Georgia News

Friday, September 21, 2018

Raging Macon apartment blaze forces dozens from their beds as crews battle low water pressure

Flames shot into the dark night sky early Friday as dozens of people fled a major blaze at The Cliffs apartments. Ronjalyn Bond said she noticed the glow of the flames as she got up to use the bathroom before 3 a.m. “The blaze was really going,” Bond said. “We really just didn’t have time to think, just to react and get out.” Bond rushed to the neighboring apartment to alert her sister and their 85-year-old invalid mother, who got out safely and sought refuge in the leasing office where she sat in her wheelchair. Marcus Davis said he was sleeping soundly as the building went up in flames. “My old lady woke me up saying the building was on fire,” Davis said. “I just jumped out and ran out of the building, so I don’t know what really happened. I was knocked out asleep.”
Macon Telegraph

Lee County Fire and Emergency Services crew gets 26 bulletproof vests

One South Georgia fire department and EMS now have 26 new bulletproof vests for its members. The county spent about $10,000 on the vests. According to the fire chief, the county got that money from selling surplus equipment. Fire Chief David Forrester said last year, members of the department went into situations where bullet-proof vests could have been used. He said now, if they get one of those calls, his first responders will be ready. “Well, if they get in that situation, it does give them that extra level of protection. Like I said, we’ve had several instances in the last year or so, where we’ve actually been involved and needed that and we didn’t have it. Now, we feel like we can better protect our personnel," said Forrester.
WALB-TV NBC 10 Albany

Over 30 people displaced after hoverboard ignites Gwinnett County apartment fire, officials say

Multiple families were forced out into the street Thursday night after their apartment complex caught fire from a hoverboard. Gwinnett County Fire Department said the fire at The Fields Peachtree Corners Apartments on Hillandale Drive NW might have started due to a hoverboard that was sitting in a living room around 10 p.m. Thursday. Firefighters were able to contain the fire to a single apartment in the 10-unit structure. Officials said the blaze caused extensive fire damage to the one apartment. The unit below did receive moderate water damage. Officials said due to multiple doors being forced open during evacuations and smoke damage throughout the complex, the entire building would be displaced due to the damage. Fire officials said no one was home when the fire started, but neighbors reported hearing smoke alarms through the walls.
WXIA-TV NBC 11 Atlanta

Covington firefighters create tribute for wounded officer

Firefighters will respond to hundreds of emergency medical calls over the course of their careers. They develop an ability to put most of those calls - even the most gruesome ones - behind them. If they don’t, they might not be able to respond to the next one. It’s a fact of the job. Occasionally there are calls they can’t leave behind. Those calls might involve a family member or a particularly heinous crime against a child. Or they might involve a buddy. The Covington Fire Department’s B-Shift was on duty Sept. 3. Both city stations responded when Covington Police Department Officer Matt Cooper was shot. Their actions that day and the emergency medical care Officer Cooper received in the immediate aftermath of the shooting have been credited with helping save his life.
Covington News

Firefighters battle landfill fire in Fairburn

Thick black smoke could be seen from around metro Atlanta Thursday afternoon. It was coming from a landfill fire in southern Fulton County. SKYFOX 5 flew over the fire around 5 p.m. and spotted several firefighters working to contain the blaze. It started at a landfill off Bishop Road in Fairburn. Thick black smoke could be seen billowing out of the blaze site. The cause of the fire was not immediately known. Fairburn Police said they were forced to shut down Bishop Road to through traffic while firefighters worked the blaze. There were no reports of injuries.
WAGA-TV Atlanta MyFox 5 News

Thursday, September 20, 2018

New Georgia bill aims to put safety, health first for firefighters

Last week was the 17th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, and many firefighters who served in the line of duty that day are now experiencing health problems. Rico Stephens, training chief with the Bibb County Fire Department, said many firemen didn't realize that what was a sense of pride would actually harm them. "Being exposed to those chemicals and smoke, it was a badge of honor. It showed macho, it showed that we were macho because we went in there and had smoke and soot on all our faces. But what we learned is that same thing that we were doing for bragging rights was killing us," said Stephens. Warner Robins Mayor Randy Toms was a firefighter for almost 30 years. He said the toxins firefighters inhale during their career can affect their health long-term.
WGXA-TV Fox 24 Macon

Fire investigator determines cause of Warner Robins apartment blaze

A fire that displaced apartment residents at The Pines on Woodland Trail was caused when burning grease was spilled on a living room couch, a firefighter says. Deputy Chief William Smith of the Houston County Fire Department said the fire was ruled accidental. The fire broke out in Unit C of Building 208 just before 5:30 p.m. Monday when a resident was apparently trying to get a pan with burning grease outside and possibly tripped - spilling the burning grease on the couch, Smith said. “It was a tragic event for him,” said Smith, who investigated the fire. “He lost his pet and a lot of his possessions.”
Macon Telegraph

Follow Up: EMS Zone becomes "legal" war zone in Augusta after Gold Cross files a lawsuit

The fight over Augusta's EMS Zone has turned into a legal war zone. Gold Cross has filed a lawsuit against the EMS Council stating the chairman of the council, Fire Chief Chris James, has violated council bylaws in opening up the zone for a new ambulance provider. The lawsuit comes just a few days before the deadline for companies to bid to be the new area ambulance service. The complaint alleges Chief James, the chairman of the EMS Council, has a conflict interest in becoming the provider of the zone himself. The complaint is 422-pages long and contains e-mails, response logs, complaints, and other evidence that Gold Cross says shows the EMS Council, specifically Chief James, is using his position as chairman make his fire department the EMS provider for the county.
WRDW-TV News 12 Augusta

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