Alabama News

Monday, May 20, 2019

Outpouring of support for Huntsville firefighter badly injured in wreck

A veteran Huntsville firefighter is at home recovering after spending weeks in the hospital. Kevin Cassady suffered serious injuries in a car accident while out riding his motorcycle. Last month, Cassady, Huntsville’s oldest firefighter, found himself on the other side of things being treated by first responders. A van turned in front of his motorcycle at the intersection of Andrew Jackson Way and Oakwood Avenue. The impact forced him up onto the roof of the van. "It flipped him into the windshield over on top of the van and that's where he landed. He received two broken wrists, a dislocated shoulder, five ribs broken on one side, four on the other, his pelvis was completely crushed and had to be reconstructed. He has a broken foot," explained Steve Wilson, Cassady's brother-in-law.
WAFF-TV NBC 48 Huntsville

Marshall County Emergency Management Agency announces Everbridge alert system launch

A new and free emergency alert service has been purchased and launched for the residents of Marshall County by the commission. During the latest commission meeting, Marshall County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director Anita McBurnett announced the launch of Everbridge for the county, which was purchased by the commission. She explained that the app, Everbridge, is the worldwide leader in unified critical communications. The EMA has partnered with Everbridge to keep the county’s residents, staff and emergency personnel safe and informed with quick and reliable emergency notifications and public service announcements, she said. “The Marshall County EMA will begin using Everbridge Resident Alerts to communicate with citizens and businesses during emergencies and other critical events,” McBurnett said. “Residents are encouraged to register immediately to receive these alerts.” McBurnett said residents can register for the alerts online at She said once on the site, click on the “Alert Marshall County” logo to begin the registration.
Sand Mountain Reporter

Birmingham: Stray dog rescued after becoming trapped near car engine

An Alabama woman got quite the surprise when her cat alerted her to something stuck under the hood of her car. Clairessia Gamble says it was a little furry face starting back at her. Gamble had seen the stray dog hanging around her house but never expected it to get stuck near the engine of her car. She called animal control and the fire department to free the pup. With the help of the humane society they were able to pull the pup, now called Pippi, to safety. “In all my years, none of us had ever seen a dog wedged between an engine block in that part of the car,” said Allison Black Cornelius of the Greater Birmingham Humane Society. Pippi is now looking for a forever home. Gamble says it cost her several hundred dollars to put her car back in one piece.

Fort Payne man charged with arson

The Fort Payne Police Department has charged a man with arson after a house fire. Allen Tyrone Bailey, 45, of Fort Payne was arrested May 9 for first-degree arson, according to the police department. The department said it and the fire department responded April 8 to a fire in the back porch area of a home in the 1000 block of Godfrey Avenue S. An investigation followed, and Bailey was identified as a suspect. Police said Bailey was in the DeKalb County Detention Center on unrelated charges when he was charged in the arson. Bond was set at $200,000, and the investigation is ongoing.
WAAY-TV ABC 31 Huntsville

Marshall County high school student surprised with dream job at Guntersville Fire Department

At the Marshall County Tech School, students are preparing for all sorts of careers hoping that one day they will nab the job of their dreams. That one day came Friday for one student. "I wasn't expecting to get it....Especially out of high school," said Ryan Franco. Guntersville Fire Chief Brian Waldrop told WAAY31 Franco is the youngest recruit the department has seen in at least 20 years. "Just coming out of high school. Haven't officially even graduated yet," said Franco. That's why the department and Marshall County Tech School had a public signing. "We're hoping it'll inspire new young men and women," said Waldrop. Waldrop said Franco's heart, passion for the work and heartfelt interview is what put him ahead of the other applicants. Franco also took the physical test not once, but twice.
WAAY-TV ABC 31 Huntsville

Friday, May 17, 2019

Former Montgomery Fire/Rescue district fire chief who helped grow EMS division dies

A retired district fire chief has died, Montgomery Fire/Rescue announced Thursday. MFR joins the family of T.L. Bryant in mourning his death while also celebrating his life. The station reports Bryant served Montgomery from October 1974 to July 1995, serving as a dispatcher, firefighter, and a paramedic over the course of his career. He was assigned as the Commander of the EMS Division in 1983 and became the first District Fire Chief of the Medic Division when the position was created in 1986. MFR said Bryant affected many firefighters through mentoring, friendship and leadership, and he is lauded for helping build the foundation of MFR’s EMS division. Bryant is said to have realized early on that EMS would continue to become a large part of the fire service industry. For comparison, MFR offered statistics: in 1986, units responded to 11,715 EMS calls; in 2018, that number tripled to 34,939.
WSFA-TV NBC 12 Montgomery

New Chelsea fire station to improve response time

As one of the fastest growing cities in Alabama, Chelsea is expanding its emergency services to include a new fire station, Chelsea Mayor Tony Picklesimer said. Chelsea Fire and Rescue Station 33 will be located on Shelby County 51 near U.S. 280. Fire Marshall Tommy King said the new fire station will help cut down the response time and help them keep up with the demand of calls as the area continues to grow. King said on good day when personnel are in the house, their response time to the Chelsea Park neighborhood and the east part of the town takes eight to 10 minutes. "The importance of minutes is great. Seconds count in anything, whether it's a house fire or whether it's someone having a medical emergency, seconds always count," said King. That's why a two-story, 8,000 square feet building along Highway 51 will be the new Chelsea Fire and Rescue Station on the east side of town.
WIAT-TV 42 News

Firefighter suffers minor injuries while battling blaze at Montgomery home

A Montgomery Fire/Rescue firefighter suffered a minor burn while battling a blaze at a Montgomery home. According to MFR Capt. Jason Cupps, units responded to the home in the 1500 block of Marlowe Dr. and reported seeing heavy smoke and flames. The fire was concentrated in the kitchen, and crews made an aggressive attack. Cupps said two teenage boys were in the house at the time of the fire but had safely exited before MFR’s arrival. They were not injured. The firefighter who was burned was treated at the scene. Cupps said the cause of the flames will be investigated once the structure is cleared and secured.
WSFA-TV NBC 12 Montgomery

Athens emergency crews respond to call of man on fire at Walmart

A spokesperson with the city of Athens, Holly Hollman, says Athens Fire and Rescue responded to a call on Thursday at 6:41 p.m. that a man possibly doused himself with fuel before setting himself on fire at Walmart. According to Athens Police Chief Floyd Johnson, bystanders told officers the man doused himself with gasoline, ran into Walmart, came back out into the parking lot and set himself on fire. Hollman says responders found the man outside on the northeast side of Walmart. According to Athens Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief Toby Carter, when firefighters arrived, four Athens police officers were using fire extinguishers from their vehicles to put the fire out. Athens Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief Toby Carter said responders have transported the man to Athens-Limestone Hospital's emergency room for treatment until a helicopter is available for medical transport. He does not know where the man will be transported.
WAAY-TV ABC 31 Huntsville

Lightning strike possible cause of 4th Montgomery fire in under 24 hours officials say

Montgomery Fire/Rescue units battled their fourth fire in under 24 hours Thursday. This time, MFR Capt. Jason Cupps said lightning may have been the cause. Crews responded to the 2600 block of Whispering Pine Drive where they found a structure fire. Firefighters found heavy smoke coming from both gable ends, Cupps said, and performed a rapid interior attack. Cupps said there was fire damage to the attic and moderate water damage throughout the structure. There were no injuries to firefighters or people. The fire remains under investigation. The captain said Engine 12 and Truck 43 from the Norman Bridge Road station has worked three out of the four fires.
WSFA-TV NBC 12 Montgomery

Huntsville has state’s first and only firefighter pipe and drum band

Sirens are what you expect to come from a fire station, but not from Huntsville’s Fire Station 1, especially on Wednesday nights. That's when passersby stop along Clinton Avenue to listen to the strains from bagpipes. Bagpipes? Yes, several of them. They are all part of a new clan in town: the Huntsville Fire and Rescue Pipe and Drum band. It’s only one in the state of Alabama. Some of these firefighters drive the engines, others are hazmat specialists. All of them are on fire about this chance to play the bagpipes. They owe their proficiency to pro-piper Roque Haines, who donates countless hours each week teaching these men and women all the basics. In nine months, he’s come pretty far, since emergencies like car accidents, drug overdoses and fires come up when duty calls.
WAFF-TV NBC 48 Huntsville

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