National News

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Off-duty Wisconsin deputy chief helps prevent woman from jumping off bridge

VIDEO - An off-duty Milwaukee firefighter heading home from work helped saved the life of a young woman threatening to jump off the Hoan bridge. Deputy chief John Litchford was heading south down the Hoan bridge Tuesday night when he saw the young woman outside of her car on at the highest point of the bridge. "And I noticed right away that her demeanor and all around that she was depressed, sad, and crying," he told WISN 12 NEWS in a phone interview.Litchford called in the situation that ultimately led to a complete shutdown of the Hoan Bridge.
WISN-TV ABC 12 Milwaukee

Detroit firefighters allegedly wreck rig during joy ride

Some Detroit firefighters are under fire tonight for wrecking a rig and then trying to cover it up. Last month when two Detroit firefighters out of Engine 55 decided to use a rig for their personal ride - it did not end well. Sources say on March 30, two Detroit firefighters who work out of Engine 55 on Joy Road wanted to go out for a bit of a joy ride. They tried to convince the driver of the rig to get behind the wheel, but when he refused, a firefighter who had only been on the job a few years, decided to drive. Where they went is unknown but we're told somewhere along the way he lost control of the expensive fire truck and slammed into the wall of the median near Southfield and I-96.
WBJK-TV MyFox Detroit 2

Upstate New York city’s legal bills mounting for firefighters contract dispute

The ongoing legal battle between the city and the firefighters union has cost the city at least $315,000 in attorney fees, according to documents obtained by the Watertown Daily Times. The city’s legal bills hit $315,225.60 as of Jan. 1, according to invoices and bills obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by the Times. Attorney bills for the first three months of this year were not provided. However, City Councilman Cody J. Horbacz said Wednesday afternoon that he expects the bills to be much more than that. The main sticking point remains the issue involving the “minimal manning” stipulation that 15 firefighters must be on duty at all times.
Watertown Daily Times

Former Iowa fire academy manager pleads guilty in test scandal

A former Iowa fire academy administrator has pleaded guilty to falsifying test scores that were used to improperly certify thousands of firefighters. Former Fire Services Training Bureau certification manager John McPhee pleaded guilty Wednesday to felony misconduct in office. Judge James Malloy scheduled a sentencing hearing for May 24. Prosecutors and the defense have agreed to recommend a sentence of two years' probation, unspecified restitution and community service for McPhee, 49. Malloy could opt for a different sentence for McPhee, who remains free on bond and faces a maximum of five years in prison.
Des Moines Register

California rookie firefighter meets woman he rescued from burning car

A rookie Fresno firefighter received a hug from a woman he rescued from a burning car last October as he was awarded a Medal of Bravery from Fresno Fire officials Wednesday. Rene Gonzales was only two months on the job last Oct. 21 and was off-duty and driving home on Highway 180 when he spotted a burning car. Gonzales stopped his car and jumped out when he saw a woman trapped behind the wheel as flames at the back of the vehicle began to spread toward her. As a good Samaritan tried to open a passenger door, Gonzales grabbed a metal pipe he found nearby, broke a car window and then used the pipe to free Brooklynn Banta, of Madera, whose legs were trapped under the steering wheel.
Fresno Bee

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Florida sheriff takes over command of fire department

A divided Walton County Commission voted 3-2 Tuesday to place Walton County Fire and Rescue under the command of the Sheriff’s Office. The consolidation of the two public safety divisions was to take effect at 7 a.m. Wednesday, said Louis Svehla, the county’s public information manager. Commission Chairwoman Cecilia Jones sided with commissioners Melanie Nipper and Tony Anderson in favor of the merger, Svehla said. Commissioners Sara Comander and Bill Chapman opposed the proposal. The vote followed a public hearing at which a report filed by a group commissioned to study the consolidation presented its findings, Svehla said.
Northwest Florida Daily News.

Former Atlanta, D.C. fire chief hired by Virginia city

The City of Petersburg has a new fire chief to replace now retired chief TC Hairston. And while there isn’t much that everyone agrees on right now in the cash-strapped city, it seems everyone is praising the hiring of new Chief Dennis Rubin. “We’re excited with Chief Rubin,” Dan Macaluso, spokesperson for the Petersburg Professional Fire Association, told 8News. “He has a good reputation, he’s well known throughout the whole country as a fire chief.” Chief Rubin worked as a chief in Washington D.C., Atlanta, and most recently in Wisconsin.
WRIC-TV Richmond

Iowa firefighter’s discipline over social media post stands

A decorated veteran firefighter is contemplating his next move after City Council members Monday upheld a disciplinary action he received regarding a message he posted on social media during the September flood. After two hours of testimony, council members voted 6-0 with one member absent to uphold the action against firefighter Shane Farmer. He said after the meeting he will review further options with legal counsel and his family. He received a verbal warning over what he termed a “sarcastic” personal Facebook post warning residents to heed warnings of near-record flooding.
Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier

Newly sworn Ohio firefighter has special bond with fire trainer who rescued his nephew

On Monday morning, 32 men and a woman were sworn in as Akron’s newest firefighters. Each firefighter had chosen someone special in their life to join them on stage at the Akron-Summit Main Library auditorium to pin their badge on their jacket, including significant others, spouses and parents. Three firefighters were pinned by their fathers, who are fellow Akron police and firefighters. But for the first firefighter pinned, there was an extra special bond between him and his honoree.
Akron Beacon Journal and

Bill to prevent regulation of volunteer fire departments heard in Texas

The cost for training and certifying firefighters can be expensive for fire departments across the state, especially for those that deploy volunteers to the field. That's why a piece of legislation was presented in the Texas House Committee on Licensing & Administration by Rep. Drew Springer, R-Muenster, to put in place a rule that would prevent the state from regulating the more than 1,400 all-volunteer fire departments. If they fall under state directive, they would be required to have their firefighters certified just as paid departments.
Times Record News

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