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National Fire News

Mississippi city passes budget, retains fire chief position

After what they called a "tough" budget process, the mayor and aldermen approved their FY19 budget. One of the hotly debated items was restructuring the fire and police department, creating a public safety director who would oversee both fire and police departments. Members of the fire department spoke to the mayor and aldermen in executive session where they expressed their desire for Chief Tommy Posey to remain their leader.
- PUB DATE: 9/27/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: gulflive.com

Minnesota fire chief eyes smaller vehicles for medical calls

Calling 911 for medical problems in Minneapolis generates a big response. The city Fire Department dispatches a half-million-dollar fire engine with several firefighters, even for minor issues like a sprained ankle. A smaller vehicle operated by the Minneapolis Fire Department may begin responding to some health emergencies around downtown next year, one way the department is dealing with its growing volume of medical emergency calls.
- PUB DATE: 9/27/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Star Tribune

Houston Mayor institutes hiring freeze, citing firefighter ‘parity’ referendum

Mayor Sylvester Turner has instituted a hiring freeze across the city government’s roughly 21,400 positions, ordering department directors seeking exceptions to meet with him or his chief of staff in person. The directive, he wrote in a memo dated Friday, will be reviewed “at a later date this year.
- PUB DATE: 9/26/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Houston Chronicle

Pennsylvania mayor claims fire patrols benefit firefighters’ health

Firefighters on patrol are safer than at the station where they’re at risk of a heart attack when the alarm sounds, Mayor Tony George said Tuesday in further explanation of why he’s ordered the department to conduct community fire watches. The department had been conducting the watches, but for the past 40 days stepped them up at the direction of the mayor by driving apparatus in the neighborhoods, not only to serve as a deterrent, but also to detect fires.
- PUB DATE: 9/26/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Wilkes Barre Times Leader

How the Orlando Fire Department’s Active Shooter Policy Fell Through the Cracks

Since 2005, the Orlando Fire Department has trained its paramedics on how to work with police officers to rescue victims from active shooter situations. In 2013, administrators began updating the department’s policy and buying equipment. But the project wasn’t finished until after the June 12, 2016, shooting at the Pulse nightclub.
- PUB DATE: 9/26/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Propublica

Metro Fire Chiefs Adopt Positions at NFPA Forum

Metropolitan fire chiefs from the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom met last week for the National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA) annual Urban Fire Forum (UFF) aimed at reinforcing the critical role urban chiefs play in ensuring safe communities. The forum was held at NFPA headquarters in Quincy, MA, and featured special guests such as the head of the U.
- PUB DATE: 9/26/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Firehouse.com

Martin Pang, who set fire that killed 4 Seattle firefighters, to be released from prison

Martin Pang, who set fire to a Seattle warehouse in 1995 in hopes of collecting an insurance payout — a blaze that killed four firefighters in the worst loss of life in the department’s history — will be released from prison on Thursday. Pang, now 62, set fire to a frozen-food warehouse owned by his parents in the Chinatown International District on Jan.
- PUB DATE: 9/26/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Seattle Times

Elderly man found alive inside building 5 days after D.C. apartment fire

An elderly man was found alive and apparently with a "sense of humor" inside of a D.C. senior apartment building five days after a fire broke out causing more than 100 residents to be displaced. The man has been identified as 74-year-old Raymond Holton, according to sources. Crews hired to evaluate the safety of the structure located Holton Monday morning sitting inside of his apartment in the building that caught on fire last Wednesday.
- PUB DATE: 9/25/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WUSA-TV 9 DC

Training on dead body ‘was neither normal nor acceptable,’ Washington fire chief says

One Bellingham Fire Department veteran officer retired and another resigned after an investigation revealed a deceased patient in July was taken to Fire Station 1 to await pick up from a funeral home and several department members, including a division chief and EMS captains, practiced multiple intubations on the body, according to information provided by City of Bellingham Communications Director Vanessa Blackburn.
- PUB DATE: 9/25/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Bellingham Herald

Michigan firefighter charged after stealing pill bottle from scene of fatal crash

A fireman was charged after evidence showed he stole a prescription pill bottle that was found at the scene of a fatal motorcycle crash involving two victims, according to the Macomb County Sheriff's office. On Aug. 21, Macomb County sheriff’s deputies along with the Harrison Township Fire Department, responded to the motorcycle crash near the area of Executive Drive and Joy Boulevard in Harrison Township.
- PUB DATE: 9/25/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WDIV-TV NBC 4 Detroit

Column: Scientists studying turnout gear for fluorinated chemicals

An independent study is being conducted on turnout gear after initial samples tested positive for fluorine. According to a press release, University of Notre Dame Experimental Nuclear Physics Professor Graham Peaslee is testing new and used personal protective gear issued through the 2000s for the presence of perfluorinated alkyl substances (PFASs), which have been linked to various forms of cancer.
- PUB DATE: 9/25/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: FireRescue1.com

EMS reach is stretching Washington agency budgets

The mounting costs of providing emergency medical services in rural Asotin County could lead to a new EMS levy proposal in places such as Anatone, Cloverland and the Snake River corridor. At Monday’s Asotin County Commission meeting, Lewiston Fire Chief Travis Myklebust and Asotin County Fire Chief Noel Hardin said first responders are getting more calls to areas outside the boundaries of the Asotin County Fire District.
- PUB DATE: 9/25/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Lewiston Tribune

Denver firetruck gets stuck in sinkhole at water main break

Residents of a quiet neighborhood woke up to a strange sight Sunday morning after the back end of a Denver Fire Department truck was swallowed up by a sinkhole. It happened just after 6 a.m. at the corner of Zuni and Louisiana when a fire crew was headed to the scene of a reported water main break. Between the 12-inch water main break and the sunken truck, nearby residents found themselves scrambling to make sense of the scene.
- PUB DATE: 9/24/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KDVR

California firefighters: Battalion chief secretly photographed, videotaped union members

A La Verne Fire battalion chief secretly took more than 250 videos, 1,500 photographers and kept a 235-page file of notes, some of which included conversations union members had with their wives, the La Verne Firefighters Association alleges in a new claim filed against the city last week. The association, engaged in a legal battle with the city the last 10 months, alleges Battalion Chief Michael Thompson began his surveillance of union members in the summer of 2017 with the intent to gather evidence for disciplinary action against them.
- PUB DATE: 9/24/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Daily Bulletin

Staffing cuts made at New Hampshire fire stations as city, union struggle to reach contract agreement

As the firefighters’ union and the Queen City try to reach a contract, cuts have been made across the board at Manchester fire stations. In order to avoid layoffs and shutting down stations, Manchester Fire Chief Dan Goonan made the call to cut back from 46 firefighters per shift down to 37. Goonan said he had to cut some crews from four members down to three.
- PUB DATE: 9/24/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WMUR-TV ABC 9 Manchester

Woman sentenced 74 years for arson, murder of two Missouri firefighters

The woman who ignited gallons of flammable liquids in her nail salon looking to get an insurance check but ended up killing two Kansas City firefighters was sentenced Friday to 74 years in prison. The stiff sentence for Thu Hong Nguyen was punishment for causing what Assistant Jackson County Prosecutor Dan Nelson called “pain that is real, is ragged and is ongoing” for the families and friends of firefighters John V.
- PUB DATE: 9/24/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Kansas City Star

Illinois firefighters to help battle human sex trafficking

The Peoria Fire Department is trained to do much more than just put out flames; in fact now they're adding a new skill to their repertoire, that could save someone's life, but not in the way most would assume. They're joining the fight against human sex trafficking in Central Illinois through a new training.
- PUB DATE: 9/24/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Week.com

Iowa firefighters resign over public safety officer program

For about three years the city of Cedar Falls has begun using dual-trained public safety officers — PSOs — to help fight fires. There has been push back. Now two veteran firefighters have quit the force. James Cook worked as a full-time firefighter in Cedar Falls for 12 years, but left this month due to safety concerns.
- PUB DATE: 9/21/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier

Florida firefighters sue city, say they were retaliated against for testifying in discrimination case

Two Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department employees are suing the City of Jacksonville, saying they were retaliated against for testifying in a racial discrimination case. That complaint was filed by JFRD Capt. Eric Mitchell. The employees said they were told they need to "get rid of" Mitchell. This isn't the first time JFRD has faced allegations of discrimination and hostile work environments concerning African-American firefighters.
- PUB DATE: 9/21/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WTEV-TV 47

'We train on it, but we lived it yesterday': Wisconsin fire dept. looks forward after shooting

In a community reeling from not only historic flooding but a workplace shooting Wednesday, the Middleton Fire Department is reflecting on its response while looking toward the future. Officers shot and killed the shooter, identified as 43-year-old Anthony Y. Tong, of Madison, who attacked people at a Middleton software company, injuring several, officials said.
- PUB DATE: 9/21/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WISC-TV Channel 3000.com Madison