National News

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

VIDEO: Huge explosion erupts after 18-wheeler hits fuel train in Texas

An 18-wheel truck hit a train carrying chemicals and fuels in Cameron, Texas, early Tuesday, causing a huge explosion and starting a fire that is expected to burn for several days. The Milam County town of 5,400, about 72 miles northeast of Austin, was rocked by the boom around 6:45 a.m., according to Cameron Sheriff Chris White. White said the driver of an 18-wheel flatbed truck lost control of his vehicle, was unable to stop, swerved around a parked vehicle and into a rail crossing, where his truck struck a passing BNSF train. "Nobody was injured or killed," White said. A barn burned to the ground, and several nearby houses were evacuated, but most people have returned to their homes. The first 11 cars of the train were filled with gasoline, coal and petroleum products, causing the initial explosion and fueling a fire that was still burning Tuesday evening, White said.
NBC News

Orlando Fire Department opens new fire station designed to promote diversity

The city of Orlando opened a brand-new fire station in the Rosemont community on Monday. Station 9, known as “Outpost Nine,” is the new home to 30 firefighters on Center Loop off of Shader Road. The 12,000-foot building has private bunk rooms and restrooms for crews and it even includes a secure room for female firefighters. “We have a room here where a female is nursing at the time, you go in and do her lactation in privacy and not have to worry about anyone looking at her or anything in that nature. We have a refrigerator in there as well,” Chief Benjamin Barksdale said. Fire Chief Benjamin Barksdale said the fire station was designed to promote diversity within the fire department as part of the “Inclusivity and Equity Action Plan.” The plan came after the department was sued by the assistant fire chief for discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace which led to the resignation of former Chief Roderick Williams in 2019.
WKMG-TV CBS 6 Orlando

Illinois community honors three firefighters killed in 1973 Ben Franklin fire

It's been 48 years since three volunteer firefighters lost their lives battling a blaze in a downtown Palatine store, but the tragedy still resonates with the community and weighs heavy on its first responders. And so firefighters, village leaders, community members and family of the fallen gathered Tuesday morning at the Palatine Firefighters Memorial to pay tribute to volunteer firefighters Warren "Auggie" Ahlgrim, 32, John Wilson, 40, and Richard Freeman, 25, and honor their ultimate sacrifice. The three volunteers died Feb. 23, 1973, while fighting a fire in the basement of the Ben Franklin store at 36 N. Broadway St. Wilson, who owned the store, believed the furnace was the source of the fire and led Freeman and Ahlgrim through the long, narrow structure to a set of interior stairs that would take them to the basement. Each was equipped with an air pack that was expected to last 10 to 20 minutes.
Daily Herald - Metered Site

Missouri firefighter’s artwork now on display at Black Archives of Mid-America

VIDEO: An artist's work is now on display at the Black Archives of Mid-America and it's a sense of pride for Sean Tiller. It's also his way of giving back and perhaps inspiring others. "This is one of my more recent, made last year," Tiller said. He calls it space art. Tiller, 27, said painting brings him joy -- the colors, the texture and the fantasy of these imaginary planets. His works are now being featured at the Black Archives of Mid-America coffee shop in the 18th and Vine District. "To have this level of attention being brought to my artwork is still hitting me. Feels good. I'm very appreciative of it," he said. Tiller started getting attention on social media, showing his spray-painting technique. While he's always loved art, he said he only discovered this passion for painting in his 20s and it's not his day job. He's also a Kansas City, Missouri, firefighter. "I love being a firefighter. I love being able to enact change in whatever significant way I can," Tiller said. "I think those are the two similarities between firefighting and art. I want to be able to impact somebody's life with it."
KMBC-TV ABC 9 Kansas City

Tiger Woods crash: Radio transmissions reveal emergency response by Los Angeles County deputies, firefighters

VIDEO: In the harrowing moments after a rollover crash in Rancho Palos Verdes that left golfer Tiger Woods hospitalized on Tuesday, radio communications by the Los Angeles County sheriff's and fire departments reveal the efforts by deputies and firefighter-paramedics to assess the incident and respond to the scene. Woods was alone in the SUV when it crashed into a raised median shortly before 7:15 a.m., crossed two oncoming lanes and rolled several times, authorities said. In an initial transmission, a Fire Department official communicates the location of the crash site, noting that sheriff's deputies have already arrived and that at least one person was trapped inside a vehicle that had veered off the side of the road. "Code 3 response is now needed on that 902T," a sheriff's dispatcher is heard saying in a similar broadcast. "Hawthorne Boulevard, Palos Verdes Drive North, Rolling Hill Estates. Unit 3 respond, code 3."
KABC-TV ABC 7 Los Angeles

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

30 years ago: 3 Philadelphia firefighters killed in One Meridian Plaza fire

VIDEO: Today marks 30 years since one of the worst high-rise fires in Philadelphia history. The deadly fire at One Meridian Plaza took place on February 23, 1991, across from City Hall, where the Residences at the Ritz-Carlton now stands. Firefighters David Holcombe, Phyllis McAllister and James Chappell lost their lives battling that blaze. The cause of the fire was traced to rags soaked in linseed oil left by workers. The fire started at 8:23 p.m. on that Saturday night in 1991. Arriving firefighters were met by flames shooting from the 22nd floor. They were also met by a series of mechanical failures inside the 38-story building. Elevators stopped, backup generators failed and a crucial internal water distribution system called a standpipe actually choked off water pressure. "They had a complete failure of all the fire protection systems and the electricity to the building, which allowed the fire to spread unchecked," said then-Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Roger Ulshafer at the time of the fire.
WPVI-TV ABC 6 Philadelphia

75 firefighters dispatched to blaze in Louisiana, two vacant homes destroyed

VIDEO: Crews with the Shreveport Fire Department were called to put out a fire in the Highland neighborhood on the morning of Tuesday, Feb. 23. The call came in just before 6 a.m. to the 400 block of Jordan Street. That’s in the same block of Woody’s Home for Veterans. The first crew to get on the scene arrived within three minutes. At the scene, crews found two vacant homes on fire. A second alarm was called. In total, 75 firefighters were called in to fight the blaze. A total of 25 fire units were on hand, including five south Louisiana fire tankers. Crews from St. Tammany Parish, Lafourche Parish, West Feliciana Parish Fire Protection, and Bunkie Fire Department were on the scene to assist, according to Shreveport Fire Department Chief Scott Wolverton. The fire hydrants on the street, which would be normally used to fight the fire, do not currently have enough pressure due to the severe winter weather that passed through the area the week of Feb. 15.
WAFB-TV CBS 9 Baton Rouge

Minnesota company earns verification, becomes only cleaner to use CO2 to clean toxins from firefighter gear

A Twin Cities company is doing something that hasn't been done anywhere else in the country, and it's all to take better care of our first responders. Emergency Technical Decon (ETD) uses a new cleaning process using liquified carbon dioxide to get rid of toxins from gear that firefighters wear, including boots, leather gloves, jackets and helmets. Jon Wikstrom started thinking about the idea three years ago. He built the lab in a warehouse in Eagan. Last month, he says ETD became the only verified cleaner in the country that uses this process after being certified by a third-party, nationally-recognized laboratory. "We need to do something good with the technology," Wikstrom said. "We knew this firefighter industry needed it." Wikstrom says cancer is the number one cause of death among firefighters. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says chemicals are emitted from even regular household products when they burn – toxins that end up in firefighter gear.
KARE-TV NBC 11 Minneapolis

MetroHealth System part of new Ohio pilot program that puts doctors in ambulances, virtually

A new nationwide pilot program is putting doctors inside ambulances virtually. The MetroHealth System has partnered with three EMS agencies that provide emergency care to bring virtual care via video visits with a doctor in the back of an ambulance. The Emergency Triage, Treat and Transport (ET3) agreement between MetroHealth, the Brecksville Fire Department, Life Care Ambulance and North Central EMS, is designed to offer more focused care for patients who call 911. It could mean a trip to the emergency room or a virtual visit with a MetroHealth emergency physician. MetroHealth officials believe the result will be better care for patients, fewer ambulance trips to the hospital and lower out-of-pocket costs. When a patient calls 911 and an EMS crew responds, typically that patient is taken to a hospital emergency department. Under ET3, the crew on the scene will complete an assessment of the patient to determine the immediate needs and what level of service is needed.
WEWS-TV ABC 5 Cleveland

Kentucky fire department honors high school shooting victims with new truck

VIDEO: There is not an expiration date for honoring those lost to tragic events. That is why a local fire department has come together to honor victims of the Marshall County High School Shooting in 2018. The Possum Trot-Sharpe Fire Department dedicated their new truck to Bailey Holt and Preston Cope. It happened behind Sharpe Elementary School Saturday morning. The new truck has both of their pictures and signatures designed onto both sides of the big red truck. Fire Chief Rick Pershing said his team had the idea after buying the truck from South Dakota. "Being able to see a tribute on this truck that services this community especially Sharpe Elementary where both Preston and Bailey went to school, it will be a healing for everybody," said Pershing. "Those that have looked at it so far have agreed." The fire department invited the families of Preston and Bailey to a private viewing of the truck.
WPSD-TV NBC 6 Paducah

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