National News

Monday, August 15, 2022

VIDEO: North Carolina firefighters battle house inferno

Winston-Salem firefighters battled an inferno at a house on Sunday morning. Video shows crews attempting to put out the blaze that engulfed the house on Patterson Avenue completely in flames at 3:15 a.m. A person with The Habitat Homeless Veterans Transition Project, LLC tells FOX8 that the house was one of their homes. Aftermath video shot by FOX8’s Brandon Talton shows the smoldering remains of the house. The Habitat Homeless Veterans Transition Project representative says that they were refurbishing the house that had been vacant for around 10 years in order to use it as a shelter for six 18-year-olds who will be timing out of foster care. The roof of the house had just been replaced and the wiring was halfway from being completely re-done, according to The Habitat Homeless Veterans Transition Project representative.
WGHP-TV FOX 8 High Point

Firefighter who pulled lone survivor from Flight 255 wreckage in Michigan talks about crash, 35 years later

VIDEO: It’s been 35 years since the tragic crash of Northwest Flight 255. The plane crashed shortly after takeoff from Detroit Metro Airport back on Aug. 16, 1987, killing 156 people -- with just one person surviving, a four-year-old girl. Hank Winchester talked with Captain John Thiede of the Romulus Fire Department, the firefighter who pulled that child from the wreckage that night. “I was just checking this, it was weird. When I look back at it, I can picture how the scene was,” Thiede said. “Once we found her, we had that little piece of joy that we found a survivor, because we didn’t think we’d find anybody.” Cecilia Cichan was the four-year-old girl who suffered serious injuries, but survived the crash. The family she was traveling with did not survive. The family was from Arizona.
WDIV-TV NBC 4 Detroit

Florida county’s first firefighting academy for high schoolers opens at local high school

Palm Bay High School’s new firefighting academy is serious business — and not just because, as instructor Chester Bombriant quipped, “everything in that classroom could hurt you.” It’s also a college-level course, and it’s the first of its kind in Brevard County. About 100 students are in the program. On Friday, some of them saw their new classroom for the first time along with school administrators, local firefighters and reporters. The program will give students a head start at a well-paying career, and could help address a local shortage of firefighters, officials said. The course is designed to prepare students for the fire fighting program at Eastern Florida State, and eventually their state certifications. “They're going to be doing for the first two or three years here before they get over there,” Bombriant said.
Florida Today - Metered Site

Memorial unveiled for fallen firefighters in South Carolina

VIDEO: Sitting in the heart of downtown Anderson is a new memorial dedicated to the firefighters who were killed in the line of duty. “This monument stands as a symbol of strength, courage, dedication, brotherhood and sacrifice,” Anderson Fire Chief Charlie King said. “I’m sure that no one on this memorial would have ever known they were answering their last call,” Dr. Jimmy Smith, the Chief of the Honea Path Fire Department added. The project was a collaboration between the city, county and artist Scott Foster. “We believe it not only stands as a formidable memorial but also as an asset to the community,” Foster said. The structure is 14 feet tall and has a bell at the top. Each side features different scenes of firefighters in action.
WSPA-TV CBS 7 Spartanburg

Fire department in Tennessee reports over 100 overdose incidents so far in August

During Overdose Awareness Month, Knoxville Fire Department is working to shed light on the frequency of overdoses in Knox County. From Aug. 1-12, KFD responded to a total of 101 reported overdoses, according to their Twitter posts. Assistant Chief Mark Wilbanks confirmed that since the beginning of 2022, the station’s total overdose response number was 1301, as of Aug. 12 at 5 p.m. In August alone, the District Attorney General’s Office reports that Knox County has seen 11 deaths from suspected overdoses, as of Aug. 11, with the highest amount of suspected overdose deaths being three, on Aug. 3. This year, the Knox County Attorney General’s office reports 291 suspected overdose deaths as of Aug. 11. Last year, 498 suspected overdose deaths were reported by the Knox County Attorney General’s Office.
WATE-TV ABC 6 Knoxville

Friday, August 12, 2022

Video captures house explosion that killed 3 in Indiana; coroner identifies victims

Authorities on Thursday identified the three people killed in a house explosion that rocked a suburban Indiana neighborhood and damaged nearly 40 homes. Meanwhile, officials were still investigating the cause of Wednesday's blast. Initially, Evansville Fire Department Chief Mike Connelly said the explosion was accidental but later retracted that sentiment, explaining the state fire marshal would lead the probe to determine a cause. Surveillance footage from a nearby building showed a burst before debris exploded into the air, followed by a billow of smoke. Evansville Fire Department officials said 11 of the 39 damaged homes were uninhabitable after the blast. The neighborhood was in tatters Wednesday, the splintered remains of homes flung across the road. First responders searched for victims.
USA Today

AT&T is using amphibious vehicles, drones and more to restore its network during disasters

PHOTOS: In a nondescript warehouse outside of Atlanta, nestled among the office parks and chain restaurants that pepper suburban America, AT&T is preparing for catastrophe. This is one of the company's Network Disaster Recovery (NDR) sites, a place where a volunteer group of AT&T workers can test and train on equipment that can quickly spin up connectivity when a local office is destroyed. Longtime Engadget readers may remember our 2008 visit to a similar Chicago-area site, only a year after the launch of the iPhone and long before the company started deploying 4G LTE. Given just how much the world has changed since then — with smartphones in practically every pocket, and billion-dollar weather and climate disasters on the rise. Originally launched in 1991, AT&T has spent over $650 million in the US building up the NDR program (up $100 million since 2008).

Louisiana city renews search for remains of 4 victims in 1973 UpStairs Lounge fire

Nearly a half-century after arson killed 32 people in a New Orleans gay bar, the City Council has renewed the search for the remains of four victims, including three who were never identified. The UpStairs Lounge burned on June 24, 1973, killing 31 men, including two whose mother died with them, and injuring another woman and 14 men. Ferris LeBlanc, 50, a World War II veteran who fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and three bodies burned past identification were buried next to each other in the city’s unmarked “potter’s field.” The motion passed Thursday directs the city attorney, property management director and chief administrative officer to provide “all reasonable assistance” toward recovering the remains.
WWL-TV CBS 4 New Orleans

Wisconsin fire department citizenship requirement dropped by Fire and Police Commission

The Milwaukee Fire Department has opened the door for more people to become firefighters. Milwaukee Fire Chief Aaron Lipski said the change is a long time coming. The Milwaukee Fire Department can now hire anyone who is legally hirable, whether they’re a United States citizen or not. Chief Lipski said the department can benefit from more diversity, people who are multilingual and anyone who wants to serve their community. "The word opportunity comes to mind for a lot of people," said Lipski. "Let’s make sure everybody’s welcome at the table." In the land of opportunity, Chief Lipski wants to invite more people in. "If someone is otherwise legally hirable, whether or not they are a U.S. citizen, that’s fine with us," said Lipski.
WITI-TV FOX 6 Milwaukee

’Earliest detection is best;’ New firefighter app aims to better track cancer risks

It’s the deadlier than fire, on-the-job danger every firefighter faces - cancer. The CDC has found cancer is now the leading cause of death among firefighters, and the World Health Organization has now defined firefighting as a cancer-causing profession. In May 2021, News 13 debuted its investigative documentary Deadlier than Fire, focusing on the need for presumptive worker’s compensation benefits for North Carolina firefighters diagnosed with cancer. Now, News 13 has gotten an exclusive look at an app that helps connect firefighters with potentially lifesaving data through a new cancer-exposure tracking component. “It’s more than a career, Mike Marshall said, flipping back through a photo album of his time working for Asheville Fire Department. It’s been 17 years since the former captain retired. “It’s just a brotherhood, it’s a bond,” Marshall said.
WLOS-TV ABC 13 Asheville

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