National News

Monday, September 23, 2019

Houston firefighter dies after suffering medical emergency at station

A Houston firefighter has died at Station 27 while performing assigned station duties, according to Chief Samuel Pena. Kenneth Stavinoha was cutting grass when the medical emergency occurred. He had been part of the Houston Fire Department since 2018. "We are grateful for Stavinoha's service, unwavering courage as a first responder and his dedication to protecting citizens since joining HFD in January 2018. I offer my prayers and condolences. I also ask our entire city to pray for Stavinoha's family, friends and fellow fire fighters," Mayor Sylvester Turner said in a statement. The Houston Fire Department held a procession from the station to the ME's office.
KTRK-TV ABC 13 Houston

Injured Pennsylvania firefighter dies 1 year after crash

A Kunkle Fire Company firefighter who was hit and severely injured by a dump truck almost exactly one year ago has died, the fire department announced Friday. “We deeply regret to announce the passing of Firefighter Ed Nulton Sr. who passed away Thursday,” the department said in a Facebook announcement. “He wasn’t just a fireman; he was part of our family. Ed was a model part of our department that can never be replaced. His impact on our lives will forever be planted in our minds.” It wasn’t immediately clear whether Nulton’s death was directly related to the accident that severely injured him Sept. 21, 2018. According to authorities, the accident took place as Nulton, 62, had been directing traffic at the scene of an accident in Monroe Twp., Wyoming County. A dump truck driven by Jack Husband Jr., of Harveys Lake, hit Nulton, who was wearing a green florescent vest and carrying a lighted wand.
The Citizens' Voice

Massive fire in Cincinnati spreads to 5 homes, 1 collapses

VIDEO: A massive, four-alarm fire spread to five homes and displaced two families early Monday, Cincinnati fire officials said. Firefighters responded to Addison and Halstead streets in the Clifton Heights-Fairview-University Heights neighborhood just after 4:30 a.m. Monday. They received a report of a house fully involved. A woman in a wheelchair was rescued out of one home and a total of at least three homes were initially on fire, including one that has since collapsed, Cincinnati Fire Chief Roy Winston said. The woman is OK, and no injuries were reported so far, he said. They ordered firefighters out of the home on Halstead street that collapsed just five minutes before it collapse, he said. Firefighters also were ordered out of a second building.
WXIX-TV FOX 19 Cincinnati

Indiana: University of Notre Dame Fire Department brings on first female firefighters

Two women are smashing the University of Notre Dame Fire Department‘s gender barrier. Michelle Woolverton and Christi Shibata were sworn in recently as the department’s first-ever full-time female firefighters since its inception 140 years ago. Woolverton, 42, started with NDFD in August and Shibata, 37, in July. “I never would have thought that my dream was actually going to come true,” Woolverton said, “and it has.” NDFD Fire Chief Bruce Harrison said he has been “exceptionally pleased” with the work Woolverton and Shibata have contributed to the team so far. Having the two join the oldest university fire department in the United States has been a blessing, Harrison said. He said the firefighters serve as “good representatives for this fire department,” bringing him optimism for the future.
South Bend Tribune

Pennyslvania State Representative sponsors bill to support volunteer firefighters

To stem the tide of declining membership and award volunteers, the state House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee approved legislation last week to expand the use of volunteer relief money for volunteer firefighters. House Bill 1673 would create the Length of Service Award Program to provide tax-deferred income benefits to active volunteer firefighters, and expand the use of relief funds to include assistance and materials for volunteer recruitment and retention. The bill, which will head to the House in October, is sponsored by state Rep. Frank Farry, who has served as chief of Langhorne-Middletown Fire Co. for nearly 20 years. “Our volunteer firefighters work tirelessly to protect our communities, the least we can do is assist them in any way possible,” said Farry, R-142, of Langhorne.
The Intelligencer

Friday, September 20, 2019

FDNY Firefighters Say Mayor’s Vision Zero Initiative Slowed Down Emergency Response Times

The FDNY’s response time has gone up and the firefighters union says part of the problem is a program meant to make New York City streets safer. It is taking the New York City Fire Department longer to respond to fires and other emergencies, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s latest management report. But the firefighters union says the mayor is partly to blame because of his Vision Zero program, reports CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez. “Vision Zero has the best of intentions, Vision Zero is to save pedestrian lives, I understand that, we appreciate that,” said Bobby Eustace of the Uniformed Firefighters Association. “Our problem is that a part of the consequence right there is that our rigs cannot get around.” De Blasio launched the 10-year Vision Zero initiative in 2014 to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries on city streets.
WLNY-TV 55 Riverhead

Virginia Board Vote Over Sprinkler Mandate Sparks Outcry From Firefighters

Plenty of new housing needs to be built in Northern Virginia over the next few decades to keep up with expected job growth, but for now some of it won’t include built-in sprinkler systems. This week, the Virginia Board of Housing and Community Development voted against an update to the Commonwealth’s construction code that would have required that sprinklers be put in all new single-family homes and townhouses. Federal law already requires most larger commercial and retail buildings have sprinkler systems. Home-builders hailed the 10-4 vote taken Monday, saying that requiring sprinklers would only throw another obstacle in the way of the new housing construction that is needed to help close what officials say is a 75,000-home gap between what’s currently expected to be built across the region and what’s actually needed to keep pace with estimated job growth.
WAMU 88.5 American University Radio

North Carolina woman stalled firefighters for 13 minutes after witnesses said they saw her firing a gun, police say

Firefighters watched helplessly Wednesday as black smoke billowed over a treeline from a nearby apartment complex. They had arrived at 5:15 p.m. to fight a fire in Apartment F at Legacy Crossing Apartments at 3914 Hahn’s Lane, but police told them to wait on a nearby street so they could arrest the woman accused of setting the fire who witnesses said was also firing a gun. For 13 minutes the fire burned and firefighters were unable to reach it. They called for more firefighters to respond. “Those 13 minutes hurt us,” said Dwayne Church, Greensboro Fire Department spokesman. “But GPD did a great job making it just 13 minutes.” Police arrested 21-year-old Aleen Smith, a Greensboro resident, and charged her with breaking and entering, larceny, possession of a weapon of mass destruction, discharging a firearm within the city limits, and arson.
Greensboro News & Record

Pennsylvania high school offers course training students to become volunteer firefighters

Volunteer fire departments across the region and even the state of Pennsylvania have started to shrink over the years as fewer people come forward to volunteer. But a solution to the lack of recruits might have been found within local schools. North Star High School added a new class students can take this year. It's a one-credit course that trains them to become volunteer firefighters. The course is taught by Christian Boyd, who on top of being a teacher at the school is a state fire and EMS instructor as well as assistant chief at the Stoystown Volunteer Fire Company. "I've been with the state fire academy since 2001, and usually, this is a class that I do in a fire station during the winter weekend for adults, not every day for 45 minutes in a school setting. So I'm glad that they were interested in it and signed up for it," said Boyd.
WJAC-TV NBC/CW+ 6 Johnstown

Florida: Titusville’s Great Fire of 1895 Ravaged Majority of City’s Business District

Like so many other small towns, Titusville’s citizens since the city’s founding in 1867 has banded together to protect their homes and businesses from fires. They held socials and collected subscriptions to support basic fire protection for their town. They urged their neighbors to install lightning rods on their homes and clear their lots of overgrowth to prevent fires from starting or spreading. When Titusville was in financial crisis in 1888, the citizens of the volunteer fire department donated their fire protection fund to the town fathers to keep Titusville from financial ruin. Titusville’s monetary difficulties were of short duration and the town continued its rapid growth. So rapidly in fact that in the spring of 1890, the East Coast Advocate published a letter from Insurance Agent Silas Wright of Deland explaining he was unable to find insurance coverage for their building due to Titusville’s rapid growth and the number of wooden buildings liable to go up in flames by the spread of a single fire.

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