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National Fire News

Ohio fire chief caps 43-year career

A lot of dads miss the birth of a child because of work. Steve Hein was there because of work. His wife called him and told him she needed him home immediately. He drove home and found her giving birth to their son. He called for paramedics, who included some of the people he had just been working with, and delivered his son alongside his teammates.
- PUB DATE: 6/4/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Columbus Dispatch

After legal battle, Rhode Island firefighter injured on job promoted to battalion chief

A veteran firefighter who nearly died fighting a triple-decker fire two years ago was promoted to the rank of battalion chief, ending a year-long legal battle. Joseph Fontaine was promoted in a ceremony Thursday, pinned by his wife in front of his friends and family. "I almost died to get to where I am," Fontaine said.
- PUB DATE: 6/4/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WPRI-TV Providence 12

London Grenfell Tower Fire Inquiry: 'Stay put' advice failed, says expert

Fire service advice to "stay put" in the Grenfell Tower fire had "effectively failed" within around half an hour of the fire starting, a report for the blaze inquiry has found. A safety expert said there was "an early need for total evacuation", but it was not an "easy decision to make". Dr Barbara Lane also suggested cladding was the primary cause of the spread of June's fire, which caused 72 deaths.
- PUB DATE: 6/4/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: BBC

Off-duty firefighter killed in motorcycle crash with bear in Oregon

Authorities say a 39-year-old off-duty firefighter was killed when his motorcycle struck a large bear on a Central Oregon highway and he was hit by another vehicle. Oregon State Police says Rhett Larsen, of Bend, died at the scene of Saturday night's crash on Highway 26 near Warm Springs. The Bend Fire Department on social media Sunday called the fire engineer a "respected leader" and that he is deeply missed.
- PUB DATE: 6/4/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: CBS News

Firefighter Recounts Remarkable Rescue of Mother and Son in Boston

A Dorchester mother and her 5-year-old son almost lost their lives as a two-alarm fire raged inside their home. The dramatic moment firefighter Patrick Callahan was able to rescue the boy is one the child’s mother and Callahan will never forget. "When I saw him, we just did our best as a team to get them out safely," Callahan said.
- PUB DATE: 6/1/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: NBC Boston

Paramedics denied entry to Florida school where kids were dying

During the chaos of the Parkland school shooting, paramedics from Coral Springs-Parkland Fire Department were desperate to go inside the building where students were wounded and dying. Michael McNally, deputy chief for Coral Springs fire-rescue, asked six times for permission to send in specialized teams of police officers and paramedics, according to an incident report he filed after the Feb.
- PUB DATE: 6/1/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Miami Herald

Former Washington firefighter's family suing drug companies

The family of a retired Kennewick firefighter and transit driver is blaming prescription opioids for his mental collapse. This week, they sued five opioid manufacturers and his Kennewick physician for malpractice and product liability. The lawsuit filed on behalf of William "Jean" Comstock, 76, claims medication prescribed for his chronic pain reduced the once engaging public servant to a psych ward patient "left to battle the horrors of a tormented mind for the remainder of his days.
- PUB DATE: 6/1/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Tri-City Herald

Drone guides Hawaii resident surrounded by lava through jungle

Lost in a jungle, surrounded by lava and guided to safety by a drone flying overhead. It’s not a futuristic high-tech movie, but the scene in Leilani Estates Sunday after a resident got “trapped at their residence” on Luana Street. he Department of Interior’s Kilauea response team was on a mission to map the Lower East Rift Zone when scientists using an unmanned aircraft system, or drone, spotted a resident as lava from Kilauea Volcano continued to devour the rural subdivision in lower Puna.
- PUB DATE: 6/1/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Honolulu Star Advertiser

California department loses only water tender after they say road beneath it collapsed

The Kneeland Volunteer Fire Department's water tender was totaled Monday after the road beneath it collapsed, causing the vehicle to crash down an embankment. The incident occurred while the agency was responding to a structure fire on Abbey Road in Bayside. The water tender moved aside and parked halfway on the narrow road and its shoulder to make way for an oncoming fire truck.
- PUB DATE: 6/1/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: krcrtv.com

Today marks five years since Houston Fire Department's deadliest day in history

It was the single biggest loss of life in the history of the Houston Fire Department. Five years ago, the Southwest Inn fire ultimately claimed the lives of five firefighters. The four firefighters who died on the scene were Robert Bebee, Robert Garner, Mathew Renaud, and Anne Sullivan. In March 2017, Captain Bill Dowling, who lost both of his legs in the fire, died of complications from the injuries sustained in the line of duty.
- PUB DATE: 5/31/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KTRK-TV ABC 13 Houston

Overtime at leaderless New York fire department climbs past $11 million

The 600-member Buffalo Fire Department has been operating without a commissioner or deputy commissioner since the beginning of May, part of a pattern of continuing turnover in the department’s top positions since Mayor Byron W. Brown took office in 2006. The leadership void is “devastating,” said a source within the department.
- PUB DATE: 5/31/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Buffalo News

California city to settle fire captain discrimination suit for $450,000

A fire captain is set to receive a $450,000 settlement after suing the city and a former fire chief for discrimination. City Attorney Barbara Parker is recommending City Council approve the sum at its June 5 meeting, according to city documents. Capt. Joseph Torres filed suit in November 2015, alleging Chief Teresa Deloach Reed refused to promote him to battalion chief, even though he qualified for the rank.
- PUB DATE: 5/31/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: East Bay Times

New Hampshire governor to sign firefighter cancer treatment benefits bill

Gov. Chris Sununu said he intends to sign a bill that passed the House last week to allow firefighter cancer treatment benefits to be funded through worker’s compensation. Senate Bill 541 comes 28 years after a law was ruled unconstitutional that stated certain cancers are presumed to be work-related for firefighters, leaving firefighters with cancer to pay many of their costs out of pocket.
- PUB DATE: 5/31/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Foster's Daily Democrat

CHP officer calls firefighter he pulled from Northern California fire a hero

A firefighter who was pulled from a burning building Monday is in fair condition at the UC Davis Burn Center in Sacramento. Firefighter Justin Costa was pulled to safety by California Highway Patrol Officer Geno Cortez and another firefighter after being badly burned while battling a blaze at Hardester’s Market in Middletown.
- PUB DATE: 5/31/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KCRA-TV NBC Sacramento

Dallas set to pay $173M in settlement for decades-old police, firefighter lawsuits

An executive committee representing nearly 8,700 current and former Dallas police officers and firefighters has agreed to a $173.3 million settlement in their decades-old class-action lawsuits against City Hall over years of back-pay claims. The figure is an agreed-upon price that comes with caveats because it's not yet a done deal.
- PUB DATE: 5/30/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Dallas Morning News

New California Chief Faces Lawsuits, Protests over County ‘Hostile Takeover’

Jeremi Roesler takes over as Julian fire chief Friday, succeeding five-year Chief Rick Marinelli and inheriting a firestorm. A battalion chief with Cal Fire’s Hemet-area Battalion 5, Roesler will be dealing with lawsuits, complaints of Brown Act violations, expected protests at the Julian fire station on state Route 79 and an angry citizenry that has petitioned twice to keep its last-in-the-county volunteer force.
- PUB DATE: 5/30/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Times of San Diego

Missouri Fire Department Sued In Federal Court For Pattern Of Racial Discrimination

A former 23-year veteran employee of the Kansas City Fire Department is suing the department for racial discrimination. In a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday, Travis Yeargans, who is black, says he's not the only one who has been discriminated against. The lawsuit claims KCFD has a "pattern and practice of not promoting African-Americans to any position above firetruck driver due to race.
- PUB DATE: 5/30/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KCUR Public Radio

Crucial self-care: Preparing for a negative emotional response on the job

Although well-trained in the strategic and tactical aspects of firefighting, firefighters often receive too little training when it comes to handling the mental stress that accompanies the job. Firefighters make great personal sacrifices during emergency situations, but don’t always take the risks seriously.
- PUB DATE: 5/30/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: FireRescue1

Connecticut Fire Departments Forge Closer Ties

As demand for emergency fire and medical services grows, town leaders and the chiefs of the two fire departments have drafted a plan to boost collaboration and blur territorial lines. Released Tuesday, the strategic plan for the town Fire/Rescue/EMS and Eighth Utilities District departments is meant "to identify ways to work together to provide the highest level of service and the quickest and most effective response to the entire community," department leaders said in a prepared statement.
- PUB DATE: 5/30/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Hartford Courant ·

Chicago Fire Dept. diver dies, 2 others injured while searching for man in river

A Chicago Fire Department diver died and two others were injured Monday night while searching for a 28-year-old man who fell off a boat on the Chicago River on the Lower West Side. Firefighters responded at 7:49 p.m. in the 2600 block of South Ashland after others on the boat called 911 to report the fall, according to the Chicago Fire Department.
- PUB DATE: 5/29/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Chicago Sun-Times