Rescuing a blind and deaf Chief (we don’t mean the guy in the picture above): Chief in this case is a 30-year-old horse. Chief fell into a sinkhole yesterday afternoon in Frederick County, Maryland. It took firefighters six hours to bring Chief to safety. Watch the story above, or click here to read more.
NOTE: Don’t forget the player at the right where there are new videos from Haiti and the work of the USAR teams. Also, the aftermath of a Germantown, Maryland two-alarm apartment fire where Montgomery County crews brought numerous people to safety down ladders. (Click here for more details from the fire.)
NEW- Houston fire chief out after botched sensitivity/grievance session: At 7:00 this morning Houston firefighters were notified that Chief Phil Boriskie would be stepping down. At 8:30 the chief gathered the press to say he was stepping aside and returning to the firehouse after six-years as chief. Certainly not a bit of a surprise after last week’s gathering the chief ran at Station 54 to welcome back Firefighter Jane Draycott. Draycott is the firefighter who reported some not so nice graffiti in the women’s locker room and then became the target of the investigation. What was apparently someone’s idea that there should be “a can’t we all get along” type meeting attended by the chief blew up as a station captain and two other firefighters read letters saying why they didn’t want Draycott at their firehouse. Talk about making a bad situation worse.
The Houston Chronicle has this quote from IAFF Local 341 President Jeff Caynon: “The truth is, Chief Boriskie was a victim of his good nature and management style, both of which left him vulnerable to political attack. For the past year, the opportunist politicians, extremist activists and disgruntled city employees who recklessly stereotyped local firefighters also treated the chief despicably.”
Houston’s mayor is expected to have her briefing on the fire chief situation later today.
Just trust me and click where I tell you: You will want to see this picture from a Schenectady, New York apartment fire. Plus there is good fireground audio from FireSceneAudio.com. So what are you waiting for? Click here.
A phone call from Haiti: Captain Joe Knerr from the Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department took a few minutes away from his vital work in Haiti to give STATter911.com a call yesterday afternoon with the latest on Virginia Task Force 1. The team has assisted in 15 rescues since its arrival last week. You can listen to the entire interview with Captain Knerr and see some close-up video of the team’s work during the very first rescue last Thursday. Click here for our coverage.
A close call even before arriving in Haiti: Read the story of a Natick, Massachusetts firefighter’s trip to help earthquake victims. A near collision brought on some other problems with the plane that was taking firefighters to Haiti.
“A sneak peak into hell”: That’s what an Austin firefighter calls a fire ten-years-ago that almost killed a captain. John Butz lost a thumb, had burns over much of his body and suffered a heart attack because of the fire. He is now a battalion chief. Chief Butz and the firefighters who saved him talk about their experience. Click here.
170-year-old church burns: History destroyed in Cummington, Massachusetts. Community Congregational Church has been on the scene in the town of 1500 since 1840. Check out the video and the pictures from a man who goes back almost as far, Firegeezer.
Laid off firefighter is first arriving at house fire: Jason Harris is one of the firefighters who was laid off in December from New York’s Canandaigua Fire Rescue. But that didn’t stop Harris when fire broke out in his neighborhood. Read the details.
She looked flushed: ”Ying Chao was relieved in more ways than one when volunteer firefighters came to her rescue at a Blenheim public toilet last night.” That’s the first line of the story about the poor woman in Australia who dialed 111 when she had trouble making a getaway from the bathroom. It turned out she really didn’t need much help. Read more.
Historic hotel burns: This was the 96-year-old Fort Hotel that burned in the city of Fort Saskatchewan in Alberta, Canada yesterday afternoon. As you will see in this report, the fire apparently started in the restaurant and spread to the second and third floors. From CTV, Edmonton- “Halfway through their [fire crews] search on the second floor they came across where the fire had spread and it was too hot for the crews to continue,” said Deputy Fire Chief James Clark.” Incident command made the decision to go defensive so it was safe for all the firefighters.” Click here for more video.