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National Fire News

One-year deal with Chicago Firefighters Union includes $95M in back pay

Mayor Lori Lightfoot has cut a one-year deal with the Chicago Firefighters Union that includes $95 million in back pay but would nearly double employee health care contributions. One union official said rank-and-file members are “not happy” about the hike in health care costs, though the contract also maintains treasured union perks and outdated staffing requirements that cost taxpayers millions.
- PUB DATE: 8/12/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Chicago Sun Times - Metered Site

Tennessee firefighters make daring railroad bridge rescue

VIDEO: The Franklin Fire Department trains for all types of incidents, but the rescue of two teenagers from a railroad bridge above the Harpeth River Monday was unique. Officials told News 2 the teenagers were walking on the railroad tracks around 8:15 at night. One of them dropped a cell phone, and both went to retrieve it.
- PUB DATE: 8/12/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WKRN-TV ABC 2 Nashville

North Carolina firefighters test new helmets with high-tech features

PHOTO: The Wilmington Fire Department is testing out new helmets, only four firefighters are giving the new equipment a try right now, but the deputy fire chief says it could be something they phase in over time. The helmets look much different than the traditional design with many bells and whistles that make them unique including LED lights.
- PUB DATE: 8/12/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WWAY-TV ABC/CBS/CW 3 Wilmington

Fire station brownouts to be avoided as California county dips into reserves

Brownouts for local fire stations have been taken off the table as county officials plan to use one-time funds to bolster deficits in the Kern County Fire Department budget. Citing the need to save $6.5 million annually, Fire Chief David Witt prepared a plan that would have temporarily closed an average of three fire stations per day for the next year.
- PUB DATE: 8/12/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Bakersfield.com

Experts: COVID-19 is spreading in Hawaii at a faster rate than anywhere else in the nation

Hawaii is regularly seeing triple-digit increases in COVID-19 infections, a situation that underscores just how fast the virus is spreading in Hawaii. Scientists actually track that rate of spread ? or reproduction rate. And experts say that Hawaii now has the highest reproduction rate in the nation, at 1.
- PUB DATE: 8/12/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Hawaii News Now

Tractor-trailer driver seriously hurt in fiery crash with 3 fire trucks on I-85 in North Carolina

VIDEO: The driver of a big rig was seriously hurt in a Tuesday morning crash involving three fire trucks that shut down a portion of Interstate 85 in Rowan County for hours. The crash happened shortly before 5 a.m. in the southbound lanes near mile marker 82, north of Long Ferry Road and near the Yadkin River.
- PUB DATE: 8/11/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WSCO-TV ABC 9 Charlotte

Colorado firefighter wins NBC's 'The Titan Games'

North Metro firefighter Matt Chan was crowned champion during Monday night's season finale of "The Titans Games" on NBC. Chan and Dani Speegle each took home the title after competing among a field of elite athletes in a series of intense athletic competitions. Along with the title, Chan and Speegle are each taking home a $100,000 cash prize.
- PUB DATE: 8/11/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KUSA-TV NBC 9 Denver

Quick action by firefighters saved Rachael Ray's New York home

VIDEO: The images shot from above Rachael Ray's Lake Luzerne home offer some perspective of the damage. Most of it, according the county fire coordinator, was contained to the second floor of the two-story, 12-year-old home. "The kitchen wasn't touched at all, so pretty much the whole first floor is in good shape," said Warren County Fire Coordinator Brian LaFlure.
- PUB DATE: 8/11/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WNYT-TV NBC 13 Albany

Nearly 600 children diagnosed with syndrome linked to COVID-19, CDC says

Nearly 600 children in the United States have been diagnosed with a medical syndrome linked to COVID-19 and 10 of those children have died as a result, according to new data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC released updated information Friday as it continues to track the prevalence and effects of multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children, known as MIS-C.
- PUB DATE: 8/11/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WPIX-TV CW 11 New York

Massachusetts: Plymouth Fire Department Helps Escort Mayflower II Into Plymouth Harbor

Chief G. Edward Bradley is pleased to announce that the Plymouth Fire Department assisted local and state agencies to provide an escort for the renovated Mayflower II ship into Plymouth Harbor on Monday, Aug. 10. The ship, which is a replica of the original Mayflower that brought the Pilgrims to America 400 years ago this year, docked at Pilgrim Memorial State Park following a month-long journey up the coast from Connecticut.
- PUB DATE: 8/11/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The CapeCod.com NewsCenter

At least 1 dead, 3 injured after major explosion in Baltimore, officials say

VIDEO: One person has died and at least three others are critically injured after several houses exploded in Baltimore on Monday morning, officials say. The explosion happened in the area of 6500 blk Reisterstown Rd 21215. Firefighters have rescued three critically injured patients. Special Rescue Operations are searching for more victims.
- PUB DATE: 8/10/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WJLA-TV ABC 7 Washington DC

Third Houston firefighter in ICU with COVID-19 as department prepares for another's funeral, union president reports

Another Houston firefighter is in the ICU with COVID-19 as of Friday night, according to the firefighters union president. According to the union president, Captain Tommy Searcy was in the ICU as of Friday night. The news comes as Houston firefighters prepare to bury 17-year HFD veteran Jerry Pacheco, who died on August 3 from coronavirus.
- PUB DATE: 8/10/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KHOU-TV CBS 11 Houston

Massachusetts firefighters' union holds rally to save fire engine

The New Bedford firefighter’s union rallied on Sunday to oppose the mayor’s proposal to take an engine off the road. The rally started and ended at Station 8 in the city’s north end. The union argues that public safety would be compromised if the cuts are made. The proposal cuts engine 8 and ten vacant firefighter positions.
- PUB DATE: 8/10/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WJAR-TV NBC 10 New Bedford

CDC issues new guidelines on face coverings

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released new guidance on wearing face coverings during the coronavirus pandemic. The CDC still encourages people to wear masks so they don’t infect others, but they should not have valves or vents that could allow the virus to escape the mask.
- PUB DATE: 8/10/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WRBL-TV CBS 3 Columbus

Few San Francisco firefighters have coronavirus antibodies, UCSF study finds

Only a handful of San Francisco Fire Department members tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies in a recent UCSF study, even though nearly half of those surveyed said they had probably or definitely been around people infected by the virus. Just three of 1,223 people who were tested had antibodies for the virus, according to a summary of the results made public by UCSF.
- PUB DATE: 8/10/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle - Metered Site

North Carolina city approves $15 minimum wage for all employees – except firefighters

Statesville City Council approved this week a $15 per hour minimum wage for all city employees. However, some Statesville firefighters have been voicing their displeasure this week because they are not included in the wage increase. Statesville City Manager Ron Smith told FOX 46 Thursday that firefighters work different hours, 24 on and 48 off, so their pay structure is different.
- PUB DATE: 8/7/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WJZY-TV Fox 46 Charlotte

A new kind of command car at Maine fire department

If Fire Chief Jeff Rowe were headed to Bangor, or somewhere out of state for a conference, he would likely know the most efficient way to get there. He might not know where the charging stations were though, should he need one, for the new Tesla 3 command vehicle. He could soon find out, by using the car’s GPS, which not only plots the course, but also marks the charging stations — and how long he would have to be there for the charge to complete.
- PUB DATE: 8/7/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Portland Press Herald - Metered Site

Ammonium nitrate: What firefighters must know

Ammonium nitrate (AN) became infamous when convicted bomber Timothy McVeigh used it in the Oklahoma City bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995. Ammonium nitrate is back in our collective consciousness with the horrific Beirut, Lebanon, blast, and its reminders of the explosion at a West, Texas, fertilizer plant that claimed at least 15 lives, caused 200 injuries and destroyed more than 50 homes.
- PUB DATE: 8/7/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Fire Rescue 1

CDC shortens COVID-19 isolation guidelines as experts continue to learn more about virus

As health experts gather more data and continue to learn about COVID-19, certain protocols and regulations are changing. According to the CDC and local health experts, it’s now okay to go back to work just 10 days after testing positive for the virus. That’s not the only change — Requiring a negative test result to return to work is no longer encouraged.
- PUB DATE: 8/7/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KRON -TV 4 San Francisco

Firefighters In Massachusetts Remember 'Torrid Tuesday' Tank Farm Fire

PHOTOS: It was just after 9 AM and already the temperatures were in the 90s. A work crew was pin-welding insulation onto a gigantic 5-million-gallon fuel storage tank in the tank farm next to the Canal Electric Plant. But the crew had not properly grounded the tank before they began work. That mistake would cause one of the largest fires the Sandwich Fire Department has ever battled.
- PUB DATE: 8/7/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Sandwich Enterprise - Metered Site