National News

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Three Texas first responders struck, killed by vehicles in separate incidents in week’s time

Three Texas first responders were struck and killed by vehicles while on duty in a week's time — prompting officials to remind motorists to move over and slow down for roadside emergency vehicles. On October 7, 2019, two Louise Volunteer Fire Department firefighters, having cleared a previous call, stopped in their lane of travel on Farm-to-Market (FM) 647, south of Highway 59 near Louise, Texas, to check the fire engine's front tires, believing something was wrong. Both firemen were struck by a Dodge dually pickup truck traveling southbound on FM 647. Firefighter Steven Henderson was airlifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, Texas, where he succumbed to his injuries on October 12, 2019. On October 11, 2019, Falls County Sheriff's Department K-9 Deputy Matt Jones was assisting a motorist on Highway 6 in between Riesel and Marlin, Texas, when a vehicle hydroplaned and struck him and Riesel Police Department Chief Danny Krumnow.
My Texas Daily

Massachusetts female firefighter/paramedic commands incident, makes history

Full-time firefighter/paramedic Wendy Ashworth made history last week in the Acushnet Fire and EMS Department when she became the first female member of the department to command an incident. Ashworth, 56, is the only full-time female firefighter in the department, according to Chief Kevin Gallagher. As of Aug. 1, there were 48 employees, 11 of them women including Ashworth. They are on-call firefighters and part-time paramedics and EMTs. Recent changes that took effect July 1, such as the fire and EMS departments officially merging to combine unions, contracts, and budgets, helped make way for this bit of history, Gallagher said. Ashworth, along with a few others, went from being a full-time paramedic to a full-time firefighter/paramedic and got specialized training to be incorporated into the command system and work firefighter shifts.
The Standard-TImes

Allerio Launches New Secure Mobile Hub Enabling Seamless Rich Data Integration From The Field To The ER

Created by former FirstNet senior executives and P3 Group North America engineers, Allerio is a smart mobile connectivity company that is taking emergency medical services (EMS) and telemedicine to the next level with next generation connectivity solutions built with meeting the needs of responders in mind. The start-up is dedicated to bringing the best technology for first responders to meet the current and future needs of the global public safety community. Allerio is a joint venture between the Public Safety Network, LLC (PSN) and P3 North America Inc. (P3 NA) and was founded in 2019. The co-founders of PSN, TJ Kennedy, former President of the FirstNet Authority, and Jason Karp, former Chief Counsel of the FirstNet Authority, founded PSN to help bring to market the best technology and communications solutions to meet the mission critical needs of public safety.
Cision PRWeb

Stress-related disability claims filed by police, firefighters expected to increase under new Oregon law

Portland’s public safety disability fund expects to receive 10 new claims a year from police or firefighters seeking benefits for two types of stress disorders as the result of a new state law that went into effect last month. Lawmakers this summer approved Senate Bill 507 to define post-traumatic stress and acute stress disorders as occupational diseases for full-time police, firefighters, 911 emergency dispatchers, corrections officers and emergency medical service providers. “There’s a lot of work we need to do in the mental health field,” said Alan Ferschwiler, president of the Portland Fire Fighters Association. “The city needs to take care of our members in a way we haven’t in the past.” Ferschwiler cited examples of past rejected claims that he said should have been approved: a firefighter’s stress claim after being pulled out from a collapsing building and a firefighter who raced into a fire wearing no mask to rescue a woman.
Portland Oregonian, Hillsboro Argus, Oregon

The San Francisco Fireboat That Saved the Neighborhood After The 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake

VIDEO: It was 5:04 p.m. on October 17, 1989, when a powerful magnitude 6.9 earthquake shook the soft soil of San Francisco's Marina District, crumpling the neighborhood's old wooden buildings like paper, and sending a cascade of splintered wood and glass into the streets. Neighbors who were there at the time recall that something else went flying into the air in those moments: natural gas. The shaking had twisted and snapped underground gas lines, and as the smell of sulfur began to blanket the neighborhood, fire broke out at the corner of Beach and Divisadero streets and rapidly began to spread. The fire department responded, but soon discovered another problem: The earthquake hadn't just broken gas lines. It had also broken the water pipes feeding the neighborhood's fire hydrants.
KNTV NBC 11 San Jose

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

FDNY trucks crash in Brooklyn, injuring 11 firefighters and 1 other

Eleven New York City firefighters were taken to hospitals and one other person was injured after two fire trucks collided while responding to a call in Brooklyn on Tuesday night, officials said. The 11 firefighters were transported to hospitals as a precaution after the fire engine and ladder truck collided just before 10 p.m. in Crown Heights. Any injury was minor, according to a spokesman for Fire Department of the City of New York, Firefighter Michael Parrella. The civilian who was injured was thought to have been a pedestrian with injuries listed as minor, the New York City Police Department said. The New York Daily News reported that the fire trucks crashed into at least two other cars and clipped a 68-year-old man.
WNBC-TV NBC 4 New York

Fire Destroys 2 Storage Tanks at Oil Facility in California

Two chemical storage tanks caught fire and three others were threatened at an energy storage facility in Contra Costa County Tuesday afternoon, according to fire officials. The blaze burned the two tanks to the ground and damaged two others at the NuStar Energy facility in Crockett, according to the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District, which got the first call at about 1:50 p.m. No injuries were reported. People in Crockett and Rodeo were asked to shelter in place. They were encouraged to stay inside and keep their windows and doors closed. The shelter in place was lifted at about 9:30 p.m. Both directions of Interstate 80 were shut down between Highway 4 and the Carquinez Bridge for more than 6 hours. The tanks were partially filled with ethanol, and fire crews used foam to fight the flames and water to cool the adjacent tanks that weren't burning, according to ConFire and NuStar officials.
KNTV NBC 11 San Jose

What firefighters make state by state, some may surprise you

Every day, more than 1 million U.S. firefighters put their lives on the line to protect us. Not only by putting out fires, but by responding to all types of emergencies. On top of that, their shifts often last a full 24 hours. Inspired by the heroism of firefighters, the safety experts at Frontpoint examined government data to report how career firefighters’ salaries compare across the nation. California is number one on the list with the highest-paid firefighters at $71,036. The average salary for a firefighter in Kentucky is $33,520 a year. When adjusted for cost of living, they will have a purchasing power of $38,134. ($18.26 per hour). Kentucky pays their firefighters the 5th lowest in the nation.
Eyewitness News (WEHT/WTVW)

Ohio city planning to close long-standing fire station, eliminate battalion chiefs

The president of the union representing Youngstown firefighters said he was surprised to learn the city plans to close a fire station and eliminate three battalion chiefs through attrition. Charlie Smith, who is also a battalion chief, said the plans were revealed in a Tuesday morning meeting with Youngstown City Law Director Jeff Limbian. Although the city asked for the meeting last week, Smith said the city would not reveal an agenda, so he was shocked to learn that Station 7, at Madison Avenue and Elm Street, would be closed. Smith said the station, which is right next to Youngstown State University and just a few blocks from St. Elizabeth Health Center, is the busiest in the city and its closing would hurt response times not only on the north side but across the city. Because of its close proximity to the Madison Avenue Expressway, Station 7 answers most calls in the city, Smith said.

Military firefighters in Delaware question whether myriad of medical problems are related to toxic chemicals in firefighting foam

They're called "forever chemicals." Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, better known as PFAS, PFOS, and PFOA, are man-made chemicals that are all around us. It's expected that the average person has some exposure to the chemicals in their lifetimes whether it's through food containers or the water we drink. The Environmental Protection Agency has linked exposure to certain levels of PFOA and PFOS to cancer, liver and immune deficiencies, as well as developmental effects to fetuses during pregnancy or breastfed infants. But as more information comes out about just how harmful these chemicals are, military firefighters--who had daily exposure to the chemicals in AFFF foam--are starting to wonder if it's the source of their myriad of mysterious health problems.
WDEL 101.7 FM

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