National News

Monday, April 22, 2019

Indiana recruit firefighter who died in 4-vehicle crash remembered as ’friendliest guy you could meet’

David R. Short II was remembered as having a larger-than-life personality. According to friends, he was easy to talk to and well-liked in his community. The 26-year-old Indianapolis Fire Department recruit firefighter was killed Friday evening in a four-vehicle crash near the Indianapolis Regional Airport in Hancock County. Around 6:30 p.m., Short and his girlfriend were traveling northbound on Mt. Comfort Road near Airport Boulevard when two trucks collided in front of them. One of the trucks in that crash then entered Short's path, and their vehicles collided head-on, according to IFD. That crash sent both vehicles off the road and caused Short's vehicle to roll over. Short was taken to IU Health Methodist Hospital, where he died. His girlfriend suffered minor injuries. Investigators do not believe drugs or alcohol were a factor in the initial crash. Short is survived by his parents, sister, brother and two half-siblings.
Indy Star

Eight firefighters recovering after explosion in Arizona

VIDEO: Eight west Valley firefighters are recovering following an explosion at an APS substation in Surprise on Friday night. Four Peoria firefighters who were injured are "doing good," according to a department's spokesperson. In a post on the Peoria Fire-Medical Department's Twitter page, officials say Engineer Justin Lopez, who was in critical condition and taken into surgery following the explosion, "is awake and doing as well as can be expected. He was very anxious until his wife Sara came in the room." Captain Hunter Clare is described as being in "great spirits." Matt Cottini and Jake Ciulla were released from the hospital late Friday night, and are "doing really well," according to Peoria Fire-Medical Department. According to Peoria fire officials, multiple fire agencies were investigating a battery fire at the McMicken Energy Storage facility near Grand Avenue and Deer Valley Road at an APS substation when an explosion occurred, injuring four members of the Peoria Fire Department.
ABC15 Arizona

Volunteer EMS outfits in New York seek right to send bills

Volunteer firefighting companies are calling on the state legislature to pass a law that would allow them to charge for the ambulance services that they provide. Last week, the Firemen's Association of the State of New York and its members held a legislative outreach event at the Cambria Volunteer Fire Hall to vouch for such a bill. Assembly Member Michael Norris and Sen. Rob Ortt were both present at the event. Ed Tase of Lockport, second vice chair of FASNY, said about 90 percent of the calls fielded by volunteer fire services are ambulance-related. Tase said volunteer fire companies foot the bill for everything associated with an ambulance, which he estimated comes in between $160,000 and $200,000. Fire companies would just like to recoup their costs, he said. Currently, volunteer fire companies are covering their ambulance costs through fundraisers. One of the biggest fundraisers, gun raffle, may be outlawed by New York State, according to Tase.
Niagara Gazette

Connecticut fire department requests budget money for Narcan, training

The city’s fire department has proposed a budget that would allow it to devote more money to replenish the department’s Narcan stock, train incoming firefighters and cover costs for computer services. In a budget meeting Tuesday night, the city’s Emergency Operations Center and police and fire departments laid out their budget requests and fielded questions by the budget committee. Fire Chief Richard Thode presented the department’s $29.9 million budget request alongside Ronald Rolfe and Lance Edwards, the department’s deputy fire chiefs. Rolfe said the department’s medical services has been funded at $13,000 since 2017. The increase to the requested $25,000 is to replace the department’s supply of Narcan — a brand name of naloxone, used to revive victims of certain drug overdoses. “We go through about one per day,” Thode said of Narcan.
Connecticut Post

Louisiana fire department pitches reality cooking series to network TV

VIDEO: A crew of Shreveport firefighters is working together to bring the mysteries of the firehouses to light and to network television. "Cooking with Fire," an original series created by Shreveport Fire Department's Captain Allen Dantes, is a documentary-reality style food and travel show. SFD fireman, chef and host Mark Myers Jr. visits firehouses near and far to join the crews in the kitchen, around the dining table, and in the community to witness what happens during a 24-hour shift. “We want to take people to different cities and experience the culture of that city and how it ties in with the food that’s prepared, and the history of that firehouse,” Dantes said. The film crew also follows the firefighters on emergency calls to give audiences a rarely seen behind-the-scenes view. The series shows how firefighters' bonds are formed over chopping vegetables, as well as rushing into life and death situations together.
Shreveport Times

Friday, April 19, 2019

South Dakota firefighter dies while responding to wildfire

A firefighter responding to the High Plains fire south of Jewel Cave on Wednesday died of an apparent heart attack. Custer County Sheriff Marty Mechaley reported that Dwayne Hudson of the Argyle Fire Department was a passenger in a fire response vehicle and suffered a medical emergency while en route. Hudson was treated by fellow responders and by the Custer Ambulance Service. He was transported to Custer Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The fire, estimated at 100 acres, is located west of Pass Creek Road about seven miles south of Jewel Cave and as of this morning was considered to be 25-percent contained.
Custer County Chronicle

House committee tables ’tough love’ bill requiring workers’ comp for Montana volunteer firefighters

The state House Judiciary committee tabled Wednesday a bill opening a three-year window for workers’ compensation benefits to be provided for all Montana volunteer firefighters. Senate Bill 29 cleared the Senate Jan. 29 but was not referred to a House committee until last week. The bill calls for all volunteer fire departments in Montana to provide workers’ compensation coverage by October 2022. It’s estimated that a quarter of Montana’s 8,000 volunteer firefighters are not covered. “The need to consider this legislation is that a volunteer fireman has no backup if they’re not covered here,” said bill sponsor and Senate Majority Leader Fred Thomas, R-Stevensville. “There’s no fund, there’s no pool of money, there’s nothing out there that if a volunteer fireman, say a 22-year-old man, was paralyzed falling off a ladder or something protecting your house, there’s nowhere to go to take care of him except if you really had a workers’ compensation policy, in fact.”
Independent Record

Cancer-Causing Chemical Taints Drinking Water After California’s Camp Fire

The drinking water in Paradise, California, where 85 people died last year in the nation’s worst wildfire in a century, is contaminated with the cancer-causing chemical benzene, officials said. Officials said they believe the contamination happened after the November firestorm created a toxic combination of gases in burning homes that got sucked into the water pipes as residents and firefighters drew water heavily, the Sacramento Bee newspaper reported Thursday. Officials say that may explain why benzene, which has been linked to anemia and leukemia, has been found in tests at various spots rather than from one source in Paradise, which was largely destroyed. The chemical occurs naturally in fire; is part of crude oil, gasoline and cigarette smoke; and is used to make plastics, synthetic fibers and other products, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control.
KTLA-TV WB 5 Los Angeles

Families of two Texas firefighters file lawsuit against makers of safety device

VIDEO: The families of two San Antonio firefighters have filed a lawsuit against the manufacturers of a device that might have saved one of the men and prevented injuries to another, according to a law firm. The lawsuit also names the owner of Spartan Box Gym for allegedly setting the fatal fire at his business. Scott Patrick Deem died in May 2017 while fighting the fire. Family attorney Rob Ammons said Deem's life could have been saved if the Personal Alert Safety System, or PASS, device attached to his suit, signaled an alarm as intended, which would have alerted other firefighters of Deem's location when he became trapped inside the burning structure, according to a news release. Mark Long, the attorney representing Brad Phipps, said Phipps' PASS device also failed in the fire. Phipps suffered life-threatening burn injuries.
KSAT-TV 12 News

Florida firefighters with cancer tell emotional stories as benefits bill passes unanimously

After four years in legislative purgatory, a bill that would grant firefighters cancer coverage — in a stunning reversal brought about by sustained public pressure and allegations of political vendettas — is being fast-tracked to clear the Legislature this year. The bill cleared a key hurdle Thursday morning when the House State Affairs committee agreed unanimously to advance the proposal, after more than an hour of discussion marked by teary testimony and lawmakers’ vocal support. The committee bill PCB SAC 19-04 would establish cancer as an occupational hazard tied to firefighting and require full health insurance coverage for cancer for firefighters, including disability and death benefits. It would require the firefighter to meet a certain set of requirements, like not smoking in the last five years. Instead of workers’ compensation, firefighters would also receive a one-time payment of $25,000 after being diagnosed with one of the 21 cancers specified in the bill.
Miami Herald - Metered Site

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