National News

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Georgia firefighter-EMT dies after search and rescue drill

A firefighter-EMT died March 30 of cardiac arrest after conducting search and rescue drills in full gear. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, Decatur County Fire Rescue firefighter-EMT Adam Taylor, 30, went home late into his shift after complaining of chest pains he thought were due to a pulled muscle. Taylor went into cardiac arrest shortly after returning home. He was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Taylor became a member of the department in 2012, according to WCTV. He began his fire career in 2007 with the Sylvester Fire Department.

Los Angeles House Fire Turns Into Active Shooter Situation

Firefighters responding to a house fire in the Harbor Gateway area had to drop their gear and find cover after hearing gunshots ring out Monday morning. Firefighters were on the scene of a fire on 154th Street near Orchard just before 5 a.m. in response to a structure fire. After they put out the fire at the two-story home, five to six gunshots rang out, forcing firefighters to drop their equipment and take cover. Police say a 16-year-old girl is dead. The suspect was rolled out on a gurney at about 6:30 a.m., with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. A large contingent of LAPD officers in protective gear responded to the home, and were seen using the fire truck as a shield. The scene was called an active shooter situation, and the LAPD was put on citywide tactical alert.
KCAL-TV Los Angeles

As Illinois city hires 1st female firefighter, women still fight for equality: ’We’re assumed incompetent’

The Oval Office notwithstanding, there are very few workplaces left in the United States where women have not gained entry. But in one of the last places in the workforce where a virtual male monopoly endures — fire stations — it’s still possible in 2018 for departments to hire their first female firefighters. Such is the case in Joliet, which announced this month it took on its first female recruit in its 165-year history. Though many departments started hiring women decades ago, some still have only one woman firefighter and some have none. Nationwide, only about 4 percent of firefighters are women, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, even as that figure has risen to about 14 percent in police work and the military. Even traditionally male occupations like farming and construction management have higher percentages of women than firefighting.
Chicago Tribune

Inferno Engulfs Row of Stores in the Bronx, Sends Plume of Smoke Over NYC

A raging inferno engulfed several businesses in the Bronx early Tuesday, sending a black plume of smoke into the air as ferocious flames licked the gear of hundreds of firefighters working to put them out. The FDNY says the four-alarm fire broke out around 5:30 a.m. at 316 E. 194th Street, near Marion Avenue, in Fordham. About 250 firefighters and EMTs responded, authorities said. At least one of the multiple stores that caught fire was totally destroyed by the blaze, which still was not under control three hours after it broke out. The FDNY told News 4 at the scene that nobody was inside any of the burning stores.

Ohio officer gives firefighter a "Sorry I tased you!" cake

PHOTO - A Hamilton Township police officer accidentally shocked a firefighter with her Taser while trying to get a patient under control. So, she apologized with a cake, according to the department's Facebook page. Officer Darcy Workman was helping the fire department on an EMS call last week. When they got to the hospital the patient became unruly. When Officer Workman deployed her Taser she accidentally got firefighter Rickey Wagoner. On Saturday, she presented Wagoner with the cake to apologize.
WKRC-TV CBS 12 Cincinnati

Colorado fire chief responds to rumored criticism on 117 Fire

The fire and fury caused by the 117 Fire was so destructive Tuesday, incident command directed firefighters not to fight the flames at first. The lack of initial response, though, was not unwarranted. Rather, the weather produced extreme fire behavior — a massive hazard for firefighters, who instead focused on evacuating families and livestock in harm's way. "We had 50-foot flames moving at 35 miles an hour," El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder said in a press conference Wednesday. Conditions were just right for the 117 Fire to sprint across the plains last week, burning 35 miles in just two hours and destroying 23 structures. It could have been much worse.
KOAA-TV NBC 5 & 30 Colorado Springs

Monday, April 23, 2018

New York mayor says he’ll keep fighting ‘good fight’ in fire department dispute

After a series of stinging defeats regarding the Watertown Fire Department, Mayor Joseph M. Butler Jr. insists he’s not going to back down. “It’s frustrating to see,” he said. “But I’m dedicated to fight the good fight I’ve been fighting. I can sleep at night knowing that I’ve been trying to do what I think is right for the taxpayers.” Last Monday, Mayor Butler opposed applying for a federal three-year grant that could lead to hiring four additional firefighters. In March, he proposed hiring a Washington, D.C., consultant to complete a study on the operations of the fire department. As a cost-saving measure, he also wanted to expand a policy prohibiting firefighters from getting called into work not only if their colleagues are sick but also when they’re on vacation, have scheduled time off or for bereavement.
Watertown Daily Times

West Virginia fire chief named one of TIME’s top 100 influential people

Huntington Fire Chief Jan Rader is being recognized on a national scale once again for her devotion to helping people. Now, she has been named one of TIME Magazine's Top 100 Influential People of 2018. In a statement to WSAZ reacting to the news, Rader was humble. "I am honored," Rader said. "I think that this is a result of the community coming together to work diligently on a difficult social issue." Rader has been a dedicated leader on the front lines of the opioid crisis. In 2017, she was sworn in as the first female fire chief in West Virginia history. Continually raising awareness about the drug epidemic and what is being done to fight it, Rader attended President Donald Trump's State of the Union address in Washington this year as U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin's guest.

4 adults and 2 children killed in Tennessee house fire

Four adults and two children were killed Sunday morning in a house fire that Alcoa Fire Department Chief Roger Robinson called the worst tragedy he's seen in his 39-year career. Twenty-nine firefighters responded to the single-story home at 885 N. Wright Road after someone called E-911 to report the blaze at 5:24 a.m. Crews began battling "heavy fire conditions," and within five to eight minutes, the flames "were brought under control enough to do search and rescue," Robinson said at a news conference on Sunday afternoon. Firefighters found two people dead inside the home. They rescued another four people from the burning house, Robinson said. Alcoa police officers joined emergency medical service workers in performing CPR on the victims.
Knoxville News-Sentinel

California supervisors to contemplate $14 million "payday" loan to fire department

On Tuesday the Kern County Board of Supervisors will give the Kern County Fire Department a $14 million dollar payday loan. Fire Chief Brian Marshall said he has more than $15 million in reimbursement money that hasn’t been paid by state and federal fire agencies to Kern County for staff and equipment used last year to fight fires and natural disasters. And until he gets that money he’s in a financial pickle. “I’m at the end of the year and I haven’t got the money that’s owed to me and I don’t have the money to make payroll,” Marshall said. All those firefighters have to get paid. So the loan is needed to get the fire department through the rest of the fiscal year, which ends June 30.

Statue unveiled honoring Granite Mountain Hotshots who died in Arizona wildfire

A life-sized statue was unveiled Saturday honoring 19 members of a firefighting team known as the Granite Mountain Hotshots who died in a 2013 Arizona wildfire. The statue was dedicated at a state memorial park established where all but one member of the team died in a canyon in mountains near Yarnell on June 30, 2013. Matt Glenn of Provo, Utah-based Big Statues said the "Returning the Favor" television show hosted by Mike Rowe commissioned his team to make the bronze sculpture for the Wildland Firefighter Guardian Institute. The institute, founded by survivors of two of the Hotshots, will formally turn over the 6-foot, 2-inch statue to the state during a May ceremony at the park located 66 miles (106 kilometers) northwest of Phoenix. "They're calling this a `soft unveil'," Glass said of the Saturday event.

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