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National Fire News

Baltimore Fire Department's first African-American captain, dies at 89

Louis R. Harper Jr., the Baltimore City Fire Department’s first African-American captain, whose landmark 1971 lawsuit forced the city to end discriminatory practices in the hiring and promotion of firefighters and police, died Dec. 8 of symptoms related to dementia in hospice at FutureCare Cherrywood in Reisterstown.
- PUB DATE: 12/27/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Baltimore Sun

Pennsylvania mayor in no hurry to fill mounting vacancies

By the end of the year the city fire department will be down 16 men due to retirements, but the drop in the ranks isn’t yet cause for Mayor Tony George to sound the alarm. Instead, George has taken a wait-and-see approach for the outcome of next year’s binding arbitration on a new contract before making a decision on filling the spots.
- PUB DATE: 12/27/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Wilkes Barre Times Leader

Mississippi fire chief dies from medical emergency at car fire

Bobby was one of the founders of our fire department." Billy Ray Tanner grew up with Bobby Dunnaway and his sister. For more than 50 years, Dunnaway and Tanner had gotten to know each other pretty well. “A lot of times Bobby would come up in his truck or something and I’d have the door open, and he’d come up and get him something to drink," Tanner said.
- PUB DATE: 12/27/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WLOX-TV ABC 13

California county's new fire cameras link to statewide system

The Marin County Fire Department has installed six new, high-definition cameras at several mountaintop locations in Marin. The cameras are linked to a growing network that spans five western states and a supercomputer in San Diego that may some day use artificial intelligence to spot fires quicker and predict their course.
- PUB DATE: 12/27/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Marin Independent Journal

Wisconsin Panel Asked About Fines in Gas Explosion

For the first time under a new law, state utility regulators have been asked to consider imposing penalties on the drilling company involved in last summer’s fatal Sun Prairie natural gas explosion. A panel charged with policing utility notification laws last week sent the Public Service Commission a case based on a complaint filed by USIC Locating Services, the company that was hired to mark the locations of underground pipes prior to the explosion, which killed a firefighter and injured others.
- PUB DATE: 12/27/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Firehouse.com

New Jersey firefighter killed responding to call on Christmas morning

South Jersey fire company is mourning the loss of one of their own who was killed in a single-car crash while responding to a call in Hamilton Township, Atlantic County on Christmas morning. Police say 21-year-old Natalie Dempsey of Mays Landing was driving a black 2001 Honda Accord, when she lost control, and drove off the roadway, striking a guardrail.
- PUB DATE: 12/26/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WPVI- TV ABC6

Ex-workers at Florida State Fire College file suit

Six former employees of the Florida State Fire College and two of their spouses have filed a class-action lawsuit against manufacturers of firefighting suppressants used at the college, which they claim led them to develop various cancers and diseases from exposure. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, alleges the companies were negligent and purposefully hid findings of studies that showed chemicals in the suppressants were carcinogenic and dangerous to the environment.
- PUB DATE: 12/26/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Daily Commercial

New York city's police, fire chiefs step down in moves that could hike paychecks

Niagara Falls is looking for new police and fire chiefs, after both incumbents resigned to take demotions that could prove more lucrative. Police Superintendent E. Bryan DalPorto will step down Dec. 31 and resume his old rank as a patrol captain. Fire Chief Thomas Colangelo quit in November and resumed his former rank as a battalion chief.
- PUB DATE: 12/26/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Buffalo News

Pennsylvania department hired career firefighters to help its dwindling all-volunteer forces. Others think it could be a model.

When the chiefs of the three volunteer fire squads serving Upper Merion came to the township’s board of supervisors, they were desperate. We need some help, they said. Scraping together enough members to respond to emergencies was becoming difficult, especially during the day. The Montgomery County township’s population continues to grow and, with it, the number of calls to the all-volunteer companies based in Swedeland, King of Prussia, and Swedesburg.
- PUB DATE: 12/26/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Philadelphia Inquirer

New York community marks the sixth anniversary of Christmas Eve ambush

Six years have passed since a gunman set fire to his Webster home and ambushed first responders as they arrived on scene. Michael Chiapperini, 43, and Tomasz Kaczowka, 19, were killed that morning as they stepped out of their vehicles on Lake Road, in an otherwise quiet neighborhood along the Lake Ontario shoreline.
- PUB DATE: 12/26/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Democrat & Chronicle

Wisconsin Police: No criminal charges for explosion that killed firefighter

A criminal investigation into who was responsible for a massive explosion that leveled several buildings and killed a volunteer firefighter last July has concluded that no crime was committed, Sun Prairie Police Chief Patrick Anhalt said Thursday. Instead, police said, a broken chain of communication between utility contractors and subcontractors resulted in the location of a gas line being improperly marked prior to the July 10 explosion.
- PUB DATE: 12/21/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Journal Times

Seattle EMT strike on hold as ambulance company agrees to continue bargaining

A strike of emergency medical technicians (EMTs) planned for Friday is on hold as the company and union prepare for a last-minute bargaining meeting Thursday night. The EMTs work for the private ambulance company American Medical Response (AMR), which contracts with the city of Seattle to provide some ambulance service.
- PUB DATE: 12/21/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Seattle Times

Pennsylvania Firefighter Dies After Responding to Fire

A firefighter from Northumberland County passed away on Thursday. The coroner tells Newswatch 16 Scott Dannheimer, 53 of Shamokin, was pronounced dead at a local hospital after responding to a fire in Coal Township. He was found unresponsive in the cab of the firetruck and transported to the hospital.
- PUB DATE: 12/21/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WNEP-TV Newswatch 16

Iconic three-deckers pose a challenge for Massachusetts firefighters

At a fire on West Street, Worcester Deputy Fire Chief Martin Dyer remembers pulling up to a three-decker where there appeared to be a small fire. As firefighters prepared to put it out, the blaze did what fires often do in those iconic three-story apartment buildings: it ran up through the walls to the roof and soon firefighters were scrambling to keep the building from burning to the ground.
- PUB DATE: 12/21/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Worcester Telegram & Gazette

3 Florida firefighters injured when fire truck is rear-ended

Three Orlando firefighters were injured in a crash Thursday night that shut down a portion of the interstate, according to the Orlando Police Department. Officers said the firefighters were responding to a minor crash on eastbound 408 shortly before 11 p.m. when another vehicle rear-ended the firetruck.
- PUB DATE: 12/21/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WKMG Click Orlando

Florida Fire Department Hurting after Firefighter Suicide

When St. Petersburg Fire Rescue responded to a call about a self-inflicted gunshot suicide Tuesday evening, the emergency crew discovered the victim was one of their own. "We're seeing a real spike in suicides," James Large, St. Petersburg Fire Rescue Chief, said. More first responders died by suicide last year than in the line of duty.
- PUB DATE: 12/20/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WFLA-TV NBC 8

Warrant request for Detroit fire union president sent back to police

Wayne County prosecutors kicked a warrant request back to the Detroit Police Department in the case of a fire union official accused of publicly sharing sensitive information about witnesses in a homicide case. Police Chief James Craig confirmed earlier this month that detectives were investigating social media posts by Mike Nevin, president of the Detroit Fire Fighters Association.
- PUB DATE: 12/20/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Detroit Free Press

Nearly $245 million for needy New Jersey firefighters sits untouched, review finds

At a time when firefighter associations nationwide are struggling to keep afloat, nearly $245 million sits untouched in a fund designed to help New Jersey firefighters — thanks to an “antiquated” law restricting its use, the state comptroller asserted Wednesday. The money — collected through a tax and intended for the New Jersey State Firemen’s Association, as well as the state’s 538 local relief associations — has barely been touched in decades, and the state nonprofit’s monitoring of its use has been flawed, according to Comptroller Philip James Degnan.
- PUB DATE: 12/20/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Philly.com

Runaway fire engine: How to avoid endangering firefighters, civilians

A released video shows a fire engine running away without a driver behind the wheel. While it may seem comical at first watch, when you watch it again and again, you will hopefully realize the seriousness of this incident. While fireground safety is always a concern for every firefighter and incident commander, we really don’t think or consider the danger of a runaway engine – because it’s not supposed to be a part of our consideration.
- PUB DATE: 12/20/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: FireRescue1

City Rallies For Return Of FDNY Engine Company Amid Population Boom

Officials are pushing for the reinstatement of FDNY Engine Company 261 to support the growing population of Long Island City. Politicians, firefighter union leaders and local residents say it was a mistake to remove the firehouse from active use 15 years ago during Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s time, reports CBS2’s Dave Carlin.
- PUB DATE: 12/20/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: CBS New York

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