Arkansas News

Friday, April 3, 2020

Separate house fires kill toddler, 80-year-old woman in Pine Bluff

Separate house fires in Pine Bluff left two people dead, authorities reported Thursday. On Wednesday night, a 3-year-old boy was killed in a fire at home in the 1000 block of South Wisconsin Street. Pine Bluff Fire Chief Shawn Howell said that foul play is not suspected but an investigation is underway. Howell said that a second child and two adults made it out of the burning house. It is believed that the fire started about 10 p.m. in an upstairs bedroom area. On Monday, an 80-year-old woman died from injuries she suffered in a blaze three days earlier, the fire department reported. The fire, which happened the afternoon of March 27 at 23 Smugglers Lane, was reportedly caused by a pot left unattended on a stove. It was ruled accidental.
KATV ABC 7 Little Rock

Newly formed Northwest Arkansas COVID-19 Task Force seeks donations

A newly formed task force is asking for contributions of cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment for local public safety workers. The NWA Covid-19 Task Force is made up of school, city, county, state, fire, police and first-responder representatives, according to a news release. The group has held virtual meetings since March 16. Monday's meeting drew more than 120 officials from Benton and Washington counties, Rogers Fire Chief Tom Jenkins said. Jenkins received calls from people who want to donate items, and this effort will centralize donations instead of coming in piecemeal across the two counties. There's limited availability of personal protective equipment because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the release. "While the federal government has begun funneling protective equipment supplies, our area is receiving very little. All hospitals, clinics, and first-responder stations have little if any of what they need to protect their workers," Rose Corscadden, Sheep Dog Impact Assistance communications director, said.
Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Arkansas Professional Fire Fighters Association Call on Governor for Workers’ Compensation

Three Little Rock firefighters have tested positive for COVID-19. The Arkansas Professional Fire Fighter’s Association wants to know all firefighters will be protected while they’re on the front lines of the pandemic. “It’s definitely a challenging time because this is a such a contagious virus, so we’re having to use extreme caution,” Little Rock Fire Dept. Fire Chief Delphone Hubbard said. Two people are back at work after self-quarantining. “Twenty-five of them are fire recruits. Five are fire training instructors and then three of them were assigned to an operations bureau that responds to calls in the community,” Hubbard said. Arkansas Professional Firefighters President Wade Marshall said it’s a new unseen threat. “A house fire is a very dangerous environment to work in, but we’re adequately equipped, we’re adequately prepared, we train for it all the time,” Marshall said.
KTHV-TV CBS 11 Little Rock

Related: Third Little Rock Fire Department employee tests positive for coronavirus, chief says

A third Little Rock Fire Department employee has tested positive for covid-19, Chief Delphone Hubbard confirmed Wednesday. Hubbard said the department was notified of the positive test on Wednesday morning. The individual is an instructor at the department's training headquarters at 7000 Murray Street. That person is the second training instructor at the facility to test positive for the illness. "There's a probability that he contracted it because their offices are in close proximity and they do work closely together out there at training," Hubbard said. The instructor's last day at work was Friday. The facility was deep-cleaned that evening after everyone had left for the day, Hubbard said. Neither instructor had any contact with known covid-19 patients when responding to calls in the community, the chief added.
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - Metered Site

State creates COVID-19 fund as 2 more die from virus

Arkansas' governor signed legislation early Saturday creating a $173 million fund that he can use to respond to the coronavirus outbreak, and health officials said two more people have died from the virus in the state. Gov. Asa Hutchinson's signature moves the state's surplus into a new “COVID-19 Rainy Day Fund" that he can access with the approval of legislative leaders. Hutchinson signed identical bills creating the fund shortly after they were unanimously approved by the House and Senate in a midnight session. “This is a historic moment in this rotunda in which the General Assembly, both House and Senate, has come together in quick fashion to meet the emergency needs of our state," Hutchinson said before signing the bills.
Richmond Times-Dispatch

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