National News

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Virginia firefighter dies following training exercise

Firefighters in Amelia County are mourning the loss of one of their own after he died during a recent training exercise. Amelia County Volunteer Fire Department Company 1 Chief Justin Wargofcak said William Moore IV, 48, of Amelia County, suffered a medical emergency and went into cardiac arrest Thursday, June 14. He was transported to the hospital where he later died. Moore, who went by Billy, was a volunteer with the department for nearly two-and-a-half years, and was someone Wargofcak said responded to almost every call. “[He joined for] that excitement and being able the help the communities,” Wargofcak said. “He was from Amelia, born and raised here, so he wanted to help the county out in any way he could."
WWBT-TV NBC 12 Richmond

9 Charleston firefighters killed in Sofa Super Store blaze honored for ’unthinkable sacrifice’

The crowds hadn't yet arrived at Charleston 9 Memorial Park on Monday when Jacqueline Drayton introduced her son to the site where his grandfather died fighting a massive blaze 11 years ago. They stopped at the memorial for Drayton's father, Charleston Firefighter James "Earl" Drayton. And one by one, they visited the plaques honoring the other eight Charleston firefighters who perished on June 18, 2007. Drayton told 11-year-old Shawndell Davis Jr. that those men were like family to his grandfather. And she explained to her son how the park on Savannah Highway was once the location of the sprawling Sofa Super Store, where a small fire that started on the store's loading dock quickly grew to a raging inferno.
Charleston Post and Courier

California city paying $440K to helicopter medics to settle overtime lawsuits

San Diego is paying seven helicopter rescue medics a total of $442,000 because they didn’t receive overtime pay despite regularly working 56-hour weeks. Federal law requires overtime pay of one and a half times the regular wage for all hours worked over 40 in one workweek, but there is an exemption for government workers engaged in fire suppression. Helicopter rescue medics had long been covered under that exemption, but a federal appeals court ruling in 2014 ended that because the duties of helicopter medics don’t include putting out fires. San Diego officials shrunk the workweeks of the medics down from 56 to 40 hours in early 2017, but the medics filed lawsuits last year seeking overtime pay for the period between the federal ruling and when their workweeks were shortened.
San Diego Union-Tribune

Ohio firefighters suspended for allegedly making porn recording on city property

Two romantically involved Akron firefighters are on paid leave for possibly getting too hot in a firehouse. City administrators have suspended Lt. Art Dean and Provisional Lt. Deann Eller after receiving a tip that the pair of officers allegedly produced pornographic videos on city property, then posted their flames of passion on the internet. Chief Clarence Tucker and Mayor Dan Horrigan spoke strongly Monday about how the alleged behavior did not reflect the values of those who serve and save the city from fires. During a news conference called Monday to address the rumors, Tucker said that Eller and Dean could face additional discipline, including dismissal, if an ongoing investigation concludes they broke the city’s anti-fraternizing rule for men and women.
Akron Beacon Journal

Importance of TIM, physical health highlighted by NFPA 2017 LODD Report

The recently released NFPA report of 2017 firefighter fatalities is both encouraging and troubling. Clearly, the efforts of many of our industry partners have had an effect on reducing our mortality numbers – the 60 on-duty deaths reported reflect the lowest number reported in over 40 years. However, some of the unexpected shifts identify room for improvement. What common causes should we focus on to continue the reduction in firefighter fatalities? Are there still reporting and documentation gaps? How do we engage and motivate all levels within our ranks to be part of the solution? Here are my top three takeaways on the LODD report.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Officials: 20 FDNY Firefighters Hurt Battling Blaze That Started At Fire Marshal’s House

Several firefighters were injured battling a five-alarm blaze Saturday on Staten Island. The flames broke out shortly after 7 p.m. at a fire marshal’s house on Steinway Avenue in the New Springville section. “One of the houses is one of our fire marshals’. Fortunately, his family and his baby were down at the Jersey Shore for the weekend, but he was at work to come home and find that his house was destroyed,” Chief of Department James Leonard said. Officials said 250 FDNY members responded to bring the flames under control, facing obstacles in the process, like a defective fire hydrant. A total of 20 firefighters were hurt, four seriously. One suffered a chest injury when a stairway collapsed.
CBS New York

Louisiana fire district’s investigation into complaints against former chief turned over to Sheriff’s Office

Documents from a five-month investigation of Steve Krentel, the former chief of St. Tammany Fire Protection District No. 12, have been turned over to the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office, which issued a warrant for the more than 4,000 pages last month. Krentel's wife, Nanette Krentel, was found dead of a gunshot wound in the couple's burned-down home nearly a year ago. Her murder remains unsolved, but Sheriff Randy Smith has publicly cleared Steve Krentel as a suspect. The search warrant was cited in a letter from Troy Ingram, the Covington-area fire district's attorney, to Tom Williamson, a firefighter who has been a vocal critic of Krentel.
New Orleans Advocate

Tennessee firefighter hospitalized after SCBA face piece dislodges at warehouse fire

A Knoxville Fire Department firefighter was hospitalized after suffering smoke inhalation while battling a warehouse fire in West Knox County Saturday evening. According to KFD spokesperson Captain D.J. Corcoran, units were dispatched to 1737 Louisville Dr. at 8:27 p.m. Saturday amid reports of smoke showing from the Aquarium Life Support Systems building from a Knoxville Police Department officer. While searching the building for smoke, units discovered a single set of stairs that led to the basement, from which the fire was emanating. One firefighter tripped and fell while attempting to enter the basement, knocking his mask off and allowing him to be overtaken by smoke.
Knoxville News Sentinel

Florida fire captain demoted for stripping off shirt, daring homeless man to fight

Tampa Fire Rescue Capt. Jeremy Finney was, by all accounts, a model firefighter — until he lost his cool. The outburst cost him two ranks. Finney has served nearly 16 years in the department and was a member of the Tactical Medical Response Team, which accompanies SWAT teams on dangerous missions. He helped kids learn about firefighting through the department’s Explorer program. He was a counselor at a union camp for burned children. But he lost his temper with a homeless man in 2017, daring him to fight. He was demoted last month past the lower rank of lieutenant to paramedic.
Tampa Bay Times and Tampa

Massachusetts firefighter finishes US Open tied as top amateur

Massachusetts firefighter Matt Parziale had a Father’s Day to remember as he completed his final round of the U.S. Open. Parziale shot 5-over par Sunday in the final round, finishing with a score of 16-over par for the tournament. The score tied for the top amateur score at Shinnecock Hill in New York. Through all 18 holes Sunday, Parziale conquered the course with a trusted caddie by his side: his father Vic Parziale. "It's special," Vic Parziale said. "It's the best one ever." Both Parziales were firefighters as their real jobs. Matt Parziale is on leave from work to play in the U.S. Open and a couple of other tournaments. Vic is retired, but quickly found work as his son's caddie. He thinks his son has a future.
WCVB-TV ABC 5 Boston

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