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National Fire News

Oregon: University students work with firefighters to reduce emergency call volume

In the next few years, overburdened Portland fire stations may shift focus from responding to each service call to setting up a direct line with parties better suited to handle a caller’s emergency. Connecting someone with a social worker or mental health professional instead of a firefighter could help reduce the Portland Fire and Rescue Bureau’s tremendous volume of service calls.
- PUB DATE: 4/3/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Portland State University

Judge denies request to stay reinstatement of Massachusetts firefighter

A Suffolk Superior Court judge has denied the town’s motion to stay Brookline firefighter Gerald Alston’s reinstatement after the state’s Civil Service Commission ruled in February that he was unjustly fired. The case dates back almost a decade, when a Brookline Fire Department lieutenant left a voicemail for Alston and used the “n-word.
- PUB DATE: 4/3/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Brookline TAB - Wicked Local Brookline

Fallen firefighters honored at Florida State Capitol

Gov. Ron DeSantis and members of the state cabinet gathered Tuesday morning at the state capitol for the annual “Ringing the Bell” ceremony to honor fallen firefighters in the state. Two new names were added to the Firefighter Memorial Monument in the capitol courtyard, representing Florida firefighters who died in 2018.
- PUB DATE: 4/3/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WWSB ABC 7

Michigan governor refuses county's request for disaster relief

The tornadoes that tore through parts of Shiawassee County on March 14 left a trail of destruction 18 miles long. Now Governor Gretchen Whitmer has turned down the county's request for a State Declaration of Emergency and disaster relief. The two tornadoes damaged 136 structures including 94 homes, 4 businesses, 16 barns, and 22 RV's.
- PUB DATE: 4/3/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WLNS.com

Firefighter training goes virtual in Nebraska

Firefighters train weekly to maintain readiness, so when the call comes to put their lives at risk for the people they serve, they are prepared. Whether in training or on a live fire, they are susceptible to various carcinogenic toxins - until now. To help reduce the inhalation of toxins, more and more fire departments are purchasing virtual reality equipment to provide a safer way to train their members.
- PUB DATE: 4/3/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Schriever Air Force Base

New York Officials: Two dozen city workers put on unlimited sick leave for illnesses linked to Ground Zero

Two dozen city workers have finally been granted unlimited sick leave as they fight the illnesses linked to their time at Ground Zero — as critics hammer Mayor de Blasio for doling out the much-needed help on a chaotic, piecemeal basis, the Daily News has learned. The added sick leave coverage comes six months after de Blasio approved the special sick leave for DC37, one of the city’s largest unions — vowing the agreement would form the basis for additional pacts with unions whose workers suffer with a 9/11 illness.
- PUB DATE: 4/2/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: New York Daily News

With staff changes and 2 more ambulances, Anchorage Fire Department embraces role in emergency medicine

In a quiet but dramatic change, the Anchorage Fire Department plans to shift staffing next month to adapt to an ever-rising demand for emergency medical responses. Managers recently reached an agreement with the city fire union, International Association of Fire Fighters Local 1264, to switch up staffing on fire rigs and ambulances.
- PUB DATE: 4/2/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Anchorage Daily News

What’s stopping Utah’s first responders from getting new radios? Two industry giants are fighting over the $50 million contract

Utah’s emergency communications may be on the brink of collapse, lending urgency to a planned massive system upgrade. But the project is on hold while two industry giants brawl over the taxpayer-funded contract for new two-way radios and equipment. Florida-based Harris Corp. won the contract with a bid of some $50 million — a price that the state says is $30 million below that of the losing bidder, Motorola.
- PUB DATE: 4/2/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Salt Lake Tribune

Tragic Crash Leads to New Life-Saving Program in Virginia

Inova Health System, Inova Trauma and Blood Donor Services, and the Northern Virginia EMS Council, in collaboration with the Fairfax County and Loudoun County Fire and Rescue Departments, have launched Field Available Component Transfusion Response (FACTR) to provide blood to entrapped trauma patients on the scene.
- PUB DATE: 4/2/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Loudoun Now

Deadly opioid overdoses plateau in Louisiana, though more cases involve fentanyl

First, the good news: Fatal drug overdoses in Louisiana appeared to level off in 2018 after years of steady increases fueled by the nationwide opioid epidemic. Now, the bad news. Even though the number of overdoses stabilized, it plateaued at a historically high number. And it would take many years of steep reductions to bring the rate back to where it was before the opioid crisis began.
- PUB DATE: 4/2/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Baton Rouge Advocate

Connecticut Firefighter Dies from Line of Duty Injuries Sustained 20 Years Ago

A West Haven firefighter/paramedic who was seriously injured only two days on the job 20 years ago has passed away. James Woodman was injured in October of 1999 when an ambulance he was riding in outside Yale-New Haven Hospital collided with a car. It was his last day on the job. Here is what the West Haven Fire Department Historical Library had to say about the firefighter's passing on its website: "It is with great sadness that we must share the news of James Woodman's passing.
- PUB DATE: 4/1/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: West Haven Patch

Detroit EMTs fired after tool indicates CPR fell short; union fights back

VIDEO: Two EMTs are out of their jobs after a controversial life-saving device indicated the pair didn't adequately deliver CPR during an emergency run in January that ended with a death. Michael Morgan and partner Julian Holts were terminated by Detroit's fire administration last month after using a Zoll monitor-defibrillator, a device designed to detect and evaluate cardiac rhythm problems and heart attacks — and it reports out CPR feedback, which the union contends was used against the men in their dismissals.
- PUB DATE: 4/1/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Detroit News

Colorado Metro Board approves marijuana excise tax funding to build new fire station

The design plans for a new fire station and a new state law that could fund its construction were the focus of the Pueblo West Metro District board meeting Tuesday. Because the fire department was unsuccessful in obtaining a $100,000 Colorado Department of Local Affairs grant that would have helped fund design and engineering costs for the fire district’s station two, Pueblo West Fire Chief Brian Caserta requested the board allow the use of up to $90,000 of the excise tax funds from marijuana sales tax to help fund an $180,000 design plan.
- PUB DATE: 4/1/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Pueblo Chieftain

Citing tax concerns, group opposes Missouri fire protection district

Adair County’s rural firefighters are hoping a ballot measure to create a fire protection district will give them more reliable and fairly distributed funding, but a group of citizens advocating against the proposal believe the additional taxation is too much to ask. Sarah Crawford is the founder of “Axe the Tax Adair County” and organized the group to advocate against the proposal, which would create a fire protection district funded by property taxes rather than the current membership dues.
- PUB DATE: 4/1/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Kirksville Daily Express

Nebraska captain's attorney wants court to force city to post notice about verdict at fire stations

The attorney for a Lincoln Fire & Rescue captain who won a $1.2 million verdict against the city last month for retaliation after he reported discrimination wants a judge to order mandatory training on harassment, discrimination and retaliation for all department supervisors. In a motion filed this week, Troy Hurd's attorney, Kelly Brandon, also is asking Senior U.
- PUB DATE: 4/1/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Lincoln Journal Star

U.S. Forest Service firefighter killed in Texas helicopter crash

Authorities say a U.S Forest Service firefighter has been killed following a helicopter crash in Montgomery County. The Texas Department of Public Safety says the helicopter crashed Wednesday afternoon east of the Grimes County community of Richards near Bethel Road and FM 149 in northwest Montgomery County.
- PUB DATE: 3/29/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KBTX-TV 3

Detroit firefighters say people overdosing on drugs being dumped in front of fire stations

VIDEO: Detroit firefighters said people overdosing on drugs are being dropped off almost every night in front of fire stations. Officials said someone was overdosing on drugs Sunday morning, and his friends dumped his body in the parking lot of the fire station at Seven Mile and John R roads. Authorities said they dumped the man's body and drove away, leaving firefighters to deal with the situation.
- PUB DATE: 3/29/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WDIV-TV NBC 4 Detroit

Perilous rescue in Nebraska shows need for hovercraft, firefighters say

The sight of firefighters trying to rescue a flood-stranded resident in a paddle boat was just too much for members of the Bellevue Fire Department. “We were contacted,” said Bonnie Knutson, president of the nonprofit Bellevue Public Safety Foundation. “We sent it out to the board and the board said, ‘Yep, let’s do it.
- PUB DATE: 3/29/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Omaha.com Sarpy News

Teamsters send proclamation to retain Iowa firefighters

The union representing police and public safety officers in Cedar Falls recently issued a proclamation supporting career firefighters. But city officials note individual officers represented by the union fully support the public safety officer program. On March 4, Teamsters Local 238’s executive board made the proclamation.
- PUB DATE: 3/29/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier

More than 500 fire departments in New York registered for statewide recruitment weekend

More than 500 fire departments across New York have already signed up for the 9th Annual RecruitNY Weekend. RecruitNY is a cornerstone campaign of the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY), with the goal of increasing membership in the State’s volunteer fire service. The 2019 RecruitNY weekend is scheduled for April 27-28.
- PUB DATE: 3/29/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Hudson Valley 360