National News

Monday, September 25, 2023

Cleanup begins after 4-alarm fire damages restaurants, apartments and businesses in downtown Tulsa

VIDEO: A four-alarm fire that sparked in Downtown Tulsa on Saturday damaged restaurants, apartments and some businesses, officials say. Two downtown Tulsa restaurants and bars burned, gutting an entire building with apartments on the second floor. Small puffs of smoke still rose from the ruins of the building, 24 hours after the fire started. It sparked by Hodges Bend, a popular coffee shop, and Lowood Modern Woodfire restaurant near E. 3rd St. and S. Lansing Ave., where crews including off-duty firefighters, responded at around 5:30 p.m. on Saturday. Both appear to be total losses, buried underneath the rubble of apartments. The Tulsa Fire Department said it started near the restaurant before spreading to the apartment units in the popular downtown area.

Ronny J. Coleman, past California State Fire Marshal and CSFA Volunteer Committee Chair passes

Ronny J. Coleman, a revered nationally-recognized fire service leader for half a century, who served as California State Fire Marshal and as the chair of the CSFA Volunteer Committee, passed away Sept. 19 in Sacramento. Chief Coleman had been the Fire Chief of the City of Fullerton Fire Department when he was appointed in 1992 by Governor Pete Wilson to the position of State Fire Marshal, a position he held for 8 years. Prior to that, Chief Coleman was the Fire Chief with the City of San Clemente Fire Department, and prior to that was the Operation Chief with the City of Costa Mesa Fire Department. During his tenure as State Fire Marshal, the State Fire Marshal’s Office was merged into the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, now known as CAL FIRE.
California State Firefighters' Association

9/11-related illnesses have now killed same number of FDNY firefighters as day of attacks: ’Our hearts break’

Two more firefighters have died from illnesses related to their work at the World Trade Center during and after the 9/11 terror attacks, officials announced on Sunday. Their deaths bring the overall toll linked to 9/11-related diseases among members of the Fire Department of the City of New York to 343, which is equal to the number of FDNY members who died on the day of the attacks, the department said. This September marked 22 years since the attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people. Ahead of the date this year, the Uniformed Firefighters Association of Greater New York said the number of FDNY members who had died of illnesses related to 9/11 was approaching the number of FDNY deaths recorded on 9/11 alone. It was 341 at the time.
WABC-TV ABC 7 New York

Fire Rescue department in Florida promotes safe haven for newborns with new apparatus stickers

PHOTOS: Polk County Fire Rescue teamed up with A Safe Haven for Newborns foundation to encourage the safe harboring of babies throughout the county. To help get the information out that every fire station is a designated Safe Haven location where newborn babies can be dropped off, stickers were plastered on the fire department's vehicles that hit the roads every day. "The stickers serve as a reminder to the residents and visitors throughout Polk County that Polk County Fire Rescue is always here to help," the agency explains in a news release. The idea to work with the foundation was sparked after newborns were abandoned in the county at two different times. And according to A Safe Haven for Newborns website, there have been 10 newborn incidents reported in the Sunshine State so far this year – eight of them involving newborns successfully surrendered to designated locations.
WTSP-TV CBS 10 St. Petersburg

Friday, September 22, 2023

Outrage in court as rabbi, son avoid prison time in deadly blaze that killed New York firefighter, nursing home resident

VIDEO: There was outrage in court in Rockland County where a father and son avoided prison time for starting a fire that killed a firefighter and a man at a nursing home. Dozens of firefighters protested outside the Rockland County Court House in New City and emotional victim impact statements were read in court. While a plea deal was agreed upon in June, Wednesday was the formal sentencing for 71-year-old Rabbi Nathaniel Sommer and his 29-year-old son Aaron after pleading guilty for causing the March 2021 fatal fire that killed Spring Valley Firefighter Jared Lloyd. A resident of the home, 79-year-old Oliver Hueston, was also killed. In a plea deal with the Rockland District Attorney's Office that was approved by Judge Kevin Russo, the father and son will not serve jail or prison time, but will pay $600 in court fees.
WABC-TV ABC 7 New York

Railroads work to make sure firefighters can quickly look up what is on a train after a derailment

In the chaos after a Norfolk Southern train careened off the tracks and caught fire in eastern Ohio in February, it took roughly 45 minutes for firefighters to learn exactly which chemicals were involved. Now the railroad industry is trying to ensure that never happens again. Ever since that Feb. 3 derailment prompted concerns about rail safety nationwide, the major railroads have redoubled their efforts to make sure that more and more first responders can immediately look up the contents of any freight train. This week, the two counties that handled the initial response to the East Palestine, Ohio, derailment on the Ohio-Pennsylvania border were set up with the AskRail program that will allow dispatchers to look up everything a train is carrying as soon as they get one car number.
WTAE-TV ABC 4 Pittsburgh

Los Angeles Fire Department asking for public’s input as they revisit ’firefighter tattoo policy’

VIDEO: The Los Angeles Fire Department is asking for the public’s input as they revisit their “firefighter tattoo policy,” officials announced on social media Thursday. “We would love to hear your input, to help us factor in the views of the public we serve,” the post read. “Please take a few minutes to share your thoughts on tattoos on your firefighters.” The department’s current policy was established in May 2008 and sets strict guidelines on the display of tattoos, scarifications or brandings that firefighters may have. “All sworn members, while on-duty, shall not display any tattoos, scarifications, and/or brandings,” the policy states.
KTLA-TV CW 5 Los Angeles

Amazon Adds Alexa Emergency Assist to Echo Devices

Amazon is making it easier to get emergency help without your phone. The retail giant announced a new Alexa Emergency Assist service as part of its September product event on Wednesday. The service will allow customers to reach emergency responders through Echo devices while also sending alerts to emergency contacts. The service will cost $6 a month or $59 a year and will be available later this year. Guard Plus customers can access the Alexa Emergency Assist for $5 per month or $50 per year. In an emergency, users can just say, "Alexa, call for help," to be connected to an agent, who will then request emergency services from the police, fire department or an ambulance, based on the information they provide during the call.

German firefighters get training tips from Chicago Fire Department

VIDEO: Some of the firefighters responding to calls on Chicago's South Side are a long way away from home. In fact, they traveled thousands of miles just to be here. CBS 2's Noel Brennan introduces us to the German firefighters who've joined the Chicago Fire Department for a couple of weeks. In Chicago, a firehouse and good food go hand in hand. "Every day, eating here is basically like eating at a restaurant, so it's always pretty good," said Philip Gramberg. The young firefighter loaded his plate full of sausage and sautéed green peppers inside a CFD fire station in Englewood. "I think we should send our chefs over here," Gramberg joked. "Get some training in." Gramberg was taking notes for his home department.
WBBM-TV CBS 2 Chicago

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