National News

Friday, December 4, 2020

How Much Firefighter Salaries Are In Every State

Firefighters across the United States risk their lives every time they show up to work for the safety of the communities they serve. In 2020, they have been facing not only the spread of the coronavirus but also other major challenges, including a record-setting wildfire season that has killed dozens and burned millions of acres in the western United States. Most of them do it for free as volunteers. For the ones who do get paid as full-time firefighters, salaries across the states vary extensively. Vio Security, a Texas-based national security automation company researched how much firefighters are paid. Firefighters are paid the most in California, with an adjusted salary of $73,111. 2020 has been a particularly busy year for firefighters in California, as dozens of people have died from the wildfires in that state alone.
Patch Across America

VIDEO: Large fire burns at Toledo Beach Marina in Michigan

Firefighters are on the scene of a three-alarm fire Friday at the Toledo Beach Marina in La Salle, Mich. Monroe County Emergency Manager Mark Hammond said there have been no injuries reported, but hundreds, if not more, boats have been damaged or destroyed by the fire. Dozens of firefighters have responded. Hammond said the biggest issue they face has been getting water to put out the fire because marinas like this one are meant for getting boats in the water, not for large trucks. They have been having a difficult time getting the fire trucks to a place where they can get water they can use. The American Red Cross and Salvation Army have been called in to help make sure fire crews are being monitored for exhaustion or fatigue.
WDIV-TV NBC 4 Detroit

Update: New Floating Fire Station Arrives at San Francisco Pier

PHOTOS/VIDEO: A new floating fire station, possibly the first of its kind in the world, arrived at its permanent home in San Francisco Thursday morning. Fireboat Station 35, a two-story, 14,900-square-foot facility sitting on a massive steel float, was towed during the overnight hours from Treasure Island to Pier 22 1/2 along the Embarcadero near the Bay Bridge, according to San Francisco Public Works. "The Loma Prieta Earthquake, the shed fire at Pier 45 and the water rescues performed with more frequency are just a handful of examples that demonstrate the importance of Fireboat Station 35," San Francisco Fire Chief Jeanine Nicholson said in a statement. "The project will provide new and upgraded infrastructure and facilities for emergency equipment and personnel that’s needed to optimize the critical work they perform as first responders."
KNTV NBC 11 San Jose

Major firefighter organizations coming together to ask for priority access when a COVID-19 vaccine releases

With talk of COVID-19 vaccines being made available as soon as this month, major firefighter organizations like The International Association of Fire Fighters and the National Volunteer Fire Council are asking to be among the first to receive it. “I would tell the leaders, the politicians that are deciding, the community leaders, the health department take care of the people that care of your people we are the ones that are out there,” a firefighter and paramedic with the Ocean Pines Fire Department, said. This week the organizations sent letters to state leaders and governors urging them to give firefighters, paramedics and EMT’s priority access. Those we spoke with at the Salisbury Fire Department agree that getting the early access to the vaccine could help because EMT’s are usually the first link in the COVID-19 response spending 10 to 15 minutes at a time with COVID positive patients as they rush them to the hospital.
WMDT-TV ABC/CW+ 47 Salisbury

California firefighter breaks racing record on trip to honor his father

VIDEO: It's a tradition at the Bonneville Salt Flats to spread the ashes of lost loved ones on the track. A Central California firefighter wanted to honor his father that way - and he set a racing record on the same trip. "It was a dream come true. And we didn't have any intention when we left Fresno of going after record, and we ended up having a lot more fun than we thought we were going to," said Frank Silva, Jr. He works for the Fresno Fire Department, and in his spare time, he's a driver on the Got Salt Racing team. "Small team with big goals," Silva said. He and his team race the Got Salt Lakester racecar at Bonneville Speedway in Utah every year. The wide-open salt flats and terrain lend themselves to attempts at land speed records. In August of this year, the team set a new record for their class (AA/BFL), traveling at more than 353 MPH with Silva behind the wheel. "It felt great, it felt amazing and it's a great car and motor, it just felt awesome," Silva said.
KGO-TV ABC 7 San Francisco

Thursday, December 3, 2020

‘Worcester 6’ fallen firefighters remembered 21 years after Cold Storage and Warehouse Co. fire in Massachusetts

PHOTOS: It’s been 21 years since one of the most heartbreaking days in Worcester’s history. On Dec. 3, 1999, a blaze at the Worcester Cold Storage and Warehouse Co. claimed the lives of six Worcester firefighters. Each December since, the city has remembered the sacrifices of Lt. Thomas Spencer, Lt. Timothy Jackson Sr., Lt. James Lyons III and Firefighters Jeremiah Lucey, Paul Brotherton and Joseph McGuirk. Firefighters across the city will have a moment of silence to remember the “Worcester 6" on Wednesday. There will be no public memorial event because of the coronavirus pandemic. Flames consumed the Worcester Cold Storage and Warehouse Co. building 21 years ago after two homeless people staying inside knocked over a candle. More than 75 firefighters rushed inside the Franklin Street building. The Worcester 6 never made it out of the 110,000-square-foot building, which had a maze-like structure inside.
The Republican - Mass Live

Crews battle fire at 2-story commercial building in downtown Los Angeles

VIDEO: Fire crews were battling a blaze at a large two-story structure in downtown Los Angeles Wednesday evening, officials said. The fire was reported around 6:10 p.m. on the 500 block of East Ninth Street, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department, where a number of fabric stores are located. Firefighters had moved to a defensive operation to battle fire, which was escalated to a “greater alarm” incident. Crews were primarily using ladder pipes to battle the intense heat and flames. The bulk of the fire load was in the second story and attic, officials said. The majority of flames were out around 7:20 p.m., the department said.
KTLA-TV 5 CW Los Angeles

According to ambulance companies, 911 systems in U.S. ‘at a breaking point’ after receiving little COVID aid

Stefan Hofer’s ambulance company, West Trail EMS, in Mayville, North Dakota, has received only one or two calls that weren’t related to COVID-19 over the past two months. But he said the case count has ballooned by 20 to 30 percent because of the pandemic. At the same time, the company’s expenses have mounted, its revenue has cratered and its workforce is being decimated by the virus. The company — which is private and supported by volunteers, a few employees and four trucks — covers more than 1,500 miles of North Dakota prairie and serves about 10,000 people on the far east side of the state. Private EMS services, both in urban and rural centers across the country, collectively received $350 million in COVID-19 relief funds in April, but those companies said that money ran out within weeks. Months later, the need remains great as they face another coronavirus surge.
KTVE-TV NBC 10 El Dorado

Vermont fire department joins nationwide mental health study

The Essex Fire Department (EFD) is one of 20 fire departments in the country — and the only one in Vermont — to join a Drexel University study investigating how the COVID-19 pandemic impacts the mental health of first responders. The study is run by the Center for Firefighter Injury Research and Safety Trends (FIRST Center) at the Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University in Philadelphia. The study ran over six months said Stephen Trenholm, Essex Fire Department’s safety officer. An anonymous survey was sent out each month from May 2020 to October 2020. EFD was “selected to represent not just their department in Vermont, but departments that look like them who aren't in the study across the United States,” said Jennifer Taylor, director of the FIRST Center.
Saint Albans Messenger

Family of fallen FDNY captain fights to have his name added to memorial wall

The family of an FDNY captain, who died decades ago after fighting a major fire in Queens, is demanding his name be added to a memorial wall honoring those who died in the line of duty. Richard Meister says he never knew his grandfather, FDNY Captain Hans Meister, but he’s heard plenty of stories about the impact he had on other members of his family. “My dad slept under the coffin for the first two nights of my grandfather lying in state at the family home,” Meister said. The FDNY captain died in 1943, five days after battling a massive warehouse fire at the Diesel Electric Company in Long Island City. “The next day, he had a mild cough, the day after it got worse. He said it was like he had something in his lungs that he couldn't clear,” Meister said of his grandfather. At the time of his death, Captain Meister’s death was not linked to the fire. But, the family is convinced he suffered from acute respiratory distress.

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