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National Fire News

Washington state bans firefighting chemicals that may cause cancer

Firefighting foam with a chemical thought to cause cancer and other health problems will be banned in two years for local fire departments and districts in Washington. A new law signed Tuesday bans the group of chemicals that are contaminating some wells in Airway Heights and other water sources near military bases, although it won’t directly affect that contamination.
- PUB DATE: 3/28/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Spokesman-Review

Rhode Island firefighters sue city in federal court alleging fair labor violations in overtime

Firefighters are suing the town in federal court alleging that East Greenwich is shorting them on overtime by violating the Fair Labor Standards Act. The suit was filed Friday in U.S. District Court against the town and Finance Director Linda Dykeman. It asks the court to award back pay and legal fees and to declare that the town “willfully and intentionally violated” its obligations to firefighters.
- PUB DATE: 3/27/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Providence Journal

Update: Pregnant Florida firefighter granted light duty assignment

A pregnant Indian River County firefighter, who has been pleading for months for light duty, has finally been given a light duty assignment. Nicole Morris, now 33-weeks pregnant, started asking Fire Chief John King to help her better protect her unborn baby just months into her pregnancy. She originally was not asking for light duty, but the ability to max out the number of shifts she could exchange with other firefighters, wanting to work for them early on in her pregnancy, so they could work for her, in exchange, after she gives birth.
- PUB DATE: 3/27/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WFLX-TV FOX 29 West Palm Beach

Colleagues recall the career of New York Battalion Chief

Perhaps no other family had such a long run with the Watertown Fire Department as the Lachenauers. Over a 76-year span, the department was served by the family — first by Chief George W. Lachenauer, then later by his two sons, David M. and Ted. That long reign came to an end a few short weeks ago. Battalion Chief David Lachenauer remained on the roster until March 6, when he officially retired.
- PUB DATE: 3/27/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Watertown Daily Times

FirstNet Core Delivers on the Promise of a Dedicated Network for Public Safety

This week, AT&T has met another monumental contractual milestone by launching and delivering the FirstNet core to the First Responder Network Authority. The input and feedback we received from public safety has come to life with this core. It is the first-ever nationwide LTE enhanced packet core infrastructure built specifically for our nation’s first responder community.
- PUB DATE: 3/27/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: First Responder Network Authority

Former Florida assistant fire chief charged with stealing thousands of dollars

A former Indian County assistant fire chief was arrested Monday morning and charged with stealing thousands of dollars from the county. Sheriff Deryl Loar said Brian Burkeen, 55, of Fellsmere, used a county credit card to purchase hundreds of tires, valued at at least $300,000. He would then sell the tires and pocket the cash according to the investigation.
- PUB DATE: 3/27/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WPTV-TV NBC 5 West Palm Beach

Two West Virginia firefighters killed while responding to triple fatal crash; Fire chief in ICU

Two Kanawha County firefighters are dead and two remain hospitalized after an accident Saturday evening on the West Virginia Turnpike. A Pratt Volunteer Fire Department truck was responding to a triple fatality car crash when their truck crashed en route. Deputy Chief Rod Johnson spoke with the media Sunday afternoon to provide an update.
- PUB DATE: 3/26/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WSAZ-TV NBC 3

Missouri police, firefighters at odds on retirement measure

Support your police and give a "secure retirement for all city employees," say signs on Kirkwood lawns urging a "yes" vote to change the city's retirement system. Support your firefighters and vote "no," say competing signs describing the proposal as unnecessary, permanent and coming at a higher cost.
- PUB DATE: 3/26/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

4 firefighters sue Virginia city over test-cheating scandal

Four Virginia Beach firefighters who were denied promotions last year are suing the city. They claim results of an annual captain’s exam were tainted when a battalion chief gave confidential test information to two firefighters. The lawsuit was filed last week in Circuit Court on behalf of longtime firefighters David Scherrer, Richard Irving, Alexander Wazlak and Mark Bayly, who were among 36 firefighters taking the exam last year.
- PUB DATE: 3/26/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Norfolk Virginian-Pilot/HamptonRoads.com

Actor Ed Norton Praises ‘Selfless Courage’ of FDNY After Film Set Blaze Kills Firefighter

Actor Ed Norton took to social media on Saturday to praise the FDNY’s bravery and his film crew’s quick thinking in the wake of a film set inferno that killed a firefighter in Harlem earlier this week. “I have never witnessed firsthand that kind of bravery,” Norton wrote in an Instagram post about the fire.
- PUB DATE: 3/26/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WNBC-TV NBC New York

Connecticut fire department responds to blaze at one of its firehouses

City firefighters from the Whitney Avenue firehouse were out fighting a fire on Nicoll Street Friday evening when the call came in that there was a fire at 350 Whitney Ave. — their firehouse. Many of the firefighters, who were just finishing on Nicoll Street, which was reported at 5:47 pm., rushed back and, accompanied by colleagues from other firehouses, fought the fire in their own firehouse, Fire Chief John A.
- PUB DATE: 3/26/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: New Haven Register

Longest serving fire chief in Washington city’s history, says farewell

20 as Olympia fire chief — Larry Dibble, 65, will call it a career at the end of the month. He is the longest serving fire chief in the city’s history. The next fire chief will be current deputy fire chief Greg Wright. But Wright is set to retire, too, so he expects to serve 18 months in that role before a new chief is appointed by the Olympia city manager.
- PUB DATE: 3/26/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Olympian

Two Pennsylvania firefighters killed in collapse at Weaver Piano Co. fire

Two York City firefighters were killed when a wall collapsed Thursday at the former Weaver Piano & Organ Co. building, which had been heavily damaged in a fire that began the day before. Ivan Flanscha, 50, of York Township, died just before 4 p.m. at York Hospital, according to a report from the York County Coroner's Office.
- PUB DATE: 3/23/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: York Dispatch

FDNY firefighter killed as blaze breaks out at Ed Norton film shoot in Harlem

A veteran city firefighter was killed in a raging five-alarm fire on a Harlem film set Thursday night, the FDNY said. Firefighter Michael Davidson, 37, was the nozzle man, the first to brave the flames when his company, Engine 69, arrived at the scene on St. Nicholas Ave. at W. 149th St. at 10:50 p.
- PUB DATE: 3/23/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: New York Daily News

Ousted Florida firefighter of year sues City of Orlando for 'wrongful termination'

Joshua Granada, the 2017 fire fighter of the year, filed a wrongful termination civil lawsuit against the city of Orlando Thursday, arguing the reason cited for his dismissal was just an excuse to remove him from the job. Granada, a 10-year veteran of the Orlando Fire Department, was recognized for his response to the Pulse nightclub massacre during a ceremony in Tallahassee with Gov.
- PUB DATE: 3/23/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: clickorlando.com

Virginia firefighters sue city over ‘tainted’ promotion process

Four Virginia Beach firefighters are suing the city over what they call a tainted promotion process. The suit filed in Virginia Beach Circuit Court is on behalf of David Scherrer, Richard Ivrving, Alexander Wazlak and Mark Bayly. The master firefighters were all looking to become captains. The promotions process began in May 2017.
- PUB DATE: 3/23/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: wavy.com

California Utility to Cut Power in Areas at Grave Fire Risk

California's Pacific Gas & Electric Co. will start switching off power to minimize sparks in vulnerable areas during times of extreme fire danger, it said Thursday, as state investigators examine whether the utility's equipment set off deadly Northern California wildfires. The move for pre-emptive power cutoffs is one that some local officials and fire survivors have urged after recent wildfires.
- PUB DATE: 3/23/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: nbcbayarea.com

California city taps former Illinois chief to lead fire department

The city has tapped Greg Benson, a former fire chief with more than 35 years of public safety experience, to serve as the head of the Victorville Fire Department, officials said Wednesday. Benson will oversee the city’s underway transition from San Bernardino County Fire to its own agency. He is expected to begin April 23.
- PUB DATE: 3/22/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Victorville Daily Press

Proposed legislation would resolve Minnesota firefighters severance battle — in city’s favor

Maplewood and its Fire Relief Association have been engaged in a money squabble ever since the city announced a staffing change that would eliminate part-time firefighters. That battle could end with a city victory if recently proposed legislation is passed this session at the state Capitol. At the center of the feud is a $1.
- PUB DATE: 3/22/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: TwinCities.com

Meet the Ivy League PhD who just became New York town's 1st female chief

When Sara Errinton joined the Syracuse Fire Department, she was shown a list of fire stations where she couldn't work. She was a woman, and those stations didn't have coed facilities. Soon after, when she asked to be part of the hazardous materials team, she was again told no. A woman of child-bearing age shouldn't be around hazardous materials, officials told her.
- PUB DATE: 3/22/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Syracuse Post-Standard & Syracuse.com