Fire Service


Firefighter Close Calls - 12 hours 10 min ago

Nine firefighters were treated for heat exhaustion and six were take to the hospital to be evaluated after battling a blaze on Greensprings Road in Conewago Township Saturday.

All of them are now home and recovering, according to the Strinestown Fire Company’s Facebook page. Crews battled the three-alarm fire for over six hours, officials said. No one was home at the time of the fire, and two people were displaced, according to FOX43.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - 12 hours 12 min ago

BATON ROUGE – A late-night house fire near North Sherwood Forest Drive sent a firefighter to the hospital.

Central Fire Department says they received reports of the blaze on the 4300 block of Fort Myers Drive around 11:48 p.m. Friday night. Once crews arrived on scene they found the flames burning through the roof of the home. Firefighters quickly put the blaze out, the fire was under control at 12:26 a.m.

One firefighter was injured in efforts to put out the blaze. He was transported to Our Lady of the Lake hospital and treated for dehydration then later discharged. No other injuries were reported.

The fire is being investigated by Baton Rouge Fire Investigators as it is considered “suspicious” in nature. Anyone with information on the fire is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at (225) 344-7867.

The Red Cross was called to help the family.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - 12 hours 18 min ago

TREMONT, the Bronx — Three firefighters were injured battling a blaze that broke out at a Bronx auto body shop Saturday afternoon.

Crews responded to a four-alarm fire on the first floor of a commercial building at 1875 Carter Ave. in Tremont shortly after 6 p.m., fire officials said.

Video from Citizen App shows thick, heavy smoke billowing from the tire shop that can be seen from blocks away.

The fire broke out as New York City deals with sweltering heat, with temperatures feeling as if they’re in the 100-degree range.

Despite the oppressive heat and humidity, firefighters contained the blaze, keeping it from spreading to nearby buildings.

“On arrival we had heavy fire,” said FDNY Assistant Chief Wayne Cartwright.

“This type of weather where we keep rotating firefighters to avoid heat stroke and heat exhaustion,”  he said.

About 190 firefighters responded to the scene.

Three firefighters suffered minor injuries, fire officials said. Two of them were initially listed in serious condition.

It was not immediately clear on whether or not the injuries were related to the extreme weather.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - 12 hours 20 min ago

Firefighers responding to a house fire in Wilson were treated for heat exhaustion Thursday afternoon.

“The weather conditions with excessive heat and humidity presented dangerously hot conditions for the fire suppression teams,” Deputy Chief Ben Smith of Wilson Fire/Rescue Services said in a report on the incident.

Fire crews were dispatched to a home at 3610 Columbia Ave. NW at 6:22 p.m.. When fire crews arrived at 6:27 p.m., flames were consuming the structure. No one was home at the time of the fire, the cause of which was determined to be accidental.

“Due to the volume of fire and weather conditions, we deployed all our resources to the scene and called back off-duty personnel to provide coverage to the community,” Smith said in his report.

Two firefighters among the 33 who responded to the fire were evaluated for heat stress and overexertion.

“The heat and humidity levels do wear on the firefighters pretty quick,” Smith said. “First and foremost, we try to practice good nutrition and good hydration year-round, and physical fitness is our first approach because nutrition and preparation actually starts before the event ever happens, so we try to preach that and practice that year-round.”

The most seriously affected firefighter was with the first crews to attack the fire.

“He was on the first unit that went in on the fire, and it was a pretty significant fire,” Smith said. Smith said the firefighter is recovering well. “We actually took him off the truck for the rest of the night last night just as a precautionary (measure),” Smith said. “He was doing great. His body was recovering. So we take follow-up measures now. We get behind him. We support him as we would any of our team members, and we are sending him for follow-up evaluation with the city of Wilson health clinic.”

Smith said the department benefits from a good relationship with Wilson County EMS.

“They come out with the paramedics. They evaluate our teams,” Smith said. “They check them for signs of heat exposure and heat stress, and if need be, we take actions to remove them from the environment until we can get their body to recover from the impact of that heat and the operations.”

If possible, Smith said the department will limit the time a firefighter is fighting the fire during extreme hot weather.

“The safety of our community and the safety of our personnel is absolutely first and foremost,” Smith said. “If we are in a position that I can lessen their exposure to that intense heat and that environment, then I will absolutely take those steps.”

Smith said the Wilson department is blessed with good firefighters. “In a situation like this, we call back off-duty team members,” Smith said. “They were quick to respond. We reached out to our partners in the county, our volunteer departments, and notified them that all of our resources were committed to the fire so that they were ready to pick up and respond if we had another incident. We reached out to the Silver Lake Volunteer Fire Department in particular. They came in to help us with air supply to our tanks. It takes a team to make this work.”

Smith said the damage to the house, valued at $149,289, was significant.

“The potential is there for a total loss. That is ultimately determined by the insurance companies and the adjustments on it,” Smith said. “Unfortunately, these occupants did lose quite a bit. It is really a sad situation as it always is. There are some items in that house that are salvageable like clothing, but there was some significant damage to this house and they are going to lose a lot. Four people occupied the home, which is owned by Westle M. Thibeaux. The American Red Cross responded to the fire to assist the occupants.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - 17 hours 56 min ago

7/21/1887 a Buffalo, NY firefighter died while fighting a fire at Box 232, Main and Goodell for the Ziegele Brewery at Washington and Virginia. “Engine 6 responded on the multiple Alarm as the blaze grew quickly. Firefighters bravely battled the flames as they threatened many nearby buildings. While advancing a hose line up a ladder to use on the second floor, a piece of the buildings cornice fell to the ground striking two firefighters sweeping them off the ladder to the ground. One firefighter suffered from burns and internal injuries and was transported to the General Hospital. His condition worsened, and he was pronounced deceased around 7 o’clock.”

7/21/1920 two Philadelphia, PA firefighters “were killed while operating at a three-alarm fire at the five-story Fritz & LaRue Carpet Company at 1615 Chestnut St. A half-dozen other firefighters were also injured. Ironically, one of the firefighters had escaped injury at a fire a year earlier, when he slid down a ladder to safety as the building began to collapse. Six firefighters were killed in that collapse.”

7/21/1957 a Worcester, MA firefighter died when a newly installed transformer blew and caused a fire at Worcester State Hospital, causing thermal burns.

7/21/1981 an Orchard Beach, Anne Arundel County, Maryland firefighter died in a propane explosion.

7/21/1994 a Manhattan, New York (FDNY) firefighter “died as a result of injuries he sustained on June 5, 1994, while operating at a five-alarm fire. He had collapsed from smoke inhalation in the basement of a TriBeCa warehouse. He had been on life support after being revived with CPR, but was pronounced brain dead. After never regaining consciousness, his family made the decision to remove him from the life sustaining equipment. As arson suspect was captured and charged with the murder in the death. Alberto A. Raposo, 22 was arrested on June 16, 1994 and charged with setting both the June 5th fire that claimed the firefighter’s life, and another fire on May 30, 1994. Alberto Reposo, the arsonist that caused the death, was sentenced to 43 years for his acts on June 5, 1994 at 70 Worth Street, NYC.”

7/21/2007 two Contra Costa County, Pleasant Hill, California died at a structural fire. “At 0143hrs, Engine 70 was dispatched to a residential fire alarm. As additional information was received, the incident was upgraded to a structural fire response with the addition of 2 engines, a quint, and a command officer. Engine 70 arrived on the scene at 1:50 a.m. and reported heavy fire and smoke from a small single-family residence. Firefighters reported that they had confirmed reports that two occupants of the home were still inside. The two firefighters advanced an attack line into the structure and flowed water on the fire. They reported that the fire had been knocked down and requested ventilation at 1:55 a.m. The two firefighters exited the structure temporarily to retrieve a TIC. They re-entered the structure and went to the left toward the bedrooms with an attack line while another crew went to the right without an attack line. A firefighter from Engine 70 placed a positive pressure ventilation fan at the front door. One of the civilian fire victims was located by the crew that had gone to the right, her removal was difficult, and firefighters had to exit the building to ask for help. During this time, the fire inside of the house rapidly advanced. Firefighters had difficulty venting the roof due to the presence of multiple roofs, built up roofing materials, and the type of construction. A command officer arrived on the scene at approximately 2:02 a.m. The command officer tried to contact the Engine 70 crew by radio but was unsuccessful. A second alarm was requested, and a report of a missing firefighter was transmitted at approximately 2:05 a.m. The fire had advanced within the structure and had to be controlled before firefighters could search for the missing crew. The two firefighters were located and removed from the structure between 2:12 and 2:26 a.m. The firefighters were found in a bedroom. It has been suggested that the deceased firefighters left the handline that they advanced into the structure to conduct a search. When fire conditions changed rapidly, they were trapped in the bedroom. The cause of death for both firefighters was listed as thermal burns and smoke inhalation. The cause of the fire was careless disposal of smoking materials.”

7/21/2008 a Maplewood, MO firefighter was shot and killed while responding to a car fire at 5:40 a.m. “Maplewood firefighters were dispatched to a report of a vehicle fire. The units arrived and reported a vehicle fire and said that they were using a booster line. At 5:46 a.m. firefighters reported that they were taking gunfire. Moments later, firefighters advised that they had a firefighter and a police officer down and were still taking gunfire. The firefighter suffered a gunshot wound to the head and was out of reach of the other firefighters on the scene. A gunman had apparently set the vehicle fire to draw responders into the scene. The gunman was barricaded in a single-family residence. In addition to the firefighter’s death, two police officers were injured. The gunman also died in the incident.”

7/21/2005 al-Qaida terrorists attack London transit system at rush hour by planting bombs on three subways and on one bus; none of the bombs detonate completely. “The attempted attack came exactly two weeks after terrorists killed fifty-six people, including themselves, and wounded 700 others in the largest attack on Great Britain since World War II.”

7/21/1998 a fire on a fully occupied (more than 3,400 people on board) cruise ship that set sail from the Port of Miami started shortly after leaving the port around 5:30 p.m. while workers were repairing a broken mount on some laundry equipment, accidently ignited dust in the exhaust duct led to the mooring deck in the stern of the ship and ignited combustible materials. The ship was towed back to the port after losing propulsion. Sixty passengers and crew were injured in the incident, most suffering smoke inhalation.

7/21/1913 Jackson, MS a fire at a convict farm killed thirty-five prisoners in the second floor in an antiquated convict cage after flames rapidly ate away the only stairway leading to the second floor.

7/21/1905 USS Bennington, a gunboat, boiler explosion killed sixty near San Diego, CA.

7/21/1923 Salamanca, NY business district fire started from a bonfire in the rear of an abandoned skating rink: “The west side of Main Street from the river to Broad Street was swept clear of standing structures with the exception of one garage, which was badly damaged but did not collapse. The east side of Main Street half a block of business structures was burned over, and the flames ate their way into the residential section in Clinton Street, which joins the business district near the scene of the fire’s inception.”

7/21/1896 Terre Haute, IN Opera House was destroyed by fire.

7/21/1894 Birmingham, AL business district fire started at 1:00 a.m. in a furniture store on the corner of First Avenue and Twenty-Second Street and “consumed the celebrated Caldwell Hotel, the finest structure of the kind in the south.” The fire spread to several adjoining buildings.

7/21/1892 Brickhead Village, GA a school was struck by lightning filled with fifty pupils and two teachers that started a fire that killed five.

7/21/1890 Red Key, IN a gunpowder explosion injured five; while a crowd of men were lounging at the grocery store in the afternoon. One man set off a firecracker. “A spark flew into a keg of powder, and a terrific explosion ensued. A moment later the roof of the frame building fell in…”

7/21/1952 Tehachapi, CA earthquake.

7/21/0365 Alexandria hit by Earthquake; about 50,000 die.


Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Sat, 07/20/2019 - 05:44

7/20/1899 a Denver, Colorado firefighter “succumbed to injuries sustained while operating at the Western Chemical Company fire on June 18, 1899, at South Seventh and Bayaud. The fire started just before 6:00 p.m., billowing thick brown smoke from a storeroom. The storeroom contained about 50 carboys of muriatic acid, two of which had already exploded. The Assistant Chief stated, “We went into the room with a hose from the chemical tank of Truck 3 and soon had the fire out”. Five firefighters were taken ill by the muriatic acid fumes. Doctors treated the firefighter who passed with injections of nitroglycerin and whisky as well as oxygen. He died as a result of exposure to the fumes and pneumonia.”

7/20/1908 an Atlanta, Georgia firefighter died “while he was operating a line from a ladder into the second floor during a fire at the Miller-Karwisch Buggy & Wagon Works factory, at the corner of Gilmer and Courtland Streets. He was knocked from his position when backpressure caused the line to suddenly recoil. He did a complete flip in the air, landing on his head and back on the sidewalk below. He was rushed to the hospital, where he died on the operating table as a result of a broken neck, fractured skull, and severe internal injuries.”

7/20/1943 a Council Bluffs, Iowa firefighter “was working at an incident in the Union Pacific rail yard on July 11, 1943 trying to rescue railroad workers from a tank car. During the incident the railcar caught fire and exploded. He critically burned and died from his injuries on July 20th.”

7/20/1951 a Chicago, IL firefighter “was killed in a dust explosion while operating at a 4-11 alarm fire in a commercial building at 4734 S. Ashland Avenue. The fire started in a shoe store and rapidly spread to other stores in the same building. Firefighters were chopping ventilation holes in the roof of the building when the large dust explosion, “worse than dynamite,” erupted, hurling him and two other firefighters off the roof and into the street. He was killed instantly, and the other two firefighter suffered serious injuries. Twelve other firefighters and more than twenty civilians also suffered minor injuries.”

7/20/1952 a Longview, Texas firefighter “died during a roof collapse at Collier Furniture fire at 327 West Tyler”

7/20/1994 a Brooklyn, New York firefighter died from injuries he received on June 5, when he “collapsed from smoke inhalation and was found unconscious in the basement of a five-story warehouse after a fire that required the response of more than 300 firefighters. He died seven weeks later without regaining consciousness. A suspected arsonist has been arrested and charged with starting the fire. Sixteen other firefighters were injured during the incident.”

7/20/2004 two London, UK firefighters died after “fire crews were called to a serious fire at a shot with flats above in East London. Conditions at the scene were extremely difficult due to the layout of the building, lack of visibility and intense heat. The two firefighters became trapped inside the building and despite the worsening conditions, were located by their colleagues and carried out. Sadly, they died from their injuries.”

7/20/2013 a Marshfield, MO firefighter died from injuries he received at a working residential structure fire on July 13th. “He and another firefighter were in the basement of the structure attempting to locate the fire. No fire was located in the basement, so they were ordered by the IC to back out of the structure. Moments later, they radioed that they had located the fire in the basement and were making an attack on the fire. Within minutes, fire conditions in the structure changed rapidly and an evacuation of the building was ordered. One firefighter was helped from the building and the other firefighter was missing. Firefighters knocked down the fire from the exterior and the firefighter could be heard and was seen crawling toward the exit. Firefighters pulled him from the building and began medical treatment. He received severe burns while inside of the structure. He was transported to a regional burn facility where he died as a result of his injuries on July 20th.

7/20/1993 a fire damaged a press box at Atlanta Fulton County Stadium.

7/20/1958 a power plant explosion killed twenty-three in Kokin Breg, Yugoslavia.

7/20/1938 Baltimore, MD an explosion of 450 pounds of dynamite killed ten of eighteen workmen blasting a water tunnel through solid rock 200’ below the surface near the city pumping station.

7/20/1916 Newhall, IA the seventeen business houses in the business district were destroyed by fire that started from the explosion of a gasoline stove in a store.

7/20/1912 Vancouver, BC business district was destroyed by fire.

7/20/1977 the 2nd great flood hit Johnstown that killed eighty-four. “The flood occurred when an extraordinary amount of rain came down in the Conemaugh Valley in a short period of time. Nearly 12 inches were measured in 10 hours. The National Weather Service later estimated that this amount of rain in that location should happen less than once every 1,000 years.”

7/20/1968 Coney Island, NY an amusement ride collapses injuring fourteen.

7/20/1969 “that’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” as Armstrong walks on moon, Apollo 11 was the spaceflight that landed the first humans on the Moon, Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.


Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 20:07
One firefighter was treated at Norwalk Hospital Friday after being exposed to pesticides in smoke while battling a pickup truck fire at lawn care company Tuff Lawn, Norwalk Deputy Fire Chief Todd Smith.

The firefighter, whose identity was not released, was released Friday morning following treatment.

According to Smith, the fire, located at the company’s Martin Luther King Drive facility, was reported at about 9:30 a.m., and was controlled by the building’s sprinkler system until firefighters got to the scene.

“Upon arrival a vehicle was found on fire inside the garage,” said Smith in a statement. “The vehicle was a pickup truck parked next to pallets of fertilizer with pesticides. The cab of the truck was fully involved in fire.”

Smith added that “damage appears to be confined to the vehicle and the pallets of fertilizer/pesticide next to it.”

The cause of the fire is being investigated by the fire department’s Fire Marshal Division.

Smith said the department’s “Command Car, 3 Engine Companies, 2 Ladder Companies and 1 Rescue Company along with the Assistant Chief and the Fire Prevention Bureau Inspector” responded to the fire.

All units cleared the scene just after 11 a.m.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 20:04

Two firefighters were injured Wednesday after a vacant gas station holding 90,000 pounds of chemicals went up in flames in northwest suburban Park Ridge.

The fire was first reported about 5 p.m. in the 900 block of North Northwest Highway and took about an hour to put out, Park Ridge Fire Chief Jeff Sorensen said.

However, towards the end of the firefight, first responders discovered that the building was housing 90,000 pounds of calcium peroxide, which was put there for remediation work on the property, Sorensen said.

Fire crews spent the next several hours attempting to contain the newfound hazardous materials scene as they were dealing with runoff from the chemical, which had reacted to the 250,000 gallons of water used in the firefight, Sorensen said. Most of the responding fire companies left the scene about 10:30 p.m.

The owner of the property called a private hazardous material cleanup crew in order to clear the public streets and sidewalks, Park Ridge fire said. They continued their work into Thursday morning.

Two firefighters, one from the Niles Fire Department and the other from the Schiller Park Fire Department, were treated for minor chemical burns and released from Lutheran General Hospital, Sorensen said.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is working with the owner of the property to develop a plan to minimize the risk of another incident at the site.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 20:02

A firefighter was rushed to the hospital for smoke inhalation while fighting a massive two-alarm house fire in River Oaks late Thursday night.

The firefighter was part of the first fire engine crew to arrive at a house fire in the 4000 block of Meadow Lake Lane, near San Felipe and Weslayan. Witnesses initially reported that an apartment was on fire there, but the structure in question was actually a large, two-story house, according to Houston Fire Department Deputy Chief Blake White.


White said the first crew saw heavy smoke and fire shooting out of the second story of the building, so they went inside to make a quick attack on the blaze. When they realized the fire was more intense than they originally thought, the crew made its way out of the building.

That’s when one of the firefighters started to run out of air in his tank, White said.

The firefighter made a “mayday” call for help just as the crew was exiting the building. He was rushed to Memorial Hermann Hospital for smoke inhalation, White said.

Dozens of other firefighters helped put of the fire, which lasted more than an hour and a half. HFD arson investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire, although White said the homeowner claimed the cause was electrical.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 09:47

Jay Jordon, Houston Chronicle:

A firefighter was rushed to the hospital for smoke inhalation while fighting a massive two-alarm house fire in River Oaks late Thursday night.

The firefighter was part of the first fire engine crew to arrive at a house fire in the 4000 block of Meadow Lake Lane, near San Felipe and Weslayan. Witnesses initially reported that an apartment was on fire there, but the structure in question was actually a large, two-story house, according to Houston Fire Department Deputy Chief Blake White.

White said the first crew saw heavy smoke and fire shooting out of the second story of the building, so they went inside to make a quick attack on the blaze. When they realized the fire was more intense than they originally thought, the crew made its way out of the building.That’s when one of the firefighters started to run out of air in his oxygen tank, White said.

Read the full story here.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

Facebook posts lead to firings of 13 Philadelphia police officers

Statter 911 - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 09:37

56 others cops to face disciplinary action

The post Facebook posts lead to firings of 13 Philadelphia police officers appeared first on Statter911.

Categories: Fire Service

Today is Friday, July 19th, 2019

ARFF Working Group - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 08:10

30 years ago today, United Airlines flight 232 went down at Sioux Gateway Airport in Iowa. Amazing how time goes by so fast!

We close out this week with the following stories…

Have a great weekend and be safe out there!


The post Today is Friday, July 19th, 2019 appeared first on ARFFWG | ARFF Working Group.

Oxford plane crash: flight instructor calls teen pilot’s death ‘totally preventable’

ARFF Working Group - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 08:00

Phillip Jackson and Daniel Connolly, Memphis Commercial Appeal

A federal investigative agency has released a preliminary report on the July 6 small plane crash that killed an 18-year-old student pilot in Oxford, Mississippi, and a flight instructor says he believes the young woman’s death was preventable. 

The report quotes witnesses who said the pilot sounded “panicked” in communications with the control tower and that the plane made an aborted landing attempt, then rose sharply, turned and crashed onto a golf course.

The report cites a witness who said the pilot had attempted to land with a tailwind – that is, with the wind behind the airplane.

That’s a serious error, because pilots are supposed to fly into the wind while landing to help slow down the airplane, according to Robert Katz, a Dallas flight instructor who frequently reads crash reports and discusses them with news media.

He said the report leads him to believe that the pilot had trouble finding the runway and approached from the wrong direction. He says that and other indicators in the recently released National Transportation Safety Board preliminary crash report suggest the student pilot wasn’t properly trained for that day’s solo flight that took off near Columbus, Mississippi and traveled to Oxford.

“In summary, what happened to this kid is totally preventable,” Katz said. “She fell through the cracks of a system that’s supposed to protect student pilots from this kind of catastrophe.”

18-year-old Lake Little of Starkville, Mississippi, had recently graduated from high school and was planning to attend the University of Southern Mississippi. She dreamed of flying for FedEx –the company later sent commemorative wings to her family

The NTSB cautions that information in the preliminary report, released this week, may include errors. The agency says it aims to correct them when the final report is complete.

According to the NTSB report, Little had first received a student pilot certificate in August 2017, then received a third-class medical certificate in October 2018. That type of certificate is required for solo flights.

At the time of the crash, she had logged 69.4 hours of flight time.

Civil Air Patrol chief calls for greater attention to safety

Little was flying a single-engine plane with the Civil Air Patrol. It’s an organization affiliated with the U.S. Air Force that carries out emergency services and disaster relief missions nationwide, runs science and engineering programs and also trains young pilots.

Katz said the Civil Air Patrol and the instructor involved are responsible. “We’re talking about children whose parents are trusting the elders in the CAP to set a good example and to protect their children from this kind of malfeasance, in my opinion.”

The Civil Air Patrol national headquarters was already closed late Wednesday and efforts to reach a representative for comment were unsuccessful.  But in an online message posted shortly after the crash, the group’s National Commander and CEO, Maj. Gen. Mark Smith, called for increased attention to safety.

“My request is that each of us, from a risk management perspective, reflect on the duties assigned to us. Whether we are in steady state (Civil Air Patrol) activities, involved in cadet special activities or conducting flight activities, let us ensure that our approach to and performance of these duties reflects the high standards of excellence and professionalism to which we are called.”

“Doing so will honor our fallen member and help ensure the safe conduct of our operations.”

The investigation found the plane’s flaps appeared to have been retracted. Pilots deploy flaps when approaching a runway, because the flaps help provide more lift at slower speeds, Katz said. If the pilot retracted the flaps after the landing attempt, it would cause the plane to sink suddenly, he said. He believes that’s what happened in this case. 

A witness at the golf course described seeing the airplane appearing to be “struggling” to maintain airspeed, with its nose up, and appearing to be very close to stalling, the NTSB report says.

The witness then saw the plane make a left turn and lose altitude. It struck the ground and slid up to nearby trees.

The pilot suffered serious burns in the crash, Ole Miss spokesman Rod Guajardo said in a statement earlier this month.

According to the NTSB report, bystanders and first responders tried to help the young pilot out of the cockpit, but her seatbelt and shoulder harness kept her inside. Then a fire started. Firefighters put it out and rescuers eventually extracted the pilot.

She was airlifted to a Memphis hospital, where she was later pronounced dead.

The post Oxford plane crash: flight instructor calls teen pilot’s death ‘totally preventable’ appeared first on ARFFWG | ARFF Working Group.

FAA Says Mobile Phones Could Pose Safety Risk on Some Boeing Jets

ARFF Working Group - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 07:51

Anita Sharpe, Bloomberg

Let’s be honest. Many travelers leave their cell phones in transmit mode during flight, either because they want to use it at low altitudes or because they forgot. Most people don’t think it’s such a big deal. Is it possible they’re wrong?

— Brian Sumers

U.S. government officials in 2014 revealed an alarming safety issue: Passenger cellphones and other types of radio signals could pose a crash threat to some models of Boeing 737 and 777 airplanes.

More than 1,300 jets registered in the U.S. were equipped with cockpit screens vulnerable to interference from Wi-Fi, mobile phones, and even outside frequencies such as weather radar, according to the Federal Aviation Administration, which gave airlines until November 2019 to replace the units made by Honeywell International Inc.

Today, potentially hundreds of planes worldwide are still flying with the unsafe systems cited in the FAA report. Flight-critical data including airspeed, altitude, and navigation could disappear and “result in loss of airplane control at an altitude insufficient for recovery,” the FAA said in the safety bulletin, known as an airworthiness directive.

Honeywell hasn’t heard of any blanking display screens caused by cell phones or other radio frequencies while an airplane was in flight, spokeswoman Nina Krauss said. When airlines and Honeywell argued that radio signals were unlikely to cause safety problems during flight, though, the FAA countered that it had run tests on in-service planes — and the jets flunked.

Boeing Co. found the interference in a laboratory test in 2012 and hasn’t seen similar issues on other aircraft, a company spokesman said. Honeywell is aware of only one case where all six display units in a 737 cockpit went blank, Krauss said. The cause was a software problem that has been fixed and is currently being flight-tested, she said.

The affected 737s are the so-called Next Generation model, a predecessor of the Boeing Max, which was involved in two crashes in less than five months. Cockpit displays on the Max were made by Rockwell Collins, now a unit of United Technologies Corp., not Honeywell. Boeing’s 777s also were covered by the FAA order.

The FAA order didn’t quantify the amount of radio signals needed to cause interference problems. Still, the radio-signal threat extends beyond that specific display system and FAA warning.

Numerous cell phones left on during any airplane flight “could be a real problem,” said professor Tim Wilson, department chair for electrical, computer, software, and systems engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. The greater the number of phones emitting radio signals, he said, the greater the potential for interference with a plane’s flight system.


Many airlines now permit passengers to turn their phones to “airplane mode,” which allows Wi-Fi transmissions. But mobile phones operate at higher power levels, Wilson said, since the signals must reach a cell tower and not just a local antenna or router. “So cellular service is potentially more impactful,” he added.

The FAA in 2013 began the process of allowing wider use of electronic devices on planes, provided airlines could demonstrate it was safe. That prompted an outcry from consumer groups concerned about passengers being subjected to the cell phone conversations of seatmates.

No U.S. airlines allowed it and, in 2018, Congress barred the use of cell phones for calls during flights.

Honeywell initially told the FAA that 10,100 display units — or the equivalent of almost 1,700 planes — were affected worldwide. When asked this week about the progress of the fixes, Honeywell’s Krauss said that 8,000 components had been replaced and fewer than 400 needed upgrading.

The lower number reflects the fact that some airlines might have had the work performed at non-Honeywell facilities, and regulators in other regions of the world might not have ordered the units replaced. In addition, some planes might have been taken out of service due to age.

Depending on how many planes are still in service, the global number flying with display units that could cause critical data to disappear could be in the hundreds. But Krauss said that “even if a blanking incident were to occur,” the units are backed up by multiple redundancies.

Both Delta Air Lines Inc. and Southwest Airlines Co. have completed their overhauls, according to the companies. American Airlines Group Inc. has 14 more jets that need refurbished units, and United Airlines still needs to replace components across 17 aircraft, representatives from those companies said.

Ryanair Holdings Plc, the large Irish-based discount carrier, told the FAA in 2014 that its planes held 707 of the affected Honeywell units and argued at the time that changing out all of them “is imposing a high, and unnecessary, financial burden on operators.” A Ryanair spokeswoman said the airline hasn’t upgraded all 707 screens but that the carrier inspected all of its display units and “any affected DUs have been replaced.”


In just the past three years, mystified pilots flying Boeing NG or 777 jets — the same models cited in the FAA warning on cell phones — have reported more than a dozen instances of important flight information disappearing. Calling the situations “critical,” the pilots filed their concerns with the Aviation Safety Reporting System, or ASRS, which is administered by NASA.

Last September, pilots of a 737-700 noticed that various flight information was flashing on and off, and showing different air speeds and altitudes. Then a primary display unit went blank. “At that time,” the pilots wrote, “we decided it was best to get the aircraft on the ground.”

In January 2017, pilots of a 737 flying out of Costa Rica lost all of their map displays and the flight-management computers on both sides of the plane “during a critical phase of flight in mountainous terrain,” according to the crew’s ASRS report. If the flight information had disappeared in bad weather or at night, “it could have been a potentially disastrous outcome,” the pilot wrote.

Later that year, the captain of a 737-800 reported that key flight data intermittently disappeared as the jet was climbing through turbulence and the screens blanked even more during the descent. After the plane landed, maintenance crews couldn’t find any reason for the blanking display units. “Due to no known cause for a known recurring problem,” the pilot reported to ASRS, “I refused the aircraft for the next leg.”

The NASA-administered database scrubs the reports of identifying details, including names of airlines, pilots, and usually the locations. Aviation experts caution that the ASRS filings are based on crew reports and don’t provide official findings. And blanking display screens haven’t been cited in crashes, only in scary incidents.

Two years ago, the pilot of a 737-800 reported multiple episodes of important flight information “blanking or simply not functioning,” including an incident where the plane flew into a wind shear due to lack of data. “The so-called momentary blanking,” the pilot wrote, “is a puzzle.”

— With assistance from Thomas Black, Justin Bachman, Christopher Jasper, and Jonathan Morgan.

The post FAA Says Mobile Phones Could Pose Safety Risk on Some Boeing Jets appeared first on ARFFWG | ARFF Working Group.

Today in History

ARFF Working Group - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 07:50

30 Years ago today: On 19 July 1989 a United Air Lines McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10 crashed at Sioux City-Gateway, IA following controlling problems; killing 111 out of 298 on board.

Date: Wednesday 19 July 1989 Time: 16:00 Type: McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10 Operator: United Airlines Registration: N1819U C/n / msn: 46618/118 First flight: 1973 Total airframe hrs: 43401 Cycles: 16997 Engines:General Electric CF6-6D Crew: Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 11 Passengers: Fatalities: 110 / Occupants: 285 Total: Fatalities: 111 / Occupants: 296 Aircraft damage: Destroyed Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair) Location: Sioux Gateway Airport, IA (SUX) (   United States of America) Crash site elevation: 335 m (1099 feet) amsl Phase: Landing (LDG) Nature: Domestic Scheduled Passenger Departure airport: Denver-Stapleton International Airport, CO (DEN/KDEN), United States of America Destination airport: Chicago-O’Hare International Airport, IL (ORD/KORD), United States of America Flightnumber: UA232

United Flight 232 departed Denver-Stapleton International Airport, Colorado, USA at 14:09 CDT for a domestic flight to Chicago-O’Hare, Illinois and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. There were 285 passengers and 11 crewmembers on board.
The takeoff and the en route climb to the planned cruising altitude of FL370 were uneventful. The first officer was the flying pilot.
About 1 hour and 7 minutes after takeoff, at 15:16, the flightcrew heard a loud bang or an explosion, followed by vibration and a shuddering of the airframe. After checking the engine instruments, the flightcrew determined that the No. 2 aft (tail-mounted) engine had failed.
The captain called for the engine shutdown checklist. While performing the engine shutdown checklist, the flight engineer observed that the airplane’s normal systems hydraulic pressure and quantity gauges indicated zero.
The first officer advised that he could not control the airplane as it entered a right descending turn. The captain took control of the airplane and confirmed that it did not respond to flight control inputs. The captain reduced thrust on the No. 1 engine, and the airplane began to roll to a wings-level attitude.
The flightcrew deployed the air driven generator (ADG), which powers the No. 1 auxiliary hydraulic pump, and the hydraulic pump was selected “on.” This action did not restore hydraulic power.
At 15:20, the flightcrew radioed the Minneapolis Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) and requested emergency assistance and vectors to the nearest airport. Initially, Des Moines International Airport was suggested by ARTCC. At 15:22, the air traffic controller informed the flightcrew that they were proceeding in the direction of Sioux City; the controller asked the flightcrew if they would prefer to go to Sioux City. The flightcrew responded, “affirmative.” They were then given vectors to the Sioux Gateway Airport (SUX) at Sioux City, Iowa.
A UAL DC-10 training check airman, who was off duty and seated in a first class passenger seat, volunteered his assistance and was invited to the cockpit at about 15:29. 
At the request of the captain, the check airman entered the passenger cabin and performed a visual inspection of the airplane’s wings. Upon his return, he reported that the inboard ailerons were slightly up, not damaged, and that the spoilers were locked down. There was no movement of the primary flight control surfaces. The captain then directed the check airman to take control of the throttles to free the captain and first officer to manipulate the flight controls.
The check airman attempted to use engine power to control pitch and roll. He said that the airplane had a continuous tendency to turn right, making it difficult to maintain a stable pitch attitude. He also advised that the No. 1 and No. 3 engine thrust levers could not be used symmetrically, so he used two hands to manipulate the two throttles.
About 15:42, the flight engineer was sent to the passenger cabin to inspect the empennage visually. Upon his return, he reported that he observed damage to the right and left horizontal stabilizers.
Fuel was jettisoned to the level of the automatic system cutoff, leaving 33,500 pounds. About 11 minutes before landing, the landing gear was extended by means of the alternate gear extension procedure.
The flightcrew said that they made visual contact with the airport about 9 miles out. ATC had intended for flight 232 to attempt to land on runway 31, which was 8,999 feet long. However, ATC advised that the airplane was on approach to runway 22, which was closed, and that the length of this runway was 6,600 feet. Given the airplane’s position and the difficulty in making left turns, the captain elected to continue the approach to runway 22 rather than to attempt maneuvering to runway 31. The check airman said that he believed the airplane was lined up and on a normal glidepath to the field. The flaps and slats remained retracted.
During the final approach, the captain recalled getting a high sink rate alarm from the ground proximity warning system (GPWS). In the last 20 seconds before touchdown, the airspeed averaged 215 KIAS, and the sink rate was 1,620 feet per minute. Smooth oscillations in pitch and roll continued until just before touchdown when the right wing dropped rapidly.
The captain stated that about 100 feet above the ground the nose of the airplane began to pitch downward. He also felt the right wing drop down about the same time. Both the captain and the first officer called for reduced power on short final approach. 
The check airman said that based on experience with no flap/no slat approaches he knew that power would have to be used to control the airplane’s descent. He used the first officer’s airspeed indicator and visual cues to determine the flightpath and the need for power changes. He thought that the airplane was fairly well aligned with the runway during the latter stages of the approach and that they would reach the runway. Soon thereafter, he observed that the airplane was positioned to the left of the desired landing area and descending at a high rate. He also observed that the right wing began to drop. He continued to manipulate the No. 1 and No. 3 engine throttles until the airplane contacted the ground. He said that no steady application of power was used on the approach and that the power was constantly changing. He believed that he added power just before contacting the ground.
The airplane touched down on the threshold slightly to the left of the centerline on runway 22 at 16:00. First ground contact was made by the right wing tip followed by the right main landing gear. The airplane skidded to the right of the runway and rolled to an inverted position. Witnesses observed the airplane ignite and cartwheel, coming to rest after crossing runway 17/35. Firefighting and rescue operations began immediately, but the airplane was destroyed by impact and fire.
The accident resulted in 111 fatal, 47 serious, and 125 minor injuries. The remaining 13 occupants were not injured

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: “The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the inadequate consideration given to human factors limitations in the inspection and quality control procedures used by United Airlines’ engine overhaul facility which resulted in the failure to detect a fatigue crack originating from a previously undetected metallurgical defect located in a critical area of the stage 1 fan disk that was manufactured by General Electric Aircraft Engines. The subsequent catastrophic disintegration of the disk resulted in the liberation of debris in a pattern of distribution and with energy levels that exceeded the level of protection provided by design features of the hydraulic systems that operate the DC-10’s flight controls.”

The post Today in History appeared first on ARFFWG | ARFF Working Group.


Firefighter Close Calls - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 07:19

We regret to pass on the Line of Duty Death of Lieutenant Neil B. Cope, of the North Belle Veron, PA Fire Department on 7/16/19. The North Belle Vernon Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched at 0132hrs to assist on a mutual aid residential fire. Lieutenant Cope was part of the engine crew assigned to staging in full PPE and SCBA with masks doffed. After approximately 45 minutes the crew was released by command and cleared the scene. After returning to his residence, Lieutenant Cope spoke to his wife at 0730hrs via phone. His wife then attempted to call him multiple times during the day without success.  At approximately 1600hrs his wife came home and found him not breathing and cold to the touch on the floor of the bedroom. EMS was called and Lieutenant Cope was pronounced deceased at home.  The cause and nature of death are under investigation. Our condolences to all those affected. Rest In Peace.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 05:54

7/19/1845 a Manhattan, New York firefighter died at “an early-morning blaze, which started in a sperm oil store, rapidly spread down New Street and across Exchange Place to Broad Street. When the fire reached a large warehouse, which contained a large quantity of saltpeter, it burned for a short time and then exploded. The massive blast shook the entire city and was heard as far away as Sandy Hook, NJ. One firefighter and twenty-nine civilians were killed in the explosion, which vaporized the warehouse. The firefighter was blown to shreds and no trace of him was ever found. On the other hand, a firefighter from Engine 16 was on the roof of the warehouse when it blew. The entire roof lifted off the building in the blast, flew across Broad Street, and landed on top of another building. The firefighter suffered nothing more than a dislocated ankle. The explosion destroyed three adjacent buildings and started numerous fires in the area. Many of the city’s hand-drawn fire engines were destroyed in the blast and help had to be called from Brooklyn and Newark, NJ. The fire destroyed everything in its path from the financial district to the tenements of the poor. In the 12 hours the fire raged, over 300 buildings, covering an area of six-square-blocks, were destroyed and many more were damaged. Losses were placed at $10 million. Severe criticism was later leveled at the City Hall bell ringer. It was stated that had he rang the bell, as was his duty to do, the fire would not have spread beyond the original building.”

7/19/1853 a Waltham, MA firefighter died while he “was operating at a dwelling fire, he was killed when he was caught under a collapsing chimney.”

7/19/1883 a Brooklyn, New York (FDNY) firefighter “was injured on July 19, 1883 at a fire at 16 Furman Street. A spark from a hoisting engine stationed opposite Pier 2 on Harbeck’s Stores, at 10:30 in the morning, burned three ships to the water’s edge, two lighters, and consumed the entire cargo as well as destroying the dock shed, which was 350 feet long and 60 feet wide. The fire caused the probable loss of at least twenty sailors, injured thirteen firefighters, one fatally. A firefighter of Ladder 3 was working in the shed along with members of Engine 6 and 7. Without warning the main mast of “Lawrence Delap” of Annapolis, Nova Scotia swayed and fell full on the burning shed. The shed cracked, broken, and flatten like a shell. Cries of help could be heard from the ruins. The firefighter was buried under the blazing boards of the roof. In the excitement following the fall, his disappearance went unnoticed. When found after several minutes his head was the only thing showing through a pile of burning boards. His hair was burnt off, his scalp severely scorched and the upper part of his head “roasted to a deep yellow color.” He suffered painfully for six days before expiring on July 25, 1883.”

7/19/1975 a San Lucas, Monterey County, CA firefighter died at “a small, few-acre grass fire just east of Hwy 101 and San Ardo exit. He was walking through the smoke and stepped on the powerline that was back-feeding from the transformer. This accident began the policy of dispatch announcing, “power lines down” and requiring an acknowledgement from all responding units.”

7/19/1972 a Newark Fire Department, NJ firefighter died while he was working at a supermarket fire. “He was sent up to the roof to get other companies off due to an imminent collapse of the roof. He successfully got other units off and as he was coming down the ground ladder the roof collapsed causing him to fall off the ladder. He was treated for his injuries, went home the next day on July 19, 1972 and he had a heart attack. He was rushed to the hospital where he died a short time later.”

7/19/1984 a Wichita Falls, TX firefighter died in a mercantile occupancy fire. “On arrival, firefighters found heavy smoke showing from an occupied, one-story, metal-clad furniture store. A hand line was moved into the building about 40 feet when conditions began to rapidly deteriorate, forcing the two firefighters to abandon their line. One of the men became disoriented after tripping over something but was able to make his way out by following the line. He had assumed that his comrade had already made his way out. The other man apparently disoriented after losing the line also, never made it out of the building. Due to the heavy fire conditions inside the building, a search could not be immediately conducted. About a half-hour later, his body of was found with his air supply depleted. He was pronounced dead of smoke inhalation. The first firefighter suffered second and third-degree burns to his legs and groin and was hospitalized for several weeks.”

7/19/2012 San Francisco, CA twenty-one participants were burned in hot coal walk hosted by motivational speaker Tony Robbins. “Walking across hot coals on lanes measuring 10 feet long and heated to between 1,200 to 2,000 degrees provides attendees an opportunity to “understand that there is absolutely nothing you can’t overcome,” according to the motivational speaker’s website.”

7/19/1974 Decatur, IL string of liquid propane tank cars exploded leaving seven dead and 120 injured in a Decatur railroad yard, “The first explosion at 5:03 a.m. in the Norfolk and Western Railway yards on the northeast side, derailed about 100 cars.” “Flames erupted over the rail yard and continued burning six hours after the first blast. There was mandatory evacuation in a one-mile radius and officials urged persons to stay at least three miles from the center of the blast.”

7/19/1989 Sioux City, IA airport, a Chicago-bound United Airlines DC-10 disabled jet crashed in an explosive ball of fire on an emergency landing; 184 of the 282 passengers survive.

7/19/1960 Brownfield, TX four died in a grain elevator explosion that trapped a worker, a helicopter was used in the rescue.

7/19/1892 Providence, RI Canal Street several buildings damaged by fire that originated in an upper story of the five-story Cooney Building around 2:00 p.m.

7/19/1881 Syracuse, NY Opera House burned.

7/19/1867 Concord, NH railroad yard fire started in a wood-shed near the round-house belonging to the Northern Railroad and communicated to the adjoining machine shop.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

Dawson County Vehicle Fire Ruled Arson; Reward Being Offered

Dawson County Vehicle Fire Ruled Arson; Reward Being Offered
Categories: Fire Service


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