Arkansas News

Monday, September 23, 2019

Bradford firefighters getting cameras, vests

The Bradford Volunteer Fire Department will be able to find hot spots and heartbeats faster soon and firefighters will be better protected, according to Assistant Fire Chief Danny Knight, thanks to new equipment purchased with revenue from the county's quarter-cent fire tax. Knight said Monday that the department had ordered two thermal imaging cameras, which cost approximately $789 each. "They will find hot spots." If the firefighters enter a residence and don't know where the fire is coming from, the device will take them right to the hot spots, he said. According to information provided by Knight, there are several benefits to having the thermal imaging cameras. Situational awareness is the first one, with the devices visualizing hazards that are invisible to the human eye and helping the firefighters to navigate safely.
Daily Citizen

Mountain Home could add assistant chiefs in 2020

The Mountain Home City Council approved pay increases for future assistant police chiefs and fire chiefs on Thursday night. If those two positions will be filled and how the city will fund those employees remains to be seen, city officials said. The City Council voted 5-2 to transfer the jobs of assistant fire chief and assistant police chief from Grade 16 to Grade 36 on the city’s pay scale. The ordinance also applies to the assistant street director, a job that is presently filled. Neither the police or fire departments presently have an assistant chief. The Police Department dropped the position in the early 2000s amid budget cuts, while the Fire Department did the same in 1997. Those positions were both classified as Grade 16 on the city’s pay scale, and any attempt to re-implement them at that pay level would not be attractive to would-be assistant chiefs. A maxed-out Fire Department captain taking a Grade 16 assistant chief position would be asked to take a $13,000 cut in pay as part of the promotion, Fire Chief Ken Williams said.
Baxter Bulletin - Metered Site

El Dorado fire training unit to replace former Southside Elementary School

For nearly four years, ideas have abounded about what to do with the property on which the former Southside Elementary School sat. The site takes up a city block that is surrounded by Jackson, Pecan, Spring and Ross streets and has been vacant since the former elementary school building was razed by the city in early 2016. The property will now be put to use. With a $500,000 federal grant and matching funds from the city, the El Dorado Fire Department has selected the site as the location for its new training structure. Background: The El Dorado School District shuttered Southside Elementary School at the end of the spring semester 2003, citing needed repairs that were estimated at $1 million.
El Dorado News-Times

New Fort Smith firefighters undergo intense training

The Fort Smith Fire Department recently hired 8 new firefighters who are undergoing intense training. "It's always been in the back of my mind," probationary fireman Matt Helms said. "I pursued a baseball career for a while and then I was ready to settle down, so I'm just ready to get involved and get my roots planted." On Friday, new firefighters underwent rigorous training that at first glance appeared to be an easy obstacle course, but the firefighters did it blind, "Because most fires we go into you are unable to even see a hand in front of your face," said Captain Ethan Millard. Capt. Millard said the training is meant to build confidence and to teach self rescue skills, "It's intended to show the firefighters that, regardless of what situation they're in, they can survive."
KHOG-TV ABC 29/KHBS-TV 40 Fayetteville-Fort Smith

Bella Vista Fire Department Celebrates 50 Years

The Bella Vista Fire Department threw a party to celebrate its 50th year. The Bella Vista Fire Department became official in 1969 and has been serving the community ever since. Friday (Sept. 20) they served lunch, offered kids’ activities and CPR and Stop the Bleed classes to those who were interested. “It’s really just a time for us all to get together in fellowship with guys who used to work here and let some of the new guys meet some of the guys who started the department,” said Battalion Chief Ronnie Crupper. Hundreds of people, young and old, came for a hot dog or hamburger and to show their support to the department. One man, Chuck Tyrrell, had a really special reason to attend. “We got a really good group of firefighters up here and EMTs... they take care of us,” Tyrrell said.
KFSM-TV CBS 5 Fort Smith

1st responder class at Metropolitan Career-Technical Center in Little Rock center opening doors

Keosha Denton took a deep breath, jerked on fire-resistant gloves and clapped her hands. The 16-year-old was decked out head-to-toe Thursday in four layers of firefighting gear, and in just 39 seconds, she'd broken the class record for fastest "donning" at the Metropolitan Career Technical Center's emergency medical services class. The class was the first of its kind in Arkansas when it began in 2012 and, seven years after its inception, instructor Teresa Harper said the program is still opening doors for students and filling a gap in the community. "What makes this program awesome is if they want to become an EMT, that's great, but it also opens the door to 26 other careers for these kids," Harper said. "And we are critically short on police officers, firefighters, doctors, EMTs and nurses, so this is really excellent for the community as well as for the kids."
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette & Arkansas Online - Metered Site

Friday, September 20, 2019

Bauxite council approves fire truck purchase

During its regularly scheduled meeting Monday, the Bauxite City Council approved the purchase of a used fire truck to replace one in need of repair for the Bauxite Fire Department. Fire Chief Craig Hicks was unable to attend the meeting, but he had Treasurer and City Clerk Renee Chastain hand out his proposal to either repair Engine 1 or replace it with a newer used truck. The city has had Engine 1 for more than 18 years and the vehicle was used when it was purchased. According to the proposal, the engine was listed for $15,000, but the seller went down to $9,500. Hicks believes he can sell engine one for $5,000 or more. The seller would meet the buyers in Denver, which would cost $3,572 for airplane tickets to fly out and the cost to get to back to Arkansas. One concern the council members had is the truck lacks air conditioning, but they believe it can be added. Alderman Ron Ramsey said if the city buys the truck, he wants the old vehicle sold as soon as possible. The council approved the purchase of the new truck.
The Saline Courier

Sevier County imposes burn ban

“The Court finds that an emergency situation exists in Sevier County, and the hazard potential to life and property is such that a ban and prohibition against outdoor burning is hereby declared effective Tuesday, September 17, 2019, to remain in effect until such time as this order is lifted,” the court stated in its order. “This order shall be enforceable by and through the Sevier County Sheriff’s Department, the Chief Fire Official of the various Fire Districts and the Director of the Office of Emergency management for Sevier County. Outdoor burning may be permitted under special circumstances when all necessary and proper precautions are being enforced to ensure that burning constitutes no hazard to life and property. No outdoor burning shall be permitted in the absence of a written permit.
The De Queen Bee

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