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The Southeast Edition PUBLISHING SINCE 1993






Chattanooga, TN - High winds helped a fire destroy a home in the Big Ridge community on January 4th. The Chattanooga Fire Department received the initial alarm at 1:57 p.m. and responded to 1826 Colonial Shores Drive with six fire companies. - See full story on page 18

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February, 2016

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POLK 1502


Vacant structure fire leaves department busy

On Monday, Decemeber 14th, Cedartown City Fire Department was dispatched to a structure fire on Georgia Avenue, just outside Polk County Fire territory. Upon arrival of CFD, Engine 5 deployed a two and a half inch attack line. The interior crew cleared residence, and used a one and three quarters attack to help fight blaze. Bystanders advised that the house was vacant. Once the fire was extinguished and overhauled, the Cedartown City investigator searched the structure and found the remains of a possible drug house, Cedartown City Police Department was notified and collected evidence.


If you have photos you would like to see in our Apparatus in Action feature please upload them on our website or email them to

Sundee lunch at the fire house compliments of Chick-fil-A December 21, 2015 – Sundee Proctor of Stockbridge, Georgia entered a contest hosted by the Chick-fil-A Dwarf House on Hwy 138. Customers were asked, “What would you do with 50 Chick-fil-A meals?” Without hesitation, Sundee responded, “Feed the firefighters!” Chick-fil-A’s marketing representative, Katelynne Crohn announced Sundee Proctor as the winner of the contest. “I couldn’t really do much for the firefighters, so I am grateful to the Dwarf House for this opportunity to say thank you,” stated Sundee. Without delay a meeting was arranged with Sparky and the Chick-fil-A cow making an ap-

JUMP TO FILE #122215131 pearance. On Monday, December 21, 2015, Crohn and the family arrived at Station 12 located on Old Jackson Road just in time for lunch. One family, representing four generations, showed their heartfelt gratitude for the men and women of the Henry County Fire Department, for years of service above and beyond the daily routine. Sundee Proctor and daughter Sarah were accompanied by Sundee’s mother, Linda Hairston, and Hairston’s great grandchildren Elizabeth, Cheyanne, and Mary Lynn Webb.

Sundee recalled how her father’s health had started declining in the last six months of his life, “There were several times we found him in his recliner, completely unresponsive, so naturally we called you guys.” Overcome with emotion she continued stating, “Every time you came you were equally sensitive to the emotional needs of those standing in the living room and kitchen, fearful that this was ‘it’.” As the firefighters gathered close to express their gratitude, she embraced each one saying, “Whether you realize it or not you do so much more; you minister to the families you touch.” - MICHAEL BLACK


15 Engine 2 from Liberty County Fire Services was photographed during its annual pump testing.

1ST Responder Newspaper - SE

February, 2016



February, 2016


1ST Responder Newspaper - SE

Midweek “Routine Booster”


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Municipal Equipment


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Raymond James


Reisen Safety Training




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Tactical Fire Vehicles


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Task Force Tips Waterway




1st Responder News (ISSN 1525-1683) - Vol. 17 No. 2 - South East edition is published monthly, 12 times a year for $36 per year by Belsito Communications, Inc., 1 Ardmore St., New Windsor, NY 12553. Periodicals Postage Paid at Newburgh, NY and additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Send address changes to 1st Responder News, 1 Ardmore St., New Windsor, NY 12553. No financial responsibility is assumed by this newspaper to publish a display, classified, or legal ad or for typographical errors except of reprinting that part of the ad which was omitted or in error. Omissions or erA division of: rors must be brought to the attention of the newspaper during the same month of publication.

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Notice: The advertisements, articles, and letters contained in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of 1st Responder Inc. and Belsito Communications, Inc. Advertisements are sold pursuant to the "space available" and corresponding fee schedule. The mere fact that advertisements are contained in this publication does not express nor imply that 1st Responder Inc. and Belsito Communications, Inc. vouches for the credibility of the claims made in the advertisements or the representations expressed or implied in them.

Last class


Fifth anniversary of organized training Polk County Fire Department has nine stations and offers, twice a year a Register Volunteer Firefighter class to our current members. New members are required to complete this training within the first year of membership. Register Volunteer Course is a State of Georgia certification with 89.5 hours of training. Our members, who successfully complete the offered course, will have a total 120 hours of training. Register Volunteer is the minimum that the State of Georgia will require for volunteers to become active in live fire operations. During the course, members have classroom training and hands on training. Members, who choose to go further, have to go through Polk County Training Officer. The Polk County Current Training Officer is Mr. Jason Shuman, who has

JUMP TO FILE #121815122 been a firefighter for 14 years, and is a state certified instructor. Captain Shuman and numerous firefighters come together to help with the teaching and live burns. The State of Georgia requires volunteers to complete 24 hours of certified training annual. Polk County Volunteer Fire Department has trained over 50% of the volunteers, who are currently in our department. Firefighters not only devote time to firefighting, but also have to maintain training hours and keep up to date on new requirements enforced by State of Georgia. Congratulations to everyone who took the time to participate in this course. - KATTIE TRAMMELL

Winter is here and many of those New Year’s resolutions have fitness routines in full swing. Having that routine is surely a good thing. It’s keeping you focused. It’s keeping you on track and chances are it’s working. Well, as often as we say “change is good”, we conversely say “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. So while your routine is working, maybe you can hang on to it, but tweak it enough to keep it from becoming stale. I am a big fan of having it all! Your workout may be a good one. It may contain all the right things in all the right amounts. To top it off - if you are still doing it, chances are it’s comfortable, convenient and working. Giving it up in the interest of change may not be the answer right now. But in the interest of prevention - here’s a midweek ‘routine booster’ designed to give you the best of both worlds. I have my clients swapping this in for one of their ‘full body’ workouts’ in the middle of the week. They get to keep all the stuff they love, all the stuff that works, but their routine gets a facelift before it gets stale. Their minds and bodies are responding to the change with new energy and physical results. It appears to be a terrific combination of staying on track and enjoying a fresh start. Give it a try. Chances are it will do the same for you. Here’s a sample format… We begin as always with a 3-5 minute gentle warm-up of walking cycling or any low level cardiovascular activity. We move on to 30 seconds of push-ups (or chest exercise) and alternate with 30 seconds of squats (or other leg/quadriceps exercise). This first sequence is repeated a total of three times. Movement is at a somewhat brisk pace without sacrificing

proper form and alignment. Once this sequence has been alternated a third time, we move on to sequence #2, which is one arm rows (or any upper back exercise) and lunges (or leg curls or any leg exercise with hamstring involvement). Again, each is performed for 30 seconds alternating between the two exercises. After repeating the sequence three times we move on to the third sequence. The third sequence combines upper body and cardiovascular exercise. Each upper body exercise is performed for 30 seconds and alternated with cardio for one minute. Exercises include shoulder press for 30 seconds, bike one minute – bicep curls 30 seconds, bike one minute – triceps extensions 30 seconds, bike one minute. As in the previous sequences we repeat the entire sequence three times. For those without a bike, any cardio will do from a treadmill, walking in place, jump rope, jumping jacks, knee lifts etc. (The bike worked great because we kept the dumbbells nearby and lifted them while still seated on the bike – then went right back to pedaling after each exercise.) We round out the routine with three abdominal exercises (we vary them from workout to workout) and one set of lower back extensions. There were times that clients did cardio workouts separate from this routine and in that case we alternated shoulders, biceps and triceps with abdominal exercises instead of the cardio. Cool-down is three minutes of gentle walking followed by full body stretches. The entire session including warm-up, cool-down and stretches is usually 30 minutes maximum. Remember, all exercises may not be suitable for all participants. Observe all rules regarding safe and suitable intensity. Be sure to have your physician’s approval before beginning any exercise routine.

Additional fitness columns from Lori Hodgkinson can be found on our website at

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February, 2016



February, 2016


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COLUMNISTS Rick Billings • Henry Campbell Chelle Cordero • Gordon Wren Lori Ann Hodgkinson • Bob Long John Malecky • Didymus McHugh Fernando Villicana

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1st Responder News’ graphics team will work with you on your adverA division of: tisement free of charge. Additionally, we offer a complete marketing department for all of your printed needs. Whether they are posters, or single sheet handouts, full color or black and white, no one else delivers the high quality work at our competitive prices. As a newspaper in the Belsito Communications Inc. family, 1st Responder News has a state-of-the-art production facility which utilizes the latest scanning technology available. Materials are processed using Power Macintosh G4s. Output is handled on our HP Color LaserJet 8500 to produce the highest quality black and white or color prints on the market.

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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

Kentucky: Terry “TC” Culver, 65 Rank: Assistant Fire Chief Incident Date: November 12, 2015 Death Date: November 24, 2015 Fire Department: Calvert City Fire Department Initial Summary: While responding to a fire call, Assistant Fire Chief Culver became ill with heart attack like symptoms causing him to fall from a piece of fire apparatus onto a concrete floor. Culver was treated and transported to the hospital but succumbed to his injuries almost two weeks later. The nature and cause of fatal injury is still to be reported.

Kentucky: Zachary Chase Clevenger, 30 Rank: Firefighter Incident Date: December 4, 2015 Death Date: December 5, 2015 Fire Department: Estill County Fire Department Initial Summary: Firefighter Clevenger worked a structure fire in the evening of December 4th returning home near midnight. Clevenger was found unconscious by his wife in the morning and emergency assistance was summoned. All efforts to revive Firefighter Clevenger were unsuccessful and he passed away from a nature and cause of fatal injury still to be reported.

Illinois: Mark Zielinski, 49 Rank: Firefighter/Paramedic Incident Date: December 4, 2015 Death Date: December 4, 2015 Fire Department: Matteson Fire Department Initial Summary: Firefighter/Paramedic Zielinski responded to a medical incident for a male who was in cardiac arrest at a local retail store. While performing CPR on the patient, Firefighter/Paramedic Zielinski suffered a medical emergency. A second ambulance was summoned and Firefighter/Paramedic Zielinski was taken to Franciscan St. James Hospital in Olympia Fields where, despite all efforts, Zielinski passed away from a reported cardiac related injury. California: Scott Carroll, 48 Rank: Captain Incident Date: November 28, 2015 Death Date: November 30, 2015 Fire Department: City of Oxnard Fire Department Initial Summary: Captain Carroll fell ill while working a duty shift that had included one cooking fire and two EMS calls. Carroll left the station for his personal physician’s office and then home to rest where, two days, later he was found by his wife having suffered a fatal brain aneurysm.

Wisconsin: Lawrence “Larry” W. Millard, 56 Rank: Firefighter Incident Date: December 11, 2015 Death Date: December 11, 2015 Fire Department: Endeavor Moundville Fire Department Initial Summary: Firefighter Millard was struck by a passing vehicle as he was directing traffic while the department was on the scene of a motor vehicle crash on U.S. I-39 at mile post 99.5 in Marquette County. Firefighter Millard was rushed by ambulance to a hospital in Portage then flown to the University of Wisconsin Trauma Center in Madison, where he succumbed to his injuries.

Illinois: Daniel V. Capuano, 42 Rank: Firefighter/Paramedic Incident Date: December 14, 2015 Death Date: December 14, 2015 Fire Department: Chicago Fire Department Initial Summary: Firefighter/Paramedic Capuano died from injuries sustained in a fall down an elevator shaft while operating with fire crews in heavy smoke conditions inside of a burning warehouse building. Capuano was quickly removed from the building and into a waiting ambulance then taken to Christ Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. The cause of the fatal fire incident remains under investigation by local and state authorities. New York: Jack H. Rose, 19 Rank: Captain Incident Date: December 19, 2015 Death Date: December 19, 2015 Fire Department: Mount Marion Fire Department Initial Summary: Captain Rose responded with members of his fire department to a mutual aid response call for a reported chimney fire. According to the fire department, when firefighters arrived on scene they observed fire coming from the ground floor. An entry team of firefighters from the Mt. Marion Fire Department entered the basement to extinguish the fire. During the interior firefighting operation, Captain Rose became separated from his team. Rose was quickly located by fellow firefighters and removed from the basement. Once outside, Captain Rose became unresponsive and firefighters initiated lifesaving measures. Captain Rose was treated by paramedics at the scene and transported by DIAZ Ambulance to the Health Alliance Hospital-Kingston Broadway Campus where efforts to revive Rose continued. In spite of all life saving measures, Captain Rose eventually succumbed to his injuries.

1ST Responder Newspaper - SE

February, 2016



February, 2016

1ST Responder Newspaper - SE



CSX train fire in Morgan County

Shortly after returning from the fire in downtown Madison on December 15th, crews from Stations 16 and 4 responded to a CSX train fire on Greensboro Hwy. near Lambert Ln. Upon arrival, crews observed heavy smoke and fire showing from the engine compartment. Fire was quickly extinguished with no further hazards.


by John Malecky

Maltese Cross, By Vinnie Toland, Jr. Available from: FSP Books & Videos 118 Central Street, Suite #4 Hudson, MA 01749-1330 1-800-522-8528 E-mail: Price: $24.95 This is a hard covered book measuring six inches by nine inches and has 238 pages within 11 chapters. If you are one of those, who enjoys reading memoirs written by those who have put careers in emergency services then you will find this book extremely interesting! The author is a retired district chief, who put a career in the Manchester, NH Fire Department. His character is under an assumed name. He is from a firefighting family. The City of Manchester, which is tucked up in the corner of New England, is not always one identified as a common name when it comes to fires. However, it is a major city with

a daytime population of 117,000 and one with many old structures, which burned with vigor through the years when the author worked from the 1970’s through 2000. Protecting the 30+ square miles is 11 engines, six trucks and a rescue company running out of 10 stations. As the years went by, more modern improvements have been made. Many of these stories of fires no doubt gave rise to the opportunity to rebuild and regain tax ratables. Each chapter is titled and they take the reader through different categories such as becoming a tillerman, the first fire, unforgettable and bizarre, animal close encounters, a bad week for babies and others not mentioned here, but nonetheless outstanding reading much of which would be identifiable to firefighters who lived through similar experiences. The stories told are not chronological meaning that they jump back and forth at times from when the author was a firefighter to a lieutenant to a captain and district chief and back to the previous ranks in order to put together a truly action packed chapter responding to a vast array of calls. They do answer medical calls, so you will read about many of them and the memories of working in the street! There are also more fire stories than you might expect and I am sure you will like this book as much as I did.


Longtime Morgan County Fire Rescue volunteer firefighter retires After over 30 years of selfless service to the citizens of Morgan County, longtime Rutledge volunteer firefighter Richard "Bubba" Hubbard Jr. hung up his helmet for the last time this month. Stations 9 and 12 (Rutledge) officially honored Hubbard at the station's annual Christmas dinner, and presented him with a plaque commemorating his many years of loyal service to Morgan County Fire Rescue and the citizens of the community. His wife, along with many other family members were in attendance. A lifelong resident of Rutledge, Firefighter Hubbard began his journey in the fire service in 1980 as a volunteer with the now defunct Oasis Volunteer Fire Department,

JUMP TO FILE #123115110 which was located just outside of Rutledge in southern Walton County. He went on to join the Rutledge Volunteer Fire Department in 1985, and has remained an active and dedicated member since. He was one of the longest standing members of the Rutledge Fire Station, second only to Jerry Couch who has served as the Station Chief in Rutledge since the 1980s. "Bubba" is well known in the community as a result of running a successful flooring business for many years, as well as dedicating a great deal of time as an active mem-

ber of Union Springs Baptist Church in Rutledge. After many years of answering the call for help, Bubba says he plans to stay busy, but admits he will miss the time spent with guys at the fire station. "Bubba has been a part of us for a long time. He's been an asset to the department for many years, and his dedication and commitment to this community should be admired. Although we will miss him and hate to see him go, we wish him well" said Jerry Couch. Bubba promised not to be a stranger, and plans to visit the station on training nights from time to time.


WHERE ARE THEY NOW? If you have photos you would like to see in our Where are they Now? feature please upload them on our website or email them to


Eastern District Fire Rescue operates a 1990 Pierce Lance engine as 20 Engine 2. This apparatus formerly served as Engine 702 in the East Brunswick Fire District 1 in Old Bridge New Jersey.

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February, 2016



Two house fire causes extensive damage in Barrow County At 10:40 Tuesday night, January 12th, communication officers with Barrow County Emergency Services received a 911 call reporting a structure fire in the 900 block of Hancock Bridge Rd. “Upon arrival, firefighters found heavy fire conditions in the rear of the home,” stated Lieutenant Scott Dakin. “Fire had spread from the living room area of the home into the attic.” Firefighters from Stations 1, 6 and 7 responded to this fire. Crews began an aggressive interior attack to bring the fire under control. The home suffered extensive damage as the result of the fire. Just after 8:00 Wednesday morning, communication officers received a 911 call reporting a structure fire in the 1100 block of Bradford Park Drive.

JUMP TO FILE #011416115 “Firefighters responded to this incident and found heavy fire in the home,” commented Lieutenant Scott Dakin. “Fire had already made it through the roof of the home.” The home was a two story on a basement with heavy fire in the kitchen and garage area. Crews went into an initial defensive attack to knock the fire down so that they could transition into an interior attack. The home suffered heavy damage as a result of the fire. The American Red Cross responded to assist with the two people that were displaced as a result of this fire. - SCOTT DAKIN

Additional articles and photos from Georgia can be found at SCOTT DAKIN


February, 2016

1ST Responder Newspaper - SE




Bonny Oaks house fire

The Chattanooga Fire Department responded to a house fire around 9:15 p.m. on December 29th at 7630 Austin Drive, in the Bonny Oaks area. First units arriving on scene, about six minutes after the alarm came in, reported heavy smoke coming from the split level home and flames visible. Most of the fire damage was to the kitchen, but there was smoke damage throughout the entire structure. The resident stated that she had started cooking and left the room. The home did have working smoke detectors and were working at the time of the fire. The resident denied assistance saying that she and her daughter could stay with family. Chief Jeff Eldridge called the fire under control at 9:45, and stated that the dollar lose was $40,000. No injuries were reported.

Heavy smoke in Chattanooga Just before 9 a.m. on December 29th, Chattanooga Fire Department units were responding to an automatic fire alarm in East Chattanooga. While enroute, heavy smoke was discovered from the Stuart and Curtis Streets area. A fire unit diverted to investigate and requested that another fire unit be dispatched in their place. Quint 10 arrived at 2015 Stuart Street to a working house fire. They then called for additional fire companies to respond to assist in fire fighting. All parties were out of the

JUMP TO FILE #123015104 house, but there was a dog that was pulled out of the house and had to have oxygen administered by firefighters. Lieutenant Brad Freeman and Firefighter Johannes Wagner used donated pet masks to help the rescued dog breathe. A man staying in the house said that he heard the dog barking and smelled smoke before the fire was discovered. The fire was extinguished a

short time later. The house has significant fire damage to the rear, with water, and smoke damage throughout. The American Red Cross was called in to assist the residents. No other injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is under investigation. The Chattanooga Police Department, Hamilton County Emergency Medical Services and the American Red Cross also assisted. The original call that units were responding to was a false call. - CHUCK HARTUNG

Smoke alarm installed yesterday saves lives today Chattanooga, TN. Shortly before 5:00 p.m. on December 19th, Chattanooga firefighters responded to 3905 7th Avenue on a reported residential structure fire. Upon arrival, Captain Brandon Schroyer with En- JUMP TO FILE # gine 9 established 122115104 command of a single story residential structure with heavy smoke showing from the A and D sides, and fire showing from the D side only. The owner had already evacuated the structure and was uninjured in the front yard of the residence. Engine 9 personnel made an interior attack through the A side using a one and three quarter inch line and tank water. Command was informed by the resident that there were three dogs still inside the structure and no other human occupants. Engine 9 personnel located the fire in the living room and quickly extinguished all involved materials. Quint 14 was assigned to serve

as the Rapid Intervention Team (RIT). A search was then performed and FFE Darin Honeycutt located two of the dogs and removed them to the exterior. Firefighter Tyler Toon, who was also performing a search with Engine 5 personnel, located the third dog and removed it from the structure. All three dogs were uninjured. All power was shutoff to the residence by means of the electrical panel. Engine 9, Engine 5, Ladder 5, and Quint 14 personnel then began salvage and overhaul operations, moving all undamaged contents away from the affected area to other rooms or outside the structure. Command gathered information about the fire from the homeowner, who stated that he had been asleep in his bedroom when an activated smoke detector awoke him to the smoke and fire in the living room. He stated that the electrical outlet was sparking, and the wall and drapes were involved in fire. He then exited the structure and dialed 911. The smoke detectors that alerted him to the fire in the living room were actually installed the day prior

on December 18th by Chattanooga Fire Department personnel conducting a smoke alarm distribution event in the East Lake neighborhood. The property owner lived in this residence with his son and three dogs. All parties denied the assistance of the Red Cross stating they

had somewhere to stay and assistance with essential items. Command provided them with an After the Fire Brochure and made it clear that the Red Cross could be contacted at a later time if needed. Command also informed the homeowner that a certified electrician


needed to fix all electrical issues before power could be restored to the residence. Command was then terminated and Engine 9 returned to service at 5:37 p.m. The dollar loss from the fire is estimated at $15,000. - BRUCE GARNER

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February, 2016

1ST Responder Newspaper - SE


Mother-daughter duo receive member of the year awards


Paramedic Vincent Vella, patient Elizabeth Storm, Paramedic Sam Latone, Lt. Supervisor Paramedic Billy Blea

Hamilton County EMS reunites with patient October 31st, a day celebrated by most as Halloween, will now be celebrated as a day of new beginnings for Mrs. Elizabeth Storm. After two months, following a serious medical emergency call to the Hamilton County 911 Center, Elizabeth Storm reunited with Hamilton County Emergency Medical Services Paramedics Vincent Vella and Sam Latone to say, “Thank you for saving my life.” At 10 a.m. on October 31, 2015, after eating breakfast, Mrs. Storm began to have a feeling of heavy pressure in her chest. “I had no pain just heavy pressure and shortness of breath,” said Mrs. Storm. She quickly dialed 911 requesting help. Medic Unit 6 from Hamilton County Emergency Medical Services was dispatched to the Storm address. Upon arrival, the paramedics quickly assessed Mrs. Storm, finding her with symptoms of low blood pressure, shortness of breath and a feeling of heavy pressure in her chest area, all signs of a potential heart attack. The quick reactions of the medics providing supplemental oxygen and medication via IV fluids helped to ease the pain during her transport to a local hospital in Chattanooga, Tennessee. “When they arrived on the scene, they immediately began to provide emergency care for me. Even though I couldn’t open my eyes to see them I could feel their compassion for me while rendering care to save my life,” said Mrs. Storm. After recovering from heart surgery at a local hospital, according to Mrs. Storm, it became her goal to follow up and thank all the contributing persons who helped her through this incident which she says, “has given me a new per-

JUMP TO FILE #122115115 spective on life. I now have a greater feel and respect for all things in life, especially those who cared enough to show me compassion in my time of need,” she said. On Tuesday, December 15, 2015, Medic Unit 6 had the opportunity to meet Mrs. Storm again. “It was great to see her again in a different situation. On that day, when we arrived, she was in very serious condition and I am very honored to have been a part of the well being and positive outcome for her life,” said Paramedic Latone. According to Mrs. Storm, her quick recovery from her heart attack is due to Paramedics Vella and Latone for their professional knowledge and assessment of her medical condition. “You guys are silent heroes who never get enough recognition for what you do. You are the period for the beginning of my sentence,” said Mrs. Storm. “Sometimes emergency situations do not always have a positive outcome, but in this case, Mrs. Storm contributed to saving her own life by immediately calling 911 at the first signs of a possible medical situation. 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. Having such an impact on the life of one of our citizens is especially gratifying during this blessed time of year. - AMY MAXWELL

Alcoa, TN. Emergency Medical Responder Heidi Fehling and her daughter, Brittany Fehling, were recently voted by their fellow peers as Blount County Rescue Squad's Member of the Year and Junior Member of the Year, respectively. The motherdaughter team were honored for their JUMP TO FILE # dedication and com- 122815119 mitment to the squad and to their community. Each year, members of BCRS have an opportunity to vote for the member and junior member they feel have shown a high level of commitment and a willingness to go the extra mile for the all-volunteer rescue squad. The winner of these awards are selected based on such criteria as having a positive impact on the squad, commitment to ongoing training, promoting the squad in a positive light internally and among other agencies, and displaying the highest level of integrity as a BCRS member. Aside from their work on regular shifts, the mother-daughter duo were chosen as this year's award recipients for their leadership in revitalizing the squad's Junior program. Heidi serves as the junior squad's program director, and daughter Brittany was elected the junior squad team captain by her peers. Under their leadership, the junior squad recently competed against adult teams in a statewide EMS

Heidi Fehling

competition and won second place. As one member said, "Heidi has taken the proverbial bull by the horns and helped shape and lead the junior squad to new heights. She has a gift for working with them and helping them grow and become ready to continue their journey in life, not just the squad." Another member writes, "Brittany has done a great job as an officer for the junior squad. She is inquisitive, an active learner and always available to engage and encourage others. She finds time to pull


regular shifts and at the same time find the balance to stay successful." Chief Sartin added, "These awards are a source of great pride for our squad because the winners are chosen by their peers, those members they work with side by side on a daily basis. Heidi and Brittany are wonderful examples of members who are dedicated to constantly building and improving so that we in turn can provide the highest level of service to our community." - LAURA OSGOOD


Trailer fire in New Market

New Market Fire and Rescue Team responded to a trailer fire at 2814 Persian Lane in New Market. We had a total of 24 firefighters on scene. The call came in at 12:38 p.m. on Sunday, January 3, 2016. We had three engines, two tankers and a support vehicle on scene. The first unit on scene was Engine 3 at 12:49 p.m. The fire under was control by 1:06 p.m. and units cleared the scene at 2:26.

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February, 2016

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February, 2016

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Chattanooga once again diverted to structure fire

Rescue squad performs rope rescue at Bee Rock

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For the second time this week, the Chattanooga Fire Department units were responding to an automatic fire alarm and were diverted to a residential structure fire. The original call came in for a UTC housing unit at Guerry Apartments. While enroute to the alarm on December 31st, Engine 12 was diverted to 211 Tremont Street on a reported house fire. Lieutenant Skylar Phillips on Engine 12 arrived on scene at 9:38 a.m. and reported heavy smoke coming from the attic. The homeowner stated that everyone was out of the house. Firefighters made a quick attack on the fire that was in an attic apartment. Other Chattanooga Fire Department units arrived to assist in fire fighting efforts. The fire was extinguished 10:08 a.m.. The resident of the attic apartment said that

JUMP TO FILE #010416110 he left a candle burning unattended which was the cause of the fire, according to Chattanooga Fire Department Fire Investigators. Chief Daniel Hague stated property damage to the structure was totaled at $20,000 with an additional $5,000 for the contents. City building officials were called to the scene and deemed the structure unsafe. The owner stated that he had a place to stay and he would take care of housing the tenant displaced from the attic apartment. No injuries were reported. The original automatic fire alarm call to UTC was a faulty detector and there was no fire.

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Monterey, TN. The Putnam County Rescue Squad's High Angle Rope Rescue Team rescued an adult fall victim at Bee Rock, after a rappelling accident on Sunday, December 27th. It is unclear what caused the 54 year old rappeller to fall, but her injuries were such that the Rescue Squad's High Angle Rescue Team was summoned to the scene. "We received a 911 call that someone had fallen from a significant height at Bee Rock, and that she was seriously injured," stated Putnam County 911 director Mike Thompson. "The caller was able to give us clear and detailed information to allow dispatchers to initiate the appropriate agency responses without delays," he explained. Coincidentally, a Putnam County paramedic was hiking in the area with his family and witnessed the fall. He was able to begin assessing the patient before initial responders arrived. When the team was alerted, around 12 members responded, carrying rappelling equipment, fourwheelers, and a specialized Gator that is equipped to transport patients in areas not accessible by other means. Under the command of Putnam County EMT and rope rescue team leader Eddy Haynes, the group quickly rigged a rope system to lower a stokes basket (a specialized piece of equipment that carries the patient while suspended on ropes) to rescuers with the patient below. Putnam County EMS and rescue personnel already made initial access to the patient by walking the jagged trail leading around the bluff face, but because of many rescues like this one before, they knew lifting the patient up the bluff was the safest way to extract her. Once the patient was secured in the stokes basket, an EMT clipped

JUMP TO FILE #122815118 into the basket as well (to help care for the patient during the lift) and rescuers methodically lifted them both to the top. "We have a very dedicated team of folks who always come to these rescues, knowing it's going to be hard work and knowing the conditions are difficult," stated rescue squad Assistant Chief David Anderson. A University of Tennessee Lifestar helicopter was waiting in Monterey to transport the patient to UT Medical Center, in Knoxville, for advanced trauma care. The patient was considered to be in serious condition at the time of transport. The Rescue Squad's High Angle Rope Rescue Team is a partnership between Putnam County EMS and Putnam County's Rescue Squad, with medical team members capable of being on ropes to provide care during missions like this one. Anderson continued, "These calls require a lot of teamwork and that's something we have no shortage of here in Putnam County. The fire department had our trailers hooked up and ready for us, Monterey Fire was handling the landing zone five miles away, and everyone at the scene did whatever was necessary to help take care of the patient and keep each other safe. We are fortunate to have the relationships and personalities we do here." Agencies who responded to assist with the call were the Putnam County Rescue Squad, Putnam County EMS, Monterey Fire Department, and Putnam County Sheriff's Department. - BRANDON SMITH

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February, 2016


WHERE ARE THEY NOW? If you have photos you would like to see in our Where are they Now? feature please upload them on our website or email them to


House fire in Knoxville At 10:25 p.m. on January 10th, units from the Knoxville Fire Department responded to 925 Woodland Ave. for report of a house fire. The call came in after the Knoxville Police Department and a JUMP TO FILE # medic unit had re- 011216135 sponded to a drug overdose call at this address, and found flames shooting from the front window. Two police officers kicked in the front door, and pulled the victim out of the inferno. When fire crews arrived, they found CPR being administered to the victim, so firefighters went directly to extinguishing the flames. The victim was transported to Tennova Hospital with unspecified medical conditions, while the two officers drove themselves to UT Hospital to be treated for minor smoke inhalation. No further injuries were reported, and the cause of the fire is being investigated. - DJ CORCORAN


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February, 2016

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Accountability tags


Chaplain's Corner Didymus McHugh


House fire leaves three homeless Chattanooga, TN. No injuries were reported in connection with a house fire at 1706 South Orchard Knob Avenue. The Chattanooga Fire Department received the alarm around 1:30 p.m. on January 4th and responded to the scene with five fire companies. A resident of the house told Battalion Chief Chris Willmore that the fire started in a shed in the back yard, but strong winds pushed the flames in the direction of the house. The residents reportedly

JUMP TO FILE #010616102 didn't know about the fire until a neighbor banged on their door to alert them. The firefighters got the blaze under control in roughly 30 minutes, but the damage to the house and two cars parked in the driveway was substantial. A pet dog chained up near the shed received some burns to it’s hind-quarters before firefighters

moved it away from the fire. Personnel with the McKamey Animal Center were called in to care for the dog. Volunteers with the American Red Cross of Southeast Tennessee were called in to provide assistance to the three people who lived in the home. The cause of the fire is under investigation. Chattanooga police and Hamilton County EMS also provided assistance on the scene. - BRUCE GARNER

Back in the 1990’s, my fire department started using accountability tags. Each person was assigned a number that was engraved on two tags. We were to wear these tags on our gear. We were to put one tag on the apparatus and the other at the assignment of your work. The idea was that when things got bad, and everyone got evacuated from a building, they could tell which person was missing, if any. When the evacuation signal was sounded or transmitted, firefighters are to evacuate and P.A.R. is to be taken, to see who if anyone, is missing. This system was devised because the incident commander is held accountable for every individual on the scene. What happened to us when we are not on the scene? Where do we tag in? Who are we accountable to and who is accountable for us? What are you accountable for? We are held accountable for our actions, words and deeds, even though we did not tag in to an apparatus. We as individuals are held accountable for ourselves in society. We are accountable. The first reported accountability that I have seen was that Adam and Eve were held accountable, to God, for eating the forbidden fruit. Also Cain was held accountable, to God, for murdering his brother. (Cain had even asked God, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”) We may not like to think of it but

we are responsible for our deeds, actions and words. You may think that you do not need to be accountable because you have not physically murdered anyone. There are times when just saying, “my bad” does not cover things. When were you not truthful? When did your words or actions hurt someone, if they put their trust in you or not? It states that each of us is to give an account of himself to God. Do you know that the disciples were sent out in two’s? Talk about the first two in two out before the fire service. Well, it was done for a few reasons. First, when there are two people one can encourage the other. Second, if anything happens to one, the second can take care of the first. Third, accountability. If the two were given an assignment, they were accountable to make sure that the task was performed as it should have been. This made sure that no one was freelancing. We know how important it is not to freelance. If we are married or in a relationship, we hold each other accountable, especially with the most intimate details. If we hold our children accountable for what they say or do, should we also set the example since we ourselves are accountable? Search your own hearts and see what actions you did that may seem questionable. Accountability is so strongly tied in with ethics and caring for people. You may get away with certain actions in the “now” but you will be held accountable for it, in the “future”.

Flames through roof in Knoxville At 12:45 a.m. on January 6th, units from the Knoxville Fire Department were dispatched to the 2100 block of Citrus Street, near Cherry Street, for a report of flames shooting through the roof of a structure. First arriving firefighters were familiar with the uninhabitable vacant home, and immediately deployed hand lines for a defensive, exterior attack, and advised the second arriving companies to secure a water source from a nearby hydrant. Fire had already reached the attic and burned through the trusses and roofing shingles, making the structure unsafe to enter.


JUMP TO FILE #010616109 Utilities to the home had previously been disconnected, so the cause of the fire is suspicious, but no determination as of yet. Because of the freezing temperature, the city's service department responded with salt and sand to prevent water runoff from becoming a frozen mess for morning commuters. No injuries are reported at this time. - DJ CORCORAN

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February, 2016


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February, 2016

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Fire destroys home on Big Ridge Chattanooga, TN. High winds helped a fire destroy a home in the Big Ridge community on January 4th. The Chattanooga Fire Department received the initial alarm at 1:57 p.m. and responded to 1826 Colonial Shores Drive with six fire companies. Lt. Scott Sheets with Quint 19 said smoke and flames were visible when the first firefighters arrived on the scene. Lt. Sheets said firefighters were initially told that someone might still be inside the house, so firefighters made their way inside the smoke-filled structure. The firefighters didn't find anyone after a quick search and were

JUMP TO FILE #010615103 beginning to make an interior attack on the fire when flames broke through the roof. At that point, Lt. Sheets ordered all firefighters out of the structure for their own protection. Firefighters said that the strong winds helped the fire spread early on, making it that much more difficult to get the blaze under control. It took more than an hour before firefighters were able to get most of the fire out, but they would have to remain on the scene for sev-


eral hours to put out the remaining hot spots. Though the garage was saved, the house will be considered a total loss. No injuries were reported. Firefighters were told that three people live in the house and all were reportedly away at the time of the fire. The cause of the fire is under investigation by Captains Henry McElvain and Anthony Moore with the Fire Investigation Division. Chattanooga police and Hamilton County EMS also provided assistance on the scene. - BRUCE GARNER

In my November column, I wrote about a fatal structure fire that Central Nyack (NY) Fire Chief Mike Healy responded to. Chief Healy arrived on the scene within a few minutes after dispatch and found a working fire in what appeared to be a wellmaintained building, typical of any one-family suburban dwelling. In actuality, the former onefamily house had been converted illegally for a three-family occupancy. Chief Healy sent firefighters into the burning building because there were reports of a female resident trapped inside. Search and rescue evolutions, particularly before the fire was brought under control, can be very dangerous and confusing. In this case, even more so because the building had been converted without building permits; and there were numerous violations that one would not find in a normal floor plan for a legal onefamily house. I am not sure if it is due to the economy in our area of New York State with the high cost of living or a lack of strong enforcement of the building and fire codes, but in any case, we are experiencing a proliferation of illegally converted buildings in many areas of our county. In many cases, no fines are ever levied or very small ones, which do not act as a deterrent. Regardless of the reasons, illegal landlords appear to be making so much money that they feel comfortable continuing to invest in the conversion of large numbers of buildings, with little threat from local government. They create revenue flows, consisting of mostly cash with no

leases and frequently rented to undocumented tenants, who do not complain to the authorities. In recognition of the weakness of the legal system to effectively prohibit the spread of these illegal conversions, we have encouraged the formation of civic groups. We as citizens have substantial power in civil court and otherwise to affect positive changes. These groups have been ferreting out illegal structures by sometimes going street by street looking for illegal buildings and reporting them to the proper government enforcement agencies. These groups then follow the cases in meetings at local Zoning Board of Appeals, Planning Boards, as well as court hearings. For controversial cases, they can fill a Hearing Room to full capacity, supplying speakers on the topic. They can also follow the court cases, taking notes on the proceedings and objecting or going to the media when a dismissal is considered or a small fine for a major violation is levied. These groups are highly effective, particularly when working with the local fire departments. They are making life very uncomfortable for the bad guys, who put our firefighters and residents in tremendous danger. It is also very satisfying to see successful prosecutions and large fines imposed upon unscrupulous slum landlords who jeopardize the safety of others for their own greedy financial benefit. If you would like more information on how to get a group started in your coverage area, feel free to give me a call at 845-3648933 or e-mail me at

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Terrorism, Still A Threat, Part II STAYING SAFE

Chief Henry Campbell

The ink had hardly dried on the last column, “Terrorism, Still a Threat” when it stuck its’ deadly face into the San Bernardino, California community on Wednesday, December 2. Two terrorists, acting in a matter of minutes, killed 14 people and injured another 20 gathered in a conference room for training and a holiday party. Later the same day, the two terrorists, after engaging police in a vehicle chase and shootout, were shot and killed by police. Were these the only terrorists in our country, or are there more? The answer is quite simple, there are more. Both homegrown and imported, operating alone or with others, determined to force us to capitulate to their ideals. So far they have failed therefore they continue sporadic attacks across the country, requiring all Americans to remain ever vigilant. “If you see something, say something”. For those in fire and EMS, you must maintain your training and coordination with local law enforcement agencies in our communities to stay updated as to incidents involving Active Shooters. Active shooters may be terrorists or just crazed individuals bent on killing for one reason or another. In the end, there may be any number of dead and wounded individuals, with the wounded in need of immediate medical assistance. Since the Columbine shooting in 1999, law enforcement agencies have changed their response strategy and tactics relative to active shooters, and they continue to do so today. A major change that took place is that there is almost an immediate response and entry into the building, where there is an active shooter. The police no longer stage and await SWAT teams. First arriving police officers have been trained and are expected to make immediate entry in an effort to neutralize any suspects. In doing so, this will enable faster medical response for injured individuals. There is no doubt that, in doing so; police officers place themselves in extreme danger in order to reduce the loss of life. Many Americans, including some emergency service personnel, feel they live in small communities that could not and would not ever be a target for terrorist activity, only big cities would be targets. Not so, terrorist activities can occur in any size community and any location, urban or rural. Terrorism causes fear, and fear spreads across the nation no matter

the size of the community the event occurred in, therefore all emergency responders must be prepared to safely respond and to act. In light of the San Bernardino shooting, the Department of Homeland Security has posted on it’s web site information and links that provide valuable information for first responders for keeping them safe. I encourage you to review, study, and pass on the information to fellow first responders. The following is excerpted from that page: “DHS Resources Available for Active Shooter Preparedness and Response Efforts; Materials to Help Raise Awareness and Strengthen First Response Efforts With the chilling rise in public mass shootings – exemplified by the devastating incidents in San Bernardino and Paris – the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other government agencies have released a broad range of resources to help first responders enhance active shooter preparedness and response efforts. The materials, which include videos, webinars, free online courses and literature, are available through the Active Shooter Preparedness Web Page, Active Shooter and Complex Attacks Resource and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Active Shooter website. Mission Manager users are encouraged to upload pertinent materials into their document libraries for team readiness or community outreach/PR efforts (see links below). The San Bernardino incident occurred shortly after the horrific Paris attacks in which multiple casualty events occurred simultaneously. Complex attacks such as the Paris massacre require a preplanned, integrated response among multiple agencies, including enforcement, fire and rescue personnel, and EMS across multiple jurisdictions. To help prepare first responders for complex, simultaneous attacks here in the U.S., the DHS Office of Health Affairs (OHS) released its Active Shooter and Complex Attacks Resource” (PDF, 236 Kb). The document was also distributed to emergency management personnel via the Dec. 3 issue of the EMRISAC newsletter. Additionally, the DHS also launched the Active Shooter Preparedness Web Page to help prepare first responders and the “whole community” for active shooter situations.” The link to the web page is: m/dhs-resources-available-for-active-shooter-preparedness-and-response-efforts-materials-to-help-rai se-awareness-and-strengthen-coordination-among-first-responders Till next time, Stay Safe and God Bless!

February, 2016



February, 2016

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Bat. Chief Chris Croughwell, center, leads the honor guard during a ceremony for the ten year anniversary of 9/11.

Lake County Fire Rescue honor guard presented colors during the Orlando Magic game Tavares, FL. The fire service honor guard has a long standing tradition of preserving the legacy of its fallen, but on occasion, the team’s job is a bit more lighthearted. On Monday, Dec. 28, four members of the Lake County Fire Rescue Honor Guard presented the colors during the Orlando Magic vs. New Orleans Pelicans game at the Amway Center. “We are excited about it,” said Lake County Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Chris Croughwell, founding member of the Honor Guard. “We can’t wait.” The Honor Guard’s first official event was the county’s Sept. 11 anniversary memorial at Hickory Point in 2002. Also that year, the group traveled to Washington, D.C., to represent Lake County in a ceremony at the nation’s capital. And one decade after the Twin

JUMP TO FILE #121715100 Towers fell, claiming the lives of 343 of their brothers, the Honor Guard also presented the colors for the 10th anniversary of the terror attacks at the Lake County Administration Building rotunda, honoring a relic of the World Trade Center. The piece of steel is now prominently displayed at the Public Safety Department’s headquarters. Asked why he helped form the team in 2001, Croughwell said there was a need for Fire Rescue to pull together a formal Honor Guard for ceremonies, funerals and memorial services. “It represents the camaraderie of the fire department,” said Croughwell. “The military and po-

lice have honor guards, and we are representing our own.” The group is often requested for civic and church events, as well as casket guard for members of FDNY who retired, moved to Florida and passed away here. Earlier this year, the Honor Guard had the somber task of providing funeral honors for the late Lake County Assistant Fire Chief Jack Fillman. With 12 members, both male and female, including two pipeplayers, all firefighters are welcome in the Honor Guard, however it’s no easy task to make the team. Probationary members must attend monthly meetings and train for at least six months before getting their full uniform. Past military service is a plus. - ELISHA PAPPACODA


Firefighters battle house fire in Fort Lauderdale

During the early morning of December 23rd, units from the 2nd Battalion responded to a reported structure fire in an abandoned house. First units arriving found heavy flames and smoke showing from the rear of the structure. Crews initiated an interior attack which took ten minutes to bring under control. There were no injuries and the home sustained significant damage.

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February, 2016

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Madiera Beach firefighter honored with special ceremony Fire officers and firefighters from numerous fire departments recently initiated one of their own into the fraternal order of Freemasonry. Madeira Beach Driver/Engineer Dominic Bueller was made a Master Mason in Gulf Beach Masonic Lodge No. 291, located in the beautiful city of Madeira Beach (FL). Participating in the ceremony were personnel from the following departments: Clearwater, Hillsborough County, Tarpon Springs, East Lake, Pinellas Park, East Brunswick, NJ, and Madeira

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JUMP TO FILE #011215128 Beach. Sixty five masons were in attendance, including the Grand Master of Mason in Florida, Stephen P. Boring. Freemasonry is the world’s oldest and largest non-religious, non-political, charitable fraternal order. It’s motto is “Making good men better”. - DERRYL O'NEAL

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Fully involved house fire It was a busy day for Southern Manatee Fire & Rescue on January 13th. A resident walking in this quiet neighborhood notified dispatch of a house fire on 31 St East. The house has been vacant for a number of years. On arrival, firefighters were greeted with fire through the roof, extending into 100 year old trees with embers falling on a neighbor’s house. Firefighters protected the exposures and keep the fire out of the trees as they went to a defensive attack.

JUMP TO FILE #011315121 Once the main body of fire was knocked down, firefighters were able to go interior to finish. Incident commander was Battalion Chief Chris Gould. Southern Manatee Engine-321, Truck-343311 along with Manantee County EMS District-13 and Medic-19 worked the scene. - WILLIE CIRONE

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February, 2016

1ST Responder Newspaper - SE

1ST Responder Newspaper - SE

February, 2016



February, 2016

1ST Responder Newspaper - SE


Deltona helps with Santa lists


Department of Public Safety 2015 Employee of the Year Congratulations to Paramedic Jim Foran, Levy County Department of Public Safety’s (LCDPS) 2015 Employee of the Year. At the annual LCDPS Christmas Dinner on Saturday, December 12th, Jim was awarded Employee of the Year as voted by his peers. During the nomination process, Jim was described by his coworkers as: going above and beyond, able to remain calm even in the face of adversity, always willing to help, hard-worker, there when you need him, gets the job done, easy to talk to, professional, quick to respond,

JUMP TO FILE #121715103 and helpful Jim has been serving Levy County as a member of the department since 1996 and continues to show his commitment to serving others and dedication to the department on a daily basis. LCDPS thanks Black Prong Equestrian Center for helping to make this event a great success! - ALESHA RINAUDO

This holiday season, the Deltona Professional Fire Fighters I.A.F.F. Local 2913 and the Deltona Fire Fighters Foundation partnered with the Deltona City Manager Janet Shang, Deltona Fire Administration, Lowes of Deltona and Deltona residents to bring Christmas to eleven families with thirtyone children. This project is in its second year and was JUMP TO FILE# spearheaded by Lt. 122115108 Christine Gallagher of “A” Shift Engine 64. Lt. Gallagher comprised the list after speaking with local school guidance counselors and then contacted the parents to find out what assistance the families needed during the holiday season. Lt. Gallagher, with help of the parents determined what each child was interested in and so each child’s gifts were then customized to reflect their interests whether it was art, computer games, puzzles and so forth. Several of the children are special needs so extra thought was put into their “Santa lists”. One family in particular on needed clothing for their family. The children range in age from eighteen months to seventeen years

of age. Some two hundred toys, including several bicycles were purchased or donated after Gallagher received $1500 in cash and gift cards. On a side note, a local Deltona eight year old girl name Caitlynn asked her parents that in lieu of birthday presents she be allowed to donate toys to help the less fortunate as well as the Deltona firefighters from Battalion Chief William “Bush” Swisher’s “A” shift made the decision that during their annual Christmas party they would donate toys instead of holding the usual party


Chinese gift exchange. The toys and stocking stuffers along with eleven complete Christmas dinners were delivered by Gallagher and her firefighter “elves” on a large pink sleigh, Pink 162, a reserve Deltona fire apparatus. The truck was used to distract the children while the elves sneaked the gifts into the homes so the children will wake up in the morning to a tree full of presents and a glass of empty milk and a plate full of cookie crumbs. - MARK DALTON

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Southern Manatee handles rush hour MVA Southern Manatee Engine 311 responded to a three car MVA on Route 70 and 5th St Ct East Tuesday night, January 5th, in the peak of rush hour. On arrival, two of the vehicles were still in the roadway leaking fluids and a third on a side road. A number of occupants of the vehicles were evaluated by Manatee County Ems and a supervisor unit.

JUMP TO FILE #010516109 One person was transported. Firefighters secured the leaking fluids from the vehicles and cleaned the roadway. - WILLIE CIRONE

February, 2016



February, 2016

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Largo donates equipment

Crews working to plug the leak.


Palm Bay responds to overturned tanker On December 14, 2015, Palm Bay Fire Rescue units responded to an overturned tanker at the intersection of Babcock St and Malabar Rd. Palm Bay Engine 5 arrived with a size-up of a tanker on it's side with product leaking and the driver is still inside the cab. Command was established and more resources were assigned. Palm Bay E-5 was tasked with extrication of the driver while E-1 and E-21 was tasked with diking the

JUMP TO FILE #121815103 product from entering the drainage canal. E-2 personnel with Brevard County Haz-Mat conducted plugging operations to slow the leak. The driver had no life threatening injuries. The product was a sludge mixture from a local farm not highly combustible fuel as originally thought. No placards were

visible. Crews assisted with containment while private contractors pumped off the residual product. Wreckers uprighted the tanker after all product was off loaded. All units worked together in a coordinated command to mitigate the incident. Traffic had to be diverted around the scene for four hours. - ANTHONY GIANANTONIO

In keeping with a long tradition of helping those in need, Largo Fire Rescue made a donation of equipment to the Pinellas Park High School First Responders Program. The donation of portable radio chargers, portable radios, protective hoods, turnout gear bags, fire gloves, fire boots, fire helmets, sets of turnout gear, and spare portable radio batteries will assist the program's mission to ready students for entry into post-secondary education and/or employment opportunities as first responders through a comprehensive program that trains individuals for planning and initial response to emergency and disaster situation. While the protective gear is no


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JUMP TO FILE #110415106 longer compliment with current fire industry standards for “real” fire conditions and the radios are no longer compatible with the current digital radio system used by Pinellas County, the donated equipment will serve as great training and practice gear for the first responder program. The First Responders Program is a four-year magnet program opened in the Fall of 2009 at Pinellas Park High School. - TERRY TOKARZ

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February, 2016




February, 2016

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IN SERVICE If you have photos you would like to see in our In Service feature please upload them on our website or email them to



Suspicious fire at Oak Tree Village Ocala, FL On January 5, 2016, a fire of suspicious nature broke out at Oak Tree Village Mobile Home Park’s Administrative Office early in the morning. Ocala Fire Rescue responded to reports of a structure JUMP TO FILE # fire at 4039 NW 010616107 Blitchton Road, at 2:23 a.m. Flames extending from the office, on to the eves of the structure were visible as the first units arrived on site. After forcing entry into the office, a primary search for occupants was completed. The search confirmed there was no one in the building, leaving firefighters to continue with fire suppression. Once the fire was extinguished, overhaul of salvageable items and ventilation of the room commenced. The cause of the fire is under investigation. Preliminary scene examination by an Ocala Fire Rescue investigator and accelerant detection K-9 team suggest the fire may have been intentionally started. - ASHLEY LOPEZ

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February, 2016



February, 2016

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Vehicle collision in Bushnell Just prior to 8:00 a.m. on December 22, 2015, Sumter County Fire and EMS (SCFEMS) was alerted to a motor vehicle accident in Bushnell on Main Street where one victim was reported to be entrapped. SCFEMS Engine 22, Squad 22, Chief 3, Battalion 11 and Rural Metro EMS responded to the scene. Upon arrival, crews found a school bus and two vehicles involved in the accident; fortunately, there were no children on the bus. One of the vehicles; a pick-up truck, was resting precariously on

JUMP TO FILE #122315104 its roof against an electrical pole with a male victim trapped inside. Fire crews immediately jumped into action by stabilizing the vehicle, using the Jaws of Life they were able to cut the man out of the vehicle in three minutes. The victim was turned over to Rural Metro EMS and transported to Ocala Regional Hospital for further treatment. - LELAND GREEK


Ocala Fire Rescue accepts K-9 vehicle Anticipation filled the air as Captain Roseanne Moreland, Ocala Fire Rescue (OFR), officially accepted the keys to a vehicle for use by the department’s accelerant detection team. After obtaining a K-9 through State Farm’s Arson Dog Program, the insurance company made sure OFR representatives learned of

JUMP TO FILE #121615100 opportunities to obtain a vehicle, for their accelerant detection team, through non-profit organizations. It was by way of research and guidance that the Recycled Rides program was discovered.

Recycled Rides, a program of the National Auto Body Council, located a 2008 Honda Pitot which would serve the needs of OFR’s accelerant detection team. This vehicle, found in South Florida and in need of repairs, was transported to Ocala free of charge. - ASHLEY LOPEZ

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February, 2016


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Florida Army National Guard exercise On Thursday, January 7, 2016, firefighters from Jacksonville Fire Rescue and First Coast Navy Fire & Emergency Services responded to a simulated aircraft crash incident at Cecil Commerce Center. For the drill, a CH-47F Chinook helicopter, flown by soldiers from Detachment 1, Company B (Heavy Helicopter) /1-111th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion) Florida Army National Guard landed at a remote part of the airfield. The exercise scenario was started by a pre briefed radio call to the control tower from the Chinook crew informing the tower that they had a onboard fire, and they were loosing altitude. The fire/rescue response consisted of multiple apparatus from both fire departments. First Coast Navy firefighters are currently operating out of the Cecil Commerce Center to support US Navy fixed wing aircraft operating from this airfield while the runways are under construction at NAS Jacksonville. A total of three Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) engines, one quick attack, and one structural engine responded along with Jacksonville Aviation Authority officials.

JUMP TO FILE #011116104 Arriving firefighters found three of the four crewmembers had selfextricated from the CH-47F, but one was trapped inside the aircraft at the forward area of the cargo compartment. This crewman was extricated and removed from the aircraft. After the simulated rescue and firefighting activities were completed, firefighters were given a safety briefings on the Chinook helicopter. Additional aircraft familiarization training was conducted on a HH-60M Blackhawk flown by C Company (Air Ambulance), 1-111th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion) and a UH72A Lakota flown by Company B, 2-151st Aviation (Security & Support). This exercise allowed firefighters and soldiers to directly interact and train together to be better prepared to operate safely around these aircraft, and additionally how to respond to a emergency if they are ever tasked with a aircraft crash response. - CHRIS DILLEY

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Two apartments gutted in Coral Springs afternoon fire Just before 1 p.m. on Monday December 14, 2015, workers pressure cleaning smelled smoke as they were working on the roof at 10100 NW 35th Street in Coral Springs. By the time the first arriving fire unit was on scene, there was moderate smoke coming from two sides of the two-story multifamily apartment building. Smoke was coming from the front and rear doors, but even more troublesome was the smoke coming from the eves on the front and back of the building. It was apparent that the fire had extended to, or started in the attic space above one of the two units in that area of the building. A delay in calling 911 possibly contributed to the fire extending into the common attic space and igniting two separate apartments. Crews from the Coral Springs

JUMP TO FILE #010416112 Fire Department quickly deployed multiple hand-lines into both apartments in an attempt to gain control of the fire. Larger lines were put into operation on the ground and the water was concentrated into the common attic space. A sagging roof and intense heat above the heads of the attack crews called for an evacuation and exterior, defensive attack strategy. A second alarm was called to the scene to support the defensive plan and allow crews to rotate out of the hazardous environment. Firefighters from Margate, North Lauderdale, Broward Sheriff’s Office, Pompano Beach, and Tamarac responded as part of the second alarm to assist the efforts of




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the Coral Springs Fire Department. Fire investigators from the Coral Springs Fire Department, Coral Springs Police Department,


and the State of Florida Fire Marshal’s Office were called to the scene to determine the cause of the fire.

The investigation is still underway.


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FACES OF SOUTHEAST’S EMERGENCY SERVICES To see your photos in the newspaper, upload them on our website at or email them to


Sumter County Fire & EMS Engine 21 delivering toys to Lake Panasoffkee Elementary. (From left to right) Lt. Tony Dawkins, Principal Mrs.Veal, guidance counselor Mrs. Sherman, Fire/Medic Marcus Howard, F/F Aubrey Hackney. All three Firefighters are also members of the FFBA.


Deputy Fire Marshall Steve Lawrence giving an interview at a recent incident on the Sunshine Skyway South Fishing Pier.


Sumter County Fire & EMS Ladder 11 delivering toys to Bushnell Elementary. (From left to right)F/F Tim Garemore, Fire/Medic Nick Jones, Principal Mrs. Goodwin, Lt. Brad Morningstar, Guidance counselor Mrs. Strickland



Captain Cody Villines and firefighter Darren Clark training probationary firefighters on proper Mayday procedures.

Members of The Florida Firefighters Benevolent Association based out of Sumter County, FL along with the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), kicked off the fire fighters' annual Fill the Boot fundraising campaign to help save and improve the lives of people fighting muscle disease in the Lake/Sumter County area.

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Retired battalion chief mourned


First Responder Appreciation Week On Friday, January 8, 2016, Levy County Department of Public Safety along with Chiefland Fire Department visited sixth grade Chiefland Middle High School students to show them the different equipment used by First Responders during First Responder Appreciation Week. Crews discussed information with the students about the equipment, when and how to call 9-1-1, as well as career opportunities in the field of emergency response. LCDPS is making arrangements to return to the school to teach the students hands-only CPR.

It is with deep regret and a heavy heart that I announce the passing of retired Battalion Chief William Greene James Paton. Bill died in the early morning hours on January 2. Bill Paton began his career as a fire- JUMP TO FILE # fighter with the City 080713101 of Fort Lauderdale Fire Department on January 21, 1954. He was promoted to Fire Lieutenant on May 11, 1960. Promoted to District Commander (Battalion Chief) on March 6, 1977 and because of the pension ordinance at the time he was required to retire at age 50 which was only a week later on March 13, 1977. Bill Paton was born on March 13, 1927 and grew up in Cranston, Rhode Island a coastal city adjacent to Providence on the Pawtuxet River. This is probably why Bill loved the ocean and boating. He learned to sail at age 5 in a small 12’ Mercury dinghy. Bill enlisted in the United States Navy on March 3, 1945 just before his 18th birthday. WWII was still in progress and Bill was assigned to a surface warfare ship and headed to the Pacific Theater of Operations. After the war Bill moved to Fort Lauderdale.

During his career Bill loved the fire department and was active in many aspects and projects. He was assigned to the training bureau, assigned to the fire boat crew and was involved in both the IAFF and firefighters benevolent association. Bill was president of the benevolent association and was instrumental in acquiring the property and subsequent construction of the present day benevolent hall. This wasn’t the end of Bill’s firefighting career. Bill worked as a fire instructor for the Broward County School Board in 1977 and after construction of the Broward

Fire Academy in 1982, was a fixture and well liked instructor on staff for over 20 years. He was hired by the Broward County Fire Department as a Battalion Chief in March of 1983 where he worked for another 13 years until his retirement in 1996. Bill remained very active in the Fort Lauderdale Police and Firefighters Association and along with his fellow firefighters could be seen at many funerals and retiree meetings and events. William Paton will be missed by the many that knew him…but not forgotten! PROVIDED



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Newly hired EMT Morgan Vittone pins her dad, Deputy Chief Raf Vittone


Car fire in Polk County Fire Rescue promotes dozens Cedar Hammock kept out of exposure Polk County, FL. More than 60 individuals were recognized at Polk County Fire Rescue’s promotional and oath of office ceremonies held on October 21 and 22. During the ceremony, Paramedic John Bishop, Lieutenant Danny Washington, Lieutenant Nancy Gutierrez and Office of Medical Direction Office Manager Cheryl Jefferson were recognized for 25 years of service to the division. Keith Williams, Deputy Fire Chief of Fire Prevention and Raf Vittone, who was recently promoted to Deputy Chief of Medical Services took their oathes of office. Dustin Benefield, Gary Ball, Eugene Gorokhov, Ben Cassista and Charlie True were promoted to Bat-

JUMP TO FILE #112015133

talion Medical Chief. Ryan Corbett and Jeff Fussell were promoted to Battalion Chief. Jeffery Colburn, Said Elmatemour, Joey Harrison, Mike Long, Adam Magee, Garrett Parnell, Chris Pierson, Josh Rose, Scott Sawyer, David Seewright and Jason Soles were promoted to Lieutenant. David Anderson, Nicholas Blair, Elsi Bonilla, Cim Harris, Glenn Harshbarger, Antwann McMilan, Brittany Sheehan, Michael Smith and Jivinson st Juste were promoted to Engineer. Archie Austin was promoted to

Paramedic, and Mike Cammarata, Jessica Ray, Ben Ritchey and Clifton Sellers were promoted to Firefighter. Newly hired firefighters Sky Beard, Julio Castillo, Jake Chumley, Jonathan Hart, Joshua Jones and Ellert Thor Toohey; newly hired paramedics Michael Desane, Justin Krantz, Mike McKnight and Gina Riczko; newly hired EMTs Chris Hubers, Devin Johnson, Nick Lucas, Thomas Muraco, Morgan Vittone, Kiera Williams and Mandy Wyatt; newly hired engineer Alex Pullen; and newly hired part-time firefighters Mark Hines, Joseph Kemp, Angel A. Perazo, Ryan Smith and Kevin Timmer took their oathes of office.

As the full moon shined down on over Cedar Hammock, a call to dispatch came in of a car fire on 8th Street in the 5400 block. On arrival, Firefighters reported a working engine compartment which could possibly extend to an exposure. Firefighters quickly knocked down the fire.




Brush fire in Compound area

Units from Palm Bay Fire Rescue Stations 2, 4, and 6 battled a brush fire on the west side of the city with some significant wind conditions. District Chief 2 arrived with a size-up of one half of the block involved and moving quickly. As units arrived, District 2 was assigning apparatus to best knock down the head fire so it wouldn't jump a canal into the St. John's Water Management District. Engine 6 arrived on the East (heel) while three brush units arrived on the West (head) fire to get a quick knockdown. The wind was blowing from the east to the west. No homes were in danger and the head fire was knocked down within five minutes of the brush units arriving. Total units on scene were District Chief 2, Engines 4 and 6, Tender 4, and Brush 2, 4, and 6. Unknown cause of the fire.

Transportation Day at Oakhurst Elementary

Pinellas Suncoast Fire & Rescue District (PSFRD) recently participated in Oakhurst Elementary School’s “Transportation Day,” which is held every year in conjunction with the Great American Teach-In. Over 700 students toured PSFRD’s Truck 28, as well as the equipment of several other agencies used in the performance of their jobs. The students were amazed to see the variety of equipment carried on the truck and how much each firefighter carries when responding on a call.

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On the roof again in Cedar Hammock


Fire at Burger King (OCALA, Fla.) January 12, 2016 – Ocala Fire Rescue responded to a Burger King restaurant at 1:20 a.m., where a commercial structure fire was reported.Three engine companies, one rescue, a tower ladder, squad and safety officer, as well as a battalion chief, responded to 2900 SE 36th Avenue this morning. Upon arrival firefighters encountered a locked building with smoke clearly visible from the exterior. Forcing their way into the structure, firefighters quickly identified the air handler as the source of the fire and began attack to extinguish the flames. The fire was completely knocked down by 1:41 a.m. No injuries were reported.

An alert neighbor noticed smoke coming out of the eves of 357 Suwanee Ave Wednesday morning, January 6th. On arrival, units found a smoke condition coming JUMP TO FILE # from the overhang 010616110 on side "A," Firefighters went to work pulling the eves and cutting a inspection hole in the overhang. The fire was knocked down with no damage to the main house. Cedar Hammock 231-241 Battalion 2 along with Southern Manatee Engine331 and Manatee County EMS Unit 7 responded to the scene. - WILLIE CIRONE

Pulling the cut



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CERT volunteer recognized for service


Hazmat Response

A muriatic acid spill on State Road 44 in DeLand brought Volusia County's Hazardous Materials Team, along with firefighters from the cities of Deltona and DeLand, to the scene to mitigate the incident on December 17th. Thanks to their teamwork, everyone in the area remained safe.

To recognize the importance of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteers at Pinellas Suncoast Fire & Rescue District (PSFRD), Fire Chief Sal D’Angelo organized the first annual CERT recognition dinner. The informal gettogether featured baked ziti, salad, JUMP TO FILE# and all the trim- 121815110 mings, plus “dessert goodies” made by PSFRD Executive Assistant Ginger Lyle. The highlight of the evening featured Volunteer Coordinator Skip Hurter receiving an award for outstanding service to the team. If you ask Skip what being a coordinator means, he’ll tell you that it means not asking anyone to do what he wouldn’t do. He has been the Pinellas Suncoast CERT Coordinator for over ten years, which means that he and wife Norma have been to nearly every public event Pinellas Suncoast has attended during that time. Only the wedding of one of his children (they have five), a grandchild graduating (they have 12, plus spouses), or great grandchildren getting baptized (they have 3), have caused them not to be at an event. At the CERT recognition dinner, Skip was surprised to receive an award for outstanding service, because to Skip, he was just “leading by example!” Skip took the CERT course, because although he felt that he had “been there done that” when

it came to firefighting, having at one time been an Assistant Chief in Pottstown, PA, he still wanted to be involved in the fire department. When the notification went out for the CERT Coordinator position, Skip naturally volunteered. He also became a certified instructor

of the Basic CERT Course, as well as a ham radio operator. Although Skip has now stepped down as Coordinator, he and Norma will be staying on the team as regular members. MARSHALL EISS



Battalion Chief Karl Froling.

Volusia County announces promotions Longtime firefighters Todd Bastian and Karl Froling are the newest battalion chiefs with Volusia County Fire Rescue (VCFR). As battalion chiefs, they assist in the overall operations of the division, assuming command of firefighting crews and directing firefighting and rescue operations. Before joining VCFR in 1999, Bastian was a volunteer firefighter in New York and Colorado. He also had eight years of active duty service in the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army, serving in Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Bastian, a member of the HazMat Team and Safety Committee, is working toward a bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University. Froling began his employment

JUMP TO FILE #112015104 with VCFR in 2006 after working as a firefighter and driver engineer in South Florida and Deltona for nine years. Before his promotion, he served as the county’s technical rescue special ops commander during the reorganization of special teams into an on-duty format. He continues to serve as the technical rescue team leader. Additionally, Lesley Jones, Arron Wood, Mark Marella, Paul Barbour and Mark Collier were promoted to lieutenants. - KATE LIND


Fort Myers rollover with pin-in

At 2:17 p.m. on Decemer 1st, City of Fort Myers Engines 13 and 16, Battalion 11 and Lee County EMS Medic 18 were dispatched to Summerlin Road at Mathew Drive for a reported rollover crash. Upon arrival, Engine 13 advised they had a two vehicle crash with one minivan on it's side with one occupant trapped. Engine 13's crew with the assistance of Engine 16's crew stabilized the van and took out the windshield and rear window to access the trapped elderly female driver. It took approximately 15 minutes to remove the woman from the van and she and the driver of the second vehicle involved were both transported by LCEMS to Lee Memorial Hospital with minor to moderate injuries.

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HazMat partnership with local college Volusia County's Hazardous Materials Team partnered with Daytona State College to complete the 160-hour hazardous materials technician course. This course prepares participants to take the State of Florida Hazardous Materials Technician Certification Exam. The team has over 50 hazardous materials technicians who are prepared and ready!


PBCFR conducts multi company fuel farm drill at PBIA Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Station 81 recently conducted a multi company drill at Palm Beach International Airport. One of just many objectives of this exercise involved integrating the Aviation Firefighters with the outside stations (23, 24, 33) to mitigate a large Fuel Farm fire at ASIG, PBIA’s largest fuel distributor. Crews focused on Incident Command, extended foam opera-

JUMP TO FILE #121615108 tions with unstaffed ground monitors, uninterrupted water supply to the ARFF Dragons and working with equipment such as the Foam Tote & Trailer System. There was also a rescue element as a simulated ASIG employee was trapped or overcome by the smoke. Exercises like these

help crews maintain their high degree of training to assure the safety of all passengers flying in and out of our area. Outstanding job by all participants and special thanks to Aviation Staff Captain Chris Permenter for the facilitation of the drill. - ALBERT BORROTO


If you have photos you would like to see in our Emergency Aircraft feature, please upload them on our website or email them to


North River Fire responds to house fire

North River Fire District responded to a report of a house fire on Palm Ave in the Ellenton section of town Tuesday morning, December 22nd. On arrival, units found a working fire in this single family dwelling. The second due laid LDH to a nearby hydrant. The fire made it’s way into the attic above the fire room. It was reported the fire was held to the room of origin.

St. Petersburg boat with divers preparing to go in.


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PSFRD CERT collects a truck load of toys “F” was the mantra of the Pinellas Suncoast Fire & Rescue District (PSFRD) Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) at their 11th annual toy drive at the Publix on Walsingham Road recently. Not only did they fill the truck, but they also collected $200 in cash donations. “We get a lot of toys for the younger kids but not as much for the older kids, so we use the cash

JUMP TO FILE #121815109 received to buy gift cards for older kids,” stated Skip Hurter, coordinator for the team. “We appreciate Publix Manager, John Barber, and his staff for supporting the drive by making it an event, providing signage and announcements during the day

about the toy drive in the store,” continued Hurter. The toys and gift cards are taken to the Greater Ridgecrest Area Youth Development Initiative to be disbursed. The drive was started in 2004 in conjunction with the Indian Rocks Publix Car and Truck Show.

Cedar Hammock with a truck fire Shortly before noon on December 21st, Cedar Hammock Engine 221 was dispatched to a truck fire in the parking lot of the Habachi Grill on First Street, which is the far end of the north east district. On arrival, they found a well involved small pick-up truck with no exposures. The fire was quickly knocked down without incident.




Southern Manatee knocks mattress fire Just as night began to fall in the Southern Manatee Fire and Rescue District, a person reported smoke coming from his neighbors house. On arrival, units confirmed smoke coming from the duplex structure. Engine Company 321 stretched the first attack line in. Firefighters found a mattress on fire

JUMP TO FILE #122915110 in one of the bedrooms and quickly knocked it down. Once the fire was under control ventilation was established. Battalion 3 had Command

along with responding units Southern Manatee Engine 311-312 and Cedar Hammock engine 221 and Manatee County EMS. 9th Street is a busy road and was shut down by the Manatee County Sheriffs Department. - WILLIE CIRONE

Train versus RV in Sumter County Sumteer County Fire & EMS crews were on the scene of a train versus camper collision in Bushnell at 2:25 p.m. on December 30th. No injuries or other hazards were reported. The initial impact occurred at Central Avenue and the train came to a stop at Noble Avenue. The accident caused major congestion in the area.

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SWAT Paramedic Ramon Gonzalez, Lt. Even Towns SWAT EMT Robert Brown, SWAT EMT Matt Norris, SWAT Paramedic John Mikula, Assistant Fire Chief Rick Parnell

Polk County honors outstanding service Fire Lieutenant provides aid in Africa


Bartow, FL. Polk County Fire Rescue’s annual award ceremony on Dec. 8 honored the outstanding service and dedication of the volunteers and paid personnel that keep it running. Recognized were Explorer of the Year Nick Riggall, Reservist of the Year Mike George, Support Services Person of the Year Elaine Stogner, Inspector of the Year Kim Turne,r Friend of Fire Rescue Dave Walters (Civilian Honoree),* Iguana Award Aarthur Thegpen, EMT of the Year Venetia Giger, Paramedic of the Year Even Towns, Firefighter of the Year Timothy Titus, Fire Officer of the Year Ramon Gonzalez and Robert Gilmore, Meritorious Service Award Louis Trasport (posthumously) Benjamin Lang, and Medal of Valor Breanna Campion and Lisa Griffis. Polk County Fire Rescue also awarded two Unit Citations for ‘outstanding performance, dedication and service to the residents and visitors of Polk County, Fla.’ The first was awarded to Lt.

JUMP TO FILE #121815108 Terry Stringer, Lt. Michael Martin, Lt. Robert Williams, Lt. Edward Huff, Engineer Michael Keiser and Battalion Medical Chief Audrey Pate for the save of a two-year-old downing victim on March 22, 2015. As a direct result of their skills and treatment, this drowning victim was released from the hospital and has made a full recovery. The second was awarded to SWAT Paramedic Ramon Gonzalez, SWAT Paramedic John Mikula, SWAT EMT Matt Norris and SWAT EMT Robert Brown for their rapid response and extraction of SWAT Paramedic John Mikula after he was shot during a standoff with a barricaded subject. The bullet narrowly missed major arteries in his neck and shoulder. After three months of recovery and therapy, he was able to return to full duty.

Every day, Volusia County Fire Rescue’s Lt. Jeff Mullinax is energetic and passionate while providing emergency assistance to the county’s residents and visitors. He was recently given the opportunity to go far beyond those boundaries and offer support to the people of West Africa. Mullinax traveled with other members of his Flagler County church to Togo, West Africa, on a 10-day mission trip. The 10-member team left with the goals of designing, building and setting roof trusses for a new church and designing building structures for a planned youth camp. Before their arrival, the team knew there were no big-box stores

JUMP TO FILE #121815124 in which to purchase hardware supplies. Virtually everything had to be made from scratch for the construction project, including the concrete blocks used in the building process. Lumber was locally sourced from the surrounding jungle. The people of Togo are impoverished, and mechanics and spare parts for equipment are scarce. This required the team to repair most of the equipment before they were able to begin construction. Despite the lack of material

wealth, Mullinax was constantly “impressed by the kindness, friendliness, generosity and determination exhibited by the West Africans.” These traits were evident in a nation where the locals live in an uneasy political climate with extremely poor or lacking infrastructure and often unavailable or outrageously expensive utilities. Mullinax plans to return to Togo in 2016 with his wife and 17year-old daughter so they may experience first-hand life in West Africa and witness the human spirit that has flourished there in spite of numerous obstacles. - KATE LIND

Vehicle News


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In Jacksonville, FL Ladder Company 44 with be receiving a 2015 Pierce Enforcer 105’ heavy duty ladder.

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Stay Safe Out There EMS ISSUES


Every CFR, EMT and paramedic is taught about scene safety in their basic classes — if it doesn’t look safe, don’t enter and wait for police to secure the scene. Unfortunately this basic rule, while still very wise, isn’t enough anymore. An alarming number of EMS personnel have been attacked on duty, sometimes at a scene and sometimes in the ambulance itself. This scourge of violence is happening in cities and suburbs, it happens throughout the state, the nation and even the world. Just recently on December 11, a Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS, Australia) paramedic was pummeled during a call resulting in serious facial injury requiring stitches and bruising to the upper part of his body. According to a Queensland Ambulance Service spokesperson, “In the past few years, we have noticed an unfortunate increase in the number of assaults on our staff by both patients and bystanders. … It’s a serious issue that affects all first responders, health workers and emergency services personnel.” In response to the increasing numbers of violent attacks, all QAS paramedics undergo Situational Awareness For Everyday Encounters (SAFE) training. The purpose of ‘SAFE’ training is to: • Promote professionalism and the use of good practice; • Identify the need for continuous threat assessment, risk minimization and situational awareness; • Enhance safety and a safe working environment; • Promote the use of tactical communication skills in the safe and effective resolution of workplace issues and conflict incidents; and • Identify and promote the need for QAS officers to report incidents of workplace violence and/or assaultive behavior. Right here in America, we’ve witnessed horrifying attacks on our EMS personnel: Jan. 2009, Cape Vincent, NY, Volunteer EMT Mark B. Davis was shot and killed by a man he was treating in a residence; May 2005, Tulsa, OK, Oologah paramedic Emily O’Banion was beaten and stabbed by a drug-seeking attacker; July, 2006, Madison County, NC, a paramedic was shot in the chest by a patient. Ambulance personnel routinely encounter patients under the influence of drugs or alcohol, EDPs, emotional family members

and bystanders. EMTs and paramedics are hit, bitten, kicked, some have weapons pulled on them, some have been fired upon or had bricks and other projectiles thrown at them… and it is well known that many incidents are not even reported. Because of the number of mentally incapacitated patients, many times due to intoxication, drug interactions, and other illnesses, many EMTs and paramedics consider the risk of assault to be just “part of the job”; casual complaints made by newbie EMS personnel about a patient who got out of hand are frequently dismissed and responders who are groped by patients (both sexes) often get teased. A high level of acceptance has caused the growing problem to go relatively unnoticed with only the tragedies getting mass media coverage. No first responder should be put at undue risk or made to accept physical harm as a routine part of the job. In December 2015, NYS Governor Cuomo signed into a law a bill that will help protect emergency medical service paramedics or technicians; Senate Bill S. 4839 amends a previous law “to provide stronger protection for emergency medical service paramedics and technicians, who, while performing their assigned duties, are attacked by individuals who intend to cause bodily injury to these public servants.” The new law makes it a felony to physically attack EMTs or paramedics no matter what the intent. Leaders of EMS organizations need to encourage (and support) personnel to report all incidents of violent behavior. Agency administrators also need to provide more training for members (both volunteer and paid) to safely handle situations and defend themselves when necessary. There are a few organized courses available that could be considered; one such program is Defensive Tactics for EMS (DT4EMS) which was recently renamed Escaping Violent Encounters for EMS and Fire (EVE4EMS/Fire) teaches practical skills for defusing, avoiding and escaping purposeful violence while appropriately managing medical patients demonstrating physical manifestations. Staying safe is more than just donning gloves and eye protection. Proper training would mandate a financial outlay, but one that could save the lives of the EMS personnel who are helping to protect our communities; municipalities could help subsidize these programs for non-profit EMS. It’s worth the investment.



Water rescue training On December 27th, the Huntsville Fire Department Swift Water Rescue Team responded multiple times for incidents. With rain expected to continue throughout the evening into tomorrow, the water is likely going to continue to rise. Residents were encouraged to stay of the roads.


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February, 2016

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1st Responder Southeast February Edition  

1st Responder Southeast February Edition