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National Fire News

Mystery surrounds Michigan fire chief’s departure

The cause for last month’s sudden exit of the township’s veteran fire chief remains up in the air — or at least is not being discussed publicly. Richard Marinucci Jr. either voluntarily resigned his $116,000 a year post March 18, or was pushed out for still unexplained reasons. Speculation about what led to the move is fueled by anonymous emails sent to several Metro Detroit news agencies.
- PUB DATE: 4/4/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: detroit news

Sources: North Carolina Fire Chief told manager he released controversial document

Charlotte Fire Chief Jon Hannan told the city manager last week that he was responsible for a personnel document being released to the media in apparent violation of state law, according to multiple people familiar with the investigation. The March 4 document was written by Ron Carlee, the city manager, and was about Marty Puckett, the vice president of the Charlotte Firefighters Association Local 660.
- PUB DATE: 4/4/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: charlotte observer

Fire Prevention & Safety Grant Application Period Opens

The application period for the 2015 (Fiscal Year) Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) Grants opens today, April 4. FEMA's goal is to award 100 grants totaling $34M. FEMA officials urge agencies that are planing to apply for this round of funding to read the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) thoroughly as it contains the key programmatic updates and application requirements for all eligible applicants.
- PUB DATE: 4/4/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: firehouse

$300K settlement keeps New Mexico paramedic from getting job back

Former Albuquerque paramedic and mixed martial arts cutman Brad Tate fought his way into the Albuquerque Fire Department by taking legal action. His protracted legal fight to try to keep his job has cost the city more than $330,000. Tate, an AFD lieutenant with a decadelong career, was fired in 2013 after the city Personnel Board found he had provided substandard care, intimidated and bullied patients and their families and falsified records to show that patients who called 911 had refused care and transportation.
- PUB DATE: 4/4/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Albuquerque Journal

Houston Fire Department cadet collapses, dies during training exercise

The Houston Fire Department is mourning the loss of one of its own after a cadet collapsed and died Thursday morning during a training exercise. Steven Whitfield II, 32, was participating in an obstacle course when he collapsed near the end, according to firefighters. Authorities said other cadets and instructors on the course noticed Whitfield was in trouble and quickly rescued him.
- PUB DATE: 4/1/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KPRC-TV NBC 2 Houston

Rhode Island fire captain hospitalized following blaze

A Providence fire captain remains hospitalized after battling a massive fire on Eaton Street Thursday afternoon. The flames started at a triple-decker home near Providence College and quickly spread to nearby homes. Heavy winds fueled the flames and the home was engulfed before crews arrived. Captain Joseph Fontaine was taken to Roger Williams Medical Center but has since been transferred to Rhode Island Hospital.
- PUB DATE: 4/1/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WPRI-TV Providence 12

IBM advises Memphis Fire Dept. on reducing 911 calls

Overreliance on 911 has led to a $20 million annual shortfall in the Memphis Fire Department's EMS budget. It's a problem many departments are facing. Memphis Division Chief Andrew Hart says the number of ambulance rides increased 24 percent to more than 124,000 trips each year from where it was five years ago.
- PUB DATE: 4/1/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: firechief.com

Ohio city's budget cuts up to 15 firefighter jobs

Lorain City Council approved a $28 million budget Thursday night and sealed the fate of up to 15 firefighters. Those hard-working individuals will lose their jobs as the city attempts to make up for a $3.6 million budget shortfall while keeping jobs and city services intact. City officials tell Cleveland 19 that one fire station will close, but Lorain firefighter Tom Baker says it's going to be a lot worse.
- PUB DATE: 4/1/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WXIX-TV FOX 19 Cincinnati

New Jersey couple faces suspension from fire department over wedding invitation on Facebook

When love ignited, Garfield Fire Company 1 volunteer members Paul Mellor and Danielle Szep were proud to incorporate their fire department turnout coats on their wedding invitations. They posted on Facebook part of the wedding invitation that showed their names on the back of their fire department coats.
- PUB DATE: 4/1/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: North Jersey.com (Bergen County Record & Herald News)

Michigan deputy fire chief responds to allegations he embezzled money from fire department

The embattled deputy fire chief in Newaygo is speaking out to the 13 Watchdog team, through his attorney, to say he's innocent of the criminal charges he's facing. Court records indicate Robert VanDyke is being criminally charged with two counts of attempted embezzlement. He's accused of putting down on-call hours to be paid when he was outside of his fire district.
- PUB DATE: 4/1/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WZZM-TV Grand Rapids 13

Pennsylvania fire chief injured in accident during response

PHOTO - The Blandon Fire Company chief was injured along with another driver Wednesday when a fire company vehicle collided with a pickup truck on Route 222 in Ontelaunee Township while responding to an earlier crash, police said. Chief Daniel Miller, 51, had his lights and siren on as he drove the large pickup truck northbound on Allentown Pike, which is Route 222 Business, about 6:40 a.
- PUB DATE: 3/31/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: reading eagle

Illinois firefighters win a round in privatization fight

An attempt to privatize the fire department in the tiny suburb of North Riverside was dealt a setback when an administrative judge ruled the village could not cancel its contract with union firefighters. Facing a payout of $1.8 million for police and firefighter pensions last year, village officials cut off contract negotiations with the union and planned to enter a deal for fire protection with a private company.
- PUB DATE: 3/31/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: chicago.sun-times.

'Move in immediately or lose your job!': Massachusetts city councilors want 6 fire chiefs to live in city

Three city councilors have accused Human Resources Director William Mahoney of failing to enforce the city's residency requirement by allowing one deputy fire chief and five district chiefs to live outside Springfield despite their promotions. "Many of these Chiefs have been in violation of the ordinance for years and Bill Mahoney has yet to demand that they comply," the councilors stated in a joint press release.
- PUB DATE: 3/31/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Springfield Union-News & Sunday Republican

Fire Dept. brownouts becoming blackouts: Arizona town critically short on personnel

The Prescott Fire Department is operating on the slimmest of manpower margins, and it’s relying on firefighters to volunteers to work overtime in order to keep fire stations from being shut down entirely for a day. When the problem first began to become evident at the end of last year, Fire Chief Dennis Light put into place a plan to “brown out” fire stations.
- PUB DATE: 3/31/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: the daily courier

Expert: No scientific basis for arson ruling in fatal 1985 Philadelphia blaze

Philadelphia fire investigators had no scientific basis to conclude that a 1985 rowhouse fire in Oxford Circle was arson, a defense expert testified about the blaze that killed two boys and sent their father to death row for their murder. Nationally known fire consultant John Lentini said that when he heard that a city fire marshal, and then a second, had identified three separate points of origin for the fire, "I said, 'He must be magic, because it can't be done.
- PUB DATE: 3/31/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: philly.com

4 Los Angeles Firefighters Injured When Driver Suffers Medical Emergency, Crashes Fire Truck

PHOTO - Four firefighters were injured Wednesday morning when the driver of a fire engine lost control of the vehicle after suffering a medical emergency and crashed into several parked cars in Valley Glen. The firefighters were responding to another medical emergency call about 2 a.m. when the driver lost control near the intersection of Burbank Boulevard and Woodman Way, said Capt.
- PUB DATE: 3/30/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KTLA-TV WB 5 Los Angeles

Cops question Delaware fire inspector snooping outside city

A Wilmington Fire Marshal inspector conducting residency investigations outside the city was questioned by two different police agencies last week, including one in Pennsylvania. In one instance, he pulled a gun on a man who said he photographed the inspector coming out of neighbors' backyards. No charges were brought against Thomas L.
- PUB DATE: 3/30/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Wilmington News Journal

FDNY’s highest overtime earners aren’t putting out fires

The Fire Department employees who racked up the most overtime last year weren’t putting out fires, according to an analysis of payroll records. The records showed that not one of the FDNY’s top 25 OT earners was a firefighter or officer. Thirteen were fire marshals, seven were marine engineers who repair fireboats, and the rest were mechanics and other blue-collar civilian workers.
- PUB DATE: 3/30/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: new york post

San Francisco Fire Department unveils new logo for 150th birthday

San Francisco fire trucks are about to get spiffed up for a big birthday party, because that’s what you do when you turn a nice round number like 150. The Fire Department unveiled its new logo Tuesday, a sparkly, golden shield with images of San Francisco landmarks and a legendary phoenix surrounded by flames that any of San Francisco’s 1,500 firefighters are duty-bound to extinguish.
- PUB DATE: 3/30/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: SFgate

California firefighter who failed drug test sues district over termination

A former Novato firefighter who was terminated after failing a drug test is fighting back in Marin Superior Court, claiming the fire department violated his labor rights. Kirk Lewis, 36, filed for a court injunction to be reinstated while the litigation is pending, but Judge Roy Chernus denied the request last week.
- PUB DATE: 3/30/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Marin Independent Journal