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July 29, 2005

Project Responder is a Fun Idea

I saw these guys while surfing today. I have always thought it would be fun to stop at firehouses while on the road but somehow I get tunnel vision when at the wheel and end up trying to beat an imaginary clock. The guys at Project Responder have a dedicated reason for actually doing it.
Good luck guys!

July 26, 2005

Off Topic For A Moment


She's the "O" Girl

Slate.com interviews her;

"It's all about the mesmerizing babe. The moment you've been waiting for—the lowdown on the Overstock hottie....

The lovely Sabine Ehrenfeld (pronounced "Sa-BEAN-uh") was driving back from a snowboarding trip with her children, on her way to casting calls the following day. Still, she found time to chat in a delightful and disarming manner. I learned the following:

In addition to German and English, Sabine speaks French and Italian. She is proficient in basic tactical pistol skills, because she thought it would be a fun thing to learn. She also has a private pilot's license and 350 hours in the air. After reading the Richard Bach book (Bi-Plane), she was inspired to fly solo—in an old-style, aerobatic tailwheel plane from California to Montana. With camping gear in the back so she could land along the route to sleep and refuel. I am not making this up.
Overstock.com's Simon was looking for "a 38 year-old brunette" to play the part (that's Overstock's demographic—about two-thirds of their bargain-hunting customers are women) when she saw Sabine (who is in fact 41) on television (in an ad). It was love at first sight. Sabine is gorgeous, but in a non-threatening way. Men find her approachable, women think she's friendly. "We didn't want someone that the gal in rural Minnesota couldn't relate to," says Simon. I guess she means the Minnesotan gal who flies aerobatic planes and speaks four languages....."

More Sabine pics


July 22, 2005

Arizona Fires, Edge Complex, Pumpkin Center

Interagency Incident Support site, Southwest Support Center.

This site takes you closer to official news than any other.


Turnout Art?

Google News pointed me to this odd but interesting story. I prefer fire tee shirts as wearable art (some would say my current uniform) but I do find collections of any sort interesting.

Firecoats as Japanese Art

By Sara Pearce; Cincinnati.com

"Just like today's firefighters, Japanese firefighters of the 17th and 18th centuries wore a kind of uniform that not only identified them as firefighters but also as members of a particular unit. Unlike today, the coats were cotton and were stenciled, painted and dyed with a squad's pattern, then tightly quilted. Many reversed to a ceremonial side with fantastic designs plucked from ancient stories, and depicted strong and determined creatures or historic heroes.

Dozens of examples of the coats are on display now in the beautifully-designed exhibit, Hanten and Happi, at the Cincinnati Art Museum. It's the last stop for the touring collection before it returns to Japan. Hanten are the larger, heavy firefighter coats; happi are smaller, lighter, everyday work coats. We picked a hanten with its ceremonial side out and asked Cindy Amneus, the museum's associate curator of costume and textile, to explain more about the coats.

1. The custom-made hanten coats were made with three layers of home-spun cotton of the same thickness and quality. They were sewn by the firefighter or someone in his family until the mid-19th century, when commercial production began.

Hantens were soaked with water to allow firefighters to get close to the fire. A fully-soaked coat weighed close to 84 pounds and would usually be dry by the time a fire was out.

2. The fabric was reinforced via hand quilting known as sashiko stitching. Using a running stitch with four stitches to the inch, the three layers were sewn together in close horizontal rows almost like tucks. This shortened the coats, which artists had to factor into their designs, along with shrinkage during dying and washing.

3. Coats were dyed in vats of indigo, which produced blues in varying hues similar to today's blue jeans. Indigo is made from the Indigofera genus of plants (part of the pea family) and was plentiful.

4. Some hantens were painted after dying but others, like this one, were tsutsugaki dyed. During this process, a design was drawn onto the fabric using a natural extract that disappeared when washed. Color pigments were painted onto the fabric, then, painted over with rice paste, which resisted the dye. Areas that would be white were painted with rice paste only. For fine lines and borders, rice paste was squeezed out of a funnel, like icing from an icing bag.

5. In this design, the muscular Kintaro holds a struggling carp.
Kintaro, whose name translates as "Golden Boy," is a popular Japanese folk hero of unusual strength who was raised among animals and is often depicted as a boy even though he grew up to become a famous warrior. Carps, which leap treacherous waters to spawn, are considered good luck and symbolize strength and perseverance. Other auspicious animals include cranes, hawks and foxes.

6. The ceremonial side was turned to the outside and worn during the celebrations and parades that often occurred after a fire was extinguished. This side also was worn at festivals and during formal condolence visits."


July 20, 2005

Neighbors Helping Neighbors

From Bangor Daily News

"FORT KENT - Twenty Maine firefighters left Thursday morning to assist Canadian firefighters with forest fires burning near the James Bay area of northern Quebec.

The men are the second crew of Maine firefighters sent to Quebec in the past month.

The crew of eight Maine Forest Service rangers and 12 civilian firefighters will be in the Canadian province for a maximum of two weeks.

Five of the rangers, led by Michael Daigle of Portage, are bilingual and will assist French-speakers of Quebec to work with the English-speaking firefighters from Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

They will be battling as many as 40 major fires in the northern reaches of the province, 14 hours by bus north of Quebec City.

The fires were started by lightning strikes, said Jim Downie, spokesman for the Maine Forest Service. The area has not received much rain over the summer and the woods are dry tinder.

Last month, 20 Maine firefighters fought fires in the Lac-St.-Jean area of northern Quebec. They were fighting up to 57 forest fires in the area. Many camps and homes were lost in that effort...." more at Bangor News

July 18, 2005

Interesting Firefighting Headlines

Headlines from Science Daily

Plastics factory burns for second day (July 8, 2005) -- Acrid smoke poured from a 2-day-old fire Friday at an Indiana plastics recycling company 10 miles from the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport. The ... > full story
Suspicious fire hits Fla. abortion clinic (July 5, 2005) -- Investigators say that a fire at a Florida abortion clinic appears to be suspicious. Phil Kaplan, a spokesman for the West Palm Beach Fire ... > full story
Firefighters' facial hair in court dispute (June 14, 2005) -- Three Muslim firefighters can keep their beards until at least Aug. 1 following a federal judge's ruling regarding a D.C. Fire Department ban on ... > full story
Muslim firefighter suspended over beard (June 6, 2005) -- A Muslim firefighter in Philadelphia was suspended from the department for refusing to shave off his beard, ABC reports. Curtis DeVaux was suspended ... > full story

Female firefighters sue Virginia county
FAIRFAX, Va., July 6 (UPI) -- A group of female firefighters is suing Fairfax County, Va., alleging a pattern of discrimination in the fire department.
The suit says Fairfax County, a suburb of Washington, has practiced discrimination in hiring, promotion and housing, The Washington Post said.
Women's facilities are so inferior that the women's shower in one firehouse is a converted urinal, the suit alleges. Other female firefighters bunk in a converted closet that lacked heat for five years, the suit contends.
The plaintiffs, including some high-ranking female firefighters, said they are repeatedly subjected to sexually harassing comments and attitudes, the Post reported. In one incident, the suit alleged, a male firefighter slapped a female employee across the face with a piece of ham and made a sexually graphic remark. ">To story

July 14, 2005

Firefighter's Film Response to Sept.11

I want to view this one!
Answering The Call 911

July 12, 2005

Cheerleading or Firefighting, She Chose Fire!

"On the fire line, women find tough, rewarding career"


"ST. GEORGE, Utah -- Jodi Fowler had a choice to make in 1998. Move to Arizona to try to land a spot on the Phoenix Suns cheerleading squad, or take a job fighting wildland fires for the Bureau of Land Management.

She chose the fires - ditching the pompons and crowds for a fire-retardant uniform, a hard hat and a half hatchet-half pick took known as a Pulaski.

"It's an adrenaline rush," said the 28-year-old Richfield, Utah, native. "It's a lot like performing, but you're doing something. You're helping people out."

Fowler is part of the second generation of women making wildland firefighting a career. She works for the Dixie National Forest on a St. George-based helicopter crew, called "helitack",

Described by some as once being a "testosterone-driven boys club," women have and are making their mark in the industry from the fire lines to management.

"It's a great thing to do," says Becky May, a retired division chief on California's Shasta-Trinity National Forest, who was among the first women to choose the career some 30 years ago.

"The work is very rewarding and you learn so much about yourself, your strengths and your limits."

In 1976, May was a 20-year-old Oregon college student when she landed a summer job on a brush disposal crew on the Willamette National Forest. She was studying forestry......" To story


July 11, 2005

Find Firefighter Articles

I use a service on the net that is a great tool for research and general interest. Ten million magazine, journal and newspaper articles listed and indexed for easy searching. The company is owned by LookSmart.FindArticles.com


July 07, 2005

One Days News, Firefighter Injuries


From June 6, 2005

Firefighter hurt in attic collapse

Dayton Daily News

"HUBER HEIGHTS - A Huber Heights firefighter was injured Wednesday while battling a fire at a home on Neptune Lane in the southern part of the city.
firefighter was taken to a hospital after a 10- by 10-foot section of attic collapsed on him at 4830 Neptune, fire Lt. Scott Hall said, noting that the firefighter's injuries did not appear to be serious.
No one was in the house, and Hall said the fire appeared to have started at the rear of the one-story brick structure, then traveled up the wall and into the attic. A neighbor spotted smoke and dialed 911."


Firefighter Injured In South Side Fire
Three Civilians Also Injured


"CHICAGO -- A firefighter and three civilians were injured Wednesday night in a fire on the South Side.
An Emergency Medical Services Plan 1 was called for a fire at 83rd Street and Ingleside Avenue at about 10:05 p.m., Fire Media Affairs Director Larry Langford said. Five ambulances were sent to the scene, ..."


Injured Pittsburg Firefighter Remains In Guarded Condition


"PITTSBURG -- A firefighter injured while searching a Pittsburg home after a two-alarm fire Monday remains in guarded condition at a hospital in San Pablo, the Contra Costa Fire Protection District reported Wednesday.
The firefighter was in the process of searching the home at 1231 Alamo Way for possible victims when a portion of the ceiling collapsed, knocking off his helmet and facemask, said Fire Chief Richard Carpenter.
Carpenter said the firefighter remains in guarded condition at Doctors Medical Center in San Pablo because upper respiratory injuries from heat and gas take a while to develop. He suffered burns to his face and head.
Two other firefighters suffered injuries while fighting the blaze, Carpenter said. One firefighter received a cut on his leg. He was treated at John Muir Hospital in Walnut Creek and released that night. The other firefighter was treated on the scene for a hand injury...."


Firefighter hurt in house fire


Town of Waterford - A fire early Tuesday left one firefighter injured and a vacation home severely damaged, officials said.
"The fire was blowing out all the windows," Village of Waterford Fire Chief Steve Denman said in describing what the "full fire involvement" scene looked like when he arrived. The house is in the 30300 block of Beach View Lane.
Firefighters from the Rochester and Tichigan fire departments responded with village emergency crews to the fire at 5:45 a.m. Tuesday. The fire was so large that Denman called for backup from the Town of Burlington and Wind Lake fire departments..."


Stay safe today Brothers and Sisters.

July 02, 2005

Happy 4th Of July

Be safe in your travels. God bless the United States of America.

BBQ on tap here the entire weekend.

1. Pork ribs friday
2. Hamburgers and hot dogs tonight
3. Rib eyes tomorrow
4. Tri-tip Monday (burp)

I suggest everyone face the East and pay a toast to our brave men and women in Afghanistan and Iraq at some point Monday. They are sacrificing all to preserve the freedoms we enjoy.