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National Fire News

Just move! Bystanders block Washington firefighters from fighting fires... again

Kennewick police had to help firefighters get to a brushfire near the Burlington Store Saturday after onlookers kept getting in the way. First responders tell Action News they're seeing too much of this and they need your help. Officers say they understand the interest, it's human nature to watch events as they unfold but it's starting to impede their ability to do their job.
- PUB DATE: 6/24/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KEPR-TV CBS 19 Pasco

Navy SEAL deemed ‘too old’ wins fight to join FDNY

The Navy SEAL rejected to become a city firefighter for being too old can now be hired by the FDNY, thanks to action taken by state lawmakers Thursday. Special Operations Chief Shaun Donovan missed city employee age stipulations by six months and 25 days to join the FDNY in April. The Post first reported on his plight, sparking outrage and support for his bid to become a firefighter.
- PUB DATE: 6/24/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: New York Post

Oregon farmers, ranchers immune from liability while fighting wildfires

The Oregon Legislature has passed a bill to protect farmers and ranchers from liability while fighting dangerous wildfires, such as the 2018 Substation fire in Wasco and Sherman counties. Senate Bill 290 is similar to other Good Samaritan laws that encourage bystanders to assist people in emergencies without worrying about being sued if something goes wrong.
- PUB DATE: 6/24/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Capital Press

Illinois department working without 15th firefighter

After Joe Scarbeary retired from the Streator Fire Department last October, the Streator City Council decided not to hire a firefighter to replace him. The Streator Fire Department has been working without a 15th firefighter since May 2018, after Scarbeary had an injury that would eventually lead to his retirement and the city's decision not to rehire the position in November.
- PUB DATE: 6/24/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Illinois Times

9/11 Dust Linked to Prostate Cancer in First Responders

A possible link between World Trade Center dust and prostate cancer in first responders has been found by researchers. Exposure to dust at the New York City site after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks triggered chronic inflammation in the responders' prostates, which may have contributed to their cancer, according to the Mount Sinai Health researchers.
- PUB DATE: 6/24/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: U.S. News & World Report

VIDEO: Massive Fire, Series of Explosions Rock South Philadelphia Refinery When Vat of Butane Ignites

A massive fire and series of explosions rocked a South Philadelphia refinery complex, the largest on the East Coast, early Friday morning. The blast jolted people from their sleep miles from the scene, but no injuries were reported. The blaze at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery erupted shortly after 4 a.
- PUB DATE: 6/21/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WCAU-TV NBC 10 Philadelphia

Verizon Dethroned as Fastest Wireless Carrier in US

In the latest US wireless carrier showdown, a new king has been crowned. Verizon is no longer the fastest carrier, as AT&T has eclipsed them for the first time in five years. This news comes out of PCMag, who released their “Fastest Mobile Networks” report this morning for the 10th year in a row. With a top overall score of 97, AT&T appears to be the clear winner.
- PUB DATE: 6/21/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: DroidLife

Georgia: Despite Pay Bump, Firefighters Look To City To Commit More Funds

Atlanta City Council members passed a $677 million dollar budget Monday that included a pay bump for the city’s firefighters. But, some say it’s not enough. The budget includes a 3.1 percent increase for Atlanta firefighters, other fire rescue personnel and 911 dispatchers. It builds on a similar increase approved last year for firefighters and police officers.
- PUB DATE: 6/21/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WABE 90.1 FM

California chief orders decryption of firefighter radios

The Orange County Fire Authority has reversed its decision to encrypt its radio and dispatch communications that was initiated Monday. The encryption was part of the county’s upgrade of its 800 MHz Countywide-Coordinated Communications System, managed by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. Officials said the move was meant to improve public safety agencies’ ability to communicate with each other during an emergency, but because it blocks the public from tuning into its communications during disasters, the OCFA decided to reverse the encryption of more than 1,500 radios used by its firefighters and paramedics.
- PUB DATE: 6/21/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Los Angeles Times - Metered Site

3 Florida Firefighters Pay for Disabled Woman's Hotel to Keep Her out of Rain: 'She Cried With Us'

A woman who was left living on the streets of Florida with her dog after experiencing hardships was given refuge when a trio of kindhearted firefighters pitched in to get her, and her pup, shelter from the rain. It was around 2 a.m. on Tuesday when the Broward Sheriff’s Office received a call from a disabled homeless woman who complained of pain from standing too long, according to a post from the department’s Facebook page.
- PUB DATE: 6/21/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: People

Seattle relocates firefighters from station known as ‘Cancer House’ until more tests are done

Seattle authorities have moved firefighters out of a Northgate fire station where worries have long been raised about unhealthy conditions and links to cancer. Mayor Jenny Durkan and Fire Chief Harold Scoggins made the relocation decision this week, citing initial results from environmental testing recently done at Station 31 by the Seattle firefighters union, Local 27.
- PUB DATE: 6/20/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Seattle Times - Metered Site

NFPA’s annual U.S. Firefighter Fatalities report shows 64 on-duty deaths in 2018, continuing five-year trend of fewer than 70 deaths per year

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) released its annual “U.S. Firefighter Fatalities in the United States” report, which showed a total of 64 U.S. firefighter fatalities while on duty in 2018. This is the eighth time in the last 10 years that fewer than 70 on-duty deaths have occurred; the death toll is half what it was in the first five years that NFPA conducted this study.
- PUB DATE: 6/20/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: NFPA.org

A tale of two cities in California: Santa Maria funding public safety jobs as Lompoc prepares to make cuts

Santa Maria and Lompoc may be just 30 minutes apart but to some, its funding plans for public safety, city jobs and looming Calpers debt, feels worlds apart. Despite being more than $3 million in the red, the Lompoc City Council majority have long maintained that officials need to balance the budget before bringing a sales tax into the mix.
- PUB DATE: 6/20/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KCOY-TV CBS 12 Santa Maria

New Law in Alabama Helps Firefighters Diagnosed with Cancer

In Gene Necklaus’ 36-person Scottsboro Fire Department, he’s seen three firefighters in recent years diagnosed with occupational-related cancer. One of them died last year. The other two were able to return to work after treatment. One had $20,000 in out-of-pocket expenses, including deductibles and co-pays, Nicklaus said.
- PUB DATE: 6/20/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Alabama Daily News

Patient accused of shooting at ambulance crew trying to help him in southwest Houston

A patient pulled out a gun and opened fire during an ambulance call in southwest Houston, officials say. Firefighters responded to reports of a man having a heart attack in the 12000 block of Sela Lane when the patient, identified by police as 66-year-old David Pham, reportedly pulled out a gun and fired two shots.
- PUB DATE: 6/20/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KTRK-TV ABC 13 Houston

Fallen Alabama firefighter remembered for ‘infectious smile, servant’s heart’

A Springville firefighter who died during a training exercise Monday is being remembered for his love and dedication to the community he served. Fire Chief Richard Harvey on Tuesday identified fallen firefighter as Jared Wayne Echols, a 35-year-old husband and father of two young daughters who joined the department in January.
- PUB DATE: 6/19/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: AL.com

Kentucky firefighters frustrated that they couldn't respond to neighborhood fire

More than 60 firefighters tried to save a St. Matthews strip mall from burning to the ground Monday, but none of them were from the St. Matthews Fire Department. Johnny Wong, who who works right next door to the strip mall that was destroyed by the fire at China 1, witnessed the fire. "I went across the street, and when I realized that there was no firefighters at the scene after a few minutes, I was getting worried,” he said.
- PUB DATE: 6/19/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WDRB-TV Fox 41 Louisville

Fire department in Montana rolls out new peer support program for firefighters

VIDEO: One year ago, firefighters from Great Falls Fire Rescue joined other departments from across the state to take part in a peer support training. IAFF Local 8 President David Van Son says this training is a shift from only focusing on the physical aspects of the job to shining a light on mental health.
- PUB DATE: 6/19/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KRTV 3 Great Falls

Meet Cal Fire’s new ax-carrying, big-pawed, high-fivin’ mascot: Captain Cal

VIDEO: What has whiskers, a big red ax, and loves full containment on wildfires? Cal Fire unveiled its new mascot, Captain Cal, Tuesday morning at a news conference on the steps of the state Capitol. Captain Cal is a bipedal mountain lion with a friendly smile who loves giving high-fives with his impressive paws.
- PUB DATE: 6/19/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Sacramento Bee - Metered Site

Guinness World Records: Oldest continually manned fire station is in Michigan

A northern Michigan fire station has been dubbed the world’s oldest continuously manned fire station, and just in time for its 130th year anniversary. The Manistee Fire Station was awarded the title of “Oldest Continuously Manned Operating Fire Station” by Guinness World Records on Monday, June 17. This is the first time Guinness has ever given out this award, and the designation required more than two years of documentation-gathering by the Manistee Fire Station.
- PUB DATE: 6/19/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: MLive.com