National News

Monday, October 19, 2020

VIDEO: Strong Winds Fuel House Fire In Chicago Suburbs

Damaging winds caused significant damage around the Chicago area Saturday night, and strong winds may have even sparked a fire in the northwest suburbs. Multiple fire departments responded to the massive house fire on Burning Tree Circle in McHenry. McHenry police say the house was fully engulfed when crews arrived. Firefighters battled the intense flames from the ground and eventually got everything under control. Police say high winds added to the power of the fire, but it’s not clear if that was the sole cause. An investigation into the cause of the fire is underway. The homeowner, who was home at the time, was not injured. The house is considered a total loss, police said.
WBBM-TV CBS 2 Chicago

Houston firefighter shot with pellet gun, fire truck windows broken during call

A Houston firefighter was injured while responding to a burning storage unit but not by heat or flames. Investigators said a woman shot him with a pellet gun. Houston Fire Department Engine 82 was at a storage facility about 11:30 a.m. Friday in the 12400 block of Fondren Road. They were able to extinguish the fire using a pump can. At some point, the fire department said a crew member was shot in the back. He was taken to the hospital for a check-up and then returned to work. They said one of two people, who were inside the storage unit when firefighters arrive at the scene, broke the windows of Engine 82. Houston police are investigating the incident, HFD officials said.
KHOU-TV CBS 11 Houston

Volunteer Fire Department In Pennsylvania Receives New Underwater Drone For Rescue Efforts

VIDEO: A new device for the Crescent Township Fire Department will help to search and rescue as well as search and recovery efforts go quicker. It’s a drone for underwater. The fire department will be one of the first in our area to have a remote operating vehicle like this for the water. “Just about anything underwater and you want to see if you can find it,” Crescent Township Volunteer Fire Department President John Kriger said. Before they would have to use sonar on boats and send in divers to check it out. Divers can only last about 20 or so minutes depending on the conditions. “We can be in the cold water with this and then when we find our object, we can send our diver down. It limits his time in the cold water,” Kriger said. The drone can last up to 3 hours in the water, and pinpoint where the divers need to go. This makes it so divers have to spend less time in the water. It has sonar, a camera, a claw, and is controlled by what almost looks like a video game controller on a boat.
KDKA-TV CBS 2 Pittsburgh

Connecticut firefighters’ post about stolen flag goes viral

On Friday afternoon, someone stole a flag, designed to honor fallen firefighters, from a Middletown fire engine. By Saturday night, thousands of people across the state and across the country knew about the theft, thanks to a deftly written and slightly sarcastic Facebook post by the firefighters' union. The post, from "the men and women of Middletown Professional Firefighters Local 1073" discusses their call for an oven fire on High Street, on the Wesleyan University campus, and says, "something is bugging us." "We’re not sure why, but you must have really admired the sweet thin red line flag on Engine 2, because you climbed up on the tailboard and cut it off and stole it.... We have to assume you really liked the flag, or maybe you thought it might be funny or cool, you know, something for the ‘Gram or the Tik Tok. We’re a little worried that you might have cut it down to “fight oppression” or whatever. If that was your motivator, you clearly don’t understand the meaning behind the thin red line."
WTIC-TV Fox 61 Hartford

Photo Gallery: Remembering the 23rd Street Fire that killed 12 firefighters in New York

On Oct. 17, 1966, 12 firefighters were killed in what was the deadliest day for the New York City Fire Department until the 9/11 terror attacks. Two chiefs, two lieutenants, and eight firefighters lost their lives as they tried to battle a fire at 22nd Street by entering a building on 23rd Street before it collapsed.
New York Daily News - Metered Site

Friday, October 16, 2020

13 Injured, With 7 Hospitalized After Florida Boat Explosion, Fire

VIDEO: Seven people were taken to the hospital after a boat explosion and fire on the south fork of the New River early Thursday afternoon. One of those patients had to be airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial’s burn unit with burns to over 40 percent of the body. Chopper 4 over the burning boat spotted firefighters shooting a stream of water at it from shore as it drifted near a sea wall at 2001 SW 20th Street. The burning boat was just north of the Lauderdale Marine Center. Thick black plumes of smoke billowed into the sky. Those flames shocked people who live nearby. “They were just shooting up into the air with a lot of black smoke. It would go then it would stop then it would just go again,” said Antoinette Coffer. Another neighbor, who did not want to show his face, captured video of the boat on fire. He said he heard explosions while he was inside his home.

South Dakota first responder uses creative skills to make unique flag honoring fallen firefighters

VIDEO: One first responder in North Sioux City, South Dakota is using his creative skills to give back to his brothers and sisters in the department. Firefighter and emergency medical crew member Joe Pham got inspired to create his own Thin Red Line flag to hang inside the North Sioux City Fire Department. It's made out of old fire hoses, which he said he painted by hand and strung together, to create the black and white American flag with one red stripe. Pham says the red line represents many of his brothers and sisters. "It represents injured firefighters and line of duty deaths as well. I just wanted to make something, I had that gut feeling that I wanted to make something for the station, something more decorative for around here that shows respect," said Pham. Pham says the flag took about four days and around eight hours each day to make. But he said he did get some help from his fellow first responders with some of the flag-making process.
KTIV-TV NBC/CW+ 4 Sioux City

How technology is unlocking the future of firefighting and public safety

When you think about how technology is enabling remote government work, what comes to mind? Online city council meetings, or enhanced portals for renewing your driver’s license or paying taxes? What about firefighting? While most emergency responders cannot work fully remote due to the nature of their job, they can access the same benefits of unified collaboration tools to quickly connect with stations and seamlessly communicate with other first responders. Implementing this technology not only slows the spread of COVID-19 and decreases the amount of time required to hold meetings across teams, stations and departments, it also provides real-time situational awareness for intelligent and efficient fire management and fighting – all through a safe and secure platform. We’ve all been relying on technology to conduct various forms of remote working.
American City and County

11-Year-Old New Jersey Girl Shows Support For Frontline Workers

An 11-year-old girl from Morris Township is showing just how far one small act of kindness can go. It all started as a service project through Callie Danysh's Cub Scouts, a project to honor a local hero. But with the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the assignment was put on hold. That's when "Flags of Gratitude" was born. "I though to myself why honor one hero when I can honor all of them," Callie said. Flags of Gratitude was a way to say thank you to all of the health care workers and first responders working to keep the community safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “It makes me feel really good, because I enjoy spreading kindness to people, and it makes me feel like I really appreciate them," Callie said. Callie has designed, decorated and hand-delivered nearly 2,000 flags to people in the community since March. The flags, all unique, include pictures and handwritten notes signed by Callie.
New Jersey News Network

NTSB Study: In Case of Electric-Car Fire, Half of Fire Departments Are Unprepared

The National Transportation Safety Board says the U.S. is woefully unprepared to deal with EV fires, which require different strategies than gasoline vehicle fires. 31 percent of fire departments don't train for EV fires, and half say they don't have special protocols in place to deal with EVs after a crash, the agency's report found. Note the caveats, though. There are more than 29,000 fire departments in the U.S. This survey only asked for information from 32 of them. If you have been reading Car and Driver for a while, there's a decent chance you remember the news when a Tesla Model S caught fire in 2013. Or that the NTSB was investigating Tesla fires in 2019. Or when a Porsche Taycan went up in flames earlier this year. You might remember those things, because electric-vehicle fires make headlines.
Car and Driver

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