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August 28, 2005

Harding Fire, Sierraville California

 

The Harding Fire near Sierraville took 2,200 acres and is 80% contained.
This is not just another fire. More than 1,000 firefighters and support personnel put some blood and guts on the line in this one. Four injuries were reported, none serious.


Photo; Wildlight Photography, (from link)


August 25, 2005

FDNY Chaplain Mychal Judge

 
A very nice post on this blog.



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August 22, 2005

Drones Soon To Aide Wildland Firefighters

 
MyMotherLode.com writes that soon robotic planes (drones) will be in use to map wildland fires 24/7. Each plane will cost $100,000. The article goes on to say;

"The U.S. Forest Service says the planes will be officially deployed next spring to survey areas over the western United States mapping forest fires 24 hours a day.

Officials say the planes can fly through smoke and in the dark.

Forest Officials have been looking into using the robotic planes for several years, but scientists say the technology to install miniature heat detecting sensors in the planes has only recently become available."


More important to me will be the ability for fire bosses to monitor conditions that could affect hand crews, engines crews and dozer operators. More information, fewer accidents.


August 19, 2005

Looking For Firefighting Jobs?

 
I offer no warranty on the content of the sites linked to in this post but I offer them for review for those visiting here and looking for employment in the fire service.

I can tell from my visitor logs by the search stream that fully 1/3 of the visitors here are looking for firefighting jobs. Some of the links on the side will send you to firefighter job sites as well.

Fire Employment looks interesting with hourly updating of job listings across the country.

Strengthcats is an interesting site that offers physical ability evaluations online.


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August 15, 2005

Border Nightmare In Arizona

 
Everyone passing through here should read this and send the link to everyone they know.

According to this riveting article sent to me by my brother in law Chris in Tempe conditions on our border have spiraled completely out of control. This article will convince you that our national security could easily be compromised by sleepers if it has not been already.

What struck me while reading this article is how tough and courageous these ranchers who choose to live on the border are. It also reminds me how much their situation resembles the dangers the early settlers of Arizona were confronted with when certain Apaches bands were a threat.
Click the link and be prepared to feel a little angry. Tucson Weekly


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August 12, 2005

Give Him The Joan Of Arc Treatment

 
French fireman arrested for sets.

Via Yahoo we read of this lowlife posing as a hero to the media after setting the fires.


August 11, 2005

Overun Wildfire Crew Safe

 
The Casper Star Tribune reports a story about a wildfire fire crew overun;

"ALBERTON, Mont. (AP) -- Three firefighters were forced to use their emergency shelters Wednesday night when a Montana wildfire overran their position, but all three emerged safely, fire officials said Thursday.

The firefighters were among those battling the Tarkio fire when it made a run late Wednesday, forcing crews to retreat and shutting down a major Bonneville Power Administration transmission line in the area.

Fire information officer Alan Barbian said the three firefighters "acted professionally and deployed their fire shelters as they were trained" when it was clear they were in danger.

He said the fire burned over the firefighters as they hunkered down inside what are essentially lightweight, fireproof tents, but all three escaped without any injuries and were able to return to camp late Wednesday night.

"The fire shelters worked," Barbian said Thursday. "They did what they're supposed to, and we have three people alive because of it........."


August 08, 2005

Homeowners Not Showing Concern For Firefighters

 
The issue raised in the article below should be considered a top priority for forest and fire district managers. It would be nice to just be able to say you won't take action to suppress fire on properties overun with vegetation but the subject is much more complex.
No matter how the subject is argued by the reluctant homeowner it all adds up danger for fire personnel.
I suspect in coming years insurance companies will be the ones to pressure irresponsible homeowners. Fire districts and firefighter unions will have to pressure the insurance companies.

"BILLINGS, Mont. -- John Novotny wanted to show the homeowner what could be done to help keep his house from going up in flames in case of a wildfire.

But the homeowner declined the free assessment, leery of having a bunch of his trees in the narrow canyon in southern Montana marked for removal.

It's a response Novotny has run into more than once in the last year, as the veteran firefighter has knocked on doors and urged people to build the kind of buffers that could make all the difference in the event of a wildfire.

"Some people want to participate, some don't," Novotny said. "You have to chip away at it."

Since the severe Western fire season of 2000, officials have placed a renewed emphasis on educating homeowners about the risks and responsibilities that come with living in some of the nation's most fire-prone areas.

There have been roadside signs and radio ads, home visits and town meetings with fire experts and government incentives.

Still, a report issued earlier this year by Congress' investigative arm said that many homeowners aren't taking measures to protect their homes against the threat, even though federal agencies offered financial assistance...."
A.P story here


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August 06, 2005

Woman Sues Rescuers? What??

 
"A woman saved from a submerged car in the Connecticut River is now suing the town which rescued her. An attorney for Barbara Connors says his client suffered permanent brain damage because Old Saybrook did not have the right equipment to save her quick enough.
The lawsuit has surprised many in town who say the efforts of those rescuers saved this woman's life. This suit though targets the town, saying this accident could have been prevented and the rescue could have been quicker.

Last October, First Selectman Mike Pace honored those who rescued 76-year-old Barbara Connors and her son-in-law after his Ford Explorer plunged into the mouth of the Connecticut River. Today Pace finds himself defending those same rescuers from a lawsuit.

"It seems like a penalty for doing what was right, quick, and just."

Connors' attorney Robert Reardon says it took rescuers twenty-nine minutes to pull her from the submerged SUV. And he says if a dive team were in place things would be different........

"She out to be thankful for everybody who saved her," says Steve Slifka of Old Saybrook. "She shouldn't be suing..." Click here for the full story.

Observation. What attorney would take this case?


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August 03, 2005

National Firefighter Near-Miss Reporting System

 
What a great idea! Click here and have a look. When I started Firefighter Exchange the idea was for firefighters to share stories that civilians could read and brothers and sisters in service could learn from.
FirefighterNearMiss.com takes the concept of near-miss reporting to a formal level. I applaud the effort. Please take a look at the site and consider putting it to use.


August 01, 2005

Buy, Sell, Collect Firefighter Patches

 
Every couple of months I like to cruise the firefighting sleeve patches for sale on Ebay. I am a sucker for patches featuring boats, cactus, animals and mountain scenery. I also like the variety of patches belonging to the engine, truck and rescue companies of F.D.N.Y. I have a few of the older patches pre-September 11.
Check here but beware collecting firefighting patches can be addictive.