National News

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Veteran Florida firefighter, paramedic dies on the job

The Hernando County Fire Rescue announced the passing of one of their long-term firefighters and paramedics Tuesday. Steven R. Terry was found unresponsive by crew members of Fire Station #9 while on duty around 9:30 p.m. Monday evening. Crew members attempted to perform life-saving measures on him before he was sent to be treated at the Bayfront Brooksville Hospital. Terry passed away despite their efforts. Terry served as a firefighter and paramedic for almost 25 years and was an active duty military member for 20 plus years prior to that. Most recently, he served as a First Sergeant in the Army National Guard 1-111th Aviation Regiment out of Cecile Field.
TSP-TV 10 News

Judge says Ohio firefighter convicted in shift-trading scandal wasn’t fired because he is black

A federal judge tossed a lawsuit filed by a black Cleveland firefighter criminally prosecuted and fired for paying his co-workers to cover his shifts, writing the firefighter did not show that race was the reason he lost his job. U.S. District Judge Christopher Boyko wrote in an opinion released Friday that Calvin Robinson did not show that he was treated differently than 12 white firefighters also prosecuted in the scandal that plagued the Cleveland fire department. The 12 white firefighters, after pleading guilty to criminal charges, were all suspended for nine months without pay instead of outright losing their jobs.
Cleveland Plain Dealer &

After criticism over hiring of Nebraska fire chief, mayor proposes change to city codes

Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert is proposing a city ordinance to address concerns that arose during the hiring of Fire Chief Dan Olsen in December. The ordinance would amend city codes that spell out how finalists are selected for promotions in Omaha’s Police and Fire Departments. The proposed changes are part of the city’s efforts to resolve matters raised in a lawsuit against the city over Stothert’s promotion of Olsen to chief, according to a letter to the council from the mayor and officials in the City Law and Human Resources Departments. Battalion Chiefs Robb Gottsch and Dan Stolinski, both finalists for the position, sued Stothert and the city in February. Their lawsuit, in Douglas County District Court, asked for the hiring of Olsen to be declared void.
Omaha World-Herald

Idaho fire chief resigns after being placed on administrative leave

Weeks after being placed on administrative leave, Twin Falls’ fire chief has resigned. Tim Soule sent a letter late Friday notifying city administration of his immediate resignation. The city announced Tuesday that it accepted. Soule had been on paid administrative since Aug. 29 as the city conducted an investigation. City officials have declined to disclose what they were probing, other than to say it was not connected to criminal activity. Tuesday marked one year to the date since Soule was sworn in as fire chief, with an annual salary of $123,188. According to a legal separation agreement obtained by the Times-News, Soule will continue to be paid through Dec. 16, representing gross pay of $26,059.
Twin Falls Times-News

New documentary ‘My Father’s House’ depicts the lasting impact of blaze that killed 12 FDNY heroes 50 years ago

A poignant documentary from the FDNY about the E. 23rd St. fire that killed 12 Bravest will be screened this week – marking the 51st anniversary of the fatal blaze. “My Father’s House” details the tragic fate of the two chiefs, two lieutenants and eight firefighters who died in the line of duty on Oct. 17, 1966. But the film pays special attention to Lt. Joseph Priore, who left behind a 6-month-old daughter. Christine Priore, now 51, didn’t know much about her father’s story until a few years ago, when she decided to pay her respects at the commemorative plaque on 23rd St. There, she was surprised to find members of the FDNY doing the same thing.
New York Daily News

Alabama volunteer fire department receives eviction notice

There's a battle of fire officials in Vance after the fire district sent an eviction letter to the volunteer fire department. Keith Mahaffey, the mayor of Vance, said the Vance Volunteer Fire Department has 30 days to move out of Fire Station One, because Vance is forming their own fire department just for the city. But why the hostile takeover? Well, both parties share two very different sides. "Why can't we work together, this doesn't make sense that we can't work together. This was never our intent for this to happen," said Mahaffey. Yet it is, Vance Mayor Keith Maheffey said for the last decade the Fire district in Vance has helped fund Vance's Volunteer Fire department but they've reconsidered.
WBRC-TV Fox 6 Birmingham

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

FDNY chief pays tribute to military ‘big brothers’ at War on Terrorism memorial

Before dawn Monday morning, the chief of the Fire Department of New York City was walking alone through a new memorial on the edge of Fort Benning. It was an odd place for the top firefighter in the nation’s largest city to start his work week, but James Leonard said there was no other place he would rather be. The new memorial to the Global War on Terrorism was dedicated late Monday morning at the National Infantry Museum. At the forefront of the memorial with the names of 6,915 U.S. service members who have died since the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center, is a portion of a beam from the north tower.
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Exact cause of fatal Honolulu high-rise fire remains mystery

Honolulu investigators can't determine the cause of a deadly high-rise apartment building fire that resulted in more than $107 million in damage, fire officials said. "The HFD fire investigators have completed an extensive and scientifically based investigation in full collaboration with other agencies and have classified the fire cause as undetermined," Fire Chief Manuel Neves said at a news conference Monday. "Fire investigators have determined the fire began in the living room of unit 2602. However, due to extensive damage, the exact location and manner in which the fire began could not be ascertained," he said. Neves said investigators have been able to rule out some causes of the fire. There was no indication the fire was intentionally set, there's no evidence of ignitable liquids, and cooking wasn't to blame, he said.

How an inferno unfolded across Wine Country

His crew had just finished putting out a grass fire when Santa Rosa Fire Chief Tony Gossner’s radio crackled at about 10 p.m. “We’ve got a fire at Safari West and it’s coming our way,” the dispatcher said. The wildlife preserve set in Sonoma County’s thickly wooded hills was just 6 miles away, and Gossner knew that it was a uniquely dangerous spot. The winds this Sunday night were stiff, and parched grass and tinder-dry trees filled the valleys leading straight to town. Gossner drove up a hill to take a look. Off in the distance, as he crested the slope, was an orange glow, angry and wide. “My God,” he thought. “We’re in trouble.”
San Francisco Chronicle

Oklahoma fire department’s fire safety performance for local elementary school goes viral

VIDEO - The Mustang Fire Department is receiving a lot of praise online after video of one of their fire safety performances for a local elementary school went viral. The Mustang Fire Department has become known for their entertaining and memorable skits they do to help kids remember tips for fire prevention. Instead of simply telling kids what not to do, they are presenting fire safety to students with unique techniques, using dress up, puppets and some serious performances. This year’s message, “Every second counts, plan two ways out,” encourages students to find two ways out of every room in the house in case one exit is blocked or dangerous to use. The fire department has been traveling to local elementary schools, performing a parody of Harry Belafonte’s “Day-O,” changing the words to “Stay low, stay low, big smoke come and we want to stay low.”
KFOR-TV NBC 4 Oklahoma City

Agitator and advocate: Alan Brunacini will be missed

I first met Alan Brunacini in the 1980s, when he was teaching one day of a weeklong leadership program I was attending in Massachusetts. We had lunch together that day and like most of the thousands of people who knew him, I was charmed by the man and his stories, his humor and his insights. Over the years, our paths crossed again many times, as presenters at conferences, while attending events, and once when I was privileged to be invited to participate in his annual Baggers meeting in Phoenix. Alan Brunacini gave so much to the fire service – his insistence on formal incident command systems, his focus on customer service and his mandate to “be nice,” his empowerment of those who worked with him. But it was something that he said during that first meeting that affected me the most.

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