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National Fire News

North Carolina firefighter cancer deaths rarely classified as line of duty

When Charlotte firefighter Seth Tinsley died at 34 of brain cancer in 2016, his name went on the International Association of Fire Fighter’s memorial in Colorado Springs, Colo., for those lost in the line of duty. Tinsley’s own state, however, made no connection between his 11 years of fire service and his early death.
- PUB DATE: 12/7/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Charlotte Observer

Mysterious firefighter contract change costly for Rhode Island city

An unauthorized practice has overpaid retiring Warwick firefighters for accumulations of vacation time since 2015, a Providence Journal investigation shows. Asked about documents and information developed by The Journal, Mayor Joseph J. Solomon said Friday he was ordering a halt to the practice. Solomon accused his predecessor, Mayor Scott Avedisian, of signing a contract document that enhanced the vacation perk even though the change was never approved by the City Council, as required.
- PUB DATE: 12/7/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Providence Journal

FDNY Chief relieved of duties over alleged 'inappropriate behavior,' will fight for his job: sources

Chief of Department James Leonard, the top uniformed officer in the FDNY, has been relieved of his duties and put on modified assignment pending a review of possible “inappropriate behavior,” a spokesman said Thursday. The move came two days after the Daily News reported on allegations that Leonard was butting heads with many in the FDNY, including First Deputy Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh, the lone woman at the top of the roster.
- PUB DATE: 12/7/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: New York Daily News

Combatting the opioid crisis: Becoming the epicenter of solutions

When I spoke last year with Chief Jan Rader of the Huntington, West Virginia, Fire Department, she was realistic about the circumstances her department faced with the growing opioid crisis. At that time, data showed that West Virginia had the highest per capita rate of opioid addiction in the United States, and more than 41 overdose deaths per 100,000 population.
- PUB DATE: 12/7/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: FireRescue1

Detroit Police Dept. launches investigation into president of Detroit firefighters union after Facebook post

A brewing feud between Detroit's police chief and the president of the city's firefighters union has now erupted into a criminal investigation. DPD Chief James Craig says his department is looking into whether a Facebook post by Union President Mike Nevin criticizing police response times has violated law.
- PUB DATE: 12/7/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WXYZ-TV ABC Detroit

Maryland officials discuss transportation issues with addiction treatment centers

As Anne Arundel’s Safe Stations continues to grow, county public safety officials are looking at issues regarding transporting people to addiction treatment centers. Fire Department and mental health officials stress the program’s protocol — which has firefighters and police helping those looking for treatment who walk into a county firehouse or police department — has not affected emergency response time.
- PUB DATE: 12/6/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Capital Gazette

Iowa city's ISO rating at risk; Firefighters say PSO program could have negative impact

The city of Cedar Falls is under threat of having its ISO rating, which impacts insurance rates for property owners, lowered from a 3 to a 4. But the city has been working throughout 2018 to keep the rating as is. The Insurance Service Office informed Cedar Falls it is prepared to drop the rating, but has given the city until February to make improvements to retain its level 3 classification.
- PUB DATE: 12/6/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Courier

Engine 33 Asking For Patches To Surprise Son Of Fallen Philadelphia Firefighter

A special Christmas gift for the son of a fallen Philadelphia firefighter. Evan’s father, Michael, died suddenly in January of 2016. He was a marine corps veteran and a proud Philadelphia firefighter. For the holidays this year, Evans wish is simple, to fill up his board of fire company patches, to collect them just like his dad did.
- PUB DATE: 12/6/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: CBS Philadelphia

New Jersey Township committee approves $500,000 settlement with former fire chief

The township’s former fire chief and director of emergency services will receive a $500,000 payment to end a civil lawsuit alleging his job was eliminated because of his political activities. The Township Committee narrowly approved a resolution authorizing the payment as part of a settlement with former fire chief Jason Carty, whose position was eliminated in April 2016 after less than two years on the job.
- PUB DATE: 12/6/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Burlington County Times

Nebraska Fire Department responding to calls more quickly with new Task Force system

Through the implementation of Task Force Response procedures, the Columbus Fire Department has made headway in regard to being more efficient with its overall response time to a variety of emergency situations happening throughout the Columbus community. On Monday evening, Fire Chief Dan Miller spoke during a Committee of the Whole Meeting held prior to the scheduled Columbus City Council meeting about how some procedural shifts have resulted in more efficiency, which ultimately can mean the difference between life and death.
- PUB DATE: 12/6/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Columbus Telegram

L.A. County supervisors to spend $4.5 million studying 'new realities' in fire service

The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a $4.5-million plan Tuesday to reduce the strain on the Los Angeles County Fire Department, which responds to devastating incidents such as the Woolsey fire but also provides 24-hour emergency services across 2,300 square miles. The new effort comes months after the board raised concerns about the department’s aging stations and equipment, and weeks after the Woolsey fire burned more than 90,000 acres in Los Angeles and Ventura counties.
- PUB DATE: 12/5/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Los Angeles Times

Report: The estimated costs of NG911

While public communication becomes increasingly digital and existing technologies become obsolete or unserviceable, public safety leaders in 911 and telecommunication agree that upgrading to NG911 systems across the country will ensure that every request from every individual is received, located and responded to in the way that best meets the needs of the public and first responders.
- PUB DATE: 12/5/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: FireRescue1

Worcester Cold Storage Warehouse fire recalled 19 years later

The plaintive wail of bagpipes fills in where 19 years ago sirens sounded. A prayer goes up from the same spot where firefighters called out over crackling radios hoping to hear something that would lead them to Lt. Thomas Spencer, Lt. James Lyons or firefighters Paul Brotherton, Timothy Jackson, Jeremiah Lucey of Joseph McGuirk who were lost inside the maze-like interior of the Worcester Cold Storage Warehouse on Dec.
- PUB DATE: 12/5/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Patriot Ledger

Top FDNY chief could lose job in power struggle with agency's top female commissioner

At the heart of the battle is Chief of Department James Leonard, 59, a tough-talking officer who started as a firefighter in Brooklyn’s Engine 310 in 1979 and is now the highest-ranked uniformed officer in the agency — second only to Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro. But for all his success, what some in the FDNY call Leonard’s abrasive and aggressive manner — and allegations he sometimes uses misogynistic slurs — have put him out of step in a department striving mightily to get into the 21st century, sources told The News.
- PUB DATE: 12/5/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: NY Daily News

Judge orders Delaware State Police to turn over full report on firefighter's fatal helicopter fall

A federal judge has ordered Delaware State Police to turn over the full accident report on the death of a Lewes firefighter who fell from a helicopter during a training exercise in 2016. Tuesday's order comes after a lawyer for the family of Timothy McClanahan issued a subpoena for an unredacted copy of the report and related materials.
- PUB DATE: 12/5/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Delaware News Journal

Federal investigation of Maryland firefighter’s shooting death recommends changes

A federal investigation reviewing the 2016 fatal shooting of a Maryland firefighter found that 911 public safety call takers did not warn first responders that the possibility of guns had been reported at the scene and that volunteer firefighters were not wearing a common uniform the night of the incident that made it clear who they were.
- PUB DATE: 12/4/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Washington Post

Judge blocks implementation of Houston firefighter pay parity implementation after police union sues

A state district judge Friday evening granted a temporary restraining order blocking the implementation of a voter-approved charter amendment requiring the city of Houston to grant its firefighters “pay parity” with police officers of similar rank and experience. State District Judge Kristen Brauchle Hawkins granted the TRO Friday night at the request of the Houston Police Officers Union, which filed a lawsuit earlier in the day against the city and the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association.
- PUB DATE: 12/4/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Houston Chronicle

Reedy Creek: The happiest fire department on earth

From responding to emergencies at the Bippity-Boppity-Boo Boutique, to rescuing a downed princess, the Reedy Creek Professional Firefighters isn’t your traditional fire service. RCPF serves the Reedy Creek Improvement District, the exclusive government agency of Walt Disney World properties in Florida, providing all fire and emergency services for 38.
- PUB DATE: 12/4/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: FireRescue1

How 150 survivors of California's deadliest fire made it out alive

It was the best bad place. To the south was a gun shop called Fins, Fur & Feather Sports, stocked with live ammunition. To the northeast, a propane yard. Across the street, a Fastrip gas station. All around, soaring, drought-crisp pines. And in the center? About 150 terrified people who had fled the ferocious Camp fire only to be stopped at the intersection of Skyway and Clark Road, forced to sit out the deadliest conflagration in California history.
- PUB DATE: 12/4/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Los Angeles Times

Tentative contract removes New York chief from union

The city’s second-highest paid employee in 2017 will soon be without union protection if the City Council approves a new contract Thursday with the Uniform Fire Chiefs Association. The tentative agreement signed by Mayor Patrick Madden and Deputy Fire Chief Dave Paul, president of the UFCA, would remove Fire Chief Thomas Garrett from the union.
- PUB DATE: 12/4/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Albany Times-Union