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National Fire News

New Texas fire chief wants department to do more than fight fires

As as assistant fire chief in Columbus, Ohio, Jim Davis battled the opioid crisis and trained firefighters to recognize public health issues when they answered calls. When Davis starts as Fort Worth’s new fire chief in September, he plans to bring that same collaborative approach. Davis’ unique background — he has a 20-year history as a critical care nurse and flight nurse — helped him become Fort Worth’s 13th fire chief.
- PUB DATE: 7/19/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Florida fire chief actively recruiting women to join firefighting ranks

Kyleigh Lough, 12, held a large fire hose and opened the nozzle, shooting a powerful jet of water 20 feet into a green traffic cone and knocking it over. “It looks really fun, I think,” Kyleigh said when asked if she might like to be a firefighter one day. “They don’t just fight fires — they help people.
- PUB DATE: 7/19/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Winter Haven News Chief

1 dead, more evacuations ordered as Oregon wildfire grows to 50,000 acres

A fast-moving wildfire has grown to more than 50,000 acres in Wasco and Sherman counties, burning through structures and forcing people to evacuate their homes. Deputies said they found a person dead Wednesday afternoon near a tractor that had been burned by the flames. The Substation Fire broke out on Tuesday near The Dalles.
- PUB DATE: 7/19/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KATU-TV ABC 2 Portland

4 ways to reduce firefighter injuries and prevent fatalities

Firefighter fatalities are occurring at the same rate today that they were 20 years ago. Although the number of fatalities has dropped, it is simply because there are fewer fires. The following graph shows fireground fatalities per 100,000 fires over the last 20 years. Despite all the efforts that have been made to reduce firefighter fatalities and injuries over the last two decades—such as changes in command and control procedures, improvements in personal protective equipment, and deployment of rapid intervention teams—these measures have made little impact, as shown by the black trend line in the graph.
- PUB DATE: 7/19/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: FireRescue1

Woman admitted she set blaze that killed two Kansas City firefighters, according to testimony

The woman charged with arson, murder, assault and causing a catastrophe in a blaze that killed two Kansas City firefighters admitted her guilt to a fellow detainee soon after being arrested, according to testimony given Wednesday. Thu Hong Nguyen told Misty Levron that she set a fire that killed people by using liquid in her nail salon, Levron testified Wednesday at Nguyen’s trial.
- PUB DATE: 7/19/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Kansas City Star

Indiana fire chief recalled as 'great human being,' tireless community man

Many residents of Sullivan County are in mourning following the unexpected death of a long-time community leader. Clay Shidler, chief of the Hymera-Jackson Township Fire Department, died Monday at Terre Haute Regional Hospital after crashing his vehicle in northeastern Sullivan County. Shidler, 60, of Hymera, was a 31-year member of the fire department and volunteered for many community organizations.
- PUB DATE: 7/18/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Terre Haute Tribune-Star

Massachusetts town's officials defend 49 percent raise for fire chief

Selectmen said a 49 percent raise for Fire Chief Fred Mitchell Jr. is justified because the town "got a great deal" and "a bargain" when it hired him three years ago. Mitchell, 51, a Rhode Island native, was hired in October 2015 at $63,359 with a contract that boosted his pay annually at 3 percent per year.
- PUB DATE: 7/18/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Newburyport Daily News

Florida county approves settlement in fire chief lawsuit

The County Commission approved a proposed settlement agreement Tuesday in a two-year discrimination, then retaliation, lawsuit filed by a Marion County Fire Rescue employee against the county. Marion County Fire Rescue Division Chief Shari Hall filed suit against the county in May 2016, claiming the county discriminated against her based on her gender when she was passed over in 2015 for the fire chief position, which was given to now-retired Paul Nevels.
- PUB DATE: 7/18/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Ocala Star-Banner

Two Texas firefighters suspended after damaging equipment, memos say

Two Austin firefighters received four-hour suspensions after damaging department equipment during incidents in May and June. The first happened on May 16 when fire specialist Chad Benestante closed a bay door on a fire engine while leaving a station to respond to a call, suspension paperwork said. The second happened on June 10 when firefighter Dustin Mills was working with an aerial ladder.
- PUB DATE: 7/18/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Austin American-Statesman

Tiny California town lines up to salute as hero firefighter’s body passes by

Braden Varney was coming home, but not in the way anyone expected. His body was going to be carried through his hometown in the back of a white SUV. Its destination: the Stanislaus County Coroner’s Office. The Varney family has lived in Mariposa for decades, longer than anyone could remember, although no one could say exactly how long.
- PUB DATE: 7/18/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: SFGate.com

Emotional testimony on first day of trial for woman accused of arson, murder in death of two Kansas City firefighters

Emotional testimony capped the first day Monday in the arson and murder trial of a woman accused of setting the fire that killed Kansas City firefighters John Mesh and Larry Leggio. Capt. Steve Davis remembers instructing firefighter Leggio to pull a fan out of a window facing the alley so they could throw more water at the fire within.
- PUB DATE: 7/17/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Kansas City Star

Body of California firefighter killed near Yosemite is retrieved from steep ravine

Crews on Monday extracted the body of a firefighter from a steep ravine that his bulldozer had rolled into days ago as he fought a wildfire west of Yosemite. The body of 36-year-old Braden Varney, a 10-year-veteran with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, remained in a mesh of mangled metal for three days in a site near El Portal that was too remote for bulldozers and too precarious to allow an immediate extraction.
- PUB DATE: 7/17/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: SFGate.com

Ohio Deputy Fire Chief Selected for 2018 Training Officer Recognition Award

TargetSolutions, a Vector Solutions brand offering the leading operations and training management software for the fire service, and the International Association of Fire Chief’s (IAFC) Volunteer & Combination Officers Section (VCOS) are proud to announce Deputy Chief Josh Blum, of Loveland-Symmes (Ohio) Fire Department (LSFD), as the recipient of the 2018 VCOS Training Officer Recognition Award.
- PUB DATE: 7/17/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Firehouse

Former Pennsylvania fire company leaders accused of stealing $46K from company

Two former presidents of Falls Township Fire Company No. 1 were charged on July 16 with stealing more than $46,000 from the volunteer organization. Christopher J. Carlin, 48, who served as president in 2017 and treasurer before that, is accused of taking $34,896.59. His predecessor, Gary Margerum, 61, president from 2009-2016, is charged with stealing $11,198.
- PUB DATE: 7/17/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Bucks Local News

Cleaning Lady, Firefighters Hurt In California Bee Attack

A 52-year-old cleaning lady and four firefighters were hurt Monday after they were attacked by a swarm of Africanized bees, leaving the woman in critical condition. CBSLA’s Stacey Butler reported Monday night that the woman’s son said that it appears she will survive her injuries from the bee attack.
- PUB DATE: 7/17/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KCAL-TV Los Angeles

Second-generation firefighter killed battling California wildfire near Yosemite National Park

Officials say a firefighter killed while battling a wildfire near Yosemite National Park was driving a bulldozer and trying to prevent the fire from spreading. Braden Varney, 36, was a second generation firefighter, state fire officials told CBS Sacramento. California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Chief Nancy Koerperich said Saturday that Varney was cutting a "fire break" with the vehicle to prevent the blaze from spreading when he was killed.
- PUB DATE: 7/16/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: CBS News

Texas city sues cancer-stricken firefighter to avoid paying insurance claims

A firefighter battling cancer is being sued by Baytown's city government, which seeks to deny paying him insurance coverage for his treatment over the last 18 months. Patrick Mahoney, a battalion chief for the Baytown Fire Department, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in December 2016, forcing him to have half of his thyroid removed and undergo continued treatment, including thyroid hormone supplements and regular blood work.
- PUB DATE: 7/16/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Houston Chronicle

2 plead guilty to manslaughter in house explosion that killed FDNY battalion chief

Two men have pleaded guilty to manslaughter in an explosion at a marrijuana grow house that killed a New York City fire battalion chief, prosecutors said. "This is an extremely rare instance where someone is being held criminally responsible for conditions that caused the death of a firefighter in the line of duty in New York City," Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark said Friday in announcing that Garivaldi Castillo and Julio Salcedo had admitted to manslaughter and marijuana possession.
- PUB DATE: 7/16/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WABC-TV 7online.com

Two arrested after stealing California fire engine, leading officials on 2 hour chase

VIDEO - Two suspects are in custody after an hours-long chase of a Sacramento County fire truck stolen in Rio Linda ended Saturday near Oroville, authorities said. Several agencies pursued the truck Saturday afternoon as it traveled nearly 100 miles across four counties and reportedly swerved into oncoming traffic.
- PUB DATE: 7/16/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KCRA-TV NBC Sacramento

Philadelphia's first fallen female firefighter honored with not 'just any headstone'

Philadelphia firefighter Joyce Craig gave the ultimate sacrifice — her life — in helping save others from a house fire in West Oak Lane in December 2014, becoming the city’s first female firefighter to die in the line of duty. That is why getting a headstone for her grave took 3½ years. “We didn’t want to put just any headstone there,” said Lisa Forrest, a captain in the Fire Department and president of Club Valiants, an association for black firefighters, paramedics, and emergency medical technicians.
- PUB DATE: 7/16/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Philly.com