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National Fire News

Michigan city mulling controversial proposal that would dismantle fire department

The city of Muskegon has received and is reviewing a controversial proposal to contract fire service from Muskegon Heights, officials said recently. But a vote on the deal, which calls for the city of Muskegon to dismantle its fire department and contract fire service from Muskegon Heights, is still more than a few months away, said Muskegon City Manager Frank Peterson.
- PUB DATE: 6/22/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Mlive

Massachusetts firefighters agree to new contract after threatening to picket mayor's house

The city and the firefighters’ union tentatively agreed to a new contract Thursday, one day after the union threatened to picket outside Mayor Paul Heroux’s house. The pickets have been called off and a cookout the mayor had planned will be held as scheduled Saturday afternoon. Heroux said the threat of picketing had nothing to do with him agreeing to a new contract, but union President Jacob Springs said he thought it moved the process along.
- PUB DATE: 6/22/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Attleboro Sun Chronicle

Fire Authority Rejects California City's Demands

With a ticking clock growing ever louder in the background, the Orange County Fire Authority rejected several demands made by Irvine that would keep the city in the fold as a voting member of the regional emergency coalition. “Basically, Irvine was told to pound sand,” said County Supervisor Todd Spitzer, who sits on the Fire Authority board of directors.
- PUB DATE: 6/22/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Firehouse

Washington firefighter-EMT Walmart shooting hero comes forward: 'This was a traumatic experience'

The man hailed as a hero for halting a gunman's wild rampage outside the Tumwater Walmart store came forward Wednesday and said he fired his weapon only after it became clear that the gunman might injure or kill more innocent victims if he weren't stopped. David George, who is an emergency medical technician with the Oakville Fire Department and a pastor at the Oakville Assembly of God, described his harrowing experience at a Wednesday news conference in his hometown.
- PUB DATE: 6/22/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KOMO-TV ABC 4 and Radio 1000

Embattled former Louisiana fire chief announces plans to retire

Steve Krentel, whose leadership at a Covington-area fire district has been under assault since last fall, will retire as of Sept. 1, he told the St. Tammany Fire Protection District 12 board of commissioners in a letter Thursday. Krentel, whose wife was killed nearly a year ago, said in a phone interview that he had always planned to retire as soon as he was eligible to do so.
- PUB DATE: 6/22/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Advocate

Arbitrator rules in favor of demoted Ohio fire captain

An arbitrator agreed a veteran Toledo firefighter was erroneously demoted from captain to a line firefighter after the administration said the captain used “poor judgment” at a fatal fire scene. The arbitrator, Mark Glazer, ruled this week that Capt. Kim Hood be reinstated as captain with seniority.
- PUB DATE: 6/21/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Toledo Blade

Florida City's First Female Fire Chief Reflects On Her Career And Looks Forward To The Future

On July 1, Rhoda Mae Kerr will pin five brass bugles on the collar of her Fort Lauderdale Fire and Rescue uniform—the number symbolizes her rank, and five is the highest. On that day Kerr will also make history as the department’s first female fire chief in its 106-year history. Kerr comes from a lineage of firefighters.
- PUB DATE: 6/21/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Fort Lauderdale Daily

New York town's mayor responds to fire department controversy

Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri’s office released another statement Wednesday in response to reports on the conduct of former temporary fire Chief John Kelly, who resigned from his position last week amid allegations of professional misconduct. Kelly — appointed interim chief last July in place of Russell Brooks, who remains on administrative leave — stepped down to become a deputy chief after an investigation into text messages sent between Kelly and 23-year-old Carmen Ambrose, the son of Deputy Chief Mark Ambrose, that make references to watching pornography and other lewd acts that occurred on fire department property.
- PUB DATE: 6/21/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Utica Observer-Dispatch

Connecticut volunteers vote to end fire service to town after 75 years

A fiery uproar in the town of Morris could have left residents without a volunteer Fire Department. A statement from the department was released Tuesday announcing that its members had voted to “cease providing fire, rescue, and EMS services,” as of June 30. The statement noted that the decision was not made lightly, but came after the department felt it could not come to a “reasonable working relationship with the town administrators.
- PUB DATE: 6/21/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Connecticut Post

Illinois city appeals 'unprecedented' pension award to family of firefighter who died from cancer

Buffalo Grove officials announced Wednesday they are challenging a decision to award a full line-of-duty death pension to the widow of a 51-year-old Buffalo Grove firefighter, arguing not enough evidence exists that his fatal colon cancer was related to his work. The full pension award for Kevin Hauber’s wife, Kim Hauber, and their four children represented an “unprecedented” claim and marked the first award of its kind in Illinois after the Buffalo Grove Fire Department Pension Board determined earlier this year that Kevin Hauber’s cancer was caused in the line of duty, village officials said in a statement.
- PUB DATE: 6/21/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Chicago Tribune

New York city to pay $1.2 million to firefighters passed over for promotions

The City of Buffalo will pay a total of $1.2 million to a dozen white Buffalo firefighters who claimed they were passed over for promotion because of their race. The $1.2 million settlement was approved Tuesday by the Buffalo Common Council and brings to a close a 2007 lawsuit that accused the city of illegally allowing two promotional lists to expire because minority firefighters had performed poorly on civil service exams.
- PUB DATE: 6/20/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Buffalo News

Massachusetts mayor sees ‘disturbing’ conditions at firehouses during tour

Cambridge Mayor Marc McGovern toured three of the city’s eight firehouses June 6, calling the conditions at Monday’s City Council meeting “extremely disturbing.” Firefighters were sleeping on mattresses with holes. Floors were being held together by duct tape. Some stations didn’t have carbon monoxide detectors or Wi-Fi, McGovern said.
- PUB DATE: 6/20/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Wicked Local Cambridge

Florida firefighters save one of their own after he collapses at work

A Lehigh Acres firefighter went into cardiac arrest, and fellow firefighters resuscitated him inside Station 105 to save his life. Rick Pride, 47, was on the treadmill inside the firehouse workout room when the nearly 13-year firefighting veteran wound up unresponsive on the floor in the firehouse. "Our firefighters reacted very quickly that day, immediately going into emergency mode and starting to help him," Chief Robert DiLallo said of his team at Station 105 of the Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue District.
- PUB DATE: 6/20/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WZVN-TV ABC 7 Naples/Ft. Myers

Chicago paramedics under investigation after not immediately tending to teen with gunshot wound to head

The Chicago Fire Department said Tuesday it was “not acceptable” for paramedics to leave a teen unattended after he was shot in the head and severely wounded as they treated others hit by gunfire at a party on the Near West Side this week. “It is not the policy of the Fire Department to leave people on the street, even if they are mortally wounded,” said department spokesman Larry Langford.
- PUB DATE: 6/20/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Chicago Tribune

Former Texas fire chief appeals ruling

Brownsville’s former fire chief, Carlos Elizondo, has appealed a ruling denying his claim that the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office has charged him twice for the same alleged crime to a higher court in Corpus Christi. Authorities arrested Elizondo last October and accuse the former city official of stealing $8,000 from the Brownsville Firefighters Association Political Action Committee through unauthorized ATM withdrawals, according to a police report filed by the association’s president.
- PUB DATE: 6/20/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Brownsville Herald

Virginia firefighter dies following training exercise

Firefighters in Amelia County are mourning the loss of one of their own after he died during a recent training exercise. Amelia County Volunteer Fire Department Company 1 Chief Justin Wargofcak said William Moore IV, 48, of Amelia County, suffered a medical emergency and went into cardiac arrest Thursday, June 14.
- PUB DATE: 6/19/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WWBT-TV NBC 12 Richmond

9 Charleston firefighters killed in Sofa Super Store blaze honored for 'unthinkable sacrifice'

The crowds hadn't yet arrived at Charleston 9 Memorial Park on Monday when Jacqueline Drayton introduced her son to the site where his grandfather died fighting a massive blaze 11 years ago. They stopped at the memorial for Drayton's father, Charleston Firefighter James "Earl" Drayton. And one by one, they visited the plaques honoring the other eight Charleston firefighters who perished on June 18, 2007.
- PUB DATE: 6/19/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Charleston Post and Courier

California city paying $440K to helicopter medics to settle overtime lawsuits

San Diego is paying seven helicopter rescue medics a total of $442,000 because they didn’t receive overtime pay despite regularly working 56-hour weeks. Federal law requires overtime pay of one and a half times the regular wage for all hours worked over 40 in one workweek, but there is an exemption for government workers engaged in fire suppression.
- PUB DATE: 6/19/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: San Diego Union-Tribune

Ohio firefighters suspended for allegedly making porn recording on city property

Two romantically involved Akron firefighters are on paid leave for possibly getting too hot in a firehouse. City administrators have suspended Lt. Art Dean and Provisional Lt. Deann Eller after receiving a tip that the pair of officers allegedly produced pornographic videos on city property, then posted their flames of passion on the internet.
- PUB DATE: 6/19/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Akron Beacon Journal

Importance of TIM, physical health highlighted by NFPA 2017 LODD Report

The recently released NFPA report of 2017 firefighter fatalities is both encouraging and troubling. Clearly, the efforts of many of our industry partners have had an effect on reducing our mortality numbers – the 60 on-duty deaths reported reflect the lowest number reported in over 40 years. However, some of the unexpected shifts identify room for improvement.
- PUB DATE: 6/19/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: FireRescue1