National News

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Oregon firefighters first ever to take AEDs home when off duty

Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue just announced a cutting-edge program to save lives. They’re the first fire department in the world to start taking home Automated External Defibrillators on their days off. TVF&R already has one of the highest survival rates in the country for patients who have cardiac arrest or heart attacks. Now, Philips, the maker of small, portable AED devices, or defibrillators, have donated 375 of them to TVF&R as part of a study to get those "save" rates up even higher. So far, 200 of their firefighters have volunteered to put the AEDs in their personal cars to use when they’re off duty. More can volunteer throughout the program. The program will work using the Pulse Point app on their smart phones. When a 911 call comes in, and if the off-duty firefighter is nearby, they'll get an alert someone's in trouble and needs CPR.
KGW-TV Northwest News Channel 8

No charges filed against driver in firetruck rollover crash that killed California firefighter

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley announced in a press release Tuesday that no criminal charges will be filed against the driver of the fire truck involved in a fatal crash. Ventura County firefighters, Ryan Osler and Adam Price were driving to Vandenberg Air Force Base to work on the Canyon Fire back in September 2016. Price was driving on Highway 246 when their tanker truck over turned and rolled into the bear-by roundabout at Purisima Road. Osler was in the passenger seat and he died in the crash. Dudley said she reviewed reports by California Highway Patrol and their Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team. She did not find any criminal negligence to file charges against Price.
KEYT-TV ABC 3 Santa Barbara

Collective bargaining fight rages at Iowa Capitol

Legislative debate stretched several hours Tuesday night at the Iowa Capitol as Republican lawmakers tried to fast track votes on a bill that would eliminate most collective bargaining rights for public workers in the state. In the end, one key vote from the GOP-controlled Senate was put on hold until today after Democrats led hours of discussion over an amendment to gut the bill. That attempt eventually failed. Separately, the Republican-majority House began examining the bill Tuesday night amid procedural moves by the minority party. The House also deferred on the bill and adjourned. The legislation is similar to a 2011 Wisconsin law on collective bargaining.
Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier

Real life fire drama on New York set of Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron flick

The dramatic final scene of a new flick starring Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron turned a little too real when an inferno broke out on its Brooklyn set, witnesses and fire officials said Tuesday. Jackman was among the roughly 150 people on the Brooklyn Navy Yard set as “The Greatest Showman’s’’ climatic staged fire spiraled out of control, sources said. In a Hollywood-worthy twist, five retired firefighters working as extras sprang into action, attaching prop hoses fitted with antique-style nozzles to nearby hydrants to try to battle the blaze until roughly 100 real-life Bravest rushed to the rescue, according to an FDNY source.
New York Post

Video shown at California chamber dinner ‘demeaned, degraded’ firefighters, complaint alleges

A video shown at the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce annual dinner on Jan. 20 in which chamber employees jokingly refer to “hot,” “full monty” and “shirtless” firefighters has resulted in at least two personnel complaints filed against the city, naming fire Chief Garret Olson and City Manager Katie Lichtig. Olson, who emceed the dinner, conceived the idea for the video, and both he and Lichtig participated in it. The city has initiated an investigation into the incident. In an email to department heads and fire department employees, Lichtig wrote Sunday that she apologizes for the video and “will cooperate fully and accept the consequences” of the investigation.
San Luis Obispo County Tribune

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

In memory of a fallen comrade, Wyoming firefighters push for new law

After he was diagnosed with testicular cancer, Casper Fire Captain Jeff Atkinson wanted to spend his free time creating lasting memories with his two boys — he didn’t want to waste precious hours filling out paperwork or arguing his claim for worker’s compensation. The captain filed for workers’ compensation after he became sick, his wife said, but he was denied. The couple could have appealed the decision or tried to file again, but there just didn’t seem to be enough time between surgeries, treatments, working and trying to raise two elementary-age kids. “We didn’t really have the time or energy to fight what we thought was going to be a tough fight,” Kristen Atkinson, his wife, said.
Casper Star-Tribune

Connecticut firefighter candidate sues city for disability discrimination over high blood pressure

A city resident, who was rejected as a firefighter because he has high blood pressure, has filed a $500,000 federal discrimination lawsuit against the city. Antonio Dias, 30, claims that although the city’s own doctor said he can perform the duties of a firefighter as long as he takes medication for his high blood pressure the city’s personnel director refused to clear Dias. “We believe it’s a very strong case for disability discrimination and the decision to withdraw my client’s job offer was based on unjustified fears of a medical condition which is fully controlled through medication,” said Dias’ lawyer, Gary Phelan, of Stratford. City officials didn’t immediately return calls for comment.
Connecticut Post

Idaho fire chief ’outraged’ over decision on fireworks bill

Boise Fire Chief Dennis Doan said he is outraged after the House State Affairs Committee voted, 6-9, on Monday not to move forward with legislation that would close a fireworks loophole in Idaho. Meridian Fire Chief Mark Niemeyer also echoed Doan’s concerns in a statement released Monday afternoon, and Nampa Fire Chief Phil Roberts has also stated in the past he is among those in favor of banning the sale of aerial fireworks. “This summer when someone’s home burns down due to aerial fireworks you can blame the House State Affairs Committee,” Doan said in a statement. Doan previously announced his plans to work with lawmakers to make it unlawful to purchase or possess illegal fireworks in the state. The current law allows residents to purchase the illegal fireworks but not light them.
Idaho Press-Tribune

Texas Bill would let firefighters, EMTs carry guns on duty

McLennan County’s state representatives have expressed support for a bill that would allow first responders with a state License to Carry a Handgun to carry while responding to emergencies, but local officials have differing views. Waco Fire Chief Bobby Tatum, said he’s adamantly opposed to firefighters caring guns on duty. “I would be in favor of leaving guns in the hands of police officers,” Tatum said. “We have a specific mission to save lives and property, and I think carrying a firearm would cross the line in that regard.” McLennan County doesn’t have a policy in place, but the Waco Fire Department prohibits firefighters from carrying on duty. The bill would implement a statewide policy requiring local jurisdictions to allow licensed first responders to keep their guns on them during calls.
Waco Tribune

Wisconsin fire chiefs urge governor to make code changes

Fire chiefs and firefighters on Monday urged Gov. Scott Walker to require new homes to have more devices to prevent fires, saying a new electrical code being considered by his administration doesn't go far enough. "This is a reckless disregard for safety," said Wauwatosa Fire Chief Rob Ugaste, president of the Wisconsin State Fire Chiefs Association. A committee of experts assembled by the Department of Safety and Professional Services voted 9-1 last year to require arc-fault and ground-fault circuit interrupters in more places in new homes. The devices prevent fires and shocks. Department officials initially decided to reject those recommendations, but last week Deputy Secretary Eric Esser said no final decision had been made. The proposal is opposed by the Wisconsin Builders Association because it would add hundreds of dollars to the cost of a new home.
Stevens Point Journal

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