Raw video as citizens, firefighters and police officers teamed up to rescue an elderly woman just in time as her car was quickly sinking in Portland Harboron Friday afternoon. The 84-year-old woman lost control of the vehicle as she was driving on India Street.
Just as the accident happened, Lt. Robert Slaving said the fire department was training a short distance from the site and responded within 30 seconds. He said the rescue squad was able to get in the water quickly and help get the driver the rest of the way out of the car and back onto the land.
Slaving said without the efforts of the emergency personnel and Good Samaritans, the accident might not have ended with a positive result. “It might have been a different outcome,” he said.
Katie Nelson of Biddeford was having lunch at Benkay on India Street when she saw a car speeding by and then heard a crash. She went outside to see what had happened, and saw 84 year-old Ursula Nixon’s car in Portland Harbor.
Nelson wasted no time jumping into the water to help. She climbed onto the car and in the rear window.
“I just remember pulling myself up and and looking in at her and there was water all in the front of the car and she was in the front seat,” Nelson told NEWS CENTER. “so I just, I said, ‘Hi I’m Katie,’ and she’s like, ‘I don’t want to die in here, I’m going to drown.’”
Police say Ashley Choate was arrested following an investigation into the theft of money from the home of a woman who was found dead in her Portland, Tennessee home on Monday. News reports indicate that Choate was immediately fired from her job at Sumner County EMS and resigned as chief of the Oak Grove Community Fire Department.
Portland Police were conducting a death investigation Monday at a home on Highway 259 near the Tennessee/Kentucky boarder. Detectives say Melissa Humphrey died of natural causes, but they also found cash in a vehicle parked inside the home’s garage.
They say 28-year-old Ashley Choate, a Sumner County EMS worker, arrived by ambulance to assist. When the officers went to collect and hand the money over to the family it was gone.
During the investigation, officers found cash in a vehicle that was in the garage, according to a release from Portland police. When officers went to retrieve the money to turn it over to family members, they discovered it missing.
“Detectives then began speaking with all personnel present on the scene, and discovered that Choate … was the only known person in the garage, unsupervised,” the release said.
According to the arrest affidavit filed against Choate, she confessed to having taken the money, which she said was about $100, but had torn it up and thrown it out the window while driving back home because “she knew she should not have done it.”
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.
Two residents of a Portland, Maine apartment building were hospitalized following a fire yesterday afternoon. One of those people was rescued by a neighbor from the first floor apartment where the fire started.
A man, who was uninjured, came down by ladder raised by firefighters after he escaped to the roof from his top floor unit.
Francois Agwala, who lives on the third floor, said he smelled something burning in his building but never saw any flames. He took refuge from the smoke on a small balcony on the third floor, and that’s where firefighters found him when they arrived.
Wassick said firefighters made contact with Agwala and eventually helped bring him down on a ladder.
“There was a lot of smoke coming out of the third floor,” Wassick said.
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."
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.
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.
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.