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The Southeast Edition PUBLISHING SINCE 1993



APRIL, 2017


Bartow, FL – One person and a dog were found deceased in a structure fire at 1204 Taylor Street in Auburndale on January 29th. Polk County Fire Rescue and Auburndale Fire crews were dispatched just before 11:00 A.M. Crews were told that one person may have been inside the house, but due to heavy fire conditions, crews were forced to battle the fire from outside before making entry.

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One Person Killed, Two Critically Injured Near Arab EUGENE WEBER JR.

Baileyton Fire Department is located in Cullman County, Alabama.

Arab, AL - Emergency crews in Arab responded to a single vehicle wreck on Tuesday, February 7th that left one person dead and two with critical injuries. The vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed when it left the roadway, striking some trees. The driver of the vehicle was pronounced dead on the scene. One passenger was trapped in the vehicle with life-threatening injuries and a second passenger with

JUMP TO FILE #020917115 other injuries. Firefighters extricated the passenger, who was then taken to Huntsville Hospital with severe injuries. The 16-year-old passenger was suffering from a skull fracture, collapsed lung, rupture spleen and a broken back. Hospital staff and family members re-

ported that he would be paralyzed from the waist down. The second passenger was released from the hospital. Alabama State Troopers are investigating the accident. One trooper at the scene advised that he had issued a traffic ticket to the driver a few minutes before the wreck for speeding. - RICKY PHILLIPS

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Single Car Wreck Sends Two to Hospital Arab, AL - A single car wreck in Arab sent two people to Marshall Medical Center North with minor injuries. The wreck happened on February 8th on North Main Street at Guntersville Road. The driver stated that his foot slipped off the brake and onto the gas near the intersection. He swerved to miss the traffic, striking a utility pole. Both the driver and passenger were taken by Samaritan EMS to Marshall North for evaluation. Arab Fire had to force open the passenger door to extricate the passenger. Arab Police are investigating the accident.


Hoover, AL - The Hoover FD runs this 2016 KME Predator chassis with a Panther cab, 1250/500/50 B as Engine-6.

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April, 2017



April, 2017


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A guide to finding great companies


1st Priority

AirVac 911

Page 18,20 35

Armor Tuff Flooring


Brindlee Mtn. Fire App.


Choice Clean Gear


Choice Marketing


Done Right Fire Gear




Firehouse Expo




Firehouse Mortgage, Inc. 17

Municipal Equipment


Raymond James


Woman Escapes House Fire in Knoxville Knoxville, TN - At 3:00 P.M. on March 7th, units from the Knoxville Fire Department responded to 200 Golf Club Rd. for the report of a structure fire. When firefighters arrived, they reported heavy flames showing from the "D" and "C" sides of the brick basement rancher. The homeowner met arriving firefighters outside and told them that she was the only one inside the home at the time. The homeowner also reported that she had been alerted to the fire by the sounding of a smoke alarm, which allowed her to get out of the structure safely. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time, but investigators were on the scene to determine. No injuries were reported.


Hamilton County DART Receives $1,000 Relief Check

Chattanooga, TN - Farm Credit Mid-America recently presented a $1,000 check to the Hamilton County Disaster Animal Response Team (DART) for their emergency animal care/recovery efforts during the Gatlinburg Wildland fires. (L to R): HCOEM Director Tony Reavley, Farm Credit Mid-America Loan Officer Michael Reed, DART Rep. Renita Beaty and Farm Credit Mid-America Loan Officer Daniel Atkinson.



Task Force Tips

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Knoxville Crews Knock Down House Fire

Knoxville, TN - At 10:00 P.M. on the evening of February 25th, units from the Knoxville Fire Department responded to a residential fire at 2037 Seminole Avenue. When fire crews arrived, they found heavy smoke and flames coming from the "C/D" corner (right rear) of the structure. Fire crews quickly attacked the flames and had the fire under control within 30 minutes. The six residents, including two adults and four children, were out safely when fire crews arrived. The American Red Cross will assist the family with their needs. Fire investigators were on the scene to determine the cause of the fire. No injuries were reported.


Three Dogs Perish in Animal Hospital Fire

Knoxville, TN - Shortly after 6:00 AM on March 4th, units from the Knoxville Fire Department were called to 5009 Clinton Highway for the report of a building on fire. When units arrived, they found heavy smoke coming from Fannon Animal Hospital, across from Clinton Plaza. Firefighters quickly gained entry into the building with charged hand-lines and began battling the flames. The business had not yet opened, but three dogs that were being cared for overnight perished as a result of the fire. The southbound lane of Clinton Highway remained blocked until it re-opened at 8:00 AM. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.

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In memory of those who gave all

1st Responder Newspaper honors and remembers emergency responders lost in the line of duty

Indiana: Richard Rehm, 55 Rank: Firefighter Incident Date: December 24, 2016 Death Date: December 24, 2016 Fire Department: McCordsville Volunteer Fire Department Initial Summary: While responding to an early morning alarm call, Firefighter Rehm’s privately owned vehicle became stuck on an active railroad crossing. A short time later, Rehm was struck and killed by a passing train.

South Carolina: Amy Dimmery, 34 Rank: Probationary Firefighter Incident Date: January 2, 2017 Death Date: January 2, 2017 Fire Department: Marion Rural Fire Department Initial Summary: Probationary Firefighter Amy Dimmery responded to a motor vehicle accident (MVA) call on January 2, 2017 reported at 1515hrs. Units cleared the scene at 1600hrs. Before making it back to their home, she and her husband, also a firefighter, were involved in a MVA. Firefighter Amy Dimmery was entrapped and response personnel began resuscitation efforts upon their arrival. Firefighter Amy Dimmery was taken by Marion Medic 10 to Carolinas Hospital in Marion and died as a result of her injuries shortly after arriving. As of January 3, 2017, her husband, Firefighter Freddie Dimmery remains in McLeod Hospital in serious condition. Pennsylvania: Donald Leroy "Sarge" Brenner, Jr., 67 Rank: Chief Engineer/Firefighter Incident Date: December 24, 2016 Death Date: January 4, 2017 Fire Department: Speedwell Engine & Hose Company Initial Summary: While operating at the scene of an automobile accident on December 24, 2016,

Chief Engineer/Firefighter Brenner was found slumped over the steering wheel of a fire engine. Brenner was found to be in cardiac arrest and was hospitalized in critical condition where he succumbed on January 4, 2017.

Alabama: Tracy O. Sanders, 44 Rank: Fire Chief Incident Date: January 13, 2017 Death Date: January 13, 2017 Fire Department: Mount Olive Volunteer Fire Department Initial Summary: While conducting official fire department business, Chief Sanders was stopped in the department's rescue truck on Alabama Highway 77 preparing to make a left-hand turn when she was struck from the rear by a tractor-trailer. The rescue unit was forced into oncoming traffic where Chief Sanders was struck again and her vehicle was forced off the roadway and into trees lining the east side of the highway. Members from the Mount Olive Volunteer Fire Department and surrounding agencies arrived on scene and began to treat Chief Sanders. She was then transported to Anniston Regional Medical Center where she succumbed to her injuries at approximately 1434hrs.

Wisconsin: Rodney “Tiny” Menne, 53 Rank: Assistant Fire Chief Incident Date: January 10, 2017 Death Date: January 10, 2017 Fire Department: Eldorado Volunteer Fire Department Initial Summary: At approximately 0200hrs, several hours after a fire department meeting, Assistant Fire Chief Rodney “Tiny” Menne was discovered deceased from a heart attack by another Eldorado firefighter at the Eldorado Volunteer Fire Department.

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April, 2017




Firefighters Carry Woman from Burning Home

Groundbreaking ceremony.


Officials Break Ground to Replace Old Fire Station in Highland Park Chattanooga, TN - Chattanooga city officials and community leaders gathered together on March 6th to break ground for a new fire station for the Highland Park community. The new station will be located on property adjacent to the aging and outdated Station 5, which has been serving the Highland Park community since 1962. With shovels in hand, Mayor Andy Berke, City Councilman Yusuf Hakeem, who represents the city's 9th district that includes Highland Park, and Fire Chief Chris Adams, dug up some dirt to mark the occasion. They were joined by Donna Williams, administrator of the city's department of Economic and Community Development, along with representatives of the Maclellan Foundation, the Highland Park Neighborhood Association and other community leaders. Fire Chief Chris Adams said the new fire station has been a long time coming. "A lot of things had to fall into place to make this new station a reality," said Chief Adams. "It required help from many people, but in the end, this new station is going to have a very positive impact on this community." The new Station 5 will cost approximately $1.6 million and will be built on the empty lots right next to the current station on S. Willow Street. The old station will then be razed. This will be a one-story, 8,000-square-foot structure, that is LEED certified. The

JUMP TO FILE #030617129 Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) was developed by the U.S. Building Council to establish standards for environmentally sustainable construction. The new station was designed by Franklin Architects. A neighborhood-friendly design was very important to the city and the fire department. Compared to the newer stations around the city, which have a distinctly modern look, this station will feature a more residential aesthetic. It will have gable roofs and brick and clapboard siding more befitting Highland Park. Matt Brown with Franklin Architects said that the challenge for the station’s design was the size of the truck bay. Specifically, how to either dress up or hide a large garage while still siting the full program of the building within the neighborhood property setbacks. "We located the fire apparatus bays toward the rear of the property," said Brown, "and we sited the single story living quarters toward the front so the peak of the roof will help hide the large garage space." To demonstrate good resource stewardship, Franklin and the Fire Department worked to balance cost-effective construction methods with long term durability, all while meeting the City’s stormwater control requirements. Con-

struction will be completed by Construction Consultants, Inc. and is scheduled to begin early this month. Some additional details about the new station include: - Two-vehicle apparatus bay, with five sleeping rooms, showers and locker rooms. - One bay will house a 75-foot quint. A quint carries 1,500-feet of supply line, a full complement of ground ladders, a 75-foot aerial ladder, and several hundred feet of fire attack lines, nozzles, hose couplings and related equipment. It also carries 500-gallons of water for quick attack on a fire, which is critical to fire control until they can establish a dedicated water supply from a fire hydrant. - The second bay can house additional vehicles and equipment if necessary. - Staffing will continue with 15 firefighters, with 5 working each of the 3 shifts. - Station 5 will primarily serve the Highland Park community, but will also respond to other parts of the city when needed. - The station will have a day room and other support facilities. - The apparatus bay will consist of a pre-engineered metal building with single-slope rigid frames, metal wall panels on steel girts above a 6-foot high concrete masonry unit base and metal roof panels on zee-purlins. The remainder of the building will be conventional wood framing.

Chattanooga, TN - When Chattanooga firefighters were dispatched to a house fire around 4:00 P.M. on February 16th, they were told that a woman might still be inside. The first firefighters to arrive on the scene at 4621 Highland Avenue immediately made entry to look for the woman and anyone else. As thick black smoke began to fill the house, Lt. Shaun Hinosa and Firefighter Julio Vargas with Quint14 found the woman in the front bedroom. She was in a hospital bed and unable to move herself. Lt. Hinosa said they rolled the bed to a door and then tried to lift the woman from the bed, using the bed sheets. Due to the woman's size, they needed help. Lt. Tyler Swindell and Firefighter Preston Binegar with Squad-1 arrived to help. Together, all four firefighters managed to lift the woman out of the bed and carry her out of the house to a waiting ambulance.

JUMP TO FILE #021717117 In the meantime, other Chattanooga firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze. Battalion Chief Ashley May, the incident commander, said that the firefighters put the fire out quickly, but there was substantial damage to the house. The dollar loss was estimated at $40,000. The lead fire investigator has ruled the cause of the fire accidental, most likely from an unattended space heater. Chief May said the woman did not appear to be injured by the fire, but was transported to a local hospital by Hamilton County EMS as a precaution. Volunteers with the American Red Cross were called in to provide assistance to the victim. - BRUCE GARNER

PATCH OF THE MONTH If you have photos you would like to see in our “Patch of the month “feature please upload them on our website, or email them to


Visit us on the web!


The Tullahoma Fire Department is located in Tullahoma, TN. The Department had this patch made for their 60-year anniversary.


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Another Car Lands in No Injuries in Morning House Fire East Brainerd Water Chattanooga, TN - For the second time in three days, a car found its way into a body of water. This time it was on February 9th in South Chickamauga Creek on the property of Audubon Acres in East Brainerd. Audubon Acres' employees said they saw a vehicle drive past the visitor center and continue on, out of sight. When they didn't see the car return, they decided to investigate. A few minutes later, an employee spotted the vehicle in the creek. The vehicle was still upright and partially submerged, and the driver was still sitting in the driver's seat. When firefighters from Station-21 arrived moments later, they spotted the employee and the driver of the vehicle walking on the road toward the visitor's cen-

JUMP TO FILE #021317114 ter. A short time later, the driver was transported by Hamilton County EMS to a local hospital. An update on his condition was not available. Chattanooga police traffic investigators were trying to determine what exactly happened. The first car into water incident occurred late Tuesday afternoon, February 7th, at 490 Greenway View Drive, near the Brainerd Walmart. Chattanooga firefighters managed to pull a 75year-old man from the submerged car, but he unfortunately died the next day at the hospital.

Chattanooga, TN - No injuries were reported in connection with a house fire on the morning of February 8th. The Chattanooga Fire Department received the alarm at 8:11 A.M. and responded to 1705 S. Kelly Street with six fire companies. Battalion Chief Chris Willmore said heavy smoke and flames were visible when the first firefighters arrived on the scene. There were initial reports from

JUMP TO FILE #020817120

911 Communications that someone might still be inside the burning home, so the firefighters quickly made their way inside to conduct a search. Fortunately, no one was found inside. The firefighters worked quickly to get the blaze under control, but there was sub-

stantial damage to the home. Volunteers with the American Red Cross were called in to provide assistance to the residents. There were conflicting reports on how many people actually lived in the house. The cause of the fire is under investigation. Chattanooga police and Hamilton County EMS provided assistance on the scene. - BRUCE GARNER




It’s estimated that over 95% of structural fires in Detroit are due to arson, which is fifty times the national average.


Live Fire Training Concludes for Fire Academy 2017

Chattanooga, TN - Two weeks of intense fire training for Fire Academy 2017 came to a close on February 24th on Hancock Road in Chattanooga. The two houses donated by Hamilton County government were used over and over again, providing hands-on training in fire suppression and search and rescue. It's been exhausting work for everyone involved, but the 35 recruits got a lot out of the training. As is customary with their live burns, the training was closed off by taking a class photo, which involves posing for the photo while the house burns behind them. The recruits will now move on to other disciplines in the fire service, including vehicle extrication and hazardous materials. If they make it through that, they will graduate on April 13th, 2017.

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Firefighters Battle House Fire in Chattanooga Chattanooga, TN - The Chattanooga Fire Department responded to an early morning house fire just before 3:00 A.M. on Sunday, February 5th. The alarm came into Hamilton County 911 at 2:52 A.M. for a residential structure on fire. A fire engine from Station-15 arrived on scene at 2:59 A.M. and reported fire and smoke visible from a house located at 3825 Larry Drive. Hose-lines were deployed and a primary search was conducted throughout the house to see if anyone was inside. All searches were clear. An additional five fire companies responded to assist in battling the blaze. The fire was called under control in less than onehour. The cause of the fire is under investigation. Chattanooga Police, Hamilton County EMS and the Electric Power Board were on scene to assist.


Fire Damages Home in North Knoxville

Knoxville, TN - At 6:45 P.M. on February 25th, units from the Knoxville Fire Department were dispatched to 3302 Monmouth St. in North Knoxville for the report of a house fire. When firefighters arrived, they found flames coming from the attic vent at the front of the structure, and all four members of the family safely outside. The homeowner reported to fire officials that he had been using a heat gun and scraper to remove old paint from the exterior of the home, but when he stepped away for a few minutes, he returned to find flames coming from the peak of the roof. Fire damage was contained to the attic portion of the home with smoke and water damage throughout. The American Red Cross responded to the scene to assist with the family's needs.

Operating Power Tools Safely STAYING SAFE

Chief Henry Campbell

Power tools have just about replaced the use of manually (muscle power) operated tools not only in the home and industry, but also in the fire service. Life sure has gotten easier, including in the emergency services. Imagine, there are people who have never known anything other than a power driven screwdriver! The dictionary defines a tool as “a device, such as a saw, used to perform or facilitate manual or mechanical work.” What that means is that a tool is meant to make the job or task at hand easier and if it isn’t making it easier, you are probably using the wrong tool, or using it improperly. In the fire service, we now have an assortment of portable power tools which can be operated by a variety of power sources. These power sources include electric or battery operated, compressed air and/or hydraulically operated tools. Whatever the power source, there is no doubt that they make the task at hand easier and faster to accomplish; but they must also be maintained and operated in a safe manner or they can become dangerous devices, especially in the hands of the untrained. Tools can seriously injure or even kill the operator, or others, when not properly maintained or

used. All emergency responders who use power tools must learn to recognize the hazards associated with the different types of tools and the safety precautions necessary to prevent those hazards. Therefore, some precautions are required when using power tools. First and foremost, we must read the owner’s manual and instructions that came with the tool. It is also recommended to let the salesperson or manufacturer’s representative give a training session on the proper and safe use of the tool. Learn the proper application, limitation and potential hazards of the tool and operate the tool at all times according to the manufacturer's instructions. Follow the instructions; do not cut corners and do not remove any built in safety devices and controls. Then, follow up with your department training program where members can get some additional hands on training before placing the tool in service. Knowing how to start the tool and how to stop the tool is important. I know all of this is pretty basic, but all members who will use the tool should attend the training session. This will help prevent unsafe practices and future problems. Whenever using any power tool, personal protective clothing must be worn along with eye, respiratory and hearing protection if required. Select the correct tool or tools for the job at hand and never use a tool or attachment for something it was not designed to do. Don’t expect more from a tool than it can deliver and never operate a

tool you have not been trained to operate. Concentrate on the work at hand when operating power tools, using two hands to control the tool and never looking away from your work. Sometimes the use of power tools under certain situations may require the use of another firefighter as a guide. Should you become distracted, or if someone or something enters the work area, immediately shut down the power tool. Never overreach and maintain your footing and control of the tool at all times. If you feel you are losing your grip or stability, shut the tool down and reposition. If operating at night or under limited light, provide adequate scene lighting to maintain adequate visibility to safely operate the power tools. After each emergency, all tools used should be cleaned and inspected, ensuring that they are in safe operating condition and ready for the next emergency. Power tools make our everyday tasks much easier and enable us to accomplish many feats in a short period of time, but they also require respect. Most accidents and injuries that occur do so quickly and are usually from lack of concentration or firefighter inexperience with the tool. Accidents can happen to the experienced (over-confident) firefighter just as easily as to a newer firefighter. Being aware of your surroundings, not letting your guard down, expecting the unexpected and operating within the parameters of your training and the manufacturer’s instructions, should result in a safe operation. Like most accidents, accidents with power tools are preventable. Till Next Time, Stay Safe and God Bless!

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Two Buildings Damaged by TwoAlarm Blaze on MLK Blvd. Chattanooga, TN - Chattanooga firefighters were on the scene of a two-alarm blaze in downtown Chattanooga on February 10th. The initial alarm was received at 1:01 A.M. Six fire companies were dispatched to a commercial fire at 500 E. Martin Luther King Boulevard. The first firefighters on the scene said that smoke and flames were visible all around the old two-story brick building. Captain Dale Dodd with Engine-12 said his firefighters entered the structure from the rear while other firefighters forced their way in through the front door. The firefighters conducted a quick primary and secondary search, but did not find anyone inside. When the fire broke through the roof, Battalion Chief Ashley May, the incident commander, ordered all of the firefighters out of the building and called for a second-alarm to bring in six additional fire companies. There was some initial concern that the fire might threaten the Douglas Heights apartment building that houses UTC students. Though firefighters were there to keep the fire away from Douglas Heights, smoke was getting inside the building. Chief May asked Chattanooga police to check on that building and see if they could close the outside vents. Once that was accomplished, the students were asked to shelter in place. In the meantime, firefighters with 12 fire companies surrounded the building on fire, using hand-held hoselines and master streams from several aerials overhead. It took more than an hour to

JUMP TO FILE #021317117 get the blaze under control. The building previously housed what local residents knew as the "Half Note Lounge," but the owner said it's been vacant for years. The fire completely destroyed that building, but the firefighters were able to stop the fire from spreading to an adjacent building, formerly known as the "Whole Note Lounge." MLK boulevard was completely shut down at the intersection of Douglas Street and remained shut down through the Friday morning rush hour while firefighters finished putting out hot spots. Chattanooga police, Hamilton County EMS and Hamilton County Marine Rescue also provided assistance on the scene. UTC police also provided assistance with sheltering the students in place at Douglas Heights Apartments. The dollar loss from the twoalarm fire at 500 E. MLK Blvd. has been estimated at $155,000 for the buildings and it's contents. Two buildings were actually involved. Captain Shellie Thorne with Quint-1 said most of the damage was at 500 E. MLK Blvd., formerly called the Half Note Lounge. The building next door at 506 E. MLK Blvd. was spared fire damage, but it did sustain some water damage. Both buildings have been vacant for years. No one was injured in the blaze. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. - BRUCE GARNER

April, 2017



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April, 2017


Chattanooga Firefighters Honored at Awards Ceremony


(L to R): HCEMS Advanced EMT Scott Garrison, Paramedic Myron Shroepfer, patient's mother Mary Ellen Noyes, Robert Bean, Mr. Bean’s wife Hope Bean, and Lt. Supervisor/Paramedic Billy Burnette.

Hamilton Co. EMS Personnel Reunite with Patient After Medical Emergency Hamilton Co., TN - On February 8th, after almost two months following a serious medical emergency call to the Hamilton County 911 Center, Robert Bean reunited with Hamilton County Emergency Medical Services Paramedic Myron Shroepfer and Advanced EMT Scott Garrison to say, “Thank you for saving my life.” On December 22nd, 2016 Robert Bean hiked a mile into a wooded area in the northern part of Hamilton County to hunt for deer when he suddenly became weak and unable to continue to move onward. Feeling the signs and symptoms of a heart attack, he sat down and tried to regain his strength. When no relief came from the tightness in his chest, his thoughts were that this may be the last day of his life. Remembering that he had placed his cell phone in his coat, he dialed his wife and children, thinking this would be his last chance to say goodbye. According to his wife, she convinced him to call 911 for help. The Hamilton County 911 Center took Bean’s call and dispatched an emergency response from HCEMS Medic One to a general location in the northeastern part of Hamilton County. Arriving in the general area

JUMP TO FILE #021317111 and finding Bean’s vehicle, HCEMS Medic One asked dispatch to ping his cell phone for possible coordinates to the area he was calling from. Attempting to ping his cell phone, Medic One made the suggestion to dispatch to have him discharge a round from his hunting rifle for a location. Upon hearing the fire round, HCEMS Paramedic Myron Shroepfer, a Hamilton County Sheriff Officer and Bean’s son-inlaw, began their trek into the woods toward the sound. The three men, carrying HCEMS essentials for treatment, headed to the location, found the patient and upon checking his vital signs, found that he was indeed suffering from a heart attack. Due to his condition, the medical team decided to carry Bean one mile out of the woods for transportation to a local hospital. “It was a God send that they found me and I am very grateful to the men and women of EMS and law enforcement of Hamilton County. The jobs they do is a thankless job, but they do it every day, and they deserve more recog-


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nition for their efforts. That’s why my family and I are here today to say thank you for your devotion in working every day and saving lives,” said Bean. After recovering from heart surgery in a local hospital, Bean was able to spend Christmas with his family. “These men and these women cared enough to show compassion and gave me such a wonderful Christmas present, the life of my son,” said Mary Ellen Noyes, Bean’s mother. “Oftentimes, emergency situations don’t have this type of positive outcome. However, due to the extra efforts of our personnel and Mr. Bean’s early activation of the 911 system, this event has resulted in a patient who is able to return to his daily life and enjoy his family for years to come. It is the goal of Hamilton County Emergency Medical Services to provide quality emergency medical care for our community,” said Hamilton County Emergency Medical Services Director Ken Wilkerson. “Being able to share in the thanks of this patient is the reward our employees strive for each time they respond on another emergency call.”

Chattanooga, TN - Chattanooga firefighters and their families gathered at the Chattanooga Choo Choo on Monday night, February 6th, to honor their own. With Mayor Andy Berke and Fire Chief Chris Adams presiding, more than 100 firefighters were recognized for their outstanding efforts at emergencies throughout the year in 2016. Among the top awards, Firefighter Preston Benegar was honored as the department's Firefighter of the Year. Firefighter Binegar was recognized as the firefighter who has made the most significant contribution to the department throughout the course of the year. Captain David Tallent was honored as the department's Fire Officer of the Year. Captain Tallent was recognized as the fire officer who has made the most significant contribution to the department throughout the course of the year. Dozens of firefighters were recognized with commendation ribbons for their outstanding efforts in response to the Woodmore bus crash on November 21st, 2016. At that horrific scene that killed six young students and garnered national attention, Chattanooga firefighters worked for hours to secure the wreckage and render assistance to all of the students on that bus. Some of the students were trapped by the twisted metal, so a complicated extrication operation was needed. The firefighters relied on their training and professionalism, and worked as fast as they could until every patient was removed from the wreckage. Though lives were tragically lost, more lives were saved thanks to the the heroic actions of those firefighters.

JUMP TO FILE #020817105 Life saving medals were awarded to the following firefighters involved in the Woodmore bus crash: Captain David Tallent, Captain Keith Liles, Captain Al Walker, Lt. Ronnie Goss, FFE Keith Edgemon, FF Brandon Fryar, FF Charles Zinzer and FF Jeffery Bonner. Four civilians were also recognized in connection with the bus wreck, including Claudia Sears, Kori Hahn, Mary Smith and Ed Wilson, who all live in the neighborhood where the crash occurred. They were actually the first on scene and rendered assistance to the students until first responders arrived. The following firefighters received life saving medals for incidents they were involved in last year: -FFE Andrew Thomas and FF David Ruffin for a Residential Structure Fire Save. -FFE Edgar Patton for an Offduty CPR Save. -FFS Jack Thompson and FFE Keith Edgmon for a CPR Save. -Captain Vance Woodward, Lt. Terry Jones and FFS Gabe Thrash for a CPR Save. -Fire Chief Chris Adams for an Off-duty Vehicle Crash Save. -FFS Darrell Hinton and FF Daaron Espey for a CPR Save. Special awards were given to employees with the city's fleet maintenance, including Titus Jackson, Jacob Picklesimer, Ray Rheal, John Eric Watkins and George Wilson. Captain Kelly Simmons was also recognized for his tireless efforts as president of the Forgotten Child Fund. - BRUCE GARNER


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(L to R): Mayor Andy Berke, Firefighter of the Year Preston Binegar, Fire Officer of the Year Captain David Tallent, and Fire Chief Chris Adams.

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New Fire Station Opens Firefighters Pull Driver from Submerged Car in Hixson

The firefighters used a wench cable from Squad-13 to pull this car onto its side, enabling the firefighters to pull the driver from the vehicle.

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Chattanooga, TN - Chattanooga firefighters responded to a car accident shortly after 5:00 P.M. on February 7th, where a vehicle was submerged in water. The incident occurred at 490 Greenway View Drive. When firefighters from Station-13 arrived on the scene, they found a Cadillac completely submerged in a retention pond. Battalion Chief Rick Boatwright said the firefighters with Squad-13 and Quint-13 believed that the car was still occupied, so they immediately began a rescue operation. For their own safety, the firefighters tied ropes around themselves so that they could safely approach the vehicle. Chief Boatwright said the firefighters then attached a cable from Squad-13 to the car and used the fire truck's wench to pull the vehicle onto its side, enabling the firefighters to gain access to the driver's side door and window. Once that was accomplished, the firefighters busted out the window and opened the door. The firefighters then pulled an unconscious man out of the car and immediately began administering CPR before handing him off to paramedics with Hamilton County EMS. Two of the fire-

JUMP TO FILE #020817108 fighters rode with the patient in the ambulance and helped to continue CPR while on the way to Erlanger Medical Center. The patient was described as a 75year-old man. Chief Boatwright said that it was a very tough situation for the firefighters, but they did an outstanding job under the circumstances. "They really had to think outside the box on this one," said Boatwright. "The car was totally submerged, so they knew they had to act quickly and they did just that." Unfortunately, the 75-yearold man died the next day at the hospital. The cause of the incident is under investigation by the Chattanooga Police Department. Firefighters with Squad-7 also provided assistance on the scene. Chief Boatwright said the Hamilton County Special Tactics and Rescue Services (STARS) was also called in to help, but the firefighters had already pulled the victim out of the car when they arrived. - BRUCE GARNER

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Chattanooga, TN - A new fire station is now open and ready to respond to emergencies in Hixson and elsewhere in Chattanooga when needed. At a grand opening ceremony on February 7th at 6418 Hixson Pike, Mayor Andy Berke, City Councilman Ken Smith and Fire Chief Chris Adams, officially declared Station-11 to be operational. Mayor Andy Berke said that one of the things the Chattanooga Fire Department prides itself on is its responsiveness. "They want to get to the emergency as soon as possible," said Berke," and this new fire station will enhance their ability to do that here in Hixson and throughout the city." Chief Adams said that 15 firefighters are assigned to Station-11. They will be using a pumper, which has a 1,500-GPM pump and carries 500-gallons of water, and 1,500-feet of supply line, along

JUMP TO FILE #020817106 with many other fire, medical and rescue tools. This apparatus is also equipped with the new mobile data technology, which is part of the mayor's "Safer Streets Initiative." That technology has been installed on all of the fire department's frontline fire apparatus. "This new station allows for a more efficient use of the departments resources," said Chief Adams, "allowing the department to provide a enhanced services to the North Hixson area." Though it is called Station-11, this is actually the 20th fire station to be operated by the Chattanooga Fire Department. When a fire station is closed, the number is left open until a new station is constructed. - BRUCE GARNER

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Cherokee County Firefighters Battle Structure Fire on Little Refuge Road

Cherokee County, GA - Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services responded to a structure fire on the night of March 6th just shortly after 6:00 P.M., at 5179 Little Refuge Road in Waleska. Firefighters quickly responded to the scene to find heavy smoke and flames coming from the one-story wooden structure. The residents of the home, a woman in her fifties and her 29-year-old daughter, were not home when the fire occurred. Neighbors saw the fire and called 911. Firefighters were able to get a good knock-down on the fire within about 15 minutes after they arrived. The house had severe fire, smoke and water damage to both the inside and outside. One lane of Little Refuge Road was blocked until the operation was complete. No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is under investigation.


Pictured with an appreciation plaque from the GFBF are (L to R): BCES Chief John Skinner, Firefighter/Paramedic David Schuler and Deputy Chief Alan Shuman.

Barrow County Emergency Services Recognized by Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation Barrow County, GA - The Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation (GFBF) recently held their annual Firefighters’ Recognition Day Luncheon and Awards Ceremony. Departments from across the state were recognized at the luncheon for their efforts in raising money in the 27th annual "Give Burns the Boot" campaign. During the 2016 “Give Burns the Boot” drive, Barrow County Emergency Services (BCES) collected over $19,700. This money was combined with collections from fire departments across the state to total over $624,000. The money raised during the Boot Drive goes towards supporting Burn Foundation programs, including camps for children who have been burned and public education

JUMP TO FILE #031017119 programs. Barrow County Emergency Services would like to thank everyone who contributed last year. “Those 'small' donations of pocket change collected at intersections around the county add up,” commented Boot Drive Coordinator David Schuler. “We are so thankful that we have such generous citizens in Barrow County. “The GFBF is extremely grateful for an extraordinary cadre of volunteers working selflessly over the years towards the overall wellbeing of those we serve,” said a GFBF publication. - SCOTT DAKIN


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1st Responder Newspape er features EMERGENCY SERVICES RELA ATED TATTOOS


FF Butch Callow and Lt. Brett Skinner attaching the device to FF Nick Patrick during training.

Barrow County Emergency Services Places LUCAS Devices in Service Paul Collareta is a firefighter with Nesconset Fire Rescue, located in Suffolk County, NY. After completing his time as a probationary firefighter, Paul decided to get this tattoo to represent his fire department, his shield #572 and most importantly, his dedication to the fire service.

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Barrow County, GA - In the beginning of March, Barrow County Emergency Services began using the “LUCAS” device on all cardiac arrest patients. The LUCAS device is an automatic machine that provides continuous compressions to the chest of cardiac arrest victims. This means that a crew member no longer has to push on the patient’s chest (known as compressions) during CPR. It is portable, easily attaches to the patient’s body, and delivers perfect chest compressions while the patient is being moved to the ambulance and during transport. High quality CPR is critical for patients experiencing cardiac arrest, and the

JUMP TO FILE #030317100 LUCAS device delivers just that. Chief John Skinner said, “A special thanks to the Board of Commissioners for approving the purchase of these devices for our community. These devices not only improve patient outcomes, but also reduce potential workers’ compensation claims from injuries that may be sustained while performing CPR.” Quality chest compressions can be exhausting, especially in less than ideal environments (like the back of a moving ambulance). The

LUCAS devices don’t get tired and provide perfect CPR compressions, even when moving patients down stairs. This new tool will assist Barrow County Emergency Services in continuing to deliver the highest quality of patient care available. New developments in the field of emergency medicine mean that more lives are being saved every year. Barrow County Emergency Services thanks the citizens of Barrow County for their support in providing their service with the most up-to-date, high quality equipment, and for funding their department as they continue to build for the future. - SCOTT DAKIN


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April, 2017

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If you have photos you would like to see in our “Memorial Board “feature please upload them on our website, or email them to

Barrow County firefighters extinguish the smoldering contents in the garage.


Two Firefighters Injured in Bethlehem House Fire

Barrow County, GA - Just after 7:30 P.M. on March 3rd, Barrow County Communications alerted Stations 3 and 7 for a reported house fire in the 1400 block of Millstone Court. The first arriving apparatus confirmed with dispatch that they had fire showing. LDH was laid down on Milstone Ct. while BCSO blocked off the roadway. Fire crews made an aggressive attack on the fire throughout the garage, with moderate fire and heavy smoke damage done to the home. Two adults were displaced and the Red Cross was on scene to assist in temporary relocation. Two firefighters were transported to a Barow Regional Hospital with minor injuries from the garage roof collapsing on them. They were released after being evaluated. Fire investigators determined that the cause of the fire was accidental.

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Fire Chief Wesley Meadows presents Shane Shifflett with Firefighter of the Year.

Savannah, GA - Southside Fire/EMS retired Fire Chief Wesley Meadows passed away at a local Savannah hospital from a brief illness on December 15th, 2016. Chief Meadows started as a volunteer firefighter for Coweta County Fire Department and as a career firefighter for the City of Newnan Fire Department, serving there for 17-years before leaving Newnan as a Captain in 1987 to begin his career with Southside Fire Department. Chief Meadows was past president of the Georgia Fire Chief’s Association, the Southeastern Fire Chief’s Association and the International Private Emergency Services Association. He also received a

JUMP TO FILE #021017136 Class A Valor award from Gov. Nathan Deal for his rescue of two young children from a second-floor apartment during a fire. He retired in 2014 as Fire Chief and General Manager of SSFD, spending 43years in the fire and emergency services field, 26 of which were spent with Southside. Chief Meadows received full fire department honors and was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Newnan. - SHANE SHIFFLETT

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Coweta County Fire & Rescue Mourns Loss of One of Their Own

Newman, GA - On Monday, March 6th, firefighters from across Georgia and neighboring states gathered in Coweta County, GA to bid farewell to one of their own. Hundreds gathered to be witness to a JUMP TO FILE # Hero’s send-off for 030917135 Firefighter/Paramedic Michael Scott Norton of the Coweta County Fire Department. Firefighter/Paramedic Michael Scott Norton was a 17year veteran of the department in Coweta County. Firefighter Norton responded out for a structure fire on March 1st while on shift in the early morning. He was later found unresponsive after his shift, less than 24 hours after the call, while at home with his family. He was rushed to the local hospital where he later passed away. Firefighter Norton was a pillar of his department, always ready to be the first-in, or developing a plan of action for his crew. His unexpected passing hit the department hard, but like every strong family, the department pulled together and continued to get the job done. The following day after Firefighter Norton’s passing, his shift was alerted for a structure fire. Firefighters from the previous shift responded with his crew to support them during their loss. On March 6th, a sea of emergency units could be seen along Route 34 as a procession escorted Firefighter/Paramedic Norton on his final ride. Not only did Firefighters and EMTs from across the area come out to pay tribute to this fallen hero, but hundreds of citizens also lined up along Route 34 to bear witness and pay their respects to a lost hero. From South Metro Ministries, to Oak Hill Cemetery, many could be seen holding up homemade posters with writing in red, white and blue to show their support and appreciation to all of the firefighters. The respect shown for this fallen brother speaks volumes and proves, as always, how tight the

“Brotherhood” is within the fire service. The outpouring of support from the community, to the department and his family, was equally overwhelming as everyone lined up to say their goodbyes. Firefighter/Paramedic Norton is remembered as a loving husband and father, as well as a dedicated Firefighter/Paramedic who thrived on helping others. Many spoke highly of his dedication to the department and to his family. The loss of Firefighter/Paramedic Norton is the first ever Line-of-Duty-Death in the history of the Department. His death marks the 18th firefighter fatality in the United States this year. Firefighter/Paramedic Michael Scott Norton touched many lives during his 17-years of service with Coweta County Fire & Rescue. His passion will live on with his crew mates as they push on to continue the job he loved. The memory of his selflessness to the community, as well as his love for the job and for his family, will never be forgotten!


Firefighters stand at attention as Firefighter Norton is carried out for his final ride.




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April, 2017

One Hundred Years of Valor, Rescue Company 1 New York City Fire Department ON THE BOOK SHELF

by John Malecky

The crash occurred on West Hangar Drive, near the Cherokee County Airport.


Plane Crash Takes Life of Pilot in Cherokee County Cherokee County, GA Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services responded to a call regarding a plane crash shortly before 12:15 A.M. on March 4th at West Hangar Drive, near the Cherokee County Airport. Firefighters arrived on scene to find that the twin engine Cessna-421 plane had hit a power line, breaking a nearby pole before crashing inside a fenced area in a bank near a retention pole. The plane caught fire, but was quickly

JUMP TO FILE #030717103 extinguished by firefighters. Firefighters did not enter immediately, as one of the broken power lines was across the metal fence. Linemen from Georgia Power were dispatched to the scene to be sure that power was cut from the lines. Once firefighters were able to get inside the fenced area, the found a 69-year-

Firefighters check the retention pond near the crash site.

old pilot and pronounced him dead on the scene. After a further search, firefighters determined that there were no other passengers on board. Members of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation of the crash until members of the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board arrived later in the morning. - TIM CAVENDER



One Hundred Years of Valor, Rescue Company 1 New York City Fire Department By Paul Hashagan Available from: FSP Books & Videos 188 Central Street, Suite #4 Hudson, MA 01749-1330 1-800-522-8528 e-mail Price: $42.50 This is a hard covered book measuring 8 ½ x 11-inches, with 224 pages. It is the first hundred years history of FDNY’s Rescue Company-1. The author is a retired New York City firefighter who spent 20 of his 25 years of service with Rescue-1. He is also the author of "FDNY: The Bravest, an Illustrated History 1865-2002." When I first saw this present book, I had my doubts about reviewing it for two reasons. The first reason was that there would not be a need to persuade a reader to buy this book because the FDNY is a favorite among firefighters and buffs alike worldwide. The second reason was because my backlog was such that I felt it may be sold out by the time the review was printed, but I spoke with the author and he assured me that it did not matter when the review was published and that there would most likely be additional printings. So with that said, here we go! The book has been put together so adequately that it is a no-brainer to want to read it and find it meaningful. The company

was organized to address difficult situations besides fires where specialized skills of the crew would mitigate emergencies that become more common than one would expect. I had also once heard that that the company was organized to rescue firefighters such as a modern day RIC would be expected to do. The book is divided into 11 chapters, each essentially covering a decade. Beyond that are galleries of their apparatus through the years, photos of members and an appendix which lists company commanders, firehouses, company awards, unit citations and medals awarded to members of the company. The book has an abundance of photos from old to new. It has pictures of members placed near the stories of their heroism, as well as those who gave their lives in the line-of-duty. Some of the stories of heroism are unbelievable! The only breaks in the coverage of each decade are when one incident ends and another begins, so if the reader needs to put the book down for any reason, he or she would have to try and find a page that ends a sentence. A few minor typos appear due to printing, but none detract from the stories. There is one point I wanted to make which may cause the reader to think there is a typo and that appears on page-105, where a new style rescue truck is shown and mention is made that it did not have a walk-through body. This refers to the face that the cab was separate from the body. The former models had a body in which the cab was incorporated and permitted passage to the body from it, not that the newer truck bodies were non-walk-ins. The newer truck featured on page-105 was two doors, so the crew had to ride in the body. This is about all I will have to say! The book speaks for itself. Another job well done Mr. Hashagen, and those who helped him.


April, 2017

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WOMEN IN FIREFIGHTING If you have photos you would like to see in our Women in Firefighting feature please upload them on our website or email them to


Buckhead, GA - Volunteer FF Kelly Elizabeth-Ann Fields poses during a local cancer fundraiser.


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April, 2017

Acronyms Chaplain's Corner Didymus McHugh

In the fire service, there are plenty of acronyms. We put on our PPE and SCBA. We lay the LDH and grab our TIC. We have SOG's and SOP's. We use ICS so that we know who the IC is and the PIO on every scene. We may need the CISM team after a bad call and also would want to call in the LAST team to help if we have an LODD. If we call a mayday, we are to use LUNAR, then we take a PAR and sent in the RIT. We have so many abbreviations and I would like to introduce another one to you for your personal life. The acronym is F.R.O.G. Usually this congers up the thoughts of a little green amphibian that we may have tried to catch in our younger years, or watching Sesame Street, or the Muppets. There are plenty of times when we go through life and may feel overwhelmed by a situation. This may be losing a job, being diagnosed with something, going through a divorce, detox or depression, or the death of a friend or relative. Each person has their

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FLORIDA own part that they may think they cannot handle. Sometimes we may feel like we are in a house doing a search in all the smoke and darkness, and we have come to the end of our search rope, but still need to continue the search, furthest that the rope can go and we have no light to see where we are going. We need to remember that as we go through our personal challenges, there is always one that we can turn to...God. We may be Catholic, Christian, Jew or Muslim but we can rest assured that we can always turn to God. God is always there for you. People say that God does not give us more that we can handle. Well, I saw a sign that said "God helps us handle what we are given". There are many Scriptures that reassure us of God's presence in times of need and also how He will never leave, nor forsake us. But these are only words, unless we get to know and trust God. We should always remember that we can F.R.O.G., Full Rely On God. Something tells me that as I tell you this, you may think it is nonsense, but something also tells me that you'll think about this, when you see that little green guy. Stay encouraged. Stay safe. God cares about you. -Didymus McHugh

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Collier County EMS MedFlight-1 awaits the arrival of a patient involved in the semi-truck crash on State Road 29.

Semi-Truck Crash Closes SR-29 and Causes Brush Fire in Immokalee Immokalee, FL - Shortly after 12:00 P.M. on February 21st, Immokalee Fire Control District CShift personnel responded to a commercial motor vehicle accident with injuries, approximately two-and-ahalf miles south of Farm Worker Way on State Road 29. Upon arrival, Engine-30's crew found a semi-truck that had left the roadway, obliterated a section of guardrail and then jack-knifed, coming to rest on the embankment of a canal. Crews checked the vehicle for immediate hazards and began to assess the single male driver who had been pulled from the cab prior to their arrival. Chief31 established command and MedFlight-1 was put on stand-by per Battalion-30 due to the patient's condition. Heavy Rescue-31's crew inspected the semi-truck further and

JUMP TO FILE #022217125 ensured that the spilled diesel fuel was contained. Collier County EMS (CCEMS) Paramedics on Medic-32 arrived on scene and their assessment determined that the male patient met "Trauma Alert" criteria. CCEMS MedFlight-1 was requested and a landing-zone was established at the scene, prompting the complete shutdown of State Road 29. During the shutdown and prior to the arrival of MedFlight-1, an impatient semi-truck driver attempted to sneak past the scene using a power line access road that runs parallel to SR-29. The semitruck clipped a guy wire attached to an H-Frame power line structure and the wire snapped upward, land-

ing on two live electrical wires and causing it to spark. Residents lost power up and down SR-29 and the sparks caused a brush fire that couldn't be noticed at first. While MedFlight-1 was on the ground, smoke and flames began to come up from behind the tree line. The patient was transferred to MedFlight-1 and after taking off, crews were able to divert their attention to the brush fire and extinguish it after two-acres in total were burned. Resources on-scene included Engine-30, Attack-30, Brush-30, Water Tender-30, Battalion-30, Heavy Rescue-31, Chief-31 (IC), Medic-32, Battalion-82, MedFlight-1, the Collier County Sheriff's Office and Florida Highway Patrol. - ALEX IHRIG


Earth is the only known planet where fire can burn. Everywhere else: Not enough oxygen. ALEX IHRIG - IFCD

Immokalee Fire units tackle a brush fire after a power line sparked, causing the blaze. Brush-30 and Battalion-30 monitor for hot spots along State Road 29 in Immokalee.

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April, 2017




Wildfire Weekend Hits Lee County


Lake County Fire Rescue recently opened Fire Station 20 full-time after hiring additional fire personnel.

Lake County Fire Rescue Opens 25th Fire Station Umatilla, FL – Lake County Fire Rescue officially opened its 25th full-time fire house, Station-20 in Umatilla, on February 12th. “The residents of Dona Vista and South Umatilla now have a fire station staffed 24/7, which provides fire suppression and advanced life support services,” said Lake County Fire Chief Jim Dickerson. “Citizens will not only benefit from faster calls for service from Station20, but may also receive reduced fire insurance rates by having this fully operating station within five

miles of their home or business.” Located at 37711 State Road JUMP TO FILE #030317108

19, Station-20 is the county’s 18th advanced life support firehouse. The round-the-clock operation of the station has been in the works since 2007 with the purchase of Squad-72, which has now been rebranded Squad-20. Earlier this year, Lake County

Fire Rescue hired 19 probationary firefighters to be assigned to stations throughout the county, allowing Fire Rescue to staff Station-20 full-time and add a third firefighter to three outlying stations. The county was able to add personnel thanks to a $1.7 million federal grant. Lake County Fire Rescue now deploys a minimum of 62 staff members per shift, with 213 firefighters total. - ELISHA PAPPACODA


Palm Beach Firefighters and Paramedics Present MDA with Check for $85,401

Palm Beach, FL - On Friday, February 2nd, the Professional Firefighters and Paramedics of Palm Beach County-Local 2928 proudly presented the Muscular Dystrophy Association with a check for $85,401 from their 2016 Labor Day "Fill the Boot" drive. Firehouse 23 collected over $4,200 of that total at Publix Store #894. Publix Store Manager Mike Fogel was presented with a trophy for being the store that helped the Firefighters at Sation-23 (A, B & C shift combined), collect more than any other crew over the Labor Day weekend. The partnership between Fire Rescue, Publix and MDA has helped so many of the local South Florida families who are courageously fighting for a cure!

Lee County, FL - The skies of Lee County were filled with smoke during the first weekend of March, as half a dozen fires burned throughout the county. Fires raced through the county as high winds fanned the flames and low humidity increased fire behavior. County resources were totally committed and Task Forces and Strike Teams with engines from around the state were activated. State Forestry units from around the state also provided resources, including a helicopter that made water drops on the fire, along with a fixed wing aircraft for observation. Hundreds of residents, along with their pets, were evacuated as the fire ran through neighborhoods. Six homes were reported damaged by the fire.


April, 2017

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LCDPS Responds to Brush Turned Structure Fire in Morriston


Florida Forest Service Holds Basic Wildland Fire Training

Sarasota, FL - Basic Wildland Firefighting Course “S-190 S130" was held in February, when perspective Wildland Firefighters from around the Suncoast gathered in Sarasota to take the 40-hour course. Students ranging from County Structure Firefighters, to County Park Employees, Americorps and State Park workers, attended the annual training. Students spent four days in the classroom. The fifth day was spent in the field, practicing their skills.

Morrison, FL - At 1:31 P.M. on Tuesday, March 7th, the Levy County 911 Communications Center received multiple calls of a fire located at Southeast 80th Street and Southeast 150th Avenue in JUMP TO FILE# Morriston. 030817106 Florida Forestry, Levy County Department of Public Safety (LCDPS) Director Harrell, Captain Rinaudo, Captain Drew, Battalion-1, Station-11 (Squad, Engine, Tanker & Rescue), Squad-4, Rescues 3 and 5, along with the Williston, Bronson and Inglis Fire Departments, Marion County Fire Rescue (Mutual Aid) and Levy County Sherriff’s Deputies, responded to the scene. Upon arrival, crews discovered a brush fire that had spread to multiple structures, with flames beginning to spread further into the nearby wooded area. Crews quickly underwent search and rescue operations to confirm vacancy of the structure(s) while others began knocking down the fire. Forestry dug fire lines to contain

the fire. The fire covered an eight-acre area and involved three structures. The Fire Marshal was notified to investigate the cause of the fire. No injuries were reported. The Red Cross

was also contacted to assist the family who was displaced by the fire. Crews were still on scene providing overhaul operations at 5:00 P.M. LCDPS



Sarasota County Battles Three-Alarm Fire at Ringling College Sarasota County, FL - Shortly after noon on March 8th, thick black smoke billowed from the roof top of a building under construction across from the main campus of the Ringling College of Art and Design. Roofing material in wood pallets caught fire and high winds caused the fire to quickly spread to other materials. Ash was falling in the main campus area, so the college was evacuated. Firefighters had to protect exposures while others made their way to the fourth-floor of the fire building.


Mission accomplished! Marshall Newell (L) and Alejandro Castillo (R), sit “atop the world” after finishing the inaugural Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Firefighter stair climb at the Miami Tower.

Plantation Firefighters Help Inaugurate Stair Climb Miami, FL - Two Plantation firefighters were among those who participated in the first annual Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Miami Firefighter Stair Climb, held on January 22nd at the Miami Tower. Alejandro Castillo and Marshall Newell climbed the 647-foot tall skyscraper, covering 47 stories for a total of 1,000 steps. They both completed the climb in under 24 minutes while wearing their full bunker gear and air

JUMP TO FILE #030317109 packs. Firefighters from West Palm Beach, City of Miami, Miami Dade, Miami Beach and Davie Fire Rescue also participated in the climb, as well as a contingent of firefighters from Chile, making it an international event.

According to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the climb was the first event of its kind in the Southeast United States, designed to help raise funds for the organization through sponsorships, donations and fundraising. According to the Society, more than $12,000 was raised. A second event is scheduled for November 4th. - JOEL GORDON

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April, 2017



April, 2017

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Lake County Public Safety Personnel Honored for Service


Car Crash in Hollywood Kills Three Hollywood, FL - Hollywood Fire/Rescue crews from Stations 31 and 74 responded on February 26th to multiple reports of a vehicle that had hit another and was on fire at the intersection of Hollywood Blvd. and 35th Avenue, with occupants possibly trapped inside. When Fire/Rescue crews arrived, they saw a large debris field, a vehicle that was fully engulfed in flames, and another vehicle nearby with major front-end damage. Dispatch was unable to give a definitive answer on whether or not there were still people inside the burning vehicle, but as is customary, Hollywood Firefighters quickly setup and fought to extinguish the flames. Even though the crash happened a block away from Station31, (Hollywood's Special Ops station), nothing could be done to

JUMP TO FILE #030117108 stem the fire spread in a timely fashion, as foam had to be used to beat back the fuel-fed inferno. After finally extinguishing the stubborn fire, firefighters saw that there were three charred bodies inside the smouldering wreckage. The force of the collision seemed to have engulfed the occupants before they had time to react, if they had survived the initial impact at all. The occupant of the other vehicle was quickly transported to Memorial Hospital in critical condition. Thankfully, nobody was sitting in the bus bench, which was destroyed on impact by the vehicle. Authorities say that speed may

have played a role in the collision, but they are investigating further. After a lengthy period of time, Hollywood Blvd. was re-opened to all traffic. Author's Note: While the casual lay-person can only imagine the gruesomeness of a burned body and the image it conjures in the mind, the average Firefighter/Paramedic has to deal with these images on a daily basis. We try to store the horrific snapshots our minds take throughout our careers in a mental folder, which we can only hope gets deleted throughout the years....but they're only replaced with other ones. Please be mindful of that next time you see us out on the street.

Tavares, FL – In February, Lake County Public Safety Director John Jolliff received the Outstanding Community Service Award and Lt. Donovan Miller received the Officer of the Year Award during the Eustis Elks Lodge 1578 annual banquet, honoring fire and police officials. “I accept this honor for all public safety personnel for their selfless service and devotion to our community,” said Jolliff, who will retire in May. “I also applaud the Eustis Elks Lodge for their commitment to annually honor firefighters and law enforcement personnel.” Jolliff has more than 43 years of fire service experience, joining Lake County in 2004. He has written over $2 million in grants for the department, helped maintain and grow Lake County Fire Rescue during his tenure, and worked to establish automatic aid agreements with six cities over the last two years. Lt. Miller coordinates driver

JUMP TO FILE #022317102 training for Fire Rescue’s Super Tanker, an 18-wheeler that carries 6,000-gallons of water. Last year, in preparation for the division’s lieutenant promotions, Lt. Miller helped firefighters qualify for testing by teaching in-house classes so firefighters could become statecertified fire officers. To obtain this certificate, a series of weeklong classes were required, followed by a written exam. “As a result, over a dozen firefighters completed his/her fire officer series and successfully completed the state exam,” said Lake County Fire Rescue Chief Jim Dickerson. “Because of Lt. Miller’s unselfishness, 15 employees were able to take the lieutenant promotional test offered last November.” - ELISHA PAPPACODA


Public Safety Director John Jolliff (L), Lt. Donovan Miller (center) and Chief Jim Dickerson (R), attended the Elks Lodge Awards. PROVIDED


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April, 2017



DRILLS/TRAINING If you have photos you would like to see in our Drills/Training feature, please upload them on our website or email them to



Bradford County, FL - Enforcer Rep Joey Cudmore demonstrates FireAde 2000 foam during a burn pit fire demonstration held on February 18th at the Keystone Heights Airport. Firefighters from several fire departments within Bradford County participated in the training event.

Polk County Deputy Chief Completes International Professional Designation Process Bartow, FL – Polk County Fire Rescue Deputy Chief Keith A. Williams successfully completed the process that awards him the professional designation of Fire Marshal. The Commission on Professional Credentialing met on Dec. JUMP TO FILE# 13th, 2016 to offi- 021317115 cially confer the designation upon Chief Williams, who is only one of 116 persons worldwide that have received this designation. The commission awards the Fire Marshal designation only after an individual successfully meets all of the organizations stringent criteria. The process included an assessment of Williams’ education, experience, professional development, technical competencies and contributions to the profession and community involvement. In addition, all applicants are required to identify a future development plan. The Fire Marshal designation program uses a comprehensive peer review model to evaluate candidates seeking the credential. The Commission on Professional Credentialing, an entity of the Center for Public Safety Excellence, administers the Fire Marshal Designation Program. The commission consists of individuals from academia, federal and local government, and fire and emergency medical services professions. To learn about the commission, visit

Fort Lauderdale Firefighter Pushes Paralyzed Father to Finish Line at Marathon Fort Lauderdale, FL - Fort Lauderdale Firefighter William “Willie” Torres ran the Fort Lauderdale A1A Marathon on February 19th, and did so while pushing his paralyzed father the entire 26.2 miles. Antonio Torres was paralyzed in 2015 after a drunk driver slammed into his vehicle while he was sitting at a red light. The accident left Antonio paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. William ran the Fort Lauderdale A1A Marathon in 2016 for the first time and after finishing it, showed his father his medal. His father was so proud that he wanted to keep the medal for himself! William told his dad “if you want a medal, you have to earn it by finishing the marathon." His father responded by telling William “if you push me, I will do

JUMP TO FILE #022117124 it." This is when the father/son bond was created, "Team Torres" was formed, and training for the marathon began. After nearly six hours of running and pushing his father in a specially designed race wheelchair at the 2017 A1A Marathon, Team Torres crossed the finish line, earning Antonio his much deserved medal. Team Torres was supported during the race by their immediate family, as well as members of Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue who ran the marathon next to them, guiding them to their goal and the finish line. - GREGORY MAY


Polk County Fire Rescue Deputy Chief Keith A. Williams.

Chief Williams has been a member of the fire service for 40 years and has served Polk County Fire Rescue as the Fire Marshal since October of 2014. He resides in Plant

City with Denise, his wife of 32 years. They have one adult son, Ryan.




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(L to R): Laura McQuilkin, Firefighter Brian Tindell, William Hammer and Lt. Robert Staab pose with "Lucky," moments before the owl was released.

Lake County Firefighters Rescue and Release Injured Owl Mount Dora, FL - When Lake County Fire Rescue Lt. Robert Staab and Firefighter Brian Tindell rescued a barred owl they named “Lucky” from the grill of resident Laura McQuilkin’s Dodge pickup truck in December, they never thought they would see him fly again. “We expected more of a body removal than a rescue. We got there, took a flashlight and looked at the front of the truck and there he was looking back at us,” said Lt. Staab. After consulting with wildlife experts, the firefighters wrapped the owl in a jacket, took him back to the station, placed him in a dog kennel and transported Lucky to the Avian Rehabilitation Center in Apopka. Though it took nearly a month,


JUMP TO FILE #012417100 Lucky was nursed back to health and soon healed from a fractured tibia. On Saturday, January 21st, McQuilkin joined the firefighters and Lucky’s rehabilitation team in releasing the owl at Gilbert Park in Mount Dora. Moved to tears, McQuilkin said,” I'm excited beyond words. He's just such a beautiful owl. I'm so happy he's ok.” Firefighter Tindell was also thrilled to be an integral part of the owl’s rescue through rehab. “It was a unique experience. I won’t forget it,” he said. - ELISHA PAPPACODA


If you have photos you would like to see in our “Patch of the month “feature please upload them on our website, or email them to

Fatal Structure Fire on Taylor Street in Auburndale

Bartow, FL – One person and a dog were found deceased in a structure fire at 1204 Taylor Street in Auburndale on January 29th. Polk County Fire Rescue and Auburndale Fire crews were dispatched just before 11:00 A.M. Crews were told that one person may have been inside the house, but due to heavy fire conditions, crews were forced to battle the fire from outside before making entry. Once it was safe to enter the home, firefighters located a deceased person in a bedroom. A deceased dog was then also found. The Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations is investigating what caused the fire. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is conducting the death investigation.



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April, 2017

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