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National Fire News

Florida firefighters and researchers unite to fight an invisible killer

Samuel Eaton isn’t afraid of many things. A battalion chief for the Palm Beach County Fire Rescue, the 52-year-old has made a career of charging into burning buildings and coming out in one piece. But thinking toward his upcoming birthday, he’ll tell you he’s deeply concerned. Eaton lost one of his best friends, a retired fire captain in the department, last year at 53.
- PUB DATE: 2/13/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Miami Herald

FDNY firefighters injured after truck crashes through wall

PHOTO - Five firefighters were injured when their truck careened through the wall of a building while responding to a blaze in Queens Sunday night, according to FDNY officials. Members of Engine Co. 303 were responding to a report of a fire when their truck struck the side of an auto-parts warehouse at Liberty Avenue and 150th Street in Jamaica, officials said.
- PUB DATE: 2/12/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: New York Post

Washington firefighters recount rescue of 3-year-old twins

The girls might as well have been invisible, coated in soot in a room flooded with smoke. Three stories of flames had been beaten down by Engine 7, just enough for Capt. Nick Adsero and firefighter Brent Duckworth to skirt past a broken sliding glass door and into a burning living room at the Olin Fields Apartments.
- PUB DATE: 2/12/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Everett Herald

Pennsylvania mayor defends fire company's choice of sex offender as chief

The mayor of a small Pennsylvania town is standing by its volunteer fire company's re-election of a registered sex offender as its fire chief. Chief Roger Gilbert Jr. was convicted in 2001 of sexual intercourse with a 4-year-old girl and is listed in the state's Megan's Law database, The (Corry) Journal reported Saturday .
- PUB DATE: 2/12/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WRAL.com

There’s a big problem with Verizon’s feel-good Super Bowl ad

During the Super Bowl, Verizon aired a one-minute ad highlighting a series of remarkable stories from first responders and the people they rescued. The ad was thoughtful, well put-together, and drew attention to the sacrifice and courage of first responders in a most excellent way. The spot ended with a flawless Verizon plug: “They answer the call.
- PUB DATE: 2/12/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: BGR

South Dakota firefighters’ association countersues city

After describing the recent lawsuit filed by the city of Spearfish as a “grand misunderstanding” a month ago, the Spearfish Volunteer Firefighters’ Association filed a countersuit Wednesday seeking damages for unlawful seizure, theft of property and assets, and more by the city. The association had 30 days under civil procedure to answer, or provide a written response, to the lawsuit filed Jan.
- PUB DATE: 2/12/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Black Hills Pioneer

Florida city's losses mounting after losing firefighter sex discrimination trial

Ex-firefighter Tanja Vidovic won a $245,000 judgment against the city in December after jurors decided Tampa Fire Rescue discriminated against her because she was pregnant and fired her in retaliation for complaining about it. The city’s costs don’t end there, though. Tampa’s bills in the federal sex discrimination lawsuit are continuing to mount, and right now could theoretically cost the city more than $3 million.
- PUB DATE: 2/12/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Tampa Bay Times

California fire chief uses lessons from firestorm in new prevention plan

Mill Valley fire Chief Tom Welch acknowledges that tougher fire prevention regulations for vegetation might face some opposition, but he vows to persist after his experience as a North Bay fire victim. In the aftermath of the devastation in Sonoma and Napa, Mill Valley fire officials say it’s time to refocus their energy on vegetation management.
- PUB DATE: 2/9/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Marin Independent Journal

Review: Texas fire department made mistakes in fighting blaze that killed firefighter

A state fire marshal’s review of the blaze that killed San Antonio firefighter Scott Deem found firefighters and commanders made several mistakes while fighting the major fire at Ingram Square Shopping Center. San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood said firefighters approached the blaze like a residential fire, rather than a commercial one, and failed to use a hose or rope when they entered the building to look for people possibly trapped inside.
- PUB DATE: 2/9/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Conexion SA

Law firm says former Florida fire chief, officials forced out by ‘civil conspiracy’

Former Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Chief Jeffrey Collins and a pair of other high-ranking officers in the department were forced out of their jobs because of a “civil conspiracy” being carried out by the county government, a lawyer representing the officers said Thursday. The lawyer provided no details about the nature of that conspiracy, but she did say her firm has given the county notice that it intends to sue on behalf of the former officers.
- PUB DATE: 2/9/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Palm Beach Post

Update: Charges dropped against retired Georgia fire chief who saved woman

Nearly four months after his arrest, charges against a retired Griffin Fire Department Battalion Chief were dismissed Thursday, Pike County District Attorney Benjamin Coker said in a statement. Emory Leroy Rickerson was arrested Oct. 10 after he refused to remove his car so Georgia State Patrol troopers could access the crash scene on Ga.
- PUB DATE: 2/9/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Worker caught in trench digger puts Texas county's new field amputation team to test

Francisco Palma dangled upside down, his right leg caught and mangled in the teeth of ditch-digging equipment resembling a giant chain saw. Only his head and shoulders touched the ground. A trencher caught the pants leg of the 46-year-old construction worker last week. It flipped him over and nearly severed his leg.
- PUB DATE: 2/9/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Dallas Morning News

Austin's first female fire chief to take job in Florida

In a memo sent to her staff, Austin Fire's first female chief, Rhoda Kerr, has announced she will soon leave the department to take on a role in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Kerr told the Austin Fire Department staff Wednesday that she plans to retire July 1 to start her "new adventure as the new Fire Chief in Fort Lauderdale.
- PUB DATE: 2/8/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KVUE-TV ABC Austin

Memo: Indiana firefighters had physical fight over contract proposal

A memo released Wednesday shows that two Kokomo firefighters engaged in a physical altercation last month over a city contract proposal that was rejected by the local fire union. The fight, which led to both firefighters receiving written reprimands, came just one day after a rally at City Hall attended by roughly 200 people in support of the Professional Firefighters of Kokomo Local 396.
- PUB DATE: 2/8/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Kokomo Tribune

New York firefighter wins jackpot, uses money to honor each victim of Las Vegas mass shooting

The memory of Hannah Lassette Ahlers and the other Las Vegas concertgoers killed during the largest mass shooting in modern U.S. history is being kept alive, one act of kindness at a time. About a month after the Oct. 1 shooting on the Las Vegas Strip, firefighter Tommy Maher decided he wanted to honor each of the 58 victims by performing random acts of kindness in their name.
- PUB DATE: 2/8/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Bradenton Herald

‘Unconscionable:’ Memo Says DC Fire Recruits Lack Proper Equipment, Training

A veteran of the D.C. Fire and EMS Department says the city's training academy is leaving new firefighters woefully underprepared. Some rookies leave having never used a fire hydrant, a recently retired deputy fire chief with decades on the job wrote in an internal memo obtained by News4. The nine-page memo says the recruits are rushed through a training program.
- PUB DATE: 2/8/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: NBC Washington

Chicago Fire Dept. Honors 50th Anniversary Of Fatal Mickelberry Plant Explosion

The Chicago Fire Department Wednesday marked the 50th anniversary of an explosion that killed four firefighters in the Back of the Yards neighborhood responding to a fire in a sausage factory. On Feb. 7, 1968, more than 300 firefighters were called to the Mickelberry Food Products Company at 50th and Halsted.
- PUB DATE: 2/8/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: CBS Chicago

Texas firefighters sue city over civil service rules

Upset over the way the city rolled out civil service rules last fall, the union representing Arlington firefighters has now turned to the courts. In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Tarrant County, the Arlington Professional Firefighters sued the city and named Fire Chief Don Crowson, city human resources director Kari Jo Zika and members of the city's Civil Service Commission as defendants.
- PUB DATE: 2/7/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Child fatally injured during Arizona fire station tour

A toddler died from injuries suffered while touring a Scottsdale Fire Department station this past weekend, city officials confirmed Tuesday. The boy, just under 2 years old, was fatally injured Saturday by apparatus bay doors at the Scottsdale Fire Station at 1901 N. Miller Road, the city's communications office said.
- PUB DATE: 2/7/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Arizona Republic, AZCentral.com & KPNX-TV NBC 12 Phoenix

Rhode Island department still monitoring health of crews who responded to chemical fire

The Cranston Fire Department is monitoring the health of 20 firefighters and first responders experiencing exposure symptoms after battling a chemical fire at ProSys Finishing Technologies last week. Crews from across the state responded to the company on Elmwood Avenue last Monday when a report of a fire turned into a hazmat incident, sending 12 firefighters and two first responders to the hospital.
- PUB DATE: 2/7/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WPRI-TV Providence 12