National News

Friday, February 15, 2019

3 Firefighters Hurt When Engine Rolls Over in California

VIDEO: A Cal Fire engine assigned to respond to rain-related incidents in the North County went off the road and rolled over in Bonsall Thursday. The truck veered off Old Highway 395 south of Camino Del Rey and landed in an embankment about 20 feet below the roadway at about 6:15 a.m., California Highway Patrol said. No other vehicles were believed to be involved in the crash but an investigation was ongoing, Cal Fire spokesperson Issac Sanchez said. The three firefighters inside were able to get out of the crashed vehicle with minor injuries, CHP said. All were transported to a nearby hospital for evaluation, Sanchez said. Sanchez said while CHP will conduct an investigation into the crash, Cal Fire would also be conduction their own investigation.

Iowa State Senator and Firefighter resign over cross training controversy

VIDEO: Iowa State Senator and Cedar Falls Firefighter Jeff Danielson says he is resigning from both the Iowa State Senate and the Cedar Falls Fire Department, effective immediately. Danielson tells KWWL News his resignations are directly related to the ongoing dispute over the use of Cedar Falls Police Officers being cross-trained to also work as Cedar Falls Firefighters in the City’s Public Safety Officer program. The 48 year old Senator says he is leaving two jobs he loves, but, of the Cedar Falls Fire Department controversy he says, “The situation has gotten so bad I have to leave.” Over a 12-month period, Danielson says 10 firefighters have resigned amid the ongoing debate over the use of Public Safety Officers.
KWWL News 7

Clinical trial offers hope for veteran and longtime Idaho firefighter to speak again

When William “Bud” Paine descended to the lower levels of the Naval Destroyer Escort to stand by on fire watch as welders took to maintenance of the ship, he was handed a canteen and a bandanna. “‘Just keep the bandanna wet,’ they said. ‘This stuff won’t hurt you,’” Paine, now 63, recalled. “This stuff” was the 96,000 pounds of asbestos sharing living quarters on board with the Navy sailors. His exposure to insulation material during his service led to a throat cancer diagnosis in 2001, a year of failed radiation treatment and the final option of removing his voice box in 2002. Paine has communicated for over 15 years by forcing air through a prosthesis that acts as his vocal chords and must be changed every three months. Hope to regain his voice again came by an ad for a new clinical trial on his Facebook feed last spring. The Mayo Clinic campus in Arizona is attempting to give individuals who have had their larynx removed — about 60,000 Americans — the chance to get it back by organ transplant or rebuilding their own with stem cells.
Idaho Press

Wisconsin firefighters explore cancer preventing benefits from sauna therapy

The Madison Fire Department has installed an infrared sauna into its new station 14 helping firefighters sweat out dangerous carcinogens which can sometimes cause cancer. Kevin Hembrook has worked for the Madison Fire Department for nineteen years. He serves on the Fire Fighters Local 311 Health and Safety committee. “Probably just in the last couple years I've really been conscious of what the job that I do can do to my health,” said Hembrook. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health performed a multi-year study which found firefighters have a nine percent greater risk at being diagnosed with cancer and a 14 percent risk of a cancer related death. Hembrook says statistics like these are what spurred him to explore options for cancer-prevention. For some time, Hembrook has gone to Jenerate Wellness in Waunakee for a one-hour session in an infrared sauna. Though his research, Hembrook learned there were benefits to sweating out the toxins and cancer-causing carcinogens.
WMTV-TV NBC 15 Madison

Michigan city council hopes to negotiate with township over fire department dispute

Tension between the City of Grand Blanc and Grand Blanc Township continues to grow over a fire department dispute. After decades of working together the township decided to withdraw from the Grand Blanc Community Fire Commission last month. Several on Grand Blanc’s City Council aren’t happy and say they were blindsided. They heard from the consultants behind the study that led to the township's decision. That study showed in 2017 the township paid nearly one point two million dollars for the fire department while the city paid more than 210 thousand. But the study also says the township paid more for indirect costs like payroll and union negotiations because the firefighters are township employees. Now Grand Blanc’s City Council hopes they can turn this disagreement around while the township is already thinking about future plans like buying new equipment.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Connecticut fire department expands eligibility for future firefighters

Lt. Necole Dundy Pittman said her 11 years with the Bridgeport Fire Department is proof that it’s not “a man’s job.” Firefighter Mohammad Kahn said his bigger stature is proof that you don’t have to be thin and muscular. Being a firefighter, they both said, is mostly about endurance. Bridgeport is looking for new firefighters and is hoping to attract a diverse crew to become the newest of the city’s bravest. Kahn said his time training to become a firefighter helped build up his endurance and prove that anyone ready to commit to the job could do it. In an effort to help those worried about the $175 cost of CPAT, the city announced a scholarship program recently that will cover the cost of the test for 150 applicants. Typically, anyone with a criminal record would steer away from firefighting positions, Dundy Pittman said. But a few years ago, Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim introduced a second chance opportunity for firefighters in the city.
Connecticut Post

City Council explores new Oregon payroll tax to pay for more police, fire, medics

A City Council advisory committee thinks Eugene should establish a new payroll tax to raise $22.8 million to help pay for police, fire and other services. The proposed tax would phase in over 6 years, to be paid by employers and employees. The idea traces its origins to last fall, when Councilors signed off on $9 million for the Eugene Police to hire 10 more officers to improve response times to calls for service. Now comes the next step. "How do we build a system with stable funding into the future," Chief Chris Skinner said, "and what does that look like?" No final decisions have been made. But a proposal from an advisory committee established by the City calls for a new payroll tax to help pay for police, fire, medics, municipal court, homeless services, at-risk youth services and jail beds.

Fireman’s Association of the State of New York offering tuition reimbursement program for volunteer firefighters

Assemblyman Phil Palmesano is reminding volunteer firefighters and the community about a tuition reimbursement opportunity through the Fireman's Association of the State of New York (FASNY). FASNY has developed the Higher Education Learning Plan, or FASNY HELP, as an incentive to recruit and retain members of volunteer fire departments. The program will provide tuition reimbursement to student volunteers. “FASNY’s HELP program is a great way for prospective students to get involved in community service while paying for their continuing education,” said Palmesano. “Volunteer firefighters are in demand all over the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions, and this program could help meet the demand while allowing individuals to give back to their community and secure a quality education.”

Indiana university looks for commercial opportunities for firefighting robot

Purdue University researchers are developing firefighters that look more like R2-D2 than anyone in an Indianapolis Fire Department uniform. Purdue researchers have been working on firefighting robots since 2011. In 2015, they rolled out significant improvements, with a robot that had better optics and was nearly indestructible. Now, researchers have moved a step further, giving the lawnmower-sized, tank-shaped robot even more features. Purdue officials said the improved robot already has been successfully tested in the field, and they are looking for partners for continued research and to take the technology to market. The Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization has filed a patent to protect the new technology, which they say will make firefighters’ jobs less dangerous and give robots more ability to maneuver in a burning structure. The new technology is an automatic T-valve system that can remove water from the fire hose when the robot moves to a new location, making it substantially easier to more the hose from place to place. - Metered Site

Pennsylvania fire chiefs association celebrates volunteer firefighter couples on Valentine’s Day

To help celebrate Valentine’s Day, the Chester County Fire Chiefs Association is paying special tribute to couples who keep the spark of romance alive by saving lives together as volunteer firefighters. Malvern Battalion Fire Chief Neil Vaughn came to Andrea’s rescue after she was in a car accident during slippery winter conditions. Andrea, a school administrator, was dressed in her skirt and heels, and Neil gave her his turnout gear coat to help her stay warm. The two would run into each other again on the job. Neil responded to a fire alarm at the school where Andrea works. Fortunately, there was no real fire, but more than a few sparks flew between the pair. As the couple’s relationship grew so did their commitment to helping fight fires in Chester County. A third generation firefighter, Neil moved up the ranks, continued his education in training, participated in drills and meetings, and dedicated himself to the fire service and its members.
Coatesville Daily Local News

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