National News

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

East Tennessee motel destroyed by fire days after reopening

VIDEO/PHOTOS: A Jellico, Tennessee motel was destroyed after a large fire early Wednesday morning. Fire crews were called to Parkway Inn just after 10 p.m. last night. Officials said the motel had been closed for remodeling and had just reopened a few days ago. A handful of people were staying there but everyone was able to get out before firefighters arrived. No injuries have been reported. “We got called out on this to assist Jellico and when we got here there was probably two rooms engulfed,” Jellico Fire & Rescue’s Mitchell Long said, “And it just contained inside and there’s not a whole you can do with it.” “It stayed in the attic and it just basically just destroyed the whole building from one end to the other,” Mitchell said. Firefighters worked into the early morning hours to keep the fire from spreading to nearby homes. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
WHJL-TV CBS/ABC11 Johnson City

North Carolina firefighters remember 2014 ‘life-changer’ fire at auto shop where roof collapsed

VIDEO: Being a firefighter means running into the burning building when everyone else is running out. It’s dangerous and requires courage, but for the brave men and women who train for it, it’s just another day on the job. But even that can change quickly. By all accounts, January 30, 2014, started as a typical day. “Everything about that day, everything that lead up to that day, was normal,” said Sterling Sudderth, a battalion chief with the Greensboro Fire Department. “I had no idea that it was a life-changer.” The initial call came in just after lunch as a car fire at 811 S. Elm St. on the outskirts of downtown Greensboro. Responding units quickly learned that the car on fire was actually inside of an auto repair business. “As soon as we got off the truck, I saw the fire — heavy fire — coming out of the auto repair shop,” said Sudderth, who was a captain at the time. “At that point, between the amount of fire and the amount of smoke, I think everybody knew that this had gotten beyond that single car fire.”
WGHP-TV Fox 8 High Point

Detroit Fire Department to launch audit, return to onsite leadership after drunken driving incidents

In just over a week, two incidents of drunken driving while on duty have occurred within the Detroit Fire Department, causing city leaders to reflect on the department's policies and resources for firefighters amid higher levels of pressure and stress caused by the pandemic. Mayor Mike Duggan announced a partnership with national firefighter leaders to help guide Detroit in finding a solution, including launching an independent environmental audit and a review of the department's policies and employee assistance program. "The men and women of the Detroit Fire Department are heroes. We depend on them every day to save our lives, and they've done a terrific job, but the people of the city of Detroit are entitled to know that the men and women they are counting on to come save them are free of the influence of alcohol or any other restricted substances," Duggan said during a news conference Tuesday.
Detroit Free Press - Metered Site

Minnesota police lead training to protect firefighters during mass demonstrations

Under the fluorescent lights of a vacant Sears department store near the state Capitol, officers from across the east Twin Cities metro area have been preparing for six weeks for potentially dangerous situations that could occur at a mass demonstration. St. Paul police Cmdr. Tim Flynn has led 550 St. Paul officers and 250 others from agencies in Dakota, Washington and Ramsey counties through the training. “When the civil unrest was happening, we needed people from all those counties and agencies within those counties to come help us with what was going on in the city,” Flynn said. The St. Paul Police Department added the training to deal with a specific problem encountered last year. Firefighters had trouble responding to buildings on fire because of the volatile situation around them. During the exercises, members of law enforcement, carrying wooden batons, practice moving back crowds, getting to injured or dangerous people within the crowd, and creating a small perimeter within which fire crews can safely work.
MPR News

More COVID-19 variants emerge closer to home: What to know about the ones discovered in Brazil, New York, California

Health officials are urging Americans to not let their guards down against COVID-19 as researchers discover new variants that may already be more transmissible and could also be somewhat resistant to the vaccine. “At this level of cases, with variants spreading, we stand to completely lose the hard-earned ground we have gained,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a White House briefing Monday. “These variants are a very real threat to our people and our progress.” While experts have been following variants first identified in the United Kingdom and South Africa, they're also seeing red flags in other variants discovered closer to home in Brazil, New York and California. In Monday’s briefing, Dr. Anthony Fauci said a recent study found some COVID-19 treatments may not be as effective against the new variant discovered in New York.
USA Today

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Firefighter Injured Battling 3-Alarm Blaze in Massachusetts; 6 Adults, 4 Kids Displaced

VIDEO: A firefighter was injured while battling a 3-alarm blaze in Boston's Roxbury neighborhood on Monday afternoon. The fire was first reported around 5 p.m. in a 6-family home at the corner of Southwood and Edgewood streets. Heavy flames and smoke could be seen upon arrival. Aerial video from the scene showed numerous ladder trucks and other fire apparatus surrounding the scene. All 10 residents -- six adults and four children -- made it out safely, but one woman was wheeled away on a stretcher and taken to an area hospital for evaluation. A firefighter was also hospitalized after being hit by falling chimney bricks. "I was driving down the street and I smelled the smoke and I looked up to see where the smoke was coming from and the house was on fire," said Thelbert Foster, a witness to the blaze. "So first thing I did was call the fire department and they came out here pretty quickly."
WBTS-TV NBC 10 Boston

Colorado firefighter inspires change for colleagues battling breast cancer

VIDEO: All Colorado firefighters who are diagnosed with breast cancer will now receive benefits from the Colorado Firefighter Heart and Cancer Benefits (CFHCB) Trust, thanks to a Westminster fire lieutenant who appealed the denial of her claim. “I needed to find the thing that will show them that breast cancer is a firefighter’s disease,” Lt. Tracy Post told 9NEWS. “As exhausted as I was, I knew if I didn’t do it, somebody else was going to have to. I was just frustrated enough at the situation that I was like, well, I’m going to find a way to make this happen.” Post was diagnosed with stage two invasive ductal carcinoma in 2019; a type of breast cancer that forms in the milk duct of a breast and can invade into the surrounding breast tissue. It is also a type of cancer that is not covered for firefighter benefits in Colorado. “Quite often we do not know what we do not know,” Westminster Fire Chief Doug Hall told us.
KUSA-TV NBC 9 Denver

Insurance group donates vintage fire engine to New York fire department

VIDEO: A 115-year-old fire engine has been on display downtown since 2006, but today it returned to its rightful owner, the Utica Fire Department. It was the very first fire engine the city ever purchased back in 1906 and It took 3 horses to move the engine. It was sold for scrap in 1938, but was never dismantled. Since then, it's been on display in the office of Utica National Insurance Group. The Group recently decided to donate the engine to the Utica Fire Department. On Saturday members of the department were there to help transport the engine to its new home. "This was a fire apparatus that was purchased by the city of Utica in 1906. And it was in service until the department was motorized in 1917. So it's a huge part of our department history," said Deputy Fire Chief John Kelly. The engine was taken by truck to the Utica Fire Academy on Bleecker Street. Officials with the city hope to get the engine moving again when the next parade takes place in Utica.

Ohio public schools create new public safety career program

VIDEO: There's a new program at Toledo Public Schools TPS that aims to prepare high school students for a career in local law enforcement or firefighting and emergency medical services EMS. The three-year program is called PS 419. The PS stands for public schools and public safety. It was developed in partnership with Owens Community College, Toledo Fire and Rescue and the Toledo Police Department. The program begins for students during their sophomore year with an exploratory course and then in grades 11 and 12, there's a more dedicated focus for both policing and firefighting careers. Second semester seniors can enroll as college students at Owens Community College to earn criminal justice credit or their basic EMT certification.
WTOL-TV CBS 11 Toledo

North Carolina DOT training program that simulates crash scene for first responders wins award

VIDEO: Thanks to efforts in recent years to educate drivers, we've all become familiar with the problem of work zone deaths and injuries. Many public safety workers are also killed at the scene of accidents often by drivers who are paying attention to the crash rather than the road. That's why the North Carolina Department of Transportation's development of a hands-on training facility that engineers expect will save lives at accident scenes has won an award. "Whenever you get called to a highway wreck it's always dangerous. You never really know who's coming, who's going, who can see you, who can't see you," Garner Firefighter and emergency medical technician Tim Inman said. We caught up with Inman at the NCDOT's new Traffic Incident Management Training Track where he was taking part in a demonstration of the facility.
WTVD-TV ABC 11 Durham

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