National News

Friday, September 25, 2020

No injuries reported after oil barrels explode at T&R Towing in New York

PHOTOS: On Thursday September 24, 2020 at 2:50 pm the Bath Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched for a working structure fire at T&R Environmental Services Haz Mat building located next door to T&R Towing on Route 415 North of the Village of Bath. Large plumes of heavy black smoke could be seen for miles. Assistant Chief Sean Walruth was first on scene and immediately started calling for mutual aid tankers for water and manpower. In all 16 department were called to aid in our effort to bring the massive fire under control. Originally T&R’s Haz Mat building was fully involved in intense flame and heavy black smoke. There were several large fireballs that went high into the sky from the barrels of oil that were exploding. Crews were set up to try to protect the T&R office and dispatch center and the Fred Roberts Auto Parts buildings located on each side of the Haz Mat building.
WETM-TV NBC 13 El Mira

California fire department introduces engines that will help keep firefighters safe from toxic chemicals

VIDEO: Tamara Thacher is believed to have died from her job as a firefighter, years after running into burning buildings. Her memorial last December was a time of reflection, not just of her life and service but the illness that cut her life short. The Sacramento Fire Department said her cancer is presumed to be the result of exposure to toxic chemicals firefighters potentially encounter every day. “My goal is never to have another firefighter like Tami Thacher lose their life because of contracting cancer,” Chief Gary Loesch explained. The department introduced two engines called Clean Cab Apparatus to help keep firefighters safe. The department estimates the Clean Cab Apparatus costs about $35,000 more than a truck without clean air modifications. The engines include hoses to rinse firefighters off and ventilated compartments to store contaminated equipment outside of the truck.
KTXL-TV FOX 40 Sacramento

Houston study: More contagious coronavirus strain now dominates

The first study to analyze the structure of the novel coronavirus from two waves of infection in a major city found that a more contagious strain dominates recent samples, researchers from Houston Methodist Hospital said on Wednesday. They examined more than 5,000 genomes from viruses recovered in the earliest phase of the pandemic in Houston, an ethnically diverse city of 7 million, and from an ongoing more recent wave of infections. The study, which has not yet been reviewed by outside experts, found that nearly all strains in the second wave had a mutation, known as D614G, which has been shown to increase the number of “spikes” on the crown-shaped virus. The spikes are what allow the virus to bind to and infect cells, increasing the ability of the mutated virus to infect cells. The Houston researchers said patients infected with the variant strain had significantly higher amounts of the virus on initial diagnosis.
Yahoo News

Love of the job keeps 80-year-old Michigan EMT working during a pandemic

Most people don't start a full-time career in their 60s. Lyle See isn't most people. At 80 years old, he’s been an EMT for decades alongside a career in human resources and working as a firefighter. His first run was in 1962, shortly after he graduated from Olivet College, responding to the call of a woman with a heart issue. At that time, he didn’t have equipment on the ambulance to save her life in time. “We had none of the technology,” See said. That's changed over the intervening 58 years. “I have [the ability] now to have certainly gotten her to the hospital,” he said. It's also become more in demand. Before the pandemic, it wasn't unusual for See to work 60 hours a week as he and his colleagues responded to increasing numbers of calls. See jokes that while he’s working fewer hours during the COVID-19 pandemic, his wife, Judy, would “just as soon I wasn’t doing any of this."
Lansing State Journal

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Fire destroys Texas storage facility

VIDEO: More than a dozen units were severely damaged Thursday morning by a large fire that spread through a storage facility. Flames shot high into the air as firefighters responded to the facility around 6:15 a.m. in the 2600 block of Allen-Genoa near S. Houston Road. No injuries were reported and it wasn't clear what was inside the units that were destroyed. Sections of sheet metal were torn from the structures as crews hosed down the flames and debris that was left. The facility is located behind a gas station and car wash. No other structures appeared to be threatened by the fire. The building that burned contained approximately 24 individual units.
KTRK-TV ABC 13 Houston

Florida firefighter says being rock ’n’ roll drummer by night helps relieve stress

VIDEO: By day he is a firefighter/paramedic for the city of Tampa, and by night he is a rock 'n' roll drummer for the local band Jack Jagger. Nick Cedela quickly and quietly packs up the hook and ladder in preparation, the fire alarm could go off any second inside Tampa Fire Rescue Station 19. He’s part of the Marine Division. “Water rescue, any kind of marine fires, boat fires, we respond to it all,” said Cedela. But when Cedela isn’t fighting fires, he’s pounding the drums, with his band. “It’s a great stress relief especially the way I play,” said Cedela. Cedela and bandmate Lani Daniels just finished their newest song, “Chemicals,” when the pandemic hit. “You know there are obstacles in this world that you need to overcome right now in this current situation, but this is our heart and we want to express ourselves,” said Daniels. So instead of debuting “Chemicals” at a concert, they decided to make a safe, socially distant, music video.
WFTS-TV ABC 28 Tampa

Google Maps Will Now Display Coronavirus Outbreaks And Cases

Google Maps will now highlight coronavirus case counts around the world and how bad outbreaks are in each region, Google announced Wednesday, with a new layer dedicated to information about the pandemic. The new feature will display the seven-day average for COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people for the map area that a viewer is looking at, as well as whether cases are trending upward or downward. The map, which will offer information for every country currently supported in Google Maps, will be color-coded to easily show the density of each area’s outbreaks, ranging from green (less than one case per 100,000 people) to dark red (more than 40 cases per 100,000 people). The map will be based on information from “multiple authoritative sources,” including Johns Hopkins University, the New York Times and Wikipedia. Users can access the feature, which will roll out this week on Android and iOS devices, by tapping the “Layers” button and clicking “COVID-19 info.”

How Spokane’s ‘Buffalo Soldiers’ saved Idaho town from historic 1910 blaze

Wildfires are nothing new in the Northwest, and the “Big Burn of 1910” in Idaho and Montana is still remembered as one of the worst disasters in the region’s history. What’s not remembered so much is that one group sent to battle the blaze was a company from the 25th Infantry, a regiment of Black soldiers, most of whom were from the American South, but who were stationed at Fort George Wright in Spokane. The Big Burn of 1910 has been the subject of books and documentaries – notably by Northwest author Timothy Egan and from PBS – for the centennial 10 years ago. The fire in late August of that year was actually a series of blazes mostly in Idaho and Montana, though partly in British Columbia and Washington, too. A total of an estimated three million acres burned, and at least 87 people died after what had been an exceedingly dry spring and summer. The science of forestry and the Forest Service as a federal agency were relatively new in those years.
My Northwest

Firefighter honors fallen firefighters throughout Southern Illinois

Brent Vanfossan has been a firefighter in Christopher, Illinois for over 20 years. And he has wanted to buy his own firetruck for quite some time. "This engine belonged to the Sesser fire protection district. They had it for sale for a while. And I had been looking for something to honor my son Kody," said Vanfossan. On May 5th 2019, Vanfossan's son Kody was killed in the line of duty while fighting a fire in Christopher. "He was a character. Didn't know a stranger. Had a little bit of a mouth on him, which every young kid does. Do anything to help anybody. And he loved firefighting," Vanfossan said. To honor his son and other firefighters throughout the area, Vanfossan is creating a memorial for fallen firefighters across Southern Illinois, by putting the names of the firefighters, their fire department, and when they died on the side of the truck. "There are unfortunately 20 names on the door. We wish it was zero," Vanfossan said.
WSIL-TV ABC 3 Carbondale

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