National News

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Firefighters standing vigil over body of Washington fire chief

In a tradition as old as the service, firefighters from Lynden and around Whatcom County are standing vigil over the body of Lynden interim Fire Chief Robert Spinner, who died Friday of an apparent heart attack while on duty. It is the first line of duty death in the Lynden Fire Department’s 107-year history, according to a statement issued late Sunday, and the second on-duty firefighter death in Whatcom County – the other line of duty firefighter death was in March 1950, when Whatcom County Fire District 7’s Chief Clyde Eaton suffered fatal burns as a barrel of fuel exploded at a fire. Spinner, 50, was running as part of his daily fitness regimen when he was stricken.
Bellingham Herald

IAFC, PulsePoint Foundation Announce Global Strategic Partnership to Increase Cardiac Arrest Survival Rates

The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and the PulsePoint Foundation (PulsePoint) today announced a strategic partnership to reinforce the use of mobile phones and apps to connect nearby CPR-trained citizens and off-duty professional rescuers with people in cardiac arrest. The collaboration also endeavors to develop strategies for utilizing public safety data in new and innovative ways. The alliance will be highlighted at Fire-Rescue International, the annual conference and expo of the IAFC being held in Charlotte, NC, July 26-29, 2017.
International Association of Fire Chiefs

New Jersey shore towns brace for impact of federal inquiry into firefighters, city workers

Mayor Michael Becker says that his city has complied with an FBI subpoena asking for information on Margate city employees and prescription plans and that he is concerned about the possible disruption that may result from a wide-ranging grand jury investigation. In nearby Ventnor, meanwhile, Mayor Beth Holtzman said Monday her city is also cooperating, though she declined to say whether there had been any subpoena issued. “We are cooperating fully with the FBI and its investigation,” she said. “Until we have more information we can’t comment. It’s an open investigation.”

Trump Asks ’Where’s the Fire?’ from Aerial at White House Event

President Donald Trump jumped behind the wheel of an aerial ladder that was parked on the front lawn of the White House Monday morning during an event showing products made in America. "Where's the fire," Trump said gripping the wheel of the aerial made by Pierce MFG. "Where's the fire? We'll put it out fast," he quipped. The Made in America Product Showcase had items on display from all 50 states that are made and produced in the United States, including construction vehicles, crab pots, golf clubs, a NASA space suit, and wine.

’Houston firefighters are at a breaking point’: The fight for equal pay continues with HFD

"Houstonians deserve a strong fire department." A Houston firefighters group delivered a strong message Monday in front of city hall as they continue to fight for equal pay among firefighters. The Houston Professional Firefighters Association turned in a petition with more than 32,000 validated signatures to ask the City of Houston to put the equal pay ballot initiative on the November 2017 ballot. "If approved by the Houston voters in the fall, the city charter would be amended to ensure that firefighters and police officers equal pay on a rank by rank basis," HPFFA president Patrick Lancton said.
KTRK-TV ABC 13 Houston

Monday, July 17, 2017

3 dead in 5-alarm fire at at Honolulu high-rise with no sprinklers

Three people are confirmed dead in a massive fire in the Marco Polo building on Kapiolani Boulevard. The initial alarm came in at around 2:15 p.m. By 3 p.m., four alarms had been called. By 4:30 p.m., the fifth alarm was called. Officials say the fire initially started on the 26th floor, and that’s where three bodies were found. The blaze quickly spread to several units on several floors. More than 100 City and County firefighters responded. “We’re trying to make our entry from this side of the building, because the ewa side is untenable. We can’t make the stairwell there,” said Honolulu Fire Chief Manuel Neves. “Once we get in, we’re fighting the fire floor by floor. It started on the 26th floor. It’s now on the 28th floor, but it seems like we’re making a little bit of headway.”

‘Huge failure’: 80 percent of Oakland firefighter warnings of unsafe buildings go unchecked

In what an expert calls a “huge failure,” hundreds of residential and commercial buildings across Oakland were never inspected after firefighters flagged fire dangers and referred them for followup, including more than 200 apartment buildings housing thousands of residents, an investigation by the Bay Area News Group has found. Records acquired from the city covering 2011 until early this year show that firefighters referred 879 properties for fire code issues to the Bureau of Fire Prevention, a number that includes the apartment buildings, plus commercial buildings and several schools.
East Bay Times

Two dead, six injured — including three firefighters — after SUV collides with Ohio firetruck

A sport utility vehicle collided with an Akron firetruck Friday afternoon, killing two people inside the SUV, including a 16-year-old girl, and injuring three firefighters. Fire Engine No. 3 was southbound on Rhodes Avenue about 3:45 p.m. when witnesses say a burgundy Chevrolet Trailblazer westbound on West Exchange Street drove through a red light and struck the firetruck, Akron Police Capt. Daniel Zampelli said. The SUV spun after impact with the engine and landed against a telephone pole, Zampelli said. At least five people inside the SUV were taken to area hospitals, where two of them died.
Akron Beacon Journal and

Tragedies Like London Tower Can Bring Change

Terrifying images from London remain fresh in many minds: Flames rapidly consuming the exterior of the 24-story Grenfell Tower while trapped residents frantically cried out for help from the upper floors, and firefighters physically and emotionally exhausted from the intense battle and loss of life they confronted. The total confirmed deaths in the June 14 blaze remains at 34, but Metro Police officials have said they believe the final toll may wind up being closer to 80. The questions that were asked here in the U.S. in the aftermath were the type you might expect: How could a fire burn out of control so quickly, and could a major incident like that happen here?

Firefighting robot being developed in Florida

About 100 firefighters are killed in the line of duty every year. A robot being developed at Pensacola's groundbreaking Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) might one day save lives. Researchers at IHMC are specifically working on a robot that could fight fires on ships. Research Associate John Carff said, "When you're on a ship, there's a good chance if you're a firefighter in there fighting a fire you could get a hatch closed behind you and you're going to be stuck in a ship that's sinking." IHMC won the use of the robot, named Atlas, through a series of challenge competitions where robots assist in disaster recovery scenarios. Now they're taking it up another level with some help from the Pensacola Fire Department.
WEAR-TV ABC 3 Pensacola

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