National News

Monday, October 23, 2017

Las Vegas area police and firefighters learned from past tragedies, using different tactic to save lives

With shooting victims on the site of the Route 91 Harvest Festival and taking shelter in nearby hotels, police officers clustered around firefighters, protecting the paramedics as they worked to stabilize and move the wounded to safety. The agencies had practiced together for years on these rescue task forces, preparing for the possibility of a mass-casualty event like the Oct. 1 massacre, which authorities said was perpetrated by a lone gunman firing from an elevated position inside Mandalay Bay. “It seems rather aggressive, but we’ve learned from past incidents where people were injured and nobody pulled them out and, unfortunately, they died, where potentially they could have been saved,” said Joe Geeb, a Clark County fire captain based out of Station 33.
Las Vegas Sun

Unmasked: Firefighters and Cancer

No one warned Mark Rine that while he was saving others, he was killing himself. The bad habits that would ensure the firefighter’s death sentence started with his very first fire in 2007. Rine was supposed to help set up the ladder, but he ignored his orders, grabbed the hose and charged into the burning two-story brick house. The rookie firefighter trudged through thick black smoke. In seconds, he was covered in soot. His head throbbed, but he moved on. Once he and the other Columbus firefighters from Station 23 extinguished the flames, they slogged back between fallen lumber and smoking furniture to make sure fire wasn’t hiding behind the walls. At this point, Rine was wearing only a T-shirt and his heavy-duty pants, exposing his skin to chemicals.
Gatehouse Projects - Columbus Dispatch

Crazed driver tries to steal FDNY fire truck after plowing into cars

VIDEO - New video shows the moment a crazed driver tried to steal a fire truck after plowing his box truck into several cars near Times Square Sunday. Video of the scuffle shows the truck driver, who can be seen wearing a green T-shirt, frantically climbing in the driver’s-side door of a fire engine on 10th Avenue and 43rd Street. He braces himself on the door as he rocks back and forth half inside the vehicle’s cabin. Moments later, he disappears inside, and the truck continues to shake as a half-dozen firefighters scramble in after him, eventually yanking him out of the driver’s seat.
New York Post

Minnesota fire chief says he’ll step down, will stay on at department

Tim Butler, who has been St. Paul’s fire chief for a decade, announced Saturday he will step down from the department’s helm. Butler asked the mayor that he be allowed to continue working at the fire department by returning to a lesser role he used to have. Butler has faced controversy, particularly in recent weeks. The deputy mayor issued him a written reprimand Oct. 10, after an investigation concluded he retaliated against an employee. The discipline came two days after the president of the rank-and-file firefighters’ union filed a different complaint against Butler, alleging he used a derogatory term in an email to a firefighter. Butler sent Mayor Chris Coleman a letter Saturday, saying Monday he would voluntarily end his appointment as fire chief. He requested to be reinstated to his previous title of fire emergency management and communications chief.
Pioneer Press

Jury orders payout to black Missouri firefighter for denying him promotion because of race

An African-American firefighter with the Kansas City Fire Department has been awarded $356,694 in compensatory damages following a race discrimination suit against the city. Tarshish Jones, a firetruck driver, claimed the department uses discriminatory practices in determining who is promoted. When the suit was filed in 2015, Jones had been employed by the department for 17 years and had been eligible for captain for 12 of those years. He took the captain’s test five times. He scored high on objective testing, but was “marked down in his verbal testing because he is African American,” according to the lawsuit.
Kansas City Star

Did firefighters mishandle Canyon Fire 2? California county supervisor wants an investigation

Internal reports that the Orange County Fire Authority bungled its initial response to the Canyon Fire 2 are prompting Orange County Supervisor Shawn Nelson to ask colleagues for an independent investigation of the fire that burned 9,200 acres and destroyed or damaged nearly 60 homes around Anaheim Hills. “There’s a lot of stuff out there and some of it is not adding up,” Nelson said Sunday, Oct. 22. “We need to find out what’s going on over there. “We have a right to answers,” he added. “And, right now, I don’t know who to believe.” Among the questions Nelson wants investigated: Did the Orange County Fire Authority respond correctly when it first was told of a possible fire in the canyon on the morning of Oct. 9?
Orange County Register

Friday, October 20, 2017

Veteran firefighter named new chief of Oakland Fire Department

Longtime Oakland firefighter Darin White was named fire chief Thursday, the city’s second choice after a Los Angeles candidate turned down the job over a contract dispute. White, who has spent 20 of his 30-year career in Oakland, will lead a beleaguered department recovering from the Ghost Ship blaze, the deadliest structure fire in modern California history that uncovered failures to properly inspect commercial and multi-unit residential buildings. The Oakland native most recently served as interim chief, after Teresa Deloach Reed went on leave and later retired in the wake of the Dec. 2 warehouse fire that killed 36 people attending a dance party. Mayor Libby Schaaf and City Administrator Sabrina Landreth announced the hiring Thursday.
East Bay Times

New York town’s councilwoman says she is being bullied by fire department

City Councilwoman Teresa R. Macaluso is accusing members of the city’s fire department of embarking on a smear campaign to defeat her in next month’s election, She’s also accusing the firefighters of bullying her during this fall’s City Council campaign because she’s been a vocal opponent of the fire department during the city’s three-year contract battle with the firefighters’ union. “I’m being bullied by 70 men,” she said. Last week, the union criticized Councilwoman Macaluso for complaining when she and other council members weren’t notified a fire department awards ceremony was postponed — while firefighters were battling a blaze that sent three people to the hospital.
Watertown Daily Times

South Carolina firefighter pulls 2-year-old from sinking car

Carson Couch doesn’t consider himself a hero, although to many he probably is. It was October 2nd when the Belmont firefighter made a rescue that was unlike any other in his career. Couch, off-duty at the time, was driving down Piedmont Golf Course Road with his brother when he saw a frantic man on the side of the road. Just beyond him was a truck, quickly sinking in a pond. “We slowed down; I rolled my window down and pulled over to him,” Couch said. “He kept asking if I could swim, and that’s when my little brother saw the child in the car.” Trapped in the back seat of the truck was a two-year-old boy. “All I saw was his face and hands just like this, pushed up against the glass of the back of the pick-up truck.”

California community makes controversial move to reject firefighting resources

The fire district in San Diego's sweetest tourist destination is rejecting a request to join the County Fire Authority, which some say is a potentially life-threatening decision. Despite repeated recommendations from high-ranking county officials, the tiny apple pie-loving community of Julian has decided to rely on its all-volunteer firefighting crew to respond to any and all emergency medical calls and structure fires within the town. As Northern California battles its deadliest wildfire season yet, there's been close examination of San Diego County's overall fire and emergency preparedness.
KGTV-TV ABC 10 San Diego

Louisiana fire department requests $375K for armored vehicle

Bossier City Fire Chief Brad Zagone hopes there’s never a time where his department would have to respond to an active shooter situation in Bossier City. But in light of the Las Vegas mass shooting on Oct. 1 that resulted in the deaths of 59 people, as well as other similar events, Zagone believes his department needs a specialized vehicle to respond if such a tragedy were to ever occur here. On Tuesday, Zagone explained a proposed ordinance to the Bossier City Council that would allow the fire department to use up to $375,000 to purchase a BearCat MedEvac from Lenco Armored Vehicles. “Through the last three or four years, we’ve been doing a lot of training on active shooters, and I hate to say it, but it’s kind of what we’ve been seeing around the country,” Zagone said.
Shreveport Times

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