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National Fire News

The high-tech fix that's helping to better protect DC Fire & EMS members on COVID-19 calls

VIDEO: Over the last few weeks of the coronavirus pandemic, we've seen so many people expressing gratitude for first responders on the front lines - and rightfully so. On Thursday, DC Fire and EMS said it was the department's turn to say thank you. "What this whole experience has taught me is that you have to look to your neighbors and you have to rely on your community," said Dr.
- PUB DATE: 4/24/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WJLA-TV ABC 7 Washington DC

Old school buses converted into ambulances to evacuate Virginia nursing homes

A dozen employees are working through the pandemic on the assembly floor of First Line Tech in Fredericksburg, Virginia. They're seeing nursing homes around the country overwhelmed by COVID-19 infections, and racing to provide a way for fire departments to evacuate the elderly safely and quickly. "We took an old school bus and designed a kit that can go right inside of it to convert it over and handle six, 12, 18 patients," First Line Tech CEO Amit Kapoor said.
- PUB DATE: 4/24/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WVEC-TV ABC 13 Hampton

Rhode Island firefighters using Zoom to consult with doctors during rescue calls

As they deal with a pandemic, the city’s fire rescue crews are trying out a new technique. From the scene of the rescue call, the Providence firefighters make contact with a doctor, via Zoom, on an iPad. The doctor’s input, based in part on vital signs and other information that firefighters provide electronically, can head off an unnecessary emergency visit to the hospital.
- PUB DATE: 4/23/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Providence Journal

IAFC: Help Advocate for Additional Funding for Fire and EMS Departments

The IAFC needs your help in measuring the effects of state and local government social distancing orders on local fire and EMS department budgets, including the long-term implications on resources and staffing. IAFC President and Chairman of the Board, Chief Gary Ludwig, created an Economic Crisis Task Force to help fire and EMS chiefs plan and prepare for the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- PUB DATE: 4/23/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: IAFC.org

Fire Departments Join Neighbors App To Make Communities Safer

While people are staying apart, the Neighbors App by Ring is helping communities come together. This free app is a valuable resource for information from fellow neighbors as well as official sources, such as local law enforcement agencies and, now, fire departments. On April 21, Ring announced that fire departments across the country are joining Neighbors.
- PUB DATE: 4/23/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Batavia Patch

Created for Anthrax Attacks, Pennsylvania Researchers' Cold Plasma Air Filter Is Now Being Prepped to Face COVID-19

Researchers at Drexel University’s C. & J. Nyheim Plasma Institute are modifying an air sterilization system they created to combat the threat of anthrax attacks post-9-11 in hopes it can now help to ward off COVID-19. “As public health research reveals how the virus can persist and be transmitted through the air in indoor environments, it will become increasingly important for engineers to develop air sterilization technology that can neutralize or remove it,” said Alexander Fridman, PhD, director of the Nyheim Plasma Institute and a professor in Drexel’s College of Engineering, who is a leading National Science Foundation-supported effort to develop technology that can neutralize the novel coronavirus.
- PUB DATE: 4/23/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Drexel Now

Monster Monument in Delaware lit up in support of health care workers, first responders

One of Dover International Speedway’s most recognizable attractions stands in support of local and national health care workers and first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Monster Monument at Victory Plaza, the symbol for Dover International Speedway throughout the sports and entertainment landscape, is bathed in blue light during the evening and overnight hours in support of those who are in the front lines of the fight against the spread of COVID-19.
- PUB DATE: 4/23/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Delaware State News

New EMT communication cards will help West Virginia first responders better serve patients who have trouble hearing or speaking

St. Albans firefighters and EMTs carry a lot of heavy equipment around to help keep people safe. Now they have a much lighter tool to work with as well. “When we do a treatment ‘is your pain better or worse, the same?’ and I thought ‘that’s not good enough’ we have to have something that we can use to communicate more effectively,” says Lt.
- PUB DATE: 4/22/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WOWK-TV CBS 13 Huntington

Could a New Ultraviolet Technology Fight the Spread of Coronavirus?

A technique that zaps airborne viruses with a narrow-wavelength band of UV light shows promise for curtailing the person-to-person spread of COVID-19 in indoor public places. The technology, developed by Columbia University’s Center for Radiological Research, uses lamps that emit continuous, low doses of a particular wavelength of ultraviolent light, known as far-UVC, which can kill viruses and bacteria without harming human skin, eyes and other tissues, as is the problem with conventional UV light.
- PUB DATE: 4/22/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Columbia News

Georgia veterans answer 911 calls as first responders get stretched during coronavirus pandemic

For one Good Samaritan group in southern Georgia, good things come in threes. The coronavirus has sickened 19,398 people in Georgia and killed 774 people as of this writing, straining the resources of first responders. The Community Warriors, a volunteer group known for its benevolent deeds in and around Columbus, Ga.
- PUB DATE: 4/22/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Fox News

'FrontLine WarmLine' launches to help Maine’s health care workers and first responders manage emotional toll of COVID-19

Governor Janet Mills' administration announced Tuesday the launch of a new volunteer phone support service, the FrontLine WarmLine, to help Maine health care workers and first responders manage the stress of serving on the front lines of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. The FrontLine Warmline serves health care professionals, such as physicians, nurses and counselors, as well as emergency medical services personnel, law enforcement, and others who are directly responding to the pandemic in Maine.
- PUB DATE: 4/22/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WCSH-TV NBC 6 Portland

Michigan: Engineers MacGyver Shipping Container to Sanitize COVID-19 PPE

The shortage of PPE is getting worse, with hundreds of medical professionals and first responders paying the ultimate price. But if the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that people are resourceful. Scientists at a crime lab in Kansas, for example, deduced a method to use evidence drying cabinets to decontaminate N95 masks for multiple uses.
- PUB DATE: 4/22/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Labratory Equipment

Mayor: New York City Will Throw Ticker-Tape Parade For Coronavirus Heroes, Assemble Strategic Reserve Of Supplies

New York City will throw the “biggest, best” ticker-tape parade for its health care workers and first responders once the city reopens from the coronavirus pandemic, the mayor announced Tuesday. “We will honor those who saved us,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “The first thing we will do, before we think about anything else, is we will take a time, as only New York City can do, to throw the biggest, best parade to honor these heroes.
- PUB DATE: 4/21/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WLNY-TV CBS 55 Riverhead

Coronavirus in Ohio: Circleville police set up decontamination station for first responders

Pickaway County first responders now can have peace of mind about preventing the spread of COVID-19, thanks to the county’s new decontamination station. The makeshift, multiroom station is set up at the Circleville Police Department. The whole setup cost a few hundred dollars to make from items at a hardware store.
- PUB DATE: 4/21/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Columbus Dispatch

Coronavirus threatens retirement benefits for some volunteer firefighters

Precautions to protect vulnerable volunteer firefighters from COVID-19 could lessen some retirement benefits for those going on fewer calls during the pandemic, according to fire officials. Some fire departments are asking older volunteers or those with underlying health conditions — those most likely to suffer serious medical problems or death from the coronavirus — to stay home.
- PUB DATE: 4/21/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Newsday

Virginia Fire-EMS to use Frogg Togg coats in place of disposable medical gowns

With a nationwide shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), Roanoke Fire-EMS has come up with creative ways to provide the same protection to their personnel with reusable materials. They say this including the use of new Frogg Togg coats in place of disposable medical gowns. This new personal protective equipment uses a specific material that is impervious to bloodborne pathogens and other bodily fluids, giving their crew the same protection of a disposable medical gown, according to the department, They say the coat is easy to decontaminate, gives their providers a better range of motion and is reusable, alleviating our need for disposable medical gowns.
- PUB DATE: 4/21/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WSET-TV ABC 13 Lynchburg

How drones are being used to combat COVID-19

The COVID-19, a global pandemic that caused more than 164,000 deaths and infected more than 2 million people worldwide, make us rethink how governments, organizations, and societies around the world can work with minimum or without physical contact. Today, the frontline warriors and heroes of the nation are doctors, medical staff, local police, and private security guards and refuse collectors.
- PUB DATE: 4/21/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Geospatial World

COVID-19 realities forcing fire chiefs in the western U.S. to propose significant budget cuts

Fire chiefs through the western United States are being asked to propose budget cuts between 10% and 25% for their departments—often including EMS service—as local governments try to fund operations in the face of dramatic tax-revenue declines caused by stay-at-home measures designed to slow the spread of COVID-19.
- PUB DATE: 4/20/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: IWCE’s Urgent Communications

West Virginia University using smart rings, apps and algorithms to identify COVID-19 infections before symptoms occur

For three years the West Virginia University Rockefeller Neuroscience Center has equipped 30,000 people with smart rings and smartphone apps to determine, before any signs of illness, whether they had influenza. So it required only some computer algorithm adjustments to launch a pilot project in March to monitor 200 front-line healthcare professionals for COVID-19 and determine the presence of infection and potential for contagion 24 hours before flu symptoms emerge.
- PUB DATE: 4/20/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette