National News

Thursday, September 21, 2017

One dead in crash involving Kentucky fire truck; 4 firefighters injured

PHOTOS - One person is dead in a crash involving a car and a Louisville Fire & Rescue fire truck. The crash happened on Algonquin Parkway near McCloskey Avenue about 8:45 a.m. Thursday. Louisville Metro Police spokesman Dwight Mitchell says the fire truck was headed to an emergency with lights and sirens, when it collided with a green car. "Our preliminary investigation, and according to witnesses, stated that the fire truck was going west on Algonquin in an emergency mode," Mitchell said. "Apparently there was a green Mercury that was at the corner of McCloskey and Algonquin, apparently at a stop sign. That vehicle went out into the intersection and collided with the fire apparatus."
WDRB-TV Louisville

Pennsylvania fire chief recounts past flood response efforts at U.S. Senate hearing

Wilkes-Barre Fire Chief Jay Delaney testified Wednesday in Washington about why he believes Congress should fully fund two key agencies and invest in weather-related surveillance tools. Delaney, who is also the city’s emergency management coordinator, was one of four panelists to make recommendations to the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging during a hearing titled “Disaster Preparedness and Response: The Special Needs of Older Americans.” Delaney recounted the evacuation, which included city offices, downtown businesses and colleges, and about 250 senior citizens from two nursing homes and a hospital in the evacuation zone.
The Citizens' Voice

Indianapolis firefighters ’stupefied’ that motorists keep driving over water supply lines during an actual fire

VIDEO - The house fire was a familiar scenario for Indianapolis firefighters. An electrical appliance sparked a blaze in a two-story home. One person got out, but another was trapped. Crews manning a fire hose kept the flames at bay while other firefighters made their way inside. What happened next, unfortunately, was a familiar scenario, as well. An impatient driver drove over the fire hose stretching across the street, puncturing the line and sending the water straight up in the air rather than out the end of the hose and toward the blaze to protect the firefighters.
Indianapolis Star

Death of Kentucky firefighter creates debate over line of duty deaths

The passing of a Louisville firefighter is creating debate over what counts as a line of duty death. Sergeant Tim Groft, a 15-year veteran of Louisville's fire department, passed away Saturday from an extended battle with cancer. "He served them with honor, pride, loyalty and dedication," Louisville Division of Fire Chief Gregory Frederick said. Groft was honored at a special bunting and flag lowering ceremony Tuesday. "Tim was the best of us," Brian O'Neil, President of the Louisville Professional Firefighters Union said. "He was a firefighter's firefighter. He was the best of us." After a state review, he is the first Louisville firefighter to benefit from a new law allowing firefighters to get line of duty benefits from cancer deaths.
WAVE-TV NBC 3 Louisville

Video: ‘Only the Brave’ cast pays tribute to first responders

The cast of an upcoming film highlighting the story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots paid tribute to first responders by giving an inside look at the unsung heroes. The cast, including Taylor Kitsch, Miles Teller, Josh Brolin, Jeff Bridges and Jennifer Connelly, teamed up to speak of the bravery the Hotshots showed when they battled Yarnell Hill wildfire that blazed through Arizona in 2013. “They are behind the scene heroes,” Kitsch said in the video. “They do their job, never looking for credit.” The creators of the film have also started the Granite Mountain Fund to support not only firefighting but the families and towns that have been impacted by the hotshots and their work. See the movie when it hits theaters Oct. 20.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Tragic lesson inspired new Nevada fire chief

Shawn White was working as a 28-year-old paramedic when he was called to the home of a young family. As he rushed past the balloons, presents and baby shower decorations he found himself by a backyard pool where all eyes were on an unconscious 2-year-old boy. “The father grabbed me by both arms, looked me in the eyes and said, ‘Save my son,’ ” White said with tears in his eyes. “At that moment the weight of the job hit me. I realized that all of his hopes and dreams were in my hands.” Although White and his crew were unable to save the child’s life, he learned an important lesson: “This job is too important to just be OK at,” White said. “You have to be exceptional or else you can miss a window of opportunity.” His passion for the job is part of the reason why Henderson City Manager Bob Murnane named White as the city’s 11th fire chief on Tuesday.
Las Vegas Review-Journal

Texas becomes largest state to make FirstNet ‘opt-in’ decision

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott today announced that he has accepted the nationwide public-safety broadband network (NPSBN) deployment plan offered by FirstNet and AT&T on behalf of his state, making Texas the 21st state—not including two territories—to “opt-in” to the FirstNet system. “The safety and security of Texas communities is my number-one priority, and I want to provide our first responders with the best technology possible,” Abbott said in a prepared statement. “As we saw in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, our first responders are often the last and only hope for safety in rapidly-changing and life-threatening situations, but this partnership with FirstNet and AT&T, allows Texas’s fire, police, EMS and other public-safety personnel to be better equipped when responding in these emergencies.”
Urgent Communications

Rhode Island city has been without a permanent fire chief for more than two years

More than two dozen individuals have applied to lead the Providence Fire Department over the last two years, but the city still hasn’t found its next chief. Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare confirmed this week the city has offered the job to “a few” candidates, but none of them have been hired. He also said there are finalists for the position, but declined to offer a clear timeline for naming a new chief. “As I’ve given a public date in the past and it didn’t come to fruition, I cannot pinpoint a start date at this time,” Pare wrote in an email. “Working to find the right fire chief expeditiously.”
WPRI-TV Providence 12

North Carolina city’s council reverses course and restores benefits for first responders

Two weeks ago, city council members raised the ire of police officers and firefighters with a unanimous vote that would have changed the city’s employee benefits plan and reduced their holiday pay and vacation time. But on Tuesday, after an apology to city employees from City Manager Ruffin Hall, the mayor and council members unanimously approved an amended benefits plan. It will increase the number of hours the city’s first responders are paid for holidays and how they accrue vacation time, along with changes to their sick leave policy.
News Observer

Bees, angry man with shovel stymie Massachusetts firefighting efforts

Angry bees, low water and a disturbed man armed with a shovel were all hazards firefighters had to deal with on Tuesday while they tried to fight a fire on an island in the Sudbury River. In the end, firefighters decided to let the rain extinguish the fire, Deputy Fire Chief Mark Leporati said. Firefighters got the call about the fire on the island in the Sudbury Reservoir off Central Street around 10 a.m. A campfire had gotten out of control and spread to a dead tree. Things quickly began going wrong, the deputy chief said. “It was very weird and unusual,” said Leporati. “There were a lot of issues.” The first glitch occured when the boat that firefighters deployed got stuck in shallow water. The department had to put a second boat in the water and a firefighter had to shimmy on his stomach to the boat, hook up a rope and pull the first boat back into deep water.
Metro West Daily

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