Alabama News

Friday, May 22, 2020

Fire danger advisory in southern Alabama has been rescinded

Effective immediately, the Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC) has lifted the Fire Danger Advisory which was issued last week for 15 counties in south Alabama. Scattered rainfall over the past few days in the southern counties has delivered needed relief to a potentially dangerous situation. Dry conditions, gusty winds, and low humidity contributed to the growth of a large wildfire in Mobile that started on May 14. Forestry Commission wildland firefighters and partnering emergency responders continued to battle this blaze over the next seven days. The fire was finally controlled late on May 19, after burning almost 1,100 acres. Besides AFC hometown crews of Mobile and Baldwin counties, additional assistance was required from within the agency with firefighters arriving from Butler, Covington, Hale, Marengo, and Wilcox counties.
WALA-TV Fox 10 Mobile

Gadsden council votes to accept block grant to assist in COVID-19 fight; $160K will help fire department

Citizens in Gadsden will soon have help paying their utilities during the COVID-19 shutdown. In a meeting held by teleconference Tuesday, the council voted to accept a more than $621,000 federal community development block grant. It's provided by the federal government through the CARES act. Some $176,000 will go to help low to moderate income citizens pay their electric, gas, water and garbage bills, once they apply. Another $160,000 from that grant will help the fire department buy new equipment to help fight COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. Fire Chief Stephen Carroll says that equipment will include a fogging device that can kill coronavirus germs in a room or building where someone with the disease had been, and a device that can detect high fevers in large crowds.
WBRC-TV Fox 6 Birmingham

Blount County EMS workers continue to rise to the challenges of COVID-19

All Jason Henderson has ever wanted to do is help people. For the past seven years, he has been able to do that at his job as a paramedic with Blount EMS. "It is definitely a calling," Henderson said. "This pandemic just reinforces that, that we're here if you have that illness or if you have any other medical emergency, Blount EMS, myself, my co-workers, we're here to treat you, and we're happy to do so." Henderson and others with Blount EMS say they have seen a decrease in response and transport volume due to the fact that people are scared to dial 911 right now and do not want to go to the hospital right now in fear of catching COVID-19. They say that fear has been one of the biggest challenges they have faced during this pandemic.
WBMA-TV ABC 33/40 Birmingham

Gadsden first responders pay tribute to health care workers with applause

Some Gadsden health care workers get something they rarely experience: applause. Thursday night, Gadsden police and firefighters, themselves frontline fighters risking exposure to COVID-19, paid tribute to nurses and patient care techs at Gadsden Regional Medical Center as they were either leaving from their daytime shifts or arriving for their night shifts. The first responders lined up in two rows leading to the hospital’s main visitors entrance and broke into applause every time one of the workers, or a group of them, walked by. "Oh, this is so warm, I love it! We appreciate it!" said Barbara Colvin, an RN at the hospital leaving from her day shift. “We’re all a part of one big EMS family, you know whether you’re in the field or whether you’re in a hospital environment, doesn’t matter, we need to be appreciated and appreciate them for doing what they do,” said Gadsden fire chief Stephen Carroll.
WBRC-TV Fox 6 Birmingham

Thursday, May 21, 2020

VIDEOS: Mobile Fire-Rescue Department responds to 3-alarm apartment fire

Mobile Fire-Rescue Department responded to an apartment fire at Serenity Apartments on Azalea Road Wednesday afternoon. Mobile Fire-Rescue said the fire began in building K. It was a 3-alarm fire. NBC 15's tower camera was able to pick up thick smoke coming from the building. Neighbors told us they jumped in to help get people out of the apartments. One man pulled a woman from the burning building. A firefighter was outside the window preparing to help, but MFRD said the woman was in shock and "couldn’t cooperate." The firefighter was gearing up with a mask, gloves and regulator to go in the building to rescue her when the bystander rushed to assist. Mobile Fire-Rescue said between 12 and 16 units were damaged in the fire.
WPMI-TV NBC 15 Mobile

Retired Montgomery Fire/Rescue captain has died

A retired Montgomery Fire/Rescue captain has died. MFR posted about the death of retired Fire Captain Scott Patterson on Facebook, sending condolences to Patterson’s family. “We are so sorry for your loss,” MFR said. "Scott was an amazing person and we were blessed that he was a part of Montgomery Fire/Rescue."
WSFA-TV NBC 12 Montgomery

Gadsden fire chief: New normal will include new practices, even after COVID-19

Gadsden’s fire chief says his department has taken on new challenges during the COVID-19 emergency. Speaking Wednesday to a “Community Conversations” webinar sponsored by the Gadsden Area Chamber of Commerce, Fire Chief Stephen Carroll says his firefighters have risen to challenges presented by the coronavirus. They now approach medic calls differently, for example, in ways that minimize their own risks and preserve their supplies of personal protective equipment. Carroll says many of these practices will become part of the “new normal,” even after the COVID-19 orders are lifted. "We typically did not, necessarily, put on a mask, or gloves--well, we'd always put on gloves--but I mean, in that ensemble of PPE, we wouldn't normally do that. But we will be doing that in the future, because we never know what we might be confronted with," said Carroll.
WBRC-TV Fox 6 Birmingham

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