City of Alexandria, VA
For Immediate Release: September 19, 2008
Shift Health and Safety Officers (SHSO)
On Saturday September 20, 2008, three Fire Captains from the Fire Department will take on the duties of Shift Health and Safety Officers (SHSO). The Shift Health and Safety Officers are part of the newly formed Health and Safety Unit. The SHSO will ensure a high level of safety at incidents and will assist in maintaining a high degree of health and wellness for Department and City personnel.
The SHSO was formed as a result of an independent study performed by J. Gordon Routley. The report made several recommendations for improving overall operational preparedness. One of the recommendations was to assign an on-duty safety officer on all fire calls.
The Routley report was conducted as a result of a third alarm fire at 6101 Edsall Road on August 25, 2007. Although several occupants of the building were rescued, the fire resulted in injuries to four civilians and six firefighters. Three of the fighters were admitted to the hospital. The addition of the SHSO will enhance firefighter safety.
Inquires can be directed to Acting Safety Battalion Chief Troy Gibbs at 571.238.0606.