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National Fire News

Former New Jersey firefighter convicted of stealing disability pension while earning black belt

A former Camden firefighter was convicted Tuesday of stealing more than $80,000 in state disability pension payments at the same time he earned his black belt in jiu-jitsu and competed in a mixed martial arts tournament, state authorities said. A Camden County jury on Tuesday found Shane Streater, 41, of Camden, guilty of second-degree theft by deception, which carries a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and up to $150,000 in fines, according to the state Attorney General's Office.
- PUB DATE: 4/13/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Newark Star-Ledger/NJ.com

Mississippi State Patrol: Fire truck failed to yield in fatal wreck

Accident reconstructionists have released the results of an investigation into the cause of an April 3 accident involving a fire truck. Mississippi Highway Patrol Cpl. Eric Henry said in a release Monday that the Lake Harbor fire truck involved in an accident that killed a 10-year-old boy and sent the other four members of his family to the hospital, most in critical condition, did not yield the right of way to the Ford Escape in which the family was traveling.
- PUB DATE: 4/12/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: the clarion-ledger

Pennsylvania volunteer fire company disbanded as borough opts for Pittsburgh services

The Ingram Volunteer Fire Company was basically fired by a 6-1 vote of borough council tonight, prompting angry citizens and Ingram firefighters to ask who would now respond if a fire broke out. The city of Pittsburgh’s paid professional firefighters would be answering calls, Ingram Council President Sam Nucci said.
- PUB DATE: 4/12/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

California fire chief takes issue with city council candidate news release

Fresno Fire Chief Kerri Donis isn’t happy with a recent news release from Holly Carter, one of four candidates for the District 6 Fresno City Council seat. Carter highlighted the Fresno Fire Department in the release – and not in a positive way. The release late last month was headlined: “The Condition of Our Fresno Fire Department Creates a Public Safety Threat!” In the release, Carter says that, among other things, the department’s budget has been cut “an astonishing” 25 percent since 2009, daily staffing “is down nearly 20 percent,” and calls for service “have increased 20 percent since 2011.
- PUB DATE: 4/12/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: fresno bee

Nebraska firefighters rescue Great Dane stuck high in tree

PHOTO - Cats aren’t the only pets that get stuck in trees. Just ask the firefighters who rescued a Great Dane from a high bough in rural Louisville, Nebraska, late Saturday night. “You’re not going to believe this,” one Plattsmouth firefighter said to another after receiving the call for help about 10:10 p.
- PUB DATE: 4/12/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Omaha World-Herald

Texas firefighter replaces volunteer's stolen fire gear

Everyone seemed to agree, it's pretty lowdown stealing gear from the fire department. Even so, it wasn't anger that motivated Mike Dalby to donate $1,500 to replace it, but gratitude. Dalby has been a firefighter in Lubbock for about nine years and one night he was watching the local news. Like many others, he learned that someone had stolen a Snyder volunteer firefighter's protective clothing from the back of his truck while the man was fighting a grass fire.
- PUB DATE: 4/12/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: the eagle

6 Firefighters Hurt, 3 Buildings Destroyed in New Jersey inferno

VIDEO - Six firefighters have been injured in a massive fire that consumed three commercial buildings on the Jersey Shore Friday evening, causing one of them to collapse, authorities say. The blaze broke out at a building on West Front Street in downtown Keyport about 3:30 p.m., and quickly spread to two nearby buildings, according to authorities.
- PUB DATE: 4/11/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: nbc new york

Texas city demanding reimbursement from firefighters overpaid due to payroll mess

Fort Worth officials are looking to recoup more than $250,000 from former employees who were overpaid because of problems with a new payroll computer system the city switched to about five years ago and human error. Officials say the news was a “shock” to the employees, and some now face a financial jam.
- PUB DATE: 4/11/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Fort Worth star-telegram

Man who took selfie surrounded by flames pleads guilty to setting California wildfire

Wayne Allen Huntsman pleaded guilty Friday to setting the devastating King Fire in 2014 that torched nearly 100,000 acres in El Dorado County, a plea that came about in part because the suspect videotaped himself near the ignition point. Huntsman, who has been housed in the El Dorado County jail since his arrest several days after the fire began Sept.
- PUB DATE: 4/11/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: sacramento bee

Arm amputation fuels Ohio firefighter’s competitive flame

Michael Diehl’s competitive nature didn’t go away when he lost his right arm last March in a firehouse accident. In fact, it’s only fanned those competitive flames more intensely. Diehl, a volunteer Franklin firefighter, was injured in March 2015 while helping to guide a fire engine back into the station.
- PUB DATE: 4/11/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Dayton Daily News

Update: New Jersey firefighter couple will not be suspended for Facebook wedding invitation

Social media guidelines have been revised after a couple in Garfield Fire Company 1 were threatened with suspension for posting their wedding invitation on Facebook that featured their turnout coats. The couple will not face suspension from the department. City Manager Tom Duch said what originated as a "lack of communication" has been corrected after a several hour meeting with the five fire department chiefs, himself and Deputy Mayor and Council Fire Department Liaison Glenn Mati, where everyone left with a "clear understanding" of what is acceptable on social media.
- PUB DATE: 4/11/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Bergen County Record & Herald News

Sources: Former Virginia fire chief to head Philadelphia department

Mayor Kenney is expected to name Adam Thiel, deputy secretary of Virginia's Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs department, as the next leader of Philadelphia's fire department, according to three sources with knowledge of the choice. Thiel, formerly the fire chief of Alexandria, Va., has worked in fire and emergency services for more than two decades in four different states, according to a biography describing his current role in Virginia.
- PUB DATE: 4/8/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: philly.com

Florida female firefighter fired after filing harassment lawsuit

Hired by Tampa Fire Rescue in late 2008, Tanja Vidovic became pregnant about a year later. A fire captain told her "this would not have happened if she had kept her legs closed," Vidovic alleges in a federal lawsuit against the city of Tampa. Vidovic, one of several female firefighters who raised concerns about the department's treatment of women in its ranks in the Tampa Bay Times last spring, filed suit on March 23.
- PUB DATE: 4/8/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: tampa bay times

FDNY swears in chief diversity officer, youngest deputy commissioner in department history

The FDNY swore in a new chief diversity officer Thursday along with its youngest-ever deputy commissioner during a ceremony on Randall's Island. Cecilia Loving, 56, an attorney who works for the FDNY, was recently named as the FDNY's chief diversity officer. In that court-mandated role, she will be in charge of ensuring all new recruitment and strategic initiatives comply with Department of Citywide Administrative Services and Law Department guidelines.
- PUB DATE: 4/8/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: new york daily news

Colorado Apt. Resident To Firefighter: ‘I’m Not Going Down That Ladder!’

Liz Trokey says it’s a lucky thing a fire that broke out at her senior apartment complex on Wednesday didn’t start any later than it did. “It was like an hour before my nap time,” she told CBS4. “If I had been napping, I never would have woke up, because when I take a nap, I’m out.” Trokey, 81, says the emergency stairs weren’t an option when the fire alarms started sounding in her apartment on the fourth floor of the Southview Place Towers.
- PUB DATE: 4/8/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KCNC-TV CBS 4 Denver

How CO kills firefighters

While looking for an SOP on a large metropolitan fire department's website, I stumbled across something unrelated that caught my eye. This SOP was from a fire department I highly respect as leaders in safety and employee health. To my surprise I noticed an SOP allowing for firefighters to remove their SCBA if the carbon monoxide level is less than 50 ppm in the sampling.
- PUB DATE: 4/8/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: firerescue1

Cleveland swears in first Hispanic fire chief

Battalion Chief Angelo Calvillo was sworn in Wednesday as the city's new fire chief, making him the first Hispanic person to head the city's Division of Fire. Calvillo, a 27-year veteran who has steadily risen through the department's ranks, served as interim chief since October, when Chief Patrick Kelly resigned to head the fire department in Olmsted Township.
- PUB DATE: 4/7/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: cleveland plain dealer

Board tells longtime Missouri fire chief to reapply for job

The longtime fire chief in Logan-Rogersville could lose his job. Richard Stirts has served as chief part-time for the last 20 years. The fire board decided last Sunday that the job will become full-time and salaried. The board also voted to open that job up to other candidates. "I took it gracefully and am trying to work through the political nightmare that it is," Stirts said on Wednesday.
- PUB DATE: 4/7/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KYTV-TV NBC 3 Springfield

Woman to serve 9 years for arson fire that injured California captain

As part of a plea deal, Harper admits to arson fire that caused Pete Dern to fall through the roof, and she will serve nine years in state prison. Harper will be formally sentenced on May 4th. Deputy District Attorney Dennis Verzosa stated that "after a review of the entire investigation, and after careful consultation with Firefighter Peter Dern and his family, the Fresno Fire Department, and the Investigating Officers, we feel that this is an appropriate and fair resolution to this case.
- PUB DATE: 4/7/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KFSN-TV ABC 30 Frenso/Visalia

Washington fire district hacked, forced to pay ransom

Hackers submitting faked invoices to local fire districts got at least one payoff, and taught local agencies a lesson in network security. On Jan. 22, the city of Snoqualmie, which provides information technology services to King County Fire Protection District 45, paid a ransom of $750 to hackers who had taken control and encrypted files on a computer at the fire district.
- PUB DATE: 4/7/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: valley record