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National Fire News

911 delays of up to 3 minutes haunt Iowa emergency responders; A fix is not yet in sight

Technical glitches between the brains of disparate computer-aided dispatch and radio systems in the Des Moines metro area cause delays from a few seconds to up to 3 minutes. About 20 minutes passed from the time dispatchers were first notified of numerous shots fired on Des Moines' northwest side on Nov.
- PUB DATE: 6/18/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Des Moines Register

South Carolina: Today marks 12 years since 9 Charleston firefighters died battling furniture store fire

The Charleston Fire Department will remember the nine firefighters who died 12 years ago in a massive furniture store fire in West Ashley. The department will hold the ceremony at the Charleston 9 Memorial Park, which was built on the site of the former store, 7 p.m. Tuesday. Starting at midnight Tuesday morning, firefighters began a 24-hour watch at the park’s flagpole.
- PUB DATE: 6/18/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WCSC-TV CBS 5 Charleston

Substance abuse campaign in Detroit to use first responders or 'real heroes' on billboards

VIDEO: Lights, camera, action. First responders took part in a photo shoot on Monday as the Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority includes them in their next billboard campaign to raise awareness about substance use. "The key of it is to make sure that the public is aware that there's a problem out there.
- PUB DATE: 6/18/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WJBK-TV Fox 2 Detroit

Two Massachusetts Firefighters Resign After Residency Challenged

Two newly hired firefighters resigned after Civil Service ruled they were incorrectly given a residency preference on the Civil Service exam. The Civil Service Commission called for an investigation into the matter after a bypass appeal was filed late last fall. Justin Brady had taken the exam but did not get a position with the Pittsfield Fire Department.
- PUB DATE: 6/18/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Berkshires Online

Years after oil trains arrived, Oregon House passes spill planning bill

The Oregon House of Representatives on Monday approved a bill to boost readiness for oil spills from trains, advancing legislation whose years-long delay revealed the strong influence of corporate money in Oregon politics. California and Washington took similar action years ago. House Bill 2209, which passed by a 56-3 vote, still needs to pass the state Senate.
- PUB DATE: 6/18/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Portland Oregonian, Hillsboro Argus, Oregon Live.com

California fire union launches TV ads as it presses governor to hire more firefighters

VIDEO: The union that represents state firefighters is airing commercials in Sacramento this week with a two-pronged message: Cal Fire’s firefighters are overworked and you should take steps to protect your home. The 30- and 60-second spots are meant to be informative, but Cal Fire Local 2881 President Tim Edwards said more aggressive commercials could follow if fire conditions worsen without the state dedicating more money to firefighters.
- PUB DATE: 6/17/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Sacramento Bee - Metered Site

Rash of fires in New Jersey puts spotlight on decline in volunteer firefighters

After a rash of devastating fires over the past year, including one that claimed the life of an 89-year-old woman, some city residents are calling for a career company to take over the local volunteer fire department. But the city is standing behind its crew, arguing a career department isn’t necessary with mutual aid agreements already in place.
- PUB DATE: 6/17/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Press of Atlantic City

FDNY Union says no to oversized mechanical spaces

The Uniformed Firefighters Association of Greater New York has come out in strong support of state-level legislation aimed at limiting the ability of real estate developers to use "mechanical void spaces" to game zoning codes into allowing them to construct taller buildings. In a strongly-worded memo, circulated by the Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts group, the Fire Department of New York union says, "Void spaces, often entire floors in buildings put hazardous equipment such as High Voltage Air Conditioning and heating equipment in the middle of buildings, many floors above street level.
- PUB DATE: 6/17/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Archinect News

Maine Has First Fire Department to Digitally Track Turnout Gear Cleanliness

The Bath Fire & Rescue Department has adopted a high-tech solution to protect their firefighters from carcinogens. By adding the “FireLinc” app to its new extractor system, Bath becomes the first department in the state to track detailed information about every wash. “In the past few years, cancer has been recognized as one of the major killers of career and volunteer firefighters,” said Bath Fire Chief Lawrence Renaud.
- PUB DATE: 6/17/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: City of Bath

IAFF union head calls on White House to back 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund

The head of the nation's largest firefighters union is calling on the Trump administration to back a bill that would grant additional funding for the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund until 2090. Harold Schaitberger, who is general president of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), said Thursday that even though the bill boasts strong bipartisan support in Congress it could use more help from the White House.
- PUB DATE: 6/14/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Hill

Louisiana will allow first responders to use PTSD for workers’ compensation

VIDEO: Starting Aug. 1, current and past first responders may use a medically documented post-traumatic stress disorder to apply for workers’ compensation. This is part of Louisiana Act No. 112, which unanimously passed through both the Louisiana House and Senate. “It helps from the standpoint if they require inpatient treatment," said Licensed Professional Counselor Craig Kennedy.
- PUB DATE: 6/14/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KALB-TV NBC/CBS 35 Alexandria

Media Investigation: Recordings by Elton John, Nirvana and Thousands More Lost in Hollywood Fire

Eleven years ago this month, a fire ripped through a part of Universal Studios Hollywood. At the time, the company said that the blaze had destroyed the theme park’s “King Kong” attraction and a video vault that contained only copies of old works. But, according to an article published on Tuesday by The New York Times Magazine, the fire also tore through an archive housing treasured audio recordings, amounting to what the piece described as “the biggest disaster in the history of the music business.
- PUB DATE: 6/14/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The New York Times - Metered Site

Firefighting is all in the family for the Munroe’s in Maine

First responders never know what they’ll encounter when the call comes in – and so they practice. They participate in training drills on a regular basis. Firefighters, paramedics, troopers and police officers are all a big family– one that has each other’s backs in the face of any emergency. Ralph Munroe works on Ladder 3 out of the Stevens Avenue station – and the notion of family hits pretty close to home for him.
- PUB DATE: 6/14/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WCSH-TV NBC 44 Portland

VIDEO: Massive fire injures 2 as it destroys $2M mansion in Texas

Two people are in the hospital after a massive fire destroyed a $2 million mansion in The Woodlands on Palmer Woods. About 15 units from the Woodlands Fire Department were on scene trying to get the flames under control. The conditions were bad upon arrival so the firefighters went into defensive mode, but officials say it will be a total loss.
- PUB DATE: 6/14/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KTRK-TV ABC 13 Houston

Houston City council officially rescinds firefighter Prop B 'pay parity' layoffs, demotions

Houston City Council on Wednesday formally reversed the 220 firefighter layoffs and hundreds of demotions it approved earlier this year, making official Mayor Sylvester Turner’s pledge not to lay off or demote any firefighters in the aftermath of a judge’s ruling that Proposition B is unconstitutional.
- PUB DATE: 6/13/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Houston Chronicle

New high-speed network for first responders raises concerns in Alaska

The police chief of Alaska’s largest city hurried out of the department’s glass building after the ground began to shake. Phone lines jammed and even police radios were spotty after a major earthquake, but his cellphone was recently equipped with a national wireless network dedicated to first responders.
- PUB DATE: 6/13/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: AP News

Kentucky county EMS proposes program to battle high employee turnover

VIDEO: First responders in Scott County say there aren't enough EMTs staying in the area for work, but some are offering a proposal to try and fix the problem. "Last year we had a 25 percent turnover rate," Scott County EMS Director Brandon Remley said. Remley is trying to bring in more paramedics and keep them in Scott County.
- PUB DATE: 6/13/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WKYT-TV CBS Lexington

New York: Teams from 2 counties demonstrate 'rescue sticks' to save swimmers

A day spent at the beach or the bay usually ends for thousands with nothing worse than a sunburn or chapped lips. But it's the constant potential for a far worse outcome that can keep Nassau and Suffolk first responders on edge when the weather gets warm. On Wednesday, rescue teams from both counties gathered at Nassau's Tobay Beach — sunsplashed but mostly empty of the crowds soon to come — to demonstrate and practice using inflatable flotation devices to rescue distressed swimmers and anyone else who finds themselves bobbing in Long Island waters without a life preserver or much hope for surviving.
- PUB DATE: 6/13/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Newsday

Florida Airport Has New Ways to Warn Public of Emergencies

If there’s a safety threat at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, there’s now multiple ways for officials to warn visitors of the danger and to tell them what to do. Passengers and other visitors will also be able to reach out quickly to airport managers if they find themselves in the middle of an emergency.
- PUB DATE: 6/13/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Emergency Management