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National Fire News

BLM’s Rural Fire Readiness Program helps local firefighters across Eastern Idaho

The Bureau of Land Management Idaho Falls District has transferred surplus wildland fire engines and equipment to 34 fire programs— including two Rangeland Fire Protection Associations —across eastern Idaho. The transfers are part of BLM’s effort to respond to rural wildland fires by giving excess equipment and supplies to local fire departments and RFPAs.
- PUB DATE: 8/9/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Idaho State Journal

Tiffany Green to become first female fire department chief in Maryland county history

Prince George’s County Fire Chief (PGFD) Benjamin Barksdale announced his retirement on July 30 from the department effective Oct. 31, when current Chief Deputy Tiffany Green will take over as interim chief. Green’s new appointment will not become official until the county council confirms it, but her promotion marks the county’s first African American female chief and the continuation of an increasing trend in female fire chiefs in the state.
- PUB DATE: 8/8/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Prince George's Sentinel

California Fire Chief David Hawks Honored For Rescue Mission

Halle Roebuck was born in Paradise, California just moments before a raging fire approached the local Adventist Health Feather River Hospital. Immediately after her birth, the hospital’s patients were ordered to evacuate. Heather Roebuck, Halle’s mom, later said she was told “Grab your baby, we’ve got to go.
- PUB DATE: 8/8/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: IAFC.org

Death of Arizona fire captain prompts new campaign to end tobacco use

VIDEO: First responders make it their mission to save the lives of others. But the tragic death of a Tucson Fire captain has inspired the department to launch a campaign aimed at saving the lives of their own. Captain Glenn Fleck chewed tobacco on-and-off for years. Last year, he passed away from oral cancer.
- PUB DATE: 8/8/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KVOA-TV NBC 4 Tucson

Colorado fire department uses teamwork to support mental health

When Durango firefighters and paramedics pass through the city, they are reminded of past calls, like echoes in time – a crash at that intersection, a bodily trauma call in that house, the loss of a loved one for that family. “It’s like going down Main Street being like, I’ve seen a dead person there,” said an engineer in the department, who asked not to be named to maintain his privacy.
- PUB DATE: 8/8/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Durango Herald

New Hampshire runner raises over $100,000 for firefighters battling cancer in run from California to Concord

VIDEO: Concord firefighters welcome the final steps of a run that stepped off in California eight months ago. Nashua native Matty Gregg has not been back to New Hampshire in over a decade. His legs and an important mission helped carry him over 5,400 miles through 24 states and over 400 towns as he has raised over $100,000 for the Firefighter Cancer Support Network.
- PUB DATE: 8/8/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WMUR-TV ABC 9 Manchester

California city council votes unanimously to restore city firefighters death and disability benefits

After seven years of demanding that their death and disability benefits be restored, San Diego City Firefighters finally had their voices heard after the City Council voted unanimously to bring the benefits back. The council made the decision less than five minutes after the firefighters arrived at City Hall and was met with a standing ovation.
- PUB DATE: 8/7/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KGYV NBC 10 San Diego

University of Arizona study aims to help firefighters reduce cancer risks

VIDEO: For firefighters, sometimes the blaze is only half the battle. "Regardless of who you are on the fire scene you get exposed to chemicals.” Over the past 3 years, Dr. Jeff Burgess, Associate Dean for Research and Professor at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, and Tucson Fire have researched ways to reduce cancer causing particles.
- PUB DATE: 8/7/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KOLD-TV CBS 13 Tucson

Two cities in New York demonstrate the dire need for stronger building code enforcement

A state Senate probe of New York's building codes zeroes in on two municipalities with terrible reputations: Mount Vernon, where a lone inspector handles the entire city, and Ramapo, where lax enforcement has led volunteer firefighters and the County of Rockland to step in. "The key takeaway from this investigation is that there has been a systematic failure to adequately prioritize code enforcement at all levels of government," said state Sen.
- PUB DATE: 8/7/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Journal News (LoHud.com)

Montana will pay volunteer firefighters that fought North Hills Fire

The State of Montana will pay the volunteer firefighters that fought the North Hills Fire. Montana DNRC has hired the firefighters under their Emergency Firefighter (EFF) program. The volunteers will be paid for their hours spent fighting the fire from 12:00 p.m. on July 26 through 12:00 a.m. August 1.
- PUB DATE: 8/7/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KTVH-TV NBC 12 Helena

Fire rescue in Colorado swears in comfort dogs to help first responders with PTSD

VIDEO: South Metro Fire Rescue is trying something it says is “fairly revolutionary” among fire departments. Monday night, SMFR officially swore in two dogs to the department. Champ and Molson even have their own badges. “It really, truly solidified them as an employee and gives them the ability to be a part of the department the same that way I am or anybody else,” Molson’s handler, paramedic supervisor JP Piche told FOX31.
- PUB DATE: 8/7/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KDVR-TV FOX 31 Denver

FDNY fireboat that served on 9/11 to be relaunched with new mission after Rockland repairs

VIDEO: A former New York City Fire Department fireboat that served during some of the city's most dramatic moments is getting an "over-hull" in a local shipyard before being relaunched as a museum ship. The John D. McKean was pulled out of the water last week at North River Shipyard to have its hull repaired and will be there through August.
- PUB DATE: 8/6/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Journal News (LoHud.com)

Tennessee: How Jack Daniel's and 34 volunteer firefighters protect the world's supply of its whiskey

VIDEO: Fire prevention has been top of mind for Jack Daniel’s Master Distiller Jeff Arnett after a blaze at a Jim Beam warehouse destroyed 45,000 bourbon barrels and littered a nearby river with fish killed by the resulting alcohol runoff. Destructive fires, explosions and warehouse collapses threaten large distilleries across the country, where highly flammable hard liquor is aged and stored in massive quantities before it’s bottled and shipped around the world.
- PUB DATE: 8/6/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Leaf-Chronicle

Plane returns to honor Montana firefighters killed in 1949

The plane that dropped 15 smokejumpers into one of the most infamous firefighting tragedies in U.S. history once again flew over the rugged Montana gulch along the Missouri River on Monday to mark the 70th anniversary of the fire. The C-47 now called Miss Montana dropped 13 wreaths, one for each firefighter killed in the blaze that caused the U.
- PUB DATE: 8/6/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KNBN-TV NBC 1

Ohio fire chief says they don’t have to sacrifice resources for budget

Youngstown’s fire chief said he has received a commitment from the mayor that the city will find the money needed to keep his department operating in a safe and efficient manner. During a public meeting Monday night, Chief Barry Finley stood before 50 people, including 15 firefighters, and told them he was done conceding to cuts.
- PUB DATE: 8/6/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WKBN-TV CBS 27 Youngstown

Inmate firefighters help protect California counties, but crews are diminished after justice reform

VIDEO: When large wildfires break out in California, including San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, it's all hands on deck to protect life and property. Many of those hands have spent time in shackles but as recently passed criminal justice reform laws take full effect, the number of inmate firefighters is down.
- PUB DATE: 8/6/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KSBY-TV NBC/CW+ 6 San Luis Obispo

Hiding behind the badge: Firefighters are first to respond, last to get help themselves

Muscatine Assistant Fire Chief Mike Hartman remembers the shock on his crew’s faces the day more than 16 years ago they lost a longtime member of their team. “It was a bad situation all around,” he said. “We did everything we could to get to him, but unfortunately there was nothing we could do.” After the crew had extinguished the fatal blaze, Hartman said, the loss really settled in.
- PUB DATE: 8/5/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Muscatine Journal

At 53, she has become a D.C. firefighter

It’s commonplace around firehouses to see firefighters transition to new career paths after two decades of service. But usually, first-responder crews watch people walk out their doors when they hit about 50. Very few walk through the door fresh to firefighting. At age 53, however, D.C. fire department paramedic Carmen Hackett is doing that: She graduated Friday as the most senior member and the only paramedic in Firefighter Recruit Class 388.
- PUB DATE: 8/5/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Washington Post - Metered Site

Northern New Mexico forests looking to recruit female firefighters

Growing up in the mountains of northern New Mexico, Vidalia Vigil learned all about “roughing it” and hard work at an early age. The 24-year-old recalled going out for her own wood, learning how to use power tools in her early teens and camping regularly throughout her upbringing around Pecos. This background came in handy when, right out of high school, she became an on-call wildland firefighter in the Pecos/Las Vegas district with the Santa Fe National Forest.
- PUB DATE: 8/5/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Albuquerque Journal

Idaho fire chief says new station was needed eight years ago; Funding isn't likely until 2024

Southwest Nampa has been in need of a fire station for eight years, according to the fire chief, and the mayor says it could be 2024 or later before funding is available. The city of over 100,000 people has five fire stations and, given the call volume, needs three more, Fire Chief Kirk Carpenter said.
- PUB DATE: 8/5/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Idaho Press

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