National News

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Investigation underway after wind-driven blaze destroys motel, several other buildings in Massachusetts

VIDEO: Officials launched an investigation after several buildings in Salisbury were destroyed by a nine-alarm fire as whipping wind gusts battered the seaside town early Monday morning. Firefighters responding to a reported fire in the area of Central Avenue and North End Boulevard around 2 a.m. found heavy flames tearing through Michael’s Oceanfront Motel. The blaze also spread to four residential buildings. All of the structures were reduced to a charred pile of rubble and deemed a total loss. Multiple homes in the area were also damaged. Video from the scene showed the structures collapsing to the ground as more than 100 firefighters from several area communities doused the fire with water. “Our top priority throughout the night was to protect the surrounding community from a large and growing fire that was being pushed toward other structures by high wind conditions,” Salisbury Fire Chief Scott Carrigan said.
WHDH-TV 7 Boston

Concrete truck in South Carolina is doing ’heavy’ recruiting for volunteer firefighters

VIDEO: There's creative and then there's creative. The Newberry Fire Department was trying to come up with ideas to help get more people interested in applying to be a volunteer firefighter. Gene Shealy, captain of recruitment for the fire department in Newberry said, "the thought came up why don't we try to put a sign on these concrete trucks." Shealy says the vision was a rolling billboard, but what was delivered was far beyond just a sign on a truck. It went to a whole other level. The concrete truck was a chubby version of one of the firetrucks, with a message and without the hoses and ladders. Mark Hartsell with Carolina Concrete, the company that designed the truck's new color scheme. He explained he wanted to help because he felt it was an important cause of the community. "We decided to go over the top, maybe a bit much, but I don't think so, anything you can do to let those guys and gals know how much they are appreciated needs to be done," said Hartsell.
WLTX-TV CBS 19 Columbia

New Jersey firefighters commended by governor for battling 11-alarm warehouse blaze

VIDEO: Firefighters in New Jersey are still trying to determine what caused a massive fire in Passaic on Friday night. Hundreds of firefighters battled the 11-alarm blaze in an industrial complex where flames shot 70 feet into the air. The fire was just a few feet away from igniting the Qualco Chemical Plant which was filled with potentially hazardous materials such as chlorine. Officials say the heroic efforts by firefighters stopped the flames from hitting the chemical plant, which averted a disaster. The fire was finally put out on Saturday, but they had to come back to put out hot spots that flared up through the weekend. Fire officials are looking at the possibility that the fire might have begun in the back or upper floors of the location. They put in a heroic effort to prevent what could have been one of the worst disasters around.
WABC-TV ABC 7 New York

First response plows help New York EMS render care in storms

In weather conditions like we saw Monday, getting around can be very difficult for anyone let alone emergency crews trying to help others. We all assume that if we call 911 for help, we'll get it and we will but it doesn't just magically happen. Pat Donovan is the guy who helps first responders help you if you need it in this weather. He drives the first-response plow truck for CHS Ambulance which covers most of the west side of Monroe County. That truck helps keep the bases clear, plows out paramedics and EMTs who need to get to work and then follows ambulances on calls. "It has been pretty bad… there was really deep snow probably about 1-2 o’clock this morning," Donovan said, "the town plows had not been out yet or very limited so any hills, ambulances were getting stuck… they were struggling to get up so, we were running around trying to do everything we could to get them to the patients that needed help."
WHEC-TV NBC 10 New York

Residents honor those who lost their lives in 1908 fire at Rhoads Opera House in Pennsylvania

VIDEO: 114 years ago, Pennsylvania experienced one of its worst tragedies. "Every fire will change the lives of the people, who they are related to, people that knew them," said Luann Zambanini with the Boyertown Area Historical Society. On Sunday, the Boyertown Area Historical Society commemorated a fatal fire that happened at the Rhoads Opera House in 1908. That fire left 170 play-goers dead. The play was about the Scottish Reformation and would be watched by 340 playgoers that cold January night. Audience members started hearing a hissing noise, and that's when things took a turn. While investigating the sound, someone backstage pulled the curtain back and hit a kerosene foot lamp, which set the curtain on fire. That's when the deadly explosion erupted.
WFMZ-TV 69 Allentown

Friday, January 14, 2022

Fire destroys home in North Carolina, nobody injured, dog missing

VIDEO: Fire crews responded to a house fire in the 200-block of Ocean Boulevard West in Holden Beach Thursday evening. The structure appeared to be fully enveloped in flame by 6:30 p.m. according to witnesses on the scene. According to Holden Beach Police Department, two people were at home at the time and were able to exit the building without injury. “All the witnesses that saw it say it happened very quickly,” said Holden Beach Police Chief Jeremy Dixon. “All the accounts were the same. It started at the bottom of the house and spread up quickly. It’s actually been several years since we’ve had a fire like this over here. The fire department did an amazing job. They were on scene quickly. We actually had a response from several other neighboring agencies that came from as far as Winnabow and Sunset Beach and everywhere in between.”
WECT-TV NBC 6 Wilmington

New York firefighters battled a smoky fire in 1986 at the same Bronx building where 17 were killed this week

New York firefighters battled a fire with "great volumes of smoke" nearly 36 years ago at the same Bronx apartment building that caught fire Sunday, leaving 17 dead -- all from smoke inhalation, officials said. The March 1986 fire was documented in FDNY's official training publication, WNYF, in which members of the department write about fire incidents, highlighting protocols and training, according to a FDNY spokesperson. The article said smoke from the 1986 fire was banked down to the floor and engulfed entire hallways, seeping through the bottom of closed apartment doors "creating frightening and in some cases untenable conditions for the occupants inside." Residents who escaped Sunday's fire also reported battling thick smoke as it filled the 19-story building.

Texas fire department starts carrying whole blood to perform blood transfusions in the field

Cy-Fair Fire Department supervisor vehicles will now be equipped with whole blood for patients experiencing rapid blood loss from trauma. The department began providing pre-hospital whole blood for patients at the point of injury on Jan. 6, a collaboration with Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center. Justin Reed, assistance chief of EMS for CFFD, said the project has been three years in the making with GCRBC. “The partnership was the most important thing to getting this off the ground and seeing it through to the finish line,” he said. “We have to make sure we’re good stewards of that and so working with Gulf Coast and having a collaborative dialogue explaining ‘this is what we can project,’ ‘this is what we can provide,’ and making sure everything we do is not just because it’s the flashy new thing but because it’s going to make a difference in our community.”
Houston Chronicle - Metered Site

What’s new with Fire Station 81 in Florida? It’s bigger and better

PHOTOS: It’s been a year in the making, but the DeLand Fire Department’s new fire station, Fire Station 81, is set to open its doors for regular operations Tuesday, Jan. 18. The new station, at 343 W. Howry Ave., will replace the current fire station at 201 W. Howry Ave. So what’s new about the city’s newest fire station? The new Fire Station 81 is 16,000 square feet, an improvement over the old Fire Station 81, which totaled around 9,000 square feet. The new station cost around $5.5 million, DeLand Fire Chief Todd Allen said, and the former fire station will eventually be torn down to make room for a public parking lot. With more space comes better consolidation of the Fire Department, Allen said. While various elements of the Fire Department were spread across various buildings, the newly constructed Fire Station 81 will serve as a home base for the department with more space for meetings.
The West Volusia Beacon

University of Alabama at Birmingham study serves as ‘how to’ guide for innovative stroke response system

The Alabama Department of Public Health and the University of Alabama at Birmingham are in the midst of a multi-year project to enhance the statewide stroke response system and are now letting other states know how to follow their lead and build their own. The Trauma Communications Center Coordinated Severity-Based Stroke Triage project is funded by a $2.5 million, five-year grant to UAB from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, one of the National Institutes of Health. The Alabama Statewide Stroke System, based on Alabama’s successful trauma response system, is unique in the United States. In a paper published in December in Frontiers of Neurology, UAB researchers have laid out their progress thus far in an effort not only to improve on Alabama’s stroke response, but to demonstrate to others how to go about it.
UAB News

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