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National Fire News

Union says long-term plan needed to retain new Atlantic City firefighters hired with grant money

The head of the city’s firefighter union wants to know the long-term plan for retaining a crop of new hires when the temporary funding used to bring them on board expires. The problem is — just as it has been in the past — there does not appear to be one, and the union president is concerned the fire department will, once again, be targeted for budget cuts through staffing reductions when it comes time to pay up.
- PUB DATE: 11/4/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Press of Atlantic City

City, Albuquerque Ambulance locked in dispute over transport authority

“Level Zero” is the phrase at the heart of a legal fight between Albuquerque Fire and Rescue and privately owned Albuquerque Ambulance Service over the city’s proposed expansion of its authority to have AFR rescue units transport patients to the hospital. In most cases, AFR rescue units stabilize patients on scene and Albuquerque Ambulance then takes them to the emergency room – allowing the Fire and Rescue units to return to service for new 911 calls.
- PUB DATE: 11/4/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Albuquerque Journal - Metered Site

Arizona: Family honors late firefighter with a memorial in the sky

VIDEO: It was a beautiful memorial for Goodyear firefighter engineer Austin Peck, who died in August. Some of Peck's family skydived to remember him, and they say it was a healing moment as they released his ashes into the skies. "I'm sure he would have loved it. He was an adrenaline junkie himself," said Mark Peck, Austin's father.
- PUB DATE: 11/4/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KSAZ-TV FOX 10 Phoenix

‘Danger Ahead’ in Virginia: Professional Firefighters & Paramedics Association warns public about low staffing

In a recent Facebook post, the Portsmouth Professional Fire Fighters & Paramedics Association the public on a staffing shortage. “Today is a scary day to be a citizen, guest, or business owner in Portsmouth.” According to the Association, EMS2, a unit that responds to major medical calls, is down due to lack of staffing.
- PUB DATE: 11/4/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WAVY-TV NBC 10 Portsmouth

Alaska fire and rescue chiefs: We won't send crews into dangerous situations with limited DOT maintenance on Seward Highway

Some local fire and rescue chiefs are pushing back against the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities closure of the Silvertip Maintenance Station, located at the junction of the Seward and Hope highways. DOT&PF says five staffers have been moved and the station will no longer be responsible for plowing and maintenance of the the 17-mile Hope Highway, as well as Turnagain Pass from mile markers 45 to 74.
- PUB DATE: 11/1/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KTVA-TV CBS 11 Anchorage

Trump signs bill renaming Wisconsin post office for fallen Fire Captain Cory Barr

President Donald Trump has signed a bill renaming the Sun Prairie post office after a firefighter killed in an explosion last year. U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin’s office says Trump signed the bill Thursday renaming the post office after Cory Barr. He was killed in a natural gas explosion in downtown Sun Prairie in July 2018.
- PUB DATE: 11/1/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WKOW-TV ABC 27 Madison

Mitigation Played Important Role In Saving Homes During Colorado's Lake Christine Fire, New Report Says

A new study on the Lake Christine fire finds that wildfire mitigation, like using flame-resistant construction materials and clearing vegetation around homes, played a significant role in saving property. The study, by the Community Wildfire Planning Center, was presented to the Eagle County board of commissioners by wildfire mitigation coordinator Eric Lovgren on Tuesday.
- PUB DATE: 11/1/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Aspen Public Radio

Proposed public safety pay changes met with criticism in Georgia county

A proposed change in the way Cobb County’s public safety officials are compensated has come under criticism from police and fire fighter representatives. Under the so-called “step and grade” table presented to county commissioners earlier this month, public safety employees would receive a 3-percent “step” increase each year.
- PUB DATE: 11/1/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Private firefighting industry growing

Private firefighting continues to grow as an industry. With fires scorching the state of California, some homeowners and insurance companies contract out companies to protect homes and structures in wildfires. "We've been doing the private sector for three years," Ryan Bellanca, of Bella Wildfire & Forestry Inc.
- PUB DATE: 11/1/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KOLO-TV ABC/CW+ 8 Reno

31 crashes of first responders in Florida last week raise red flags

First responders rush through the streets to save lives every day, but that comes with a risk and, sometimes, a cost. With more than 30 crashes involving Jacksonville police and fire vehicles last week, city leaders are once again concerned about safety. The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office alone had 24 crashes last week, with the officers at fault in 17 of them.
- PUB DATE: 10/31/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WJXT-TV CBS 4 Jacksonville

Inside The New Tech Helping Los Angeles Firefighters Decide Who And When To Evacuate

Ever wonder how fire agencies decide who and when to evacuate? It's not a decision made on a hunch. It requires making sense of huge amounts of real-time data and intelligence, and getting it wrong or late can have tragic consequences. Not than long ago, fatalities in California's wildfires were very rare.
- PUB DATE: 10/31/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: LAist

North Carolina county: 'We need our own EMS team'

If you have a heart attack in Harlowe, according to resident and former firefighter Rufus Carter, you are in serious trouble: it’s going to take the ambulance an average of 18 minutes and 22 seconds to get there. If you live in nearby Adams Creek, the response time is even longer. That’s the longest average response time for EMS in the county by nine and a half minutes (in Fort Barnwell) and nearly 11 minutes longer than the county’s quickest (Township 7).
- PUB DATE: 10/31/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: New Bern Sun Journal

Chicago Fire Department officials face calls for greater diversity in ranks

Chicago has the largest number of women fighting fires and working on ambulances of any city in the country, the city’s fire commissioner said Wednesday, but they make up less than 10% of the department’s total personnel. In a department that has long dealt with diversity issues, aldermen also pressed Chicago Fire Department officials to better address the under-representation of black and Latino firefighters on the force, an annual complaint when officials come to City Hall for their budget hearing.
- PUB DATE: 10/31/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Chicago Tribune - Metered Site

Wildfire Victims Don't Have Cell Service Thanks to Greedy Telecoms

The California wildfires and PG&E’s incompetence are having a terrifying impact on the residents of California, who face not only immense risk to life and property, but a growing number of power and telecom-related outages that make a bad problem worse. There are more than a dozen wildfires currently raging across California, and heavy winds this week are only expected to exacerbate the problem.
- PUB DATE: 10/31/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Vice

Authorities in Arizona searching for missing Pine-Strawberry Fire Chief Gary Morris

Authorities are searching for the Pine-Strawberry Fire Chief who has been reported missing after setting out to hike an Arizona trail last week. Sheriff's officials say 73-year-old Chief Gary Morris was reported missing around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday morning. Deputies say Chief Morris, an avid hiker, was scheduled to do 51 miles over four days of the Arizona Trail with the ending point being in the Doll Baby area, southwest of Payson.
- PUB DATE: 10/30/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: ABC 15 News Arizona

Kincade Fire: Harrowing dashcam video shows San Francisco firefighters driving into flames, embers hitting windshield

VIDEO: Harrowing video of San Francisco firefighters sent into the Kincade Fire drives home the reality that our first-responders are risking their lives when they step in to battle raging wildfires. Firefighters from San Francisco Fire Department were deployed to help fight the Kincade Fire, which has now burned 74,000 acres in Sonoma County.
- PUB DATE: 10/30/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KGO-TV 7 News

Several shots fired into West Virginia volunteer fire department; trucks damaged

At least 13 shots were fired into the Ona Volunteer Fire Department building, damaging three trucks, Cabell County Sheriff Chuck Zerkle said Tuesday. The sheriff said someone shot through the station’s garage doors, hitting three truck’s radiators and transmission lines. As a result, two of the trucks will be out of service.
- PUB DATE: 10/30/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WSAZ-TV NBC 3

Call for full-time paid chief, two more firefighters in Maine town

The town’s full-time firefighters say the current paid firefighting service is too thin for a town of York’s size, and they are seeking residents’ support to add two more people to their ranks. But as much as they seek relief from their 56-hour work week, it is just as important to them that the town hire a full-time paid fire chief.
- PUB DATE: 10/30/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Fosters.com

Governor: Firefighters called to 330 fires across California in 24 hours

In the last 24 hours, firefighters have responded to an estimated 330 fires across California, Governor Gavin Newsom stated in a press conference Monday afternoon. The update comes as the Kincade Fire, which sparked northeast of Geyserville on October 23, continues to burn across Northern California.
- PUB DATE: 10/29/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: SF Gate