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The Southeast Edition PUBLISHING SINCE 1993






Arab, AL - Firefighters from Arab, Four-C and Georgia Mountain Fire Departments responded to a working structure fire on Feemster's Gap Road in Marshall County on Thursday, November 20th. Responding units reported seeing smoke and flames before arriving at the scene. - See full story on pages 20

Peoples Home Loans joins 1st Responder to support Heroes Mortgage Program! - Page 23

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Savannah Battalion Chief Heil passes Savannah, GA. Savannah Fire Battalion Chief Tod Heil passed away at an young age of 48 after a hard fought battle with cancer. Battalion Chief Heil joined the Savannah Fire Department in 1998 and during his career, he served as President of the Local 574 Professional Firefighters Association and assisted training recruits at the fire academy. A memorial service was held at the Wilmington Island Club in Savannah. He is survived by his wife of 23 years Leigh, their daughters Parker (18), McKinley (14) and son Jake (12). Local 574 has made arrangements to help the family throughout this period.


Firefighter Blalock receives plaque from Chief Howell

BCES Employee of the Quarter for the fourth quarter of 2014 Firefighter Jason Blalock has been named the “Employee of the Quarter” for the fourth and final quarter of 2014. Jason was nominated by several BCES members and below are direct quotes from the nominations. “Jason has worked hard in handling all the fire prevention programs this year. Jason has also done an outstanding job working on various other programs and task that he has been handed including inspections and training. Jason always accomplishes the task that he is assigned without

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question. He deserves to be our Employee of the Quarter.” “Jason has recently demonstrated his commitment to making our department better by helping with the fire prevention activities. Jason has been instrumental in coordinating the program delivery with the various schools, child care facilities and churches. “I have personally witnessed Jason interact with the public and he always presents BCES in a pos-

itive light and has an enthusiastic attitude when talking about us. In addition, Jason has been delivering the Tuesday night training on the South end of the county. “Also, Jason continues to be involved on the county level doing our plan reviews and inspections of new construction. Jason has definitely put in some long hours and has shined as employee that makes a difference!” Congratulations to Firefighter Jason Blalock! - FREDDY HOWELL

ANTIQUE APPARATUS If you have photos for Antique Apparatus please upload them on our website, or email them to


Southside runs Montgomery Crossroads crash Savannah, GA. During a busy Monday lunch hour, Southside Fire & EMS work a multiple vehicle crash with injuries on Montgomery Crossroads at the Truman Parkway off ramp during a busy lunch hour. Crews arrived and found the intersection blocked with one vehicle with air bag deployment and heavy damage. Savannah Chatham Metro Police investigated the crash.


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January, 2015

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Wishing All First Responders a Safe and Joyful New Year - 2015 Thanks for all you do!


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Ft. Stewart Engine 5 on the scene of a small fire SHANE SHIFFLETT

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Fire prevention in the library Ft. Stewart, GA. At the Ft. Stewart Fire Prevention, firefighters met and greeted students at the base library to teach them about fire safety in their homes.



Cobb County Squad 4 on the scene of a multiple alarm fire on S. Cobb Drive.


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Tactical Fire Emergency


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CORPORATE INFORMATION 1st Responder News (ISSN 1525-1683) - Vol. 16 No. 1 - 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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Atlanta, GA. Grady EMS on a medical emergency SHANE SHIFFLETT

Fire prevention at elementary school Ft. Stewart, GA. Ft. Stewart Fire Prevention Office & firefighters spent the afternoon at an elementary school on base teaching students about fire prevention. Throughout the morning, the children took turns going through the fire safety house to learn about safety in their homes such as fire place safety; stop, drop & roll; and how to call and use 911. The children listened very well to Inspector Michael Gaitten. A special appearance by Sparky brought smiles to the children's faces and everyone wanted a hug or high five.


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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 Pennsylvania: Christi Rodgers, 26 Rank: Firefighter Incident Date: October 24, 2014 Death Date: October 24, 2014 Fire Department: Robert Fulton Fire Company Initial Summary: After her pager went off for a response call to a residential structure fire, Firefighter Rodgers became ill at her residence and according to media reports went into cardiac arrest. Firefighter Rodgers was then transported to the hospital where she passed away. The fire incident remains under investigation by local and state authorities. Louisiana: Troy Magee, 39 Rank: Captain Incident Date: October 24, 2014 Death Date: October 27, 2014 Fire Department: Robert Fulton Fire Company Initial Summary: Fire Captain Magee passed away from a nature and cause of injury still to be determined while on a fire department training assignment in New Mexico. New York: Donald "Pete" Martin, 84 Rank: Firefighter Incident Date: October 30, 2014 Death Date: October 30, 2014 Fire Department: Sanborn Fire Company Initial Summary: After arriving at the station for mandatory department training, Firefighter Martin fell ill. Other firefighters subsequently took Firefighter Martin to his residence where 911 was called after he became unresponsive. Firefighter Martin passed away from a nature and cause of injury still to be determined. South Carolina: Kellen Andrew Fleming, 29 Rank: Firefighter-Paramedic Incident Date: November 1, 2014 Death Date: November 1, 2014

Fire Department: Westview-Fairforest Fire Department Initial Summary: Firefighter-Paramedic Fleming suffered a heart attack in the bunkroom of the firehouse in the early morning hours of November 1st. Fleming was treated immediately by a fellow paramedic and other responders at the station and was then transported to the hospital where he went into cardiac arrest. Despite efforts to revive him, Fleming succumbed to his injury. Firefighter-Paramedic Fleming had responded to several emergency incidents and worked fire prevention activities in the hours leading up to his fatal injury. Kentucky: Malcolm Jenkins, 60 Rank: Major Incident Date: October 30, 2014 Death Date: October 30, 2014 Fire Department: Fern Creek Fire Department Initial Summary: Major Jenkins was found deceased in his fire department vehicle after performing a mandated annual physical agility test at the fire department’s offsite medical provider’s facility. A cause of death has yet to be released. Maryland: James Bethea, 62 Rank: Lieutenant Incident Date: November 12, 2014 Death Date: November 12, 2014 Fire Department: Baltimore City Fire Department Initial Summary: At 0028hrs, firefighters responded to a vacant row house fire. Lieutenant Bethea, the safety officer, arrived at the scene at approximately 0043hrs. A few minutes later, the fire was deemed to be under control and by 0330hrs, all units were recalled to fire stations or other emergencies. Around 0700hrs, a fellow officer who drove by while off-duty observed that Bethea's fire department SUV was still at the scene. Officials returned and found Bethea's body in the basement of a vacant home next door to where the fire occurred. Investigation into the incident and cause of death continues.

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Engine 55 on the plug SHANE SHIFFLETT

Atlanta runs vehicle versus bus Atlanta, GA. The City of Atlanta Fire Rescue Department responded to a vehicle versus bus on Alice Street just behind the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office. Grady and Atlanta Police were also on scene assisting.

Radisson Hotel goes to two alarms Marietta,GA. Marietta Fire along with Cobb County Fire & Emergency Services were alerted to 1775 Parkway Place at the Radisson Hotel Atlanta Northwest for a reported fire in the hotel. The Cobb County 911 communications center began receiving multiple calls from hotel guests for rooms filling with heavy smoke. Guests were alerting others to evacuate the building. On arrival, crews had heavy

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smoke coming from the upper floors of the high rise. Marietta Engine 55 hit the hydrant and established a water supply while several teams advanced inside with high rise packs to encounter the fire through heavy smoke. Command requested a second alarm, bringing in 14 units includ-

ing several truck companies. Cobb County Truck 19 laddered the building to assist with extinguishing the fire. Investigators found the cause to be an air conditioner unit malfunction, which ignited the room. The occupants attempted to turn the unit on just a few minutes after checking in. Floors 9 and 10 suffered smoke damage throughout. - SHANE SHIFFLETT



The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Early evening fire destroys barn Cherokee County, GA. Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services responded to a fire call on the evening of October 30th at 7:11 p.m. at 121 Allmond Lane, off Birmingham Highway, in eastern Cherokee County. A neighbor reported seeing smoke coming from the barn and thought the owner may have been burning some brush. However, he decided to jump in his ATV and in-

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vestigate further. When he arrived at the barn, he saw flames coming from the structure and immediately called 911. When firefighters arrived on the scene, they found heavy flames and smoke coming from the 1,000 square foot barn that was built in

2006. Fortunately, there were no animals inside the barn and the owner stated that he has not had any horses for a few years. Firefighters were able to knock down the fire, but the structure was completely destroyed. No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is currently under investigation. - TIM CAVENDER


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January, 2015


FUTURE FIRST RESPONDERS If you have photos you would like to see in our Future First Responders feature, please upload them on our website or email them to


BCES and Urgent Care present check to Susan G Koman of Savannah representative

BCES raises $1000 for breast cancer For the second year in a row, with the help from the community and partners, Bryan County Emergency Services (BCES) has raised awareness about breast cancer and raised $1,000 to donate to Komen of Coastal Georgia. Firefighters, medics and other employees of Bryan County and local businesses were around the community such as Urgent Care, Pals in Richmond Hill and the First Bank of Coastal GA in Pembroke wearing pink t-shirts. The pink tshirts we sold and worn to show that we care and support breast can-

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cer awareness. We hope we’ve accomplished our goal of bringing awareness to the cause,and urge women to get checked. Through our donation, we hope to help support a cure for this disease. This year, we had so much community support and we appreciate all the local businesses partnering with us. - FREDDY HOWELL


BCES supports MDA Bryan County Emergency Services was out in force recently to support MDA. BCES units and personnel were out holding a boot drive at several of the grocery stores throughout the county. This year marks the 60th year firefighters across the country have been supporting MDA.


Four year old Noesha E. Hall was at the Barrow County Courthouse Friday morning, October 24th, when she got a special treat. Barrow County Emergency Services Acting Officer Mark Siegel was there watering some of the new sod. When she approached him, Siegel allowed her to help him control the fire hose and spray water.


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House fire in Knoxville At 6:20 p.m. on November 30th, units from the Knoxville Fire Department were dispatched to 215 E. Burrell Ave. for a report of a house fire. When fire crews arrived, they found a two story structure with fire coming from an upstairs bedroom on the front of the house. The structure had been divided into two separate living units, upstairs and down. The downstairs owner/landlord reported she had gone upstairs to check on the vacant unit after smelling smoke. She then ran to her neighbors, asking them to call 911. Firefighters were able to contain the fire damage to the bedroom, with smoke and water damage throughout. Arson investigators are on the scene to determine the cause. No injuries were reported.


MFRD’s arson investigation trailer delivered Murfreesboro, TN. Murfreesboro Fire & Rescue Department’s new arson investigation trailer was delivered to fire administration Friday morning, November 21st. In 2013, Murfreesboro Fire & Rescue Department was awarded $28,000 in grant funds from FEMA’s Assistance to Firefighters grant program. The department used the funds to purchase the 26 foot enclosed trailer to be used by the fire marshal’s office for the purpose of fire investigations. The unit is climate controlled with capabilities of providing onscene electricity, lighting, water, and tool storage. The unit also provides a place for investigators to

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secure evidence, conduct interviews, and research or analyze fire scene conditions. This trailer will allow the fire marshal’s office to investigate a fire scene safely and efficiently without tying up other valuable MFRD resources and will be available for other departments within the Urban Area Security Initiative’s District 5 including the Middle Tennessee counties of Cannon, Davidson, Rutherford, Sumner, Trousdale, Wilson, and Williamson. The trailer will soon be outfit-

ted with department lettering and equipment. Approximately $16,000 was placed in the department’s FY-2015 budget to cover items such as an explosive detection kit, metal detector, computer, printer, 42” television and other audio/visual equipment, generator, camera, photo markers, on-scene lighting, and other miscellaneous tools. “Once the trailer is fully equipped, it will be placed in service,” said Assistant Fire Marshal Michael Bartlett. “It will probably take around two weeks before the process is complete.” - ASHLEY MCDONALD


House fire in Murfreesboro Murfreesboro, TN. Murfreesboro Fire & Rescue Department’s Districts 1 and 3 and Rescues 2 and 8 responded to a house fire at 225 Wilson Avenue just before 2:00 Sunday morning, November 30th. When crews arrived on scene, heavy flames were showing and according to Shift Commander Tim Swann, approximately 75 percent of the house was involved. “Crews made an excellent exterior attack,” said Swann. “They were able to get the fire knocked down within fifteen min-

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utes.” Despite the quick knock down, Swann suspects that the home will be a total loss. No occupants were around at the time of the fire and no injuries were associated with this incident. Assistant Fire Marshal Tracy Summar was called to the scene to investigate. - ASHLEY MCDONALD


This vehicle is a 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe used by the Brentwood Fire & Rescue Department in Brentwood, TN.

January, 2015

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House fire leaves three children without parents Chattanooga, TN. For the second time in three days, a house fire has resulted in tragedy. At 10:13 a.m. on November 26th, Chattanooga firefighters were dispatched to a reported house fire with entrapment at 220 Houser Street. The first firefighters on the scene saw flames shooting out windows and part of the roof. Having JUMP TO FILE # been told that peo- 120114108 ple might still be inside, the firefighters grabbed hand-held hoselines and made their way inside. The firefighters found two adults in the house, a male and female, and carried them outside. Both victims appeared to be suffering from severe burns and smoke inhalation. Captain David Thompson Jr. said the woman was not breathing, so the firefighters immediately started CPR on her. Both victims were handed off to paramedics with Hamilton County EMS, who rushed them to Erlanger Medical Center. After being treated in Erlanger’s emergency room, both victims were expected to be flown to the burn unit at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville. Details are still being obtained on exactly what happened with this fire, but three children were also reportedly in the house when the fire broke out. A neighbor told firefighters that when he saw that the house was on fire, he ran to it and tried to alert the family. Neighbors said the children ran to their grandmothers house, which is located a short distance around the block. When Battalion Chief Lesley Morgan learned about the children, she asked EMS to go check on them. Captain Wade Batson


with Hamilton County EMS said two of the children, ages nine and ten, were transported to Children’s Hospital at Erlanger for minor burns and smoke inhalation. The third child appeared to be uninjured. The house was a total loss. The cause of the fire is under investigation. The Major Crimes Division of the Chattanooga Police Department is also assisting with the investigation, which is standard protocol when serious injuries are involved. The two victims later passed away from their injuries. Just two days ago, on November 24, 2014, a 25-year-old woman died in a house fire at 1332 Highland Way. That was the first firerelated death in Chattanooga for 2014. A month later, off-duty Chattanooga firefighters are doing what they can to help the three children who lost their parents in a terrible fire. Rebecca, 10, Haley, 9 and Mark, 8, are now staying with their grandparents, Susan and Gary Patterson, who live just around the corner from where the fire took the

lives of Randall and Candy Lockhart at 220 Houser Street on November 26, 2014. Unfortunately, the Pattersons live in a relatively small house at 608 Van Dyke Street and it’s in need of repair. On December 16th, the off-duty firefighters are there, with power tools in hand.. “This tragic fire had a tremendous impact on all of us,” said Captain Ashley May, coordinator of the project. “We’re just trying to make a few improvements here that will help the kids, and the grandparents, who didn’t have a lot of resources to begin with.” The firefighters are repairing a bathroom and making it handicapped accessible for one of the kids, and they’re also repairing vinyl siding on the house. Anyone who would still like to help this family can still do so by making a cash donation to the “Lockhart Relief Fund” at any First Tennessee branch office. - BRUCE GARNER


MFRD Driver William Murray Retires Friday after 37 Years of Service Murfreesboro, TN. Murfreesboro Fire & Rescue Department Driver William Murray retired after 37 years of service. “I’ve enjoyed working with the men and women of this department,” Murray said, “but it’s time for me to turn the page.” Murray began his career with MFRD in October 1977. He was promoted to driver in August of 1990. As for his most memorable call, it was his first fire call in which a city tanker truck caught fire. “I guess it stands out so well because it was my first call,” he said, “and it was a city-owned truck.” When asked what had changed most during the span of his career with MFRD, Murray noted two things: “When I first started at the fire department, they were only hiring people who lived in the city limits, then they allowed people from the county. Now, we have people in our department from all over Tennessee.” He also mentioned the progression of medical services, “At the be-

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ginning of my career, we didn’t do any medical, then we became first responders in the early 2000’s. It hard to believe that we now provide basic life support services to the citizens and visitors of Murfreesboro.” When asked what he loved the most about working for MFRD he said, “The greatest thing about working here, besides the people, is I got the chance to have a fulfilling career, while providing for my family.” Family is what he plans to focus on in retirement. “My grandbabies and I are going to do some traveling,” Murray said. “It’s going to be sad to see him go, but he put in 37 good years,” said Chief Cumbey Gaines. “We are appreciative of the dedication that he provided to us during his career here and his passion for serving his community.” - ASHLEY MCDONALD

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January, 2015

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Hixson house fire leads to fatality Get your personal copy of

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Chattanooga firefighters battled a fully involved structure fire in Hixson tonight, November 24th. The incident involved at least one fatality. The first call to 911 Communications was received at 8:16 p.m., with the report of a fully involved structure JUMP TO FILE # fire with entrap- 112514112 ment at 1332 Highway Way. Captain Brent Arnold with Quint 16 said the house was fully engulfed when the first firefighters arrived. Firefighters initially tried to enter the structure to look for victims, but Captain Arnold said the heat and flames were so intense that it was too dangerous for the firefighters. The firefighters were ordered to pull back and fight the fire defensively, keeping the fire from spreading to other houses. Captain Carlos Hampton, the incident commander, said the firefighters worked as quickly as they could to get the fire under control. When the bulk of the fire was extinguished, firefighters found a body in a back bedroom. One person reportedly escaped the blaze before firefighters arrived on the scene. Haley Neal, 29, told Lt. Henry McElvain with the Fire Investigation Division that she barely escaped through a bedroom window. She was transported by Hamilton County EMS to Erlanger Medical Center, where her condition was still being assessed. The cause of the fire is under investigation. The Major Crimes Division of the Chattanooga Police Department will also be involved in the investigation, which is standard protocol when a fatality or serious injury is involved. - BRUCE GARNER



Vacant house fire under investigation Chattanooga fire investigators are trying to determine what started a fire this morning that totally destroyed a house. The Chattanooga Fire Department received the alarm at 10:46 a.m. on November 15th and responded to 2207 Fairleigh Street with four fire companies. Captain Carlos Hampton and his firefighters with Engine 4 could see a huge plume of smoke as they drove to the scene. Captain Hampton said the whole right side of the house was engulfed in flames. Firefighters forced their way in through the front door and searched the house for occupants. Fortunately, no one was inside.

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An additional fire company was called in as firefighters on the scene located the bulk of the fire in the attic. Captain Hampton said the fire had extended into the walls and a false ceiling, making it difficult for the firefighters to gain access to the flames to get them out. When the fire could not be brought under control, the firefighters were ordered out of the house to make a defensive attack on the fire. They set up a master stream from an aerial on one of the fire

trucks and continued efforts to extinguish the fire and keep it from spreading to adjacent houses. No one was injured. Captain Hampton said a trackhoe with city public works was called in to finish demolishing the house, which helped the firefighters finish putting out hot spots, and removed a hazard to the surrounding neighborhood. The house had reportedly been vacant for an extended period of time, and there was no power to the building. The cause of the fire is under investigation. - BRUCE GARNER

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NIOSH firefighter fatality report on West, TX explosion STAYING SAFE Chief Henry Campbell

On the evening of April 17, 2013 at 7:29 p.m., a fire was reported in a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, a community of approximately 2,600 residents. Fire protection is provided by a volunteer fire department consisting of approximately 30 members with four pieces of fire apparatus. The fertilizer plant contained more than 40 tons of ammonium nitrate used as fertilizer. The Emergency Response Guidebook states: “May explode from heat or contamination” and a recommendation for large fires that says “for massive fires, use unmanned hose holders or monitor nozzles; if this is impossible, withdraw from area and let fire burn.” The fire department was dispatched at 7:34 p.m. and the first apparatus was on scene at 7:39 p.m. confirming a fire in the building. There was somewhat of a discussion as to whether to attack the fire or back away while an initial attack was underway when the blast occurred. At 7:51 p.m., dispatch received a cell phone report of an explosion at the incident scene. In a matter of minutes ten firefighters would be dead, five firefighters injured, and an additional five civilians would die from the explosion, two of the civilians were assisting firefighters in the attempt to extinguish the fire. The community and the nation grieved this tragedy that claimed the lives of 15 people and devastated this fire department. On November 12, 2014 NIOSH released its Firefighter Fatality Investigation Report on this fire and explosion. It listed what they considered to be six contributing factors that ultimately lead to injury or death. The NIOSH investigators identified the following items as key contributing factors in this incident that ultimately led to the fatalities: • Non-recognition of the hazards associated with ammonium nitrate • Limited pre-incident planning of commercial facility • Fire quickly spread to an un-controllable size • Approximately 40-60 tons of solid ammonium nitrate unexpectedly detonated • Responders working within blast radius at time of explosion • Large non-sprinklered, wood construction, commercial structure. As a result of NIOSH’s investigation, the following 13 recommendations were offered in the report. It is important that members of the fire service review NIOSH reports and recommendations and determine how these recommendations may apply to your department. The recommendations are made in an effort to increase overall firefighter safety and to reduce firefighter death and injury. The recommendations are as follows: Recommendation #1: Fire departments should conduct pre-incident planning inspections of buildings

within their jurisdictions to facilitate development of safe fireground strategies and tactics, especially for high hazard/high risk structures and occupancies. Recommendation #2: Fire departments should have a written risk management plan, use risk management principles at all structure fires and especially at incidents involving high risk hazards. Recommendation #3: Fire departments should develop, implement and enforce a written Incident Management System to be followed at all emergency incident operations. Recommendation #4: Fire departments should develop and coordinate pre-incident planning protocols with mutual aid departments. Recommendation #5: Fire departments should ensure that firefighters wear a full array of turnout clothing and personal protective equipment appropriate for the assigned task while participating in fire suppression and overhaul activities. Recommendation #6: Fire departments should ensure that firefighters are trained in situational awareness, personal safety, and accountability. Recommendation #7: Fire departments and authorities having jurisdiction should implement national firefighter and fire officer training standards and requirements. Recommendation #8: Fire departments should enforce standard operating procedures on a “zero-tolerance policy” for alcohol use while engaged in any fire department activity. Recommendation #9: Firefighters should use available resources such as the US Department of Transportation’s Emergency Response Guidebook to identify hazardous chemicals and the appropriate emergency response actions such as initial evacuation considerations and fire fighting precautions. Recommendation #10: Fire departments should develop, implement, and enforce written standard operating procedures (SOPs) for fireground operations and all emergency response operations. Recommendation #11: Fire departments should ensure that specialized training is acquired for high risk sites with unique hazards, such as ammonium nitrate and other explosive materials that exist within their response areas. Recommendation #12: Municipalities, building fire code officials, and authorities having jurisdiction should consider requiring automatic sprinkler systems, performing regular fire inspections, and other types of active fire prevention methods in industrial facilities, especially those with high risk / high hazard inventory. Recommendation #13: Authorities having jurisdiction at all levels (federal, state, regional, and local) should consider following the most current safe handling procedures for ammonium nitrate fertilizer storage and handling facilities. The NIOSH report referenced in this article can be downloaded from the CDC web site at: Till next time, Stay Safe and God Bless!

January, 2015

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January, 2015

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Several displaced after fire in duplex


A total of five adults and nine children were displaced after a fire broke out in their duplex located at 207 Richardson Avenue around 10:00 Monday night, November 17th. Murfreesboro Fire & Rescue Department's Districts 1 and 3 and Rescues 2 and 8 were dispatched to the scene. Crews discovered the front of the structure engulfed. According to Shift Commander Tim Swann, a heavy fire load made it difficult to extinguish the fire. Crews were finally able to put the blaze out. Several animals were rescued from the home, including a hedgehog, hamster, and two cats. At least five other cats are unaccounted for at this time. Five dogs in the back yard were unharmed. Assistant Fire Marshal

JUMP TO FILE #111814106

Michael Bartlett was called to the scene to investigate. "At this time, it appears that the fire started in the front, living room area of 207A," said Bartlett. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. "Fortunately, no one was injured," said Swann. "Most of the fire damage was contained to the front of the structure, but there was heavy smoke damage throughout," he continued. Most of the victims were able to find alternative living arrangements. However, two adults will be receiving assistance from the American Red Cross. - aSHLEY MCDonaLD


Firefighters battle cold weather DJ CORCORAN

at apartment blaze Knoxville, TN. At 9:57 p.m. on November 17th, units from the Knoxville Fire Department were dispatched to 4619 Sunflower Rd. Sunflower Apartments, after a Knoxville police officer radioed dispatch making them aware flames were coming through the roof of a fifteen unit building. When firefighters arrived, they confirmed what the officer reported, and began attacking the flames. All occupants got out of the building safely, and are being sheltered in warm K-Trans buses. It is unsure what caused the fire at this time, but fire investigators are on the scene and will

JUMP TO FILE #111814105

begin their job of determining. The apartment manager tells us there are approximately 21 occupants, who will be displaced. No injuries are reported at this time. With temperatures dropping, ice is starting to form on parking lots. Firefighters are being rotated to our rehab bus for warmth, then back to work. - DJ CorCoran

Aggressive attack made for fire At 12:30 p.m. on November 30th, a neighbor to 1912 8th Ave. spotted fire coming from a four unit apartment building next door. The neighbor called 911, then alerted the unaware occupants inside the burning structure of the threat. Only two of the four units were rented, one to a single male, and one to a husband, wife, and a their five year old son. When firefighters arrived, they found a large volume of flames coming from the rear porch area at the back of the address.

JUMP TO FILE #120114122

Fire crews quickly made an aggressive attack of the exterior flames engulfing the wood siding, then forcing entry through a door, while additional search and rescue units swept the quarters for potential victims, with none being found. Fire had found its way into the attic area through the eaves of the structure. The single male occupant later told investigators he had been

burning trash on the back porch earlier that morning, though it was out, before leaving to run an errand. With the information obtained and the evidence found, investigators feel confident that the fire was accidental in nature with no malicious intent, and began in the area indicated. No injuries were reported, and the American Red Cross is on the scene to determine if assistance will be needed. - DJ CorCoran

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January, 2015

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MUTUAL AID Gordon Wren


Afternoon fire displaces four people Chattanooga firefighters responded to a structure fire shortly before 3:00 December 8th at 508 Tunnel Boulevard. Captain Chris Fryar with Engine 15 said light smoke was showing when the first firefighters arrived on the scene. The house had been converted into two apartment units. Captain Fryar said everyone got out of their apartments, but as a precaution, two of the occupants were checked out by paramedics with Hamilton County EMS. None of them re-

JUMP TO FILE #120814106

quired transport to the hospital. The firefighters worked quickly and managed to contain the fire to the kitchen in the front apartment unit. The rest of the apartment had some smoke damage. The dollar loss was estimated at $10,000. The cause of the fire will be ruled accidental. Captain Fryar said food left unattended on the stove

was the likely cause of this fire. The fire damaged the wiring, so power to the building had to be disconnected. Volunteers with the American Red Cross of Southeast Tennessee were called in to provide assistance to the four people displaced by this fire. Chattanooga police also provided valuable assistance on the scene. - BRUCE GARNER

Three people transported from South Church MVA including MPD officer Murfreesboro, TN. Three people were transported from the scene of a two car motor vehicle accident on South Church Street near the Shoney’s restaurant around 3:30 Sunday morning, November 23rd. JUMP TO FILE# Among the 112414122 three, was a Murfreesboro Police Department officer headed home from shift. He was transported via ambulance to Saint Thomas Rutherford hospital. Murfreesboro Fire & Rescue Department crews had to extricate the female driver of the silver sedan involved. She was transported to Saint Thomas Rutherford hospital. Her male passenger was transported via ambulance to Vanderbilt Medical Center. According to MFRD Engine 1 Captain Blake Insell, the MPD officer also had a labrador in the patrol car. The dog was taken to a local veterinarian as a precaution. MFRD units were released from the scene. The Tennessee Highway Patrol is conducting an

As County Fire Coordinator, I have been hosting a weekly radio program for well over 15 years with co-host and veteran firefighter Frank Hutton. The purpose of the program, when we started it, was to utilize the air time to recruit members for our volunteer fire departments and ambulance corps - thus the name of the program, "Who wants to be a volunteer?" While that is still our core mission, the program has evolved into a program involving many different topics related to the emergency services, including summaries of recent emergencies, fire prevention associated with various holidays/hazards, interviews with fire/EMS leaders, book reviews, etc. One of the most interesting parts of the program is the numerous phone calls we receive from residents and members of the emergency services. A week or two ago, the grandfather of a young firefighter called into the program to discuss a recent tragedy and before ending the call, reminded me that I had mentioned to him once that one of his firefighter grandsons stood out as an interior firefighter. I recalled the conversation on the air and mentioned that any fire department or company is very lucky if they have a handful of firefighters of his grandson's caliber. I had read many years ago about a Roman General who said that out of 1,000 soldiers, 100 or so would win the battle for him, and out of that 100, there were three or four who would lead the charge and motivate the others to finish the battle successfully. I think this is true in firefight-

ing as well. It takes all kinds of talents and personalities for a department to be successful in its mission. However, there is that small percentage of firefighters who have that rare ability to turn things around by positioning themselves and their teams at just the right spot at just the right time, to save the day or lives and property. Recently, we sent firefighters to Erie County for the snow emergency, as part of the state-wide Mutual Aid Plan. Before they left, I met with the group and mentioned to one firefighter that I was not surprised to see him heading up. One of their members asked me why, and I said because at almost every major incident that their department responds to, this individual's head seems to pop up from the smoke and steam or the middle of the wreckage right in the key and sometimes most dangerous area. The first firefighter that I mentioned is much younger, but developing into that elite category of firefighters, who seem to make miracles happen with the combination of training, experience, and courage. I told the grandfather that he should be very proud of his grandson and so should his chief. Firefighters like these should be nurtured, recognized and encouraged. We should be constantly looking for potential men and women, who fit this category and encourage them to develop their full potential. We can win or lose battles with or without them!

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dent shall be requested through the Tennessee Highway Patrol Office. - ASHLEY MCDONALD

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January, 2015

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January, 2015

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A day in the life of a volunteer firefighter LETTERS TO THE EDITOR


Firefighters from Arab, Four-C and Georgia Mountain operate at a working structure fire in Marshall County.

Marshall County home destroyed in afternoon fire Arab, AL. Firefighters from Arab, Four-C and Georgia Mountain Fire Departments responded to a working structure fire on Feemster's Gap Road in Marshall County on Thursday, November 20th. The call to Marshall County 911 was made by a passing motorist who reported smoke and flames visible at the time of the call. Responding units reported seeing smoke and flames before arriving at the scene.

JUMP TO FILE #112214100

The first unit to arrive reported a working fire. An interior attack was initiated in a single story farm house. The fire had already vented through the roof over about 25-percent of the structure. A water shuttle operation was set up hauling water from a nearby hydrant. Interior operations continued until the structure became

unstable and operations were changed to defensive mode. Fire crews remained on the scene for the better part of six hours. Tanker operations moved approximately 50,000 gallons of water to the scene. The fire is under investigation. The home was in the process of being remodeled at the time of the fire. No one was injured. - RICKY PHILLIPS

APPARATUS IN ACTION 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


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It's November 10th 2014, Monday morning, I was only awakened twice during the night by the radio that is being charged in its charger by my night stand. It is a beautiful fall day, with blue skies, comfortable temperatures and birds still singing their songs, delighted by the promise of another day. After a wonderful breakfast and some miss communication with my wife that leaves us both hurt, angry and unresolved, I drive thirty five minutes to work. I'm the bookkeeper and assistant minister at a family size church so I have lots of mail and paper work to sort through, bills to be paid and today I have two counseling appointments, one at 10 a.m. and the other at 12 noon. Both rather intense and incredibly rewarding. I leave the church at around 3:30 for the thirty five minute ride back home, I let my wife know that I'm on my way. About halfway home the radio pager alarm sounds and I listen to what it has to say. There are nine districts in this county and not all the alerts are for our district. I listen to see if it is for my district. “Brush fire on xxx road, tractor involved”. I attempt to contact dispatch but can't get through. It might be the hills, it might be the radio is incorrectly programmed but I don't have time to figure it out. If I'm going to respond to this fire I have to go to the fire house anyway and get my gear and vehicle. I don't have a cell phone signal, we live in a sparsely populated rural county and cell phone service is totally inadequate, so I can't contact my wife to let her know that I'm going to be delayed. I don't hear anything more about the fire on my radio. I open the fire house and call dispatch, as of yet no one has responded to the call and dispatch is about to send out a second page for fire assistance. I let her know that I am at the fire house and that I am responding to the address given. I'm a new volunteer. I've had sixteen hours of formal training on fire pumps and have had some hands on practice under our new chief. I also just completed sixteen hours of training at the Fire academy, “Chief orientation”. Our chief has had us on some practice drills but this is my first actual fire response and I can feel the adrenaline start doing it's job. I am doing a lot of self talk to calm my self down and convince myself that it will all be OK. I know that the chief is at work, he works 12

hour days and another volunteer is probably on his way to work, he works the second shift, so I take a moment to call another volunteer to see if he is available. His wife answers and tells me he is out hunting and doesn't know when he will be back. I don't want to alarm her so I don't tell her why I'm calling. I get in the brush truck thinking it is a brush fire and head out to the scene. In this rural community there are three stations that provide mutual aid and assistance to one another. This fire is actually in one of the other stations area. I hear that station respond to dispatch that they are on there way and the second station also calls in with sirens going off in the back ground that they are on there way. I know that I was probably the first one actually in a truck and heading for the fire but I'm also the furthest away and was praying that I wouldn't be the first one on the scene. As I got closer to the address I could see black smoke filtering up though the trees, it seemed like it could be a fairly good size fire. Nameless fire station was the first engine (a 1996 model) to respond and as I pulled up I could see that two volunteers were heading up this steep hill with flats to try and control the fire on the ground and that the first water line had not yet been charged so they must have just gotten there. Flynn’s lick was also on the scene. They were assisting with manpower and equipment even though they had a modern 2009 fire engine ready to be put into service. I pulled up next representing Granville and went to the IC (incident commander) and asked how I could assist. He handed me a flat and sent me up the hill. Did I say it was a steep hill? I was the fourth volunteer to climb up. Two were already beating the flames and the third was on the end of a newly pressurized 2-1/2 inch hose. When he opened the nozzle, he lost his footing and fell. Luckily, he had his hand on the nozzle shut off and was able to shut it down before it could get away from him and be out of control on the hill side. I decided that the situation could best be served if I helped the man on the hose. He tried it again with my backup and support and we were able to put out some major flames. Afterward, I took the nozzle and soaked some trees that were still smoldering to avoid a rekindle. While we were up on this hill another line had been pulled off the engine to extinguish the fully engulfed tractor that was beside this very narrow one lane rural road. -Continued on page 22

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January, 2015

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Two fitness rules for the New Year: “Begin and Continue”

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



Spanish Fort Ladder 9

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR -Continued from page 20 As I stood in the middle of this burnt out hill satisfied that we all did an outstanding job, I realized how out of breath I was. I felt weak. I held on to the flat that I was given for support and was surprised at how long it was taking me to recover my breath. Then I realized that one possible reason that might be contributing to my not being able to breath was that the air I was breathing was full of smoke. I could feel it irritating my lungs and throat. It also occurred to me that I was the oldest volunteer out there. One was 16, others were in there 20's, 30's and 40's. Oh, and did I mention it was a very steep hill? In the aftermath as we discussed what worked and what we could have done better it was determined that we probably pulled a pre-connected hose off the truck that wasn't long enough to reach all the way up the hill. I was remembering my training about pressure lost in the hose and how you also have to factor in gravity if you are on an elevated surface shooting upwards. I also thought about respirators and the lack there of. We could have been breathing in poison oak or sumac smoke from the hill side and were unprotected. It was also apparent that you need two men on a high pressure hose, especially on a steep hill with poor footing. We discussed who would do what in terms of reporting the fire to the fire marshals office and

determined that the cause of the fire originated with the tractor and spread in both directions and up the hill side. We also discussed that there was no property owner there to talk with us to give us his account of what had happened. Just then my cell phone went off, I was surprised that I had service. It was my wife, worried to almost tears because I was now two hours past my arrival time back home. She had been texting and calling and was close to coming out to look for me, fearful that something had happened to me. I reassured her that I was alright. We all finished up at the scene and I carefully turned my truck around so that I could head for the station house. Nameless had responded with a tanker in case we needed more water and he had to move to let me leave. As I headed back for the station it occurred to me that if I didn't write this down and share it with the community that no one but a hand full of volunteers would ever know what had happened. I don't know if we saved any wild live habitats. I don't know if we could have lost any barns or structures if we hadn't showed up. What I do know is that a few men came out based on a phone call for help. I know that they didn't get paid and I know that they are all trained and experienced volunteers. I know that I take great pride and feel privileged to be counted in their ranks. I know that the response was quick, all the vehicles

had been well maintained and were in good condition to fight fires. I also know that even seasoned, experienced fighters are always open to learn more and get even better every time they are called out. I only wish more people knew what they did and appreciated them more. It's a dirty, smelly, hard and dangerous job for which there is probably too little thanks. When I finally got home I was tired and hungry. My wife had been to the dentist that afternoon and wasn't up to fixing any dinner. I fixed up some spaghetti and sauce, offered her some and went down into the basement, (my man cave) to eat and unwind. While I was down there I needed to call my daughter. She was very distraught that her middle son had been arrested and she was losing her dream job at the end of this month. She lives five and a half hours from us. All I could do was comfort her, listen to her and tell her how much I cared and that I love her no matter what. I wanted to be able to reach through the phone and just hug her, but I couldn't. I felt powerless. When we hung up I had to go to God in prayer for a divine right outcome for my daughter and my grandson. Peace and healing between my wife and I, and gratitude that I was home safe and sound. What a day!! - DAVID TORRES

With the New Year arriving, once again clients are reaching out seeking the latest “Fitness Secret” to help them make their New Year’s Resolution a reality. Although methods and activities are always numerous, I have found that my most successful exercisers are those who have followed my two most basic rules: Begin and Continue! Although maintaining a fitness routine is often not easy, there is no reason why it can’t be simple. No matter what you choose to do, or how you choose to do it, the key to success is to get started and keep going. Sounds simple enough, yet staying on track can be challenging nonetheless. Here are a few things to consider when seeking success. Just get going! Take the first step now, no matter how small. Instead of bogging yourself down with elaborate plans or a huge undertaking, commit to move everyday even if it’s just for 5-10 minutes. I’m not suggesting you throw planning out the window. Planning your workouts is a key component, but don’t let it overwhelm you to the point of delaying your onset. Start small and grow your plan along the way. With your physician’s approval there’s no time like the present to get rolling. You can gradually add time and exercises more specific to your overall plan. Your program will be more manageable physically and mentally and your likelihood of continuing will be enhanced.

Observe all Safety Guidelines! Yes we need to work toward our goals, but crossing the line regarding safe activities and intensity levels will have us quickly on the sidelines. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to continue while injured. Be smart! Be Realistic about the activities you choose. Select activities that are within your physical capabilities and remember to also consider accessibility. Avoid building your program around equipment or facilities that are not readily available to you. Choosing activities that are beyond your physical capabilities or not readily accessible to you will surely sabotage your efforts. Enjoy Yourself! If you hate running, please choose something else. There are a multitude of activities to choose from when seeking to accomplish your cardiovascular workouts. No need to torture yourself. Weight Training not your thing? Body weight exercises (calisthenics), dynamic resistance (tubing), medicine ball training and various other innovative methods can prove to be just as effective. If you despise the method you choose, even if you begin your training, your odds of continuing will be severely diminished. Avoid boredom! You can avoid boredom in several ways. As previously mentioned, choose activities you enjoy. Vary your activities to keep your workouts fresh. Incorporate music to keep things grooving. Find a Buddy and pair up for workouts or find an exercise class you love. Monotony kills many fitness programs. Don’t let it thwart your efforts to continue. The time is now. Get going and keep going. Once you have your physician’s approval…Begin and Continue! Happy New Year! Get fit-Stay fit-and please stay safe!

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Peoples Home Loans joins 1st Responder to support the Heroes Mortgage Program You risk your lives for us every day without giving it a second thought. It’s just who you are, it’s what you do. You are brave, selfless and hard-working. You are a hero. Brave men and women like you are why the Heroes Mortgage Program was created. 1st Responder and Peoples Home Loans have proudly collaborated to provide this great mortgage opportunity, which provides low interest rates for firefighters and other members of the emergency services community. In addition to great rates, the Heroes Mortgage Program offers minimal lender fees and promises to get clients in their new home by the contract date. “We are honored to be serving and working with the true heroes of our community,” 1st Responder Newspaper Publisher Joseph P. Belsito said. “Firefighters and other members of the emergency services community are an important part of the fabric of our society. They are always there for us, always on call. This is just a way to give back to them and their families. We are certainly excited about the Heroes Mortgage Program and expect it to grow.” The Heroes Mortgage Program understands how hard you work every day and the sacrifices you and your family make for us. That’s why our staff of respected professionals is committed to providing our heroes with unmatched customer service! Working with its own resources and Federal government programs, Peoples Home Loans develops solutions that open the path to home ownership, also offering cost-effective refinance

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options. The Heroes Mortgage Program is designed with you and your friends and family in mind! “We have already started working with clients and are receiving great reviews and referrals, which means a lot to us all,” said Steve Testa, a Peoples Home Loans production manager. “I’ve been humbled to get to know and

work closely with some of these men and women. To be able to help them fulfill their dream of purchasing their first home, or helping them with a better rate on a refinance, is very rewarding. I’m truly excited about developing this relationship with the firefighter and emergency services community.” To receive more information about the pro-

gram and its benefits, contact Steven Testa (NMLS 460176) at or call 877-541HERO (4376). Peoples Home Loans and 1st Responder Newspaper are not affiliated. Mortgage financing provided by Peoples Home Loans, a division of Peoples Bank – Equal housing Lender | Member FDIC

Firefighter thrilled with personal service during mortgage process Karl McAleer grew up around the firehouse with his father, uncles and grandfather, among others, serving as his heroes. As it turns out, Karl McAleer is a hero, too. He’s proud to be a fourth generation firefighter, carrying on the family tradition. “I just love serving people,” McAleer said. “I love that. For me, I wouldn’t want to do anything else. I will be doing this until I physically can’t anymore.” As proud as McAleer is to serve the community, the Heroes Mortgage Program is proud to have helped him purchase a home for his growing family. The innovative Heroes Mortgage Program is brought to you by 1st Responder and Peoples Home Loans. This mortgage opportunity provides low interest rates for firefighters and other members of the emergency services community. The program also offers minimal lender fees and promises to get clients in their new home by the contract date. McAleer, 35, is a volunteer firefighter with the North Branch (N.J.) Fire Department and is the fire sub-code officer in Bridgewater Township. He became a junior firefighter in Franklin Township when he was just 16. The Heroes Mortgage Program helped McAleer purchase a home in Belvidere, N.J. that was much bigger than his previous residence. Of course, he was provided with a great interest - KARL McALEER rate, low fees and exceptional customer service. “I thought it was a great tool,” said McAleer, who is married with two children. “I would tell anyone to go with the Heroes Mortgage Program. Steve Testa (Peoples Home Loans production manager) was great. He was always there for us and that meant a lot. I could call him at 6 or 7 o’clock at night and he would happily answer my questions. He was always there, reassuring us with any concerns that we had.” Peoples Home Loans and 1st Responder are honored to serve the heroes in our community, who risk their lives for us every day. Working with its own resources and Federal government programs, Peoples Home Loans develops solutions that open the path to home ownership, also offering costeffective refinance options. The Heroes Mortgage Program is designed with you and your friends and family in mind! To receive more information about the program and its benefits, contact Steven Testa (NMLS 460176) at or call 877-541-HERO (4376). Peoples Home Loans and 1st Responder Newspaper are not affiliated. Mortgage financing provided by Peoples Home Loans, a division of Peoples Bank – Equal housing Lender | Member FDIC

“I would tell anyone to go with the Heroes Mortgage Program.”



January, 2015

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TFD Truck 3 and Engine 101 The Tallahassee Fire Department recently placed into service Truck 3 and Engine 101, both of which are 2014 Pierce Impel apparatus. Truck 3 has a 75 foot ladder, 450 hp Cummins diesel engine, 200 gallon water tank, and a 2000 gpm pump. It replaced a 1997 model E-One 75 foot ladder truck. Engine 101 has a 400 hp Cummins diesel engine, 750 gallon water tank, and a 1250 gpm Waterous pump. It replaced a 1997 E-One pumper. Both apparatus have the Select Catalytic Reduction system to reduce emissions and the easy access engine tunnel system for ease of maintenance.


Fire Fighters David Garcia and Chris Mendizabal discuss a plan of attack with Commissioner Vince Lago.

Coral Gables joins in day of service Coral Gables, FL. On November 15, 2014, Coral Gables Fire Rescue joined the Honorable Vince Lago and Baptist Health employees for their Caring for Our Community Annual Day of Service. This year, the historic William A. Cooper Park was chosen as the community project. Spearheaded by Commissioner Lago, fire fighters, Baptist Health volunteers and City employees planted new landscaping, mulched, and completed light maintenance at the historic park. “Coral Gables is blessed to have such outstanding corporate

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partners like Baptist Health and SFM Services to count on for this beatification project” said Commissioner Lago. “My colleagues and I are very proud to have their support and commitment to this historic area.” William Cooper, who died in 2008, descended from the Bahamian workers who originally settled in the area. This same area is today known as the MacFarlane Homestead and the Golden Gates neighborhoods.

Mr. Cooper was a well-known Coconut Grove postman and a community activist. The mission of the Baptist Health Annual Day of Service is to make a difference in the communities they serve. Last year’s project, St. Mary’s Baptist Church also in the historic area, received a complete facade beautification that included, parking lot improvement, sidewalk repair, landscaping, historic signage designation, and the church’s entire exterior was repainted. - DAVID PEREZ

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


LCDPS responds to Chiefland structure fire At approximately 10:58 a.m. on Sunday, November 30th, Levy County 911 Communications Center received a call of a structure fire located at 1670 Northeast 124th Terrace, Morriston, Florida. Levy County Sherriff’s Deputies, Levy County Department of Public Safety (LCDPS) ALS-100, Engine 11, and Rescue 10, Bronson Fire Department, and Williston Fire Department responded to the scene. LCDPS ALS-100 was first on scene and discovered fire extending into the walls from under the residence as the result of a trash fire that had accelerated out of control. Crews worked together quickly bringing the fire under control, saving the home, multiple wrapped Christmas gifts, and the family’s pet bulldog. No injuries were reported.


Corry Station in Pensacola is protected by a 2009 Pierce Velocity with a 75 foot ladder. Ladder 34 has a 2000 gpm Waterous pump and a 500 gallon water tank. In addition to providing fire protection for the DoD, Ladder 34 runs mutual aid with Escambia County Fire Rescue.

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FDNY The Battle Continues, Vol. 23 VIDEO REVIEW Video reviews by John Malecky

FDNY The Battle Continues, Vol. 23 By Fire Line Video Productions Available From: FSP Books & Videos 118 Central Street, #4 Hudson, MA 01749-1330 1-800-5228528 E-Mail: Price: $29.95 (DVD) This DVD is about 65 minutes in length and has six fires, which took place in Queens during the year 2007. As usual, you will not be disappointed in the coverage which is typical with Fire Line Video Production. With most of the incidents, they are nothing but spectacular! Around 25 minutes alone is used to cover the first one which is a second alarm fire in a dry cleaners attached on both sides and has a dwelling above. The store is closed with an roll up security door over it. Truckees use a saw to gain entry with a smoke condition ensuing. In the meantime, firefighters at the rear encounter heavy fire showing at the ground floor which eventually spreads to the second floor, blowing out three windows. This was one tough fire to fight judging by the time it took for it to be brought under control. The next fire is a fifth alarm in a row of stores. It was discovered by Tower Ladder 138 while on their way to another alarm. One of the stores is a Duane Reade pharmacy. While heavy black smoke bellows out of the storefront, heavy fire can be seen through the roof. The scene is nothing less than spectacular! Aerial pieces and handlines go to work! The next fire is an all hands in a two story dwelling. Heavy fire is seen at the first floor rear. Aerials go to the roof. The next fire is a fourth alarm with heavy fire in the basement of a two and three story dwelling. The fire eventually goes through the roof. Injured firefighters are removed from the scene on stretchers.

A second alarm is transmitted for an unoccupied, attached private dwelling which has fire blowing out of two rear windows. A ground ladder is seen on edge against the building between the two windows and is later righted and climbed. The scene at the front of the building shows the second floor burned out! Finally there is a third alarm in a two and a half story frame which is semi-attached. A partial collapse occurs at the top floor and one firefighter rode it down. Heavy fire again is present! This DVD has many tactics and strategies that are good for training purposes. There were also mayday calls in a couple of these incidents. If you follow the videos we present, you will note that Volume 25 was already reviewed. But this one was brought to my attention by Fire Line at a later date and I am thankful that it was done in order to show an action packed collection here.


In the spirit of the holiday season


Pictured along with the firefighters in the photo are Pinellas County Sherriff’s Victims advocates Barbara Hodson and Sondra Garcia-Olivares.

Seminole, FL. Firefighters from City of Seminole Fire Rescue and Professional Firefighters Local 2896 donated $2000 in food gift cards to the County JUMP TO FILE# Pinellas 112014112 Sherriff’s Victim Advocates unit to be used to assist local citizens in need this holiday season. Firefighter Tim Makley explained that this is the 20th year that the firefighters local has reached out to help citizens who are not as fortunate. Funds to accomplish this project are generated by the firefighters selling food and drinks during Music in the Park and the annual POWWOW festival. - BRAD DYKENS

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Firefighter Roger Harris retires after 30 years While in high school, Roger began working as a volunteer responding to fire and emergency medical calls. He was hooked on helping people and by 1984 began his professional firefighting career with Volusia County Fire Services. Over the decades, Roger worked some of the largest wildfire and weather disasters to come through Volusia County. He also served on the hazardous materials team for two decades. Roger's co-workers wish him the best during his well-deserved retirement years.


Fire destroys 35 foot vessel in Fort Lauderdale Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue responded to a reported boat fore in Southwest Fort Lauderdale at 1:35 p.m. Tuesday, December 2nd. Multiple phone calls were received reporting heavy smoke and flames coming from behind a home located at 2430 Marathon Lane. First arriving crews reported heavy fire coming from a boat docked behind the home. Fire crews, including Fort Lauderdale’s’ Fireboat 49 responded and contained the blaze to the vessel of origin. There was also some damage to the dock. Fort Lauderdale Fire Marshal is currently conducting an investigation into the cause of the fire. There were injuries reported.

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Firefighters performing a secondary search for victims

Fort Lauderdale Fire Marshal prevents serious fire


Palm Beach County Fire Rescue handles Chemical Spill at Sugar Refinery At 4:30 am Monday November 24, 2014 Palm Beach County Fire Rescue crews responded to a hazardous material spill at a local sugar refinery. First arriving crews identified several containers of acid that may have been leaking. The department Special Operations team along with Battalion Seven Firefighters identified the leak from a 4000 gallon Phosphoric acid container that was estimated to have had approximately 2000 gallons of product inside. Approximately 500-1000 gallons of product leaked into an isolated containment area. The leak was safely stopped and the product was pumped out by a private contractor.

Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue’s Acting Fire Marshal Jeff Lucas was on his way back to the office from a meeting Tuesday afternoon when he noticed something on NE 2nd Avenue didn’t look right. The Fire JUMP TO FILE# Marshall turned off 111814116 of 13th street onto 2nd Avenue where he was met by a wall of black smoke that was flowing heavily out of the eaves of a home. The Fire Marshal quickly notified Division Chief Robert Bacic that the home was on fire and to send a working fire response. Fire Marshal Lucas then put his gear on and checked the home for occupants. The home, located at 1304 NE 2 Ave, was not occupied and appears to have been unoccupied for some time and showed signs that there may be squatters living in the back yard. Firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze and prevented it from spreading to nearby occupied residences. Had fire Marshall Lucas not spotted the fire while it was still in its early phase of development, it would have surely grown into a much larger incident threatening residences nearby. There were no injuries and the cause of the fire is currently under investigation. - TIMOTHY HEISER TIMOTHY HEISER

Firefighters –dousing “hotspots” after checking the roof for fire extension

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January, 2015

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


SCFD Officers Academy graduates


Seminole County EMS/Fire/Rescue Officers Academy graduates

Cape Canaveral AFS

Seminole County EMS/Fire/Rescue graduated another eighteen chief officers and lieutenants from their Officers Academy in November of 2014. The division has experienced a significant change in leadership over the last several years due to attrition. In addition, two municipal departments merged into Seminole County making it a metro size department. In a little less than ten years, 81% of first line officers

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(lieutenants) were promoted. The forty hour course included coaching and counseling for success, tactics and strategy, and review of Seminole County’s Incident Management System. Additionally, overviews were provided on radio procedures, EMS and NIFIRS reporting writing/re-

view, administration reviews, evaluations and workers compensation policies. It is intended that all officers within the organization will attend the training and it will be regularly updated to cover new practices. The Seminole County EMS/Fire/Training Center is also a regional training center and offers firefighting and EMS courses. - PAULA RITCHEY


Levy County responds to car fire Levy County, FL. At approximately 9:33 p.m. on Thursday, December 4, 2014, The Levy County 911 Communications Center received a call reporting a vehicle fire with structures in danger on NE 51st Terrace in Williston. Levy County Sheriff’s Office, Williston Fire Department, Bronson Fire Department, Department of Public Safety (LCDPS) Battalion 1, ALS-100, and Rescue 9 (Bronson) responded to the scene. LCDPS ALS-100 was first on scene and discovered a minivan with flames under the hood parked in the driveway, approximately 30 feet from a residence. Crews worked together quickly extinguishing the fire. No injuries were reported.


December is extrication training month at VCFS Everyday, training takes place at Volusia County Fire Services. Throughout December, the focus is on extricating patients entrapped in a vehicle after a motor vehicle accident. All local fire agencies were invited to train at the Volusia County Fire Services Training Center and receive instruction from fire services training officers.

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Coral Gables Fire Rescue Station 2 crews letting Beth Johnson know she is loved. In the picture is Beth’s husband, Driver Engineer Dave Johnson (holding the sign.)

Breast cancer awareness month gets personal


The use of foam proved vital in subduing the agitated bees

Immokalee firefighters use foam to subdue angry bees As dusk set in over the town of Immokalee on Veteran's Day 2014, ImmFire and Collier Co. EMS (CCEMS) received a call for aid regarding a male "who was attacked by bees". AT30 and Medic 30 responded from their respective stations and arrived at the home shortly thereafter. Once inside the home, personnel established patient contact with an elderly male, who stated he had been stung numerous times while working in the yard of his home located on the 700 block of Breezwood St. in the southern end of the town. As luck were to have it, the quick actions of a neighbor across the street proved to potentially save the man's life. The neighbor, who heard the elderly man's cries for help from across the street, quickly ran to his aide and with little or no regards for his own personal safety proceeded to pull the elderly man away from the area, where he fell succumbing to the attack.

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CCEMS paramedics assessed and treated the elderly man on scene prior to his refusing transport to the hospital for further evaluation. As medics cared for the patient inside the home, AT30s crew under the direction of Lt. R. Mendoza A-shift, formulated a plan on how to subdue the still somewhat agitated bees. The plan called for bringing ImmFire EN31 to the scene. Once there, the truck's integrated foam system was used to douse the hive. EN31's booster reel was deployed and placed into service dousing the deeply embedded hive located within an old canopy cover underneath the home's carport. Within minutes, the threat which affected the entire neighborhood was brought to an end.

Coral Gables, FL. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and this year October was very personal for the Coral Gables Fire Rescue Department. For several years now, the department has traditionally supported Breast Cancer Awareness month by wearing commemorative pink t-shirts as part of their daily uniforms. Pink Breast Cancer Awareness T-shirts were made available for purchase by the Coral Gables Fire Benevolent. The department’s benevolent association sold the commemorative “Support Cancer Victims” t-shirts for $10 to surrounding hospital staffs and the public-at-large as a fundraiser. Proceeds from every shirt sold went

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directly towards the Susan G. Komen’s breast cancer research and awareness programs. “Cancer and more specifically breast cancer has affected millions of Americans across the United States” said Fire Chief Marc Stolzenberg. “Unfortunately many of us have a friend or family member that has been affected and Coral Gables Fire Rescue is no exception. This year our Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign was very personal for our department. Our hearts and prayers are with Brother Dave Johnson and his family

as they mourn the loss of his beloved wife Beth to dancer and we also lost one of our very own earlier this year, Firefighter Tim Walsh.” Tim is survived by his loving wife Jene and four children. This year’s donation was made in memory of Beth Johnson and Firefighter Tim Walsh. Unfortunately, just about every firefighter across America has their own story related to cancer and the month of October allows us to remember the loved ones who lost their fight and stand by our brothers and sisters and their families that are currently fighting the battle.



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Firefighter/Paramedic Paul McGowan, Battalion Chief Bryon Chaney, Lt. Shane Massari, Wendi Wilcox and Chesney, Karyn Angel with Cody and Maya, Firefighter Ryan Lucas, Firefighter/Paramedic Dale Stevens, Firefighter Dean Erlandson, Carol Czwornog & Kingston, Shirley Conely & Mim


Fruitland Park announces Seminole County receives pet masks firefighter of the year Seminole County EMS/Fire/Rescue was the recipient of four donated sets of pet resuscitations masks. The presentation and donation was made by Dog Scouts of America Troop #183. The troop recently raised $300 for pet resuscitation masks and Seminole County EMS/Fire/Rescue was fortunate to be the recipient. A presentation was held on November 14th at Seminole

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County Fire Station #11 in Altamonte Springs. Seminole County EMS/Fire/Rescue has carried pet resuscitation masks on their units since 2002 as a result of donations.

Fruitland Park, FL. On December 8th at the fire department's weekly meeting, Fire Chief Steve Whitaker alongside FPFR fire officers recognized Madison Leary as the Fruitland Park Firefighter of the Year for 2014. As stated by Chief Whitaker, most of our firefighters are very deserving of this award as they play a very important part in our depart-

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ment. They all do a great job and we appreciate the support they provide this department and the City of Fruitland Park. "Firefighter Leary stood out this year, as always going above

and beyond what a great firefighter does day in and day out," said Chief Whitaker. Congratulations to Firefighter Madison Leary and our entire team for their continued willingness to serve the community and to have courage to act and the ability to perform. - GEORGE FERNANDEZ


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


Three day, multi-agency hazmat exercise


The newest patch for the PBCFR Reserve Battalion

Miami, FL. The State of Florida Regional Domestic Security Task Force (RDSTF) Region 7 held an interoperability exercise involving hazmat teams from Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, Broward Sheriff’s Office Fire Rescue, City of Hialeah Fire Rescue, City of Miami Fire Rescue and the National Guard’s 44th Civil Support Team (CST) at MDFR’s Training Center in Doral. The goal of this exercise was to coordinate the joint efforts of the different local, regional and national hazmat teams and how to

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best utilize their assets in order to mitigate hazardous materials incident. RDSTF utilizes a multi-disciplinary approach to provide support to communities that do not have the means to mitigate hazardous materials situations, by serving as a force multiplier for local agencies and working in conjunction with emergency management professionals.

“We have a multitude of exercises or drills per year,” said MDFR’s HazMat Capt. Anthony Trim. “In the event that there is an activation of these resources, the public should feel confident that all assets and teams can work together because we train together.” This exercise concluded a three-day training that continues to solidify the continued partnership efforts between units in RDSTF’s Region 7. - GRISELLE MARINO

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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


The Tallahassee Fire Department operates a E-One 6x6 Titan as Crash 52 at the Tallahassee Regional Airport.


Train fire in Sumter County At approximately 12:50 p.m. on Wednesday, November 19, Sumter County Fire & EMS responded to a report of a train fire. Callers reported a train, southbound between Coleman and Bushnell was on fire. CSX Railroad was contacted, and the train was stopped just north of Bushnell, where fire crews were able to attack the fire at the CR 532

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crossing. Fire crews were faced with fire involving a fully-involved carnival ride and tractor located on a flatbed railcar owned by James E. Strates Shows. Fire crews were able to quickly

knock down the fire; however, the ride and tractor were a total loss. After approximately 45 minutes of overhaul operations, crews were able to release the train to continue on it journey. There were no injuries reported, and the cause of the fire was undetermined. - LELAND GREEK


Heilbronn Springs operates a 1993 Ford L9000 tanker built by S&S Fire Apparatus as Tanker 44.


Miami Beach Fire Rescue on the scene of a hazmat incident.


Fire Marshal Dennis Marshall receiving his award. Pictured from left to right are Maitland Mayor Howard Schieferdecker, Deborah Marshall, Fire Marshal Dennis Marshall, Fire Chief Kimberly Neisler

Fire marshal selected as Employee of the Quarter


Alachua County Fire Rescue has placed into service a custom built Thomas/Sartin Services bus as Medical Support Unit 17.

For a second straight quarter in a row, the Maitland City Council selected a fire department member as the Employee of the Quarter. On Monday, November 24th, 2014, the City Council recognized Fire Marshal Dennis Marshall as the Employee of the Quarter. Fire Marshal Marshall has

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spent the last 17 years protecting the citizens, visitors, and businesses of the City of Maitland. He is responsible for conducting over 1,000 inspections, reviewing almost 400 construction

documents/plans, and teaching over 3500 hours of fire prevention education annually. His wife, Deborah Marshall, who is a retired fire lieutenant herself, joined him as he was recognized before the city. - CHARLES VAN CAMP

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Commercial structure fire in Inglis At approximately 6:19 a.m. on November 24th, Levy County 911 Communications Center received a call for a structure fire located at 439 West Highway 40, Inglis, Florida, known as Rivals Bar. Inglis Fire Department, Levy County Sherriff’s Deputies, Levy County Department of Public Safety (LCDPS) Battalion 1, Engine 3, Tanker 3, Engine 11, Squad 11, Rescue 3, and Rescue 10, and South Levy Volunteer Fire Department responded to the scene. Upon arrival, LCDPS Rescue 3 found a fully involved commer-

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cial structure with flames showing with partial collapse. Crews worked together to knock down the fire. The structure was deemed a total loss. Two minor firefighter injuries were reported. The fire marshal was notified to determine the cause of the fire. On November 25th, the US Marshals Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force located and arrested Travis Crabb at a Southwest

Gainesville hotel. Crabb was wanted by the Levy County Sheriff's Office on an outstanding arrest warrant for one arson, two counts of arson resulting in injury to another person, burglary and grand theft. Through the investigation, the Levy County Sheriff's Office determined Crabb and a second subject broke into the Rivals Bar in Inglis. While stealing several items from the bar, Crabb lit multiple objects on fire. - DAVID KNOWLES

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


Fully involved house fire in Gulf Breeze On November 16, 2014 at 3:09 a.m., Santa Rosa County Communications received numerous 911 calls reporting a house fire on Champagne Ave in Gulf Breeze. Midway Engine 37 arrived and reported a working fire with flames through the roof. The fire was so intense that it ignited a section of woods behind the residence. As crews were stretching lines, several residents advised the house was currently vacant. Midway Fire-Rescue was assisted by Holley-Navarre Engine 41 and Navarre Beach Engine 49. Avalon Station 12 was requested for station coverage. The Florida State Fire Marshal's Office was requested for cause and origin. No injuries were reported. CHRIS DILLEY

This apparatus provides ďŹ re protection coverage to Sherman Field, NAS Pensacola


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Longwood Fire Department honors three retiring officers TIMOTHY HEISER

Broken gas line shuts down A1A in Fort Lauderdale Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue responded to a gas leak located at 1750 North Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd Wednesday afternoon, December 10th. Construction crews working in the area hit a one and a half inch galvanized gas line at noon on

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Wednesday causing the partial shutdown of the busy road. Fire crews and members of Fort Lauderdale’s Hazardous Material

team worked for about 30 minutes to find the source of the leak and to safely contain it. There were no injuries reported and the road was reopened without incident. - TIMOTHY HEISER

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

The City of Longwood Fire Department recently recognized the lifetime achievements of three senior officers Cindy Carbonell, Battalion Chief, Corey Cohen FF/EMT/OIC and Phyllis Williams, Training Officer/LT./PM. Together these three officers had 80 years of combined service to the City of Longwood Fire Department. The Fire and EMS careers of Battalion Chief Cindy Carbonell, who was hired on June 4, 1984 and Lieutenants Phyllis Williams and Corey Cohen who were both hired on December 18, 1989 were highlighted at a Longwood Fire Department Retirement Celebration held on Thursday, November 20th at the City’s Community Building. Representatives of the fire service community from throughout Central Florida as well as the city’s mayor, John Maingot, Commis-

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sioner Brian Sackett and Representative Bob Cortes attended to celebrate and acknowledge their individual contributions to improved Fire and EMS service not only in Longwood, but throughout Seminole County. These three fire officers, who were hired in the 1980’s as recruit Firefighter/EMTs, worked their way up through the ranks of the city’s fire department through personal dedication, motivation and advanced training and education. They trained and mentored many firefighters and paramedics in our region and leave a legacy of excellence with the City of Longwood Fire Department. - LILLIAN SEXTON

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


The Midway Fire District has placed into service a 19 foot Boston Whaler rescue boat as Boat 35. It has a 115 hp Yamaha outboard motor and is equipped for water emergencies and rescues. A dedicated 2004 Expedition is the tow vehicle.


Cape Canaveral Fire

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8:00 AM


Priced Comparable to Epoxy NYPD EMS IN BRONX

Goes Right Over Your Old Floor

Star Cross FD, NJ

Poland FD, ME


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1st Responder Southeast January Edition  
1st Responder Southeast January Edition  

1st Responder News is the first newspaper to cover emergency service personnel on such an intimate basis. We give detailed coverage to the...