April 20, 2014
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Firefighter Close Calls
One of the 31 Syracuse firefighters who battled a blaze at a vacant house on the South Side Saturday morning was treated at the hospital for minor injuries.The firefighter was taken to Upstate University Hospital to be evaluated for burns on his face, said deputy chief Todd Milton.A neighbor of the vacant two-and-a-half story house at 126 Clyde Avenue called 911 around 8:15 a.m., Milton said.Firefighters arrived shortly after to a heavy volume of fire on the first floor of the house, he said. It rapidly spread to the second floor and the attic.An electrical wire that was connected to the house lit up shortly after the first fire engine arrived on scene. The power line fell onto the engine, causing complications for firefighters because they were unable to use the engine or a nearby hydrant until the wire was under control.National Grid was on scene to assist."The live wire is dangerous to us," Milton said. "We block it off with the danger tape. We have to watch that carefully to protect ourselves."A second engine had its own water supply, which firefighters used to contain the blaze. Most of the fire was put out within 15 or 20 minutes, Milton said.clyde ave fire electrical.jpgAn electrical wire that was connected to a flame-engulfed vacant house on Clyde Avenue in Syracuse sparked and fell as firefighters arrived on scene. National Grid and firefighters got the wire under control and wrapped it up on a nearby pole.Julie McMahon | jmcmahon@syracuse.com Firefighters searched the house as a precaution and found that no one was inside.The first and second floors and attic of the house were heavily damaged by the fire, Milton said.The cause of the blaze is under investigation, he said. Fire investigators and Syracuse police investigators were on scene, as firefighters continued to ventilate and overhaul the house.The Red Cross provided water and snacks to firefighters at the scene, and was there to assist neighbors in the event that the fire spread.As of 10 a.m., only Clyde Avenue was closed except to emergency vehicles. Traffic was moving smoothly around the area.http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2014/04/firefighter_sent_to_hospital_with_minor_injuries_from_south_side_heavy_volume_bl.html...

Eight people were displaced from a duplex at 182-184 Newark Pompton Turnpike Thursday afternoon and two firefighters injured, one seriously, when a blaze tore through the two story structure, leaving the porch and roof collapsed, authorities said. The seriously injured firefighter from Great Notch Fire Company No. 4 was hurt when the front porch of the home collapsed on him, Assistant Fire Chief Ronnie Cordero said. Responders rushed him to St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center in Paterson for treatment as he was reporting pain below his legs, he said. Officials later said that he broke his leg. The other firefighter, a deputy chief, burned his hand while working a hose line and was treated at the scene for his injury, Cordero said. "There was a heavy fire condition on arrival," he said of the blaze, which was reported at about 3:30 p.m. And two hours later, although the main body of the blaze had been knocked down, firefighters were still working to extinguish the burning embers. "It took a while to extinguish. It still hasn't been declared under control yet." Dante Esposito, 27, a Montclair State University student, lives in one side of the duplex along with his roommate and girlfriend. He was watching television when he first saw the flames that appeared to have on the outside of the house, he said. "I looked out and saw the windows were on fire," he said. He added that he knew it was only him and his roommate in the building at the time. His girlfriend was not home and neither was the married couple who live in the other half of the duplex with their three children, he said. "I called 911 and ran out of the house and things were exploding," he said. "The glass exploded all over." He said he did not hear the smoke alarms activate while he was in the home, which he surmised was because the blaze seemed to have started from the exterior. "I was shocked," Esposito said. "They always say fire moves that fast and smoke is that thick, but you don't believe it until you see it." Wearing only the white T-shirt and sweatpants that he had on him at the time of the fire, Esposito said that he lost just about everything in the flames, except for his wallet, which he rushed back into the home to grab at the last minute. "It's the worst feeling, but I'm just glad that everybody's alive," he said. Esposito said that he will be staying with friends. The couple that lives next door said they will be staying with family. Bystander Shawn Haverick, 34, of Little Falls, saw the porch collapse. Although just one firefighter was injured in the collapse, it appeared to Haverick that there were two firefighters in the area at the time. "The big posts were engulfed in flames and out of nowhere it came down on the two firefighters," he said. "Little Falls is such a small town and when something like this happens it rocks the community," he added. At one point firefighters had four hose lines stretched, two of them from the top of fire engines with their ladders angled toward the front of the building. And as firefighters poured more water on the flames, heavy smoke filled the roadway. The fire also extended beyond the parameters of the house itself. "The tree started burning," Cordero said, pointing to a tall pine tree that could be seen charred black on one face in the rear of the home. Cordero said the house will need to be demolished. In addition to the front porch being collapsed the roof had collapsed. - See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/towns/firefighter-seriously-injured-8-dispaced-as-blaze-destroys-little-falls-duplex-1.998633#sthash.jummKfBQ.dpuf...

Ambulance, SUV collide; five people injured in city - South Dakota
By John ReynoldsStaff Writer An ambulance carrying a woman critically injured in a traffic accident on South Dirksen Parkway was involved in a second crash Friday about a block away at Clear Lake Avenue.A total of five people were injured in the two crashes, including a Springfield firefighter. The two injuries from the initial wreck, which did not involve the firefighter, were described by authorities as life-threatening.“The patient in the ambulance (involved in the crash) was in traumatic arrest,” Springfield Fire Chief Ken Fustin said. “They were performing CPR on that patient when they were hit at the intersection.”The first crash occurred about 5:15 p.m. when a woman who was westbound on Niccolls Road pulled out in front of a pickup truck that was heading north on Dirksen. The pickup’s driver tried to stop but struck the other vehicle on the driver’s side, said Lt. Bill Neale of the Springfield Police Department.There was a female passenger in the woman’s vehicle.“The driver was in the worst shape. She had to be extricated,” Neale said.The driver of the pickup truck did not appear to be seriously injured.Springfield police officers were blocking southbound Dirksen when the second crash occurred about 5:40 p.m.“The ambulance had all of its emergency equipment, its lights, siren and air horn, on,” Neale said. “From the officer’s opinion, all of the traffic was stopped as the ambulance entered the intersection. A vehicle traveling west on Clear Lake came through the light, and the ambulance struck it.”The vehicle that collided with the Medics First ambulance was an SUV that rolled over. At least one person was extricated from the SUV by firefighters and taken to Memorial Medical Center.“The vehicle, they believe, probably had the green light, but everybody else heard and saw the ambulance and were yielding when he came through,” Neale said. “The initial indication is that the at-fault vehicle is going to be the westbound (SUV).”Fustin said the injured firefighter was treated at St. John’s Hospital and released. He described the injuries to the two other people — a nurse and the SUV’s driver — at the second accident scene as not serious.The glare from the setting sun could have been a factor in the second crash, Neale said.None of the names of the injured were available Friday evening.Contact John Reynolds: john.reynolds@sj-r.com, 788-1524, twitter.com/JohnReynoldsSJR.Read more: http://www.sj-r.com/article/20140418/News/140419347#ixzz2zLEw1Xca...

Fatal Firefighter Response Crash (The Secret List)
All, Thursday morning in Comstock Township, Michigan, near Kalamazoo, a woman was killed in a crash - when her vehicle was involved in that crash with a truck driven by a Firefighter responding to a fire call. The Firefighter was in his own personal vehicle. Read the circumstances below. The woman drove into the path of that Firefighter who was responding to another crash that occurred minutes earlier. The woman has been identified as Audrey Jean Kurka. Kurka, 51, of Comstock Township, was waiting in traffic in the passing lane of northbound Sprinkle Road when she attempted a U-turn and pulled her 2010 Nissan Cube into the middle turn lane at around 0830 hours. Her car was struck on the driver’s side by a northbound 2005 GMC Sierra pickup truck -driven by Comstock volunteer Firefighter Shaun Hughes, 32.     Hughes, who had the emergency lights and siren on his truck activated, was responding to a report of a head-on crash when Kurka turned in front of him. Hughes was initially traveling in the passing lane of northbound Sprinkle but then moved over to the middle turn lane because of the traffic backup. The point of impact between Hughes’ truck and Kurka’s car was near the “westernmost stripe” of the middle turn lane. “Hughes didn’t have time for evasive action,” the local undersheriff said. Hughes, who was not seriously injured in the crash, was taken from the scene to the hospital in a private vehicle--Kurka was pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators did not yet know how fast Hughes was going. That determination will be made as part of the continuing investigation and crash reconstruction.  Another grim reminder of the high risks of emergency response-to us and those on the road, regardless of the circumstances. More to follow. Take Care. Be Careful. Pass It On. BillyG The Secret List 4-19-14/0715 hours www.FireFighterCloseCalls.com...

Three vehicles were involved in a crash, including a Middletown Fire Department truck. The accident occurred in the 200 block of English Station Road. Three people have been transported to the hospital, none of which came from the fire truck. There were no road closures. It's not known how severe the injuries are....

Crash on Lititz Pike leaves ambulance overturned - Pennsylvania
LANCASTER, Pa. -- A crash on Lititz Pike caused an ambulance to overturn on Wednesday morning. Emergency crews are on the scene. There have been no reported injuries...

A firefighter was injured Thursday when burned cargo from a tractor-trailer stopped on Interstate 77 fell on him. The incident was reported at approximately 5:55 p.m. near mile marker 14 just north of Exit 14 on Athens Road. A helicopter ambulance was initially planned, but it was later canceled, according to a dispatcher with Mercer County 911. The Princeton Rescue Squad was dispatched. The firefighter’s identity could not be confirmed Thursday evening. The Bluestone Valley, Green Valley-Glenwood, Oakvale, East River Volunteer and Princeton Fire Departments were alerted at approximately 3 p.m. when a tractor-trailer fire near mile marker 14 was reported. Fire responders soon learned that bales of cardboard hauled by two truckers were burning. Traffic was reduced to one lane from the Camp Creek to the Athens Road exits for several hours while firefighters contained the blazes and extinguished fire on a neighboring hillside. The tractor-trailers’ drivers were not injured, said Cpl. R.T.  Stinson of the West Virginia State Police Turnpike detachment. “Just the trailer portions caught on fire,” Stinson said at the scene while firefighters sprayed the smoldering bales on one truck. He looked to the hillside. “I’m surprised more of that didn’t catch on fire.” Stinson said he had “no idea” at that time how the fire started. The trucks’ brakes did not catch on fire. “I’m speculating that a passerby might have thrown a cigarette out their vehicle, but that’s only speculation,” he stated. One truck’s driver, 47-year-old Frank Wallace of Tazewell, Va., said he was hauling cardboard bales to Tazewell when his partner in a second tractor-trailer noticed smoke coming from the cardboard. Wallace pulled over, but then embers spread fire to the second truck’s cardboard. Fire Chief Tim Farley of the Bluestone Valley Volunteer Fire Department said the second truck’s cargo was not as badly burned. It was driven off Exit 14 to a fire hydrant where members of the Princeton Fire Department extinguished the burning cargo. Putting out the fire was difficult because water had a hard time reaching the flames, Farley said. “It’s so tightly packed, you can’t get to it,” he explained while more water was sprayed directly into the bales. “With bales of cardboard, the only way you can get to it is to break (bales) apart.” The truck’s owner, Southwest Sanitation, was sending a large garbage container to haul the cardboard way, said Arnold Boothe, the company’s owner. Looking at the damaged cargo, Boothe pointed out how it had burned from the top down. A tossed cigarette or cigar could have landed on the cargo and fell between the bales, he said. Boothe had once seen a similar fire, but it started at the bottom of the trailer and burned from the bottom up.http://m.bdtonline.com/BDT/db_/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=Pc7KcA4x&full=true#display...

It took a minute for the man standing on the front porch of the West Pullman home to realize what was going on when his neighbors started yelling to him that his house was burning.“I’m telling him, man, your house is on fire!” said Bernard Jones, 52, who lives near the home in the 11600 block of South Michigan where eight people, including a two firefighters and a police officer, were injured Tuesday evening.The man opened the front door as flames leaped from the side of the house toward the second floor, Jones said."We look up," Jones said. "There's kids in the window."A pair of police officers in the area had spotted the burning home, too, and had called it in on their radios about 6 p.m.Seeing two boys in the upstairs windows, the officers shouted instructions to break the windows and jump into their arms, Police News Affairs Officer Hector Alfaro said.It was a team effort, with Jones and other people nearby helping direct the boys, who are 15 and 8 years old, to a side window. The officers and neighbors then prepared to catch the boys and urged them to jump."The older one was a little hesitant and we were like, 'Man, you got to let it go,' so he went and jumped," Jones said. "The younger one was like, 'Hey I'm coming.' "One of the officers suffered a minor injury catching one of the boys, police said.The group of neighbors and officers then tried to run upstairs to rescue a man trapped inside but were blocked by thick smoke, Jones said.Fire crews arrived soon and found a police officer attempting to force her way inside the building to reach whoever was trapped inside, Deputy Chicago Fire Cmsr. John McNicholas said."The police officer did a nice job, trying to do everything she could," he said.Seeing people fleeing the building and hearing reports of people trapped, firefighters called an emergency medical services plan 1 for the fire, sending at least six ambulances to the scene.With a man still trapped on the second floor, firefighters swiftly made entry. "They didn't hesitate," Jones said. "They went straight on upstairs."Firefighters found heavy smoke and fire in the home, and a firefighter attempting to reach the second floor was pushed back by the heat, causing him to fall down the stairs, McNicholas said.  The trapped man was rescued from the rear of the second floor, he said.The man, who appeared to be in his late 50s, was alert but breathing heavily as he walked toward the ambulance, Jones said. "He was up there at least 10 minutes in all that heavy smoke," Jones said of the man, who was believed to be the most seriously injured of everyone hurt in the fire.The man was taken in serious-to-critical condition to Advocate Trinity Hospital, officials said. Four other people were taken in good-to-fair condition to Roseland Community Hospital, Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said.The firefighter who fell and another injured firefighter were both taken to hospitals as well. Neither firefighter's injuries were believed to be life-threatening.The injured police officer was taken to Metro South Medical Center in Blue Island in good condition, Langford said.The fire was declared under control just before 7 p.m. The cause remains under investigation.Jones said he was glad to help because of a fire at his home about 20 years ago that burned his niece."To this day she's got a lot of things wrong with her 'cause of that smoke," Jones said. "I was not gonna let that happen to them."I'm just glad the kids are alright," Jones said. http://my.chicagotribune.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-79926998/...

A motorist was killed Thursday morning after their vehicle was struck by a Comstock Township firefighter who was responding to a head-on crash on Sprinkle Road, Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller said.Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller on the Sprinkle Road fatal accident. The fatal crash, which occurred between East Michigan Avenue and East Main Street, was reported five to 10 minutes after Comstock firefighters received a report of a serious head-on crash near the intersection of Sprinkle and East Main.Fuller said the initial crash, which was reported at 8:25 a.m., caused traffic on Sprinkle Road to back up and a line of vehicles formed in the northbound lanes.Fuller said the motorist, whose name, age and gender has not been released, was in the line of northbound traffic and attempted a U-turn to go south on Sprinkle. At that time, the motorist’s car was struck by the firefighter, a volunteer who was coming north on Sprinkle with his lights and sirens activated, the sheriff said.Fuller declined at the scene to say what type of vehicle the motorist who was killed was traveling in. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene.The firefighter, whose name has not been released, was not seriously injured and refused medical attention at the scene.Fuller said his agency is continuing to investigate the crash and plans to release more information once families of those involved have been notified.Meanwhile, the two drivers involved in the head-on crash near East Main and Sprinkle suffered injuries that were believed to be minor, said Lt. Terry Simpson of the Comstock Fire Department.http://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/index.ssf/2014/04/sprinkle_road_shut_down_in_eas.html...

FirstNet Head Steps Down
FirstNet General Manager Bill D’Agostino has resigned from the top staff position of the organization for “personal and family reasons,” and the organization is launching a nationwide search for a new general manager, according to a FirstNet press release issued this afternoon. “I have been honored to lead FirstNet’s management efforts over the past year, and believe the organization is now well positioned to enter the next stage of its development,” said D’Agostino said in a prepared statement. “Although I will no longer be part of the mission, I will remain an ardent supporter and look forward to its future successes.” FirstNet Chairman Sam Ginn expressed appreciation for D’Agostino’s efforts to prepare the organization to deploy and maintain a nationwide broadband network for public safety. “We appreciate Bill’s service as general manager over the past year—a critical time in FirstNet’s early planning stage,” Ginn said in a prepared statement. “Bill believed that public safety should be a partner in defining network features and capabilities, and we will remember the example he set for us.” Last month, FirstNet board members approved a program roadmap for the much-anticipated first-responder broadband network that was prepared by D’Agostino and FirstNet staff members hired during the past year. With D’Agostino’s resignation, FirstNet Deputy General Manager TJ Kennedy will assume the general-manager duties on a temporary basis as the FirstNet board seeks a permanent replacement for D’Agostino. “FirstNet has assembled an excellent management team to lead this organization as we continue to develop plans for the nationwide public safety broadband network.” FirstNet Vice Chairman Sue Swenson said in a prepared statement. “The FirstNet Board will now begin a search to hire someone to lead the team - someone with the right blend of experience along with the management and leadership skills to carry out FirstNet's vision.” The job posting for FirstNet general manager will be found at www.USAjobs.gov, according to the FirstNet press release. FirstNet spokesman Corey Ray said D’Agostino’s resignation was effective as of 3 p.m. Eastern time today, but Ray said he was not sure when FirstNet board members were informed of D’Agostino’s resignation plans. Last Tuesday, the FirstNet board held a meeting that was closed for personal reasons, but Ray said no specifics about the content of that meeting have been released yet....

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