National News

Friday, September 17, 2021

Missouri firefighters reinforce swift water skills at Six Flags

PHOTOS: The looping and twisting cobalt blue rails of the Mr. Freeze: Reverse Blast loomed above the trees. The iconic siren of the ride occasionally blared through the warm September air as maintenance worked on the ride in the closed park. Below the steel supports, firefighters donned in orange and neon yellow wet suits, whitewater helmets and red personal flotation devices hung onto rescue boards through the class-four rapids of the Thunder River ride at Six Flags. “It’s like riding a bull,” said MU Fire and Rescue Training Institute instructor Roger Meyer. For the past 28 years — beginning in the wake of the Great Flood of 1993 —Six Flags’ Thunder River has been a training site for Missouri firefighters to test their confidence with floating through swift currents, trust the havens of swirling eddies and practice diving like a Labrador, the proper technique of leaping toward a victim.
Columbia Missourian

Old Virginia fire station becomes themed Airbnb

PHOTOS: Inside the garage of the firehouse, a 1956 pumper and ladder combination fire truck from Glasgow Volunteer Fire Department is the newest addition to the Fire Station 4 Airbnb on Rivermont Avenue. The restored truck still runs but didn’t fit inside the Glasgow department so the Woodland family opened up his home to it recently. Tim Woodland and his wife, Shannon, purchased the circa-1905 fire station at 1210 Rivermont Ave. adjacent from the Exxon station at the corner of Bedford Avenue in 2018. The couple has been renting out the bottom as a short-term rental since May 2020. “We took off like grease lightning,” Woodland said. “People were sick of being isolated and kept inside and they wanted to get out. Lynchburg is a great place for hiking and outdoor activities and it really took off.”
The News & Advance

Oldest living member of Kentucky fire department looks back on station’s 150 year history

For 150 years, the people of Lexington have called on the members of the Lexington Fire Dept. to come to their rescue in an emergency. The brave men and women always run toward the danger to save lives. Their sacrifice doesn’t go unnoticed, and was formally recognized Thursday by the Lexington-Fayette County Urban County Government. One man who was honored is Major Orville Cook. He served for 28 years with the department, the largest in Kentucky, from the 1950s to the 1980s. At 91, Cook is the oldest living member of the fire department. He says since his days, the industry is very different, and safer. “Equipment was rather bad, until NASA came into being,” Cook recalled. “Some of the things that they developed certainly helped the fire service. Breathing apparatus for one. The coats that we now wear can turn a lot of heat.”
WKYT-TV CBS/CW 27 Lexington

Texas fire department’s new $1.6M fire truck expands capabilities

VIDEO: The McAllen Fire Department has added a new upgrade that's extending their capabilities and allowing them to rescue people more efficiently. Fire Station 5 is home to the city of McAllen's newest fire truck. The $1.6 million truck is equipped with new gear, including cameras, lights, and a 100-foot aerial platform, a feature their previous truck didn't have. "The aerial apparatus has what we call a basket," said McAllen Fire Chief Jim Schultz. "Where you can have three or four people operating at the tip of that ladder, 100 feet in the air, which gives us a great aerial view of any incident that's going on." Not only is the 'basket' more efficient, but it's also safer for the victims that firefighters rescue. According to McAllen Assistant Fire Chief Juan Gloria, the new truck also has an impressive water pump.
KRGV-TV ABC 5 Weslaco

New York Governor signs legislation to support 9/11 and communications for first responders

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul recognized the New York National Guard on Saturday afternoon, 20 years after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Hochul spoke at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City, and announced that she signed three pieces of legislation to support 9/11 and communications for first responders. To mark the 20th anniversary of 9/11 , Governor Hochul signed these pieces of legislation to ensure all first responders who participated in the World Trade Center rescue, recovery, and cleanup operations can access benefits available to them. The bills make it easier for WTC first responders to apply for WTC benefits, by both expanding the criteria for defining WTC first responders and allowing online submissions of notice that members of a retirement system participated in WTC rescue, recovery, or cleanup operations.
WHAM-TV ABC/CW 13 Rochester

Thursday, September 16, 2021

23 Families Left Homeless After Fire Rips Through Texas Apartment Building

VIDEO: Nearly two dozen families were forced from their homes early Thursday after a fire spread through a Northeast Dallas apartment building, firefighters say. Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans said firefighters were first called at 12:50 a.m. to the Oak Meadows Apartments located at 11050 Woodmeadow Parkway. First responders found heavy flames shooting through the roof of the 3-story apartment building, prompting an immediate call for backup. Firefighters attacked the fire and were able to stop it from spreading further by accessing a breezeway in front of the fire's direction of travel, Evans said. A total of 24 residences were damaged, Evans said, one of which was unoccupied. Twelve of the units were damaged by fire and the rest were uninhabitable due to water and smoke damage.
KXAS-TV NBC 5 Fort Worth

California fire captain severely burned in warehouse explosion sues vape shop, building owners

A Los Angeles Fire Department captain severely burned in a May 2020 explosion inside a downtown L.A. warehouse has sued the owners of the building and a vaping supply shop housed there, accusing them of hazardous activity, premise liability and negligence. Victor Aguirre and his wife, Claudia Aguirre, filed suit Wednesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court against property owner Steve Sungho Lee and his various companies along with the operators of Green Buddha and Smoke Tokes, a smoke and vape shop inside the East 3rd Street warehouse where the explosion occurred. Twelve firefighters were injured. After a criminal investigation by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Los Angeles Police Department, they were charged with more than 300 criminal counts.
KTLA-TV 5 CW Los Angeles

Kansas fire department members speak out after viral apartment rescue

VIDEO: For the first time since their heroic act was caught on camera, Wichita firefighters spoke with KSN News about their Labor Day fire rescue at an area apartment complex. Fireman Brian Doffing says apartment fires like this don’t always end with the best results for victims, but being able to rescue everyone made this one of the types of calls is exactly what makes their job worth it. “Not all of them can go great,” Doffing explained. “But every call giving everything you got and training every day, I think that’s what makes it different here.” “In your mind, things are moving so quickly, and you look at the situation, and you see what you did, but when you watch the video, you go through and start thinking, why did you make those decisions? And then you can analyze it,” Doffing added.
KSNW-TV NBC 3 Wichita

GM advising some Bolt EV owners to park 50 feet away from other cars in case of fire

General Motors is advising some Chevrolet Bolt owners to not park their electric cars within 50 feet of other vehicles to reduce the risk of a potential fire spreading to nearby cars and trucks. The warning follows the Detroit automaker recalling more than 140,000 of the EVs produced since 2016 due to the risk of batteries spontaneously catching fire from “two rare manufacturing defects.” GM has confirmed fires in at least 12 vehicles, but more continue to be reported. At least one of the recalled vehicles reportedly caught fire and spread to a Maserati and Hyundai in Sacramento, California. The parking advice is being given to customers that call into the company’s call center about parking their recalled vehicles in parking lots or structures, according to GM spokesman Dan Flores.

U.S. researchers to study long-term COVID-19 symptoms in thousands of survivors

The National Institutes of Health announced Wednesday that it was awarding nearly $470 million to New York University Langone Health for research into the long-term effects of COVID-19 to ramp up an unprecedented national effort to study so-called "long COVID." The federal money will be divvied up by NYU to fund more than 100 researchers at institutions around the country, accelerating work to build a sweeping "meta-cohort" encompassing thousands COVID-19 survivors of various ages and backgrounds who are still experiencing symptoms more than a month after their initial infection. "The only way we're going to sort this out is with very large studies that collect lots and lots of data about symptoms, physical findings, and laboratory measures," NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins told reporters at a briefing Wednesday.
CBS News

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