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National Fire News

Lawyer for arson suspect in Pete Dern blaze will put Fresno Fire Department on trial

A deal to put the woman suspected of starting the fire that severely injured Fresno Fire Capt. Pete Dern behind bars for seven years was derailed in Fresno County Superior Court on Wednesday, and the case now appears to be headed for trial. Judge Don Penner rejected the seven-year prison term previously agreed to by both the Fresno County District Attorney's Office and counsel for Julia Harper, 52.
- PUB DATE: 2/18/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: fresno bee

18 Ohio Firefighters Could Face Punishment For 2015 Party At Closed Firehouse

PHOTO - More than a dozen Columbus firefighters could face punishment for a farewell party at a closed fire station this past summer. Photos obtained by 10TV show what investigators call deliberate damage to the old Station 2 building. Firefighters say the pictures don't tell the whole story. The photos were taken inside Station 2 days after the now notorious ‘kegs and eggs’ party.
- PUB DATE: 2/18/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WBNS-TV Columbus 10

Ornament Commemorates 1929 White House Fire

The 2016 Official White House Christmas Ornament was unveiled last week featuring an antique fire truck to commemorate a fire that damaged the West Wing on Christmas Eve 1929. President Hoover, the 31st President of the United States, was hosting a Christmas party for his staff and their children in the Entrance Hall of the East Wing when the fire was reported.
- PUB DATE: 2/18/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: firehouse

New Engine Crashes During Delivery in New York

PHOTO - A new fire truck being delivered to a Long Island department crashed on Interstate 84 East in Hopewell Junction on Tuesday, state police confirmed. "It was a brand new fire truck being delivered" to the Islip Terrace Fire Department, said Melissa McMorris, a state police spokeswoman. The delivery driver was "transported to Danbury Hospital" in Connecticut.
- PUB DATE: 2/17/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: poughkeepsie journal

Georgia fire chief rescinds resignation after job offer pulled

Augusta Fire Chief Chris James was rehired by the city Tuesday after losing a job offer in York County, S.C. James had accepted a position as the county’s deputy manager but lost the job offer, several Augusta Commission members confirmed. Commissioner Bill Lockett said York officials rescinded the offer after receiving “all this erroneous information” from the Augusta firefighters union.
- PUB DATE: 2/17/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: firerescue1

Fire chief: Michigan policy prohibiting EpiPens puts ‘lives at risk'

Firefighters say a state policy concerning a life-saving device for allergic reactions, EpiPens, put lives at risk. The WZZM 13 Watchdog team is looking into why some firefighters are not allowed to carry EpiPens, while some non-emergency workers can. EpiPens are available in schools, but not some fire departments.
- PUB DATE: 2/17/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WZZM-TV Grand Rapids 13

Private ambulances will soon be sent out on calls in Washington D.C.

The D.C. fire department has chosen a private ambulance company with a nationwide reach to help augment its own fleet, which has been troubled by delays in responding to emergencies and unable to keep up with a surge in 911 calls from a growing population. Colorado-based American Medical Response, a subsidiary of Envision Healthcare, was the lead bidder for a temporary contract that begins in 30 days, reflecting the situation’s urgency.
- PUB DATE: 2/17/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: washington post

Illinois city dismisses firefighter accused in phone-sex probe

The Oak Lawn firefighter accused of making phone calls to sex lines while on duty has been fired. Firefighter/paramedic and former union officer Robert Lanz was terminated Monday for “violations of multiple departmental rules and regulations.” Oak Lawn Fire Chief George Sheets sent Lanz a letter on Feb.
- PUB DATE: 2/17/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: oak lawn patch

New York firefighters tried to save cop after crash with ladder truck

Yonkers firefighters tried desperately to save an off-duty police detective after the veteran cop's SUV crashed head-on into a ladder truck early Sunday, officials said Monday. Yonkers Police Det. Frank Fernandez was pronounced dead at the scene shortly before 3 a.m. after a collision with Ladder 75, which was responding to a call to the Rosemarie Ann Siragusa School, or School 14, on Crescent Place.
- PUB DATE: 2/16/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: NY Journal News

Florida department’s refusal to provide mutual aid at fire sparks debate

Liberty Fire District Assistant Chief Tony Roy’s refusal to send a tanker truck to a burning home in another jurisdiction has sparked discussion in Walton County over local mutual aid agreements. At 3:30 p.m. Nov. 25, Walton County Fire Rescue requested that Liberty dispatch a truck to a house fire at 169 Lorenz Drive near DeFuniak Springs.
- PUB DATE: 2/16/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Ft. Walton Beach: Northwest Florida News

Union says it warned Georgia fire chief about trucks

As Augusta Fire Chief Chris James heads out the door to a new job, members of the local firefighters union issued a letter Friday criticizing him for a contract he negotiated to buy several fire trucks they claim require constant maintenance. The Augusta Professional Firefighters Association claims members warned James years ago about the purchase of eight KME “prototype” fire trucks costing $6 million that now require frequent maintenance.
- PUB DATE: 2/16/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: augusta chronicle

IAFC Foundation and Emergent BioSolutions Partner to Support First Responder Hazmat Training

The International Association of Fire Chiefs Foundation (IAFCF) has received a $10,000 grant from Emergent BioSolutions to provide 12 scholarships for qualified hazmat response professionals to attend the International Hazardous Materials Response Teams Conference, June 16-19 in Baltimore. The scholarships will provide a full conference registration and a $250 travel/housing stipend for each recipient.
- PUB DATE: 2/16/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: International Association of Fire Chiefs

Illinois fire union files complaint over hair policy dispute

The Elgin firefighters' union filed a labor complaint against the city after three of its members were told to cut their hair, which they had been growing to protest their 25-month lack of contract. International Association of Firefighters Local 439 President Vince Rychtanek said he, Vice President Edward Hanson and Shop Steward Joe Villella started letting their hair grow sometime after April 2015 to protest that firefighters have been working without a contract since January 2014.
- PUB DATE: 2/16/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: daily herald

DC fire chief responds to scathing medical director resignation letter

D.C. Fire Chief Gregory Dean has responded to the sudden and very public resignation of the city’s medical director, Dr. Jullette Saussy, by defending his department. Saussy’s scathing resignation letter criticized the fire department for its toxic culture and slow response times, citing an incident that occurred last month when a man with stab wounds died after it took firefighters 18 minutes after the 911 call to arrive at the scene.
- PUB DATE: 2/12/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: firerescue1

Former Georgia fire marshal convicted of extortion

Jason Beard didn’t have to testify, he told a federal court jury Thursday, but the former Augusta fire marshal insisted. “I’d like for the jury to hear my side of the story, the truthful side,” he said. The jury didn’t buy it. After deliberating close to three hours Thursday evening, the jury convicted Beard of six counts of extortion and one count of attempted extortion.
- PUB DATE: 2/12/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: augusta chronicle

Maryland fire company mourns longtime member slain while working as sheriff's deputy

Members of the Joppa-Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company are particularly grief-stricken after learning one of their own, Harford County Sheriff's Office Deputy Patrick Dailey, was killed in the line of duty Wednesday. "It is with a heavy heart that the Joppa-Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company shares the loss of active life member Patrick 'Pat' B.
- PUB DATE: 2/12/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: baltimore sun

Alaska fire chief dead after officer-involved shooting

Barrow’s volunteer fire department chief, a nephew of a state lawmaker, was fatally shot in an incident involving a North Slope Borough police officer early Wednesday, according to borough officials. Vincent Nageak III, 36, of Barrow, nephew of state Rep. Ben Nageak, was identified by the borough as the dead man.
- PUB DATE: 2/12/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: alaska dispatch news

Controller: Philadelphia Fire Department policies wasted $20 million, risked lives

The Philadelphia Fire Department will no longer use "brownouts" or forced staff rotations - two controversial policies implemented by former Mayor Michael Nutter, Mayor Kenney announced Thursday. Kenney, whose father was a battalion chief, announced the change in conjunction with a report issued by City Controller Alan Butkovitz, which found both practices "jeopardized public safety" and cost the city $20 million in overtime.
- PUB DATE: 2/12/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Philadelphia Inquirer

Families of 4 Houston firefighters in LODD hotel fire file lawsuit over radio system

Almost three years after the deadliest day in the history of the Houston Fire Department, the families of four firefighters who battled a catastrophic hotel blaze have filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit over the department’s troubled digital radio system. As flames engulfed the Southwest Inn hotel on a hot day in May 2013, firefighters battling the five-alarm blaze also had to fight problems with their new radios.
- PUB DATE: 2/11/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KHOU-TV CBS 11 Houston

Louisiana EMT dies after being crushed by vehicle rack holding ambulance

A 44-year-old EMT died Wednesday evening (Feb. 10) when an equipment failure at the West Jefferson Emergency Medical Services Headquarters caused an ambulance to fall on him, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office said. JPSO officers were called at 5:32 p.m. and the victim was taken to West Jefferson Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
- PUB DATE: 2/11/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: New Orleans Times-Picayune & Nola.com