Fire Service

Ukraine International Airlines B-737 Hits Catering Truck in Kiev

ARFF Working Group - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 09:52
Date: 31-OCT-2017 Time: Type: Boeing 737-8AS (WL) Owner/operator: Ukraine International Airlines Registration: UR-PSV C/n / msn: 35017/3052 Fatalities: Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: Other fatalities: 0 Airplane damage: Minor Location: Kiev-Borispol Airport (KBP/UKBB) –    Ukraine Phase: Taxi Nature: Domestic Scheduled Passenger Departure airport: Kiev-Borispol Airport (KBP/UKBB) Destination airport: Kharkov Airport (HRK/UKHH)

Narrative:
Right wing hit a truck when taxiing from stand. Leading edge slat damaged. Passengers taken to destination on UR-PST.

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Akron sues flight company and co-pilots over cleanup from 2015 plane crash

ARFF Working Group - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 09:50

AKRON, Ohio – The City of Akron is suing a private jet company and the estates of two now-deceased pilots for the cleanup associated with a plane crash in 2015 that killed 9 people and destroyed an apartment building.

The city sued the estates of co-pilots Oscar Andres Chavez and Renato Marchese, who died in the crash, as well as the company that owned the plane and the company that leased the plane.

It is asking for $18,283.56 for cleanup, alleging that the defendants “failed to pay the necessary and reasonable, additional or extraordinary costs Plaintiff incurred in investigating, mitigating, minimizing, removing or abating the unauthorized spill, release, or discharge or contamination.”

Chavez and Marchese both died when the plane crashed into an Akron apartment building on Nov. 10, 2015. Seven passengers also died.

The National Transportation Safety Board said a “litany of failures” led to the crash.

http://www.news5cleveland.com/news/local-news/akron-canton-news/akron-sues-flight-company-and-co-pilots-over-cleanup-from-2015-plane-crash

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Korea holds drill on simulated plane crash at airport

ARFF Working Group - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 09:49

By Yonhap

Hundreds of South Korean firefighters, emergency crews and other officials on Wednesday staged a simulated fire on a plane in the latest drill to enhance readiness in case of an airport accident.

In the simulated drill, a plane — which lost communication with air traffic controllers — collided with a small aircraft on the runway as it was landing at Gimpo International Airport in western Seoul amid thunder and lightning.

The officials scrambled to the scene to rescue passengers and put out the burning planes using fire engines with a helicopter flying overhead.

There have been no major crashes between airplanes in South Korean airports, according to the transport ministry. (Yonhap)

http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20171101000912

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Today in History

ARFF Working Group - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 09:48

68 Years ago today: On 1 November 1949 an Eastern Airlines Douglas C-54 collided with a Bolivian Air Force P-38 on approach to Washington-National, killing all 55 occupants.

Date: Tuesday 1 November 1949 Time: 11:46 Type: Douglas C-54B-10-DO (DC-4) Operator: Eastern Air Lines Registration: N88727 C/n / msn: 18365 First flight: 1944 Total airframe hrs: 12161 Crew: Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4 Passengers: Fatalities: 51 / Occupants: 51 Total: Fatalities: 55 / Occupants: 55 Airplane damage: Damaged beyond repair Location: 0,8 km (0.5 mls) SW of Washington-National Airport, DC (DCA) (   United States of America) Phase: Approach (APR) Nature: Domestic Scheduled Passenger Departure airport: New York-La Guardia Airport, NY (LGA/KLGA), United States of America Destination airport: Washington-National Airport, DC (DCA/KDCA), United States of America Flightnumber: EA537

Narrative:
At 11:37 A Bolivian Air Force Lockheed P-38 Lightning fighter (NX26927) took off from runway 03 at Washington-National Airport, DC (DCA). The pilot was carrying out an acceptance test flight. Because of erratic operation of the right hand engine, the pilot decided to land as soon as possible.
When abeam runway 36 the pilot transmitted, “Washington Tower, this is Bolivian P-38. I got engine trouble request landing instructions.” Waiting for instructions he circled the field. When he was between Bolling Field and the National Airport and at about 3,500 feet altitude, the tower asked, “Bolivian P-38, you were asking landing instructions?” The Bolivian pilot answered, “Yes, I have engine trouble. I am in a hurry,” and that the tower at that time responded, “Bolivian P-38 cleared to land number two on runway 3.”
Number one on the approach was Eastern Air Lines flight 537, a Douglas C-54. Because the P-38 was descending above and behind the C-54, it was then told to enter the left traffic pattern and to land behind the C-54. This message was never confirmed, nor complied with. The tower then switched to the Eastern aircraft and told it to turn left. When turning left, half a mile short of the runway at an altitude of 300 feet, both aircraft collided and crashed. The pilot of the P-38 survived with serious injuries.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: “The execution of a straight-in final approach by the P-38 pilot without obtaining proper clearance to land and without exercising necessary vigilance.”

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Pre-arrival video from Layton, Utah house fire

Statter 911 - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 08:17

Three firefighters with minor injuries in Sunday fire

The post Pre-arrival video from Layton, Utah house fire appeared first on Statter911.

Categories: Fire Service

Ramming & shooting incident in Lower Manhattan – as many as 6 dead

Statter 911 - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 14:58

Police police report at least one in custody and no active threat

The post Ramming & shooting incident in Lower Manhattan – as many as 6 dead appeared first on Statter911.

Categories: Fire Service

Today is Tuesday the 31st of October, 2017 – Happy Halloween!

ARFF Working Group - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 08:56

Here are the stories for today…

Be safe out there, and take it easy on stealing the kids candy tonight!

Tom

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Airplane crash lands at Atlanta Motorsports Park

ARFF Working Group - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 08:40

By: Deidra Dukes

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – An airplane made a crash landing at Atlanta Motorsports Park in Dawsonville, according to the FAA. The aircraft is a Piper P32R-300. 

“Experienced some mechanical issues in flight. Stated that the cockpit filled up with smoke and so basically he was looking for a place to land,” said Deputy Chief Tim Satterfield, Dawson County Emergency Services.

The crash occurred around 8:30 a.m. Monday morning. The aircraft departed from Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport in Gainesville, Georgia and was going to the Gary/Chicago International Airport in Gary, Indiana.

“He saw this area with a lot of asphalt and he tried to put it down there and had a crash landing,” the deputy chief said.

The pilot was the only person on board, and the plane was having a mechanical issue that led to the emergency landing, according to Satterfield.

“The pilot did self-extricate himself we transported him via helicopter to Northeast Georgia Medical Center,” said Satterfield. 

The pilot was flown to the hospital in serious but stable condition, according to officials.

Satterfield said the plane came to rest on the Go-Kart track. No one on the ground was injured. Satterfield credits luck and pilot skill knowing the crash could’ve been a lot worse.

“Oh, yes! A lot worse especially with the rural area too. If he had gotten into the woods or a mountainous area, it could’ve been a lot worse,” said Satterfield.

The plane can hold up to seven passengers.

http://www.fox5atlanta.com/news/airplane-crashes-at-atlanta-motorsports-park

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Small plane crashes in vineyard west of Selma; no initial word on how many on board

ARFF Working Group - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 08:38

BY BRIANNA CALIX 

A small private plane crashed Monday in rural Fresno County.

The California Highway Patrol responded to the incident before 2:30 p.m. west of Selma on Cedar Avenue.

An ambulance was not requested, but Cal Fire was called out for a fuel leak.

A pilot was the only person on the plane when it lost power at an altitude of 4,000 feet. He was headed to the Selma airport. The plane overturned when it clipped vines as he tried to land the craft, a sheriff’s spokesman said.

The plane was a Vans RV-6, the FAA said

http://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/article181776056.html

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ALPA Commends FAA’s Stance On Lithium Batteries

ARFF Working Group - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 08:36

Agency Has Called For Such Batteries To Be Banned From Checked Baggage

The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), the world’s largest non-governmental aviation safety organization, applauded the FAA’s recent proposal to prohibit lithium batteries installed in certain electronic equipment from checked baggage on passenger aircraft. The FAA issued its recommendations to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Dangerous Goods Panel after internal tests repeatedly demonstrated substantial fire concerns.

“ALPA has long called for international organizations to address the significant hazards associated with the safe transport of lithium batteries on passenger and cargo aircraft. We commend the FAA for their thoroughness in demonstrating the risks these batteries present when unmonitored and call on ICAO to implement these recommendations,” said Tim Canoll, ALPA president.

In addition, ALPA issued a letter to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao expressing concerns regarding the recent decision to replace the FAA as the lead U.S. representative on ICAO’s Dangerous Goods Panel, which is considering the proposed ban at their current meeting.

“It is inappropriate to have an agency that is not responsible for the regulatory oversight of aviation to lead the delegation that is making recommendations to improve the safety of that sector of transportation,” wrote Capt. Canoll.

As the FAA was continuing their charge of promoting aviation safety, Secretary Chao indicated that the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) would take over as the lead for U.S. negotiations on the regulation of dangerous goods at future ICAO meetings.

(Source: ALPA news release)

FMI: www.alpa.org

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ICAO considers checked baggage laptop ban over fire concern

ARFF Working Group - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 08:35

Aaron Karp

ICAO is considering amending its dangerous goods instructions to largely ban large personal electronic devices (PEDs) from checked baggage after US FAA’s Fire Safety Branch reported “troubling” results from tests conducted on potential fire risks to commercial aircraft from laptops in checked baggage.

Results of FAA’s testing, conducted over the summer and previously made public in an “Information for Operators” bulletin issued by the agency in July, were included in a report released during a meeting of ICAO’s Dangerous Goods Panel (DGP) that concluded Oct. 27 in Montreal.

The FAA test results have led to the drafting of language by DGP that would amend ICAO’s dangerous goods instructions to ban large PEDs from checked baggage.

Exceptions would include “operator approval for the unique passenger circumstances that may arise for the carriage of PEDs larger than a cell/smartphone in checked baggage” and the placement of large PEDs in checked baggage with “lithium battery(ies) … removed from the device and stowed in the cabin,” according to the DGP report.

Otherwise, there would be little leeway—FAA and DGP believe crafting detailed rules that would give individual passengers or airlines discretion could too easily lead to unnecessary fire risk. Also, an airline choosing to ban large PEDs from checked baggage could unknowingly carry them in passenger baggage cargo holds if bags originally checked with another airline are transferred on codeshare or interline flights.

“As such, requiring the large PEDs to be carried only in the cabin is the simplest, most effective and most efficient option for addressing this identified safety risk,” the DGP report stated.

The FAA tests were initiated following the “laptop ban” issued in March by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which for four months prohibited passengers flying nonstop to the US from 10 airports in the Middle East and Africa from carrying large PEDs aboard aircraft. This meant more laptops were being checked, and DGP realized there was little data available on the fire risks large PEDs in checked baggage posed. So FAA’s Fire Safety Branch agreed to conduct tests on fully charged laptop computers inside suitcases.

“The suitcases varied in construction and in the density and types of items inside, as well as the construction of the outer case,” the DGP report stated. “A heater was placed against a lithium ion cell in the battery of a laptop to force it into thermal runaway. For the first five tests, the suitcases were filled with clothes, shoes, etc., but no other currently permitted dangerous goods. In four of those tests, the fire was contained and eventually self-extinguished, and the suitcases were not breached. In one test … the resulting fire burned out of the suitcase and fully consumed it.”

Those test results did not raise significant alarm, but FAA also conducted a test “of this same scenario” in which “an eight-ounce aerosol can of dry shampoo [was] strapped to the laptop battery and added to the suitcase contents,” the DGP report explained, noting that “dry shampoo is currently permitted to be carried in checked baggage.”

The test including the shampoo “yielded the most troubling result,” the DGP report stated. “Fire was observed almost immediately after thermal runaway was initiated. The fire rapidly grew, and within 40 seconds, the aerosol can of shampoo exploded with the resulting fire rapidly consuming the bag and its contents. This test showed that, given the rapid progression of the fire, a Halon fire suppression system cannot dispense Halon quickly enough to reach a sufficient concentration to suppress the fire and prevent the explosion.”

FAA then conducted four additional tests in which the dry shampoo remained and other items were added to the suitcases, including nail polish remover, hand sanitizer and a bottle of rubbing alcohol. “Three of those tests resulted in the can or bottle containing the dangerous goods bursting, leading to a large fire,” the DGP report stated. “In only one test was the fire contained within the case.”

The DGP said the tests indicate “that large PEDs in checked baggage mixed with an aerosol can produce an explosion and fire that the aircraft cargo fire suppression system … may not be able to safely manage. Globally, there are aircraft in the commercial fleet that do not have the same level of cargo fire suppression in the cargo hold, which places passengers in greater jeopardy if a PED catches fire in checked baggage.”

The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) praised the proposed ban on large PEDs in checked baggage. “ALPA has long called for international organizations to address the significant hazards associated with the safe transport of lithium batteries on passenger and cargo aircraft,” ALPA president Tim Canoll said in a statement. “We commend the FAA for their thoroughness in demonstrating the risks these batteries present when unmonitored and call on ICAO to implement these recommendations.”

Aaron Karp aaron.karp@penton.com

http://atwonline.com/security/icao-considers-checked-baggage-laptop-ban-over-fire-concern?NL=ATW-04&Issue=ATW-04_20171030_ATW-04_285&sfvc4enews=42&cl=article_2&utm_rid=CPEN1000000997368&utm_campaign=12332&utm_medium=email&elq2=0736982840bf448386730d72ee8f8727

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Today in History

ARFF Working Group - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 08:33

23 Years ago today: On 31 October 1994 an American Eagle ATR-72 crashed out of control in icing conditions near Roselawn, IN, USA, killing all 68 occupants.

Date: Monday 31 October 1994 Time: 15:59 Type: ATR 72-212 Operated by: Simmons Airlines On behalf of: American Eagle Registration: N401AM C/n / msn: 401 First flight: 1994 Total airframe hrs: 1352 Cycles: 1671 Engines:Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127 Crew: Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4 Passengers: Fatalities: 64 / Occupants: 64 Total: Fatalities: 68 / Occupants: 68 Airplane damage: Destroyed Airplane fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair) Location: near Roselawn, IN (   United States of America) Phase: Approach (APR) Nature: Domestic Scheduled Passenger Departure airport: Indianapolis International Airport, IN (IND/KIND), United States of America Destination airport: Chicago-O’Hare International Airport, IL (ORD/KORD), United States of America Flightnumber: 4184

Narrative:
American Eagle Flight 4184 was scheduled to depart the gate in Indianapolis at 14:10; however, due to a change in the traffic flow because of deteriorating weather conditions at destination Chicago-O’Hare, the flight left the gate at 14:14 and was held on the ground for 42 minutes before receiving an IFR clearance to O’Hare. At 14:55, the controller cleared flight 4184 for takeoff. The aircraft climbed to an enroute altitude of 16,300 feet. At 15:13, flight 4184 began the descent to 10,000 feet. During the descent, the FDR recorded the activation of the Level III airframe de-icing system. At 15:18, shortly after flight 4184 leveled off at 10,000 feet, the crew received a clearance to enter a holding pattern near the LUCIT intersection and they were told to expect further clearance at 15:45, which was revised to 16:00 at 15:38. Three minutes later the Level III airframe de-icing system activated again. At 15:56, the controller contacted flight 4184 and instructed the flight crew to descend to 8,000 feet. The engine power was reduced to the flight idle position, the propeller speed was 86 percent, and the autopilot remained engaged in the vertical speed (VS) and heading select (HDG SEL) modes. At 15:57:21, as the airplane was descending in a 15-degree right-wing-down attitude at 186 KIAS, the sound of the flap overspeed warning was recorded on the CVR. The crew selected flaps from 15 to zero degrees and the AOA and pitch attitude began to increase. At 15:57:33, as the airplane was descending through 9,130 feet, the AOA increased through 5 degrees, and the ailerons began deflecting to a right-wing-down position. About 1/2 second later, the ailerons rapidly deflected to 13:43 degrees right-wing-down, the autopilot disconnected. The airplane rolled rapidly to the right, and the pitch attitude and AOA began to decrease. Within several seconds of the initial aileron and roll excursion, the AOA decreased through 3.5 degrees, the ailerons moved to a nearly neutral position, and the airplane stopped rolling at 77 degrees right-wing-down. The airplane then began to roll to the left toward a wings-level attitude, the elevator began moving in a nose-up direction, the AOA began increasing, and the pitch attitude stopped at approximately 15 degrees nose down. At 15:57:38, as the airplane rolled back to the left through 59 degrees right-wing-down (towards wings level), the AOA increased again through 5 degrees and the ailerons again deflected rapidly to a right-wing-down position. The captain’s nose-up control column force exceeded 22 pounds, and the airplane rolled rapidly to the right, at a rate in excess of 50 degrees per second. The captain’s nose-up control column force decreased below 22 pounds as the airplane rolled through 120 degrees, and the first officer’s nose-up control column force exceeded 22 pounds just after the airplane rolled through the inverted position (180 degrees). Nose-up elevator inputs were indicated on the FDR throughout the roll, and the AOA increased when nose-up elevator increased. At 15:57:45 the airplane rolled through the wings-level attitude (completion of first full roll). The nose-up elevator and AOA then decreased rapidly, the ailerons immediately deflected to 6 degrees left-wing-down and then stabilized at about 1 degree right-wing-down, and the airplane stopped rolling at 144 degrees right wing down. At 15:57:48, as the airplane began rolling left, back towards wings level, the airspeed increased through 260 knots, the pitch attitude decreased through 60 degrees nose down, normal acceleration fluctuated between 2.0 and 2.5 G, and the altitude decreased through 6,000 feet. At 15:57:51, as the roll attitude passed through 90 degrees, continuing towards wings level, the captain applied more than 22 pounds of nose-up control column force, the elevator position increased to about 3 degrees nose up, pitch attitude stopped decreasing at 73 degrees nose down, the airspeed increased through 300 KIAS, normal acceleration remained above 2 G, and the altitude decreased through 4,900 feet. At 15:57:53, as the captain’s nose-up control column force decreased below 22 pounds, the first officer’s nose-up control column force again exceeded 22 pounds and the captain made the statement “nice and easy.” At 15:57:55, the normal acceleration increased to over 3.0 G. Approximately 1.7 seconds later, as the altitude decreased through 1,700 feet, the elevator position and vertical acceleration began to increase rapidly. The last recorded data on the FDR occurred at an altitude of 1,682 feet (vertical speed of approximately 500 feet per second), and indicated that the airplane was at an airspeed of 375 KIAS, a pitch attitude of 38 degrees nose down with 5 degrees of nose-up elevator, and was experiencing a vertical acceleration of 3.6 G. The airplane impacted a wet soybean field partially inverted, in a nose down, left-wing-low attitude.
Based on petitions filed for reconsideration of the probable cause, the NTSB on September 2002 updated it’s findings.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: “The loss of control, attributed to a sudden and unexpected aileron hinge moment reversal, that occurred after a ridge of ice accreted beyond the deice boots while the airplane was in a holding pattern during which it intermittently encountered supercooled cloud and drizzle/rain drops, the size and water content of which exceeded those described in the icing certification envelope. The airplane was susceptible to this loss of control, and the crew was unable to recover. Contributing to the accident were 1) the French Directorate General for Civil Aviation’s (DGAC’s) inadequate oversight of the ATR 42 and 72, and its failure to take the necessary corrective action to ensure continued airworthiness in icing conditions; 2) the DGAC’s failure to provide the FAA with timely airworthiness information developed from previous ATR incidents and accidents in icing conditions, 3) the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s) failure to ensure that aircraft icing certification requirements, operational requirements for flight into icing conditions, and FAA published aircraft icing information adequately accounted for the hazards that can result from flight in freezing rain, 4) the FAA’s inadequate oversight of the ATR 42 and 72 to ensure continued airworthiness in icing conditions; and 5) ATR’s inadequate response to the continued occurrence of ATR 42 icing/roll upsets which, in conjunction with information learned about aileron control difficulties during the certification and development of the ATR 42 and 72, should have prompted additional research, and the creation of updated airplane flight manuals, flightcrew operating manuals and training programs related to operation of the ATR 42 and 72 in such icing conditions.”

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Fundraiser Created To Help Injured Awendaw-McClellanville Firefighter

SCOnFire - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 08:14
Charleston, SC – A verified GoFundMe link has been created to help Awendaw-McClellanville Firefighter Lauren Cook. Cook was injured in a motor vehicle accident when her vehicle left the roadway after swerving to avoid striking a dog in the roadway. You can read the original story HERE. Greetings! My name is Mary Moravek. I’m a firefighter ...

VIDEO SHOWS NASHVILLE FIRE RECRUIT A NEW TRAINING TOWER

Firefighter Close Calls - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 05:53

Video obtained by the News 4 I-Team shows a Nashville Fire recruit fall during a training drill at the city’s new training tower.

The internal review of the accident also reveals that the recruit, Jennifer Lockhart, claims she asked for a safety line before she fell and was denied by the fire captain overseeing the training.

Lockhart has since retained attorney Rocky McElhany, who said in a statement to the News 4 I-Team, “Jennifer’s main focus is getting better and making sure these reckless training drills stop immediately before someone else is hurt or killed.”

The internal review reads on July 17, Lockhart fell during the Nance drill, which teaches how to use to ropes to lower a firefighter down a hole to rescue a fallen comrade.

According to the internal review, District Chief Trey Nelms, who was leading the training, was lowered first.

Lockhart told an investigator for the fire department that she first inquired then if Nelms wanted an additional rope for a safety line.

“I was like, hey chief, can we use this rope? To do safety? And he said, ‘F*** no,’’’ Lockhart said in her interview.

When it was time for Lockhart to be lowered, she told the investigators she made the same request.

“I want a safety line. And he goes, and he just kind of laughed, and he was like, ‘No,’” Lockhart said.

The video showed Lockhart lowered through a hole from the upper floor, and then when she passes through to the first floor, she falls several feet.

It is unclear in the video why Lockhart fell, but when she did, she landed squarely on her oxygen tank.

“I didn’t have any feeling from about my waist down. I just remember waking up and thinking I was paralyzed,” she told an investigator in the HR department. “I remember screaming and then I guess I went unresponsive.”

In the internal investigation, Lockhart told the investigator that the accident was grossly negligent and appeared malicious.

Lockhart said she’d been discriminated against by Nelms for being a female and for having worked on the ambulance shift, creating a very hostile work environment.

In the investigative report, Nelms denied discriminating against Lockhart or any recruit.

While in the investigation, both Lockhart and another recruit claim that she did ask for a safety line, Nelms said he never recalled that occurring.

Nelms said he’d done the Nance drill more than 1,000 times and no accident like this had ever occurred.

“I’m sick about this. I hate it. I’m tore up about it,” Nelms said.

The internal investigation ultimately found there was no evidence to show that Lockhart’s fall was anything other than an unfortunate accident.

While Nelms never said in his interview with investigators if a safety line should have been used, he said he has wracked his brain trying to figure out what could have been done differently.

“If we are allowed to do (the Nance drill) again, I promise you, I’ll be looking at a whole bunch of different things,” Nelms said.

A spokesman for the National Fire Protection Agency, which sets the standards for training, said nothing in the rules pertains to whether or not a safety line should be required for drill such as the Nance exercise.

A spokesman for the Nashville Fire Department said their internal review speaks for itself and declined our request for an interview.

WSMV News 4

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

Nashville FD recruit’s controversial fall during rope drill caught on video

Statter 911 - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 00:01

Jennifer Lockhart claims she was denied use of safety rope

The post Nashville FD recruit’s controversial fall during rope drill caught on video appeared first on Statter911.

Categories: Fire Service

CT Fire Dept. Graduates Much-Needed Firefighter Recruits

Firefighter Close Calls - Mon, 10/30/2017 - 21:27

Steven Goode On Oct 28, 2017
Source: McClatchy

Oct. 28–With the graduation Friday of 36 recruits from its training academy, the Hartford Fire Department received a much-needed influx of new firefighters.

The 23rd recruit class in department history originally numbered 40 and was culled from an initial list of 700 applicants. The class began 16 weeks of training in July at the training academy on Fisher Road. A graduation ceremony was held at the Black Box Theatre in the Learning Corridor in Hartford.

“You are coming to the only Class 1 fire department in New England,” Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said, referring to the highest classification a department can receive for firefighting services. “You are driven by a sense of service and we are so grateful and proud for that.”

Bronin also warned the recruits that there would be family events missed, long nights home alone for their loved ones and a lot of overtime working for a badly understaffed fire department that has been losing large numbers of experienced personnel to retirement over the past year.

Even with Friday’s graduation, the department is short about 40 firefighters, according to Hartford Fire Chief Reginald Freeman.

This summer the department implemented forced overtimeto cover shift shortages and through an agreement with the union local, officers were allowed to take overtime shifts on apparatus.

More are expected to go by the end of the year to avoid having their health benefits cut under the terms of a new contract that saved the city $4 million, Freeman said. The number of retirees won’t be clear until December, Freeman said

But more reinforcements are on the way. The department recently received a federal grant that will allow it to hire 70 more firefighters in the next three years. A class of 45 is expected to begin in November, Freeman said.

On Friday, Deputy Chief of Training William Kerr, who will be among those retiring by the end of the year, told the recruits that the department would become their second family and that although they were graduating, they weren’t finished learning.

“Your training is never finished. Learn something new every day,” he said.

Kerr also noted that several of the recruits were the children of firefighters he came on the job with.

“I can tell you fathers, they did you proud,” Kerr said.

Hartford native Gloria Gerena was chosen to speak for her recruit class. Gerena, who noted that it was her third time graduating from the theater’s stage in the Learning Corridor, said she grew up in a city where her life could have gone in good or bad directions.

She thanked her mother and grandmother for serving as role models, which she also intends to do for Hartford kids as a firefighter.

“The city of Hartford and your families are in good hands,” Gerena told the audience.

___ (c)2017 The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.) Visit The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.) at www.courant.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

Hazardous Firefighter Bunker Gear?…Uh, Not So Fast

Firefighter Close Calls - Mon, 10/30/2017 - 19:34
So as you read this morning, there were some more than interesting statements made to the Columbus Dispatch regarding bunker gear materials-and what is claimed to be a problem with some of those materials. As we further starting looking for information, we also received a letter from Steve Schwartz, of LION. As you may know, LION is a leading manufacturer of firefighter turnout gear as well as a strong and proven supporter of actions to prevent and minimize firefighter safety and health risks. Their research in improving bunker gear and their active and fiscal participation in the NFFF, the Firefighter Cancer Support Network, the Firefighter Combat Challenge and much more is well documented. As you will read, they (LION) takes strong issue with the newspaper article and potentially misleading information. Just as you read the newspaper article, take time now to read, as Paul Harvey would say “…the rest of the story…” Please see the attached documents. We will also have this letter posted on our home page at www.FireFighterCloseCalls.com.  DOWNLOAD LETTER HERE
Categories: Fire Service, Safety

City of Goose Creek Fire Department FF/EMT Robby Brannon Memorial Video

SCOnFire - Mon, 10/30/2017 - 18:40
Goose Creek, SC – Today, firefighters from all over the state converged to attend a service to celebrate the life of City of Goose Creek Fire Department Firefighter/EMT Robby Brannon. This video was created with photos taken at today’s service.   Video Credit: Colt Roy – SConFire.com Staff  

Study Says MN Dept. Needs Shift Toward EMS

Firefighter Close Calls - Mon, 10/30/2017 - 15:06

Mara H. Gottfried On Jul 11, 2017
Source: McClatchy

An outside study commissioned by the city of St. Paul, MN, has recommended that its fire department begin shifting resources from fire suppression toward emergency medical services.

July 11–An overwhelming percentage of calls to St. Paul firefighters are for medical emergencies, and the fire department needs “a paradigm shift” to best handle the workload, according to an outside study of the department.

Fires account for less than 5 percent of the emergency calls in St. Paul, and about half of 1 percent are structure fires. Meanwhile, demand for emergency medical services has been increasing 3 to 4 percent annually, much faster than population growth, and is likely to continue to increase, the review by TriData found.

“To meet the increasing EMS demand the city must add more resources — either through funding, or by shifting budget resources from (fire) suppression to EMS,” said the report, which St. Paul City Council members received Monday and will begin discussing Wednesday. “Increased medical demand is the No. 1 threat to maintaining services at the high quality they are now.”

Overall, the report said the city “is getting very good fire and EMS service from its fire department, and it is equitably delivered” among neighborhoods. The recommendations “are largely to increase efficiency in light of the burgeoning EMS demand,” according to the report.

One recommendation is to consider eliminating one of St. Paul’s three fire-rescue squads in order to reallocate staff to ambulances. The rescue squads respond to fires and to vehicle crashes to extricate people, and each also has specialty functions.

St. Paul Fire Chief Tim Butler said he does not believe that cutting a rescue squad is the best strategy, but he would be willing to sit down to discuss it with firefighters, union officials and the city’s leadership. The president of the union representing rank-and-file St. Paul firefighters said he does not support cutting a fire rig.

“Our effort has been pretty clear and historical along the way — we have asked for additional resources for EMS,” Butler said Monday. “We don’t think taking fire-suppression units out of service in order to enhance EMS is the correct answer.”

St. Paul allocated $100,000 for the study of the fire department’s deployment and staffing practices, and the final tab was $80,000. The report is intended to be a step toward helping the department craft a strategic plan.

City Council member Chris Tolbert, who pushed for the study, said it’s important to have outside eyes looking at how the department is doing, especially as St. Paul’s population has grown.

“It was clear that we have a great fire department and part of the reason we do this is to ensure it continues to be a leader,” he said. Tolbert said he wants to hear from Butler and firefighters about their reactions to the recommendations and which they think should be prioritized.

BEEFING UP MEDICAL RESPONSE

Ten years ago, the city also hired TriData to conduct a review of the St. Paul fire department. The Virginia-based company found then that medical calls amounted to 80 percent of the department’s business but that they were a secondary priority. The 2007 report suggested putting paramedic rigs at every station and shifting staff so they could be on medical and fire calls simultaneously.

Thirteen of St. Paul’s 15 stations have ambulances. Three of the ambulances are part of a “supermedic” program that Butler started.

All St. Paul firefighters are EMTs and 38 percent are paramedics. At 10 fire stations, there are four firefighters assigned to a fire apparatus and an ambulance. Whether it’s a medical or a fire call, all four crew members respond together. If an apparatus is responding to a call and the same station gets a medical call, an ambulance from the nearest station has to respond.

At the three stations with supermedics, two firefighters are added to the four-member team, allowing them to staff an ambulance and an engine at the same time. Adding the supermedics “have greatly improved service delivery,” the new TriData study said.

The report said the fire department has a fire rig and ambulance respond “to the same calls, thereby reducing the effectiveness of independent staffing for medic units.” Butler, however, said they do not respond to all of the same calls, unless it’s a fire or major medical emergency.

The current supermedics are stationed downtown, on East Maryland Avenue between Hazelwood and Kennard streets, and on Como Avenue near the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.

The study’s recommendations also include:

  • Increasing the fire department’s efforts to recruit paramedics.
  • Replacing a second fire engine at the West Side station with a supermedic unit.
  • Upgrading the medic units to supermedics at the stations at Snelling and Laurel avenues, and Payne and Hawthorne avenues.

RESPONSE TIMES STUDIED

The study also looked at fire department response times. In general, most St. Paul fire front-line units have travel times of four to six minutes to 90 percent of incidents within the city, the report said.

Three of the department’s units exceed travel times of 6 minutes for 90 percent of their responses: a rescue squad at West Seventh Street and Randolph Avenue, an ambulance on Como Avenue near the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, and a ladder truck stationed at Edgcumbe Road and St. Paul Avenue. The three vehicles and their crews help in areas beyond where they are stationed and have longer travel times, the study noted.

But the report said the fire department’s “turnout” time, which is measured from when a call is dispatched to when a unit heading out, is too long — up to 2 minutes and 46 seconds for 90 percent of responses — and that they should aim to improve that. The national recommendation is that turnout times not exceed 1 minute for medical calls, and 1 minute 30 seconds for fire calls.

___ (c)2017 the Pioneer Press (St. Paul, Minn.) Visit the Pioneer Press (St. Paul, Minn.) at www.twincities.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

IN City Hiring More FFs to Cut Down On OT

Firefighter Close Calls - Mon, 10/30/2017 - 15:05

Ken de la Bastide On Jul 11, 2017
Source: McClatchy

The city of Anderson, IN, is looking to hire four new firefighters by the end of the year and several more in 2018 to cut down on mandatory overtime at its understaffed fire department.

July 11–ANDERSON, IN– The city of Anderson is looking to hire four new firefighters by the end of the year with an additional hiring in 2018.

Cody Leever, president of Anderson Fire Fighters Local 1262, asked members of the Anderson Board of Public Safety in June to look at hiring firefighters to eliminate mandatory overtime.

Leever said the Anderson Fire Department is budgeted for 112 firefighters, but is currently working with 105.

Anderson Mayor Thomas Broderick Jr. said Monday the exact number of firefighters has not been determined as administration officials look at finances and future attrition in the fire department.

“We’re looking at hiring in two phases,” Broderick said, “probably looking at hiring four in the first phase and more after the first of the year.”

During Monday’s meeting of the Board of Public Safety, Fire Chief Dave Cravens said the department is looking at manpower concerns but trying to be fiscally responsible.

“We’re committed to hiring,” Cravens said. “Right now we’re scheduling appointments with the PERF (pension) board and starting to determine if people are physically and mentally fit to serve.”

Leever said he was briefed before the Safety Board meeting by the administration, but hadn’t been told a number of firefighters to be hired.

“This is a step in the right direction,” he said. “Maybe we could have a meeting with the administration to plan for future staffing at the fire department.”

Cravens said there is a difference between the number of firefighters that are budgeted for and the actual numbers.

“Our run loads are extremely high,” he said. “We’re doing more with less. Every public safety entity has mandatory overtime.”

Cravens said the department has implemented policies to streamline the necessity for mandatory overtime.

During the administration of former Mayor Kevin Smith, the number of firefighters included in the fire department budget was reduced from 132 by closing some stations and assigning a fire apparatus with an ambulance.

The union and the Broderick administration reached a contract agreement earlier this year providing for a 3 percent pay increase in 2017, 2 percent in 2018 and 2019, and 3 percent in 2020.

The Anderson Police Department is also budgeted for 112 members; in March there were 105 working and two on military leave.

The department started the process to hire five new officers with testing to be completed this month. Once the five recruits are identified they will be required to attend the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy and then spend 15 weeks with an APD training officer in the field.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.

___ (c)2017 The Herald Bulletin (Anderson, Ind.) Visit The Herald Bulletin (Anderson, Ind.) at www.theheraldbulletin.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

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