Safety

FACEValue: Worker dies after falling through barn roof

NIOSH FACE Reports - Sat, 04/21/2018 - 23:00
A 54-year-old construction worker fell 12 feet and died after he stepped on a portion of a metal roof of a dairy cow barn and it gave way.
Categories: Safety

FIREFIGHTER INJURED AT PA HOUSE FIRE

Firefighter Close Calls - Sat, 04/21/2018 - 14:23

A three-alarm house fire in Penn Township sent one firefighter to the hospital and displaced four on Saturday morning.

Hanover Area Fire and Rescue was dispatched to the 500 block of Baer Avenue around 1:27 a.m, according to Chief Tony Clousher. Clousher said first-arriving units could see flames coming from both the west and east ends of the structure.

The dispatch was quickly upgraded to a second, and then almost immediately a third-alarm fire, according to York County 911 dispatchers.

A three-alarm fire in Penn Township on Saturday morning displaced four. One firefighter was taken to Hanover Hospital.

Clousher said units quickly began to put water on the fire, but it initially flared back up and burned for some time. The second floor collapsed, along with the roof of the structure, Clousher said.

Peggy Potter and her three children, ages nine, eight and five, were asleep on the second floor of the house when the fire broke out. Potter woke up to the smell of smoke and grabbed her children to run out of the house, according to Clousher.

Potter’s oldest son, 17, was staying at his grandmothers house at the time of the fire.

Potter was taken to the hospital and is being treated for smoke inhalation, Tess Burgess, Potter’s sister, said.

One firefighter was transported from the scene to Hanover Hospital after suffering a heat stress-related injury, Clousher said. On Saturday morning around 9 a.m., Clousher said the firefighter was almost immediately discharged.

The cause of the fire was not yet determined Saturday morning. The State Police Fire Marshal is investigating the cause, Clousher said.

GoFundMe page has been setup to raise donations for Potter and her kids.

The GoFundMe has reached more than $1,500 six hours after it was posted. It’s goal is $5,000.

Burgess set up the GoFundMe to help her sister, who “lost everything, even her car.”

“The property is owned by our mother, who’s garage on Brewster St. just burned down a couple months ago,” Burgess said.

More: Early morning Penn Township fire still under investigation

In the meantime, Burgess said a lot of Potter’s friends have been reaching out and offering things like sofas, clothes and storage.

“This is a single mother who has suffered a lot of loss,” Burgess added. “When it rains, it pours.”

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

NASHVILLE FIREFIGHTER INJURED AT FIRE

Firefighter Close Calls - Sat, 04/21/2018 - 14:23

A Nashville firefighter is recovering after being burned battling a blaze in Oak Hill Friday.

Crews responded to a call in the in the 4100 block of Crest Ridge Drive around 9 p.m. Friday.

(For more updates on this story and free news alerts for your neighborhood, sign up for your local Middle Tennessee Patch morning newsletter.)

Firefighters put the fire out, but one of them received minor burns on his calf.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

2 TX FIREFIGHTERS RECOVERING AFTER BEING RESCUED BY STAR FLIGHT

Firefighter Close Calls - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 20:33

Travis County Emergency Services District 1 said if it were not for STAR Flight, the department would be mourning the loss of two of its firefighters. Last Wednesday, emergency crews battled a 100-acre brush fire in northwest Travis County.

“When we have these dry conditions, low humidity, and the gusts of winds up to 20 mph, a smallest little spark can turn into 40, 50, 100 acres in just no time,” said Chief Donnie Norman.

Travis County ESD 1 crews rushed to contain the brush fire, but those conditions made response especially dangerous.

“Once we got on scene the wind shifted and came straight towards us,” said Lt. Brannon Stengel.

“I couldn’t see my partner. I could barely see my feet on the ground. When the wind moved finally and you could see a little bit in front of you, you saw fire,” said firefighter Jessilyn Davis.

Davis and Stengel were then suddenly trapped. Their mayday call immediately sent a pair of brush trucks to go in and help them.

“When we got within 200 feet of them, we encountered extremely heavy smoke and fire, almost zero visibility,” said Capt. Robert Ming.

Soon after, STAR Flight, the so-called “eyes in the sky” arrived.

“When they flew over, it blew the smoke away just enough that we were able to see their flashing lights on the top of their truck,” Ming said.

RELATED: Crews battle 100-acre brush fire in northwest Travis County

Up in the air, STAR Flight was able to direct the two brush trucks to the firefighters’ location. Scott White is a flight paramedic, who was a part of the helicopter crew that day.

“Being in the back of the aircraft, I was able to spot them right away and we were able to relay what we saw to command and then what they had for units around them. Basically we were able to give them direction so they both could meet up,” White said. “Communication is paramount.”

“In a matter of minutes, if nothing had been done, the fact that they were out of water, the fire could have easily over ran them,” Ming said.

Travis County fire officials are crediting the air rescue team for saving the firefighters’ lives.

“Had STAR Flight not been able to identity where those folks are and the bravery of our brush crews that went in to get them, we would be having a whole different outcome,” Norman said.

A week later, both Stengel and Davis are back on duty and are recovering alongside their team.

“It’s just an urge to help others, to protect your community,” Stengel said.

Davis is a probationary firefighter, who has only been with the department for six months. This was the first brush fire she responded to, and it will not be her last.

“I knew what I signed up for when I started this job. I was aware of the risk,” Davis said. “Nobody ever expects to be in a situation like that, but you just hope with your training and with your experience that you can figure out a good way to get out of that situation.”

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

U.S. Department of Labor Cites Ohio Plastics Company, Proposes $261,454 in Penalties for Workplace Safety Hazards

OSHA - Fri, 04/20/2018 - 07:00
April 20, 2018 U.S. Department of Labor Cites Ohio Plastics Company, Proposes $261,454 in Penalties for Workplace Safety Hazards
Categories: Safety

LARGE CA FIRE INJURES FIREFIGHTERS, DAMAGES MULTIPLE BUILDINGS AND CARS

Firefighter Close Calls - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 17:54

A firefighter suffered minor injuries and two residents were displaced when a third-alarm firedamaged four homes, five garages, two cars and several palm trees in Alhambra Monday night.

Alhambra Fire Battalion Chief Ed Guerrero estimated the cost of damages at $500,000. He said firefighters haven’t yet determined what started the blaze. Arson isn’t suspected.

The fire broke out Monday night behind two homes in the 300 block of South Hidalgo Avenue.

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Firefighters received a call of a garage fire at 5:22 p.m. When firefighters arrived, Guerrero said there were two garages and at least two palm trees on fire.

Guerrero said the wind contributed to the fire spreading to two homes on Commonwealth Avenue as well as two homes and a garage on South Cordova Street.

Authorities evacuated residents.

Guerrero said one firefighter complained of pain in his fingers but was not taken to a hospital.  He said two people whose Commonwealth Avenue home was damaged went to stay with friends.

About 60 firefighters knocked down the fire at around 6:30 p.m. Fire departments from Pasadena, San Gabriel, San Marino, South Pasadena and Monterey Park assisted Alhambra firefighters.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

U.S. Department of Labor Cites Nebraska Company For Exposing Employees to Trenching Hazards

OSHA - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 07:00
April 17, 2018 U.S. Department of Labor Cites Nebraska Company For Exposing Employees to Trenching Hazards
Categories: Safety

OSHA Flier Offers Steps to Keep Tractor Trailer Drivers Safe at Destination

OSHA - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 07:00
April 17, 2018 Contact: Office of Communications Phone: 202-693-1999
Categories: Safety

TWO ARLINGTON, TX FIREFIGHTERS INJURED AT GAS LEAK

Firefighter Close Calls - Mon, 04/16/2018 - 18:50

Two Arlington firefighters and an Arlington Water Utilities crew member were injured while responding to a gas leak Sunday afternoon in central Arlington.

All three were transported to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas. The extent of their injuries is not known.

Arlington Water Utilities crews were repairing a water line leak at the intersection of Ditto Avenue and Dugan Street, according to Arlington Fire Department spokesman Mike Joiner. As they cleared asphalt to begin excavation, they hit an Atmos gas line.

Joiner said the crews stopped work and contacted Atmos Energy and the Arlington Fire Department.

As excess water was being pumped out so repairs to the gas line could begin, gas ignited.

The Arlington Fire Department and Atmos crews worked to mitigate the effects of the gas leak.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

CARY, IL FIREFIGHTER INJURED AT HOUSE FIRE

Firefighter Close Calls - Mon, 04/16/2018 - 18:42

Two cats were treated for smoke inhalation and a firefighter was injured following a house fire in Cary Friday night, authorities said. All three tenants inside the home at 203 E. Pearl Street were able to safely get out before fire crews arrived at the scene at about 9:34 p.m. Heavy smoke was coming from the residence when fire crews first arrived at the scene and they were able to rescue the two cats from inside the home, according to a news release.

Firefighters used a special oxygen mask to treat the animals at the scene and after receiving the treatment, both cats’ conditions improved, according to the fire department press release.

Meanwhile, a Cary Fire Protection District firefighter was also treated at the scene by paramedics after receiving a minor laceration to his head when he was struck by a tool, authorities said. No other injuries were reported in the blaze.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze within 30 minutes of arriving at the scene. The basement was severely damaged by the fire and there was smoke and water damage throughout the residence, according to the news release.

The home is currently uninhabitable, fire officials said, and arrangements were made for the tenants to stay at a hotel following the blaze.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

NH FIREFIGHTERS INURED AT APARTMENT FIRE

Firefighter Close Calls - Mon, 04/16/2018 - 18:40

Winds fanned the flames of an apartment fire on Merrimack Street early Monday that forced the evacuation of several families from their homes as fire threatened to encroach on nearby residences.

RELATED STORY: Total Loss: Official report on cause and damage by MFD

The fire, which went to the equivalent of a fourth alarm, was reported early Monday morning around 5 a.m. at 368-374 Merrimack St. Fire officials evacuated buildings and shut down traffic from Laurel to Manchester Street, and Beech Street to Wilson Street.

Fire rips through Merrimack Street apartment building Monday. Photo/Jeffrey Hastings

District Fire Chief Hank Martineau said fire crews encountered heavy fire upon arrival on the second and third floors of the three-story building.

“Fire was blowing out all the windows on the second floor,” Martineau said.

Due to the volume of the fire crews were unable to reach the third floor, and had to back off, Martineau said. Initially some residents thought there were still occupants on the third floor, but Martineau said they were able to confirm that occupants of apartment 6 were safe, and staying with friends.

“Everyone’s accounted for,” Martineau said.

Wind conditions and cold, as well as slippery roadways due to persistent freezing rain added a challenge for fire crews, Martineau said, and a brief issue with water pressure was resolved. Manchester Water Works was also at the scene. Also a challenge was access for the ladder truck.

“It’s a tight space, but we were able to make access from Manchester Street to the rear of the building where the fire extended,” Martineau said.

Based on initial investigation, it appears smoking was the cause.

“A resident told the fire marshal he was smoking in bed on the second floor,” Martineau said.

Early on there was exposure to a residence on the right side of the building, but crews were able to contain the fire and prevent it from spreading.

Two firefighters were injured, Martineau said. One suffered an injury to the side of his face when he was hit with an object, and another firefighter passed out at the scene. That firefighter was transported for treatment at a nearby hospital.

Manchester Police assisted the fire department with road closures – a segment of Manchester Street will remain closed  for the next several hours. The American Red Cross is assisting at least two adults and two children displaced by the blaze.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

CA FIREFIGHTER INJURED AT BRUSH FIRE

Firefighter Close Calls - Mon, 04/16/2018 - 18:34

A firefighter was injured Sunday while battling a brush fire that burned about five acres of Talbert Regional Park in Costa Mesa, according to fire officials.

The fire broke out shortly before 11 a.m. near the BMX track at 1299 Victoria St.

Officials are investigating the cause of the blaze.

Thirty to 40 firefighters from Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and the Orange County Fire Authority worked for about three hours to control the fire. One firefighter suffered a minor injury, officials said.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

2 OTTAWA CANADA FIREFIGHTERS INJURED IN STAIR COLLAPSE

Firefighter Close Calls - Mon, 04/16/2018 - 18:32

Two Ottawa firefighters fell through the floor of a home in Stittsville while battling a blaze on Monday, sparking an emergency rescue operation to pull the pair from the fire.

A spokeswoman with Ottawa Fire Services said the two were part of a rescue inside the home on 24 Snowberry Way between McCuaig Drive and Henry Goulburn Way around 12:30 p.m.

The men were helping pull one of the home’s residents from the fire. The resident, a man who has not been identified, was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.

A short while later, the floor of the home gave out, causing two of the firefighters to fall. Emergency crews responded and pulled the pair from the blaze. Crews were continuing to fight the fire as of 2 p.m.

The two firefighters were taken to hospital. They were in stable condition.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

2 VA FIREFIGHTERS INJURED AT HOUSE FIRE

Firefighter Close Calls - Mon, 04/16/2018 - 18:30

A family became displaced Sunday morning after a fire blazed through the roof of their Scottsville home late last night.

When crews arrived, four people inside the home had safely made their way outside and were left uninjured.

The blaze caused the roof to collapse. Albemarle County Fire Rescue says improperly discarded smoking materials are to blame for the blaze at 6373 Jefferson Mill Road.

“There was a small amount of fire starting to come through the roof on the charlie side of the structure all occupants were out, we talked to them before we made entry into the house,” said Timmy Cersley, Scottsville’s volunteer fire assistant chief.

The Albemarle County Fire Marshall estimates the damage to be over $95,000.

Two firefighters were sent to the hospital last night after suppressing the fire, but have since been discharged.

The displaced family is being assisted by the Red Cross.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

Harvey lays off 40 police and fire employees, union officials say

Firefighter Close Calls - Mon, 04/16/2018 - 15:14

Harvey police and fire department employees were hit with major layoffs Tuesday, one day after an adverse court ruling spurred city officials to convene an emergency meeting with workers.

Officials did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday but the lawyer who represents both Harvey’s police and fire unions said 18 rank-and-file firefighters and 13 patrolmen are believed to have been let go. Another nine police department employees who are not sworn officers — including five booking officers and traffic and records clerks — also had their positions cut, said Dominique Randle-El, the president of AFSCME Council 31 Local 2404.

Overall, the 40 cuts represent about a quarter of the city’s police union members, 40 percent of its firefighters union and 55 percent of its non-sworn police personnel, union officials said.

Jerry Marzullo, who represents the Metropolitan Alliance of Police Chapter 234 and the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 471, called the cuts “shameful,” and criticized them for apparently not touching management or civilian employees who are related to Mayor Eric Kellogg.

“I believe that this action speaks for itself in how (city officials) feel about the citizens of Harvey and their safety and protection,” he said.

Alderman Christopher Clark, a strident critic of the mayor and his administration, also bemoaned the choice of employees apparently let go.

“Police and fire are essential services and they should be the last to be laid off, if layoffs have to take place,” he said. “But it looks like (Kellogg) is getting rid of essential services first, and he’s keeping all the fluff.”

Harvey’s layoffs come a day after Circuit Court Judge Raymond W. Mitchell denied the city’s emergency motion requesting that he order Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza to stop withholding revenues the city receives from the state.

Since February, the comptroller’s office has withheld a combined $1,484,000 in city sales, income, local use, transportation, motor fuel, replacement and excise tax revenues at the request of the Harvey Police Pension Fund, spokesman Abdon Pallasch said.

The pension fund, which won a multi-million dollar judgment against the city in 2015, claims Harvey remains more than $7 million delinquent in its payments.

Clark said he wasn’t surprised that the comptroller had begun garnishing city revenues. He’s been expecting a reckoning like this for some time.

“You can rob Peter to pay Paul, but you can only do that for so long,” he said.

Clark said police pension fund representatives had been trying to work with the city to resolve longstanding underfunding issues for years but had not been successful.

“The pension fund has tried to work with the city over and over and over again, just like other vendors have,” he said. “But the bottom line is, this city is just a bad paymaster…They make promises and they don’t pay. As a result, the pension board had to take another route.”

The Illinois Administrative Code directs the comptroller to seize revenues before they flow to a municipality when a claimant – in this case, the Harvey Police Pension Fund — certifies that the municipality is delinquent in making required pension fund payments.

While the law has been on the books for a couple years, it had not been utilized until now because the comptroller’s office lacked the necessary systems in place to enforce it, Pallasch said.

Now that those processes are in place, the comptroller has begun withholding Harvey’s tax revenues at the request of its police pension fund, which in late January certified more than $7 million in delinquent payments from April 2007 to April 2014, he said.

The fund established its claim by citing a September 2015 judgment against the city for $7,334,181.88 that included $7,027,648 in unpaid pension contributions. An appellate court affirmed the judgment in April 2017, according to the fund’s filing.

“Once it’s certified, the law requires us to redirect the payments to the pension fund — the Comptroller’s Office has no choice,” Pallasch said.

Harvey’s lawyers have argued, both in court and in protest letters to the comptroller, that the city has complied with the pension code and appropriately funded its police pensions.

They wrote in a complaint filed Thursday that if the withheld funds were not released, the city would face, “catastrophic issues regarding safety, security, and maintenance of adequate services to the City’s senior population, four school districts, Ingalls/University of Chicago Hospital and over 120 businesses.”

According to the city’s filing, Harvey is running a government operational deficit of nearly $6 million and has less than $200,000 in its general fund to pay for essential government services. This Friday’s payroll alone amounts to approximately $400,000, with another $300,000 due on employees’ health insurance, the complaint states.

After Mitchell denied Harvey’s emergency motion for a temporary restraining order Monday, the city summoned first responders to the police station and told them to prepare for layoffs because of the comptroller’s actions, officers said.

“I think it’s shameful that the city of Harvey — that has been plagued by the worst municipal mismanagement I’ve ever seen — is blaming their problems on this latest comptroller issue, where the issues that have led to these layoffs are going back years,” Marzullo said. “It’s disgusting what’s taking place.”

The comptroller’s office released a statement Monday asserting that the blame Harvey was assigning it was misplaced, and explaining that the garnishment of city revenues was a requirement under state statute.

“The Comptroller’s Office does not want to see any Harvey employees harmed or any Harvey residents put at risk, but the law does not give the Comptroller discretion in this case,” the statement reads. “The Comptroller’s Office is obligated to follow the law. This dispute is between the retired Harvey police officers’ pension fund and the city of Harvey.”

A lawyer for the Harvey Police Pension Fund declined comment on the dispute Tuesday.

While the Comptroller’s Office has until May 21 to evaluate arguments presented by the city and the pension fund before deciding how to distribute the revenues it’s been withholding, officials would prefer both sides reach some sort of agreement ahead of time.

“The best way forward is for Harvey to negotiate with the pension fund and agree on an amount our office can release for the town to make payroll,” Pallasch said. “We urge a constructive dialogue between both parties that will lead to a positive resolution.”

Court proceedings, which are continuing in parallel with the comptroller’s administrative review, also could impact how the dispute is ultimately resolved, he said.

“We want to give those (other court actions) time to complete,” Pallasch said. “But at some point, there’s an end for us to evaluate the arguments and rule on it.”

Even before this pension issue arose in February, the cash-strapped south suburb had battled “financial constraints” that caused it to miss payroll in January, according to emails obtained by the Southtown.

At the time, city spokesman Sean Howard blamed the issue on a technical glitch and denied the city was experiencing financial hardship.

“We’re good,” he said at the time. “The town isn’t broke, and we’re doing well.”

Payroll issues have continued, however, according to police sources, who said the city was still behind on overtime payments. Clark said the city also had ceased paying its liability, property, auto and dental insurance, the latter of which has forced workers and elected officials alike to foot their own dental bills in recent months.

In February, Harvey residents experienced a disruption in garbage collection after the city failed to pay its waste hauler, and last month officials shuttered the municipal jail after a Southtown report shed light on the facility’s decrepit conditions.

Officials said at the time that the jail’s temporary closure was part of a “citywide Capitol (sic) Improvement program,” not because the facility was in serious disrepair, as state Department of Corrections inspection records indicate.

Clark said Tuesday that he’d drafted a letter to the Cook County State’s Attorney and Illinois Attorney General asking that they conduct an investigation into the city’s finances. He is also hoping to convene a special meeting on the topic of city finances either late this week or early next week.

zkoeske@tribpub.com

Twitter @ZakKoeske

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

TWO FIREFIGHTERS INJURED AT VA FIRE

Firefighter Close Calls - Sun, 04/15/2018 - 17:21

The two firefighters injured in Saturday’s fire on Jefferson Mill Road have been treated and released from Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital.

Firefighters said a family of four was displaced from the fire, and is being assisted by the American Red Cross.

The Albemarle County Fire Marshal’s Office said the cause of the fire was improperly discarded smoking materials.

Damages to the home were estimated at $95,700.

UPDATE:
Two firefighters were hurt while battling the fire on Jefferson Mill Road Saturday evening.

Firefighters said the fire started in the attic of the home, but caused major damage.

The firefighters who were hurt only received minor injuries, according to firefighters.

Everyone inside the home was able to make it out safely.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

ORIGINAL:
Firefighters are currently on the scene of a house fire at a home in the Woodridge area of Albemarle County.

The call came in just after 10 p.m. on Jefferson Mill Road.

Our reporter on scene says heavy smoke could be seen approaching the home.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

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