Vacant car dealership burns, firefighter hurt: The firefighter hurt his knee helping homeless squatters get out of this vacant building in Vallejo, California yesterday morning. The fire went to three-alarms. Read the details.
NEW – DC Rescue Squad 1 involved in serious collision: On the way to a reported of a building fire in Northwest Washington, DC Fire & EMS Department Rescue Squad 1 collided with a vehicle that then hit another vehicle. It happened just after 7:30 this morning at 14th and Constitution, NW. Spokesman Pete Piringer says three civlians were hurt, listed as traumas by mechanism. No firefighters were injured. We will have more later.
Was paramedic criminally negligent?: That’s the question the Special Victim’s Unit of the Metropolitan Police Department Homicide Branch has been charged with determining following the death of two-year-old Stephanie Stephens. The mayor, fire chief, police chief and attorney general of the District of Columbia contend there is enough information about the actions of the paramedic in charge when the decision was made on the initial 911 call not to transport the little girl that detectives specializing in the deaths of children need to take a closer look. Here’s the story.
DC’s former fire chief now says fire & EMS should be separated: Former DC Fire & EMS Department Chief Adrian Thompson now believes EMS in the District of Columbia should be a third service. Thompson tells Matt Cella of The Washington Times, “It’s not working. It’s a cultural issue. They’re not going to change the culture of this department.” Here are more excerpts-
The former chief, who is black, said white firefighters with generational ties to the department largely have been less accepting of the job’s evolving responsibilities, particularly an increased emphasis in recent decades on providing pre-hospital care.
“They want to be firefighters and firefighters only,” he said, adding that black firefighters have entered the department in significant numbers in only the past 20 or 30 years and largely have been more open to other responsibilities if it meant securing a job.
Deputy Chief Kenneth Crosswhite, a spokesman for Chief Dennis L. Rubin, who is white, called Mr. Thompson’s conclusions “totally ludicrous.” He estimated that the department has about 45 percent non-minority employees and 55 percent minority employees.
“For someone to make an assertion like that is totally, totally out of touch with today’s reality,” he said. “Leadership starts at the top. If he had that notion during his tenure, he should have solved the problem.”
Chief Thompson was in charge of the department in January, 2006 when former New York Times reporter David Rosenbaum was murdered. Thompson initially told reporters that his review of the case found no problems in the care provided to the dying man. An inspector general’s report discovered many issues in how first responders and Howard University Hospital dealt with Rosenbaum.
Life sentence for man who killed Delaware’s Michelle Smith: Joseph Taye was give his sentence yesterday for running down Firefighter Smith as she tended to the victim of a motorcycle crash near the Wilmington airport. Taye, a paraplegic, apologized in court for the harm he has done. Click here for the story.
Black firefighters talk about race relations in Chicago: As the Supreme Court deals with a case that hinges on hiring practices, some firefighters give their views on the state of race relations in the Chicago Fire Department. Click here and here.
Late assault report between firefighters in North Carolina: In Elon a fire captain is accused of assaulting a firefighter who was welding at the firehouse after some initial horseplay over keys. Here are the details.