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National Fire News

Dallas Fire-Rescue chief says he will retire in March

Dallas Fire-Rescue Chief Louie Bright III announced Friday that he will soon end a career that started in his hometown when he was 19 years old. Bright’s retirement, effective March 30, will end a quiet four-year tenure marked by relative peace — excluding his leadership after a controversial line-of-duty death — in a department that had experienced strife in the prior decade.
- PUB DATE: 11/2/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: dallas morning news

New York volunteer companies watching case of firefighter who collected workers’ comp

A workers compensation case against a volunteer firefighter is being closely watched across the state, both prosecutors and defense attorneys say. The case pits Niagara County prosecutors against a 66-year-old man who collected about $45,000 in workers’ compensation over two years after being injured on the job for a blacktopping company.
- PUB DATE: 11/2/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: buffalo news

Lawsuit alleges Cal Fire director ordered grieving families kept ignorant of death benefits

A fired Cal Fire official who lost his job amid scandal says Director Ken Pimlott ordered him to withhold death-benefits information from grieving families of fallen fire pilots, according to a lawsuit filed Friday in a Sacramento court. The complaint contends that Pimlott and his No. 2, Janet Barentson, knew that state law requires Cal Fire pay death benefits when a contracted fire pilot is killed in the line of duty.
- PUB DATE: 11/2/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: sacramento bee

Michigan town proposes combined police, fire departments

City officials are asking voters Tuesday to approve a measure allowing Harper Woods to join the growing number of Metro communities that combine their police and fire departments. The City Council on Oct. 5 unanimously approved a public safety implementation plan, which officials say will save the cash-strapped community millions of dollars, allow more police to patrol, and keep the city from having to hire an emergency financial manager.
- PUB DATE: 11/2/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: detroit news

Firefighter shocked to find new home in Tennessee neighborhood has no fire coveerage

When Edward Moriarty drove up to the Jasper Highlands development earlier this month to check on the construction of his retirement home, his car caught fire. He called 911 and two Marion County sheriff's deputies responded, but no fire services arrived. "No fire truck," Moriarty said. "No fire support whatsoever.
- PUB DATE: 11/2/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: times-free press

Denver Fire Dept. Knew Of Dangerous Roof Problems 3 Years Before Firefighter’s Death

A CBS4 Investigation has found that a Denver firefighter fell through a rooftop skylight and suffered a “close call” in 2012, three years before the same thing happened to firefighter John Whelan in June of this year, which led to Whelan’s death. But the information about the 2012 incident, which could have served as a warning about warehouse roofs and brittle skylights, was not widely shared with department members.
- PUB DATE: 10/30/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KCNC-TV CBS 4 Denver

New York City EMT suspended without pay for leaving ambulance to aid choking girl

A New York City EMT who tried to save the life of a 7-year-old girl who choked on her lunch says he has been suspended without pay for making an unauthorized stop, according to local media. Qwasie Reid and a partner were transporting a nursing home patient last Wednesday, local news channel NY1 reported, when they were flagged down in Brooklyn by a man who told them that a student was choking.
- PUB DATE: 10/30/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Poughkeepsie Journal

New Jersey firefighter suffers heart attack while fighting three-alarm blaze; receives CPR at scene

A high-ranking firefighter in the borough Fire Department suffered a heart attack while fighting a three-alarm blaze Thursday evening, Fire Chief Michael Foligno said. The firefighter received CPR on the scene, was revived, and was transported to Hackensack University Medical Center for surgery, the chief said.
- PUB DATE: 10/30/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: NorthJersey.com

Fire aboard plane at Florida airport injures more than 20, halts hundreds of flights

Andres Gallegos had one thing on his mind as he sat in Seat 12A for his flight to Caracas: a weekend visit with his wife and kids. In a flash, he had another thing on his mind: survival. First, he heard a loud bang. Then he peered out the window to see his plane on fire. As Dynamic International Airways Flight 405 taxied toward the runway at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport just after 12:30 p.
- PUB DATE: 10/30/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Miami Herald

Michigan Firefighter Memorial Missing

What started as a makeshift roadside memorial to Dennis Rodeman, the firefighter killed in a hit-and-run accident, grew over the weeks that followed Rodeman's death. Now, it's all gone. The Lansing Fire Department is investigating what happened, but all of its leads have come up empty, Emergency Management Chief Mike Tobin says.
- PUB DATE: 10/30/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WILX-TV Lansing NBC 10

Washington Sheriff: US Forest Service firefighters did all they could to save themselves

The four U.S. Forest Service firefighters who were overtaken by the Twisp River Fire Aug. 19 did all they could but couldn’t have saved themselves under the prevailing conditions. That’s the opinion of Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers, whose office did its own investigation. The incident ended in the deaths of three of the firefighters and serious burns to the fourth, who remains hospitalized.
- PUB DATE: 10/29/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Wenatchee World

Washington public-lands chief wants to beef up state’s firefighting crews

On the heels of the state’s worst wildfire season, Washington’s public-lands chief said Wednesday he is asking the Legislature for more money to beef up the state’s firefighting crews. Public Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark wants more than $24 million next year to add firefighters, equipment and training next year.
- PUB DATE: 10/29/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Seattle Times

Colorado Fire District taking a new approach to firefighter fitness

After a firefighter from the South Metro Fire District nearly died from a heart attack on duty, the department decided to change how it goes about keeping its firefighters healthy. "They hooked me up to the heart monitor and and immediately saw that something wasn't right. And then at that time I went into arrest," firefighter Nick Gravina said, speaking openly about his massive heart attack.
- PUB DATE: 10/29/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KMGH-TV ABC 7 Denver

UK Study: Alcohol-Fueled Violence Against Responders on Rise

A recent UK study shows people under the influence of alcohol are causing issues for responders, who don't feel they are prepared to deal with them. "Perhaps the most shocking finding of our survey was how widespread drunken physical, sexual and verbal abuse of emergency services staff is. Again, police and ambulance crews suffer the worst.
- PUB DATE: 10/29/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Firehouse.com

Walter S. Graf dies at 98; cardiologist helped launch paramedic system

As recently as the 1960s, a patient being rushed to the hospital with crushing chest pain would be treated en route only with sirens and sympathy. Alarmed by high death rates and encouraged by new technology, a small group of pioneering physicians started equipping ambulances with defibrillators and paramedics who knew how to use them.
- PUB DATE: 10/29/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Chicago Tribune

San Francisco Fire Department accused of retaliating against captain for speaking out

The head of the San Francisco Fire Department’s Arson Task Force who spoke out against staffing shortages and a backlog of open investigations, prompting disciplinary charges to be filed against him, is set to be reassigned. Acting Capt. John Darmanin called his reassignment a “demotion” — retaliation for the comments he made at three Fire Commission meetings, and a pair of complaints he filed with the California Department of Justice and San Francisco Police Department.
- PUB DATE: 10/28/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: SFExaminer.com

Firefighter who resigned after failing drug test wants to rejoin FDNY after fire commissioner's son got reinstated as EMT

Glen Merkitch voluntarily resigned from the FDNY after a random drug test found cocaine in his system. Now, more than two years later, Merkitch wants a second chance, and he reasons if redemption is good enough for the fire commissioner’s son, then it’s good enough for him. Merkitch says he was in a dark place when he got high after receiving a visit from the son of his best friend who died on 9/11.
- PUB DATE: 10/28/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: New York Daily News

Woman charged with arson and murder in blaze that killed two Kansas City firefighters

A nail salon owner in Kansas City’s old Northeast deliberately started a fire in her shop earlier this month that killed two Kansas City firefighters battling the blaze, investigators alleged Tuesday. Prosecutors charged Thu Hong Nguyen, 43, of Kansas City, with first-degree arson and two counts of second-degree murder, or felony murder because the deaths happened as a result of the arson.
- PUB DATE: 10/28/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Kansas City Star

Pennsylvania chief threatened over emergency siren

Residents annoyed with Youngwood's emergency siren have been leaving anonymous threatening messages for the borough fire chief and other officials. Fire Chief and Council President Lloyd Crago said he got a vulgar email about the siren on Oct. 5 at the fire department. A similar voicemail message was left at the department on Sunday.
- PUB DATE: 10/28/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Indiana fire department testing robots designed to save firefighters

The Purdue Fire Department is working with Purdue’s Polytechnic Institute to test out what is best explained as a drone that doesn’t fly. It’s an indestructible robot with a camera and a light that allows firefighters to examine a fire situation without ever entering the building. If necessary, firefighters can throw the device through a window and manually control the robot to examine the room.
- PUB DATE: 10/28/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WLFI-TV Channel 18

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