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National Fire News

Houston firefighter learns to work after being stabbed in the eye during response

When you join the ranks of the Houston Fire Department, you also know the dangers. "We fear the red car," Melanie Willingham said. "That red car that pulls up to tell you bad news." Sometimes it's the most unexpected calls that change lives forever. "You always think it's going to be the big fires that are going to get you or do the most damage, but we tend to forget it's the little ones that can sneak up and get us," Cpt.
- PUB DATE: 1/27/2017 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KTRK-TV ABC 13 Houston

Virginia firefighter reassigned after being arrested for rioting in DC

A Henrico County firefighter has been reassigned after she was arrested for rioting in Washington DC on Inauguration Day. Court documents stated Rosa Roncales was a part of an anarchist group that disrupted inauguration events by smashing windows and setting things on fire. Roncales was charged with felony rioting in connection to the incidents that caused in excess of $100,000, according to court documents.
- PUB DATE: 1/27/2017 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WTVR-TV CBS 6

Michigan man jailed for arson, fire truck ramming

PHOTO - A Grand Rapids man is jailed awaiting arraignment on Thursday after police said he sets fires, tried to break into a pharmacy and rammed an Emmett Township fire engine just before midnight Monday. Court records show Kenneth H. Smith Jr., 30, is being held and should be arraigned in Calhoun County District Court on Thursday afternoon.
- PUB DATE: 1/27/2017 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WZZM-TV Grand Rapids 13

New Jersey firehouse burglarized while firefighters rescued man from burning building

While firefighters were busy rescuing a man from a burning building in Jersey City Thursday, a shameless burglar saw an opportunity. Firefighters returned to their firehouse at 468 Ocean Ave. Thursday night after responding to a two-alarm blaze and discovered electronics and wallets were missing, according to ABC New York.
- PUB DATE: 1/27/2017 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: NJ.com

Data from Ohio man’s pacemaker leads to arson charges

Investigators used the data from a Middletown man’s pacemaker to help get an indictment in a fire that caused about $400,000 in damages. Ross Compton, 59, has been indicted on felony charges of aggravated arson and insurance fraud for allegedly starting the fire on Sept. 19 at his Court Donegal house.
- PUB DATE: 1/27/2017 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Dayton Daily News

Beloved Kansas firefighter dies unexpectedly

Hearts were heavy across the Wichita firefighter community on Wednesday as news of the death of one of their own began to settle in. Collis Grisby, a graduate of Northwest High School and a longtime member of the Wichita Fire Department, died unexpectedly this week, according to the department. According to several of his colleagues, Grisby, 53, was not only a fearless and selfless firefighter, he was also one of the most popular people in the department.
- PUB DATE: 1/27/2017 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Wichita Eagle

Los Angeles County wants paramedics free to take psychiatric patients to mental health centers

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to sponsor state legislation to change a law that bars paramedics from taking patients to mental health urgent care and sobering centers. Under the law, which was branded as “outdated” by one county official, paramedics are required to take patients with psychiatric needs only to hospital emergency departments or 9-1-1 receiving units.
- PUB DATE: 1/26/2017 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Los Angeles Daily News

2 firefighters injured as crews battle massive fire in Washington

VIDEO - Firefighters battled a massive, 3-alarm fire in Lynnwood Wednesday night. The fire broke out around 9:30 p.m. near 19800 Scribes Lake Road, between 196th St. SW and 200th St. SW. Crews said the apartment complex was under construction and was unoccupied. "Right now they're using defensing methods to keep the fire isolated to the construction site," said Julie Moore, Lynnwood Fire PIO.
- PUB DATE: 1/26/2017 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KOMO-TV ABC 4 and Radio 1000

Colorado Fire Chief Pushed out After 36 Years of Service

Mountain View Fire Rescue's Board of Directors on Monday night unanimously approved a separation agreement with fire Chief Mark Lawley a year before his contract was set to expire and appointed David Beebe as the interim chief. The decisions were made almost simultaneously following an hour-long executive session at the board's monthly meeting.
- PUB DATE: 1/26/2017 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Firehouse

Rookie Los Angeles Firefighter Saves Man Threatening to Jump From Freeway Overpass

A rookie Los Angeles firefighter's attempt to connect with a man proved to be life-saving when the man safely surrendered after threatening to jump off a freeway overpass. Kenneth Fraser was driving home Tuesday night from training as a Los Angeles Fire Department firefighter when he noticed people crowded around a man on the 101 Freeway overpass in Hollywood.
- PUB DATE: 1/26/2017 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KNBC-TV NBC 4 Los Angeles

Paramedic questioned for claims of Boston Marathon bombing heroics

The St. Louis Fire Department has launched an internal investigation into one of its employees after FOX25 Investigates uncovered inconsistencies in the first responder's story that he rushed to the scene of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. Investigative Reporter Eric Rasmussen traveled to St. Louis to get answers after paramedics in Boston and Missouri contacted FOX25 about Shawn Daniel, who was recently honored at a St.
- PUB DATE: 1/26/2017 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WFXT-TV Fox 25 Boston

Charges filed after 1,700 Iowa firefighters were awarded invalid certifications

A former employee with the state's Fire Training Safety Bureau was arrested Tuesday after investigators determined that more than 2,000 fire safety certifications had been improperly issued between 2012 and 2016, according to a news release by the Iowa Department of Public Safety. John McPhee was charged with felonious misconduct in office, a Class D felony, and tampering with records, an aggravated misdemeanor.
- PUB DATE: 1/25/2017 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Des Moines Register

Federal prosecutors name EMSA, director in $20 million kickback scheme in Texas

Federal prosecutors filed a civil complaint Monday naming EMSA and its director, Stephen Williamson, in an alleged kickback scheme regarding a lucrative ambulance services provider contract. The complaint, filed in federal court in the eastern district of Texas, claims that a Texas hospital and ambulance provider, Paramedics Plus LLC, entered into a kickback scheme to obtain and retain a lucrative public ambulance services contract awarded by Williamson and the Emergency Medical Services Authority, a public trust that administers the ambulance service in the Tulsa and Oklahoma City metro areas.
- PUB DATE: 1/25/2017 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Tulsa World

How California firefighters pulled off dramatic swiftwater rescue of family trapped in truck

Murrieta Fire Department engineer Mike Macalinao and captains Sean DeGrave and Todd Bradstreet are certified swiftwater rescue technicians who each have trained for the risky missions for more than 10 years. They all have performed water rescues. But none, they said, matched the situation they encountered Sunday, Jan.
- PUB DATE: 1/25/2017 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: San Bernardino County Sun

Hit-and-run driver kills Cleveland cop at scene of fatal accident involving firetruck

One person was killed during a crash involving a fire truck and a van on I-90 in Rocky River, which also ultimately resulted in the hit-skip death of a Cleveland police officer. The fire truck was on scene assisting in a single-vehicle accident when a white van crashed into the back of the truck. The driver of the van, 29-year-old Artem Vytiegov of San Francisco, was pronounced dead on scene.
- PUB DATE: 1/25/2017 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Cleveland CBS 19

Trump hiring freeze leaves Forest Service workers wondering about firefighting jobs

Federal workers scrambled on Tuesday to interpret how President Donald Trump’s hiring freeze of civilian employees might affect seasonal firefighters and other part-time employees. Trump’s order, issued Monday, stated “no vacant positions existing at noon on January 22, 2017, may be filled and no new positions may be created, except in limited circumstances.
- PUB DATE: 1/25/2017 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Billings Gazette

Virginia city to offer $1,000 to firefighters, first responders, but there's a catch

Portsmouth will give police officers, firefighters and other emergency workers $1,000 apiece to keep working in the city. The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to give the one-time stipend next month to those employees, as well as paramedics and dispatchers. The proposal, submitted to the council by human resources director Elizabeth Gooden, says Portsmouth will spend about $860,000 on the incentive without adding to its operating budget.
- PUB DATE: 1/25/2017 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Norfolk Virginian-Pilot/HamptonRoads.com

Mississippi fire station destroyed by tornado

Three Hattiesburg firefighters huddled in Hattiesburg Fire Department Station 2's fire truck early Saturday morning, just minutes after they were warned of an approaching tornado. "We looked out the door and realized what was going on," firefighter Cody Keys said. "We got into the back of the (fire) truck, laid down and held on, let the storm pass.
- PUB DATE: 1/24/2017 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Hattiesburg American

Suspect indicted in Delaware arson that killed 3 firefighters

A New Castle County grand jury has indicted Beatriz Fana-Ruiz, the 27-year-old woman accused of setting a fire that led to the deaths of three Wilmington firefighters in the Canby Park neighborhood last September. In the 19-count indictment, Fana-Ruiz is charged with first-degree arson as well as six counts of murder.
- PUB DATE: 1/24/2017 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Wilmington News Journal (Delaware Online)

Fire agency mergers mulled across California county

Sonoma County, with more than 40 firefighting agencies and chronically underfunded fire service, may consolidate some districts while it seeks new ways to help other districts share resources. Changes include a new North Coast fire district while proposals include a single fire chief overseeing two south county districts; another chief-sharing plan involving Glen Ellen and Sonoma Valley; consolidation of north county fire agencies and ongoing discussions for change amongst agencies along the Russian River Valley and Sonoma coast.
- PUB DATE: 1/24/2017 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Press Democrat