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National Fire News

Detroit Firefighters honor fallen sergeant by feeding homeless

Sgt. Vince Smith spent more than 20 years with the Detroit Fire Department but he was more than a brave firefighter. Now, his fellow firefighters are honoring their fallen comrade who died in his sleep while on the job last week. On Tuesday, the crew from Engine 48 spent part of their day passing out food to the homeless to keep Sgt.
- PUB DATE: 11/25/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WJBK Fox2Detroit

Florida fire station closed: Two firefighters said to have feces, feathers in blood, lungs

Boynton Beach firefighters who work out of Station 3 have been asked to get chest X-rays after two of them were found to have feces and feathers in their blood and lungs, The Palm Beach Post has learned from city officials. The station at Congress Avenue and Miner Road has been closed for more than a month, and employees have been working out of Station 5, which is southeast of there at High Ridge Road.
- PUB DATE: 11/25/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: palm beach post

California firefighters sue over blast injuries

Four firefighters have sued the Santa Clara Waste Water Co. over injuries they said they sustained at the scene of a chemical explosion at the company's plant a year ago. Santa Paula firefighters Matt May, Matt Lindsey and Milo Bustillos along with Ventura County firefighter Lucas Beller filed the suit last week, alleging negligence and misrepresentation.
- PUB DATE: 11/24/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: ventura county star

Spike in Dallas Fire-Rescue departures fueled by pension, pay worries

Brian Crawford noticed something curious during his two-year stint as chief of Plano Fire-Rescue: Lots of Dallas firefighters wanted to work in his city. Crawford, who hired a few of them before he left this year to become Shreveport’s city manager, said plenty of firefighters want to work in Plano.
- PUB DATE: 11/24/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: dallas morning news

Grant funds cancer tests for Phoenix firefighters

Early detection of lung cancer is now a possibility for 100 Phoenix firefighters who have been tested as a result of a grant. The Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona union received a $50,000 grant from Arizona Public Service to test 100 Phoenix firefighters for lung cancer. According to a press release, the Phoenix firefighters will be the first in Arizona to receive the LuCED test.
- PUB DATE: 11/24/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: the arizona republic

Florida Publisher: Commentary questioning use of career firefighters ‘personal for me’

The Tampa Tribune prides itself on reflecting a variety of views, including those that may not be popular. We strive on a daily basis to provide our readers in digital and print an outlet to be informed. As publisher of the Tribune, I’m no different than other readers. I frequently see articles that get my Irish up, but a syndicated commentary we published Sept.
- PUB DATE: 11/24/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Tampa Tribune

‘We’d all be screwed!’ EMTs on New York City's weakest attack spot

While city cops and firefighters participated in a much-touted terror drill at a Manhattan subway station Sunday, several EMTs griped that it was a farce as far as their unit is concerned — because it’s still nearly impossible for them to communicate underground. “The Fire Department is gloating, saying, ‘We’re ready for it, and we can handle everything,’ but they really aren’t,” said a frustrated EMT who questioned how the three-hour drill among the NYPD, FDNY and Department of Homeland Security could be successful in a real terror scenario given the weak radio signals.
- PUB DATE: 11/24/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: new york post

Tractor trailer splits Virginia fire truck in crash on Interstate

PHOTO - A North Carolina man faces charges in an accident involving a tractor trailer, a fire truck and a Dinwiddie Sheriff's Office vehicle on I-85. Police have charged Lonnie Mixter of Highpoint, NC with reckless driving after his tractor trailer struck the fire truck, causing it to hit the sheriff's deputy car and split in half.
- PUB DATE: 11/23/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WTVR-TV CBS 6

Blinded by smoke, firefighters drove off road to their deaths at Washington wildfire, report says

Strong, shifting winds that dramatically fanned a wildfire near Twisp in Okanogan County in August pushed walls of flames and smoke onto a team of firefighters, catching them off-guard and forcing them to retreat blindly down a winding dirt road to their deaths, according to a joint state and federal report released Friday.
- PUB DATE: 11/23/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: seattle times

VIDEO: Houston firefighter falls through roof at house fire

A Houston firefighter survived a scare late Friday afternoon. His crew was cutting a hole in the roof of a south-side home to put a fire out when he fell through. "He fell through in such a way that the guys that were on the roof weren't able to pull him out," said HFD Deputy Chief Herman Gonzales.
- PUB DATE: 11/23/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KTRK abc 13

New Mexico Fire official's title change stirs controversy

A recent question about the appropriate title for Doña Ana County's top fire official brought to the forefront a power struggle that's been simmering for years between county administrators and volunteer fire districts across the county. County commissioners answered the question definitively when they voted unanimously earlier this month to change Robert Monsivaiz's title from "fire marshal" to "fire chief.
- PUB DATE: 11/23/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Las Cruces Sun-News

FDNY Firefighter who flunked physical injured 10 days into job

A firefighter who was allowed to graduate the Fire Academy despite failing physical tests has already gone out on medical leave — just 10 days into the job, The Post has learned. Probationary firefighter Choeurlyne Doirin-Holder injured herself Monday while conducting a routine check of equipment at Queens’ Engine 308 in South Richmond Hill.
- PUB DATE: 11/23/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: new york post

Second Detroit firefighter dies in two days

The Detroit Fire Department reported that Fire Boat 1 Capt. Walter Szelag died in the line of duty Friday of an apparent heart attack. At about 4:45 p.m. fire crews called for an ambulance to the fire boat station. Capt. Szelag was transported to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. The department web site said one firefighter reported that Friday was meant to be Szelag's last shift at the boat station before it was closed for the winter.
- PUB DATE: 11/23/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: firerescue1

Ohio firefighters reject contract offer

Columbus firefighters recently rejected a three-year contract proposal that would have given them raises of 3.5 percent in the first two years and 3 percent in the final year. Union members mainly objected to lower pay differentials for paramedics and increases in health-insurance premiums. More than two-thirds of the members rejected the contract, according to three firefighters, including a captain.
- PUB DATE: 11/20/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: columbus dispatch

Veteran Detroit firefighter dies in his sleep on duty

A Detroit firefighter and longtime veteran died last night while on duty. Sgt. Vince Smith, a 24-year veteran with Detroit Fire died in his sleep at Engine 48, on Fort St near Marathon Oil refinery. Smith was assigned to DFD Ladder 13 but he was pulling a duty shift overnight at Engine 48. "He had a special way that he saw life," said Battalion Chief Steve Kirschner.
- PUB DATE: 11/20/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WJBK fox 2 detroit

Arizona Police, firefighters at odds over paycheck issue

A proposal to reclassify three of the Kingman Fire Department's six battalion chiefs from exempt to non-exempt status revealed conflict between the city's police and fire departments at Tuesday's City Council meeting, and led to hard feelings and some profanity. City Manager John Dougherty said the change was necessary for three of the battalion chiefs who work in operations and are on the same 24-hour shift schedule as firefighters.
- PUB DATE: 11/20/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: daily miner

NFPA report details findings from wildfire mitigation interviews with high-ranking rural and urban fire officials

Fuel mitigation is crucial for combating the nation’s growing wildfire problem, but culture, politics, and geography can be significant barriers keeping communities from doing the work. That’s one of the key findings in “Local Wildand/Urban Interface: Fire Department Wildfire Preparedness and Readiness Capabilities,” the new report of an ambitious NFPA project aimed at capturing, for the first time, how municipal fire departments nationwide are adjusting to their increased role in battling wildfire.
- PUB DATE: 11/20/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: NFPA Journal

Burglars target North Carolina firefighters

Some volunteer firefighters in Robeson County are under fire from vandals. Someone has been breaking into the homes of Parkton volunteer firefighters and has even shot the fire station’s sign. Parkton Fire Department Captain Jason Viar said that recently, several of his firefighters have been answering a different kind of alarm-burglar alarms at their own homes.
- PUB DATE: 11/20/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WRAL-TV CBS 5 Raleigh

‘Hard for me to believe that I’m here’: Firefighter burned in Washington wildfire goes home

His face is scarred, he’s missing the tips of all 10 fingers and he has a long, difficult recovery ahead. But the young firefighter who survived last summer’s deadly Twisp River blaze said he’s grateful for the family, friends and community who have helped him pull through. “This accident was a true tragedy, but it’s brought out what’s good in the world,” said Daniel Lyon Jr.
- PUB DATE: 11/19/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: seattle times

Judge won't step down from 1995 Pittsburgh firefighter deaths retrial

Judge Joseph K. Williams won't recuse himself from the retrial of a man accused of starting a fire in 1995 that killed three firefighters, saying prosecutors who sought a new judge failed to back up claims Williams harbored a grudge against the ATF or a potential expert witness. Williams granted the retrial for Gregory Brown, 38, after a 2012 Post-Conviction Relief Act hearing, on the grounds that the prosecution did not tell jurors that two key witnesses were promised thousands of dollars in exchange for their testimony.
- PUB DATE: 11/19/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review