Mission of the Last Call Foundation
To provide funding, education and research to advance the safety needs of the firefighting community. We are committed to enhancing the ability of our dedicated firefighting professionals to effectively and safely fight fires and protect the public.
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Statement From Last Call Foundation
Why I Support the Snap-Tite Warrior Fire Hose
I am the mother of a fallen Boston firefighter. In 2014 on a cold and windy spring day, in Boston’s Back Bay, two welders were working at the rear of an old, attached brownstone. The welders ignited a blaze that took the lives of two men, a father of three Lt. Edward Walsh and my son Firefighter Michael Kennedy. There were numerous building code “violations” with the building and with the work being done. From combustibles being illegally stored in closets, to safety procedures not being followed, to bars on the basement windows which contributed to the fire spread and restricted rescue attempts. The violations in conjunction with the strong winds turned what should have been a routine fire into a wind driven inferno. Lt. Walsh and my son Michael stretched a hose line into the building to extinguish the fire. In the process the hose line burned through, and water never reached the nozzle in what was a virtual inferno. My son Michael was a proud Marine and a hardworking professional firefighter. On that day, March 26, 2014, he went to work, did his job, met with a host of building code violations, with no water and died. The cries of “charge the line” on the radio still ring in my head. How could it be that their fire hose, the most important tool in a fire, fails? There were so many excuses given for this travesty. I was confounded by how widely accepted the notion that fire hose fails was… Why? I could not and would not accept the fact that fire hose was not only NOT fireproof, but it was not even fire resistant! Fire hose used across North American is made of components that melt when heated… a product made to be dragged into fires. There wasn’t even a radiant heat test required in the NFPA hose standard. With the help of close, very talented friends we founded “LAST CALL FOUNDATION” in memory of Fallen Firefighter Michael Kennedy. A 501 c3 dedicated to the safety, health, and welfare of firefighters. We decided LCF could tackle the one thing that I know, might have saved their lives. A more heat resistant hose and a requirement for hose to meet minimum radiant and conductive heat testing requirements. The fact is, there is now and has been, probably since the first moon shot, fire resistant high heat components, that can be used to manufacture fire hose. Yes, they are expensive, but so is loss of life! Firefighters are outfitted with expensive heat resistant bunker gear but given fire hose which cannot survive the environment their turnout gear is designed to survive. The new updated NFPA 1961 hose test standard was changed to require a radiant heat test and record the time to a 20-psi loss of pressure. This “time to failure” test has uncovered what we suspected - firehose fails alarmingly in 2 or 3 minutes or less. It was hoped that this test would spur innovation and hose companies would develop a more heat resistant hose. Perhaps one that could last at least 15 minutes during the radiant and conductive heat testing. Another issue is that currently the testing results are not required to be provided to the buyer unless asked for. SNAP-TITE HOSE a US Company based in Erie PA has done just that. They have shown that in fact it is entirely possible to design a better heat resistant hose that is not heavier and suffer from negative operating characteristics. “Last Call Foundation” recently tested Snap-Tite ‘s Warrior hose at the independent fire engineering company Fire and Risk Alliance, the company recommended by trusted fire researchers. (This is the same company LCF hired to collaborate with the fire service, and hose manufacturers to design and develop the new radiant test apparatus.). THIS SNAP-TITE WARRIOR FIRE HOSE TIME TO “FAILURE” RANGED FROM 41 MINUTES TO 51 MINUTES! I believe this fire attack hose will save lives. There can be no doubt that until other manufacturers step up their game, attack hose should be Snap-Tite Warrior. Every MAYDAY crew in the country should be outfitted with Warrior Attack Hose. It is the humble and heartbroken opinion of this firefighter mom, that it could have saved my son’s life if only available technologies had been applied to this critical piece of firefighting equipment long ago. For the record I object strongly to the lack of requirements to report exact “time to failure” to any prospective fire department buyer. You should not have to ask for it. This should be a requirement in the next edition of NFPA 1961. My advice to firefighters and their families everywhere, fight for it, in memory of Michael and Ed because they deserved it… and so do you! “Last Call Foundation” has funded the purchase of the Snap-tite Warrior attack hose for every fire engine in the City of Boston. LCF will begin a new initiative next year - a needs-based matching fund initiative, to fund fire attack hose that meets both the NFPA 1961 standard, as well as the new “Last Call Foundation” 25 minutes to failure standard, your hose should reliably last longer than your air tank. So far only Snap-Tite Warrior can achieve this standard, that I am aware of. “Last Call Foundation” in memory of my son Firefighter Michael Kennedy, pushed hard to better define fire hose thermal resistance with testing requirements, and then to make a safer thermally resistant, next generation fire hose. Kathy Crosby-Bell, Fallen Firefighter Michael Kennedy’s Mother
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