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National Fire News

New York chief's order keeps volunteers out of burning buildings

A city firefighter's decision to alert the state that volunteers are behind on mandated training prompted the fire chief to forbid the crew of 18 volunteers from rushing into burning buildings. "The training will be upgraded," Mayor Daniel Dwyer said. "We will do it in a couple of weeks." Dwyer said a "disgruntled" firefighter contacted the state's Public Employees Safety Health Bureau to complain about the lack of training, which led to Chief Bill Hummel's decision to sideline the volunteers.
- PUB DATE: 9/17/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Albany Times-Union

Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Colorado Springs honors next wave of 9/11 victims

Sixteen years after the 343 New York City firefighters who died in the collapse of the twin towers on 9/11 were honored at an annual ceremony in Colorado Springs, another wave of victims of the terrorist attack is being added to the memorial wall. Nineteen of the 271 union firefighters whose names were read out at this year’s Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial on Saturday in Memorial Park died of illnesses or conditions associated with the aftermath of the attack when firefighters were called upon to dig through the toxic rubble at what came to be known as ground zero, at first hoping to rescue survivors, then hoping to at least find remains.
- PUB DATE: 9/17/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Colorado Springs Gazette

Utah firefighter’s death caused by retardant drop from 747

A Utah firefighter battling the largest wildfire in California history was killed last month when thousands of gallons of flame-suppressing liquid were dropped from a Boeing 747 mistakenly flying only 100 feet (30 meters) above the treetops, according to an official report Friday. The pilot and a supervisor flying ahead in a small guide plane led the giant modified jetliner nearly into the trees on Aug.
- PUB DATE: 9/17/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Salt Lake Tribune

Follow Up: Off-duty Massachusetts firefighter raced to shut off neighbor's gas amid explosions

It's one of the few bright spots to come out of Thursday's disaster in Lawrence. As his neighbors were evacuating, off-duty Lawrence firefighter Lt. Dave Amero ran house to house, shutting off the gas. Amero said he realized there was a problem when his wife told him their house reeked of gas. "I just started running around, shutting off meters.
- PUB DATE: 9/17/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Boston 25 News

Private ambulance industry asks California voters to change workplace rules

Few Californians will have any idea why they’re being asked to vote this fall on workplace conditions in the private ambulance industry. But the backstory is a reminder of how ballot measures are the ultimate Plan B for those who don’t get satisfaction from the Legislature. The track record for such efforts is mixed.
- PUB DATE: 9/17/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Los Angeles Times

Teen killed as gas explosions, fires rock Massachusetts towns

A Lawrence teen was killed today after a chimney from a house explosion fell on the car he was in during a series of about 70 explosions and fires in the city and in nearby Andover and North Andover this afternoon that has kept emergency crews working late into the night. Leonel Rondon, 18, was pronounced dead at Mass General Hospital at approximately 8:30 this evening, officials announced.
- PUB DATE: 9/14/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Boston Herald

Former Washington firefighter sues city for injury he says was caused by understaffing

A former Yakima firefighter says he was injured on the job because the city understaffs its fire squads. The accusation is part of a damage claim the former firefighter, Jerry Elmo Jr., submitted earlier this summer, asking the city for $450,000 in damages related to the injury. City spokesman Randy Beehler says the city doesn’t comment on pending claims or litigation.
- PUB DATE: 9/14/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Yakima Herald

New York fire chief readies new lawsuit over 9/11 related illness

The ongoing dispute involving Utica fire Chief Russell Brooks and his health started more than a year ago with an application. Citing his diagnosis for chronic lymphocytic leukemia, which he says resulted from responding to New York City to support 9/11 recovery efforts, Brooks applied for benefits outlined under General Municipal Law 207-a.
- PUB DATE: 9/14/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Observer-Dispatch

'What was your most unusual sex act?' Ohio police, fire recruits asked about sex

Cincinnati police and firefighter recruits are asked to describe their "most unusual sex act" in a questionnaire that can later become accessible to the public. The questions are part of the Fire and Police departments' pre-employment process. They raise concerns for some that new recruits are being asked to divulge private, probing details about their sexual history.
- PUB DATE: 9/14/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Cincinnati Enquirer & Cincinnati.com

3 new fire stations recommended for Colorado city

An architectural firm commissioned by the city to assess the conditions at eight Pueblo Fire Department buildings is recommending the department build new facilities at three stations that are in poor shape. The stations that need replacing, according to that architectural firm, are at 425 W. Seventh St.
- PUB DATE: 9/14/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Pueblo Chieftain

Detroit turns off lights, sirens on some fire runs

The city's fire department is no longer using lights and sirens on all of its runs, prompting the fire union to warn that the new policy could endanger lives. But Detroit's fire commissioner says he has no plans to back down on a strategy that gives discretion to dispatchers, firefighters and EMTs to alert those en route to "go easy," which means they can switch off their lights and sirens to arrive safely.
- PUB DATE: 9/13/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Detroit News

IAFC Discourages the Practice of Self-Dispatch to Emergency Locations

As Hurricane Florence approaches the U.S. continental east coast, the IAFC reminds fire and emergency service leaders to discourage the practice of self-dispatching to emergency response and recovery locations. In major disasters, the fire service needs to be disciplined in its response. First responders must be ready and available to the local communities and—when requested—be ready and available to respond should a call for assistance be received from affected jurisdictions.
- PUB DATE: 9/13/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: International Association of Fire Chiefs

Michigan teen files federal lawsuit over sex abuse by firefighters in Explorer mentor program

A young woman who was sexually abused in a mentor program at Cascade Township Fire Department has filed a federal lawsuit against the township and Boy Scouts of America. Two now-former Cascade Township firefighters - Clem Bell, 53, and Steven Drake, 34 - had relationships with the then-16-year-old girl and exchanged sexually explicit photographs and videos with her.
- PUB DATE: 9/13/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Mlive.com

Fire Investigators Urged to Protect Health

The International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI) has released a white paper that covers best practices related to health and safety, particularly as it concerns cancer prevention. The white paper was put together by the IAAI Health and Safety Committee after it was re-established in 2016 when it was deemed that health and safety practices and protocols for investigators had not been keeping pace with those of firefighters.
- PUB DATE: 9/13/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Firehouse

'Thank you for my second life': Illinois woman honors firefighters who saved her 10 years ago

Aurora Fire Capt. Brandon Matson said firefighters and paramedics go on hundreds of emergency calls a year, but rarely do they hear back from the people they’ve taken to the hospital. So firefighters at Aurora Station 8 were surprised when they received a request from Aurora residents Lisa and Ted Yee, who wanted to bring them dinner Monday to celebrate Lisa’s recovery from a crash a decade ago that left her with traumatic brain injury.
- PUB DATE: 9/13/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Aurora Beacon-News

FDNY Remembers Firehouse that Lost 15 Members on 9/11

VIDEO - A Midtown firehouse that lost more members in the September 11th terror attacks than any other in New York City held a somber memorial Tuesday to honor all 15 firefighters who died. "All the new fellows who have joined since September 11th, who, you know, probies and new firefighters, treat us with respect, with love, with great affection," said Maureen Santora, the mother of firefighter Christopher Santora.
- PUB DATE: 9/12/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: NY1-TV

Bald eagle lands on top of Minnesota's fire truck’s aerial during 9/11 commemoration

VIDEO - A remarkable sight was recorded by a Twin Cities fire department on Tuesday as the nation marked the 17th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. In a viral video posted by the Andover Fire Department, a bald eagle landed at the top of an aerial fire truck’s extended ladder and basket as firefighters observed the anniversary at the Main Street overpass at U.
- PUB DATE: 9/12/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: TwinCities.com

Pennsylvania city council members want mayor to reconsider fire patrols

Two city councilmen raised concerns Tuesday about the effects mandated fire patrols are having on equipment and firefighters and urged Mayor Tony George to reconsider the idea. The fire watches involve firefighters driving the engines and aerial ladder truck throughout the city and parking them in highly visible locations as a way to prevent fires, according to the mayor.
- PUB DATE: 9/12/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Times Leader

Bells Across America for Fallen Firefighters Planned for Oct. 5-7

Since the early days of the fire service, bells have been used as a way to summon firefighters to a station, communicate the type of emergency, or announce the end of a shift. When a firefighter died in the line of duty, a special sequence of five bells was tapped. The tolling of bells is still a tradition to honor the fallen during funerals and memorial services for firefighters.
- PUB DATE: 9/12/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Firehouse

Washington fire department to launch low-acuity emergency response pilot program

The type of incident is common enough — someone with Alzheimer’s has gone missing. A 911 call is made. The fire department responds. It happened recently to Central Pierce Fire & Rescue. “A gentleman was lost. He wandered off from the building he was at,” EMS Capt. Tim Lookabaugh said. “(Crews) spent an hour and a half trying to get a hold of his family, finding the right place for him to go.
- PUB DATE: 9/12/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The News Tribune