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National Fire News

Ex-con accused of road rage beating death of NYC firefighter Faizal Coto charged with murder

The ex-con accused of beating a FDNY firefighter to death in a road-rage incident faced a line of angry Bravest on Tuesday as cops walked him out of a Brooklyn police station. Joseph Desmond, 29, a reputed Latin Kings gang member, kept his head down as he exited the 62nd Precinct stationhouse in Bath Beach and filed past the silent firefighters.
- PUB DATE: 12/19/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: New York Daily News

Marine vet with PTSD sues New Jersey city over rejection for job as firefighter

A former Marine diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after combat service in Afghanistan filed a discrimination lawsuit against the city last week after being rejected for a job as a city firefighter. Brett D’Alessandro claimed in his lawsuit that he finished third on a civil service test for one of the Paterson Fire Department jobs in 2017 and was then sent to the Institute for Forensic Psychology, which is based in Oakland, for an evaluation.
- PUB DATE: 12/19/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: North Jersey.com (Bergen County Record & Herald News)

California woman posed as a firefighter's wife to get $2,000 in Holy fire donations

Investigators on Tuesday arrested a 28-year-old woman suspected of posing as a firefighter’s wife and collecting more than $2,000 in donations for firefighters battling the Holy fire that she then kept for herself, authorities said. Ashley Bemis, of San Juan Capistrano, posted photos on multiple social media pages of herself and her “fictitious firefighter husband” asking for donations, said the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
- PUB DATE: 12/19/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Los Angeles Times

Judge denies efforts to block Houston firefighter pay parity amendment

A state district judge on Tuesday dissolved a temporary restraining order blocking implementation of the voter-approved charter amendment granting pay parity to Houston firefighters and denied further attempts by the city and police union to delay the measure. State District Judge Randy Wilson, ruling in favor of the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association, decided that voters were informed of the amendment’s price tag — more than $100 million a year — before the election and approved it anyway.
- PUB DATE: 12/19/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Houston Chronicle

California Doctor Charged in Opioid Case Is Linked to DUI Crash That Killed Fire Captain

An Orange County doctor has been arrested on suspicion of illegally selling powerful narcotics to a man who is suspected in a DUI crash that killed a Costa Mesa fire captain, as well as selling drugs to five people who went on to fatally overdose, local officials with the Justice Department announced Tuesday.
- PUB DATE: 12/19/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KTLA News 5

CAL Fire Report: Washington firefighter was napping when run over by truck

A firefighter who was run over by a pickup truck during last month's deadly Southern California wildfire was sleeping in an unmarked area but received prompt care for his minor injuries, a new state fire report said. South Kitsap Fire & Rescue Lt. Terry Geiselman, 46, was with a team from Washington state that had arrived to help battle the Woolsey Fire that ripped through communities west of Los Angeles from Ventura County southward to Malibu.
- PUB DATE: 12/18/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: San Luis Obispo County Tribune

Ohio firefighter-paramedics suspended for taking, distributing photos of patients

Two Columbus firefighter-paramedics were suspended without pay for taking photographs of medical patients without their permission and sending them to others. The Department of Public Safety announced the suspensions Monday afternoon. Firefighter-paramedic Mike McConnell, an eight-year veteran of the division, admitted to taking photographs and video in 2016 of a patient.
- PUB DATE: 12/18/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Columbus Dispatch

Maryland county names first female fire chief, a 29-year department veteran

When Christine Uhlhorn was in kindergarten and was asked to draw a picture of what she wanted to do when she grew up, she drew a firetruck. “My family has over 250 years in the fire service,” said Uhlhorn, 50. “I never questioned it. There was nothing else I ever wanted to do.” Uhlhorn, a third generation firefighter, was named Monday by County Executive Calvin Ball as the new fire chief of Howard County’s Department Fire and Rescue Services.
- PUB DATE: 12/18/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Baltimore Sun

Virginia county meeting turns into screaming match over EMT accused of white supremacy

The Board of Supervisors in Patrick County declined to pull funding from the JEB Stuart volunteer rescue squad, but it did pass a motion stating the county condemns acts of hate and white supremacy. This comes after the entire country now knows a part-time paid emergency medical technician in the county frequently co-hosts a podcast, the Daily Shoah, that routinely makes racist jokes and pro-white comments.
- PUB DATE: 12/18/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WSLS-TV

New Mexico firefighter: Still battling blazes after 45 years

Ron Herrera could have stopped fighting fires years ago. But what exactly, he wonders, would he do with himself then? Honored Monday for wrapping his 45th year with Albuquerque Fire Rescue, the 66-year-old lieutenant has now logged the equivalent of more than two full careers with the department. He once worked alongside the fathers – and, in at least one case, the grandfather – of some of his current peers.
- PUB DATE: 12/18/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Albuquerque Journal

FDNY fire marshal: LODD probe of firefighter killed on film set was rigged

The investigation of a Harlem building blaze that killed a firefighter and disrupted production of a movie starring Edward Norton was rigged so Norton’s production company -- which was using the building for filming – would escape blame, an FDNY fire marshal claims. Fire Marshal Scott Specht, the lead investigator in the fire, accuses Chief Fire Marshal Thomas Kane, his deputy J.
- PUB DATE: 12/17/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: New York Daily News

Former Indiana chief sues department over back OT pay

A former fire chief has filed a federal lawsuit against the Center Township Fire Department for more than 330 hours of overtime. Ernie Campbell alleges in his suit that he was fired over a time-off request and did not receive his compensatory time or pay for more than eight weeks since he began working for the department in 1989.
- PUB DATE: 12/17/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Lebanon Reporter

Wisconsin squad to hire temps for EMS

The Burlington Rescue Squad will hire temporary workers to help fill time slots for emergency medical technicians. In an agreement between the nonprofit squad and the city, the city will handle the hiring of the temporary workers but their salary will be paid for by the volunteer squad. The squad, a private entity run under the auspices of the Burlington Rotary Club, also serves the Town of Burlington.
- PUB DATE: 12/17/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Racine Journal Times

Retired Massachusetts firefighters staff Worcester stations during Christopher Roy’s funeral

Retired Worcester firefighter John Griffin recalled how much it meant nearly two decades ago when other city employees stepped in to relieve the city’s fire personnel while they mourned their six colleagues killed in the Worcester Cold Storage and Warehouse Co. fire. Saturday, Mr. Griffin and some of his fellow retirees from the department will pay that favor forward to the city’s current firefighters when they grieve for Christopher J.
- PUB DATE: 12/17/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Worcester Telegram & Gazette

Florida firefighters rescue woman, car from oncoming freight train

VIDEO: Orlando firefighters are being credited with helping to save a woman and her car after they got stuck on railroad tracks in downtown as a freight train approached. The rescue was captured on cellphone video by Nolan Thompson on Wednesday night. According to Orlando fire officials, people started banging on the doors to Fire Station 1 at approximately 11:20 p.
- PUB DATE: 12/17/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WKMG-TV CBS 6 Click Orlando

Fallen Massachusetts Firefighter's Ladder 4 gets prepped for funeral services

For years, they’ve watched from across the street as the trucks go in and out of the Park Avenue fire station, protecting the city and its residents. Now Harris Auto Body is returning the favor, giving two fire trucks a final detailing in preparation for Firefighter Christopher J. Roy’s funeral services.
- PUB DATE: 12/14/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Worcester Telegram & Gazette

911 call logs reveal terrifying moments at onset of Camp Fire

At 6:33 a.m. on Nov. 8, a Butte County dispatcher answered what was among the first emergency calls in what would become the deadliest wildfire in California history: A “powerline transformer sparked and there is a fire,” the Magalia caller reported. By just after 8 a.m., residents of Concow and Magalia were phoning in a panic — some of them trapped and needing rescue and others frantically alerting authorities to parents and grandparents in harm’s way, according to Butte County dispatchers’ logs.
- PUB DATE: 12/14/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle

Baltimore County fire chief to retire

Two more top Baltimore County officials are leaving as County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. sets up his new administration. Fire Chief Kyrle Preis and planning director Andrea van Arsdale announced this week that they are retiring. They were two of the department heads who were not included in a list of appointments and reappointments that Olszewski sent to the Baltimore County Council last week.
- PUB DATE: 12/14/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Baltimore Sun

3 simple ways to avoid a fire department PR nightmare

Southwest Airlines recently found itself in hot water and had to apologize for the actions of one of its employees. That person, a gate agent, had joked with coworkers about the unusual name of one of the passengers on the flight, and later posted a picture of that passenger’s boarding pass to her personal social media account.
- PUB DATE: 12/14/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: FireRescue1

City of Houston files legal brief claiming fire pay parity amendment unconstitutional

The city of Houston has alleged in a legal claim that the voter-approved charter amendment granting firefighters equal pay to police officers is unconstitutional and preempted by Texas’ local government code, echoing a similar contention from the Houston Police Officers’ Union. The claim, filed in state district court as part of the police union’s lawsuit against the Houston Professional Fire Firefighters Association and the city, comes 10 days after a judge issued a temporary restraining order blocking implementation of Proposition B, which passed with 59 percent of the vote last month.
- PUB DATE: 12/14/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Houston Chronicle