North Carolina News

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

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Funeral arrangements made for fallen Orange Rural firefighter

Funeral arrangements for Deputy Chief Jeff Holden, the Orange County firefighter who died in the line of duty this week, were released Wednesday. Holden's service will be Saturday morning, Aug. 18 at New Horizon Church in Durham. Holden was one of two firefighters who entered a trench to free a construction worker who was trapped Monday. He was later found unresponsive at the main station on South Churton Street at about 1:30 p.m. News of his passing came shortly after.

Asheville firefighters extinguish large tire fire at recycling center

Firefighters worked for nearly two hours to put out a large tire fire at a recycling facility on the edge of Biltmore Village early Thursday morning. The call came in at about 4:30 a.m. A pile of tires, debris and brush had caught fire at the back of the Biltmore Iron and Metal Co., almost under the McDowell Street Bridge. "This was definitely a pretty large fire," said Asheville Fire Department spokeswoman Kelly Klope. "That's mainly because we couldn't get to it quickly enough to extinguish it right away." When firefighters arrived at the recycling company at about 4:45 a.m., she said, they couldn't get their trucks into the positions that they wanted because iron scraps and other debris were in the way. Firefighters positioned a fire engine on the McDowell Street Bridge to spray the flames from the air, while ground crews worked to hold the fire at bay and prevent it from spreading while they waited for a backhoe operator to arrive to clear the way for them to get closer to the blaze, Klope said.
Asheville Citizen Times

Wrightsville Beach Fire Department Testing Drones In Water Rescues

The Wrightsville Beach Fire Department is experimenting with drones to help lifeguards with water rescues. The department is testing equipment that allows drones to carry a lightweight inflatable buoy to swimmers who might be in distress, according to Wrightsville Beach firefighter Sam Proffitt. He said the drone can quickly fly a few hundred yards and drop the device. "It will inflate once it hits the water. They can grab it and they can either hold it or clip it to them, and then we still have the other end of the rope on the beach. We take that, wrap it around the hitch on the back of a truck, and slowly pull that person into shore," Proffitt said. The system is meant to assist lifeguards, not replace them, according to Proffitt. But drones could help law enforcement agencies in towns and cities where there are no lifeguards on duty.
NC Public Radio - WRQM (FM) 90.9 / WUNU (FM) 91.5

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