Nebraska News

Friday, April 3, 2020

Sarpy County first responders will get alerts when called to COVID-19 positive cases’ locations

First responders in Sarpy County will have added protection against exposure to coronavirus. Six on Your Side has learned that 9-1-1 operators in Sarpy County have been provided with a list of addresses where someone who tested positive resides. At last count that’s 20. If first responders are dispatched to that location they will be discreetly alerted. Only they will have that information. Sheriff Jeff Davis said his deputies will then know to use masks, gloves and other protective equipment when responding to a call at that address. County health officials are working with first responders on these new procedures.

Bellevue Fire Department getting closer to achieving full-time staff

The Bellevue Fire Department is inching closer to being comprised exclusively of full-time squad members. Currently, the department consists of 65 full-time firefighters and approximately 50 part-time members. Over the past two fiscal years, though, Fire Chief Perry Guido said an emphasis has been placed on increasing the number of full-time staffers. This resulted in 10 new full-time firefighters joining the squad earlier this year. Guido said an additional three are expected to be hired by October — the end of fiscal year 2020 — and six more shortly after. This is being made possible by a portion of the department’s budget being allocated for the expense, as well as through the federal government’s Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response grant. The fire chief said this inches his department closer to the desired full-time headcount of 82. Sarpy News - Metered Site

Hastings first responders now treating every patient as if they have COVID-19

VIDEO: They are on the front lines of dealing with the Coronavirus by providing transportation for those who might have it. The Hastings Fire and Rescue workers have changed the way they respond to calls as they take extra precautions to keep themselves safe. The 911 call center is helping with this process as they ask pre-screening questions to the caller then they relay that information to the responders so they can get dressed appropriately. Even at the scene they follow-up with the same pre-screening questions. “If it takes us an extra minute to make sure that not only our personnel are safe but they are safe as well, then in the end we think it’s well worth it. Certainly we are not going to withhold any procedures, any life-saving procedures that need to be done, but we may delay some procedures if they can safely be done at the hospital," said Hastings Fire Chief Brad Starling.
KHGI-TV ABC 13 Kearney

Cause of garage fire under investigation in Kearney

PHOTOS: The cause of a fire that destroyed three vehicles, a shed and carport Thursday morning in Kearney is being investigated by the Nebraska Fire Marshal’s office. Around 11 a.m. the Kearney Volunteer Fire Department was called to 3003 Ave. E where it found a detached garage, carport and a fifth-wheel camper fully engulfed in fire. Thick black and gray smoke filled the neighborhood as firefighters tried to find the source of the fire. “We believe the fire had a big head start on us before we got there,” said KVFD Assistant Fire Chief Tony Rich. Residents were home at the time of the fire. Firefighters tried to protect multiple exposures in close proximity to the garage while attacking the main fire, said a KVFD news release.
Kearney Hub - Metered Site

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Maywood family loses three dogs in house fire

A young family from Maywood lost their home and three dogs after a fire destroyed their kitchen. The Maywood Volunteer Fire Department was called to the home around 11:45 am Wednesday. The residents, Coy Terry and Casey Podsobinski and her son were not home at the time. Casey had left the house just an hour before the call came in. Bo, Ruger and Wrangler were in the home, and all three dogs died to smoke inhalation before the fire department arrived. The fire destroyed the kitchen. State Fire Investigator Ryan Sylvester declared the cause, an accidental malfunction of a kitchen appliance. Chief Greg Blank with the Maywood Fire Department said he guessed at least $60-70 thousand in damages to the home. "There was some fire damage. Pretty much the kitchen's gone now. The guys did a heck of a job knocking it (the fire) down," said Chief Blank.
News Channel Nebraska

Fremont firefighters discuss procedures for dealing with coronavirus

Alan Atkinson knows Fremont rescue squad personnel look a little different when they come to someone’s door these days. That’s because they’ve launched some different procedures in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. When Fremonters call for a rescue squad, they’ll talk to a 911 dispatcher who will ask a series of questions, which include those about travel and possible exposure to someone with the virus. This helps first-responders prepare for the call. Fremont Fire Department personnel have Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The equipment includes goggles, a mask and gloves, which they wear to calls. If through the dispatcher’s questions, squad members believe the person is a suspected COVID-19 patient, they also have protective, full-body suits and full-face shields, said Atkinson, a Fremont firefighter.
Fremont Tribune - Metered Site

Waverly fire truck returns home

A piece of Waverly history has returned home. On Saturday, a fire truck originally owned by the Waverly Volunteer Fire Department made its way back to its hometown after a 65-year trip around eastern Nebraska. City officials were notified out about six months ago that a 1934 Ford Model BB fire truck formerly owned by Waverly was for sale, according to Aaron Hummel, a member of the fire department and the city’s emergency services coordinator. The Omaha Fire Department had been in possession of the truck for several years. Department members were surprised to hear the truck was still around and were interested in bringing it back to Waverly as soon as possible. “We thought this was something that was unique,” Hummel said. The process of buying and moving the vehicle began soon after the first contact from OFD.
Waverly News

’We’ve got your back’: La Vista distillery donates gallons of hand sanitizer to Omaha firefighters

VIDEO: As more stories of neighbors helping neighbors come to light across the Omaha metro, a La Vista distillery took a break from making spirits to produce another type of in-demand alcohol -- hand sanitizer. On Wednesday, Soldier Valley Spirits, a part of Patriarch Distillery, donated their fresh supply to first responders. "It wasn't really that hard," Jeff Hadden, founder and owner of Patriarch Distillery, said. "It's not rocket science. It's hand sanitizer." Hadden said he and his small team of distillers in La Vista saw a need took their unused supply of alcohol and put their skills to work, producing a sanitizer he said was 170 proof. "It's made with glycerin and peroxide, so it will kill the virus, for sure. It's the highest the FDA will allow us to put out," Hadden said. 58 gallons later, Hadden said, the First Responders Foundations connected Soldier Valley with the Omaha Fire Department.

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