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National Fire News

Tower ladder collapses as firefighters battle blaze in Boston

A firefighter who was standing on a telescoping ladder when it collapsed onto a three-story building in Boston suffered no serious injuries. Boston Fire Commissioner Joseph Finn said the firefighter was suspended about two feet above the building Wednesday night when the ladder buckled. He was able to safely climb out of the ladder's bucket onto the roof.
- PUB DATE: 4/12/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WCVB-TV ABC 5 Boston

Suicides left more officers and firefighters dead last year than all line-of-duty deaths combined

Suicides left more officers and firefighters dead last year than all line-of-duty deaths combined — a jarring statistic that continues to plague first responders but garners little attention. A new study by the Ruderman Family Foundation, a philanthropic organization that works for the rights of people with disabilities, looked at depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and other issues affecting first responders and the rates of suicide in departments nationwide.
- PUB DATE: 4/12/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: USA Today

Texas fire union submits three petitions to change city charter, reduce mayor's pay

The San Antonio Professional Firefighters Association submitted three petitions to potentially change the city charter. On Wednesday morning, the fire union held a press conference on the back steps of city hall before submitting the signatures. The first petition is to reduce City Manager Sheryl Sculley's salary and only allow a city manager to serve a maximum of eight years.
- PUB DATE: 4/12/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KENS5.com San Antonio

Widows of Pennsylvania firefighters initiate legal action following fatal fire, collapse

The widows of two York firefighters who died from injuries they suffered in a building collapse have initiated legal action against C.S. Davidson Inc., which the city contracts with for engineering services. Casey Flanscha and Allison Hoffman, who are also the administrators of the estates of York City Fire/Rescue Services firefighters Ivan Flanscha and Zachary Anthony, respectively, each filed court documents on Tuesday in the York County Court of Common Pleas.
- PUB DATE: 4/12/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: York Daily Record

Report: Feds warn of fire dangers a year after Atlanta's I-85 bridge collapse

Federal investigators have concluded the Georgia Department of Transportation is partly to blame for the fire that destroyed part of I-85 in Atlanta and crippled the region’s traffic for weeks. Wednesday, the National Transportation Safety Board released a report that found the department’s decision to stockpile construction materials under I-85 contributed to the inferno that destroyed a section of the highway in Buckhead.
- PUB DATE: 4/12/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Chicago suburban city lays off 40 police and fire employees, union officials say

Harvey police and fire department employees were hit with major layoffs Tuesday, one day after an adverse court ruling spurred city officials to convene an emergency meeting with workers. Officials did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday but the lawyer who represents both Harvey’s police and fire unions said 18 rank-and-file firefighters and 13 patrolmen are believed to have been let go.
- PUB DATE: 4/11/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Chicago Tribune

Memorial Saturday to honor Washington’s first female firefighter, a self-effacing pioneer

Capt. Jeanette Woldseth thought of herself as just a firefighter. She didn’t want to be remembered as a female firefighter, even though she was the first in the state. She also didn’t want the attention or focus on her, even when cancer consumed her body. Yet, it’s clear part of Capt. Woldseth’s legacy is that she paved the way for other women to not only join the firefighting ranks, but to succeed in the male-dominated profession.
- PUB DATE: 4/11/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Seattle Times

Former Missouri firefighters union treasurer pleads guilty to embezzlement

A former treasurer for the Gladstone, Missouri firefighters union pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to embezzling more than $26,000 from the union. Charles Duddy, 58, of Platte City, Missouri, waived his right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty to information that charges him with the embezzlement and theft of union funds.
- PUB DATE: 4/11/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KSHB-TV NBC 41 Kansas City

Making performance reviews relevant again: Change up the process

Most fire departments are still doing regular performance reviews, and a few of them may still be happy with the process. However, many departments are clearly not. Some fire departments have even gone so far as to eliminate the performance review process altogether. What’s wrong with the way many fire departments do performance evaluations? And how can the process be improved as to be truly meaningful and valuable for those who use it? When I became a firefighter, decades ago, the performance review process worked like this: Every six months or so, someone in a position of authority would fill out a form which rated individual department members on different characteristics on a scale of one to 10.
- PUB DATE: 4/11/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: FireRescue1

New York councilman unsuccessfully lobbies for firefighter building inspections

Councilman Cody J. Horbacz would like to see city firefighters go out and complete commercial building inspections during their downtime when they’re not fighting fires. He found out on Tuesday night that’s not possible because of a 1993 agreement with the Watertown Professional Fire Fighters Association Local 191 that specifies two firefighters must complete those duties out of the city’s Code Enforcement office.
- PUB DATE: 4/11/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Watertown Daily Times

Dramatic video shows children escaping from balcony of burning building in New Jersey

VIDEO - Several girls leapt from the balcony of an Edgewater building early Monday evening to escape roaring flames that ripped through their dance studio and other businesses as people rushed with ladders to mount a frantic rescue effort. None of the girls was seriously injured, though 10 to 15 suffered minor injuries in the harrowing escape, which was captured on video, according to borough Mayor Michael McPartland.
- PUB DATE: 4/10/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: NJ.com

Bus Driver Who Killed On-Duty Louisiana Firefighter Gets 15 Years

The bus driver convicted of negligent homicide in January for a 2016 crash on Interstate 10 in LaPlace that killed an on-duty firefighter and two other men received the maximum 15-year prison sentence on Monday. Denis Amaya Rodriguez, a Honduran immigrant who was in the country illegally, also was fined $5,000.
- PUB DATE: 4/10/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Advocate

Former San Francisco firefighter gets probation after alleged on-duty drunken crash

The long-tangled case against a San Francisco firefighter accused of drunkenly plowing his fire rig into a motorcyclist in the city’s South of Market neighborhood — only to then run to a nearby bar to chug water — ended in a guilty plea on a significantly lesser charge, prosecutors said Monday. Michael Quinn, who resigned from the San Francisco Fire Department after the 2013 crash, pleaded guilty Friday to one misdemeanor count of delaying an arrest and was sentenced to two years probation, bringing an end to an unusual saga.
- PUB DATE: 4/10/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle (SFGate.com)

Filmmaker lives, breathes firefighting for Indiana fire department promotional film

The firefighters wore full gear, including their breathing systems, and carried a hose as they waited outside the front door to enter an abandoned house and put out a fire. Brian Cox wore a black overcoat and carried a camera as he approached the front door to record video of the firefighters extinguishing the fire.
- PUB DATE: 4/10/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Richmond Palladium-Item

How Arizona fire department is reducing ambulance rides and saving money

A groundbreaking program at the Tucson Fire Department to help people and save money is showing significant progress in its second year. The Tucson Fire Department receives hundreds of 911 calls each day. The department’s infrastructure of people and machines is designed to handle around 65,000 calls per year but Captain Brian Thompson says the actual number of calls is more than 92,000.
- PUB DATE: 4/10/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KGUN-TV ABC 9 Tucson

North Carolina fire chief killed after car overturns, catches fire on interstate

A North Carolina fire chief was killed after a car overturned and caught fire on I-40 in Iredell County Sunday. Chief Richard Sales, 52, of Reynolds Volunteer Fire Department was killed in the crash. He was on his way to accept an award on behalf of the fire department at Child Passenger Safety Conference in Wilmington when the crash happened.
- PUB DATE: 4/9/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WBTV-TV Channel 3

One dead after fire breaks out at Trump Tower apartment in New York City

A man found critically injured after an apartment fire at Trump Tower in New York City on Saturday has died, police said. President Donald Trump, first lady Melania and their son, Barron, were in Washington, D.C., a spokesperson said. The Fire Department of New York commissioner earlier said that firefighters found the occupant of an apartment on the 50th floor and he was transported to a hospital and was in critical condition.
- PUB DATE: 4/9/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: NBC News

Connecticut fire chief proposes funding cut for volunteer departments, says volunteers came to fire without water

The Board of Public Safety members balked at the idea of level-funding the Torrington Fire Department budget after Chief Gary Brunoli said a firefighter would have to be laid off to reach the mark. His solution was to lower funding provided to volunteer fire departments. Brunoli presented cuts to his original proposal Wednesday, saying he had eliminated $665,673 in proposed expenses to bring the budget into line with the current year.
- PUB DATE: 4/9/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Torrington Register Citizen

A nasty dispute between firefighters and California city has gotten nastier – and costlier

Firefighters best known for passing out candy to children at Christmas are embroiled in a battle with the city of La Verne and their department’s management. The feud is so fierce, it’s resulted in two lawsuits and has prompted the cash-strapped city to spend money on an outside lawyer. La Verne Firefighters’ Association, Local 3624 alleges Fire Chief Peter Jankowski has targeted union members in retaliation for supporting the mayor’s opponent during the 2017 campaign.
- PUB DATE: 4/9/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Whittier Daily News

‘I’m a hot mess’: USS Miami blaze ended Maine firefighter’s career

When Eric Hardy read about the emotional suffering of Kathy Fury, mother of submarine arsonist Casey Fury, he thought about himself and many others hurt by the fire. “I’m sorry Mrs. Fury is having a hard time,” Hardy said, during the two hours it took the former Portsmouth Naval Shipyard firefighter to summarize the impact the fire had on him, his family and other firefighters.
- PUB DATE: 4/9/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Seacoast Online