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Of all the scenarios firefighters train for, confronting a hostage-taker might not seem to be high on the list. Or suddenly dodging a sniper's deadly aim. But training and keeping calm apparently did come into play last Wednesday [Apr. 10] when four Gwinnett County (GA) firefighters became hostages while a gunman held off authorities. The situation ended with the firefighters free and the gunman dead at the hands of police.
On Monday, May 23, 2011 just after 8:30 AM, units of the Santa Clara County (CA) Fire Department responded to reports of a garage fire in the 800 block of Rose Blossom Drive in the city of Cupertino. Upon their arrival firefighters were confronted with heavy smoke and fire showing from a one-story single family dwelling.
Today marks 20 years since the 1992 Los Angeles Civil Unrest, often referred to as the "L.A. Riots," where rampant arson, looting, assault and murder occurred over a six day period in the greater Los Angeles area. Approximately 3,600 fires were set, destroying over 1,000 structures and flooding 9-1-1 fire calls. Property damage reached roughly $1 billion, over 50 people died
The City of Kennedale Texas is collaborating with Chamber of Commerce member FWT, LLC in the construction of its 9/11 Memorial to commemorate those who lost their lives during the World Trade Center events, and the subsequent search and rescue operations. When it became known the Port Authority of New York was accepting applications from communities across the United States for recovered portions of the WTC for use in memorials, Mayor Bryan Lankhorst and others within the city, contacted the...
The City of Rogers (AR) Fire Department installed Motorola MW810 Mobile Workstations in their fire trucks and other emergency response vehicles. The firefighters have come to trust them to change statuses, find routes and view incident data as it is collected at the 9-1-1 center. The always-on workstations require no boot-up time, are ergonomically designed, feature displays bright enough to be seen in bright sunlight and are built to withstand the harshest environments.
On Saturday, October 19, 1991, the Oakland (CA) Fire Department responded to a small wildland fire that had broken out in a box canyon near the eastern bore of the Caldecott Tunnel. Initially comprising about seven acres, firefighters gained control of the blaze and, leaving their hose lines in place, checked the area for hot spots throughout the evening and into the next day. Little could they have known at the time that this small fire would progress in the next 72 hours into a...
After the initial plane struck the first tower, a third alarm was transmitted. When the second plane struck the other tower, two 5th alarm assignments, one for each building, were transmitted, plus an additional 2nd Alarm assignment for Brooklyn companies to respond into Manhattan. FDNY companies from all five boroughs were responding. Urgent requests for additional help were radioed to Manhattan fire alarm dispatchers, just as numerous reports of trapped civilians and were flooding the...
November 7, 2008 marked the largest fire in a decade in Champaign, Illinois, and the first major test of our countywide 800 MHz digital trunked system. Not only did everything work well, everyone was interoperable - fire, EMS and police - during an incident that required a lot of communication and coordination
EMT-Designed Glass Keeper Provides Glass-Free Access To Car Accident Victims In Less Than 45 Seconds
The Glass Keeper adhesive film designed by an Emergency Medical Technician, quickly attaches to the car window and secures the glass. After the window is "punched" by the rescuer, the Glass Keeper captures and removes 95% of the broken glass. In less than 45 seconds, and without the fear of further injury, the firefighter will have immediate "glass-free" access to the patient.
It was a stunning scene, set against the familiar backdrop of the Hollywood Hills overlooking the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles. A massive black cloud of smoke pillared above a burgeoning firestorm on the Universal Studios backlot. In the pre-dawn light, it looked like the kind of mesmerizing, dramatic special effects that the studio is famous for. Only this was no movie...
Photo Story: Between December 14 and 17, Canadian photographer Mitchell Brown joined 19 firefighters from Tennessee, North Carolina, Ohio, New York and Maryland to lend a hand in Breezy Point, New York, helping rebuild homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
As the public safety community moves to deploy the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN), mission-critical communications users now have the first Android-based ruggedized LTE smartphone designed for first responder field use. The InTouch RPC-200 by Harris Corporation operates on both commercial and private LTE networks, giving users mission-critical PTT voice, data, video, location, text-based information and other future applications.
Fire departments are getting more involved in and affected by civil unrest events. We can expect more of these as we move through an election year, and all agencies should be preparing for them. The Firefighters Support Foundation's (FSF) training program, Fire/EMS Response to Civil Unrest, is a free downloadable training resource for individuals, agencies, and trainers on this subject.
At 3:45 AM on April 29, 2007, a gasoline tanker caught fire inside the MacArthur Maze - an interchange of three major San Francisco Bay Area freeways with daily traffic of 230,000 vehicles. The intensity of the fire, and the difficulty accessing it through the maze of freeway ramps, melted the supporting guiders leading to a collapse of the interchange. Here's how Oakland area fire departments handled the incident.
Darth Vader, Indiana Jones, Lando Calrissian, Yoda, they all stopped off here. This is the way-station between imagination and illusion, the all-important planning terminal where fanciful creations of the mind are mapped out and prepared for manufacture, and where the makings of movie magic are prepared for life through the science of technology, and where they will stop again to have their finishing touches applied on the way from Silicon Valley to silver screen.
On Wednesday, May 9, 2012 units of the Santa Clara (CA) Fire Department were dispatched to Hillebrant Place inside the Boulevard condominium complex for reports of a fire working in a block of unfinished structures. Arriving units confirmed a working fire and quickly called for a second alarm to contend with the rapidly intensifying blaze. As the fire continued to grow residents throughout the complex stood by in awe as flames shot high into the night sky...
On Monday afternoon, October 17th, 2011 the Gwinnett County 9-1-1 communications center began receiving calls just after 1:00 PM of an apartment fire at the Highpointe Village Apartments. As companies were responding a large column of smoke could be seen in the vicinity of the alarm. First arriving companies found a three story building with heavy involvement. The fire building contained 20 apartments, of which ten were destroyed
On November 2nd 2012, a building fire was reported at 27th St. and Federal St. in East Camden near the firehouse. Battalion 2 arrived and reported a 1 story vacant building with heavy smoke and fire showing. The All Hands box was struck as Command reported a gas fed fire in the rear of the building with heavy fire conditions.
On January 5th, 2012 Camden City Units were dispatched for a reported dwelling fire at S. 4th and Royden St.ís. A full box was dispatched as Camden County Communications were receiving multiple calls. Engine 1 arrived on location with heavy fire showing. Battalion 1 reported a 2 story twin with heavy fire striking the All Hands box.
"It was like a Firestorm" - Camden City Chief of Department Michael Harper. Firefighters were called to Chestnut and Orchard St. on Thursday June 9th, 2011 several minutes before 4 p.m in the Parkside neighborhood. An off Duty Camden City Firefighter who lived on the block reported the Old Tire Factory with heavy fire showing 1st and 2nd floors. Battalion 1 arrived and reported a block long warehouse with heavy fire conditions and exposure problems requesting the All Hands and to start the...
...As firefighters began to arrive on scene a working structure fire was confirmed by the officer of Truck 30 with flames and smoke showing from the second floor and roof of the two story, multi-unit apartment building. Firefighters quickly established an offensive attack with crews stretching lines to the interior of the building and going to the roof to provide ventilation.
On Wednesday December 7th, 2011 at 9 AM a water rescue was dispatched at Newton Creek in Collingswood. Marine units from Collingswood, Westmont and Pennsauken were dispatched. A call to 9-1-1 reported a vehicle in the water. Marine units from Collingswood and Westmont were deployed in the water to locate a vehicle submerged under water.
At 1:45 p.m. on August 3rd, 2011 the Philadelphia Fire Department was dispatched for a reported building fire at 7th and Lehigh Ave in the City. Battalion 8 arrived and reported a 4 story vacant school with heavy fire conditions on the 3rd floor and roof area. Companies set up for defensive operations. Extra Alarms were sounded as fire went through the roof. Crews surrounded the building and placed multiple Ladder Pipes, and hand lines in operation.
Shortly after midnight on Sept. 24, members of the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District were dispatched to 5725 Marconi Avenue in Carmichael (CA) for reports of fire and explosions in a commercial building. First units arriving, only 2 and a half minutes after dispatch, found the structure already heavily involved in fire, with extension into the attic. Firefighters immediately started attacking the fire from the ground, while truck crews ventilated the roof of the roughly 7,000 square foot...
On February 26, 2012 a dwelling fire was reported on Glennwood Ct. in Woodbury Heights (NJ) at 5:30 p.m. Police arrived on location and reported a working fire. Command arrived and struck the All Hands box for heavy fire from Division A-D. Engine 1511 laid in to secure a water supply as the crew led off with a 2 1/2" hand line. The company went in but were driven out for heavy fire conditions.
On Monday, June 11, 2012, at 7:03 PM, units of the Santa Clara County Fire Department responded to a report of fire in a two story townhouse located at 231 Shelley Avenue in Campbell, California. The first firefighters to arrive on scene were confronted by heavy fire showing from the second floor of the structure.
Engine 1 arrived on location with heavy fire showing. Battalion 2 arrived and reported a 2-story end of the row dwelling with heavy fire 1st and 2nd floors with extension. The All Hands box was transmitted as three structures were involved... Later that same day, Camden firefighters battled a second working fire also involving three dwellings. ...
Fire Scene Communications is the newest free training program available from the Firefighters Support Foundation (FSF).
GammaTech Computer Corp., offers the Durabook R13C, an upgraded version of model R13S perfectly suited for a variety of applications, including law enforcement, military, homeland security, and mobile workers in any type of outdoor environment.
On September 11th... I arrived at my union office to see the doorman watching TV. On the screen was something I never imagined would happen. A plane had slammed into #1 World Trade Center. I stared in amazement as massive flames and profuse black smoke engulfed the upper floors. I knew in an instant that I had to get to the Manhattan central office. They were going to need help.
The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS), a nationally accredited department located in Maryland, has implemented the CommandScope All Hazard Pre-Incident Plan program to help protect nearly 300,000 residents in 25 communities. CommandScope gives first responders access to critical pre-plan information, both on-site and en route on their Mobile Data Computers, which includes maps, photographs, utility shutoff locations, floor plans, fire protection systems, hazardous...
The FireWhat Inc. and Pusher teams have launched the FireWhat iPhone app in the Apple App Store. The FireWhat App puts critical incident information into the palm of the wildland firefighter's hand. Today's firefighters receive little to no information prior to arriving at the scene of a wildland fire, but with the game-changing FireWhat App, fire information, maps, reference guides and calculators are at the first responder's fingertips.
You've all seen the pictures on television, in newspapers, or in other media, all showing the devastation of what was once called the World Trade Center. What you haven't heard about was the relationship between the New York rescuers and the teams sent from throughout the country to help perform Search and Rescue operations at Ground Zero... What are some of the lessons we learned there, that we could make use of in our own agencies?
The City of Jonesboro, a thriving municipality of 70,000, home to Arkansas State University and major companies like NicePak and Nestle, was outgrowing its emergency dispatch capabilities as times and technologies changed. As Jeff Presley, E9-1-1 Director for the City and Craighead County describes, "We were using an analog paging system that was antiquated, trying to patch into the Stateís new digital 700/800MHz radio system. We needed to find something reliable, a secure pathway between our...
Morphix Technologies, an innovator in the science of colorimetric detection devices for dangerous chemical gases, is on the forefront of preventing accidental exposure to first responders from these toxic chemicals. The Chameleon Chemical Suicide Detection Kit offers police, EMS and first responders a field-configurable, low-cost, easy-to-use, hands-free solution when encountering a chemical suicide.
A free CPR "citizen responder" mobile phone application will help save lives through a new partnership between the San Jose Fire Department and El Camino Hospital in California. The PulsePoint app enables members of the public to provide life-saving assistance to victims of sudden cardiac arrest, which causes nearly 1,000 deaths a day in the United States
Locution Systems & City of Roanoke (VA) Complete Deployment of Fire Station Alerting & Automated Dispatching System
Locution Systems' CADVoice fire station alerting and automated dispatching system will be running in Roanoke's 16 fire stations, as well as over the radio system. The City of Roanoke also implemented specific fire station alerting technologies in the fire stations to speed up response times, including unit status indicator devices and LED reader boards which are programmed to display unit status and dispatch information as 9-1-1 calls come through specific stations.
Locution Systems, Inc., a provider of the CADVoice fire station alerting and automated dispatching system for fire and EMS departments, has been commissioned to provide its CADVoice automated dispatching and fire station alerting system to the Loveland-Symmes Fire Department. Serving the City of Loveland and Symmes Township in southwest Ohio, the Loveland-Symmes Fire Department will implement the push-to-talk radio version of CADVoice automated dispatching & fire station alerting.
Locution Systems, Inc., the provider of the Locution Systems Fire Station Alerting (FSA) System for fire and EMS departments, has been commissioned to provide its FSA system to the Rickenbacker Air National Guard (ANG) Base. The Rickenbacker ANG Base will implement Locution Systems' FSA System with enhanced Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting (ARFF) capabilities. This ARFF-enhanced version allows both dispatches and "crash phone" audio from Rickenbackerís control tower to be distributed with the...
Midian introduces the TS-120 and VAE-1 Lone Worker/Man-Down modules. Both units can send ANI and Emergency ANI in Motorola's MDC-1200, Kenwood's FleetSync, Harris' G-Star, DTMF and 5-Tone. The units also support the Lone Worker feature which requires user interaction with the radio otherwise it sends the Emergency ANI. Some versions of the TS-120 and VAE-1 also have an accelerometer for Man-Down applications
On Tuesday January 18, 2011 it was the end of a career for over 200 Police and Firefighters in Camden City, NJ. The nation's second-most dangerous city laid off 163 Police Officers, nearly 44% of its workforce, and 67 Firefighters, 1/3 of its workforce after voting unanimously by City Council in an attempt to close a $26.5 million budget gap.
Memoirs from Heaven was conceived to address the large and growing need for posthumous communication services, with a focus toward public safety and the US military. The Company's goal is to create the first and only web-based bereavement letter, pre-conceived and highly customized in the principalís first person words...
It may not have been a major disaster - fortunately - but any aircraft response is taken seriously. In the case of a recent Boeing 737 that ran off a taxiway in Atlanta (GA), while no fire or injuries ensued, a large response of airport and city fire units maintained a safety standby and incident command post for more than five hours to ensure a safe mitigation to the incident and removal of the damaged aircraft.
National Association of State Fire Marshals Issues Call to Action Following Nightclub Fire in Brazil
The National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) extends its deep sympathy to the families of the more than 230 individuals who perished in the tragic nightclub fire in Santa Maria, Brazil, in the early morning hours of Sunday, January 27. It is, unfortunately, a sad reminder that the world has not learned the lessons of similar fires in modern nightclubs over the past decade.
The Firefighters Support Foundation's (FSF) newest free training program, Emergency Management for the Fire Service, is now available. As the role of the fire service expands, emergency management, rather than strict firefighting, will become an ever more important function that the fire service provides.
The Firefighters Support Foundationís newest free training program, Public Information Officer: Roles and Responsibilities, is now available. The program consists of a 35-minute video program and an accompanying 45-slide PowerPoint presentation about this not well-understood but vital function.
Originally published in much shorter form in our August, 2008 issue. The issue remains relevant since I wrote this: on July 4,2010 police and firefighters in Alton, Illinois responding to a fireworks complaint were attacked by a crowd of several hundred people who shot large bottle rockets at them; in August 2011, fire crews in Salford and Manchester, England, were attacked by mobs enflamed by riots; on January 9, 2012, Detroit-area firefighters were attacked by a rioting crowd after...
Radio communications can be unreliable in underground tunnels and other large, complicated structures, posing a safety hazard for emergency responders. New tests of wireless emergency safety equipment by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have defined the challenges more precisely and suggest how emergency communications might be improved.
Shortly after 10 p.m. on Saturday, November 28, 1942, a fire at the Cocoanut Grove Nightclub in Boston left 492 dead and many others injured. This tragedy, which occurred 70 years ago, is still one of the deadliest fires in the history of the United States.
On March 1, 2011 the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) unanimously voted to support the concept of a single nationwide broadband network for public safety instead of the network of networks approach. At an ex parte discussion held by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for invited representatives of public safety, NPSTC made the strong case for a single flexible, reliable, and vibrant national broadband network, presenting high-level conceptual drawings to...
The city of Oxnard, California Fire Department will deploy Emergency Technologies, Inc. (ETI) Visual Fire, a Fire Records Management System (Fire RMS), which will provide responders with access to mission critical data that will help improve firefighter safety and increase efficiency and effectiveness in federal and state reporting requirements. ETI will begin implementing Visual Fire later this year as part of a comprehensive public safety software modernization effort. Visual Fire will...
On August 1st, 2012 multiple calls were being received for a building on fire at 1901 E. Westmoreland Street in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia around 9:30 A.M. Companies arrived with heavy fire and smoke conditions from a 75x100 building consisting of 19 garages. The All Hands box was struck.
Pryme Radio Products recently unveiled its arsenal of newest technologies at the IWCE Las Vegas earlier this month. All of the innovations introduced at the show are brand new this year, including two new additions to its award winning PRYMEBLU line, a wireless PTT adapter and a number of solutions for high-noise environments.
All those who died that day will forever be heroes, but Ray Downey's life prior to that day had already made him a hero to so many who had know him. At 63, he was the Deputy Chief in charge of Special Operations Command (SOC) for the largest urban Fire Department in the world. His contributions to the Rescue community had made him a legend, and he was respected as a leading authority on Structural Collapse Rescue all over the Country.
On March 8th, 2011 at 12:38 A.M. Camden City (NJ) companies were dispatched for a dwelling with reports of people trapped. EMS arrived and reported the house was fully involved with 3 trapped occupants on the rear roof. Crews worked to remove the occupants who were transported to a near by hospital. The Battalion struck the all hands on arrival with heavy fire conditions.
On Thursday, March 24, 2011 units of the San Jose Fire Department responded to a stretch of the rain swollen Guadalupe River near the San Jose International Airport for a report of a subject trapped in the fast moving water. Firefighters with San Jose's Urban Search and Rescue Task Force worked quickly to deploy two inflatable rescue boats needed to reach the victim.
Setcom Corporation, a leading manufacturer of intercom systems and headsets for fire apparatus, has released the latest innovation in public safety vehicle and fire ground communications. This advance allows the Liberator wireless headset to directly connect to most Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones.
A warehouse fire in San Angelo, Texas smolders days after the February 27, 2013 blaze was controlled. After one million gallons of water were poured onto the structure, fire was still active in some areas. The fire took place at the Lone Star Moving Co. warehouse, from an undetermined cause.
Locution Systems, Inc., a provider of advanced, automated 911 dispatching, fire station alerting, and fire station control technology, today announced that it has been commissioned to provide its CADVoice automated 911 dispatching system to the City of Spokane, Wash. and 19 other public safety agencies in Spokane County, Wash. Locution Systems will be providing the radio version of the CADVoice fire and EMS automated dispatching system to the City of Spokane and other agencies that comprise...
When the Red Rock and Gray Hills fires combined to ravage 12,000 acres in the remote Gros Ventre Wilderness, Teton Interagency Fire responded. Due to the remote Fire Complex location, data and voice communication was limited to costly and inefficient hand delivered messages and radio connections made by sending trucks many miles down valley... In response, the Wyoming Department of Homeland Security deployed their TACPAK Briefcase Command Center, manufactured by 308 Systems, at the fire site.
The photograph is striking. The vibrant colors show two elk surrounded by huge walls of fire. Many have already downloaded the picture from the NIFC website and put it on their own websites. Others have attributed this once-in-a-lifetime portrait as being fake, or perhaps shot in Yellowstone... The picture is genuine, and is the work of John McColgan, a Fuels Management Specialist with the Alaska Fire Service,
On January 31, 2011 a dwelling fire was dispatched in Palmyra NJ at 519 Cinnaminson Ave. Initial reports were received of occupants trapped inside the dwelling. Companies arrived with heavy smoke and fire conditions from the multiple family dwelling.
Malibu resident Kurt Kamm has used his access to Los Angeles County and LA City firefighters and his experience in several devastating local wildfires to write his novels.9-1-1 Magazine recently spoke to Kurt Kamm about how his experiences have flavored his books and how writing from a public safety viewpoint has given them a unique edge.
The Yocha Dehe Fire Department (YDFD) recognized key individuals for their commitment to public safety and protection of the community at its annual awards luncheon at the fire station in Brooks last week.
The fire department in Sugar Land, Texas, began to appreciate the benefits of IP-based communications with their recent installation of Zetron's IP Fire Station Alerting (IP FSA) system. Because the new system sends alerts over the city's fiber-optic IP network, an operator can dispatch a fire truck, an ambulance, and one or more fire stations almost simultaneously, with the press of just a few buttons. The system also provides automatic indications of alert success and failure, so operators...