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National Fire News

Smoke alarm recall: Nearly half a million might not alert consumers of fire

Nearly half a million smoke alarms nationwide are being recalled due to a risk of failure to alert consumers to a fire, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said Wednesday. About 452,000 Kidde dual-sensor (photoelectric and ionization) smoke alarms sold in the U.S. and another 40,000 sold in Canada may be defective, the warning states.
- PUB DATE: 3/22/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WNEP.com

Update: Maine fire department stand-down lifted after gear found in compliance

Limington town officials say a “stand-down” order for the fire department has been lifted after it was determined that its firefighting gear meets Maine standards. Selectmen in the York County town on Saturday ordered volunteer firefighters not to respond to fires because it appeared their gear was out of compliance with national standards that say the equipment should be retired 10 years after it is manufactured.
- PUB DATE: 3/22/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Portland Press Herald

Supervisor apologizes for tearing into San Francisco fire chief while she was fighting blaze

Supervisor Aaron Peskin had harsh words about the Fire Department response to Saturday’s fire in North Beach. Photo: Santiago Mejia, The Chronicle Photo: Santiago Mejia, The Chronicle IMAGE 1 OF 16 Supervisor Aaron Peskin had harsh words about the Fire Department response to Saturday’s fire in North Beach.
- PUB DATE: 3/21/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle (SFGate.com)

Judge sides with Houston firefighters, orders city secretary to verify pay parity petition

A state district judge on Tuesday ordered Houston's city secretary to finish reviewing firefighters' petition asking for pay parity with police, giving her until April 27 to validate the eight-month-old signatures. Firefighters submitted a petition last July asking for a ballot referendum that would grant firefighters the same pay as police officers of equal rank, but City Secretary Anna Russell did not validate it in time for the November election.
- PUB DATE: 3/21/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Houston Chronicle

Veteran firefighter chosen to lead Massachusetts department

Deputy Fire Chief of Operations John F. Sullivan announced Tuesday that he is leaving the department after more than 30 years to lead the Brookline Fire Department. The deputy chief, who will start as chief in Brookline March 26, has served for eight years in his current post, and been present at some of the seminal moments in department history.
- PUB DATE: 3/21/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Worcester Telegram & Gazette

IAFC Focused on Promoting Community Preparedness Against Wildfire

Fire Chief Thomas Jenkins, IAFC president and chairman of the board, testified today before a Congressional panel that the IAFC is concerned about the escalating costs and damages caused by wildland fires. According to the National Interagency Fire Center, there were approximately 71,500 wildland fires reported last year, which burned almost 10 million acres.
- PUB DATE: 3/21/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: About the International Association of Fire Chiefs

Update: Florida fire chief agrees to random drug testing after called out by union

Hillsborough County Fire Rescue Chief Dennis Jones has agreed to submit to random drug tests as he seeks to require the same of rank and file firefighters and paramedics. The fire union is voting this week on a new contract that for the first time requires random drug testing of the county's first responders.
- PUB DATE: 3/21/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Tampa Bay Times and Tampa Bay.com

New York town council decides against fire department study in midst of contract dispute

Mayor Joseph M. Butler on Monday night received no support for hiring the same consultant that completed a study on the operations of the city’s fire department three years ago. City Council members Cody J. Horbacz. Mark C. Walczyk and Ryan Henry-Wilkinson voted against paying $24,000 to Center for Public Safety Management, a Washington, D.
- PUB DATE: 3/20/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Watertown Daily Times

President praises New Hampshire city's Safe Station program, calls it 'really quite incredible'

President Donald Trump told the city’s first responders they are saving lives — and “the whole country is talking about it” — during a brief visit Monday afternoon to Manchester Central Station, the birthplace of the city’s Safe Station program. First lady Melania Trump, Mayor Joyce Craig and Gov. Chris Sununu joined the President when the presidential motorcade stopped at Central Fire Station en route to Manchester Community College, where Trump gave a speech detailing his “Initiative to Stop Opioid Abuse.
- PUB DATE: 3/20/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Manchester Union Leader

Pennsylvania Firefighter Recovering after Critical Injury at Brush Fire

Volunteers in Lycoming County aren't sure how long it will take for a firefighter to recover after she was critically injured Sunday on the job. The 62-year-old woman was helping to put out a fire when a truck ran over her. The injured firefighter asked that we not use her name in the story but tells Newswatch 16 she's doing well.
- PUB DATE: 3/20/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WNEP-TV Newswatch 16

Sonim CEO: New devices likely to be ‘very heavily subsidized’ for FirstNet subscribers

Expected subsidization from AT&T could mean that FirstNet subscribers will pay little or no upfront money to purchase new Sonim Technologies devices—a development that is just part of the economics “sea change” happening within the industry, Sonim Technologies CEO Bob Plaschke said last week during IWCE 2018.
- PUB DATE: 3/20/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Urgent Communications

Indianapolis first responders seeing ODs from bug spray-laced drugs

KD. Katie. Zombie. A common street name for a variety of drugs, KD has taken on a frightening form on the city's east side. Users writhing on the ground, wide-eyed and struggling to breathe. Standing but moving in slow motion. Sweating. Convulsing. Indianapolis firefighter Scott Lebherz told IndyStar this variation of KD can take many forms — marijuana, spice, tobacco, even banana leaves — but shares a common trait: all laced with a heavy-duty bug spray, like Raid.
- PUB DATE: 3/20/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Indianapolis Star

Michigan firefighter accidentally shoots himself fighting brush fire

A firefighter accidentally shot himself in the groin while battling a grass fire off westbound 1-94, authorities said. The Athens firefighter had a concealed-pistol license, police told WWMT Newschannel 3. Emmett Township on Monday, March 19, called for an ambulance to the 100 mile marker of I-94 to a report that a firefighter had been shot in the groin area.
- PUB DATE: 3/20/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: MLive

Fire chief selection clause in union contract unique to Illinois city

With Springfield Fire Chief Barry Helmerichs retiring at the end of the month, Mayor Jim Langfelder is interviewing Springfield Fire Department members to find a replacement. Langfelder is mandated to limit his search to the existing force because of a clause in the firefighters’ contract that stipulates the hire must be internal.
- PUB DATE: 3/19/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: State Journal-Register

Florida city will not appeal pregnant firefighter discrimination case

The city will not appeal the discrimination and retaliation case it lost to a pregnant firefight last year. That means the court case is over. Tampa Fire Rescue will obey a federal judge’s order and re-hire Tanja Vidovic, the firefighter it fired the day after she filed suit in March 2016. The city will also pay the $245,000 in damages the jury awarded her in December.
- PUB DATE: 3/19/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Tampa Bay Times

San Francisco supervisor rips fire chief as North Beach building burns

San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin criticized Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White as a residential and commercial building in his district burned, saying that firefighters had been slow to pour water on the blaze and that he had been unable to reach the chief as the emergency unfolded. “This was an abject failure of the Fire Department,” said Peskin, leader of the board’s progressive faction, as smoke poured from the building across from Washington Square Park in North Beach on Saturday night.
- PUB DATE: 3/19/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle (SFGate.com)

Maine town orders fire department to ‘stand down’ because of outdated gear

Limington’s Board of Selectmen has ordered its volunteer fire department to “stand down until further notice” while the town tries to bring its firefighting protective gear into compliance with national standards. Selectmen said in a statement released Sunday that the town’s emergency rescue crews will continue to respond to all medical emergency calls during the stand-down, which is expected to last a few days, but in the meantime the town will rely on mutual aid from neighboring fire departments if a structure fire should break out.
- PUB DATE: 3/19/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Portland Press Herald

Update: Body Of Missing Tennessee Firefighter Found

The body of missing Nashville firefighter Jesse Reed has been recovered in Humphreys County. Reed went missing in the Tennessee River on March 6 after his vehicle was submerged. The search for Reed lasted 12 days. He was found around 11:15 a.m. Saturday in a cove about a half mile from where his vehicle went into the water.
- PUB DATE: 3/19/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WTVF-TV CBS 5 Nashville

Death toll from Florida bridge collapse up to 6 as crews work to clear the rubble

At least six fatalities have been confirmed following the collapse of a pedestrian bridge over Tamiami Trail on Thursday. But at a press conference held Friday morning at the Florida International University Tamiami campus, Miami-Dade Police Department director Juan J. Perez said the names of the people killed in the collapse would not be made public until their families had been notified.
- PUB DATE: 3/16/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Miami Herald

Florida union: Fire rescue chief should take random drug tests with firefighters

Hillsborough County firefighters and paramedics will vote on a new union contract next week that for the first time would require random drug testing. Union leadership says it is up in the air whether the contract will pass, citing growing discord between the rank and file and Fire Rescue Chief Dennis Jones.
- PUB DATE: 3/16/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: tbo.com