Nebraska News

Friday, July 19, 2019

Kearney Fire Department responds to apartment fire in scorching temperatures

PHOTOS: An apartment complex west of Kearney was completely evacuated Thursday as a fire on the lower level began to spread. The Kearney Volunteer Fire Department received the call around noon for a reported structure fire at the Village apartment complex on La Crosse Drive. The Captain says crews were able to get the fire under control in about 15 minutes. "When we got here, we found eight unit complex, smoke coming out of one of the first floor units. We immediately made entry into that unit. The interior crew went looking for the fire and we had additional crews that began searching the remaining apartment units to make sure that we had no fire extension and no other occupants in the building," said Jeremy Feusner, Captain of the Kearney Fire Department. Thankfully, there were no reported injuries from the occupants or firefighters themselves.

York County will pay more to city for ambulance services

The county will be paying the city more for ambulance services in the next fiscal year and into the future. York County Commissioner Bill Bamesberger said he and Commissioner Randy Obermier (who sit on the county’s budget committee) sat down with officials from the City of York to discuss the matter after it was discovered there had been hardly any increases in cost since the original agreement was signed back in the 1980s. The county was paying about $214,000 a year. After negotiations between the two entities’ officials, an agreement was drafted that would increase next year’s payment to $249,000 (which is split and paid by quarters). “Then it would go to $294,000 next year,” Bamesberger explained. “And the next year it would go to $319,000. Then each year after that, it would increase by 3 percent annually. I make a motion to adopt this interlocal agreement revision.”
York News Times

North Platte arsonist on the run

The North Platte Police Department are on the hunt for the person responsible for starting two separate fires on July 14 and 15. Both fires started on the same home. The home located near 1400 W and 2nd Street has been declared a total loss. The arsonist used a petroleum based product to start the fire. According to Officer Kerr the fire department claims the suspect created a barricade near the garage to make it difficult for them to fight the fire. Law enforcement is asking the public for help to catch the perpetrator. "Sergeant Foote is going to be the one investigating this crime. He asks that everyone check their cameras," said North Platte Police Department's Officer Elizabeth Kerr. "If they notice anything suspicious or seen anyone suspicious to come in and do an interview with Sergeant Foote so he can piece together some facts."
KNOP-TV NBC 2 North Platte

Lincoln Police and Fire compete to help Nebraska Community Blood Bank

The Lincoln Police Department and Lincoln Fire and Rescue have teamed up with the Nebraska Community Blood Bank for their annual Battle of the Badges competition. Starting Friday, July 19 and running through August 28, police officers and firefighters will urge people to donate blood to the blood bank. When a person donates, they'll select a department through which to give. The department receiving the most donations will win the competition, along with the traveling Battle of the Badges trophy and bragging rights. The losing department will spend time cleaning up a city picnic shelter with Lincoln Parks and Recreation. Anyone who donates will receive a coupon for a free Runza burger and a pint of Empyrean soda. The winning department will be announced in September.
KOLN-TV CBS 10/KGIN-TV CBS 11 Lincoln-Grand Island

North Platte firefighters keep cool in extreme heat

For North Platte Fire Department Captain Jeremy Hankla suiting up is part of the job. But on hot and humid days, the extra 60 pound load is an added challenge. "You're breaking a sweat even before you get on scene because you are putting it on in 90 plus degree weather," Hankla said. Two firemen were taken to the hospital for heat exhaustion while fighting three house fires this past week. Although there are safety precautions that are put into motion to keep his team safe, Hankla says the battalion chief will order his crew to take a break from the heat and hydrate. "Usually you try to take at least your helmet and your mask off, unzip your coat and just drink fluid," said Hankla. "You don't want anybody working in a dangerous environment when they feel unsafe."
KNOP-TV NBC 2 North Platte

Thursday, July 18, 2019

With calls rising, Grand Island Fire Department makes case for more firefighters

“We always plan for that what–if days.” What–if days are happening more often for the Grand Island Fire Department, where Chief Cory Schmidt said they’re staffing the same number of ambulances a day as they were in 1982. “Grand Island has grown by 20,000, has gotten quite a bit bigger. Our population's aged, a lot of things have changed but what hasn't changed is number of units that we have in service,” Schmidt said. He said when there are more calls, they send an engine company. “More and more, we're having to take an engine company out of service to run an ambulance, it's not very effective in the big picture.” Or increasingly, they put people on hold. “That means someone called 911 and we had no units that could handle their emergency 42 times,” Schmidt said. 42 times in the last year and a half, they've had to make someone wait until crews were free.

Plattsmouth volunteer firefighters honored for emergency efforts during flood

Three members of the Plattsmouth Volunteer Fire Department were recognized for their "extraordinary effort” shutting off power to the city's wastewater treatment plant during the March flooding. Drew Wampler, Chris Kerns and Greg Clifton received commendations during Monday's City Council meeting. Plattsmouth Mayor Paul Lambert said the men went by boat March 14 to shut off fuel to the plant, saving thousands of dollars in further electrical damage as the Missouri River continued to rise. "I have always said the strength of Plattsmouth is its people," Lambert said Wednesday. "I think the actions by these men are a perfect example of that." Wampler, Kerns and Clifton navigated the boat through dangerous currents "at significant risk to themselves," Lambert said. Security video from the plant shows the firefighters using bolt cutters underwater to open the water treatment plant's front gate.
Omaha World-Herald

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