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National Fire News

Volunteer firefighter in Maryland dies responding to car crash

Outside of Frederick Memorial Hospital emergency vehicles drove by as a processional to pay homage to the late Michael Powers Tuesday evening. “It is my sad duty with a heavy heart I report the line-of-duty death of firefighter Michael Powers, of Libertytown Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company,” said Tom Owens, Fire Chief for Frederick County Division of Fire and Rescue and Service.
- PUB DATE: 6/26/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WDVM-TV 25 Hagerstown

Bill in New York to Give Firefighters 5-Year Window For Cancer-Tied Pensions

Under legislation pending in Albany, city firefighters would be granted a five-year post-retirement period in which they could revise their retirement option if they developed cancer that may be linked to carcinogens they were exposed to on the job. Epidemiological studies have established the firefighting-cancer link for several years.
- PUB DATE: 6/26/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Chief-Leader - Metered Site

Texas firefighters suffering from mold exposure

Several firefighters at the Round Rock Central Fire Station are demanding answers from the city after they made a shocking discovery this year. The president of the Round Rock Association of Professional Firefighters says the majority of the firefighters at Station 1 have been having health issues related to mold exposure.
- PUB DATE: 6/26/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KTBC-TV Fox 7 Austin

California firefighter writing poetry about his experiences to cope with trauma and share what first responders deal with

VIDEO: When you picture a poet, a firefighter might not be the first person you think of. Even if you did, Gary Wedemeyer probably wouldn't be the first firefighter coming to mind. "If you put me in a lineup with a bunch of firefighters and said pick the one who's writing poetry, I'd probably be the last one they'd pick," Wedemeyer said with a smile.
- PUB DATE: 6/26/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KFSN-TV ABC 30 Frenso/Visalia

Idaho firefighter makes history as first female captain

The Boise Fire Department is celebrating a new milestone as it welcomes the first female fire captain. Ashley Rosenbaum is a 12-year-member of the Boise Fire Department. Rosenbaum will be field promoted at Station 17 on June 26 at 11:30 a.m. She began her career with Boise fire in 2007, was promoted to Firefighter 1 in 2008, Firefighter 2 in 2009 and Firefighter 3 in 2011.
- PUB DATE: 6/26/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KIVI-TV ABC 6 Boise

Things to start doing when you’re nearly 80: Fighting fires? Meet New Jersey Fire Academy’s most recent graduate

PHOTOS: Bob Halberstadt turns 79 on the Fourth of July. He’ll be nearly two weeks past graduation by that point. And Blairstown Hose Company No. 1 Chief Calvin Inscho figures Halberstadt will have changed his mind by then. Not about becoming a volunteer firefighter. He achieved that on Saturday when he received his New Jersey state Firefighter 1 certification from the Warren County Fire Academy and he has no plans to step away from his newest challenge.
- PUB DATE: 6/25/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: LehighValleyLive.com

Government Accountability Office: Required Auction of Public Safety Spectrum Could Harm First Responder Capabilities

In 11 large metropolitan areas, critical communications for police, firefighters, and others take place in the T-Band part of the radio spectrum. For example, the NYPD dispatches 911 calls via the T-Band. Starting in 2021, public safety T-Band will be auctioned as required by law. Public safety organizations must move their communications to another part of the spectrum within 2 years of the auction's end.
- PUB DATE: 6/25/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: GAO.gov

California's homeless encampment fires: Trying hard to find the numbers

If you think there have been a lot more homeless encampment fires of late, you would be right. But, homeless encampment fires are somewhat a numbers game, but the numbers are hard to find. The fire that burned a Pittsburg roofing business's inventory and storage lot full of plastic piping, was caused by a fire that started in a homeless encampment just outside of the businesses perimeters.
- PUB DATE: 6/25/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KTVU-TV FOX 2

Arizona fire highlights challenges for energy storage

Arizona’s largest electric company installed massive batteries near neighborhoods with a large number of solar panels, hoping to capture some of the energy from the afternoon sun to use after dark. Arizona Public Service has been an early adopter of battery storage technology seen as critical for the wider deployment of renewable energy and for a more resilient power grid.
- PUB DATE: 6/25/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KTVK-TV 3 (azfamily.com)

Increasing wildfire activity in the Western US could have lasting health impacts

Climate change in the Western U.S. means more intense and frequent wildfires churning out waves of smoke that scientists say will sweep across the continent to affect tens of millions of people and cause a spike in premature deaths. That emerging reality is prompting people in cities and rural areas alike to gird themselves for another summer of sooty skies along the West Coast and in the Rocky Mountains — the regions widely expected to suffer most from blazes tied to dryer, warmer conditions.
- PUB DATE: 6/25/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KCPQ-TV FOX 13

Just move! Bystanders block Washington firefighters from fighting fires... again

Kennewick police had to help firefighters get to a brushfire near the Burlington Store Saturday after onlookers kept getting in the way. First responders tell Action News they're seeing too much of this and they need your help. Officers say they understand the interest, it's human nature to watch events as they unfold but it's starting to impede their ability to do their job.
- PUB DATE: 6/24/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KEPR-TV CBS 19 Pasco

Navy SEAL deemed ‘too old’ wins fight to join FDNY

The Navy SEAL rejected to become a city firefighter for being too old can now be hired by the FDNY, thanks to action taken by state lawmakers Thursday. Special Operations Chief Shaun Donovan missed city employee age stipulations by six months and 25 days to join the FDNY in April. The Post first reported on his plight, sparking outrage and support for his bid to become a firefighter.
- PUB DATE: 6/24/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: New York Post

Oregon farmers, ranchers immune from liability while fighting wildfires

The Oregon Legislature has passed a bill to protect farmers and ranchers from liability while fighting dangerous wildfires, such as the 2018 Substation fire in Wasco and Sherman counties. Senate Bill 290 is similar to other Good Samaritan laws that encourage bystanders to assist people in emergencies without worrying about being sued if something goes wrong.
- PUB DATE: 6/24/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Capital Press

Illinois department working without 15th firefighter

After Joe Scarbeary retired from the Streator Fire Department last October, the Streator City Council decided not to hire a firefighter to replace him. The Streator Fire Department has been working without a 15th firefighter since May 2018, after Scarbeary had an injury that would eventually lead to his retirement and the city's decision not to rehire the position in November.
- PUB DATE: 6/24/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Illinois Times

9/11 Dust Linked to Prostate Cancer in First Responders

A possible link between World Trade Center dust and prostate cancer in first responders has been found by researchers. Exposure to dust at the New York City site after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks triggered chronic inflammation in the responders' prostates, which may have contributed to their cancer, according to the Mount Sinai Health researchers.
- PUB DATE: 6/24/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: U.S. News & World Report

VIDEO: Massive Fire, Series of Explosions Rock South Philadelphia Refinery When Vat of Butane Ignites

A massive fire and series of explosions rocked a South Philadelphia refinery complex, the largest on the East Coast, early Friday morning. The blast jolted people from their sleep miles from the scene, but no injuries were reported. The blaze at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery erupted shortly after 4 a.
- PUB DATE: 6/21/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WCAU-TV NBC 10 Philadelphia

Verizon Dethroned as Fastest Wireless Carrier in US

In the latest US wireless carrier showdown, a new king has been crowned. Verizon is no longer the fastest carrier, as AT&T has eclipsed them for the first time in five years. This news comes out of PCMag, who released their “Fastest Mobile Networks” report this morning for the 10th year in a row. With a top overall score of 97, AT&T appears to be the clear winner.
- PUB DATE: 6/21/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: DroidLife

Georgia: Despite Pay Bump, Firefighters Look To City To Commit More Funds

Atlanta City Council members passed a $677 million dollar budget Monday that included a pay bump for the city’s firefighters. But, some say it’s not enough. The budget includes a 3.1 percent increase for Atlanta firefighters, other fire rescue personnel and 911 dispatchers. It builds on a similar increase approved last year for firefighters and police officers.
- PUB DATE: 6/21/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WABE 90.1 FM

California chief orders decryption of firefighter radios

The Orange County Fire Authority has reversed its decision to encrypt its radio and dispatch communications that was initiated Monday. The encryption was part of the county’s upgrade of its 800 MHz Countywide-Coordinated Communications System, managed by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. Officials said the move was meant to improve public safety agencies’ ability to communicate with each other during an emergency, but because it blocks the public from tuning into its communications during disasters, the OCFA decided to reverse the encryption of more than 1,500 radios used by its firefighters and paramedics.
- PUB DATE: 6/21/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Los Angeles Times - Metered Site

3 Florida Firefighters Pay for Disabled Woman's Hotel to Keep Her out of Rain: 'She Cried With Us'

A woman who was left living on the streets of Florida with her dog after experiencing hardships was given refuge when a trio of kindhearted firefighters pitched in to get her, and her pup, shelter from the rain. It was around 2 a.m. on Tuesday when the Broward Sheriff’s Office received a call from a disabled homeless woman who complained of pain from standing too long, according to a post from the department’s Facebook page.
- PUB DATE: 6/21/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: People