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Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Onslow County: Dispatchers serve on the front lines of emergency response    view comments tweat me share on facebook
They’re the first ones you talk to in an emergency, the ones who hear it all: your panic, your pain, and your fears. Emergency dispatchers work in 12-hour shifts, unable to move away from their desks at will, away from the 911 calls. “You can’t just get up and walk away from this, you have to make sure that everything is taken care of first,” said Kristy Smith, who the has been working in dispatch for eight years. She said that you can’t event get up to go to the bathroom, especially during peak call hours: 1 p.m., 4 p.m., and 6 p.m. Smith, along with others working the day shift, begins work at 6 a.m. Many of them show up even earlier to ensure they are caught up on everything they need to know from the previous shift. They often eat breakfast at their desks and begin planning lunch early in anticipation of the day’s busiest hours. “There’s a lot of dedication there,” said Charlotte Rodden, communications supervisor. The job involves a lot of multitasking, she said. Rodden is responsible for administrative tasks, training, time sheets and supervising, but she also is a dispatcher. On top of her other responsibilities, many days Rodden must listen to the radio, answer phones, listen to callers, get calls in for service and monitor several screens... In one month locally, dispatchers answered 23,000 calls to 911 plus 14,500 administrative calls. There’s typically only three or four of them on at one time and, depending on the call, they have between 60 seconds and a minute and a half to answer and complete a call — meaning, an officer or firefighter is en route. “We have 60 seconds to get the call, determine what it is, put it in, hit the button and have them say, ‘We’re en route,’” Smith said of firefighter calls. She explained that, in many cases, fire is the first responder, so they are expected to get out slightly quicker. Calls for police need to be completed within a minute and a half.
Daily News, Jacksonville

Man charged after ‘intentionally set’ 2-alarm warehouse fire in Charlotte    view comments tweat me share on facebook
It took more than 40 firefighters roughly half an hour to put out a warehouse fire in southeast Charlotte overnight that has since been ruled arson. The flames broke out inside the Workman Installation Services building on Cherry Tripp Drive, just off Independence Boulevard shortly before midnight. When fire crews arrived they encountered heavy flames and smoke and quickly upgraded the call to a second alarm. The owners told Channel 9 smoke and flames destroyed nearly everything inside in the warehouse. Crews were cleaning out the building, pulling all of the burned debris into an alley behind it. The owner, Ryan Turner, said someone was in custody, but officials have not confirmed that. The building stored inventory for a family-owned internet sales business which sells shoes. Turner told Channel 9 that his alarm company notified him that motion sensors were going off. By the time he left his home just a few minutes away and arrived, he said flames were shooting from the building, and that it looked like someone had set a bonfire in the back.
WSOC-TV ABC 9 Charlotte

Greensboro Fire Captain Retires, Walks to Raise Money for Young Cancer Patient    view comments tweat me share on facebook
When most folks retire, their first plans usually center around doing something fun for themselves—but a Greensboro fire captain is doing just the opposite. He's walking more than 50 miles in full fire gear to raise money for a co-worker's son diagnosed with cancer. After 30 years of service, Captain Tim Gibbs is hanging up his hat. "It's been awesome and a great ride,” Gibbs said. “I've had the opportunity to work with some of the best people, ever." He's about to put that hat back on, raising money for one of those co-workers, whose young son has stage four cancer. "We have a fire captain here, Spencer Nolen, whose son, Morgan, is fighting Ganglion Neuroblastoma,” Gibbs said. “He's eight years old, and fighting for his life, undergoing chemo, radiation and stem cell work." Gibbs says it was God that inspired him to walk 15 miles a day in full turn out gear to raise money for Morgan through the Ignite the Spirit Greensboro fund. "I'm six feet tall, 235 pounds,” Gibbs said. “I'm not in the kind of shape to be doing this. I believe He's going to give me a supernatural opportunity to accomplish something in His name." Gibbs will begin his journey Wednesday morning at Fire Station No. 7 in Greensboro, and end up in Raleigh on Saturday evening.
TWC News - Triad

Carolina Beach Firefighters host annual Fill the Boot fundraiser this weekend    view comments tweat me share on facebook
Carolina Beach Firefighters and the Muscular Dystrophy Association will kick off the firefighter's annual Fill the Boot fundraising campaign September 5 from 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. Members of the Carolina Beach Fire Department will fan out along the intersection of Dow Road and Highway 421 to collect money that will go towards helping and improving the lives of people fighting muscle disease in the Carolina Beach area. “Firefighters in the Carolina Beach area do more for MDA and the families we serve than any other group, dedicating countless hours of their time every year participating in Fill the Boot drives and at MDA Summer Camp," MDA Senior Fundraising Coordinator, Liz Shirley said. "We're grateful for the support of these inspiring, selfless individuals who have made a profound impact on our families’ health, well being and quality of life,and we're excited to make this year’s Carolina Beach Fill the Boot campaign the most successful yet.” Money raised by this year's event will help support MDA's life-enhancing programs such as support groups and clinics. These funds will also make MDA summer camp possible so kids with muscle disease can enjoy "the best week of the year" at Camp Hanes in King, NC. Along with Fill the Boot events, contributions from charity baseball games and other local events hosted by the Firefighters help support MDA's efforts to raise awareness and educate the public about neuromuscular diseases.
WECT-TV Channel 6

Monday, August 31, 2015
Court injunction halts sale of Providence Volunteer Fire Department fire station   view comments tweat me share on facebook
Superior Court Judge David Lee issued a preliminary injunction Aug. 25 that prevents the town of Weddington from selling the Hemby Road fire station. The injunction states it will be in effect “pending further order of the Court or final determination of this action.” The station, built by PVFD in 1985 and occupied by the department until July 29, is a key part of a lawsuit Providence Volunteer Fire Department has filed against the town. The town purchased the station from PVFD in 2014 for $923,000 in renovations and an agreement to lease it to PVFD for $1 a year. At the time, Providence Volunteer Fire Department was one year into a 10-year fire service agreement with the town. In April, the Weddington town council voted to cancel its fire-service contract with PVFD, effective July 29. The volunteer fire department, which has served the Weddington area since 1954, argued that the cancellation was without cause and the town would have to pay a $750,000 penalty. Weddington Mayor Bill Deter argued that the department was not financially stable, which he said justified ending the contract. The town then entered a fire-service contract with Wesley Chapel Volunteer Fire Department, effective July 29, and voted to lease the Hemby Road station to them. PVFD filed a lawsuit against the town in June for breach of contract, and amended it in July to include claims of “fraud in the inducement” and “unfair and deceptive practices.” Lee’s decision on Aug. 25 allowed the amendment adding the “fraud in the inducement claim,” and denied the town’s motion to dismiss it. Deter said he was disappointed by the judge’s decision. “I’ve said before that the town doesn’t want to be in the fire business,” Deter said. “We’d like to sell the fire station.” Christopher Duggan attorney for PVFD said, “We’re obviously very pleased with the court’s decision, and hopefully will be able to return the station to its rightful owner.”
Charlotte Observer

Former Fairmont Rural fire chief accused of embezzlement   view comments tweat me share on facebook
The former chief of the Fairmont Rural Fire Department has been charged with embezzlement, the Robeson County Sheriff's Office said today. Charlie Ray Hunt, 50, whose address was not available, was arrested Tuesday, a Sheriff's Office release said. Hunt was the current vice president of the department's board of directors. However, the department's general membership voted him off at a business meeting Tuesday, the release said. Robeson County Fire Marshal Stephanie Chavis requested an investigation after discrepancies were found during the annual audit of the department's finances, the release said. "During the time the suspected embezzlement took place," the release said, "Hunt unlawfully, willfully and feloniously did use the Fairmont Rural Fire Department's debit card." Investigators did not say how much money Hunt is accused of taking nor when the alleged embezzlement happened. Additional charges are expected, the release said. Hunt's bail was not available.
Fayetteville Observer

’I don’t want to be treated any differently:’ Burlington employs female firefighter   view comments tweat me share on facebook
Accepted to Elon University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program and having spent a year in California working at a physical therapy office, Lindsey Glover was unsettled. Glover, now 25, had graduated from Appalachian State University with a degree in exercise science — having also become a certified EMT while in school — and was working as a trainer at Gold’s Gym when she met several firefighters from the Burlington Fire Department’s Station 4. They proposed a career path she hadn’t entertained. “They talked about how much they loved coming to work,” said Glover, originally from Kitty Hawk. “I couldn’t sit behind a desk all day.” After doing her own research and consulting with others — including her father, who had previously been a firefighter himself — Glover applied and was hired at the department earlier this year. Now assigned to Station 5 on Industry Drive, Glover is currently the only female firefighter with the department. “Going to rookie school, I fell in love with it,” Glover said of the mandatory 14-week training program for new firefighters. Though Glover said she received nothing but support from people she knew concerning her decision, firefighting likely wasn’t what anyone had pictured her doing. “It was something that surprised a lot of my family,” Glover said. This past week, Glover passed a required six-month exam administered by the department to keep her position. “Since I’m the only female, I didn’t want to be treated any differently,” Glover said. “They don’t.”
Burlington Times News

Greensboro fire chief fights house fire on last day before retirement   view comments tweat me share on facebook
A large house fire in Greensboro added some drama to Chief Skip Nix’s retirement party over the weekend. Nix spent Sunday with Engine 10, fighting a fire on Brambletye Drive in Sedgefield. He was spending his last day on duty surrounded by loved ones, including his son and two son-in-laws, when they were called to the fire. That’s when Nix decided to head out with his team to fight his last fire. During his retirement, Nix plans to do some leadership teaching and to write a devotional book.

Cary class teaches disaster-response skills   view comments tweat me share on facebook
In the midst of hurricane season, about two dozen people are spending this weekend learning how to prepare for and respond to a disaster. Hurricanes, tornadoes and winter storms were the focus of the class. The thought of hurricanes was at the forefront, as the class is happening while deadly Tropical Storm Erika was dissipating in the Caribbean and just days after the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Cary’s CERT, or Community Emergency Response Team, was formed in the aftermath of Katrina. The group’s president, Tom Hegele, was in the very first class. “I was in Mississippi a few weeks after Katrina,” said Hegele, who has worked with the U.S. Forestry Service and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. “And I kept thinking, ‘If only they had more CERT people here, it wouldn’t have been as bad.’” Graduates of this weekend’s CERT class will emerge with 20 hours of training in a program developed by FEMA. Training consists of basic first aid, emergency preparedness, using a fire extinguisher, understanding the psychology of disaster victims and even conducting triage – ranking the medical needs of people with injuries. A triage may seem like a scenario no civilian would ever have to help direct. But several participants said they were taking the class exactly because of situations like that. Teresa Lavoy, 63, said she wanted to make sure she could react if an emergency hit close to home. “I used to do some disaster management work with the Red Cross,” Lavoy said. “But that was years ago. It’s good to keep up and learn new skills.” Cary Fire Department Capt. Chris Hamlin was taking volunteers through drills Saturday with a medical dummy. “What do you do if there’s no heartbeat, and they aren’t breathing?” Hamlin asked. “Give them CPR,” guessed one class member. “No,” Hamlin said. “They’re dead. You go on to the next person. They’re dead, and there are still other people you need to get to.”
Raleigh News & Observer

Greensboro to hold 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb   view comments tweat me share on facebook
Each step is for a reason at the 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb. On Saturday, September 5, 2015, the City of Greensboro will hold its 5th annual 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb. The climb honors the 343 firefighters and 72 police officers who died at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. The climb includes walking the flights of stairs at the Bellemeade Deck nine times representing 73 flights of stairs. That’s the highest floor New York Fire Department firefighters reached on 9/11. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. with the climb at 9:00 a.m. on September 5. It’s a free event but you can donate to Ignite the Spirit Greensboro an organization that helps firefighters in need. You can also donate to the Kellin Foundation to help kids in domestic violence situations. T-shirts will be on sale for $10 and wristbands for $2. The climb has helped donate more than $12,000 to charities.
WFMY-TV CBS 2 Greensboro

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