Arkansas News

Friday, January 20, 2017

Future of Sebastian County Rural Fire Departments in question

The Midland and Jenny Lind Rural Fire Departments are still in service, but for how long is still in question after the departments did not sign the Sebastian County Rural Fire Department Association agreement for two years in a row. Emotions were high Thursday (Jan. 19) night as Sebastian County Judge, David Hudson discussed the future of the Midland and Jenny Lind Fire Departments. Judge Hudson said the importance of the agreement is to keep track of money spent in each department, as well as keeping tests and training up to date within the county. Firefighters from Midland were at the monthly meeting, but no one from Jenny Lind attended. While neither signed the yearly agreements, both have continued to receive funding for fuel and dispatch.
KFSM-TV CBS 5 Fort Smith

Fayetteville pension fund debate drags on despite attorney general input

The debate over how to save the dwindling pension money of 88 retired city police officers, firefighters and their spouses keeps going round and round. Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge recently released an opinion saying the city should be able to add to the taxpayer-supported Policemen's and Firemen's Pension and Relief funds with money from the city's general fund, basically propping up the pensions like any other part of the budget. Rutledge also said the City Council might be able to increase the 0.4-mill property tax going to each fund, though by how much is uncertain because of state law's limitation on property tax increases. "That's real good news -- I'm going to do a little celebrating tonight," said Pete Reagan, a retiree and member of the fire pension board. "We've said all along that the liability belonged to the city."
NWAOnline - Northwest Arkansas News - Metered Site

Thursday, January 19, 2017

2 killed in apartment fire in Hot Springs

Two people have died as the result of a fire that scorched a Hot Springs apartment Wednesday night, the Hot Springs Sentinel Record reported. Crews arrived at the scene of a fire at 115 Wade St. around 8 p.m., Hot Springs Fire Chief Ed Davis told the paper. Upon arrival, crews found a "working fire" in Apartment 8, forced the front door open and located the victims, Davis said. Firefighters performed CPR on each victim, but they both died, Davis said. Their identities have not been released.
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette & Arkansas Online

Bryant trailer fire injures two

Two people are injured in a trailer fire in Bryant on Wednesday night. Bryant Fire Department responded to the residence which is located in a trailer park off of Bivens Loop. As they arrived the trailer was in flames. J.P. Jordan, Bryant Fire Chief, says he believes the victims may have been running a generator inside the home when the fire started. The names and conditions of the two injured people have not been discharged. At this time authorities are not releasing anymore information.
KARK-TV NBC 4 Little Rock

State’s Volunteer firefighters to get free hunting and fishing licenses, under new bill

The state's volunteer firefighters would be eligible to receive free hunting and fishing licenses, under a bill filed Wednesday in the Arkansas legislature. Rep. David Branscum, R-Marshall, filed House Bill 1217 at the Capitol. According to the bill, the bill would amend state law on the issue. A volunteer firefighter would have to "actively engage in fire suppression, rescue, pump operation and other firefighter activity," receive less than $5,000 in compensation a year and have to complete at least one year of continuous service as a volunteer firefighter in order to be eligible for the permits.
KAIT-TV ABC 8 Jonesboro

PHOTO: Firefighters respond to Hot Springs house fire

Firefighters work to extinguish a house fire at 118 Music Mountain Terrace on Tuesday. The house was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived, Piney Volunteer Fire Department Chief Tim McDorman said. It appeared no one was home at the time, he said, adding that the house was a total loss. Mountain Pine Volunteer Fire Department also responded to provide assistance fighting the fire.

188th Wing firefighting team in works at Fort Smith

The 188th Wing of the Arkansas Air National Guard is set to create 15 structure firefighter jobs at Ebbing Air National Guard Base to come into compliance with government requirements. Formerly the 188th Fighter Wing with an A-10 flying mission, the 188th Wing now operates remotely piloted aircraft overseas. With the change in mission, however, came the decrease in fire protection for the base and a loss of aircraft fire protection for the Fort Smith Regional Airport through a joint-use agreement. The airport has since created its own fire department for 24-hour aircraft fire protection and has four full-time and one part-time firefighters and a fire chief.
Fort Smith Southwest Times Record

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