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National Fire News

Texas Bill Would Make It Illegal For Verizon and Any Other Wireless Provider to Throttle Disaster Zones

Legislators in Texas are mulling a bill that would make illegal to “impair or degrade” mobile data in any declared disaster zone, in an apparent response to telecom giant Verizon’s decision last year to tell California firefighters busy tackling the deadly Mendocino Complex fire they needed to upgrade their plan or continue to suffer slow speeds.
- PUB DATE: 2/12/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Gizmodo.com

Retired firefighter who had cancer asks Virginia council for help after state rejects his claim

During his early days as a firefighter, Stan Morse sometimes battled flames without a breathing apparatus, choking down the smoke. Over his 40-year career, he also cleaned the underside of firetrucks with a toxic chemical that has since been taken off the market. Morse also breathed in diesel engine fumes powerful enough to blacken the fire station walls.
- PUB DATE: 2/12/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Virginian-Pilot

Town hall focuses on mental health support for Idaho first responders

VIDEO: When first responders arrive at a scene, sometimes what they encounter is so horrific the incident has lasting psychological impacts. Other states are taking action to address mental health issues these heroes sustain on the job and there is a push in Idaho to follow suit. On Sunday, a town hall was held in Meridian to discuss why the Gem State needs to act now.
- PUB DATE: 2/12/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KTVB.com

Asbestos at Fire Academy Put Thousands of California Firefighters at Risk of Serious Lung Disease

VIDEO: More than a decade of neglect put thousands of San Diego firefighters at risk for a serious, and sometimes deadly disease. Those firefighters were repeatedly exposed to asbestos and lead in the floors, walls, and ceilings of buildings used to train San Diego firefighters. Documents obtained by NBC 7 Investigates reveal in past years, the city minimized the danger and failed to act quickly to protect first responders training at San Diego’s Fire Academy.
- PUB DATE: 2/12/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KNSD-TV NBC San Diego

Las Vegas fire chief wants to bypass state law to change emergency staffing at mass events

A Clark County fire chief who warned lawmakers months before a 2017 mass shooting at a music festival that Nevada should bolster its emergency management planning says he wants to bypass state lawmakers to get changes made. Six months before the Oct. 1, 2017, shooting on the Las Vegas Strip that killed 58 and left hundreds injured, Clark County Fire Department Chief Greg Cassell testified before state legislators in favor of a bill that would have required more coordination of emergency medical resources ahead of such a large event.
- PUB DATE: 2/12/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: News3LV.com

‘They’re pioneers’: Two women rise through the male-dominated ranks of D.C.’s fire department

Young cadets Queen Anunay and Kishia Clemencia stood out in their class at the D.C. fire academy as being among the few women in a male-dominated field. Of the department’s 1,550 members at the time, 35 were women. Fast forward nearly three decades, and Anunay and Clemencia are the ones in charge. The two women were appointed in recent months to battalion chief posts at the department — promotions that made them the third and fourth women to hold the positions in the 135-year-old department’s history.
- PUB DATE: 2/11/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Washington Post - Metered Site

Judge ends historic desegregation order for New York firefighters

Convinced that Buffalo's hiring practices discriminated against minorities and women, U.S. District Judge John T. Curtin ordered the city to desegregate its fire department. Forty years later, Curtin's landmark order is coming to an end. In a decision earlier this week, the federal judge now handling the civil rights case found the city in compliance and dissolved Curtin's 1979 order.
- PUB DATE: 2/11/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Buffalo News

PFAS health study on schedule in New Hampshire

The health study on people exposed to PFAS chemicals at the former Pease Air Force Base is still scheduled to start no later than August. Dr. Frank Bove, the senior epidemiologist for the Agency For Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, said the study may even start sooner. “I don’t see why it would be any later than August,” Bove said in response to a question from Portsmouth activist Andrea Amico.
- PUB DATE: 2/11/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Seacoastonline.com

Detroit fires see dramatic decline, union chief doubts data

Detroit has seen a dramatic decline in the number of fires over the last five years, which fire department officials credit to the city's aggressive blight elimination, bolstered arson investigations and community education efforts. According to the Detroit Fire Department's data, the average number of structure fires annually in the city has dropped by 42 percent since 2014, the Detroit News reported.
- PUB DATE: 2/11/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WXYZ-TV ABC Detroit

Local Ohio organization provides free wills for first responders

VIDEO: A special event was held on Saturday to provide free wills for firefighters, police and all other first responders. The Pro Bono Committee of the Cincinnati Paralegal Association held “Remember: Wills For First Responders," an event where volunteer lawyers and paralegals came together to provide wills, living wills, and health care proxies to first responders and their spouses free of charge.
- PUB DATE: 2/11/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WXIX-TV FOX 19 Cincinnati

Ohio auditor again seeks tax break for spouses of first responders who die on the job

Outgoing Franklin County Auditor Clarence Mingo is renewing his call for a change in state law to provide a property tax break to the spouses of first responders who die in the line of duty. "These families still carry on, they still have to manage through life, and property tax relief is one form of comfort that the government can provide," Mingo said Wednesday, the same day a public memorial service was held for the three-person crew killed in a medical helicopter crash in southeastern Ohio.
- PUB DATE: 2/8/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Columbus Dispatch - Metered Site

Crane used to bring down worker who injured back on 5th floor of Florida building

VIDEO: A crane was used Thursday morning to bring down a construction worker from the fifth floor of a building after he suffered a back injury, authorities said. Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Stephen Gollan confirmed the incident occurred at a building under construction at 200 S. Federal Highway.
- PUB DATE: 2/8/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WPLG-TV

Judge leans toward dismissing fire tax lawsuit in California

A Superior Court judge has indicated he will likely dismiss a lawsuit filed against the County protesting a parcel tax passed in October to shore up fire department finances. At a Tuesday hearing, Judge Donald Alvarez heard arguments from lawyers representing the County and lawyers for the Red Brennan Group, one of the plaintiffs suing to halt implementation of the tax.
- PUB DATE: 2/8/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Victorville Daily Press

Firefighter decon challenges: knowledge versus practice

Understanding firefighter beliefs and behaviors related to cleaning and decontaminating bunker gear after a fire is an essential first step in devising an effective health intervention to reduce risks. Firefighters face substantial risks of exposure to carcinogens and other toxins. These exposure risks result most often from dermal absorption during a fire or inhalation of off-gassing particles (volatile organic compounds and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) from contaminated bunker gear during removal.
- PUB DATE: 2/8/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: U.S. Fire Administration

Lawyer fees for New York fire department dispute nearing $800,000

The attorney representing the city has some doubts that the state’s highest court will take an arbitration case against the firefighters’ union, a continuation of a dispute that has already cost taxpayers nearly $800,000 in legal bills. Terry O’Neil, the Long Island labor attorney representing the city in the nearly five-year contract dispute with the firefighters’ union, acknowledged it will be difficult to convince the Court of Appeals to hear the case.
- PUB DATE: 2/8/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Watertown Daily Times

Detroit firefighters union calls for action after firefighters became trapped in burning building

VIDEO: The Detroit Firefighters Association is calling for action after a terrifying fire. Four firefighters found themselves trapped inside a burning building. The fire started on January 31, just before midnight at a vacant grocery store at Van Dyke and Gratiot. 7 Action News has obtained the dispatch recording.
- PUB DATE: 2/7/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WXYZ Detroit

San Francisco gas explosion shoots fire that burns buildings

VIDEO: A gas explosion in a San Francisco neighborhood shot flames into the air Wednesday and burned five buildings, sending panicked residents and workers fleeing into the streets. Utility crews put out the fire about three hours after private construction workers cut a natural gas line, igniting the towering flames, San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White said.
- PUB DATE: 2/7/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Fox6Now.com

Florida Firefighters Union calls for new fire stations, says they are 30 stations behind

VIDEO: The Hillsborough County Firefighters Union is calling for one new fire station per year until there are enough to keep up with the growth in the county. Travis Horn, with the union, spoke before county commissioners on Wednesday saying that only one new fire station in the past decade is not enough to meet increase demands.
- PUB DATE: 2/7/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: ABCActionNews.com

Man Seriously Injured, Choked By 2 Off-Duty California Firefighters Awarded $7.4 Million

VIDEO: A man who was seriously injured by two off-duty Los Angeles firefighters who beat and choked him on Halloween night in 2015 has been awarded more than $7 million. After being falsely accused of giving children drug-laced candy, Samuel Chang was held down and choked. Cellphone video captured the firefighters and other party-goers harassing Chang and telling him he came to the wrong place to give out his candy.
- PUB DATE: 2/7/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: CBSLA

Maryland governor pulls for firefighter pension, workers comp bills while at volunteer fire company

Gov. Larry Hogan stepped up his calls to the General Assembly to measures that would reduce the tax burden on public safety officials’ retirement benefits at a press conference at the Eastport Volunteer Fire Company Wednesday. Surrounded by firefighters from across the state, the governor announced the introduction of two pieces of legislation that he said were a necessary way to protect firefighters in the state.
- PUB DATE: 2/7/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: CapitalGazette.com