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National Fire News

'I'm sorry, Chief,' writes Mississippi firefighter who still can't talk after motorcycle crash

Michael Guitreau is still in the ICU at Memorial Hospital at Gulfport one day after his motorcycle collided with a vehicle on his way to work. The 28-year-old firefighter and father of four was traveling south on Mississippi 603 near Kiln-Waveland Cutoff Road on Wednesday when he struck another vehicle.
- PUB DATE: 4/20/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Sun Herald

Southwest hero, Texas firefighter Andrew Needum: 'I'm no different than any other firefighter'

Firefighter Andrew Needum, one of the heroes of ill-fated Southwest Airlines Flight 1380, brushed off accolades for his efforts Thursday, saying he is "no different than any other firefighter." Needum, surrounded by family members, spoke to reporters at his firehouse in Celina, Texas. He and real estate agent Tim McGinty drew national acclaim for pulling passenger Jennifer Riordan out of a smashed window during Tuesday's ordeal.
- PUB DATE: 4/20/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: USA Today

Florida fire captain under internal investigation for fighting fire while off duty

A captain with Polk County Fire and Rescue is under internal investigation for fighting a house fire earlier this month in North Lakeland while he was off duty. A complaint has been filed against firefighter Jay Schwartz, who is also union president of the Polk County IAFF Local 3531, county officials said.
- PUB DATE: 4/20/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Ledger

Former New York firefighter dies from heart attack while helping neighbor having heart attack

Robert Cordani had always been there for other people. Whether it was as a firefighter in Wurtsboro, an EMT for the Mamakating First Aid Squad, or a neighbor, friend or brother. “He was one of those neighbors or friends that if you needed something, 24 hours a day, he’s down there to help you,” said his brother, Art Cordani.
- PUB DATE: 4/20/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: recordonline.com

Injured Alaska firefighter talks about overcoming fall from ladder

How tough is Anchorage firefighter Ben Schultz? That is what he says he found out over the last several months after a devastating fall from a ladder in June in Anchorage. "I'd say the biggest positive is that I've seen the worst part of my life and seeing how I can overcome that," Schultz said while recovering in Omaha, Nebraska.
- PUB DATE: 4/20/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: ktva.com

Anger in Georgia county over firing of fire chief

The recent firing of Henry County’s fire chief, Nish Willis was met with almost unanimous disapproval from members of the public and multiple county commissioners at Tuesday’s Board of Commissioners meeting. Willis was terminated on March 21 without a specific reason cited other than “end of appointment.
- PUB DATE: 4/19/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Henry County Daily Herald

New York Firefighter-Paramedic Dies On Duty

A firefighter-paramedic with a volunteer fire company on New York's Long Island has died in the line of duty. According to a post on the Facebook page of the Greenlawn Fire Department, firefighter-paramedic Kent Stillwagon, 52, died while on duty early Tuesday morning. The department offered no specific details on the incident other than saying it happened around 1:27 a.
- PUB DATE: 4/19/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Firehouse

Minnesota firefighters grapple with 'silent epidemic'

The nightmares still sometimes rouse Brian Cristofono from sleep. Even now, nearly two years after the last calls for help came in, ghosts from his days as a firefighter and paramedic are tough to shake. Babies he couldn’t save. Parents he struggled to comfort. Crash victims beyond reviving. “They leave scars,” said Cristofono, 42.
- PUB DATE: 4/19/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune

After hit-and-run, injured Massachusetts firefighter welcomed back

Onset firefighter Marc Granato lay unconsciousness in a raging storm, both boots knocked off his feet. Speeding away during the March 2 nor'easter was the person who struck the 25-year-old in a hit-and-run. Running toward Granato was Onset Fire Lt. Justin Harrington. He’d seen many similar crashes. They never ended well.
- PUB DATE: 4/19/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Village Soup - Wareham

Indiana fire chief helps battle blaze at his own home

It was a scary moment for a local fire chief when he found himself fighting a fire inside his own home early this morning. Several fire departments responded to the house fire on State Road 104 in La Porte County. No one was hurt, but the home is a total loss. We spoke to the fire chief for the Pleasant Township Volunteer Fire Department.
- PUB DATE: 4/19/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WSBT-TV 22

‘God was with us that day’: Crews recount rescue of Texas firefighters surrounded by brush fire

For about 10 minutes, Emergency Services District 1 firefighters Jessilyn Davis and Lt. Brannon Stengel found themselves surrounded by a brush fire April 11 in western Travis County. The winds, which had shifted toward them, and 20 percent humidity that day only made matters worse. They tried to stay positive, but Stengel said in the backs of their minds, they thought they had come face-to-face with the blaze that would take their lives.
- PUB DATE: 4/18/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Austin American-Statesman

Former Rhode Island fire chief escapes prison but must repay taxpayers for illegal pension

A judge has sentenced the former fire chief of the Coventry Fire District to three years of probation and ordered him to repay nearly $200,000 for fraudulently receiving retirement benefits. Paul Labbadia, 52, of North Providence, pleaded no contest in January to three counts that he filed false documents to obtain a public pension.
- PUB DATE: 4/18/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WPRI-TV Providence 12

Judge rules Illinois city violated contract with firefighters union

Firefighters are breathing a sigh of relief after a nearly year-long struggle. The Mattoon Fire Department will have to hire a handful of new firefighters. It's after a judge ruled that the city violated their contract last year. The fire department is supposed to have more than 30 firefighters, but right now they're at 24.
- PUB DATE: 4/18/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WCIA & WCFN-TV CBS 3 Champaign

Woman turns to Indiana firefighters for help with stoned raccoon

People turn to firefighters for help during all kinds of emergencies, but this one might actually be a first. Wayne Township firefighters woke up in the middle of the night to a woman frantically pushing their doorbell. "As many times as the doorbell on the firehouse was pushed, the firefighters were quite certain that something bad was going on outside," said Wayne Township Fire Capt.
- PUB DATE: 4/18/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WTHR-TV NBC 13 Indianapolis

Texas Firefighter Rushed to Save Woman in Plane Blast

A firefighter from Texas is being lauded for his heroic efforts after he helped pull a fellow passenger back inside a plane when she was sucked outside during an emergency landing Tuesday in Philadelphia. According to the Daily Mirror, Celina firefighter Andrew Needum was nearby when debris from the engine explosion on Southwest Airlines flight 1380 ripped a hole in the window where 43-year-old Jennifer Riordan was sitting.
- PUB DATE: 4/18/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Firehouse

Five years after blast, West, Texas is rebuilt but emotional tripwires remain

The memories of the blast five years ago that robbed Kirk Wines of his friends and first responder colleagues remain vivid as ever, but he keeps them filed neatly away. The amiable owner of West’s Old Corner Drug Store stays busy filling prescriptions, chatting with customers and minding his emergency pager as a captain of the West Volunteer Fire Department.
- PUB DATE: 4/17/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Waco Tribune-Herald

New questions emerge about retired FDNY firefighter who was refused 9/11 aid while suffering from severe PTSD

New questions emerged Monday about the FDNY’s denial of 9/11-related disability benefits to a retired firefighter who labored at Ground Zero and then suffered severe psychiatric illness before dying in a mental hospital. Joe Battista spent months at the World Trade Center site after the 9/11 attacks and developed serious health issues, and severe depression and post-traumatic stress disorder that led to repeated hospitalizations.
- PUB DATE: 4/17/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: New York Daily News

California firefighter mourning unexpected death of wife after giving birth to twins

Nick Reeder's life was just coming into focus last week--four years ago, he found Amanda Sawyer. "We met on an online profile, yeah and we had a blind date and were inseparable after that date. It was love at first sight definitely," said Nick Reeder. Nick says she did it all--mother, worker, wife and she loved that he was a firefighter, even decorating their home with fire memorabilia.
- PUB DATE: 4/17/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KABC-TV ABC 7 Los Angeles

A new generation is shaking up the fire service

Just as fire departments are getting used to working with millennials, another generation is coming along. This generation is significantly different from their predecessors and will require some adaptations in leadership and management for them to contribute to their fullest. The newest generation, born after 1995, is just now entering the workforce.
- PUB DATE: 4/17/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: FireRescue1

Massachusetts fire chief scolds neighboring town manager over limit on retirement party publicity

The Auburn fire chief has chastised the Oxford town manager for allegedly prohibiting the use of any town emails or social media to distribute a retirement party flyer for the Oxford fire chief. A retirement party for Oxford Fire Chief Sheri R. Bemis is scheduled for 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday at the Auburn Elks Lodge, 754 Southbridge St.
- PUB DATE: 4/17/2018 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Worcester Telegram & Gazette