National News

Friday, April 28, 2017

Threats made to New Orleans firehouses; union confirms firefighters took part in monument removal

The firefighters union in New Orleans confirmed Wednesday that a handful of its members played a role in the removal of the Liberty Place monument early Monday. Nick Felton, New Orleans Fire Fighters Association president, said the union has concerns over firefighters who were seen wearing masks and bulletproof vests during the removal of the Confederate-era monument. Felton said Wednesday it is believed that as many as five to six firefighters were involved. The union would not confirm if the firefighters were volunteers or were assigned the work. City leaders confirmed Wednesday that public safety agencies took part in the removal.
WDSU-TV NBC 6 New Orleans

Saving money by calling Uber instead of 911 may cost lives, Utah paramedics say

A veteran paramedic and fire chief says he worries that people with health emergencies might start calling for an Uber ride rather than an ambulance due to high costs. That aversion to an ambulance bill can cost lives, said Mark Becraft, chief of the North Davis Fire District. “It puts the community at risk,” Becraft said. Across the country, drivers for ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft have reported ferrying injured or sick people to emergency rooms, according to STAT News. “If you’re having a stroke, you’re someone not medically trained, and you wait 30 minutes for a college Uber driver …,” Becraft said.
Ogden Standard-Examiner/StandardNET

Minnesota firefighter sues city, saying he was demoted because he is gay

An Eagan firefighter is suing the city and its fire chief, claiming he was demoted from a battalion chief position because he is gay. In a civil lawsuit filed this week in U.S. District Court, firefighter Dan Benson alleges discrimination based on his sexual orientation and violation of his constitutional rights by Eagan Fire Chief Mike Scott and the city. Benson joined the fire department about 18 years ago, moving up along the way to become battalion chief. As such, he was paid a monthly stipend. He also contributed to a fire department pension.
Pioneer Press

Anger, concern after shots fired at Milwaukee fire station

Milwaukee Alderman Bob Donovan and others reacted with anger and concern after a Milwaukee Fire Department station near Teutonia and Locust was shot at on Sunday, April 23rd. A bullet penetrated the window of Station 30 during the shots fired incident. It happened around 6:45 p.m. as the firefighters at Station 30 were getting dispatched to a car fire. "A very loud noise was heard on the north end of the station," Aaron Lipski, MFD deputy chief said. Firefighters reported hearing that loud noise, but in the rush of responding to the fire call, they didn't have time to investigate the cause of that noise. When they returned, they found shattered glass and the punctured window.
WITI Fox Channel 6

Florida deputies: Suspect bites skin off firefighter’s arm

A Lake Wales man is accused of biting a chunk of skin out of an firefighter who was helping a deputy restrain him, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Office. According to an affidavit, on Tuesday night deputies responded to a crash in the area of Thornhill Road and Moonlite Pass. When a deputy asked Breonski Gardner, 26, for his license, Gardner threw the keys at him and told him to get it himself. The deputy said Gardner continued to be uncooperative, so the deputy told him he was under arrest. Gardner fell to the ground, and an emergency medical technician stepped in to assist the deputy. While the deputy and EMT struggled to put Gardner in handcuffs, the suspect bit the EMT on the forearm, the affidavit said.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Off-duty Wisconsin deputy chief helps prevent woman from jumping off bridge

VIDEO - An off-duty Milwaukee firefighter heading home from work helped saved the life of a young woman threatening to jump off the Hoan bridge. Deputy chief John Litchford was heading south down the Hoan bridge Tuesday night when he saw the young woman outside of her car on at the highest point of the bridge. "And I noticed right away that her demeanor and all around that she was depressed, sad, and crying," he told WISN 12 NEWS in a phone interview.Litchford called in the situation that ultimately led to a complete shutdown of the Hoan Bridge.
WISN-TV ABC 12 Milwaukee

Detroit firefighters allegedly wreck rig during joy ride

Some Detroit firefighters are under fire tonight for wrecking a rig and then trying to cover it up. Last month when two Detroit firefighters out of Engine 55 decided to use a rig for their personal ride - it did not end well. Sources say on March 30, two Detroit firefighters who work out of Engine 55 on Joy Road wanted to go out for a bit of a joy ride. They tried to convince the driver of the rig to get behind the wheel, but when he refused, a firefighter who had only been on the job a few years, decided to drive. Where they went is unknown but we're told somewhere along the way he lost control of the expensive fire truck and slammed into the wall of the median near Southfield and I-96.
WBJK-TV MyFox Detroit 2

Upstate New York city’s legal bills mounting for firefighters contract dispute

The ongoing legal battle between the city and the firefighters union has cost the city at least $315,000 in attorney fees, according to documents obtained by the Watertown Daily Times. The city’s legal bills hit $315,225.60 as of Jan. 1, according to invoices and bills obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by the Times. Attorney bills for the first three months of this year were not provided. However, City Councilman Cody J. Horbacz said Wednesday afternoon that he expects the bills to be much more than that. The main sticking point remains the issue involving the “minimal manning” stipulation that 15 firefighters must be on duty at all times.
Watertown Daily Times

Former Iowa fire academy manager pleads guilty in test scandal

A former Iowa fire academy administrator has pleaded guilty to falsifying test scores that were used to improperly certify thousands of firefighters. Former Fire Services Training Bureau certification manager John McPhee pleaded guilty Wednesday to felony misconduct in office. Judge James Malloy scheduled a sentencing hearing for May 24. Prosecutors and the defense have agreed to recommend a sentence of two years' probation, unspecified restitution and community service for McPhee, 49. Malloy could opt for a different sentence for McPhee, who remains free on bond and faces a maximum of five years in prison.
Des Moines Register

California rookie firefighter meets woman he rescued from burning car

A rookie Fresno firefighter received a hug from a woman he rescued from a burning car last October as he was awarded a Medal of Bravery from Fresno Fire officials Wednesday. Rene Gonzales was only two months on the job last Oct. 21 and was off-duty and driving home on Highway 180 when he spotted a burning car. Gonzales stopped his car and jumped out when he saw a woman trapped behind the wheel as flames at the back of the vehicle began to spread toward her. As a good Samaritan tried to open a passenger door, Gonzales grabbed a metal pipe he found nearby, broke a car window and then used the pipe to free Brooklynn Banta, of Madera, whose legs were trapped under the steering wheel.
Fresno Bee

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