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National Fire News

New ambulance to bring quicker care for Ohio stroke patients

When slurred speech, facial droop and other telltale symptoms of a stroke develop in Columbus residents, they soon will be able to receive specialized care before they ever see the inside of a hospital. The Columbus Division of Fire and the city’s three major hospital networks are working together on a new ambulance equipped with specialized equipment and personnel to respond faster to patients having a stroke, when minutes saved can translate into days of healthy living.
- PUB DATE: 3/26/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Columbus Dispatch

Trump signs Cantwell bill requiring new wildfire technology, smoke forecasts

A new federal law aims to protect wildland firefighters by requiring agencies to outfit crews with GPS locators and deploy drones to scout out and map blazes. The Wildfire Management Technology Advancement Act, sponsored by U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., was signed by President Donald Trump last week after sailing through both chambers of Congress with large majorities.
- PUB DATE: 3/25/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Spokesman-Review

Fire and Rescue Services study in Maryland: Pay, benefits for firefighters behind nearby counties

A recent study revealed Frederick County firefighters are paid less and receive less benefits than those in nearby counties. The study, completed in November and released publicly last week, is an analysis of pay scales, benefit comparisons and how large each county’s fire services division is Multiple county officials this week said that although Frederick County pays its firefighters less, other jurisdictions — like Montgomery County and Baltimore County, both used in the more-than-100-page study — have both larger populations and tax bases to pull money from.
- PUB DATE: 3/25/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Frederick News-Post

Georgia fire department turns to high schools for recruits

On a mild spring day, Cory Pippen suits up in firefighter’s gear outside Therrell High School as he prepares to climb Atlanta fire Truck 25. No, he’s not putting out a fire or saving someone from a burning building, but with the help of the Atlanta Fire Department, he is one step closer to a dream he’s had since he was a child: being a firefighter.
- PUB DATE: 3/25/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Atlanta Journal Constitution

California fire department poised to join Orange County Fire Authority, the ‘Home Depot of fire service’

While a couple of cities over the past year have threatened to drop out of the Orange County Fire Authority, Garden Grove is veering the opposite direction – toward membership. If the final steps unfold as expected, OCFA may absorb the 93-year-old Garden Grove Fire Department as early as August. All full-time current employees would stay put.
- PUB DATE: 3/25/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Orange County Register - Metered Site

Bill would set aside $2.5 million for pensions for Maine volunteer firefighters

Attracting and retaining volunteers to fill the ranks of Maine’s many volunteer fire departments has gotten increasingly difficult, but lawmakers hope a bill to fund a pension program for volunteers could change that. The Legislature approved a bill in 2017 setting up the pension program but did not fund it.
- PUB DATE: 3/25/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Portland Press Herald

Tennessee mom, daughter part of first all-female firefighting crew 'hosing down' stereotypes

VIDEO: In a field traditionally seen as one for men, a crew of female firefighters is hosing down the stereotypes. The West Carter County Fire Department has the first all-female duty in the region. The four women that make up the shift are Ashley Perdue and her mother Carol Jones, Amber Hubbard and Krysten Kelch.
- PUB DATE: 3/22/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WJHL.com

Houston firefighters march on City Hall over Prop B 'pay parity' raises, layoffs

PHOTOS: Kara Rathbone’s story may sound familiar to many firefighters who marched with her Tuesday along Bagby Street in downtown Houston. Rathbone’s husband, Austin, drives to work from their home in Bellville, about 70 miles away. A seven-year Houston firefighter, he has received scant raises since joining the department, and makes ends meet by installing irrigation systems on the side and working for a small fire department near Bellville, where about 4,300 people live.
- PUB DATE: 3/22/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Houston Chronicle

City underbills business fire protection fees for 10 years in Illinois

The city of Bloomington has been incorrectly billing businesses for fire protection for nearly 10 years, resulting perhaps in the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue. The current monthly rate, based on the diameter of the water line that serves a business's internal fire suppression system, is $27.
- PUB DATE: 3/22/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Pantagraph

Massachusetts city tests new device to help drivers avoid firetrucks

The city’s fire department is testing out a new device that could help drivers using navigational apps steer clear of firetrucks responding to an emergency, helping improve safety for both drivers and firefighters. The device, a small black box about four inches tall and wide, sends out alerts to drivers about the locations of the trucks to drivers using a navigation app called Waze.
- PUB DATE: 3/22/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Patriot Ledger

City seeks to overturn Nebraska firefighter's $1.2M jury verdict, calling damages 'excessive'

The city of Lincoln is asking a judge to throw out the jury’s $1.2 million verdict in favor of a Lincoln firefighter, in part because of how jurors arrived at the amount. Last month, at the end of a two-week trial, a federal jury in Omaha awarded Troy Hurd, a Lincoln fire captain, $1,177,815.43 for retaliation after he reported discrimination against a female firefighter trainee born in Iraq.
- PUB DATE: 3/22/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Journal Star

Firefighter Dies While on-Duty at Philadelphia International Airport

A veteran Philadelphia firefighter has died after suffering a medical emergency while on duty with the engine company assigned to Philadelphia International Airport. Firefighter Michael Bernstein died at the hospital around 1:50 Wednesday morning after being found unresponsive while on duty at Engine 78, "C" Platoon at PHL, the fire department and fire union said.
- PUB DATE: 3/21/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: NBC 10 Philadelphia

House plan offers additional protections for Michigan first responders

State Reps. Ryan Berman, Brandt Iden and Jeff Yaroch have introduced a plan to stiffen penalties for criminals who threaten or carry out targeted attacks on first responders and corrections officers in Michigan. Berman, who serves as a reserve police officer, said attacks on law enforcement officers and other first responders have increased over the past few years, creating a need for stronger protections.
- PUB DATE: 3/21/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Fox 47 News

Fight against opioid crisis takes toll on New Hampshire's first responders

VIDEO: First responders are on the front line of New Hampshire's drug epidemic every day, and the trauma they experience dealing with the victims often follows them home. Manchester police, firefighters and EMTs described the consequences of compassion fatigue Tuesday to U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan. "Certainly in my 35 years on the job, I've never seen this much death," Manchester Fire Chief Dan Goonan said.
- PUB DATE: 3/21/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WMUR-TV ABC 9

North Carolina cities: Separation pay for firefighters, EMS costly

A first responders' advocacy group is pushing for a new benefit for retired firefighters and rescue squad workers — one currently enjoyed by retired police officers — but municipal officials across the state, including in Elizabeth City, warn it will be hard to pay for. The Parity For First Responders legislation, House Bill 278, and its companion bill in the Senate, Senate Bill 179, would grant a separation allowance to firefighters and emergency medical services personnel who retire with 30 years of service.
- PUB DATE: 3/21/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: DailyAdvance.com

County leaders approve $4.6 million fire services reorganization in California

In a move described as “generational change,” Sonoma County supervisors Tuesday unanimously approved a $4.6 million plan to reorganize volunteer fire departments and boost staffing at four tax-supported fire districts. The approval followed positive comments from a dozen fire agency representatives in the audience, a sharp contrast from an earlier proposal that generated animosity within the fire services network.
- PUB DATE: 3/21/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Petaluma360 & Petaluma Argus Courier

Opioid response team in Texas offers help, hope to overdose survivors

VIDEO: Overcoming opioids is difficult for our neighbors struggling with drug addiction. First Responders are taking a new approach to help people who have recently overdosed, find a new life. “I started using heroin when I was 16. I'm 51 years old now. Last month was my first overdose and I think that was my wake up call,” said Abel Martinez.
- PUB DATE: 3/20/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KENS5.com San Antonio

Dolly Parton donates to Tennessee firefighters to wrap up fund drive

Country music legend Dolly Parton on Saturday donated $200,000 to firefighters to wrap up a fundraising drive that she started shortly after the 2016 wildfires that destroyed large swaths of forest in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and surrounding area. On behalf of the Dollywood Foundation’s My People Fund, Parton presented the check to the fire chiefs of the eight volunteer fire departments located in Sevier County.
- PUB DATE: 3/20/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: AL.com

Vermont EMS leaders struggle with money, workforce

Less than three years after state officials concocted a plan to boost payments for ambulance services, emergency medical administrators say they're still struggling to keep their doors open. Leaders of ambulance organizations from across Vermont converged on the Statehouse Friday to talk about insurance reimbursement and workforce issues that continue to cause problems in the increasingly expensive business of emergency treatment and transport.
- PUB DATE: 3/20/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: VTDigger.org

Indiana towns vote to establish joint fire territory

The New Carlisle Town Council and Olive Township Board voted Tuesday to establish a joint fire territory in 2020. By increasing taxes, the move will enable several firefighters to be hired so that residents don’t depend solely on volunteers for service. The vote was 3-2 from the town council members, and the Olive Township representatives voted 2-1 on the measure.
- PUB DATE: 3/20/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: South Bend Tribune