Sorry for the title of this video shot yesterday by kevin bac who says he was at church when he smelled smoke. The fire was in the unit block of West Seymour Street. According to PhillyFireNews.com, the fire was reported at 3:55 PM.
A was reported fire yesterday afternoon at a warehouse at 2nd Street and Wharton Street in Philadelphia that was rented by one of Philadelphia’s Mummers organizations. The fire went to four-alarms The video above is from Rudy Thomas and the video immediately below is from phillyfirenews and includes the collapse of one of the walls of the structure. The third video also shows a collapse.
B/C-1 had heavy fire in the rear of a two story building, 60×100. Companies had trouble gaining access to the building. Second alarm struck and all companies to evacuate the building. Command placed all hand service with heaviest water lines. Requested the third alarm struck. One civilian was transported to the hospital with smoke inhalation. The fourth alarm was requested, had extension into an exposure.
A fire in South Philadelphia that started in a warehouse used to store cars caused heavy damage to a nearby warehouse used to store equipment for a successful Mummers group, destroyed a row home and left other row homes with smoke and water damage.
The four-alarm blaze began at 1301 South 2nd St. around 2:30 p.m. Officials say an elderly woman who lived in the row home that was destroyed was injured in the blaze and remained in stable condition Monday night.
The fire broke out near a warehouse that houses props and equipment used by the Fralinger String Band, a decorated Mummers group. The fire spread quickly to the warehouse and caused extensive damage to nearby homes.
A huge warehouse fire that erupted Monday might have destroyed elaborate props slated for use in the city’s annual New Year’s Day parade, event participants said.
Members of the Fralinger String Band said they were waiting to survey the damage from the blaze in a largely residential area of south Philadelphia. Firefighters were still pouring water on the building several hours after the first flames were reported, Fralinger Chairman Steve Coper said.
Several explosions were reported at the three-story industrial garage, fire department Commissioner Lloyd Ayers said. It took more than 100 firefighters almost four hours to get the blaze controlled.
James Plagge video for phillyfirenews of Philadelphia Fire Department Engine 53 pulling up to an ATM fire in the 1900 block of S. Delaware Avenue on Sunday. Reported minor extension into the bank. More at PhillyFireNews.com.
Engine-29 arrived on scene with heavy fire showing from a three story vacant factory, placed all hands in service. B/C-4 arrived and requested the second struck. All companies in service with heaviest water lines. Command reported an exposure problem and requested the third alarm. Deputy 1 requested the 4th alarm struck. S/C 2 additonal ladders and Squrt 43 above the 4th Alarm. 1 Firefighter was transported the the hospital in serious condition.
Philly FF Dan Crawford, an 18 yr vet from Rescue 1 is stable now after getting seriously injured in this mornings 4 alarm fire. He fractured L -2,3,4 in his back following a fall of over 10 ft from apparatus. Naturally, he will be recovering for a while. Firefighters brought the fire under control in 1 hour 36 minutes. The four-alarm fire destroyed a vacant warehouse at Front Street and Girard Avenue. The fire broke out in the 75-feet by 75-feet, four-story building around 0230 hours and escalated to four alarms within an hour. The fire was declared under control at 4:15 a.m. Its cause is under investigation. We wish him a rapid and successful recovery.
At the time we posted the video above it was brought to our attention that the Paoli Fire Company had removed a press release from its website earlier today saying a much talked about image of one of its firefighters on live TV at yesterday’s Independence Day parade in Philadelphia was not an obscene gesture (you can read the initial press release here). Now the president and chief have issued a special statement saying that it was, in fact, an obscene gesture and the firefighter involved has been suspended. Here’s the statement:
Okay folks. Here it is. You be the judge on this one. The Paoli Fire Company in Pennsylvania regrets that this was perceived as a firefighter flipping the bird to a live television camera during yesterday’s Independence Day parade in Philadelphia (read complete statement). On Facebook many have been very vocal that this was intentional. I will let the video speak for itself.
Note that the Paoli Fire Company has removed the earlier press release from its website.
Pennsylvania’s Paoli Fire Company confirmed what crowd sourcing on Facebook yesterday afternoon already made public, that a firefighter with his hand out the window of a fire engine during the Philadelphia Independence Day Parade was one of its members. In a press release on the Paoli Fire Company website (below) the case is made that this image is just of A finger protruding from the firefighter’s hand on live TV and not THE finger.
A lot of people on Facebook feel otherwise about the still image. One STATter911.com reader claims that the entire video had been posted at some point yesterday but has since been taken down. We didn’t see it, but it seems to me the video, if available, might provide some clarity.
This image began making the rounds on Facebook yesterday afternoon sparking a lot of commentary. STATter911.com has also been getting emails about it. We are told it’s a still image from WPVI-TV’s live coverage of the Philadelphia Independence Day parade.
The large majority of the comments on Facebook are from people outraged and disgusted by what appears to be a firefighter making an obscene gesture to the camera.
I am not sure who, from just viewing the still image, identified the fire company involved. I have chosen to block out the department’s name for now and to obscure the firefighter’s face (he’s looking right into the camera) until we learn more. It would be nice to have the ability to see the whole clip to give it context and get some official word about whose rig is.
But I and a lot others sure have found the image interesting.
Judge Garrett Page in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania wasn’t happy that 55-year-old Donald Pierce of Philadelphia didn’t think the barricades blocking a flooded road in the Willow Grove area during Tropical Storm Lee weren’t for him. After Pierce drove around that silly obstruction in the road he soon needed help. Of course it was up to firefighters to save his butt. Which they did.
But a police officer who said he saw Pierce drive around the barriers in his red minivan charged the man with three counts of recklessly endangering others and reckless driving. The three counts were one each for the three firefighters who risked their lives in an attempt make sure Pierce walked away from the mess he created for himself.
According to Margaret Gibbons at PhillyBurbs.com, as part of an agreement, Donald Pierce entered a guilty plea to a charge of disorderly conduct. Judge Page yesterday fined Pierce $300 and ordered him to make a $1000 donation to the Willow Grove Fire Company and send letters of apology to the three firefighters who tried to reach him.
Here’s a description of the rescue from PhillyBurbs.com:
The vehicle drove into the flooded roadway and got about halfway through the swift moving flood waters when it became disabled. The force of the water pushed the van to the side of the road and up against a guardrail.
Three Willow Grove firefighters, trained in water rescues, entered the flooded roadway to rescue the driver but, after getting about halfway to the van and in water up to their hips, had to abandon that attempt because they were in danger of being swept downstream because of the swift flowing floodwaters.
A second attempt, using an Enterprise Fire Co. ladder truck, was successful.
The firefighter’s union local 22 claims since last July, all 6 rank and file firefighters who suffered facial or neck burns were shipped off to other departments. They say it's punishment to discourage other firefighters from reporting dangerous injuries.
Fire commissioner Lloyd Ayres was not available to go on camera for this story but tells over the phone the department does not have a policy to transfer injured firefighters. He also tells us firefighters can request a transfer back to their original station.
From KYW-TV, firefighters are upset over a Philadelphia Fire Department policy about being burned on the job. The union says heroes are being punished instead of praised. The fire commissioner says it's about safety.
The link above has audio from a fire just before 6:00 this morning at 1618 N. 20th Street in North Philadelphia. You will hear the evacuation ordered at 5:28 in the audio, followed by the call for additional medic units for injured firefighters.
According to Philadelphia Fire Deputy Chief Michael Wahl, the call for the house fire came in at 5:58 a.m. at 1618 North 20th Street. Upon arrival initial reports were of heavy smoke and a couple trapped inside.
Upon entering the home, firefighters rescued two people while two others escaped on their own. Three women and one child were taken to Hahnemann hospital for treatment and were in stable condition.
Three firefighters were injured while rescuing the trapped victims. One member with first and second degree burns to his arms. Two other firefighters were transported with minor injuries. Four civilians were also transported with smoke inhalation.
From the AP:
Fire officials say a blaze in a north Philadelphia row home injured seven people, including three firefighters, one critically.
Authorities say the fire in the three-story building was reported just before 6 a.m. Sunday. Arriving crews have reported heavy black smoke pouring from the third floor. Firefighters battled the flames for about an hour.
One firefighter has been taken to a hospital burn unit in critical but stable condition. Two other firefighters are reported to be in stable condition.
Firefighters helped two people from the building while two others escaped on their own. All four had minor injuries that were treated at a hospital.
At 10:23AM, box 1228 was transmitted for a house fire at 32 Summit Street (btwn Germantown & Stenton Avenues). On arrival, crews found a 2-1/2 story 50×50 detached garage fully-involved behind a dwelling.
Battalion 9 filled-out the box on arrival and placed 3 and 3 in-service. The upper floor of the garage collapsed into the first-floor. The fire was place under control around 11:15AM.
Watch at 1:57 of the video – a wall collapses just missing a firefighter.
A veteran Philadelphia Fire Department battalion chief has been accused of "conduct unbecoming' by the fire commissioner. The charges against John Grillone stem from a video posted to YouTube that firefighter Charles Tizol shot inside the quarters of Engine 71 on Cottman Avenue in 2009. Tizol has already been suspended without pay for four weeks and Chief Grillone had a disciplinary hearing yesterday.
So what is so bad about the video? According to KYW-TV the video shows Chief Grillone singing one of his favorite songs, the National Anthem and interacting with the firefighters. Here's more:
Grillone, a 38-year veteran, is seen singing, eating cookies and talking to co-workers in the video. There was some foul language used as well, but Grillone’s attorney, Alice Ballard, maintains the men were just simply having good clean fun.
Grillone says at the time, he was just trying to boost morale after the deaths of three firefighters.
The disciplinary hearing panel will make a recommendation to the commissioner in the coming days. A spokesman from the commissioner’s office said the fire department has no comment. As of right now, the fire department doesn’t have a social media posting policy in place.
"The Philadelphia Fire Department has lost a son," Ayers said. "As you may imagine, this is devastating to everybody."
Ayers would not say whether foul play is suspected. Slivinski was not on duty at the time of his death, he said.
Police were not immediately available to comment on the case.
Ayers, who was originally critical of Slivinski and IAFF Local 22 President Bill Gault for doing the photo shoot without approval from the commissioner's office, made a rare appearance at the trial board for Slivinski and recommended he be allowed to return to Rescue 1 with just an oral reprimand.
There are currently no further details on Firefighter Slivinski's death.
Our short local nightmare is over. Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers made his point that Firefighter Jack Slavinski violated department policy when he posed shirtless for a charity calendar. But in the end, the commissioner sent Firefighter Slavinski back to Rescue 1 with only an oral reprimand. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer this happened yesterday when Commissioner Ayers made a rare appearance at Slavinski's trial board hearing.
A spokesman for Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter reiterated Ayers' previous position that the department is in the safety business and not the beefcake business. Here is an excerpt from Robert Moran's article:
Slavinski appeared at a hearing Tuesday and was facing three disciplinary charges, said union official Mike Kane.
In a surprise move, Ayers appeared at the hearing and agreed to simply give Slavinski an oral reprimand and reassign him back to Rescue 1.
Kane said he had participated in more than 50 such hearings and "it was the first time the commissioner walked into the room and talked to anybody."
Firefighter Slavinski is one of a dozen firefighters across the country who were asked to be part of the charity calendar. He posed for photographer Katherine Kostreva in front of a well known Philly fountain. The union had help set up the shoot and expected the city's portion of the money raised to go to the survivors of fallen firefighters. IAFF Local 22 president Bill Gault confirmed for reporters they failed to run the shoot by the commissioner's office.
Last week Commissioner Ayers told Philadelphia Daily News reporter David Gambacorta, "We get letters from children. They look up to us. We cannot allow them to be showing nipples in photographs of Philadelphia firefighters."
Ayers is catching some grief today about this even becoming an issue from Philadelphia Daily News columnist Ronnie Polaneczky who cites what she calls a double standard by the commissioner. Polaneczky pointed to a YouTube video of Ayers (below), in uniform, providing a testimonial while shopping in the Philadelphia book store Black and Nobel.
Polanecsky believes that the store's home page might be more offensive to some than exposed nipples.
"I went to the store to get black literature and the guy stuck a camera in my face to say things about the store, but I didn't know he was going to put it on YouTube," Ayers said defensively. "I don't see how this issue ties in to the calendar controversy."
Here's how it ties in:
The commissioner did something well-intentioned that he never expected would be taken the wrong way. Just as Slivinski did something well-intentioned that he never expected would be taken the wrong way.
Ayers' first response should've been to extend to a decent, hardworking underling the same compassion he affords himself.
The mayor's spokesman told reporters the city is considering legal action to keep Slavinski's photo out of the calendar.
The picture above has Firefighter Jack Slivinski in a bit of trouble with Philadelphia Fire Department Commissioner Lloyd Ayers. Commissioner Ayers told Philadelphia Daily News reporter David Gambacorta, "We get letters from children. They look up to us. We cannot allow them to be showing nipples in photographs of Philadelphia firefighters."
According to the article, Firefighter Slivinski has been removed from his assignment to Engine 1 and is losing OT money while his role in a charity calendar is being investigated. New York photographer Katherine Kostreva came to Philly last week just to shoot Slivinski in front of the Logan Circle fountain. He is one of a dozen firefighters from around the country who are posing for this charity calendar. Bill Gault, who is president of IAFF Local 22, wanted Philadelphia's share to go to spouses of local firefighters.
The commissioner said he had good reason to be fuming at Slivinski and Local 22.
For one thing, Ayers said, the department has long been opposed to its members posing for "beefcake calendars."
"We don't sell sex, we sell safety.," Ayers said. "That's been our mantra for the longest time."
The article says the policy of the department is permission must be granted by supervisors before posing for outside publications. Gault admits he screwed up by not running it by Ayers, but says everyone's intentions were good ones. Photographer Kostreva agrees and added, "I think the commissioner is just overreacting."
Last month the U.S. Attorney in Philadelphia announced that four private ambulance companies in the Philly area had been indicted on fraud charges. They are accused of billing Medicare for carrying patients who did not need an ambulance for transport. It turns out, at the same time, WTFX-TV’s Jeff Cole had been investigating the ambulance companies since 2009. The station says the U.S. Attorney requested the TV reports to be put on hold so as not to jeopardize the federal investigation. Part 1 of the stations two-part series has now aired. Click above to watch it.
Illinois house fire: This is from the photographer for the Dwight Fire Department showing a fire Saturday morning.
Ego kills: I have seen this time and time again. A boss with a high profile job and an over-sized ego has a melt down when the news media does a story that is less than positive about the boss or the organization he or she runs. I am pretty certain though, that I’ve never seen one this bad. Of course I am talking, not about a fire chief, but the man who owns the Washington Redskins. Dan Snyder is a great case study on how making PR decisions based on hurt feelings will almost always make things worse. Click here as I take you inside the world of the most hated man in the Nation’s Capital. The trip should provide some valuable lessons.
Automatic aide debate: There is a lively one going on over an article we posted from the Colorado where the closest fire company was not sent to a woman trapped by fire in the basement of her home. Check out the coverage and the comments.
Big Ikea burns in Israel & someone quickly posts before video to go with the after video: Over the weekend a 21,500 square foot Ikea in Netanya was destroyed by fire. Interesting that, either just before or during the early stages of the hours long fire someone posted video to YouTube of a couple of locations inside the same store. Here’s our coverage.
New rules: A house fire where firefighters couldn’t find a woman talking to 911 that occurred a year ago brought new training requirements for firefighter in Spotsylvania County, Virginia. One volunteer chief says he is resigning after decades because the new rules discount his experience and that he would be unable to do the 1000 hours required. Click here.
Chiefs to meet and Dave is invited: A reminder that the 2011 Mid-Atlantic Expo & Symposium from the Virginia Fire Chiefs Association is being held February 24-27 at the Virginia Beach Convention Center. They are even going to let me speak at the Sunday morning breakfast gathering. Click here for the details and to register.
Smithsonian fire in DC: (More below) WTOP Radio has the picture this morning of the plume rising above Constitution Avenue, Northwest. It turns out to be a fire in a cooling tower for the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum. Click here for more.
Let’s get away from it all: That’s what a lot of firefighters in the State of New York did this week. It was the annual winter games on a ski slope. Click here to watch the fun.
Camden, NJ restores some positions, along with reports of possible Philly mutual aid: A property tax levy is expected to allow Camden to rehire 13 of 67 firefighters recently let go. Here’s more. At the same time, the site First In, run by a Philadelphia fire captain, reports that Philadelphia firefighters could be going across the bridge into Camden on mutual aid. The captain isn’t pleased. Click here.
Rio fire has carnival impact: In Rio de Janeiro’s Samba City a fire today has destroyed at least four warehouses where floats and costumes are made for Rio’s carnival celebration. A carnival museum and a school were also destroyed. Read more. Also, more from Firegeezer.
More from Smithsonian fire: It is just a small, detached mechanical building, but the smoke plume attracted a lot of attention this morning in the Nation’s Capital. One reason is that it is in the federal area downtown. The little building is part of the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History. Here are the details. Also, more pictures from the fire at WUSA9.com.
Newsworking.org’s Bill Rohr sent along this video he took yesterday evening at 4800 Walnut Street in Philadelphia. Here’s Bill’s account:
At 14:35 hours, Box 2837 was transmitted for the apartment building at 4800 Walnut Street. On arrival, crews found heavy smoke in the hallways on the 3rd and 4th floor.
Due to the massive size of the comples, crews had trouble finding the seat of the fire. When they finally did, the fire was in the walls extending vertically to the cockloft.
A second alarm was transmitted about an hour into the call. With the rapid extension of the fire in the cockloft, the 3rd and 4th alarms were transmitted. As the fire spread to the west wing and the east wing, the 5th alarm was transmitted.
In all, over 160 firefighters and more than 50 pieced of equipment battled the blaze in freezing temperatures. 89 of the 90 apartments were occupied. About 100 residents were displace by the fire.
It took over five hours to contain the blaze. Under Control was transmitted at 19:25, but firefighters were far from finished.
Two five-alarm fires in as many days in Philly. Sunday’s fire was at a school at 5151 Warren Street (scroll down). We start with today’s fire in a large, four-story apartment building at 4800 block Walnut Street.
B/C-7 reported smoke showing from a four story apartment building, W Shape building. Placed 2&2 in service. D/C-1 reported fire third floor extending to the fourth floor. Special called additional 2&2 above the box. Companies to assist in evacuation of the building. Command then struck the second alarm.
Command reported fire through the roof, third alarm struck. Master stream placed in service. D/C-1 then requested the fourth alarm struck heavy fire through the roof of the building. The fifth alarm was struck at 4:37 pm.
Deputy Chief Willy Williams says light smoke was reported in the four-story building at 4800 Walnut Street at 2:35 p.m. Monday. He says the response had reached a third alarm about an hour later and a fourth alarm was declared at 4 p.m.
Williams says the fire had spread to the roof area, and fire crew were attacking the flames from the outside.
But he says crews have gone through the building getting residents to safety, and there are no reports of injuries.
Engine 16 was dispatched for an alarm system. Engine-16 arrived on scene with fire in the basement of a three story school, 50×75, an placed all hands in service. D/C-1 reported heavy fire extending through out the building. Requested the second alarm struck and third alarms struck. All companies went in service with heaviest water lines. Fire extended to an exposure in the rear. Fourth Alarm struck. The fifth alarm was eventually struck by command.
A five-alarm fire that raged for more than an hour and a half early Sunday caused “substantial” damage to the 400-student Global Leadership Academy in West Philadelphia, Deputy Fire Chief Michael Wahl reported.
The cause of the fire, which started in the basement of the three-story building at 5151 Warren St., near 52d Street and Lancaster Avenue, is under investigation, Wahl said.
Garages burn in Omaha, Nebraska: Ten garages were damaged or destroyed by a fire early Sunday morning at the Benz Place Apartments. One firefighter suffered a minor burn. Read more.
Firefighter’s condition downgraded after hit & run: According to Firefighter Close Calls, the condition of Firefighter Pat Hines went from serious to critical after he was struck by a hit and run driver during a car fire in Tulare County, California. Hines was thrown 50-feet from the impact. A second firefighter was also hurt. Click here for more details.
Six children dead in New York house fire: All six, ranging in age from one to 12, died of smoke inhalation when their house burned early Saturday in Fort Edward, New York (Washington County). The fire started in a downstairs room. Here’s more.
Collapse video We have two videos showing the collapse of the fire building during an eight-alarm fire in Marlborough, Massachusetts. Click here.
Police story 1: Firefighter Close Calls wonders why police don’t respond “routine” to fire calls. Billy Goldfeder is reacting to the weekend collision between a Philadelphia fire truck and a police car both responding to the same fire. A bicyclist was also injured. Click here for more.
Police story 2: Look at this video and explain why is there a need for not one, but two sheriff’s deputies to park their cars right behind the pumpers in front of the burning house. It doesn’t appear to have made a difference in this case, but it sure gets you wondering.
More on the firefighter who hid his four months in jail: The Salem News gives its views on the Haverhill, Massachusetts firefighter who had his shifts covered while he was in jail for four months. The paper has reported when the fire chief discovered what was going on Keith Thompson put in his retirement papers. The paper also says Thompson hasn’t has a valid driver’s license since 1992. Here’s the editorial.
Heading to the same fire in the Mantua neighborhood of West Philadelphia, a fire engine and police car collided, sending the cop’s vehicle into a bicycle. The collision occurred at 38th Street and Haverford Avenue. Here’s more from WPVI-TV:
Both the fire truck and the patrol car were en route to a fire in the 3900 block of Brown Street when both vehicles collided with one another.
A 45-year-old male officer from the 16th district and the 23-year-old male bicyclist were taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania for minor injuries.
Pennsylvania apartment fire: This fire was reported at 1:45 Monday morning at the Willow Creek Apartments in Ephrata Township (Lancaster County). Two alarms were sounded. Three firefighters suffered minor injuries. It is a fairly new sprinklered building, but news reports indicate the fire began outside, on the balcony of a third floor apartment. Read more.
Update on Baltimore’s Jeffrey Novack: The Baltimore City firefighter continues to recover from many broken bones and serious burns following the April 7 fire at 3910 Liberty Heights Avenue. Jeffrey Novack’s home town paper in Pennsylvania talked with his firefighter/radio reporter dad Al, who provided a lot more details about his son’s condition. Here’s the story.
Ammo takes firefighter’s eye: That’s the latest on Ventura County, California Firefighter Paul Torres. You may recall he was hit on April 5 by exploding ammunition during a house fire. Read and watch the story.
Brain drain in Fairfax County: Darryl Louder is the latest assistant chief leaving the Fairfax County Fire Rescue Department for a chief’s job. Chief Louder is getting about as far away as he can get from us. He’s been picked to run the Contra Costa Fire District in California. Read more. By contrast, Assistant Chief Dave Rohr is staying about as close as he can get to his old office. It was announced earlier in the month Chief Rohr is walking across the street to take over as chief of the City of Fairfax Fire Department.
Video from substation fire: Click here and here for good video of a Pinellas County, Florida electrical substation burning last night and a foam truck moving in to put out the fire.
911 calls from Austin plane crash into IRS office: Austin police released the recordings of the calls about the fiery plane crash into the building housing the IRS on February 18. WUSA9.com’s Emily Cyr loaded them into our player (at the upper right of the blog). You can listen to the calls here, here, here, here, here, here and here. We also have the calls made about the fire at pilot Joe Stack’s home here, and here. Read more.
NIOSH wants Massachusetts to require seat belts for firefighters: One of the recommendations following the January, 2009 crash of Ladder 26 that killed Lt. Kevin Kelley. Read the report.
Also in Boston, Globe wants the pay raise slashed: Editorial writers at the Boston Globe are urging the City Council to reduce the 19-percent raise for firefighters over four-years cleared by an arbitration panel that also ordered mandatory drug and alcohol testing. Read the view from the paper.
Two go through the floor in Columbus, Ohio: We have the fireground audio from FireSceneAudio.com and video of yesterday morning’s fire that took the life of a woman and injured two firefighters. Click here.
Audio from Houston crash: You have likely seen the pictures of Houston Fire Department’s Engine 13 following Monday’s crash into the underside of a freeway overpass. Here’s the radio traffic.
Firefighter and son could face murder charges: Now that a 55-year-old man has died from an April 8 beating, a Philadelphia firefighter and his son are expected to be charged with murder. The pair are accused of attacking Mark Wallace and fleeing the scene after Wallace walked in front of their car. Here’s the story.
This is clearly a mistake: In the spot where you normally would find a compelling fire video, I am giving you a bunch of talking heads this morning. Some are people you may know by name or the blog they write (you will see that most, like me, have a face for blogging). They were all at Friday night’s fire and EMS bloggers meetup at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor as part of EMS Today. Besides the bloggers (they had a special area taped off just for us, but I think it was meant to keep us from mixing with the sane people), it was nice to hang out with the folks from JEMS, FireEMSBlogs.com and George Washington University who sponsored the event. If you want a complete run down of who was there and all of the scoop, check out the posting from a man of great stature in the blogging community (don’t be fooled by the pictures), The Fire Critic, Rhett Fleitz. After almost three years of communicating via some sort of electronic means, the hardest working man in the blogosphere and I were finally in the same room. But I was immediately a great disappointment to Rhett, when I was unable to make good on my promise to introduce him to one of the “VIPs” in the room. The person kept avoiding me, which fits with Rhett’s quote that “some love to hate Dave” (I’m not sure I like me either). Well, enough of us patting ourselves on the back and let’s get on with the news.
UPDATE – Bensalem, Pennsylvania medic Daniel McIntosh dies while dealing with suicidal patient: From Bucks County, Firefighter Close Calls and The Trentonian report the medic was stabbed while dealing with a suicidal patient during a call around 7:00 PM last night. But there are also some possibly conflicting reports about what happened, including a police officer indicating no weapon was involved. The latest information from Philly.com is that McIntosh had a head injury received while chasing after the mentally ill man. But the cause of death will not be released until the autopsy has been completed. We do know the 39-year-medic later died. He leaves behind a wife and two young daughters. McIntosh was a medic for the Bucks County South SWAT Team. He also recently took a job as a part time police officer for Hulmeville Borough. Read and watch the story here, here and here. Also, check JEMS Connect, PhillyFireNews.com and Bensalem EMS.
The razor’s edge: If you haven’t read the story from the Florida Keys about one of the most unusual causes for a vehicle collision, you will want to. Truly a classic that will be retold for generations. Check it out.
One giant leap by Dave Statter: I somehow made a connection between the above must read story to the must see video from Erie, Pennsylvania where an SUV’s left turn took priority over a fire engine responding to a call. Probably poor taste and not journalistically sound, but I did it. So watch the video.
And then there’s this quote: We never really had a quote of the week category, but we started it on Saturday and we are already retiring the trophy. If you haven’t checked it out you will want to see Chicago Fire Commissioner John Brooks public defense to a sexual harassment charge. Click here.
Enough of the silliness, now back to the stuff that matters - watch the wires!!!: There were two incidents in two days were a ladder and a tower made contact with power lines injuring eight firefighters. One in Delavan, Wisconsin and one in Houston, Texas. Everyone survived. In the Wisconsin case two chiefs disagree over whether there should be an investigation. We have details, pictures and video on both, plus a look back at two other incidents. Here is our coverage.
Static electricity behind fatal car fire: Fire at a gas pump in Lower Allen Township, Pennsylvania is being blamed on static electricity. No sign of cell phone use. Smoking was also ruled out. Here is the story.
Philly recruiter denounced for email outlining plan to break rules in efforts to increase minority applicants: Captain Troy Gore says he immediately sent out an email denouncing his own scheme to allow minorities to apply to be a Philadelphia firefighter after the deadline closed. Despite that, Captain Gore is now on paid leave and has been denounced by the Valiants Club Inc. , the African American firefighters organization that has long challenged the department’s hiring practices. In fact, the president of the Valiants, Kenneth Greene Sr., leaked the email to the Philadelphia Inquirer. It also turns out that Gore had planned to challenge Greene in the next election. Read more.
How it is supposed to work – citizen sings the praises of first responders even though the had a 45-minute response time that stretched to almost three-hours before transport: We have already heard horror stories about questionable EMS responses in Pittsburgh and Washington, DC during the recent blizzards. Here is a different view, where fire, EMS and private citizens in Loudoun County, Virginia beat the expectations of the public in their response through five-foot snow drifts in an effort to help an elderly woman who had fallen and broken her hip. Check it out.
See, I told you: I have no clue if it is true, but I saw this coming. You may recall what I wrote last week about how the current goings on in Clark County, Nevada fit a pattern all over the country as overtime is targeted by political leaders looking to cut budgets. Part of that pattern is a claim of abuse of the system by firefighters. That piece of the puzzle was detailed yesterday in the Las Vegas Sun where there are claims firefighters are “gaming the system” with sick leave abuse translating into more overtime. Click here for the latest.