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National Fire News

Ohio fire department sees most diverse academy class in decades

VIDEO: Seated in rows and dressed identically in white shirts and black slacks, the 47 members of Toledo Fire & Rescue Fire Class 293 began their first day of six months of fire academy training. The class is one of the most diverse the department has had since 1984, Fire Chief Brian Byrd said. Out of 47 recruits, 30 are white, 12 are black, four are Hispanic, and one is American Indian.
- PUB DATE: 3/1/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Toledo Blade

Colorado fire department to follow cops’ lead and encrypt radio traffic next month — though not all of it

Following the lead of Denver police, radio traffic from the Denver Fire Department will no longer be accessible to the public starting next month, though one automated dispatch channel will remain open. Fire department leaders in January made the decision to encrypt their radio traffic to make it easier to communicate with police, who decided to encrypt their traffic as well, fire department spokesman Greg Pixley said.
- PUB DATE: 3/1/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Denver Post

Former Minnesota firefighter will be able to sue for disability discrimination, high court rules

A Minneapolis firefighter injured and forced into early retirement because he wasn’t allowed to wear prescribed shoes will be able to pursue a disability discrimination claim against the city, the state’s highest court has ruled. On Wednesday, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled on a 5-2 majority that employees are able to sue separately under the state workers’ compensation law and the Minnesota Human Rights Act’s disability protection.
- PUB DATE: 3/1/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Star Tribune

California Governor wants to spend $40 million to hire more firefighters; Why some want to double that

California is facing the worst wildfire conditions in its history with fewer engines and firefighters than it had 40 years ago, says a group of lawmakers and fire unions asking Gov. Gavin Newsom for an extra $84 million to beef up the state’s fire response. Cal Fire has 31 fewer engines than it had in 1975 yet it is responsible for more land, provides protection for more cities and faces drier forests and a longer fire season, said Sen.
- PUB DATE: 3/1/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Sacramento Bee - Metered Site

City down an officer, firefighter in Indiana due to budget oversight

Peru will be down one police officer and one firefighter the rest of the year to make up for a budget shortfall after city officials miscalculated how much pay raises, approved last year, would cost the city. Officers and firefighters received a 1.5-percent increase in their longevity pay as part of across-the-board raises approved for city workers that took effect this year.
- PUB DATE: 3/1/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Kokomo Tribune

South Carolina firefighters threaten to walk out after long-time chief not given paid position

VIDEO: The town of Clover discussed a back-up fire protection plan Monday night for families just in case firefighters make good on a threat to walk out. Firefighters said they are angry that the town’s longtime volunteer chief was not chosen to be the first paid fire chief. The Clover town council called a special meeting Monday evening to discuss the concerns about the threats firefighters made to quit.
- PUB DATE: 2/28/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WSOCTV.com

Rhode Island firefighters picket for better working conditions, contract

Firefighters in Pawtucket gathered outside of a private fundraiser for Mayor Donald Grebien Tuesday evening, demanding better working conditions and a contract. President of the Rhode Island State Association of Firefighters (RISAFF) Joseph Andriole said the Pawtucket Fire Department has been working without a contract since 2016.
- PUB DATE: 2/28/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WPRI-TV

Ohio fire union: More calls with lowest staffing ever ‘could mean life or death’

VIDEO: The Riverside Fire Department is busier than ever, and at the same time, has the lowest staffing levels the department has ever seen. The city plans to apply for a federal grant that would let them hire three more full-time firefighters. But, even if they get the grant, those positions would not start until 2020.
- PUB DATE: 2/28/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Dayton Daily News

California Fire Department Gives Real-World Example Of Why Hydrants Are No-Parking Zones

VIDEO: Firefighters in Anaheim demonstrated recently why drivers should avoid parking in front of a fire hydrant. Anaheim Fire & Rescue posted several pictures Tuesday of a car parked in the red zone in front of a fire hydrant that was needed to battle a blaze across the street. Both rear windows of the Nissan sedan were broken out, and the fire hose threaded through the car in order to reach the hydrant.
- PUB DATE: 2/28/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: CBS Los Angeles

New York State adds local fire station to Superfund registry

New York State added a Hampton Bays fire station to its Superfund registry on Wednesday, the third Suffolk site listed for hazardous waste cleanup since 2016 because of links to firefighting foam. The 2-acre site at 69 W. Montauk Hwy. “presents a significant threat to public health and/or the environment,” according to a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation notice.
- PUB DATE: 2/28/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: NewsDay.com

Sounding the alarm in Nebraska: Increased cancer risks among Omaha firefighters spark policy changes

VIDEO: They put their lives on the line, but fire isn't the only danger. KETV NewsWatch 7 Investigates discovered dozens of Omaha firefighters were treated for cancer in a 20-month period. “Just by chance, I went to the first cancer class for firefighters right after all the studies started coming out,” said Frank Corcoran, vice president of the Omaha Professional Firefighters Association.
- PUB DATE: 2/27/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KEVT-TV 7

Widow of Houston fire captain sues Motorola over radios used in 2013 Southwest Inn inferno

The widow of a Houston fire captain is suing Motorola over allegations that faulty radios were to blame for the massive brain injury her husband suffered during the deadly 2013 Southwest Inn blaze. William “Iron Bill” Dowling was among more than a dozen firefighters injured in Houston Fire Department’s deadliest tragedy when the hotel roof collapsed 12 minutes into the five-alarm call.
- PUB DATE: 2/27/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Houston Chronicle

Firefighter decon challenges? Try a communication intervention

Researchers designed a communication intervention strategy to increase post-fire decontamination behaviors in a group of firefighters. Here’s what happened. The decon challenge: Routine firefighting can expose firefighters to substantial cancer risk. A study in 2015 estimated that firefighters have a 14 percent increased lifetime cancer risk compared to the general public.
- PUB DATE: 2/27/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: U.S. Fire Administration

New York City Lawmakers Call For Less Piercing Emergency Vehicle Sirens

Two lawmakers in New York City have issued a siren call of sorts, arguing that the shrill sound of police cars, fire trucks and ambulances has got to go. If passed, the legislation would require all emergency vehicles to change their sirens within two years to an alternating high and low sound similar to that heard in many European countries.
- PUB DATE: 2/27/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: NPR.org

California Inmate Firefighters May Get Chance To Fight Fires After Their Sentence Is Up

VIDEO: They’re often near the front lines while clearing a path and working side by side California’s firefighters. “It’s a big opportunity,” said an inmate firefighter. But after serving a prison sentence, inmate’s careers are over. “When they leave that service they’re told that they will never ever be allowed to be a firefighter,” said Assemblymember Eloise Reyes.
- PUB DATE: 2/27/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: CBS13

Jon Stewart pushes Congress to aid 9/11 victims fund

VIDEO: Comedian Jon Stewart is bringing a serious message to Congress, this time: Extend the compensation program for survivors of and responders to the September 11 terrorist attacks. The former "Daily Show" host, union officials and survivor groups are scheduled to visit Washington on Monday to call on Congress to provide additional funding for and make permanent the Victim Compensation Fund, according to the office of Rep.
- PUB DATE: 2/26/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: CNN

History Of The Fire Pole Started With Black Chicago Firehouse In 1870s

VIDEO: African American firefighters played a key role in developing a staple of the firehouse: the sliding pole. In honor of Black History Month, CBS 2’s Derrick Young spoke with a retired fire chief turned author. Dekalb Walcott served on the Chicago Fire Department for more than 30 years, retiring as a battalion chief in 2009.
- PUB DATE: 2/26/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: CBS Chicago

Councilman wants investigation into alleged racial discrimination, gender bias in Louisiana fire department

VIDEO: A Shreveport councilman is calling for an investigation into the city’s Fire Department. Councilman Willie Bradford says he’s received several credible complaints of alleged racial and gender discrimination within the department as well as alleged retaliation. If a resolution is passed Tuesday, the council would appoint a special committee to examine the allegations and report back to them.
- PUB DATE: 2/26/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KSLA-TV Shreveport News 12

Massachusetts resident makes a career out of assisting firefighters

Firefighters help people and save lives every day, but they turn to Roger Baker when they need a few minutes of rest from doing their physically-demanding jobs. Baker operates Rehab Five out of his home near Andover Street with assistance from volunteers who rush with him to an estimated 130 fires annually.
- PUB DATE: 2/26/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: ItemLive.com

San Diego plans to add 220 firefighters and shrink ballooning overtime costs

San Diego is planning a firefighter hiring spree to shrink ballooning overtime costs that are creating budget problems at City Hall. The city’s goal is to increase the number of firefighters from about 900 to more than 1,100 over the next five years. That may be a challenge, with retirements on the rise and more firefighters leaving for other agencies with higher pay, a union leader said.
- PUB DATE: 2/26/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: San Diego Union-Tribune - Metered Site

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