National News

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

North Carolina firefighters and family dodge death after explosive tractor-trailer crash, then woman pulls a gun

On Monday night, firefighters rushed to rescue a family stranded on a highway before a tractor-trailer smashed into their vehicles causing an explosion. In a bizarre incident later that night, the passenger of a car who drove through the barricade during clean-up waved a gun and ran into a firefighter. “Amazingly, everybody walked away,” said Myles Swain, an EMT and volunteer firefighter who was on the scene. “There could have been seven fatalities.” The incident started at about 10 p.m. Monday night when Acme-Delco-Riegelwood Fire-Rescue received a call about a car broken down on the side of Highway 74/76. Chief Steve Camlin, Autumn Witchen, Jesse Witchen, and Myles Swain responded to help the stranded people.
WECT-TV Channel 6

Connecticut city’s firefighters win injunction against statewide union

A Connecticut Superior Court judge has ruled in favor of a local firefighters union saying it effectively disaffiliated in 2016 from the Uniformed Professional Firefighters Association of Connecticut. The city firefighters’ union, Local 825, filed a four-count lawsuit in March alleging a breach of fiduciary duty against the UPFFA, which represents the state’s fire departments. In the lawsuit, the New Haven union, which is affiliated with the International Association of Fire Fighters, said its executive board had voted to end its “legislative only” membership with UPFFA on Jan. 4, 2016. UPFFA has argued that Local 825 did not properly disaffiliate with the state union and remained a member so UPFFA continued to collect membership dues from 2016 to present.
Greenwich Time

2019 Fire Service Executive Development Institute Participants Selected

The International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) today announced the participants accepted into the seventh-year of the prestigious Fire Service Executive Development Institute (FSEDI). FSEDI is a yearlong leadership-development program developed by the IAFC to provide new and aspiring chiefs with the tools they need to have successful and productive tenures. The members of the cohort will meet in January 2019 for their first six-day session in addition to two other sessions six months apart in 2019 and 2020. They will also be attending Fire-Rescue International, August 7-10, in Atlanta, Georgia as part of the program. The group will communicate and share ideas between sessions using an online community. During the course, participants will learn from experts in the fire service a variety of ways to effectively lead in today’s modern fire departments and keep communities safe.
International Association of Fire Chiefs

Florida firefighter used ’Magical Butter’ machine to make cannabis oil in a fire station, deputies say

The Magical Butter Botanical Extractor is a mechanical device which looks similar to a coffee thermos and is marketed as a tool to infuse food with your favorite herbs. Sheriff's officials say a Hillsborough County firefighter used one to create homemade cannabis oil. Deputies were called Monday afternoon to Hillsborough Fire Station 26, a small public safety house at 5302 Thonotosassa Road, after someone found a Magical Butter machine in the workout room with marijuana in it. The device was powered on and plugged into a wall outlet, according to a report. When deputies opened it, they found a yellow liquid that appeared to be cannabis oil. Two pieces of marijuana were in bottom.
Tampa Bay Times and Tampa

Retiring Cal Fire chief: State must adapt to new wildfire norm

California's increasingly deadly and destructive wildfires have become so unpredictable that government officials should consider banning home construction in vulnerable areas, the state's top firefighter says. Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Director Ken Pimlott will leave his job Friday after 30 years with the agency. In an interview with The Associated Press, he said government and citizens must act differently to protect lives and property from fires that now routinely threaten large populations. That may mean rethinking subdivisions in thickly forested mountainous areas or homes along Southern California canyons lined with tinder-dry chaparral. Los Angeles County supervisors on Tuesday were considering whether to allow a 19,000-home development in fire-prone mountains amid heavy criticism of the location's high fire danger.
Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Rising concern for Minnesota firefighters: Calling 911 for help standing up

Firefighters across Minnesota are increasingly responding to 911 calls to lift elderly people off the floor, even at some senior care facilities with their own staff. More than 7,100 times last year, fire departments across the state were dispatched to assist frail but uninjured people, a nearly threefold increase from a decade prior. The unreimbursed runs come at a cost to taxpayers — $825 per call, by one estimate — summoning a fire truck and several firefighters to perform a “lift assist” without medical treatment. It is a worrying trend for many local fire departments already responding to mounting medical calls, since it can leave them shorthanded for major emergencies and puts firefighters at risk of back injuries. It also underscores the sometimes uneven care offered by senior housing complexes springing up across the metro area.
Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune

New Hampshire firefighters hurt in backdraft explosion re-entered burning building

Four Manchester firefighters injured while battling a fire Sunday afternoon went back into the Seventh Avenue home to continue the firefight. They were also back on the job on Monday. “You're right next to each other but you can't see each other,” Capt. Pete Franggos, of the Manchester Fire Department, said. “It was that explosion, boom, and it was a giant fireball,” Defina said. “There was a lot of screaming at that point and, ‘Ah, get out. Get out.’” “It was a close call,” Defina said. The house is a total loss. Investigators said a spark from a pellet stove vent on the outside of the home ignited leaves nearby, leading to the fire.
WMUR-TV ABC 9 Manchester

Pennsylvania firefighter arrested after town votes to disband volunteer fire department

VIDEO - The Pitcairn Council voted Monday night to disband the #2 Volunteer Fire Department during a heated meeting. The borough currently has two separate volunteer fire departments, but the #2 Department will be disbanded at the end of the year. After the decision was announced, there was an altercation between several people that ended with one firefighter being shocked with a Taser and arrested by police. Council members told Channel 11 that consolidation discussions have been going on for four years, but members of the affected fire station claim they were blindsided. The police chief said the man involved in the altercation fought with several police officers before being subdued.
WPXI-TV NBC 11 Pittsburgh

Don’t confuse Uncle Sam with Santa Claus when applying for grants

The song lyrics say, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” So maybe it’s an appropriate time to talk about grant seekers that confuse Uncle Sam, the personification of the American government, with Santa Claus. He gives presents and fulfils requests for those who deserve them. How many times have we heard someone say, “Oh don’t worry about how much it costs it’s a grant application.” Or, “ask for everything you can because it’s a grant.” We in the grant field like to refer to this practice as confusing Santa with Uncle Sam, and it could doom your application. This philosophy holds true for both federal grant applications as well as private foundation requests. One particular area they focus on is the budget for the proposed project and the cost/benefit of the request. Applying for items and inflating their cost (or not doing market research) will set up a red flag with reviewers. If your application lacks solid cost estimates, you could also get caught in a situation where you are awarded funding but it isn’t sufficient to complete your project.
FireRescue 1

Suspect arrested in road-rage killing of FDNY firefighter

Police have arrested a suspect in connection with the road-rage death of an off-duty firefighter on a Brooklyn highway, law enforcement sources told The Post. Joseph Desmond, 29, was tracked down by the NYPD and US marshals at the Circle Motor Lodge in South Amboy, NJ, where he was arrested for a parole violation, the sources said. It was not immediately clear if the suspect — the registered owner of the vehicle involved in the incident — was still being held in New Jersey early Tuesday. Faizal Coto, 33, who worked out of Engine 245 / Ladder 161 in south Brooklyn, was driving east on the Belt Parkway at Bath Street about 4:45 a.m. Sunday when he got into an argument with another motorist.
New York Post

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