Florida News

Friday, January 21, 2022

Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department battles commercial blaze

PHOTOS: The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department was responding to a commercial building fire on the Westside that was causing a large plume of black smoke, officials say. JFRD says the fire started around 4 p.m. Thursday in the 900 block of Bulls Bay Highway. Crews say there was a "plume of black smoke that can be seen for miles." JFRD says this is an export and recycling company for quality used parts and the building on fire was part of the business Some people have reported seeing the smoke from as far away as Downtown Jacksonville. Others even posted photos.
WTLV-TV NBC 12 Jacksonville

Retired Titusville Fire Department Battalion Chief Daryle Blankenship Passes Away, Served for Three Decades

Titusville Fire Department officials announced the passing of retired Battalion Chief Daryle Blankenship on Wednesday. “Chief Blankenship retired in 2014, he first began with the Titusville Fire Department in 1984,” TFD officials said on social media. “Over his three decades of dedicated service, Chief Blankenship served in the ranks of Firefighter/EMT, Driver/Operator, Lieutenant, and Battalion Chief. Chief, you will be missed. Thank you for your dedication to this Department and the City of Titusville.”

New Escambia County EMS Dashboard Shows Number Of Calls, Dispatches, Overdoses And More

PHOTO: Have you ever wondered how many calls Escambia County EMS answers? Escambia County EMS has launched a new information dashboard that includes: EMS calls dispatched by Emergency Communications (updated daily); Transports to local hospitals by EMS (updated daily); On-scene cardiac/respiratory arrests (updated weekly); On-scene overdoses (updated weekly), ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI/Heart Attack) events (updated weekly); and Motor-vehicle crashes (updated weekly). “This dashboard is an opportunity to further educate the citizens about the services provided by EMS and Emergency Communications,” said Escambia County Public Safety Director Eric Gilmore. “Every day, the men and women within our Public Safety department dedicate their lives to the safety and wellbeing of Escambia County citizens, and we believe this dashboard reflects that effort while also educating the general public to the extent of our services.”

Young child hospitalized after Jacksonville apartment fire; more than a dozen people displaced

A man and his young son were rushed to a hospital after jumping from the second floor of a Woodland Acres apartment to escape a fire Thursday afternoon that displaced more than a dozen people. A woman, who asked not to be identified, said she got a call at work letting her know that her home caught on fire and that her 3-year-old son and her husband were taken to the hospital. The man was released from the hospital a short time and returned to the scene, where he told News4JAX that his son was taken to the UF Health Shands Burn Center in Gainesville. The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department also said the family cat died in the fire. According to a family friend, the parents got the kitten for their son this past Christmas.
WJXT-TV 4 Jacksonville

Traffic Crash Ends With Somewhat Bizarre Raging Water Rescue in Pensacola

What began as a rather ordinary traffic crash on Highway 29 Thursday night ended with a somewhat bizarre raging water rescue in what, moments before, had been a dry ditch. Three vehicles — an older Ford Econoline conversion van and two pickups — were involved in the crash on northbound Highway 29 just south of 9 1/2 Mile Road at Dave Howell Tires just before 6 p.m. The van ran off the roadway and into a fairly shallow ditch. And there’s when the situation quickly changed. It appeared the van struck and sheared off a fire hydrant, causing the ditch to rapidly fill with water and become a raging river that washed away the shoulder of the roadway. Escambia County Fire Rescue Special Operations was called to the scene to rescue the van occupant. According to witness accounts, the firefighters appeared to almost be swept away as the ground collapsed and a good Samaritan rushed into help.

Digital Alerts To Warn Largo Residents Of Fire Rescue Teams Ahead

Drivers in Largo can now receive real-time digital alerts when fire apparatus is active nearby through a new service added to all Largo Fire Rescue vehicles. Safety Cloud by HAAS Alert protects first responders and roadway fleets from accidents involving inattentive drivers and improves a driver's compliance with "Move Over" law by sending real-time notifications to drivers approaching active responders en route or at a scene. The service reduces the risk of drivers colliding with responders by adding a digital component to lights and sirens. Drivers can receive the alerts through the Waze navigation app, available on mobile devices and in the dashboard of many newer-model vehicles. HAAS Alert is working to expand the alerts to other services and vehicles so that all drivers can receive these road safety alerts.
Largo Patch

Thursday, January 20, 2022

David Bianchi, last volunteer fire chief on Longboat Key, dies

David Bianchi wore many hats during his life: father, Navy seaman, grandfather, insurance adjuster, restaurant owner. However, the one Longboat Key residents may remember him for is firefighter and paramedic. Bianchi was the town’s youngest volunteer firefighter as well as its last. He spent nearly 50 years of his life on Longboat Key and died on Jan. 13 at age 78. David Bianchi moved to Longboat Key in 1958 when he was 14 and his father became building inspector to the newly established town of Longboat Key. Shortly after that, he wanted to give back to his community and began volunteering as a firefighter. He fought the many brush fires on the island alongside more experienced men and got paid “$3 a blaze,” daughter Michelle Bianchi said.

Woman killed in fire at Pensacola homeless encampment

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that one woman has died from a fire at Palafox and Hickory streets. Escambia County Deputies are investigating a fire that broke out on Jan. 19 at a homeless encampment in Pensacola. One man was also injured in the fire but is expected to survive. No word on what caused the fire.
WKRG-TV CBS 5 Mobile

Lake County Fire gets cutting-edge tech, equipment

PHOTO: New equipment at Lake County Fire Rescue will help firefighters keep themselves safe while they save lives. The department now has brand-new breathing apparatuses and detection equipment to identify unknown substances. These upgrades allow firefighters to safely enter buildings with chemical releases. “Lake County Fire Rescue has become a significant force within the Central Florida emergency services arena,” Fire Chief James Dickerson said. The new RIGAKU detection equipment arrived at Lake County Fire Rescue in December and the new self-contained breathing apparatuses were delivered this month, Dickerson said.
The Villages Daily Sun

Victim burned in Rockledge house fire airlifted to hospital, officials say

A victim was airlifted to a hospital after being burned in a house fire in Rockledge, according to Brevard County Fire Rescue officials. Brevard fire officials said the fire occurred Wednesday behind its headquarters building on Florida Avenue in south Rockledge. The victim was airlifted to a trauma center, but no other details have been released, according to officials. Rockledge firefighters were assisted by Brevard County and Cocoa crews. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
WKMG-TV CBS 6 Orlando

Firefighters bring fire under control at restaurant in Clay County

Clay County Fire Rescue personnel were dispatched Wednesday night to a fire at the popular Grumpy’s Restaurant in Middleburg. No injuries were reported. Clay County Sheriff Michelle Cook posted on Facebook about the fire: “Please keep Dell and Courtney in your prayers tonight. We all know how hard they work to keep this great place going,” Cook said in a post on Facebook. Dell Hoard is the owner of the restaurant, and Courtney Smith is the general manager. At 8:53 p.m., Clay County Fire Rescue said the fire had been brought under control and crews were clearing out smoke. The state fire marshal will investigate the cause.
WJXT-TV 4 Jacksonville

Small brush fire put out in Lehigh Acres

Firefighters were called out to the 1200 block of Edison Avenue for a brush fire. It happened around 12 p.m. on Wednesday. The fire was near a house but investigators say it had a clearing to allow firefighters space to attack the fire and protect their home. Crews were able to get the fire out quickly. Investigators say this was a personal burn by the resident that spread quickly in current dry, windy conditions. The resident could potentially be charged with careless burning.
WFTX-TV FOX 4 Fort Myers

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