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National Fire News

Unions: Poor conditions plague fire stations throughout Massachusetts

Citing rats, broken plumbing, leaky ceilings, poor ventilation and run-down equipment, firefighter unions across the state are sounding the alarm about station houses they say receive little attention, saying poor conditions raise safety fears and hurt morale. “There’s concerns statewide,” said Richard MacKinnon Jr.
- PUB DATE: 2/19/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Boston Herald

Feds requiring regional response teams to oil train wrecks

Federal transportation officials are requiring railroads to establish regional response teams along oil train routes following a series of fiery derailments. The new rule announced Thursday is aimed at having crews and equipment ready in the event of an accident. It applies to oil trains in continuous blocks of 20 or more loaded tank cars and those having 35 loaded tank cars.
- PUB DATE: 2/19/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: NWI.com

Billions pile up in California special district accounts while critics say many should dissolve

California’s most affluent special districts nearly doubled their spending over the course of a decade, while the value of their cash and investments nearly tripled, according to a Southern California News Group analysis of state data. The figures revive the question many good-government advocates have been asking for decades: Do special districts, which operate largely under the public radar, simply have too much money? Critics say they do, and argue that their functions should be absorbed into cities and counties that overlap their boundaries.
- PUB DATE: 2/19/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Daily Breeze - Metered Site

Indiana firefighters sue town, claiming they have been denied overtime pay

Local firefighters claim in a federal lawsuit against the town that they have been denied overtime pay for nearly a decade. The suit filed Saturday by Chesterton Firefighters Local 4600 also claims that despite assurances from the town that "nothing would change," a policy change was enacted just days after the current labor contract was signed that limits firefighters ability to use four 24-hour periods of earned time off each year, according to the union's attorney, Angela Jones.
- PUB DATE: 2/19/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: NWITimes.com

Florida firefighter who blamed positive drug test on coca tea gets job back in settlement

An Orlando firefighter fired last year for a positive drug test was given his job back last week, after he argued the cocaine in his system was a result of drinking a tea made with coca leaves, an internal investigation shows. The positive drug test results, recorded during an annual physical exam in December 2017, prompted the Orlando Fire Department to fire Kevin Reynolds two months later, according to documents released this week in response to a Jan.
- PUB DATE: 2/19/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Orlando Sentinel

3 Firefighters Hurt When Engine Rolls Over in California

VIDEO: A Cal Fire engine assigned to respond to rain-related incidents in the North County went off the road and rolled over in Bonsall Thursday. The truck veered off Old Highway 395 south of Camino Del Rey and landed in an embankment about 20 feet below the roadway at about 6:15 a.m., California Highway Patrol said.
- PUB DATE: 2/15/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KNSD-TV NBC San Diego

Iowa State Senator and Firefighter resign over cross training controversy

VIDEO: Iowa State Senator and Cedar Falls Firefighter Jeff Danielson says he is resigning from both the Iowa State Senate and the Cedar Falls Fire Department, effective immediately. Danielson tells KWWL News his resignations are directly related to the ongoing dispute over the use of Cedar Falls Police Officers being cross-trained to also work as Cedar Falls Firefighters in the City’s Public Safety Officer program.
- PUB DATE: 2/15/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KWWL News 7

Clinical trial offers hope for veteran and longtime Idaho firefighter to speak again

When William “Bud” Paine descended to the lower levels of the Naval Destroyer Escort to stand by on fire watch as welders took to maintenance of the ship, he was handed a canteen and a bandanna. “‘Just keep the bandanna wet,’ they said. ‘This stuff won’t hurt you,’” Paine, now 63, recalled. “This stuff” was the 96,000 pounds of asbestos sharing living quarters on board with the Navy sailors.
- PUB DATE: 2/15/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Idaho Press

Wisconsin firefighters explore cancer preventing benefits from sauna therapy

The Madison Fire Department has installed an infrared sauna into its new station 14 helping firefighters sweat out dangerous carcinogens which can sometimes cause cancer. Kevin Hembrook has worked for the Madison Fire Department for nineteen years. He serves on the Fire Fighters Local 311 Health and Safety committee.
- PUB DATE: 2/15/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WMTV-TV NBC 15 Madison

Michigan city council hopes to negotiate with township over fire department dispute

Tension between the City of Grand Blanc and Grand Blanc Township continues to grow over a fire department dispute. After decades of working together the township decided to withdraw from the Grand Blanc Community Fire Commission last month. Several on Grand Blanc’s City Council aren’t happy and say they were blindsided.
- PUB DATE: 2/15/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WEYI

Connecticut fire department expands eligibility for future firefighters

Lt. Necole Dundy Pittman said her 11 years with the Bridgeport Fire Department is proof that it’s not “a man’s job.” Firefighter Mohammad Kahn said his bigger stature is proof that you don’t have to be thin and muscular. Being a firefighter, they both said, is mostly about endurance. Bridgeport is looking for new firefighters and is hoping to attract a diverse crew to become the newest of the city’s bravest.
- PUB DATE: 2/14/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Connecticut Post

City Council explores new Oregon payroll tax to pay for more police, fire, medics

A City Council advisory committee thinks Eugene should establish a new payroll tax to raise $22.8 million to help pay for police, fire and other services. The proposed tax would phase in over 6 years, to be paid by employers and employees. The idea traces its origins to last fall, when Councilors signed off on $9 million for the Eugene Police to hire 10 more officers to improve response times to calls for service.
- PUB DATE: 2/14/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KVAL-TV CBS 13

Fireman's Association of the State of New York offering tuition reimbursement program for volunteer firefighters

Assemblyman Phil Palmesano is reminding volunteer firefighters and the community about a tuition reimbursement opportunity through the Fireman's Association of the State of New York (FASNY). FASNY has developed the Higher Education Learning Plan, or FASNY HELP, as an incentive to recruit and retain members of volunteer fire departments.
- PUB DATE: 2/14/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WENY-TV ABC, CBS, CW2

Indiana university looks for commercial opportunities for firefighting robot

Purdue University researchers are developing firefighters that look more like R2-D2 than anyone in an Indianapolis Fire Department uniform. Purdue researchers have been working on firefighting robots since 2011. In 2015, they rolled out significant improvements, with a robot that had better optics and was nearly indestructible.
- PUB DATE: 2/14/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: IBJ.com - Metered Site

Pennsylvania fire chiefs association celebrates volunteer firefighter couples on Valentine's Day

To help celebrate Valentine’s Day, the Chester County Fire Chiefs Association is paying special tribute to couples who keep the spark of romance alive by saving lives together as volunteer firefighters. Malvern Battalion Fire Chief Neil Vaughn came to Andrea’s rescue after she was in a car accident during slippery winter conditions.
- PUB DATE: 2/14/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Coatesville Daily Local News

Town Meeting to be asked to delay Massachusetts fire chief's retirement

As 2020 looms on the horizon, a request to extend the fire chief’s tenure has surfaced. Fire Chief Ed Bradley turns 64 on April 12, and figured he would be shown the door a year later, per state law that mandates police and fire chiefs’ retirement at age 65. He said Town Manager Melissa Arrighi asked him to stay on for another two years to help facilitate a seamless transition to a new fire chief.
- PUB DATE: 2/13/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Wicked Local Plymouth

Attorney: City illegally scrubbed Connecticut firefighter candidate over medical marijuana use

James Bulerin III has dreamt of following in his father’s footprints and becoming a city firefighter. But city officials have dashed those dreams because Bulerin has a medical marijuana card and tested positive for the drug. “The city has disqualified him from being a firefighter which is a clear violation of the state law,” said Bulerin’s lawyer, Thomas Bucci, who this week filed a discrimination lawsuit against the city on his client’s behalf.
- PUB DATE: 2/13/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Connecticut Post

Service dogs helping to detect cancer in Arkansas firefighters

VIDEO: Firefighters work to save our lives every day. Now, they need help fighting for theirs as they battle more than just fires. According to Dr. Arny Ferrando, a professor at UAMS, firefighters are nearly five times more likely to develop cancer than the average American. The area around their throat where they wear protective hoods, is a breeding spot for carcinogens.
- PUB DATE: 2/13/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KTHV-TV 11

California county shakes up emergency response system to get to patients faster

Stanislaus County will seek competitive proposals from ambulance providers for the county’s exclusive response zones, and that could change the landscape of emergency medical response for years. The ambulance company with the winning bid will be expected to partner with city and rural fire departments, which often arrive at the scenes of medical emergencies and start treatment for patients before an ambulance arrives.
- PUB DATE: 2/13/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Modesto Bee

Commentary: Faithful fire service dampened by battle over 'fiduciary responsibilities' in Illinois

Once in a blue moon, the little guys get a break. Like what happened last week when a Lake County judge sided with the family of a deceased Buffalo Grove firefighter, upholding his full pension benefits. The downside to Judge Diane Winter’s ruling is that Buffalo Grove officials may appeal her decision under the guise of their “fiduciary responsibilities” to residents whose taxes help fund the village’s public employee pension fund.
- PUB DATE: 2/13/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Chicago Tribune - Metered Site