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The Southeast Edition PUBLISHING SINCE 1993






Statham, GA - Just before 5:30 A.M. on Wednesday morning, November 9th, communication officers with Barrow County Emergency Services received numerous 911 calls reporting a large fire in the 2100 block of Broad Street in Statham. “Firefighters responded to the area and found a pallet business that was heavily involved in fire,” commented Captain Scott Dakin.

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Fire topping out in trees.


Major Wildfire Hits Hay Valley Parrish, AL - Multiple fire departments in Walker County assisted in fighting a large brush fire on Wednesday, November 23rd, that burned more than 300-acres between Hay Valley and Jasper. The fire produced heavy smoke that caused poor visibility near 122 in Jasper. Hay Valley Fire Chief Jeff Carr said that his department was dispatched by Walker County E911 around 10:51 A.M. for reports of a brush fire on Hay Valley Road. The terrain made it difficult for firefighters to battle the blaze and the wind also became a problem, as it quickly fanned the fire’s flames over the hills and valleys located between Hay Valley and

JUMP TO FILE #112716113 Jasper. Chief Carr called for assistance to battle the blaze and firefighters from Jasper, Boldo, Cordova, Barney, Parrish, Oakman and McCollum responded, along with Alabama Forestry Commission personnel. Firefighters with City of Jasper Fire Rescue and Boldo Fire Rescue staged in the area along Whitehouse Road and Country Lane in Jasper, where they fought the fire as it approached their end. - JEFF CARR

Hel-attack crew prepares to put the bucket on the aircraft.


Close Call at Lake Chinnabee Wildfire Shinebone, AL - Firefighters viewed the smoke filled valleys as they drove to briefing on the morning of December 9th. The briefing was held and and another fire was reported in the Talladega National Forest. The fire was located just outside Cheaha State Park, at Lake Chinnabee. Air Op's reported the fire to be approximately 75-acres and growing rapidly. A predicted

JUMP TO FILE #120916125 front was to move in later in the afternoon, bringing even higher winds. Firefighters triaged structures along the road as dozers began cutting hand lines. All was going well until the front began to hit numerous spot fires, crossing the road and dozer

lines. The trigger point was hit and the structures on the opposite side of the road had to be triaged, with a dozer line also put into place. The fire then headed toward the structures, being pushed by 50-60 MPH winds. The lines were held and structures were saved. The fire went to 2,300-acres. - WILLIE CIRONE

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


Asbury Fire Department is located in Marshall County, Alabama.

A module from Alaska fires in, off the park road.


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1st Responder News (ISSN 1525-1683) - Vol. 18 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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Firefighters Battle Brush Fire in Alpine Alpine, AL - With fuels dry and the wind gusting, a fire broke out on Glover Ferry Road on December 9th. The fire, fanned by wind, raced across a hay field. Local fire companies, along with the Alabama State Forest Fire Service, battled the blaze. Air resources from the Talladega National Forest were called to assist due to an Urban Interface problem, with over two-dozen structures in the path of the fire. A Strike Team of Type-6 engines were also assigned to the incident from the Forest Fire Service. The fire was brought under control and no structures were lost.

Major Fire in Talladega National Forest Hollins, AL - On December 9th, as night fell over the dry mountains of the Hollins Wildlife Management Area, located in the Talladega National Forest, a glow appeared from the top of the mountain. The fire was left over night for safety reasons and firefighters made their attack at sun-up. On arrival, the fire was 50-acres and growing. The winds and low humidity hampered firefighting efforts, as did the steep terrain. Hand crews and air resources, along with dozers, worked until the fire was held at 1,200-acres.

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In memory of those who gave all

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

New Jersey: Alfred A. Stewart, 79 Rank: Firefighter (Former Fire Chief) Incident Date: November 6, 2016 Death Date: November 6, 2016 Fire Department: West Milford Volunteer Fire Company #6 Initial Summary: Firefighter Stewart reported to the fire station for a company drill. He remained alone at the station to perform maintenance duties while other company members attended the drill. At some point, Stewart ascended a ladder inside the station for these maintenance duties. When fire department personnel returned from the drill, they found Stewart entangled in the fallen ladder. Despite lifesaving efforts, Steward was pronounced dead shortly thereafter. It is unknown whether Stewart suffered a medical emergency while atop the ladder and then fell, or if the ladder had fallen while he was on it, causing his trauma. An autopsy is pending to determine the official cause of Firefighter Stewart's death.

Indiana: Michael Payne, 58 Rank: Fire Chief Incident Date: November 7, 2016 Death Date: November 8, 2016 Fire Department: Brookston Prairie Township Fire Department Initial Summary: Chief Michael Payne and members of his department responded to a truck fire on Interstate-65 north of Lafayette, IN, just before midnight on 11/07/2016. After the fire was extinguished, Chief Payne fell ill and collapsed. Lifesaving efforts were initiated and Chief Payne was transported to Indiana University Hospital (Lafayette) where those efforts continued until he passed away at approximately 0145hrs on 11/08/2016.

Georgia: Michael W. Curry, 42 Rank: Master Firefighter Incident Date: November 19, 2016 Death Date: November 19, 2016 Fire Department: Savannah Fire & Emergency Services Initial Summary: Master Firefighter Curry was involved in operations at an emergency incident on River Street late Saturday afternoon when he suffered an apparent medical condition. Emergency medical personnel attended to Curry on the scene and were escorted in their transport of the firefighter to Memorial University Medical Center. Curry passed away at the hospital Saturday evening.

Kentucky: Ted Rodney Collett, 41 Rank: Firefighter Incident Date: October 29, 2016 Death Date: November 17, 2016 Fire Department: Red Bird Volunteer Fire & Rescue Initial Summary: Firefighter Collett suffered head and arm injuries on October 29th while working a wildland fire incident when a tree limb fell and struck him and the fire apparatus he was on. Firefighter Collett was airlifted to Pikeville Medical Center for treatment but succumbed to his injuries the evening of November 17th.

New York: Merle L. Nell, 78 Rank: Fire Police Captain Incident Date: November 26, 2016 Death Date: November 26, 2016 Fire Department: Volunteer Fire Company of Vernon Initial Summary: After becoming ill while working on a mutual aid fire call with his fire department, Fire Police Captain Nell passed away in the hospital from a nature and cause of fatal injury still to be reported.

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Firefighters Respond to Flynn Street House Fire

Firefighters wrapping up operations after putting the fire out.


Chattanooga, TN - No one was home and no injuries were reported in connection with a house fire that occurred around 11:00 A.M. on November 17th. The Chattanooga Fire Department responded to 1044 Flynn Street with six JUMP TO FILE # fire companies. Bat- 111816106 talion Chief Lesley Morgan said heavy smoke was visible and coming from the rear of the house when the first firefighters arrived on the scene. As additional fire companies arrived, Chief Morgan said that fire broke through the roof, threatening to spread to an adjacent house, located just two-feet away. The firefighters had to force their way in through the front door to get to the fire. Using hand-held hoselines, they brought the fire under control fairly quickly. Captain Scott McCullough with Quint2 said the firefighters contained the

Vice Mayor Doug Young and Family.

fire damage to three rooms. The rest of the house had substantial smoke and water damage. The dollar loss was estimated at $60,000. Fire Chief Chris Adams, who responded to this particular fire, said the loss could have been a lot worse. "The house to the right is just about 18-inches from the house that was on fire," said Chief Adams. "If the firefighters had not aggressively brought that fire under control, we could have lost two or even three homes," he added. Two UTC co-eds had just moved into the rental house a few weeks ago. Chief Morgan said they would have to stay elsewhere for the night. Chattanooga police and Hamilton County EMS also provided assistance on the scene. The cause of the fire was ruled accidental. The lead fire investigator on the incident said the fire had started in or around the dishwasher. - BRUCE GARNER


Groundbreaking Ceremony Held for “Doug Young Public Safety Training Facility” MFRD

Crews Battle Early Morning Fire in Murfreesboro

Murfreesboro, TN - Murfreesboro Fire & Rescue Department Districts 1 and 9, with Engines 3 and 4 and Rescue-7 responded to an early morning fire call on December 16th, located at S. Walnut and W. Castle Streets. The smoke and flames could be seen by units even before they arrived onscene. Despite the crews' best efforts, the structure was a total loss. The building is believed to be Eubanks Electric. Fire Marshal Carl Peas was en-route to the scene and would be conducting a routine investigation into the cause of the fire.

Murfreesboro, TN - Mayor Shane McFarland, City Council, Murfreesboro Fire & Rescue, Murfreesboro Police and several other friends and family members of Vice Mayor Doug Young, recently gathered at the site of the former Franklin Heights Housing Complex for a groundbreaking ceremony of the “Doug Young Public Safety Training Facility.” Mayor McFarland addressed the large crowd and spoke of Vice Mayor Young’s long-time advocacy of this training facility. He then mentioned his recent trip to New York and the tour that he took of the 9/11 Museum. He saw many images and reminders of service providers who lost their lives, and in reflection, it made him think of the “countless lives the facility will save by the number of men and women working on their crafts to protect the citizens of Murfreesboro.” Fire Rescue Chief Mark Foulks discussed some of the features of the

JUMP TO FILE #111116147 facility, including five current buildings that will remain on-site for training, a drill tower and driving pad. Foulks remarked that the site has provided amazing training opportunities already, as several hundred firefighters from across the nation used the facility in October during Firehouse Expo, a national training conference. Police Chief Karl Durr expressed his appreciation for City Council’s support of law enforcement and fire and rescue. Durr spoke of Council’s vision of where they want first responders to go in the future and said, “They realize the way to get there is through training.” City Manager Rob Lyons noted that in Young’s 13 years on the Council, he has always been a major proponent of education and public safety. “This facility combines both of the core values Doug holds so

close.” Vice Mayor Young was presented with a plaque from the City, commemorating the naming of the facility. He also received a hard hat and badge from the Murfreesboro Police Department and a leather helmet with personalized shield from Murfreesboro Fire & Rescue. Young, very humbled by the honor, simply stated, “What I’m mostly proud of is 3 years… 5 years… 10 years from now, we can look back and say, ‘We’ve trained a lot of good people…’ and training saves lives.” The groundbreaking closed with City Manager Lyons, Mayor McFarland, Vice Mayor Young, Councilmembers Rick Lalance, Madelyn Scales-Harris, Bill Shacklett, and Eddie Smotherman, and Chief Durr, Chief Foulks and Deputy Chief Toombs “tossing the ceremonial dirt.” - MFRD


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Smoke Alarm Saves Woman from Overnight Fire Chattanooga, TN - No injuries were reported in connection with a house fire on November 19th, thanks in part to a working smoke alarm. The Chattanooga Fire Department received the alarm around 12:30 A.M. and responded to 1815 Citico Avenue with four fire companies. Captain Joey Smith with Engine-5 said smoke was showing when the first firefighters arrived on the scene. Upon entering the house, the firefighters found a fire inside the wall dividing the living and dining rooms. Captain Smith said the firefighters used hand tools to open up the walls and found a significant amount of fire that had burned through the floor and spread upward into the attic space. The firefighters then used

JUMP TO FILE #112116109 tools to open up the ceiling and the floor below to extinguish what remained of the fire. The dollar loss was estimated at around $20,000. The woman who lived in the house told firefighters that she was asleep when her smoke alarm activated. She promptly got out of the house and called 911. The cause of the fire has been ruled accidental. Captain Smith said the fire appears to have been started by an electrical malfunction inside the wall and crawl space. Chattanooga police, Hamilton County EMS and EPB also provided assistance on the scene.

Knoxville, TN - At around 11:45 A.M. on November 21st, units from the Knoxville Fire Department responded to the Stonewall II Apartments, located at 5022 Chapman highway, for report of a fire. When firefighters arrived, they found flames and smoke coming from building #100, which houses 14 townhouses. Fire crews quickly went to work, banging on doors to make sure that

JUMP TO FILE #112116130 everyone was evacuated, as additional manpower deployed attack lines onto the flames. Interior crews reported a partial collapse at the rear of the building, which initiated a defensive attack by the incident commander. Firefighters then pulled their firehose from inside the building and

fought the fire from the outside. A total of 24 tenants were safely accounted for, but would be displaced. The American Red Cross will assist the victims. The building was undergoing a renovation, but it is unsure if that factored into the cause of the fire. Fire investigators were on the scene to begin digging through the rubble to determine the cause. - DJ CORCORAN


DID Y OU K NOW No one knows who invented the fire hydrant because its patent was actually destroyed in a fire.

Fire Displaces 24 Residents from Apartment Complex



Knoxville Responds to MLK Blvd. for Structure Fire Knoxville, TN - Just before 4:00 A.M. on November 14th, units from the Knoxville Fire Department were dispatched to 2531 Martin Luther King Blvd. for report of a building fire. When crews arrived, they found smoke and flames coming from the Holiday Market, located in the commercial strip between Parham and Chestnut Streets.

JUMP TO FILE #111416118 Firefighters advanced attack lines, but were unable to gain full access to the flames from inside. An aerial stream was ordered by the incident commander at the front of the structure. Flames had breached the roof and a crack appeared in the

exterior brick on the backside, (C/D corner), prompting a call for a second elevated stream. At 4:40 A.M., a second attempt to gain entry was successful and fire crews began extinguishing flames and hot spots from inside. Fire investigators were on the scene to determine the cause. No injuries were reported. - DJ CORCORAN

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MFRD Holds 1st Annual Fire & Rescue Awards and Recognition Ceremony


Firefighters Battle Three-Alarm Fire on Thanksgiving Day Chattanooga, TN - Chattanooga firefighters responded to a commercial fire in downtown Chattanooga on November 24th. The initial alarm of a commercial fire at 1511 Williams Street was received at 5:01 P.M. When the first firefighters arrived on the scene, heavy smoke and fire was already showing from a building that contained an art studio and a cabinet-making shop. With the flames continuing to spread rapidly, the incident commander called for a second-alarm response at 5:14 P.M. to bring in an additional six fire companies. Captain David Tallent said the flames continued to spread, eventually breaking through the roof. At 6:15 P.M., incident command called for a third-alarm response to bring in an additional six fire companies. Captain Tallent said the firefighting operation went into a defensive mode early on due to the age of the building and the fact that the fire had broken through

JUMP TO FILE #112816104 the roof. A total of 19 fire companies battled the flames for at least one hour before the bulk of the fire was brought under control. No injuries were reported. Captain Tallent said the firefighters were able to keep the fire from spreading to a construction company business in an adjacent building, valued at approximately $2 million, though it did have some water damage. The building with the art studio and cabinet shop had extensive damage. The damage was estimated at $360,000 for the building and $400,000 for its contents. The cause of the fire is under investigation. Chattanooga police, Hamilton County EMS, EPB and Chattanooga-Hamilton County Rescue provided assistance on the scene. - BRUCE GARNER

Murfreesboro, TN - The Murfreesboro Fire & Rescue Department held their 1st Annual Fire and Rescue Awards and Recognition Ceremony at Patterson Park Community Center on November 7th. John Hood emceed the event, which recognized over 30 employees for various accomplishments. The ceremony began with recognizing the nine Fire Trainees who graduated from the Tennessee Fire and Codes Academy on November 4th after attending the 10-week Fire Recruit Class. Gianni Bacchetti, Brenner Ballard, Robert Gingrow, Tiara Green, Thomas Gunnell, Kevin Madachik, Betsy Prusynski, James Ray and Adam Ross received a department challenge coin, as they were praised for also obtaining their certifications in Hazardous Materials Awareness and Operations and Firefighter I. The next group to be recognized were the firefighters who recently celebrated their one year anniversary with MFRD. At one year, each firefighter receives his or her firefighter badge and a new helmet. Jason Bonniger, Eric Compton, Cory Friend, Matt Tidwell, Betsy Welcome and Brandon McCullough were presented with a department challenge coin. Firefighters Corian Barrett, Marcus Cartwright, Logan Gill and Andrew Kindle were not present, but also achieved this accomplishment. Firefighter Kevin Leonard was promoted to Engineer on October 13, 2016, but was officially pinned with his engineer badge during the ceremony. His former captain, the department’s Chaplain Lee Douglas, did the honors. MFRD’s Firefighters of the Month were then acknowledged for “going above and beyond the duties of their job descriptions.” Firefighters of the Month are named for actions ranging from station projects and innovations, to acts of kindness and off-duty life-saving efforts. From November of 2015 to October of 2016, the recipients were: Engineer David Simms, Firefighter Brent Stephens (not present), Assistant Chief Kaye Jernigan, Firefighter Matt Tidwell, Engineer Kenneth McFarland, Captain Tony Lehew, Firefighter Ryan Battle, Firefighter Melvin Holmes (not present), Firefighter Ben Honeycutt, Firefighter Jeff Clementi, Retired Captain Randy Jones (not present), Engineer Douglas Inglish, Captain Raymond Smith, Engineer Samuel Benford, Engineer Billy Sauls (not present), and Firefighter James Strader. Lastly, two MFRD employees were presented the “Outstanding Service Award” for their off-duty life-saving efforts. Captain Robert Canterbury and Engineer Douglas Inglish received engraved axes for the honor as their stories were recounted by Hood. Captain Robert Canterbury: Robert "Bobby" Canterbury had just pulled in the driveway on November 14, 2015, when he heard a terrible crash out in front of his house

Leonard Promotion (L to R): Deputy Chief Toombs, Chaplain Lee Douglas, Kevin Leonard and Fire Rescue Chief Mark Foulks.


JUMP TO FILE #111116144 on HWY 269. He saw where an SUV came to a rest in front of a tree at the end of his driveway. He could see fire coming from the motor compartment and could tell that at least one person was pinned in that vehicle and another in the other vehicle. He immediately called 911 to report the accident and ask for help, but he also jumped into action. He and his family starting bringing buckets of water out to the car that was on fire, trying to douse the flames. He knew he had to get the male driver out and he and another man tried to get the door off of the vehicle, but were unsuccessful. Bobby went to his shop, got his tractor and chains, and went back to the vehicle. He hooked the chains to the door, snatched the door with the tractor a few times and got it off. They were able to get the man out to safety before the passenger side of the vehicle caught fire. The other vehicle was a young woman around 18-years-old. She was pinned as well and in-and-out of consciousness. Bobby assisted with patient care until EMS and the fire department came on-scene. LifeFlight was eventually dispatched to take the young woman to Vanderbilt. Bobby was off-duty, but his firefighter instincts and quick thinking allowed him to assist citizens in need. This was a great reflection of his personal character and also the professionalism of the men and women of MFRD. Engineer Douglas Inglish: On June 2nd, 2016, Engine-3 was dispatched to an unresponsive person,

with CPR in progress. Upon arrival, off-duty Engineer Doug Inglish, was administering basic life support. Doug maintained patient care and assisted Engine-3's crew with AED use. The patient was turned over to Rutherford EMS for more advanced care and transport. After the dust settled and the crew delivered the patient to the emergency department, I asked Doug about his actions that led up to activating 911. He recounted by saying that he had just walked out on to his back deck when voices next door caught his attention. He noticed his neighbors trying to wake up the resident and it appeared that he was having a medical emergency. Upon recognition, Doug grabbed his "go bag" and headed next door. He directed family members to activate 911 while he started CPR. Doug's initial actions provided emergency crews with a viable patient. His early intervention lead to a successful save with the AED. The patient is a retired member of the Murfreesboro Fire & Rescue Department and continues to do well today. Doug is a humble man who quietly does his job, but does it well. He never misses an opportunity to help where help is needed. Retired Captain Larry Bratcher, the man whom Inglish saved, was in the audience to see him received the award. “We are proud of the men and women who represent this department in such a professional, compassionate and respectful manner,” said Fire Rescue Chief Mark Foulks. “The citizens and visitors to our community are very fortunate to have you as public servants.” - MFRD


FF of the Month (L to R): Deputy Chief Roger Toombs, Assistant Chief Kaye Jernigan, Douglas Inglish, David Simms, Kenneth McFarland, Samuel Benford, Matt Tidwell, Ben Honeycutt, Jeff Clementi, James Strader, Raymond Smith, Ryan Battle, Tony Lehew and Fire Rescue Chief Mark Foulks.


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MFRD’s Final Crews Return Home From Gatlinburg Murfreesboro, TN - Exactly one week after their initial deployment, all of Murfreesboro Fire & Rescue’s crews and personnel have returned from Gatlinburg. The third and final team sent, JUMP TO FILE # along with Shift 120716110 Commander Tim Swann and Fire Chaplain/Captain Lee Douglas, were demobilized late Sunday night, December 4th. They spent Sunday night resting in Pigeon Forge and arrived back at Fire Administration Monday afternoon, December 5th. MFRD’s apparatus were the last of the outof-county resources to be demobilized. The department sent 50 personnel over the course of the event to assist with the uncontained wildfires in Gatlinburg. This included a rotation of staffing for two ladder trucks and an engine, two chief officers and the fire chaplain.

Crews were placed into action immediately upon arrival, as the city had already experienced a catastrophic loss of numerous residential and commercial properties. MFRD assisted local and mutual aid firefighters with the suppression of several residential fires and search and rescue efforts. MFRD personnel also staffed Gatlinburg fire stations and were able to cover medical and fire calls, while the GFD mitigated the wildfires and continued with search and rescue. “All of our personnel did an outstanding job and performed in a manner that exudes who MFRD is as a department,” said Fire Rescue Chief Mark Foulks. “Additionally, we forged relationships that will last a lifetime.” Chief Foulks added, “The emergency response phase for this event may be over, but the recovery phase for Gatlinburg is just beginning. Please continue to keep the community in your prayers.”


Team-1 Crew Members: Captain Jeff Irvin, Fire Trainee Brenner Ballard, Firefighter Jamie Layhew, Firefighter Corey Friend, Firefighter John Fisher, Firefighter Sean Wheeler, Engineer Adam Petrig, Captain Raymond Smith, Engineer Chad Davis, Captain/Shift Inspector Wade Williams, Firefighter Jacob Follis, Firefighter Josh Warren, Firefighter Jeff Clementi, Firefighter Matt Henry and Firefighter Jonathan Gaither. Not pictured is Engineer Ronald Nobles.



Team-2 Crew Members: Shift Commander Tim Swann, Firefighter Troy Thomas, Firefighter Travis Bryant, Engineer Jimmy Barrett, Captain Hunter Fite, Engineer Joshua Parsons, Firefighter Kernie Cothran, Captain Blake Insell, Captain Tim Lampitt, Firefighter Andrew Kindle, Firefighter Rob Vaughter, Engineer Wesley Slager, Firefighter Jeremy Morris, Firefighter Justin McCraven, Firefighter Julia Pitt and Firefighter Nathan Jones.


Team-3 Crew Members: Firefighter Davey Ferrell, Firefighter Zach Fleenor, Captain David Frost, Firefighter Lucas Dearden, Firefighter Brent Stephens, Engineer Tim Rowlett, Firefighter Jonathan Parsons, Captain/Shift Inspector Mark McCluskey, Firefighter Shan Womack, Engineer Mitchell Whittenburg, Firefighter Allen Debowsky, Firefighter Eric Compton, Firefighter Anthony Cayll, Engineer Richard Crick and Captain Mike Adams.

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Knoxville Firefighters Quickly Knock Down House Fire Knoxville, TN - At 10:30 A.M. on December 11th, units from the Knoxville Fire Department responded to 6401 Shrewsbury Dr., after a neighbor of that address called 911 to report seeing flames. Fire crews reported smoke showing from as far away as Western Avenue as they were approaching the incident. Once on the scene, firefighters confirmed visible flames engulfing the front right, "A/B" corner of the single-story structure. As firefighters advanced attack lines to extinguish the flames, additional fire personnel searched the home for any possible victims; none were found. The residents were away at the time of the fire and were being contacted. No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is being investigated.


Early Morning Fire Destroys Vacant House

Chattanooga, TN - Chattanooga firefighters responded to a vacant house fire at 3123 Lightfoot Mill Road around 3:00 A.M. on November 9th. Battalion Chief Don Bowman said the house was fully engulfed in flames when the first firefighters arrived on the scene. The flames were beginning to spread to some nearby trees and could be seen from miles away. Chief Bowman said firefighters with six fire companies quickly brought the fire under control. No injuries were reported. An estimate on the dollar loss was not available. The cause of the fire is under investigation. Chattanooga Police and Hamilton County EMS also provided assistance on the scene.

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Hundreds Mourn Loss of Savannah Master Firefighter Michael Curry Savannah, GA - On Saturday, November 26th, the funeral for Savannah Master Firefighter Michael Curry took place at St. John the Baptist Church. MFF Curry died of an aortic aneurysm on November 19th while preparing to assist people who fell into the Savannah River after a platform collapsed. Following the service at the cathedral, MFF Curry’s casket, draped in an American flag, was carried by his own Engine-16 and crew, followed by family, friends, scouts and firefighters from throughout the country. Local tourists stood by and watched while a few of them even joined in on the processional, which proceeded to the Savannah Fire Headquarters on Oglethorpe Avenue. Fire apparatus from throughout the state lined Oglethorpe Ave. and Abercorn Street. Savannah Fire positioned two ladder trucks draping the American flag prior to their arrival at Headquarters. Hundreds gathered around headquarters and listened as a bell rang out signifying the last alarm of Master Firefighter Michael Curry’s final watch, 5-5-55. Savannah Fire & Emergency Communications radioed "Savannah Fire to Engine 16-Master Firefighter Michael Curry, Savannah Fire to Master Firefighter Michael Curry, this is your last call; there is no response from Master Firefighter Michael Curry. On behalf of the City of Savannah, Savannah Fire & Emergency Services, it is with deep

JUMP TO FILE #120416122 sadness and sorrow to report that after nearly 13 years of bravery and service, Master Firefighter Michael Curry has completed his last call, his last and final call on earth.” Michael served the city as a firefighter for almost 13 years. He was a Navy Veteran and he also founded and served as Scoutmaster to Pooler Cub Scout Pack 4201. Mike always went out of his way to help others and never thought twice about running into danger. Curry’s mother, Susan, and son, Cole, were presented with his fire helmet and the American flag. Curry, a single father, leaves behind an 8year-old son. A "Go Fund Me" account has been set up for Curry's family. If you would rather donate by check or money order, checks can be made payable to IAFF Local 574 - memo line "Curry Family Fund." They can be mailed to Savannah Fire Fighters Union, P.O. Box 15489, Savannah GA 31416. Curry is the 27th firefighter to die on the Line-of-Duty in the Savannah area since 1865. The last firefighter in Savannah to die on-duty was in 1991. Master Firefighter Curry will be dearly missed by all. May he Rest in Peace.

LODD Master FF Mike Curry (center) on the job.



Firefighters and friends serve as pallbearers and proceed into St. John the Baptist Church.



Savannah Engine-16 draped for LODD MFF Mike Curry. Engine-16 was Mike's primary engine used while on-duty.


Savannah Fire Chief Charles Middleton presents Mike's son, Cole, with the American Flag.

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Brush Fire in Decatur Claims Multiple Exposures Decatur County, GA - Decatur County Fire & Rescue, along with Brinson volunteers responded to reports of a brush fire on November 20th. When Decatur Fire JUMP TO FILE# units arrived on- 112316129 scene, they found that the fire had spread to a mobile home, an RV, a bus and a shed. Firefighters were able to knock down the fire and stop it from spreading to other nearby homes. - BRANDON DRAPER

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Exposures from grass fire.


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January, 2017



January, 2017

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(L to R): Chief John Skinner, Lt. Shannon Faulkner, Lt. Rob Aldred, Lt. Nic Bourchier and Deputy Chief Alan Shuman.


Serious Collision in Decatur County Sends Two to Hospital Decatur County, GA - Decatur County Fire & Rescue, along with Brinson FD volunteers were dispatched to Highway-84W of Bainbridge for reports of a vehicle that had collided with a garbage truck on November 23rd. Grady EMS arrived onscene with DCFR and upon primary assessment of the driver, they requested an AirLife chopper for transport. DCFR then began extrication and removal of the driver. The passenger was also removed from the vehicle and transported by EMS.


After 9/11, famed actor Steve Buscemi rejoined the New York Fire Department to help firefighters sift through the rubble of the World Trade Center.


Barrow County Emergency Services Promotes Three Barrow County, GA - Barrow County Emergency Services recently promoted three firefighters to the rank of Lieutenant. “The three new Lieutenants took part in an earlier promotional testing for Lieutenant,” commented Chief John Skinner. “The testing resulted in a promotional list that allowed us to fill the three Lieutenant positions as soon as they opened up under the current budget.” Lieutenant Rob Aldred joined Barrow County Emergency Services in September of 2008. Aldred started his firefighting career as a volunteer in Fryeburg, Maine. He took numerous education classes and started working as a career EMT in 1987. He continued training and attending classes, becoming a NPQ Firefighter and a Paramedic. After joining Barrow County Emergency Services, he continued working hard to better himself and the department. He worked on numerous grants to help move the department forward, took numerous Fire Officer classes and also became a member of the Georgia Search and Rescue Task Force-1 as a medical, logistical

JUMP TO FILE #111516107 and search specialist. Lieutenant Aldred was also recognized in 2014 as the Georgia Firefighter of the Year. Lieutenant Nic Bourchier joined Barrow County Emergency Services in September of 2013. Bourchier started his firefighting career with the United States Air Force in 2006. He served with the Air Force until July of 2013, being assigned to places like Nellis AFB in NV, Curaco and Baghdad, Iraq. After joining Barrow County Emergency Services, Lieutenant Bourchier started working hard to advance his career. He became an EMT-Advanced and soon became known for his patient care abilities. He is also a NPQ Firefighter-2 and a registered Airport Firefighter. He has certifications as a Fire Officer1, Fire Instructor-1 and Fire Inspector-1. In May of this year, Lieutenant Bourchier was recognized by the Georgia DHS Region10 awards as Barrow Counties EMT of the Year.

Lieutenant Shannon Faulkner joined Barrow County Emergency Services in July of 2006. He is a graduate of Winder Barrow High School. When joining the department, Faulkner went in to a recruit class to obtain his firefighting certification. After completing recruit class, Faulkner continued training and completing classes. He became an EMT-Intermediate and began working on fire officer training. He completed numerous classes, such as Fire Officer-1, Fire Instructor-2 and Decision Making For Command and General Staff in Emergency Operations Centers. The three Lieutenants are performing the role of company officers in the stations they are assigned to. “The three of them are great employees that have worked hard to become officers,” stated Chief Skinner. “They are a good example of what makes Barrow County Emergency Services the great department we are. I look forward to seeing the good work the three of them will do in their new roles.” - SCOTT DAKIN

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Happy New Year to all of our good friends in Fire & Emergency Services!


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January, 2017

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1st Responder Newspaper er features EMERGENCY SERVICES RELA ATED TATTOOS

Residential fire.


Barrow County Emergency Services Battle Numerous Fires Statham, GA - Just before 5:30 A.M. on Wednesday morning, November 9th, communication officers with Barrow County Emergency Services received numerous 911 calls reporting a large fire in the 2100 block of Broad Street in Statham. “Firefighters responded to the area and found a pallet business that was heavily involved in fire,” commented Captain Scott Dakin. “The fire was spreading rapidly, so a secondalarm was called for more engines, and crews started attacking the fire from a defensive attack to protect property that was exposed to the fire,” he added. Firefighters attacked the fire from Broad Street, as well as Atlanta Highway. Both roads were shut down for several hours while crews worked to contain the blaze. The fire involved a building, numerous trailers that were full of pal-

JUMP TO FILE #111416102 lets and around 10,000 pallets. Firefighters remained on the scene of this fire for more than 12 hours to ensure that the fire was completely extinguished. Firefighters from Oconee County Fire also responded to assist Barrow County Emergency Services in containing the fire. Personnel with Barrow County Roads and Bridges also assisted by utilizing a loader to push burnt pallets away from unburned pallets. “We want to thank Oconee County Fire, as well as Roads and Bridges for their assistance,” commented Captain Dakin. The business was completely destroyed as a result of the fire. It is under investigation by the Georgia State Fire Marshal’s Office. Just before 1:00 P.M. on

Wednesday, November 9th, communication officers received numerous 911 calls reporting a structure fire in the 2000 block of Corbin Drive. “Upon arrival, firefighters found a two-story residential structure that was fully involved,” stated Captain Dakin. “The fire had also spread to the lawn around the home and into other neighboring lawns.” Firefighters fought the fire utilizing a defensive attack. The home was completely destroyed as a result of the fire. An adjacent home also suffered extensive exterior damage due to radiating heat from this fire. Four adults were displaced as a result of the fire. The American Red Cross responded to assist those citizens who were displaced. The fire is under investigation at this time. - SCOTT DAKIN

Eric Moore has been a firefighter for almost 30 years, first joining the department in November of 1988. The tattoo he chose to get covers his entire back and took almost three months to complete, from September until November of 2014. When asked what inspired him to get this specific tattoo, Eric responded "my inspiration came from the love for my brothers lost on that fateful day and the need for a tribute, as well as my love for what we do and my love of ink." Eric currently works for Daly City Fire Department, located in Daly City, CA.

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Palett fire.


January, 2017

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Barrow County CERT Graduates Class #19 Barrow County, GA - The Barrow County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) recently held a graduation for its newest students. Participants in CERT Class #19 graduated on November 14th after completing the eight-week course. “The students in this class learned a lot of information in disaster preparedness JUMP TO FILE# and the class ended 120516102 with a mock disaster drill,” commented CERT Battalion Chief Dave Mueller. “This drill gives the students an opportunity to take the skills they learned in the class and perform them in a simulated disaster. It shows them how everything they learned works together to help when a disaster hits.” The eight-week course was held at Barrow County Emergency Services Headquarters and was taught by public safety officials and CERT members. Graduates from the class are given the opportunity to join the Barrow County CERT team, which just celebrated its 10th anniversary.

Firemen of the Bronx VIDEO REVIEW

Video reviews by John Malecky


Front row (L to R): Stephany Shinpock, Mikaelynn Shuman and Kay Botters. Back row (L to R): Vance Oakes, Adrian Nedelcu, James Harris, Randy Shinn, Al Wood and Dave Mueller.

CERT operates under Barrow County Emergency Services and can be utilized not only during disasters, but also in disaster preparedness, first aid at festivals and other areas. The CERT program teaches citizens how to prepare and respond to possible disasters that may affect the citizens of Barrow County. “The classes teach students in areas such as disaster preparedness, search and rescue, medical operations and many other

subjects," stated CERT PIO John Silman. It teaches students how to first take care of themselves, their families and neighbors if a disaster hits. “After graduating, students that join the CERT team join and have the opportunity to work special events and occasionally work with local public safety agencies.” - SCOTT DAKIN


Firemen of the Bronx By Monarch Films Available from: FSP Books & Videos 118 Central Street, Suite #4 Hudson, MA 01749-1330 1-800-522-8528 e-mail: Price: $14.99 (DVD) This is a short, 35 minute video of a two week period in which the producers rode with two fire marshals in the Bronx. These events took place before 9/11. Marshals are essentially arson investigators. In New York, they call them “criminal fires” and most of the fires in the Bronx at the time were from arson. The boro has 65 fire stations, at least during the time of this video. Though the title has “of” on the jacket, the actual movie is entitled “in” (Firemen in the Bronx). This is a quick moving video which is narrated. The viewer can also hear the voices of the firefighters up close. Most all of the fires are in va-

cant or occupied multiple dwellings, which the fire department describes as “brick” construction, while textbooks describe the category as “ordinary” construction. The description of the video states that nine firefighters died while fighting what was deemed as arson fires. There is no location given for any of the fires and the camera jumps around. In one case, a child was rescued by a firefighter and some time is devoted to that story. Another incident involved a rescue company (I suppose), reporting to the emergency room of a hospital to load a man of over 1400-pounds into an ambulance for transfer. There is plenty of truck work and stream operations to see. Also, the apparatus can be seen from the past, such as solid red Mack CF/Ward pumpers, Seagrave rear mounted aerials and Mack tower ladders. In one scene, a flashover can be observed coming out of the upper story of a multi-storied building. A tribute is made for FF Peter McLaughlin, who died in the line-of-duty. In another scene, the use of a thermal imaging camera is briefly demonstrated. During the brief stay with the marshals, they explain the reasons why arson is not as prevalent today as in the past. It is the "Bronx of yesteryear" in a nutshell, and it is presented well!



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January, 2017

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Barrow County Emergency Services Honors Former Firefighters Barrow County, GA - Recently, members of Barrow County Emergency Services took time to honor three retired firefighters. “Combined, these three men gave almost 50 years of service to the citizens of Bar- JUMP TO FILE # row County,” stated 120816116 Chief John Skinner. “They helped to build the foundation that this department is built on. Their efforts worked to establish the dedication, hard work and professionalism that we are known for.” The three firefighters had actually retired from the department years ago, but were never recognized for their time and dedication. The department wanted to rectify that and allow them to know how appreciated they are. On Wednesday, November 30th, the department hosted a meet-and-greet. The three retired firefighters came and talked with members of Barrow County Emergency Services and reminisced about years gone by. They were also given a shadow box to thank them for their service. Firefighter Gary Little served the citizens of Barrow County for 21 years. In that time, he served as a volunteer firefighter, was a station chief for the Bethlehem Volunteer Fire Department and eventually worked full time for Barrow County. He earned a reputation as a dedicated firefighter and emergency medical technician. As station chief, he also helped develop the Bethlehem Fire Department, helped to recruit volunteers and had many other responsibilities. His dedication and service made impacts on many people, including his son Jeremy, who works full time for Barrow County Emergency Services.

Firefighter Ernest Hardigree served as a volunteer with the Holsenbeck Fire Station. Well known to all as "Mr. E," he was known for the pride he took in the engines he drove. Mr. E spent countless hours volunteering for the citizens of Barrow County. He served as a firefighter for 18 years before retiring. Firefighter Dean Biegeleisen was one of the first paid firefighters for Barrow County. His shift was 7:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., Monday through Friday, and he served at most of the fire stations throughout Barrow County. He was known for his hard work and dedication and was known by all the volunteers. Dean worked for Barrow County for 10 years. The month of November is widely recognized as "No Shave November." It is used by many organizations to raise money and this year, Barrow County Emergency Services joined those organizations. “Gary Little has been diagnosed with cancer and is fighting this illness with the same bravery he showed as a firefighter,” stated Chief Skinner. “With that comes medical expenses that can be hard to deal with. We wanted to help him with that fight and this was a way to do that.” Personnel with Barrow County Emergency Services that wanted to participate could donate towards Gary’s expenses and would be allowed to grow a beard throughout the month of November. “Many of our personnel stepped up to help raise money,” commented Chief Skinner. “Including some that did not grow beards, but wanted to help. It was an honor to give Gary over $1,100 to assist him in his brave fight against cancer.” - SCOTT DAKIN

Chief John Skinner with (retired) Firefighter Gary Little.


Back Row, (L to R): Captain Glen Cain, Firefighter Sean Crowe, Firefighter Shannon Faulkner, Captain Heath Williams, Lieutenant Blair Darst, Lieutenant Dustin Greene, Chief John Skinner, Battalion Chief Rob Nowakowski, Deputy Chief Alan Shuman, Firefighter Jason Stanley, Firefighter Jeremy Little, Lieutenant Brett Skinner and Lieutenant Rob Aldred. Front Row, (L to R): Firefighter Curt Kempe, Lieutenant Jeremy Thayer, Retired Firefighter Dean Biegelieson, Retired Firefighter Gary Little, Firefighter Tim Watson and Firefighter John Rivers. BARROW COUNTY EMERGENCY SERVICES


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January, 2017


Firefighter Safety Requires Proper Attitude STAYING SAFE

Chief Henry Campbell

No matter what your mom, dad, best friend, or lawyer tells you, somewhere along the line, you have to buy into your personal safety. You must be an active participant, concerned with staying out of harm’s way. This is a shared responsibility beginning with you and progressing up the chain of command to the Chief, with each higher rank bearing an even greater share of responsibility for themselves and their subordinates. Firefighter safety requires PROPER ATTITUDE. You must be in the mindset that you will be alert and concerned for your own personal safety at all times, while complying with department policies, rules and training procedures, regardless of your own personal opinion. While concerned for your own safety, you will look out for and be aware of your fellow firefighters and their actions, and prevent them from performing unsafe acts. There may be some of you who may disagree; believing looking after others (as mentioned previously), is someone else’s responsibility. Wrong! If your fellow firefighter is doing something that can precipitate injury and/or death to himself/herself, and you stand by idly, you and others may become a casualty as a result of his/her unsafe act. Intervene to stop the unsafe act! We are all in this together and getting back home the way you showed up is what firefighter safety is all about. There is no better definition of firefighter safety! There are those believers in the trenches who will try to convince you that firefighter safety has taken the aggressiveness out of firefighting. Safety is not, nor should be, a deterrent to aggressive firefighting. That is what we are all about. Aggressive firefighting can take place within the constraints of safety, and need not delay rescue and rapid knockdown. What it requires is a good size up, good command structure, and thinking before acting. Your personal size up and the incident commanders size up will indicate whether an aggressive offensive assault can be safely implemented, or if a defensive posture should be the initial game plan. For many in the fire service, there exists a hidden bravado that

firefighting is one of the most dangerous, if not the most dangerous profession, and with that comes death and injuries. Not necessarily so! Will we eliminate all death and injury? Probably not in my lifetime, but we must continue to reduce the annual toll. It is long past time to deflate the bravado of the “most dangerous occupation." There have been many changes in the fire service relative to firefighter safety over the past dozen or so years and what they require is implementation and structured discipline to be effective. Talking about safety is not the same as practicing safety. In the past, we have rung our hands, shed our tears, offered our apologies and chalked it up to the dangers of the job. In time, we would once again proceed down the same well-worn path, one that often led to injury and death, learning absolutely nothing from the previous incidents. When will we learn? When do we say, “Enough is enough!”? We can no longer boast and maintain a "macho" image that includes avoidable pain and suffering or injury and death as a result. The incidents of death and injury that were the result of poor or no training, lack of supervision, insufficient personnel, failure to use protective gear and equipment, no accountability, complacency, laziness and/or sheer stupidity, contribute to a needless annual toll. We may be considered America’s Heroes, but we don’t have to prove it by “shooting ourselves in the foot” to maintain the image, as some of our injuries and deaths may have been avoided. Safety requires each of us to have the attitude to stay safe in all we do. We owe it to ourselves, our families, our department and the communities we serve. Till next time, Stay Safe and God Bless!


Battalion Chief Kris Bush.

Lake County Public Safety Names Kris Bush Newest Battalion Chief Tavares, FL - Surrounded by family, friends and fellow firefighters, veteran Lake County Fire Lt. Kris Bush was recently tapped as the county’s newest battalion chief. “I am excited to announce the promotion of Lt. Kris Bush to the rank of battalion chief,” said Lake County Fire Chief Jim Dickerson during a pinning ceremony at the Lake County Emergency Communications and Operations Center. “His tenure with Lake County has been filled with education, advancements, special assignments and commitment to the citizens of Lake County.”

JUMP TO FILE #121516109 Bush joined Lake County Fire Rescue in 1999 as a firefighter/EMT and was promoted to lieutenant in 2011. He has served for more than a decade with the Special Operations Response Team (SORT), which is comprised of the Light Technical Rescue Team and HAZMAT, and consists of over 30 highly trained members who are deployed when needed to work major disasters both locally and in other jurisdictions. Bush holds certifications in Fire

Service Instructor-1, Light Technical Rescue Team instructor, Hazmat Instructor and Fire Officer-2. In his new role as Bat. Chief-90 on CShift, he will be responsible for the management of 12 fire stations, 600-square-miles of territory and supervising over 25 employees. The career firefighters of Lake County Fire Rescue protect county residents and visitors in an area covering approximately 1,200-squaremiles, with nearly 70,000 residences and up to 2,000 commercial properties. - ELISHA PAPPACODA

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January, 2017

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January, 2017



Polk Fire Employees Receive Special Honors at Annual Banquet Bartow, FL – Polk County Fire Rescue recently honored 12 employees, two agencies and one citizen at its 2016 Holiday Awards Banquet. The event took place on Tuesday night, Dec. 6th, at the Lake Eva Banquet Hall in Haines City. The first award for the evening was a Unit Citation to the Ladder-581 and Medic-58 “A Shift” crew. The audience heard that on January 31, 2016, at 7:26 P.M., the crew, which included Lieutenant Shawn Stewart, Engineer Erick Stala, Firefighter Brian Conley, Paramedic Amanda Reynolds and Emergency Medical Technician Lauren Kerr, responded to a medical call. When they arrived, they found Reagan Emilee Monday, who was 3-years-old, lying on the floor unconscious. Reagan had climbed up on a dresser in her bedroom and the dresser and TV tipped over on top of her. The TV was an older, very large, tube-type and was very heavy. Reagan was severely injured with massive head trauma and was no longer breathing. To add to the already complex situation, the weather was bad. LifeNet-5 crews were monitoring the call and launched without being dispatched. Reagan survived and was also at the banquet with her mother, Ashlee Cunningham, to reunite with those who saved her life. LifeNet-5 was awarded the Agencies in Partnership Award for its role in saving Reagan’s life. The Ben Lang Medal of Valor was awarded to Battalion Chief Gary Ball. On April 11, 2016, at approximately 11:30 P.M., Chief Ball heard another battalion chief being dispatched for a vehicle fire in the Lake Wales area. Once he heard it involved a rolledover vehicle, he too responded. Chief Ball was the first rescuer on-scene. He found the vehicle overturned onto its roof, with the engine compartment on fire. Chief Ball, along with the assistance of Polk County Sheriff’s Deputy Justin Whitaker, circled the vehicle to find access. The occupant was found unresponsive in a facedown position on the interior roof of the vehicle and was wedged between the front bucket seats. The only access was through the passenger rear window, which Chief Ball and Deputy Sheriff Whitaker unsuccessfully attempted to pull the victim from. Chief Ball, without the protection of firefighting gear, entered the vehicle through the window and disentangled the victim’s legs, allowing them to fall freely onto the roof of the vehicle. Ball and Whitaker were then able to remove the victim from the car just before the interior flashed over and the vehicle became fully engulfed in fire, along with the rupture of several unknown items inside the vehicle. Once out of the vehicle, the patient was determined to have active vitals and trauma alert criteria was met. The patient was then transported to the hospital. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office was awarded an Agencies in Partnership Award for Deputy Justin Whitaker’s role in this incident. Battalion Chief Ramon Gonzalez was presented the Robert Gilmore Meritorious Service Award. On May 4, 2016, at approximately 7:45 A.M., during a torrential rainstorm, Gonzalez was driving on Interstate-4 and noticed what appeared to be a disabled

JUMP TO FILE #121616102 vehicle in the opposite direction, sitting on the road shoulder. Something told him to investigate further, so he made a U-turn and approached the vehicle. On his arrival and assessment, he discovered that the sole occupant, the driver, was unresponsive and without a pulse. He then called for help and removed the person from the vehicle to the ground beside the vehicle. Due to the circumstances, he was only able to move the person a few feet from the vehicle. For nearly 10 minutes Gonzalez performed CPR by himself, mere inches from the moving high speed traffic during the rainstorm. Once help arrived, advanced life support procedures were established, shocks were given and an airway was secured. The patient regained pulses and blood pressure, and was then taken to the hospital. Emergency Medical Technician Amanda Hancock was given the Community Service Award. Hancock works on Medic-51, which is a very busy unit located in downtown Winter Haven. While on duty on June 16, 2016, Danielle Johnson from the Lighthouse for the Blind approached her and asked if it would be possible for her to bring several young people over the next morning for a visit. Those individuals ranged in age of 10 to 13 years and all have some kind of visual impairment. They are in the program at Lighthouse to build job/life skills to become independent members of society. Hancock told Johnson that normally, personnel would contact Polk County Fire Rescue’s Public Education team to assist, but Ms. Johnson could only bring the kids over the next morning. Hancock agreed that she would host the kids once her shift ended the next morning, and if the onduty crews got a call, she would ensure the kids would receive a tour of the station and of an ambulance. She then arranged to have an out-of-service Medic Unit available for the tour. With some Public Education materials on-hand, the tour was successfully conducted. The kids in attendance reportedly “had a blast.” Chief’s Awards were given to Lt. Nancy Gutierrez, Linda Hatcher, Deborah Jones and Lt. Michael Martin. The Chief’s Award is awarded to those who show continued dedication to the agency’s mission, goals and objectives. Lt. Gutierrez began her career as a firefighter with Polk Fire in 1986. She was promoted to engineer in 1990 and began teaching and assisting CERT classes throughout the county in 2000. In 2007, Nancy Gutierrez was promoted to lieutenant and assigned as the CERT program manager. At that time, there were only nine teams countywide. Through her efforts to promote and market the CERT program, it has grown to 28 teams and 580 members. Linda Hatcher has worked in many positions within the fiscal section of Polk County Fire Rescue. She has unilaterally saved countless dollars due her tenacity of streamlining expenditures. Her career has transcended

working within the EMS billing section, the warehouse and most recently in what is affectionately known as “the Cave,” a place where all billing, accounts payable and receivable take place. Her supervisor states that she is always flexible and available to assist in any area she is assigned. Her efforts have resulted in a more financially efficient department, saving the citizens of Polk County a significant amount of money. Deborah Jones is a secretary for Polk County Fire Rescue. This year, the division has had an unprecedented number of personnel retirements that caused an evaporation of institutional knowledge. In most cases, redundancies took over to see things through, but in others, the void proposed unique challenges. The fire rescue machine would grind to a halt without the contributions of its support functions, of which one area of concern and one person in particular proved to be extremely crucial to keeping the machine running. Not only has she stepped up to make sure all employees have been paid correctly, she has also continued to function as the primary conduit for facilities concerns, personnel coordination, records management and staff assistance. From the mundane to the complex, regardless of the task, Deborah Jones has always produced results. She is a balanced and valuable assistant; assertive, respectful and funny. Lieutenant Michael of Engine242 “B” Shift in Davenport recognized the need to conduct vehicle extrication training. He contacted a local salvage yard to arrange vehicles to be provided so that all crews on the three shifts in the Davenport area would receive the opportunity to train on actual vehicles. A company officer planning and conducting such training is not new to the fire service. It was appropriate and timely, as the crews that had participated in the training used the skills they practiced on actual incidents within just a few days of the training. But what made this special was that the salvage yard charges $50 for each vehicle. When approached with the question “who paid for the training vehicles?” Lt. Martin simply said: “I took care of it” and immediately changed the subject. Lieutenant Martin’s display of leadership and professionalism, coupled with the fact that he spent his own funds to provide this valuable training, is a demonstration of servant leadership worthy of a Chief’s Award for the lasting effect on members of Polk County Fire Rescue and the citizens and visitors of Polk County. In addition to the Chief’s Award, Lt. Nancy Gutierrez was given the Sworn Member of the Year Award and Linda Hatcher received the Civilian Member of the Year Award. The sworn and civilian member of the year awards are given to those who performed at the highest level of expectation throughout a particular calendar year. The Citizen Certificate of Appreciation was given to retired FDNY Battalion Chief Frank Ritchie. He is a member of the Del Webb community in Haines City and has been instrumental in coordinating efforts within

The first award for the evening was a Unit Citation to the Ladder581 and Medic-58 “A Shift” crew. POLK COUNTY FIRE RESCUE

LifeNet-5 was awarded the Agencies in Partnership Award for its role in saving Reagan’s life. POLK COUNTY FIRE RESCUE

In addition to the Chief’s Award, Lt. Nancy Gutierrez was given the Sworn Member of the Year Award.


Emergency Medical Technician Amanda Hancock was given the Community Service Award.


his community to ensure safety within his development. He has organized Check Call Compress-CPR training for many members of that community, as well as championing the annual 9/11 celebrations, commemorating that

tragic day in history. Ritchie shares his experiences within the fire service and many Polk County Fire Rescue members have expressed their appreciation. - KEVIN WATLER


January, 2017

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Madeira Beach Fire Department is located in Madeira Beach, FL.


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January, 2017



January, 2017

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5-5-5 Firefighter Fitness: “A New Year, A New You” Let me start by saying, I’ve only ever made one New Year’s resolution that I have actually kept. Well it’s that time of year again, where we all over-indulge in the awesomeness of the holiday season, and then make our amazing New Year’s resolutions, including our new goals and the “it’s time to change” moment. With some very sophisticated internet research, i.e. the Google, I was able to confirm my hypothesis that the NUMBER ONE New Year’s resolution each year is to “get fitter.” I also learned that only about 8% of Americans actually achieve this goal. My knowledge about the state of fitness within the fire service makes me think that we are no different, and the statistics posted on really speak for themselves: Firefighter Death or Injury by Cause: Overexertion/Stress/Medical 2010: 54% 2011: 52% 2012: 48% 2013: 33% 2014: 58% 2015: 59% Again, I am hypothesizing here, but really, are we any different?? As a whole, we sure do act like it. Just do a quick internet search for “Firefighter T-Shirts.” A number of “we are different” slogans will pop up. I could list them, but why when you all know them by heart, regardless if you actually wear them or not. But are we “really different,” or are we just like everyone else out there?? Physically, for sure; but mentally, maybe not so much. As with any Member of Service, we choose to do a very dangerous job by risking our lives for others. But at what cost?? The cost has to do with those numbers listed above. Just look at the cause provided: Overexertion/Stress/Medical.These causes speak to the type of people we are. We work hard, i.e. overexertion. We see and do things that are beyond most peoples grasp, i.e. stress. This job taxes us, our bodies and more importantly, our hearts, i.e. medical. So why aren’t we taking better care of ourselves?! I wish I knew the answer, but I don’t, and I honestly don’t believe anyone really does. So why not make that change now? A new year and a new you should start TODAY. Before you even begin, let me tell you this much. It won’t be easy. Actually, it’s going to suck…a lot. Especially during the


JUMP TO FILE #120116101 first 30 days. But again, just look at those percentages listed above. If we all just embraced the “suck,” dug in deep and pushed through, imagine the fire service we could create! Imagine how much better you’d be, for yourself, for your family and for the fire service as a whole. Another thing I wish I could do is provide you with a way to make this happen for yourself. But here’s the thing…there’s no manual. There’s no one book, one DVD, one gym, one diet or one style that will work for everyone. Of course loads of people will disagree with me, mostly because they might have a product, a theory or a style that they claim will change you forever, and it just may! But I can’t find that for you. That one goes back to the resolution theory. You have to commit to a positive change. You have to start, and start NOW. Take a few moments while you’re at the station and look around. You’re not alone there. Your brothers and sisters all put their bunker gear on one leg at a time, and no matter where they are on their fitness journey, they are there to help you. Another positive about the fire service is that we are all about embracing the “suck” together. The level at which a fire crew works together to achieve a common goal is simply unbelievable to most. So why not make this resolution together? Why not agree, as a crew, that you’re going to spend time together working on yourselves, both physically and mentally. Together, we can do anything. Alone, we are just that…alone. Remember that one New Year’s resolution I mentioned earlier, that I actually kept? It was to always return my shopping cart to the cart rack. It seems so trivial, I know, to just push it back to where it belongs. Try it though! You just may be surprised what you learn about yourself and others. Happy New Year!


The Central Fire Station sign was moved from the former building on MLK to its new home on Jackson St.

Hundreds Celebrate Grand Opening of Fort Myers’ Fire Station One Fort Myers, FL - The City of Fort Myers’ Fire Station One is officially open for business. On Monday, December 5th, more than 150 residents and city officials celebrated the grand opening of the new fire station during a ribbon cutting ceremony held at the new Fire Station One on Jackson St., located in Fort Myers’ Midtown neighborhood. Instead of cutting a ribbon, however, Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson uncoupled a ceremonial fire hose with Ward-4 City Councilman Michael Flanders and other dignitaries. Mayor Henderson opened the ceremony by reading City Council minutes from December 11, 1950, when the City approved the furnishings for the original Central Fire Station, located near the corner of Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. and Central Avenue. “I’m sure that was a happy day for the council,” said Henderson. “But no more happy than today.” The celebration comes after 65

JUMP TO FILE #120816117 years at Fire Station One’s original home, located less than two blocks away. The original 18,000-squarefoot station could not accommodate modern equipment such as the FMFD’s ladder truck, a necessity near downtown high-rise buildings. “Today is like Christmas,” said Fort Myers Fire Chief Trenton Bowen. “You wait for it, and wait for it, and now it’s finally here.” The City’s Department of Public Works collaborated with FMFD to create a facility that accomplishes their mutual goals for public safety and community services. The new 30,700-square-foot fire station allows for modern fire apparatus and equipment, and was designed to meet the 2025 projected needs for building space. The new building is equipped with wireless access on every floor, and training rooms are outfitted with interactive

SMART boards. The internal radio communication system has been upgraded to ensure that signals are effectively transmitted in the hurricane-proof building. In addition, there is now room for the Fire Prevention staff to work in the same building, improving efficiency and allowing for continuity and coordination of projects. But while the new station features updated amenities, tradition is also strongly emphasized. The new Fire Station One features historical FMFD photos, as well as equipment and artifacts, including a LifeNet and a 1926 fire truck on permanent loan from Lee County Mosquito Control. The original 1950's sign from atop the former building has also been moved to the new Fire Station One. “There’s a lot of pride of tradition here,” adds Chief Bowen. “This new fire station is a new page in our history.” - FORT MYERS FD




Instead of a ribbon cutting, dignitaries uncoupled a ceremonial fire hose, which will be displayed at the Fire Station.

1ST Responder Newspaper - SE

January, 2017



January, 2017

1ST Responder Newspaper - SE


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Southern Manatee Fire Rescue Responds to Car in Water


Florahome, FL - The Florahome-Grandin Fire Department operates a military surplus, 1985 AM General M998, High Mobility, Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) as Brush-144. This apparatus was provided through the Federal Excess Personal Property and Firefighter Property Program, and managed by the Florida Forestry Service. Brush-144 has a 250-gallon water tank, with a CET fire pump, one booster reel and two handlines.

Oneco, FL - The quiet was broken on December 4th when a 911 call came in that a car had driven into a pond on the 2100 block of 51st Avenue East. On arrival, firefighters found the driver of the car safe on shore and the driver of a second vehicle out of the car. The car in the pond was completely submerged and the second vehicle was blocking the roadway. The car was involved in an MVA and went through hedges and a fence before entering the pond. A retired couple and former lifeguards living in the Hammock Place Development sprung into action, diving into the water to assist the driver. The driver side door was unable to open due to the crash, but thanks to the quick thinking of the couple, they had the driver pop the rear hatch, allowing the rescuers to assist the driver to safety.

1ST Responder Newspaper - SE

January, 2017



Looking up through the middle of the sculpture.


Lifesaver Captain Evan Katz (center) receives Lifesaving Award for saving Jacob’s life (front right), during a Plantation City Council meeting. Also pictured (L to R): Fire Chief Laney Stearns, Mayor Diane Bendekovic, Jacob’s Mom, big brother and Dad.

Plantation Captain Receives Lifesaving Award Plantation, FL - In the early evening of July 17, 2016 while home relaxing, Captain Evan Katz was met by a frantic neighbor seeking his help. According to the neighbor, a four-year-old child had fallen into the backyard pool while no one was looking. Captain Katz arrived to find the child unconscious with the father performing abdominal thrusts, hoping to expel water from the child’s lungs. Captain Katz asked the father to stop while he assessed the child,


Taken from the first floor, this massive sculpture hangs almost two floors.

Clearwater Dedicates Artwork to New Fire Station Clearwater, FL - What would go better with a brand new, state-of-the-art fire station than a piece of Firematic art work?! The city of Clearwater art council commissioned that all new public buildings should have a percentage from the cost of the structure be used for art work. Accumulate, a unique suspended sculpture with a salute to firefighting history, was designed by Aaron Stephan, and represents the most recent commission of the city’s public art and design program. Accumulate was created with hundreds of glass spheres and multi-colored fire hoses, representing the practice of drip-drying fire hoses after use. Purchase and installation of the sculpture cost approximately $107,000.

JUMP TO FILE #120816115 who had a strong pulse but was not breathing adequately. The scene was a bit chaotic, so Captain Katz relied on his leadership skills to quickly take control of the situation. Evan then opened the child’s airway while instructing the father on how to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. When Rescue arrived, the child was still unresponsive but had good

vital signs. The child and parents were taken to Plantation General Hospital. Two days later, the child was discharged in good condition. For his efforts in saving a child’s life, Captain Katz was awarded the Plantation Fire Department’s Lifesaving Award in November. The award was presented before City Council with the child, father, mother and older brother present. - JOEL GORDON


January, 2017

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Vehicle Crash in Webster Sends Four to Hospital Webster, FL - On November 21st at 5:45 A.M., Sumter County Fire & EMS units with Engine-12, Squad-22, Battalion Chief11 and AMR Ambulances 303 and 314, were dispatched for a motor vehicle collision involving two passenger vehicles, both of which went into the wood line along SR-471 in Webster. Upon arrival, one patient was found entrapped in their vehicle. The E-12 crew stabilized and began extrication of the patient from the vehicle, while AMR-303 triaged three other patients. SQ-22 arrived and assisted with extrication and the patient was freed from the vehicle and prepared for transport by crews. All patients were transported to local hospitals with minor-to-moderate injuries.


(L to R): Firefighter/Paramedic Katy Yanok, Director Mitch Harrell and Battalion Captain Joe Rinaudo.

LCDPS Announces 2016 Employees of the Year Levy County, FL - Congratulations to Battalion Captain Joe Rinaudo and Firefighter/Paramedic Katy Yanok, Levy County Department of Public Safety’s (LCDPS) 2016 Employee(s) of the Year! At the Annual LCDPS Christmas Dinner on Saturday, December 3rd, Joe and Katy were awarded Employee(s) of the Year, as voted by their peers. Each year, the employees of the

JUMP TO FILE #120916101 department nominate who they feel deserves the esteemed award. This year, two employees received the same number of nominations, resulting in the dual award. During the nomination process, both nominees were described by their coworkers as dedicated and hard working.

Joe has been serving Levy County as a member of the department since 2006 and Katy since 2009. Both continue to show their commitment to serving others, as well as their dedication to the department on a regular basis. LCDPS thanks Black Prong Equestrian Center for helping to make the event a great success! - LCDPS


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Structure Fire in Wildwood Destroys Barn Wildwood, FL - At approximately 7:10 A.M. on November 21st, fire crews from Stations' 31, 32, 33 and 23, along with Battalion Chiefs' 31 and 11 responded to NW 27th Dr. in Wildwood for reports of a structure fire. Upon arrival of the first-due engine crew, units found a barn with heavy fire and smoke showing from the side and rear of the building. After speaking with the homeowner, the Incident Commander determined the structure was not an ordinary barn, but actually a small recording studio with a living area and office. Crews extinguished the fire and the State Fire Marshal was contacted for investigation. The building and it's contents were a total loss.


Fort Lauderdale, FL - As the holiday season fast approaches, Santa took a moment out of his busy schedule to visit Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue. Santa made a brief visit to Esplande Park in downtown Fort Lauderdale to help "Light Up Lauderdale." While in town, Santa took time to visit with the local children and was happy to report that they have all been “nice." Once the festivities were over, Santa quickly flew back to the North Pole, where he was going to meet with his elves and finish final holiday preparations!

1ST Responder Newspaper - SE

January, 2017



January, 2017

1ST Responder Newspaper - SE


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Florahome, FL - Smokey the Bear was recently photographed driving in Florahome-Grandin Engine-142. Is it possible that he is thinking of a career change?


Technical Rescue in Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale, FL - On November 15th, Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue responded to a construction site at 1180 N. Federal Highway for reports of a construction worker who sustained a serious injury while on the 5th-floor of a building under construction. First arriving crews quickly realized there was no easy way to get the injured worker down from the 5th-floor, so they called for a Technical Rescue Response. Tower-2 from downtown Fort Lauderdale and the Technical Rescue Team responded to the scene, where they worked together to get the injured man down. Once down, he was turned over to the awaiting rescue where he was transported to Broward Health as a Trauma Alert.

Where to Begin: Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Your Fire Department The new year has rolled in and your fire department has started the dialogue to consider incorporating unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), often referred to as “drones”, into departmental operations. Your officers and firefighters have witnessed some of the benefits of using UAS during departmental operations because a local hobbyist has volunteered to fly his aerial vehicle over your fire scenes and has shared the videos in real-time with the chief. So, where do you go from this point? The first step is to immediately stop what you are doing. While the intentions of the hobbyist may be sincere and much appreciated by the fire department, they go against federal regulations and can land both the fire department and the hobbyist in serious trouble, including fines adding up to tens of thousands of dollars, if not more. The same holds true for any firefighter who may be using his or her personal UAS on scene for the benefit of the fire department. The bottom line is, this is not allowed within the scope of federal UAS regulations. Fire chiefs have recognized the value of using UAS during departmental operations. Whether it’s for scene size up, hazmat conditions, search and rescue, or large scale incidents, the benefits of this technology are certainly notable. The decision to acquire a UAS is not one that should be entered into lightly. For any fire department, this process should be initiated with a strategic-level needs assessment that evaluates a variety of factors, including types of calls, number of alarms, manpower and

JUMP TO FILE #121216109 budget. The appropriate UAS platform and accessories must also be matched with the department’s operational needs. Fire departments need to conscientiously and sensibly establish comprehensive and risk adverse UAS programs along with substantial educational and training protocols for the utilization of this technology as a practical and sustainable tool. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has established separate guidelines for the use of UAS by public organizations as compared to hobbyists and commercial entities. As public organizations, fire departments need to follow the procedures set forth in this category by the FAA in order to deploy UAS legally and safely during departmental operations. Through the FAA, public agencies can apply for a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) in order to seek approval to conduct UAS operations in the nation’s airspace. This approval follows a lengthy all-inclusive operational and technical preparation by the fire department and an equivalent review by the FAA. Fire departments may also utilize elements of the newly designated FAA small UAS rule (Part 107) to become properly certified to fly for their department’s aerial vehicle. Attaining this certification, which must be renewed every 24 months, requires becoming proficient in general aeronautical knowledge. This includes being able to read visual flight rules (VFR) sectional

charts in order to recognize various airspaces and their limits; the understanding of weather phenomena and their effects on your UAS in flight; and specifics about the Part 107 regulations that you will be flying under. Depending upon the individual, preparation for this test could take more than 20 hours of study time. All of these details illuminate the fact that fire departments are not permitted to simply go to a store, purchase a drone, and deploy it during their calls. It is an exciting time in the world of unmanned aerial technology. Use cases are presenting themselves at dizzying rates as the aerial and imagery technology continues to rapidly advance. In this blur of progress it is essential for fire departments and other public agencies to remember that they are being closely scrutinized by the public. Your department needs to ensure that it has developed and implemented a comprehensive UAS program that encompasses regulatory compliance, ground safety, executive management and operational training. Much consideration needs to be made by your department and municipality in regard to budgeting and vendor management, as well as designing appropriate policies, standard operating procedures and emergency safety protocols. In the end, the essential objective is to be able to deploy your UAS in a safe and responsible manner in order to aid your department in effectively saving lives and property. - MIKE RUSSELL

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January, 2017



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Murfreesboro, TN - Outstanding Service Awards were presented on November 7th during MFRD's 1st Annual Fire & Rescue Awards and Recognition Ceremony to (L to R): Deputy Chief Roger Toombs, Robert Canterbury, Douglas Inglish and Fire Rescue Chief Mark Foulks. JIM DAVIS

Cedar Hammock, FL - Safety Officer Willie Cirone from the Florida Division of Forestry visited the Wildland Firefighter Foundation, located in Boise, Idaho, while on a recent assignment to the Pioneer Fire. CIRONE PHOTOS


Shinebone, AL - Engine Boss Robert Alonso from the Merritt Island NWR Complex in Florida, was detailed to help battle the wildfires in Talladega National Forest with Engine-4560.

Belle Glade, FL - Driver/Operator Tim Ascheman (center), was recently named Belle Glade Firefighter of the Year during the Chamber of Commerce Banquet. PBCFR


Bryan County, GA - Battalion Chief Chris Youmans presents Firefighter/Paramedic Heather Ward with a certificate, naming her “Employee of the Quarter” for Bryan County Emergency Services.


January, 2017

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Lake County Battalion Chief Deployed to Fight Tennessee Wildfires Tavares, FL - Whether in the forests of northern Idaho, or the tourist mountain towns of Tennessee, when deadly wildfires break out, Lake County Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Randy Jones will be JUMP TO FILE# there, ready to 120516107 serve. Chief Jones, a Structure Protection Specialist for the National Interagency Fire Center’s Southern Area Incident Management Red Team, has been tapped to fight what has been described as “apocalyptic” fires in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. The fires, thought to be the result of arson, have claimed the lives of at least seven people and torched more than 16,000-acres, claiming hundreds of homes and forcing tens-of-thousands of evacuations. This is Jones’ third deployment in two years, and while each individual fire can be strikingly different, Jones prepares in the same manner for every one. “My bags stay packed,” said Jones. “They call me and I’m out the door.” The veteran firefighter was as-

signed for two weeks in December to the Chimney Tops 2 Fire in the Great Smoky Mountains, which sparked Monday morning, November 23rd. “This is very unusual in this part of the country,” said Jones. “This will be a historic fire.” Jones explained that maple and oak trees, which mark the area’s landscape, usually don’t provide good fuel, which is why wildfires of such magnitude are less common in the mid-eastern United States. However, the Appalachian Region has seen little rain since September, causing extreme drought conditions. “My wife is worried,” Jones said. “She’s a retired firefighter so she knows what’s going on.” Her advice sounds simple: “Be careful. Don’t get hurt.” But Jones has decades of training and experience on his side. He began his career with Lake County Fire Rescue in 1984, and was later invited to join the exclusive federal Incident Management Team to respond to wildfires and largescale disasters, having worked hurricanes Katrina, Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne, and also fighting fires in Texas, Georgia, California, Washington, Virginia and Oregon.

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“Chief Jones has been involved with wildland firefighting for over 30 years. His expertise on urban interface suppression and protection is unparalleled,” said Lake County Fire Chief Jim Dickerson. “I am extremely proud of Chief Jones’ selflessness and desire to serve the citizens of this great county and nation. We wish him a speedy and safe return.” While Jones works to protect life and property in Tennessee, he also offers advice for residents back home. "Wildfires can occur at any time in Florida, and there are steps people can take now to help keep their families safe," he said. Clear roofs and gutters of dead leaves and debris that could catch embers; replace or repair any loose or missing shingles to prevent fire from penetrating the home; screen areas under patios with mesh to prevent debris from accumulating and move flammable material such as mulch, leaves, pine needles and firewood piles away from wall exteriors. “These are things people can do here, year-round, to help firefighters give their homes a better chance of survival,” said Jones. - ELISHA PAPPACODA


Lake County Battalion Chief Randy Jones.




Miramar, FL - Miramar Inspector/Lieutenant Reuben Gonzalez was recognized as the “2016 Fire Inspector of the Year” by the Fire Inspectors' Association of Broward County on December 6th for his dedication to the professional development of fire safety and his commitment to improving the life and safety of the residents of the City of Miramar and Broward County.

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January, 2017



January, 2017

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Profile for Belsito Communications Inc.

1st Responder Southeast January Edition  

1st Responder Southeast January Edition