For years, they’ve watched from across the street as the trucks go in and out of the Park Avenue fire station, protecting the city and its residents. Now Harris Auto Body is returning the favor, giving two fire trucks a final detailing in preparation for Firefighter Christopher J. Roy’s funeral services.
“This is the least we could do,” said John Joubert, an employee at the shop. “It humbles you, and it’s a good feeling - you’re helping these guys out in a time of need.”
Firefighter Roy, 36, died Sunday from injuries sustained while fighting an early-morning fire at 7 Lowell St.
The tragedy has hit the Worcester community and the firefighting community hard, and thousands are expected to pay their respects to the Roy family this weekend. Calling hours will be held at St. John’s Catholic Church, 44 Temple St., from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. John’s with burial to follow at Notre Dame Cemetery, 162 Webster St.
Worcester Telegram & Gazette
At 6:33 a.m. on Nov. 8, a Butte County dispatcher answered what was among the first emergency calls in what would become the deadliest wildfire in California history: A “powerline transformer sparked and there is a fire,” the Magalia caller reported.
By just after 8 a.m., residents of Concow and Magalia were phoning in a panic — some of them trapped and needing rescue and others frantically alerting authorities to parents and grandparents in harm’s way, according to Butte County dispatchers’ logs.
“Her grandfather is at the location fighting off the fire but can not get out,” a dispatcher wrote of an 8:10 a.m. call regarding a man on Green Forest Lane in Concow.
A minute later, a call came from a resident on Hoffman Road: “Caller advised her house is on fire and she can not get out. Her mother is stuck and she can not move her.
San Francisco Chronicle
Two more top Baltimore County officials are leaving as County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. sets up his new administration.
Fire Chief Kyrle Preis and planning director Andrea van Arsdale announced this week that they are retiring. They were two of the department heads who were not included in a list of appointments and reappointments that Olszewski sent to the Baltimore County Council last week. The council is required to confirm Olszewski’s department directors and public safety chiefs.
Olszewski said Thursday that he will appoint Assistant Chief Jennifer L. Aubert-Utz to be acting fire chief beginning on Jan. 1. Preis’ retirement is effective Dec. 31. Preis has been fire chief since 2017, taking over for longtime chief John Hohman, who retired.
“I truly believe that the Baltimore County Fire Department has given me the most rewarding career one could have,” Preis said in a statement released by the county executive’s office.
Southwest Airlines recently found itself in hot water and had to apologize for the actions of one of its employees. That person, a gate agent, had joked with coworkers about the unusual name of one of the passengers on the flight, and later posted a picture of that passenger’s boarding pass to her personal social media account. The passenger, a five-year-old child traveling with her mother, had the name Abcde, apparently pronounced “Abcity.”
Is it normal that an airline employee – or a firefighter – would notice an odd name and even comment on it at work?
Absolutely. Firefighters see a lot of things in the course of their work: things that are gruesome, tragic, funny or just bizarre. Talking and joking about those things with their colleagues after the fact can be a healthy way for firefighters to decompress from often stressful circumstances.
The city of Houston has alleged in a legal claim that the voter-approved charter amendment granting firefighters equal pay to police officers is unconstitutional and preempted by Texas’ local government code, echoing a similar contention from the Houston Police Officers’ Union.
The claim, filed in state district court as part of the police union’s lawsuit against the Houston Professional Fire Firefighters Association and the city, comes 10 days after a judge issued a temporary restraining order blocking implementation of Proposition B, which passed with 59 percent of the vote last month. A hearing on the matter is scheduled for Friday. In its argument, the city contends that the pay parity amendment, which applies to firefighters and police officers of corresponding status, “directly conflicts with the collective bargaining process and guidelines for firefighter compensation” laid out in the Texas Local Government Code, meaning it is “expressly preempted” and “therefore invalid.”