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National Fire News

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

Kansas fire department using new tech to track COVID-19 patients' vitals from a distance

The Olathe Fire Station is the first EMS departments in the country to begin remotely monitoring coronavirus patients. The department has teamed up with a global tech company, Masimo SafetyNet. "There have been some hospital systems using it, but we are the first EMS agency," Olathe Fire Department Medical Director Dr.
- PUB DATE: 5/12/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WDAF-TV FOX 4 Kansas City

New Jersey Assembly panel advances bill that would help 1st responders disabled or killed by COVID-19

A New Jersey Assembly panel advanced a bill that would help first responders and their families financially in the event that they are disabled or injured by COVID-19. Local law enforcement officers, state troopers, firefighters, and emergency medical responders enrolled in one of the three retirement systems associated with these professions are eligible for accidental disability benefits if they sustain a permanent and total disability resulting from a traumatic event that occurred on the job.
- PUB DATE: 5/12/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Hudson County View

South Carolina among only states without a firefighter cancer law; new legislation could change that

Some of the names are written in small, cropped print, others in swooping cursive. A few are flanked by hearts, and some accompanied by short notes scrawled in permanent marker. Each name written on the Berea Fire Department's pink truck is different, and each one has its story. "Stories of hope and courage," they're called by Assistant Fire Chief Alan Myers, whose own name appears a few feet above the truck's pump discharges.
- PUB DATE: 5/12/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Greenville Online

Residents in Florida county dying at home because they are afraid to go to a hospital, new reports show

Fort Lauderdale and Broward fire-rescues’ newly released numbers confirm what many have suspected: More people are afraid to go to the hospital and, as a result, are dying at home. Records released Monday from Fort Lauderdale Fire and Rescue and Broward County Fire and Rescue found twice as many people were already dead when responders arrived at their home in April than a year earlier, and the pattern appears to be continuing in May.
- PUB DATE: 5/12/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: South Florida Sun Sentinel - Metered Site

Doctors keep discovering new ways the coronavirus attacks the body

Deborah Coughlin was neither short of breath nor coughing. In those first days after she became infected by the novel coronavirus, her fever never spiked above 100 degrees. It was vomiting and diarrhea that brought her to a Hartford, Conn., emergency room on May 1. “You would have thought it was a stomach virus,” said her daughter, Catherina Coleman.
- PUB DATE: 5/11/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Washington Post

6-alarm blaze rips through New Jersey neighborhood, leaves 59 homeless

Nearly 60 people were displaced after a six-alarm fire tore through a Paterson neighborhood on Saturday night. The blaze was reported around 8:40 p.m. on Beech Street and spread to six houses, according to Paterson Public Safety Director Jerry Speziale. No injuries were reported among the residents, but a firefighter and police officer suffered minor injuries, according to the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office.
- PUB DATE: 5/11/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: NJ.com

Disinfectant bombs and UV light contraptions: Ohio firefighters get creative during pandemic

VIDEO: What do you get when you combine a lamp stand, a timer and a germicidal bulb? According to a self-admitted "tinkerer", it's another weapon to protect firefighters and the public during the pandemic. Lt. Tom Carano, a veteran firefighter with the Cuyahoga Falls Fire Department, came up with the idea and built five of the devices-- one for each of the city's five fire stations.
- PUB DATE: 5/11/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WEWS-TV ABC 5 Cleveland

FDA approves new coronavirus antigen test with fast results

U.S. regulators have approved a new type of coronavirus test that administration officials have promoted as a key to opening up the country. The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday announced emergency authorization for antigen tests developed by Quidel Corp. of San Diego. The test can rapidly detect fragments of virus proteins in samples collected from swabs swiped inside the nasal cavity, the FDA said in a statement.
- PUB DATE: 5/11/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: NBC News

Peace of mind or privacy: Tennessee first responders discuss receiving COVID-19 patient names, addresses

According to a report from The Associated Press, a state agreement allows for the names and addresses of those who test positive for the novel coronavirus to be released to first responders, law enforcement, and paramedics. News Channel 11’s Anslee Daniel spoke to the Washington County 911 director, Greg Matherly, who said that the list will be updated daily, with names regenerating every 30 days after testing positive.
- PUB DATE: 5/11/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WJHL-TV CBS/ABC 11 Johnson City

States face economic death spiral from coronavirus

Early numbers show how significantly the coronavirus is devastating states' revenue streams — and could force choices between raising taxes or gutting services and laying off public employees. Why it matters: Even as some states move toward reopening, the economic ramifications of having shut down will haunt them far into the future.
- PUB DATE: 5/8/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: AXIOS

Texas: Health EMS teams are ready to deploy as part of state’s Rapid Assessment Quick Response Force

The state of Texas is using lessons learned from hurricane response efforts to combat COVID-19, and UT Health EMS crews are training to be part of the state’s solution. On Thursday, UT Health EMS provided training at its headquarters for their employees and Hopkins County EMS crews, both of whom are part of the state’s Rapid Assessment Quick Response Force.
- PUB DATE: 5/8/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Athens Daily Review

Winds quickly spread Detroit pallet blaze as 60 firefighters battle for 7 hours

PHOTOS: High winds on Thursday spread fire and embers across a pallet factory, vacant homes, occupied buildings and a bus garage in downtown Detroit, requiring 60 firefighters to battle flames for seven hours and injuring one on the crew. Then, power was knocked out in the area as the fire raged. Dave Fornell, deputy fire commissioner for the Detroit Fire Department, said the fire started Thursday in a palette factory near Pulford and Beaufait.
- PUB DATE: 5/8/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Detroit News

Murals honoring doctors, nurses, first responders going up near Illinois Medical District

Artist Dwight White II has seen a nurse who lives in his University Village apartment building coming and going recently at late hours. He’s talked to her from opposite sides of the elevator, pleasantries mostly, but never got her name. She has no idea she’s the inspiration for a mural White just painted on the side of Lulu’s Hot Dogs, 1000 S.
- PUB DATE: 5/8/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Chicago Sun Times - Metered Site

Connecting Public Safety: AT&T, FirstNet, Sprint awarded contracts with Sourcewell in the Wireless Voice and Data Services category

When minutes could mean the difference between life and death, first responders and public service agencies require access to the latest offerings in technology and wireless equipment to close that gap. Adding to a diverse list of products and services, Sourcewell has awarded contracts to AT&T and Sprint in its Wireless Voice and Data Services category; meaning participating agencies can purchase from these world-class vendors for voice, data, and messaging.
- PUB DATE: 5/8/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Sourcewell

New York Mayor: City could see more layoffs of first responders without financial assistance from Washington

If the federal government does not come to the rescue with financial assistance, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says that the city may be forced to lay off city employees like police officers, firefighters, and healthcare workers. “They found $58B effortlessly for the airline industry, why are they not helping America’s cities and states get back on their feet,” de Blasio asked.
- PUB DATE: 5/7/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WNYW-TV FOX 5 New York

With devastating speed, coronavirus spread through a California fire station; these firefighters battled back

On a cold Sunday night in March, Long Beach firefighter and paramedic James Dolas began to feel the first tingle of illness. The next day, as the 34-year-old came down with a fever, sore throat and muscle pain, his supervisor delivered the bad news: He feared that Dolas and other firefighters at Station 11 had been exposed to the novel coronavirus.
- PUB DATE: 5/7/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Los Angeles Times - Metered Site