National News

Friday, October 18, 2019

New York City EMT and EMS lieutenant hospitalized following bizarre turn of events on Brooklyn highway

Two city EMS veterans were in critical condition Thursday after a bizarre episode where one suffered a stroke behind the wheel — and the other an aortic aneurysm while headed to assist his colleague, authorities said. The double dose of tragedy began when Liam Glinane, a 28-year FDNY veteran, was stricken while driving around 1 p.m. on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, with his ambulance veering slightly off the highway as it rolled to a halt. Glinane was alone in the emergency vehicle at the time, officials said. He was transporting it from one FDNY site to another. Lt. Raymond Wang, 47, was on a ride-along with a Elmhurst Hospital doctor when the call about Glinane came across. The pair drove to the scene to assist the ailing EMT, officials said. But 19-year fire department veteran Wang was struck by an aortic aneurysm once they arrived, leaving the doctor to treat both firefighters while waiting for additional help.
New York Daily News

Oregon First Responders Reflect on Firefighter Ambush One Year Later

VIDEO: One year ago, a man shot himself after setting a fire that destroyed several homes in Springfield, and today the first responders are looking back. “We started getting ready to fight fire. As we were pulling up on scene, glass exploded through the cab and something hard hit me in the left chest," said Captain Craig Degarlais with Eugene Springfield Fire. At first many of the firefighters thought the noises, shattering and force were all coming from the fire. But as the seconds wore on, the true danger became clear -- they were being ambushed. As the fire call turned into a firefight between a gunman and the first responders, they were forced to take cover, causing the fire to grow even larger. They all went back to the station just a block away after all five of the firefighters were hit.

Wisconsin rescue squad to disband; call volume, lack of volunteers cited as reasons

The Burlington Rescue Squad will dissolve at the end of the year due to difficulties keeping up with increased call volume and a decline in volunteerism, Mayor Jeannie Hefty has announced. The dissolution will leave the City of Burlington Fire Department to pick up rescue services for city residents. Town of Burlington officials, meanwhile, are negotiating with the city regarding a likely contract for EMS service after Dec. 31. Both municipalities have their own fire departments. The city’s department will hire three additional full-time and two additional part-time fire/EMS staff, City Administrator Carina Walters wrote in an email. She did not say the anticipated cost of those additions. With the additions, the city Fire Department’s paid staff would be comprised of: five full-time and 12 part-time fire/EMS staff and one part-time administrative assistant, Walters wrote.
The Journal Times

Climate change threatens firefighters and farmworkers, and that’s only the beginning

As an emergency medicine resident at the University of Washington School of Medicine, Zachary Wettstein, MD, has seen the effects of wildfires firsthand. On days when it’s really smoky, he says, “I’m not surprised that I’m seeing more people with shortness of breath.” Densely smoky days certainly are growing as wildfire season worsens, experts say, spurred in part by such environmental changes as earlier snowmelts that can cause drier, hotter conditions. A few years ago, Wettstein and his colleagues suspected that raging fires — and the smoke and fine particulate matter they spawn — also were causing increased cardiovascular problems. “Whenever we have a bad wildfire season like we did last summer here, it definitely seemed like we were seeing an uptick in the number of strokes,” he says. So he decided to study the issue.

Arkansas firefighters to see pay increase due to new state minimum wage law

In 2020 Arkansas' minimum wage goes up 75 cents: from $9.25 an hour to $10 an hour. For firefighters starting out in Harrison, they currently only make $9.40 an hour. “Roughly 10 members of our department were going to fall below that minimum wage if we didn’t do something," said Harrison Fire Chief Marc Lowery. So the fire chief with the help of the city's chief financial officer is asking city council members to change that before the new year. “It actually takes the entire pay grid up. So all the firefighters will see an increase," said Harrison Chief Financial Officer Luke Feighert. Firefighters' pay is a bit different than a typical city employee's. "The fire service traditionally works roughly 800 more hours a year than a 40-hour work week person," said Lowery. They work 24 hour shifts, then are off for 48. "So they do have additional overtime that is mandatory. We built that into their pay, so they actually get paid about $33,000 starting out," said Feighert.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Three Texas first responders struck, killed by vehicles in separate incidents in week’s time

Three Texas first responders were struck and killed by vehicles while on duty in a week's time — prompting officials to remind motorists to move over and slow down for roadside emergency vehicles. On October 7, 2019, two Louise Volunteer Fire Department firefighters, having cleared a previous call, stopped in their lane of travel on Farm-to-Market (FM) 647, south of Highway 59 near Louise, Texas, to check the fire engine's front tires, believing something was wrong. Both firemen were struck by a Dodge dually pickup truck traveling southbound on FM 647. Firefighter Steven Henderson was airlifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, Texas, where he succumbed to his injuries on October 12, 2019. On October 11, 2019, Falls County Sheriff's Department K-9 Deputy Matt Jones was assisting a motorist on Highway 6 in between Riesel and Marlin, Texas, when a vehicle hydroplaned and struck him and Riesel Police Department Chief Danny Krumnow.
My Texas Daily

Massachusetts female firefighter/paramedic commands incident, makes history

Full-time firefighter/paramedic Wendy Ashworth made history last week in the Acushnet Fire and EMS Department when she became the first female member of the department to command an incident. Ashworth, 56, is the only full-time female firefighter in the department, according to Chief Kevin Gallagher. As of Aug. 1, there were 48 employees, 11 of them women including Ashworth. They are on-call firefighters and part-time paramedics and EMTs. Recent changes that took effect July 1, such as the fire and EMS departments officially merging to combine unions, contracts, and budgets, helped make way for this bit of history, Gallagher said. Ashworth, along with a few others, went from being a full-time paramedic to a full-time firefighter/paramedic and got specialized training to be incorporated into the command system and work firefighter shifts.
The Standard-TImes

Allerio Launches New Secure Mobile Hub Enabling Seamless Rich Data Integration From The Field To The ER

Created by former FirstNet senior executives and P3 Group North America engineers, Allerio is a smart mobile connectivity company that is taking emergency medical services (EMS) and telemedicine to the next level with next generation connectivity solutions built with meeting the needs of responders in mind. The start-up is dedicated to bringing the best technology for first responders to meet the current and future needs of the global public safety community. Allerio is a joint venture between the Public Safety Network, LLC (PSN) and P3 North America Inc. (P3 NA) and was founded in 2019. The co-founders of PSN, TJ Kennedy, former President of the FirstNet Authority, and Jason Karp, former Chief Counsel of the FirstNet Authority, founded PSN to help bring to market the best technology and communications solutions to meet the mission critical needs of public safety.
Cision PRWeb

Stress-related disability claims filed by police, firefighters expected to increase under new Oregon law

Portland’s public safety disability fund expects to receive 10 new claims a year from police or firefighters seeking benefits for two types of stress disorders as the result of a new state law that went into effect last month. Lawmakers this summer approved Senate Bill 507 to define post-traumatic stress and acute stress disorders as occupational diseases for full-time police, firefighters, 911 emergency dispatchers, corrections officers and emergency medical service providers. “There’s a lot of work we need to do in the mental health field,” said Alan Ferschwiler, president of the Portland Fire Fighters Association. “The city needs to take care of our members in a way we haven’t in the past.” Ferschwiler cited examples of past rejected claims that he said should have been approved: a firefighter’s stress claim after being pulled out from a collapsing building and a firefighter who raced into a fire wearing no mask to rescue a woman.
Portland Oregonian, Hillsboro Argus, Oregon

The San Francisco Fireboat That Saved the Neighborhood After The 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake

VIDEO: It was 5:04 p.m. on October 17, 1989, when a powerful magnitude 6.9 earthquake shook the soft soil of San Francisco's Marina District, crumpling the neighborhood's old wooden buildings like paper, and sending a cascade of splintered wood and glass into the streets. Neighbors who were there at the time recall that something else went flying into the air in those moments: natural gas. The shaking had twisted and snapped underground gas lines, and as the smell of sulfur began to blanket the neighborhood, fire broke out at the corner of Beach and Divisadero streets and rapidly began to spread. The fire department responded, but soon discovered another problem: The earthquake hadn't just broken gas lines. It had also broken the water pipes feeding the neighborhood's fire hydrants.
KNTV NBC 11 San Jose

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