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National Fire News

Detroit firefighters 'bracing' for more arson as Angels Night ends

Firefighters in Detroit are reportedly “bracing” for another series of Devils Nights this Halloween after the city decided to end its annual volunteer-led anti-arson campaign, called Angels Night, according to a fire official. The decision to end Angels Night and replace it with a more celebratory community event, dubbed ‘Halloween in the D,’ was announced by the city late last year.
- PUB DATE: 10/15/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Detroit Free Press

Virginia firefighter killed, 3 injured after tractor-trailer rear-ends fire truck on Interstate

State police identified the Hanover firefighter killed Thursday night as Lt. Brad Clark. Clark was killed and three others firefighters were injured after their firetruck was rear-ended on I-295 in Hanover County Thursday night. "The trooper's preliminary investigation reveals that Hanover Fire Engine and EMS was on scene providing assistance with a two-vehicle crash with all of its emergency equipment activated, when a tractor-trailer traveling southbound struck the engine in the rear," Hill said.
- PUB DATE: 10/12/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WTVR-TV CBS 6

Federal agency faults Texas department's tactics in fire that killed one of its own

A San Antonio firefighter died while battling a blaze in the Spartan Gym last year after the Fire Department failed to safely search the building, keep track of fellow rescuers and adequately ventilate the smoke-filled structure, a federal report released Thursday states. The review by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, an agency that seeks to improve workplace safety, concluded that some of the San Antonio Fire Department’s tactics actually made conditions worse inside the gym where firefighter Scott Deem, 31, died after he became lost.
- PUB DATE: 10/12/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: San Antonio Express News

Firefighter Helmet Cam Captures Dramatic California Rescue

VIDEO - A fire in a vacant home in Fresno almost killed a homeless man but firefighters arrived in time to cut a hole in the side of the building and pull him to safety. The dramatic rescue was captured on a video camera attached to a firefighter’s helmet. Fire Chief Kerri Donis praised the heroism of those who saved the homeless man but said the rescue simply underscores the larger problem of too many vacant buildings in Fresno catching fire.
- PUB DATE: 10/12/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Firehouse

Massachusetts natural gas explosions: Feds say Columbia Gas issued faulty work orders

Federal investigators probing the deadly natural gas explosions that rocked three northern Massachusetts towns last month are blaming faulty work orders given to the work crews by the local utility. The investigators say Columbia Gas failed to instruct the workers to deactivate pressure sensors when taking an old cast-iron gas main out of service.
- PUB DATE: 10/12/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: USA Today

Four PSOs to become full-time firefighters in Iowa town

Four public safety officers are being moved to full-time positions at the fire department, and the Cedar Falls Firefighters Association says the transfer violates state civil service law. Scott Dix, Cedar Falls Fire Local 1366 president, announced the move in a press release Wednesday. Dix said the union will legally challenge the move.
- PUB DATE: 10/12/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier

California Firefighters Survive ‘Near Miss’ With Freight Train Battling Oakley Blaze

Firefighters battling a two-alarm blaze at an Oakley tire company early Wednesday were nearly hit by a speeding freight train on tracks they thought had been closed off. The train tracks are only a few feet from the back of the auto shop that the fire began in. The East Contra Costa County Fire District requested for train traffic to be stopped while they fought the fire.
- PUB DATE: 10/11/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KPIX-TV CBS 5 San Francisco

Ousted Maine fire chief loses appeal of termination during tense meeting

A divided Ogunquit Board of Selectmen voted Tuesday to uphold the termination of the town fire chief following a tense meeting that culminated in more than 200 residents being asked to leave. The termination appeal hearing focused on the firing of Mark O’Brien, who had served with the Ogunquit Fire Department for 37 years before he was placed on paid administrative leave in June while town officials investigated complaints about his management style and interaction with his staff.
- PUB DATE: 10/11/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Portland Press Herald

Ambulance company has spent nearly $22M on California ballot measure that could shield it from lawsuits, save it millions

In a ploy that could save the company millions of dollars and potentially protect it from ongoing lawsuits, a private ambulance outfit has poured $21,900,786 to date into the statewide campaign to pass Proposition 11, a measure on the November ballot that regulates lunch and rest breaks for people who work in ambulances.
- PUB DATE: 10/11/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Mission Local

Illinois county officials seeing surge of accidental 911 calls from Apple Watches

Officials in Lake County have been seeing a rise of accidental 911 calls from residents' smart watches. When Apple released its new watch about one year ago, it came with a new feature that lets users press and hold a button on the side of the device to call 911 for help. Since then, 911 call centers across the country, and in the Chicago area, have been experiencing a problem with accidental calls.
- PUB DATE: 10/11/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WGNTV.com

Texas firefighter diagnosed with cancer wins long legal battle

After a long legal battle, a judge ruled in favor of Homer Salinas - a Mission firefighter denied workmen's compensation after he was diagnosed with kidney cancer. "When I went ahead and submitted all the paperwork, the TML, which is the insurance carrier for the city, denied me," Salinas said. The city's insurance carrier claimed that his diagnosis was unrelated to his work and refused to cover treatment costs, but Salinas appealed that decision last November and finally got the answer he'd been waiting for.
- PUB DATE: 10/11/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: ValleyCentral.com

Virginia firefighter named new North Carolina fire chief

Durham has named a northern Virginia firefighter and mayor its new fire chief. Robert J. Zoldos II will start work Nov. 13, replacing interim Chief Chris Iannuzzi. Zoldos is the former three-term mayor of the small town of Lovettsville, Virginia, which is in Loudoun County in northern Virginia. He has worked for the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department for 25 years and is the deputy chief of the department’s health, safety and wellness division.
- PUB DATE: 10/10/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Durham Herald-Sun & Chapel Hill Herald

Caught on Dashcam: SUV Crashes Into Car, Striking Texas Police Officers, Firefighters

VIDEO - Dashcam video from the Wilmer Police Department captured a scary moment Saturday when an SUV lost control on a wet highway and crashed into police officers and firefighters responding to a separate incident. The crash, which everyone survived, happened Saturday morning in Hutchins on the eastbound side of Interstate 20 between Interstate 45 and Dowdy Ferry Road, according to Wilmer police.
- PUB DATE: 10/10/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KXAS-TV NBC 5 Dallas - Fort Worth

Minnesota appeals court sides with firefighters union in dispute

Brainerd city officials committed unfair labor practices by eliminating full-time firefighter positions in 2015, moves that led to to the elimination of the firefighters union, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled. In a published opinion posted Monday, Oct. 8, the appeals court reversed part of a Crow Wing County District Court decision that had sided with the city in a lawsuit filed by the Firefighters Union Local 4725 and union President Mark Turner.
- PUB DATE: 10/10/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Brainerd Dispatch

Connecticut Firefighter on Leave After Being Found Unresponsive on Duty

The New Haven Fire Department has launched an internal investigation after a firefighter was found unresponsive while on duty. “Any time one of our units does not respond, it is a great concern of all of us,” Chief John Alston told NBC Connecticut. “Whether that be a firefighter in distress or even a mechanical issue, we take all of it seriously.
- PUB DATE: 10/10/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: NBC Connecticut

Emotional video from Indiana fire department is a powerful take on the Lip Sync Challenge

VIDEO - The Yorktown Fire Department is taking a popular social media trend to an emotional, yet powerful new level. The all-volunteer department collaborated with local filmmaker Hayden Goldsworthy to produce an eight-minute video for a "Lip Sync Challenge." But instead of doing what many organizations have done — make a goofy, costume-filled parody of a song — their video is more serious and highlights a troubling trend among groups of first responders: suicides left more officers and firefighters dead last year than all line-of-duty deaths combined.
- PUB DATE: 10/10/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Muncie Star Press

Illinois city officials: 5 police officers, 9 firefighters among proposed cuts to close expected deficit

Evanston city officials have proposed cutting nearly 40 jobs — including five police officers and nine firefighters — slashing the public health department budget, closing one recreation center, and closing and selling a fire station in order to deal with a $7.4 million deficit expected in the city’s fiscal year 2019 budget.
- PUB DATE: 10/9/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Chicago Tribune

After throttling firefighters, Verizon praises itself in new ad

Verizon is touting its commitment to firefighters and public safety in a new ad, released weeks after Verizon throttled the Santa Clara County fire department while it was fighting California's largest-ever wildfire. "From coast to coast and everywhere in between, people rely on us to ensure they can communicate when they need it most," Verizon said in an introduction to the new ad.
- PUB DATE: 10/9/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: ars Technica

Family called to firefighting battled California’s worst blaze together

Gold Ridge volunteer firefighters Tonia and Vail Bello and their son and daughter were in Hollister last year for an early October weekend and asleep when the flurry of texts and pages began. Are you coming? firefighters and friends asked. When can you be here? They woke their kids, gathered the dog, climbed into the family SUV and sped north on Highway 101.
- PUB DATE: 10/9/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Can firefighter training be too aggressive?

You are at the training grounds, moving through some hoseline deployment evolutions. It’s a beautiful day, and everyone is enjoying the opportunity to get some hands-on training completed. The training division has created timed evolutions, and it’s become somewhat of a competition between adjacent companies.
- PUB DATE: 10/9/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: FireRescue1