National News

Friday, June 15, 2018

Oklahoma Gas Line Fire Injures Firefighter, Gas Company Workers

It started with a hissing and then a pop. Four natural gas workers and a Tulsa firefighter were trying to turn off a ruptured gas line when it ignited. The fire burned the four Oklahoma Natural Gas employees and the firefighter. Tulsa Fire Capt. Stan May said the firefighter’s injuries were among the worst. The workers were taken by ambulance on “emergent” status — meaning their injuries were critical or life-threatening — to Hillcrest Medical Center, an EMSA spokesman said. May identified the firefighter as Capt. Greg Delozier, 54, late Thursday. Delozier, a Tulsa firefighter for 18 years, had been stabilized and moved from the emergency room to a hospital room Thursday evening, May said. Information about the ONG employees’ conditions was not available Thursday night.
Tulsa World

Keep your hands off FDNY EMTs or face seven-year hitch, new decals warn

Attack an EMT, and you could face serious prison time. That message will be affixed to every FDNY ambulance as part of a campaign by the department to warn would-be attackers that assaulting an EMT or paramedic is a felony. “FDNY EMTs and paramedics are protected by New York state law. Assault is a felony punishable by 7 years in prison,” reads a new decal, soon to be placed on every city ambulance. EMS Station 26 in the Bronx’s Morrisania neighborhood, where slain EMT Yadira Arroyo worked, will be the first to get the decals, FDNY officials said. A career criminal ran Arroyo down with her own ambulance on March 16, 2017.
New York Daily News

Roller coaster derails in Florida, throws 2 riders 34 feet to the ground; Firefighters extricate 10

VIDEO/PHOTO - Two people fell to the ground from 34 feet in the air, when a roller coaster derailed on the Daytona Beach Boardwalk, fire officials said Thursday night. The accident happened on the Sand Blaster roller coaster. In total, 10 riders were extricated from the ride and six of those people were taken to a hospital. Two were transported as trauma alerts to Halifax Health. The 10 riders were on board a chain of three cars, said Sasha Staton, of the Daytona Beach Fire Department. Two of those riders fell out of the front car, which was left dangling, officials said. Firefighters used ladders and tech rescue equipment to get to some of the passengers, Staton said.
WKMG-TV CBS 6 Click Orlando

North Carolina firefighters blame lawmaker for stalling bill that could provide live-saving benefits

Thousands of firefighters in our area put their lives on the line to protect us every day, but now those firefighters say their own well-being is on the line. Firefighters said a bill that could give them life-saving benefits is being blocked by a local senator in Raleigh. You might think firefighters get the same benefits as other people who work dangerous jobs, like police officers, when in fact they don't. When they retire, they're treated just like any other city employee. "We work the same calls with our brothers in law enforcement. The only difference is we have no gun to defend ourselves," said Joshua Smith, the spokesman for the Professional Firefighters of North Carolina. He and 150 firefighters stood shoulder to shoulder in Raleigh on Wednesday to ask lawmakers to give them the same benefits as police.
WSOC-TV ABC 9 Charlotte

IAFC Safety, Health & Survival Section Announces 2018 Award Recipients

The International Association of Fire Chiefs’ Safety, Health & Survival Section has announced the winners of its 2018 awards. The section awards recognize both organizations and individuals who have made a significant contribution to health and safety within their own organizations and the fire service. Every year, winners are selected by a committee appointed by the Safety, Health & Survival Section. The awards will be presented during the section’s general business meeting, to be held on Wednesday, August 8 at Fire-Rescue International in Dallas. “Based on this year’s nominations, especially the award recipients, it is very clear the safety message is not only being received, it’s changing the course of our profession,” said Lieutenant Steve Tullis, chairman of the Awards Selection Committee.
IAFC Safety, Health & Survival Section

New Jersey fire chief files lawsuit against city, mayor

Plainfield Fire Chief Frank Tidwell is suing the city, alleging city officials engaged in a conspiracy to force him into retirement. The lawsuit, which was filed in Union County Superior Court, names the City of Plainfield, Mayor Adrian Mapp, Public Safety Director Carl Riley, former Business Administrator Rick Smiley and Deputy Fire Chief Jeffrey Courtney, among other entities. Courtney, who is white, claimed he was discriminated against while working in the city's fire department and recently settled a lawsuit with the city for $450,000. Tidwell, however, claims it was all a part of an orchestrated conspiracy in order to make him retire early.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Ohio fire chief announces retirement

Toledo Fire and Rescue Department Chief Luis Santiago announced his retirement Wednesday, a proclamation met with declarations of admiration from city leaders, including the head of the union that only three years ago slammed the chief with an overwhelming no-confidence vote. Chief Santiago said he expects to remain in the position until his retirement, effective Aug. 3. “It has been a privilege leading this great department, which is full of talented and dedicated men and women,” Chief Santiago said in a letter to department members, which was provided to The Blade. “It is and was truly an honor serving as fire chief. I wish nothing but the best for the department and the city of Toledo.” Chief Santiago joined the Toledo Fire and Rescue Department in May, 1984. He was promoted to lieutenant in 1988, captain in 1993, battalion chief in 2000, and assistant chief in 2007.
Toledo Blade

‘Like dominoes’: Utah homes burn as wildfires menace U.S. West

A fast-moving brush fire destroyed eight homes in the Utah tourist town of Moab, while more than 3,000 people in Colorado and Wyoming fled multiple wildfires scorching the drought-stricken U.S. West on Wednesday. The blaze in Moab, known for its dramatic red rocks, started in a wooded area Tuesday night and quickly spread to homes over less than a square mile, police Chief Jim Winder said. Crews were extinguishing embers Wednesday. Moab residents Tim Clark and his girlfriend Tina Saunders grabbed their dogs, family photos and a laptop, evacuating with their home in flames. “Those houses just started going like dominoes,” Clark told the Salt Lake Tribune . “Bam! Bam! Bam! Bam!”

California Fire Department Goes Mini for Large Events

PHOTO - The UC Davis Fire Department has a new way to squeeze through campus crowds on its way to medical emergencies: a pint-sized ambulance. The six-wheeled, all-wheel-drive utility vehicle is roughly the size of a Mini Cooper but can carry EMTs and a patient on a full-sized cot through tight spaces or even off-road. The vehicle, a MedStat ASAP MS250, will be used mostly for large events, Fire Chief Nate Trauernicht said. “Many of the events on campus have thousands of people and we don't want to be driving large firetrucks and ambulances through big crowds of pedestrians and bicyclists,” he said.

Iowa Volunteer Firefighter Accused of Driving Fire Truck while Drunk Resigns

A Humboldt volunteer firefighter has resigned after being accused of driving a fire engine drunk. Police say Jeffery Feaster was charged with operating while under the influence on June 6th. His resignation will go into effect immediately. Officers say he was responding to a 911 call when police on scene said he smelled like alcohol and was slurring his speech. Feaster's blood alcohol content was twice the legal limit. There are no rules preventing firefighters from drinking before the start of their shift. The Iowa Firefighter's Association says both volunteer and paid firefighters are encouraged to not respond to a call if they are impaired for feel they won't be able to perform their duties.
WHO-TV NBC 13 Des Moines

The fire service mission: A standard of accountable performance

As fire service leaders, we’re faced with many questions. Do you know where you are going? More importantly, do your people know where you are taking them? How do you hold yourself and the organization accountable? Answering these questions reveals why understanding the mission is so important. You often hear leaders speak of their organization as a “mission first” department, but they are unable to define their own mission. Worse yet, their members are unable to define or even speak to the mission. The mission is often expressed in a long statement which is often designed to cover lofty goals and political priorities. The true mission for the fire service does not need to be a complex algorithm that addresses every specific community concern.

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