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National Fire News

1,300 NYC first responders back at work after recovering from coronavirus or its symptoms

As more than 1,300 New York City first responders return to work after recovering from the novel coronavirus or calling out sick with symptoms of the virus, they're responding to a rapid increase in 911 calls for cardiac arrest, the FDNY said on Tuesday. The city's firefighters, paramedics and emergency medical technicians (EMT) are responding to "a record numbers of calls, and they continue to meet this unprecedented challenge head on,” said Fire Commissioner Dan Nigro.
- PUB DATE: 4/8/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: ABC News

Empty hotels ‘keep the lights on’ by converting into coronavirus quarantines, emergency housing for first responders

Cash-strapped and empty hotels across the country are finding ways to keep the lights on by converting themselves into coronavirus wards or temporary housing for the National Guard or exhausted doctors and nurses. It provides some much needed revenue for an industry that’s been brought to its knees by the COVID-19 outbreak that’s spread to more than 1.
- PUB DATE: 4/8/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: CNBC

Google Doodle salutes police and firefighters on coronavirus front line

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage populations around the world, with more than 1.3 million cases confirmed, millions more people are self-quarantining at home in a global effort to check the virus' spread. And still, a rare breed of people selflessly go about their daily lives, offering aid to those infected and helping maintain a sense of order while the rest of us shelter in place.
- PUB DATE: 4/8/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: CNET

IAFF Union official: 5,000 firefighters under quarantine nationally

At least 5,000 firefighters across the U.S. are under quarantine because of the coronavirus, an official with the International Association of Fire Fighters union told Hill.TV on Monday. Jim Brinkley, the union’s assistant to general president of technical assistance, said on Hill.TV’s “Rising” that the number is likely higher due to “severe underreporting.
- PUB DATE: 4/7/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Hill

Related: Tracking tool shows fire departments with positive COVID-19 tests

The International Association of Fire Fighters has released a tracking tool that shows which fire departments have reported exposure to COVID-19 or have had employees test positive with the virus. Firefighters respond to patients who could be infected with coronavirus every day. “The same way we do going into a fire while people are running out of it, we are running into people’s homes who may have contracted coronavirus,” said Tom Malone, president of the Memphis Fire Fighters Association.
- PUB DATE: 4/7/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WMC-TV NBC 5 Memphis

Pennsylvania county fire departments using gravity-fed paint sprayers for sanitizing

An innovative way of spray sanitizing is being put to good use by local emergency departments and Lawrence County Housing Authority apartment units during the coronavirus epidemic. They have the Shenango Area Fire District and the New Castle Fire Department to thank for the extra layers of protection, using the devices they built that are being used to disinfect surroundings.
- PUB DATE: 4/7/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: New Castle News

City in Washington considers wage reductions as it deals with financial fallout from coronavirus

City governments are facing a difficult reality right now as the coronavirus pandemic has led to a revenue shortfall. In Tukwila, wage cuts are being considered. According to Rachel Bianchi, Tukwila's Deputy City Administrator, no decisions about wage reductions have been made yet. However, the firefighters union said they have already seen reduced staffing levels and they call it unacceptable.
- PUB DATE: 4/7/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KING-TV NBC 5 Seattle

‘Not aggressive enough’: Healthcare, first responder unions urge DC mayor to change approach on coronavirus testing

A coalition of unions representing healthcare workers and first responders is calling on the D.C. government to take a more aggressive approach on coronavirus testing. The organizations fear doctors, nurses, paramedics, and other healthcare workers will be unable to treat patients if too many of them get sick.
- PUB DATE: 4/7/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WUSA-TV CBS 9 Washington, DC

‘The threat from within’: How the coronavirus spread through a California fire department

The virus did not creep toward San Jose firefighters. It lurked among them. It was March 6, a week after the country’s first community-transmitted COVID-19 case at a Vacaville hospital. Exposure to the virus remained largely linked to overseas travel. California’s case count had just scraped triple-digits.
- PUB DATE: 4/6/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: East Bay Times

'Consider all patients to be infected’: FDNY directs paramedics, EMTs to wear masks on all calls

New York City paramedics and emergency medical technicians must wear medical-grade face masks while treating any patient during the coronavirus outbreak, FDNY honchos have announced. The FDNY last month said first responders should only wear N95 respirator masks while performing up-close “aerosol-generating” procedures like CPR, but remain unmasked during less critical jobs.
- PUB DATE: 4/6/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: New York Daily News

High-speed disinfecting process proves invaluable to western Pennsylvania ambulance crews

As the coronavirus continues to spread and send many patients to the hospital, ambulance crews are balancing a thorough disinfection process with getting back on the road as quickly as possible. It’s a situation that has led to an uptick in business for cleaning and restoration companies that have a specialized disinfection process in their repertoire, such as Pittsburgh-based G.
- PUB DATE: 4/6/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Indiana City Rolling Out Weekly Testing of First Responders and City Workers

Starting next week, city workers on the frontline of the Covid-19 pandemic in Carmel, Indiana will be tested weekly for the virus. In the first week, the city of about 100,000 people just north of Indianapolis expects to test about 350 police officers, firefighters and EMS personnel, as well as city staffers who still have to physically show up to work, like those in charge of code enforcement on construction sites and sewer utility workers.
- PUB DATE: 4/6/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Route Fifty

Fire at Southwest Florida International Airport destroys over 3,500 rental cars, port authority says

VIDEO: A fire that spread across 15 acres destroyed more than 3,500 rental cars at the rental car overflow area of Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) on Friday, Lee County Port Authority said. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. It drew a response from every Lee County fire department with assistance from aviation and fire departments in neighboring Collier and Charlotte counties.
- PUB DATE: 4/6/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WINK-TV CBS 11 Fort Myers

New England Patriots’ airplane ships 1.2 million face masks from China to US

As the U.S. continues to combat the coronavirus outbreak, the New England Patriots’ airplane is being used to help aid the country in its response to the pandemic. The Patriots’ team plane departed early Wednesday morning from Shenzen, China, where the Boeing 767 had picked up 1.2 million N95 face masks to bring them back to the United States, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.
- PUB DATE: 4/3/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Republican - MassLive.com

Indiana: Protective Shield Developed For First Responders Facing COVID-19 Cases

VIDEO: Protecting first responders has never been more important. Now a local business has developed a simple safety solution. CBS 2’s Steven Graves takes a look at how it works. Like most operations around the country, the one at Crown Point, Indiana Fire and Rescue has shifted. “Our thought process is that everybody is a potential patient with COVID-19.
- PUB DATE: 4/3/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WBBM-TV CBS 2 Chicago

EMS crews won’t take flatlining cardiac patients to hospital under New York City's new coronavirus rules

Cardiac patients who flatline will not be taken to area hospitals for further care, according to a new directive handed down as the city battles the rise in coronavirus cases. The new orders from the Regional Emergency Medical Services Council of New York City say that “no adult non-traumatic or blunt traumatic cardiac arrest is to be transported to a hospital with manual or mechanical compressions in progress" unless the person’s heart restarts at the scene.
- PUB DATE: 4/3/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: New York Daily News

With protective gear in short supply, doctors in Washington state turn to UV light treatment

Tucked away in the corner of his office, Dr. Richard Saint Syr has created a little treatment station. On the bottom shelf of his bookcase, hidden behind one of his pictures, is an ultraviolet light the size of his forearm, two N95 masks and some goggles. The light he bought from Amazon a few days back after he was hit with a realization.
- PUB DATE: 4/3/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Kitsap Sun

Union Head: FDNY to enact ‘doomsday scenario’ for medically-trained firefighters to assist EMS with coronavirus 911 calls

Firefighters trained as paramedics and EMTs will assist the FDNY’s overloaded medical services bureau as part of a “doomsday scenario” to deal with the surging coronavirus pandemic, the Daily News has learned. Roughly 209 FDNY firefighters with emergency medical technician licenses have been ordered to man rapid response vehicles, according to a six-minute video released Tuesday night by United Firefighters’ Association head Gerard Fitzgerald.
- PUB DATE: 4/2/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: New York Daily News

Detroit will be first city to use new 15-minute COVID-19 tests today

The city of Detroit will be the first to have specific test kits that could have results in minutes. Normally, the swab tests take days to yield results. Testing with these kits begin today but only for Detroit police, first responders and bus drivers. Instead of waiting days to get results to find out if you have the coronavirus — you get results in 15 minutes.
- PUB DATE: 4/2/2020 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WXYZ-TV ABC 7 Detroit