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National Fire News

National Data Shows Firefighters' Mental, Emotional Health Not Getting Enough Attention

In his more than 25 years as firefighter in Stamford, Connecticut, Capt. Jacques Roy thought he could handle anything – until the smoke cleared from a devastating fire that killed three children and their grandparents. “I was the guy who couldn't hack it. I was the guy who needed help. I never thought it would be me.
- PUB DATE: 2/23/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: NBC New York

Washington state's first career female firefighter dies of cancer

Washington state's first career female firefighter has died of complications from cancer at the age of 64, the Bellevue Fire Department announced Wednesday. Jeanette Woldseth, a retired fire captain with the department who became a professional firefighter in 1977, died Monday afternoon. “Captain Woldseth was truly a ground-breaker, not only in the Bellevue Fire Department, but within the larger firefighter community,” said Bellevue Interim Fire Chief Todd Dickerboom.
- PUB DATE: 2/23/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KOMO-TV ABC 4

Drinking at Cal Fire academy brings down 14 more firefighters

For the second time in three years, Cal Fire is cracking down on alcohol consumption at its training academy in Amador County. This time, it’s disciplining 14 firefighters who were supposed to stay sober during their six weeks of training at the Cal Fire Academy in Ione. Cal Fire Deputy Director Michael Mohler announced the discipline on Thursday.
- PUB DATE: 2/23/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Sacramento Bee

Fees case may enable U.S. Supreme Court to curb union power

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday will consider for the second time in two years whether to choke off a critical funding stream for public-employee unions, potentially reducing organized labor’s influence in the workplace and at the ballot box. The nine justices will hear a challenge backed by anti-union groups to the legality of fees that workers who are not members of unions representing teachers, police, firefighters and certain other government employees must pay to help cover the costs of collective bargaining with state and local governments.
- PUB DATE: 2/23/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Reuters

Arizona firefighter, who rescued man from house fire, awarded Medal of Valor

A firefighter with the Peoria Fire-Medical Department received the National Medal of Valor award from President Donald Trump Tuesday. Stephen Gunn, a department engineer, received the award in a White House ceremony for rescuing a man from a burning house in April 2016. The Peoria Fire-Medical Department, along with other jurisdictions, responded to the house fire near 75th Avenue and Thunderbird Road.
- PUB DATE: 2/23/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Arizona Republic, AZCentral.com & KPNX-TV NBC 12 Phoenix

Chicago Firefighter Seriously Injured After 'Mayday' Called in Apartment Blaze

A firefighter was in serious condition after being pulled from a South Side building following a "mayday" call Wednesday afternoon. Chicago Fire Media tweeted a mayday for a lost firefighter was called around 1:30 p.m. in the 4300 block of King Drive in the Bronzeville neighborhood. The fire was reported on the fourth floor of an apartment building, where a firefighter became "disoriented" in heavy smoke and was separated from his company.
- PUB DATE: 2/22/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: NBC Chicago

San Francisco firefighters sue amid tangled charges of harassment, station affair

Six former commanders and two firefighters at a San Francisco fire station who were reassigned amid a sexual harassment investigation in 2016 sued the city Wednesday, saying they were discriminated against because the alleged harassment victim was having an affair with a battalion chief. Firefighters at Station 2 on Powell Street in Chinatown were accused of waging a three-month campaign of sexual harassment against a female co-worker starting in late 2015, in which they allegedly taunted her, urinated in her bed and smeared feces in her bathroom.
- PUB DATE: 2/22/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: SFGate.com

Arizona fire department saves money by building own ambulance with local companies

Buying local to replace an aging ambulance has provided big savings for an Arizona fire department. Yuma Fire Chief Steve Irr discovered a new unit typically costs $210,000. But Irr and Fleet Manager Floyd Friar instead elected to save the city of Yuma about $70,000 by buying a new chassis from an auto dealership and then paying other businesses to finish outfitting the vehicle, which includes a gurney to load patients.
- PUB DATE: 2/22/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KNXV-TV Channel 15 ABC

FDNY firefighters union says ex-leader sold out members by taking city job

A former FDNY union head has pissed off rank-and-file firefighters by selling out — and now they are suing to get back some of his pay, saying he violated their contract. The Uniformed Firefighters Association of Greater New York is suing its longest-serving president for switching sides to take a cushy job running the city’s Fire Department Pension Fund.
- PUB DATE: 2/22/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: New York Post

As Massachusetts city builds new police headquarters, firefighters seek answers on station conditions

As the city moves forward with its plans to build a new Police Department headquarters, some Medford firefighters say the needs of their department are not being adequately addressed. Firefighters Eddie Buckley and James Flynn from Medford Firefighters Local 1032 spoke at the City Council’s Feb. 13 meeting about what they described as inadequate maintenance of fire stations, outdated fire apparatus and insufficient involvement of firefighters in the city’s plans to construct a new training tower and fire headquarters.
- PUB DATE: 2/22/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Wicked Local Medford

Los Angeles fire chief raises concerns about 'divisive' workplace incidents involving firefighters

The Los Angeles Fire Department has experienced a series of "divisive" workplace incidents in recent months, including at least one debate between firefighters over protests by NFL players, according to a letter to the agency's employees. In a two-page letter posted Friday, Fire Chief Ralph M. Terrazas said his agency has experienced "on-duty heated discussions regarding the perception of a lack of patriotism by NFL players" who have kneeled during the national anthem.
- PUB DATE: 2/21/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Los Angeles Times

Florida firefighter overcomes fear of heights to assist in high-rise rescue

VIDEO - Two members of the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department on Tuesday detailed how they assisted in a stunning high-rise rescue. JFRD engineers Patrick Schneider and Justin Smith both played important roles in rescuing two men dangling on the side of the BB&T Bank Building in downtown Jacksonville early Monday evening.
- PUB DATE: 2/21/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WJXT-TV CBS 4 Jacksonville

Texas firefighters union targets city manager salary, tenure

The San Antonio Professional Fire Fighters Association on Tuesday announced a campaign that, among other things, targets the city manager. Calling it the “San Antonio First” campaign, union boss Chris Steele said his organization is partnering with others — ranging from the COPS/Metro Alliance to former local tea party president George Rodriguez — to seek voter signatures on three separate petitions, all calling for changes to the city charter.
- PUB DATE: 2/21/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Conexion SA

IAFC Organizing Fire Operations Conference in Middle East

The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) today announced it is organizing the first International Fire Operations Conference, April 10-12, 2018, at the Ritz-Carlton in Manama, Bahrain. The prestigious event is being organized in collaboration with Saudi Aramco, a Saudi Arabian national petroleum and natural gas company based in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.
- PUB DATE: 2/21/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: International Association of Fire Chiefs

9/11 responders' health treatment and monitoring threatened by Trump’s budget plan

Hidden in the fine print of President Trump’s latest budget proposal is a detail that could directly impact 9/11 first responders: The reorganization of the federal agency that oversees their health treatment and monitoring. Currently, the World Trade Center Health Program is housed within the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
- PUB DATE: 2/21/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: New York Daily News

Two New York firefighters injured after wall collapse at commercial fire

Two city firefighters were injured Monday when a wall collapsed while multiple fire crews were battling a massive blaze in a large storage building on Newell Street. The two unidentified firefighters were taken by ambulance to Samaritan Medical Center, one on a stretcher. Fire Chief Dale C. Herman confirmed one of the injured firefighters was later transferred to a Syracuse hospital.
- PUB DATE: 2/20/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Watertown Daily Times

Virginia fire chief announces retirement amid complaints about handling of sexual harassment

Fairfax County’s fire chief announced his retirement Friday, a little more than a week after county officials said they would investigate allegations that the department had failed to curb sexual harassment. Richard R. Bowers Jr. has received high marks during his five-year tenure for the department’s firefighting work, but was dogged by complaints and a handful of lawsuits claiming that women were mistreated in the ranks.
- PUB DATE: 2/20/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Washington Post

Out of Station nightclub fire's ashes, tougher building codes arose in Rhode Island

In 2003, John Bernardo worked occasional nights as a DJ in bars throughout the state, hired to bring in people who wanted to dance and buy drinks. After Feb. 20, 2003, the night 100 people — including two of his friends — were killed and more than 200 injured, many severely, in the Station nightclub fire in West Warwick, that all changed.
- PUB DATE: 2/20/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Providence Journal

How South Carolina first responders are trying to save their own

Emily Avin was supposed to come home that day in September. Her parents had arranged it: Avin would move back into their country home in the small Florence County town of Pamplico, where she grew up playing softball and cheering for her high school football team as the mascot. It would be a break, for a month or so, from her job as a paramedic, a career the young woman loved but now found emotionally draining.
- PUB DATE: 2/20/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Charleston Post and Courier

At least $2M in damage after fire destroys New Jersey rescue squad building, ambulances

Four members of the American Legion Ambulance Association in Woodstown escaped unhurt Monday after an early morning blaze devastated their squad building and caused at least $2 million in damage. The blaze broke out around 4 a.m. and destroyed five ambulances and caused significant damage to a sixth, officials said.
- PUB DATE: 2/20/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: NJ.com