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National Fire News

Emergency responders conduct largest-ever search and rescue exercise; Mission involves 11 different agencies

Nebraska Task Force 1 (NE-TF1) is making history as one of eleven emergency response teams participating in the nation's largest civilian based search and rescue exercise ever done in the United States. Over 1,500 trained emergency responders will be stationed at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center (MUTC), Indiana, for the exercise on June 1-7.
- PUB DATE: 6/5/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WSLS-TV NBC 10

Montana firefighters to help fight Canadian fires

Hotshot crews from around western and central Montana are headed to Canada this week to help fight wildfires that have forced thousands from their homes. The Northern Rockies Coordination Center (NRCC) confirmed the Helena Hotshots, Bitterroot Hotshots, Lolo Hotshots, and the Flathead Hotshots are all being dispatched to Alberta on Wednesday, June 5.
- PUB DATE: 6/4/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KTVH-DT Helena

Fire Department, Coast Guard Team-up For First-of-its-kind Public Safety Drone Operation Over San Francisco Bay

Conducting search and rescue operations in one of the busiest waterways in the world commands the use of all the tools of the trade. That's why the Menlo Park Fire Protection District has teamed up with the U.S. Coast Guard to create a first-of-its-kind drone operation over San Francisco Bay. "Unmanned aerial systems," aka drones, have been added in the partnerships to complement commonly-used vehicles in the rescue fleet such as helicopters.
- PUB DATE: 6/4/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Menlo Park-Atherton Patch

Arizona mayor commits to giving firefighters raises, more resources

As the Phoenix population continues to increase, so do its residents’ calls for help. From 2012 to 2018, the Phoenix Fire Department saw an increase of nearly 35,000 calls, or about 100 more calls per day. Newly elected Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego is working side by side with her city’s first responders to ensure that this public safety need is met.
- PUB DATE: 6/4/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KTAR-FM Glendale

High-tech helmets coming to Massachusetts firefighters

VIDEO: The Amherst Fire Department is getting rid of the old and bringing in the new. The department just purchased new high-tech helmets for firefighters to wear when they are on a call. These helmets are the latest gear for firefighters in Amherst. They are much different from the old helmets that have been around for hundreds of years in the United States.
- PUB DATE: 6/4/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Western Mass News

Louisiana city slashes greenhouse emissions, fuel consumption with solar panels on ambulances

The City of New Orleans has reduced carbon monoxide emissions from its fleet of emergency vehicles by 147 tons in the past year by installing solar panels on the top of 16 ambulances. The fleet of New Orleans EMS ambulances each have eight solar panels attached to the roof, and the solar energy collected maintains power to each ambulance’s vital systems while the vehicles idle.
- PUB DATE: 6/4/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WGNO-TV ABC 26 New Orleans

Off-duty Philadelphia firefighter reportedly dies of heart attack during Jersey Shore triathlon

A man news reports say was an off-duty firefighter died Sunday morning while competing in a triathlon in Cape May County, officials said. CBS Philly reported the man was an off-duty Philadelphia firefighter. An employee at the Philadelphia Fire Department, who declined to be identified, confirmed that a firefighter had died at the event.
- PUB DATE: 6/3/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: NJ.com

New 3D Fuel Modeling Helps Predict Fire Behavior

Land managers have a new tool in their firefighting arsenals that models forest fuels in three dimensions. These 3D fuel models have the potential to make firefighting and the management of controlled burns safer and less costly while helping to protect valuable natural resources. The 3D fuels modeling technique will benefit land managers by allowing firefighters to develop better strategies and helping predict future fire behavior.
- PUB DATE: 6/3/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Volunteer firefighters vanishing - North Carolina chiefs weigh-in on nationwide problem

As the number of fire calls increases year after year, the number of volunteer firefighters to answer those calls dwindles. Between retirements, scheduling conflicts and an overall loss in interest, Davidson County fire officials say local departments are short staffed and suffering, but wonder if there is a solution to this nationwide problem.
- PUB DATE: 6/3/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Lexington Dispatch

With resources stretched thin, Texas volunteer fire department to become governmental entity

Officials with the Harris County Emergency Services District No. 9 announced at a May 28 meeting intentions to take control of the Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department and begin offering fire and emergency medical services directly by year’s end. The move will unlock several advantages that will help the department, as a fully governmental entity, be more competitive in recruiting and maintaining fire fighters, which ESD Commissioner Tommy Balez said will be crucial for adapting to population growth.
- PUB DATE: 6/3/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Community Impact Newspaper

Idaho firefighter’s memorial shines light on PTSI: Our heroes ‘are humans first’

VIDEO: Hundreds of people gathered Saturday afternoon at the Nampa Civic Center to celebrate the life of a longtime Boise firefighter, and before the memorial began, Boise Fire Department Chief Dennis Doan saw an opportunity to spread awareness so that similar deaths might be prevented in the future.
- PUB DATE: 6/3/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Idaho Statesman

Unsung 9/11 Heroes Finally Get Their Own Memorial in New York

Every year on Sept. 11, relatives and friends of people killed at the World Trade Center return to the memorial that fills the footprints of the towers. The mayor, even presidential candidates, have joined them as the victims’ names are read. Many run their fingers over some of the thousands of names etched in bronze and wedge stems of flowers into the letters.
- PUB DATE: 5/31/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The New York Times - Metered Site

Surge in fire department staffing across California county as new funding kicks in

It’s a hot market for firefighter jobs throughout Sonoma County with dozens of recent hires and more openings available as numerous agencies hustle to fill slots and bolster staffing. Jobs are open at small and large agencies — even PG&E is hiring its own firefighting staff, which is a first for the utility company seeking at least 50 firefighters for high fire danger areas in the state, including the North Bay.
- PUB DATE: 5/31/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: The Press Democrat

Utah: The secret role women played in the early years of the US Forest Service

When it comes to the history of the nation’s vast public lands, what’s often missing from the narrative is the role women played during the early years of the U.S. Forest Service, and the increasing role they have played in overseeing the lands for the past five decades. “For most of its existence, the Forest Service has had a reputation as a 'good ol’ boys' organization, due in large part to its reliance on a male workforce,” said Richa Wilson, an architectural historian for the U.
- PUB DATE: 5/31/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KSL-TV NBC 5 Salt Lake City

Massachusetts Town To Fired Firefighter: Sorry

Brookline will issue an apology to Gerald Alston, the former Brookline firefighter who the town fired after he came forward to report a supervisor had left a voicemail with a racial epithet on it. Town Meeting members discussed at length whether to issue a formal apology before the vote. Some argued it could hurt the town, which is still facing litigation from Alston.
- PUB DATE: 5/31/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Brookline Patch

VIDEO: Ride4Relief kicks off in South Dakota promoting mental health support for first responders

A nationwide "Ride 4 Relief" is kicking off in Sioux Falls Thursday. Jeff Shepard is driving through 35 states spreading awareness about the stresses and dangers police officers, firefighters and other first responders face and how they can affect mental health. "It's a sad thing and it needs to be talked and people to be aware of it," Shepard said.
- PUB DATE: 5/31/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KELO-TV CBS Sioux Falls

New Jersey governor voices support for unions during firefighter convention in Atlantic City

Gov. Phil Murphy voiced his support for organized labor during a speech Wednesday morning at the Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey Convention. “I remain committed to protecting the rights of working people to come together and form a union,” Murphy said. “And I remain equally opposed to the misguided and disingenuous efforts of those trying to break up unions.
- PUB DATE: 5/30/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: Press of Atlantic City

Fire Protection District in Colorado To Settle Retiree Lawsuit For $1.2M

The West Metro Fire Protection District has reached an agreement to pay 70 retired firefighters and their families $1.2 million to settle a class action lawsuit over retiree health benefits. “This was never about the money involved”, said retired firefighter Tim O’Hayre, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit.
- PUB DATE: 5/30/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: KCNC-TV CBS 4 Denver

Kentucky fire department at lowest number of firefighters in years

One extra body makes a difference when responding to a fire. Paducah’s fire chief says it takes everyone on a shift to respond to a fire. A report by the International Association of Firefighters, a union representing firefighters in the U.S. and Canada, says the city of Paducah is recommended to have 24 people per shift.
- PUB DATE: 5/30/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WPSD-TV NBC 6 Paducah

North Carolina fire officials demonstrate deadly dangers of leaving children in hot cars

VIDEO: It seems like an unimaginable act- a parent leaving or forgetting their child in a locked car. However, the Fayetteville Fire Department says it happens, more often than it should. "This year we've responded to nearly 70 kids that have been locked into vehicles here," said Fire Chief Mike Hill.
- PUB DATE: 5/30/2019 12:00:00 AM - SOURCE: WTVD-TV ABC 11 Durham