Fighting Fires and Cancer

Firefighter Close Calls - 2 hours 3 min ago
By Hannah Falcon

Firefighter Matthew Corso beat cancer thanks to early detection at the Spring Fire Department.

Since 2016, Spring Fire Department has conducted annual LifeScan tests to protect their greatest asset, their firefighters. The tests consist of three components: bloodwork, a lifestyle consult with a nurse and an ultrasound.

(Photo: NBC Graphic explaining elevated cancer rates among firefighters)

Cancer is becoming an epidemic among firefighters.

According to NBC, “a CDC/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health study tracked nearly 30,000 firefighters across the country in 2010 and found higher rates of cancer than the general population.”

The phenomenon of cancer in firemen baffles firefighter Matthew Corso. “You’ve got some of the most physically fit people taking these jobs and then they’re dying from cancer,” Corso said.

On November 9, 2016, Matthew Corso’s LifeScan ultrasound found an abnormality.

“She said cancer, I took that as a death sentence,” Matthew Corso said. “I didn’t know anyone that had beat it.”

Stefanie Corso, Matthew’s wife, and his two children, Jackson and Khloe, were able to carry on with their lives during Matthew’s chemotherapy thanks to the support and assistance from their friends at the Spring Fire Department.

“Everyday someone took me to chemo. A few of the guys put together a benefit for me and my family. They brought us meals,” Matthew Corso said. “They were willing to wait on us hand and foot.”

After four months of chemotherapy, Matthew Corso was healthy and able to return to work on April 1, 2017.

“On his last day of chemo the firetruck came and there were probably about 30 guys that rallied around us,” Stefanie Corso said. “That early detection is key and that was what saved Matt’s life was going through these scans.”

In the fall of 2018 the third annual LifeScan will be held at the Spring Fire Department and hopefully more people will be protected from the effects of health concerns that plague firefighters.

“During the test in 2017, a few other people found out about some serious health issues, so it’s not just me that it’s helping,” Matthew Corso said. “Now I get to use my story to help other overcome some of these issues.”

(Photo: Stefanie and Matthew Corso embracing their children, Khloe and Jackson)

The Corso family is grateful for the $450 test provided by the Spring Fire Department that saved the life of a father, husband and firefighter.

“For less than the cost of a dress uniform to bury me in, the Spring fire department saved my life,” Matthew Corso said.

Hannah Falcon is a sophomore Communication major at Texas A&M University. A Staff Writer and Life & Arts Editor for the Texas A&M Battalion, Falcon is spending the summer as a volunteer writer for Spring Fire Community News.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - 2 hours 27 min ago

The devastating multi-alarm blaze in Norristown over the weekend left two dozen residents without a home and landed one firefighter in the hospital, officials confirmed.

The incident occurred at the Montgomery Mills Apartment on Kelly Drive in the borough at around 2:27 p.m. Saturday.

The 7500 building of the complex took the brunt of the damage, officials said. Crews on the scene found heavy fire there, which rapidly spread to the 7400 building as well.

More than 200 firefighters responded to the scene to extinguish the blaze, which quickly grew to three-alarms. Crews fought through Saturday’s hot and humid conditions in heavy protective gear to control the fire and were able to prevent it from spreading further. One firefighter suffered from heat exhaustion, and was taken to the hospital for evaluation.

When all was said and done, the 7500 building was completely destroyed, while the 7400 building was severely damaged, authorities said. The 7300 building also suffered some lesser damage.

An investigation into the blaze is underway. A cause has not been announced.

Residents from 20 apartments – 24 individuals in total – were left without a home.

A GoFundMe campaign for one of the displaced residents, Lauren, has been launched. More than $6,000 had already been raised on her behalf as of Monday morning.

“Although she was able to come out unharmed she lost ALL of her personal belongings to the fire,” Joe Kekoanui wrote in the GoFundMe. The same is likely true of the rest of the displaced residents.

Officials said the Montgomery Mills management is working to find a place for the displaced residents to stay.

The Norristown Fire Department thanked all of the surrounding fire companies, along with North Penn Goodwill and Plymouth Community Ambulances, for assisting on the scene.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

Firefighter detects cancer early thanks to fire dept. screening

Firefighter Close Calls - 4 hours 18 min ago
Spring Fire Department firefighter Matthew Corso was able to beat cancer four months into treatment after an abnormality was found on his LifeScan ultrasound

By FireRescue1 Staff

SPRING, Texas — A firefighter was able to detect his cancer early and beat it thanks to a screening conducted by the fire department.

In November 2016, Spring Fire Department firefighter Matthew Corso underwent a LifeScan ultrasound provided by the department, and an abnormality was found.

“She said cancer, I took that as a death sentence,” Corso said. “I didn’t know anyone that had beaten it.”

Corso underwent chemotherapy for four months with support and help from his colleagues.

“Everyday someone took me to chemo. A few of the guys put together a benefit for me and my family. They brought us meals,” Corso said. “They were willing to wait on us hand and foot.”

Corso was able to return to work April 2017 with a clean bill of health, and his wife, Stephanie, credits the early detection.

“On his last day of chemo the fire truck came and there were probably about 30 guys that rallied around us,” Stephanie said. “That early detection is key and that was what saved Matt’s life was going through these scans.”

The department has been conducting the LifeScan ultrasounds since 2016, and will hold their third session this fall. Corso said he hopes other firefighters will continue to benefit from the scans.

“During the test in 2017, a few other people found out about some serious health issues, so it’s not just me that it’s helping,” he said. “Now I get to use my story to help others overcome some of these issues. For less than the cost of a dress uniform to bury me in, the Spring Fire Department saved my life.”

Fighting Fires & CancerOur heroes here at the Spring Fire Department are our greatest asset, so we are #SpringFireProud to go the extra mile for their health. Spring Senior Captain Matt Corso’s story highlights one of our initiatives that is already saving lives.

Posted by Spring Fire Department on Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - 5 hours 59 min ago

More than 65 firefighters battled a blaze in Silver Spring, Md., late Sunday, but no one was seriously hurt, officials said.

The fire broke out in a two-story home in the 4400 block of Mahan Road near Charles Road in the Randolph Hills neighborhood.

A neighbor called 911 and alerted those inside of the fire. Four residents and two dogs escaped. One of the residents ran back into the house as firefighters were arriving, but crews got him out, according to Pete Piringer, a spokesman for Montgomery County Fire. It was not known why he ran back into the burning home.

One firefighter from Montgomery County suffered minor, non-life-threatening injuries.

The initial investigation found that the fire probably started in the attic and roof area. The cause of it was likely electrical, officials said. The case remains under investigation.

The estimated damage to the home was $250,000.

It was not known if the home had working smoke alarms.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Sun, 06/17/2018 - 20:31

A Knoxville Fire Department firefighter was hospitalized after suffering smoke inhalation while battling a warehouse fire in West Knox County Saturday evening.

According to KFD spokesperson Captain D.J. Corcoran, units were dispatched to 1737 Louisville Dr. at 8:27 p.m. Saturday amid reports of smoke showing from the Aquarium Life Support Systems building from a Knoxville Police Department officer.

While searching the building for smoke, units discovered a single set of stairs that led to the basement, from which the fire was emanating. One firefighter tripped and fell while attempting to enter the basement, knocking his mask off and allowing him to be overtaken by smoke.

The firefighter was rushed to the hospital, but was expected to recover.

Additional manpower was called for by a second alarm around 9:40 p.m. The cause of the fire was not known Sunday.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Sun, 06/17/2018 - 07:18

Cincinnati police say someone shot at a Cincinnati Fire Department District Chief’s vehicle early Saturday morning.

Police say the shooting happening in the 3400 block of Beekman Avenue around midnight.

Multiple gunshots were heard when one round hit the back of the vehicle, police say. Police have no suspect information currently, but say a group of teenagers was seen running form the scene after the shots hit the vehicle.

The District Chief was not hurt during the shooting.

Every member of the fire department has been issued a bullet proof vest, but they only wear them on certain types of responses and driving back to the fire house after an entrapment call is not one of them, according to Assistant Fire Chief Tom Lakamp.

Lakamp said the District Chief was returning to quarters and “shortly after turning onto Beekman he heard multiple gun shots again and then the thud in the back of the vehicle.”

Police are investigating the shooting as a felonious assault and say information leading to an arrest can lead to a $1,000 reward.

“I do hope that somebody knows what’s going on and picks up the phone and calls the police and… take these guys off the street,” said Lakamp.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 513-352-3040.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Sun, 06/17/2018 - 07:16

Twenty firefighters were injured Saturday battling a blaze that engulfed four houses including a fire marshal’s on Staten Island.

The fire marshal and his family were not at home when the fire started around 7 p.m., according to WLNY. No residents were injured, officials said.

“Fortunately, his family and his baby were down at the Jersey Shore for the weekend, but he (has) … to come home and find that his house was destroyed,” James Leonard, chief of the department, told WLNY.

More than 250 firefighters responded to the scene, getting the flames under control despite a defective hydrant. Four firefighters suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries; 16 had minor injuries.

Arson investigators are looking into the cause but do not believe it to be suspicious.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Sat, 06/16/2018 - 21:07

Update on injured fireman Tommy Propst(72)Tommy is home recovering from minor burns to his leg.He should be healed up and back to work by next tour.Tommy was detailed as the Pipeman on Wagon 3 at this fire.Several other members recieved minor burns during this mornings job on Emerald st.


6-16-18 The “B” Platoon working this 2nd alarm job in the Uptown with entrapment.The 300 block of Emerald st.Many injured,1 fatal,1 HBF Fireman in the Hospital with burn injuries.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Sat, 06/16/2018 - 21:04

Five firefighters were rushed to the hospital after they were hurt battling a blaze in a Brooklyn brownstone overnight.

The fire broke out just before 4:00 am inside a home on 6th Avenue in Sunset Park.

Officials say the firefighters were taken to area hospitals with non-life threatening injuries and are expected to be okay.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

Report Sheds Light on DC Apparatus Striking FF

Firefighter Close Calls - Sat, 06/16/2018 - 20:53

A DC Fire and EMS report says that improper positioning of equipment and a rookie’s inexperience were the biggest contributing factors in an apparatus incident that left a young firefighter with severe injuries in August 2017.

Probationary firefighter Dane Smothers Jr. was serving as a lineman (nozzle firefighter) during a Capitol Hill house fire on Aug. 2, 2017, when an arriving ladder truck struck him and temporarily pinned him against the rear of a parked engine.

The 29-year-old, who had been on the job for only a few months, wound up in critical condition in an ICU. He had multiple broken bones and underwent several surgeries that included the removal of a lung while also suffering permanent injuries, most notably to his left hand.

The incident report was released Friday and says that the way several pieces of apparatus were placed at the scene created “blind spots” that impeded operators from seeing Smothers, who had moved into a two-foot gap between the two vehicles as he ran an attack line. The ladder truck had briefly stopped but began moving again, striking Smothers as it continued turning into the scene.

“The recreation of the scene of the incident highlighted the fact that apparatus placement proved to be a mitigating factor. Blind spots were identified that would require the need for spotters to ensure that the apparatus was operating in safe manner,” the report says.

The ladder truck operator and the tillerman, who steers to back end of the apparatus, both told investigators they didn’t see Smothers after he exited the engine on the passenger side while the vehicle was connecting to a hydrant.

The findings also say Smothers had limited “situational awareness during apparatus placement” and a “lack of fireground experience.”

“The lack of real time experiences and decision-making processes on an active fireground limited the firefighter’s efforts to ensure personal safety concurrent with identification and mitigation of potential hazards on an incident,” the reports says.

Some of the recommendations from the report are as follows:

  • Amend operating guidelines for fires at unknown addresses, which will remove confusion for arriving apparatus and ensure proper and safe placement.
  • Since the drivers of both apparatus were not the regular drivers, implement training to better identify the most capable fill-in drivers when possible.
  • Ensure that all apparatus have functioning dash cameras after the cam on the arriving ladder truck that struck Smothers was not working.
  • Members directly involved in an incident resulting in serious injury should be removed from duty and sent to a mental health professional for counseling.
  • All members of the department would benefit from additional training that will enhance awareness, communication and performance on the fireground.

To read the 60-page report in its entirety, go here.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Sat, 06/16/2018 - 20:49

A firefighter fell through the floor of a burning three-story building in downtown Atlanta, according to Atlanta Fire Rescue.

Crews responded to a fire in a building in the 200 block of Auburn Avenue about 10 a.m. Monday, Atlanta fire spokesman Sgt. Cortez Stafford.

The blaze produced smoke over the Downtown Connector before it was extinguished, the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center reported.

Officials are still putting out hot spots, prompting authorities to close Auburn Avenue between Fort Street and Piedmont Avenue, according to the Atlanta Police Department.

“Please avoid the area at this time,” the agency said in a tweet.

Atlanta Fire Rescue@ATLFireRescue

*VIDEO* @ATLFireRescue arrived to this 3 story building on Auburn Ave around approximately 10am. Here’s what it looked like during their initial entry into this stubborn 2 alarm . 1 FF was injured from a fall through the floor. Mayday was requested.

12:08 PM – Jun 11, 2018 Twitter Ads info and privacy


According to Stafford, units were heading toward the exit of the building when the firefighter fell from the second floor to the first floor.

He attributed the fall to “a hole on the floor.”

The injured firefighter was alert and breathing when he was taken to a hospital, Stafford said. He is expected to be OK.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

“It’s unknown right now how the fire started, but we do feel like it started on the first floor,” Stafford said.

The first floor was occupied by a type of lounge or club, Stafford said. The name of the business was not known.

The second and third floors were vacant.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

OSHA Extends Comment Period for Proposed Rule to Ensure Crane Operators Are Qualified to Safely Operate Equipment

OSHA - Fri, 06/15/2018 - 07:00
June 15, 2018 Contact: Office of Communications Phone: 202-693-1999
Categories: Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Thu, 06/14/2018 - 18:39

Authorities have accused a volunteer firefighter of being drunk while driving a fire vehicle in northern Iowa.

Online court records say 42-year-old Jeffrey Feaster of Dakota City is charged with operating under the influence, first offense.

WHO-TV reports that Feaster has resigned.

Feaster was driving a rescue unit early on June 6 while responding to a traffic accident in Humboldt, the Fort Dodge Messenger reported. Court records say he smelled of alcohol that morning and failed two field sobriety tests. His blood alcohol content tested out at more than twice the legal limit for drivers.

His preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 26.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Thu, 06/14/2018 - 07:09

fire broke out at the 33-storey Beau Monde towers in Prabhadevi on Wednesday afternoon. While the fire brigade evacuated all residents, two firemen complained of breathlessness and were taken to a hospital.

The blaze erupted at 2 p.m in Harish Abhiyani’s penthouse spread over the 32nd and 33rd floors in A wing. Mr. Abhiyani is a non-resident Indian, and the flat was undergoing repairs at the time of fire, but no labourers were trapped.

Actor Deepika Padukone lives on the 26th floor of the building, apart from businessmen and developers.

The fire brigade reached at 2.15 p.m. for what was initially a level II (minor) fire, reportedly caused due to a short circuit. Six fire engines were sent to the spot.

At 2.46 p.m., the fire was categorised as level III (medium). Twelve fire engines and eight water tankers were despatched with Chief Fire Officer Prabhat Rahangdale turning up. The cause of fire is under investigation.

Nearly 95 people had been moved to safety by 2.45 p.m. “I was at the gate when I heard commotion. Residents were running downstairs. Someone said there had been a short circuit on the 32nd floor,” Arif Khan, one of the security guards at Beau Monde, said.

Following anxious queries from well-wishers, Ms. Padukone tweeted about her safety around 5 p.m. “I am safe. Thank you everyone . Let us pray for our fire fighters who are at the site risking their lives.”

The fire brigade entered the building from two sides. Since the building’s power supply was cut off, firefighters trudged 30 floors up and down multiple times.

The blaze was initially restricted to the penthouse, but around 4 p.m., it spread to a flat on the 31st floor. The occupants of the flat were in the building, but were rescued. The penthouse and the flat have suffered heavy damage.

The building’s firefighting equipment was functional at the time. Its dry risers were used to carry eight hoses up to the site, which saved firemen crucial time.

“As the building’s internal fire installation was working, we could operate six-eight jets on the upper floors using breathing sets. The internal system helped tremendously to contain the spread,” a statement issued by Mr. Rahangdale said.

The firefighters also faced intense heat and smoke on the upper floors, possibly due to its glass facade. Firemen had to break open windows to allow ventilation. The turntable ladder could not be used as residents were evacuated early on.

At least twice when it appeared that the fire had been doused, it flared up again. Some residents even suggested the use of a fire ball but it was not required.

Two firemen Harishchandra Raorane (54) and Shivaji Achrekar (53) suffered breathlessness. They were sent to KEM Hospital and are reportedly stable.

Local Shiv Sena corporator Kishori Pednekar said the incident raised questions on the safety of buildings with glass facade. “There are many such buildings in the area. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation should inspect if they have the necessary permissions. If they don’t, the glass facade needs to be removed immediately,” Ms. Pednekar said.

Another Sena corporator Samadhan Sarvankar also raised questions on the building’s fire audit.

Around 6.30 p.m., the fire brigade announced the fire is under control. Cooling operations were under way at the time of going to press.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

Working with fire sprinkler systems and automatic fire alarm systems

Everyone Goes Home - Wed, 06/13/2018 - 11:46

Automatic fire sprinkler systems and automatic fire alarm systems are becoming more common in many types of construction – from single and multi-family homes to commercial and industrial properties – and are sometimes tied together. As automatic fire alarms and sprinklers are installed in more properties, firefighters must know in advance the best techniques to fighting fires in structures with these systems.

To help firefighters prepare for these incidents, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) launched a new training module, Automatic Fire Sprinkler and Alarm Systems, on the Fire Hero Learning Network (FHLN). The module is self-paced and can be completed at any time or place.

The new module provides basic information to firefighters and company officers when encountering a fire in a sprinklered building and how to manage an alarm system that are incorporated into a multi-family building. “The information will help ensure an efficient operation creating a safer environment for citizens and firefighters” said Chief Ron Siarnicki, National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Executive Director.

“The latest module on the Fire Hero Learning Network takes some of the mystery out of dealing with an incident many firefighters encounter every day, but often have the least knowledge of,” explained Chief John Tippett, Director of Fire Service Programs. “The hour spent on FHLN’s Automatic Sprinklers and Alarm Systems Module will provide viewers with knowledge that explains the basics of how the systems operate, reinforce their value in supporting firefighter life safety and improve their fire department’s service to the community.”

This module, as well as others already on the FHLN and under development, reinforce the Foundation’s efforts to reduce preventable firefighter line of duty deaths. To register and get started, go to

The post Working with fire sprinkler systems and automatic fire alarm systems appeared first on Everyone Goes Home.

Categories: Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Wed, 06/13/2018 - 09:52

A St. Louis firefighter was injured while battling a late night blaze in North City.

The firefighter suffered a minor injury to the hand while at a two-alarm fire in the area Lillian and Kingshighway around 10 p.m. Tuesday.

Everyone inside of the building was able to get out safely.

No other details have been released.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

U.S. Department of Labor Finds Wisconsin Contractor Continues To Expose Roofers to Falls and Other Safety Hazards

OSHA - Tue, 06/12/2018 - 07:00
June 12, 2018 U.S. Department of Labor Finds Wisconsin Contractor Continues To Expose Roofers to Falls and Other Safety Hazards
Categories: Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Mon, 06/11/2018 - 20:27

A fire engine was knocked onto its right side in a traffic accident at about 1 p.m. Monday, the fire department said.

The accident happened at the intersection of Randol Mill Road and Handley-Ederville Road, fire Capt. Kyle Falkner said.

Four firefighters on the engine and the driver of the pickup truck that collided with the engine suffered non-life-threatening injuries and were transported to area hospitals, Falkner said.

The truck was responding to a minor structure fire that another unit was able to extinguish without help, Falkner said.

It was turning in the intersection when a pickup entered the intersection at the same time, Falkner said. The fire engine’s driver tried unsuccessfully to swerve and avoid the collision, causing the engine to overturn.

Fort Worth police are investigating, Falkner said.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


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