New York News

Friday, February 22, 2019

Federal DOT: New emergency response rule sharpens oil train safety in Genesee County

A new federal rule is enacting stricter spill response regulations for oil trains. The rule affects the crude oil trains that pass through Genesee County regularly on the CSX railroad. It specifically requires railroads to establish geographic response zones along affected routes while ensuring personnel and equipment are staged and prepared to respond in the event of an accident. Railroads are also required to identify the person responsible for each response zone, along with the organization, personnel, and equipment capable of removing and mitigating a worst-case discharge. Information about the trains must be provided to state and tribal emergency response commissions. The rule applies to trains hauling petroleum oil in a block of 20 or more loaded tank cars or those that have a total of 35 loaded petroleum oil tank cars.
Batavia Daily News

Port Chester firefighters radio silent about missing radio equipment

A firehouse in Westchester is now under investigation by the federal government. On Thursday, the FBI launched a second investigation into Port Chester's Putnam Engine and Hose Fire Company. Port Chester firefighters were tight-lipped about another apparent federal investigation involving the department. The police chief did tell News 12 that the FBI has launched an investigation after $30,000 worth of radio equipment went missing out of Port Chester Putnam Engine and Hose fire Company - and no one seems to know where it is. The FBI has had an active investigation inside the department since a former treasurer admitted to stealing $38,000 to cover old debts, though it’s not clear if he is a suspect. The police chief tells News 12 that they started investigating last month and they still don't know if it’s true.
News 12 Hudson Valley

Hampton Bays Opened Hearts To Host 20,000 For NYPD Hero’s Funeral

The words "it takes a village" or, rather, a hamlet, were never more true than in Hampton Bays this week, as an entire community of residents, business owners, volunteers and town officials worked hand in hand and and opened their hearts to welcome about 20,000 mourners as NYPD Det. Brian Simonsen was laid to rest. Simonsen, 43, of Calverton, a 19-year NYPD veteran, was killed by friendly fire in the line of duty last week; he and a sergeant were shot during a robbery at a T-Mobile store in Queens — and thousands turned out for his wake Monday and Tuesday and funeral service Wednesday at the Church of St. Rosalie on E. Montauk Highway. Preparing for an veritable sea of blue, 20,000 strong, is no mean feat when the hamlet of Hampton Bays itself has a population of about 13,603, according to recent statistics reported by

Crews battle house fire in Clay

A fire broke out at a home in clay on Friday morning. The call came just after 5:00am bringing crews to Capri Circle. Upon arrival, fire officials say they could see heavy flames and smoke on the second floor. According to the Clay Fire Department, there up to 5 people in the house at the time, all were able to make it out safely. “The occupant of the building went next-door, knocked on the neighbor's door and the neighbor actually made the first call into 911," said Michael Redhead, Deputy Chief with the Clay Fire Department. Fire officials said the home suffered severe damages. The second floor has been gutted to the roof and there was extensive water damage throughout the home. One Clay firefighter was injured but was evaluated on scene for minor facial injuries. no other injuries were reported.

Fulton County: Greater Amsterdam Volunteer Ambulance Corps sorts out new role

Officials from Greater Amsterdam Volunteer Ambulance Corps do not expect its expanded role in Fulton County to affect operations in Amsterdam and Montgomery County. “We have not changed any of our procedures for Montgomery County. We are still putting the same number of ambulances out on the road as we did on Feb. 7,” GAVAC Executive Director Thomas Pasquarelli said. On Wednesday, GAVAC had been named the primary agency serving the area formerly serviced by Ambulance Service of Fulton County, an official said. Fulton County Emergency Management Office Director Steven Santa Maria announced Wednesday evening in a press release the plan to name GAVAC as the primary agency for the areas originally serviced by ASFC and to terminate their contingency plan effective Thursday at 8 a.m. ASFC announced Feb. 8 it was suspending its operations after it was unable to make payroll with ambulance services throughout Montgomery and Fulton counties picking up the calls and work left by the absence of ASFC through the contingency plan.
Recorder News

Central Square and West Monroe Fire Companies face off in joint training exercise

The Central Square and West Monroe Fire Companies routinely hold joint training nights as neighboring mutual aid departments, but this evening was a little different. Suited up in full gear and air packs the firefighters added one more piece of equipment – a hockey stick! While this may seem like just a fun get together, it was so much more. Imagine playing floor hockey in cumbersome protective gear, limited vision through your air mask and a limited supply of air. According to CSFC Captain Maria Kurtz who organized the drill, “There were multiple things covered. In a nutshell it was a team building exercise to prepare everyone to work together for effective fire ground operation where we use our SCBA (air packs). It helped build communication skills and tested our air conservation ability, critical to an interior firefighter.
Oswego News

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Children Injured After Fire Rips Through New York City Apartment

A fire that burned through an apartment in The Bronx injured several people including five children Wednesday afternoon, officials say. Four of the children were hospitalized. At least one child, who was transported to Jacobi Medical Center, was listed in critical condition, with police saying there were no supervising adults inside the seventh-floor apartment located on Webster Avenue, although currently there is no criminality. The fire started around 1:30 p.m. and was extinguished by approximately 2 p.m. Images from the scene showed windows blown out. Fire officials say that smoke was billowing from the windows. Witnesses say they could hear the children screaming for help from the windows as the fire ripped through the apartment.

Questions over Rochester fire chief’s qualifications

VIDEO: Rochester's new fire chief Willie Jackson does not appear to meet the new state standards for fire departments with 5 or more career firefighters. Mayor Lovely Warren's office is responding to this News 8 investigation saying the new standards took effect after Jackson was appointed and the questioning of his qualifications is at least partly based on race. The new qualifications list provides several ways to qualify for chief: (1) Have Fire Officer 3 certification from the National Fire Protection Association, or NFPA, (2) have NFPA Fire Officer 2 certification plus a certain amount of secondary education or a combination of specific experience and other certifications, or (3) have state certification and 10 or more years of service as a fire chief. Chief Jackson's resume shows he does not fit into any of those qualification options.
Rochester First

Man Severely Burned, 2 Firefighters Hurt in Potsdam Blaze

One man was severely burned and two firefighters were hurt in a fire that may have been drug-related. It happened at 39 1/2 Pine Street in Potsdam at around 1 p.m. Police located a man with severe burns in the neighborhood while firefighters battled the blaze. “We fought it from the outside upstairs window to start with because we weren't sure of what we had at the time and then we proceeded inside the house,” said Mark Bradish, Potsdam assistant chief. Two firefighters stretching a hose were injured. One, from Norfolk, broke an ankle. The other, from Potsdam, bruised a knee. It didn't take long to get the blaze under control. “The guys that went in first just told me it was extremely hot at first and they got it knocked down quickly. And they did a really good job of knocking the fire down right from the get-go,” said Bradish. All the injured were taken to Canton-Potsdam Hospital.
WWNY-TV 7 Fox 28

Residents, firefighters raise concerns on proposed Oriskany firehouse project

Concerned residents and volunteer firefighters packed village offices Tuesday as questions surfaced about the proposed new Oriskany firehouse project. Earlier this month, fire officials released a statement on plans for a new building at the current location of Waterbury Square, Inc., in the section of the building where the roof collapsed just more than a year ago. Chief Jeffrey Burkhart said during Tuesday’s regularly scheduled village board meeting that the department had been leasing the section that faces River Street for $1 a year for over two years, and had been storing equipment there. The overwhelming concern of area residents at Tuesday’s meeting was that the village was “kept in the dark” about the fire department’s plans, only first being informed by what they saw in the local media. They complained that not even village trustees were made aware.
Rome Sentinel

4-alarm fire tears through 7-story building in Manhattan

Firefighters battled a four-alarm blaze that tore through a Manhattan apartment building Wednesday afternoon. The flames broke out around 12:30 p.m. on the third floor of a seven-story building on 101st Street and Broadway on the Upper West Side. It quickly spread. Some residents were home at the time and scrambled to safety, while others were at work and got a call to return home. "I saw firemen coming up on the ladder, so I decided to leave," resident Haley Collins said. "I didn't know what was going on, so I got my cats and I left." At least one person was hurt, with the victim listed in serious but stable condition with non-life threatening injuries. "Smelly, terrifying, alarms sounding," resident Francis Fernandez said. "Everybody going in every different direction, it was chaos."

Follow-up: Watertown erred by not releasing vote information in firefighters executive session

The city has admitted it was wrong to have withheld the outcome of a Feb. 4 executive session on whether to appeal an arbitrator case to the state’s highest court in a long-standing dispute over fire department staffing. The admission came in a news release issued Wednesday afternoon. In that release, the city acknowledged that the vote and the minutes of the closed-door meeting should have been made public. On the advice of City Attorney Robert J. Slye, City Council members agreed by consensus, in the Feb. 4 executive session, to go forward with the appeal to the Court of Appeals. The Watertown Daily Times protested how the city handled the matter, citing that the public had a right to know what happened in the closed-door session and which council member changed their mind about the appeal.
Watertown Daily Times

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