The Santa Monica Fire Department is scheduled to participate in the 2007 International Fire and EMS (Emergency Medical Services) Safety Stand Down Sunday through Saturday, June 17th through 23rd.

The Stand Down is sponsored by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), the International Association of Fire Fighters and the Volunteer and Combination Officers Section of the IAFC.

“We are looking forward to participating in the 2007 Stand Down,” said Santa Monica Fire Chief Jim Hone.

Firefighters conduct some form of training every day in order to maintain certain skills for the multitude of emergency conditions they may face at any given moment, the fire chief said.

Having a specific day to focus on their personal safety and the equipment they use to provide quality customer service without sustaining serious injuries in the performance of their duties is very important so the firefighters can return home to their families, Hone said.

The Stand Down, themed “Ready to Respond,” will focus on preparing firefighters and EMS personnel for their daily duties by reviewing their training and the proper use of equipment to ensure safe response, mitigation and return from all emergency situations.

According to the fire department, 105 firefighters died in the line of duty in 2006 in the nation and 26 have died already this year.

The purpose of the Stand Down is to reduce these deaths and injuries by calling attention to safety practices and improving them, according to the fire department.

Santa Monica firefighters will focus on personal safety equipment during the Stand Down. Each member will inspect his or her personal protective equipment (turn-out suit and helmet) and all of the department’s self-contained breathing apparatus and face mask will be inspected as well.

Fire officials said any of this equipment needing repair or replacement will be addressed immediately.

In addition, all department members will review the departments “Contagious Disease Exposure Procedures,” which are the guidelines that provide for the safety of firefighters and all members of the community when dealing with contagious and infectious disease.