National News

Friday, January 17, 2020

911 calls released: Victims of Las Vegas fire detail how people were trapped and jumping out of windows

A series of the 911 calls made on the night the Alpine Motel Apartments fire went up into flames were released to 8 News Now by the City of Las Vegas Thursday. The calls detail the moments after residents and victims called 911, along with when first responders arrived at the scene that fateful night Dec. 21. The calls reporting flames and heavy smoke to the three-story apartment building on 9th Street between Stewart Avenue and Ogden Avenue, started to come in at around 4:15 a.m. “I made it out, Oh my God!,” said one of the fire victims. Another man is heard on one of the calls describing people jumping out of the first and second windows of the building. “This place is going up in smoke and there are people trapped in there,” said another caller coughing and having difficulty breathing and talking to dispatch.
KLAS-TV CBS 8 Las Vegas

The fire station on the front lines of California’s homelessness crisis: ’We’re trying to stop the bleeding’

VIDEO: Paramedic Scott Lazar, a 16-year veteran of the Los Angeles Fire Department, is used to treating the same person, sometimes on the same day, on Skid Row. "Deja vu, yeah, it's every day down here," Lazar told "Nightline" as he treats a man for an overdose, as he did just the day before. Over five months, "Nightline" got an exclusive look at life at Lazar's LAFD Station 9, rare access to the day-to-day operations of this team and a glimpse into daily life for this city's most vulnerable. Station 9 is one of the busiest fire stations in the country, receiving an average of 80 calls a day -- mostly to treat those living on the street in L.A.'s well-known Skid Row. Lazar and his partner, Mike Contreras, are members of the fast-response vehicles at the station. Their job is to dart ahead of fire engines to assess the situation and gauge the required resources.
ABC News

Green Bay Metro Fire makes wager with San Francisco Fire ahead of championship game

The Green Bay Metro Fire Department and the San Francisco Fire Department have partnered to remind communities of the importance of practicing fire safety along with some friendly competition. On the Tuesday following Sunday’s game, the fire chief will install a smoke alarm with the winning team’s emblem on it. The fire chief will also wear the winning team’s jersey for the entire day. The losing fire chief will also personally donate $100 to Burn Camp/Prevention charity of the winning chief’s choice. The winning department will receive a donation of 50 smoke alarms from Kidde. “While we hope everyone has fun on football Sunday, we would also like to shed some light on fire safety in your home. Every year, our departments respond to numerous calls to residences without working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors,” says Green Bay Metro.
WFRV-TV and WJMN-TV Green Bay

Mental health push brings firefighter training to Florida - and a symbolic helmet sticker

City firefighters can now bear an emblem for mental health on their helmets after the department’s first officer suicide. It’s a way for firefighters to keep the fallen officer close to them; it’s a reminder for them to take care of themselves, said Shawn Weeks, president of Local 1891, which represents Boynton’s paramedics and firefighters. “We look at him as guiding us ... there’s a bigger picture,” said Weeks, who noted the symbol represents mental health as a whole, not only suicide. “It should be a constant awareness, of, this is real.” The city’s interim fire chief, Matt Petty, signed off Jan. 7 on the emblem. If they choose, firefighters can put the sticker on their helmets - the symbol includes the fallen officer’s last name and a green ribbon supporting open dialogue about mental health.
The Palm Beach Post

High school students to help with construction of 2 new fire stations in North Carolina

VIDEO: Students at Dudley High School are getting the unique opportunity to work on the construction of two new fire stations as summer interns. “Opportunities don't come around like this very often, especially for high school students,” Principal Rodney Wilds said. The Greensboro Fire Department received approval for the necessary funding to rebuild fire stations 7 and 56. Samet Corporation is the construction manager for the project. The company has worked with Guilford County Schools on school construction projects. Given its existing relationship with the school system, it approached Wilds with the opportunity to give students hands-on experience through the upcoming fire station projects. “Each student would be involved day to day with how the wiring goes in, how the piping goes in, and how the HVAC system is brought to the building and the cool air comes,” Samet Senior Project Diversity Manager Johnny Sigers said
WGHP-TV FOX 8 High Point

Thursday, January 16, 2020

‘It will change lives’: Wisconsin firefighters lobby for PTSD bill, paramedics hope to be included

More than 100 Wisconsin firefighters and emergency responders lobbied for a bill Wednesday that they say will save lives. The bill would remove barriers for public safety officers to get worker’s compensation for post-traumatic stress disorder. Because of a 1974 Supreme Court decision, to get worker’s compensation, public safety officers must demonstrate a PTSD diagnosis based on extraordinary stress above what is usually experienced by others on the job. With a job where stress is normal, that’s a hard standard to meet. “I had to tell (a) firefighter, you’re going to get push back,” attorney Dan Schoshinksi said to firefighters gathered at Cooper’s Tavern prior to their meetings with legislators at the Capitol. “The employer or the insurance company, they’re going to conclude this is just part of your job, so it’s not extraordinary stress, sorry.”
WISC-TV Channel Madison

North Carolina fire department introduces Ride-Along

Those interested in learning more about the operation of the Asheboro Fire Department will soon be able to with the introduction of the department’s Ride-Along Program. Lt. Jason Joines says the program, which has never before been offered by the Asheboro Fire Department (AFD), is open to any interested individuals, but that it’s aimed towards those who might be considering a career as a firefighter. A copy of the ride-along program agreement form explains that AFD hopes to “encourage citizen involvement and to enhance the lines of communication between the Asheboro Fire Department and the community it serves.” “With better understanding of our duties we can face the challenges, risks and rewards of the fire departments role in our community,” the form states. “The Asheboro Fire Department hopes to promote an environment of compassion, professionalism and dedication to the citizens and visitors it serves.”
The Courier-Tribune

Illinois Police Enter Blood-Drawing Arrangement With Fire Department

Tuesday night's village board meeting was very long and, at times, very confusing, but a few important developments did emerge from it regardless. Among them, the board voted to approve an inter-governmental agreement between the Oswego Police and Fire Departments that will allow fire department paramedics to draw blood for police sobriety tests. The agreement was proposed by Oswego Police Chief Jeffrey Burgner. Burgner said he had been in contact with Fire Chief Mike Veseling about the idea prior to the village board meeting, and that Veseling had voiced his support for it. "This is part of a really incredible partnership that the fire department is willing to do for us," Burgner said to the village trustees. "It will help us out in getting the best evidence for those types of cases."
Oswego Patch

DC Fire and EMS investigates photo where recruits are seen making hand signal

The D.C. Fire and EMS Department has launched an internal investigation after a photo surfaced Wednesday of a recruit class in which some of the members are making what appears to be an OK sign with their hands. The signal has traditionally been seen as a symbol of understanding or an affirmative reply, but according to the Anti-Defamation League was claimed by white supremacists as a sign of hate. DCFEMS is investigating the intent of those in the photo, which the department says was taken in March. A source who spoke to someone in the photo tells FOX 5 the group, which often joked around, played the circle game on multiple occasions. The game, often associated with children, allows someone to hit another person who looks into the circle formed by someone's hand below their waist.

‘Great Disaster’ occurred 125 years ago in Montana

Even in its earliest days, before the dawn of the 20th century, Butte had experienced tragedy. Six men died in a fire in the Anaconda Mine on Nov. 23, 1889. Fire swept through the Silver Bow Mine on April 21, 1893, leaving nine dead. But “Butte’s Night of Horror,” which occurred 125 years ago, was on an entirely different scale. If you don’t know this particular annal in Butte’s history, here’s a brief synopsis: Shortly before 10 p.m. on Jan. 15, 1895, fire broke out in the Mining City’s warehouse district, located just east of Arizona Street. Butte’s firefighters were fighting the blaze, not realizing they were sitting on a powder keg — literally. An illegal amount of dynamite was being housed in these warehouses owned by the Kenyon-Connell Commercial Co., and the Butte Hardware Co.
Montana Standard

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