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National Fire News

Houston City Council Approves Laying Off 220 Firefighters

More than 200 Houston firefighters will be laid off after the City Council approved the measure Wednesday during a heated debate. The decision comes as the city tries to implement voter-mandated pay parity between the local police and fire departments. Mayor Sylvester Turner has said that the measure will cost the city $307 million from fiscal year 2019 to fiscal year 2023.
- PUB DATE: 4/25/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Houston Public Media

110-Year-Old Pennsylvania Fire Company Shuts Down

This fire company was a staple in the community for 110 years. Now, it’s gone. Millbourne Fire Company in Delaware County voted to shut down Tuesday night following five years of financial instability. Chief Joseph Artmont Jr. has been at the fire company since 1982 and became chief three years ago.
- PUB DATE: 4/25/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: NBC 10 Philadelphia

Why Are Boston Area Firefighters Called 'Jakes'?

Listener Roberta "Bobbie" Brown recently emailed the Curiosity Desk, after reading a story in the paper about Boston firefighters. In the piece, the author referred to them as "jakes." She wanted to know where that term comes from and how it came to refer to firefighters in the region. Like our curious listener, I too have seen firefighters called “jakes” in the papers.
- PUB DATE: 4/25/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WGBH

Fiery Train Derailment in Texas Prompts Evacuations

VIDEOS: A Union Pacific freight train carrying ethanol careened off its tracks in a Fort Worth neighborhood Wednesday and burst into flames, prompting an evacuation of nearby homes and a hazardous materials response. It happened at about 12:40 a.m. near the 3200 block of Yuma Street, on the city's southeast side and near Echo Lake.
- PUB DATE: 4/25/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Arkansas police, firefighters will be paid in $1.15M class action lawsuit settlement

More than 120 current and former Conway police and firefighters will receive money payment before the end of the year after the city agreed to settle the class action lawsuit for $1.15 million. The Conway City Council voted on Monday in a special-called meeting to give Mayor Bart Castleberry the OK to request a preliminary approval in the suit that was filed against the city in 2012, a case Castleberry inherited when he was voted in as mayor in 2016.
- PUB DATE: 4/25/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Log Cabin Democrat

Oregon firefighter positions could get the ax in budget cuts

VIDEO: In 2016, Ashland hired three additional firefighters for the first time since 2001 in response to service demands. Due to a $2 million budget deficit, those brand new positions could be eliminated in the 2019-2021 budget. Ultimately, that would affect service levels in the city and reduce the number of staffed crews from about 10 members to a maximum of nine members.
- PUB DATE: 4/24/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KTVL News 10

Texas city sues own fire department

VIDEO: Concerns over title transfers and insurance lead the City of Howardwick to file a lawsuit against the volunteer fire department that protects it. In a recent lawsuit, the City of Howardwick contends a former city secretary improperly transferred the titles of three fire trucks and an ambulance to the Howardwick Volunteer Fire Department instead of to the city.
- PUB DATE: 4/24/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KFDA News 10 Amarillo

Volunteer fire department in West Virginia restored, shares progress with the community

The Talcott Volunteer Fire Department sits proudly with its engines in line. It was in June of 2016 when the department was closed by state officials who cited lack of crew members and equipment testing. As the community had to rely on other departments as far away as Alderson to respond to calls, Chief Bill Costomiris and board members were forced to build from the ground up to get recertified.
- PUB DATE: 4/24/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WVNS-TV FOX 59

NTSB: Disconnected gas regulator, unknown ignition source caused deadly 2016 Maryland apartment blast

The National Transportation Safety Board has been unable to determine the ignition source that sparked the explosion in a Silver Spring apartment complex meter room, where natural gas had been building up for at least three hours. Seven people were killed and 65 were sent to the hospital after the explosion and fire at the Flower Branch Apartments on Aug.
- PUB DATE: 4/24/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WTOP-FM

Some fallen first responders' children in Michigan not getting tuition aid due to loophole

VIDEO: The wife of a fallen police officer thought she would be getting help - but found out her family won't be getting the benefit of help with tuition bills. A law in the books is supposed to take care of in-state college tuition for the families of fallen officers and firefighters, but there's a loophole that two freshman lawmakers want to tie up to make sure no family is left behind.
- PUB DATE: 4/24/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Fox 2 News Detroit

Two southern Arizona fire districts to employ new methods to help sick, injured children

Two fire districts in southern Arizona will become the first in the area to put to use new methods to help sick or injured children. Golder Ranch Fire and Northwest Fire District's firefighters will train to use the Handtevy Pediatric Emergency Standards. The standards will allow for firefighters to act quicker and more efficiently when it comes to treating the smallest patients.
- PUB DATE: 4/23/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KGUN 9 Tucson

New Mexico fire department to create EMS division

For years, most of the Santa Fe Fire Department’s work has not been fighting fires but delivering emergency medical services. It’s finally working on a long-awaited reorganization to better reflect that. When Fire Chief Paul Babcock took over the department in the fall, he made it a priority to create a new EMS division alongside the operations and support services divisions.
- PUB DATE: 4/23/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Santa Fe New Mexican

‘The weakest link’: Why your house may burn while your neighbor’s survives the next California wildfire

The sky was turning orange and the embers were flying from the Camp Fire when Oney and Donna Carrell and Donna’s father sped away from their Paradise home. “I thought, ‘Oh, well, the house is done,’ ” Oney Carrell said. A few days later, they learned otherwise. The Carrells’ home survived the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history with a couple of warped window frames, a partially charred down spout and a stubborn smoky smell inside.
- PUB DATE: 4/23/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Sacramento Bee - Metered Site

First responders hope for change in Alabama's retirement system

If the state of Alabama doesn’t update state law regarding the public employees retirement system, it may end up having a negative impact years down the road for the Vestavia Hills Police and Fire departments, leaders from both departments said. In the 2012 legislative session, the Alabama Legislature changed the way employees were classified, with employees starting their jobs on or after Jan.
- PUB DATE: 4/23/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Vestavia Voice

Pennsylvania city considers tax break for firefighters

Lower Burrell Council is exploring a local tax incentive for city firefighters to boost their thinning ranks and properly reward their community work. Councilman Joe Grillo is looking at city firefighters forgoing the city’s earned income tax or other possibilities. A course for young firefighters is also under consideration.
- PUB DATE: 4/23/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: TribLIVE

Indiana recruit firefighter who died in 4-vehicle crash remembered as 'friendliest guy you could meet'

David R. Short II was remembered as having a larger-than-life personality. According to friends, he was easy to talk to and well-liked in his community. The 26-year-old Indianapolis Fire Department recruit firefighter was killed Friday evening in a four-vehicle crash near the Indianapolis Regional Airport in Hancock County.
- PUB DATE: 4/22/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Indy Star

Eight firefighters recovering after explosion in Arizona

VIDEO: Eight west Valley firefighters are recovering following an explosion at an APS substation in Surprise on Friday night. Four Peoria firefighters who were injured are "doing good," according to a department's spokesperson. In a post on the Peoria Fire-Medical Department's Twitter page, officials say Engineer Justin Lopez, who was in critical condition and taken into surgery following the explosion, "is awake and doing as well as can be expected.
- PUB DATE: 4/22/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: ABC15 Arizona

Volunteer EMS outfits in New York seek right to send bills

Volunteer firefighting companies are calling on the state legislature to pass a law that would allow them to charge for the ambulance services that they provide. Last week, the Firemen's Association of the State of New York and its members held a legislative outreach event at the Cambria Volunteer Fire Hall to vouch for such a bill.
- PUB DATE: 4/22/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Niagara Gazette

Connecticut fire department requests budget money for Narcan, training

The city’s fire department has proposed a budget that would allow it to devote more money to replenish the department’s Narcan stock, train incoming firefighters and cover costs for computer services. In a budget meeting Tuesday night, the city’s Emergency Operations Center and police and fire departments laid out their budget requests and fielded questions by the budget committee.
- PUB DATE: 4/22/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Connecticut Post

Louisiana fire department pitches reality cooking series to network TV

VIDEO: A crew of Shreveport firefighters is working together to bring the mysteries of the firehouses to light and to network television. "Cooking with Fire," an original series created by Shreveport Fire Department's Captain Allen Dantes, is a documentary-reality style food and travel show. SFD fireman, chef and host Mark Myers Jr.
- PUB DATE: 4/22/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Shreveport Times