National News

Friday, February 24, 2017

Heat’s off Maryland fire chief as he retires

It would be difficult to find anyone more embedded in the culture of Prince George's County fire service —or in the community of Bowie — than county Fire Chief Marc Bashoor. As a kid, he rode his bike from the Tulip Grove section of town to Station 39 on Route 450 and watch the firetrucks go out. He became a volunteer there in 1981 at the age of 16 — he needed a note from his parents to sign up — and even lived in the firehouse for a time. "I became very quickly involved in everything," he said. "I was running a lot of calls, getting a lot of experience." He met his wife Laura, who was also a volunteer there, at the station. He even had a firetruck brought to the parking lot of Cresthill Baptist Church on his wedding day 30 years ago.
Capital Gazette

NIOSH releases report on 2014 line of duty death of Connecticut firefighter

It’s been more than two years since Hartford Firefighter Kevin Bell was killed while battling a massive blaze in the city's North End and a final report reveals what factors contributed to his death. The National Institute for Occupation Safety and Health (NIOSH) report reveals how the firefighter died and lists several recommendations for the fire department. During the October 2014 fire at Blue Hills, Bell died after he was separated from his lieutenant and his tank ran out of air. The report details contributing factors including fireground tactics, crew integrity, personnel accountability, air management, may day procedures and personal protective equipment use.
NBC Connecticut

California fire district, drone maker partner for emergency deliveries

The Menlo Park Fire Protection District’s top official wants it to lead the pack in using drones for emergency operations. “I want this agency to be the lead agency in the United States in the terms of applying new technology,” district board President Peter Carpenter said at Tuesday’s board meeting. “We could be the fire agency that looked at UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) and gave them a seal of approval. What’s exciting about that is whoever’s first in that business generally dominates. Second and third entries in certifications don’t do generally well.” Carpenter was discussing a partnership the board unanimously approved between the district and Matternet, a Menlo Park-based startup that develops drones to deliver lightweight goods, primarily medical items sent from one medical facility to another.
Mercury News

Michigan firefighter recovering after falling 15 feet through burning barn roof

A firefighter who fell 15 feet through a burning barn roof in Clare is recovering from several broken bones. Sam Eberhart, 33, was battling a fire at the barn when he fell 15 feet onto a concrete floor. "It was instant pain," Eberhart said. "It was the first time I had ever broken a bone. There was no comfort. No nothing. Just pain all around." Eberhart fractured the front and back of his pelvis in three places. The injuries were complex enough that he was taken to Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, a Level I Trauma Center. "Injuries like these can be limb- and life-threatening," Beaumont orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jason Sadowski said. "There could be bladder injuries and extreme blood loss." Doctors said Eberhart's willingness and determination to do intense physical therapy exercises allowed him to avoid surgery.
WDIV-TV NBC 4 Detroit

North Carolina firefighter finds, returns man’s life savings

When Roy Jimerson saw a bunch of paper flying around Coastal Federal Credit Union on University Drive and Shannon Road, he stopped. "I saw that it was money, so I turned around and blocked traffic, picked it up; another citizen stopped and helped me gather it," Jimerson said. When Jimerson isn't busy working as a Durham firefighter, he's laying tile as an independent contractor. He said he knows how hard it is to make a dollar and that's exactly why he wanted to return it - almost $1,000 in cash. "Drawing that kind of money out, you had plans for that money, and I didn't want him to be short changed," he said. The money belonged to 42 year-old Keyon Waddell who does facility work for Duke University Hospital. Jimerson searched his name and found info for his mother - an administrative assistant at the Durham Police Department.
WTVD-TV ABC Channel 11

2 Kentucky firefighters hurt in fire engine crash

PHOTO - A firetruck crashed in Whitley County, Kentucky Thursday. The Woodbine Fire Department truck crashed in a wooded area near Louden Road and Highway 92 eastbound. According to the report, two firefighters were on their way to help with a structure fire at the time of the crash. The men were transported to Baptist Health Corbin for minor injuries.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Oklahoma Firefighter Dies In Crash On Way To Fire

PHOTO - A firefighter with the Leach Fire Department died Wednesday morning in a single-vehicle crash on his way to a structure fire, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said. Troopers say Michael Dale Russell, 68, from Rose, Oklahoma, was pronounced dead at the scene with massive injuries. The crash occurred at about 7:30 a.m. February 22 southwest of Leach on county road S510 in Delaware County. Russell was traveling southbound in a 2003 Freightliner tanker truck on a county road when he ran off the right side of the road, overcorrected and the truck overturned 1.5 times, coming to rest on its top, the OHP report states. Russell was ejected out the driver's side window and was pinned under the truck for two hours.

FDNY Firefighter James Lee Jr. Named 2017 Courage and Valor Award Recipient

Firefighter James Lee Jr. of the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) has been named the 2017 Ray Downey Courage and Valor Award recipient. The award will be presented on Wednesday during the Opening Ceremony of FDIC International 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Firefighter (FF) James Lee rescued an 81-year-old man from the top-floor rear window of a five-story Old Law tenement that had two railroad flats per floor. The building had no rear fire escape. The wooden stairway to the second floor was damaged by fire. On the second floor, the entire railroad flat where the victim, Mr. Duffy, lived was fully involved, and fire was burning in the public hallway and stairway up to the floors above. Lee was lowered over the rear edge of the building on a live-saving rope to make the rescue.
Fire Engineering

Texas fire chief punishes union president over records violation

Last summer, as the Austin fire union was preparing to represent one of its members at a disciplinary hearing, department officials permitted union president Bob Nicks to review confidential documents in the case under a provision of the city’s labor contract with firefighters. With a couple of clicks, Nicks secretly downloaded the information onto his personal laptop — but says he disclosed what he’d done a few days later to top department officials. But his actions led to an unusual punishment from Fire Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr: She banned him from representing any other firefighter at a disciplinary hearing for more than a year — a punishment that strikes at the core of one of his primary duties as union president. The issue highlights a dispute that has escalated between Kerr and Nicks over the past several years.
Austin American-Statesman

Washington fire department revises hiring policies after firefighter’s drug-related death

Tacoma Fire Department leaders have revised their hiring practices in the wake of a News Tribune story about a firefighter who died of a drug overdose in July 2016 after showing up for work impaired. Deeper scrutiny of criminal background check information and broader questions about illegal drug use are the key changes the next round of job applicants will face in April, when the department will begin filling 16 positions — 12 new positions authorized in the city’s latest budget and four existing slots to account for retirements. Chief Jim Duggan explained the rationale for the updated hiring policies in a statement to The News Tribune.
Tacoma News Tribune

Teaching Children to Play With Fire

At a Berlin day care center, a little boy lights a match and touches it to another, making a sudden flare. The girl sitting next to him shouts a word that is the same in German and English: “Cool!” The two children, both under 6, aren’t breaking any rules. They are taking part in a fire workshop designed by Kain Karawahn, an artist who, as part of a performance piece about freedom in 1987, once set a blaze at the Berlin Wall. No one was hurt. Now Mr. Karawahn teaches young children how to set safe fires. “The success is not ‘Hooray, it’s burning!’” he said. “The success is that after my fire, the place looks the same as before, and I look the same as before.” Mr. Karawahn’s workshops aim to prevent tragedies caused by children playing with fire in secret.
New York Times

Sign up to subscribe to custom state Daily Dispatch emails for free

click to subscribe