North Carolina News

Monday, August 20, 2018

Orange Rural firefighter’s funeral draws colleagues from Hillsborough and beyond

Firefighters from surrounding communities joined family and friends Saturday morning to mourn the death of a colleague. The funeral for Orange Rural Fire Department chief of training and safety Jeffrey Holden was held at New Horizon Church. A procession of about two dozen fire trucks honored Holden’s memory as they traveled from downtown Hillsborough to the church outside of town. Firefighters from Orange Rural began the procession as they carried Holden’s flag-draped casket on Engine 4 from Clements Funeral and Cremation Service to New Horizon Church. Fire trucks from Durham, Chapel Hill, Cedar Grove, Morrisville, Carrboro, White Cross, Eno, North Chatham, New Hope, Lebanon, Pleasant Garden, Orange Grove and Bahama joined ambulances from South Orange, Duke University Hospital Life Flight and UNC Hospitals in the procession.
Durham Herald-Sun & Chapel Hill Herald

Rocky Mount Fire Department earns re-accreditation

Rocky Mount Mayor David Combs thanked the city's fire department this week for once again winning international re-accreditation, which lowers insurance rates for property owners. “This is a two- or three-year process, and we thank you for undertaking it,” Combs said during Monday's council meeting. The fire department recently received Internationally Accredited Agency status with the Commission on Fire Accreditation International. Departments must meet the criteria established through the CFAI’s voluntary self-assessment and accreditation model of continuous improvement. Just 250 agencies worldwide have earned the coveted status with the CFAI and the Center for Public Safety Excellence.
Rocky Mount Telegram

Firefighters will live in University of North Carolina Asheville dorms until fire-safety improvements are made

Firefighters will be living with students at UNC Asheville for the foreseeable future, after the university and the State Construction Office reached an agreement with the Department of Insurance over safety concerns in five new dormitories. Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey on Thursday had barred students from moving into five new dorms at the school. That was the day before the bulk of university students were set to begin moving in, The News & Observer reported. A spokesman told the N&O that conditions at the new dorms could be fire hazards — including the use of wood in walls in stairwells and elevator shafts as well as the location of water pipes in the stairwells, which could make it difficult to get out during a fire. Students began moving in late Friday as part of the deal struck between Causey and UNC Asheville Chancellor Nancy J. Cable.
Charlotte Observer

Pelham church steeple hit by lightning; firefighters save building

Lightning struck the steeple of the historic First Congregational Church, during a thunderstorm, around 4:30 p.m. Friday. The bolt caused noticeable damage to the east side of the steeple but firefighters, coming from the station just a few hundred yards away at 36 Village Green, quickly knocked down the fire and kept it from spreading down to the rest of the building. Building Inspector Roland Soucy checked the premises and determined the church can have its regularly scheduled service at 9:30 a.m. Sunday. The 15 to 20 church members who stood on the opposite side of Main Street after the lightning strike were relieved. "The steeple took a direct hit," fire Chief James Midgley said. The sound of the strike was so loud that firefighters initially thought the lightning had hit the fire station, he added.
The Eagle-Tribune

New firefighters hired in Hickory

The following people have been hired as firefighters for the Hickory Fire Department. Kieran Burke has served as a firefighter for Bandys Fire Department for four years, where he currently serves as a captain. Burke also has previous experience working as a firefighter with Shelby Fire Department. He is certified as an Emergency Medical Technician through the Office of Emergency Medical Services. Burke holds certifications through the NC Fire & Rescue Commission as a Level II Firefighter, Hazardous Materials Operations level, Emergency Vehicle Driver, and as a Technical Rescuer. He has specialized technical rescue training in the area of vehicle machinery rescue. He is engaged to Jessie Ayers. Bo Johnson has worked with Valdese Fire department for more than one year.
Hickory Daily Record

14-year-old boy bit by shark in Atlantic Beach

A 14-year-old boy was transported to Carteret Health Care Sunday afternoon after being bit by a shark. According to Atlantic Beach Fire Chief Adam Snyder, the boy was a Carteret County resident and received non life-threatening injuries. “We just took him to the hospital to get stitches and got him bandaged up,” Snyder said. He was surfing near Dune’s Club and Oceanena Pier about 12:50 p.m. Sunday when he was bitten twice on his right leg, Snyder said. According to Snyder, the breed of shark is unknown, but two distinct bites were present. “We’re not shark experts,” Snyder said. While this is the first report of a shark bite from Atlantic Beach this year, Snyder said there’s no sure way to decrease the chances -- which are slim. He said the likelihood of getting bitten is about the same is getting struck by lightning, although it does happen.
Daily News, Jacksonville

Friday, August 17, 2018

Charlotte fire chief reflects on first 100 days

This week marks 100 days since Chief Reginald Johnson took over the Charlotte Fire Department which had to extinguish a few fires of its own with accusations of low morale and discrimination. Before Johnson took over, a group of Charlotte fire employees sent an anonymous letter to city officials which outlined concerns about unethical promotional practices and a lack of women and minorities in leadership roles. Johnson said he met with those employees directly. "Let's just be clear that people's interpretation of how things are in the fire department has a sense of reality to it, so we have to take those concerns seriously,” said Chief Reginald Johnson.
TWC News - Central NC

Fire damages home in Statesville

Firefighters battled a house fire in Statesville Friday morning. Crews were called to a home just before 7 a.m. Friday, August 17 along Armfield Street. Upon arrival, firefighters could see heavy smoke pouring out of the house. So far, no injuries have been reported. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
WJZY Fox 46 Charlotte

July’s rains delay new Wilmington, New Hanover fire stations

The completion of two new fire stations has been delayed by up to two months because of this summer’s record-setting rain, according to officials affiliated with the projects. Wilmington’s three-bay fire station in the 600 block of Shipyard Boulevard was originally supposed to be completed by this month and New Hanover County’s new station in Ogden was scheduled to be completed in September. Then the rains came -- the three-month period of May 1 through July 31 saw 39.87 inches of rain fall in Wilmington, a new record. The 14.36 inches of rain that fell in May shattered the previous record of 9.12 set in 1956. “It’s been really slow progress because of the rain,” said Wilmington Assistant Fire Chief Frank Blackley. “When it rains an inch a day, they can’t lay bricks.”
Wilmington Morning Star

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