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National Fire News

FDNY Firefighters Say Mayor’s Vision Zero Initiative Slowed Down Emergency Response Times

The FDNY’s response time has gone up and the firefighters union says part of the problem is a program meant to make New York City streets safer. It is taking the New York City Fire Department longer to respond to fires and other emergencies, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s latest management report.
- PUB DATE: 9/20/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WLNY-TV 55 Riverhead

Virginia Board Vote Over Sprinkler Mandate Sparks Outcry From Firefighters

Plenty of new housing needs to be built in Northern Virginia over the next few decades to keep up with expected job growth, but for now some of it won’t include built-in sprinkler systems. This week, the Virginia Board of Housing and Community Development voted against an update to the Commonwealth’s construction code that would have required that sprinklers be put in all new single-family homes and townhouses.
- PUB DATE: 9/20/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WAMU 88.5 American University Radio

North Carolina woman stalled firefighters for 13 minutes after witnesses said they saw her firing a gun, police say

Firefighters watched helplessly Wednesday as black smoke billowed over a treeline from a nearby apartment complex. They had arrived at 5:15 p.m. to fight a fire in Apartment F at Legacy Crossing Apartments at 3914 Hahn’s Lane, but police told them to wait on a nearby street so they could arrest the woman accused of setting the fire who witnesses said was also firing a gun.
- PUB DATE: 9/20/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Greensboro News & Record

Pennsylvania high school offers course training students to become volunteer firefighters

Volunteer fire departments across the region and even the state of Pennsylvania have started to shrink over the years as fewer people come forward to volunteer. But a solution to the lack of recruits might have been found within local schools. North Star High School added a new class students can take this year.
- PUB DATE: 9/20/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WJAC-TV NBC/CW+ 6 Johnstown

Florida: Titusville’s Great Fire of 1895 Ravaged Majority of City’s Business District

Like so many other small towns, Titusville’s citizens since the city’s founding in 1867 has banded together to protect their homes and businesses from fires. They held socials and collected subscriptions to support basic fire protection for their town. They urged their neighbors to install lightning rods on their homes and clear their lots of overgrowth to prevent fires from starting or spreading.
- PUB DATE: 9/20/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: SpaceCoastDaily.com

Pennsylvania officials unanimously approve bill to forgive student loans of volunteer firefighters, first responders

Pennsylvania officials have unanimously passed a new measure that seeks to ease the burden of student loan debt for municipal volunteers of fire companies, rescue companies, and non-profit emergency medical services. An amended version of the bill will head to Pennsylvania's House of Representatives after it was passed Wednesday.
- PUB DATE: 9/19/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WTXF-TV FOX 29 Philadelphia

U.S. Fire Administration Report: Vast majority of fire-related firefighter injuries linked to structure blazes

Of the estimated 26,000 fire-related firefighter injuries that occurred annually from 2015 to 2017, 87% were related to structure fires, according to data published in the July edition of the U.S. Fire Administration’s “Topical Fire Report Series.” Additionally, according to the data from the National Fire Incident Reporting System, firefighters were more than 11 times more likely to be injured in a structure fire than in a nonstructure fire during the three-year period – 11.
- PUB DATE: 9/19/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Safety+Health Magazine

Fire guts Texas condo project, damages neighboring apartments

VIDEO: A massive fire early Thursday destroyed a South Austin condo under construction and two neighboring apartment buildings, fire officials said. Austin-Travis County EMS medics took one woman to St. David’s South Austin Medical Center with minor injuries as she tried to escape the fire. Crews first responded around 3:40 a.
- PUB DATE: 9/19/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Austin American-Statesman - Metered Site

Ohio firefighter concerned about ‘trade secret’ fracking chemicals

A local firefighter who helps train others in handling hazardous materials said there is a growing concern over the impact oil and gas drilling could leave in Ohio. Youngstown Battalion Chief Sil Caggiano said there are numerous drilling sites across the state, including a couple here in the Valley, where high levels of radium have been detected in the waste coming from the wells.
- PUB DATE: 9/19/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WYTV ABC 33 Youngstown

Firefighters in northeastern New York city understaffed, launch campaign

VIDEO: There are signs up throughout Plattsburgh calling for “A Stand on Safety.” They’re being put up by the local firefighters union. With the ability to respond within minutes, the Plattsburgh City firefighters are constantly poised and ready to respond. While they can arrive quickly, they might not come fully prepared.
- PUB DATE: 9/19/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WPTZ-TV NBC 5 Plattsburgh

Jon Stewart, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand help spread word on 9/11 healthcare at New York seminar

Following the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund being permanently extended by the federal government this summer, hundreds of Lower Manhattan community members attended a Sept. 16 informational seminar to learn about access to 9/11-related healthcare. Speakers at the event included officials and advocates, including Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and comedian Jon Stewart.
- PUB DATE: 9/18/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Villager

Washington woman wins fight to have firefighter husband's death ruled job-related

"Excellent dad, the best. They don't come any better than him," says Kalina Shouse when asked about her husband Erik. The couple have two beautiful, intelligent, active little girls but Kalina Shouse no longer has the man who helped make them; Erik Shouse died last year at just 40, suddenly and unexpectedly.
- PUB DATE: 9/18/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KIRO-TV CBS 7 Seattle

Fire Pension Board takes action to seize millions it says are owed by Illinois city

Since East St. Louis was freed of oversight from the Illinois Financial Authority in 2013, the city has fallen nearly $2.3 million short in mandated payments to the fund that supports firefighters and their families in retirement, according to an audit. The East St. Louis Fire Pension Board on Monday voted unanimously to recover those contributions from the city through an “intercept procedure,” in which it would petition Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza’s office to seize state payments to the city and deposit them directly to the pension funds.
- PUB DATE: 9/18/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Belleville News-Democrat

Oregon fire district launches effort to bring in information on rural access

Responding to a medical call in a rural area outside of town, emergency responders pause for a moment to figure out how they can access a property. By the way, it’s the middle of a moonless night. “We used to do that with our old manual map books and open it up,” Capt. Rich Saalsaa, Philomath Fire & Rescue’s fire and life safety officer remembered.
- PUB DATE: 9/18/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Corvallis Gazette-Times

Dallas Firefighters Rescuing First Responders From Bad Coffee

During a late night of emergency calls last year, Dallas firefighter and paramedic Paul Clarke decided he was sick of drinking bad coffee to keep him alert during shifts. He wanted to create a better brew for himself and his fellow first responders. But before he could, Clarke—an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Reserve—was deployed to Iraq for nine months.
- PUB DATE: 9/18/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: D Magazine

Body of fallen Maine firefighter Captain Michael Bell returns home

The body of the Captain Michael Bell who died Monday in the explosion in Farmington will return home Tuesday morning. Fire Capt. Michael Bell, 68, was a 30-year-member of the Farmington Fire Rescue and died in the powerful, apparent gas-related blast at LEAP Inc., that leveled the building, killing Bell and injuring seven others.
- PUB DATE: 9/17/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: NewsCenterMaine.com

Scabies Outbreak Affects 20 Maryland County Firefighters

Twenty Prince George's County firefighters have scabies, a highly contagious condition in which tiny mites burrow under the skin and cause severe itching and rashes, fire and health officials announced Monday. Prince George's County Fire Chief Ben Barksdale said 205 employees of the department were tested.
- PUB DATE: 9/17/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WRC-TV NBC 4

U.S. Honor Flag travels around Utah to honor fallen first responders

The U.S. Honor Flag came back through Utah, making several stops along the Wasatch Front. It travels the country honoring first responders who have given their lives for the community. It has made its way 7 million miles in the last 18 years, starting as a way to honor the hero’s of Sept. 11, 2001.
- PUB DATE: 9/17/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KUTV CBS 2 Salt Lake City

Connecticut firefighters approve 6-year contract

Firefighters have approved a contract that gives them an 11 percent wage increase over the course of the 6-year agreement, but also boosts the employee pension contribution and limits the number of retirees in a given year. The document between the city and Local 825, IAFF, AFL-CIO has been sent to the Board of Alders, which must act on it by Oct.
- PUB DATE: 9/17/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: New Haven Register

California university team uses machine learning to help tell which wildfires will burn out of control

An interdisciplinary team of scientists at the University of California, Irvine has developed a new technique for predicting the final size of a wildfire from the moment of ignition. Built around a machine learning algorithm, the model can help in forecasting whether a blaze is going to be small, medium or large by the time it has run its course – knowledge useful to those in charge of allocating scarce firefighting resources.
- PUB DATE: 9/17/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: UCI News