Syndicated Columnists

3 reminders to rescuing, evacuating and managing Hurricane Harvey victims

Syndicated Columnists - Wed, 08/30/2017 - 09:22
Hurricane Harvey appears to be turning into the largest natural disaster in modern American history. Millions of citizens have been affected by the relentless rain that has deluged the area. The number of those injured or killed has yet to be tallied, but is expected to rise over time. Following lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina in 2005, EMS providers, firefighters and other rescue personnel are ...
Categories: Syndicated Columnists

How we stayed informed about Harvey

Bill Degnan - Tue, 08/29/2017 - 12:47

We've stayed on top of the latest during the storm and we'll share some of those resources with you
If some of the sources don't apply to your situation, use them for inspiration to locate similar resources in your area.

Hurricane / Tropical Storm / Tropical Depression) Harvey continued to cause damage and loss of lives in its path. While we were sheltered-in-place, riding out high winds, heavy rain and local small stream flooding, we were fortunate to have had internet access as the main route of our Intel gathering. I'll come back to that.


At our home, we have a number of portable devices that receive broadcasts from this system. A dedicated All-Hazards alert radio alarms for weather watches, warnings and statements as well a a variety of civil emergency messages. Other ways of hearing these broadcasts include Amateur Radio receivers, scanners and phone applications.

Listen on

More info:


We used a phone app and the Internet to listen to water rescues, in progress, in Harris county. We used an app called Scanner Radio from (web site down, at this writing.) It was downloaded from the Google Play App Store. We used the free version. There is also a pro version. is the go to site for radio systems info. Some public safety radio feeds are available by web player or audio software.

Considering buying a scanner radio? The wrong radio could cost you a bundle and never deliver what you want to hear. Do your research and don't overlook expert advice. If you don't know the difference between EDACS and APCO-25, you aren't an expert.

Remember, that what you hear on the scanner may not always reflect what is really going on. So, don't pass it on as fact.


We used the WeatherUnderground app for up-to-date storm path history and projections, rainfall predictions, in-motion radar and other useful weather resources. Downloadable for free from the Play Store Also accessible on the web at .

Very useful weather graphics are available at We were always after the latest "warning cone interactive map" image. And, for you .rss fans, there are feeds by event, such as . These are intended to be rendered human-readable by an .rss reader. We aggregate a number of public safety .rss feeds you can read on . And, we publish our own feed and refeeds you can read in your .rss reader.





Categories: Syndicated Columnists

What I wanted to be when I grew up

EMScapades Cartoon - Tue, 08/29/2017 - 09:39

New comics every Tuesday and Friday!

Categories: EMS, Syndicated Columnists

Open Fire House

Michael Morse - Rescuing Providence - Tue, 08/29/2017 - 09:02




On Wednesday, September 27 at 6:30 PM, the City of Providence will hold an open house at the Rochambeau Fire Station, 280 Rochambeau Avenue, to receive input and discuss potential reuse options for the property.

The meeting is open to the public. Attendees are encouraged to take a tour of the building and offer their ideas, both verbally and in writing. Planning staff will be on hand to facilitate discussion and record input.

The firehouse, which opened in 1929 and housed its last shift this January, is a historic, 2-story, brick, landmarked structure, designed in a Tudoresque style. The property is zoned single-family residential (R 1), and is located just a block east of the Hope Street business district. A two-family residential zone (R 2) is located south of the station.

For more information about the open house please contact David Everett, Principal Planner at the Department of Planning and Development via email at or via phone at (401) 680-8520.


The City of Providence closed two fire stations and three companies in January,  2017. There was no public outcry, no candlelight vigils, no “Save our Station” protests, just firefighters leaving their station for the last time and locking the door behind them. Those firefighters started their new assignments; different station, different truck, different life.

In a different time, and a different world closing one fire station was absolutely unacceptable. The union would rally the troops, pamphlets would be distributed, neighborhood groups would convene, city leaders would be lobbied and the station would be saved.

Now, crickets.

For seventeen months the firefighters in Providence have worked a schedule like no other, two 10 hour days, two fourteen hour nights, two days off then do it all over again, week after week, month after month. Mandatory overtime due to staff shortages resulted in one day off a week, after 70 plus hours on duty.

This is Providence, the capitol city of Rhode Island. The “slow” fire companies respond to thousands of calls annually, the busy ones approaching 5000. Fires are a daily occurrence, most don’t make the news because the firefighters are excellent at what they do and put them out before they become newsworthy. EMS crews run non-stop, many of the personnel working 80 plus hour weeks.

But all of that is over now. Mayor Jorge Elorza and Commissioner of Public Safety Stephen Pare orchestrated a campaign to destroy the morale of the firefighters, exhaust them, weaken the union, close companies and stations and save money. By utilizing their management rights in regard to scheduling they eliminated one of four working groups, drastically increased the hours worked by front line firefighters, refuse to fill vacant management positions with experienced fire officers and completely ignore the extremely busy EMS division.

The public remained silent.

There is no fire chief. There is no administration. There is no leadership. All qualified candidates have been silenced. Retired State Police administrators fill the offices once occupied by seasoned firefighters who climbed the ranks the old-fashioned way; one rung at a time. There is no firefighting experience in the front office. There is no vision, no pride, no tradition, nothing but empty shells playing with people as if they were nothing more than chess pieces being moved by people who do not understand the game.

Congratulations, Providence, your apathy has saved you some money.

Enjoy it.

We’ll be hearing from you soon enough.

Categories: Syndicated Columnists


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