National News

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Workers Saved After Scaffold Malfunction Left Them Clinging for Life Off New York Building

VIDEO: Two workers stuck 10 stories above the ground after their scaffold malfunctioned were saved in a daring rescue by FDNY firefighters who rappelled down the side of an Upper West Side building, heart-stopping video showed. Terrified onlookers watched after the two workers, who neighbors said were doing facade work on the building at the corner of West 78th Street and Broadway, were left clinging to the building high above the ground around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. It was not clear what caused the scaffold to malfunction, but it was left dangling on the side of the building, nearly perpendicular to the ground far below. One of the workers was still on the scaffold, the other on a window ledge, holding on for dear life. Firefighters repelled down from the top of the building to the workers, a man and a woman, one of whom was able to be brought inside through a window.
WNBC-TV NBC 4 New York

Wisconsin town explores regional partnerships, hiring fire chief into open role

The Town of Beloit Fire Department may become part of a collection of fire departments lead by Janesville Fire Chief Ernie Rhodes. The Town of Beloit Fire Chief Hiring Committee interviewed Rhodes Tuesday morning as it seeks to address the vacancy to be left by retiring Town of Beloit Fire Chief Gene Wright. Discussions indicated Rhodes could remain Janesville’s fire chief while leading the town fire department. Janesville also has been discussing having the Milton Fire Department join the Janesville Department in sharing services and reducing costs. The town committee is looking closely at the option of forming stronger countywide partnerships in fire services for the future. The matter of addressing the town fire chief position is expected to be on next Monday night’s Board of Supervisors agenda, along with a public hearing.
Beloit Daily News

80-year-old firefighter is redefining life after retirement in New Jersey

VIDEO: Bob Halberstadt, an 80-year-old resident of Blairstown, New Jersey, is redefining life after retirement. While many at his age sit back and enjoy life after years of hard work, Halberstadt is just getting started; becoming the oldest volunteer firefighter at Blairstown Hose Company No. 1. "I didn't give it a second thought. I can do it. I have the will, I have the want, and I have the time," said Halberstadt. Before becoming a firefighter, Halberstadt worked delivering newspapers for the NY Daily News and as a volunteer EMT for the Blairstown Ambulance Corps, where he remains an active member. One of his earliest and fondest memories on the job is when he helped deliver a baby in the Holland Tunnel. His passion to serve his community and help others was taken to a whole different level when he signed up for the Firefighter 1 class at the Warren County Firefighter Academy back in January 2019.
WABC-TV ABC 7 New York

How the Farmington explosion one year ago changed Maine state law

VIDEO: September 16, 2020 marks one year since the Farmington community experienced an incident that would change life for some forever. An explosion at LEAP Inc. in Farmington killed one firefighter, injured six others, and also injured a building supervisor. Now, Maine state law looks different as a result of an effort to keep Mainers safe in the future. A report released in January by the Maine State Fire Marshal's Office indicated a propane leak caused the explosion. That's because crews severed it when they were drilling posts into the ground near the building, about a week before the explosion happened. As a response to the explosion, Rep. Seth Berry (D-Bowdoinham), the House chair of the legislature's energy, utilities, and technology committee, introduced L.D 1892, "An Act To Make Changes to the So-called Dig Safe Law".
News Center Maine

Maryland fire department demonstrates capabilities of new fire boat

VIDEO: For more than ten years now, the Ocean City Fire Department has been able to take their life saving efforts to the water thanks to a larger fire boat they have. However, that fire boat is currently in need of repairs so they have a new vessel that’s allowing them to continue saving lives. “We’ve seen a tremendous response this summer with our fire boat being staffed and being able to provide that rapid service,” says Ryan Whittington, an Ocean City firefighter and medic. On Tuesday, the Ocean City Fire Department demonstrated just one of the ways their fire boat saves lives by offering a dramatization of how they respond to patients experiencing a medical emergency in hard to reach areas offshore. “The Fire Department responds to various calls on the water some of them could be due to boating accidents, jet ski accidents, rental boat accidents, anything like that,” says Whittington. Officials say this type of response vessel is equipped with some impressive tools.
WMDT-TV ABC/CW+ 47 Salisbury

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

New crowdfunding platform exclusively targets first responders and their families

It has been 19 years since September 11 attacks on this country that left thousands dead and first responders feeling the impact to this day. A new crowdfunding site labels itself as a way to exclusively support families of all first responders facing hard times. For Skip and Tammy Danielson, Fund the First is a way to heal financially as their hearts continue to ache. “He went in immediately to the triage area at the hospital, collapsed, and they worked on him for five hours,” said Skip. Skip recalls the tragic day his son Scott died. Scott was the chief of an emergency squad in New Jersey, responding to the scene of a crash. He found out his daughter Alycia was involved in the crash. After following Alycia’s ambulance to the hospital, he realized he needed help. Alycia survived, but Scott died of a heart attack.

Firefighters Respond To Fire At NE Oklahoma City Recycling Plant

Firefighters are responding to a fire, Tuesday morning at a recycling plant in northeast Oklahoma City. According to authorities, the fire is at Derichebourg Recycling USA near Northeast 4th Street and North Martin Luther King Avenue. Fire officials said the fire was called in by someone that was driving by. The fire is mostly burning tires and trash, firefighters said. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
KWTV-DT CBS 9 Oklahoma City

Assaults against first responders raising nationwide concern

A reported assault on two Baltimore City firefighters is contributing to the nationwide, rising concern over attacks on first responders. According to the department, the firefighters were assaulted while responding to a reported fire on Eastern Avenue in southeast Baltimore Sunday night. Officials say a man threw glass bottles at the crew as they attempted to enter the home. It’s an unfortunate, yet not surprising incident to former Baltimore City Commissioner Ed Norris. “I think there’s been an effort to demonize the police in this country, and these are firefighters,” said Norris. Norris then pointed out one of the most recent attacks on law enforcement, the two California deputies who were shot in an ambush. Police have also recent victims of violence during unrest in Seattle and Chicago. In Baltimore, body worn camera footage released over the summer showed an officer being bit by a squeegee worker.
WBFF-TV FOX 45 Baltimore

NYPD vs. FDNY baseball game: A manager, player among many remembered on 9/11

VIDEO: It has been 19 years, but Scott Miller gets the details right. Some memories — especially the really good and really bad — are indelible. Friday night, Miller managed the FDNY baseball team, which, despite nearly blowing an 11-run lead and leaving 17 men on base, edged the NYPD 12-10 in a four-hour marathon. It's doubtful a year from now Miller will remember these details but, for the record, the FDNY took an 11-0 lead, the NYPD responded with 10 unanswered runs and had the tying run at the plate in the bottom of the ninth before Bobby Magnusson nailed down the save just before midnight. James McGee picked up the win and John Giakas had three RBI for the FDNY. The NYPD, which got a two-run blast from Paul Ragone, still leads the series 11-10. The game is an annual showdown and means a lot. But this year was different.
Poughkeepsie Journal

Pennsylvania borough to disband unionized, full-time fire department

Borough leaders recently informed firefighters here they would eliminate unionized, full-time positions and transition to a department that relies on part-timers, volunteers and subcontractors. Firefighters whose jobs are on the line are steamed and residents plan to stage a protest outside of Tuesday night’s council meeting at the borough’s municipal “The fire department has religiously worked in the best interest of the borough,” said firefighter John Fronzoni, a 20-year veteran who is union steward for the department. Larksville, a West Side town of about 4,700 residents, currently has round-the-clock paid fire coverage staffed by three full-timers and 11 part-timers. Council members say the COVID-19 pandemic has dried up the town’s tax base and they can no longer afford a full-time fire crew. They say the fire union’s demands — such as annual five-percent pay increases and no increase in health care contributions — were unrealistic in this day in age.
The Citizens' Voice

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