Fire Service

Small plane crashes behind Indian River County Jail

ARFF Working Group - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 08:05

By: WPTV Webteam

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Fla. — A small plane has crashed behind the Indian River County Jail, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The agency tweeted a photo of the aircraft, with the tail number N9219J, in a grassy area.

The Sheriff’s Office said the plane crashed by the jail Friday, just to the south of a retention pond.

The pilot was trying to land on a jail access road because he couldn’t make it to the airport, the agency said. He landed in a grassy area, then the plane hit a ditch and turned around.

No one was hurt.

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Elderly man killed after being struck by gyrocopter’s blades

ARFF Working Group - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 08:03


Johannesburg – A man was killed when he was hit by a gyrocopter making an emergency landing at the Vaal Marina in Vereeniging on Sunday, paramedics said.

Netcare 911 paramedics responded just after noon to reports of an aircraft crash on the shore of the Vaal Marina next to the R54 in Gauteng, Netcare 911 spokesman Shawn Herbst said.

“Reports from the scene indicate that a gyrocopter collided with an elderly male believed to be in his 70s while trying to perform an emergency landing. The patient was assessed on [the] scene by a Netcare 911 emergency care practitioner and found to have no signs of life and declared deceased on the scene.”

The circumstances leading up to the incident were unknown, but police were on the scene and had secured the area for South African Civil Aviation Authority investigators, Herbst said.

In another statement, ER24 spokesman Werner Vermaak said the man was killed by a gyrocopter at the Vaal Marina in Vereeniging.

“Paramedics from ER24, Midvaal fire, and other EMS arrived on the scene where they found an elderly man [who] was apparently killed by a gyrocopter. Sadly, due to his extensive injuries, there was nothing that could be done for him and he was declared dead on the scene.

“It is understood from bystanders that members of a family scattered ashes of a loved one from the gyrocopter when it allegedly made an emergency landing on the bank. Other members were standing on the bank at the time. The elderly man was apparently struck by its blades as it made the emergency landing,” Vermaak said.

African News Agency (ANA)

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Today in History

ARFF Working Group - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 08:00

41 Years ago today: On 11 February 1978 a Pacific Western Boeing 737 crashed during a go-around at Cranbrook, killing 42 out of 49 occupants.

Date: Saturday 11 February 1978 Time: ca 12:55 Type: Boeing 737-275 Operator: Pacific Western Airlines Registration: C-FPWC C/n / msn: 20142/253 First flight: 1970-04-24 (7 years 10 months) Engines:Pratt & Whitney JT8D-9A Crew: Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 5 Passengers: Fatalities: 38 / Occupants: 44 Total: Fatalities: 42 / Occupants: 49 Aircraft damage: Destroyed Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair) Location: Cranbrook Airport, BC (YXC) (   Canada) Crash site elevation: 939 m (3081 feet) amsl Phase: Landing (LDG) Nature: Domestic Scheduled Passenger Departure airport: Calgary International Airport, AB (YYC/CYYC), Canada Destination airport: Cranbrook Airport, BC (YXC/CYXC), Canada Flightnumber: 314

Pacific Western flight 314 was a scheduled service from Edmonton, AB (YEG) to Castlegar Airport, BC (YCG) with stops at Calgary, AB (YYC) and Cranbrook (YXC). The flight departed Calgary at 12:32 in the afternoon. The Boeing 737-200 climbed to FL200 which was reached at 12:38. Calgary ATC then reported to the Cranbrook Aeradio station that flight 314 was underway with an ETA of 13:05. At Cranbrook it was snowing with visibility reported as 3/4 of a mile. A radio equipped snow removal vehicle was sweeping the runway at the time. The Aeradio operator at Cranbrook alerted the driver of the vehicle about the incoming aircraft and gave him the ETA of 13:05; they both expected the flight would report by the “Skookum Beacon” on a straight-in approach to runway 16, thus giving the vehicle operator about seven minutes to get off the runway. At 12:46, while descending out of FL180, flight 314 contacted Cranbrook Aeradio. One minute later the crew were advised that snow removal was in progress. No further transmissions were received from the flight by Aeradio. The aircraft passed the Skookum beacon inbound on a straight-in instrument approach, and flew the ILS for runway 16 to touchdown. The aircraft touched down at 12:55 some 800 feet from the threshold and reverse thrust was selected. Suddenly the crew noticed a snow plough on the runway. A go-around was initiated immediately. However one of the thrust-reversers didn’t fully re-stow because hydraulic power was automatically cut off at lift-off.
The aircraft became airborne prior to the 2000 foot mark, and flew down the runway at a height of 50 to 70 feet, flying over the snow plough. The left engine thrust reverser doors then deployed and the crew rapidly selected the flaps up from 40deg to 15deg. The airplane climbed to 300-400 feet, banked steeply to the left, lost height and side-slipped into the ground to the left of the runway. The aircraft broke up and caught fire

Probable Cause:

1. The estimated time of arrival of the aircraft at Cranbrook, calculated by Calgary ATC, and used by Aeradio for advisory purposes was considerably in error and resulted in a traffic conftict between the arriving aircraft and a vehicle working on the runway.
2. The flight crew did not report by the Skookum beacon on final approach, as was the normal practice at Cranbrook, thereby allowing the incorrect ETA to remain undetected.
3. Regulatory provisions concerning mandatory pilot position reporting during instrument approaches were inadequate.
4. The interfaces between the organizations providing Air Traffic Services, Telecommunications (Aeradio) and Airports Services were not well enough developed to provide a reliable fail-safe flight information service.
5. The pilots lost control of the aircraft consequent upon the left engine thrust reverser deploying in flight when the aircraft was at low speed, and in a high drag configuration.
6. The FAA design standards under which the Boeing 737 was constructed did not adequatety provide for the possibility of an aborted landing after touchdown and thrust reverser initiation.
7. The lack of a suitable national system of incident reporting, investigation, and follow-up corrective action allowed operational problems to remain uncorrected.
8. Rescue efforts at the accident scene were hampered due to lack of a fire fighting vehicle capable of negotiating deep snow and shortage of trained rescue personnel.

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Firefighter Close Calls - Sun, 02/10/2019 - 19:03

By Georgie Silvarole, Rochester Democrat Chronicle:

When firefighters with the Henrietta Fire District responded to a call for an overcrowded bar early Sunday morning, they had no idea what was about to happen.

Lt. Jared Guhl, who was not at the scene but debriefed with the firefighters who had been on duty overnight, said the massive brawl that unfolded about 1 a.m. outside Schramrocks Irish Pub at 200 Park Point Drive in Henrietta near Rochester Institute of Technology was unexpected.

“We have to treat every call as routine,” Guhl said. “We were kind of amazed at what transpired.”

In a post on Facebook, Henrietta Fire District Chief Mark Strzyzynski shared a retelling of that brawl: The fire department had been called in to assist with the bar being over occupancy, but when Engine 642 arrived, more than 200 people had spilled out of the bar and into the parking lot in a massive and chaotic fight.

Read the full story here.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Sun, 02/10/2019 - 18:09

Cancer took Karen Schuart’s life on the day that would’ve marked her 25th year of service with the Asheville Fire Department.

During the time she spent working in the downtown station, Schuart came to be a cornerstone of her firefighter family. Known as “Skippy” because of her upbeat, enthusiastic take on life, Schuart forged friendships and bonds with her comrades and the community at large. Her absence has left a void.

“There’s just this emptiness that you can’t explain, and I’m sure it’ll be this way for a long time,” said Kelly Klope, spokeswoman for the department and a close friend of Schuart.

Schuart’s death also called to mind a familiar and growing fear and the need for legislative relief.

Karen Schuart, 58, died of cancer on Jan. 31. Schuart served nearly 25 years with the Asheville Fire Department. The North Carolina Industrial Commission has yet to declare her’s a line-of-duty death. (Photo: Courtesy photo)

On Jan. 31, she became Asheville Fire Department’s second casualty of cancer — now the leading cause of death among firefighters — in a span of less than 12 months. Firefighter Will Willis died of a rare form of kidney cancer in late February 2018.

More: Asheville firefighter’s cancer caused ‘line of duty death,’ family to receive benefits

The North Carolina Industrial Commission hasn’t yet determined whether Schuart’s will be declared a line-of-duty death, a designation that comes with additional benefits for her surviving family members.

But fellow Asheville firefighter and president of the local union Scott Mullins said he is “100 percent” certain Schuart deserves the distinction, which is rarely awarded to those who died of cancer despite its alarming prevalence in the field.

Asheville firefighter Mikey Riley is running 62 miles in honor of his late friend and firefighter Will Willis.Angela Wilhelm,

Mullins said he is also confident Schuart’s battle with ovarian and intestinal cancer highlights shortcomings in state law, which doesn’t offer workers’ compensation to firefighters diagnosed with cancer.

“For us, this is really frustrating,” he said over the phone Thursday. “We know we have the support of the community, but we don’t always have the support of the government. Karen kept coming to work because she had to; she couldn’t afford to leave.”

More: Asheville firefighter runs 100K for cancer awareness, keeping fallen friend in mind

Brian Turner behind legislative efforts 

On Wednesday, Mullins traveled to Raleigh to meet with Rep. Brian Turner, a Democrat from Buncombe County. The two aren’t strangers. They’ve worked since the 2017-18 legislative session to the pass presumptive cancer legislation, which would extend greater benefits to firefighters afflicted with the disease.

Schuart’s name came up several times during that discussion, Turner told the Citizen Times in a phone interview Friday.

“These folks are putting their lives on the line every time they go to work,” Turner said. “What they’re doing needs to be recognized, and we need to make sure they’re respected and taken care of.

“Karen is an example of the type of situations we’re talking about here. I think it’s tragic when we’re in a situation where people are forced to work out the last days and weeks of their lives because they have no other option.”

More: Asheville firefighter dies of kidney cancer at age 34

Schuart was diagnosed in May. She continued working as an assistant fire marshal until Jan.1, when she took early retirement, Klope said.

Turner said he plans to work this legislative session with his colleagues in the House, and with industry representatives like Mullins, to pass presumptive cancer and special separation allowance legislation for firefighters. Past attempts have received wide support in the House but failed to clear the Senate.

Karen Schuart, 58, died of cancer on Jan. 31. Schuart served nearly 25 years with the Asheville Fire Department. The North Carolina Industrial Commission has yet to declare her’s a line-of-duty death. (Photo: Courtesy photo)

Given the chance, Turner said he will tell Schuart’s story in an effort to move the needle.

“Great steps have been taken in regard to providing additional gear for firefighters, and that’s a great preventative measure,” he said. “But firefighters still get cancer, and when they do, how are we treating these folks?”

More: Cancer: Asheville firefighters face job danger even deadlier than fire

Schuart was a ‘hero,’ a ‘role model’

Schuart spent the last two and a half years with the Asheville Fire Department as an assistant fire marshal, but during the course of her long career she filled many roles.

She drove a fire engine for much of her 25 years. She fought hundreds of fires. She acted as a clown in a fire safety and prevention class that would travel to local elementary schools. And she was a founding member of the department’s female firefighter combat challenge team — a group of five women who competed in and won international competitions.

“At work, she was a hero who impacted so many lives,” said Mullins, who worked with Schuart for 12 years. “She had a tremendous impact on so many Asheville firefighters, especially the women. We don’t have that many female firefighters here, and the women looked up to Karen. She was a role model to us and to the community.”

Buy PhotoThe Asheville Fire departments throughout the city flew their flags at half-staff Friday, Feb. 8, 2019 in honor of fellow firefighter Karen Schuart, who lost her battle with cancer on the day that would’ve marked her 25th year of service with the department. (Photo: Angela Wilhelm/

For Klope, who joined the department shortly after Schuart, “Skippy” will be remembered as “almost like a sister.”

Klope and Schuart ate lunch together almost daily and both competed on the combat challenge team, along with Joy Ponder, a division chief and breast cancer survivor.

“She lived life to the fullest,” Klope said. “She loved life. She made the best of every situation.”

More: Asheville Fire Department’s $780K request for life-saving gear moves forward

These qualities are what Fire Marshal Kelly Hinz will miss most about her friend. Hinz was Schuart’s supervisor during her last few years. She said Thursday that Schuart’s death is particularly hard given Schuart was so close with the other women in the department and that it was her positive personality that traditionally lifted people’s spirits during hard times.

“The women get to know each other — whether as a means of support or friendship,” Hiz said. “Being a woman in this field, where there’s not many of us, made us have commonality.

“We understood better how to encourage and be there for each other be it during hard times or good times. But under sad times, normally Karen would be that upbeat person.”

A celebration of Schuart’s life will be on Feb. 15 at Salvage Station off Riverside Drive. A service honoring Schuart will begin at 3 p.m. and a gathering following the service will start an hour later.

While the NC Industrial Commission’s verdict is out, the International Association of Firefighters has ruled Schuart’s death to be in the line of duty. Her name will be inscribed on the memorial wall in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Sun, 02/10/2019 - 17:53

By Elizabeth Payne, Ottawa Sun:

Jim Andrews remembers the day his doctor phoned with the news.

He was in his mid-30s at the time, a career firefighter, married with two children. He had joined the former City of Nepean’s fire department when he was 23 years old.

Early in 2001, his wife noticed a mole on Andrews’ chest that didn’t look right. His doctor tested it, but didn’t seem too concerned.

And then Andrews got the phone call.

As he listened, he wrote the word “malignant” on the blackboard in his family’s kitchen. He heard his wife start to cry.

With his diagnosis of malignant melanoma, Andrews became one of a band of brothers within the fire department — the so-called Nepean cluster.

Five firefighters, all of whom had worked at Viewmount fire station in Nepean, were diagnosed with cancer around the same time. Two of the firefighters developed brain cancer, one had colon cancer, one had liver cancer and Andrews was diagnosed with melanoma.

Read the full story here.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Sun, 02/10/2019 - 17:04

By Justin Mack, Indianapolis Star:

A man was killed and a firefighter was hospitalized after a Sunday-morning blaze on the city’s east-side.

According to Indianapolis Fire Department Battalion Chief Rita Reith, the fire was reported shortly before 8:30 a.m. at a single-story home near Apple Street and South Ewing Street.

The fire was called in by a person who saw flames coming from the house and reported that someone may have been trapped inside.

Heavy smoke was coming from the rear of the home when firefighters arrived. Reith said crews immediately began an aggressive attack and search operation.

Read the full story here.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

News report: Incident commander on Snapchat despite woman still trapped in Florida home

Statter 911 - Sun, 02/10/2019 - 12:28

Polk County woman was still on phone with 911 when firefighters arrived

The post News report: Incident commander on Snapchat despite woman still trapped in Florida home appeared first on Statter911.

Categories: Fire Service


Firefighter Close Calls - Sun, 02/10/2019 - 11:23

The family of a woman who died in a Polk County fire wants to know why she didn’t make it out alive.

“I think my house is on fire, and I’m here alone and I’m on a walker,” Loretta Pickard can be heard telling a 911 dispatcher.

Pickard’s log home along Rockridge Road in North Lakeland was filling with smoke.

“It’s like unbelievable,” Loretta’s sister Linda Weckle told 8 On Your Side. “It’s like I got a hole in my heart.”

Loretta died in the fire on November 23, 2018, five days before her 77th birthday.

Now her family is trying to figure out why she didn’t make it out alive.

“The steps went right up to the door where she was sitting waiting for help. She was 5 feet away from the door. It’s also frustrating that she was never asked how close are you to a door? She’s being told [during the 911 call] you’re ok, they’re coming to get you, they’re here. She heard them there. She thought it was just going to be moments before they walked in, save the day and everything would be ok. She was trying to wait for the people that were supposed to save her life and they never came,” said Loretta’s niece Amber Addison.

8 On Your Side learned that firefighters had to wait for a second crew to arrive for water.

Deputy County Manager Joe Halman Jr. said in the meantime first responders tried to rescue Loretta, but couldn’t make it around the home.

“At one point they went around the house and the fire was so hot did they kind of got singed themselves in an effort to try to rescue this lady,” Halman said.

“If it wasn’t too hot for her to be in there and be alive then how is it too hot for them to be able to walk around the outside?” Addison questioned.

Loretta managed to stay on the phone and talk to the 911 dispatcher for 12 minutes after hearing sirens.

“Ms. Pickard? Hello?” the dispatcher said as Loretta took her final breaths.

The family believes the dispatcher also needed to try harder to convince Loretta to leave the home.

“She was never asked how close are you to a door? Can you open a door? They would have seen her and surely they would’ve went up and grabbed her,” Addison said.

The family contends that the house was not fully engulfed when firefighters arrived, yet Loretta was never rescued.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Sun, 02/10/2019 - 11:20

Around 5:20 am Sunday PGFD Engine from Oxon Hill 821 was providing “barrier protection” for accident scene on OL local lane of Beltway prior to RT 210 when a civilian vehicle hit the engine. The 2017 @PierceMfg engine sustained $9k in damage, however, saved crew and civilians on scene-no injuries. The striking vehicle had to swerve to avoid another vehicle driving recklessly on the Beltway.

Images provided by Batt Chief D Fletcher


Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Sun, 02/10/2019 - 09:03

Trego County Rural Fire Station One was destroyed in a blaze Friday afternoon.

Trego County Communications received a call shortly after 2 p.m. for a report of flames coming out of the building.

The Wakeeney Fire Department and Trego County Fire Department responded to the fire. Crews were on scene until after 6 p.m.

No one was hurt.

Firefighters were able to save all four of the station vehicles but officials say the building is a total loss.

Western Cooperative Electric Association has offered to provide housing for the fire vehicles and will allow the department use of the building.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Sun, 02/10/2019 - 09:02

Six people were hospitalized with injuries after a car slammed into a fire truck in Orlando near Orange Blossom Trail Saturday night, officials said.

The incident occurred on I-4 around 2:40 A.M.

Officials say that while assisting another disabled vehicle the car crashed at a high rate of speed into the fire engine.

Four firefighters were taken to the hospital and the driver and their passenger in the car were also hospitalized.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Sat, 02/09/2019 - 19:20

Josh Montague and Rebecca Budnick realize it could have been a lot worse — the fire in the home on North Stepney Road this week could have been roaring — but that didn’t make it any less scary when Montague fell into a hole in the steps and couldn’t get out.

He didn’t know what was below him in the basement, he wasn’t completely sure the fire was out and he was afraid something might spark it back up again.

Even with Budnick holding on to him, the assistant chief of Aberdeen Fire Department couldn’t pull himself up, and if he fell, Budnick was going to fall, too.

Montague sounded a mayday call and within minutes he was pulled to safety early Monday morning by members of Aberdeen’s Rapid Intervention Team.

For both of them, though, those few minutes felt like an eternity, they said Wednesday afternoon at Aberdeen Fire Department, two days after their harrowing experience.

“It was definitely a scary experience. I hope we never have to experience it again,” said Montague, 30, who works for Baltimore County Fire Department at Station 15 in Eastview.

Montague and Budnick were among the volunteers who responded to the fire just before 3 a.m. Monday in the 1300 block of North Stepney Road in Aberdeen.

When they arrived, the fire was through the roof. Ninety minutes later, the fire was contained, but firefighters still weren’t sure no one was in the house — there was a car in the driveway, an indication someone could be inside.

Montague was inside the housing “hitting what fire was left” when Budnick and another firefighter came into the room he was in.

Because the two are relatively new firefighters, Montague, who’s been with Aberdeen for 11 years, was trying to point things out to them, make it a learning experience.

Montague could see fire still burning in the basement and after feeling around, found steps and decided he would go down and put it out.

He gave Budnick a piece of webbing which she clipped to his breathing apparatus, in case he were to fall it would give her something to help her hold on to him.

Montague did what he was supposed to do, feeling around and kicking the floor to make sure it was sturdy before he moved downstairs. He got to a landing and when he shifted his weight, “the floor went out from under me,” Montague said.

He caught a step and part of the landing. With Budnick pulling on him, Montague was able to get up to chest high on the landing — but that’s as far as he got.

“I glanced below me to make sure there was no fire,” Montague said. “My biggest fear was my legs would burn up.”

When it first happened, Montague said he started to panic and remove his gear, “but something stopped me” and he kept it on.

Budnick and Montague tried to figure out how to get Montague out, but realized they couldn’t. Budnick couldn’t reach her radio, though, because she was using both hands to hold her partner.

“I called a mayday, because I couldn’t get myself up any further, and [Budnick] couldn’t pull me up,” he said. “If I fell though, then she was coming down with me.”

Budnick remembers reassuring Montague.

“I told him ‘I’ve got you, you’re not going to fall. If you fall, we’re both going down,’ ” she said.

Within minutes of Montague’s mayday call, members of the Rapid Intervention Team were in the basement and pulling himto safety.

Before the intervention team arrived, thoughts raced through both of their heads.

“A lot of things flashed in my mind really quick, my family, kids, that I could get hurt on this fire,” Montague said.

“It felt like forever,” he said.

“It happened so quickly, but it took forever,” Budnick said.

She wasn’t sure what had happened once the RIT members got to Montague.

“All of a sudden, he was gone. One minute we were hand in hand, the next minute I couldn’t hear him, feel him,” Budnick said. “I thought he had fallen, I started to panic, to freak out.”

As she quickly exited the house, someone told her Montague was safe.

“It made me feel better knowing he was alive,” Budnick said.

It isn’t often Montague, as the assistant chief, is inside fighting fires. He’s usually outside directing the crews.

“He and I are pretty good friends. He’s one of the people in the department I look up to most and I learned a lot from him — things I know to do I learned from him over the years,” Budnick said.

Montague, as the veteran firefighter, wanted to make sure Budnick, who’s been with Aberdeen for five years, was OK.

Both have replayed the ordeal over and over in their heads.

“I’ve spent Monday and Tuesday thinking about it, how it could have ended very differently, or if we were in a different part of the house where there was active fire,” said Budnick, who manages Spa on the Boulevard in Abingdon. “I thought about how we didn’t get to say goodbye to our loved ones, that my husband was at work.”

Montague wondered if he did something stupid or made a wrong decision that put them in danger. But they both realize they relied on their training did the right things and Montague is “wholeheartedly grateful” for the rescue team members and everyone else who was there.

“I’m grateful it wasn’t worse, I know it could have been,” Montague said. “I hear similar stories of firefighters falling through floors who aren’t here to tell it, others are telling it for them.”

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

Firefighter with Down syndrome quits Illinois department over bullying

Statter 911 - Sat, 02/09/2019 - 11:19

Sandoval department previously made news for allowing Jason Eagan to be a member

The post Firefighter with Down syndrome quits Illinois department over bullying appeared first on Statter911.

Categories: Fire Service


Firefighter Close Calls - Fri, 02/08/2019 - 10:22

By Ramon Antonio Vargas, The Advocate:

Colleagues of a Jefferson Parish firefighter who was badly burned while responding to a blaze at an Old Metairie condominium complex over the weekend are optimistic that he will fully regain the ability to see and speak.

Daniel Zeigler, who suffered extensive burns after falling through the roof of a burning building Saturday evening, can move his extremities and can respond to questions by writing notes on a pad and pencil. But his eyes are still too swollen for him to see fully, said the chief of his fire department, Dave Tibbetts.

Zeigler also has been on a ventilator that has prevented him from talking, said Tibbetts, who leads the East Bank Consolidated Fire Protection District.

But Tibbetts said he is hopeful Zeigler will soon be removed from the ventilator, and there is reason to believe he will be able to fully see again as the swelling around his eyes subsides.

Read the full story here.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Fri, 02/08/2019 - 09:47

By Karen Ann Cullotta, Chicago Tribune:

A Lake County judge ruled Tuesday that the family of a 51-year-old Buffalo Grove firefighter who died of colon cancer last year should receive a full pension benefit, upholding an earlier decision by a local review board that his fatal cancer was caused in the line of duty.

Lake County Circuit Court Judge Diane Winter’s ruling, which some said likely will be appealed, comes after Buffalo Grove officials announced last summer that they were challenging a decision made earlier in 2018 by the Buffalo Grove Fire Department Pension Board that the family of firefighter Kevin Hauber should receive a full line-of-duty death pension.

Hauber, a veteran firefighter and paramedic in Buffalo Grove, died in January 2018, roughly four years after being diagnosed with colon cancer.

Inside a courtroom that attracted dozens of suburban firefighters and onlookers, Winter said the court’s role was “not to re-weigh the evidence” already reviewed by the pension board.

Read the full story here.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

Today is Friday the 8th of February, 2019

ARFF Working Group - Fri, 02/08/2019 - 09:15

We close this week with these stories…

I just discovered the first article this morning. It pertains to GPS jamming in specific areas of the U.S. Keep an eye on DEVS systems, and if your department operates an aviation SAR unit, ensure your pilots are aware of this issue!

Have a good weekend and be safe out there!


The post Today is Friday the 8th of February, 2019 appeared first on ARFFWG | ARFF Working Group.


ARFF Working Group - Fri, 02/08/2019 - 09:08


By Dan Namowitz

GPS air navigation may be unreliable or unavailable in a vast swath of airspace in the eastern U.S. and the Caribbean during a military exercise involving GPS jamming between Feb. 6 and 10. 

GPS-based services including Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B), the Ground Based Augmentation System, and the Wide Area Augmentation System could also be lost in a radius extending several hundred miles from the offshore operation’s center, the FAA said. 

AOPA has pressed officials to address well documented flight-safety concerns raised by the large-scale national security exercises in which GPS signals are degraded to test defense systems and preparedness. Official responsiveness has languished, however, and AOPA considers the February event’s scope “unacceptably widespread and potentially hazardous,” said Rune Duke, AOPA senior director of airspace, air traffic and aviation security.

The FAA posted a flight advisory that gives the schedule of the tests that could degrade GPS from the Caribbean and Florida north to Pennsylvania, and as far west as eastern Louisiana, while a strike force is conducting a training operation off the Georgia coast. Notices to airmen have been issued for airspace in eight of the FAA’s Air Route Traffic Control Centers.

AOPA estimates that more than 2,000 airports—home bases to more than 28,600 aircraft—are located within the area’s lowest airspace contour.

Advocating for safety

AOPA has been working on multiple fronts to place greater focus on the safety of civil aviation during the proliferation of GPS-interference testing events. The tests, mostly staged in western states, have resulted in a growing number of pilot complaints—a problem expected to magnify as more general aviation pilots transition to GPS-based navigation. The number of jamming events and their locations are increasing.

The issue has struggled for traction with the FAA. A safety panel held in September 2018 ended with the FAA deadlocked on a path forward. In November 2018, AOPA reported on instances of aircraft losing GPS navigation signals during testing—and in several cases, veering off course. Instances have been documented in which air traffic control temporarily lost the tracks of ADS-B Out-equipped aircraft.

In a vivid example of direct hazard to aircraft control in April 2016, an Embraer Phenom 300 business jet entered a Dutch roll and an emergency descent after its yaw damper disengaged; the aircraft’s dual attitude and heading reference systems had reacted differently to the GPS signal outage. This issue was subsequently corrected for this aircraft.

AOPA is aware of hundreds of reports of interference to aircraft during events for which notams were issued, and the FAA has collected many more in the last year. In one example that came to AOPA’s attention, an aircraft lost navigation capability and did not regain it until after landing. During a GPS-interference event in Alaska, an aircraft departed an airport under IFR and lost GPS on the initial climb. Other reports have highlighted aircraft veering off course and heading toward active military airspace. The wide range of reports makes clear that interference affects aircraft differently, and recovery may not occur immediately after the aircraft exits the jammed area.

Pilot concern is mounting. In a January 2019 AOPA survey, more than 64 percent of 1,239 pilots who responded noted concern about the impact of interference on their use of GPS and ADS-B.  (In some cases, pilots who reported experiencing signal degradation said ATC had been unaware the jamming was occurring.)

Meanwhile, the aviation community awaits the FAA’s response to 25 recommendations presented in March 2018 by an RTCA working group, co-chaired by AOPA, and approved by the RTCA tactical operations committee. The recommendations range from improving the preflight resources available to pilots to clarifying FAA guidance on reporting GPS anomalies.

“AOPA is very concerned that government officials have not addressed the known safety issues,” Duke said. “The interference events are important to the military and our national defense, and the FAA must assure that flight safety is not compromised. We have worked collaboratively with industry, the FAA, and the Department of Defense to find solutions, but we have yet to see action.”

‘Stop buzzer’

Pilots who encounter hazardous interruption of GPS navigation or who have flight-control issues should be aware that they can say the phrase “Stop buzzer” to air traffic control, which initiates the process of interrupting the testing to restore navigation signal reception, Duke said.

During previous GPS-interference events, pilots declared emergencies, but the jamming continued because ATC did not understand that the emergency was related to the GPS interference. According to the Pilot/Controller Glossary, “stop buzzer” is a term used by ATC to request suspension of “electronic attack activity.” Pilots should only use the phrase when communicating with ATC, or over the emergency frequency 121.5 MHz, if a safety-of-flight issue is encountered during a known GPS interference event. Using this unique phrase when experiencing an unsafe condition related to GPS interference will ensure that ATC and the military react appropriately by stopping the jamming, Duke said.

“Pilots should only say ‘stop buzzer’ when something unsafe is occurring that warrants declaring an emergency. They should make sure ATC knows that the emergency is GPS-related and that halting the GPS interference will resolve the emergency,” he said.

The FAA encouraged pilots to report GPS anomalies in accordance with Aeronautical Information Manualparagraphs 1-1-13 and 5-3-3. AOPA encourages pilots to document any effects of GPS-interference testing on their aircraft by filing a report using the FAA’s GPS Anomaly Reporting Form.


Terrified passenger tells how flight was forced to make emergency landing after cabin filled with smoke

ARFF Working Group - Fri, 02/08/2019 - 09:05

The FlyBe plane from Manchester to Luxembourg was diverted to Birmingham Airport

By Damon Wilkinson & Katy Hallam

A plane was forced to make an emergency landing after the cabin filled with smoke.

Terrified passengers on the Flybe flight from Manchester to Luxembourg say they saw a bright flash from one of its engines shortly before the plane, a propeller-driven Bombardier Dash 8 Q400, was diverted to Birmingham.

It landed ‘awkwardly’ on one engine on Thursday afternoon, CoventryLive reports.

Mo Millward, who was onboard the flight which was carrying 40 passengers, tweeted from the plane saying how those on board had been ‘panicking’ as they ‘didn’t know what was wrong’.

She said they ‘shut an engine down’.

The fire brigade then checked the plane for any damage, later tweeted that the brigade had ‘found something leaking’.

Other passengers praised the pilot and crew on board for their response.

Flight tracking website showed the flight circled over Stafford at about 2.30pm and then circled over Lichfield and Wolverhampton about 15 minutes later before landing at Birmingham at about 3pm.

A spokesman for Flybe said the safety of its passengers was first priority.

A statement issued by the company said: “Flybe can confirm that flight BE1265 from Manchester – Luxembourg diverted to Birmingham following a technical fault with one of the aircraft’s engines.

“The fault caused an oil leak which led to a small amount of smoke to be visible in the cabin.

“The pilot and crew took the recommended action and landed the aeroplane safely at Birmingham airport.

“There was no adverse reaction in the cabin and the crew’s actions have been praised by passengers who were on board.

“All 40 passengers disembarked as normal when the aircraft arrived on stand and have been re-accommodated on alternative aircraft to complete their travel to Luxembourg.

“Flybe wishes to commend the actions of the pilot and crew for maintaining calm throughout and apologises for any inconvenience caused.

“The safety of passengers and crew is Flybe’s number one priority.”

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Divers Discover Bodies In Aircraft Recovered From The Ocean In Northeast FL

ARFF Working Group - Fri, 02/08/2019 - 09:02

Plane Had Gone Down December 20th With Two People On Board

A plane that went down in the Atlantic Ocean off the northeast Florida coast December 20th has been recovered by local authorities.

The wreckage of the PA-46 Malibu located by side-scan sonar in about 40 feet of water off Little Talbot Island just north of Jacksonville. It was floated to the surface by Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office divers and towed to a Coast Guard station on the St. Johns River Wednesday. Two bodies were found in the wreckage of the airplane.

Television station WJXT reported at the time of the accident that Peter Renzulli, 51, of Bridgewater, and his 18-year-old son Daniel were traveling from Orlando to New Jersey where they lived when the accident occurred in December. Peter Renzulli had just completed 30 hours of advanced instruction in the Malibu, and was returning home. The Coast Guard and other agencies conducted a search for the aircraft, but it was suspended after about 56 hours in which some 1,400 square miles were searched.

Aviation attorney Ed Booth told WJXT this week that he believes Renzulli disregarded a forecast of bad weather on his route of flight, and had limited experience in the airplane. Booth said the return flight from Orlando to New Jersey was reportedly his first flight without an instructor on board.

The NTSB has not yet released a preliminary report on the accident, in part due to the partial government shutdown.

(Image from file)

FMI: Source report

The post Divers Discover Bodies In Aircraft Recovered From The Ocean In Northeast FL appeared first on ARFFWG | ARFF Working Group.


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