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National Fire News

Orlando firefighter speaks out: 'It was our finest hour of performance'

When Lt. Davis Odell Jr. walked out of Fire Station No. 5 to observe the scene of an emergency call at the Pulse nightclub just two doors down, he knew this emergency was different than the countless others he'd seen in his 35-year career. "I could see people just running like crazy and screaming across the street," Odell said.
- PUB DATE: 6/23/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: orlando sentinel

Whistleblower alleges fraud, fire code violations and cover-ups at Utah fire dept.

A Salt Lake City Fire captain has filed a notice of claim at City Hall alleging fraud, state fire code violations, cover-ups and retaliation by top brass in the department. Martha Ellis, a 21-year veteran and former battalion chief and fire marshal, says in her June 6 notice she was demoted recently after raising concerns, including allegations aimed at members of the department's executive team engaging in personal activities on city time, payroll fraud, a lack of smoke detectors at Fire Station 2 that caught fire and installation of bicycle lanes on 300 South that yielded a roadway narrower than required by the state and city fire code.
- PUB DATE: 6/23/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: salt lake tribune

Effects of Training Fires to be Studied at IFSI Next Week

Two dozen firefighters and ten fire instructors will join researchers at the Illinois Fire Service Institute (IFSI) beginning Saturday to continue studying the effects of fire, exposure and contamination on firefighters. “This year’s study builds on last year’s efforts to better understand firefighters’ exposures to contaminants, heat stress and cardiovascular strain.
- PUB DATE: 6/23/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: firehouse

Fake fire call in 2011 costs Massachusetts town $14,000 court settlement

The City Council Tuesday voted 12-1 to approve paying $14,000 to an Agawam woman for injuries she said she suffered in a vehicle accident after a former fire chief had dispatched a truck to a fake emergency to teach a few firefighters a lesson. Marilyn Garcia had filed a lawsuit against the city June 10, 2014 in Hampden County Superior Court in Springfield that named former provisional fire chief William P.
- PUB DATE: 6/23/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Springfield Union-News & Sunday Republican

FSTAR Health Seeking Information on Firefighter Physicals

The International Association of Fire Chiefs is urging all members of the fire service to take a short survey created by the Firefighter Safety Through Advanced Research (FSTAR) Health to gather information on the medical monitoring and care of firefighters. The survey is open until June 30, 2016.” Research indicates that firefighters are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, musculoskeletal injuries, behavioral health issues, lung disease, sleep disorders and infectious diseases.
- PUB DATE: 6/23/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: International Association of Fire Chiefs

Arkansas homeowner pleads innocent in fatal shooting of firefighter during medical response

A Pulaski County homeowner charged in the fatal shooting of a firefighter during a medical response earlier this year pleaded innocent Monday in circuit court. Mark Pruitt, 48, is charged with manslaughter in the death of Ronald Jason Adams, 29, a volunteer with the East Pulaski Fire Department, Arkansas Online previously reported.
- PUB DATE: 6/22/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: arkansas online

Oregon fire inspector was chasing after bar food when he crashed city van, documents say

A Portland Fire & Rescue inspector had forgotten his food in a taxi and was chasing after it in a city van when he crashed last month, court records show. James R. Morelli, 54, had taken the taxi home after drinking at a bar, then realized he left his food inside after the cab drove off, according to a search warrant.
- PUB DATE: 6/22/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: oregonian

Los Angeles firefighters can earn up to $300K a year in overtime, study says

It pays to be a Los Angeles firefighter — who can earn up to $300,000 a year in overtime — according to study released Tuesday of public employee compensation across California. The top 20 overtime earners by public workers across the state were firefighters for the city of Los Angeles — where overtime payouts rose 18 percent from last year, according to a Nevada-based survey of 246,000 public employees in California.
- PUB DATE: 6/22/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: los angeles daily news

Florida Dept. Names Pulse Nightclub Victim an Honorary Firefighter

Orange County Fire Rescue (OCFR) Fire Chief Otto Drozd said his department seeks to hire people who serve the community with compassion and that is what led the department to honor one of the victims killed in the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando. OCFR named Cory Connell an honorary firefighter at his funeral on Saturday.
- PUB DATE: 6/22/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: firehouse

Proposed ordinance could restrict residency for new Memphis firefighters

Some Memphis City Council members hope to add a referendum on the Nov. 8 ballot that would require new city employees to live in the city limits, as Mayor Jim Strickland warned that tightening residency requirements could hurt public safety. Council member Martavius Jones, who is new to the council and is sponsoring the ordinance, said his research showed that about 60 percent of hires lived outside Memphis after a 2010 referendum allowed them to live anywhere in Shelby County.
- PUB DATE: 6/22/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: the commercial appeal

'Nothing can prepare you mentally' for an event like Pulse shooting, Florida paramedic says

Rafael Comas remembers every detail down to the second while he was responding to the chaotic scene of the Pulse nightclub. Comas is a paramedic for Rural Metro Ambulance and was working the night of the shooting that left 49 dead and more than 50 injured on June 12. "It was very traumatic and very stressful but we train for that," said Comas, who has been a medic for nearly 20 years.
- PUB DATE: 6/21/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: orlando sentinel

Ohio city to pay $1.2 million for medics’ delay in treating woman

Columbus has agreed to settle a wrongful-death lawsuit for $1.2 million after two fire division paramedics failed to properly treat a woman in cardiac arrest, including spending time discussing the pot roast they had left cooking back at the firehouse. The settlement is among the largest payouts in city history and comes after a nearly four-year court battle over the death of Sonia Bray.
- PUB DATE: 6/21/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: the columbus dispatch

When it comes to ‘discriminatory’ social media posts, does Charlotte treat offenders equally?

“Inherently discriminatory.” That’s how the city of Charlotte described a Facebook post from former fire investigator Crystal Eschert, who was fired in the fall of 2014. In the post, she described someone as a “thug,” “worthless” and a “waste.” A year later, at least six other Fire Department employees faced accusations that they were posting racist memes and other offensive comments to social media.
- PUB DATE: 6/21/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: charlotte observer

Utah deputy chief put on leave for reporting dept. safety concerns

A deputy fire chief was temporarily placed on administrative leave after citing broken air conditioning as a safety threat to firefighters on-duty. Chief Rick Rasmussen said that for the last seven years the air conditioning frequently doesn’t work, making the station too hot to sleep in. “When you have sleep deprivation you can’t think well, your motor skills are having problems,” Rasmussen said.
- PUB DATE: 6/21/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: firechief.com

Former Connecticut firefighter convicted of bribery to get $36,000 disability pension

A former city firefighter convicted of attempted bribery has been approved for a disability pension of $36,405 a year from the city. The pension for Aaron Brantley, 36, was recently approved by vote of the trustees of the New Haven Police & Fire Retirement Fund Board. Because the powers of his official position as a city firefighter were not used in the crime for which he was convicted, the state’s pension revocation statute does not apply to Brantley, according to a spokeswoman for the state Office of the Attorney General.
- PUB DATE: 6/21/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: new haven register

Update: Hawaii firefighter dies from injuries sustained during rescue training

A firefighter who was hospitalized in critical condition after a rescue exercise off Diamond Head Tuesday has died. The Honolulu Fire Department confirmed Clifford Rigsbee, 63, died from his injuries Thursday night. The department says Rigsbee lost his life in the line of duty from injuries sustained during rescue watercraft training near the surf spot known as “Suicides.
- PUB DATE: 6/20/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KHON-TV FOX 2

North Carolina chief dies after responding to car crash

A fire chief with the Severn Volunteer Fire Department in Northampton County died Saturday after assisting with a car crash. According to Dennis Woodard, Admin Chief for the department, Fire Chief Kevin Britt, 54, suffered a medical emergency at his home around midnight shortly after responding to an emergency call involving a car that had crashed into a light pole.
- PUB DATE: 6/20/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WRAL-TV CBS 5 Raleigh

Celebrating basketball fans takeover Cleveland firetruck

VIDEO - During street celebrations following the Cavs NBA title win, about a dozen fans climbed onto a Cleveland firetruck that got stopped by large crowds near East Ninth Street and Prospect Avenue. After Cleveland police officers removed fans from the truck, mounted police cleared the street so the truck could pass.
- PUB DATE: 6/20/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Cleveland Plain Dealer & Cleveland.com

Massachusetts fire chief moonlights as storm chaser

As a firefighter for 28 years, Uxbridge Fire Chief William T. Kessler has had his share of adrenaline-pumping emergencies. Few have revved him up as much as having a massive tornado roar less than 300 yards behind him down a highway in Colorado. Chief Kessler, 54, usually doesn't get that close to a tornado's path.
- PUB DATE: 6/20/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: firechief.com

New York firefighters work to move past blaze at station

After a fire destroyed a rescue truck and damaged the entire Poland Volunteer Fire Co. firehouse Sunday, Fire Chief Scott Burritt has a whole new perspective on how a fire affects someone’s life. “We see fires on a regular basis, we go to people’s car fires, we go to people’s house fires, to brush fires and that type of stuff,” he said.
- PUB DATE: 6/20/2016 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: utica observer-dispatch


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