In New Zealand yesterday, five students suffered smoke inhalation during a fire in the library of New Plymouth’s Devon Intermediate School. At the same time the school was being evacuated, police were trying to call the school to tell them to keep all students inside on lockdown because of an unrelated report of a man with a gun near the school.
The school’s principal couldn’t hear the message from police due to the fire alarm and confusion surrounding the fire, but imagine her dilemma if she had received those instructions. It turns out the gunman was a man carrying a rifle he was selling, but the fire was real.
I don’t see anything massive or find a lot of terror in the eyes of those around this fire in this video that begins four minutes before the arrival of the London Fire Brigade. Everyone seems to know it is not a bomb and are reasonably cool about it even after one of the propane bottles explodes at about 2:55 in the video. Okay, there were some high pitched shrieks and some laughter when that occurred. A second blast clip is at the bottom of this post.
The Olympic flame burns brightly at Kiwi House in London a gathering place for New Zealanders.
As you will see in the video above, the British team needs to work on reach and penetration if they really want Olympic gold in this event four years from now. But it probably didn’t make much of a difference to the outcome.
Here’s the view of some of the other judges (I am sure our special international team of judges known as KICs will also be scoring this event).
While I was quite busy yesterday gathering material for a very, very special Thanksgiving Day message that will soon be posted (in it I will reveal something that may shake the world of fire and EMS blogging) two of my blogging colleauges were actually finding dramatic must see videos.
Above is video from Anthem, Arizona that Firefighter Spot posted showing a burning box truck running into the fire engine that was working on extinguishing the flames.
The 20,000th comment posted to STATter911.com: We hit that mark at 11:38 EDT Saturday night with a comment by Danny H. on the story of the stolen fire helmet in Boston. Danny wrote, ”Looks like a Citizen’s Arrest to me!!”.
As I have said many times before, my favorite comments are those that discuss the issues in a productive manner rather than wasting our time by blasting each other. But I am realistic about the Internet and know we are far from reaching that goal. I do find though, that in between all of the claims about who has the bigger hose, there is a lot to learn from the STATter911 audience. Your input is always appreciated.
Claims of atrocious conduct on the fireground and a response from those being accused: Quite a to-do following a September 20 house fire in King George County, Virginia. Citizens and fire officials got together last Thursday to discuss the fire at a town hall meeting. The public pointed fingers at the visiting firefighters from Charles County, Maryland for behaving badly. The King George chief said there is plenty of blame to go around. That story, along with video of the fire can be found here. There is also a response from the chiefs of the mutual aid companies that came from across the Potomac River. Click here for that story.
Transformer explosion shuts nuclear power plant in New York: It happened at the Indian Point 2 plant on Sunday evening. LoHud.com reports the local fire department was kept outside the gates for a while and wasn’t needed when the firefighters were allowed inside. Here is what’s known about the incident.
Technology to help figure out volunteer staffing: In Shamokin Dam, Pennsylvania instead of trying to guess which volunteers might show up when their is an alarm, the fire department is using a new system to get feedback moments after the call is dispatched. Click here for details.
Getting the right hole is crucial: A man in New Zealand tried to fuel his boat by putting the petrol in a rod holder which brought out firefighters. Wonder what he was fueled with? Click here.
Toronto firehouse is a must see on the bachelorette party circuit: Actually it’s the firefighters who are the attraction at Toronto Fire Hall 332, the buisiest fire station in Canada. Located in the Entertainment District, it is a regular stop for brides-to-be and their entourages. Here’s the story.
Mountain Thunder sparks a major blaze: An annual gathering of motorcyclists in the Catskills was interrupted by a fire at the dining hall of the Blackthorne resort on Saturday. Click here and here for more video and here for Firegeezer’s details about the fire.
Elvis has left the building and jumped into his car with lights and siren. A must see video of a man accused of impersonating a firefighter: This is truly one of the strangest fire stories I have seen in a while. In New Zealand, Elvis Piggot was recently arrested for dressing up as a firefighter and showing up at car crashes in his vehicle decked out with lights, sirens and a fire insignia. Elvis decided to go public with his side of things. It turns out he had been a firefighter in two departments many years ago, but in both cases it ended poorly after just a few months. This is a case where telling your own story may not have been the best idea. Click here to watch this rather interesting video.
PGFD house fire video sparks debate: As if that is a surprise. We posted the video yesterday of a fire two weeks ago in Boulevard Heights, Maryland. There are already more than 35 comments about tactics. As usual, some of the remarks are interesting and well thought out. Some are just about my hose being bigger than yours. Read at your own risk.
Drinking policy for volunteers scrutinized in South Dakota after arrest of firefighter: Two weeks ago a Madison, South Dakota firefighter was arrested on a DUI charge after driving a fire truck to a call. The firefighter had just finished his shift working at a local bar. The arrest has sparked controversy and has prompted a local paper to look closely at drinking policies among the state’s volunteer departments (along with a few other issues). Click here for the article.
Dave’s been a bad boy: Even though I am no longer the one digging up stories about the fire service in the Washington area, some think I shouldn’t be linking or posting stories on the blog from other news organizations that aren’t flattering to firefighters. That’s the reaction of a few after I posted the naked chef story from DC. Here’s the story and the comments.
Community shows appreciation for the work of firefighters: The firefighters and other first responders who handled the Fourmile Canyon fire in Colorado were celebrated by a grateful public with a mile-long parade through Boulder yesterday. Read more.
No parade here – union official wants to know how the public image of firefighters took a dive in the nine years since 9-11: In a battle with New Jersey’s governor over pensions and benefits a letter to the editor from the president of Fireman’s Mutual Benevolent Association Local 46 asks for the public’s support, saying they are the same firefighters who the community looked up to after 9-11. Read the letter.
Some pension relief in Arizona was ignored: Dozens of communities and fire districts in Arizona failed to apply for state tax dollars to offset some firefighter pension liabilities. Here’s the story.
$2 million and 37 firefighters could go in Gary, Indiana: It isn’t a pretty budget picture for the fire department in a city that continues to struggle with money issues. Check it out.
Newspaper profiles one of our regulars: The Southeast Missourian takes a look at Cape Girardeau, Missouri fire training coordinator John Sachen who has been known to lurk on this site. Click here.
5th alarm in Orange, New Jersey: This is a fire from yesterday in an H-shaped building at 399 Lincoln Avenue. It was reported around 8:00 AM. See parts 2 through 7 of the video. Read more.
Videos of firefighter riding down a collapsing stairwell: We have two videos from Friday’s fire in Coatesville, Pennsylvania that show at least one firefighter in the stairwell of an apartment building as it collapses in a ball of flame. If you haven’t seen it you will want to. Click here.
Old story from PGFD: Not doing daily TV news anymore has me occasionally missing some local developments. One that I am sorry didn’t get on my radar screen earlier was the serious burns to Bowie VFD Firefighter Patrick Ivey. Firefighter Ivey’s facepiece became dislodged at a September 4 house fire. While fixing that problem he was then hit in the head with debris from the ceiling. PGFD PIO Mark Brady reported despite that, Ivey continued with the interior attack until all firefighters were pulled out of the building for defensive operations. It was only then that his burns were discovered. At last word on the Bowie VFD website Firefighter Ivey was expected to be in the burn unit for two weeks with multiple surgeries for third -degree burns to his head.
Baltimore City firefighters battled a three-alarm fire in the 3400 block of Auchentrolly Terrace around 4:15 Sunday morning. The fire was in a vacant apartment building. This image is from IAFF Local 734.
New York volunteer blows whistle leading to department safety violations: Adam Crown needed information about his own department for a fire officer course he was taking. When he couldn’t get that information from Danby VFC he filed a Freedom of Information Act request. What he learned in his course soon brought Crown to file an 11-page complaint with New York’s Department of Labor about safety issues at his fire company. The department was then cited for a number of those issues including eight violations deemed serious. As you might imagine Crown soon became an ex-member. Danby officials say they’ve now dealt with the violations. Here’s the story. Here’s more.
Update on burned Flint firefighter: You may recall the August 16 story of Flint, Michigan firefighter Jeremy Turner. Turner was brought back to the department thanks to a SAFER grant that Flint used to rehire firefighters who were part of layoffs. Firefighter Turner fell through the floor of a vacant home that had been set on fire and was critically burned. Flint Journal’s Laura Misjak looks at Turner’s recovery and how bringing back 39 firefighters has made the department safer. At the same time the arson problem is out of control-
The suspicious fire that injured Turner was one of 48 abandoned structure fires in August — more than double the average of 23 for August in the previous four years.
In fact, in every month since March, the number of vacant house fires this year has outpaced the average number for the month in the previous four years.
Someone who gets it: If your idea of handling the news media at a fire or other emergency is to fill in the blanks of some script (At 3:30 PM our units arrived at 250 Main Street for a reported dwelling fire … ) you need to see this. In Buffalo, New York, Division Chief Scott Barry uses his moments in front of the cameras following a fire where two firefighters were hurt to tell a story and educate the public (and reporters) on the workings of his department. To me, this is effective communications and a great example for all of us. Take a look.
The welcoming committee: It says “Welcome to Baltimore”, but the message from the IAFF & FOP is a rather pointed one. Check it out.
What the tow truck operator spotted that the firefighters didn’t: This seems to happen once a year somewhere in the country. In Cleveland, Ohio firefighters missed the body in a burned out vehicle. Firegeezer has the story.
More than just pot growing accusations against FDNY member: The New York Daily News reports prosecutors claim that Firefighter Patrick Murray is a member of a gang known as “The Master Race”. Murray which is responsible for grow houses throughout Queens. His lawyer tells the paper, “He is not a member of any organization except the Fire Department of New York City.” Read the story.
Deadly moment captured on video: If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the video from Iran where a man was rolling off some video of a fire 10 days ago at a petrochemical plant when it suddenly exploded. Four people were killed. Click here.
Dave the video killer strikes again: Here is my advice for the day. If you are going to put your fire or other videos on YouTube, look at the clips with the same critical eye everyone else will BEFORE you hit the upload button. Think ahead a bit and project how you are going to defend any potentially controversial items on the video when the fire service community sees it on STATter911 or some other forum. If you are truly comfortable with the good, bad and the ugly that is on there then by all means post it. We know no fireground is perfect and there is always something to learn. But it doesn’t make a lot of sense to boldly put the videos out there and then have to take them down a day later because some people pointed out the obvious. My lecture is over (what a pompous pain this guy has become since he quit the reporter job). If you are wondering what the hell I am talking about click here and read the comments.
A social media dos and don’ts theme show: Similar to my advice above, when you are writing nasty things on Facebook about someone you work with or anything to do with your business you might want to think how this will play when your boss sees it. A woman who USED TO work for an ambulance service in New Zealand can now explain this concept better than I can. Here’s the story.
A payroll mess in Birmingham, Alabama: The way the mayor tells it police and firefighters are supposed to make the same annual wage but not the same hourly rate. Somehow that didn’t translate into practice and the council has given orders to reduce the salary of firefighters. It is also being linked to a federal case involving the city’s payroll computer. Firefighters are threatening legal action of their own. Check it out.
Raw video from scrapyard fire in Houston: This fire was reported around 10:45 AM on Sunday near the Houston Ship Channel. No injuries were reported.
Prince George’s County, Maryland staffing levels questioned on two, 3-alarm fires: Click here for a press release from IAFF Local 1619 describing multiple units that failed to respond or had only two firefighters on board as PGFD handled two, three-alarm, garden-apartment fires in as many days. Click here and here for coverage of the fires. We have requested a response from PGFD officials.
Arson spree leaves two dead in Northampton, Massachusetts. Fireground audio, video, pictures, and details: A dozen fires or attempted fires in 75 minutes with two people dead, but officials aren’t using the word arson. The fires are labeled as suspicious. We have the dramatic fireground audio as dispatchers, firefighters and police try to keep up with the fires early Sunday morning. Click here for our coverage.
Two fires are 30-hours and 1-block apart in Woonsocket, Rhode Island: We have video from both extra-alarm fires in vacant multi-family homes. Check it out.
Most popular stories contest: Figure out what were the five most popular stories on STATter911.com in 2009 and win a prize. Dave takes the winner to lunch. (“Oh yeah, he’s a prize”, Mrs. STATter911.com was heard saying.) Click here for the details.
Must see video of Saturday's water rescue in Middletown, Pennsylvania (Delaware County) of a mother and her 14-year-old daughter. Some of the rescuers were treated for hypothermia. Click the image for the video, pictures and details.
As Firegeezer has been warning us: Click here for videos, fireground audio, pictures and more from our extensive coverage of two fires at Family Dollar stores in Rochester, New York yesterday. Our friends at Monroe County Fire Wire have a series of HD videos, like the one above from Scott Ellman. As you may be aware, the Geeze has been keeping tabs of the number of fires in Family Dollars and other similarly named stores. So we can’t say he didn’t warn us.
Firefighters cleared of wrongdoing in death of elderly woman at fire, but there were a series of issues: This is an update on a story from New Zealand where there were allegations an elderly woman was left in a burning home and could have been removed sooner. The first crew to reach the woman was running out of air. They assumed she was dead and left her. A second crew found here alive, though she later died. While the firefighters were cleared of wrongdoing, the report does indicate the woman was declared dead when she actually wasn’t, there may have been confusion over a policy of leaving bodies in place for investigators and there needs to be improved search and rescue training. The report also confirmed that two senior officers had been drinking at a barbeque prior to the fire breaking out, but each believed it did not impair their ability to deal with the fire. Overall the report found the firefighters on the call “responded appropriately”. Click here for more. Watch the story here.
Click the image to watch a report on the seven-alarm fire at a large apartment complex under construction in Dallas, Texas. The first firefighters found fire in electrical equipment. Seven firefighters were hurt, including some in a floor collapse. The fire burned for more than 12 hours.
Firefighter talks about floor collapse that sent him and others to the hospital: Cincinnati’s Fred Averill talks about the fire Monday that sent him and others tumbling through a hole in the floor. Read and watch the story.
Who’d a thunk it?: A study of the data in Boston has found that some firehouses are busy and some aren’t. Now that’s a headline for you. Anyway, the question on the table is what to with that information. There is a suggestion of moving firefighters around. Read the story.
Firefighter’s son charged in dad’s murder: You may be familiar with the story of the Waco, Texas firefighter whose body was found in his burning home. Ramonell James’ son, burned in the fire, has now been charged with shooting his dad and setting the place on fire. Here’s the story.
Pranks for the memories: Too much time on their hands and a lot of dedication to scaring the rookie. Check it out.