Firefighter Close Calls - Wed, 02/06/2019 - 20:23

One firefighter was injured during a fire Tuesday night at Los Mariachi’s Mexican Restaurant on Fairview Avenue, according to a press release from the Boise Fire Department.

The firefighter had a knee injury, the press release said.

The call about the fire came in at 8:18 p.m. and was declared out about two hours later. Firefighters were on scene moping up the blaze for several hours, according to the press release.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

“Crews found the building full of smoke when they arrived,” the press release stated. “The fire was difficult to fight because some areas of the building were hard to reach due to roof stability.”

The building was not occupied when the fire started.

Five engines and two trucks from the department responded to the fire.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

Mobile Fire Chief reveals cancer diagnosis

Firefighter Close Calls - Wed, 02/06/2019 - 19:14

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Mobile’s Fire Chief, Mark Sealy, reveals that he was diagnosed with cancer several months ago.  The diagnosis of kidney cancer came last summer when he was attending a fire chief’s conference in Texas.  A company called Lifescan Wellness Centers was conducting full body ultrasounds on first responders at the meeting. He reluctantly signed up to have one, and it showed a mass on his kidney. He came back to Mobile and was diagnosed with early-stage kidney cancer.

“It’s a shock. Cancer is prevalent, but it is always someone else. It is really is a shock, ” Sealy said.

Doctors removed his cancer during a surgery, and since it was caught early, he did not have to have any chemo or radiation.  Chief Sealy considers himself lucky. He has started researching the prevalence of cancer in firefighters, and it’s higher than in the general population.  It all has to do with the carcinogens in the air when items in homes and buildings catch fire.

“Things are made with synthetics…cushions, carpets. They are made with chemicals that are released by combustion. Those are subject to get those on us,” Sealy said.”

Sealy says having dirty gear was a badge of honor when he was riding a fire truck daily. The fire helmets in his office show years of built-up soot. He admits that dirty gear meant that a firefighter was seasoned, and not just sitting on the sidelines, but now he wants to change the culture.

“Now the culture is the clean gear is a badge of honor. We have to change that. You are smarter and you know what can help you and your family.”

Chief Sealy has instituted a new policy for firefighters that requires them to clean all their gear before they even leave the scene of a fire. They have to hose off, brush off, and wipe off soot. Then, each firefighter has to take a shower before heading home.

Here is a document describing some cancer prevention techniques.

Chief Sealy feels blessed that his cancer was caught early, and he is cancer free. He hopes other firefighters will learn from his years of failing to clean his gear, and put their health as their top priority.

“I have met with every firefighter in this department. If it happened to me, it could happen to them. Hopefully,  they will listen to the message. I am very passionate about the health and wellness of our firefighters,” Sealy said.

Sealy is working on something that is very exciting for Mobile Fire Rescue. He is hoping to secure funding for each firefighter to have his or her own ultrasound. This is common in some departments around the country. You can read more about these ultrasounds and medical tests that first responders receive. They are conducted by

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

Palm Beach County firefighters with work-related cancer will now get more assistance

Firefighter Close Calls - Wed, 02/06/2019 - 16:59

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay says county firefighters will get some help when they are diagnosed with cancer.

“It’s something I really believe in and something that I wanted to push,” said McKinlay.

County Commissioners approved cancer presumption for Palm Beach County Fire Rescue firefighters.

“One of the provisions in that contract allows for a presumption of cancer on 11 different cancers that in studies have determined that firefighters are at high risk,” said McKinlay.

Now, when firefighters are diagnosed with certain types of cancer, the county will provide some relief.

Scott Bielecky with the Professional Firefighters/Paramedics of Palm Beach County said this move is historic.

“They have to have been employed with Palm Beach County Fire Rescue for five years, they also have to be nicotine free, smoke-free for five years prior to being eligible for this. Also, they can’t work for another fire rescue agency that would have exposed them to the same type of cancers that they would be exposed to here,” said Bielecky.

There are several aspects of the cancer presumption.

“What it does is provide them two years in order to be able to overcome cancer and come back to work and that’s one of the biggest things as part of the cancer coverage. And they don’t have to use their time. that time will be provided.”

The agreement is effective Tuesday since both the commissioners and the union ratified it. For more details, firefighters should contact the Professional Firefighters/Paramedics of Palm Beach County, Local 2928.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Wed, 02/06/2019 - 16:44

A firefighter for the town of Porter was taken to a local hospital after assisting ArcelorMittal with controlling towering flames late Tuesday in a coke oven battery, an official said.

The firefighter became ill while responding to the first-alarm fire at the plant, the Porter Volunteer Fire Department said.

An ArcelorMittal representative said the mill had to burn off excess coke oven gas as a result of a power outage. The gas is normally burned in the mill’s two blast furnaces to make iron, as part of the steelmaking process.

The firefighter was treated on scene and taken to a hospital as a precaution, the Porter fire department said. He was released from the hospital a short time later.

The Burns Harbor Fire Department was dispatched about 10:30 p.m. to assist with an industrial fire at the company’s plant in Burns Harbor, Fire Chief William Arney said.

The Porter firefighter was treated for heat exhaustion, he said.

The Burns Harbor Fire Department left the plant about 2:45 a.m. Wednesday.


Firefighters from local departments assist during a fire that started late Tuesday at the ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor plant.


ArcelorMittal spokeswoman Mary Beth Holdford said the plant “experienced a high voltage power interruption for a short duration” about 10:05 p.m. Tuesday. The loss of power triggered an emergency flare system that burned off excess coke oven gas, which resulted in towering flames that could be seen from U.S. 12.

“The plant required about 12 hours to re-establish operations,” Holdford said. “We understand one individual was treated and released for heat exposure. There were no significant injuries to employees or contractors during the incident.”

Like other steel mills, ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor keeps a surplus inventory of slabs and other steel products on hand in case of any disruptions in production.

“The interruption will not impact ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor’s ability to meet customer demand,” Holdford said.

Firefighters from Burns Harbor, Porter and Chesterton assisted the company during the fire, Arney said.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Wed, 02/06/2019 - 08:57

A firefighter was injured Tuesday afternoon when he and others responded to a mobile home fire near Canton.

Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services personnel responded to a structure fire at approximately 12:30 p.m. at 278 Lewis Way, just east of Canton.

CCFES spokesman Tim Cavender said firefighters arrived to find a “double-wide mobile home on a basement with a working fire.”

While working the fire, a Cherokee County firefighter received an injury to his knee and was later transported to Northside Hospital Cherokee for evaluation. Firefighters who were at the scene reported that the contents of the basement were destroyed, along with most of the contents of the mobile home.

The residents escaped without injury. A cause of the fire is not yet known, but is under investigation.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Wed, 02/06/2019 - 08:55

Police identified the Burnt Pistons president as John Beltempo, 49, of New Windsor, a former police officer with Spring Valley, Town of Wallkill and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. Officials said the Chingaling president, George Thomas, 61, of Bloomingburg, is also a former police officer. In court, his lawyer said he’s retired.

Officials said Smith used Middletown’s Central Firehouse for some of his illicit business, but no other Middletown firefighters were involved in his illegal activities.

“Essentially, the firehouse was used at times by him to make sales and hold meetings,” Hoovler said.

Related content PHOTOS: News conference on Middletown drug ring MUGSHOTS: Arrests in Middletown drug ring PHOTOS: 29 charged in drug ring based at Middletown firehouse

Smith and two other men, Garry Michel, 48, of the Town of Wallkill, and Marquis Gamble, 34, of Nyack have been charged with operating as a major trafficker, a felony that carries a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison. The charge involves in excess of $75,000 in sales in a six-month period. They and the other defendants have all been charged with second-degree conspiracy, a felony.

Smith has been employed by the City of Middletown Fire Department since March 2002 and in 2017 was paid $103,145.

Early Tuesday morning, the six-month investigation culminated as state police and agents from the FBI and DEA executed more than a dozen search warrants in Orange and Rockland counties. Police seized 1,300 fentanyl pills, more than two and a half pounds of cocaine, more than $200,000 in cash, 25 handguns, multiple rifles, 10 vehicles and two motorcycles.

Defendants and charges

Paul Smith, 48, Deerpark; operating as a major trafficker, attempted first-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, second-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance and second-degree conspiracy; alleged to have been a member of both conspiracies.

Robert Dunham, 46, Middletown; second-degree conspiracy and four counts of second-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance; alleged to have been a member of both conspiracies.

Marquis Gamble, 34, Nyack; operating as a major trafficker, first-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, and second-degree conspiracy; alleged to have been a “profiteer” in the conspiracy to sell cocaine.

John Beltempo, 49, New Windsor; second-degree conspiracy; alleged to have participated in the conspiracy to sell cocaine.

Kenneth Nunez, 39, Spring Valley; first-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, second-degree conspiracy.

Garry Michel, 48, Town of Wallkill; operating as a major trafficker and second-degree conspiracy; alleged to have been a “profiteer” in the conspiracy to sell narcotic pills.


Charged with second-degree conspiracy in connection with the conspiracy to possess and sell cocaine:

Joel Gamble, 44, Cuddebackville

Samuel Marino, 30, Campbell Hall

Arthur Mays, 30, Middletown

George Thomas, 61, Bloomingburg

David Lebel, 55, Middletown


Charged with conspiracy to possess and sell pills containing narcotics:

Jennifer Peterson, 46, Chester

Vincenza Ferrante, 35, New Windsor

Shawn Daniels, 52, Monroe

Salvatore Distefano, 36, Westtown

Melissa Delrosso, 35, Middletown

Raymond Chong, 49, Middletown

Tara Schoonmaker, 48, Wurtsboro

Crystal Crozier, 36, Middletown

Donald Johnston, 46, Middletown

Anthony Fields, 44, Middletown

Desmon Pierson, 36, Middletown

Dominick Guardino, 55, Middletown

Other charges

Sunshine Wall, 40, Cuddebackville; seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance

Nicholas V. Ciccone, 47, Port Jervis; criminal impersonation and parole absconder.


State police and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office are requesting the public’s assistance in locating these individuals:

Charles Kavanaugh, 31, Newburgh

Gary Caldwell, 33, Wappingers

Justin Antona, 27, Slate Hill

Andrew Bendig, 23, Middletown

Hoovler said the drug conspiracies were “very sophisticated,” using counter-surveillance and other methods to avoid detection. State police handled the investigation “on a very clandestine level, because of the people involved, because of the possibility of leaks,” Hoovler said.

Officials say Michel supplied pills to the conspiracy, providing drugs to Smith and Dunham as well as some street-level dealers, and that Michel used his girlfriend’s home in Chester as a stash house.

Official say Marquis Gamble supplied cocaine to Smith, who distributed that drug to Dunham and Joel Gamble, 44, of Cuddebackville, as well as to members of the Chingalings and the Burnt Pistons.

Among the people officials characterized as “street level” pill dealers was Mechanicstown Fire Chief Dominic Guardino, 55, of the Town of Wallkill. Prosecutors said in court that Guardino had used his department-issued vehicle to obtain pills.

Shortall said the investigation began like many others: A new supply of drugs on the street, and investigators working with prosecutors on a plan to find the source. In late December, police say, they arrested Kenneth Nunez, 39, of Spring Valley with 800 grams of cocaine he was delivering from Marquis Gamble to Smith.

The defendants were arraigned over the course of the day in Orange County Court by Judge Craig Brown. Bails ranged from $5,000 cash or $10,000 bond for one woman who turned herself in to police to $1 million cash or $3 million bond for the top defendants. Brown ordered Smith held without bail. Prosecutors will begin presenting the case to a grand jury on Friday, they said in court.

“It’s disturbing,” Shortall said at the barracks, where police had laid out rolls of $100 bills, bottles and packages of pills and an array of guns seized in the raids. “This is a person that’s supposed to go out there and help, and instead he’s out there peddling stuff that’s probably killing people.”

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Wed, 02/06/2019 - 08:48

Two Buffalo firefighters were injured fighting a fire Tuesday evening in the 1300 block of Kensington Avenue near Orleans Street.

Both firefighters were treated at Erie County Medical Center and released, according to Michael J. DeGeorge, a spokesman for the Buffalo Fire Department. No other injuries were reported.

Occupants of the 2 1/2-story wood frame house were evacuated from the burning building. A couple of them could be seen wrapped in blankets as they waited outside, across the street from the charred ruins of the house.

The Red Cross was assisting nine occupants of the house, DeGeorge said.

The damage from the fire is $125,000 damage, according to DeGeorge, who said that the cause of the fire was still under investigation.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

U.S. Department of Labor Orders Vermont Company to Compensate Employee Fired for Reporting Finance Industry Violations

OSHA - Wed, 02/06/2019 - 06:00
February 6, 2019 U.S. Department of Labor Orders Vermont Company to Compensate Employee Fired for Reporting Finance Industry Violations
Categories: Safety

U.S. Department of Labor Cites Guam Building Materials Distributor For Struck-By Hazards

OSHA - Wed, 02/06/2019 - 06:00
February 6, 2019 U.S. Department of Labor Cites Guam Building Materials Distributor For Struck-By Hazards
Categories: Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Tue, 02/05/2019 - 13:16

Philipsburg Fire Chief Jeffrey Harris said two civilians and a firefighter injured in Monday morning’s fire in Rush Township have been released from the hospital.Officials say the fire started at the back of a house on Loch Lomond Road.

The firefighter suffered a cut on his hand. The other two were treated for smoke inhalation.

A dog died from the fire.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Mon, 02/04/2019 - 12:41

A firefighter was injured after he fell through the floor while battling a blaze at a large home in Hall County Sunday night.

The fire began around 10 p.m. at the 4,000 square foot home on the 4600 block of Swimming Canoe Trail.

The firefighter, identified as 22 year-old Evan Keyes of Hiawassee, was in the process of extinguishing hot spots when he and another firefighter fell through the floor and onto the level below.

Keyes was taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center where he was treated and released. The other firefighter, identified as 48 year-old Richie Grimes of Clermont, was not injured.

The home sustained extensive damage.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Mon, 02/04/2019 - 12:40

A Harford County firefighter was injured Monday morning while extinguishing a fire in Aberdeen.

Officials said crews arrived to the scene at 1317 N Stepney Rd. around 2:50 a.m. The bulk of the fire was under control by 3:34.

Firefighters then began clearing the residence and checking for possible occupants. Authorities said it was at this time that one firefighter fell through the floor. They said a rescue attempt was completed in two minutes. The firefighter had minor injuries, and was treated and released at the scene.

Nobody was inside the home at the time of the fire and all occupants were accounted for.

Five adults were displaced due to the flames.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Mon, 02/04/2019 - 11:32

By Kristin LaFratta, MassLive:

Boston firefighters battled heavy flames in numbingly cold conditions at the Holy Mt. Zion Church in Roxbury early Saturday morning.

Fire first broke out at the church on Harold Street in Roxbury around 4 a.m., according to the Boston Fire Department. Single-digit temperatures created difficult firefighting conditions, and photos shared by the Boston Fire Department reveal just how quickly water turned to ice.

Sometime around 6 a.m., dispatchers ordered a sixth alarm to call for more crews and ladders on the scene. Firefighters stayed on the scene for more than six hours.

The building is nearly 100 years old, according to reports. It is unclear what caused the fire.

One firefighter suffered a leg injury and was treated and transported by Emergency Medical Services, according to the Boston Fire Department. No other injuries were reported.

Read the full story here.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Mon, 02/04/2019 - 10:31

A South Carolina man was arrested after crashing two vehicles Friday — and one of them was a stolen fire truck.

The first wreck occurred after Jawwaad Tasawwur Robinson smashed a vehicle into a tree, sparking a fire, the Sumter Item reported.

Deputies with the Clarendon County Sheriff’s Office were responsible for the second wreck, as they intentionally crashed the fire truck police said Robinson stole from first responders, according to Manning Live.

Clarendon County Fire Department emergency crews responded to the crash shortly after 3:30 a.m., and were providing medical aid to Robinson after finding him in the area of the crash, WLTX reported.

Robinson then stole a fire department pickup and drove away, leading a chase “through the Taw Caw and Summerton areas,” per the Manning Live.

Clarendon County Sheriff Tim Baxley said his deputies were able to end the pursuit when they “deployed stinger spike strips,” crashing the fire truck, Manning Live reported.

Once he was arrested, Robinson again received medical treatment from injuries sustained in the first crash, but he was not hurt in the chase and second wreck, according to WLTX.

Robinson was taken to the Clarendon County Detention Center and he was charged with grand larceny, possession of a Schedule I controlled substance (MDMA) and failure to stop for a blue light, the Sumter Item reported.

The South Carolina Highway Patrol is investigating the initial crash and Robinson could face more charges, according to the newspaper.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Mon, 02/04/2019 - 10:02

A GoFundMe has been established for a Jefferson Parish firefighter who was hurt battling a fire in Metairie over the weekend.

Jefferson Parish Fire Chief David Tibbetts said 49-year-old Dan Zeigler was cutting a hole in the roof of a burning complex when he fell through into the building’s third floor. Zeigler was working to remove smoke from the building and direct the fire away from other firefighters working inside fighting the flames.

Zeigler was rescued but received second and third-degree burns to his face and hands. He is also now dealing with respiratory issues.

Zeigler has been a firefighter in Jefferson Parish for the last five years after serving in Detroit since 1999.

The firefighter who rescued Zeigler also sustained burns to his fingers.

“It’s a dangerous job. The people that do this risk their lives everyday,” Tibbetts said. “And there’s someone right now fighting a fire, cutting a hole in the roof right now like Dan was doing the other day.”

RELATED: Firefighter suffers severe burns after falling through roof while battling Old Metairie 2-alarm fire

A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help with Zeigler’s medical expenses. The campaign has a goal of $100,000 and has already raised more than $26,000. All of the money collected will be turned over to Zeigler’s family.

[Click here to go to the GoFundMe campaign]

The fire, which was elevated to second alarm status, started around 4:30 p.m. on Saturday at the DeLimon Place condominium complex in the 500 block of Rue St. Peter Street. The fire was contained after more than two hours of crews working the blaze. Officials said that by 6:50 p.m. the blaze was under control.

About 100 residents were displaced and 30 units were damaged in the fire, Tibbetts said.

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One woman who lost her home and her possessions from the fire told Eyewitness News that she was just thankful for the first responders who answered the call.

“All I want to do is go thank the firefighters who were injured. My things can be replaced but lives can’t,” the woman said.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

U.S. Department of Labor Cites Texas Indoor Gun Range For Exposing Employees to Unsafe Lead Levels

OSHA - Mon, 02/04/2019 - 06:00
February 4, 2019 U.S. Department of Labor Cites Texas Indoor Gun Range For Exposing Employees to Unsafe Lead Levels
Categories: Safety

U.S. Department of Labor Forms Alliance with Agribusiness Organizations to Protect Workers in Agricultural Industry

OSHA - Mon, 02/04/2019 - 06:00
February 4, 2019 Contact: Office of Communications Phone: 202-693-1999
Categories: Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Sun, 02/03/2019 - 21:53


Firefighters battled a fire at an apartment building in the Bronx early Sunday that forced dozens of residents out of their homes.

The 3-alarm blaze started around 3:15 a.m. on the fifth floor of a six-story building on East 163rd Street in the Melrose section.

It was placed under control nearly two hours later. The fire burned through five apartments.

Three firefighters suffered minor injuries.

Read the full story here.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Sun, 02/03/2019 - 21:48

By Andee Erikson, Pine Journal:

On her way into work Wednesday morning, Minette Juhl Miller got a phone call no business owner wants to receive. Her restaurant, Minetties Roadside Diner, 6737 Minnesota Highway 210 in Wright, was on fire.

Her son, Arthur Juhl, who lives in the trailer behind the diner, had gone in to mop the restaurant around 4:30 a.m. He finished the chore, then returned home. Back at his residence, the power went out, so he looked out the window to see if the yard light was still on. That’s when Juhl noticed flames outside the restaurant.

The fire destroyed the building, Cromwell-Wright Fire Chief Lucas Goodin said. The cause of fire is still under investigation.

No employees were in the building at the time of the fire, though one firefighter walked away with minor injuries from a roof collapse. The person was treated at Community Memorial Hospital in Cloquet.

Read the full story here.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


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