I should say I think this is Houston. That’s what it looked like to me from one of the rigs that passed by the camera, but there were no details with the video. I am running out and haven’t had the time to watch all the way through the two clips from Pablo Hinojosa to find clues to verify my guess. Most of the action is on Part 2 below. They don’t arrive on the scene on Part 1 until after the 8:00 mark.
Having had the experience quite a few times of working with Chroma-key and live traffic cameras I sympathize with KPRC-TV traffic reporter Jennifer Reyna. Reyna is only seeing what the viewers see on small monitors off to the side and on the studio camera, not the big picture seen by the television audience. So don’t be too hard on her for missing what is obvious to us in her live report at 6:31 this morning about traffic on 288 in Houston.
As she was finishing the report and telling us that fire trucks were just leaving a wreck that had slowed traffic, a vehicle hit one of the fire trucks and overturned. Here’s how KPRC-TV described the scene:
A vehicle was traveling northbound on 288 when it tried to swerve around a fire truck at the interchange of Highways 59 and 45 near downtown Houston at 6:30 a.m. The vehicle hit an SUV, which crashed into a fire truck. The fire truck was leaving the scene of another minor accident on the right shoulder when it was hit. The SUV rolled over several times and crashed.
So far I have found no information on injuries or other details about the crash.
Above is a video from RycheG’s channel on TouTube of an apartment fire on July 12 in the Houston area. The air horns are sounded at 3:11 in the clip. Here is some of the description with the video:
All companies of the Community Volunteer Fire Department were dispatched to an apartment fire at the Vinings of West Oaks, on Gray Ridge near Greencrest. The fire broke out in the Alief district, just west of Houston, around 11:15am Thursday July 12, 2012.
Residents in a west Harris County apartment complex had to get out of their apartments in a hurry, in the rain, after a fire broke out just before noon.
Firefighters say it looks like the fire started on the second floor and then moved up to the third floor and attic. They tell us all the rain made their jobs much harder. It took fire trucks much longer than usual to arrive at the scene and the wind made the fire spread faster.
This is a house fire yesterday handled by Sheldon Community Fire & Rescue in Houston, Texas. The description says there was a problem initially with low water pressure.
Sheldon is one of the growing number of departments that apparently has a band travel with the firefighters whenever they extinguish fires.
Do you want to sell a rig? Click HERE to find out how with SellFireTrucks.com.
Houston’s Darin Unruh back fighting fires. Captain was critically burned & in cardiac arrest at 2008 blaze.5 comments
We have followed the story of Darin Unruh since the night he was burned in November 2008. The Houston fire captain was in cardiac arrest for six minutes after being pulled from the fire in northeast Houston. His mask had come off while fighting the fire, critically burning his face and neck. It may have been as long as five minutes before fellow firefighters found Unruh. It wasn't clear that Unruh was going to survive. Among other medical problems, Darrin Unruh's eyelids had to be rebuilt and he was given a cornea transplant in his left eye. Despite all of that, Captain Darin Unruh is back riding a fire truck in Houston. Watch this remarkable story.
Early video from a house fire in Los Angeles: A neighbor is rolling as LAFD stretches the first lines at 1324 N. Sunderland Street in Echo Park on Friday. Check out the Fire Critic if you want to know more about the fire. Speaking of the Fire Critic, Rhett totally dissed me, and along with his panel of so-called experts or judges, went against my wishes and made STATter911.com a finalist in his Blog of the Century contest. My general philosophy is much like Grouch Marx’s (someone in Roanoke please explain who that was to Rhett), and I never want to join a club that would have someone like me as a member. That said, since they didn’t go for the nomination I suggested, I am not backing any candidates (probably smart considering my dismal record of being 0 for 2 in that arena). Click here to vote your conscience (or whoever offers you the most money). And next time Rhett, do away with the primaries and the hype and let the people speak.
Firefighter Mark Falkenhan to be buried today: If live streaming is available of the funeral for Lutherville VFC’s Mark Falkenhan we will, of course, have it here. For those attending the funeral at 11:00 this morning in Baltimore, click here for updated details.
Fire chief gets a lot of praise for failure: Typical negative spin from the reporter. The comments coming in to STATter911.com indicate that Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department Acting Chief Mark Bashoor showed a lot of leadership completing the CPAT course on Saturday. While he went into a little overtime, our readers thought it was an excellent showing for the 45-year-old chief. I think the next step, if we can get an EMS task force to standby, should be a regional chiefs competition (notice Statter isn’t pushing for a washed-up reporters event). Click here for the video of Chief Bashoor in action. It’s well worth seeing.
Lots of news at FireTruckBlog.com: Plenty of interesting apparatus news on Glenn Usdin’s FireTruckBlog.com. Just click here and scroll down for stories on rigs, people and details on who is buying and who is selling.
Two-alarm townhouse fire with flashover & three injured firefighters: We have video from Paul Lof and fireground audio from AlertPage.net of Saturday’s fire in Springfield, Virginia that critically injured a resident and left a trio of firefighters with minor injuries. Click here for our coverage.
Carrying Josephine Harris once again: We mentioned last week the passing of Josephine Harris, the woman who survived the crumbling of the WTC North Tower with the crew of FDNY’s Ladder 6. On Friday, those same firefighters who carried Ms. Harris to safety, carried their guardian angel once again. Click here to read and watch the story.
Come see me: I had a great and informative time in Phoenix last week for the IAFF-IAFC Labor Management Initiative gathering. I plan to write more about that in the coming days. Next month come join me in Virginia Beach, Virginia for the Virginia Fire Chief’s Association 2011 Mid-Atlantic Expo & Symposium (February 24-27). Click here for details and to register for the event.
UPDATE – FD to change logo: One of the topics I talked about in Phoenix is how you should deal with the press when there is an issue involving a department’s reputation. A Long Island fire company did the opposite of what I suggest and stretched the bad news into a multi-day story. After first threatening and running from the press, the Elmont FD has now decided to change its logo that included a version of the Confederate flag. Here’s the update. The outcome of this was quite predictable. The pattern is repeated daily. Learn from the mistake. Here’s my earlier assessment of the situation.
Pre-arrival video from Santa Maria, California: Neighbor’s early raw video from an apartment fire last week.
Firefighters spend part of their shift at Hooters: Okay, so there was a fire at the restaurant. My headline is still technically correct. Take a look at the video from St. Louis as a police chase comes to a fiery end.
FossilMedic blows a kiss to our friends in NC: Nice little write-up by Mike Ward at Firegeezer about three lensmen from NC, Mike Legeros, Lee Wilson and Jeff Harkey. These guys work hard to grab the shots and keep people informed about the fire world in Raleigh, Wake County and beyond. Check it out. Okay Ward, now that you’ve made nice, let’s do a little investigating and find out what’s really going on. Don’t these three seem just a little too competent, talented and pleasant?
No jail time for firefighter who spooked herd: The plea deal apparently kept UK Firefighter Julian Lawford out of jail in that now infamous case of Lawford trying to drive his rig through a herd of cows crossing the road. The stampede left a farmer dead. Lawford was heading to a car crash with a child trapped. Here’s the latest.
No indictment against driver of vehicle in wreck that killed two Virginia firefighters: I missed this while traveling last week, but IronFiremen.com’s Willie Wines did not. A grand jury did not hand up an indictment against the driver of a vehicle connected to last summer’s tragic crash in Rocky Mount. Click here.
Manhole not for horses: Firefighters in Houston spent part of Saturday trying to rescue a horse that fell into an uncovered manhole. The horse had to be put down. Here’s the story.
Similar problem in Utah with much better results: On Sunday, Saratoga Springs firefighters rescued a young girl who fell into an uncovered manhole. Read the details.
Congratulations to some of the people who protect me: Fairfax County firefighters from Station 408 in Annandale received a Liberty Mutual Firemark Award for a fire a year ago this week. Check out the story from VAFireNews.com.
FDNY in action: The New York Daily News currently has this nicely shot fire video from Bedford-Stuyvesant posted on its website. But no date or exact location is provided that I can see.
A big thank you for Houston Fire Department. Firefighters & Cyanokit credited with saving man found unconscious in a burning assisted living facility.1 comment
Parris Charles Flowers had a lot of people to thank for his survival after an electrical fire at his assisted living apartment on Wilmington Street in Houston on November 1. First there were the firefighters who found the unconscious man and then the decision to use Cyanokit to help rid his body of cyanide. HFD used a reunion between Flowers and his rescuers earlier today to promote the department’s use of Cyanokit, now carried in every chief’s or supervisor’s vehicle. Cyanokit is also being credited with saving the lives of two Houston firefighters.
“Next thing I remember…it was three weeks later,” Flowers said Friday, surrounded by the firefighters from Stations 46 and 55 who saved his life.
The antidote, called Cyanokit, is an emergency treatment administered intravenously to flush and remove inhaled, ingested, or dermal exposure to cyanide. Burning plastics and furniture can emit dangerous levels of the poison that prevents cells from using oxygen. Cyanokit, manufactured by King Pharmaceuticals, is an antidote that bonds with the poison and alters it to cyanocobalamin (a form of vitamin B-12), which is flushed out of victim’s body through their urine.
Medical experts say the side effect is that the urine will temporarily turn purple.
“Oh, there’s no question he would have died,” said HFD Captain Maurice Davis. “There’s no question.”
HFD Sr. Captain Nathan Snowden concurs.
“It definitely made a difference in saving Mr. Flowers life,” he said.
A fire last Thursday at Oak Street and Phelps Street in Houston, Missouri. Still pictures and a few more details can be found here.
Fireground audio from 4-alarm hi-rise fire in Houston with reported mayday. At least 5 firefighters hurt. Standpipe issues.3 comments
The report from the fire scene doesn’t occur until about midway through the above video.
Much of the Houston Fire Department spent Monday night on the scene of a 4-alarm fire at the JPMorgan Chase Bank building (formerly the Gulf Building). The location is the 700 block of Main street at Capitol Street in downtown. The fire was reported around 8:00 PM Houston time.
The fire was on the 27th floor. This is now reported to be the older, smaller tower and not the 75-story newer structure that is the tallest building in Texas.
You will hear a couple of crews calling for water starting around 6:20 on this clip. The mayday is reported around 7:00.
Updates: At 9:40 PM, six additional pumpers were dispatched to the scene.
At 10:14 PM, seven additional pumpers and two ladder trucks were requested. News reports indicate the fire is under control.
The fire is confined to the 27th floor of the historic building. Firefighters said it’s primarily offices up there.
Reports of people trapped in an elevator was a false alarm, (Acting Chief Rick) Flanagan said.
At first, there was a problem with the building’s internal water supply – apparently a broken pipe – that HFD is solving by piping water directly into the building.
Five firefighters were taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation, said assistant chief Jack Williams. Their conditions are not considered life-threatening.
Earlier from KRIV-TV:
An official at the scene reported smoke was billowing from the 27th floor of the building.
A mayday call was sent out after several firefighters got lost in the building, but they all made it out ok.
The JP Morgan Chase Building has been a Houston landmark since the 1920s. It stands 430 feet high and cost and estimated $6 million to build. It was the tallest building west of the Mississippi River until the 1931, when a taller building in Kansas City was erected.
One burned in San Francisco apartment fire: A neighbor’s roof top video of a fire during the noon hour in Haight Ashbury on Monday that injured an occupant of a second-floor apartment.
The STATter911.com family heads to Chicago: I guess it is appropriate that the video above is from San Francisco because that is where our journey began on August 6. Currently Sam, Hillary and Dave are in Dubuque, Iowa, heading out today for four days at Fire Rescue International in Chicago. Along the way we saw some spectacular sights and had many wonderful moments. In the coming weeks I plan to share some fire related photos and videos that I gathered during our journey, like the one on the left when San Francisco Fire Engine Tours & Adventures took us on a tour of the city in a 1955 Mack pumper. Because of the travel, as we warned, the blog postings have been reduced. Thank you for your patience and understanding. I don’t expect to get back into my usual unreliable pattern of posting until next week.
One you should attend in Chicago: If you manage a behavioral health program for a fire department or are a chief officer, peer program manager or EAP professional make sure you get to “Focus Group on New Protocol for Firefighter Behavioral Health – Initiative 13″. Its on Friday from 12:30 to 2:30 in room N230a at McCormick Place. If you need more information contact Dr. JoEllen Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New fire chief in Houston: The Houston Chronicle and other new outlets are reporting Terry Garrison will be the new chief of the Houston Fire Department. Retired after a 30-year-career in Phoenix, Chief Garrison more recently has been doing the chief thing in Oceanside, California and the Daisy Mountain Fire District in New River, Arizona. Read more.
Triple fatal fire in the Charleston, SC area: Around 9:00 last night a mother and her young twin boys died in a fire in West Ashley, a Charleston suburb. The St. Andrews Fire Department and Charleston Fire Department responded. SConFire.com is on top of the story.
Honors for Tom Carr: As many of you already know from other sources while Dave was distracted by his intimate relationship with the GPS lady, our friend Tom Carr, chief of the Charleston Fire Department (mentioned above), has been named by Fire Chief as the 2010 Career Fire Chief of the Year. A much deserved honor for a man I first met when he was a lieutenant in Montgomery County, Maryland. While we are at it, congratulations to Timothy S. Wall of the North Farms Volunteer Fire Department in North Wallingford, Connecticut who is the 2010 Volunteer Fire Chief of the Year.
Iron and Steel doesn’t make it to Washington but will come close: This weekend steel from the World Trade Center will be escorted to the Pentagon. You may recall the dispute that surfaced in June after the organizers and the DC Fire & EMS Department did not come to terms for this event (click here). The Arlington County Fire Department, under the leadership of Chief Jim Schwartz, stepped in and will host the event. Click here for the weekend schedule.
A much better view of the CNG bus burning in Maryland: We have now posted almost seven minutes of continuous raw video from Friday’s Metrobus fire in Anne Arundel County. It begins just before the first engine pulls up. Despite offering a better representation of what was there when firefighters arrived, I am not sure it is going to change too many minds in our comments section. What could have been an interesting discussion over the use of master streams in this type of situation has turned into the type of Internet free-for-all that can cause brain damage ( if taken too seriously). I just want to apologize ahead of time in case you stumble upon it. Much more interesting is the updated video.
Chief fired over disposal of stillborn babies: We have reported on fire chiefs being fired for many, many reasons, but this is one we have never heard before. WBRC-TV is reporting that in Odenville, Alabama Chief David Davis claimed he was just following protocol when he flushed twin stillborn babies down the toilet. Mayor Buck Christian fired Davis and the Odenville City Council unanimously approved that decision.
But it’s the news media’s fault in Detroit: Thank goodness for the Geezerman. At least Firegeezer Bill doesn’t leave his readers high and dry while he goes gallivanting across the country. Clearly a man with a much better work ethic than I have, Bill Schumm has been posting some great stories at Firegeezer.com. The most disturbing one comes from Detroit. On August 9 I shared the story about Mayor Dave Bing’s administration’s issues with media ride-alongs and attempts to create a new policy. You may recall in the same posting I also disagreed with a documentary producer’s opinion that the news media is the problem in Detroit (at the same time supporting the producer’s efforts to show us the firefighters of Detroit). Well, the nasty news media is at it again. This time they have the nerve to tell people that 31 of 45 ambulances are broken. A TV station shows some people, like the recently injured Detroit firefighters, who didn’t get to the hospital by ambulance. Here’s Bill’s well written look at this tragedy.
Union in Dayton says fire is an example of why citizens are at risk: Controversy after a fire destroyed three homes and damaged two others over the weekend. The chief says show him the overtime money where he can fully staff his department. You can read and watch more here. Similarly, Firegeezer has been following the situation in Philly over whether rotating closures or another policy impacted a fatal fire. Click here and here.
Where’s Dave?: You may have noticed fewer posts than normal. I am on a three week vacation with the Mrs. STATter911.com and STATter911.com Jr, driving from San Francisco to Chicago, seeing family and the sights along the way. We plan to be in Chicago in time for Fire Rescue International. I will be posting as time and Internet connection allow. I am hoping to show some fire and EMS sights along the way.
Houston’s Jane Draycott, at center of controversy, arrested for shoplifting: We have covered the story of Jane Draycott for quite a while now. Draycott is the Houston firefighter who says she was discriminated against. Draycott reported finding racially and sexually charged graffiti inside the women’s quarters at her firehouse. How her case was handled brought the resignation of one fire chief. Now Draycott has been arrested on a shoplifting charge. Draycott is accused of taking a DVD player, a bag of ice and other items from a Wal-Mart. Read the story.
More from Houston – problems found in recruit death investigation: NIOSH has issued its findings in the death of Cohnway Johnson after a 4.4 mile run. The Houston Chronicle writes, “A 26-year-old Houston firefighter trainee who collapsed and later died of heat stroke after a 4.4-mile run in April 2009 probably would have survived if department trainers had provided water during the run or an ice water immersion facility to lower his body temperature, a federal safety investigation concluded.” Firefighter Nation has the article and the report.
Fire chief and two others charged in training death: The fire chief in Ontario’s Village of Point Edward and two other town employees are facing 11 charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act after the death of 51-yea-old Gary Kendall. Volunteer Firefighter Kendall died in January after becoming trapped under ice during a water training exercise. Here are more details.
Lieutenant says department ”thrives on favoritism, nepotism, false records or no records at all”: I should say former lieutenant. Harry Lamb resigned from the Weare Fire Department in New Hampshire as he called the department an embarrassment in front of a public meeting. Click here for the story.
Haunted (fire)house: In Bangor, California they are in the process of replacing Station 55 and everyone, including the firefighters, seems to be worried about what the ghost will say or do. The firefighters aren’t shy about going public with details such as the ghost sitting on one firefighter’s chest. Read it if you dare.
Charges indicate firefighter referred to workplace shootings in Connecticut as he made threats: In Syracuse, New York Firefighter Douglas Martin seems to have a number of issues facing him. Syracuse.com reports on Martin is accused of having a run in at the credit union on Friday where the Connecticut reference was made. On Thursday he is accused of pulling up next to a deputy chief in traffic and threatening him for giving Martin a three-day suspension. This followed a 44-day suspension that Martin says stemmed from a racially motivated incident with another firefighter. Martin also is dealing with a recent stalking charge. Read the story.
Gas main fire: In Somerset County, New Jersey firefighters spent a good portion of yesterday dealing with a burning gas line in Franklin Township. The fire started after a crew working on a drainage project struck the 6-inch plastic line around 10:40 AM. The fire destroyed two trucks and a backhoe belonging to the contractor. It also scorched power lines with about 115 customers losing power. The gas burned until about 2:00 PM. Read more about the fire. Pictures from the fire. Watch a video from one of the responding fire companies.
Videos ‘R Us (How do you make that backwards “R”?): We haven’t done a video roundup in months, but Emily Cyr loaded so many in the player to the right yesterday they just spilled over into the main blog. The best video shows drivers apparently doing self colonoscopies instead of realizing that towering geyser coming from the sheared off hydrant in Carson, California could have very well undermined the roadway as they drive through the flooded street. We also have fires from Michigan, Massachusetts, Illinois and California. And we added the awful looking aftermath video of Houston’s Engine 13 after it struck a bridge support injuring three firefighters yesterday. Click here to see all of the clips.
Whine by winemaker uncorks firefighter anger: Do you recall the letter to the editor we linked to last week from a Napa Valley winemaker? We ran the letter because our gut told us that this was not the last we would hear of Dario Sattui and his complaint that American Canyon, California firefighters are overpaid, underworked and have a great pension. We were right. A Santa Rosa firefighter called for a boycott of Sattui’s wines and the Internet is helping to fuel the backlash. Here’s the story. You can also read a couple of letters to the editor with a different view than Mr. Sattui’s.
More complaints and some regeneration work-arounds: Looking at our stats yesterday there seemed to be quite an interest in Boca Raton Chief Tom Wood’s guest column about DPF regeneration on newer rigs. Some writing in shared similar time-out problems and others had ideas on at least partial solutions. Click here and scroll down for the comments.
Arbitration panel orders drug testing and a big pay raise in Boston: Four years of a bitter standoff between firefighters and Mayor Thomas Menino apparently have come to an end. An arbitration panel gives the firefighters a 19-percent pay raise over four-years (retroactive to July 1, 2006). At the same time there will now be random drug and alcohol testing. The raise is significantly more than other city workers, including police, have received. Here’s the story.
Chief loses buggy after stopping to help at crash scene: A Cal Fire battalion chief stopped to help at the scene of a traffic collision near El Cajon yesterday. One of the people involved in the crash jumped in and took off with the pickup truck. It was soon recovered undamaged. Here’s some more info.
Flint firefighters are at their breaking point: That’s the contention in the headline and story from WJRT-TV after two firefighters were hurt in weekend fires. There have been more than 100 fires so far this month in Flint. The city has been operating with 23 fewer firefighters after last month’s layoffs. That could soon change. Read and watch the story.
Geezer on fire: While many of his fellow bloggers are hard at work in Indianapolis (see below) Bill was posting like crazy yesterday. Just click and scroll.
How the local media views FDIC: Check out the story from WISH-TV. Or you can go right to the source at FireEngineering. com. And don’t forget the bloggers gathering Friday night. You will find details and various reports from Indianapolis from many of the other folks who cohabitate with us at FireEMSblogs.com.
Network looks at shrinking volunteer force: ABC News is the latest with a story about the nation’s dwindling resource of volunteer firefighters. Click here.
Two Texas firefighters return to the job after lengthy battles. One is sent home: We told you yesterday about the return of Houston’s Jane Draycott nine-months after the graffiti incident at Station 54. Her return was apparently uneventful. You can read more here.
Things weren’t as easy in Beaumont where James Mathews has been fighting to get his job back since an arrest in 2008. He won an arbitration, but was sent home hours after his return to the department yesterday. Here is the latest.
Market fire in the Philippines: This is from Cabadbaran City, a city in the province of Agusan del Norte, where faulty wiring is blamed for starting the fire that destroyed the Cabadbaran City Public Market early yesterday morning. Read more about the fire.
Video roundup: Fires in MA, IL, CA, & MI. Plus a fire engine crash in Texas and a California geyser.1 comment
Club house burns in Hopedale, Massachusetts: This fire occurred Sunday night at the Hopedale Country Club. Read more about the fire.
Houston’s Engine 13 crashes: Three firefighters were hurt after the rig hit a bridge support while responding to a collision involving a school bus just after 10:00 this morning. It occurred as the engine was on the 610 Loop merging onto westbound 290.
Make sure you look at some of the heads-up driving in this video: With a fountain of water like this coming out of the ground would you trust the road surface enough to drive as close as some of these citizens? This geyser, in an industrial area of Carson, California, was apparently active for two hours after a hydrant was sheared off.
Cahokia, Illinois fire: People had moved out of this house just days before it burned.
Two-alarm house fire in Fair Oaks, California: Three people escaped this burning home around 2:30 Sunday morning. Read more about the fire.
Petoskey, Michigan apartment fire: No injuries in this fire at the Lafayette Apartments around 2:30 this morning. Read more.
Early this morning in Rochester: Lots of fire on Wadsworth Street in this Guy Zampatori video. Pictures and fireground audio can be found at Monroe County Fire Wire.
The regeneration blues coming to a firehouse near you: Read how one fire chief finds the time-outs for regeneration on his department’s newer diesel engines quite maddening and potentially dangerous. A guest column from Boca Raton Fire Rescue’s Tom Wood. Click here.
UPDATED Houston’s Draycott scheduled to return to is back at work today: “I want to be treated like everybody else. I want to be able to go to work and not be harassed, not be retaliated against.” That’s what Firefighter Jane Draycott told the Houston Chronicle’s Terri Langford yesterday, a day before her scheduled return to HFD’s Station 54 at Bush Intercontinental Airport. Draycott attempted a return in January and found herself in the middle of a “team building” exercise with her fellow firefighters. That four-hour session resulted in a lot of transfers and the resignation of the fire chief. It has been nine-months since Draycott made the news after racist and sexual graffiti were found on Draycott’s belongings in the women’s bunk room at the firehouse. Watch as Firefighter Draycott arrives at Station 54 this morning.
Car smashes into ladder truck … inside the firehouse: Click here to read how police say the driver of a car that crashed through the bay door of a firehouse in Wisconsin may not be at fault.
Driver jailed after crashing into fire truck: Police say two motorcyclists racing near Missoula, Montana led one of them into the back of a fire truck injuring a firefighter. Here’s the story.
A busy weekend in Flint: A dozen fires, including one in a vacant warehouse Saturday that spread to another building. Officials believe 10 of them were intentionally set. So far in April there have been 107 fires compared to 37 last year. This latest arson spree began the day before layoffs were initiated at the end of March. Read and watch the story.
Erosion of political influence: That’s the title of FossilMedic Mike Ward’s latest entry on Firegeezer. Mike is wondering if these budget battles, where firefighter overtime and pensions are targeted, are taking a toll on firefighters who might otherwise enjoy the backing of the public and the politicians. Check it out.
If you would like to tell Mike Ward you agree with him or that he is full of it: You can do so in person this week at FDIC during the big Meetup at Indy on Friday at the Rock Bottom Brewery. Lots of bloggers from FireEMSBlogs.com and elsewhere will be on hand, along with their many groupies. You can even get a free drink ticket for the event by stopping by these booths-
FireRescue Magazine, FirefighterNation.com and FireEMSBlogs.com: Booth #3755 Black Diamond: Booth # 410 Black Helmet Apparel: Booth # 138
I had hoped to be there, but recent knee surgery is keeping me very close to home. My doctor didn’t think I could handle the trauma of the procedure and at the same time deal with the sharp barbs from Rhett Fleitz, The Fire Critic. But you can listen to the latest Indy news from Rhett and his partner John Mitchell (Fire Daily) on their live Firefighter Netcast (or is it Nutcast with that crew?) out of Booth 3755 on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Read more.
Rescuer needs rescuing: A Phoenix firefighter helping to rescue a hiker who fell off a mountain trail fell victim to the heat. Click here to read and watch the story.
Weekend video roundup: A house fire from Gary, Indiana discovered by a battalion chief; a three-alarm apartment fire in New Haven, Connecticut; A Jacksonville, Florida house fire with fireground radio traffic.
4-alarms in Annapolis: FireSceneAudio.com has the radio traffic from Saturday’s fire on Maryland Avenue in the Annapolis historic district. Click here for Part 2. A quick video clip is here and you can read more about the fire.
One of the Chinatown videos we missed: With all of the videos that were shot during the 7-alarm fire in Manhattan, we overlooked this one (but Firefighter Spot didn’t). It is well worth watching, as what appears to be some of the last FDNY members in the building exit 253 Grand Street under cover of some streams. Also, here is a series of videos showing another view of the rescues made early in the fire.
Two very interesting stories about dealing with fires in your own home: The first is from Cocke County, Tennessee where Matthew Whaley is the “Dispatcher of the Year” for how he dealt with a woman reporting her home on fire. That woman happened to be Whaley’s wife. Click here.
Anne Arundel County Fire Department’s Justin Davidson had a rude awakening earlier this week during a visit to his parents’ home in Wallingford, Pennsylvania. While taking a nap, his mother burst in saying the house was on fire. Firefighter Davidson sprang into action. After Davidson, the first first responders on the scene were police who almost arrested the firefighter for failing to listen to their directions and leave the home. Maybe they were the safety police, because Davidson was fighting the fire dressed only in shorts and a T-shirt. Here’s that story.
Two burned on Georgetown University campus: WUSA9.com’s Emily Cyr (who puts those videos in the player on the upper right of this page) has some details on the overnight fire. Click here.
Apparently it was not an official bring your assault rifle to work day: All indications are a Memphis firefighter had nothing sinister in mind when he brought the weapon to the firehouse last week. News reports indicate he just wanted to show off his new purchase. The firefighter received a written reprimand. Here’s the story.
Houston firefighter at center of controversy to go back to work, again: The last time Jane Draycott came back on the job following an incident of hate filled graffiti it didn’t go so well. That was when then Chief Phil Boriskie and other top officials brought the gang at Station 54 together for a meet and greet that quickly fell apart. When we linked to Wednesday’s article about Draycott filing suit against the department, we failed to point out that she is tentatively scheduled to again come back to work on Monday. Read more.
State Supreme Court gives victory to New York firefighters: The Village of Johnson City has been told by the courts to honor the contract with firefighters. According to the ruling, Johnson City officials should have gone to arbitration with IAFF Local 921 before six firefighters were cut last June. Read the details.
Firefighters in San Jose fighting proposed cuts: Claiming response times are already too high, San Jose firefighters are making the case against budget cuts that would reduce the number of fire trucks on the road. They are also pointing out how they believe the city is wasting money that could be better used. Watch the story from our video player. Read more here.
Firefighters grab suicidal woman: Sounds like a pretty dramatic scene in Santa Cruz, California as firefighter teamed up with police to save a woman hanging from a sixth floor balcony. Here’s the story.
Supersize me: A look at how EMS in the Denver area is buying equipment to deal with obese patients. Read the details.
Mill fire in Pennsylvania: PumpFire.com posted this video from the fire early yesterday morning in North Manheim Township at the warehouse for a textile manufacturer. Firegeezer has the story of how firefighters found the fire on the way back from handling a vehicle collision.
Multiple vehicles burn in front of motel: Firefighter Spot found this one first. The cars were burning at the Comfort Inn off Scott Avenue in the Morgantown, West Virginia area on Monday.
Radio traffic from fire engine crash in Baltimore: Baltimore City Fire Department Engine 36 and Engine 14 both were responding on the box at 1223 Mosher Street when each rig ended up on the northeast corner of Edmondson Avenue and N. Fulton Avenue. We have details, some pictures and two versions of the radio traffic (one on the collision and the other focusing on the fire, which went to two-alarms). Here is our coverage.
Woman charged in fire next to firehouse that left Baltimore firefighter injured: As we told you last week, the fire at 3910 Liberty Heights Avenue that seriously injured Firefighter/Paramedic Jeff Novack was suspicious. Now, a 19-year-old woman has been charged with starting the fire. Here’s more.
A veritable love fest: One of my favorite TV shows are the episodes of the DC City Council Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary where Chief Dennis Rubin is the guest star. For more than a year it has been the place to go if you like public hearings that aren’t dry and boring. Even when they have dealt with the type of budget minutiae that puts many of us in the mood for a power nap, Chief Rubin and Chairman Phil Mendelson have kept the conversation quite lively. Basically they just don’t get along. But if Monday’s hearing on overtime is any indication, maybe these two may have buried the fire axe. In one hour and fifteen minutes of facing each other there was none of the fireworks that we’ve seen in the past. Check it out yourself. Also, here is Chief Rubin’s written testimony explaining the issues behind over budget overtime spending.
Judge reverses arbitrator leaving Buffalo firefighters having to pay back the city: On average, firefighters could be out $230 each month to reimburse the city for a pay raise a judge says they shouldn’t have received. That’s on top of rolling back the increase. The union makes the case this could actually be a good thing. Here’s the story.
Union president fired, two others suspended over spreading of information about chief and his wife: This is an update on a story we previously told you about in Jackson Township, Ohio. Despite support coming from as far away as Colorado, the town trustees fired Scott Harr, who is president of IAFF Local 2672. Two other firefighters were suspended. They are accused of leaking details from an incident report about a response to their chief’s home involving a domestic issue. Even though there is a union, the firefighters do not have collective bargaining under Ohio law that exempts unincorporated areas of less than 5,000 people. Read the latest.
One of the more amazing stories in recent days: Firegeezer takes a close-up look at how that trucker in Dallas, Texas escaped his rig during a fiery crash that left the flaming wreckage dangling over a bridge. Take a look.
Also, Bill takes a nostalgic look back at a “Fire-Pal”. This is for the radio geeks among us.
Houston’s Draycott files harassment suit: Last week they were celebrating the history making shift of an all-female engine company. Now, the Houston Fire Department has a lawsuit to deal with from a woman firefighter who is at the center of a long running episode involving concerns about harassment and discrimination. The case of Jane Draycott at Station 54 has also left Houston looking for a new fire chief. Here is the latest.
People eyeing Flint jobs: The struggling Michigan city may actually be in a position to soon hire a dozen or so firefighters, thanks to the grant money we have told you about. Here is the latest.
Chief reports on fire station closing: In Lufkin, Texas the chief reports on the first week without Station 3. Click here for the details.
Pittsfield, Massachusetts fire: This apartment fire began around 7:30 PM last night on Wahconah Street. Click here for details.
Second alarm in Hanover Township, PA: Seven homes were damaged in this fire in Lehigh County on Sunday. Read more from NewsWorking.org.
Must see video of water rescue: Pretty dramatic video from Contra Costa County, California as a CHP chopper crew and a fire district rescue swimmer team up to pull a woman from a rain swollen canal. We have also added an interview with Contra Costa County Fire Protection District Engineer Dave Manzeck, who made the rescue. Check it out.
Man found dead on top floor at 7-alarm fire in Manhattan: Last night firefighters were able to get to a top floor on one of the three buildings on Grand Street that burned Sunday night into Monday morning. There, they found the body of an 87-year-old man. Click here for an interview with FDNY Commissioner Sal Cassano. The New York Times reports there is a history of neglect, including code violations, in these buildings. Click here for that story. In case you missed our coverage of the fire, including video of the early rescues and fireground audio, click here.
Let’s hear it for Virginia Beach’s Amy Mack: I was supposed to get to this story last week, but never got my act together. I am glad WVEC-TV caught up with Virginia Beach Firefighter Amy Mack. She was on vacation with her two children in Marco Island, Florida last week when the kids were able to see mom in action. Firefighter Mack saved the life of an elderly woman who had collapsed face down in the water. Here’s the story.
Loudoun fire chief heading south: Chief Joseph Pozzo has been picked to run the Volusia County Fire Service in Florida. Read more.
Early video from Loudoun County house fire: One house was destroyed in a fire Sunday afternoon in Leesburg. Here’s the video.
SAFER won’t make things safer in Flint until summer: The latest estimate of when Flint will be able to bring back firefighters who were victim of budget cuts is this summer. The re-hiring is coming under a SAFER grant for the troubled city. Read the latest.
Sit up, sit up, sit up, sit up you’re rocking the boat: Sorry for the dated Broadway reference, but sit ups have become a big issue in the fitness standard for firefighters in Jeffersonville, Indiana. Read more.
Exploding paint cans during overhaul spray firefighters: Spray paint cans that didn’t explode during an apartment fire waited to burst when firefighters were mopping up in Oakland, California. Two were briefly hospitalized when they were hit in the eyes as things went flying. Here’s the story.
And another firefighter is charged with arson: As we pointed out yesterday, it has been a bad couple of weeks with another rash of accused firefighter/arsonists making the news. Pennsylvania has been particularly hard hit, with reports today of another arrest. This time the accused is a volunteer firefighter charged with setting fire to the restaurant where he worked as a dishwasher. Here’s the story from Nicholson, PA.
Landslide wipes out train: Firegeezer has the story from Italy.
Union and chief fight over QRVs: The purchase of quick response vehicles for medical calls, now approved by the City Council, has become an issue in Billings, Montana. Click here for the story.
Inquest in fatal fire truck crash: A firefighter in Sheffield, England is having to answer for responding through a red light at 29 mph and crashing into a car, leaving a woman dead and her daughter injured. This crash was caught on video. Here is the latest.
Dangerous Dan Dawson the rookie firefighter: A rookin in Bramtpon, Ontario is also the star forward of the Boston Blazers of the National Lacrosse League. Here’s his story.
Ten-vehicles, three-alarms in Houston: The view from a helicopter of yesterday’s parking garage fire in Houston. Read more at Firefighter Nation.
The Houston Fire Department has been under a lot of scrutiny over the number of women firefighters in the department and how they are treated. Just yesterday morning we were telling you about conflicting issues as city officials try to follow Mayor Annise Parker’s wishes for resolving the mess at Station 54 over the graffiti incident involving Firefighter Jane Draycott (click here and scroll down).
Now comes word of a notable moment yesterday involving female members of the department. Here are excerpts from an article by Rucks Russell at KHOU-TV:
Houston’s first all-female fire crew made history Thursday night, operating a fire pumper truck and hitting the streets together for the first time.
“We joked about this amongst ourselves,” said Captain Bonnie Richter, a 14 -ear veteran of the Houston Fire Department. “I think it’s pretty cool between us, but it shouldn’t be different for anyone else.”
Richter was joined on shift by three other women, who either through rotation or prior scheduling, found themselves in the glare of history at Fire Station 10.
“We’re going to do the same job that we came to do this morning. It’s not going to be different for us,” added Richter.
The all-female crew responded to emergency calls in their district hours after Mayor Annise Parker announced the unprecedented assignments during her State of the City address.
Members of the crew said they hoped not to be singled out for any special recognition, calling themselves no different from anyone else.
Early video from Tampa: Watch the initial attack on a house fire yesterday at 4906 Wishart Boulevard. Investigators say smoking materials caused the fire.
Close call in Baltimore: It sounds like Truck 12′s crew was by themselves for a bit last night when fire broke out across Berwyn Avenue from the firehouse. Two firefighters were hospitalized. One in serious but stable condition after bailing out of a burning apartment. We have fireground audio and more.
9-alarms in Boston: Listen to the radio traffic as firefighters in Boston dealt with a fire on the seventh floor of a 10-story apartment building. Also, early fire video. Here’s our coverage. Bill Carey’s Backstep Firefighter also has an updated story.
Houston has a problem that may take the wisdom of Solomon: Mayor Annise Parker made it clear she wants a “complete house cleaning” at Station 54 after lengthy investigations failed to determine who was responsible for the racial and sexual graffii that targeted two female firefighters. This was the same station where a “team building” exercise in January to welcome back Firefighter Jane Draycott went so bad the fire chief stepped down. Despite the mayor saying yesterday, “We’re going to break up the culture at that station and we’re going to move on”, the Houston Chronicle reports the city attorney and acting fire chief are indicating not so fast. City Attorney Arturo Michel points out what the mayor wants is “not going to happen” because essentially Draycott’s shift mates have already been moved to other shifts and fire stations. Draycott’s attorney doesn’t believe enough has been done to pave the way to bring the firefighter back to the airport station. Meanwhile, the union president points out nine months of investigations essentially exonerated the firefighters and officers of Station 54. And you wonder why Phil Boriskie, the former chief, was glad to take a demotion and get back to firefighting. Here’s the latest.
Lawsuit in Chicago after family finds the body firefighters failed to locate: A lawsuit has been filed by relatives of a man Chicago firefighters failed to locate after a fire a year ago. Read more.
Reporter takes on firefighters in Missouri after they failed to find woman’s body: Calling what happened to Gloria Banks in Northwoods, Missouri an “undignified way to go”, KMOV-TV reporter Mark Schnyder has some pointed comments for the Northeast Ambulance and Fire Protection District. This was the story we first alerted you to yesterday of the woman found in the bathtub hours after firefighters initially left the scene of a house fire. In his blog Schnyder writes, “What an embarrassment for the fire department… but what bothers me more is that someone’s loved one was left inside a burned out building and no one seemed to care enough to find out she was there… in her tub… covered in debris.” Click here to read more.
Northeast is also having some difficulties on the EMS side of things. Click here for that story.
Wine man whines about firefighters: In St. Helena, California wine maker Dario Sattui writes to the local paper saying firefighters have it good, too good. Check it out.
Money for Flint?: Federal grant money may hold the key to get as many as 39 firefighters back on the job for two years. Check out the story. There have been more than 80 fires in Flint in two weeks. Here’s the update on the impact of the arsons.
Why did the firefighter cross the road? Apparently to kill the chicken: No, the next riddle is not why did the chicken wear red suspenders, but it might as well be with this silly story. Much is being made in Lower Merion, Pennsylvania about the police officer, when confronted with a large chicken “terrorizing” a neighborhood, called in his buddy the bow and arrow toting firefighter. The firefighter ended up having a nice dinner, but the meal turned out to be someone’s pet (I don’t recall this transgression coming up in the recent report on firefighters behaving badly … clearly we overlooked something). Click here to find out if someone can turn this bad turn of events into chicken salad.
Kentland firefighter saves infant: Before they could get to the patient, the choking baby came to them. Click above for the details on a life saved in Prince George’s County, Maryland.
Road trip to Detroit: Chicago’s Steve Redick made one of his regular trips to Detroit and returned, as usual, with lots of video. The clip above, with fireground audio, chronicles the 3-day visit. You can see Steve’s still images from Detroit here. On the same page you will find links for Steve’s books on rigs in and around Chicago.
Investigators make arrest in Emmitsburg fire: If you haven’t checked in over the weekend you may not have seen all of the early pictures and video from Saturday morning’s fire in the heart of Emmitsburg. The 150-year-old apartment building (former hotel) that houses Stavros Pizza burned. While early news reports indicated careless smoking was to blame, one resident is under arrest, charged with starting the fire during a suicide attempt. In fact, you can hear people talking about a man in custody on one of the fire videos we posted. Click here and here for our coverage.
Must see video of arsonists in the act: Some determined men caught in the act of setting a Fort Worth business on fire last week. Click here for the video. Also, firefighters who were trapped and injured in that fire tell about their escape. Click here to read and watch that story.
What’s up Doc? The answer may not be good for your blood pressure: Neil Coplan, an FDNY doctor who occasionally visited fire scenes, receives a $95,000-a-year disability pension because of a heart ailment. The pension was awarded under the same provision that presumes an active firefighter’s heart problems are job related. This one isn’t sitting too well with some people. Read more.
It seems to never end in Flint: WJRT-TV reports there were eight fires Saturday night and early Sunday morning for a total of 20 in three days in Flint, Michigan. One battalion chief says fatigue is setting in for firefighters as they handle this 12-day arson spree with fewer Flint firefighters and reduced resources from neighbors. Click here to watch and here, to read the TV station’s latest story. Here’s our coverage of fires earlier in the weekend, including an arrest in a Friday evening blaze.
More from the battleground in Colorado over fire and EMS: Today is the day that more developments are expected in Leadville and Lake County over the nasty dispute between the fire department and the Sheriff’s department over who will provide fire and EMS coverage. Firefighters are scheduled to protest at the courthouse this afternoon over the arrest by sheriff’s deputies of a top fire official who had responded to an EMS call at the county jail. This evening there is a special joint meeting of Leadville and Lake County leaders to discuss the incident. Here is the latest. Click here and here for our previous coverage.
No charges in collision of two rigs in Houston that left bicyclist dead: The Houston Police Department has decided not to file criminal charges in the wreck a year ago between Ladder 16 and Engine 7 that took the life of a woman on a bicycle. The final decision is now up to the District Attorney. Read the details. Here is our coverage on the day of the collision.
Houston fire station closed: Speaking of Ladder 16, it has been moved to Station 8 following the closing of Station 16. KTRK-TV reports the building has been shuttered. Not a lot of details other than a report that problems with ceramic tiles coming loose has brought questions about the structural integrity of the firehouse. Here’s more.
A study in fire spread: That’s what Firegeezer calls his look at a fire in West Bend, Wisconsin. Take a look.
5-alarms in Nashville: Five homes were damaged or destroyed in the fire late Thursday night. Check it out.
Blast levels New Jersey home visited earlier by gas workers: In South Amboy two people were hurt in an apparent natural gas explosion that destroyed a home on Friday. The gas company confirms one its people had visited the house 45-minutes earlier, responding to a report of a leak. Here’s the story.
Was anyone on OT during boot drive?: The latest issue in Clark County, Nevada is over collecting money for MD during work hours. The question has also been brought up about overtime money being spent during the boot drive. Click here for the details.
The mature probie: An interesting article about New York’s Syosset Fire Department. Josh Stewart writes about the trend toward volunteers joining the department later in life. Here’s the story.
Investigation into why firefighters couldn’t reach woman in time who was on phone with 911: A tragic story from Spotsylvania County, Virginia. A 911 call taker listened to Sandy Hill’s last breaths as firefighters tried desperately to find her on the second floor of the burning Cape Cod. By the time they get to the woman it was too late. STATter911.com/9NEWS NOW had filed a FOIA for the fireground & 911 audio in this case, but we were scooped by the local paper. The Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star’s Dan Telvock takes a close look at this story and has the recordings. Click here.
DC crew received disciplinary action after failing to take woman to the hospital: This is a case from December with strong parallels to the investigation on-going into the death of a two-year-old girl during the second blizzard in February. In both cases it took a second 911 call to get a ride to the hospital. And in both cases the initial crews failed to get a signed release or file a patient care report. Click here for our coverage.
Five firefighters injured in Brooklyn fire: Five firefighters were hurt around 4:00 this morning battling a fire on Concord Street. Two are reported to be in serious condition, but the injuries aren’t considered life-threatening. Here’s more from WCBS-TV.
Driven to distraction: Back in the day I used to find it a challenge when going driver only to a call, keeping the hands on the steering wheel, shifting gears, talking on the radio and blowing the siren. Now you have computers, GPS and other electronics to distract you in the front seat of an emergency vehicle. The New York Times looks at the growing concern that first responders may be distracted by all these bells and whistles. Check out the article.
Fiery multiple-vehicle crash on the highway: Firegeezer has the story and video from Indianapolis. Click here.
We are the fire service, why do we need to be fire safe?: There was a destructive fire at the UK Fire Service College last May. Now it’s been determined that the school didn’t exactly comply with fire safety laws. Read more.
Another blue light special: In Martinsville, Indiana a volunteer firefighter didn’t like the way a woman was driving. He pulled her over and yelled at her. His blue light is now history for six-months. Read more.
Firefighter is canned after two women come to blows: The two women squared off after a city council meeting in Johnston City, Illinois where layoffs and pay cuts were dealt with. A man, who is a firefighter and part-time dispatcher, says he was fired because of the fight. Click here for the story.
Drawbridge rescue: Raw video from yesterday’s rescue of four workers in Pompano Beach, Florida. Check it out.
Houston considers furloughs: Houston’s mayor is the latest big city officials to talk about furloughs for fire and police to help balance the budget. Read more.
Aerial equipment & power lines: Two incidents in as many days leaves 8 firefighters hurt. Wisconsin chiefs disagree on whether investigation is needed.No comments
It happened again yesterday. A Houston Fire Department ladder truck was operating near power lines in front of Station 51 when three firefighters were shocked and the rig heavily damaged. An assistant chief says the use of the ladder on the ramp of the station is routine as firefighters check out the equipment each day. When the incident occurred the fire truck’s operation was being demonstrated to a newer firefighter.
Click the image for the Google Maps Street View of Station 51.
The injuries are described as minor. Here’s how the Houston Chronicle describes the incident:
When the ladder briefly touched the power line, some sparks flew up and other firefighters came over to see what was going on, a Houston Fire Department spokeswoman said.
That’s when the tire exploded, causing the firefighters to suffer ringing ears and headaches.
Click the image to learn more about an August 5, 2008 incident involving Philadelphia’s Snorkel 28 in front of quarters.
In Wisconsin five firefighters from the Lake Geneva Fire Department have returned home after they were shocked when a tower ladder came in contact with a 72,000 volt power line. The tower was from the Delavan Fire Department operating at a 6-alarm fire on Friday that destroyed Mulligan’s Sports Bar and Grill in Delavan.
Click the image for pictures from the Delavan fire by Dan Plutchak at Walworth County Today.
According to news reports, Lake Geneva’s chief wants a full investigation of the incident. But Delavan’s chief says they already know what happened and doesn’t believe much could be done differently. Chief Gerald Edwards believes it was just a case of the operator of Delavan’s tower not being able to see the lines because of the smoke from the burning sports bar. Click here to read and watch the interviews with Chief Edwards and the injured firefighters.