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Paul Calderwood

Deputy Fire Chief Paul Calderwood is a retired member of the Everett Fire Department, Everett, Massachusetts. He is a national and international lecturer on fire and life safety issues. He holds a Bachelors degree in Fire Protection and Safety and presently working to finish a Master’s Degree in Emergency Management and is a graduate of the NFA’s Executive Fire Officers Program. Deputy Chief Calderwood is an instructor in the Providence College’s Fire Science Program. Deputy Chief Calderwood is a Certified Fire Protection Specialist and Certified Fire Plans Examiner and he was part of the MEMA Seabrook NH Power Plant Emergency Planning team.

Recent Posts

Firefighter LODD and the Communications Issues Involved

Posted by Paul Calderwood on June 13, 2017

This article is a real life and death story about radio communications at a house fire in Connecticut in 2014 that resulted in death of a career firefighter from running out of breathing air. Attached to this article are 2 links that you should look at. One is the NIOSH Report that details the events of this tragic day and the other is news station coverage of the event and the radio traffic involved. The NIOSH reports are written on all firefighter fatal incident and I have had my officers use them as a part of their daily drills to read and discuss the events, issues, equipment failures and recommendations to prevent a similar event from happening again. NEWS FLASH: history does repeat itself. When you read these reports and you see the same reasons over and over again it makes you wonder WHY?

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Topics: mayday, Radio Communications, NIOSH Report, RIT team, Incident Commander, Fire conditions, Communication problems in crisis situations, emergency Communication system, Communication Failures, critical voice

What must be planned for events such as train derailments and aircraft crashes ?

Posted by Paul Calderwood on May 30, 2017

The intent of this two-part article is to get you to take a look around your response area and to see if you have any special places where your present radio system may have issues. You also have to look toward the future when you are doing plan review of new buildings to see if there are any communication challenges that would result from the construction of the structure. Locations like hospitals and high-rise buildings with their steel skeletons can cause radio operators headaches by not being able to make the simplest radio transmissions. In one of my previous articles, I wrote about the need to have builder install a DAS or auxiliary radio system in the building to improve the radio signal within the building. 

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Topics: radio interoperability, crude oil train derailment, hazmat incident, large fire, large-scale incident, coast gard, emergency communications

15 Questions to Answer before the next Flood and/or Wildfire

Posted by Paul Calderwood on May 19, 2017

Every emergency responder has heard the stories about the “Big One”, that event that challenged and taxed their agency to the maximum. It could have been a bank robbery, warehouse fire or a 15-car pileup on the highway and each of these events have a common thread; they must have had a lot of radio communications during these events. I can think of a number of large-scale events that can easily challenge any department’s radio communications. I am going to take a look at a number of these events and talk about some ways in which you should be plan for similar events with training and equipment.

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Topics: EOC, ECC, radio system, emergency management agency, ARFF, heavy rains, flooding, telephone communications

Convention Shopping for Communications Equipment

Posted by Paul Calderwood on April 25, 2017

Good afternoon to everyone and welcome to the beginning of convention and trade show season.  It’s that time of the year where we all will travel to at least one or two conventions to learn from the pro’s what is happening in our given public safety field whether it is police, fire or EMS. 

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Topics: interoperability, EOC, Interagency radio system, Trade show, mutual aid partners

The Use and Misuse of ECC's and EOC's

Posted by Paul Calderwood on April 4, 2017

I have dealing with emergency communication center issues for a number of years and the issues fall into a couple of simple categories’: people, equipment and training.  You can spend millions of dollars buying the best equipment but it is only as good as the person using it. 

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Topics: Emergency Operations Center, Dispatcher, Emergency Call Center

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