Fire Service


Firefighter Close Calls - Wed, 01/30/2019 - 21:32


May 31, 2018

ATLANTIC CITY — A shortage of available manpower forced the Fire Department to close two full companies on Memorial Day weekend.

Atlantic City Fire Department Companies 4 and 7 were both closed Saturday due to a high number of sick callouts, according to Chief Scott Evans. A company typically consists of four to six firefighters to operate an engine or truck plus apparatus and equipment.

Since the state takeover of the city’s finances in late 2016, Evans said there is a standing order for preapproval of overtime hours that was not available for the first full weekend of the unofficial start of summer.

“It wasn’t there,” Evans said of the overtime approval. “We’re working with the state to resolve this going forward.”

Evans said that between the two companies, 11 firefighters called out sick Saturday, which he categorized as an “above-normal amount.”

“Typically, we would have had overtime to keep the companies open,” the chief said, who added the procedure, known as “browning out” a company, has happened in the past. “We don’t want it to happen, and we’re working with the state to prevent it from happening again.”

Evans said the closings did not pose an immediate threat to public safety, and he was not aware of any structure fires in either company’s district that day.

Lisa Ryan, spokeswoman for the state Department of Community Affairs, issued a statement when asked about the company closings: “Two fire companies were reduced by Atlantic City Fire Department management on Saturday, May 26 due to firefighters using sick time and Kelly time, which are days off provided to firefighters in order to keep the hours they work within normal levels in a pay period. The city’s firehouses remained open with other companies positioned to respond to emergencies.”

Further complicating the department’s weekend was the loss of Engine 3, which broke down around 7:30 p.m. Evans said the department had to borrow an engine from Ventnor for the night.

The department has voiced a need for new equipment, taking its concerns to City Council and the city’s representatives in the Assembly, Vince Mazzeo and John Armato, both D-Atlantic. The two assemblymen toured three of the city’s six fire stations in early May and said the condition of equipment, such as engines, breathing apparatus and hoses, was “disturbing.”

When the Atlantic City Fire Department is fully staffed it has 10 companies, including seven engine companies and three ladder companies.

The department’s staffing numbers were reduced after the state assumed control of the city in November 2016. In October 2017, a Superior Court judge allowed for a reduction of the number of citywide firefighters to a minimum of 180, although the state had sought to decrease the number to 145. Currently, the Fire Department staffs its six stations with 191 employees, 167 of them active firefighters and 10 of them on injury leave.

The Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey is hosting a three-day convention at Tropicana Atlantic City. Gov. Phil Murphy was scheduled to address the convention Wednesday afternoon but canceled several hours beforehand due to the weather. The statewide firefighters union endorsed the Democratic governor in the 2017 election.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Wed, 01/30/2019 - 21:30

May 29, 2018

Share Salinas fire crews are being trimmed from four firefighters to three in an effort to reduce overtime as the city tries to shore up its budget, but some are concerned with how the cuts might affect response times.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Wed, 01/30/2019 - 21:27

Louisville is losing firefighters to nearby communities that offer incentives and pensions and city officials say they do not have money to offer them.

Malcolm Hall

May 14, 2018

The Repository, Canton, Ohio

LOUISVILLE – Chief Rod Bordner is telling city elected officials his crew of firefighters and paramedics sincerely want to perform their jobs.

But for them to continue responding to fires, traffic wrecks and medical emergencies, it’s going to require additional job incentives and better perks, according to Bordner.

Bordner has watched crew members leave in recent years to take jobs with other departments where there are lucrative packages, such as pensions in retirement, vacation pay and paid sick days. Louisville doesn’t offer those benefits and it’s hurting the department’s retention ability.

“It is human nature to go someplace to get a job where you can provide for your family and get a pension,” Bordner said at a recent City Council work session. “We can’t afford not to do anything. We are talking about the safety of our citizens. We are talking about the safety of our firefighters. There is no retirement in place except for Social Security. They could go to another fire department and get a full range of benefits.”

It’s a common problem in some municipalities that struggle to keep their safety forces fully staffed and equipped when funding is tight.

Bordner presented city officials with four different proposed staffing solutions. All would cost the city additional money.

During the previous year, the city spent $458,540 in personnel costs for the department. This includes Bordner’s salary, plus pay for firefighters and paramedics while they are on active duty or responding from home to emergency calls.

“Our fire department is volunteer,” City Councilman Rick Flory said. “We only have one full-time employee and that is the chief.”

The proposals

Under Bordner’s first proposal, the city would staff the fire station with four crew members 24 hours a day. That would cost Louisville a projected $1.17 million a year.

However, “we do not have sleeping quarters for that,” Bordner acknowledged.

The second proposal would be staffing the station with four people, two of them working 24-hour shifts and the other two being paid to work from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. This scenario would cost Louisville a projected $1.01 million a year.

Bordner’s third option would be having three crew members paid to stay at the station 24 hours a day. Projected cost is $961,122 a year.

The fourth proposal would have two crew members stay at the station 24 hours day. This would cost the city $700,148 a year in personnel cost. The fourth proposal is similar to how the Fire Department currently operates except the two crew members who stay at the station now for 24-hour shifts are paid their regular wage rate for 16 of those hours. They receive a $20 stipend for the other eight hours.

Under all four options, there would be a need to hire from outside to fulfill Bordner’s staffing plans.

“We have enough turnout gear right now for anyone we would bring on the department,” the chief said.

City leaders: We can’t afford this

City Councilman Rick Flory made it clear Louisville cannot afford the proposals given the city’s current financial situation.

“It would take some sort of additional funding that we currently don’t have,” Flory said. “Right now, in my opinion, I don’t think we can afford this out of our budget right now. Council is not looking at putting a (tax) levy on the ballot at this time.”

The city currently has a 2 percent income tax. And 75 percent of the income tax revenue supports the city general fund. One recipient of general fund revenue is the Fire Department. The other 25 percent of the income tax pays for municipal water and sewer capital projects.

Bordner tallied up how many firefighters and paramedics resigned from his force over the past four years. So far this year, two have left. In 2017, four resigned. And five resigned in both 2016 and 2015.

“We have people come and go,” Bordner said. “Right now our roster has 17 people, and that includes me. My roster used to be around 23. This is the lowest our roster has ever been. We are training the people that we have and they are leaving for full-time positions. We have minimum manning for second- and third-shift calls.”

The issue is not unique to Louisville, according to an official with the Ohio Fire Chiefs Association.

“As a previous fire chief, that is not uncommon,” said Bill Houk, president of the state association. “The fire department or its governing board is only able to do what their voters allow them to do. It sounds like a case where they may need to raise wages or benefits. They probably need to do some type of study or evaluation.”

Houk had been chief of a township fire department in Madison County in central Ohio.

More dialogue

To support themselves, some fire members also work for other departments.

“I know that some of them also work for private ambulance (companies) or other entities,” City Manager E. Thomas Ault said.

The recent council work session represented city officials’ early phase to assess the Fire Department problem and work on a solution.

“We have had some issues with staffing,” Councilman Corey Street said. “We just want to start a dialogue on what it would take to stabilize our department. We are trying to find a solution to our staffing problem. The problem is turnover rate. We want to solve the problem. We want to work with all the guys to solve the problem.”

Louisville, a city of about 9,180 residents, is surrounded by Nimishillen Township, which also has a fire department. However, Bordner did not suggest the possibility of uniting with the township department.

“I think both Nimishillen Township and the city should take a look at forming a fire district,” Councilman Richard Guiley said. “I don’t know if that can be done. I am very open to looking at that. We are struggling with being able to retain our firefighters and EMS (emergency medical service) people. Other jurisdictions are willing to offer them more hours and better benefits.”

Reach Malcolm at 330-580-8305                    or        On Twitter: mhallREP

©2018 The Repository, Canton, Ohio            Visit The Repository, Canton, Ohio at

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Wed, 01/30/2019 - 21:25

The New Lenox Fire Protection District is negotiating a deal with the village to reopen a fire station that closed Friday due to budget cuts.

Susan DeMar Lafferty

April 4, 2018

The Daily Southtown, Tinley Park, Ill.

New Lenox Fire Protection District

April 03 — The New Lenox Fire Protection District is negotiating a deal with the village to reopen the fire station that closed Friday because of budget cuts following a failed referendum for a tax rate hike, officials said.

New Lenox Fire Chief Adam Riegel and Mayor Tim Baldermann confirmed that the village and district will consider an intergovernmental agreement in their upcoming meetings this month in which the village will provide the fire district with a no-interest loan until the end of the year to reopen Station #2 at 1205 N. Cedar Road.

Fire officials said they have no choice but to ask voters again for a rate hike in the November general election.

Under the proposed plan, the village would loan the fire district $450,000 to keep the station opened until the end of the year, Baldermann said.

“(The loan) would be paid back whenever a referendum passes, not just in November,” Baldermann said. “If that never happens, there’s a good chance the district goes bankrupt, then the are bigger problems.”

The village loan would come from money in a property tax refund, which would be a 50 percent refund, instead of 75 percent, Baldermann said.

“Obviously this is a short term solution. This would get us to November,” said Riegel, who has not seen the details of the agreement. “Hopefully, we can pay it back without causing more (financial) damage later. Hopefully, we can work out something that will help everyone.”

“The voters will have to make the ultimate decision,” Baldermann said.

In the March 20 primary, a referendum to increase the fire district’s tax rate to 59 cents from 38 cents per $100 of equalized assessed valuation was defeated by 212 votes, Deputy Chief Dan Turner said.

The fire board also voted to issue $750,000 in Tax Anticipation Warrants and cut four firefighter/paramedic positions.

The NLFPD has not had a tax rate increase since 1989, but has tried to pass referendums five times over the past 12 years, in 2006, 2009, 2011, 2014, and March 2018, according to district information.

“This is a matter of public safety. Everyone is concerned about this,” said Baldermann, adding that he is “confident” his board of trustees would agree to the loan.

The village board will review the proposal for the first time at its April 9 meeting and give community chance to discuss it. If the fire board of trustees agrees to it at its April 16 meeting, it could be approved by the village board April 24, the mayor said.

Riegel said Baldermann reached out to fire officials last Thursday after the announcement to close the station was made “to see if they could do something to help us.”

On Monday, the mayor announced on FaceBook that he is working on a deal to reopen the station, explaining that the funds would come from property tax revenues paid by village residents, which make up 55 percent of the population served by the fire district.

“That doesn’t matter to me. These are people’s lives we are talking about,” Baldermann said. “This is an immediate public safety issue — not just for the north side of town. It effects the entire community.”

Riegel agreed.

“Anytime you reduce manpower or equipment, it could adversely affect the entire community,” he said.

Baldermann said it also does not look good for the community to have a “shuttered fire station.”

“We want to see the north side develop, and it does not bode well to tell developers that the closest fire station is out of business,” he said.

The mayor said he met with fire board President Skip Minger last week and “asked a lot of questions.”

“I felt confident that they were trying to do the right thing. Clearly there is a need (for a tax rate hike),” he said.

In his FaceBook post, the mayor said he does not like to get involved in the affairs of other taxing bodies, and stressed that the village has “no control” over the budgets or the decisions of the state, county, township, school, library, fire or park districts.

“We work well with all of these agencies and feel they do a good job, but they govern themselves,” he wrote on FaceBook.

“We are not in a position, nor should we be, to provide anything more than temporary assistance,” he wrote. “We are only considering this measure because it is a matter of public safety.”

___ ©2018 The Daily Southtown (Tinley Park, Ill.) Visit The Daily Southtown (Tinley Park, Ill.) at Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC
Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Wed, 01/30/2019 - 21:24

After a tax referendum defeat, the New Lenox Fire Protection District will close one of its four stations and cut four firefighter positions.

Susan DeMar Lafferty    March 29, 2018

The Daily Southtown, Tinley Park, Ill.

New Lenox Fire Protection District

March 29 — Following the defeat of a fifth referendum for a tax rate increase, New Lenox Fire Protection District officials said their only option is to close one of its four fire stations and cut staff.

Station No. 2, which opened in 1970 at 1205 N. Cedar Road, will close Friday until further notice, and result in the reduction of four firefighter/paramedic positions, Deputy Chief Dan Turner said.

“Without a doubt this will increase response time,” he said, adding that calls will be handled by Station No. 1 at U.S. 30 and Prairie Street and Station No. 4 on Schoolhouse Road, south of Francis Road.

The district expects to save between $640,000 and $660,000 per year by closing the station, Turner said.

“This is a growing community. This is not the direction to be going in,” he said.

The fire district board of trustees also voted at its March 19 meeting to issue $750,000 in Tax Anticipation Warrants to cover the district’s budget deficit. This extra funding will fill the gap between April, when the district runs out of funds and June, when property tax revenues are received.

Nearly all of the district’s revenues comes from property taxes, Turner said.

The current levy is $4.7 million, according to district information.

Other funds come from grants, insurance payments for ambulance service, donations, false alarm fines and construction plan reviews.

While grants and donations provide money for special equipment, “our problem is day-to-day revenue to run things,” Turner said.

In the March primary, a referendum to increase the fire district’s tax rate from 38 cents to 59 cents per $100 of equalized assessed valuation was defeated by 212 votes, Turner said.

They will “have to” try again for a rate hike in November, he said.

The New Lenox Fire Protection District has not had a tax rate increase since 1989, but has tried to pass referendums five times over the past 12 years, in 2006, 2009, 2011, 2014 and March 2018.

During this time, the district cut back on spending and was able to tighten its belt, but it can no longer afford to operate at less than half of the budgets of neighboring towns, while providing the same services, according to a district-issued news release.

Since 1989, the population has more than doubled from 16,574 to 42,172 and the number of commercial and industrial buildings also has grown significantly, resulting in an increase in calls, from 890 in 1990, to 4,252 in 2017, according to district data.

According to a brochure handed out during this most recent campaign, New Lenox Fire Protection District’s 38 cents is the lowest tax rate in the area. It is second to the Frankfort Fire Protection District, with a rate of 80 cents, which generates a levy of $10.6 million. Frankfort had 4,377 calls in 2017.

Earlier this year, one administrative position in human resources was eliminated when an employee left. Programs using shift personnel and apparatus for long periods of time will be reduced or eliminated, fire officials said in a news release.

“These decisions were made with heavy hearts, and the task of finding ways to cut the expenses was not taken lightly,” said Turner, noting that there will be further cuts if a tax hike is not passed soon.

“Without any additional funding coming our way we will need to keep borrowing money from future taxes and eventually we would owe more than we bring in,” he said in the release.

©2018 The Daily Southtown (Tinley Park, Ill.) Visit The Daily Southtown (Tinley Park, Ill.) at Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Wed, 01/30/2019 - 21:22

FEMA could be open to helping save 12 Newburgh firefighters from layoffs this summer if the city shares the costs.

Leonard Sparks                                 March 24, 2018

The Times Herald-Record, Middletown, N.Y.

Newburgh, NY, firefighters operating at a second-alarm fire on Jan. 26, 2018.

City of Newburgh Firefighters IADD Local 589

March 24–CITY OF NEWBURGH, NY– The Federal Emergency Management Agency could be open to helping save 12 Newburgh firefighters from layoffs this summer if the city shares in the costs, a representative for Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney told the City Council.

If Newburgh used some or all of a $536,635 windfall in unexpected sales tax revenue from Orange County to cover a portion of the positions, it could be seen as a “sign of good faith” by FEMA, Joe Donat, Maloney’s district director, said at Thursday’s Council work session.

Newburgh has twice received funding from FEMA’s Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response program, and is weighing a third application. The second award prevented the layoffs of 12 firefighters in 2016.

“Losing 12 members of the department would be a significant loss for all in the city, and I think that using some or all of the county funding that was provided could be a sign of good faith to allow for a more competitive SAFER application,” Donat said.

Newburgh received two-year SAFER grants in 2014 and 2016, each time with the expectation that the city would take over the costs for the extra firefighters when the grant expired.

Fire officials say the extra manpower for the 68-firefighter department has improved both public and firefighter safety by adding one more man to each truck and allowing for quicker deployment of hoses and ladders at fire scenes.

Firefighters have also bolstered Newburgh’s code enforcement efforts.

When the city’s ability to take over the costs of the extra firefighters did not materialize as the first grant expired, Maloney and other elected officials successfully lobbied FEMA for a second grant worth $2 million in July 2016 to prevent layoffs.

This time, Newburgh is debating whether to use the extra sales tax revenue. Last month County Executive Steve Neuhaus called on city officials to apply its extra sales tax revenue toward saving positions.

“I do think that we’d be able to use that to retain a good number and then be able to go forward,” Councilman Jonathan Jacobson said on Thursday.

Newburgh has other needs, as well.

An engineering study will determine if City Hall is still safe to inhabit, and on Monday the Council will vote on spending $112,000 in city funds for the emergency demolition of an unsafe building on First Street.

City officials are also opposed to raising already high taxes.

While SAFER grant funding is now for three years, new guidelines also require that municipalities match 25 percent of the costs for the first two years and 65 percent for the third year.

“At this point, I don’t see us being able to raise taxes in a way that would provide for those additional expenses,” Comptroller Katie Mack said. “And if we hit fund balance … it’s like touching our piggy bank, and that’s not even enough money right now, ”

___ (c)2018 The Times Herald-Record, Middletown, N.Y. Visit The Times Herald-Record, Middletown, N.Y. at Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Wed, 01/30/2019 - 21:20

The Natchez Fire Department aims to fix its problem of being heavily understaffed by hiring part-time firefighters.

David Hamilton  March 16, 2018  The Natchez Democrat, Miss.

Natchez firefighters during a strength and agility exercise in September 2017.

Natchez Fire Rescue

March 16–NATCHEZ, MS– The Natchez Fire Department aims to fix its problem of being heavily understaffed by hiring part-time firefighters.

Fire Chief Aaron Wesley requested Tuesday during the city’s regular board of aldermen meeting that officials allow him to seek part-time employees, something not permitted until that point. The board granted his request unanimously.

Wesley, who has battled heavy understaffing for some time now, said the department had to do something to at least somewhat alleviate the issue.

“We are working with sometimes 11 people per shift, which is supposed to be 16,” Wesley said.

After Natchez Mayor Darryl Grennell said he agreed with the method of using part-time employees until the empty spots are filled with full-time firefighters, he asked Ward 5 Alderman and Fire Committee Chair Ben Davis his thoughts on the matter.

Davis said he also agreed that the department should hire part-timers, adding that the move could save the city money since it would not need to cover insurance of those employees.

Ward 2 Alderman Billie Joe Frazier, who was participating from Washington, D.C., via telephone, said part-time employees were just about the only readily available solution to this problem at the moment.

Wesley said the fire department now has eight open slots to fill, and the department has had difficulty recruiting capable prospects to fill those positions. A few weeks ago when the department gave an entry-level test to those interested in becoming a firefighter, Wesley said, only 11 of the 17 applicants showed up to take the exam, and only two passed the test.

One of those two sought another opportunity in Texas, while the lone remaining prospect is still deciding his future, Wesley said.

Ward 6 Alderman Dan Dillard posed the question of whether the city had money in the budget set aside for these employees.

Wesley responded that the department had budgeted money for the eight empty positions, meaning funds anticipated to go toward salaries have sat idle.

The chief also noted, however, that some employees were being paid exorbitant amounts of overtime.

“The human resources (department) can (attest) that there are some people making just about more overtime than they are making regular time,” Wesley said.

As for the legality of taking on part-time firefights, Wesley said he had received approval for the idea from the Mississippi Fire Personnel’s Minimum Standards and Certification Board.

Aside from the overt concerns to public safety that accompany understaffing, the NFD’s low workforce could negatively affect the city’s fire rating, which could in turn cause insurance premiums to rise throughout Adams County.

___ (c)2018 The Natchez Democrat (Natchez, Miss.) Visit The Natchez Democrat (Natchez, Miss.) at Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Wed, 01/30/2019 - 21:17

If the village eliminates its paid firefighters, who work with volunteers, it would leave Long Beach as the only paid force on Long Island.

The Headquarters of the Garden City Fire Department located at 351 Stewart Avenue in Garden City. August 27, 2012 Photo Credit: Steven Pfost

By John Asbury Updated July 24, 2018 4:04 PM

Garden City trustees are to vote Wednesday night to abolish the village’s paid fire department, one of only two paid municipal forces on Long Island.

The village board vote, announced in the meeting agenda, would eliminate all “paid/career” firefighter positions, which union officials said includes about a dozen firefighters, effective Aug. 27.

Garden City had maintained a paid force for the past 90 years, Union president T.J. Michon said. Village officials have reduced the paid fire department to 13 firefighters from 36 in the past decade, Michon said. Village officials have said they have made cuts to the fire department in recent years to avoid raising taxes.

Paid firefighters said they learned of the vote to eliminate the department when the agenda was released Monday night.

Village officials said they have been considering eliminating the paid fire department for a long time, to mirror volunteer forces throughout Long Island “at a great service to taxpayers.”

“The current paid force costs our taxpayers more than $2 million,” village trustees said in a statement issued Tuesday. “The paid firefighters consistently seek work restrictions and rules that restrict our operations that could increase our annual costs by millions more.”

Board members avoided two firefighter layoffs in 2016 by reaching $320,000 in savings through voluntary retirements.

The paid force works in conjunction with about 100 volunteer firefighters to respond 24 hours a day, village officials said.

If the board eliminates the fire department, Michon said, residents have 30 days to collect petition signatures to file for a referendum or special election on whether to eliminate the paid fire department.

“Then it would be up to the residents whether they want to abolish the paid fire department, or not,” Michon said.

Garden City firefighters have been without a contract for more than seven years and remain locked in arbitration with the village.

Long Beach is the only other paid municipal fire department on Long Island, with 17 paid firefighter positions, in addition to eight paid paramedics.

The Town of Islip’s MacArthur Airport Fire Rescue squad is a paid department. It serves the Ronkonkoma airport and provides hazardous materials response to nearby volunteer forces.

Long Beach officials said they had no immediate plans to reduce the city’s paid force, which works with more than 100 volunteers. The city had commissioned a report about restructuring its fire department to eliminate positions in order to hire paramedics. A state financing board recommended last month that Long Beach separate its paid firefighters and paramedics from working dual roles.


Categories: Fire Service, Safety

Today is Wednesday the 30th of January, 2019

ARFF Working Group - Wed, 01/30/2019 - 10:00

Day two of the ARFF Leadership Conference here in Jacksonville.

Still amazes me how this organization puts together these professional conferences and how they provide such great networking opportunities!

Now to the news stories for today…

Be safe out there!


The post Today is Wednesday the 30th of January, 2019 appeared first on ARFFWG | ARFF Working Group.

A must listen: WV fire chief provides assignments at house fire

Statter 911 - Wed, 01/30/2019 - 09:49

Trust me, you'll want to hear this

The post A must listen: WV fire chief provides assignments at house fire appeared first on Statter911.

Categories: Fire Service

Crews respond to emergency plane landing south of Bismarck

ARFF Working Group - Wed, 01/30/2019 - 09:10

BISMARCK, N.D. – UPDATE: Around noon on Tuesday, the Central Dakota Communications Center received notice of a small Cirrus SR22 plane that made an emergency landing nine miles south of Bismarck near the McLean Bottoms Gun Range.

The pilot notified air traffic control that he was having an oil pressure issue.

The two people on board are safe.

Cirrus SR22 planes do have parachutes that can be deployed allowing the plane to come down slower, however it was not deployed in this instance.

The Bismarck Rural Fire Department, Burleigh County Sheriff’s Department, and Metro Area Ambulance are on scene.

According to the Burleigh County Sheriff’s Department they are sending a snowmobile unit to the scene.

The registered owner of the plane is Dakota Skies Aviation LLC. The plane was certified airworthy in 2004.

The post Crews respond to emergency plane landing south of Bismarck appeared first on ARFFWG | ARFF Working Group.

Search underway for missing ambulance aircraft in Southeast Alaska

ARFF Working Group - Wed, 01/30/2019 - 09:09

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) – An aircraft with Guardian Flight air ambulance service is missing and a search is now underway, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

The flight was en route from Anchorage to Kake Tuesday evening, but did not arrive as scheduled.

The Coast Guard says its watchstanders in Juneau received notification from Sitka Flight Services that a Guardian Flight King Air 200 medical life flight was expected to land in Kake at 6:19 p.m., but the aircraft never landed.

Coast Guard officials say there are three people on board, and search crews are looking in an area about 20 miles west of Kake.

The Coast Guard Cutter Anacapa is conducting the search near the last known position of the aircraft. Good Samaritan vessels are also searching the area, along with a Coast Guard helicopter based in Sitka.

“Coast Guard crews are diligently searching for the missing aircraft and individuals,” said Lt j.g. Colin McClelland, Coast Guard Sector Juneau command duty officer. “We appreciate the assistance of the good Samaritan vessels and we hope we locate the aircraft and people soon.”

In a written statement Tuesday night, Randy Lyman, Senior Vice President of Operations for the company wrote “The Guardian Flight family is devastated to report that a company aircraft flying from Anchorage to Kake, Alaska has been reported missing”.

The company said three Guardian Flight employees, a pilot, nurse, and paramedic, were aboard the twin-engine plane.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to our fellow employees and their families during this very trying time” wrote Lyman, who added that Guardian Flight has initiated a stand down of the company’s entire fleet until further information is available.

Guardian Flight also said it will be cooperating fully with the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration during the investigation.

The Coast Guard said weather in the area was reported as light rain with overcast skies, 10 miles visibility, 7 mph winds and an air temperature of 36 degrees.

The post Search underway for missing ambulance aircraft in Southeast Alaska appeared first on ARFFWG | ARFF Working Group.

Today in History

ARFF Working Group - Wed, 01/30/2019 - 09:07

45 Years ago today: On 30 January 1974 a PanAm Boeing 707 crashed following a windshear encounter while approaching Pago Pago, American Samoa; killing 97 out of 101 occupants.

Date: Wednesday 30 January 1974 Time: 23:41 AST Type: Boeing 707-321B Operator: Pan American World Airways (Pan Am) Registration: N454PA C/n / msn: 19376/661 First flight: 1967 Total airframe hrs: 21625 Engines:Pratt & Whitney JT3D-3B Crew: Fatalities: 10 / Occupants: 10 Passengers: Fatalities: 87 / Occupants: 91 Total: Fatalities: 97 / Occupants: 101 Aircraft damage: Destroyed Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair) Location: 1,2 km (0.8 mls) SW of Pago Pago International Airport (PPG) (   American Samoa) Crash site elevation: 34 m (112 feet) amsl Phase: Approach (APR) Nature: International Scheduled Passenger Departure airport: Auckland International Airport (AKL/NZAA), New Zealand Destination airport: Pago Pago International Airport (PPG/NSTU), American Samoa Flightnumber: PA806

On January 30, 1974, Pan Am Flight 806, Boeing 707-321B “Clipper Radiant”, operated as a scheduled flight from Auckland, New Zealand, to Los Angeles, California. En route stops included Pago Pago, American Samoa, and Honolulu, Hawaii. Flight 806 departed Auckland at 20:14. It was cleared to Pago Pago on an IFR flight plan.
At 23:11, Flight 806 contacted Pago Pago Approach Control and reported its position 160 miles south of the Pago Pago airport. Approach control responded, “Clipper eight zero six, roger, and Pago weather, estimated ceiling one thousand six hundred broken, four thousand broken, the visibility – correction, one thousand overcast. The visibility one zero, light rain shower, temperature seven eight, wind three five zero degrees, one five, and altimeter’s two nine eight five.”
At 23:13, Pago Pago Approach Control cleared the flight to the Pago Pago VORTAC. Flight 806 reported leaving FL330 three minutes later and leaving FL200 at 23:24. Pago Pago Approach Control cleared the flight at 23:24: “Clipper eight zero six, you’re cleared-for the ILS DME runway five approach – via the two zero mile arc south-southwest. Report the arc, and leaving five thousand.” At 23:3, the flight requested the direction and velocity of the Pago Pago winds and was told that they were 360 degrees variable from 020 degrees at 10 to 15 knots.
At 23:34, the flight reported out of 5,500 feet and that they had intercepted the 226 degree radial of the Pago Pago VOR. The approach controller responded, “Eight oh six, right. Understand inbound on the localizer. Report about three out. No other reported traffic. Winds zero one zero degrees at one five gusting two zero.”
At 23:38, approach control said, “Clipper eight oh six, appears that we’ve had power failure at the airport. ” The first officer replied, “Eight oh six, we’re still getting your VOR, the ILS and the lights are showing.”
Approach control then asked, “See the runway lights?” The flight responded, “That’s Charlie.” The approach controller then said, ” …we have a bad rain shower here. I can’t see them from my position here.” “We’re five DME now and they still look bright,” the first officer responded. Approach Control replied, “´kay, no other reported traffic. The wind is zero three zero degrees at two zero, gusting two five. Advise clear of the runway.” At 23:39:41, the flight replied, “Eight zero six, wilco.” This was the last radio transmission from the flight.
On the flight deck the windshield wipers were turned on and the flaps were set at the 50° position, which completed the checklists for landing. At 23:40:22, the first officer stated, “You’re a little high.” The radio altimeter warning tone then sounded twice and the first officer said “You’re at minimums.”
He reported the field in sight and said that they were at 140 kts. At 23:40:42, the aircraft crashed into trees at an elevation of 113 feet, and about 3,865 feet short of the runway threshold. The first impact with the ground was about 236 feet farther along the crash path. The aircraft continued through the jungle vegetation, struck a 3-foot-high lava rock wall, and stopped about 3,090 feet from the runway threshold.

Of the 101 occupants of the aircraft, 9 passengers and 1 crewmember survived the crash and fire. One passenger died the next day; the crewmember and three passengers died 3 days after the accident. One passenger died of his injuries 9 days after the accident

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: “The flight crew’s late recognition, and failure to correct in a timely manner, an excessive descent rate which developed as a result of the aircraft’s penetration through destabilizing wind changes. The winds consisted of horizontal and vertical components produced by a heavy rainstorm and influenced by uneven terrain close to the aircraft’s approach path. The captain’s recognition was hampered by restricted visibility, the illusory effects of a “black hole” approach, inadequate monitoring of flight instruments, and the failure of the crew to call out descent rate during the last 15 seconds of flight.”

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

Terrell County Fatal House Fire Ruled Undetermined

Terrell County Fatal House Fire Ruled Undetermined
Categories: Fire Service


Firefighter Close Calls - Tue, 01/29/2019 - 17:08

A BP firefighter was treated for a minor ankle injury after a fire in a process unit Saturday afternoon at the company’s Whiting Refinery, a spokesman said.

BP spokesman Michael Abendhoff said the fire was small.

The refiner’s emergency response crews quickly extinguished the fire, he said.

BP was still working Monday to determine the cause of the fire, Abendhoff said.

“BP remains committed to safe, reliable and compliant operations,” he said.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Tue, 01/29/2019 - 17:06

A Watertown firefighter was hurt Monday morning during a blaze at a city garage.

Firefighters were called to 529 West Street, where they found a heavy fire coming from a large mechanic style garage.

Officials said the garage housed one vehicle, three motorcycles, tools and other mechanical devices. Two dogs died in the blaze.

One city firefighter hurt his knee and was taken to Samaritan Medical Center for treatment.

The cause is being listed as undetermined.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Tue, 01/29/2019 - 14:27


Authorities say three people aboard a medical helicopter have died in a crash in southeastern Ohio.

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, they were notified by Survival Flight that communications was lost with one of their helicopters around at 7:20 a.m. Tuesday.

The helicopter departed Mount Carmel Grove City hospital and was flying to Holzer Meigs hospital in Pomeroy.

Troopers located the wreckage of a Bell 407 helicopter east of State Route 278 and south of King Hollow Trail in Vinton County.

The flight crew has been identified as one man and two women. Authorities have not released any names pending next of kin notifications.

Read the full story here.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Tue, 01/29/2019 - 14:20

By Carol Robinson,

A beloved Tarrant firefighter who fell from a ladder while battling a house blaze Sunday is still fighting for his life at UAB Hospital.

Lt. Jerry Presley, 47, remains in critical condition and unresponsive two days after he fell at least 12 feet outside a house fire on Woodrow Drive. Tarrant Fire and Rescue and Tarrant police responded about 8:15 a.m. to the fire and a short time later, Presley was injured.

Tarrant Fire Chief Jason Rickels said they still don’t know what caused Presley’s fall. They believe he may have been unconscious when he fell but they aren’t sure whether there was some kind of medical issue or whether he was possibly shocked by power lines at the home.

“We may never know until he wakes up and tells us what happened,’’ Rickels said.

Presley, who joined Tarrant Fire in 2001, is suffering from head and cervical injuries. He was supposed to undergo surgery today for his cervical injury, but that surgery has been delayed to give his brain more time to heal and rest.

Read the full story here.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Tue, 01/29/2019 - 14:05

NWF Daily News:

A firefighter was transported to a local hospital Sunday with non-life-threatening injuries after a ceiling collapsed on him during a structure fire.

At 10:21 a.m., Walton County Fire Rescue, as well as Liberty and Argyle Volunteer Fire departments, responded to a 911 call in reference to a structure fire on Dr. Nelson Road, according to a WCFR press release.

Firefighters from all three agencies worked together to extinguish the flames inside the single story home.

Read the full story here.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


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