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National Fire News

Texas Firefighters Share Rare Cave Rescue Experience

For many of the firefighters who worked for hours to free a teenager from a North Side cave last week, it was the first time they were required to do so, as cave rescues in the San Antonio-area are extremely rare. On March 8, the San Antonio Fire Department’s technical rescue team was called out to the Robber Baron Cave, which stretches for a mile about 30 to 80 feet underground.
- PUB DATE: 3/16/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: San Antonio Express- News

Researchers: PPE does not fully protect firefighters’ skin from toxic chemicals

Researchers recently conducted a study that suggests firefighters are still absorbing toxic chemicals through their skin despite wearing full turnout gear. A study conducted by University of Ottawa researchers found that firefighters had anywhere from three to more than five times the amount of toxins in their urine after battling a blaze than they did before.
- PUB DATE: 3/16/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: FireRescue1.com

Judge denies New York fire chief's motion to reargue Ground Zero-related disability case

Utica fire Chief Russell Brooks is back to Square One. A motion to reargue his lawsuit against the City of Utica -- in which he claimed the city rejected an application for benefits offered to responders affected by health conditions related to 9/11 recovery efforts -- was denied Thursday in state Supreme Court in Rome.
- PUB DATE: 3/16/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Observer-Dispatch

Several dead after newly-installed portion of Florida pedestrian bridge collapses

A newly-installed portion of a pedestrian bridge connecting Florida International University with the city of Sweetwater collapsed Thursday. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, there are "several fatalities." The 950-ton section of the $14.2 million bridge at Southwest Eighth Street and Southwest 109th Avenue was installed Saturday.
- PUB DATE: 3/15/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WPLG-TV ABC Local10.com - Miami & Fort Lauderdale

Georgia Firefighter Named 2018 Ray Downey Courage and Valor Award Recipient

Firefighter Ralph A. Brown II from the Cobb County (GA) Fire and Emergency Services is the recipient of the 2018 Ray Downey Courage and Valor Award. Ralph A. Brown II has been a member of the fire service since 2005 and serves with Cobb County’s Technical Rescue Team, Squad 4 on C-Shift. He joined the technical rescue team in 2011.
- PUB DATE: 3/15/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Fire Engineering

Pennsylvania town honors fallen firefighters 25 years later

Some friends forget to call Pittston Mayor Mike Lombardo on his birthday, but they always remember to reach out every March 15. Tragedy struck the Pittston area that day in 1993 when his brother John, 25, a Pittston firefighter, and Leonard Insalaco, 20, a West Pittston fireman, died in a ferocious blaze on North Main Street in the city.
- PUB DATE: 3/15/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Wilkes-Barre Citizens' Voice

Firefighter who was accused of threatening colleagues files discrimination lawsuit vs. FDNY

A local firefighter who served in the U.S. Navy and had his home destroyed during Hurricane Sandy was sexually harassed and discriminated against for being a black Muslim, a new lawsuit filed against the FDNY alleges. Raheem Hassan, 30, of Staten Island, the fire eater arrested for allegedly threatening to "kill" his colleagues at a Brooklyn firehouse, endured being called a "n-----" and was asked to apologize for the Sept.
- PUB DATE: 3/15/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Staten Island Advance

IAFC accepting nominations for IAFC Fire Chief of the Year now through May 20

The IAFC is accepting nominations for IAFC Fire Chief of the Year now through May 20. This high honor recognizes one career and one volunteer fire chief for their leadership, innovation, professional development, integrity, public service and contributions as a whole to the fire service. Nominations will be accepted through the online nomination form from any division, section or member of the IAFC.
- PUB DATE: 3/15/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: International Association of Fire Chiefs

'He betrayed everybody': Former Maine fire chief sentenced for arson

The former fire chief of Old Orchard Beach was ordered to spend one year behind bars for setting a fire that burned more than 40 acres. Ricky Plummer admitted starting the fire, but we may never know why. In a letter to the court, he said he could not explain his actions. For more than 40 years, Plummer served the fire service, many of them as chief of communities in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Florida.
- PUB DATE: 3/15/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WLBZ-TV NBC 2 Bangor

Report does not substantiate claims Virginia fire department is hostile to women

The Fairfax County fire department has problems with leadership, communication and the status of paramedics, but it does not face widespread issues with the treatment of women in its ranks, according to a report released Tuesday. The review by county officials comes just weeks after fire chief Richard R.
- PUB DATE: 3/14/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Washington Post

Authorities: New York Firefighters Set Houses Ablaze, Then Responded to Calls to Put Them Out

Three Suffolk County volunteer firefighters are facing arson charges in connection to nearly a half-dozen recent fires in New York, authorities say. Authorities said Central Islip firefighters Austin Lehman, 19, Stephen Hernandez, 25, and Shawn Key, 27, also put out the blazes they started at five abandoned houses in Central Islip and Hauppauge between October and January.
- PUB DATE: 3/14/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: NBC New York

Texas Fire Union Rejects Latest Negotiation Request

San Antonio officials made another attempt to negotiate a contract regarding health care and wages with the San Antonio Professional Firefighters Association Tuesday, but the union declined to appear. The union’s contract ran out in 2014, and its stalemate with the city has lasted for more than 1,200 days.
- PUB DATE: 3/14/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Texas Public Radio

Pennsylvania city council to weed out 'rotten apples’ on fire department

Borough council members publicly voiced support for fire department personnel who are overseeing day-to-day operations, but pledged to weed out a “few rotten apples” as police continue investigating some $54,000 in fireman’s relief association expenses. While speaking to a small group of firefighters who attended a council meeting Tuesday, Council President Lou Pacelli publicly recognized the department for its dedication to the community and assured them that council will maintain a good working relationship with the department.
- PUB DATE: 3/14/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Standard-Speaker

Voters overwhelmingly approve reduction in California fire district board

Voters in the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District chose to reduce the soon-to-be elected board from nine members down to five in a recent mail-in ballot. Although the results are still unofficial, 91 percent of votes had been counted on Tuesday afternoon and over 90 percent of those votes were in favor of reducing the number of directors on the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District’s Board of Directors.
- PUB DATE: 3/14/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: East Bay Times

Veteran Georgia firefighter collapses, dies

The Cobb County Fire Department lost one of their own on Monday after she experienced a medical incident. Firefighter Stacey Leigh Boulware, 44, collapsed on Monday at Station 5 in Vinings after returning from back-to-back incidents that included "a full arrest and vehicle accident," according to the department.
- PUB DATE: 3/13/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WXIA-TV NBC 11 Atlanta

Louisiana firefighter-police officer killed in hit-and-run involving drug suspect

The Zachary firefighter and reserve police officer who was killed Monday night in a hit-and-run will be remembered as a dedicated public servant, said Zachary Fire Chief Danny Kimble. Deputy Fire Chief Christopher Lawton, 41, was killed Monday night when he was run over by a U-haul truck in the parking lot of the Baker Walmart, officials on the scene said.
- PUB DATE: 3/13/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Advocate

Houston firefighters ask judge to force city to verify their pay 'parity' petition

Houston firefighters on Monday asked a judge to force the city secretary to validate signatures on an equal pay referendum petition that has been backlogged in City Hall for eight months. The referendum would require firefighters to receive the same pay as police officers of corresponding rank. It was first submitted to the city in July but wasn't validated before the November election.
- PUB DATE: 3/13/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Houston Chronicle

18 Years After Sept. 11, Critical Incidents Still Overload Emergency Radios

If you go back and listen to the recording of the Broward County radio dispatch system, you can hear the frustration the voices of police. "I can't transmit for some reason," says one officer. Other first responders echo the complaint. "Just so you know, we're having trouble transmitting," says another person, and more than once, you hear a general plea for users to limit their communications to "10-33 calls" — radio code for an emergency.
- PUB DATE: 3/13/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: NPR

Harassment movement hasn't impeded Cincinnati firefighters' performance on Florida beach

Starting their 31st year performing at Fort Myers Beach, the Greater Cincinnati Firefighters finds themselves shaking and shimmying in a different atmosphere where the "#metoo" movement and a focus on sexual harassment bumps and grinds up against a playful, sexually-themed revue of mostly burly and buff men.
- PUB DATE: 3/13/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: News-Press

FDNY: All 5 Passengers Dead After Helicopter Crashes Into East River; Pilot Only Survivor

Five people died after a tour helicopter carrying six people crashed into the East River Sunday evening, FDNY and NYPD officials said. Though helicopter crashes in the East and Hudson Rivers are not necessarily uncommon, this becomes one of the deadliest in the city's history, and one of the worst civilian aviation fatalities of any kind in the United States over the last few years.
- PUB DATE: 3/12/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: NBC New York