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National Fire News

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

Toledo firefighters get new evacuation policy

Toledo firefighters who lost radio contact with dispatchers while fighting a fire this month now have a new evacuation policy to use in the event of any future such outages. Toledo Fire and Rescue Department implemented the new evacuation policy today. A department memo issued Friday by Deputy Chief Brian Byrd said every firefighter is to leave the burning building if their radios no longer work.
- PUB DATE: 10/21/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: toledo blade

Driver killed after crashing into Florida fire truck

A Hillsborough County Fire Rescue truck was involved in a deadly crash Tuesday afternoon, the Florida Highway Patrol said. According to troopers, the fire truck was responding around 2:30 to an unrelated car crash northbound on US 301 south of Franklin Road. A Lincoln MKZ sedan that was traveling southbound crossed over into the northbound lane, crashing into the fire truck for unknown reasons.
- PUB DATE: 10/21/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: FOX 13 News Tampa Bay

Indianapolis police: Man dances on ex's roof after setting house on fire

VIDEO - Police said a man stole his ex-girlfriend's car and drove it into a utility pole, set fire to her home and then climbed on the roof and danced during a standoff. Police said they found 25-year-old Matthew Russ sitting in a chair in his ex-girlfriend's driveway holding a butcher knife. Police shot at him with rubber bullets, then Russ retreated back into the home.
- PUB DATE: 10/21/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: wfsb-tv

Update: Tennessee city council drops bill that would ban firefighters from stopping for food

A proposal that would have banned Lebanon firefighters from stopping to eat while on the job will no longer move forward. City council voted to kill the resolution Tuesday night after the public and fire department made their opposition obvious. The resolution was sponsored by Councilwoman Kathy Warmath, who said she didn’t know until yesterday restrictions have already been in place dealing with the same issue.
- PUB DATE: 10/21/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WKRN-TV ABC 2 Nashville

Firefighters testify against former Illinois deputy chief in theft trial

Several of Ronald Pieri's colleagues from the Highwood Fire Department testified Tuesday afternoon about his work absences, early departures and time card disparities during the second day of the former deputy fire chief's criminal trial in Lake County Circuit Court. Pieri is being tried on felony charges of official misconduct, theft and false entry in a case brought by the Lake County State's Attorney's office in 2011.
- PUB DATE: 10/21/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: chicago tribune

2 EMS workers stabbed in Detroit

Two city of Detroit emergency medical service workers were slashed and stabbed in the face and hands early this morning in the Cass Corridor while on a call to help a woman. Attacked by an "agitated" man armed with a sharp object, the female and male EMTs were within "inches of dying" after driving themselves to Detroit Receiving Hospital, said interim Executive Fire Commissioner Eric Jones.
- PUB DATE: 10/20/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: detroit free press

Tennessee town's firefighters may not be able to stop for food while on duty

Should firefighters be able to use the department fire engines to stop at the grocery store or a restaurant to get something to eat? That’s what Lebanon City Council is debating and the fire department is not happy about it. Council members will vote on a resolution Tuesday night that would stop firefighters from using fire engines to grocery shop or eat at restaurants while on the job.
- PUB DATE: 10/20/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WKRN-TV ABC 2 Nashville

5 dead in fire that roars through Kentucky apartments

Five people - three children and two adults - died in a large fire that roared through several apartments in a row of 1840s brick homes early Tuesday, said Maysville Mayor David Cartmell. "It's a pretty grisly scene right now," he told FOX19 NOW in a live interview, adding that the incident is very upsetting to the community.
- PUB DATE: 10/20/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WAVE-TV NBC 3 Louisville

Incident commander loses post after firefighter-rancher confrontation at Idaho wildfire

The incident commander of a team of firefighters who left a line because of their fear of unhappy local landowners has lost his post. Chris Ourada has been taken off the Great Basin Type 1 Incident Management Team, one of 15 elite units brought in to manage large fires and other national emergencies, such as hurricanes.
- PUB DATE: 10/20/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: idaho statesman

Close calls with drones spur federal registration of owners

Concerned about rising reports of close calls and safety risks involving drones, the government announced Monday it will require many of the increasingly popular unmanned aircraft to be registered. Pilot sightings of drones have doubled since last year, including near manned airplanes and at major sporting events, and there are reports of interference with wildfire-fighting operations, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said at a news conference.
- PUB DATE: 10/20/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: U.S. News & World Report

Floor collapse at condo fire injures three Austin firefighters

A collapse during a fire at a west Austin condominium complex sent three firefighters to the hospital with burns Sunday morning. While fighting the fire, the second floor gave way and burning debris trapped Lt. Jeremy Burke, Firefighter Wille Cook, and Firefighter Jimmy Casares, according to the Austin Fire Department.
- PUB DATE: 10/19/2015 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KXAN-TV NBC 36 Austin


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