Monday, August 22, 2011

Two Men Badly Burned in Brooklyn Electrical Fire


By Jessica Simeone

Brookyln, NY - Two men are fighting for their lives after getting burned in an electrical fire in Brooklyn today, officials said.

The fire broke out at 8:05 a.m. on an upper floor of a 15-story office building on Montague Street in downtown Brooklyn.

A 64-year-old and 40-year-old were burned on the face and arms, said a spokesman for the fire department.

The victims were rushed to the burn center at New York Hospital in critical condition.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

CT Firefighter Treated for Possible Chemical Exposure

From the Hartford Courant:

A firefighter was treated for possible chemical exposure after a chemical reaction at a metal-treating company early Wednesday.

Firefighters responded to a report of heavy smoke at Metal Specialties Inc., 515 Commerce Drive, shortly after midnight, fire officials stated in a press release. When they arrived, they encountered heavy smoke but no fire, they said.

Crews were ordered out of the building when it became clear that hazardous materials might have been involved. Hazardous materials resopnse teams and the state Department of Energy & Environmental Protection were called to the scene.

Read MORE.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Fatal GA Fire Exposes Dangers of Home Security Measures

From the Ledger-Enquirer, an update on a deadly fire in Columbus:
Burglar bars with a dead bolt lock blocked the front door of the home at 3221 Decatur St. where a mother and her two daughters died in a fire early Tuesday.

Those bars are a choice homeowners make between security and safety. They can delay firefighters getting inside a burning house by 90 seconds, said Fire Marshal Ricky Shores.

“It does slow us down,” he said. “That minute could make a difference in saving a life. Sometimes security and fire safety bump heads.”

Such a door can also be a deadly barrier if those in the home can’t find the key to unlock it from the inside.

Authorities say the deceased -- Nordalie Douglas, 32, and her daughters, 10-year-old fifth-grader Zakoya Bankston and 6-year-old first-grader Mackayla Gulley, both students at Brewer Elementary School -- had been in the house about a year. They came from North Carolina to live in a neighborhood that’s seen three homicides in the past week and a half.

Read MORE. For an article on overcoming extreme home security measures, read "Burglar Bar Removal: Strategy and Tactics" and "HVAC Burglar Bars".

OR Firefighters Injured in Commercial Fire

From The Oregonian:

Three firefighters were injured Tuesday night in an explosion at the Stimson Lumber Mill in Gaston. One Gaston firefighter was taken to Oregon Health and Science University Hospital in Portland. One Gaston firefighter and one Yamhill firefighter were taken to Tuality Hospital in Hillsboro, all with non-life threatening injuries. All three have gone home, said volunteer spokesman Ken Bilderback.

Read more HERE.

Baltimore (MD) Fire Department Personnel to Undergo Health Screenings

From The Baltimore Sun:

For the first time, all 1,800 Baltimore fire personnel will undergo departmentwide health tests during a wellness project that officials hope will become a yearly event.

Next week, Professional Health Services vans will begin conducting screenings — including hearing, vision, pulmonary and heart — at five department operations in the city.

he Fire Department will get aggregate data after testing is complete, though individual results will be kept between patients and physicians.

"We will get a good picture of the health of the department in general," said Fire Chief James S. Clack, who will be among the first to undergo the testing. "If there are major issues with our personnel, we will be able to tell."

The newest of the screening vans, which is 71 feet long, parked in City Hall Plaza on Tuesday to show department officials.

The vehicle is soundproof and compartmentalized for privacy, and is equipped with a digital X-ray, an EKG and a centrifuge to expedite blood processing. The facility can handle about six patients an hour, whose assessments will conclude in a conference with a physician.

Read the entire thing HERE. For more on firefighter fitness, read Mike Krueger's column at Fire Life.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

IL Chief and Renowned Fire Service Leader Paul Boecker Dies

From the Naperville Sun:

Former Naperville and Lisle fire official Paul H. Boecker III died Sunday.

He began his career as a firefighter in Naperville in 1952. He rose to the rank of captain with the Naperville Fire Department before leaving to become chief of the Lisle Fire Department in 1971.

He was instrumental in turning the volunteer fire department into a full-time paid fire district during his tenure.

People who knew him said Boecker’s personality was larger than life, and that he put a lot of that passion into the Fire Department.

He guided the Lisle department to where it had five fire stations and more than 80 personnel. The department attained an Insurance Service Office Class 1 designation before he retired in 1994.

During his career he received nine awards of commendation, four awards of merit and the Firefighter of the Year Award in 1993 from the Lisle Fire Protection District.

During the devastating tornado that hit Plainfield in 1990, Boecker was one of 12 recipients of recognition for his leadership during the incident.

In 1983, he was one of two chiefs honored with the Dictography Security Company’s Public Safety Award. He was also awarded the Mason Lankford Fire Service Award.

He served on many regional and national committees throughout his career. He began the Keep the Wreath Red program in 1954 in Naperville which would later be adopted by DuPage County and eventually the state of Illinois.

Read more about Chief Boecker's career HERE.

Hidden Fire Hydrants a Problem for WV Firefighters

A serious safety issue is sending up red flags in West Virginia.

It took nearly a mile of fire hose to put out a house fire Monday in Barboursville.

The issue wasn't the fire itself, but finding a hydrant while using an outdated mapping system. The homeowner and her five pets made it safely, with some help from firefighters, but it begs the question -- why go the extra mile?

Shouldn't your fire department know where the hydrants are located? Sometimes they don't. The answer could be GPS mapping of hydrants.

That's what West Virginia American Water is trying to do right now across the state.

In the case of Monday's fire in Barboursville, an inaccurate map book led to a long line of fire hose. The fire department wasn't aware there was a closer hydrant.

"We connected to the fire hydrant we knew," said Lieutenant Andrew Frazier of the Barboursville Volunteer Fire Department. "Yes, it's a longer lay. But we wanted to connect to the hydrant we knew was definitely there."

What happened in Barboursville could easily be repeated anywhere in the country.

Read MORE.