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National Fire News

Iowa firefighters resign over public safety officer program

For about three years the city of Cedar Falls has begun using dual-trained public safety officers — PSOs — to help fight fires. There has been push back. Now two veteran firefighters have quit the force. James Cook worked as a full-time firefighter in Cedar Falls for 12 years, but left this month due to safety concerns.
- PUB DATE: 9/21/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier

Florida firefighters sue city, say they were retaliated against for testifying in discrimination case

Two Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department employees are suing the City of Jacksonville, saying they were retaliated against for testifying in a racial discrimination case. That complaint was filed by JFRD Capt. Eric Mitchell. The employees said they were told they need to "get rid of" Mitchell. This isn't the first time JFRD has faced allegations of discrimination and hostile work environments concerning African-American firefighters.
- PUB DATE: 9/21/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WTEV-TV 47

'We train on it, but we lived it yesterday': Wisconsin fire dept. looks forward after shooting

In a community reeling from not only historic flooding but a workplace shooting Wednesday, the Middleton Fire Department is reflecting on its response while looking toward the future. Officers shot and killed the shooter, identified as 43-year-old Anthony Y. Tong, of Madison, who attacked people at a Middleton software company, injuring several, officials said.
- PUB DATE: 9/21/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WISC-TV Channel 3000.com Madison

New York fire district votes to dissolve, sparks outcry

Town of Oneonta Fire District commissioners voted Thursday night 3 to 2 for dissolution, turning the job of negotiating a fire protection contract over to the Oneonta Town Board, which objects to the step. Supervisor Robert Wood said the Town Board plans to take legal action to block the dissolution.
- PUB DATE: 9/21/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Oneonta Daily Star

Illinois fire chief's retirement makes way for 24/7 operations

The Mount Zion Fire Protection District will start providing coverage 24 hours a day, seven days a week, beginning in October, fire Chief Don Wright said Thursday. Wright said his impending retirement Oct. 31 allowed the department to split his salary and hire two additional full-time firefighters.
- PUB DATE: 9/21/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Herald & Review

Los Angeles Firefighters Injured after Roof Collapses at Raging Warehouse Fire

A raging fire destroyed a Boyle Heights import business Wednesday and three firefighters were injured, one critically, when the roof of the sprawling warehouse-type structure collapsed beneath their feet. The fire broke out for unknown reasons around 12:45 p.m. at the Passion Imports building in the 2800 block of East Pico Boulevard.
- PUB DATE: 9/20/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KNBC-TV NBC 4 Los Angeles

Houston mayor agrees to 7 percent raise for police weeks before fire pay vote

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner agreed to a 7 percent pay increase for police officers just weeks before a Houston referendum vote to determine whether firefighters deserve comparable pay for similar ranks. Turner announced some of the details of the pay raise at Wednesday's city council meeting. The two-year agreement with police will cost the city $52 million and goes into effect July 1, 2019.
- PUB DATE: 9/20/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KTRK-TV ABC 13 Houston

New York fire chief resigns amid tensions with volunteers

Rensselaer Fire Chief Bill Hummel resigned Wednesday just hours before volunteer firfighters are set to bring concerns about training and proper equipment to city officials. City volunteer firefighters and county officials say both the chief and an assistant chief have stepped down. While the mayor and the chief have not returned calls for comment, the volunteers believe the resignations are a direct response to growing tensions between volunteers and career firefighters within the city.
- PUB DATE: 9/20/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WNYT-TV 13 Albany

Retiring California Chief Says Firefighters Must Innovate

As Anaheim Fire Chief Randy Bruegman’s retirement approaches, he discusses the future of firefighting and allows that if departments fail to change it could mean fewer men and women prepared to battle infernos. Along with more mega wildfires and tornadoes of flame never seen before in modern history, the chief points out that 85 percent of calls are for emergency medical service.
- PUB DATE: 9/20/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Firehouse

‘Lengthy consecutive sentences’ sought for salon owner in deaths of 2 Missouri firefighters

Prosecutors are recommending an 89-year prison term for the “serial arsonist” who set a fire in her nail salon that resulted in the deaths of two Kansas City firefighters. Thu Hong Nguyen, 46, is scheduled to be sentenced Friday by Jackson Country Circuit Court judge Joel P. Fahnestock. She was convicted of murder, arson and assault in the Oct.
- PUB DATE: 9/20/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Kansas City Star

Verizon denies allegations that it's throttling mobile data for Hurricane Florence victims

Verizon said Tuesday that it is not slowing down or degrading the wireless services of North Carolina residents who have been affected by Hurricane Florence, after a report surfaced accusing the company of "deprioritiz[ing]" mobile data plans. A hurricane victim identifying him- or herself as a Verizon customer posted to reddit Monday saying that it has been days since it has been possible to check Facebook or email from a mobile device in a small town in eastern North Carolina.
- PUB DATE: 9/19/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Greensboro News & Record

DWI arrest highlights battle between fire fighters union and Texas city

The current collective bargaining agreement between the City of San Antonio and the San Antonio Professional Fire Fighter’s Union expired four years ago. Right now, the first responders are operating on an evergreen plan, keeping the most current contract in place and allowing time to negotiate. But the city says that's not happening.
- PUB DATE: 9/19/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KENS5.com San Antonio

Pipe Pressure Before Massachusetts Gas Explosions Was 12 Times Too High

The pressure in natural gas pipelines prior to a series of explosions and fires in Massachusetts last week was 12 times higher than it should have been, according to a letter from the state's U.S. senators to executives of the utility in charge of the pipelines. Democratic U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey sent the letter Monday seeking answers about the explosions from the heads of Columbia Gas, the company that serves the communities of Lawrence, Andover and North Andover, and NiSource, the parent company of Columbia Gas.
- PUB DATE: 9/19/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: NBC Boston

What you need to know about ISO’s 2018 Public Protection Classification

ISO has been developing grades of fire suppression capabilities for communities under our Public Protection Classification program for many years. We recognize there are often questions about the PPC process. This article is designed to help provide a better understanding of our PPC, along with information about some ways fire chiefs can get help with the related process.
- PUB DATE: 9/19/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: FireRescue1

Missouri city manager accuses public safety workers of harassment in pay dispute

Joplin's finance director says critics are trying to force her out of her job, and the city manager says city employees who continue to stir rumors and act disrespectful could face disciplinary action. City Manager Sam Anselm holds fire and police employees responsible for repeated incidents in which he said untruths have been spread and employees have acted out against other city employees, such as the finance director, and the City Council.
- PUB DATE: 9/19/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Joplin Globe

Missouri fire chief cites harassment, bullying as reason for resignation

Citing a campaign of harassment, antagonism and bullying, Sunrise Beach Fire Protection District Chief Dennis P. Reilly, is stepping down from the position he has held since 2012. In a letter dated Sept. 14 to the SBFPD Board of Directors, Reilly announced his intention to relinquish his duties effective on or about Oct.
- PUB DATE: 9/18/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Lake News Online

As Hurricane Roared, North Carolina Fire Station Burned

On Sunday, Fire Chief Teddy Stamatis had just left his home to go shopping when a fire call came in for a working fire at the Macclesfield Rural Fire Department's station. On arrival Stamatis found heavy fire showing in the firehouse. He was able to get one of the apparatus bay doors open and remove one of his tankers to safety.
- PUB DATE: 9/18/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Firehouse

Unique Ohio fire department partnership connects seniors to services so they can remain in their homes

Norwich Township Fire Chief Jeff Warren was happy to be wrong. He thought the number of people enrolled in his fire department’s collaborative program with National Church Residences was around 100. Actually, it’s already grown to 120. Not far off, but he still underestimated it, which meant more people were getting help than he figured.
- PUB DATE: 9/18/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Columbus Dispatch

FDNY EMS workers, elected officials call for mayor to stop opposing paid sick leave for 9/11 responders

More than 17 years after the Sept. 11 attacks, EMTs sickened at the World Trade Center are still fighting for unlimited sick time due to resistance, they say, from Mayor de Blasio. Lawmakers and union leaders ripped de Blasio Monday for his opposition to legislation that would expand unlimited sick time — already available to NYPD officers and FDNY firefighters, and to first responders from outside the city — to another about 4,000 city workers, including FDNY EMS workers.
- PUB DATE: 9/18/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: New York Daily News

Oprah Winfrey honors first responders as new USPS stamp is unveiled

First responders were honored Friday at a U.S. Postal Service stamp ceremony in Montecito. The firefighters, law enforcement officers and emergency medical personnel who assisted during the Thomas Fire and Jan. 9 mudslide were specifically recognized as a new, commemorative "First Responder" Forever stamp was dedicated.
- PUB DATE: 9/18/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KSBY.com