Meridian Deputy Police Chief Tracy Basterrechea, who has been a police officer for 23 years, has always focused on officer safety. He didn’t want one of Meridian’s officers ending up on the memorial wall.
But on Sept. 22, 2018, he got a call he was never prepared to receive. A Meridian police officer had killed himself while on duty, with his partner in the car.
Basterrechea, in a tear-filled hearing, recounted the experience to lawmakers Thursday, as they considered a bill that would allow workers’ compensation to fund mental health treatment for first responders.
During Thursday’s legislative hearing, Basterrechea said the drive to tell the officer’s family about his death was the most difficult. He had to tell the officer’s children that their dad was not taken by “bad guys,” but by “the bad things he had seen.”
Nampa Idaho Press-Tribune
The popularity of Pocatello Regional Airport is skyrocketing, with a record number of passengers flying into and out of the facility each of the past three years.
That popularity has prompted city and police officials to take a hard look at the airport’s security. Part of that review culminated Thursday with the first emergency drill inside the airport’s terminal in 20 years.
In addition to airport security staff, members of the Pocatello police SWAT, K-9 and hostage negotiation teams participated in the training exercise involving active shooter, airplane hijacking and hostage situation scenarios. “Everybody always thinks active shooter but even nowadays it doesn’t always involve a random person. It could involve a disgruntled passenger, customer or employee,” said Kristy Heinz, Pocatello Regional Airport’s security coordinator, during Thursday’s drill.
Idaho State Journal
The Idaho Falls Fire Department was dispatched to the 7000 block of N 5th W for a report of a structure fire Friday around 5:41 a.m.
Officials report one adult female was home at the time of the fire.
The resident reported she was awakened by the sound of a loud pop and saw an orange glow coming from the outside corner of the home. She attempted to put the fire out herself with buckets of water, but the fire began to spread.
She called 911 and was able to self-evacuate before crews arrived.
When firefighters arrived on scene to the small single story home, 35 to 40 percent of the home was fully involved in fire. They began with an exterior attack on the home and then began fighting the fire on the inside.
Property owners in the northern fringes of the Northern Lakes Fire Protection District recently experienced an increase in insurance premiums after a state agency raised the district’s fire rating within their coverage area.
In a notification to the fire district, the Idaho Surveying and Rating Bureau (ISRB) said it adjusted the rating from an 8 to a 9 “due to Northern Lakes Fire Protection District closing three fire stations.” The area affected includes about 50 land owners.
However, Northern Lakes Fire Chief Pat Riley said the district has not closed any previously staffed fire stations.
The facilities referred to by the ISRB are used only to store reserve equipment “and were never staffed or utilized for responses,” Riley said.
While district officials take issue with the rating reclassification, the chief said it demonstrates the need for improved services, which is why the district is seeking voter approval in May of an $850,0000 permanent override levy to fund six additional full-time firefighters.
Coeur d'Alene Press