A Macon County firefighter died Tuesday after suffering a traumatic brain injury in an accident on the job Saturday afternoon.
Darrell Plank, 29, was hit in the head by a metal coupling as a fire hose snagged on the truck at the scene of a fire off Ga. 128 near Taylor County.
The 10-year veteran’s skull was seriously fractured and, according to a Facebook page devoted to prayers for his recovery, he suffered a stroke on the left side of his brain.
Plank was a father to five children, a carpenter by trade and a man of deep faith and conviction, Fire Chief Micah Kauffman said.
San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood said Tuesday that any firefighter who wants to attend the upcoming funeral of firefighter Scott Deem will be able to, dispelling rumors to the contrary.
Hood said he alone made the decision to not use outside agencies to staff SAFD stations on Friday because other firefighters aren’t familiar with San Antonio’s operating system, air refilling systems, radios or terminology.
“People are entitled to create any rumors they want to with social media,” Hood said. “This was a vicious rumor. Any firefighter who knew Scott, who wants to attend that funeral, will be able to do that.”
Additionally, Hood said, Deem’s funeral will be held on a day that the A shift, which Deem was assigned to, is not working. That means many firefighters who knew Deem will have the day off anyway.
The death of a Butler County firefighter serves as a sobering reminder of the dangers firefighters face long after the flames are extinguished and the smoke clears.
"It was a badge of honor back in the day to be a smoke-eater and to have the dirtiest fire gear," Cincinnati firefighter Gerald Rosemeyer said. "Little did we know it would come back to bite us. Now we know better."
Firefighters from multiple departments in Butler County and the Cincinnati region were among the hundreds Tuesday who paid their final respects to West Chester firefighter Tim Burns.
Burns, 48, died last week after a battle with occupational renal (kidney) cancer.
The Texas Senate unanimously passed a bill Tuesday that seeks to fix the broken Dallas Police and Fire Pension System. The bill barely made it out of committee last week but was saved by last-minute negotiations between the city, police and fire associations and pension officials.
"This is not just a Dallas issue. This is about the future of our entire state," said Sen. Don Huffines, R-Dallas, who helped negotiate the Senate's version of the bill. "The men and women of Dallas police and fire deserve this bill." The Dallas pension fix, originally House Bill 3158 from Rep. Dan Flynn, R-Van, was sponsored by Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, in the Senate. The Senate's version seeks to make the pension system fully funded in the next 46 years; the House's version would have done it in 40.
A Renton firefighter, along with firefighters from Nampa, Idaho, and Grants Pass, Ore., aided an unconscious man aboard a flight from Baltimore to Sea-Tac on Friday night. This is the second in-flight rescue by a Renton firefighter this month.
On Friday, Firefighter Chris Kyrstofiak was traveling back to Seattle from training in Baltimore when Alaska Airlines flight attendants made an emergency announcement asking for help from any doctors or firefighters aboard the flight. Kyrstofiak, along with Nampa EMT Todd Cannon, helped stabilize the unconscious man, and gave him medical assistance for the rest of the flight.