Firefighter Close Calls - Mon, 05/13/2019 - 11:47

By Talia Naquin, Fox 8:

A fire that injured a Cleveland firefighter on April 29 has been ruled an arson.

A firefighter broke his leg while fighting the fire at a vacant home on E. 66th and Selma Ave around 9 p.m. that night.

Chief Angelo Calvillo says the firefighter who was injured is a lieutenant and a 23-year veteran.

According to Calvillo, he had surgery recently and is at home recovering from that.

Calvillo joined Mayor Frank Jackson and the City of Cleveland in asking for people to come forward with tips.

Read the full story here.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Mon, 05/13/2019 - 11:39

By Hannah Baker, Bristol Live:

The first female firefighter to die on duty in peacetime Britain is to be named on a new Great Western Railway (GWR) Intercity Express Train.

Fleur Lombard, 21, died while fighting a blaze started by an arsonist at Leo’s Supermarket in Bristol, in February, 1996.

She was one of only eight women who were part of Avon’s 700-strong firefighting team at the time.

Fleur, and fellow firefighter Robert Seaman, entered the building to search for missing people and to help contain the fire.

But shortly after entering the supermarket, conditions deteriorated and the firefighters were told to evacuate.

Read the full story here.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

Hurricane Safety-Eyeing the Storm

NFPA - Safety Source - Mon, 05/13/2019 - 07:55
  As NFPA works alongside the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) to increase electrical safety awareness throughout May—National Electrical Safety Month—we take a look at safety during hurricanes. ESFI’s Hurricane
Categories: Safety

U.S. Department of Labor Cites Iowa U.S. Postal Office For Blocked Exits and Failing to Train on Emergency Plan

OSHA - Mon, 05/13/2019 - 07:00
May 13, 2019 U.S. Department of Labor Cites Iowa U.S. Postal Office For Blocked Exits and Failing to Train on Emergency Plan
Categories: Safety

U.S. Department of Labor’s OSHA Issues Rule to Revise Requirements in Safety and Health Standards

OSHA - Mon, 05/13/2019 - 07:00
May 13, 2019 Contact: Office of Communications Phone: 202-693-1999
Categories: Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Mon, 05/13/2019 - 03:38

5/13/1903 a Buffalo, NY firefighter died at “a massive fire at the Diamond Mills and Elevator Company that destroyed the mill, 22 freight cars, and many other houses and buildings were damaged by the heat and flying embers. Engine 21, had been moved to temporary quarters near the waterfront, was first to arrive at the blaze. As Engine 21 was stretching hose lines to protect exposed homes across the street, a leak in one line caused the firefighter to attempt to repair it. The line suddenly burst and struck him with terrific force in the stomach, and knocked him to the ground, striking his head against the pavement. He was later taken to Emergency Hospital where he lived for a few hours but never regained his senses. His skull was fractured in the fall, along with other internal injuries.”

5/13/1908 a Harrisburg, PA firefighter died “while operating at a fire in a sash factory, an overhead power line burned through and landed on him. As he tried to run, he inadvertently grabbed a bare part of the wire and became entangled in it. As he twisted his body in an effort to free himself, he was electrocuted.”

5/13/1913 a Stratford, Ontario, Canada firefighter and two law enforcement officers were killed at a church fire. “The Knox Presbyterian Church on Ontario street was struck by lightning, just after midnight. As firefighters arrived on scene, they found that fire had completely encircled the steeple, and was fanned by high winds. Having no ladder truck, they fought the fire from hose lines and ground ladders. As the firefighter and the two police officers were moving a ladder, around 1:30, a large section of the steeple crashed down on them, killing all three.”

5/13/1925 a Ft Worth, Texas firefighter “died shortly after midnight. He had been fighting a fire at the Ardmore Rooming House on West Weatherford. He was heading into a smoke-filled hallway on the second floor when he collapsed on the steps. He died a few minutes later while in route to the hospital. His death was attributed to smoke inhalation.”

5/13/1997 Harveys Lake, Pennsylvania a board and care facility fire killed ten residents and injured three of the twenty-one residents and one staff member in the building at the time; that most likely started on a screened-in porch from smoking materials in the wood-frame two-story plus basement structure at approximately 9:10 p.m.

5/13/1993 a methane gas explosion in Secunda coal mine in South Africa, killed fifty.

5/13/1985 the Philadelphia, PA, the police aerial bombed Osage Avenue and MOVE, a radical cult group, that had assembled a large arsenal, left eleven people dead and 61 homes burned down. “At the MOVE headquarters, 6221 Osage Avenue, MOVE began assembling a cache of weapons and building bunkers in their row house; members set up several loudspeakers and began shouting profanities at their neighbors. Everything came to a head when the Mayor ordered police to raid the MOVE headquarters. Authorities soon realized that there was very little they could do to remove MOVE members from their entrenched position. At about 5:30 p.m. on May 13, a small bomb was dropped on the roof of the building in an attempt to destroy their bunker. This proved disastrous, as the roof was covered with tar and gas, and a blistering fire broke out.” “By the time the fire had been contained, nearly an entire block of homes in Philadelphia had burned down.”

5/13/1978 Yiba Commercial Center fire killed thirty-three in Ankara, Turkey.

5/13/1972 the trendy nightclub, Playtown Cabaret in Osaka, Japan fire killed 118 people, only 48 people survived. Inadvertently, an electrician set off a fire that reached oil-soaked rags in a nearby storage room that quickly spread up the elevator shafts and the outside walls of the building. “The fire exits were hidden by drapes and almost no one in the club found them.”

5/13/1910 Jackman, ME the Armstrong House Hotel fire killed one of the eighteen people who were sleeping in the building.

5/13/1907 Detroit, MI while under construction the 444’ long 4,500 passenger Steamer City of Cleveland caught fire just before daylight.

5/13/1899 Manchester, NH the large six-story Kennard business block was badly damaged by a morning fire.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Sun, 05/12/2019 - 17:15

By Chris Berendt, Sampson Independent:

A local firefighter is recovering from his injuries after sustaining burns as he attempted to suppress flames within a home in Clinton earlier this week.

The Clinton Fire Department was dispatched to a reported structure fire at 3:08 p.m. Monday at 251 Wheat Lane, Clinton. Assistance was provided by departments in Taylors Bridge, Halls, Piney Grove and Turkey, as well as Sampson County EMS personnel.

“Crews arrived to find a double wide mobile home involved with heavy fire and smoke showing,” Clinton Fire Chief Stephen Lovette stated. “Crews began suppression activities and, when conditions allowed, began an initial life safety search.”

There was no one found inside the house during the primary and secondary searches. The home’s residents reportedly included Miriam Thelma Flores and Manuel Acosta.

Read the full story here.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Sun, 05/12/2019 - 02:50

Happy Mother’s Day, a celebration honoring the mother of the family, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds.

5/12/1881 a Philadelphia, PA firefighter “died from injuries he sustained at a single-alarm wool mill fire at 612 N. 24th Street, on May 2, 1881.”

5/12/1906 two Trenton, NJ firefighters died “while operating at a major fire involving a plaster firm, they were killed when the building collapsed, burying them under tons of cement and rubble.”

5/12/1906 a Sidney, OH firefighter “died from the injuries he sustained while operating at a fire at the W. D. John residence on Wilkinson Avenue. He fell approximately 32 feet when the ladder he was standing on broke.”

5/12/1931 a Chicago, IL firefighter “was fatally injured while fighting a fire in a furniture plant at the intersection of 76th and Wallace Streets on May 11th. He fell through the roof of the five-story building, became trapped on the fourth floor, and jumped four floors to the street below to escape the flames. He died the following day, May 12, at St. Bernard’s Hospital.

5/12/1979 a Los Angeles, CA firefighter died at an arson fire occurred in a one-story brick warehouse. “On arrival, firefighters found several fires burning and made an interior attack, quickly bringing the fires under control. As firefighters were overhauling, a sudden flare-up occurred after a container of flammable liquid, which had been dripping, vaporized and ignited, spreading fire across the ceiling and into other unburned areas and stock. A headcount revealed a firefighter was missing and an immediate search and rescue effort was launched. His unconscious body was found lying on the floor without his face piece on. He was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead of heat, smoke, and carbon monoxide inhalation. It was determined that the fire was an arson.”

5/12/1996 an accidental fire at the University of North Carolina Phi Gamma Delta fraternity house at approximately 6:00 a.m. killed five and injured three others. The three-story building with an unfinished attic and a walk-out basement, Type III (211) construction built in 1927 with masonry exterior bearing walls, wood frame interior walls covered with gypsum wall board and plaster, and wood-frame floor assemblies. The first floor had several lounges and a suite for the chapter president; the second and third floors contained twenty bedrooms; the basement contained a large dining/lounge/bar room, a secret chapter room, a kitchen, a boiler/mechanical room, a lavatory and several storage rooms. The fire started from smoking materials most likely ignited the contents of a waste basket in the basement-level bar that subsequently ignited the bar area’s combustible interior finish and spread to the combustible interior finish and furnishings.

5/12/2013 a family of six died in a late-night fire in Pottsville, PA; four children ages 2, 3, 7 and 8 and two adults, 30 & 26, were killed after a fire broke out around midnight. Video from the scene shows smoke and flames just pouring out of the windows as firefighters tried to get control.

5/12/1944 Oroville, CA the Union Hotel fire killed five that started around 3:00 a.m. “near the rear of the brick building and shortly after a barrel of fuel oil near the building exploded.”

5/12/1942 Christopher #3 coal mine explosion killed fifty-six near Osage, WV on Scotts Run, a small tributary of the Monongahela River.

5/12/1860 Nebraska City, Nebraska conflagration; forty-six of the best business houses were consumed.

5/12/1855 Springfield, IL conflagration; “nine stores and one or two buildings of less consequence were destroyed.”

‘5/12/2008 an 8.0 earthquake in southwest China killed more than 69,000.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Sat, 05/11/2019 - 15:12

5/11/1985 a soccer stadium grandstand fire killed fifty-six in Bradford, England. Bradford was playing Lincoln City in the afternoon, near the end of the first half a fire broke out at one end of the main stands. Within minutes the fire spread up the wooden roof and quickly engulfed the fans underneath. “The official inquiry into the cause of the fire blamed an accumulation of garbage beneath the stands. Most likely, the fire was sparked by a cigarette. It quickly lit the old and dilapidated structure that the formerly struggling team had just found the money to replace.”

5/11/1984 an early evening fire in the “Haunted Castle” on the 200-acre Six Flags Great Adventure Park in Jackson Township, New Jersey, an amusement facility, left eight of the 28 to 34 visitors and three employees dead. The one-story structure, comprised of 17 (8’ high by 8’ wide and 40’ long) commercial trailers connected together by plywood and wood framing and plywood partitions interior which created a convoluted path of travel approximately 450’ in length. Materials used in the interior included synthetic foam, various fabrics and plastics, plywood, and tar paper. There were seven exits, including the main entrance with no automatic detection or automatic sprinkler protection provided. The accidental fire started from the ignition of a wall mounted, polyurethane foam pad by a cigarette lighter. “Interesting note: the statute that created the New Jersey Fire Safety Act, the enabling legislation creating the state fire code, was signed into law late in 1983 with a 180-days effective date waiting period. That waiting period expired, and the law became official the day before this fire.”
5/11/1896 a Staten Island, New York firefighter was crushed by chimney bricks.

5/11/1913 a Los Angeles, CA firefighter died from the injuries he sustained after having fallen from a ladder.

5/11/1918 a New Haven, CT firefighter succumbed to the injuries he sustained after being caught in a building collapse.

5/11/1927 a Dallas, TX firefighter died as a result of injuries sustained after he was caught in a gas explosion.

5/11/1939 an Ottumwa, Iowa firefighter died from complications from an injury sustained while fighting J. C. Penny’s fire.

5/11/1940 a Hartford, CT firefighter died from the injuries he sustained at Box 126.

5/11/1941 a New Britain, CT firefighter died after suffering from the effects of smoke inhalation while operating at a fire at Arch and Monroe Streets.

5/11/1996 Miami, FL a ValuJet (DC-9) plunged into Everglades killing 109 onboard 12 miles north of Miami International Airport about 1:25 p.m.

5/11/1985 a booby trap bomb killed 86 people in India.

5/11/2010 Ragley, LA four girls were killed in a manufactured home fire at 920 Felice Cut Off Road around 10:30 p.m.

5/11/1916 Bayonne, NJ a historic hotel, the LaTourette at Bayonne Point, was destroyed by fire that may have started from a defective electric wire.

5/11/1911 Larksville, PA a coal mine fire killed five in the Boston Mine of the Delaware & Hudson Coal Company.

5/11/1908 Camp Crook, SD conflagration, a town of 400 on the Little Missouri River.

5/11/1908 Charleston, SC Burton Lumber Yard fire on the Cooper River near the navy yard, started around noon.

5/11/1907 the Alfalfa Mill in Norton, Kansas burned.

5/11/1907 Altapass, NC a construction explosion killed nine.

5/11/1752 the 1st U.S. fire insurance policy is issued Philadelphia, PA.

5/11/1751 the 1st U.S. hospital was founded, Pennsylvania Hospital.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Sat, 05/11/2019 - 15:10

5/10/1918 a Detroit, MI firefighter died of complications of a pelvic fractur sustained when he fell through a roof at a fire scene.

5/10/1935 a Chicago, IL firefighter of “Truck 39 was fatally injured when he responded to a fire at 1503 West Harrison Street. He was knocking on the doors of nearby buildings to alert occupants about the fire when he was shot shortly after midnight by a man who believed his house was being robbed. The shooter fired several shots through the door from inside the house, one of which struck the firefighter. He was transported to West Side Hospital, where he died from his injuries. The shooter, an immigrant, surrendered to the police, along with his elderly father and uncle, both of whom were also in the home at the time. The shooter was initially charged with murder, and the father and uncle were charged with disorderly conduct, but all charges were dropped upon further investigation after it was learned that the home had been robbed on four previous occasions.”

5/10/1977 a Baltimore, MD firefighter died in a high-rise fire. “On arrival, in answer an automatic alarm from a high-rise office building, firefighters found nothing showing from the street. The firefighter took an elevator to the upper floors to check the source of the alarm. Unknown to him, the elevator took him directly to the 11th floor where a fire was blazing. As the doors opened on the fire floor, he was blasted by a ball of flame and burned to death in the elevator. The fire went to three alarms.”

5/10/1993 Kader toy factory fire killed 188 in the Nakhon Pathom Providence of Thailand at a facility that manufactured stuffed toys, soft-plastic dolls, and hard-plastic dolls. The fire may have started near an electrical control panel in an area used for the storage of packaging and finished products. “The most significant factor contributing to the large loss of life was inadequate exit provisions. However, other factors contributing to the loss include delay in fire department notification, inadequate training, lack of evacuation planning, the lack of vertical and horizontal fire separations, and the absence of automatic suppression and detection systems.”

5/10/1947 a fire gutted the top floor of the United Coal & Dock Company at 7th & Wisconsin Avenue.

5/10/1901 Houghton, Michigan the passenger steamer Bon Voyage burned in Lake Superior and was beached near the Portage ship canal the village Red Ridge, five passengers, all women, drowned.

5/10/1892 Roslyn, WA a mine explosion at the Northern Pacific Coal Company left over forty dead.

5/10/1890 Indiana, PA Gas House fire occurred while workers were “engaged in making a charge of oil used in making the gas, when without warning an explosion of the oil occurred, setting fire to the wood work and platforms surrounding the machinery and threatened the destruction of the entire plant.”

5/10/1887 eighty buildings in Lebanon, NH were destroyed by fire that started in a furniture factory at 1:00 a.m.

5/10/1995 in South Africa, 104 miners were killed in an elevator accident.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Sat, 05/11/2019 - 08:50

For firefighter Adam Cain, the physical therapy following an 80-foot fall is tough, but the survivor’s guilt from living through a fatal explosion is a burden he’s not sure he can process.

“We were standing right next to each other,” he said, referring to a January blast that killed Clinton fire Lt. Eric Hosette. It’s “heart-breaking, wondering how could I be in the same situation he was, except for I’m alive and he, unfortunately, lost his life that day.”

Cain, 23, and Hosette, 33, were putting out a fire on top of a grain silo in Clinton in eastern Iowa on Jan. 5 when the structure caught fire. Cain was knocked unconscious and rescued from inside the grain silo. He suffered broken bones, nerve damage and bruised and lacerated organs.

Clinton firefighter Adam Cain shown while in the Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit at the University of Iowa hospitals several days after an explosion Jan. 5 badly injured him and killed fellow firefighter Lt. Eric Hosette. (Photo: Provided photo/Special to the Register)

Hosette, a father and husband, was killed in the blast and resulting fall. He was also chief of the Charlotte Fire Department.

ORIGINAL STORY: Firefighter dies battling blaze at a grain processing plant in eastern Iowa


Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Sat, 05/11/2019 - 08:47

A Delaware County volunteer firefighter remains in serious condition following an accident this past Tuesday.

An engine truck from Salem Township/Daleville Emergency Services was returning to its station from a field fire when it was involved in an accident.

The truck overturned, trapping Firefighter Rickie Taylor and Captain Firefighter David Mowrey.

To complicate matters, the crash caused electric lines to fall, forcing rescue teams to wait until utility workers could get to the scene and shut off the power.

Taylor and Mowrey were alert and talking when they were rescued and taken by ambulance to IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie.

On Friday, Fire Chief Todd Lewis described Mowrey’s condition as “serious,” while Taylor was treated for “bumps and bruises” and released from the hospital.

Chief Lewis says the department is waiting to hear from its insurance company about the truck, but he believes it was totaled.

A new one can easily cost $500,000.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Sat, 05/11/2019 - 08:41

HAMLET OF WALLKILL – One firefighter suffered minor injuries and seven tenants were displaced Thursday night by a fire that ripped through the former home of the Countryside Cafe on Wallkill Avenue.

The building had two apartments, one in the rear and one on the second floor.

Wallkill fire Chief Nick Walker said the first alarm was sounded around 8:15 p.m.

“There was heavy fire in the rear when I arrived,” Walker said Friday.

Initial reports that people were trapped in the building proved unfounded, Walker said. All seven tenants made it out safely. One firefighter was taken to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

Walker said a dog perished in the fire.

The cafe had been closed for some time, but the storefront was being renovated for a new tenant, a Mexican restaurant.

Tony Martino, the proprietor of My Father Sam’s Barber shop across the street, was holding a practice session in his shop with his band, Mustangs 65, which plays songs from the ’50s to the ’70s, when the fire broke out.

“There were flames like 50 feet up in the air,” Martino said. “Smoke was really billowing out of there. It went up real quick.”

Walker said the cause of the fire remains under investigation by Ulster County officials.

In addition to Wallkill firefighters, the Shawangunk Valley, Walden, Walker Valley, Plattekill, Modena and Coldenham fire companies responded to assist at the scene. About 50 firefighters were there, Walker estimated. Cronomer Valley and Gardiner firefighters were standing by in Wallkill’s firehouse.

Martino had feared the building would be totally consumed by the fire, but the structure appeared salvageable on Friday morning. Walker estimated the building was about a 50 percent loss.

The last firefighters left the scene around 1 a.m.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Fri, 05/10/2019 - 17:33

By Shannon Granholm, The Citizen:

A Hugo man has been charged in connection to a house fire that injured a firefighter last month. Daniel Joe Lewandowski, 39, was charged April 25 with first-degree arson of a dwelling, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

Around midnight on Wednesday, April 24, the Hugo Fire Department (HFD) was dispatched to the scene of a structure fire that started in the basement of a home in the 5600 block of 141st Street N. Upon arrival, Chief Kevin Colvard said firefighters found that all five occupants of the home had already evacuated. Although there were no visible flames when HFD arrived, it “didn’t take long for the fire to make itself known.”

HFD worked the scene with assistance from the Forest Lake and White Bear Lake Fire Departments as well as the Centennial Fire District until around 5 a.m. Colvard described the fire as a “total loss,” as the first floor collapsed along with the roof, which fell into the basement. Colvard added the cause of the fire remains under investigation, but arson has not been ruled out.

According to the criminal complaint, the defendant’s father told a WCSO deputy that his son “burnt the house down on purpose.” He said that the defendant is “mentally unstable” and a former drug addict, and that he and his wife were sleeping when they heard a loud boom that shook the house. Read the full story here.
Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Fri, 05/10/2019 - 12:28

It’s hard to imagine there was a bowling alley on 5th Ave. in Troy on Wednesday. Perhaps even harder to imagine going inside Alpha Lanes when flames took over the historic bowling alley.

But that’s what veteran firefighter Captain Corey Christensen did. He was the very first firefighter inside Alpha Lanes Wednesday morning, when thick black smoke billowed for miles.

He says he and a fellow firefighter had to call mayday when they heard a loud rumble above them, it got very hot, and things just lit up before complete blackness.

“It was definitely a scary situation, a lot crosses your mind in that brief amount of time: am I gonna get out, do they know I’m still here, is somebody gonna get me?” Christensen questioned.

He says firefighters are taught to use the hose to get out, so he and his partner ended up crawling out for what he says felt like a mile, though in the end it was feet.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Fri, 05/10/2019 - 12:17

By Oil City Staff, Oil City News on April 27, 2019

CASPER, Wyo. — The Mills Professional Fire Fighters Association is calling the recent announcement that the Town of Mills will be laying off most fire department staff “retaliatory.”

In a press release sent to media on Saturday morning, president of the Mills Professional Fire Fighters Jeremy Todd calls the move “inexcusable.”

A Thursday press release issued by the Town of Mills said that Mills will contract with outside agencies after June 30 to provide daily fire and emergency services.

Mills’ nine firefighters will be laid off, with only a fire administrator kept on to conduct services like inspections. Mills Mayor Seth Coleman told Oil City on Friday that the Town of Mills is in talks with the Mills Fire Department following the Town Council’s decision.

Coleman said that Mills is in talks with the Mills Fire Department, Natrona County and the Town of Bar Nunn. He said the plan is to transition back toward a volunteer fire service model, but contract with Bar Nunn or Natrona County to provide fire services until re-establishing a volunteer service becomes feasible.

The response from the Mills Professional Fire Fighters Association claims that the group was in “contract negotiations” between the town and the association.

The full statement from the Mills Professional Fire Fighters Association is below, as received.

The city of Mills will soon be without its own fire fighters to respond when citizens call 9-1-1 after the city announced that it will be eliminating all of its career frontline fire fighters. The retaliatory move comes in the middle of contract negotiations between the town administration and the Mills Professional Fire Fighters Association’s (MPFFA).

“This is inexcusable” said Jeremy Todd, president of the Mills Professional Fire Fighters. “If Mills fire fighters are eliminated, 9-1-1 response times will increase when the community needs us most.  Simply put, the Town of Mills is gambling with public safety and pointing fingers instead of sitting and working with fire fighters to keep our fire department ready to respond to keep our neighborhood safe.”

The current contract between MPFFA and the Town of Mills is set to expire later this summer and instead of continuing talks, the town administration has decided, without listening to public input, to eliminate the fire department. “Both sides agree on almost all issues, including pay,” Todd said.  “For the Town to walk away from the table and just eliminate the fire fighters protecting this community is just as shocking to us as it is to the citizens we serve.”

Todd expressed concerns over what happens next to provide fire and emergency medical services to the town. “Mills Professional Fire Fighters are dedicated to serving the citizens of this community.  Relying on surrounding communities is not a plan that gives our town the protection it needs and deserves. We encourage the administration of the Town of Mills to come back to the table and do what is right for Mills… keep the fire department open.”

Mills Professional Fire Fighters Association Press Release

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Fri, 05/10/2019 - 12:14

The trainees will remain employed through June 7

Jasper Scherer
Houston Chronicle

The city has sent pink slips to 68 Houston Fire Department cadets, the first documented layoffs resulting from Mayor Sylvester Turner’s plan to implement Proposition B.

The trainees will remain employed through June 7, according to a copy of the layoff notice sent to cadets.

“The City of Houston has experienced a sizeable budget shortfall due to the implementation of Prop B,” the layoff notices read, referring to the charter amendment passed by voters last November.

The measure requires the city to pay firefighters the same as police of corresponding rank and experience. Voters approved Prop B by a wide margin.

The cadets’ firefighting careers had been in limbo after Turner declined to promote them following their graduation from training earlier this year. Turner had said he would not promote the cadets while the city was under a hiring freeze he imposed last September in anticipation of the vote on the Proposition B.

Despite the hiring freeze, he swore in more than 60 police cadets in early March, angering the fire union, whose leaders have accused him of being vindictive toward firefighters.

Throughout the lead-up to the election, Turner had warned that passage of the parity measure could mean the layoffs of hundreds of city employees including firefighters. Turner has said the measure would cost the city $100 million a year, though he recently has begun using the figure of $80 million.

His plan for implementing the raises required under Prop B, unveiled last month in talks with city council members, calls for the layoff of up to 400 firefighters, including the cadets. It also calls for all city departments to cut their spending by 3 percent, which is expected to lead to the layoff of about 100 municipal workers.

The layoff notice from Fire Chief Sam Peña also reads: “I want to assure you that the elimination of your position was a business decision and does not reflect your work performance or the value we place on your service to the City.”

Turner’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In recent weeks, the mayor has said no layoffs would be needed if the raises required by Prop B could be phased in over four or five years.

In a statement, fire union President Marty Lancton said the layoffs were preventable. He called on city council members to “finally stand up to Turner and reject his slash-and-burn plan for HFD,” predicting the mayor would soon lay off firefighters and close fire stations.

“Sylvester Turner’s layoff notices to taxpayer-funded, Houston-trained HFD cadets reflect the mayor’s ineptitude, egotism, and a new depth of his vindictiveness,” Lancton said.

©2019 the Houston Chronicle

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

U.S. Department of Labor Cites New Jersey Roofing Contractor

OSHA - Fri, 05/10/2019 - 07:00
May 10, 2019 U.S. Department of Labor Cites New Jersey Roofing Contractor
Categories: Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Thu, 05/09/2019 - 08:08

A firefighter was injured following a structure fire in Raleigh County.

Raleigh County Dispatchers told 59News the call came in around 2:20 p.m. Wednesday, May 8. A structure caught fire on Hoo Hoo Holler Road in Lester.

The scene is clear, but a firefighter was transported to a local hospital for injuries.

Lester Volunteer Fire Department, Sophia Area Fire Department, Sophia City Fire Department, Trap Hill Volunteer Fire Department, Mabscott Volunteer Fire Department, and Coal City Volunteer Fire Department responded. JanCare and Trap Hill Ambulance were also on scene.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


Firefighter Close Calls - Thu, 05/09/2019 - 08:07

Crews spent hours fighting a seven-alarm fire at a warehouse in Etna Wednesday.

Firefighters were sent to the STORExpress warehouse on Hafner Avenue around 2:30 p.m.

Heavy smoke poured from the building and flames could be seen coming through the roof.

“This is crazy, I can’t even breathe right now,” said Rutger Meixner, a bystander near the scene of the fire.

Smoke in Etna was so thick that Meixner said, “Fireman are disappearing in front of me.”

KDKA’s Amy Wadas reports —


It took firefighters almost three hours to contain the fire. They consumed all the water in the town, knocked out power to the neighborhood and evacuated residents surrounding the warehouse.

The large-scale building, which serves as a storage facility for vehicles and boats, proved to be a challenge for first responders.

“Everything above on the second floor concrete, including antique cars, very nice cars stored upstairs, has all fallen down into the first floor, which has created a very significant problem for us to try and deal with,” Etna Fire Chief Greg Porter said.

Porter said the amount of fuel in the building only made matters worse.

“There was a significant amount of fuel, which actually early on in the fire exploded and pushed the front wall of the building out,” he said.

Porter believes somebody may have been working on a motorcycle inside the warehouse and it may have caught fire.

KDKA’s Brenda Waters reports —


The fire marshal is still investigating the cause of the fire, along with why the fire alarm never activated and why the sprinkler system malfunctioned.

Three firefighters were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

KDKA’S Lindsay Ward reports —

Categories: Fire Service, Safety


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