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National Fire News

California helicopter feud could put patients and taxpayers at risk, documents say

Bickering between sheriff’s deputies and firefighters over which agency should conduct air rescues in Orange County has led to delays in getting injured people to hospitals, raising concerns that the running feud could impair medical care and put taxpayers at risk of unexpected legal payouts. In one 2016 incident, detailed in a letter by the county’s Emergency Medical Services director obtained by The Orange County Register, a conflict between sheriff’s deputies and Orange County Fire Authority paramedics delayed the transport of an elderly woman with a serious head injury.
- PUB DATE: 1/29/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Orange County Register

Maryland first responders seek to protect themselves from accidental overdose

In December, Baltimore County police evacuated their Woodlawn precinct overnight after three officers needed treatment for exposure to fentanyl, a potent opioid responsible for the skyrocketing number of deaths among drug users. Months earlier, a Harford County deputy needed the overdose reversal drug naloxone and two paramedics were treated for exposure after responding to an overdose call.
- PUB DATE: 1/26/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Baltimore Sun

Deadliest fire in years kills 37 in South Korean hospital

South Korea's deadliest fire in almost a decade has ripped through a hospital in the city of Miryang, killing at least 37 people and injuring more than 100. Authorities revised the death toll down from 39 on Friday afternoon, but a Miryang City official warned it could rise as at least 18 patients remained in critical condition.
- PUB DATE: 1/26/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: CNN

19 EMS agencies downgraded in New York county

Rockville Centre residents will continue receiving top care despite the state downgrading the fire department’s emergency medical services’ advanced life support, or ALS, certification to basic life support, BLS, earlier this month. The change came as the result of a new regulation that mandates narcotics to be on hand in all ALS ambulances, which requires special equipment and licensing.
- PUB DATE: 1/26/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: LIherald.com

New Hampshire firefighter’s widow testifies for cancer law funding

Christine Jameson fought back tears at the State Senate Tuesday as she recounted the death of her husband Kyle, 33, a Hampton firefighter. Her devastating loss was compounded by massive bills she didn’t know how she could pay. She shared her story with the Senate Finance Committee in support of a bill that would prevent other firefighters’ families from having to go through the same ordeal.
- PUB DATE: 1/26/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Seacoastonline.com

Massachusetts town's firefighters become first in state equipped with personal thermal imaging cameras

A blinking green light could mean the difference between life and death the next time fire targets a house in town. The lights are located on the side of the new masks firefighters began wearing on the job earlier this month. With funding approved by Town Meeting last year, Plymouth is the first town in the state to outfit all of its firefighters with the thermal imaging technology.
- PUB DATE: 1/26/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Plymouthwickedlocal.com

Indiana city, fire union saga adds another chapter at meeting

City officials and Kokomo firefighters added another chapter to their ongoing contract dispute saga Wednesday with a heated exchange between a board president and a retired firefighter. The incident followed the Kokomo Board of Public Works and Safety’s passing of a measure that approved the city’s HR Policy Manual as the standard for all non-contractual employees, including the fire department, which is currently acting without a contract for the first time.
- PUB DATE: 1/25/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Kokomo Tribune

Texas town settles claims from massive fertilizer blast that leveled part of town

West, the town where a fertilizer plant exploded after a fire, killing 15, has settled its claims with manufacturers and distributors of the product that exploded, according to a news release. CF Industries, El Dorado Chemical Company, International Chemical Company and Adair Grain will pay the city $10.
- PUB DATE: 1/25/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Plainview Daily Herald & My Plainview

Illinois firetruck destroyed in fire on interstate

PHOTO - A Normal Fire Department truck caught fire and was destroyed Wednesday morning on eastbound Interstate 74 near Knoxville. "Today, on the interstate on the way back from refurbishment, Engine 15 suffered some kind of mechanical failure in the rear end, which then caught fire," the fire department said in a Facebook post.
- PUB DATE: 1/25/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Pantagraph

Oscar nominated documentary on opioid crisis features West Virginia fire chief

When the 2018 Oscar nominations were read off on Tuesday morning, Heroin(e), the Netflix documentary about the opioid crisis in Huntington, West Virginia, was amongst the films on the list to run for the prestigious movie award. Heroin(e), with its 40 minute running length, was among five films in the Best Documentary Short category.
- PUB DATE: 1/25/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Ironton Tribune

Connecticut fire school struggles for funding

Local officials say the state is playing with fire by yanking funding to train some of Connecticut’s first responders. Regional fire schools help firefighters fulfill Occupational Safety and Health Administration requirements and qualify for certifications, and the facilities provide live-burn training.
- PUB DATE: 1/25/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Connecticut Post

Washington state Legislature takes up bills to restrict chemicals used in firefighting foam, packaging

Firefighting foams containing a class of chemicals linked to water pollution would face major new restrictions under a bill introduced in the Washington state House of Representatives. Some polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl chemicals — known as PFAS — have turned up in state waterways and drinking-water wells, and surveys indicate they are present in the blood of most Americans.
- PUB DATE: 1/24/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Seattle Times

Accused arsonist sets Nevada firefighter's personal truck ablaze in front of fire station

PHOTO - A bizarre car fire erupted at a Las Vegas fire station. Firefighters say a woman lit up a firefighter's personal truck in the parking lot. Las Vegas fire officials have no clue why the arsonist picked that truck. Snapshots show an early morning truck fire underneath U.S. 95 near North Casino Center Boulevard.
- PUB DATE: 1/24/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KSNV NBC 3 Las Vegas

Battle brews in New York over ambulance squad insurance billing

Municipal fire districts and private emergency squads are clashing at the statehouse over a measure that would allow volunteer fire departments to bill patients' insurers for ambulance runs. Some volunteer emergency medical services have been forced to close due to rising costs and their inability to find the revenue needed to sustain their operations and recover their expenses, said Thomas Rinaldi, president of the Association of Fire Districts of the State of New York.
- PUB DATE: 1/24/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Oneonta Daily Star

NFPA accepting nominations for advocacy award honoring influencers in fire and life safety

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is accepting applications for the 2018 James M. Shannon Advocacy Medal, which recognizes outstanding efforts of people taking a firm stance on fire and life safety issues. The James M. Shannon Advocacy Medal was established in honor of former NFPA President James Shannon.
- PUB DATE: 1/24/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: National Fire Protection Association

Virginia fire department utilizes app to alert citizen responders of cardiac arrests

Jordan Bond is proof that good ideas can come from unexpected places. For Bond, the place was Norway and the idea was a life-saving mobile phone application. "I noticed a medical study in Norway that studied whether people survived better if citizens did CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) versus if they didn't, using an app," said Bond, a senior firefighter/medic with the Newport News Fire Department the past eight years.
- PUB DATE: 1/24/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Newport News Daily Press

Indiana paramedic dies after ambulance hits car

A paramedic from Mishawaka died Monday morning after an ambulance hit a car while transporting a patient. Indiana State Police say the driver of the ambulance allegedly fell asleep prior to the crash. It happened at around 3:45 a.m. on U.S. 31 at State Road 218 in Miami County, Indiana. A preliminary investigation found that Christine Wesner, a 26-year-old from Wyatt, was driving the ambulance southbound and failed to stop at a red light.
- PUB DATE: 1/23/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WNDU-TV NBC 16 South Bend

Tesla ‘on Autopilot’ slams into parked fire truck on California freeway

VIDEO - A Tesla Model S reportedly on “Autopilot” smashed into the back of a fire truck parked at a freeway accident scene Monday morning, authorities said. The union representing Culver City firefighters whose truck was hit around 8:30 a.m. on Interstate 405 in Culver City tweeted that the Tesla driver said he had been using Tesla’s Autopilot system, which performs automated driving tasks.
- PUB DATE: 1/23/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Mercury News

New York town councilman proposes no pay raises until fire contract settled

City Councilman Mark C. Walczyk has proposed halting 2 percent raises to all management until the contract dispute with the firefighters’ union is settled. City Manager Sharon A. Addison asked for support for 2 percent pay raises for all city management positions in the 2018-19 budget while she and council members were discussing budget priorities during a Jan.
- PUB DATE: 1/23/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Watertown Daily Times

Update: Supervisors want to learn about Orange County's helicopter rescue war

The leaders of Orange County’s sheriff and fire departments have been summoned to appear before the Board of Supervisors out of concern that the helicopter war raging between the agencies may lead to a mid-air collision. Supervisor Todd Spitzer said Monday he is also concerned that sheriff’s deputies might start arresting Orange County Fire Authority pilots in the fight over who should conduct air rescues.
- PUB DATE: 1/23/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Orange County Register