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National Fire News

New Jersey firefighters taking heat for snapping selfies while historic building burns to the ground behind them

Many onlookers pulled out their phones and snapped pictures as flames roared through the roof of the North End Pavilion on the Ocean Grove boardwalk Saturday. But some were firefighters, and they posed for selfies or group photos - some as flames continued to shoot from the historic building that was recently refurbished after surviving Superstorm Sandy.
- PUB DATE: 4/16/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: NJ.com

California cops, firefighters with PTSD seek workers’ comp coverage for mental health trauma

Recently diagnosed with post-traumatic stress, Sacramento firefighter Joshua Katz isn’t ready to give up on what he calls a ‘dream job.’ He still loves his “fire family,” exciting workdays and having a job that lets him help others. He’d rather take time off to treat his post-traumatic stress with financial support from workers’ compensation than allow his injury to cause an early end to his career.
- PUB DATE: 4/16/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Sacramento Bee

Maine firefighters say town is ‘playing with fire’ with ‘severely understaffed’ fire department

Almost eight years to the day after a three-alarm fire destroyed a landmark building on Brunswick’s Maine Street, firefighters for the town say the department is dangerously understaffed and has been for years. As negotiations about the 2019-2020 town budget begin in earnest, Fire Chief Ken Brillant has proposed increasing his staff by one firefighter per shift — a total of four crew members, which would ensure eight firefighters on duty at all times for the town of approximately 20,000 people — as well as an enforcement inspector to oversee, among other responsibilities, multi-unit inspections.
- PUB DATE: 4/16/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Bangor Daily News - Metered Site

Study shows female firefighters’ health needs often unaddressed

Women firefighters, particularly in North America, are less likely to have access to female-specific personal protective equipment and appropriate strength training and conditioning support, according to a new study. In addition, women reported numerous counts of sexism on the job, and others talked about logistical issues such as sanitary conditions and toilet facilities, especially when tackling fires for several hours, researchers wrote in Women’s Health Issues.
- PUB DATE: 4/16/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: New York Post

Illinois city sues downtown apartment complex over alleged fire code violations

A downtown Belleville apartment complex should be shut down because the owner has not installed a state-mandated fire alarm system and a fire in the complex would have a “catastrophic impact and high loss of life,” according to fire department inspection reports. The reports, which allege multiple code violations, are attached to the city’s lawsuit filed against the owner of the Brede Towers Apartments at 104 N.
- PUB DATE: 4/16/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Belleville News-Democrat

Texas man who has posed as firefighter, doctor accused of impersonating paramedic student

A Dallas man who has made a habit of posing as a firefighter and even a doctor is accused of doing it again after authorities say he convinced Dallas firefighters to take him on a ride-along. Dallas police are searching for Terrance King, 27, who is suspected of impersonating a public servant after he allegedly told firefighters that he was an EMT student, according to WFAA-TV (Channel 11).
- PUB DATE: 4/15/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Dallas Morning News

How a $30,000 drone kept firefighters safe during explosive welding company fire in Michigan

PHOTOS: Above the thick, acrid smoke, booming explosions and flames, a drone safely whirred in the sky, transmitting video of the chaos to firefighters below. The Western Wayne County Hazardous Materials Response Team assisted Pittsfield Township firefighters after propane, butane and acetylene tanks caught fire at Ann Arbor Welding Company in Pittsfield Township about 12:30 p.
- PUB DATE: 4/15/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: MLive.com

Maryland county sees decrease in opioid overdoses, fatalities through April

The number of opioid overdoses in the county has decreased by nearly 25 percent, with overdose fatalities down by 37 percent, according to a report by the Anne Arundel County Department of Health and Anne Arundel County Police Department. The county has had 234 total overdoses -- including 37 fatal overdoses so far this year, according to the report.
- PUB DATE: 4/15/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Capital Gazette

Pilot program to improve mental health crisis response in Illinois

The often frenetic pace of a hospital emergency room can be the opposite of the calm environment needed by people experiencing a mental health crisis. Yet when families in Rockford and across Illinois call 911 for help with a loved one suffering from a psychotic, schizophrenic or depressive episode, there is only one place ambulances are allowed to transport the patient: the emergency room.
- PUB DATE: 4/15/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Rockford Register Star

Washington fire department forms in-house training program

When he found out earlier this year that the state Fire Training Academy would not be available to the department’s five recruits, Camas-Washougal Fire Battalion Chief Kevin Villines scrambled. Villines learned that the academy in North Bend would be closed indefinitely for remodeling. He called nearly every department in the state to make arrangements at their facilities but found each one to be either cost-prohibitive or fully occupied.
- PUB DATE: 4/12/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Vancouver Columbian

Colorado bill would ban toxic chemicals in firefighting foam

A bipartisan group of state lawmakers has introduced a bill to ban firefighting foam that contains certain toxic, man-made chemicals: those classified as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, better known as PFAS. El Paso County Democrats Rep. Tony Exum and Sen. Pete Lee joined forces with their Republican counterparts, Rep.
- PUB DATE: 4/12/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Colorado Springs Independent

Massachusetts firefighters union calls on mayor for immediate funding for new equipment

VIDEO: The Attleboro Firefighter's Union and Mayor Paul Heroux are at odds over when to make several big purchases for the city's fire department. During an Attleboro City Council meeting last week, Heroux asked the council for $22,500 to buy a new gear extractor (washing machine and dryer) for the city's fire department.
- PUB DATE: 4/12/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WPRI-TV Fox Providence 12

Cadet program in Virgina builds confidence in young adults with disabilities, educates first responders

On a frigid early December morning, Travis Akins stood at the front of a conference room in the county’s Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courthouse and took a deep breath, preparing to tell a group of parents something they might not be ready to hear. “We’re not going to baby your sons,” said Akins, a Chesterfield native and founder of Growth Through Opportunity, a 16-week program that provides young adults who have a variety of physical and/or intellectual disabilities with hands-on learning experiences, skill- and confidence-building and socialization through training alongside local first responders.
- PUB DATE: 4/12/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Chesterfield Observer

City in Michigan to start own fire department

The city of Grand Blanc will start its own fire department later this year. Beginning July 25, the city will provide services to its residents, a departure from a decades-long partnership with Grand Blanc Township. “Our primary concern when making this decision is the City’s safety and protection with care and respect,” reads a statement issued Wednesday, April 10 after the council’s vote to approve the move.
- PUB DATE: 4/12/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: MLive.com

Rescue crews sift through rubble after North Carolina explosion leaves 1 dead, 17 injured including 1 firefighter

VIDEO / PHOTOS: Search-and-rescue teams are sifting through the rubble after an explosion Wednesday morning in downtown Durham left one person dead and 17 people injured, officials said. Durham firefighters responded to a 911 call about an odor of gas in the 100 block of N. Duke St. at about 9:38 a.
- PUB DATE: 4/11/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The News & Observer

'We are targeted as easy prey': Paramedics in Oregon say they don't feel safe

VIDEO: “He tried everything in his power to kill me. He stabbed me, he cut me, he bit me and, thankfully, he was unsuccessful,” the victim, a paramedic, told a judge Tuesday. His testimony was powerful; the emotions real. Jeremiah Ray pleaded guilty Tuesday to stabbing the paramedic. The incident happened Feb.
- PUB DATE: 4/11/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KATU-TV ABC 2 Portland

Texas chief lays out plan for Prop B 'pay parity' that doesn't result in layoffs

Chief Samuel Pena told the city’s Public Safety Committee & Homeland Security Committee on Tuesday that he’s planning to lay off a total of 237 firefighters to implement Proposition B, which requires pay parity with police. But Pena also said the goal could be accomplished without any job losses by phasing in the firefighter raises.
- PUB DATE: 4/11/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KPRC-TV NBC 2 Houston

Bill passed in Arkansas to protect firefighters with cancer

Arkansas legislators passed Crump’s Law on Monday, granting municipal firefighters across the state an extra six months of paid sick leave when they are being treated for cancer contracted on the job. Members of El Dorado Professional Firefighters Local 1704, a labor organization representing 90 percent of the paid firefighters in El Dorado, lobbied at the state Capitol in February for the bill’s passage.
- PUB DATE: 4/11/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: El Dorado News-Times

California city council approves deal to boost firefighters’ pay

Santa Rosa is on track to settle a 2-year-old lawsuit over firefighters’ overtime pay after the City Council approved a deal Tuesday to boost pay for 118 unionized firefighters. The council unanimously approved without discussion Tuesday a deal to increase salaries, expand pension contributions and provide one-time lump-sum payments of at least $5,000 to firefighters while reducing the city’s maximum health insurance contributions to those employees.
- PUB DATE: 4/11/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Press Democrat