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National Fire News

Related: Criminal probe launched into downtown Los Angeles building explosion amid questions about stored oils

Police and fire investigators launched a criminal probe Sunday into the cause of an explosion at a hash oil manufacturer in downtown Los Angeles that sent firefighters running for their lives. Detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department’s major crimes division were working with the city Fire Department’s arson investigators to determine what might have sparked the blast that shot a ball of flames out of the building Saturday night and scorched a fire truck across the street, police spokesman Josh Rubenstein said.
- PUB DATE: 5/18/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KTLA-TV 5 CW Los Angeles

EMS Week 2020: Here's how much emergency medical technicians make in every state

Sunday is the beginning of National EMS Week when the U.S. recognizes those who serve in emergency medical services. According to the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT), National EMS Week was started in 1974 by then-President Gerald Ford. This year in particular, the week is a good opportunity to honor the service that EMTs and paramedics provide to society in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, "one of the most daunting and demanding challenges our country has ever faced," a proclamation signed by President Trump on Friday said.
- PUB DATE: 5/18/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Fox Business

Virginia 911 center leverages remote capabilities, FirstNet to help address COVID-19 challenges

A Virginia 911 center is combining remote solutions with FirstNet connectivity as part of a multi-pronged strategy to ensure operational continuity during the COVID-19 pandemic today and to evaluate new technological options for the center in the future. Doug Campbell, deputy director of the Department of Emergency & Customer Communications (DECC) for the city of Alexandria, Va.
- PUB DATE: 5/18/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: IWCE’s Urgent Communications

Cancer research center study in Seattle targets front-line workers most at risk from the coronavirus

Early in the novel coronavirus pandemic, Nick Fugate figured he would probably get infected sooner or later. As a paramedic with King County Medic One, he and his colleagues were transporting gravely ill patients every day, amid an atmosphere of uncertainty and urgency. Even now that hospitalizations have declined, Fugate puts his odds at 50-50.
- PUB DATE: 5/18/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Seattle Times

Firefighters battle blaze, partial roof collapse at California strip mall

VIDEO: Firefighters battled a blaze that spread through an El Monte strip mall and resulted in a partial roof collapse Thursday night. Crews raced to the scene after getting a report of smoke coming from the strip mall in the 10100 block of East Valley Boulevard about 8:10 p.m., according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
- PUB DATE: 5/15/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KTLA-TV 5 CW Los Angeles

Missouri county charging first responders for masks, protective gear

St. Louis County has nearly $175 million in federal grant money to spend in response to the coronavirus, but the county has been charging local first responders for masks. As some St. Louis County police departments and fire districts have found themselves shorthanded on masks and other personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 outbreak, the County Council approved $1.
- PUB DATE: 5/15/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Call Newspapers

Post-9/11 public safety network FirstNet tapped for COVID-19 response

The nationwide public safety wireless network that Congress created in 2012 because of failures seen during and after the 9/11 attacks is helping connect first-responders and public safety experts across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic. The law created an independent authority called FirstNet, provided $7 billion for it, and allocated 20 megahertz of bandwidth within the 700 MHz spectrum to create a nationwide interoperable broadband network.
- PUB DATE: 5/15/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Roll Call

Column: How would the HEROES Act impact fire and emergency services?

Following House Democrats’ proposal of the HEROES Act (H.R. 6800) on Tuesday, the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) outlined possible impacts of the latest coronavirus aid package, and called upon fire and EMS professionals to contact their congressional representatives to support the legislation.
- PUB DATE: 5/15/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: EMS1

Profiles in courage: Honoring EMS and paramedics

There might be no year where it is more vital to recognize the work of emergency medical services and paramedics, those on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. National EMS Week is May 17-23. Whether they work at a hospital, with a fire department, for a private service or a med-flight operation, these brave men and women put their lives on the line with every call they respond to, never knowing if the person they help might be infected with a virus they might catch and take home to their own families.
- PUB DATE: 5/15/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Seacoast Online

See How the Coronavirus Infected Millions Throughout the U.S. with This Interactive Map

When the first U.S. case of the new coronavirus, COVID-19, was confirmed on Jan. 21, it appeared to be contained — the patient was a man living near Seattle who had recently returned from Wuhan, China and immediately isolated himself, and the local health department had conducted contact tracing to make sure that anyone he had encountered was now quarantining at home.
- PUB DATE: 5/14/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: People

New York city police and fire chiefs: Massive layoffs will endanger lives

Police Chief Eric Clifford fears the city could again become addled by gangs, drugs and double-digit homicides if the department is forced to lay off about 40 cops because of a deepening fiscal crisis brought on by the coronavirus. “Quite frankly, we go to the bare bones minimum of what we do – protect life and property – and we have to start scaling back on what we do as a department,” he said.
- PUB DATE: 5/14/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Albany Times-Union - Metered Site

Union officials: Minneapolis cops, firefighters deserve 'significant' cut of federal COVID-19 funding

Minneapolis’ police officers and firefighters deserve a “significant portion” of emergency federal COVID-19 aid, union officials said, arguing that an infusion of potentially millions of dollars is needed to avoid cutbacks or layoffs. In a letter to lawmakers, the unions made their pitch for a bigger cut of funding under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security, or CARES, Act — with Minnesota receiving $2.
- PUB DATE: 5/14/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Star Tribune

As COVID-19 pandemic grows, so does South Carolina's opioid problem

The opioid epidemic is getting worse, and the COVID-19 pandemic could be to blame. For many folks who may be struggling, times of social isolation drive feelings of stress, anxiety and depression, and drug abusers use opioids to relieve this stress. Sara Goldsby, the director of the South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services, says they have seen about a 30% increase in EMS response to overdose in the last few months.
- PUB DATE: 5/14/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WRDW-TV CBS 12 Augusta

Artist recreates iconic images in celebration of essential workers on coronavirus frontlines

VIDEO: One artist is using his talent to create a reimagined version of iconic American images to honor essential workers amid the coronavirus pandemic. Scott LoBaido is popular for his murals of the American flag across the country. For more than 25 years, he's painted renditions of the flag on police stations, homes, cars, veterans buildings and more in all 50 states.
- PUB DATE: 5/14/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

University of Nebraska Medical Center partners with New York firm to provide mass antibody testing for COVID-19

The University of Nebraska Medical Center has signed an agreement with a New York-based testing company to provide large-scale antibody testing, the kind intended to determine whether a person has been infected with the novel coronavirus. The partnership between UNMC and COVAXX, a subsidiary of United Biomedical, launched with last week’s testing of Omaha firefighters.
- PUB DATE: 5/13/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Daily Nonpareil

Next week is EMS Awareness Week

What is red and white and shows up with flashing lights and sirens sounding in times of need? The answer is York Ambulance Association, celebrating its 48th year serving the communities of York, South Berwick and Rollinsford, New Hampshire. May 17-23 is national EMS Awareness Week, which, according to the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians’ website, “brings together local communities and medical personnel to honor the dedication of those who provide the day-to-day lifesaving services of medicine’s ‘front line.
- PUB DATE: 5/13/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Sea Coast Online - Metered Site

Faces of courage: Ambulance personnel on coronavirus front lines in Pennsylvania

The call comes over their radio — the patient is having trouble breathing, they need an ambulance. Then, “call the center for special patient information,” says a Westmoreland 911 dispatcher. The paramedics know it’s likely they’re heading toward the invisible threat that everyone else is trying to stay away from — the coronavirus.
- PUB DATE: 5/13/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Ohio city facing criticism, tweaks order to trim firefighter OT

Facing criticism from the Mansfield firefighters union, the city announced Tuesday that two fire stations will not be closed at the same time when not enough personnel are available to work. "Speaking to the mayor, he would prefer to have one maximum closed," said Safety-Service Director Lori Cope, referring to Mayor Tim Theaker.
- PUB DATE: 5/13/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Mansfield News Journal

City in Washington moving forward after being pandemic's epicenter

As one of the country's first cities impacted by COVID-19, Kirkland was initially given the undesirable distinction of being the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States. Yet, the way in which the city has handled the crisis has garnered positive press, launching Kirkland into the spotlight as a role model.
- PUB DATE: 5/13/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Seattle Refined

IAFC: Fire Department Layoffs and Furloughs Near 1,000; 30,000 Projected

In the middle of a pandemic that has taken the lives of 26 firefighters, the nation is losing more firefighters. COVID-19 related budget cuts -- in communities large and small – have resulted in the layoff or furlough of at least 935 fire department employees, including front-line firefighters, EMTs & paramedics.
- PUB DATE: 5/12/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: IAFC.org