National News

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Fire destroys building at famed winery in New York

VIDEO/PHOTOS: No one was hurt, but one of Three Brothers Wineries and Estates’ famed spots was destroyed in a fire on Monday. Firefighters from Varick, Romulus, Ovid, Fayette, Border City, Oaks Corners, Lodi, Interlaken, Canoga, and Waterloo were called to the scene shortly after 6 p.m. Flames could be seen from a significant distance away. Tanker trucks were used to bring water to the scene to put out the fire. However, it was destroyed by the blaze. Following the fire, Three Brothers Wineries and Estates posted the following message to Facebook: “As you may have heard, we had a fire this evening at Three Brothers Wineries and Estates in our beloved Bagg Dare Wine Company. Thankfully, no one was hurt and no one was in the building at the time. We are heartbroken at the destruction of the famed structure, its history and the authentic memorabilia inside, but we are grateful to the local fire department and all others who arrived so quickly to help."

Intensive Smoke Diver Training prepares Kansas firefighters for the worst-case scenario

VIDEO: More than 500 firefighters are on staff in Wichita. Of those, only six have been through the smoke divers training in Georgia, and three others attended a spin-off course in Oklahoma and Indiana. Those who have passed the training said it is helping their response time to save those in need. The smoke diver training sounds just like it looks – firefighters learn how to dive into burning homes to save people trapped in a fire. In Georgia, roughly 20 in-state and 20 out-of-state firefighters are selected each year. On average, fewer than half pass the training. One of those who made the cut was Captain Stephen Runyan of the Wichita Fire Department. “It’s the hardest but most rewarding week of your life,” Runyan said.
KSNW-TV NBC 3 Wichita

New Wisconsin law bans cellphone use while driving near roadside emergencies, adds other safety rules

Gov. Tony Evers was in Amherst to sign 2021 AB 297 into law on Monday. The governor was joined by Democratic Rep. Katrina Shankland, of Stevens Point and other local elected leaders, first responders, roadside assistance workers, and construction and utility workers. “Many of the jobs are hazardous enough on their own without having to fear for your life due to a distracted or dangerous driver,” said Governor Tony Evers, “at every crash site, our states emergency responders whether it’s fire, law enforcement, EMS, towing and transportation, are at risk of being struck, injured, or even killed.” This bill was initiated when Amherst Fire Department Assistant Chief Brian Swan reached out to Rep. Katrina Shankland and other area legislators to discuss first responder safety during roadside responses.
WSAW-TV CBS 7 Wausau

The Story Behind Pearl Harbor’s Most Successful Rescue Mission

When Julio DeCastro, a civilian worker at Pearl Harbor’s naval yard, reached the capsized U.S.S. Oklahoma on the infamous morning of December 7, 1941, he heard the sound of frenetic tapping of sailors trapped within the hull. Hours earlier, during a surprise assault on the Honolulu military base, Japanese forces had bombarded the American battleship with torpedoes, sending it rolling onto its side with more than 450 men still below deck. Over the next two days, DeCastro, a caulker and chipper, labored almost nonstop in a valiant effort to reach the imperiled seamen. The Hawaii native and his fellow naval yard workers ultimately rescued 32 members of the vessel’s crew—an act of bravery cited in “Infamy: Pearl Harbor Remembered,” a new exhibition at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans marking the 80th anniversary of the attack .
Smithsonian Magazine - Metered Site

Graduates in Georgia get firefighter jobs right after high school thanks to new program

VIDEO: An expanded partnership between the Columbus Fire & EMS Department and the Muscogee County School District helps the city recruit firefighters and provides job opportunities for aspiring public servants, right out of high school. After department officials visited each MCSD high school to explain the program last spring semester, more than 25 students participated in the Saturday morning program called Combat Challenge. From that program, two MCSD 2021 graduates, Aaden Austin from Northside High School and Elijah Outlaw from Shaw High School, were offered firefighter cadet positions with a starting salary of approximately $42,000. In interviews with the Ledger-Enquirer, Outlaw and Austin said they pursued this career path for similar reasons: They figure college isn’t the right fit for them now, and they seek a way to serve their hometown in a challenging and vital job.

Monday, December 6, 2021

Three-alarm fire displaces nearly 30 residents at Louisiana apartment complex

VIDEO/PHOTOS: A three-alarm fire raged early Monday (Dec. 6) at the Cypress Run Apartments complex in Algiers. Occupants smelled smoke around 4:40 a.m. and began evacuating the first involved three-story building before New Orleans Fire Department crews arrived on scene, resident Kiesha Williams told WVUE-Fox 8. Firefighters arrived and began calling for reinforcements quickly to contain the blaze, sounding a second alarm at approximately 5:03 a.m. and a third alarm at 5:33 a.m. The Cypress Run Apartments are located at 6101 Tullis Dr. “These buildings are very old,” said Williams, who has rented at the complex for about two years. “Things seem to always catch on fire here, because everything is messed up and old.”
WVUE-DT FOX 8 New Orleans

North Carolina volunteer firefighter injured when tire on fire engine ’exploded’, according to officials

VIDEO/PHOTOS: A Hubert Volunteer Firefighter received treatment at Vidant Medical center after an accident involving their fire engine Saturday. Deputy Chief of the Hubert Volunteer Fire Department, Hernan Melendez, said the accident happened when his team was returning from the annual Maysville Christmas Parade. Six of the fire crew members, including the Fire Chief, were traveling along Stella Road in Onslow County when the tire on the engine blew out, which caused the truck to crash into a ditch. A social media post reads: "one of our tires exploded causing the truck to become uncontrollable." Authorities said the fire chief fought to keep the truck upright as it hit a driveway pipe before coming to a stop.
WLOS-TV ABC 13 Asheville

Atlanta’s Winecoff: Deadliest hotel fire in U.S. history, 75 years later

There’s a reason that the death toll of the Winecoff hotel fire in 1946 has never been surpassed. Immediately after the disaster that killed 119 people, cities across the country began to re-examine their fire codes. In their definitive 1993 book, “The Winecoff Fire,” co-authors Sam Heys and Allen Goodwin point out that the blaze prompted new laws requiring sprinkler systems, fire escapes and fire doors. “Within six months of the fire there was a national convention in Washington, D.C., on fire safety,” said Heys, a former writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, now retired from the Southern Company. Though advertised as “fireproof,” the Winecoff had neither sprinkler systems, fire escapes nor fire doors. Fire departments had ladders that could only reach to the seventh floor.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Metered

A hockey puck shaped device could stop a fall -- how it works for firefighters, others

VIDEO/PHOTOS: What if you could control the force of gravity to avoid injury? A couple of Cincinnati inventors have a device that allows people and objects to descend slowly and carefully. Bailout Systems is the brainchild of retired Navy diver Michael Ragsdale, who along with mechanical engineer Ben Krupp, have come up with something the size of a hockey puck. When used with a rope, it allows people and objects to descend in a controlled manner. Ragsdale has a friend on the Covington Fire Department who encouraged him to develop it for firefighters. His friend thought it possibly could have prevented Black Sunday in which members of the New York City Fire Department had to jump out a window after becoming trapped in two separate fires. Three died and four were seriously injured.
WVXU 91.7 FM Cincinnati

Florida announces $12M for first responders’ mental health

Talk to many firefighters and they’ll explain that "suck it up and get on the truck" mentality. "Coming from a law enforcement family, to talk about feelings and emotions is a challenge at times," admitted firefighter Dustin Hawkins. "After my father, being 30 years in law enforcement, I just now coaxed him into the ‘snuggle with the struggle.’ I have to tackle the man to hug the man." But as of today, mental health assistance is on the fast track to Florida first responders, to the tune of $12 million. "We need to have resources as people have challenges involving mental health resiliency," said Governor Ron DeSantis. At a roundtable Friday afternoon, Florida’s first lady Casey DeSantis announced $12 million in funding to expand peer-to-peer mental health services available for first responders through the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to bolster existing prevention and intervention services for first responders and their families.
WTVT-TV FOX 13 Tampa

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