Crews from the Dallas Fire Department responded to a home on the 400 block of SW Washington Street around 9 a.m. Thursday. The only occupant of the house had discovered the fire and tried to extinguish it but was unsuccessful. The resident left the building before firefighters arrived.
By the time fire units arrived the roof of the home had partially collapsed.
The home next door had a low clearance so firefighters evacuated its occupants, none of which suffered any injury. Two firefighters reportedly suffered minor injuries and were treated at the scene.
Ten units responded to the blaze at The Village at Multnomah Condominiums, located at 9731 SW 40th Avenue in Portland, which broke out shortly after 4 p.m.
One firefighter fell through the roof while trying to fight the fire. From Sky-8, two other firefighters could be seen crawling over, peering into the hole, and then giving the “okay” signal. Fire dispatch radios also indicated the firefighter was okay.
Two firefighters were transported to an area hospital with burns on their knees and heat exhaustion, Corah said. A number of other people were being treated outside the apartment building for smoke inhalation.
Portland firefighters were called to The Village at Multnomah condominiums, at 7937 S.W. 40th Ave. in Portland, sometime before 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. Responders quickly called a second alarm on this fire.
Smoke could be seen from as far away as Interstate 5 and Southwest Capitol Highway.
Charleston, South Carolina Mayor Joseph Riley has scheduled a news conference at 5:00 PM to announce his choice to replace Tom Carr as chief of the Charleston Fire Department. News reports have identified Riley’s pick as Karen Brack, Eugene Fire Department (OR) deputy chief of operations.
Firefighters from Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue quickly extinguished a fire at a home in Aloha, despite the fact that flames had spread into the attic. No one was injured.
Firefighters were dispatched to the scene after a nearby resident called 911 reporting heavy smoke and flames. Firefighters from TVF&R Station 67 arrived minutes later to find 20 foot flames coming from the roof of a one story home. They quickly forced their way into the home and determined that no one was inside. It appeared that the house was vacant. As more firefighters arrived at the scene, firefighters pulled hose lines and began attacking the flames. Within minutes, firefighters had extinguished the bulk of the fire and began working to knock down hot spots.
Firefighters racing to save a man's life put on a display of brute strength this morning when they teamed up to lift a 3,200-pound car off pedestrian who was pinned to a Northeast Portland street.
"It was pretty impressive," said Tommy Schroder, a firefighter who was on his way to work and heard the call on his radio. "I had arrived just after the accident and watched these guys get around the car and lift it up."
Firefighters with the city’s Heavy Rescue unit arrived and a paramedic crawled under the vehicle to begin treating the injured man. Because of the man’s serious injuries, firefighters realized they didn’t have much time to use equipment to free the victim. Eight firefighters lifted the 3,200-pound vehicle as two firefighters moved the pinned man to an awaiting ambulance.
“It wasn’t pretty, but it worked,” said firefighter Mick Held, a 16-year Portland Fire Bureau veteran.
An arriving paramedic determined that the man had grave injuries. Firefighters made a quick decision to forego some safety procedures and simply lift the Chrysler PT Cruiser off the man, said 16-year veteran firefighter Mick Held.
"We were putting a plan together and realized how many of us were there," Held said. "We had two firefighters with the patient to help pull him out from beneath the car. And then eight of us lifted the car off of him. It wasn’t pretty but it worked."
This is from a fire Friday afternoon in Salem, Oregon. StatesmanJournal.com reports two residents were alseep and escaped from the home around 2:00 PM. The first three short videos were shot by Kevin Scarborough and provided to StatesmanJournal.com. The bottom video is from SalemReporter on YouTube. Below are more details from reporter Stacey Barchenger at StatesmanJournal.com:
The two-alarm fire caused substantial damage to a home at 520 Statesman St. NE, which is between Center Street NE and A Street NE. When Salem Fire Department crews first arrived they saw flames and heavy smoke coming from the structure, Battalion Chief Brian Hoaglin said. Firefighters started a transitional attack, meaning they put water on the outside of the home making it safe for them to go inside and search for people.
The fire spread through much of the two-story home that also has a basement. Firefighters climbed ladders to the roof where they ripped off shingles to make sure the wood would stop smoldering.
He (Salem Deputy FM Laird Case) said the fire may have started in a bedroom on the first floor of the home. The cause hadn't been determined Friday, but Case said the residents had a candle burning and were using a heater.
The quadcopters — square machines about the size of a laptop computer with a helicopter rotor and landing gear on each corner — are part hobby and part business for Portlanders Patrick Sherman and Brian Zvaigzne. Ideally, they hope to someday see the machines used by firefighters and law enforcement.
Saturday, for example, the quadcopters were able to fly into the smoke above the burning building and provide real-time video images of the fire. A public relations officer for law enforcement, Sherman also sees a number of uses for police.
A moored Christmas Ship caught fire on the Willamette River just south of the Hawthorne Bridge Thursday night, providing a rescue opportunity for Portland’s newest fire boat.
The fire began just before 7 p.m. at the Riverplace Marina on the waterfront, where a busy boardwalk of onlookers and several spectators from yacht parties watched the smoke spread and the flames quickly get out of control.
Portland Fire Boat 17, aka the Eldon Trinity, arrived shortly after with firefighters who boarded the burning 32-foot trawler and put the blaze out in minutes.
The Eldon Trinity was dedicated Dec. 7 in honor of two young children–Trinity Smith, 7, and her 4-year-old brother Eldon Smith–who were thrown from the Sellwood Bridge into the Willamette River by their mother on May 23, 2009.
Eldon Smith did not survive that fall, and the time it took Portland Fire to make a river response prompted the Portland City Council to fund a high speed emergency boat.
Video above is from the December 7 dedication ceremony.
The 2008 crash of an overloaded Oregon-based helicopter, which killed nine firefighters, was the result of a cascade of failures by virtually everyone involved in assuring a safe flight, the National Transportation Safety Board said Tuesday as it presented findings into the accident.
NTSB member Robert Sumwalt pointed to false weight documents by the helicopter’s owner, Carson Helicopters of Grant Pass, and a lack of government oversight to catch the mistake.
The problem was compounded by pilots who failed to account for the helicopter operating at the limit of its performance, NTSB Chairwoman Deborah A.P. Hersman said at the start of a day-long hearing that exposed serious shortcomings — even negligence — in meeting standards set to ensure safe operation.
The U.S. Forest Service, which hired Carson to help fight a wild fire in California, and the Federal Aviation Administration also failed to adequately review and monitor Carson and ensure safe operation,
The Fire Critic finds his own must see video: Rhett Fleitz posted this first last night on FireCritic.com. It is from a week ago at 22 SE 9th Drive in Pendleton, Oregon. At the :35 mark the firefighter on the porch roof taking out a window finds it warming up very quickly and is engulfed in flames for a moment. There were no injuries reported. Also from the Fire Critic (my wife came up with and likes the name Fire Cricket better), Rhett shows us just how out of touch with reality he can be with his very first effort at directing a video. The feature stars the two people he most admires and wants to be like when and if he grows up. Please take a look. Rhett produced this video because he is feeling a little left out of the conversation these days and doesn’t think his fellow bloggers pay enough attention to him. Please cheer him up by clicking here and letting him know how much you like his video (even if you really don’t).
Who knew there was a Blue Ball Fire Company outside of Pennsylvania?: This one is in Freeport, New York and it’s fire chief has been suspended for thirty days. All because of blue balls. Blue plastic balls found by Freeport’s mayor in the cab of a fire truck. It is an interesting and unusual story. You don’t want to miss it. Click here.
Collapse video: In case you missed it there is good video of a wall collapse during a fire at a truck parts store with apartments above in Stroud Township, Pennsylvania. There were also some small explosions. Check it out.
Bracing for layoffs in Camden, New Jersey: It’s a busy fire department in a run down city with lots to burn. They haven’t had a recruit class in more than four years. But the plan right now is to lay off 30 percent of the firefighters plus gut the police department. Here’s the latest.
Another house fire in Kosciusko, Mississippi: This is the third one we’ve posted in a month with raw video from Kosyonline.com. Watch the video.
The anonymity of the Internet: Regular reader John Sachen sent this one along and while it is not specifically fire or EMS related it is well worth reading. It is titled, Online Anonymity Breeds Contempt. The New York Times op-ed piece by Julie Zhuo includes this line, “Morality, Plato argues, comes from full disclosure; without accountability for our actions we would all behave unjustly.” The column points out there is no accountability with the anonymity the Internet can provide and society may not be the better for that. Check it out.
Budget trumps need to recruit paramedics: In Montgomery County, Maryland the County Council clearly said no to a plan to raise the pay for paramedics to get it closer to what others in the region are paying. Chief Richard Bowers pointed out that only ten of the last 2600 applicants had ALS training. Here’s more.
Union fighting 24/48 shift change: In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania the mayor says she can save lots of money by moving firefighters to a 24 hours on and 48 hours off shift and cut 12 positions in the process. The issue is said to be $1.6 million dollars in OT. The union has been strongly against this and has scheduled a press conference for later today. Here’s more.
Union president disciplined for refusing to work 72-hours straight: In Winchester, Kentucky a letter of reprimand has been ordered by the Winchester City Commission for a firefighter who refused to work three days straight during a busy period. Raymond Patrick, the union president in Winchester, declined a supervisor’s order last month to keep working though a second extra 24-hour shift. Here’s the story.
Raw video from Prince George’s County, Maryland restaurant fire: The Pizza Hut in Upper Marlboro was heavily damaged around 4:30 yesterday morning. This is Morningside VFD video. Click here for a WUSA9.com slide show.
Newark, New Jersey house fire: Another one from allhandsgoingtowork. This is from November 17 at 414 South 18th Street. Part 2 is here.
CBS Sunday Morning crew shoots interview with Kelly Walesh and Lexus Koeser at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial on October 3, 2010.
CBS Sunday Morning looks at volunteer firefighters: Peter Greenberg, a volunteer firefighter from Long Island, gave the CBS Sunday Morning audience a look at the nation’s volunteer firefighters. In our role with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation we hooked producer Kay Lim up with Kelly Walesh and Lexus Koeser at the 2010 Memorial Weekend in October. They are the survivors of Firefighter Steven ‘Peanut’ Koeser of Wisconsin and were featured in the CBS story. If you haven’t seen it yet, click here.
Anne Arundel County, Maryland loses lieutenant in off-duty Thanksgiving Day crash: The Anne Arundel County Fire Department is in mourning following the death of Lt. Elizabeth Nahory. Lt. Nahory died on Thursday in a car crash near her home in Dublin Township, Pennsylvania. Read more here. IAFF Local 1563 has the funeral arrangements posted.
Arson at mosque attended by Oregon bomb plot suspect: A small fire was set at the Salman Alfarisi Islamic Center in Corvallis, Oregon. It is the same mosque once attended by 19-year-old Mohamed Osman Mohamud, accused in the plot to bomb the Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland. Read more.
Maryland firefighters rescue dog and owner: Thanksgiving night found firefighters from both Montgomery County & Prince George’s County rescuing a Belgian Shepherd and its owner from the bottom of a ravine. Here’s the video & the story.
In the middle of all the stupid stuff there are a few gems on the topic of firefighters using social media in the latest STATter911.com animation. Click the image to check it out for yourself.
Dave enters the carnival with his social media policy & so much more (or less): This is my first entry into the First Due Blog Carnival. I figure it will be my last because they will likely ban me for life. They wanted suggestions for a fire department social media policy. I turned this one over to my animated staff. There is actually a serious policy in there somewhere. You just have to wade through the usual conflict that comes with a STATter911.com animation. On top of that there is a response from Roanoke and some investigations into STATter911.com. These have uncovered some dark secrets of my empire, including a recent visit to a Roanoke area hospital (HIPAA rules preclude me from providing more information) and some very interesting pictures from my past. Click here for a complete waste of your time.
What a picture, plus radio traffic: In case you missed it last week, we added radio traffic to the picture of the Detroit fire engine that was squashed went it went under an over pass that was a little too low. Here it is.
Firefighter says he sees dead Marine brother on his turnout coat: There is a most unusual story from Weymouth, Massachusetts. Firefighter Jason Farrar says after hanging up his dirty gear after a fire a week ago an image appeared on the back of his coat. Some may see smudges of dirt, but Farrar, his family and fellow firefighters see the image of Farrar’s brother Andrew, a Marine sergeant killed in Iraq five-years-ago. Check out the story.
Change of plan on stubborn debris pile fire: In Concord, North Carolina firefighters are no longer going to just let a debris pile that caught fire last week burn itself out. That could take a month. Click here to read and watch the updated plan.
Click the image to watch the interview with Firefighter Josh Liddell.
In Lyons, Oregon, the Linn County Sheriff’s Office is searching for who made what was apparently a fake 911 call early Sunday morning about a car crash. The call brought Lyons Rural Fire District Volunteer Firefighter Josh Liddell out of his bed and to the firehouse in his pickup. Liddell left his vehicle at the firehouse and jumped on a fire truck to head to the scene. But there was no scene. And when Liddell returned to the firehouse there was no pickup truck. Here’s more from KPTV-TV:
They quickly realized Liddell’s pickup had been stolen and another firefighter’s car had been ransacked.
Liddell says it’s upsetting to think that someone would take advantage of rescue workers. At the time, he said, he and the other firefighters had a rescue on their minds.
Liddell’s missing pickup is a 1999 Toyota Tacoma two-wheel drive. It’s forest green in color and has tinted windows, black custom wheels and a Lyons Fire Department license plate holder.
A fire station caught on fire in Junction City Tuesday night. The Alvadore Fire Station lost one fire engine to flame damage, which could cost up to $250,000, according to the Fire Chief of Lane County Fire District 1.
Click the image for KEZI-TV coverage of the fire.
According to Terry Ney, the Fire Chief of Lane County Fire District 1, there are two possible causes.
The first possible cause could be the result of a wheat field fire fire fighters battled in the afternoon. Some wheat could have gotten stuck inside the engine and smoldered, eventually catching the engine on fire. The second possible cause could be a mechanical failure in the engine.
Beer in hand, returning from parade, firefighter crashed fire truck: DUI charges have now been filed against a 20-year-old firefighter from Pennsylvania’s North Bangor VFC after the Mack tanker he was driving overturned. Police say the friend in the crash with Zachary Romano had brought a 30-pack of Coors Light to the Tatamy Fire Parade. Read more.
Virginia firefighters say no to county control: In Albemarle County, volunteer fire and rescue companies are standing together in opposition to the idea of a county fire chief. Some political leaders say with Albemarle County paying the freight, they must have control over the money. Watch the story.
Firefighter talks about fall into burning basement: Click here for the hospital interview with Capt. Michael Long, a Camp Taylor, Kentucky firefighter who is recovering from serious burns after falling to the basement of a burning home Sunday night. Long’s brother-in-law was among those trying to get him out. Long’s wife was on the ambulance dealing with another injured firefighter when the drama was occurring.
Antique fire truck badly burns firefighter: Just seven-months ago Firefighter Josh Higgins moved from New Hampshire to start a new life in Sherman County, Oregon. Now he is in a burn center recovering from serious burns after becoming engulfed in flames while trying to fix a broken down antique fire engine on the side of the road. The rig belongs to the South Sherman Fire District. Here’s more.
The headline might be what Sparky the Fire Dog is telling Smokey Bear after Sunday’s fire in Enterprise, Oregon. In the end only “one wall was left standing of the U.S. Forest Service visitor center and ranger district offices for the popular Wallowa Mountains region of northeastern Oregon”. You can read more from The Seattle Times.
Listen to 911 call from man stuck in wall while home is on fire: I am sure many of you considered the option of going through the drywall as a means of escape if fire trapped you in a room. A man in Keizer, Oregon did just that after he first fled to a bathroom when his home caught fire. The man became stuck in the wall, but was able to call 911 for help. Click the image to watch the story and click here to read about it.
When it rains it pours – - it never seems to end in Westbrook: The fire department in Westbrook, Maine has had lots of troubles in recent years. Despite a new chief, it doesn’t seem to be behind them yet. The department put three of its firefighters on leave in recent days because of a variety of legal problems. A call firefighter was suspended after a domestic violence arrest. While investigating the charge, police determined the roomate of that firefighter, a full-time Westbrook firefighter, was in possession of firearms. That is a no-no because the full-time firefighter has a 1983 felony robbery conviction. Unrelated to this is the suspension of another firefighter who has a protection order against him after being accused of harassing a social worker who works with his wife. Read the details.
About two weeks ago, one of two female firefighters who had sued the department for sexual harassment came back to the job. Those suits brought about “a rash of firings, resignations and discipline involving top administrators and rank-and-file firefighters”. Read more in the Portland Press Herald.
Inspections found problems at New Jersey home where four died: Starting in January firefighters and inspectors discovered problems with the wiring inside a Paterson, New Jersey boarding house where four people died and three others were hurt in a fire early yesterday. Read details on the inspections. Firegeezer has more on the fire.
No wonder it saves energy and money: When the quarters for Louisville, Kentucky’s Engine 6 was finished 15 months ago it was touted as being energy efficient. The chief told reporters, “We’re looking at about a third of the cost to utilize that system as it would to use traditional either gas or electric systems”. Well one reason for the savings may be that the air conditioning in the new firehouse just doesn’t work. After two grievances filed by firefighters over four hot weeks, the city has installed not so efficient window units. Read the story.
Imagine that, Jerry Engle didn’t tell the truth to STATter911.com: A little more than a year ago the self-proclaimed baddest firefighter in all of PGFD Land (and former “mayor” of Kentland) told me it was other firefighters who set a March, 2008 blaze at a vacant house in Riverdale Park. Jerry claims he just watched and tried to report it to the top officials of the Riverdale VFD. I am guessing not too many thought that story made a lot of sense when we ran the extensive interview of the author of the book Probie Days. Now Jerry has said in court that he actually set that fire, entering a guilty plea on a second-degree arson charge. Co-defendant James Martinez, a former Riverdale volunteer and career firefighter in Montgomery County, has a court date in a month, accused in the same fire. Check out this latest, and maybe our final chapter in the life and times of Jerome Engle. (Note: We were a4re having trouble embedding videos, but we now have the links working to the interview and other videos from the Engle archives, including when he used his bottle rocket launching pad.)
Martinez lit the road flare and handed to it Engle, who ignited a sofa in the basement, Engle said in court Tuesday.
Engle and Martinez returned to the Riverdale Fire Station and awaited the dispatch of a 911 call.
When no call came, Engle said he told Martinez to go back to the house and told him, “If the fire is small, put it out. But if it’s big, come back to the firehouse and get us.”
Careful not to choke on your breakfast when you watch this: We have Part 2 of this must see series of videos selling life saving techniques (and lingerie) in a unique way. I also pay tribute to a friend of mine who introduced the Heimlich Maneuver to the public. Check it out.
The firefighters saved the beer and then drank it: When a hotel burned in Oliver, British Columbia firefighters apparently had their priorities on straight, rescuing as many as six kegs of beer from the flames. Now it turns out those kegs found their way to the fire hall. The mayor is not happy. Two firefighters are under suspension. Here’s the story.
And on a similar note, firefighter is charged with driving the fire engine while drunk: This is from Jefferson County, Oregon where a firefighter who crashed his car on the way to work is accused of then taking the fire engine out to a camp ground, racing through with the siren on and yelling obscenities at the campers. Read more about this smooth move.
The instructor was “just trying to help fellow EMTS”: The words of a Lexington, Massachusetts firefighter in the center of the EMS training scandal. The help came in the form of giving a passing grade on recertification and not having to take the course. Read the details.
Closed drive-in burns: In Ceres, California Monday night the Ceres Theatre and Flea Market burned. Here’s the raw video. A report of two separate fires in the complex. Here’s more.
The way we were: We posted some interesting videos yesterday giving a view of EMS in the 1970s. The first is a look at DC in 1976 and a paramedic unit that really wasn’t. Then from 1979 a half-hour special on how EMS was being handled in DC and the suburbs. Check it out here.
Selling out: In the early day of his blog back in 2007, Firegeezer Bill Schumm told the story of the fire chief in Stockton, California selling naming rights for a fire engine. Bill was not a big fan of the idea. Now it has been learned things went a step further and Bill likes it even less. Read his rant.
Boston’s battle: A rally by Boston firefighters and a marathon City Council hearing are the latest development in the debate over the 19-percent pay raise that came with mandatory drug testing after the city and the union went to arbitration. Click here to read and watch the story.
FDNY’s Medal Day helped launch campaign against budget cuts: The Uniformed Firefighters Association parked a large mobile billboard outside Medal Day ceremonies pointing to the plans to close 20 fire companies. Read about the awards and the controversy.
Vacant furniture factory burns in Salamanca, New York: Firefighters in and around Cattaraugus County were busy last night dealing with fire in two large historic buildings that had been the home of Fancher Furniture and Philadelphia Furniture. Also destroyed was a laser engraving company that employed 61 people. The mayor of Salamanca declared a state of emergency after power and phone service were lost to part of the town and because of concerns about chemicals in the buildings. Read more about the fire. Watch another story here. Lots of pictures of the fire here.
UPDATE- Ferry crash this morning: Just before 9:30 AM the Staten Island Ferry crashed into the dock on the Staten Island side. There is an early report from WCBS-TV of 10 minor injuries. At 11:00 AM there are now reports of as many as 60 people injured. Some serious. CNN coverage. Click here fo WCBS-TVcoverage. YouTube video. NY1 coverage.
Listen to this woman’s rescue story: Hearing Leslie Bills recall her dramatic conversation with 911 in the Nashville area, I am wondering if the fire pre-arrival protocols just failed to take into account these somewhat unique circumstances. Bills’ home was surrounded by extremely high water at the same time the fire in her garage was starting to spread to the rest of the house. A man on a Jet Ski came to the rescue as Bills was making some important decisions. Here’s the story.
Raw video from fire on Maryland congressman’s property: We have lots of video from Thursday’s fire on the Frederick County property owned by Congressman Roscoe Bartlett. The fire destroyed parts of a barn and silo that had been turned into apartments. Click here for our coverage.
Update on Sparky, a firefighter’s fire setting dog: We heard yesterday from the wife of Alexandria Fire Department Firefighter Glenn Ross that Sparky and Brownie are now home. Sandy Ross says when they went to pick up the smoke eating dogs from Alexandria Animal Hospital someone had already paid the remaining $3000 of their bill. Sandy and Glenn want to thank everyone for their kindness after their home caught fire Tuesday. Glenn Ross heard the call being dispatched while working at Station 206. The fire was caught fairly early thanks to a five-year-old neighbor. Sparky is suspected of starting the fire by trying to go after a box of treats left on the stove top. Here’s our original story.
The battle is on in New York: A day after Mayor Bloomberg’s budget called for the closing of 20 engine companies unless the union agrees to a staffing reduction, the Uniformed Firefighters Association is calling the plan a threat to its members and public safety. Click here to read details.
Fire company members accused of stealing toilet paper and gasoline: Three members of the same family who have served New York’s Chestertown Fire Company for more than 50-years are accused of theft from the firehouse. But there is also a claim of a conflict if interest in having the Warren County Sheriff’s Department investigate these charges. Check it out.
Two new and one old drinking and responding incidents make the news: After we put together our stories of a New York firefighter who struck a cop responding to a fire and an Iowa fire chief accused of being drunk on an EMS call, comes word of another similar incident. This one is also from Iowa where a Janesville firefighter has now been charged with drunken driving after rolling a fire truck on March 27. Click here for the story from Firefighter Nation. Here’s our coverage of the other two stories.
Shot firefighter is fired: You may recall the December 12 story from Quincy, Massachusetts where Milton Firefighter Joseph Fasano was shot. As more was learned about the road rage incident things started looking bad for Fasano’s future with the fire department. Fasano has now been fired for insubordination and conduct unbecoming a firefighter. Check out the details.
Bringing the fire to the firefighters: The driver of a burning pick-up truck in McMinnville, Oregon, figured he was only a block or two away so why make the firefighters drive all the way to him when his vehicle caught fire. He drove the truck to the front ramp of the firehouse. Here’s the story.
Three-alarms in Baltimore: Early helicopter views of yesterday’s fire that spread through multiple row homes. Click here.
Also from Firegeezer: I could be wrong but I believe it was Jerry Seinfeld (could have been another comedian) who did a bit about how we as men always have it under control and think we can handle the problems. He used as an example tying down a mattress on top of our car and then holding it with our arm out the window to keep it from flying off as we ride down the highway. Bill Schumm has the sad story of a man who used his whole body to keep the mattress from flying away. The story does not have a happy or funny ending.
Where there’s smoke … : Too early to say if they will find any fire in Atlanta over allegations that there was cheating on a recent Atlanta Fire Department promotional exam. The two stories I have read so far only contain anonymous allegations that some people were given the answers ahead of time. If there is anything to back up the claims, it hasn’t been made public. City human resources officials say there is no formal complaint but that they have heard enough to launch an investigation. Here are the details.
Forget the games: That’s the advice of Stafford County, Virginia Chief Rob Brown when he addressed Fire-Rescue Med about the economic crisis. As chair of the IAFC task force looking at how chiefs can deal with the significant impact on their budgets, Chief Brown told the audience in Las Vegas that the worst thing they can do is issue ultimatums to their mayors and other political leaders. Jamie Thompson has the story at FireRescue1.com.
Baltimore chief is commencement speaker: I can assure you none of the schools I attended would ever want to see my return, but that is not the case with Chief Jim Clack. Baltimore’s chief is spending the day at the University of Minnesota, Crookston where he will give the commencement address. Chief Clack is a 1980 graduate. Read the story.
Early video of house fire in Tinley Park, Illinois: A neighbor boy with a camera catches this one before firefighters arrive. Listen to the questions asking where is the fire department (did they call?). You can read a few more details about the fire here.
Fire engines, but no fire department: I urge you to take a few moments to watch the videos and read the information about the state of fire protection on Mudge Island in British Columbia. It is a place with two fire trucks and no real fire department. But the citizens have taken the matter, and the hose lines, into their own hands. Some of our readers find what they see inspiring. Other think it is ridiculous. Either way it sure is interesting. Click here.
Another police chief makes the case for taking over the fire department: In Auburn, Maine the acting fire chief feels the bosses showed disrespect toward him and the fire department for failing to include the fire service perspective in the city’s study of combining the police and fire departments. That job went to the police chief who says it could work just fine having public safety officers showing up at fires, putting down their weapons and going in to fight a fire. Watch the story.
Bourne’s back: For a while the Bourne Fire Department in Massachusetts just stayed in the news as the department dealt very publicly with a series of problems (click here and scroll down). The recent quiet from Bourne has now been broken. Two paramedics are claiming an on-call firefighter drove his personal vehicle recklessly through a crash scene on the way to a fire call. The medics says they were almost struck while tending to a patient. Here is the story.
Probation in hazing incident: A judge has given a year probation to three Connecticut firefighters and another person after a hazing incident we had told you about. This is where a 14-year-old member of the Quaker Hill Fire Department, who had pulled a chair out from underneath a firefighter’s girlfriend, found himself bound to a backboard, gagged and shot with an air gun. Here’s the update.
Consulting firm fired because it had never recommended layoffs: In Palo Alto, California a consultant was dropped midway through a staffing study of the fire department. Council members were shocked to learn the firm had never recommended layoffs in any of its previous studies. According to MercuryNews.com, some on the council were hoping the study would pave the way for cut backs. The official reason for the dropping of the consultant is a “conflict of interest”. Check out this line from the article – “they were surprised to learn at an April 20 finance committee meeting that consulting firm Emergency Services Consulting International was affiliated with an international fire chiefs union.” I knew those fire chiefs would eventually unionize.
What happens in Las Vegas may be shared with Clark County: With both Nevada jurisdictions in battles with firefighters over budget issues, leaders hope to share services like hazmat and heavy rescue in an effort to save money. Here is the latest.
CFSI: The Congressional Fire Services Institute’s National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner and Seminars start today. Click here for details.
It is Bonanza time: May 7 is the start of the two day Bonanza Extravaganza put on by the Professional Firefighters of Hagerstown, Maryland (IAFF Local 1605). This event, involving music, gaming, big money prizes and much more has become a real happening. The union says, through a foundation set up to handle the profits from the event, firefighters have given away hundreds of thousands of dollars to non-profits in the community and ”a $40,000 donation to Children’s Village that funded every second grader in Washington County to be able to attend a two day fire and police safety educational program”. Click here to read more background information on the event. Here’s the website.
Another fired DeKalb County, Georgia firefighter makes the case for reinstatement: William Greene goes public in his efforts to get his job back after being fired with four others following a botched response to help an elderly woman who said her house was on fire. Greene says he was not given complete information by dispatchers. Read the story.
Mayor’s fund raiser attracts firefighters: We have shared with you a number of stories about the relationship between North Providence Mayor Charles Lombardi and his firefighters (click here and scroll down for a recap). If you have read any of them you know that if a large group of firefighters showed up at a fund raiser for Lombardi it wasn’t because they were invited. There were about 250 firefighters with picket signs outside the restaurant last night. Click here for the story. Watch the video.
How sad: During a retired firefighter’s funeral in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, burglars broke into the home the firefighter shared with his brother. Read more.
Union called out for stealing story of 1953 fire: A paranormal researcher who had written a story in 2008 on the 55th anniversary of a nursing home fire that killed 33 people says IAFF Local 2427 reposted that same story on its site. The author says her name wasn’t on the story but credit inhstead was given to someone affiliated with the union. Here’s the story about the story, that we are crediting to TampaBay.com.
Man’s duck story apparently doesn’t hold water: The man admits he set the fire inside the Ride the Ducks building in Seattle. But the story about why he did it might quack you up. (Seriously, what kind of an idiot writes this junk?) Here’s the story.
The information flow in your Nation’s Capital: We have two stories for you this morning with connections to the DC Fire & EMS Department and how the District of Columbia government communicates with reporters and, in turn, the public. Both cases seem to follow the same pattern: a reporter uncovers something that on the surface doesn’t seem right; the fire chief or his spokesman provides very limited answers, shedding little light on what actually happened; more information is uncovered by reporters; the initial action is reversed; and in the end the department never fully answers what this was all about.
A Steve Skipton photo from a four-alarm fire in Burlington, New Jersey Sunday afternoon that damaged seven homes. Click the image for more pictures and details from PhillyFireNews.com.
In one of these cases, the aborted donation of a fire truck and ambulance to a resort town in the Dominican Republic, it took ten months before reports from two DC City Council committees provided some transparency. The council determined policies were ignored, but no laws broken. The DC Fire & EMS Department, which appears to have had a secondary role in all of this, continues to refer all questions to Attorney General Peter Nickles. According to the Washington Examiner, Nickles believes the investigation was a “waste of time and a waste of government resources in what became a very political series of actions”. Despite this case now seeming to be closed, Chief Dennis Rubin still faces a little scrutiny by at least two reporters who have compared emails released in the reports with his sworn testimony at a council hearing last April. Click here for that story.
Then there is the story of the Sarasota County, Florida fire chief who remained an employee of the DC Fire & EMS Department while in his new job. In this one, there is no council investigation shedding light on the issue and there is still no indication anyone in the DC government is willing to explain why this arrangement was made, other than to allow Kenneth Ellerbe to be eligible to take home a more favorable retirement package. Through sources, we learned that Ellerbe, who was a deputy chief, resigned from his DC position on January 15. A department spokesman then confirmed that information on Friday. Click here for the latest.
No delay on information here - a battalion chief & two captains are among those fired in Georgia: Pretty quick action in DeKalb County. A report issued in a botched response to what ultimately became a fatal fire and four firefighters were let go. All of this happened within about five days of the fire. Click here for the latest.
Chaplain who is friends with fired top PGFD official quits: Alvin Graham didn’t like some of the policy issues he was dealing with involving the chaplain corps even before Lt. Col. Victor Stagnaro received his walking papers a week ago. But it is clear Stagnaro’s firing was involved in Graham’s decision making process. It was Stagnaro who recruited Graham for the volunteer post nine-years-ago and the men are close friends. On Friday, Chaplain Graham turned in his car and other Prince George’s County property. Here are the details.
Firefighter detained in Haiti: Drew Culberth is a Topeka firefighter who went to Haiti on a different kind of rescue mission. Culberth and nine members of his church are now being held over issues surrounding the group’s efforts to bring 33 children back to the United States. Here’s the story.
Fireground audio from mayday at deadly Brooklyn fire: Five residents died at a fire early Saturday in Bensonhurst. Thirteen firefighters were hurt, including one who became entangled in a collapsing stairwell. Click here for our coverage.
Tulsa firefighters vote to stop job layoffs: Concessions that include a more than five-percent pay cut and furlough days were agreed to by Tulsa firefighters in an effort to prevent 147 from losing their jobs. Here’s the latest.
Racist graffiti, threats, profanity and a noose hanging in a locker; claims of harassment and a culture of accepted sexism, evidenced in part by a topless female firefighter posing in panties on a widely distributed calendar.
It seems the firefighter protest in Belgium was a bit kinder and gentler than the one in Spain. I guess it is hard to get angry in the middle of a foam fight. Photo from the Daily Mail.
Cop mixes up pepper spray and fire extinguisher containers - plus much more from Firegeezer: Bill takes a look at the awful story from Portland, Oregon as a police officer tries to snuff out the flames of a man who set himself on fire. Click here. (I saw this story and was certain I used it in Quick Takes on Thursday or Friday, but I can’t find it. Now which one’s the geezer?)
Fire truck hit by flying object, Part 1: In this case it was a bullet as a St. Louis crew returned from the repair shop. Here’s the story.
Fire truck hit by flying object, Part 2: In this case it was shrapnel from dozens of exploding acetylene and propane tanks at a Flint, Michigan auto salvage business. We have video, pictures and details. Click here.
And more explosions from another Michigan auto salvage firm: The Flint fire was on Saturday. In Detroit, 24-hours earlier, there was a similar fire at an auto salvage and parts business. It went to three-alarms. Click here for fireground audio, video and pictures.
Fireground audio of 3-alarm Oregon fire with water supply problems: Click here for the radio traffic from FireSceneAudio.com of the fire in a large vacant early 1900s building at the Fairview Training Center in Salem. Read more.
Report faults firefighters for not following procedures during fatal fire: Four members of the DeKalb County Fire Department, including two captains and a battalion chief remain suspended with pay after a report puts a lot of the blame on their shoulders for failing to find the burning home of a woman who called 911 early Sunday. They did return about five hours later to find the house destroyed and the woman dead. Read the report and more details.
Woman hit by hose falls off fire engine: You had probably seen the earlier story on this one from Cambridge, Massachusetts. A loyal reader and Firegeezer alert us to the update that an 82-year-old woman died when she was hit by hose that fell off the rig as the crew was responding. Click here.
Ambulance with a very bad reputation lives up to its past and burns: The ambulance that helped push New Jersey lawmakers to widen the states “Lemon Law” to include emergency vehicles self destructed yesterday and few are surprised. Click for pictures, video and the to read the story.
Mayor and fire department director finally talking in Memphis: With the TV station into its second week of stories on hiring practices at the Memphis Fire Department, city officials are now answering some questions about the arrest of 80 firefighters over the last five year. Click for the mayor and here for Director Alivin Benson.
Fire department takes $128,000 loss on new fire engine that was just too big: Pennsylvania’s Lawrence Park Fire Department (Erie County) sold its new, 37.9-foot-long Pierce Dash Pumper just 17-months after getting the $510,000 rig. They found Engine 284 too big for the township’s alleys. And the sale has caused some controversy. Read the story.
Omaha heating up again: Loyal reader Ron Young points us to some stories out of Omaha where there has been controversy over a proposed new fire boat and other items being purchased from a special fund. Click here for that one (and an earlier article here).
The news never stops in Bourne, Massachusetts: Just when we thought things might calm down after the resignation of Lt. Kelli Weeks, there is even more controversy in the Bourne Fire Department. The acting chief now has some allegations against him. Click here for that story. Also, the firefighters’ union has some harsh words for how the town selectmen handled the Weeks affair. Check it out.
Another blue light special: In Des Moines police say a Grand Junction volunteer firefighter apparently wants to also be a volunteer police officer. The cops say 29-year-old Richard Collogan was pulling people over with his blue light. Read the details.
It is not the CNN employee I expected to do this: If there was ever someone from CNN who I could easily see an old firehouse in New York to live in, it would be my friend, and fire buff extraordinaire, Vito Maggiolo. But the story at HuffingtonPost.com isn’t about Vito. It’s about Anderson Cooper paying $4.3 million for such a privilege. Click here for the story and pictures.
House fire in Baltimore County: We are a day late in posting the latest from Michael “FirePix1075″ Schwartzberg. This is from early yesterday morning at 5527 Pembroke Avenue in Woodlawn. Michael tells us an interior attack was abandoned after a gas line ignited. You can read his account at the Pikesville VFC website. There is more video - Part 2 and Part 3.
PGFD responds to union press release on staffing during recent multi-alarm fires: Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department Chief Spokesman Mark Brady has a statement about the press release from IAFF Local 1619. The union pointed out understaffed and failed responses impacted operations at two large garden-apartment fires last week. Brady writes -
Handling the volume of calls for service that our Department does on a daily basis will, at times, stretch our resources thin. Prince George’s County Fire Chief Eugene A. Jones is working with the Local 1619 leadership to find a mutually agreeable way to conduct our day-to-day activities in the safest and most efficient way possible.
Riverdale VFD president critical of our coverage: Stephen Lamphier brings up some interesting issues in his Christmas Day letter to STATter911.com. Lamphier is concerned how I portrayed a video of Riverdale’s members enjoying the recent snow storm. Please take a moment to read it.
We have early video to compare to this later picture by The World-Herald's Jeff Beiermann from yesterday's devastating fire in North Bend, Nebraska. Click the image for our coverage.
A little more than 24-hours left in the contest: We have some good guesses so far (and a few that are really far off) as to what the top 5 most popular stories were on STATter911.com for 2009. We can always use your entry. Click here to read about the rules and the amazing prize.
Raw video from DC second-alarm: Vito Maggiolo was on the scene for the DC Fire & EMS Department at an apartment fire on Sunday. Check it out.
Click the image for details and more Loudoun County Fire-Rescue Services photos from yesterday's two-alarm townhouse fire in Leesburg.
Decision in New Mexico scandal: In Eunice city officials have determined the fate of troubled Fire Chief Ron Grogan and two of the other firefighters charged with stealing a radar detector at a crime scene. But the details haven’t been released. Here is the latest.
Transcipts from dramatic and chaotic fireground audio on Northampton arsons: A local paper has now added transcripts with names of the chief officers to go with the fireground audio we first alerted you to on Sunday. This documents how dispatchers, firefighters and police tried to handle a dozen fires and attempted fires in 75 minutes, including one that killed two men. Click here.
Firefighter hit by parked police car: A secondary crash leaves a firefighter injured in Boardman, Oregon. Read the details.