Florida News

Friday, September 17, 2021

New Smyrna Beach firefighter hospitalized after head injury

The community is rallying behind a New Smyrna Beach firefighter who suffered a head injury while at work. Fire chief Shawn VanDemark tells FOX 35 News that Jeremy Macklefresh was riding a city-owned ATV when he fell in what can only be described as a freak accident. "At some point, he fell out of the ATV either because he had a medical condition that may have caused him to pass out or something strange happened. We just don’t know, unfortunately," he said. Macklefresh, whose nickname is "Cubby," has been at Halifax Health since the incident on Sept. 8. Chief VanDemark described his injury as complex. His father-in-law said they are hopeful though it has been a roller coaster. "We know he’s gonna make it through. We know with the support of these guys here and his family, we’re gonna make this fight come out the other end," said Mark Gutowski.
WOGX-TV FOX 51 Gainesville

Escambia County Ratifies New Contracts With Firefighters And Corrections Officers

The Escambia County Commission voted unanimously Thursday to approve the contract with the Escambia County Professional Firefighters, I.A.F.F. Local 4131. The last collective bargaining agreement expired three years ago and had been in negotiations since. “The men and women of Escambia County’s fire service put their lives on the line every day for the safety of our community,” said Interim County Administrator Wes Moreno. “These negotiations focused on recruitment and retention efforts, which included an increase in wages. The Board of County Commissioners thank these employees for their dedication to protecting our community.” “We are grateful to the County Board of Commissioners for their willingness to work together to address serious issues affecting our County and the Fire Fighters that protect it,” said Lt. Nick Gradia, president of the Escambia County Professional Firefighters.

Related: Escambia County Approves Purchase Of Five New Fire Vehicles

The Escambia County Commission on Thursday approved the purchase of five new vehicles for Escambia Fire Rescue, along with four new ambulance chassis. A $2,415,313.38 purchase from Rev Group will include a e 2022 E-One Typhoon Custom Chassis HR100 ladder truck for $1,066,660 that will be placed at the Osceola Fire Station on Massachusetts Avenue. The county is purchasing a 2022 E-One Typhoon Custom Chassis Pumper Vehicle for $657,047.84 and a 2022 E-One Typhoon Custom Chassis e-MAX Pumper Rescue Vehicle. Those apparatus will go to the McDavid and Ferry Pass fire stations. The new fire trucks will replace old and worn out apparatus. The BOCC approved the purchase of two 2022 Ford F-250 Crew Cab 4×4 pickup trucks at $78,636 each ($152,272 total) to replace two beach water rescue trucks that will be disposed of at auction.

Dog dies in house fire in Lehigh Acres

Lehigh Acres fire crews are responding to a fire at a home on Oakside Street. One dog died in the fire at the home in the 120 block of Oakside Street, according to the Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue District. A second dog was rescued from underneath a bed in a room at the home. A firefighter carried the dog out. The third dog was found roaming around by a good Samaritan. Robert Yennerell was cutting his grass when he heard an explosion in the home. He didn’t wait for firefighters to arrive. “Immediately I knew what would happen, so I jumped off the mower,” Yennerell said. “My wife had heard it in the house, too. I yelled at her to call 911 and then I ran over there.” Yennerell said he started banging on the doors and windows of the home but discovered everything was locked up.
WINK-TV CBS 11 Fort Myers

Update: Orange County firefighter adopts cat he rescued from Pet Alliance fire

As rescuers worked through the night and morning to save as many cats and dogs as possible from the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando fire, one firefighter found love. Feline love, that is. Orange County firefighter Brett Maneri was one of dozens of first responders to rush toward the burning building to contain the flames and hurry cats and dogs away from the structure. Initially, rescuers feared all but 10 cats perished. As it became safe to enter the facility, they realized many other cats found hiding spots and were still alive. Maneri personally pulled several from the rubble. “We picked out three this morning,” he recalled. “One pregnant one, Mia, and another one.” It was Mia, a brown and orange marbled Tabby, that caught his attention. He said they found her hiding behind a cat condo. “We picked her up, and after that it was just it,” he recalled.
WFTV ABC 9 Orlando

Firefighters save newborn by purchasing crib thanks to program founded by Fort Lauderdale Lieutenant

A crew of Fort Lauderdale firefighters are local heroes after they made a life-saving decision. According to Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue, on Thursday afternoon, Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Crew R246 noticed a newborn didn’t have a safe place to sleep when they were dispatched to a home in Broward County. After caring for the patient they were originally dispatched to, the crew completed the “Baby Sleep Safe” protocol under the Direct On Scene Education program and returned later with a new crib for the infant. The department posted the story on their official Facebook page full of pride and gratitude for the firefighters’ swift decision. The last sentence of the caption reads, “Please take a moment to recognize this crew for taking action to save a newborn's life before a tragedy happened.”
WPLG-TV ABC 10 Miami

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Over 20 cats killed in fire at Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando

VIDEO: Officials say more than 20 cats are dead after a massive fire broke out at the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando facility off of Conroy Rd. on Wednesday evening. The fire is believed to have started around 10:30 p.m. near the cat room. Firefighters said the blaze had consumed 20% of the property at 2727 Conroy Rd, and flames "were through the roof." "If you run a shelter, this is literally your worst nightmare," said a visibly shaken Stephen Bardy, the executive director of The Pet Alliance during an early morning news conference, "to see your building on fire and know that there are animals in there that you're charged to care for and you can't go in." It was not immediately known how the fire started.
WOFL-TV FOX 35 Orlando

Grant awarded to Osceola County helps employ 21 new firefighters

Osceola County was recently granted millions in federal funding from Homeland Security, and with the county's growing population, it's money leaders say will help fill a public safety gap. The county was approved for a $5.44 million SAFER Grant. County Commissioner Ricky Booth said the grant will be used to employ 21 new firefighters, mainly for fire station 67. Fire station 67 is the new station that will be built next to Austin-Tindall Park in Kissimmee. Booth said that with the grant the county will be able to re-purpose some funds for their capital plan to create additional fire stations in Poinciana and on the west side. “Our call volume has increased 40% in the past few years, so it's drastically needed to have additional people to better serve the community,” said George Slack, a Battalion Chief for Osceola County Fire Rescue.
Spectrum News 13

Tequesta firefighter needs bone marrow donor

A Tequesta firefighter is in need of a stem cell/bone marrow donor. James Stack is a firefighter paramedic with Tequesta Fire Rescue. He has been diagnosed with stage four non-Hodgkin T-cell lymphoma. This aggressive cancer usually impacts people over the age of 65, but is more common in younger people who work as firefighters. On Sunday, September 19, 2021 from 10am - 2pm at Jupiter Lighthouse Park, people can get a quick and simple mouth swab to determine if they are able to be a donor. The swab is painless, will only take a few minutes and people don't need to leave their vehicle to have it done. There will also be a benefit for James on Saturday, September 25, 2021 at 6pm at McCarthy's Pub, located at 518 U.S. Highway 1 in Tequesta. The event will feature live music, food, a raffle and happy hour drink specials.
WFLX-TV FOX 29 West Palm Beach

Grant provides Longboat Key Fire Rescue Department new carbon monoxide detectors

A Sarasota County EMS grant has provided the Longboat Key Fire Rescue Department six new carbon monoxide detectors for firefighters and paramedics to use when responding to emergency calls. Each yellow BW Clip attaches to EMS airway bags in the department’s six vehicles. “Its only function is to look for carbon monoxide in the air, nothing else,” Assistant Fire Chief John Curran said. “Like, some of the other meters we have will search for hundreds of different chemicals.” Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can cause sudden illness or death. It is measured in parts per million. “If it’s above 35 parts per million, (the device) will go off,” Curran said. “At 100 parts per million, we have to bring everyone out of the house because it’s not safe.”

Cantonment Fire Damages Garage; Three Pets Rescued, Sadly Two Others Did Not Survive

A fire Wednesday afternoon in Cantonment heavily damaged a garage and claimed the lives of two pets, but three other pets survived. Escambia Fire Rescue responded to the home in the 300 block of Forest Hills Drive, off West Roberts Road. They arrived to find smoke and flames visible from the garage. Firefighters found five pets when they entered the home. All needed immediate resuscitation, and two of them did not survive. ECFR did not specify what type of animals were involved. The occupants of the home were not home at the time of the blaze. Officials said damage was mostly limited to the garage in the accidental electrical fire. The Ensley, Cantonment, Bellview, Beulah, Ferry Pass and Osceola stations of Escambia Fire Rescue responded, along with Escambia County EMS.

Semi truck on fire shuts down lanes of SR 417 in Orange County

Firefighters worked to put out a semi-truck that was fully engulfed in flames on State Road 417 in Orange County on Wednesday. Photos from Orange County Fire Rescue show the truck pulled over to the side of the road with smoke billowing out. Officials said the incident shut down the southbound lanes of the 417 at Curry Ford Road. There are no reported injuries at this time.
WOFL-TV FOX 35 Orlando

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