National News

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

VIDEO: Giant waterslide goes up in flames in New Jersey

A giant waterslide at a New Jersey waterpark lived up to its name Tuesday, when it went up in flames. The ride called 'High Anxiety,' went up in flames at Mountain Creek Water Park in Vernon. A spokesperson for the water park says the fire broke out when the park was closed, and there were no reported injuries. "We can confirm that there was a fire at our water park today that affected our High Anxiety attraction," spokesperson Brian Lowe said. "First and foremost, we are thankful that the park was closed and there were no reported injuries. We are grateful to the Vernon and other local responding volunteer fire and EMS departments as well as the Vernon Police, who responded within minutes to help extinguish the fire."
WABC-TV ABC 7 New York

Georgia firefighter union says fix pay scale or waste tax payer money

Representatives for Albany’s fire department said if the city doesn’t fix their pay scale, it’s just wasting taxpayer dollars. Union members told WALB Investigates, that firefighters were given a choice between getting a city-wide raise or fixing issues with the department scale. Most chose to correct the scale. The city is finalizing its budget next Tuesday. That means they have an opportunity to put taxpayer money toward fixing the pay scale or perpetuating an issue that’s been going on for decades. The Albany Fire Department’s current pay scale allows subordinates to make more than their supervisors on a wide spectrum. Often, those supervisors have many more years of experience on the job. “I have an issue that I make more than my superiors,” said Professional Firefighters of Albany Union president, Ronnie Pettiford.

Congressmen introduce bill to allow North Carolina volunteer firefighters to get retirement benefits

Volunteer firefighters in North Carolina may someday qualify for state retirement benefits. On Monday, Congressman Patrick McHenry (NC-10) was joined by Congressman Ted Budd (NC-13), Congressman Richard Hudson (NC-08), Congressman Greg Murphy (NC-03), Congressman Dan Bishop (NC-09), Congressman Madison Cawthorn (NC-11), Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (NC-05) and Congressman David Rouzer (NC-07) in introducing H.R. 3874, legislation that would allow full-time nonprofit firefighters and emergency medical service workers to join a state or local retirement system. "Every day, the brave men and women serving in our volunteer fire and EMS departments work tirelessly to keep our communities safe," McHenry said in a news release.
WLOS-TV ABC 13 Asheville

Paramedics Take Part in Chaotic Competition at First Responders Conference in Florida

Paramedics were put to the test Tuesday at a conference that attracted hundreds of first responders to South Florida. The paramedic competition was a highlight at the "First There First Care" Conference at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino & Hotel in Hollywood. Dema Ammar is a student at Palm Beach State College and studying to become a paramedic. “Honestly after you go through all that, there’s nothing at school they can throw at you that can like throw you off,” Ammar said. She watched certified paramedics from around the state put their life-saving skills to the test at the 24th Advanced Life Support Competition on Tuesday. Broke Stark is in her last year of EMT school, she says these competitions can make you into a better paramedic.

Kansas University’s Hoch Auditorium burned down 30 years ago from a lightning bolt

On June 15, 1991, just days before scheduled improvements were to begin, a lightning bolt split and seared the roof of KU’s Hoch Auditorium, sparking a massive blaze. “The fire started around 3:20 p.m., shortly after a violent thunderstorm began pelting the Lawrence area with heavy rain and pea-sized hail,” said Kansas Alumni magazine. “The void between the ceiling and the roof … provided nearly 550,000 cubic feet of air. Over 58,000,000 BTU’s of heat were possible with the amount of wood and air present in the void. Add a channel of lightning that is capable of producing heat exceeding 53,000 degrees Fahrenheit, and you have fire.” At the time, KU said a fire engineer from the Lawrence Fire Department was already on campus to respond to a fire alarm at Watson Library allowing firefighters to reach the Auditorium within minutes.
WIBW-TV CBS 13 Topeka

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Dramatic video shows moment Texas fuel tanker explodes, injures several

VIDEO: Multiple people were hurt after a fuel tanker caught fire and exploded on Sunday near Crowell, Texas. Crowell is about 80 miles west of Wichita Falls. Foard County Sheriff Mike Brown told WFAA that the truck driver and a couple of volunteer firefighters were injured in the incident, but their injuries were minor. A bystander captured on video the dramatic moment the tanker exploded, which the Crowell Volunteer Fire Department posted to its Facebook page. The video, which lasts about 10 seconds, starts after the tanker has already caught fire. About three or four seconds in, an object can be seen flying to the left, almost like a rocket, as the fire turns into an explosion. That was the fuel tank, Brown said. After it flies out of the frame, the flames and smoke billow into a mushroom cloud-like formation before the video ends.
WFAA-TV ABC 8 Dallas

Female firefighters in Florida hope to inspire next generation

They may not be the first, but the 10 women who make up Clearwater Fire and Rescue’s team are certainly blazing the trail. The fire department recently highlighted their 10 female fire personnel – or "firemedics," as they call themselves. "I love working with people, I love being that person people call," said Nina Borders, who has been with the department for four years. According to WomeninFire's website, some 11,000 women in the U.S. work as career firefighters and officers. But women only make up less than five percent of the fire service in America – a startling statistic, but one that Stephanie Nuszkowski doesn’t think about. "I don’t think every girl can do this job. I also don’t think every guy can do this job," she offered. "I just think it’s person to person and you’re either cut out for it or you’re not."
WTVT-TV Fox 13 Tampa

Old Helmet In Alaska Returns To Morris Plains Fire Department in New Jersey

PHOTOS: After somehow getting all the way to Alaska, a piece of Morris Plains Fire Department gear is finally home. Some older items recently returned to the department, including a helmet found at a transportation museum in Anchorage. The Morris Plains Fire Department isn't sure how it ended up in Alaska, but now it's back. They also received a Morris Plains Fire Association letter dated July 8, 1921. It was found on the front lawn of a Reading, Pennsylvania, home. The letter will turn 100 next month.
Morristown Patch

Why Firefighters Stopped Putting Water on Illinois Chemical Plant Fire

As a fire continues to burn at a chemical plant in suburban Rockton, Kirk Wilson, chief of the Rockton Fire Protection District, says that firefighters stopped putting water on the fire, fearing that water run-off could carry chemicals into the nearby Rock River. “We stopped some of the water suppression and some of the fire suppression, and we went ahead and let the product burn off due to the fact that the Rock River sits just west of Chemtool, (approximately) 500 yards away,” he said. “We were extremely concerned that would turn into an environmental challenge later on down the road. ”Officials say that the fire could potentially burn for several days due to the chemicals inside the plant, but that the blaze is contained to one part of the facility at this time, minimizing the risk of it spreading.
WMAQ-TV NBC 5 Chicago

Delaware General Assembly task force gives recommendations on recruiting more volunteer firefighters

The Delaware General Assembly is aiming to help with what volunteer fire departments say is a struggle to get new members. A task force has come up with ten new recommendations and new programs to attract and retain more volunteer firefighters. Among those recommendations, develop a recruitment and retention training class at the Delaware State Fire School, and establish an program that would assign full-time members to companies in all three counties. The task force also recommended adding a training administrator to the Delaware State Fire School to manage that program, and expanding the Sussex County Operation GEM cadet firefighter program for children ages 10-15 to all school districts. The task force also recommended launching a volunteer firefighter recruitment website and marketing program.
WMDT-TV ABC/CW+ 47 Salisbury

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