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National Fire News

International Firefighters’ Union Owes Clout to Its Free-Spending President

The International Association of Fire Fighters is a small union of just under 300,000 members with political influence far beyond its size. The obvious reason for this is the respect many Americans have for firefighters, who consistently rank as some of the country’s most admired professionals. The less obvious reason is Harold A.
- PUB DATE: 10/19/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: the new york times

Cancer-stricken Texas firefighter’s worker’s compensation benefits still under dispute

The state association that handles workers’ compensation claims for cities is appealing a decision last month to award benefits to a cancer-stricken Bedford firefighter. Lt. Keith Long, who has stage 4 colon cancer, has fought the city and the Texas Municipal League Intergovernmental Risk Pool for lost wages for two years, saying his illness was caused by on-the-job exposure to carcinogens.
- PUB DATE: 10/19/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: star-telegram

Cal Fire Academy chief fired after scandal loses bid to win back job

A high-ranking Cal Fire Academy official fired during a drinking-and-sex scandal that roiled the department has lost his appeal to return to work. Lawyers representing former Assistant Chief Mike Ramirez says he is now prepared seek a rehearing by the State Personnel Board or take the case to civil court.
- PUB DATE: 10/19/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: sacramento bee

Kansas City firefighter deaths often followed by innovations

Some Kansas City blazes that claimed the lives of firefighters over the past half-decade have led to safety innovations that became commonplace nationally. Two Kansas City firefighters were killed last Monday when the wall of a burning, multi-story brick building collapsed onto them and two others. A rapid intervention team, or RIT team, rushed in and pulled the four men from beneath the rubble.
- PUB DATE: 10/19/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KCTV-TV CBS 5 Kansas City

Driver critically hurt in crash scene collision with Maryland fire engine

PHOTO - A violent collision between a van and a Prince George's County fire engine critically injured a driver and closed the Inner Loop of the Capital Beltway for several hours. A work van rammed into the back of a Ritchie Volunteer Fire Department engine at the scene of an earlier crash on southbound I-495 at Ritchie Marlboro Road around 11:00 Thursday night, according to tweets from Mark Brady, spokesman for the Prince George's County Fire Department.
- PUB DATE: 10/16/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WUSA-TV 9 DC

Connecticut deputy chief struck and killed by train

Branford Deputy Chief Ronald R. Mullen died last night when he walked onto an Amtrak railroad track and was struck by an oncoming Shoreline East passenger train near Pleasant Point Road in Pine Orchard. Mullen, who was 55, served with the Branford Fire Department for nearly four decades and was considered one of the best arson investigators in the state.
- PUB DATE: 10/16/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: new haven independent

California Prisons Chief Defends Using Violent Inmates to Fight Fires

California's corrections chief is defending the state's use of inmates with violent pasts to fight drought-fueled wildfires, while promising to mend relations with critics who fear the prisoners create a public safety danger. "This is not the time to do any retrenching with the fires we've been having — and there's no need to do any retrenching because there haven't been any problems," Corrections Secretary Jeffrey Beard said.
- PUB DATE: 10/16/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: abc news

Column: 1 message fire chiefs must convey

A recent column published in the Washington Post suggested that because overall losses from fires have gone down in recent years, career firefighters are therefore largely irrelevant and their ranks could be diminished or replaced by part-time or volunteer workers. The column went on to describe firefighting as mostly about "eating and sleeping, mopping floors, lifting weights, grocery shopping.
- PUB DATE: 10/16/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: firerescue1

Key Southern California interstate blocked in flash flooding

PHOTO - Emergency crews shoveled mud from a section of Interstate 5 north of Los Angeles after flash flood debris blocked the important roadway, stranded hundreds of vehicles, and forced some motorists to take refuge on top of their cars. Excavator trucks scooped and hauled away mud in the darkness Thursday night with the cleanup expected to continue well into Friday, leaving thousands of drivers searching for alternative routes.
- PUB DATE: 10/16/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: santa cruz sentinel

Ousted Atlanta fire chief at center of religious liberty fight goes to court

Former Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran, who described homosexuality as a perversion akin to bestiality in a book he authored two years ago, is entitled to his religious beliefs, attorneys for Cochran and the City of Atlanta agreed Wednesday. But his faith isn’t the reason he was fired last January, Mayor Kasim Reed’s administration argued in a federal court hearing over his dismissal.
- PUB DATE: 10/15/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: wsb radio

Longtime New Jersey firefighter collapses, dies while on call

A veteran firefighter died Wednesday while on a call around the corner from his home, according to city officials. Gerald "Bear" Celecki, 70, collapsed after responding to a call concerning the smell of gas at a home on Parker Avenue, said South Amboy Fire Chief Michael Geraltowski. "We don't know exactly what happened yet," Geraltowski said Wednesday afternoon.
- PUB DATE: 10/15/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Newark Star-Ledger/NJ.com

Former cop chosen to lead Detroit Fire Department

Mayor Mike Duggan named someone from outside the Detroit Fire Department to become the city's new fire commissioner this morning, selecting Eric Jones, a former cop and director of the city's Building Department. Duggan introduced Jones, 46, at a news conference this morning at the Detroit Fire Department's Engine Co.
- PUB DATE: 10/15/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: detroit free press

Report: Sudden wind shift contributed to South Dakota firefighter's death at California wildfire

Rapid City firefighter Dave Ruhl apparently was trapped by a sudden shift in the direction of the California wildfire he was scouting in July, according to a newly issued Forest Service report on his death. The body of Ruhl, 38, was found July 31 at the scene of the Frog Fire in the Modoc National Forest, where he was on a temporary assignment away from his regular duties as an engine captain in South Dakota’s Black Hills National Forest.
- PUB DATE: 10/15/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: rapid city journal

Oklahoma Firefighters Use Song, Dance To Teach Kids About Fire Prevention

VIDEO - October is Fire Prevention Month and it can be a challenge to get children excited about fire prevention. So, the Mustang Fire Department put on a production like no other to get elementary kids to soak up the safety tips and it worked. Firefighters took popular songs and changed the lyrics into fire safety terms.
- PUB DATE: 10/15/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KWTV-TV Oklahoma City

Sudden collapse trapped veteran Kansas City firefighters in alley

Before Monday, more than a quarter century had elapsed since the Kansas City Fire Department lost multiple members on the same day. This time, six firefighters stood in an alley after sunset, spraying water through windows into a three-story building ablaze along Independence Avenue. They wanted to keep the flames from spreading to a nearby grocery store.
- PUB DATE: 10/14/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: kansas city star

Court overturns Minnesota home fire sprinkler requirement

A state agency failed to present enough evidence to justify requiring all new homes bigger than 4,500 square feet to include fire sprinklers, a Minnesota Appeals Court panel decided Tuesday. The three judges unanimously overturned the state Department of Labor and Industry's rule. "After making a careful and searching inquiry of the record, we conclude that the 4,500-square-foot threshold for one-family dwellings is arbitrary and not supported by substantial evidence in the record," the ruling said.
- PUB DATE: 10/14/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Bemidji Pioneer

Update: California drops plan to let violent inmates fight fires

California corrections officials on Tuesday dropped a plan to include prisoners with violent backgrounds in the nation's largest and oldest inmate firefighting unit, a day after the proposal was first reported by The Associated Press. The state still plans to expand the program to include inmates who have up to seven years left to serve on their sentences, instead of the current five years, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokesman Jeffrey Callison told the AP.
- PUB DATE: 10/14/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KCRA-TV NBC 3 Sacramento

2 killed when small plane crashes into mobile homes in Florida

A small plane crashed into a mobile home park and set two homes on fire, killing the pilot and a 21-year-old woman who was inside one of the homes, investigators and a relative said Wednesday. No one else was aboard the plane and no one else on the ground was injured when the plane plunged from the sky about 5:30 p.
- PUB DATE: 10/14/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: miami herald

California Captain Killed by Suspected Drunken Driver Week Before Retirement

A firefighter of 37 years, hero to his family and the Colton community, was tragically killed after a suspected drunken driver slammed into his ATV. David Lodarski, a father of two, was inspired by his father to become a firefighter. His son is following in his footsteps to carry on the tradition to become a firefighter as well.
- PUB DATE: 10/14/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: nbc los angeles

Two firefighters dead after building collapse in Kansas City

Two firefighters were killed and two hurt after a burning building on Independence Avenue collapsed on them Monday night, Kansas City fire officials said. Firefighters were dispatched to a building in the 2600 block of Independence Avenue about 7:30 p.m. and found the structure heavily damaged by smoke and flames.
- PUB DATE: 10/13/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: kansas city star


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