National News

Friday, November 22, 2019

New York city budget woes prompt steep layoffs: 14 firefighters, 15 cops to be cut

The Newburgh City Council on Thursday night approved its 2020 financial plan that includes steep layoffs to public safety and a tax increase for non-homestead payers after an emotionally-charged meeting at the Activity Center. The $46.8 million budget plan calls for the elimination of 35 public-safety positions, six of which are funded-vacancies; meaning 15 uniformed police positions and 14 uniformed firefighters will be cut. Meanwhile, the city voted for a .25 percent decrease next year for homestead property tax-payers and a 4.26 percent increase for non-homestead payers. “There is no way that they can expect more with less,” Acting fire Chief Terry Ahlers said after the vote. “With the cuts they just made, they made is so that we have a person for each position.
Record Online

Two fire departments become first in Indiana to require dementia training

Local firefighters and first responders participated in special training on Wednesday aimed at learning how to identify someone with dementia. Carmel and Noblesville fire departments are working to become the first departments in the state to require the training. With an increasing regularity, firefighters are responding to patients suffering some form of dementia. “We really are,” said Carmel Fire Department public information officer Tim Griffin. “And one of the big key factors is the aging population, the boomers, we have this aging population and the numbers are staggering at the amount of people this will affect or is affecting now.” Every day the Carmel Fire Department encounters someone with dementia. The increase has prompted the department to create a PSA on how others can spot signs that a person with dementia may be in trouble in their community.
WISH-TV News 8

Hot oiler truck explosion causes fire in Texas that destroys fire engine

A hot oiler truck and a frack tank offloading product were the cause of an explosion Thursday on Fairgrounds Road in southeast Midland. Chief Charles Blumenauer of the Midland Fire Department said a fire engine responding to the scene also caught fire after the initial incident. A hose disconnected from the hot oiler and spilled fluid, causing a rolling fire under MFD Engine 3, he said. One person was injured and transferred to Midland Memorial Hospital, Blumenauer said. Crews had nearly extinguished the fire as of 1 p.m. Thursday. Surrounding businesses were initially evacuated and part of Fairgrounds Road had been closed to traffic, but Blumenauer said all businesses and roads would be reopened. He said there is no chance of more explosions. “It’s just an industrial accident that happened to have an explosion,” he said.
Midland Reporter-Telegram

Tulsa selected to host prestigious firefighter training program in 2020

A prestigious firefighter training event is coming to Tulsa for the first time. The Oklahoma Smoke Diver Program will be held at the Tulsa Fire Training Center next March and is expected to have a $200,000 economic impact on the community.The program is only available in a handful of states. Oklahoma firefighters began work on bringing it to the state about five years ago. Tryouts will be conducted on Saturday by the nonprofit Oklahoma Smoke Divers Association. The group expects about 150 firefighters from the region to vie for 30 positions in the program. Firefighters who are accepted will be able to use the program to expand upon the training they already receive. The Oklahoma Smoke Diver Program researches situations in which firefighters have died responding to emergencies, and teaches others how to survive them.
Fox 23 News

3 Squatters Killed, 4 FDNY Firefighters Injured When Suspicious Fire Rips Through Abandoned Queens Home

Three men were killed when flames tore through an abandoned home overnight in Queens. Police sources told CBS2 the cause is believed to be suspicious. Firefighters were called shortly after midnight to Farmers Boulevard near 111th Avenue in the St. Albans section. When crews arrived, they found the men – believed to be squatters – already dead inside the house. Four of the 200 firefighters who responded were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. Neighbors said they’ve seen people going in and out for warmth for a while. “They don’t’ want to go to a shelter or whatever. They chose an abandoned home,” said neighbor Linda Wong. “It’s a human being, you know. You don’t got to die like that… I’m distraught. I’m just praying for them. You know, it’s sad, it’s terrible.”
New York CBS Local

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Volunteer fire departments still exist? Yes — but this one in the Florida Keys is facing change

It’s a slice of small-town America that’s disappearing across the country. Just like the mom-and-pop hardware store, the volunteer fire department is being replaced with big-city professional departments. In the Florida Keys, only two all-volunteer departments have managed to hang on, along with volunteers serving on paid departments. They keep busy tending to injured car crash victims on the Oversea Highway, and putting out boat and house fires. But Key Largo, the largest of the volunteer fire departments left in Monroe County and around since the 1950s, is struggling for volunteers. And major change may not be far behind. The department’s leadership and the taxing board that oversees its budget said this week that the all-volunteer model is becoming unsustainable as the cost of living continues to increase in the Keys. A proposal to bring on more paid firefighters would mean a tax increase.
Miami Herald

Former New Jersey firefighters allege racism in lawsuit against city

Two former city firefighters, both African Americans, have filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming they were the victims of racial discrimination, retaliation and a hostile work environment, especially under the leadership of retired Fire Chief Joseph Dooley. The 15-page lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Superior Court in Union County, charges that Joseph Braxton and Mark Bullock were subjected to "racial comments and jokes" daily. Other retired firefighters, the lawsuit alleges, reported that Dooley "routinely made disparaging remarks about African-Americans, Jews, women, Hispanics, Poles and other groups," before and after he became chief. The lawsuit was announced Wednesday during a news conference by the New Jersey Clergy Coalition for Justice (NJCCJ).
My Central Jersey

‘Clearly a great leader’, Missouri city names its first female fire department chief

Kansas City’s interim fire chief, Donna Maize, will become the first woman to lead the department, the city announced in a press release Wednesday. Maize, who was serving in City Manager Troy Schulte’s office, took the helm as interim chief in September when Gary Reese stepped down. Schulte on Wednesday appointed her to the permanent position, which she had indicated previously that she didn’t plan on pursuing. “I thrive on the positivity I receive daily from the department and see a renewed sense of purpose in our responders,” Maize said in the release. The Kansas City Fire Department has long played a role in Maize’s life. Maize joined KCFD in 1992, where her father was also a firefighter, and the two fought several blazes together.
The Kansas City Star

Good Samaritan dad, firefighter killed helping at Pennsylvania crash scene

Lloyd Musick was driving south on Route 309 in Lynn Township on Tuesday night when he came upon an overturned truck that had just been in a crash. He stopped his vehicle and joined two others to help out the victims in the wreck, authorities said. Musick didn’t know the people involved in the 5:30 p.m. crash at Route 309 and Mountain Road at the base of Blue Mountain, but he was the type of person who would help anyone in need, according to those who knew him. As Musick and others helped crash victims, a minivan driving south on Route 309 hit the three Good Samaritans, injuring two of them and killing Musick, 49, of Summit Hill, Carbon County, authorities said. On a GoFundMe page, Musick’s daughter, Kaitlyn, describes her father as “a firefighter, a husband, a father, a brother, a friend to anyone who needed one, and a proud pappy."
The Morning Call

Massachusetts firehouse ordered vacated after discovery of asbestos

The sign on the door at Firehouse 7 says it all: “THIS PROPERTY CLOSED BY ORDER OF THE BOARD OF HEALTH.” Asbestos was detected on open surfaces inside the North Plymouth station, prompting the site to be locked down until further notice. Both the town manager and the Board of Health both issued declarations ordering Firehouse 7 closed. The latter order prevents anyone from entering the station until an environmental expert can assess the safety risk. “The town is engaging an environmental hygienist to go in there with the appropriate gear,” said Birgitta Kuehn, chair of the Plymouth Board of Health. “That person will determine if it is safe to remove the firefighters’ gear so they can perform their duties. All firefighters at Fire House 7 have been relocated to other stations.”
Plymouth Wicked Local

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