National News

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Firefighter from Utah dies battling Mendocino Complex, the largest wildfire in California

A firefighter from Utah died Monday battling the largest wildfire in recorded California history, marking the latest fatality in a fire season that has taken a grim toll on first responders. The firefighter, who was not named, was injured while working on an active portion of the Ranch fire within the massive Mendocino Complex. He was airlifted to a hospital, where he died. Authorities said “fact-finding on the accident” is underway. “We are extremely heartbroken for this loss. We are dedicated to investigating what happened,” said Sean Kavanaugh, an incident commander for the complex, at a brief news conference. “We mourn as we also battle California’s largest wildfire that continues to to burn extremely steep and remote terrain.”
Los Angeles Times

Florida firefighters rescued after live power line falls on fire engine

Rescue crews freed three Miramar firefighters late Monday after they became trapped when a live power line fell on their fire engine, authorities said. Jose A. Gregorisch, a spokesman for the Miramar Fire-Rescue Department, said the fire engine struck a low-hanging power line in the 9000 block of Miramar Parkway as the engine left the station on a call. A car had crashed into a utility pole moments before and damaged the power line, Gregorisch said. One of the firefighters suffered minor injuries but was not hurt by the power line, Gregorisch said. The power line also cracked the windshield of the fire engine. Paramedics took the firefighter to a local hospital. Police closed Miramar Parkway from Fairmont Avenue to Douglas Road.
WPLG-TV ABC - Miami & Fort Lauderdale

North Carolina firefighter dies after rescuing person trapped in trench

A veteran firefighter with the Orange Rural Fire Department died at the main station in downtown Hillsborough on Monday after helping to rescue a person trapped in a trench. Hillsborough Mayor Tom Stevens identified the firefighter as Assistant Chief Jeff Holden, who had been with the department since 2001. The Hillsborough Town Board held a moment of silence Monday night for Holden. Holden, 32, was found unresponsive at the station at about 1:30 p.m. following the call. Neither the crew on shift nor emergency workers who arrived could revive him. “We are devastated,” Orange Rural Fire Chief Jeff Cabe said in a news release from Hillsborough town government.
The Herald Sun

Police: 15-year-old former junior firefighter steals firetruck in Pennsylvania

A 15-year-old boy drove off in a firetruck from the Strinestown Community Fire Co. station over the weekend after walking out of a juvenile facility in Springettsbury Township and stealing a county-owned vehicle he drove to the station, officials said. It happened in the early-morning hours of Sunday, Aug. 12, according to Northern York County Regional Police — one of three local police departments investigating the teen's actions. Police said the teen stole a county-owned Ford Explorer from the parking lot of the York County Youth Development Center after leaving the facility and drove the SUV to the Strinestown station. The youth who stole the SUV had walked out of the Youth Development Center but was not an escapee, county spokesman Mark Walters confirmed.
York Dispatch

Ohio firefighter named CrossFit’s fittest 50-year-old man

Cliff Musgrave been named the world’s fittest 50-year-old CrossFit athlete in the men's division. He also happens to be an Akron firefighter. "It’s a very blue collar job with structural firefighting," said Musgrave. "So being in shape certainly makes it better." Musgrave isn’t just in shape, he was named the world’s fittest 50-year-old man after competing in the year’s Reebok CrossFit Games. "Purely by the numbers, I’m stronger now than I was at 25." It was just about eight years ago when Musgrave got involved in CrossFit, making regular visits to the gym CrossFit Utility on S. Arlington St. in Akron, owned by friend and fellow firefighter Doug Price. "I think [CrossFit] is better suited for what we do here at the fire department," said Musgrave. "There's no bias towards strength or endurance." Where does Musgrave's motivation come from? His family.
WKYC-TV NBC 3 Cleveland

Monday, August 13, 2018

Oklahoma Assistant Chief Killed in Collapse of Burning Home

The collapse of burning home in Altus claimed the life of an assistant chief with the Friendship Volunteer Fire Department Friday night. Madison “Maddy” Lee Clinton Jr., 54, died after he was pinned when a porch roof collapsed, according to a post from the Oklahoma State Firefighters Association "Maddy was performing suppression operations on a structure fire located in the Friendship Fire Department response area North of Altus," Altus Fire Chief Kyle David shared in a statement posted on Facebook. "During the fire suppression operation, the structure collapsed on Assistant Chief Clinton pinning him under the roof of the structure. Fire crews from Altus, Blair and Altus Air Force Base also responded to the fire, according to KSWO. "We wish to express our condolences to the family and the fire department family during this time of tragedy and loss," the Oklahoma State Firefighters Association shared. He worked as an electric lineman for AEP/PSO.

California fire chiefs seek $42 million cash infusion to bolster services, staffing

Fire officials on Tuesday will ask the Board of Supervisors to approve a $42 million annual plan calling for more firefighters and new fire stations to plug response holes in the county — with a recommendation of a half-cent countywide sales tax hike to voters next year to fund it. The plan would add about 175 paid firefighters, many of them paramedics, to bolster the county’s current paid firefighting force of 400. It also calls for 10 new fire stations to house round-the-clock staff, some of those in rural areas now served by volunteers. One new station would replace a small volunteer firehouse in the hills north of Santa Rosa where the Tubbs fire swept into the county in October. Another would go up in Jenner, improving response times to emergencies on Highway 1 and the coast communities. Others are slated for Bloomfield in the west county and Lakeville, south of Petaluma.
Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Harassment, Bullying A Focus At World Firefighters Conference In Dallas

Fire chiefs from across the world are gathered in Dallas for the annual Fire-Rescue International Conference put on by the International Association of Fire Chiefs. This year the association says it’s dedicated to addressing bullying and harassment within fire department ranks. Retired South Fulton, Georgia Fire Chief David Daniels is leading a task force on the issue at the conference. He says this year they have sessions specifically dealing with bullying and how to stop it. “If we can create a culture on the front that says we are kind to one another and we treat each other with dignity and respect then you don’t end up with bullying,” said Chief Daniels.
CBS Dallas Fort Worth

For-Profit Firefighters Find Business In An At-Risk Oregon Community

No one was home at a house deep in the woods of Josephine County, Oregon. The people who live here had evacuated days ago along with hundreds of their neighbors. As flames from the Taylor Creek Fire got closer and closer, the firefighters showed up. They came to prepare for the worst so that if the wind picked up, they’d be ready to dash down the driveway and save this house, even if the forest burned around it. It’s become a familiar emergency in Southwest Oregon: Fires pick up intensity in wilderness, then move toward homes. But in this community, one of those most at-risk in the state, people say they don’t want to pay taxes for a local fire department. Instead, they rely on private enterprise and state interventions.
Oregon Public Broadcasting

Despite Texas law, firefighters denied workers comp for cancer treatment

On Kevin Leago’s July CT scan, his torso looks like it has been riddled with birdshot. Dark splotches speckle his liver, his pancreas, his spine, marking where his neuroendocrine cancer has spread. The pain in his bones has left the 38-year-old Houston Fire Department senior captain unable to work since the end of May. Within 30 days, he will exhaust all his sick and vacation time, leaving him with no income. His doctors say his best shot at survival is a new treatment that is not offered at the hospital covered by Leago’s city health insurance. Workers compensation benefits would provide Leago a paycheck while he is ill and allow him to transfer to any hospital that accepts him, but the city of Houston denied his claim.
Houston Chronicle

Sign up to subscribe to custom state Daily Dispatch emails for free

click to subscribe