Idaho News

Friday, February 22, 2019

House Committee unanimously passes PTSD bill amid high rates of first responder suicide

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

Preparing for the worst: Pocatello police, airport security personnel hold first drill inside terminal in 20 years

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

No injuries reported after Friday morning Idaho Falls fire

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.

Poorer fire rating raises Northern Lakes Fire Protection District insurance rates

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

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Jerome house fire deemed ’total loss’

VIDEO: A fire caused significant damage to a Jerome house Wednesday morning. According to Jerome Fire Chief Jeremy Presnell, the six occupants in the house made it outside safely without injury, but the house is deemed a total loss due to all the interior structural damage. Jerome Fire Department received the call at 8:31 a.m. for a house fire on the 200 block of Fifth Avenue East. Jerome Rural Fire District and Wendell Fire Department were called in to assist. The fire was extinguished in about 15 minutes. The cause of the fire is still being investigated. Magic Valley Paramedics, Jerome Police and Jerome County Sheriff's Office also responded.
KMVT-TV 11 Twin Falls

Malad Woman Escapes Fire That Destroys Her Home

A fire of an unknown cause destroyed a home at 580 Grandview Drive on Tuesday morning, according to the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office. Deputy Justin Schwartz, who was the first to respond, said a woman was the sole occupant of the home, and she called 911 after waking to see flames coming from the roof of her garage. “The fire department worked hard to try to save the house but was unable to,” Schwartz said. Schwartz said she was standing outside of the home when he arrived and he helped her grab a few possessions from the home before determining it was too unsafe to save any other items. Sheriff Arne Jones said the Malad Fire Department responded at 6 a.m. and had the fire mostly extinguished by about 10 a.m. He said the home is a total loss. State fire marshals were assisting in the investigation later Tuesday.
Idaho State Journal

Fire destroys garage and home in Priest River Wednesday night

PHOTO: A fire in Priest River, Wednesday night, destroyed a garage and home. Photographer, Mark Vogt, told KXLY the fire started off Highway 2 a few miles west of Priest River at the Excess Disposal Service office. He says the business survived but the home and garge did not. The West Pend Oreille Fire Department responded to the fire. It's unclear if anyone was home at the time of the fire.

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