Alabama News

Friday, July 23, 2021

Fort Payne volunteer firefighter dies after month-long battle with COVID

The Fort Payne community is in mourning tonight as they have lost one of their own. Darren Westbrook was a firefighter with the Dogtown Volunteer Fire Department in Fort Payne, he died from COVID on July 22. According to a post made on the Dogtown Fire Department’s Facebook page, Westbrook was in the hospital for a month battling the virus. The Fort Payne Fire Department confirmed Westbrook died sometime Thursday afternoon.
WAFF-TV NBC 48 Huntsville

1 injured in Toney mobile home fire

One person suffered minor injuries after a mobile home caught on fire Thursday afternoon. Toney Volunteer Fire and Rescue said they were called to a mobile home on fire around 12:30 p.m. on Thursday. They said when they arrived there were heavy fire conditions throughout the home and it was structurally unstable. Crews were able to put the fire out within 30 minutes and used about 2,500 gallons of water. One person was inside the mobile home when it caught fire and they were taken to the hospital by HEMSI with minor burns. The American Red Cross is helping the owner of the home with displacement. Meridianville, Hazel Green and Bobo Fire Departments also responded. The Alabama State Marshal’s Office is investigating what caused the fire.
WHNT-TV CBS 19 Huntsville

Major delays on I-85 near Shorter after crash, diesel fuel fire

VIDEO: Northbound lanes of Interstate 85 in Macon County are closed after a crash and diesel fuel fire. According to Macon County EMA Director Frank Lee, the crash happened near Shorter and involved an 18-wheeler carrying power tools. Both northbound lanes have been closed and will remain closed most of the day. Traffic is being diverted off the interstate at exit 16 north. Lee says southbound lanes will also be affected as officials work to remove the vehicles that have been stuck in the NB lanes behind the crash. Several local, county, and state agencies are on the scene.
WSFA-TV NBC 12 Montgomery

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Alabama fire chiefs concerned about new state law changing school construction oversight

Alabama firefighters are trying to change a new state law, which they said causes safety concerns in Alabama’s schools. As written, HB 220, which passed in the 2021 legislative session, removes state oversight of K-12 school construction projects of $500,000 or less. It gives that responsibility to the school systems. The law’s supporters say the goal is to remove government bureaucracy and save school systems money. But Alabaster Fire Chief Tim Love said it could lead to school buildings not being up to code. “There will be no independent third party inspection or review of the plans or process as it goes along,” Love said. “Without that, there’s no guarantee codes are being followed.”
WBMA-LD ABC 33/40 Birmingham

Moulton Council considers 2 candidates for fire chief

Two members of the Moulton Fire Department hope to become the city’s next fire chief and will be interviewed next Monday at 5 p.m. during a special council meeting. Assistant Fire Chief Brian Phillips, who was named acting chief following the resignation of former Chief Ryan Jolly on July 8, and firefighter Mathew Dudley were the city’s only two applicants, Mayor Roger Weatherwax announced in a regular meeting Monday night. Phillips has served with Moulton Fire Department for 18 years, according to Weatherwax. City Clerk Deroma Pepper said Dudley has served Moulton Fire and Rescue Department for five years. She said the city accepted applications internally until 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Council members agreed to conduct public interviews at City Hall on Monday, July 26.
Moulton Advertiser

Huntsville Fire & Rescue kicking of 2022 hiring season for firefighters, dispatchers

Huntsville Fire & Rescue applications for firefighters and dispatchers for its 2022 hiring class will open up on Friday, July 23. The hiring process will last through Tuesday, August 31. Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said the city takes pride in its Fire & Rescue Department. “As our City continues to expand and attract new people, we hope to recruit the best and brightest women and men to create a workforce that is diverse and representative of the broader Huntsville community,” said Mayor Battle. The city said it has dedicated Driver and Engineer Cory Green, who has been with the department for 10 years, as a recruiter to fill these positions. Green intends to find candidates from a diverse set of backgrounds. “It’s important that our department accurately reflects the demographics and values of our entire community,” said Green.
WZDX-TV FOX 4 Huntsville

Lab identifies vaccine deserts in Alabama

VIDEO: A lab doing national research on vaccine equity has discovered a swatch of “vaccine deserts” in Alabama. We spoke to one of the leading Harvard researchers on the project. They used public data to see where vaccine sites were available and where they weren’t. Researchers from Birmingham and Harvard began looking at the vaccine equity data early on, and have created an interactive visual map. “Our hope was could we help these leaders, in a sense, provide some of the estimates of what they would need to plan for each phase of the vaccine rollout,” said Dr. Rebecca Weintraub, a professor at Harvard and researcher at Ariadne Labs. While we now have an abundance of vaccines, there are places in Alabama where they are not available within a 15-minute drive, and more further than a 15-minute walk.
WBRC-TV FOX 6 Birmingham

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