National News

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

’One of the toughest fires I’ve ever fought’: Massachusetts firefighters battle wind-fueled house blaze

VIDEO: Fire Chief Michael Williams has seen and fought his fair share of fires in his 34-year career in Brockton. But when it comes to 2 1/2-story homes, few fires rival the difficulty of the one battled late Monday night in the city. "This is one of the toughest fires I've ever fought in a 2 1/2-story home," Williams said at the scene. "It all relates back to that wind condition. We had a really hard time containing the fire and then extinguishing it. I can only attribute that to the wind conditions." With fire shooting through windows and the roof and winds whipping, firefighters battled a two-alarm blaze in a two-family home late Monday night and into early Tuesday morning. The Brockton Fire Department responded to a report of a house fire at 582-584 Crescent St. at about 10:55 p.m. The first firefighters on scene found smoke coming from the rear of the home. They then located fire at the back of the home, Williams said. The fire then quickly began shooting through second-floor windows of the home.
Enterprise News

Chicago mass honors victims, survivors and heroes of Our Lady of Angels fire 62 years later

An oversized, multicolored quilt, deemed the “Quilt of the Angels,” was draped over the altar at the Church of the Holy Family in Little Italy for Sunday’s 5 p.m. Mass. The names and ages of all 95 victims from the Our Lady of Angels School fire in 1958 are stitched on each patch. “It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” said Larry Furio, a survivor of the tragic blaze that resulted in stricter fire safety codes nationwide. Tuesday marks the 62nd anniversary of the Our Lady of Angels School fire that killed 92 elementary-school students and three nuns. On Sunday, about 50 people gathered for Mass at the Church of the Holy Family to remember the lives lost, the families of the victims, the survivors and the first responders. During the ceremony, Furio and his lifelong friend and fellow survivor, Frank Giglio, read off the names of each victim. Several people in the congregation wiped tears from their eyes while others bowed their heads.
Chicago Sun Times - Metered Site

USS Bonhomme Richard warship fire hero shares his story

In an exclusive interview with ABC10 News, a firefighter shared his heroic story of helping battle the massive fire that erupted aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard this past July. “It was a crazy situation,” said Deputy Fire Chief Robert Sepulveda with Navy Region Southwest Fire Emergency Services. “We [had] about 400-plus firefighters on-scene at the time,” he stated and added, “I was on the front lines with the firefighters and was directing the fire attack on the forward side of the ship at that time.” His first shift lasted for 30 hours. It took almost a week to knock it all down. “What I was feeling at that time was obviously fear and wanting to make sure that everyone was safe on-scene and make sure I had that command presence to be able to unify everybody,” he told ABC10 News. He has now received a civilian of the year award for his heroic actions.
KGTV ABC 10 San Diego

First responders? Long-term care patients? CDC committee considering who’s in group ’1a’ for COVID-19 vaccine

The committee that decides who gets the coronavirus vaccine first meets virtually Tuesday as officials prepare for distribution that could potentially come within two weeks. Look for discussion of two questions: Where should people in long-term care facilities be in the vaccine line and the power of states and governors to shift priorities for who gets immunized first. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is an independent group convened by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to offer advice on who should get specific vaccines and when. It typically deals with less time-sensitive questions such as what age people should get the shingles vaccine (50 and over) or whether adults need a whooping cough booster (under discussion.) When a pediatrician says, "It's time for the second polio immunization," it's based on ACIP recommendations.
USA Today

Defense Department Project Detects Change, Assesses Damage With Artificial Intelligence

In a project for the Defense Department’s Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), computer scientists have turned to artificial intelligence and aerial imagery to construct a detailed damage assessment solution. The tool can be used remotely and automatically to determine the amount of damage to buildings and structures from a natural disaster or catastrophe. The prototype, known as the xView II model, was tested this fall, with the goal of rolling out a more finalized operational version next year. “One of the biggest problems that faces our first responders today is building damage assessment,” Gupta shares. “Building damage assessment is actually a very critical task that happens early on in order to support the rest of the disaster response. But it is a very dangerous task. For example, with the wildfires in California, [they] pretty much have a 24- to 48-hour period to go in, figure out what buildings are damaged, how badly damaged they are, and where the damage occurred."
AFCEA Signal

Monday, November 30, 2020

’Never forgotten’: Missouri remembers 6 fallen firefighters that died in an explosion 32 years ago

Sunday marked 32 years since six Kansas City Missouri firefighters died in an explosion. The explosion happened at a construction site on Nov. 29, 1988. The crews were fighting a trailer fire. They were unaware the trailer had thousands of pounds of ammonium nitrate and fuel oil inside, and the firefighters were killed instantly. The fire that caused the explosion was deliberately set and was ruled arson. Five people were found guilty of setting the trailer on fire. And now six crosses at a memorial near East 87th Street and Blue River Road bear the names of Capt. Gerald Halloran, Capt. James Kilventon, and firefighters Thomas Fry, Luther Hurd, Robert McKarnin and Michael Oldham. KCFD tweeted about the explosion Sunday with photos of the firefighters and the hashtag "never forgotten."
KMBC-TV ABC 9 Kansas City

Mustached brotherhood at Oklahoma City Fire Department rooted in history, is a source of pride

No-Shave November is almost over, and emergency responders across the state will soon go back to a clean-shaven face. But for some Oklahoma firefighters, the mustache will be long-lived. The handlebar. The toothbrush. The pencil. The walrus. The horseshoe. Firefighters with mustaches is an iconic image spanning back decades. “Back in the '70s, I know there was a whole bunch of mustaches. And we see pictures of them, almost all of them have mustaches,” Oklahoma City Fire Department Capt. Witek Bycko said. And in 2020, dozens of Oklahoma City firefighters are donning lip whiskers. “We’re pretty proud of the mustaches that we have,” Bycko said. “The guys that we have here take care of them, clip them and put oils on them.” “I wash it like I would my hair in the morning in the shower – condition it, oil it, then wax it to finish it all off,” Oklahoma City Fire Department Corp. Kyle Parasich said.
KOCO-TV ABC 5 Oklahoma City

Retired New York firefighter on mission to honor fallen on West Coast

VIDEO: A retired New York firefighter who served on the frontlines during September 11, 2001 is on a mission to honor fallen firefighters. Frank Pizarro calls Las Vegas home, but served 22 years on the New York Fire Department. He is on mission to retrofit a fire engine to carry caskets of fallen firefighters on the West Coast. “On the east coast we had send offs for our firefighters and retired when they passed away. And they have full size fire engines that they retrofitted with a lift to carry caskets. Upon doing some research I noticed that the firefighters here don’t have that same option. I want to try to bring that service and honor to those fallen here,” Pizarro said. Pizarro was forced to retire because of several illnesses related to September 11th. He said this caisson will not only honor those that have fallen but will honor their families.
KVVU-TV FOX 5 Las Vegas

More than 4 million Americans contracted COVID-19 during the month of November

The U.S. will finish the month of November with more than 4 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, by far the most it has recorded in any month since the beginning of the pandemic. According to a database kept by Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. recorded 4.3 million new cases of COVID-19 throughout the month of November. That represents more than 30% of the 13.3 million cases recorded throughout the country since the virus reached the U.S. in February. Throughout November, the U.S. set 10 daily records for newly-reported COVID-19 cases. The peak came on Friday, when Johns Hopkins says the U.S. saw more than 205,000 new cases — though those numbers may have been skewed by the Thanksgiving holiday when some local governments chose not to report new info. The mountainous increase in cases has resulted in a frightening increase in hospitalizations and hospital resource use.
KMGH-TV ABC 7 Denver

Retired firefighter reunites with stranger who saved him from fiery crash in Florida

A grateful retired firefighter reunited with a stranger he says saved his life by getting him to safety after a fiery car crash in Florida. Retired fire lieutenant Richard Broccolo recalled the moment Aug. 23 he thought he was going to die after his car went off the roadway on Florida State Road 429. Family shared pictures showing the car upside down and mangled in trees. But Corey Purington, a stranger, heard the crash while working nearby and went to help. “I looked up and I said, ‘Hey, you listen to me. I need you to help me. If you don’t help me, I’m going to die,’” Broccolo said. As flames ripped through the car, Broccolo says Purington pulled him out just in time. “A lot of flames, the car was upside down. I just, I seen a hand, so I reached in and did what I could do,” Purington said. Broccolo faced a long recovery period, including more than a month in the hospital. He suffered burns to nearly a quarter of his body, a broken shoulder and several broken ribs.
WKMG-TV CBS 6 Orlando

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