National News

Friday, February 26, 2021

Massive Foam Recycling Plant in Texas Burns Into the Night

VIDEO: Three workers were injured as a massive North Texas foam recycling plant fire burned all day Thursday and into the next day. The fire broke out at the Richland Hills corporate headquarters and manufacturing facility for Advanced Foam Recycling at 2525 Handley Ederville Road, southwest of Texas 121 and Loop 820, at about 12:45 p.m. The Fort Worth Fire Department, who is assisting in the fight, said Thursday there is 125 personnel from eight local departments who have been fighting the fire for more than three hours. By Friday morning, there were nine fire department agencies at the scene continuing to put out hot spots, Richland Hills police tweeted. Officers cautioned that heavy smoke and road closures remain in the area. Texas Sky Ranger flew to the fire Thursday afternoon and quickly spotted a huge plume of thick, black smoke on the horizon. As they arrived, heavy fire and smoke could be seen coming from the large building.
KXAS-TV NBC 5 Fort Worth

‘A part of Brockton’s soul’: 100-year-old fire truck used to battle historic fire in Massachusetts returns

VIDEO/PHOTOS: A Brockton fire truck that has been missing for a number of years is making its way home where it will serve as a permanent memorial to the lives lost at a deadly fire decades ago. The nearly 100-year-old Squad A truck was used to battle the massive Strand Theater fire in 1941 that claimed the lives of 13 firefighters, four of whom rode to the blaze in that very truck. “It really is a living piece of history and it’s much more than just a truck — it’s a part of Brockton’s soul,” Retired Fire Chief Kenneth Galligan said. “This was a very big moment in history for our department and our fire service. They will never be forgotten.” Galligan was contacted last year by an antique fire truck collector who is also a firefighter in Billerica. He said the man told him he bought the truck from a family in New Hampshire and believed it was from Brockton. “The bottom line was, he told me about the truck and I said, ‘You know what that sounds like a Brockton truck,” Galligan said.
WHDH-TV ABC 7 Boston

Kentucky first responder designs new state firefighters license tag

PHOTO: Making a positive difference in people's lives is what motivates Laurel Countian Nathan Kirby. So he took his artistic talents, his past and present experience and his passion for others and combined those qualities to enhance his interests to recognize his profession and the professionals who save lives. Kirby submitted a re-design of the state's firefighters' license tag to the Kentucky Firefighters Association - hearing recently that his design was the one chosen among several other submissions. Kirby, a full-time firefighter for the Corbin Fire Department, dedicates his life to helping people, juggling his time between several other public service jobs. He works part-time with the London City Fire Department, part-time with Ambulance Inc. of Laurel County and volunteers with the London-Laurel County Rescue Squad. He became involved in public service when he trained as a firefighter with the London unit and the rescue squad. "It just clicked with me," he said. "I knew that's what I wanted to do."
The Sentinel Echo

VaccineFinder: New tool aims to show where COVID-19 shots are available

The process of tracking down where COVID-19 vaccines are available could soon get a little easier, thanks to a tool backed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The goal of VaccineFinder website is to make it easier for the public to find information about locations that carry vaccines in their communities and how to make an appointment. The website also gives vaccine providers an outlet to report if they are still stocked with the coronavirus vaccine or not. The tool was made in partnership with the CDC, Boston Children's Hospital Harvard Medical School and Castlight Health. In most states, the initial website launch is limited to just pharmacy and drugstore chains that are getting vaccines directly from the federal government. However, NRP reports that in Alaska, Indiana, Iowa, and Tennessee, the tool also already shows hospitals, clinics and public health vaccination sites.
WXIA-TV NBC 11 Atlanta

’Worse than any explosion I witnessed in Vietnam’: The 1993 World Trade Center bombing in New York

Sgt. Dan Carbonaro of the Port Authority Police was in the World Trade Center in New York in 1993 when a bomb went off. He told the Staten Island Advance, “You couldn’t see your hand in front of your face. I was in Vietnam, and this was worse than any explosion I witnessed in Vietnam.” At 12:17 p.m. on Feb. 26, 1993, a 1,200-pound bomb in a rented truck exploded in the parking garage of the North Tower, killing six people and injuring more than 1,000 others. The explosion knocked out the World Trade Center’s power - which disabled the sprinklers, generators, elevators, public address system and the emergency command center. The Staten Island Advance reported that thick smoke “sent tens of thousands of workers streaming out of the complex in Lower Manhattan.” “Many of the victims their eyes tearing and their faces smeared with soot were gasping for air as they stumbled to waiting ambulances. Some had spent more than an hour making their way down smoke-filled stairwells.”
Penn Live

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Fire destroys commercial building, damages second structure in South Los Angeles

VIDEO: A massive fire destroyed a commercial building in Historic South-Central Los Angeles early Thursday morning and spread to a second building, officials said. Firefighters responded about 12:50 a.m. to the 3700 block of South Grand Avenue, near 38th Street, and found heavy fire coming from a one-story 100-foot-by-200-foot building, according to Margaret Stewart of the Los Angeles Fire Department. At about 1:15 a.m., Stewart said the fire had gone through the roof and, due to the "possible loss of structural integrity, this is transitioning to a defensive operation.'' The flames spread to a nearby two-story, 50-foot-by-100-foot commercial building and caused significant damage, but a "closely coordinated operation'' allowed crews to extinguish that fire and save a large portion of the building, Stewart said. The first building was declared a total loss, she said.
KABC-TV ABC 7 Los Angeles

Florida fire department purchases remote-controlled rescue boats

VIDEO: If you’re swimming in the Gulf in Panama City Beach this summer, you may notice a small boat-like device bobbing through the water. The City’s Beach Safety Department is officially adding remote-controlled rescue boats to its fleet. E.M.I.L.Y stands for Emergency Integrated Lifesaving Lanyard and Panama City Beach now owns two of them. “E.M.I.L.Y’s a rescue device that can be used to help get out to a victim quickly,” said Wil Spivey, Panama City Beach Fire Rescue’s Beach Safety Director. The rescue boat can travel up to 35 miles per hour and is controlled remotely by people onshore. Swimmers in distress can grab ahold of the lanyard and get brought to safety. “These are tools that can be used by a non-rescue or somebody that’s not going into the Gulf, like a fireman. We can pull somebody off duty and put them on this device,” Spivey said. The Beach Safety department has purchased two E.M.I.L.Y’s from Gulf County.
WMBB-TV ABC 13 Panama City

Texas fire department welcomes 8-year-old mascot, teaches him what it means to be a firefighter

VIDEO: An 8-year-old boy in the front seat of a fire truck isn’t something you see everyday. Conner Randell may be a little too young to reach the gas pedal, but he is old enough to ride along. “He gets a little taste of what being a firefighter is all about,” said Eastland firefighter Amanda Woodley. Conner is the Eastland Fire Department’s mascot. This year he will follow alongside his dad, learning the ins and outs of what it means to be a hometown hero. “When dad gets up at 2:00 in the morning because the little beeper beeps, they have a general idea of what’s taking place out in the community,” said Eastland Fire Chief Joe Williamson. The program has been in place for years, but this go around, they’re adding more fuel to the fire. “Our objective is for Conner to attach to his peers,” said Chief Williamson. Instead of just participating in public events, Conner will be doing public service announcements.
Big Country Home Page

Playing with Fire: Illinois college alumna finds unique niche in photography industry

PHOTO: Growing up, Johna Denault spent hours on her homework due to her dyslexia. To find an escape from the stress, she turned to photography. "When I was 12, I started taking photos with my parents' Sears35MM camera," she said. "I took photos of nature and really enjoyed taking action shots. From then on, I knew I wanted to explore photography as a career." As an adult, she enrolled in photography classes at College of DuPage. "I knew my limitations and strengths, and I took every photography class COD offered to hone my skills," Denault said. Receiving high accolades from her COD photography professors, Denault was determined to turn her passion into a career. She began taking portraits of firefighters in her local community, which eventually led her to a somewhat unconventional career as a fire photographer. "The fire chief posted my portraits to social media, and I wasn't happy with how they turned out because it wasn't showing the firemen doing their craft," she said.
Daily Herald - Metered Site

A third Pfizer dose? The Covid-19 vaccine maker is studying booster shots

Despite the 95 percent effectiveness at preventing coronavirus infection after two doses of its vaccine, Pfizer is now seeing what a third dose might do. The company announced Thursday that a booster dose is being studied among people who received their first doses of the vaccine more than six months ago. In an interview with NBC News' Lester Holt, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said the hope is that a third dose will boost the immune response even higher, offering better protection against variants. "We believe that the third dose," Bourla said, "will raise the antibody response 10- to 20- fold." The new study will monitor the safety and efficacy of a third dose in two age groups: those 18 to 55 and those 65 to 85. The participants come from a group of people who were among the first to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine: people who volunteered for Pfizer's initial Phase 1/2 clinical trial, which began in May.
NBC News

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