke is emitting from the exterior roof system, but fire fighters cannot find any fire in the interior, it is a good possibility that the fire is above them in the roof system. All the materials may act differently under fire conditions, but all are subject to failure. Training to identify trussed buildings should be a part of the fire department's prefire fire planning or inspections. The trusses are designed to distribute the loads throughout the roof system and can span large openings without interior load-bearing walls. Even if firestops are placed in the voids, openings for duct work, appliance lines, electrical lines, conduit, or additional utility installations create a path for fire to spread. The reaction can range from a deflagration to a detonation, from a backdraft or flashover to an explosion capable of blowing a building apart. The void creates a path for rapid fire spread and can shield the fire from the fire fighter's sight.
Knowing the location of the most dangerous and hottest part of the fire helps fire fighters determine a safe approach and avoid structural damage in a building that might have otherwise have been undetectable. To ensure crew integrity, briefing sessions should take place to ensure that all officers and fire fighters understand their positions and what is expected of each other.
All the other fire fighters who enter a hazardous condition should also be equipped with a portable radio so, if the officer or fire fighter with the portable radio becomes separated from his partner or crew, voice contact can still be maintained. In this incident, the fire fighters made several attempts to shut off the building's gas supply. Additionally, the information would provide fire fighters with important information that they might not otherwise have access to. New York, NY: WNYF, Official training publication of the New York City Fire Department, 1st issue. By making these programs available to everyone, employees with mental illness can access them without disclosing and potentially exposing themselves to stigma and discrimination. Employees said they dreaded coming to work and often spent long hours answering emails on their off hours.
Rohlsen Airport remained open through Tropical Storm Isaac and that most airlines had resumed their regularly-scheduled flights as of Thursday.
All fire fighters are required to complete the State EMT and fire certification examination. The total span of the trusses over the majority of the structure was 47 feet 6½ inches. Approximately 1 minute later, Engine 76 arrived on the east side of the scene and reported the same size-up to dispatch as Medic 73. As the PPV fan was being set up, the other fire fighter from Ladder 76 vented the other drive-through window, closest to the west side door (see Diagram 1 and Photo 7).
The IC then ordered them to set up their deck-gun on the east side and wait for further assignment. The Captain proceeded on the line and met up with the fire fighter from Engine 73 who had the nozzle open and was hitting a fire towards the rear of the kitchen area. He radioed dispatch and asked them to sound an evacuation tone and ordered the FAOs to blow their apparatus air horns to send an additional evacuation tone. The Captain and fire fighter reached the nozzle but were unable to locate either of the victims.
During their exit, the Captain and fire fighter became separated as the fire fighter followed the line out to the west side. The Captain and two fire fighters entered the building and were unable to maneuver the 2½-inch line around the fallen debris. He informed the IC that he had a fire fighter missing and he was going to go around to the east side to look for him. The Captain and two fire fighters from Engine 82 and the Captain and two fire fighters from Engine 68 entered the east side window to search for the victims. Rescue 11 (Captain and two fire fighters), District 69, Safety 2, Engine 60 (Captain and two fire fighters), and the Chief entered the rear door to determine how they would hook the HVAC unit to the crane. When fire fighters respond to an incident, the prefire plan information could alert them to any hazards or possible unsafe conditions that they could be exposed to.
When the Captain and his crew respond to an incident, the Captain can refer to the log and predetermine if the structure incorporates a truss system.
The list posted in the apparatus is used if the company officer or the entire company is reported missing. It is important for the Incident Commander to immediately obtain this type of information to help make the proper decisions. Fire fighters should be provided with training to identify the different types of truss systems and their potential hazards in a fire.
Since the trusses are tied together and are designed to distribute the load, if one of the trusses fails it places an additional load on the others, which could cause a chain reaction of failure leading up to a collapse.
Any ceiling below a truss void should be pulled and examined by disciplined fire fighters under control, standing near a doorway for rapid escape. When it is determined that the building's trusses have been exposed to fire, any fire fighters operating under or above them should be immediately evacuated. Ceilings and floors that have become dangerously weakened by fire damage and threatened to collapse can be spotted with a thermal imaging camera. To ensure that fire fighters are aware of structures that might have a truss roof, the state of New Jersey has passed a law requiring all building owners to place an exterior placard on structures which incorporate a truss roof (see Attachment 2).
Also, from the onset of the program, an organization should evaluate and share its findings.
Approximately 2 minutes later, Ladder 76 (Captain, FAO, and one fire fighter) arrived on the scene and the Captain assumed Incident Command (IC).
Investigators obtained a copy of the department's Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), training manual, both victims' training records, autopsy reports, photographs of the incident, video footage of the incident, fire department interview statements, dispatch tapes, a transcription of the dispatch tapes, and blueprints of the building. Fire fighters are then assigned to a station where they are placed on a 12-month probationary period.
Engine 76 drove around to the rear of the building (to complete their size-up) and continued to the west side where they parked the apparatus. The two fire fighters from Ladder 76 then returned to the east side and made forcible entry through the exterior doors and placed lights inside the doors (see Photo 8). The Captain stated that there was still very little heat and no visible fire as he followed the hoseline to the exit and relay the information to the IC, face-to-face.
Soon after, Engine 75 arrived on the scene, caught a plug on the south side, and laid a supply line into Engine 76. Once outside, the fire fighter told the IC that they had reached the nozzle and neither victim was near it. After an exhausting struggle to free himself, he saw a light towards the east side and crawled towards it.

At 0530 hours, a fire fighter from Ladder 68 entered through the rear door and told his Captain, who was still standing at the rear door, that he could see one of the victims.
Rescue 11 stated that there was a lot of debris and that there was a 2-inch main gas line burning in the area they were searching.
If so, fire fighters can be provided with important information before arriving on the scene. Additionally, fire fighters should not work beyond the sight or sound of the supervising officer unless equipped with a portable radio.
The document, Building Construction for the Fire Service, states that "The metal gusset plates can also be weakened or destroyed by fire by acting as a heat collector, delivering the heat to the metal gusset plate teeth, which can pyrolytically destroy the tensioned wood fibers, which had been gripping the metal teeth. If it is not clear that the building's trusses have been exposed to fire, a defensive attack should take place until the conditions can be verified. It does not provide any fire resistance, but merely meets fire code requirements for rate of flame spread.
There is also a strong possibility that sprinklers could reduce fire fighter fatalities, since they contain, and even extinguish, fires prior to the arrival of the fire department. Tasks include such things as hiring a consultant, researching potential speakers or booking meetings.
As a response to the assessments, the healthy workplace committee set a goal of creating a more resilient and mentally supportive workplace and decided to tackle three issues: 1) individual stress management skills, 2) management support skills, and 3) workplace policies around workload. More Canadian groups need to contribute to the evidence base for good practices in workplace mental health promotion. After making forcible entry, the victims entered with a 1¾-inch hoseline as their Captain finished donning his gear. The investigators conducted a site visit at a nearby restaurant which was similar to the one involved in the incident.
The Captain from Engine 76 stated the fire was extending from the middle section of the roof approximately 6 feet in the air, possibly venting from one of the exhaust vents, which gave the appearance of a grease fire (see Photo 5). One of the fire fighters from Ladder 76 then proceeded back to the rear of the west side and attempted to shut off the gas.
After laying the line, the Captain and two fire fighters from Engine 75 proceeded to the west side of the building.
Once inside, the Captain and one of the fire fighters took a rope line, which was tied off to the exterior, and searched for the victims as the other fire fighter manned the 1¾-inch hoseline, approximately 10 feet inside the east door. The light appeared to be from a large window (which self-vented during the fire) which he climbed through and fell into a flower bed.
The IC noticed that only one fire fighter from Engine 75 was on the hoseline and ordered the fire fighter from Engine 73, who was standing with him, to enter and back up the Engine 75 fire fighter on the hoseline. The Captain then radioed the IC stating that they had found one of the fire fighters and would need assistance at the rear door. As they exited, Safety 2 and District 69 decided to search the northwest area of the rear door. This could also provide the Incident Commander with the opportunity to develop or make changes to the strategic plan or tactics on the scene. Fire fighters should communicate with the supervising officer by portable radio to ensure accountability and indicate completion of assigned duties. The design of suspended-ceiling panels provides a void to hide the fire and store carbon monoxide. Kirschstein National Research Service Award training program budget reflects a stipend increase to $42,000 for the entry level postdoctoral trainees and includes a four percent increase for each subsequent level of experience. Tasks are operational steps or actions that contribute to the development of activities for an audience.
Shortly after, the Captain entered the structure, met up with his crew, and then exited the structure to assist with the advancement of their hoseline. They stated that the roof was self-venting with approximately 25-foot flames emitting from the center of the building. He asked the fire fighters at the door if they had seen any of his crew (Victim #1 and Victim #2) exit, and he received a negative response. The Engine 75 Captain decided to leave his crew with the hoseline and search for the Captain from Ladder 75.
The Captain and fire fighter heard a personal alert safety system (PASS) device alarming in the southwest section of the building. Unable to move due to exhaustion, the fire fighter laid there until the FAOs from Engine 10 and Engine 75 assisted him to Engine 10, where they requested an ambulance to treat him for exhaustion. Shortly after this, the Captain from Engine 73 found his missing fire fighter, on the east side, receiving medical attention.
At approximately the same time, fire fighters from Engine 82 had broken down a section of wall separating them from the office, and were able to get to the victim (see Photos 11 and 12). At 0556 hours, Rescue 11 noticed a fire fighter's boot near the area where Victim #1 was found. Safety 2 noticed what appeared to be fibers of a SCBA air cylinder and alerted District 69.
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) should address accountability, including the location and the duties of the responding fire companies. This does not suffice in a fire because all the trusses can be exposed to the same fire conditions. If the suspended ceiling would collapse while fire fighters were under it, the fire fighters could become entangled in the steel supporting grid. Engine 73 (Captain, FAO, and two fire fighters) arrived on the scene and one fire fighter entered the structure with a 1¾-inch hoseline. Once fire fighters graduate from the academy and complete their probationary period they are certified as a basic fire fighter.
He then radioed Ladder 76 asking them to make forcible entry when they arrived because the building was secured.
At 0442 hours, Engine 73 arrived on the scene and connected to a plug on the south side across the street from the building. The Captain stated that he located the Captain from Ladder 75, and the two exited the west side doors together. They followed the tone and found it to be one of the fire fighters on the west side who was searching for the victims. Note: This was the fire fighter from Engine 73 who had climbed out the east side window and received assistance. The fire fighter from Ladder 68 found the victim, who was identified as Victim #1, with his SCBA facepiece donned, but his regulator not connected.
Just as company officers should know the location of all fire fighters assigned to the company, the chief officer in command should know the operating locations of officers and companies assigned on the first-alarm assignment.
An additional load not incorporated into the design can shorten the time to failure in a fire.
Additionally, fire fighters could become entangled in wire and other loose debris falling from the suspended ceiling and could be trapped in the building. He stretched the hoseline past the front counter and around a wall in the dining area (see Diagram 2). The second level is intermediate, which requires 4 years of service and 6 semester hours of Fire Science or 96 hours of completed courses at the National Fire Academy. There were a total of five HVAC units located on the roof (three 10-ton units and two 5-ton units). At 0440 hours, Ladder 76 arrived on the scene and the Captain assumed Incident Command (IC). After laying a supply line to Engine 76 the Captain and his two fire fighters from Engine 73 approached the building on the west side.
After learning that it was the fire fighter from Engine 73, who had been on the line with him, he informed the IC that Victim #1 and Victim #2 had failed to exit.
The Captain and fire fighter then met with the other fire fighter (from Engine 73) on the hoseline and exited the structure, due to low air.
The Chief, a Captain and two fire fighters from Rescue 11, and the Captain from Ladder 76, entered the rear door of the building.
She was found by a safe, approximately 6 feet to the west side of the rear, steel door (see Photo 13, Photo 14, and Diagram 4).
As a fire increases and additional fire companies respond to the fire, a communication assistant with a command board should assist the Incident Commander with accounting for all fire companies at the scene, at the staging area, and at rehabilitation. The Captain from Engine 76 reentered the structure and followed a hoseline, which he believed the victims were on. The third level is advanced, requiring fire fighters to have 8 years of service and 6 additional hours of Fire Science or 96 hours of completed courses at the National Fire Academy.
There were a total of four exhaust vents located on the roof above the kitchen area (see Diagram 3 and Photo 2). The IC radioed Engine 73 and ordered them to connect to a plug (fire hydrant) on the south side of the building and lay a supply line to Engine 76 when they arrived. As the Captain from Engine 76 fed additional line to the victims, a fire fighter from Engine 73 pulled another 1¾-inch hoseline off Engine 76 and entered the structure through the west side door to back up the two victims. At 0453 hours, the IC ordered a personal accountability request (PAR) from all companies on the scene. They walked to the area where Victim #1 was found and located the fire fighter's boot, near a HVAC unit on the floor. She was found entangled in wires and a pair of wire cutters (believed to be hers) were found nearby. One of the most important aids for accountability at a fire scene is an incident management system. Hundreds of disorders affect the brain and spinal cord, inflicting an enormous toll of suffering, disability, and death. After meeting up with a fire fighter on the end of the line, the Captain exited and reentered the structure a second time.
The interior ceiling of the building was suspended 1 foot from the trusses, using suspended ceiling panels.
Victim #1 and Victim #2, equipped with a 1¾-inch hoseline, entered the structure as their Captain donned his equipment.
The fire fighter from Ladder 68, with the assistance of a fire fighter from Engine 82, freed the victim from the wires and debris and attempted to remove him from the structure. They assumed-based on the location of the boot and on the nearness to the other victim's location'that Victim #2 was under the fallen debris and HVAC unit (see Photo 11).
Investigators could not determine if the victim was wearing her SCBA at the time of her death due to severe fire damage to the SCBA unit.
Better prevention and care for these diseases have improved life for many, but too often the best medical options only partly suppress symptoms without halting the underlying disease, and they cannot repair damage to the brain. As he followed the line, debris began to fall and there was visible fire throughout the middle section of the kitchen (see Diagram 1).
The FAO and fire fighter from Ladder 76 went to the west side to prepare entry as requested and stated that entry was already made by removing the bottom panel of the glass-sectioned door (see Photo 6 and Photo 7). Instead, the Captain from Engine 73 ordered the other fire fighter to pull a 1¾-inch hoseline off Engine 76 and meet him at the west side door.
Concerned about the burning gas line and fearing another collapse, the Chief then ordered everyone out and requested a PAR for all companies.
The department in this incident had in place a personal accountability report (PAR) system at the time of this incident. The variety of diseases, together with the complexity and inaccessibility of the brain, challenge the current limits of medicine.
Soon after, District 10 (District Chief) arrived, completed a size-up, and assumed command. Victim #1 was listed as a master level fire fighter with 18½ years of fire fighting experience. The Group B-3 code is incorporated in the city's 1972 Building Codes, Chapter 7, Section 701 - Requirements for Group B Occupancies, Division 3.
He was equipped with a thermal imaging camera and was going to enter the structure to conduct an interior size-up with the camera. At 0532 hours, additional fire fighters entered the rear door of the structure and removed Victim #1.
The PAR system is set up by the dispatcher sending a message to the IC requesting an accountability report for all crews on the scene. However, progress on many frontiers of science, engineering, and medicine is advancing the fight against neurological disorders through the combined efforts of NIH and the private sector.Academia and industry agree that basic research on the brain in health and disease is the foundation for progress. Due to the heavy fire he observed, he requested all companies convert to a defensive attack and evacuate the structure. Victim #2 was listed as an intermediate level fire fighter with 5½ years of experience as a fire fighter.
Soon after, the Captain from Engine 76 entered the building and stated that it was filled with thick, black smoke which had banked down to the floor.
The fire fighter from Engine 73 pulled the 1¾-inch hoseline off Engine 76, and was only able to stretch it to the west side door before dropping it and entering with her Captain.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was administered by fire fighters as the victim was loaded into an ambulance and transported to a nearby hospital. The potential for payoff from basic research is too far removed and unpredictable to attract substantial private investment.
Victim #2 had met all of the certification items at the advanced fire fighter level except for the time in service. In 1986, the city adopted the nationally recognized Uniform Building Code and this building was reclassified as a Group A building. The two advanced approximately 20 feet inside but never made contact with the other fire fighter, who had stretched his hoseline inside, past the front counter, and around a wall in the dining area (see Diagram 2). Fire fighters were then released from the scene and the department set up debriefing at a nearby fire station. When this message is received, the officer for each crew is responsible for communicating to the sector officer a report of accountability for their crew. NIH investigator-initiated programs that engage the wisdom and ingenuity of the scientific marketplace of ideas are especially suited to basic science. This code is incorporated in the 1986 Uniform Building Code, Section 303 - Requirements for Group A Occupancies, Division 3.
It is believed that the majority of the fire was between the suspended ceiling and the roof and could not be seen from the interior. This code reads the same as the 1972 Building Codes, Chapter 7, Section 701 - Requirements for Group B Occupancies, Division 3. The Captain met up with Victim #2 approximately 10 feet inside, in front of the ordering counter (see Diagram 1).
Regardless of which system is used, proper communication and adherence to SOPs are necessary to ensure personnel accountability on the fireground. It is believed that Victim #1 was on the opposite side of the counter (kitchen area) at this time. This building was not equipped with a sprinkler system and, according to the codes listed above, a sprinkler system was not required. Victim #2 stated that they were having trouble advancing the hoseline and told the Captain they needed someone to feed them the line. The fire fighters located Victim #2 at 0713 hours, and she was pronounced dead at the scene. Additionally, the City Code and Enforcement Department did not have any previous violations listed for this building.
The scene was then turned over to the City Fire and Arson Bureau, which declared the incident to be a crime scene due to arson. NINDS emphasizes investigator-initiated research throughout its programs, but also targets solicitations to address unmet, mission-critical scientific opportunities and public health needs.
In recent years, the Institute raised funding success rates for investigator initiated research, with special attention to new investigators, and launched several new targeted programs. To accomplish this, NINDS rigorously evaluates programs, in consultation with the National Advisory Neurological Disorders and Stroke Advisory Council and outside experts, and closes programs that no longer warrant investment, because goals have been met, science has advanced, or programs have not proven effective.
Clinical trials are inherently expensive, but scheduled interim analyses of progress have allowed the Institute to terminate large clinical trials early if the clinical question has been answered, saving millions of dollars. Similarly, NINDS monitors milestones in preclinical therapy development projects, shifting funds to the best current opportunities. NINDS evaluates the mission relevance of all requests to submit applications for large investigator-initiated projects and sunsets multi-investigator program project grants after one renewal period.
Across all programs, NINDS has enhanced attention to rigor and reproducibility of research, especially for studies that justify major investments in preclinical therapy development or clinical trials. In 2012 NINDS convened NIH staff, scientists, patient advocates, journal editors, and other stakeholders to discuss this issue, and the Institute is implementing recommendations, which were published in a highly respected scientific journal 1. Synapses are the connections by which nerve cells influence the activity of other nerve cells.
Circuits formed by networks of interconnected nerve cells carry out the higher functions of the brain. NINDS supports research on how channels, synapses, and circuits operate in the healthy nervous system in the adult and developing brain and on neurological disorders in which these elements play a major role. Topics of basic research include neural circuit analysis, synaptic transmission, synaptic plasticity, and structural analysis of neuronal membrane proteins. Epilepsy, a disease in which channels, synapses, and brain circuits are perturbed, is a common disorder, affecting nearly one percent of the U.S.
The Institute continues its longstanding and comprehensive research program, from basic laboratory studies through multi-site clinical trials, that has contributed to many advances in epilepsy treatment. In 2014, NINDS will continue to balance investigator-initiated research and research targeted to specific mission priorities, including projects funded through the Institute's translational research and clinical trials programs.
In 2014, NINDS, working with NIMH and the broad neuroscience community, will launch the Brain Research through Application of Innovative Neurotechnologies Project, which builds on recent advances in science and technology to develop methods to understand in detail how large circuits of nerve cells carry out the higher functions of the brain, with implications for a wide range of diseases. In April 2013, a major Curing Epilepsy Conference will continue the Epilepsy Benchmarks process, which for more than a decade has brought the NIH, the research community, and patient advocates together to establish research priorities and monitor progress.
Each center brings together the best multidisciplinary team of investigators, regardless of geographic locations, to focus for multiple years on a specific Benchmarks priority that is not easily addressed through regular grant mechanisms.
The Center on epilepsy genetics and genomics, for example, has through a team effort identified several new mutations in known epilepsy genes and also identified previously unrecognized genes that contribute to infantile spasms and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Other centers and planning grants to develop centers are addressing SUDEP (Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy) and disease modification and prevention of epilepsy. The Office of Clinical Research (OCR) is the focal point for large clinical trials and epidemiological studies at NINDS, working closely with disease-focused programs in the Institute.
OCR programs that support clinical trials have significantly increased the efficiency and effectiveness of these inherently expensive activities by monitoring progress with milestones that allow early termination when appropriate and by developing multi-site clinical networks that provide common resources and economies of scale. The Network for Excellence in Neuroscience Clinical Trials (NeuroNEXT), established in 2012, is a multi-site network for early phase clinical trials of novel therapies for neurological disorders and related studies. This network provides remarkable efficiencies such as a single Institutional Review Board and master agreements among clinical sites, substantially reducing the time and cost required to launch new trials. NeuroNEXT also protects the intellectual property of investigators, a key factor that will enable NINDS to partner with industry, foundations, or academia to test the most promising interventions.
Another network, the multi-site Neurological Emergency Treatment Trials Network (NETT), brings together experts from neurology, neurosurgery, emergency medicine, and other medical disciplines to conduct clinical trials for stroke, traumatic brain injury, and other neurological emergencies. This year NETT completed, ahead of schedule and under budget, a clinical trial that demonstrated the effectiveness of an emergency treatment for status epilepticus, potentially fatal continuous seizures.
The OCR Common Data Elements program works with the research and patient advocacy communities to develop standards that enable comparison and sharing of clinical data across studies.
Following the advice of strategic planning panels on health disparities and on workforce diversity, the Institute has integrated health disparities research within OCR.
Similarly, diversity activities are now integrated with all NINDS training programs through the renamed Office of Training, Career Development, and Workforce Diversity. In 2012, NINDS funded the data coordinating center, clinical coordinating center, and 25 clinical sites across the U.S. NINDS also issued solicitations targeted at academic investigators, foundations, small businesses, and industry for the first clinical trials to be conducted in the network, to begin in 2013, and these solicitations will be open for new submissions in 2014.
The network completed its first major clinical trial ahead of schedule, demonstrating the effectiveness of a treatment for emergency seizures. The CDE program is emphasizing implementation, which includes working with investigators to integrate CDEs into data platforms, communicating the value of these data standards, and training and support in their use, as well as quality improvement and updates in response to scientific progress. A full range of NINDS programs in training and career development, are also continuing, including individual and institutional grants at the graduate, post-doctoral, and career development levels, including programs targeted to special needs, such as promoting diversity and enabling neurosurgeons to accommodate research preparation into their demanding training requirements.
These cells, together with specialized blood vessels and immune cells, maintain the local environment around nerve cells, fight infections, and control which molecules get into the brain from the circulating blood through the blood-brain barrier. NINDS supports basic, translational, and clinical research on the normal neural environment and on diseases in which its disruption plays a major role. Once regarded as merely supporting cells, they are now recognized to be active in brain functions as diverse as the development of nerve cell connections, the transition from acute to chronic pain, and memory. In 2012, the Institute completed an extensive and inclusive two- phase planning process for stroke research.
First, in 2011, the Stroke Progress Review Group (SPRG) conducted a final review of the stroke research landscape, ten years after the first SPRG established research priorities.
In sixteen working group reports, posted in January 2012, more than 140 experts and public representatives evaluated progress and unmet challenges, highlighting priorities in each aspect of stroke research. Then, NINDS solicited proposals for actionable stroke priorities from SPRG members, the research community, professional societies, and the public. NINDS will continue to balance research targeted to specific priorities and investigator-initiated research, including research through the Institute's translational research and clinical trials programs.
For 2014, a series of NINDS initiatives will address priorities in stroke research, including both prevention and treatment. These priorities reflect an extensive and inclusive stroke planning process that reported to the NANDS Council in 2012. The Institute is continuing to collaborate with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in support of Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) center grants that support highly interactive translational research to improve prevention, early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of brain tumor or other nervous system tumors.
NINDS neurodegeneration research will continue to balance investigator-initiated research and solicited research, including projects funded through the Institute's translational research and clinical trials programs. Udall Parkinson's Disease Centers of Excellence program is continuing, including a strong emphasis on translational research. The ongoing Parkinson's Disease Biomarkers Program is developing and validating biomarkers, which are objectively measureable indicators of the disease process and drug actions that can accelerate the development of treatments. The Institute is also supporting development of biomarkers for pre-manifest Huntington's disease through ancillary investigations coordinated with the long term PREDICT-HD observational study.
NINDS support for induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) research and development for neurodegenerative diseases is making these powerful research and drug development tools widely available to the research community.

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