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Thursday, July 30, 2015
Firefighter treated for injuries at fire near Burke Co. landfill    view comments tweat me share on facebook
(VIDEO) Crews in Morganton are working a fire at the Burke County landfill and a firefighter is being treated for injuries. The Chesterfield Fire Department was dispatched to the fire along Duckworth Drive. This is near the John’s River Waste Management Facility. WBTV has learned that brush used to make mulch is burning. Officials say the fire is about an acre wide, right now, with the pile being about 30-feet deep. The fire is expected to burn for a while. Crews said it could be one or two days before it burns to a level where putting water on it could make a difference. "Like a giant campfire," one official said. Chesterfield Fire Chief Harmon confirms one firefighter was transported to the hospital for heat exhaustion and says he is fine. Crews are working in shifts around the fire because of the intense heat. Officials are hoping for some rain but say even that won’t put it out right away. Firefighters have set up a perimeter around the fire so that it won't spread. Though no structures are nearby, crews are concerned about wooded areas and some power lines that are not far away. So far, the fire has been contained in a one-acre area.

Wilmington Professional Firefighters pushing for education incentive    view comments tweat me share on facebook
(VIDEO) Members of the Wilmington Professional Firefighters Association Local 129 are pushing for an education incentive for Wilmington firefighters. “We know that this isn’t our father’s fire service," WPFFA’s Scott Monroe explained. “They hold numerous certifications in EMT, hazardous materials, technical rescue, and now we have employees and the firemen who are going to get their higher education degrees in business, in fire science. We have guys with masters in public administration, and public administration leadership.” The fire officials say they met with the city manager and HR personnel in May to discuss the incentive for employees with Associate's degrees and Bachelor's degrees to receive extra pay. They say, however, their requests have fallen on deaf ears, and what's even more upsetting is that the Wilmington police officers have been receiving incentive pay for advanced degrees for years. Police officers receive $1,000 more for having an Associate's degree and $2,000 more for a Bachelor's. City leaders say the budget was done too long ago in May, to discuss any changes. “What is the cost? What would be the recurring cost? What would be the return on investment? What is the retention rate of the department? Are we able to attract qualified candidates? These are the reasons we looked at and instituted at the police department was to attract high quality candidates and to better retain them,” City Spokesperson Malissa Talbert explained. But union members said the city has not given them an opportunity to answer these questions. In fact, they also said retention for the department has been an issue. According to Derek Mickler of the Wilmington Professional Firefighters Assoc. Local 129, the Wilmington Fire Department has had 50 resignations in 10 years and 25 resignations in 5 years. “Just one person leaving this department is a huge hit to the city and to the citizens,” Mickler noted. Talbert said the rise of baby-boomers retiring is partly responsible for the resignations. Mickler also noted that the fire department has a fairly new policy in place that requires them to have an Associate’s degree to be a captain and a Bachelor’s degree to be a Battalion chief.
WSFX Fox Wilmington

New Hanover Co. emergency management combining technologies to better track resources    view comments tweat me share on facebook
(VIDEO) New Hanover County’s Emergency Management and 911 Communications department is integrating some of its mapping systems to better utilize resources. The department currently uses a Computer-aided Dispatch (CAD) map and a Emergency Operations Center (EOC) map. CAD is used daily to send public safety personnel to emergency situations throughout the county. The other system is used to track resources during a major event such as a tropical storm or hurricane, according to Charles Smith, the department’s public information officer. Smith said the EOC map currently doesn’t show active emergency calls. The department is trying to change that. “The integration of these two maps together will certainly enhance our situational awareness in the EOC,” explained Smith. He said the new system would put the emergency units and significant events on the same map. Smith referenced tropical storms and hurricanes as some events that would require the integrated system. “With a major event, it’s important to know what resources you have on-hand, the number of fire apparatuses or EMS units available. In a large event the integration of these two tools will assist us in knowing what we have at-hand,” said Smith. He said the system is still being evaluated by New Hanover County and its public safety partners in the region.
WSFX Fox Wilmington

Remaining ember sparks flames at New Hanover County metal recycling plant    view comments tweat me share on facebook
(VIDEO) Emergency crews were called to respond to a fire at OmniSource Corporation, a metal recycling center off US-421, around 5:15 Thursday morning. Deputy Fire Marshal Ray Griswold said the company crushes cars and separates metals and non-metals into different piles. Thursday's fire started in one of the non-metal piles. Investigators believe a remaining ember from a fire at the facility Wednesday caused the 120 foot pile of plastic to catch fire. Griswold explained that fires at OmniSource Corporation are not uncommon. The deputy fire marshal said the facility had turned their fire pump off for maintenance after the fire Wednesday and forgot to turn it back on, which initially caused an issue for firefighters Thursday while they were trying to contain the flames. They eventually turned the pump back on after realizing it had been shut off, and crews were able to contain the fire within 30 minutes. Griswold plans to educate OmniSource officials about the dangers of turning of the pump to prevent a similar issue in the future. There are no reports of any injuries or damage to any equipment.
WSFX-TV Fox Wilmington

Lincoln County workers evacuated after carbon monoxide scare    view comments tweat me share on facebook
County workers were evacuated after a carbon monoxide scare necessitated testing within the facility of Transportation Lincoln County (TLC) at 1323 Gaston Street in Lincolnton. The call was made to emergency crews after concern over carbon monoxide levels in the facility were brought by county workers. The facility is shared with Mohican Mills, which has used its space for storage. The company closed its textile facility in the spring and was using multiple forklifts in the company’s designated storage area, which, according to officials from the Lincolnton Fire Department, caused the elevated carbon monoxide levels. Lincoln County employees of TLC and Mohican Mills workers were evacuated from the building before noon on Wednesday. The Lincolnton Fire Department responded to the call and was backed up with firefighters from the Boger City Fire Department. Lincoln County EMS was on site to evaluate the condition of the evacuated employees, who returned to work after two hours. Firefighters worked to ventilate the building to bring levels back down to acceptable readings. “We never found levels that put anyone in immediate danger,” Lincolnton Fire Chief Ryan Heavner said. “But the levels were certainly elevated.” According to Heavner, TLC installed carbon monoxide detectors in its offices within the building and a meeting was held with Mohican Mills representatives to facilitate better ventilation while crews are working within the structure. “We will be back to monitor those levels again,” Heavner said. “All parties involved are working together for overall safety.”
Lincoln Times-News

Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Providence Volunteer Fire Department to close after 61 years of service   view comments tweat me share on facebook
(VIDEO) After more than 60 years of service, Providence Volunteer Fire Department (PVFD) is in its last day of operation. On the last night, neighbors showed up to take pictures in front of the firehouse. "I think it's a shame," neighbor Jerry Perryman said. Earlier this year, Weddington residents learned their fire department was set to shut down. The majority of the Weddington town council members voted in favor of ending their contract with the Providence Volunteer Fire Department. The station and its services will be handed over to neighboring Wesley Chapel's Volunteer Fire Department. That department is about six miles further away from Providence Volunteer Fire Department. The mayor claims the roughly 10,000 people PVFD served, should not see a difference in service. "That is a tall order to try to fill," Perryman said. "I know what we've got now." Mayor Bill Deter told WBTV the decision to hand over the fire service reigns to Wesley Chapel boils down to Providence's financial instability and an annual savings of $225,000 for the town. Tuesday, Providence Fire Chief, Kenny Schott told WBTV the fight for this station is not over. Providence Volunteer Fire Department has sued the town of Weddington for breaking contract. While firefighters have to vacate the station and Providence officially stops providing services at midnight, Schott said he is hopeful that his department will return to full service. "We are temporarily without a home right now but we are not shutting down," Schott said. "All the equipment and everything is still ours and we are hoping that, very soon, we will be able to get back into our station and our home." Providence has had a state insurance rating of four out of nine. One is the best. Wesley Chapel is rated a six, which has residents worried their insurance rates will rise.

Charlotte crews rescue man who fell down 8 ft hole   view comments tweat me share on facebook
(VIDEO) One person was transported to the hospital with serious injuries after falling into a deep hole in the University area Wednesday morning. Emergency crews were called to the 200 block of Clark Boulevard off N. Tryon Street around 7:15 a.m. Charlotte firefighters performed a confined rescue to reach the victim. NBC Charlotte obtained cell phone video of the man. A witness asks the man if he can breathe and tells him to "hang tight. The fire department's here. They're pulling up right now." Crews at the scene tell NBC Charlotte the man fell nearly eight feet. Neighbors say they are frustrated that "someone would be irresponsible enough not to cover up a hole like that." There were five uncovered holes on Clarke Boulevard that Charlotte firefighters covered with barrels after the incident, according to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. The victim was transported to Carolinas Medical Center with potentially life threatening injuries.
WCNC-TV NBC 6 Charlotte

Brunswick Co. tests responders’ skills with training exercise at Sunny Point   view comments tweat me share on facebook
(VIDEO) Emergency crews in Brunswick County tested their skills in a full-scale hazardous materials exercise Tuesday. The training started at 7 p.m. on the access road into Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point just outside of Southport. Officials have released few details about what the exercise ultimately covered, but they have said it was a multi-jurisdictional effort to test responder’s ability to correctly identify and handle a large-scale incident with a potential to affect a substantial geographical area of the county. The scene consisted of large props and the responders ranged from firefighters, EMS workers and hazardous materials technicians all fully dressed out, according to Brunswick County Fire Marshall Scott Garner.
WBTV-TV Channel 3

More than 80 firefighters respond to large barn fire in Iredell County   view comments tweat me share on facebook
(VIDEO & PHOTOS)More than 80 firefighters from multiple agencies responded Tuesday night to a barn fire in western Iredell County. The fire broke out just before 9 p.m. at a barn on the 200 block of Caleb Lane in Stony Point, near the Iredell and Alexander County line. WBTV was at the scene where large flames could be seen coming from the structure as firefighters fought to keep it under control. Officials say between 80 and 100 firefighters responded to the large blaze, which is on a family owned farm. Firefighters say the barn, which had farming equipment and other items inside, was a total loss. Investigators have not said what may have caused the fire, but they told WBTV that no injuries - human or animal - were reported.
WBTV-TV Channel 3

Follow-up: SBI says burned body found on Locust farm was Concord woman   view comments tweat me share on facebook
State investigators say the body found stabbed and burned near an abandoned Locust farmhouse Friday was a 40-year-old Concord woman. On Friday night, an off-duty firefighter saw or smelled smoke in the area of 8300 N.C. 200 and “went to see what it was,” State Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Tony Underwood said. He found the body of Donna Marie Perez-Helms, of Buckboard Drive, Concord, in an outside area near an abandoned farmhouse on the property, which is in the City of Locust just inside the Cabarrus County line. Helms-Perez had been stabbed, and someone had attempted to burn her body, Underwood said. Investigators don’t know yet whether the burning took place before or after death. “That would be something for the medical examiner to really determine,” he said. Underwood said SBI agents don’t have a motive for the homicide, but they have suspects. “We do have persons of interest that we are trying to eliminate,” he said. “At this point we are making progress with the investigation but we are not quite to the point of making an arrest.” Several media reports have connected the homicide with an attempted suicide in a Concord parking lot Friday night. “It is being investigated but it’s premature to conclude that that situation is connected to this,” Underwood said. The case is not related in any way to a dismembered body found in the woods near Stallings Road in Union County, he said.
Concord & Kannapolis Independent Tribune

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