On April 15, 2013, just after 2:00 AM, firefighters arrived at 3390 West San Marino Street, to find fire coming from the attic of a three story U-shaped apartment building. An aggressive fire attack was made on this 100’ by 300’, 81 year old structure. Initial concerns of occupants at this early morning blaze were put at ease when it was confirmed to be a vacant building under renovation. A thorough search continued during the fire fight to ensure there were also no transients inside. This massive structure proved challenging with the attic fully involved in fire, compromised stairwells, and debris that spread fire throughout all floors.
Firefighters aggressively fought this blaze from the interior while additional companies provided vertical ventilation on the roof. After nearly an hour of intense flames, the remaining uncut sections of roof began to sag. Firefighters were immediately evacuated from the compromised roof, without incident.
LAFD fire companies, under the command of Assistant Chief Ralph Terrazas, had the bulk of the fire extinguished in 90 minutes. Companies remained on scene for several hours to perform a complete overhaul.
The Department of Building and Safety, “Red Tagged” the structure, deeming it unsafe for entry. The dollar loss is still being tabulated. The cause of this early morning fire remains under active investigation by the LAFD Arson Counter Terrorism Section, who is considering it suspicious in nature. The injured firefighter sustained minor, non life threatening injuries.
A 20-year-old man who suffered burns over more than 70 percent of his body was fighting for his life this (Thursday) morning after being pulled from a burning apartment in North Hollywood, a fire department official said.
The fire was reported at 10:44 p.m. Wednesday in a first-floor unit in the rear of an apartment building at 6737 Denny Ave., near Vanowen Street and Bob Hope Airport, said Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department.
Thirty-seven firefighters under the command of Battalion Chief Peter Benesch mounted a tenacious fire attack with simultaneous search that led to the dramatic rescue of a 20 year-old pulseless and non-breathing man from the intensely burning apartment.
A relentless resuscitation effort by a trio of LAFD Paramedics ensued and continued during ambulance transport, as the veteran rescuers leveraged decades of experience to restore a heartbeat and respiration to the man, who had sustained second- and third-degree burns to more than 70% of his body.
“Though he remains in critical condition, the efforts of LAFD rescuers have given this man a fighting chance of survival” said Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey.
No other injuries were reported.
Monetary loss from the fire, which was confined to the one heavily damaged apartment, is still being tabulated. The cause of the blaze remains under a joint active investigation by Los Angeles Police officials and Investigators from the LAFD Arson/Counter-Terrorism Section.
Video from firelensman of a fire early Christmas morning at MLK and Denker in Los Angeles. At 3:50 an LAFD firefighter had to deal with a woman who drove into the scene over a supply line almost to the front of the building. According to the description, the women was distraught about two guard dogs who were apparently okay. They can be seen running around in the video.
Two women were electrocuted Wednesday night after responding to the scene of a crash in Valley Village where a vehicle slammed into a fire hydrant and a utility pole, according to Erik Scott with LA Fire Department.
Eight people in total were injured, Scott said. Six of them were transported to the hospital. Details regarding their conditions were not available early Thursday.
The driver of the vehicle was hospitalized, but his condition was not immediately known, said Capt. Peter Whittingham, with LAPD North Hollywood.
The single-vehicle crash happened around 8:30 p.m. on the 12000 block of Magnolia Boulevard near Laurel Canyon Boulevard. Authorities said the driver lost control of his vehicle when he attempted to make a turn from Magnolia Boulevard.
A woman who lived in a nearby residence rushed out to help the driver, was shocked by water energized by the power line and later died. A husband and wife passing by in a vehicle stopped to help.
The vehicle ran off the roadway and collided with a fire hydrant and a light pole on the northwest corner of Ben Avenue and Magnolia. Authorities said the light pole he hit was an old-fashioned concrete standard, and when it went down, it left behind electrical wires sticking out of the ground.
The live wires made contact with water gushing from the fire hydrant, and the growing pool of water became electrified.
“One of those victims was a neighbor. She was a resident who lived very close by. Maybe across the street. The other, as I understand it, was a husband and wife traveling in the same direction of the vehicle, and they came out to help the first lady who went down. They attempted to rescue the first woman. And in the process, she too, was electrocuted,” LAPD Capt. Peter Whittingham said.
“I saw two women laying on the sidewalk. And I saw three men trying to pull them away to safety, but they kept getting shocked. And I saw the women barely moving and then they were still,” witness James Pike said.
At least five people, including one police officer, were shocked and required treatment, says Erik Scott of the Los Angeles Fire Department. One person was treated on scene.
Skyler Maxon, 23, and his twin brother, Beau, who live near the intersection, heard the accident and rushed out of their apartment. By the time they got outside, one woman had already been injured by the water that had gushed out of the hydrant and come into contact with downed power lines, Skyler Maxon said.
“She was lying on her back next to the hydrant and we were talking to her to see if she was conscious,” the young man said. “My brother reached out and touched her and that’s when he found out she’d been electrocuted. He was shocked too and he just fell back.”
Maxon said he and another man pulled his brother out of the water. “We were all in the water but he was touching her,” he said.
A civilian documents his neighbor’s house ablaze and the Los Angeles Fire Department in action. The fire occurred around 12:30 PM in the 7900 block of Beckett Street in Sunland. The video shows time stamps throughout the incident to better grasp the response time and fire spread.
LAFD Firefighters overhaul and knock down hot spots at a midnight blaze that severally damaged a house on the 1400 block of N. New Hampshire Avenue. With an aggressive interior attack the main bulk of fire was knocked down in approximately 20 minutes.
“Firefighters did have a heave fire load when they arrived on scene. Immediately they engaged in an aggressive fire attack, where firefighters forced entry into the building, they used hand lines inside and then firefighters when to the roof in order to do ventilation,” said Captain Jaime Moore of the L.A. City Fire Department.
The fire continued to intensify, as four ladders were brought in to douse from above.
“They placed anywhere between 1,500 to 2,000 gallons of water per minute each on the fire,” Moore said. “What we did there was actually control the fire from spreading to the adjacent structures.”
While filming the premiere episode of Pet Sense, Yogi the “cleaning-supply-hating” Corgi bit into a spray can, which led to an explosive kitchen fire captured on video.
We’re pleased to say the 8 year-old pet, humans and Los Angeles household survived the interaction between flammable paint fumes and a kitchen ignition source. Yogi’s owner Hali Hudson explains more in a thought-provoking interview video that followed the fire.
A fire service leader in providing news to the public about its daily activities suddenly shut down the information flow on Sunday only to be told to turn the spigot on again. The news media started learning this week that the Los Angeles Fire Department, on orders of Chief Brian Cummings, was no longer providing key basic information about incidents, including the location of the response. This comes in the wake of an ongoing controversy about the department’s release of response time data that was not accurate. By late Wednesday, after complaints about the new policy, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa had overruled the chief, for now.
LAFD’s Media and Public Relations Office has long been at the forefront of providing information about ongoing incidents and the inner workings of the department through many platforms, including the Internet and social media. The LAFD News & Information site, as of late Wednesday night, still has the original order from Chief Cummings that was posted on Tuesday:
The following has been issued from the Office of the Fire Chief, Brian L. Cummings:
The City Council has designated the City of Los Angelesas a “hybrid entity” under the Federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 due to the Department’s status as a health care provider. As a hybrid entity, the Department must comply with HIPAA and is only permitted to release Protected Health Information (PHI) for the purposes of treatment, billing and operations under the HIPAA Privacy Rule, without the patient’s permission. In 2009, the President approved additional Federal legislation that increased civil and criminal penalties for the unauthorized disclosure of PHI.
The Department is currently seeking written advice from the City Attorney relative to the release of incident specific PHI to a variety of internal and external sources including elected officials, commissions, the media and associated stakeholders.
The City Attorney has preliminarily opined that the Department should immediately cease the practice of releasing PHI to any source not specifically authorized under the Privacy Rule’s treatment, billing and operations exemption. I realize that this practice will significantly impact the manner in which the Department provides updates and notifications to a wide variety of stakeholders. As the Department receives additional written advice from the City Attorney regarding specific issues, I will ensure that this information and the Department’s procedures will be forwarded for your information.
BRIAN L. CUMMINGS
Earlier this week the LAFD Breaking News widget had details about fires but provided no address information. After Mayor Villagairosa stepped in locations of incidents are again being transmitted.
Below is news coverage of this controversy with excerpts of article both before and after Mayor Villaraigosa stepped in.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has ordered the fire department to stop a new policy of withholding key information on emergencies.
A letter Wednesday from Villaraigosa tells Fire Chief Brian Cummings to wait for the city attorney’s opinion before implementing the policy.
City News Service says the LAFD announced Tuesday that they had already begun limiting the release of information like locations of incidents and injury information in order to conform to federal medical privacy laws.
Villaraigosa said in response that the department needs “more transparency, not less,” and it is “our duty to provide information to the media and the public.”
City and fire officials had already been butting heads in recent days over the department’s new methods of counting fast responses to emergency calls.
“At a time when the Los Angeles Fire Department needs more transparency, not less, I am directing you to immediately resume releasing information that provides LAFD incident specifics without violating federal law,” Villaraigosa said in a letter sent to Fire Chief Brian Cummings this afternoon.
The department began limiting the information — such as incident locations and injury information — over the weekend to conform with the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, a medical privacy law.
The policy change caused a strong backlash by City Council members and news organizations, who argued the information was necessary for public safety reasons.
The mayor’s unusually blunt order came after a day in which council members criticized the department for halting its years-long practice of providing the public with basic rescue response details, including times, locations and the nature of emergencies, as well as the age and gender of victims.
The sudden change in disclosure was announced earlier this week, even as the department struggled to reassure the public and city lawmakers about response time reports that made it appear that rescuers were getting to people in crisis faster than they actually were. A malfunctioning dispatching system that has delayed help for some victims in recent weeks has added to the department’s woes.
The mayor’s directive marks the first time since the controversy began that Villaraigosa has publicly broken ranks with Fire Chief Brian Cummings and his policies.
Citing a federal medical privacy law, the Los Angeles Fire Department announced today it would no longer provide the public with basic information about fires, medical calls, traffic accidents or other emergencies it responds to.
LAFD public information officers contacted by City News Service today about various fire calls — including a vehicle shearing a fire hydrant in North Hills and a collision between a food truck and a car in downtown Los Angeles that sent two people to hospitals — said they were not permitted to provide any information, including the locations of the crashes. In the case of the downtown collision, a spokesman refused to even confirm a wreck had occurred, even though footage of the crash had already been shown on at least one television news station.
The policy apparently took effect Sunday, when the LAFD began omitting the addresses from media alerts it circulates about fires or other incidents to which crews are dispatched.
For example, a media alert issued Saturday by the LAFD specified that fire crews had responded to a fire at 936 W. 49th St.
By Sunday, the department’s media alert about a reported fire in a three-story apartment complex included no address or general location of the blaze.
Cummings said the department is subject to the Federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, commonly known as HIPAA, “and is only permitted to release Protected Health Information for the purposes of treatment, billing and operations under the HIPAA Privacy Rule, without the patient’s permission.”
*UPDATE: * ARSON FIRES * A person of interest has been detained and is being questioned. It is too early to speculate if this person responsible for spree arson fires. – Erik Scott###
Posted by LAFD Media and Public Relations at 1/02/2012 03:55:00 AM
*UPDATE: * ARSON FIRES * A total of 55 fires of concern have broke out in the Los Angeles area over the last four days from 12/30/11 to 01/02/12. 45 fires in the Los Angeles area, nine in West Hollywood, and one in Burbank. – Erik Scott###
Posted by LAFD Media and Public Relations at 1/02/2012 04:57:00 AM
Police in Los Angeles distributed DVDs on Sunday featuring surveillance video of a man wanted for questioning in connection with a rash of suspicious car fires in the city.
The person of interest is a white male between 20 and 30 years old with a receding hairline and a shoulder-length ponytail, according to Officer Sara Faden. The man was seen on video Saturday after emerging on foot from inside an underground parking structure on Hollywood Boulevard that was the scene of a car fire.
Detectives estimated the man, who was wearing a bulky jacket, is between 5’6" and 6’1" tall.
Faden said investigators are asking for the public’s help in identifying the man on the video.
Detectives spent early Sunday analyzing security video camera footage and following up on other leads after a half dozen more vehicles were set on fire on New Year’s Eve.
The outbreak of arson fires has left a trail of smoldering debris in Hollywood, West Hollywood, North Hollywood and the Fairfax district of Los Angeles since Thursday.
Authorities said they were investigating a total of 43 suspicious fires. Most of those fires were set in parked cars. In several cases, flames have jumped to carports and apartment units.
"They are working on hundreds of clues, interviewing dozens of witnesses, picking up countless pieces of evidence," police Cmdr. Andrew Smith said of the detectives.
LAFD is keeping the public informed on its news & information page, Facebook, Twitter, breaking news widget, photostream and text and email alerts. Click here to learn more.
Now, comes word of an even older incident. One that occurred 13 years ago. And it involves the current LAFD chief, Brian Cummings. Cummings was the captain of the Venice fire station when the firefighters asked a bikini clad woman walking by to pose with them. According to KTTV-TV, at least one photo was taken of the woman appearing topless while on the fire truck.
So, who broke this news? Who was dredging up this dirt on a fire chief who took office just a month ago? The best we can tell from the articles we've read so far, the answer is Brian Cummings. Yes, it appears the chief blew the whistle on himself. In addition, despite the incident being well beyond that two year statute of limitations, the chief has also punished himself. He will be doing 120 hours of community service at a women's shelter and a youth mentoring program.
Here's some of what Chief Cummings had to say (from KTTV-TV):
"I apologize to the residents of Los Angeles, Mayor Villaraigosa and the brave men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department for this incident," Cummings said.
Cummings called his part in the photo incident "irresponsible and inappropriate" and said he came forward with the picture for accountability.
"This is an opportunity for a teachable moment," Cummings said. "To be able to use my personal experience of what happened to me to be able to help my young firefighters, to keep them from making the same type of mistake is invaluable."
To anyone in a position of leadership who reads STATter911.com, do yourself a favor and take note of how Chief Cummings dealt with this situation. Even if it turns out that a reporter had been asking questions that brought this response from the chief (again, there is no indication of that at this point and, in fact, the chief said he self-reported this information to the department's professional standards division), the chief has shown great leadership in his actions and message to the department and has provided the rest of us with a great example of an extremely effective way to handle bad news.
Watch the video above and read the KTTV-TV and Contra Costa Times stories on the chief's announcement. Now, picture how this story would have looked to the public and his firefighters if Chief Cummings did what so many leaders still do when there is embarrassing news about them or the department (think of former Congressman Anthony Weiner). Here's what you don't see or hear in this story:
A reporter chasing the chief down the street yelling questions about some racy photos.
A reporter saying they have uncovered a department scandal.
The chief reading from a statement or issuing one through his press office and then refusing to answer questions.
A "no comment" from the chief or a PIO.
A "we can't talk about it because it's a personal matter" type statement issued from the press office.
A union president saying there is a double standard on how discipline is handled in the department.
What you do see is a chief in charge, admitting he made a mistake, taking responsibility, apologizing and then explaining his proposal on dealing with these type issues in the future.
There is a great deal to gain by releasing bad news yourself rather than wait for it to leak out to reporters. It allows you to take some control of the story and puts you ahead of the game in the ultimate goal of getting this news behind you so you can move forward. For this to be effective, it means you really have to come clean. If you don't get all of the bad news out, it can, and likely will, come back to haunt you.
Besides the problem of lawyers telling you not to say anything about a sensitive subject for fear it will cost you later in court, the biggest obstacles in handling bad news this way tend to be the ego and emotion of the person in charge (again, think Anthony Weiner). From what we can see in our vantage point all the way across the country, Chief Cummings had no problem with any of this. As long as there are no other similar skeletons in his closet that we are not hearing about, Chief Cummings has turned a story that had potential to seriously damage his career into one that will likely do him a world of good.
Above is helmet-cam video from the first of two fires last year at a pair of United Alloy and Metals facilities on East Slauson Avenue. The fires were a month apart and each included multiple explosions involving titanium. The first incident was on June 11.
That I can see, there are two explosions caught on the video above. The first is at 2:04 and the second at 3:30.
On Friday, June 11, 2010 at 11:00 AM, 36 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 16 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 2 Arson Units, 1 Urban Search and Rescue Unit, 2 Hazardous Materials Teams, 1 Helicopter, 4 EMS Battalion Captains, 7 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, a total of 248 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel, as well as Los Angeles County Fire Department staff responding in Mutual Aid, all under the direction of LAFD Deputy Chief Mario Rueda, responded to a Major Emergency Industrial Fire at 900 East Slauson Avenue in South Los Angeles.
Responding to numerous cell phone callers providing non-specific information regarding one or more explosions and a well-established fire, Los Angeles Firefighters quickly arrived at United Alloys and Metals to find heavy fire at an industrial facility known for processing titanium and super alloy scrap.
Firefighters came to the immediate aid of a worker critically injured by an earlier explosion and fire, as they brought huge volumes of water to bear upon intense flames encompassing a 150' x 100' area that included titanium shavings in large bins and containers.
Despite the challenge of subsequent explosions and resultant precautions, the first arriving 160 firefighters were able to tame the blaze in just 2 hours and 22 minutes.
Along with the critically injured civilian, one Los Angeles Police Officer suffered a minor injury during the course of the fire. Both were taken to an area hospital by LAFD Ambulance.
Donald Austin needs to always keep what happened to him yesterday in mind once he takes over as the commissioner of the troubled Detroit Fire Department. Friday was the day the Detroit native, who retired in February as an assistant chief with the Los Angeles Fire Department, sat down with TV reporter Charlie LeDuff, the man two previous fire commissioners constantly ran from. And the fact that the former commissioners never understood how to handle LeDuff is one of the reasons Chief Austin has this new job.
What Chief Austin needs to remember is the demeanor, candor and poise he showed in the video above. Bottle it. You will need it.
A Dennis Walus photo of Detroit firefighters in action at a house fire on Tuesday. While LeDuff stays on the commissioners, Walus is out there, camera in hand, showing the daily work of Detroit firefighters. Click here for Dennis' photos.
The new commissioner will likely have a brief honeymoon with LeDuff and the rest of the press after he takes over the department on Monday. But it won't be long before LeDuff comes calling again with some internal document in his hand or video of a new scandal or serious problem. Chief Austin will do the department a world of good by handling the bad news exactly as he handled this interview, including the sense of humor he showed at the end of the clip.
And if Chief Austin really wants to minimize the impact of some future scandal he shouldn't wait until LeDuff shows up demanding to talk to the commissioner. In fact, it should be the other way around. When bad news strikes, the commissioner should be the one demanding to talk to LeDuff and other reporters, providing all of the gory details. Furthermore, if the chief really wants to tame LeDuff a bit, he should immediately dump a pile of paperwork on the reporter. Let Charlie see the entire paper trail showing what happened to the money to fix crumbling firehouses or maintain the city's ambulances. Get it all out so the problems of the past are truly that and they don't become the problems of the future for the new commissioner to constantly deal with.
I imagine that Charlie gave his cell phone number to Chief Austin yesterday. Memorize that number chief and use it often. It can be an important tool in changing the image and perception of the Detroit Fire Department.
One of the videos posted to YouTube as the Los Angeles Fire Department said goodbye to Firefighter Glenn L. Allen. Click the image below and watch news coverage of the funeral and procession from FireTruckBlog.com.
On Sunday, November 21, 2010 at 7:51 AM, 11 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 1 LAFD Rescue Ambulance, 2 Helicopters, 1 Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Assistant Chief Mark Stormes responded to a River Rescue in the LA River x 1st Street bridge near Boyle Heights.
Due to recent heavy rain, local flood control channels remain swelled with storm-water, causing the Los Angeles Fire Department to remain in a “River Rescue” preparedness status. Over 60 firefighters were rapidly and strategically placed near the LA River bank, on bridges, overpasses and in the air, all searching for an adult male wearing dark colored clothing that was swept away. In approximately 20 minutes the fast moving water carried the victim from the 1st Street bridge south until he was rescued near Bandini Boulevard and Washington Boulevard. A firefighter was skillfully lowered out of a LAFD helicopter into the rough water, where he grabbed hold of the 54 year-old and both were hoisted up. Once safe inside the helicopter the patient received medical aid and was transported to County USC hospital in stable condition. A special thanks is extended to our friends at the Los Angeles Police Department and Vernon Fire Department for their expert assistance.
Printing company fire in Chatsworth, California: Fire consumed a printing company yesterday evening. The fire was reported at 5:59 PM in the 100 X 80 building. Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey has a very detailed account, pictures & more video at the LAFD blog. Here’s an excerpt- “Forcing their way through rolling steel and entry doors, firefighters discovered extreme fire conditions throughout a graphics design and direct mail marketing firm heavily loaded with combustible printing and printed materials. The offensive interior attack on the fire proved short lived as flames roared through the roof, compromising the structure within ten minutes of the 9-1-1 call that brought scores of Los Angeles Firefighters to the scene.” Click here for more video.
Election woes: In Stockton, California firefighters are quite worried over the passage of Measure H which gives the city new ways to control staffing and cut costs. Read and watch the story.
Crane rescue: Continuing with our California theme, click here for pictures and details of the rescue of two people injured on top of a 200-foot tall construction crane in Long Beach.
Neil Sedaka was wrong! Not everyone loves the calendar girl. Controversy has stalled the release of a calendar in Australia that features pictures of female firefighters from ACT Rural Fire Service. If it is delayed too long the calendar's only use may be those pictures. Click the image for more.
Virginia department adds positions because of volunteer shortage: Four part time firefighters will be hired in Warren County due to concerns over the dwindling number of volunteers. Here’s the story.
One dead in overnight two-alarm fire in Baltimore: Early details from a 2:30 AM fire that damaged three townhomes in the 7000 block of McClean Boulevard in Northeast Baltimore. One man was found dead inside. Click here for more.
Union head fights suspension over talking to the press: In Ottawa a disciplinary hearing is underway as Stéphane Noël, president of the union in Gatineau tries to overturn a six-month suspension for telling reporters about water pressure issues following a church fire. Here’s more.
6:30 AM “home inspection” leads to arrest of man claiming to be firefighter: In Adams County, Pennsylvania a strange story of a man claiming to be a firefighter walking into the bedroom of a man’s home. Read more.
911 not that important: The mayor of Alsip, Illinois, a former firefighter, is stunned voters failed to approve a fifty-cent per month surcharge on their phone bills to help fund 911. The mayor points out you can’t buy a Coke for that price. Check it out.
Woman says she wasn’t about to jump but was sure was glad to see firefighters: In the video above, WUSA9.com talked to a young woman who was on the phone with here sister doubtful that DC firefighters would be able to get to her as smoke filled her 10th floor apartment on Tuesday. Along with the previous raw video and fireground audio, we have added interviews with some of the firefighters who helped in the rescues during Tuesday’s fire at 1444 Rhode Island Avenue, NW. The firefighters tell the story of a commercial vehicle that was jammed into a dumpster in an effort to get rear position for a ladder truck. Click here. Also, click here for a slideshow.
Los Angeles explosion raw video: The video of the explosion that left three firefighters and a TV photographer injured has been sitting in the STATter911.com video player since yesterday morning (thanks to WUSA9.com’s Emily Cyr). Click the image above if you haven’t seen it. Emily cut out the sound because of some language issues. Here’s a longer versions with the shots leading up to and after the blast. Being on the road yesterday I didn’t have time to write about the fire at a firm that makes titanium golf clubs, but Bill Schumm did at Firegeezer.
Seven hours to change a flat: The Memphis Fire Department found out the hard way that the city no longer had anyone under contract to change tires on its fire trucks. Here’s the story.
Firehouse water battle leads to chief’s arrest: Assistant Chief Jason Ober faces assault, harassment and disorderly conduct charges when a water battle went awry at the Richland Township Fire Department in Cambria County, Pennsylvania. News accounts indicate firefighters were cleaning up from an event around 3:00 AM on June 27. They had been throwing water at each other and dunking people in a tub of ice water that held the beer. As Ober was carried toward the tub he broke free and broke bad leaving one firefighter bloodied. Read details.
Mayor thinks laid off firefighters could be source of female candidates: The mayor of Haverhill, Massachusetts has his eye on 23 recently laid-off firefighters from Lawrence, specifically the two women who lost their jobs. Mayor James Fiorentini, sensitive to the fact his department is all male, says he is asking for a ruling on gender specific hiring. Read more.
I guess this is one where you can’t say they will come down from the tree when they get hungry: It wasn’t a cat stuck in a tree that brought out firefighters in the U.K. This time it was a little boy about 40-feet above the ground. Here are the details.
Three-alarms in Baldwin, New York: Seven firefighters suffered heat exhaustion after a fire broke out at Jerry’s Pizzeria in Baldwin and spread to apartments and other businesses. Click here for Part 2 of the video. More on the story.
Medic unit stolen this morning: A TV station was on the scene when police recovered a Columbus, Ohio paramedic ambulance and took a man into custody. Check it out.
“It was disgusting Lorain politics at its best”: The words of the fire chief of Lorain, Ohio after the City Council killed a deal to save the jobs of four firefighter. Chief Tom Brown says the budget cuts could mean days when only two of the city’s four stations will be open. Here’s the story.
Fire chief and deputy get to sue over “toxic comments” made to website: Firefighter Nation’s Bill Carey found this very interesting story from Halifax, Nova Scotia where two top fire officials have the court’s okay to go after their “anonymous” enemies. The lawyer for the chief and deputy chief says he now has information on who made the posts thanks to previous rulings that forced a newspaper and Internet providers to cough up the data. The comments centered on allegations of racism. Here’s the story.
Fire chief’s actions on medical call brings suspension: A man in Carlisle, Iowa tells KCCI-TV the person helping his diabetic wife was slurring his words and didn’t seem to know what he was doing. The man who responded to the 911 call is the chief of the Carlisle Fire Department. He’s now been suspended. Check out the story. Watch the video.
A ‘far cry’ from Ricci: That’s what a federal judge wrote in ruling against a white firefighter from Mount Vernon, New York who had filed a discrimination case. Read the details.
Another DeKalb County firefighter wins his job back: WSB-TV reports a second DeKalb County firefighter has won his job back after being fired for his role in the botched response to a fire that killed an elderly woman. Click here for the latest.
Former firefighter witnesses murder of police officer: Bill Langevin ran to the side of Sgt. Joe Bergeron Saturday after seeing the Maplewood, Minnesota police officer being shot in the head. Langevin spent four years as a St. Paul Police Department officer and twenty more as a firefighter for the city. He got on the officer’s radio, called for help and provided a description of the killers. Click here to read the story and here to watch it.
Houston fire captain critically wounded at birthday party: Senior HD Captain Ricky Johnson, assigned to Station 74, was shot in the lower abdomen while attending a birthday party off-duty. A neighbor, complaining about the noise, killed the man throwing the party for his wife and wounded another man. Click here for more.
Missing equipment? Check eBay: That seems to be the pattern these days. In Sheboygan, Wisconsin a lot of the $20,000 in PPE and other fire & EMS equipment that was missing was being sold on line. A now former firefighter has been charged. Here’s the story.
Punishment for firefighter who lost equipment seen as too harsh: In Toledo, Ohio an arbitrator ruled a firefighter gets 80 percent of his wages back after being docked 120 hours for leaving a radio on the running board of a rig. The firefighter also is no longer required to pay for the lost radio. Here’s more.
New head of internal investigations in Los Angeles: Following a 220 page report critical of how discipline was documented and handled in the Los Angeles Fire Department, a new boss of the Professional Standards Division has been announced. She is Assistant Chief Roxanne Bercik, a 26-year veteran who most recently ran the Homeland Security Division. Read more.