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National Fire News

Former Indianapolis Fire Chief Brian Sanford dies following battle with ALS

Former IFD Chief Brian L. Sanford died Monday at the age of 59 following a years-long battle with Lou Gehrig's disease. Sanford served as a firefighter in Indianapolis for 32 years He served as chief of the Indianapolis Fire Department from 2008-2014. Doctors diagnosed Sanford with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, in 2011.
- PUB DATE: 3/22/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WRTV-TV ABC 6 Indianapolis (The Indy Channel)

California city ordered to pay more than $2.3 million in lawsuit by former firefighter

A jury awarded a former Vallejo firefighter more than $2.3 million Friday at the end of a nine-week long trial in a case against the city. Todd Milan, 47, sued the city alleging retaliation in 2013 after his employment was terminated in 2012. The jury took about two days to deliberate before awarding Milan $2,357,089, $400,000 of which for emotional distress, while the rest is for past and future wage lost, said his lawyer Leslie Levy.
- PUB DATE: 3/22/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Vallejo Times-Herald

Maine city considers fees for excessive nonemergency calls

Last year, one Bangor resident called for emergency assistance 171 times. Another person called first responders to their home only to ask the firefighter to hand them an out-of-reach TV remote control. In response to a growing number of calls for aid that Bangor’s emergency responders say shouldn’t be necessary, the Fire Department wants the city to start charging fees to people or institutions who frequently call for help when no one needs to be taken to a hospital.
- PUB DATE: 3/22/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: bangor daily news

Update: North Carolina fire chief to have skin-graft surgery on arms

A Hoke County fire chief who was seriously burned while battling a woods fire will undergo a skin graft procedure Tuesday as he continues to recover from his injuries. Michael Scott, chief of the Hillcrest Fire Department, is being treated at the N.C. Jaycee Burn Center in Chapel Hill for burns on his arms and face.
- PUB DATE: 3/22/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Fayetteville Observer

Boston Fire Department cans former district chief

The Boston Fire Department has canned a former district fire chief convicted last month of skimming $50,000 from taxpayer coffers while he ran the department’s firefighter academy. Edward Scigliano, 46, was fired by Fire Commissioner Joseph Finn on Wednesday, the same day the department held a hearing attended by Scigliano.
- PUB DATE: 3/22/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: boston herald

South Carolina firefighter dies after being struck by fire truck

A firefighter is dead after falling off of the back of a fire truck during a house fire in Conway. Chris Ray was part of the Conway Fire Department responding to a house fire on Hickory Circle around 3:30 p.m. Sunday. Both Conway and Horry County Fire Departments were fighting the blaze. Ray fell off the back of the truck and was hit as it backed up, South Carolina Highway Patrol says.
- PUB DATE: 3/21/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WIS-TV Columbia Channel 10

FDNY’s new entry exam asks about everything but firefighting

FDNY candidates will take an entry exam that quizzes them on topics like African killer bees and on math questions such as comparing veggie chips to pretzels, but little on firefighting. With the city planning to give the first FDNY entry exam in five years in 2017, critics say the test has been dumbed down since a judge ruled a former exam discriminated against minorities.
- PUB DATE: 3/21/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: new york post

North Carolina fire chief seriously burned in explosion

The chief of the Hillcrest Fire Department in Hoke County was seriously burned in an explosion Friday. Chief Michael Scott sustained burns to his arms and face while fighting a woods fire on Lawrence McCollum Road. This is near the Raeford Municipal Airport, about halfway between Raeford and Fayetteville.
- PUB DATE: 3/21/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Fayetteville Observer

Hawaii battalion chiefs lose case; Two were investigated for speaking out against fire chief

Two West Hawaii battalion chiefs who said they were stripped of their badges after they publicly criticized their boss failed in their appeal for lost overtime pay and benefits. The Merit Appeals Board last week unanimously ruled Hawaii Fire Department battalion chiefs Ty Medeiros and Steve Loyola were not due overtime and vacation pay after being put on paid leave in late 2014.
- PUB DATE: 3/21/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: hawaii tribune-herald

Seattle battalion chief says she was not asked to talk to media, denied promotions

Seattle Fire Department Battalion Chief Tamalyn Nigretto says it was like a slap in the face when she saw a lieutenant being interviewed on television about the Greenwood explosion. Nothing against him, but she had been the incident commander — the ranking commander at the scene and in charge of the response — when the natural-gas blast leveled two buildings last week, yet she had not been asked to speak to the media.
- PUB DATE: 3/21/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: the seattle times

Oklahoma firefighter injured when tanker overturns

PHOTO - One man was injured after a Waukomis fire truck ran off the road Thursday afternoon near Bison while responding to a fire call. The Waukomis firefighter was transported to Integris Bass Baptist Health Center after being trapped inside the truck for about 30 minutes. Waukomis Fire Department personnel were responding to a controlled burn that got out of control northeast of Bison when a water tanker overturned.
- PUB DATE: 3/18/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Enid News & Eagle

Fire-Eater Erupts in Flames During Florida High School’s Pep Rally

VIDEO - A fire-breather caught fire during a pep-rally performance at a Florida high school, horrifying students and school staff in the audience on Thursday and leaving himself and nearly 20 others injured. The incident occurred at Atlantic Community High in Delray Beach, where the performer and seven students hospitalized, the Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.
- PUB DATE: 3/18/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: ktla 5

California city announces it erred in making $60,000 payment to former fire chief

Oxnard's $60,000 settlement payment to its former fire chief last year did not comply with state law, a review by the Ventura County District Attorney's office found, though the error appeared unintentional. The DA's office looked into the issue after getting a citizen complaint when the settlement was made public by The Star in November, records show.
- PUB DATE: 3/18/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Ventura County Star

Mississippi Sheriff: Drunk firefighter has accident with fire truck while responding to fire

A Lee County firefighter was arrested because he is accused of driving a fire truck while drunk and getting into an accident while responding to a fire. He is identified by the Lee County Sheriff's Department as 34-year-old Phillip W. Gasaway, a member of the Unity Fellowship Volunteer Fire Department.
- PUB DATE: 3/18/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WTVA-TV Channel 9

Longtime New Hampshire firefighters walk out after tense dispute over apparatus purchase

Two members of the Canterbury Fire Department have quit, and others could be on their way out after last Friday’s town meeting Captains Donald Maurer and Scott Ruesswick have left their positions at the volunteer department within the last week, citing Canterbury residents’ decision to approve the purchase of a $340,000 fire engine recommended by Canterbury selectmen, despite the fire department’s plan to purchase a $490,000 engine.
- PUB DATE: 3/18/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: concord monitor - metered site

Maryland chief, union sound alarm on repeated vandalism on firefighters' safety equipment

VIDEO - In Prince George's County, the firefighters union president and the fire chief are sounding an alarm because someone has been damaging the safety equipment belonging to the career medics and firefighters at the Glassmanor-Oxon Hill Firehouse. "Our turnout gear is our lifeline," firefighters union president Andrew Pantelis says.
- PUB DATE: 3/18/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WJLA-TV ABC 7 Washington

Minneapolis offers paid EMS training in effort to diversify fire department

Minneapolis city officials are launching a paid emergency medical services training program in an effort to diversify its fire department and open a path into the medical field for people of color. The city's fire department is 71 percent white and 88 percent male. "We want to reduce barriers," said city spokeswoman Erica Prosser.
- PUB DATE: 3/17/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Star Tribune

Key seconds in Texas STAR Flight rescuer’s death likely to remain a mystery

Staff at Travis County’s air rescue outfit will likely have to come to grips with the possibility that they will never know exactly what caused one of their colleagues to fall to her death during a patient rescue nearly a year ago, their leader said Wednesday. With no evidence of any equipment failure, the federal agency tasked with investigating the death of STAR Flight rescuer Kristin McLain, 46, determined that she was likely not properly attached to the helicopter’s hoist when she fell about 100 feet during a rescue in the Barton Creek Greenbelt.
- PUB DATE: 3/17/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: statesman

OSHA Considering Additional Regulations for the Fire Service

According to BusinessInsurance.com, the US Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) is contemplating new regulations aimed specifically at firefighters. Published last week, the article lists several areas that OSHA is looking at, including mandatory medical examinations to help address the cardiac risk and banning sliding poles due to injuries.
- PUB DATE: 3/17/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: firelawblog.com

Arizona fire chief proposes $4.7M cut to help shrink city shortfall

Tucson Fire Chief Jim Critchley is proposing to cut $4.7 million from the department budget — which includes possible job demotions — in a belt-tightening measure to help the city’s budget woes. The proposal was released in a memo from the chief to all employees. Some of the changes may begin before July.
- PUB DATE: 3/17/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Tucson Arizona Daily Star