Terrorism Article Critique

Read the assigned article by Erickson (2014), and create an article critique.
After reading the article and briefly summarizing the purpose for the writing, answer the following questions: ? What is the author’s main point?
? Who is the author’s intended audience? ? Do the author’s arguments support the main point?
? What evidence supports the main point? ? What is your opinion of the article? Do you agree with the author’s findings? ? What evidence, either from the textbook or additional sources, supports your opinion?
Your response must be at least 700 words in length. All sources used, including the article, must be referenced.
Paraphrased and/or quoted materials must have accompanying in-text citations and references in APA format.

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By Paul Erickson
D e s ig n :
C o n ta in th e
C o n ta m in a n ts
How architects and tire departments can
help reduce cancer among firefighters
hy is it that emergency service professionals are so respected
by the public at large? Is it because these men and women put
their own personal well-being at risk by running into burning
buildings, by cleaning up hazardous materials spilled on the
highway or by controlling chemical fires?
Are they admired because they are
always on call, 24 hours a day, to be there
to help a loved one suffering a heart at­
tack or to extricate a trapped victim in an
upended vehicle on the highway?
Of course, the answer is yes to all
of the above reasons and more. Yet,
what is the cost paid by our emergency
service professionals for the essential
role they play in the well-being of our
The human price of fire and rescue ser­
vice is being increasingly recognized and
voiced in studies that go beyond budget
reports and staffing plans. Emergency
service professionals are classified by
the insurance industry as high hazard
and demonstrate an alarmingly high
incidence of heart attack, high blood
pressure and cancer. According to work
done by Cindy Ell, president of the Inter­
national Firefighter Cancer Foundation,
when compared to the general popula­
tion, firefighters demonstrate:
• 100% higher risk of developing testicu­
lar cancer
• 50% higher risk for multiple myeloma,
an incurable bone cancer
• 50% higher risk for non-Hodgkins
PAUL R. ERICKSON, AIA, LEED AP, is senior principal and co­
founder of LeMay Erickson Willcox Architects in Reston, VA. In
2005, LeMay Erickson Willcox Architects received the highest
honor bestowed by the Virginia Society AIA, the T. David FitzGibbon Architecture Firm Award, recognizing two decades of con­
sistently distinguished architecture and professional leadership. A
graduate of the University of Virginia, Erickson has practiced in the
greater Washington, DC metropolitan area and mid-Atlantic states
for over 35 years. During that time, he has built a national reputa­
tion in public safety design with over 70 public safety buildings,
A4 I Firehouse I Station Design I August 2014
• 28% higher risk of prostate cancer
• Increases in brain, colon and thyroid
cancers and malignant melanoma
• Increases in breast cancer
While scientific studies connecting
what firefighters do with their health
consequences is still in their infancy,
common-sense observations and actions
can be made about exposure to carcino­
gens, transport of the cancer-causing
agents back to the fire station and control
measures to limit their impact. Recogniz­
ing sources and developing strategies to
isolate carcinogens represents an impor­
tant first step to improving the long-term
health of our firefighters.
including new and renovated fire stations, and numerous training
and public safety centers. An active member in industry and com­
munity organizations, Erickson has written numerous articles for
industry publications and is a featured speaker at national fire and
rescue conferences. In 2007, he received the Distinguished Lead­
ership and Service Award of the AIA Northern Virginia Chapter.
Erickson has received 36 awards for design excellence, including
15 for fire and rescue, and considers honorary membership in the
Nokesville and Dale City volunteer fire departments among his
greatest professional recognitions.
Cancer-causing agents include chemicals
like benzene, formaldehyde, butadiene,
toluene, acrylonitrile, isocyanates and
others. Many of these are encountered in
emergency response to incidents, partic­
ularly those involving smoke. Regardless
of the type of fire (structural, nonstructural, electrical or training), if smoke is
involved, carcinogens are present. And
The traditional view of the neighbor­
hood fire station is the base from which
emergency services are delivered, which
is still an accurate view. However, in the
face of the health information above,
that view is not enough. An expanded
view and understanding of a fire station
must be developed by both the design
professionals and department leaders to
address the role of the same fire station
tion of shared functions, the organization
of different users around separate entries,
the placement of public spaces near en­
trances and corresponding placement of
private spaces in more secluded or pro­
tected locations within the building.
One of the designs underlying phi­
losophies is to provide direct and unob­
anything brought into physical contact
with the smoke, or surfaces that have been
exposed to the smoke, become transport­
ers of those carcinogens. That means that
as a receiving and distribution depot for
cancer-causing chemicals.
structed paths of travel into the apparatus
bays; all corridors flow efficiently with
minimal turns towards the bays. On the
second floor, the design creates privacy
with individual bunkrooms encircling a
shared core of private toilets and laundry
all gear, all tools and equipment, all ap­
paratus and all vehicles exposed to smoke
collect and transport carcinogens from
each incident back to the station.
Illustrations 1 and 2 represent the tra­
ditional viewpoint for a well-designed,
highly functional and efficient fire and
As the 24/7 living and working quar­
ters for a professional crew, the typical fire
and rescue station is staffed continuously
throughout the year. As such, fire stations
are virtually unique; very few other build­
ing types reflect this requirement for con­
tinuous and occupied operation.
rescue station. The plans for this new
HQ Fire and Rescue Station for Willingboro, NJ, are color coded to dem on­
strate the functional adjacencies of vari­
ous program components of the station.
The organization of the building is easily
understandable in the zoning of similar
spaces within the building, the distribu­
room. Again, multiple paths of response
to the bays are direct with two stairs and a
sliding pole to the level below.
Illustrations 3 and 4 represent a com­
pletely different way to view the same de­
sign. This strategy focuses on controlling
the entry and handling of carcinogencontaminated personnel and equipment
in the building. This strategy employs the
idea of creating and then managing three
levels of exposure to contaminants: HOT
August 2014 I Firehouse I Station Design I A5
Other spaces consolidated in this
zone include apparatus bays, apparatus
equipment storage, EMS storage, work­
room, self-contained breathing appara­
tus (SCBA) storage rooms, PPE storage
room, decontamination area with com­
mercial laundry and extractor, dedicated
janitor closet and cleaning supply stor­
age, hose storage, dedicated toilet and
training mezzanine.
• Separate occupants from contami­
nants. This consists, essentially, of cre­
ating a healthy living and working envi­
iy -l
ronment by consolidating all occupied
spaces in the COLD Zone. Functional
Appartus Bay
adjacencies can be optimized and cir­
culation arranged to serve individual
functions without concern for contami­
0 H
Living Areas
nation within this safe portion of the
building. Program areas for this zone
include all administrative spaces, offic­
es, workrooms, library/study, meeting
rooms and associated storage spaces.
Zone (red) for high hazard, TRANSI­
departmental protocols must work to­
TION Zone (yellow) for moderate hazard
gether. Strategies include the following:
• Contain the contaminants. All spaces
Additionally, all public spaces like lob­
that house apparatus, tools, equip­
ment or personal protective equipment
lets are included. Finally, all living and
sleeping spaces like the day room, din­
ferent organization strategy. Central to the
success of the strategy, all spaces exposed
(PPE) used in emergency responses
belong in the HOT Zone. All decon­
ing room, kitchen, exercise room, bunkrooms, lockers, toilets, laundry and ded­
to carcinogens are grouped in one concen­
tamination areas and wash-down pro­
trated area of the building, the HOT Zone.
cedures should occur in the HOT Zone
in readily accessible, easy-to-use and
easy-to-clean spaces.
icated janitor closet are included.
• Focus on the highest hazards. Wash
and COLD Zone (green) for low hazard.
The color-coded plans for the same
fire station now clearly demonstrate a dif­
Likewise, all living and working spaces
intended for extended occupancy and
use by the stations personnel are
grouped together in a distinctly
separate area of the building, the
COLD Zone. The area of contact
bies, community rooms and public toi­
down and cleaning of apparatus, equip­
ment and PPE returning from an inci-
between the two zones, the in­
terface, is designed to be as lim­
ited and simple as possible, in this
case, a single straight common
wall. Personnel movement be­
tween the two zones is focused by
limiting circulation to three stra­
tegically placed corridors forming
In order to optimize the ability to
address the arrival of carcinogens
in the building, and prevent the
inadvertent migration of con­
taminated materials within the
structure, design thinking and
A6 I Firehouse I S ta tio n D e s ig n I August 2014
dent is standard industry practice and
the PPE represents a primary point of ex­
that the gear is concentrated and stored
essential to the control of contaminat­
posure to carcinogens in the field which
in an enclosed room that is served by a
ed materials. Departmental protocols
are then regularly off-gassed by the gear
dedicated mechanical system with non­
should require decon processes as stan­
back in the station, best practices dictate
recirculating air supply and direct exhaust.
dard best practices upon return from
every incident. However, is the station
designed to make these processes selfevident and easy to execute? Further,
are these spaces located in the building
in a way that reduces the likelihood of
spreading the contaminants?
In the illustration, the decon room
is located in the intermediate bar of
support spaces conveniently serving all
eight apparatus bays from a central, visu­
ally apparent and readily accessible loca­
tion. It is outfitted with an eyewash and
shower area, a large two-compartment
stainless-steel sink with sideboards and
foot-pedal controls for equipment wash­
ing and large commercial washers and
extractor for gear and bay-related items.
The PPE storage room is likewise
located in this central bar and provides
ready access with pass-through circulation
to each wing of apparatus bays. Because
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