This is February 27, 2010 in Chile as a magnitude 8.8 quake hit. It’s pretty self-explanatory. Sorry if you had seen it before, but if it was out there, I sure missed it.
One of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded on the East Coast shook buildings and rattled nerves from South Carolina to New England on Tuesday and forced the evacuations of parts of the Capitol, White House and Pentagon.
Skyscrapers swayed in New York, and frightened workers spilled into the streets. The National Cathedral in Washington said its central tower and three of its four corner spires were damaged.
There were no immediate reports of deaths, but fire officials in Washington said there were at least some injuries. The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake registered magnitude 5.8 and was centered 40 miles northwest of Richmond, Va.
The White House said advisers told President Barack Obama there have been no reports of major damage to the nation's infrastructure, including airports and nuclear facilities.
Two nuclear reactors at the North Anna Power Station, in the same county as the epicenter, were automatically taken off line by safety systems, said Roger Hannah, a spokesman for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
The earthquake came less than three weeks before the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, and in both Washington and New York it immediately triggered fears of something more sinister than a natural disaster.
At the Pentagon, a low rumbling built until the building itself was shaking, and people ran into the corridors of the complex. The shaking continued there, to shouts of "Evacuate! Evacuate!"
The Park Service closed all monuments and memorials on the National Mall, and ceiling tiles fell at Reagan National Airport outside Washington. All flights there were put on hold.
The National Cathedral said cracks had appeared in the flying buttresses around the apse at one end. "Everyone here is safe," the cathedral said on its official Twitter feed. "Please pray for the Cathedral as there has been some damage."
Metro says all trains are running at reduced speeds and crews are conducting track inspections. MARC officials say all train service is suspended until Amtrak and CSX crews are able to inspect the tracks and declare them safe.
9NEWS NOW's Derek McGinty was standing outside the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial when he says, "The stones underneath our feet began to move." He said people were asking, "Did you feel that, did you feel that," and "This is God letting us know he's still in charge."
9NEWS NOW's Kristin Fisher was on the 11th floor of her building in Clarendon and "felt tremendous swaying."
One person who was in an office building near 14th St. and New York Ave. told 9NEWS NOW's, "A little bit before 2 o'clock, I felt the building shaking, but it was mild, but then I felt another shake and that was strong."
The Washington Nationals have not made a decision about tonight's game and are delaying the opening of the gates.
Federal Emergency Management Agency Spokesperson Rachel Racusen issued the following statement on the earthquake that impacted the mid Atlantic Region and other states today:
"According to United States Geological Survey (USGS), the mid Atlantic Region of the United States experienced a 5.9 magnitude earthquake. FEMA, along with the entire federal family, is closely monitoring the situation and is in close contact and coordination with our partners in the National Capital Region and our state partners. Though there are no early reports of major damage or requests for assistance at this time, preliminary damage assessments are currently taking place in all affected states and we will continue to work closely with their emergency management officials.
"Due to overload of cell phone usage, there are reports of cell phone congestion. We request that members of the public use email or text messages if possible to communicate for the next few hours, except in cases of emergency, so that emergency officials can continue to receive and respond to urgent calls. We encourage everyone in the affected areas to listen to the direction of their local officials. More information will be provided as it becomes available."
In lower Manhattan, the 26-story federal courthouse in lower Manhattan, blocks from ground zero of the Sept. 11 attacks, began swaying, and hundreds of people streamed out of the building.
The New York police commissioner, Raymond Kelly, was in a meeting with top deputies planning security for the upcoming anniversary when the shaking started. Workers in the Empire State Building spilled into the streets, some having descended dozens of flights of stairs.
"I thought we'd been hit by an airplane," said one worker, Marty Wiesner.
Another, Adrian Ollivierre, an accountant, was in his office on the 60th floor when the quake struck: "I thought I was having maybe a heart attack, and I saw everybody running. I think what it is, is the paranoia that happens from 9/11, and that's why I'm still out here — because, I'm sorry, I'm not playing with my life."
Shaking was felt as far south as Charleston, S.C., and as far north and east as Martha's Vineyard, Mass., where Obama is taking summer vacation and was starting a round of golf when the quake struck at 1:51 p.m. EDT.
Obama led a conference call Tuesday afternoon on the earthquake with top administration officials, including his homeland security secretary, national security adviser and administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
A magnitude of 5.8 would make the quake among the most powerful to strike the eastern United States. In 1897, a magnitude-5.9 quake was recorded at Giles County, Va., the largest on record in that state.
East Coast earthquakes are far less common than in the West, but they tend to be felt over a broad area.
"The waves are able to reverberate and travel pretty happily out for miles," said U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Susan Hough.
Amtrak said its trains along the Northeast Corridor between Baltimore and Washington were operating at reduced speeds and crews were inspecting stations and railroad infrastructure before returning to normal.
More than 12 million people live close enough to the quake's epicenter to have felt shaking, according to the Geological Survey. The agency said put the quake in its yellow alert category, meaning there was potential for local damage but relatively little economic damage.
The USGS said the quake was 3.7 miles beneath the surface.
The Virginia quake came a day after an earthquake in Colorado toppled groceries off shelves and caused minor damage to homes in the southern part of the state and in northern New Mexico. No injuries were reported as aftershocks continued Tuesday.
In Charleston, W.Va., hundreds of workers left the state Capitol building and employees at other downtown office buildings were asked to leave temporarily.
"The whole building shook," said Jennifer Bundy, a spokeswoman for the state Supreme Court. "You could feel two different shakes. Everybody just kind of came out on their own."
In Ohio, where office buildings swayed in Columbus and Cincinnati and the press box at the Cleveland Indians' Progressive Field shook. At least one building near the Statehouse was evacuated in downtown Columbus.
In downtown Baltimore, the quake sent office workers into the streets, where lamp posts swayed slightly as they called family and friends to check in.
Twitter and Facebook lit up with reports of the quake.
"People pouring out of buildings and onto the sidewalks and Into Farragut Park in downtown DC," Kevin Madden, a Republican strategist, posted on Twitter.
John Gurlach, air traffic controller at the Morgantown Municipal Airport was in a 40-foot-tall tower when the earth trembled.
"There were two of us looking at each other saying, `What's that?"' he said, even as a commuter plane was landing. "It was noticeably shaking. It felt like a B-52 unloading."
Immediately, the phone rang from the nearest airport in Clarksburg, and a computer began spitting out green strips of paper — alerts from other airports in New York and Washington issuing ground stops "due to earthquake."
Tokyo Fire Department video: Firefighters in action at reactor No. 3 at Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant.2 comments
The Japanese fire department released a video on Wednesday showing firefighters in protective suits spraying water into the troubled No. 3 reactor at the stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant.
The video which was filmed last Friday shows members of the elite "Hyper Rescue" team of the Tokyo fire Department, during the first water injection mission.
Early video from Bossier Parish, Louisiana apartment fire: Citizen on the scene yesterday afternoon at the Reserve apartments before the arrival of the Benton Fire Department. Click here for much more video. Click here for more details on the fire.
Nine firefighters hurt in Calvert County, Maryland: We have details, lots of video and links to still pictures from the fire that started in a chimney late Saturday night in Huntingtown, Maryland. Two of the firefighters went to the burn unit. One has inhalation burns. Click here for our coverage. Christopher Naum at CommandSafety.com has a good before look at this mega-McMansion and diagrams the location for us. Click here.
FiretruckBlog.com’s Antique of the Week: Check out the video of this 1916 American LaFrance that Glenn Usdin posted.
A kiss is still a kiss, but Dave is looking for much more meaning: Please take a moment to view the pictures from last week’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Savannah, Georgia and what I had to say about them. The images may be the most encouraging thing I have seen in a long time when it comes to the reputation of firefighters. Click here. And join me in Indianapolis on Thursday in room 125-126 at 1:30 PM for my thoughts on how to manage your reputation when news moves at the speed of light. The session is called “The PIO Reporter: Telling Your Story in a World Where “Spin” Doesn’t Work”.
Coincidentally, at the very same time, there is a presentation scheduled on social media in rooms 134-135. The host is THE Fire Critic, Rhett Fleitz. As loyal readers know, we have taken a very special interest here at STATter911.com in the career of Lt. Fleitz and always look for ways to promote his work. That’s why we have no problem publicizing this competing session, once again. We also did it in a language that most firefighters in the United States speak and understand. If you click here you will see that THE Fire Critic has a different view on this topic. But, as always, we take the high road when it comes to Rhett. And as a public service, here’s a tip if you aren’t certain you are in the correct room on Thursday. If you just hear a voice and no one is visibile behind the podium, that will be Rhett’s presentation.
Speaking of images: Two people in the fire service who are always worth listening to have some rather serious thoughts about the image that may be presented by the 9-11 Museum. Read the column in Human Events by Bobby Halton and Frank Ricci.
And on the topic of 9-11: The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation is holding a 9-11 Memorial Stair Climb at Lucas Oil Stadium during FDIC. It starts at 11:30 AM Friday morning. You can sign up now. The event is limited to the first 343 firefighters. Click here. You can also host your own 9-11 Memorial Stair Climb for the upcoming 10th anniversary of the attacks. Click here for details.
“Just because you’re a first responder, it doesn’t give you the excuse to drive like a maniac”: The quote from the Village of Chester, New York police chief after Kiryas Joel ambulance corps member Menachem Kramer was cited for 21 traffic violations following his response to an accident a month ago. Police say Kramer’s 1999 Tahoe forced a police officer’s vehicle off the road. From RecordOnline.com- “According to the report, Kramer drove at excessive speeds, as well as down the center of Brookside Avenue, forcing cars in the turning lanes to quickly veer out of the way — some into the path of oncoming traffic.” Police say the incident was already clearing when Kramer was responding.
Big one tips in Germany: A Bronto Skylift with a reach of almost 300 feet failed to make a turn on a roadway in Germany. Firegeezer has that story.
Union billboards its complaints: In Lancaster, Pennsylvania a recent no confidence vote in the chief has been followed by a billboard asking the citizens about safety. Here’s the story.
Woman who fled to Nigeria after deadly day care fire is coming back to Houston: Houston’s fire chief apologized to the families who lost children after a fire in a day care center. Fire investigators and the Harris County District Attorney battled over an arrest warrant while Jessica Tata left the country. We told you Saturday that Tata had turned herself into authorities in her native Nigeria. Now there is official word she is returning to Houston and should be back by tonight. Read more.
Last week’s fire in Howard County, Maryland: While traveling the last few days I failed to link to Doug Walton’s photos from Friday’s apartment fire in Columbia that left two firefighters injured. Check out Doug’s coverage.
Montgomery County, Maryland house fire: Jeff Krauss has a series of photos to go with the one to the left from a house fire Sunday afternoon on Whites Ford Way in Potomac. An 87-year-old man is reported in critical condition with burns and smoke inhalation. An 85-year-old woman suffered smoke inhalation and a firefighter had was burned on the shoulder.
Volunteer recruitment in Nebraska: Last week’s volunteer summit in Washington hosted by the IAFC is already making news back home. One of those who attended and is dealing with recruitment issues is featured in a story from the Omaha area. Click here.
The Fukushima 50: Firefighters, police, soldiers & nuclear plant technicians face increasing radiation exposure as they try to prevent catastrophe.1 comment
A small crew of technicians, braving radiation and fire, have become the only people remaining at the Fukushima No.1 nuclear power station – and perhaps Japan’s last chance of preventing a broader nuclear catastrophe.
Dubbed by some as modern-day samurai, the technicians were back at work late yesterday after a surge of radiation forced them to leave their posts for hours.
The workers are being asked to make escalating sacrifices that so far are being only implicitly acknowledged: Japan’s Health Ministry said it was raising the legal limit on the amount of radiation to which each could be exposed, to 250 millisieverts from 100 millisieverts, five times the maximum exposure permitted for nuclear plant workers in the United States.
Tokyo Electric has refused to release the names or any other information about the workers who stayed behind, nor have utility executives said anything about how the 50 are being relieved as they become tired or ill.
The site is now so contaminated with radiation, experts say, that it has become difficult for employees to work near the reactors for extended periods of time. According to one expert’s account of nuclear emergency procedures, workers would be cycled in and out of the worst-hit parts of the plant.
Some of those battling flames and spraying water at reactors at No.1 plant are members of Japan’s Self Defence Force, police officers or firefighters.
Mr. Jaczko (pronounced YAZZ-koe) said radiation levels might make it impossible to continue what he called the “backup backup” cooling functions that have so far helped check the fuel melting inside the reactors. Those efforts consist of using fire hoses to dump water on overheated fuel and then letting the radioactive steam vent into the atmosphere.
Those emergency measures, carried out by a small squad of workers and fire-fighters, represent Japan’s central effort to forestall a full-blown fuel meltdown that would lead to much higher releases of radioactive material into the air.
Mr. Jaczko’s testimony, the most extended comments by a senior American official on Japan’s nuclear disaster, described what amounts to an agonizing choice for Japanese authorities: keep sending workers into an increasingly contaminated area in a last-ditch effort to cover nuclear fuel with water, or do more to protect the workers but risk letting the pools of water boil away — and thus risk a broader meltdown.
In a country already brimming with stoic courage, this skeleton crew is surely the bravest of the lot. From fragments of information, we can build a picture of their desperate struggle to save their countrymen, and themselves.
“It doesn’t look good at all,” says Matt Tuck, a 22-year veteran of the British nuclear industry who is now business director of Matom, a consultancy specialising in nuclear plant operation and emergency management. “Fifty is a very small number, given that there are six reactors. They are at pretty serious risk.”
They are not just technicians, but also soldiers and firefighters. They are middle-class control room and health personnel and working-class technicians. There are fifty or so at any one time, but the total, with shifts and rotations, may be as many as 180. The odds against them are great, and growing.
Japanese firefighters in Menlo Park, California for search & rescue training are trying to get home.No comments
In Menlo Park, California, a dozen Japanese firefighters have been learning and practicing search and rescue skills for the past week. Now they are desperately trying to return home and use what they have learned, but getting a flight out hasn’t been easy.
“I’ve never seen such big damage in Japan,” said Maiku Muramatsu of the Shizuoka City Fire Bureau. “We want to go home as soon as we can.”
One day after a magnitude 8.9 earthquake and resulting tsunami devastated the northeastern part of Japan, the group in Menlo Park practiced techniques for shoring up collapsing buildings. Appearing relaxed and focused, the firefighters hammered together wooden structures and wedged them between the roof and floor of a small shed.
The Japanese firefighters came to the Bay Area for a weeklong training program with the Menlo Park Fire Protection District and were originally set to leave Saturday, Chief Harold Schapelhouman said.
The fire department was working Friday with the Japanese consulate to find flights for the firefighters, Division Chief Frank Fraone said. As of about 5:30 p.m., Schapelhouman said it appeared most of them would have seats on commercial airliners early Saturday afternoon.
One of the firefighters has made contact with his family, but the other has not been able to reach anyone.
“He’s devastated,” Schapelhouman said. “It’s a stressful time for these guys. They want to be home with their families, working in their communities, serving their countrymen.”The firefighters are in touch with the Japanese consulate and will continue training this afternoon as officials help them try to find a way out of the U.S.
Teams from around the world come to Menlo Park’s training facility to learn rescue operations from its staff, which has responded to disasters ranging from floods to earthquakes to terrorist attacks, Schapelhouman said.
Kentucky house fire: Firefighter Spot (where you can find a riveting interview with my close, personal friend Rhett Fleitz … and to think I knew him when) discovered this recently posted video. Jason Thomas wasn’t sure about where or when, but I think it is from a January 2o09 house fire in Pleasure Ridge Park, Kentucky.
I didn’t feel a thing: No earthquake feeling for Dave. I’m in Emmitsburg for National Fallen Firefighters Foundation business and I was working on the blog when an earthquake hit Maryland around 5:00 this morning. Only 3.6, it was centered 45 miles south of here in Germantown. You can learn more about this minor shaking at wusa9.com. Listen to an interview with USGS.
“Now is the time to change. The eyes of the citizens are on us.”: The words of Spotsylvania County, Virginia County Administrator Doug Barnes as he announced new minimum training standards for firefighters. This comes following internal and external reports describing significant issues during a February 5 house fire where firefighters could not find a woman who was on the phone with 911. According to Barnes, “Our goal is to move away from on-the-job training for officers and incorporate other training mechanisms to bolster our officer development and training.” Spotsylvania is also dealing with recent allegations of sexual misconduct at two volunteer stations. Dan Telvock with the Free Lance – Star broke all of these stories. Here’s his latest report.
Florida firefighter is shocked during ladder demo in front of campers: In Osceola County a firefighter received an electrical shock in front of 30 children at a camp when a ladder touched a power line. The firefighters were demonstrating their skills. The injured firefighter was flown to Orlando Regional Medical Center and is expected to survive. Read and watch the story.
Video of Minneapolis rescue: KSTP-TV shows video and talks to firefighters who helped rescue two men from a burning home early yesterday morning. Click here to read and watch the story.
Dozens dead in hotel fire in Iraq: When you hear 29 people died in Iraq (one report has it up to 40) an electrical short is not likely to be the first thing that comes to mind as the reason. But that’s been listed as the cause of a hotel fire Thursday night in the Kurdish city of Sulaimaniyah. Read more.
Deadly drive into house: Watch the story from Shelby County, Indiana where a motorist drove through a home with the vehicle catching fire, killing the driver.
Vehicle fire with exposures: A little situation in Galveston, Texas.
Three days after the devastating earthquake struck Chile, the country is still reeling from frequent and powerful aftershocks. One strong tremor was felt Tuesday morning during a police news conference in the hard-hit town of Concepción. CNN cameras were rolling on a group of rescue workers as the building the crew was searching began to shake. Rescuers quickly began jumping from a hole carved in the side of the 15-story building, where some people are feared trapped.
Detroit’s Ladder 13, hit by a train yesterday, was caught on video when it crashed last year: In July, Ladder 13 went out of control as it made a turn at Lawndale and Vernor. The video above is from a security camera that caught the collision. Click here for our coverage of that story.
In our player in the right hand column today wusa9.com‘s Emily Cyr has added video from Virginia Task Force 1 mobilizing, California Task Force 2 getting ready, firefighters in Chile already dealing with a massive rescue operation fight a fire started by looters at a market in Concepcion, and the story of a thank you for an animal rescue by firefighters in Arvada, Colorado. That and more are over here >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Detroit commissioner blasts Ladder 13 driver & union blasts commissioner: If you checked with us at all yesterday afternoon and evening you have seen the pictures and video of the aftermath of Ladder 13′s collision with an Amtrak train. It isn’t just the executive fire commissioner and union president who have opinions about this one, we have received a few comments. Click here for our extensive coverage of the wreck.
If you would like to see how the public perceives this one check out the 200 comments already posted at the Detroit Free Press site.
Must see video: Click here for the firevideo.net clip of the smoke explosion in Chicago caught on camera by a neighbor almost two weeks ago.
The most bizarre fire story you are likely to see in some time: In the UK a fire engine crew member was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter by negligence. His crime – he blew the lights and siren causing a stampede of Holstein Friesian cows that ran over Harold Lee, a 75-year-old farmer from Somerset. According to the Daily Mail, “Mr Lee’s son Andrew claimed the incident could have been avoided had the fire crew waited for just a few minutes as the cows were safely herded off the road.” Here’s the entire article.
Firegeezer Bill Schumm thinks this isn’t the United Kingdom’s only recent trip through the looking glass when it comes to the fire service. Check out Bill’s view.
Fairfax County still on standby for Chile: I spent some of yesterday afternoon watching the mobilization of Virginia Task Force 1 at the training academy for the Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department. While the USAR team hasn’t been officially activated they were following USAID orders to get a 52 member team (with 4 search dogs) together and ready to deploy. Here’s the story. As of 8:00 this morning everyone is on 4-hour standby waiting for word from USAID. Here is a slide show from Fairfax County yesterday and here is the video (also in our player to the right). By the way my favorite image from yesterday was not captured by a camera. It was of a firefighter in uniform preparing his gear for deployment, talking on the cell phone and changing his toddler son’s diaper all at the same time. Now that’s multitasking. Also, here is some video from Califronia Task Force 2 doing the same drill.
By the way, Gary Sharp, who has in the past blamed me for his blogging addiction, referred to me as the “old guy” when linking to our coverage from Fairfax County. Despite that discriminatory slam, I urge you to check out Gary’s blog, firespecialops.com and his posting on the California crew.
Trying to explain brown-outs to the public: In Springfield, Illinois the local paper is trying to let the public know when the local fire station might be part of rotating closures. They are finding the answers a bit more complicated than expected. Check it out.
Comment number 15k: Yesterday morning we posted our 15,000th comment since starting STATter911 in May of 2007. It was from JasoninVA responding to a recent posting of a video from Gary, Indiana-
Good comment Chris. Now for those that want to pick this and every other video they see apart. Are you serious? Do you live in a dream world where every fireground goes perfect? It makes no difference whether you are from NOVA, DC, PG, Southern Va. or Western Md. We all have our own highlight reels and those that we wish we could go back to quarters and start again from the beginning. Sure, there were some questionable ops, but then again, I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t taken a window or two (or 20) w/o PPE as the wagon driver because the truck was delayed or cut a roof without a roof ladder. This is not an attack on anyone but more of an observation. With the age of technology, you never know who is there and watching. Pictures and videos are on the internet before you can even get back in quarters. Before we get on a “holier than thou” kick, you may want to think about something. The next video on here may be you doing something that “The Book” says isn’t safe and then you will find yourself justifying / defending your actions.
If you go to that entry and scroll down to comments you will see one by me. I think I actually ask some thoughtful questions (I don’t have any of the answers, but I sure can ask questions) on this whole topic of people pointing out issues in the fireground videos we post. Click here to see it all.
Hampton, NH fire in HD: A video I failed to post over the weekend was Rick Nohl’s HD version of the five-alarm fire that took out most of a block along the ocean front during the coastal storm early Friday. Click here for the earlier coverage and here for more of Rick’s work.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Just added: Always check out our player in the right hand column for the latest videos. wusa9.com‘s Emily Cyr, late this morning, posted an overnight fire in a vacant building in Bellingham, Washington. You will also find search and rescue videos from Chile (here, here and here). And Emily has put together images of fire & rescue crews searching for quake victims. Click here.
A mini-milestone for STATter911.com: Unless all of you just decide to shut-up for the day and give me the cold shoulder I am expecting that we will be posting comment number 15,000 on this blog in the next hour or two. Obviously we have received more comments than that, but some (I am guessing 1,000 or so) weren’t posted due to not meeting even the low standards that I have. As I have mentioned before, the comments section is the part of the blog that brings me the most criticism (even from some of my closest friends). I do enjoy the interaction and the well-thought out writings that aren’t personal attacks. I have learned a lot from your comments, including those critical of the jerk who writes this junk each day.
So, keep them coming. Keep them clean (this blog is still affiliated with the TV station where I am employed). Do your best to play nice. And if you really want to get on the good side of me, toss in some humor when it is appropriate (but I will probably like it even if it isn’t appropriate).
Must see police dashcam video: A Brooklyn Heights, Ohio police lieutenant is on the mend with multiple fractures after he tried to help a motorist who spun out on an icy highway. A second driver did the same thing with his car as the two men in the vehicle’s path tried desperately to get out of the way. This is a video that is relevant to anyone who works road side. Check it out.
A firing offense: I am still fascinated by the story from Colleton, South Carolina where Firefighter/Paramedic Jason Brown was fired over a video he created and posted on his Facebook. Brown says it was done on his own time, with his own computer. It is one of those text-to-movie clips involving a firefighter character. I am sure, like me, you have received, or possibly made, similar videos. We brought this one up Friday in our last Quick Takes and the comments are coming in. If you missed it, click here. By the way, the top video of Firefighter Mike going off on 911 abuse is not the Jason Brown production. It is the other one, in the hospital emergency department.
The battle in Cherry Hill, New Jersey: The fire chief calls the place a “boys club or fraternity” and deactivated Cherry Hill Company No. 1. The volunteers are continuing to battle in an effort to start responding to calls again. Philly.com has the latest on the story we first told you about on November 1.
Gated community’s gates bring lawsuit: An ambulance unable to easily get through an unmanned gate at a community in Beaufort County, South Carolina last April was apparently delayed for up to three minutes. The victim died of a heart attack. His widow has filed suit against fire and EMS crews, along with developers, property management and the property owners association. Click here for the story.
Radio traffic from Maryland plane crash: The pilot was killed as a small plane crashed and burned near homes in Anne Arundel County. Click here.
If you want more women, start with the girls: The Houston Fire Department, under criticism claiming mistreatment of female firefighters, is making an effort to increase the number of women on the department. Read about efforts to give high school girls a close-up look at the profession.
Close-up raw video from 1987 Boston plane crash & nine-alarm fire: Now retired overnight freelance videographer Bill Harrigan shot this pretty spectacular piece of tape from the crash in Dorchester. Check it out.
A more up-to-date Boston story: Also from Dorchester, Pat Foley was on his way to work at Engine 21 on Saturday. He ended up meeting some of his crew at a fire near the firehouse where they teamed up for the rescue of an elderly woman. Read more.
Pension at center of contract dispute: In Palm Bay, Florida both sides are going in front of a special magistrate in an effort to agree on a contract. Firefighters say they have given enough concessions with wage freezes and are not willing to budge on the pension relief the city wants. Palm Bay officials believe the pension cuts are the “new normal”. Read the article.
Three dead in New Jersey house fire: A young girl and her parents died in this fire in Toms River on Saturday. Read more.
Gary house fire: A Edward Malik video is posted here with the usual many comments the Gary videos seem to generate. Malik’s latest effort (not from Gary), taken early this morning, is below.
Vacant commercial structure in Hobart, Indiana: This fire was at 2nd & East. No injuries were reported.
Above is raw video from Dulles International Airport and the Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department Training Academy as Virginia Task Force 1 is welcomed home by family and friends. Video by Sky9 and Greg Guise.
From Surae Chinn, WUSA9.com:
114 men and women of the Fairfax County Urban Search and Rescue team arrived home to their families.
They saved 16 lives after the deadly earthquake.
A huge crowd anxiously waited for them at the Fairfax academy on West Ox Road Thursday night.
It may have only been 15 days away from home but it felt like an eternity for loved ones and the heroes who saved lives in Haiti.
As the three buses, escorted by police, turned the corner to the academy the crowd erupted.
Cindy Porter was overwhelmed with emotion.
And it just so happened Cindy’s husband, Sam, was one of the first to get off the bus.
You could see children hugging their dads a little tighter not willing to let go. The group tired, but excited too.
Their hair a little shorter after staying the night and showering in Santo Domingo before the trip home.
After their emotional reunion it didn’t take long for them to start putting their requests in.
Sam Porter yells out, “I want to get a good steak dinner!”
Rebecca Knerr, who sat by Michelle Obama at the State of the Union Wednesday night, was there to greet her husband.
Knerr says, “It’s good to have him home.”
Watch Surae Chinn’s story, above.
Jim Perkins says, “I don’t like using the term hero, we were just doing our job.”
Porter says he had to throw a lot of his clothes and a pair of boots away. Most of his memories, he says, are in his mind.
Porter says, “It makes me so proud to see my family. They were there when I left and they were there when I came back. It’s breathtaking
They all said it will take some time to decompress from the 15 days of seeing all the suffering, tragedy and the miracles.
but they say they would do it again in a heartbeat.
NEW INFO ADDED: Fairfax County team in Haiti helps in the rescue of a neighbor. Silver Spring, Maryland man tells his story of being trapped under the Hotel Montana.4 comments
Virginia Task Force 2 out of Virginia Beach is also in Haiti. Click here and here to follow their work.
The latest number we have on people found alive buried under earthquake rubble in Port au Prince, Haiti by Virginia Task Force 1 is 14. The hard and sometimes frustrating work by all of the USAR teams continues as the hours slip away.
In the video above is one of the survivors from the Hotel Montana. There, the crew from Fairfax County joined colleagues from France in searching for those who could still be alive. One of those they found was a neighbor from the Washington area, Rick Santos. Santos, from Silver Spring, Maryland, is the President and CEO of IMA/World Health.
Here is some more information that Fairfax County officials distributed Sunday morning to various interested parties:
The two teams from Virginia Task Force 1 (USA-1 & USA-5) are now combined into one. Apparently this was necessary due to transportation and fuel issues, but has helped in the management of the resources and enhanced the team’s capabilities.
The last live victim removed by VA-TF 1 involved a 26-hour operation at the University of Port-au-Prince. It was completed at 9:00 PM Saturday. The patient was in critical condition.
The operation at the Hotel Montana has been completed.
Satellite telephone reliability is a continuing problem, but the radio system has worked well.
VA-TF 1 along with CA-TF 2, FL-TF 1, and FL-TF 2 are still working out of the U.S. Embassy.
NY-TF 1 and VA-TF 2 are set up at the airport.
It is possible, but not certain, that teams could be used for “humanitarian efforts” once things switch to a recovery operation.
News reports here and here indicate California Task Force 2 located six victims in the rubble at two different locations. The video above and below follows their work at a collapsed building where the team heard tapping within the debris.
Here are excerpts from a Sunday CNN article with more details on the work by USAR teams:
Even now, survivors still emerge from under mounds of concrete. By Saturday, American search teams had pulled out 22 people from collapsed buildings.
Early Sunday, a man and a teenage girl were found alive in the rubble of a grocery store housed in a three-story building that had collapsed. A joint New York police and fire urban rescue team found them. Both were taken to a U.N. hospital at Port-au-Prince’s airport, where the girl, about 13, was treated for leg injuries and the man treated for undetermined injuries.
The team was trying to reach three others who were still trapped, according to a statement Sunday from New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne. The five survived on the grocery store’s inventory of food and water, authorities said.
Nearly 30 international rescue teams continued to comb the disaster areas for more survivors.
Fairfax County & Los Angeles USAR teams to Haiti. Firefighters are gathering for earthquake response.8 comments
Not unexpected this evening, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced it is sending a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to Haiti. This will include firefighters from Fairfax County and Los Angeles County. The two urban search and rescue (USAR) teams have been activated and are gathering personnel and equipment.
Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department spokesman Dan Schmidt tells STATter911.com that as of 10:30 PM EST flight arrangements have not been finalized. Approximately ninety-percent of the 72-member team is made up of county firefighters. Civilian doctors, structural engineers and canine handlers are also part of the team.
The firefighters are at the department’s training academy loading the team’s 90,000 pounds of equipment.
The department, as it has in the past, will set up its family support group to keep relatives notified of the team’s location and progress through conference calls and other means.
Members of the Fairfax team have responded to disasters all over the world including two previous trips to Haiti for a school collapse and a hurricane.