National News

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

VIDEO: Massive 4-alarm fire destroys auto auction building in New Jersey

Firefighters were dousing hot spots early Wednesday morning after a four-alarm fire destroyed an auto sales and repair building in Pennsauken, New Jersey. The cleanup effort could delay the morning commute for drivers heading from South Jersey into Philadelphia due to road closures on Route 130/South Crescent Boulevard. Southbound lanes of Route 130 remain closed near the scene. Northbound lanes of Route 130 have reopened to traffic. The initial call came in around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday for a raging fire at the US Auto Auction building located on the 6600 block of South Crescent Boulevard. according to Pennsauken Fire Chief Joseph Palumbo. Chopper 6 was overhead as firefighters worked to contain the inferno. A huge ball of fire shot into the air, producing small explosions inside the building. Officials say at least three businesses worked out of the now-ravaged warehouse.
WPVI-TV ABC 6 Philadelphia

New Research Suggests 911 Call Centers Lack Resources to Handle Behavioral Health Crises

Every year, millions of 911 calls involve a person experiencing an emergency related to a mental health or substance use disorder—situations often referred to as behavioral health crises. How these calls are handled can determine whether the incident ends safely, the person in crisis is arrested, or the person is connected to appropriate care. The call-takers and dispatchers answering these emergency calls make critical assessments of the health and safety of those involved in each call, decide whether help is needed, and, if it is, determine whether it should be led by law enforcement officers, emergency medical services, or more specialized field responses (if available). The important role 911 plays in behavioral health emergencies has drawn increased national attention in recent years, with new ideas emerging on how call centers and emergency responses can be more effective.
The PEW Charitable Trusts

17-year-old in Texas invents robot ‘twice as powerful as a firefighter’

VIDEO: It’s the most dangerous part of being a firefighter: entering a burning structure blind to look for victims. What if a robot could go in first? As these first responders search for people who might be inside the flames, dangers like toxic gases pose life-threatening hazards. Additionally, burning buildings may be unstable and could collapse on those inside at any moment. After hearing about a local firefighter’s death, 17-year-old Siddharth Thakur, a University of Texas engineering student, invented what he hopes to be a solution. It’s called the Firebot: a fire-resistant, radio-enhanced intelligence-gathering robot. He brought his initial idea of a firefighting robot to his advisor Roland Fields, a supervisor at the the Fabrication and Innovation lab at Houston Community College. Fields says he thought it was a novel idea.
KXAN-TV NBC 36 Austin

Buyback program in Colorado offers alternative to cancer-causing firefighting foam

For years, fire departments have been using a foam laced with toxic chemicals to fight large, fuel-based fires – a new program in Colorado allows fire departments to swap out their original foam with a safer alternative. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has linked cancer and other medical conditions to the chemicals, known as PFAS, in the firefighting foam and are considered "forever chemicals" that are extremely hard to remove from the environment and the human body once they are introduced. PFAS are also known to enter drinking water supply after seeping through the ground, jeopardizing drinking water for entire towns. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) recently began the firefighting foam buyback program called the "Takeback" program – where Colorado fire departments can take unused firefighting foam containing PFAS out of service and safely store it until there is a safe disposal method.
KUSA-TV NBC 9 Denver

Firefighter says Florida law helps him in fight with rare cancer

31-year-old Clay Geiger of Lakeland understands the risks of a firefighter but he never imagined a rare cancer would put his life on the brink and a state law would help him pay for the medical treatments to fight it. “I didn’t have to worry about bills and mortgage and everything like that,” he said,”I was able to just focus on treatment and getting through it.” The combination of chemotherapy and radiation during the first 6- weeks of Geiger’s cancer treatment left him 25 pounds lighter than when he started the journey 6-months ago. “It’s like you’re going through survival mode where you’re just trying to continue to the next day, " he told News 6, “It was very tough.” Geiger was diagnosed with NK-T cell lymphoma, a rare and aggressive form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
WKMG-TV CBS 6 Orlando

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Hay Fire In Colorado Consumes Haunted House

VIDEO: Parker residents were warned to expect smoky conditions for several hours Monday morning while firefighters and equipment operators work to extinguish a blaze near Twenty Mile Road and South Parker Road. The fire started in hay bales at 11321 Dransfeldt Road. South Metro first sent out a Twitter message about the department’s initial response to the fire at 1:31 a.m. Not quite 45 minutes later, South Metro’s follow-up message stated the fire “would continue to burn for an extended period of time.” There are no evacuations necessary, the fire is contained, and no one has been injured, the department added. But gusty winds have complicated the already difficult task of extinguishing the hay fire. A haunted house was destroyed. Fire trucks called tenders are shuttling water to the area. Twenty Mile Road is currently closed as part of this operation.
KCNC-TV CBS 4 Denver

Firefighters burn down houses in Las Vegas, courtesy of developers

VIDEO: If you’re a developer, what’s one way to get rid of some houses to clear space for a new project? Let ’em burn. Having bought nearly $17 million worth of real estate in the southern Las Vegas Valley, Richmond American Homes donated houses to the Clark County Fire Department for training. One Friday afternoon last month, after fire crews trained in a house over the course of three days, they stripped the drywall, went outside and watched as the one-story house went up in flames. The so-called live-fire training, off Valley View Boulevard and Cactus Avenue, offered a glimpse into a seemingly little-known slice of Las Vegas’ housing market: Instead of demolishing homes, builders sometimes give them to firefighters to burn to the ground. Southern Nevada homebuilders frequently buy project sites that are empty tracts of land, with no structures to demolish.
Las Vegas Review Journal - Metered Site

Beeville Volunteer Fire Department one of first in Texas to implement state-of-the-art Lunar device

PHOTOS: When the Beeville Volunteer Fire Department received its latest piece of firefighting technology, it took Assistant Chief Kirk Delgado just four words to sum up what it would do for the department. “This will save lives,” Delgado quipped, describing the MSA Lunar, an advanced thermal imaging and search-and-rescue device manufactured by MSA Safety. The Lunar is a handheld wireless image device that can detect heat signatures as well as the edges of doors and windows. Edge detection, according to the device’s description from MSA, is a “thermal palette exclusive to Lunar, which accentuates areas of temperature difference with bright green highlight over a white-hot overlay.” It’s not the department’s first wireless thermal imaging device, but it is about half the size of the department’s current device, making it much easier for firefighters to carry with them while battling a blaze.
Beeville Bee-Picauyune

After nearly a century, Illinois fire station closes

VIDEO/PHOTOS: Decatur’s oldest working fire station took its last call on Monday. The doors of Fire Station 3, the small fire station at the entrance of Fairview Park, closed as the firefighters and their equipment were moved around the corner to the new Fire Station 6 in Fairview Plaza. Capt. Paige Griffy has answered emergency calls from the old brick building for nearly eight years. “I’m in charge of this house on this day,” he said. “There’s three shifts and there’s a captain on the other two shifts. We just keep rotating.” The building is nearly 100 years old, with additions being made throughout the years. According to Griffy, the location was ideal for the neighborhoods, which includes Millikin University and Fairview Park. “That doesn’t happen very often,” he said. “Usually you have to compromise somewhere.”
Herald & Review

WHO Releases First Official Long COVID Definition

Although most COVID-19 patients recover after their initial infection, about 10% to 20% experience new, returning, or lingering symptoms for weeks or months. Over the past year this condition has been called many names, including “long COVID” and “chronic COVID-19 syndrome.” But until now, there was a lack of an official clinical definition that detailed the time of onset, duration, and types of symptoms. For over a year, medical professionals and researchers have struggled to diagnose patients and provide them with the right care. To address the challenges brought by the absence of globally standardized terminology for the long-term effects of the condition, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently published an official definition.
Very Well Health

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