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National Fire News

California medevac helicopter crashes, killing four

Four people are dead after a medical evacuation helicopter based out of Visalia crashed east of McFarland Thursday night, said Dan Lynch, EMS director for Fresno County. The SkyLife medevac helicopter was transporting a patient in critical condition from Porterville to San Joaquin Community Hospital in Bakersfield when it crashed near Highway 65 and Sherwood Avenue, said Lynch, who oversees emergency medical services in Fresno, Madera, Kings and Tulare counties.
- PUB DATE: 12/11/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: sacramento bee

San Bernardino medic had 5 seconds to check if each massacre victim was alive or dead

As the water raining down from the overhead sprinklers pooled in rivers of blood and the smell of gunpowder hung in the air Wednesday, Ryan Starling remembered his training. He got out his white tape. More than two dozen victims lay on the floor at the Inland Regional Center, the 33-year-old medic recalled Tuesday.
- PUB DATE: 12/11/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: los angeles times

New Jersey paramedic's fatal heart attack came after he tried to save a life

James V. Maguire, a paramedic with the Hillsborough Rescue Squad, died in the line of duty on Monday. Maguire had responded to a call near his home on Sunday afternoon and performed CPR for an extended period of time. Less than 20 hours later, he apparently suffered a heart attack, the squad announced.
- PUB DATE: 12/11/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Newark Star-Ledger/NJ.com

House will include Zadroga reauthorization in omnibus spending bill

Finally, some good news for 9/11 survivors. House Speaker Paul Ryan told members of his conference Thursday morning that Congress will reauthorize the Zadroga Act in a comprehensive spending bill that will come up for a vote next week. "Speaker Ryan told me this morning that the Zadroga Act, which funds health screenings and treatments for 9/11 first responders, is in the large spending bill that will pass next week," Rep.
- PUB DATE: 12/11/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: new york daily news

Disbanded South Dakota department to reopen with blend of paid staff and volunteers

Ten weeks after the Spearfish Volunteer Fire Department members voted to resign en masse, the city and Lawrence County are poised to create a city department that will blend a paid fire chief and administrative staff with volunteer firefighters. Citing exhaustion, the rigors of fundraising and an inability to attract new volunteer leadership, a majority of the 134-year-old Spearfish Volunteer Fire Department, one of the oldest in western South Dakota, voted to disband, effective Jan.
- PUB DATE: 12/11/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: rapid city journal

New Haven Fire Department Chief to leave post Jan. 4

Fire Chief Allyn Wright said what he’ll miss most is being looked up to as a leader when he retires from his position on January 4. A native son of New Haven, Wright has been chief for a year and eight months, entering his tenure with goals of fixing a department from the ground up. “Like flipping a house,” he said.
- PUB DATE: 12/10/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: new haven register

Rhode Island Supreme Court denies Providence’s request to suspend firefighter arbitration hearing

The Rhode Island Supreme Court on Wednesday denied the Elorza administration’s request to suspend an upcoming arbitration hearing with the city’s firefighters while the justices take up a larger legal dispute between the two parties. The one-page written decision means the city and the firefighters can proceed with a Dec.
- PUB DATE: 12/10/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WPRI-TV Providence 12

Budget Hawks Want FDNY to Retool for an Era of Fewer Fires

Last year the New York City Fire Department responded to nearly 62,000 fire incidents, or roughly 160 every day. That's a lot. But it actually reflects a step drop in firefighting over the previous 16 years—a 49 percent drop in fire incidents since 1998. Over the same period, the number of medical emergencies that FDNY handled jumped by a third.
- PUB DATE: 12/10/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: citylimits.org

Tennessee firefighter injured in 2007 warehouse fire returns to fire department

Thirty-two recruits became Knoxville firefighters Wednesday night at a special graduation ceremony. One member of that class has some special experience on the job. Jeff Kindrick was injured in the 2007 McClung Warehouse fire. He was looking for a few of his fellow firefighters who were in the building when he had to jump from the third floor.
- PUB DATE: 12/10/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WATE 6 Knoxville

San Antonio police and fire unions win round against city, city manager vows appeal

The city of San Antonio has lost the first round of its legal battles against the police and fire labor unions Monday when visiting Judge Martha Tanner rejected its arguments that a portion of its contracts with the unions are unconstitutional. In separate lawsuits, the city had argued that the so-called “evergreen clause” violated the Texas Constitution.
- PUB DATE: 12/10/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: mysanantonio.com

New Jersey firefighters' suit over hearing damage heads to federal court

A lawsuit filed on behalf of 34 New Jersey firefighters alleging they suffered permanent hearing injuries because of the noise emitted by sirens on fire vehicles has been moved from state Superior Court to federal court in Newark. The active and inactive firefighters named in the lawsuit include employees from departments in Ridgewood, West New York, Cranford, Kearny, Union Township, Bayonne, Linden and Elizabeth.
- PUB DATE: 12/9/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: North Jersey.com (Bergen County Record & Herald News)

Houston Fire Dept. finds training, communication failures in failed rescue

An urgent message not to cross the dangerous currents on Brays Bayou, which quickly rose during the Memorial Day storms, may not have reached Houston firefighters whose boat capsized, killing three civilians, according to a city report. The report, released on Monday by the Houston Fire Department, details the rescue attempt, one of many made on May 26 that occurred in the immediate aftermath of an unusual stationary storm system that stranded thousands of Houstonians in their homes and vehicles.
- PUB DATE: 12/9/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: houston chronicle

How to get fire/EMS noticed in terrorism response

One of my earliest fire service mentors told me, "If the fire service is ever going to get the credit its due from the public, sometimes it's going to have to blow its own horn." Recent events have proven this advice to be both very wise and very accurate. In the past weeks, there have been terrorist attacks of one form or another in several locations around the world.
- PUB DATE: 12/9/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: firechief.com

New York girl with severe burns only wants cards for Christmas

A little girl in New York with burns over 75 percent of her body has only one wish for Christmas this year -- enough cards to fill her aunt's card tree. Two years ago, Safyre Terry's father and three younger siblings were killed in a fire caused by arson. She was found next to her father, who used his body to shield her from the flames.
- PUB DATE: 12/9/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WPIX-TV PIX 11

Iowa firefighters resign; Dispute over City Council's efforts to exert control over department

Volunteer Fire Department is unable to cover calls after 12 members resigned Monday night. Clint Fichter, a consultant for the City of Neola, confirmed that the firefighters quit.“It caught us off guard,” he said. The department has four members currently, and the City Council is set to review eight applications, Fichter said.
- PUB DATE: 12/9/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: omaha World-Herald

Kansas City Fire Chief: Article on fatal fire "did not have all of the information"

VIDEO - Kansas City Fire Chief Paul Berardi responded Sunday night to an article published by The Kansas City Star. The article, headlined "Firefighters killed in alley shouldn’t have been there," touches on the Oct. 12 fatal fire that killed two Kansas City Fire Department firefighters. John Mesh, 39, and Larry Leggio, 43, were killed during a two-alarm fire response on Independence Boulevard.
- PUB DATE: 12/8/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KSHB-TV NBC 41 Kansas City

Maine city manager considers disciplinary action for ‘closed’ sign at fire station

Portland officials may take disciplinary action against employees after a homemade sign was posted last week in front of a Munjoy Hill fire station telling residents that it had been closed. The city had periodically taken the station’s ambulance out of service during the overnight hours, when call volumes are the lowest, to reduce spending on overtime, apparently prompting some rank-and-file members to place a sign in front of the Munjoy Station at 134 Congress St.
- PUB DATE: 12/8/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: portland press herald

Officials Rally for Extension of 9/11 Health Bill

Standing in the shadow of the towering rebuilt World Trade Center, scores of firefighters and police officers, led by Mayor Bill de Blasio and two United States senators from New York, rallied on Sunday to press Congress to extend a 9/11 health bill. The bill would pay for medical care for emergency medical workers and others, including police officers, firefighters and construction workers who risked their lives on Sept.
- PUB DATE: 12/8/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: the new york times

Firefighters' Survivors Share Stories at NFFF Conference

While researchers were lauded for their work and clinicians were praised for their initiatives, the two gaining the most applause at a National Fallen Firefighters Foundation conference here last week were a son and a wife who shared their stories about losing a loved one to a heart attack. Organizers of the Heart to Heart seminar included brief case studies of young firefighters who suffered fatal heart attacks, but hearing the personal stories from survivors moved the audience to tears.
- PUB DATE: 12/8/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: firehouse

U.S. Attorney to probe New York fire department's missing millions

The office of U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, which recently won the conviction of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver on corruption charges, has taken over the inquiry into the Mahopac Volunteer Fire Department and its missing millions of dollars in taxpayer funds. Bharara’s involvement comes as The Journal News has learned of the extensive financial ties between Putnam County law enforcement and a company owned by Michael Klein, the department’s former treasurer, who resigned in late September as the investigation heated up.
- PUB DATE: 12/8/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: NY Journal News