National News

Friday, December 6, 2019

200 firefighters have now reportedly died from 9/11-related illnesses

Two hundred fire fighters have now reportedly died from illnesses related to the September 11th attacks, according to a charitable organization that assists 9/11 first responders with medical needs not covered by insurance. The Ray Pfeifer Foundation confirmed on Twitter Wednesday that two more New York City fire fighters have died due to "9/11 illness," marking the 199th, and 200th FDNY deaths related to the World Trade Center attacks. Retired FDNY captain Dennis Gilhooly of Engine Company 67, and retired firefighter Brian Casse of Engine Company 294, both died, the foundation said. The Ray Pfeifer foundation was established in memory of a FDNY firefighter who died on May 28, 2017 from cancer related to 9/11, according to the foundation.
CBS News

Medical runs decimate Michigan city’s annual fire department budget

After voters rejected a city charter amendment Nov. 5 that would have allowed 2 additional mills for public safety, the council is considering options as funds in the annual public safety budget are exhausted halfway into the second quarter of the fiscal year. The rising number of medical runs the Davison-Richfield Fire Department is being dispatched for is considered to blame for the city’s public safety budget being $80,000 in the red last year. Medical runs have now burned up the entire 2019-2020 budget which only went into effect in July. While the Genesee County 9-1-1 is asking Davison and other municipalities being hit hard by the rising number of medical runs to wait for new dispatching practices to show results – expected before the end of December – the city council is considering options, including ending fire department medical runs.
The Davison Index

Montana town to vote on creating their own $3 million fire department

Belgrade residents will face the question of whether they want to create their own fire department in the spring. City officials say it'll be costly -- roughly $3.3 million -- so they have another option on the table. If residents vote to create their own department, taxes will have to be raised, but if they vote to annex themselves to the Central Valley Fire District, city officials say there won't be much of a fiscal change. While they're both separate agencies, they've worked together for the last 70 years. That could change as Belgrade keeps growing. Belgrade has yet to hit the 10,000 population mark, but once it does, state law would require it to have its own operating fire department. That's why city officials want to get the ball rolling on the annexation.
KECI-TV NBC 13 Missoula

Kincade Fire report details how one California firefighter saved two civilians — and himself — from fast-moving flames

A recently released CalFire report reveals how one fire captain narrowly escaped death and banded together with two civilians to save themselves by using a fire shelter — a last resort meant to protect from a blaze burning all around — during the Kincade Fire in Sonoma County. Around 3:45 p.m. on Oct. 25, the report said, a captain assigned as a division supervisor during the Kincade Fire was near Pine Flat Road near Geyserville, where he had gone to check on firefighters after hearing reports that some were not wearing protective wildland gear. The Kincade Fire, which eventually burned more than 77,000 acres, had already been burning for nearly two days. Before the incident, there had been a “significant” wind shift from the west to the north, according to CalFire.
Red Bluff Daily News - Metered Site

Texas: Firefighters union, commissioners call for strengthening Austin Fire Department’s sexual harassment policy

In the aftermath of several public sexual harassment cases, Austin EMS and the police and fire departments are updating their sexual harassment policies to create consistency across city emergency services. The action comes in the wake of Austin Fire Department Lt. James Baker’s guilty plea to hiding a camera and filming firefighter Kelly Gall in the fire station restroom. The incident culminated with Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore offering Baker a plea deal that consisted of five years’ probation and the loss of his EMT and firefighting licenses. Austin Fire Captain Christine Jones came to the Dec. 2 meeting of the Public Safety Commission to share a similar story about the harassment, gender-specific insults and slurs she was subjected to by Captain Roger Scarcliff while on the job.
Austin Monitor

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Ohio Cities Fight Firefighters Over Cancer Benefits

Dave Rowell’s shirt says it all: “Euclid Fire: Nobody Fights Alone.” When I meet Rowell, a captain in the Euclid Fire Department, we pull beat-up chairs across from each other in the duty office of Station 1, a functional-looking brick building on a strip of East 222nd Street. Outside the office, the bay doors are open. A Dalmatian sits out front of the station, plopped adorably between two red garage doors. Look quickly, and you’d miss that it’s a statue. Out back, firefighters wipe down one of their fire engines, which gleams red and chrome in the morning sun. As Rowell and I talk, they whirl up the siren and flash the lights. Some firefighters are all too happy to regale you with stories of their daring. Rowell is not one of those. He tends toward the reserved, valiant sort, the kind of guy who is almost allergic to talking about himself.
Cleveland Magazine

Officials say fireboat responsible for oil spill in Seattle’s Elliott Bay

VIDEO: Crews worked to clean up an oil spill Wednesday morning in Elliott Bay near the Seattle Waterfront. At about 8 a.m., crews at Fire Station 5 found a small leak of waste oil from Fireboat Leschi, Seattle fire officials said. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, several gallons were spilled. Crews immediately secured the leak and several agencies responded. Blooms were placed around the sheen to contain and absorb the oil. The U.S. Coast Guard was at the scene leading the mitigation efforts, along with the Department of Ecology and Seattle Public Utilities. The Seattle Fire Department said it will investigate to determine how the leak occurred.
KIRO-TV CBS 7 Seattle

With 1,100+ buildings in violation, New York City sprinkler law could cost owners big

The city’s Department of Buildings will begin enforcing a commercial sprinkler law passed in 2004 requiring all New York City landlords to install the fire prevention equipment. Despite the 15-year window for property owners to get up to code, it was revealed at a November City Council committee hearing that about 1,100 buildings were still not in compliance with the Local Law 26 — and 86 building owners have completely ignored city notifications. The window officially closed Dec. 1, and all commercial building owners are required to have installed sprinkler systems in their buildings throughout the city, including numerous city owned structures. “Our goal is compliance,” said Andrew Rudansky, a spokesman for the Department of Buildings. “Building owners who fail to comply with DOB orders regarding these sprinkler requirements may face additional violations, which carry additional associated civil penalties, until they come into compliance.”
AM New York

Fire officials in Connecticut city ‘getting everyone on same page’

On Oct. 23, firefighters from multiple Norwich departments were called to a massive house fire on Bentley Avenue, a scene of controlled chaos with mutual aid back-up staged just down the road from the blaze as city trucks sprayed the multi-family residence with streams of water. Norwich Fire Department Acting Chief Keith Wucik, as incident commander, had a lot of balls in the air that afternoon between directing the main firefighting effort to keeping track of how many members had arrived on scene from the city’s volunteer departments. To make the situation even more challenging, the body of a resident was found in the smoldering home. In an effort to better coordinate resources at mutual aid fires and to ultimately ensure firefighter safety, Wucik recently began pushing to implement a city-wide identification system, an idea first floated by former Norwich Fire Chief Kenneth Scandariato years ago.
Norwich Bulletin

Village in Wisconsin passes resolution supporting closest unit dispatch for EMS

Village trustees passed a resolution on Monday night urging the Racine County Communications Center to adopt a practice of dispatching the nearest available emergency medical unit, and requesting that all county communities west of Interstate 94 pass similar resolutions. The move to closest-unit dispatch would mean when an emergency call comes in, dispatchers would send the closest available first responders, regardless of municipal borders. That model could help alleviate the dangers created by the disputes among the three Waterford-area fire agencies. A Journal Times investigation published Sunday found that those disputes have repeatedly resulted in cases when citizens in need of medical care in Rochester and parts of the Town of Waterford have sometimes had to wait 20 minutes or more for care, despite the Waterford Fire Department having ambulances available to respond in mere minutes.
The Journal Times - Metered Site

Sign up to subscribe to custom state Daily Dispatch emails for free

click to subscribe