Archive for category Fire Service News

Fire service news – Coronavirus COVID-19

Of interest …

From the Upper Saddle River New Jersey FD Facebook page:

To All USR Residents:

If you have a young child with an upcoming birthday, please reach out to us. Our volunteers would like to offer a “drive-by celebration” for your kids that cannot properly celebrate their birthdays. We will drive past your home with a firetruck – lights, sirens and all! This service is free of charge, available only USR residents and there will be no person to person contact. We are currently accepting drive-by scheduling throughout April. Let’s get our community through this difficult time together!

Upper Saddle River Fire Department

Upper Saddle River FD photo


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Fire service news – Coronavirus COVID-19

Excerpts from the

To ensure uninterrupted service during the coronavirus pandemic, 18 fire departments in San Bernardino County, CA have joined under a regional management team, an action usually reserved for fighting large wildfires. The team was formed on March 6 to manage exposed and/or sick members of its agency, to ensure personnel have necessary personal protective equipment, and to maintain consistent communication. 

Those agencies are now united to ensure consistent service regardless of jurisdiction. As the virus establishes itself within our county, citizens may see fire apparatus from other departments responding in their communities and even firefighters from different agencies on the same engine company.

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Fire service news – Coronavirus COVID-19

Excerpts from

The Senate approved more than $163 billion designated to assist local fire and EMS departments as part of an economic stimulus package to safeguard the U.S. economy and help the nation respond effectively to the 2019 novel coronavirus and its resulting illness, COVID-19. The House is expected to pass the $2 trillion stimulus bill on Friday.
This bill includes multiple funding streams to reimburse fire and EMS departments for the costs of their operations:

  • $100 billion for the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund to reimburse eligible healthcare providers for healthcare expenses or lost revenue directly attributable to the coronavirus. Funding could go to public entities; providers enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid, and other for-profit and nonprofit entities that provide diagnoses, testing, or care for individuals with COVID-19. 
  • $45 billion for the Disaster Relief Fund to reimburse activities such as medical response, procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE), National Guard deployment, coordination of logistics, implementation of safety measures, and provision of community services. According to FEMA, these funds will cover overtime and backfill costs; the costs of supplies such as disinfectants, medical supplies, and personal protective equipment; and apparatus usage. (The federal government will cover 75% of these costs.) The IAFC recommends that fire chiefs consult the guidance from Chief Keith Bryant, the U.S. Fire Administrator, and FEMA’s new fact sheet on FEMA’s Simplified Public Assistance Application. In addition, they should consult with their state emergency managers to begin the process of being reimbursed.
  • $100 million for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program for PPE, supplies, and reimbursements. This funding is specific to COVID-19 PPE, supplies, etc. The IAFC has contacted FEMA to ask when this special application period will take place.
  • $100 million for Emergency Management Performance grants for emergency preparedness. This grant program is run by FEMA. The IAFC will provide more information in the future about applying for these grants.
  • $7 million for the U.S. Forest Service’s Wildland Fire Management account to provide PPE and baseline testing for wildland firefighters. This funding will be spent at the discretion of the chief of the Forest Service, and it is expected to be used for USDA’s wildland firefighting operations.

The bill also attempts to address the shortage of needed emergency supplies:

  • $16 billion to replenish the Strategic National Stockpile supplies of PPE and drugs.
  • $1 billion for the Defense Production Act to improve the national supply chain and improve the production of PPE, ventilators, and other needed equipment, and funding for federal, state, and local agencies to purchase this equipment.
  • $1.5 billion for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s State and Local Preparedness Grant.
  • Addresses drug shortages by allowing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to prioritize and expedite the review of drug applications and inspections to prevent or mitigate drug shortages. The legislation also requires drug manufacturers to share information on their drug volume and report when there is a supply interruption due to shortages of the active pharmaceutical ingredient.

Additionally, the bill addresses life-safety priorities:

  • Allows fire sprinkler retrofit installations in commercial buildings to qualify for bonus depreciation through 2027 as well as a 15-year depreciation period in perpetuity after 2027.

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Fire service news

Excerpts from

Two Illinois lawmakers are sponsoring legislation to help volunteer firefighters and EMT’s with a $500 tax credit.

Firefighters have other jobs, but they are prepared to report for duty at any time. Senate Bill 3224 would create a $500 dollar tax credit that qualifying volunteer firefighters and EMT’s can claim when they file their Illinois income taxes. Because it is a credit and not a deduction, it would provide a direct reduction in the amount of taxes owed, or potentially even increase their tax refund.

The lawmakers filed their bill to help volunteer firefighters and EMT’s pay for expenses that often includes things such as medical and fire equipment, training, licensure, and even insurance. They also hope that by reducing the financial burden of volunteering, the legislation can help local fire departments to recruit new volunteers to bolster their efforts at protecting the public.

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Fire Service News – coronavirus

Excerpts from

The International Association Firefighters (IAFF) and the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters (WSCFF) issued a joint statement reporting that that members from Kirkland Fire, Redmond Fire and Woodinville Fire had been exposed to the coronavirus, and were isolating themselves for evaluation. IAFF and WSCFF say they spoke with infectious disease experts and medical professionals to find resources and information, and develop a way to make that information more accessible. They announced the creation of their ‘Coronavirus online toolkit,’ which aims to provide up-to-date information on the coronavirus and what has transpired so far in Washington.


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Fire service news

Excerpts from

“The Black Fire Brigade is the first of its kind in this country,” said co-founder Quention Curtis, a 32-year veteran of the Fire Department. “It was built around getting young people off the street away from gun violence, and things of that nature, and so our motto became: ‘If you teach a kid to save a life they’ll be less likely to take a life.’”

The Chicago-based nonprofit is also working to increase the ranks of African American firefighters, EMTs and paramedics. The Chicago Fire Department has long been overwhelmingly white – and has paid out millions in racial discrimination lawsuits. Today the force is still just 17% black and 16% Hispanic.

All of the students in the program are between the ages of 18 and 30. They get their primary EMT training at area schools or ambulance companies, but the Black Fire Brigade helps them every step of the way, with tuition for those programs if needed, additional training like the gunshot scenario we described, test prep, and job placement. Most EMT students plan to become paramedics and firefighters, and the Black Fire Brigade offers similar support and training for those careers.

The Black Fire Brigade started in June 2018 and in the first 18 months put more than 250 people through the program, including 60 single moms and three homeless students. They are 100% volunteer run and supported by donations.


Of interest … Off-duty Firefighter saves a life

Excerpts from

An ordinary day at the ballpark turned into a harrowing fight for survival for one Chicago Cubs fan last summer, and this week he reunited with the man who saved his life.

During the Cubs’ Aug. 5 game, John Ginino was sitting in the stands when he suddenly collapsed. Just a few rows away, Burbank Firefighter Leo Andrade was also taking in the game, and he heard the cries for help after Ginino collapsed. For seven minutes, Ginino’s heart stopped beating. He had no pulse, and was not breathing. Andrade began to perform CPR and ultimately paramedics were able to rush him to an area hospital.

Ginino woke up in the hospital five days later, not knowing where he was or what had happened to him.

After the harrowing ordeal that the two men shared, they have become best friends, spending Thanksgiving together and, of course, going back to Wrigley Field to cheer on the Cubs. Ginino now has a defibrillator device implanted in his heart, and his reunion with Andrade this week is dedicated to one thing: encouraging others to learn CPR, the technique that saved his life in the stands of Wrigley Field.

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Fire service news

Excerpts from

The idea behind Rosenbauer America’s all-electric concept fire truck is a fire truck for the future. The vehicle is designed to be more efficient and environmentally friendly than traditional fire trucks and reduce carcinogens in stations and on scene, resulting in decreased exposure to cancer-causing exhaust.

“It’s a 475-horsepower, battery-operated fire truck. It has a sustainability at about an hour to two hours as far as electric charge,” John Slawson, CEO of Rosenbauer America, said while showing the truck at the Phoenix Fire Training Academy. “We have a battery extender with an exclusive 6-liter diesel engine,” he added. “That provides an additional eight hours of service without recharging.”

The world’s first electric fire truck is unlike anything previously seen in the industry. It’s nearly silent and accelerates quickly and stops on a dime, attributes Rosenbauer says are crucial for firefighters. The truck includes large screens on the dash for the officer to use. It has no side mirrors, making it easier to get around in tight spaces. Instead, there are cameras with interior monitors.

Los Angeles is the first fire department in North America to buy one. Rosenbauer has also sold them to departments in Berlin, Dubai, Oslo and Copenhagen.

Rosenbauer prototype electric fire truck

thanks Austin


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REV buys Spartan ER

From the REV website:

REV Group, Inc. (NYSE: REVG), a manufacturer of industry-leading specialty vehicle brands, announced today it has completed the acquisition of Spartan Emergency Response (Spartan ER), a leading designer, manufacturer and distributor of custom emergency response vehicles, cabs, and chassis for the emergency response market, and its brands, from Spartan Motors, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPAR) effective February 1, 2020. Spartan ER was acquired for approximately $55 million in cash, subject to a net working capital adjustment and certain liabilities of the business to be retained by Spartan Motors, Inc. post-closing.

Spartan Emergency Response and its brands, Spartan Fire Apparatus and Chassis, Smeal Fire Apparatus, Ladder Tower (LTC), and UST, will immediately become part of REV’s Fire & Emergency segment. The newly combined business will further solidify F&E as a top-two North American fire apparatus manufacturer offering significant production scale, diverse product offerings, wide-ranging channel relationships, and broad geographic sales coverage.

“We are excited to acquire a top North American fire apparatus manufacturer of scale with a well-recognized, innovative and broad product offering, long-standing relationships with dealers and municipal customers, and a growing installed base of over 6,000 vehicles[1],” states Tim Sullivan, President and CEO of REV Group. “It’s our long-term strategy to continue to grow this segment, as well as continue to establish REV Group as a leader in the innovation of fire apparatus and other emergency response vehicles.”

As of September 30, 2019, Spartan ER generated last twelve months (“LTM”) net revenues of $253.3 million and acquired Spartan ER backlog represents approximately 74 percent of anticipated calendar 2020 sales. 

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Former Highwood Deputy Fire Chief on trial (more)

Excerpts from the

An Illinois Appellate Court has reversed the 2015 felony conviction of former Highwood Fire Department Deputy Fire Chief Ronald Pieri who was found guilty of false entry in connection with time sheets submitted between 2006 and 2010 while he was serving as a firefighter, shift commander, and deputy fire chief.

The Second District Appellate Court found the data and statistical reports relied on by prosecutors to prove that Pieri falsified time sheets were “so unreliable as to create a reasonable doubt of the defendant’s guilt.”

In a 15-page ruling, the appellate justices said prosecutors, the state’s forensics examiner, and the judge assumed that when Pieri’s time sheets did not match records in the department’s computer management system Firehouse, that the Firehouse records were correct. But the appellate court said its own review of four months of Firehouse records from 2006 reveals a multitude of questionable or improper data in the logs. The appellate court found some of the state’s exhibits to be rife with errors.

“As the saying goes, ‘Garbage in, garbage out,” wrote the justices in their Jan. 13 opinion.  “We conclude that the evidence … was so improbable, unsatisfactory or inconclusive that it creates a reasonable doubt of the defendant’s guilt.”

Circuit Court Judge Victoria Rossetti found Pieri guilty of one count of false entry and not guilty on two counts of official misconduct and two counts of theft of government property. Rossetti sentenced Pieri to two years’ probation and 150 hours of community service.

Pieri was the highest-ranking member of the Highwood Fire Department when he was arrested in 2011 and at one time had served as the fire chief. At the time of his arrest, he was the husband of a sitting alderman and the son of a former alderman.

Though Highwood residents voted to dissolve the Highwood Fire Department in a 2016 and turn fire and paramedic services over to the City of Highland Park, Pieri’s employment status remains in limbo. He is currently seeking back pay through the Highwood Board of Fire and Police Commissioners.

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