National News

Monday, June 26, 2017

New Mexico volunteer firefighter dies after injuries from blaze

A Nara Visa volunteer firefighter died on Thursday after suffering burns trying to extinguish a fire that was more than seven miles long and three miles wide. John Cammack, 74, of Nara Visa, was severely burned after falling from a fire engine during a "burn over" Wednesday night, said Nara Visa Fire Chief Gary Girard. Girard said a second firefighter, Kyle Perez, was also injured during the incident. He said the firefighters were attempting to refill a fire engine with a water tanker when the winds shifted abruptly. "We were no longer fighting the fire, we were running from the fire," Girard said.
Eastern New Mexico News

St. Louis fire captain falls through roof into flames, is rescued by fellow firefighters

St. Louis firefighters had to rescue one of their own after he fell through a roof into flames in an attic Sunday morning. The fire captain sustained first and second-degree burns on his face and hands. He was recovering at a hospital Sunday, according to Capt. Garon Mosby, spokesman for the St. Louis Fire Department. “He’s being kept overnight for further observation,” Mosby said. “He’s talking and in very good spirits.” St. Louis firefighters were first called to the fire in the 2700 block of Bacon Street about 11 a.m. They found a two-story, two-family townhouse structure in the Jeff-Vander-Lou neighborhood ablaze, Mosby said.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

High Police and Fire Pension Rates Send Arizona Lawmakers Scrambling

A group of Arizona House lawmakers is launching an effort aimed at cutting the soaring costs to communities of police and fire pensions, with its leader warning that cities could end up declaring bankruptcy if legislators fail to act. The new committee announced by House Speaker J.D. Mesnard comes just over a year after 70 percent of voters approved changes to the state's public safety pension plan designed to return it to solvency in 20 years. The voter approval and separate legislative overhauls to the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System, known as PSPRS, couldn't address current costs because the state Constitution bans cuts to promised pensions.
U.S. News & Report

Misstep forces Nebraska city to re-interview fire chief candidates

The city’s search for a full-time fire chief took a step backward this week. Because of a clerical error, the Civil Service Commission will conduct a second set of interviews with seven candidates for the position instead of moving forward with the three finalists selected earlier this month. According to the city attorney’s office, Columbus Human Resources Director Mike Oglevie sent a memo containing 13 of the 17 interview questions to six of the seven candidates prior to the June 6 interviews with the Civil Service Commission, leaving one candidate off the list of recipients.
Columbus Telegram

California city, county and fire district sue drug companies over opioid crisis

The city, county and a local fire district recently sued several major pharmaceutical companies and a medical distribution firm, charging them with damaging the local economy by promoting the use of opioid painkillers they knew to be dangerous and extremely addictive. The 52-page complaint was filed in Superior Court late last month by two private law firms on behalf of Stockton, San Joaquin County and the Montezuma Fire Protection District, which serves unincorporated portions of southeast Stockton. The lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount of compensatory and punitive damages.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Texas volunteer fire department walks off after chief let go

Tuesday night the majority of the Wills Point volunteer department walked off in solidarity with Chief Ed Leipply. Leipply's family says he is touched by the loyalty, but adds the decision to walk off was up to each of the volunteers. Hee never commanded or asked them to do so. Dylan Hatten says he's always wanted to serve his community. For him, the Wills Point volunteer fire department fit the bill. "When you help someone, there is no other feeling like it," Hatten said. That's why the decision to walk off the job last night was a tough one. "We do this for free. We love it. We want to come back, but it won't be until our Chief returns," Hatten said.
KHOU-TV CBS 11 Houston

Colorado firefighter’s strangulation during training exercise calls policies into question

Jeff Gillespie can't pinpoint exactly when blood stopped flowing to his brain. The veteran Poudre Fire Authority firefighter doesn't know exactly how long he stopped breathing, either. It's impossible to say precisely how long his world went black that November afternoon when he was essentially hanged during a training accident. Gillespie went to work Nov. 19, 2016, and played the role of a victim for a practice emergency on the outskirts of Fort Collins. Then he became a victim in real life. In the seven months since that confined space rescue training, investigators have attributed missteps that nearly killed Gillespie to failures of both communication and protocol.

Connecticut Firefighter Killed In Line Of Duty Had Drugs, Alcohol In System; Inquiry Board Unaware

Kevin Bell, the first Hartford firefighter killed in the line of duty in four decades, had alcohol and a primary substance found in marijuana in his system when he died fighting a fast-spreading house fire, a state toxicology report reviewed by The Courant reveals. But the seven-member panel convened by the city to investigate the death and problems within the fire department never received the toxicology results, according to Hartford Fire Marshal Roger Martin, who was chairman of the board of inquiry.
Hartford Courant

Detroit seeks to give EMTs biggest pay increase in 45-year history

A 4 percent raise is in store for the city’s emergency medical technicians and paramedics, the largest increase in its 45-year history, officials said Wednesday. Mayor Mike Duggan unveiled the three-year collective bargaining agreement amendment alongside Fire Commissioner Eric Jones and fire union officials outside St. John Hospital on Moross. The agreement, which includes the across-the-board raises, was ratified Monday by EMS members and approved Tuesday by Detroit’s city council.
Detroit News

FDNY hits record number of black, Asian, Latino and women recruits for entrance exam

After several delays to try and attract more FDNY candidates, the filing for the city’s upcoming firefighter exam has finally closed — with historic gains in the number of African-Americans, Asians, Latinos and women who applied. The FDNY had planned to close filing on April 25 for the highly competitive firefighter entrance exam that will be given in the fall. But in an effort to boost the diversity of candidates, it extended the deadline several times, until declaring June 9 the drop-dead cut-off date. By May 8, the FDNY had nearly 52,000 applicants — but decided to delay closing to attract more. A month later, it had collected an additional 20,000 — boosting the finally tally to 72,595 applicants, the FDNY said Thursday.
New York Daily News

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