Alabama News

Friday, September 18, 2020

State’s longest serving firefighter is retiring from Sheffield Fire Department

Alabama’s longest serving firefighter is hanging up his hat. After 55 years as a firefighter Chief, Dewey King said his head and his heart are finally in agreement that it’s time to retire. “I’ve always said when my body and my mind are in agreement that it’s time, that’s when I’ll go,” he said. “Well, they’re in agreement.” According to our news partners at The Times Daily, King leaves the chief’s post after 22 years. He’s been a firefighter, driver, lieutenant, captain, assistant chief and chief. King’s last day is Sept. 24. “I’ve about done it all and never wanted to be anywhere but Sheffield,” he said. “I don’t know if you’d call me dedicated, crazy or a little of both, but I can honestly say I have always, always loved my job.” At 80 years old, he said he has no doubt he could continue on, but sometimes logic must prevail. “About three months ago I started looking at the retirement I’d draw from the state,” he said. “Turns out, I’m losing money by working.”
WAFF-TV NBC 48 Huntsville

Emergency responders from Lee County head south to offer aid; attention locally turns to runoff flooding

A team of 13 first-responders from the Opelika Fire Department, Auburn Fire Department and Lee County Emergency Management Agency departed Thursday morning to provide help in hurricane-ravaged Baldwin County. “We are honored to be able to send a team to assist our neighbors in Baldwin County. Baldwin County EMA assisted our agency during the aftermath of the March 3, 2019, tornadoes and we are getting an opportunity to do the same for them," local EMA director Rita Smith said Thursday. Additionally, Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones told the Opelika-Auburn News that deputies were dispatched to Baldwin County to render aid. "We are sending 12 deputies down to the Baldwin County area to assist with area security and traffic control. Our personnel will be on location for several days as needed under our Law Enforcement mutual aid agreement," Jones said.
Opelika-Auburn News

Toney Volunteer Fire Department honored, recruiting more

On September 16, members of the Madison County commission spent time recognizing the heroic actions of the Toney Volunteer Fire Department. Earlier this year the Toney Volunteer Fire Department saved a man’s life. Now, the county commission is trying to bring more attention to the need for volunteer firefighters. On Wednesday, county commissioners passed a resolution honoring the Toney Volunteer Fire Department for saving Jimmy Gonzalez’s life. Gonzalez and his family attended today’s ceremony. Everyone in attendance at the meeting gave a standing ovation to the Toney department in agreement that the small group has made a huge impact. “They got there, the family member was giving CPR to Mr. Gonzalez and the other four medics from the Toney Volunteer Fire Department continued the CPR and were successful in bringing him back,” said Phil Vandiver.
WAFF-TV NBC 48 Huntsville

Follow Up: NTSB says safety practices contributing factors in severity of fatal Jackson County marina fire

"The probable cause of the fire aboard the Dixie Delight and subsequent fire at Dock B was a fire of unknown source, originating aboard the Dixie Delight in the vicinity of the vessel’s electrical panel. Contributing to the severity of the fire and loss of life w ere the County and marina’s limited fire safety practices." This is the conclusion of the NTSB after their investigation of a fatal fire at the Jackson County Park Marina, Dock B. Just after midnight on January 27, a fire broke out on the houseboat Dixie Delight. Despite efforts by the owner and a neighbor to put out the fire, which likely started in the bulkhead between the vessel’s electrical panel and storage closet, the fire spread to neighboring boats and the dock. Police were on the scene within 10 minutes of the start of the fire with the fire department just behind them. When the sheriff's office arrived, they attempted to find a boat to use for rescue but were unsuccessful.
WZDX-TV Fox 54 Huntsville

Thursday, September 17, 2020

2 buildings destroyed, 3 damaged in fire in Orange Beach

PHOTO: Firefighters in Orange Beach waded through three feet of water to save three buildings after a fire spread through five structures early Thursday morning. “They couldn’t access the road leading to the incident due to flood waters, downed trees and power lines,” the Orange Beach Fire Department wrote in a post on Facebook. “They had to hand jack 1,000 feet of 5" supply hose through three feet of water from the truck to the fire.” Two buildings were destroyed in the fire. Three buildings were damaged. “All of this after a sleepless previous night of rescuing countless victims of flood waters due to Hurricane Sally,” according to the post.
WKRG-TV CBS 5 Mobile

Foley looks to improve first responder communication in the southeast quadrant

After extensive research and discussion from the Foley Fire Department and Foley Police Department, the city has voted to lease radio tower space on an existing Orange Beach tower. The total to prepay for a one-year lease as well as purchase initial equipment was approximately $61,000. According to fire and police officials, the new signal will greatly improve first responder communication in the southeast quadrant, a problem area identified several years ago. During the last few months, the law enforcement agencies were made aware of a tower located on Canal Road which has premium spots available. The 275-foot tower is located in good proximity to Foley Fire and Police coverage gaps. “We were able to do a test, we’ve gone all down the beach, all over the Graham Creek area, all the way down around The Wharf, areas that we knew were major problems today,” said Fire Chief Joey Darby. - Metered Site

Mobile Fire-Rescue responds to more than 220 disaster-related incidents in 12 hours

Mobile Fire-Rescue responded to 221 disaster-related incidents from 11 p.m. Tuesday night to 11 a.m. Wednesday. “Fire Chief Lami and the rest our MFRD Family could not be more proud of the phenomenal job that MFRD personnel performed throughout Hurricane Sally. From our dispatchers and communications teams to our support staff and our firefighters/paramedics/rescue specialists in the field, fighting to protect the lives and property of our citizens,” Mobile Fire-Rescue posted on Facebook Wednesday. “It was a wild night/morning, as Hurricane Sally tore through our region. We hope that you all are well and safe, Mobile. We pray that your communities suffered minimal-to-no damage. If your homes or neighborhoods are heavily damaged, then let’s work together to rebuild our communities,” the Facebook post continues to state.
WKRG-TV CBS 5 Mobile

Three People Rescued from Ditch in Andalusia

Emergency officials in Andalusia say three people had to be rescued after being pulled under the water in a drainage ditch this afternoon. Fire Chief Russell McGlamory said his department responded to a call that a teen was drowning on Walker Avenue. The teen had been paddleboarding in a ditch that runs from Walker Avenue, underground and through Robinson Park. The teen was pulled into the underground drainage ditch. His brother attempted to rescue him and was pulled under and his father soon followed. All escaped injury. Both the fire department and Advanced EMS responded to the scene.
Alabama News Network

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