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National Fire News

New Jersey fire chief allegedly smacking woman's butt costs town $30K

A fire chief’s alleged smacking of a female employee’s buttocks set back a South Jersey township $30,000, a newspaper reported Monday. Medford Township settled a lawsuit in September that claimed Fire Chief Thomas Thorn sexually harassed former administrative assistant Lorie Cutts in front of two other firefighters in 2012, the Burlington County Times reported Monday.
- PUB DATE: 10/27/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: philly.com

Washington fire department takes on mental health

The Spokane Fire Department is used to battling blazes and saving homes on a daily basis. It’s what they do. But mental health has often been an issue swept under the rug by first responders. “People were ostracized,” Assistant Chief Brian Schaeffer said. “We wanted to change things.” Fire departments around the country are beginning to see a spike in cases of Post Traumatic Stress and even suicides within their departments.
- PUB DATE: 10/27/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: khq.com

New York firefighter mysteriously injured, investigation continues

Buffalo police are investigating how a firefighter was injured while training over the weekend. And the leader of the firefighter’s union is questioning whether someone took a shot at one of his men. The rookie firefighter from Buffalo’s Ladder 13 was training Saturday evening on the roof of a house in the Riverside area when he felt a sharp pain in his left side.
- PUB DATE: 10/27/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: wivb.com

Detroit EMS to undergo training after vicious attack

The day after Eric Jones was appointed Detroit Fire Commissioner, Detroit EMTs Alfredo Rojas and Kelly Adams were viciously attacked by a man with a box cutter. Now, Jones is fast tracking safety training for Detroit medics "The first thing I want to do is immediately get them some training as it relates to de-escalation and how to handle violent individuals or mental individuals at a scene," Jones said.
- PUB DATE: 10/27/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WDIV-TV NBC 4 Detroit

Are You Prepared for Serious Line-of-Duty Injuries?

Fire trade media is written and read to educate the fire service about strategy and tactics. They also spend considerable space focusing on firefighter safety, but again in the context of firehouse and fireground operations. Many reflect upon or review the facts and circumstances of firefighter injuries or deaths, but these reflections are primarily operational in focus.
- PUB DATE: 10/27/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Firehouse.com

D.C. Firefighters Settle 14-Year Lawsuit Over Overtime Pay

A 14-year dispute concerning overtime pay for D.C. was resolved Saturday after Mayor Muriel Bowser and the D.C. Fire Fighters Association signed an agreement. The agreement will result in $45 million to be paid to firefighters who worked more than 42 hours per week, dating back to Sept. 23, 2001. The mayor’s office said funds have already been allocated through surplus revenue in fiscal year 2015.
- PUB DATE: 10/26/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: nbcwashington,com

Michigan fire department seeks body armor for firefighters

Firefighters used to have a good idea of what dangers they faced on a call. It was going to be smoke or flames. But as society has changed, so have the risk factors. Two firefighters taking care of a patient at a bus station are stabbed by a bystander this summer in San Diego. The firefighters survived the attack.
- PUB DATE: 10/26/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: woodtv.com

9/11 bill to aid Ground Zero workers rapidly gaining support in Congress

Eleven people who worked in rescue and recovery efforts at Ground Zero after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks have died in the six weeks since the most recent anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks. Another Ground Zero worker, Roy McLaughlin, died Sept. 10, one day before the anniversary. McLaughlin, 38, was a Yonkers police officer when the World Trade Center was attacked.
- PUB DATE: 10/26/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Ithaca Journal

Colorado responders seek funds for mass shooting training and equipment

After two high-profile mass shootings in Colorado in the last 10 years, Boulder County is working to change how firefighters respond to the scene of large-scale dangerous situations. In July, the Longmont department of public safety participated in a regional training exercise, called Operation Buffalo Shield at University of Colorado to prepare police officers and firefighters for a mass shooting situation.
- PUB DATE: 10/26/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Times-Call

Ohio fire departments feel heat of hose guidelines

Firefighters face immense pressure every day. Being awakened in the middle of the night, rushing to trucks, suiting up, riding to the scene of a crash or fire, and then battling a blaze or helping get victims out of harm's way takes a lot of physical and mental strength. There's also a lot riding on the equipment they use to work right every time.
- PUB DATE: 10/26/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: NewsHerald

Atlanta firefighters injured in fiery wreck involving 2 fire vehicles

VIDEO - Two firefighters were injured after an accident involving another fire department vehicle on Thursday. The Atlanta Fire engine was responding to a warehouse fire when it was slammed head-on into an SUV on Lee Street SW at Van Buren Street SW. The SUV was also a fire department vehicle. Quintin Barksdale said he heard an explosion on the fire truck right before it was engulfed in flames.
- PUB DATE: 10/23/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WXIA-TV NBC 11 Atlanta

California retirement system orders former fire chief to pay back $450,000

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System board on Wednesday ordered former Loomis Fire Chief David Wheeler to pay back more than $450,000 in pension benefits after an administrative law judge determined that Wheeler had violated state law. The judge had issued a preliminary finding that Wheeler, a member of the Loomis Town Council, knowingly violated state law by receiving a $137,000-a-year pension from CalPERS while also receiving a $60,000 annual salary from the Loomis Fire Protection District.
- PUB DATE: 10/23/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: sacramento bee

Ohio assistant chief describes being held hostage

VIDEO - There were tense moments for some firefighters in South Amherst last night, after they were held hostage on a call. Assistant Chief Dennis Hevener was among those to respond to a brush fire behind a home on Hornyak Court. He said a man was soon outside pointing a rifle at him and two others, telling them to stand near a truck.
- PUB DATE: 10/23/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WKYC-TV NBC 3 Cleveland

Alabama fire department uses funny video to teach the proper way to use 911 'dagnabbit'

VIDEO - Tuscaloosa Fire & Rescue is taking a humorous approach to teaching residents about public safety. In its latest effort, the department created a silly video to remind residents not to call 911 for non-emergencies. "What we try to do is make sure that No. 1 when people call 911 (they know) we are going to send somebody, and we want them to call 911 if they have an emergency," Fire Chief Alan Martin said.
- PUB DATE: 10/23/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: AL.com

California firefighters in rollover file lawsuit

The Vallejo firefighters who were involved in a collision that caused a fire truck to roll over multiple times last year have filed a lawsuit against multiple entities, including the truck’s manufacturers and the state. The lawsuit was filed at the Solano County Superior Court at the end of September.
- PUB DATE: 10/23/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Times-Herald

Man in custody after taking Ohio firefighters hostage

A man is in custody Wednesday night following a hostage situation involving two South Amherst firefighters. Firefighters were called to the house in the 100 block of Hornyak Road about 6:30 p.m. for a report of a fire in a wooded area near Quarry Road. A man who lives at the house armed with a rifle came outside and took two firefighters hostage, South Amherst Fire Chief Al Schmitz said at a press conference.
- PUB DATE: 10/22/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Cleveland Plain Dealer & Cleveland.com

Heroic California firefighter dies

Barry Rezac, whose exploits as a Cal Fire/Riverside County firefighter earned him the nickname “Nine Lives Rezac,” has died. Rezac, 57, died Sept. 27 at St. Mary Medical Center in Apple Valley of end-stage renal disease and cardiopulmonary arrest, said his wife Sandra Rezac. Rezac underwent a double-lung transplant in 2008 after developing pulmonary fibrosis which causes scarring of the lungs.
- PUB DATE: 10/22/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: the press-enterprise

Pennsylvania fire chief accused of threatening member of neighboring department

The chief of the New Florence Volunteer Fire Department is accused of threatening to kill a firefighter from a neighboring department. Keith Boring is facing charges of harassment and making terroristic threats in connection with an incident in August between Boring and an assistant chief from the Seward Volunteer Fire Company.
- PUB DATE: 10/22/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WPXI-TV NBC 11 Pittsburgh

Cities pull back on firefighter fundraising, citing safety concerns

At least seven U.S. cities and counties have stopped firefighters from collecting charitable donations at busy intersections citing safety concerns. For nearly 61 years, career and volunteer firefighters around the country have participated in “Fill-the-Boot” roadside charity campaigns, often around the Labor Day and Memorial Day weekends.
- PUB DATE: 10/22/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: usa today

One-handed Illinois firefighter defies odds

Anthony Smith learned early on, challenges come in all forms. He was born without his right hand. "The cord got wrapped around my wrist whenever I was in my mom's stomach," Smith said. "And it ended up cutting my hand off." In the past, people have wondered if Smith was capable of completing certain tasks, like when he joined the Horseshoe Lake Fire Department nearly 11 years ago.
- PUB DATE: 10/22/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KFVS-TV 12


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