Spokane firefighters may soon breath easy again after a recent round of testing determined there are no contaminants in the department’s air tanks.
The test results, announced by the city Thursday morning at a news conference, come from health consultant companies Veritox, Inc. and TRI Air Testing, which both found no traces of toxic metals in firefighter’s self-contacted breathing apparatus (SCBA) bottles.
Further testing from Veritox determined it was unlikely that firefighter personnel were exposed to contaminants in the past.
“Basically every component of the process was able to be evaluated,” said Randy Marler, president of the Spokane Firefighters Union. “And it all came up clear. There were zero contaminants in any of the air.”
Several Long Island elected officials and volunteer fire service leaders expressed support Thursday for legislation that would allow fire departments to bill insurance companies and government benefits programs for emergency medical services.
Tom McDonough, former chief of the Port Washington Fire Department, said the measure would generate needed revenue — and ultimately save lives.
Many departments are facing tight budgets as well as an increase in medical response calls, McDonough said during a news conference Thursday at the Port Washington Fire Department.
Some departments have been forced to cut back or eliminate EMS services. If that trend continues, there could be longer response times during medical emergencies, he said. His department has felt budget pressures due to a decline in volunteers that has forced it to hire professional paramedics.
Charlotte's fire chief sat down one-on-one with Eyewitness News to talk about his mission to push for diversity.
This comes days after firefighters packed City Hall, standing united against more claims of unfair treatment of minorities. Chief Pete Key said the department is taking a grassroots approach to recruiting and that wherever he goes, he does his best to bring people into the department.
"I'm at car washes. I'm at Walmart. I'm at Harris Teeters. If I'm in line and a guy, a person, is working, I'm going to start talking about the fire department," Key said.
Recruiting diverse candidates is the city's top priority for the Charlotte Fire Department. Eyewitness News reported last year on concerns over the lack of diversity within the department and the number of minorities being promoted. When former Chief John Hannan retired, Key stepped up and revived initiatives to boost diversity.
A teen investigators say stole a fire department vehicle is behind bars.
Kanawha County Sheriff's deputies say Aubrey Turley III, 18, of Uneeda, is charged with grand larceny. Turley was arraigned Thursday afternoon by a Kanawha County Magistrate.
According to a criminal complaint, Turley stole a pickup truck from the Alum Creek Volunteer Fire Department Thursday morning. A deputy brought the chief to the scene, and the chief overheard Turley making a patently false claim while he was in custody.
"His response was he didn't steal it, he was the fire chief, and it was his truck," Chief Jim Oldaker said. "It was kind of funny where I actually happened to be standing there when he said that."
Turley's bond is set at $25,000 property or 10 percent cash.
Turley left his own vehicle in the parking lot of the fire department.
Deputies later found the truck and arrested Turley in Dunbar outside of a home that deputies say he falsely claimed was his own.
Ordinary citizens are being called on to help save lives in Sarasota County with the aid of a smartphone app that notifies users when a person nearby has gone into cardiac arrest.
The PulsePoint app, which can be downloaded onto a smartphone, shows users within a quarter-mile how to locate and use public-access Automated External Defibrillators and how to perform hands-only CPR. Early bystander CPR can double or triple the chances of survival, Sarasota County EMS Chief Carson Sanders during a press conference Thursday at Fire Station No. 16.
“This was a team approach. It required a commitment and implementation for many parts of the county and other departments,” said Sanders of the app that currently is used in more than 2,800 communities nationwide. PulsePoint is a nonprofit organization.
More than 350,000 people have out-of-hospital cardiac arrests each year, according to Sanders. He said it takes emergency personnel an average of five minutes to reach them.