NASCAR: Timeline of Fire, EMS Response to Newman’s Crash

Ryan Newman (6) goes airborne as Corey LaJoie (32) crashes in to him on the final lap of the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Monday, Feb. 17, 2020, in Daytona Beach, Fla. Sunday’s race was postponed because of rain. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

By JENNA FRYER AP Auto Racing Writer

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A paramedic was treating Ryan Newman inside his car 35 seconds after the ruined and flaming vehicle came to rest after a crash on the last lap of the Daytona 500.

NASCAR gave a brief timeline Saturday of the response to Monday night’s airborne accident that was so startling many drivers feared him dead. Newman hit the wall and his car went airborne, was hit by another car to send it airborne a second time, rolled upside down and landed on its roof in flames.

“You’ve heard us say this many times, that safety is our primary responsibility,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s executive vice president and chief racing development officer.

“Everything that goes on at the R&D Center on a daily basis is put in place for a reason. This is our job. This is what we do, and you’ve got the 40 drivers in the garage area who expect us to do this every day.”

NASCAR said the first fire responder arrived 19 seconds after Newman’s car stopped. A trauma doctor was at the car 33 seconds later and a paramedic entered 2 seconds after that.

Newman was then treated for more than three minutes, NASCAR said. It took roughly two minutes to overturn the car, during which time Newman was still being assisted and the treatment continued as the roof was cut away. The 42-year-old driver was removed from the car 15 minutes, 40 seconds after it halted.

NASCAR revealed its findings from a review that began Tuesday when the cars of Newman and Corey LaJoie, the driver who hit Newman’s car on the driver’s side, arrived at the North Carolina Research and Development Center.

NASCAR said it could not discuss Newman’s health, citing federal privacy laws.

Despite the violence of the crash, the Indiana native nicknamed “Rocketman” walked out of a Florida hospital holding the hands of his two young daughters some 42 hours later.

“During this entire time, doctors and paramedics were attending to Ryan, except for during the car rollover,” O’Donnell said. “The first responders performed their jobs as they were trained. The training systems all worked as were designed.

“We are never satisfied with what took place and we will learn as much as possible and implement those changes, if there are any, as soon as possible.”

Ross Chastain is scheduled to drive Newman’s No. 6 Ford on Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where Newman’s 649-consecutive races streak dating to the 2002 Daytona 500 will end.

Newman has yet to speak publicly and his team has said nothing about his injuries or his status. Roush said he was in serious condition with non-life threatening injuries late Monday night, but Newman progressed so quickly he left the hospital faster than the team could post updates.

NASCAR said the sanctioning body and Newman’s medical team will have to clear him before he can return to race, but good friend Martin Truex Jr. said Saturday to expect Newman back in his race car soon.

“I feel like he’ll be back before anyone thinks he could. He’s a tough son of a gun,” Truex said. “It was good to see how good a shape he was in, and it was a little surprising as well. He’s got no neck and a big hard head, so that helped for sure.”

Several competitors have talked or texted with Newman and said his wit remained intact, with many making lighthearted jokes at his expense. Many marveled how one of the toughest guys in the garage seemingly walked away unscathed, needing nothing more than his daily fix of Krispy Kreme doughnuts to get out of the hospital.

NASCAR also wants to speak to Newman. Its crash report was limited because it wants feedback from the driver, an engineering graduate from Purdue University.

Newman, the 2008 Daytona 500 winner, has has been involved in several rolls at superspeedways. He has been outspoken about safety and has been fined by NASCAR for criticism it deemed excessive.

Newman also advocated for more support in the cockpit for protection during rollovers. A device now referred to as the “Newman bar” is standard.

“Ryan’s feedback in this will be key,” O’Donnell said. “I think that’ll be a key component as it’s always been throughout the process when he’s been racing.”

O’Donnell also said changes won’t be made to overtime rules as a result of the accident, but work continues dissecting Newman’s crash and ongoing safety efforts.

“Our job now is to have continued dialogue with the drivers, see what happens in terms of this race package,” O’Donnell said. “Were there any changes from Talladega to Daytona in terms of how they raced? How that may have contributed or not to this incident and if we can make some changes we will.”

NASCAR also must balance the fan appreciation of the dangers of Daytona and Talladega with the safety of the show.

“Our job is to get the races in, make them exciting for the fans and not have those kinds of incidents,” O’Donnell said. “So, if we can improve on that, we’ll do that.”


More AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/apf-AutoRacing and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

All contents © copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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Coronavirus Gets A New Name: COVID-19. Here’s Why That Is Important

From Victoria Forster at Forbes

Today, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the official new name of the disease caused by nCoV2019 (2019 novel coronavirus), the strain of coronavirus that has infected over 43,000 people worldwide, resulting in 1017 deaths.

COVID-19, as the disease will now be known, was decided on by the WHO, with the organization giving a number of reasons as to why it was chosen.

“Under agreed guidelines between WHO, the @OIEAnimalHealth & @FAO, we had to find a name that did not refer to a geographical location, an animal, an individual or group of people, and which is also pronounceable and related to the disease,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO.

The virus is thought to have originated in the city of Wuhan in China, which led to it being frequently named the “Wuhan coronavirus,” or “Chinese coronavirus,” but neither of these were official names and some believe they may have contributed to discrimination against Chinese people.Today In: Innovation

Chinese communities from around the world have been reporting racist incidents and dramatic impacts on their business including Chinese restaurants all over the U.S.

In Toronto, Canada, home to over 600,000 Chinese Canadians, restaurant owners have been reporting up to a 30% reduction in business, despite Canada having only 7 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and only 3 of these being in the province of Ontario where Toronto is located.

In the U.K., which currently has 8 confirmed cases of COVID-19, numerous reports of racist incidences against Chinese and other Asian people have been reported to authorities.

In Australia, the chief medical officer urged an end to racist attitudes towards Chinese-Australians after Chinese businesses reported a steep loss in takings and Sydney’s Chinatown was reportedly deserted on Saturday.

But does a virus’ name really matter?

Previous evidence would seem to suggest yes. “Swine flu,” which was actually a flu strain thought to originate in pigs, resulted in consumers shunning pork and causing great financial damage to U.S. pork farmers, despite there being no evidence that the disease could be spread via consuming pork.

MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome), was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and is a particularly deadly coronavirus with around a third of people contracting it dying from the disease. However, the disease has so far been found in 27 different countries, including South Korea which reported a serious hit to its tourism industry when it reported cases in 2015.

Since these incidents, the WHO has decided on names which are more generic and not related to people, places or specific animals.

“Having a name matters to prevent the use of other names that can be inaccurate or stigmatizing. It also gives us a standard format to use for any future coronavirus outbreaks,” said Ghebreyesus.

It may be too late, but by renaming the disease caused by the virus to COVID-19, the WHO likely hopes to de-stigmatize its association with the city of Wuhan and the people who live there.

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Americans from China Virus Zone Land in U.S.

Travelers re-screened in Alaska

A sign directs travelers to the north terminal at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport in Anchorage, Alaska, where a flight plane carrying U.S. citizens being evacuated from Wuhan, China is expected later Tuesday, is seen Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)

By MARK THIESSEN Associated Press

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — An airplane evacuating as many as 240 Americans from a Chinese city at the center of a virus outbreak has landed in the U.S.

The U.S. government chartered the plane to fly out diplomats from the U.S. Consulate in Wuhan, where the latest coronavirus outbreak started, and other U.S. citizens. The plane is making a refueling stop in Alaska, where it landed Tuesday night, before flying on to southern California.

But first, the travelers were to be re-screened in Anchorage for the virus, and hospitals were prepared to treat or quarantine people who may be infected. Symptoms of the virus include fever, cough, and in more severe cases shortness of breath or pneumonia.

The passengers are being isolated in the airport’s international terminal, which lies mostly dormant in the winter months. The terminal is not connected to the larger and heavily used domestic flights terminal, and each has separate ventilation systems, said Jim Szczesniak, manager of the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.

“In the wintertime, we have the ability and the luxury of not having any passenger traffic over there, so it’s a perfect area for us to handle this kind of flight,” he said.

The lobby in the international terminal was nearly empty Tuesday afternoon, and an airport employee was seen jogging through the facility, which has closed counters for companies like Korean Air, China Airlines and Asiana Airlines. There are two businesses operating at either end of the ticket counters, a 4×4 rental agency and a satellite office of the Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles.

A closed entrance at the north terminal at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport in Anchorage, Alaska, where a flight plane carrying U.S. citizens being evacuated from Wuhan, China is expected later Tuesday, is seen Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)

Wuhan is the epicenter of a new virus that has sickened thousands and killed more than 100, and a federal official said the plane left the city before dawn Wednesday, China time. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak publicly.

The white cargo plane with red and gold stripes arrived in Anchorage at the mostly desolate North Terminal just after 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, local time. The jetway was extended from the end of the terminal, but it also had no windows. Passengers were not visible. Media were held in a concourse between the airport’s two terminals, about 100 yards (91.4 meters) from the plane. Airport workers were buzzing around the plane after it landed.

Alaska health officials said a news conference would be held later.

The plane is scheduled to land at March Air Reserve Base in California’s Riverside County, instead of the original plan to land at Ontario International Airport in neighboring San Bernardino County.

Curt Hagman, an Ontario airport commissioner, said the Centers for Disease Control announced the diversion.

“We were prepared but the State Department decided to switch the flight” to the airbase, Hagman said.

Officials at the Ontario airport 35 miles (56 kilometers) east of Los Angeles had been readying facilities to receive and screen the repatriates and temporarily house them for up to two weeks — if the CDC determined that is necessary, said David Wert, spokesman for the county of San Bernardino.

Ontario International Airport was designated about a decade ago by the U.S. government to receive repatriated Americans in case of an emergency overseas, but it would have been the first time the facility was used for the purpose, Wert said.

China has cut off access to Wuhan and 16 other cities in Hubei province to prevent people from leaving and spreading the virus further. In addition to the United States, countries including Japan and South Korea have also planned evacuations.


Associated Press writers Matthew Lee in Washington and Amy Taxin in Santa Ana, California, contributed to this report.

All contents © copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Seattle Nurses Strike Closes Emergency Rooms

Swedish Medical Center ED closed

Swedish Medical Center nurses and other workers picket outside the hospital’s campus in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle as they began a three-day strike Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020, over staffing levels, wages and other issues. The hospital system closed two of its seven emergency departments and brought in replacement workers in response to the strike. (AP Photo/Gene Johnson)

By GENE JOHNSON Associated Press

SEATTLE (AP) — Thousands of nurses and other employees at a Seattle hospital system began a three-day strike over staffing levels, wages and other issues Tuesday, forcing administrators to close two emergency departments and spend millions to bring in replacement workers from around the country.

The picketers took to the sidewalks in front of Swedish Medical Center campuses wearing clear plastic ponchos against a heavy morning rain and carrying purple signs that read “Patients Before Profits” and “United For Our Patients.”

Swedish closed two of its seven emergency departments — at its campuses in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood and in Redmond, Washington — beginning at 7 p.m. Monday and said they would remain closed during the strike.

Swedish said it would spend millions on replacement workers. A final number wasn’t clear, but Swedish Health Services Chief Executive Guy Hudson called $11 million “a start.”

“Safe patient care is our number one priority,” Hudson said. “As it has for 110 years, Swedish will continue to provide high-quality, compassionate care to patients and their families, even during the strike.”

Susan Walker, a nurse in the day surgery department, joined dozens of others picketing outside the Ballard hospital. She said this was her first strike in 41 years as a nurse, but chronic short-staffing means she has to work on her day off every two or three weeks.

“We have to come in on our days off constantly to take care of patients,” Walker said. “It’s very disruptive to your life, but you feel sorry for your coworkers so you bite the bullet and come in.”

The labor action called by SEIU Local 1199NW, which represents 7,800 workers at Swedish, is one of the largest hospital strikes in the U.S. in recent years, and it comes amid both a national shortage of nurses and a trend of hospital consolidation.

A recent study done for the American Hospital Association found that thanks in part to efficiencies of scale, hospital mergers improve care and reduce costs for patients. Some economists have found otherwise and labor activists say it jeopardizes care.

Swedish is a nonprofit organization, meaning it doesn’t distribute profits to shareholders. But strikers said that since it was taken over by a much larger nonprofit health system — Renton, Washington-based Providence St. Joseph Health — in 2012, administrators have been cutting costs at the expense of patients.

Providence, which is also nonprofit, made $970 million in the first nine months of 2019 and has more than $11 billion on hand, according to its most recent financial statement.

Hudson said he was disappointed in the strike and that the administration had offered a strong wage and benefits package. That includes proposed raises totaling 11.25% over four years; the union has been seeking 23.25%.

Swedish has an 11% vacancy rate, a staffing shortage that the system meets by hiring temporary and traveling staff. The organization said it would like to hire more permanent staff, but hospitals around the country are struggling with nurse shortages. Health care unemployment in the Seattle area is less than 1%.

Both the Ballard and Redmond campuses have 18-bed emergency rooms, according to Swedish’s website.

The hospital is advising patients who might need emergency or urgent care services in Ballard or Redmond to go to one of its other facilities, including its emergency departments at Seattle’s First Hill and Cherry Hill campuses. The hospital network also has emergency departments at its hospitals in Issaquah, Edmonds and Mill Creek in Everett.

Labor and delivery services at the Ballard campus were also closed.

Kale Rose, a labor and delivery nurse and a member of the union’s negotiating team, said she herself had given birth there, which made her concerns about staffing all the more poignant.

In an emergency, she said, there needs to be enough “eyes and hands” present to accomplish required tasks, such as hanging IV bags, administering medication, weighing blood-soaked sponges to determine blood loss and transferring a patient if necessary.

“I know all of the scary things that can happen when you have a baby,” Rose said. “And I know what it’s like to be on staff and feel like you don’t have enough people to take care of patients.”

All contents © copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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Kobe Bryant helicopter crash: Feds probing chopper maintenance records, pilot history, fog

By HANNAH FRYRICHARD WINTONLUKE MONEYRUBEN VIVESMATTHEW ORMSETH of the Los Angeles Times

Federal investigators on Monday began working to unravel the mystery of why a helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven other people slammed into the side of a hill in Calabasas.

Officials remove a body from the wreckage of the helicopter crash Sunday in Calabasas.
(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

Authorities said the investigation is now wide-ranging, including looking at the histories of the pilot, helicopter maintenance records and the foggy conditions, which pilots have said add a level of danger.

Firefighters responding to a 911 call at 9:47 a.m. Sunday found a debris field in steep terrain with a quarter-acre brush fire. Paramedics arriving by helicopter searched the area but found no survivors.

Bryant, who lived in Newport Beach and Los Angeles, was known to keep a chartered helicopter at Orange County’s John Wayne Airport.ADVERTISEMENT

A Sikorsky S-76 chopper, built in 1991, departed John Wayne at 9:06 a.m. Sunday, according to publicly available flight records. The chopper passed over Boyle Heights, near Dodger Stadium, and circled over Glendale during the flight. The National Transportation Safety Board database shows no prior incidents or accidents for the mid-size helicopter.

Kurt Deetz, a former pilot for Island Express Helicopters, told The Times he flew Bryant from 2014 to 2016. Nine times out of 10, he said, Bryant flew in “Two Echo X-ray” — the Sikorsky S-76B, tail No. N72EX, that went down Sunday morning. Bryant favored the model, which is preferred by celebrities for its comfortable interior and solid safety record, Deetz said.

When Bryant retired from the NBA in 2016, he flew out of downtown Los Angeles in the same helicopter, wrapped in a gray-and-black paint scheme with his Mamba emblem on the side, Deetz said.

Deetz suspects the crash was most likely caused by bad weather rather than engine or mechanical issues. “The likelihood of a catastrophic twin-engine failure on that aircraft — it just doesn’t happen,” he said.

Parts of Southern California were enveloped in thick fog as the helicopter made its way from Orange County to Los Angeles. During the flight, the pilot noted he was flying under “special visual flight rules,” which allows a pilot to fly in weather conditions worse than those allowed for standard visual flight rules, according to radio communications between the air tower and the aircraft. At some point during the flight, the pilot apparently requested “flight following,” a process in which controllers are in regular contact with an aircraft and can help them navigate.

The tower is heard telling the pilot the chopper is too low for flight following before the conversation ends. There did not appear to be a distress call.

A visual flight rules flight “is based on the principle of see and avoid.” When operation of an aircraft under visual flight rules isn’t safe, often because of inclement weather, a pilot can opt to fly under instrument flight rules. During this type of flight, the pilot navigates only by reference to the instruments in the aircraft cockpit, according to the FAA.

“[Pilots] fly VFR when and if weather conditions allow, although they can choose to fly on an IFR flight plan at any time,” said Ian Gregor, a spokesman for the FAA. “Also, it’s always up to the pilot to make the decision whether to fly VFR and to ensure the safety of the flight and adherence to federal aviation regulations.”

Bryant was scheduled to coach Sunday in a game against the Fresno Lady Heat at his Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks and was en route there when the helicopter crashed. The tournament, called the Mamba Cup, featured boys’ and girls’ travel teams from fourth through eighth grades. Bryant’s daughter Gianna, who attended Harbor Day School in Newport Beach, was scheduled to play.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash. The FBI is also assisting in the probe, which is standard practice. The helicopter was registered to Fillmore-based Island Express Holding Corp., according to the California secretary of state’s business database. The helicopter’s manufacturer, Sikorsky, said in a statement Sunday that it was cooperating with the investigation.

The National Transportation Safety Board dispatched a “go team,” a squad of investigators that responds to major accidents across the country, Sunday evening, said Christopher O’Neil, an agency spokesman. Leading the investigation is Jennifer Homendy, an NTSB member who oversaw the investigation of a fire aboard the dive boat Conception that killed 34 people off Santa Cruz Island in September.

“Our team will be looking at the history of the pilot…whatever crew was on board. We’ll be looking at maintenance records. At records of the owner and operator. And a number of other things as part of the investigation,” Homendy said.

On Monday morning, the L.A. County coroner’s special response team was working on a ridge above the crash site, continuing to remove the remains of the nine victims with the help of search and rescue team members.

Experts have said weather conditions and possible mechanical issues will likely be at the top of the list for investigators.

The fog was severe enough Sunday morning that the Los Angeles Police Department’s Air Support Division grounded its helicopters and didn’t fly until later in the afternoon, department spokesman Josh Rubenstein said.

“The weather situation did not meet our minimum standards for flying,” Rubenstein said. The fog “was enough that we were not flying.” LAPD’s flight minimums are 2 miles of visibility and an 800-foot cloud ceiling, he said.

The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department made a similar assessment about the fog and had no helicopters in the air Sunday morning “basically because of the weather,” L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said.

Witnesses said they heard a roar before the chopper slammed into the hillside Sunday morning.

Jerry Kocharian, 62, was standing outside the Church in the Canyon drinking coffee when he heard a helicopter flying unusually low and seeming to struggle.

“It wasn’t sounding right, and it was real low,” Kocharian said. “I saw it falling and spluttering. But it was hard to make out as it was so foggy.”

The helicopter vanished into the sheet of fog, then there was a boom and “a big fireball,” he said.

“No one could survive that.”

Scott Daehlin, 61, was taking a break from setting up sound for a service at Church in the Canyon, which is below the crash site, when he heard the helicopter overheard.

“Because of its proximity to the ground, I knew something was wrong. It was hovering real low, like they were searching to land. It was making a slow left turn. It was about 9:44 a.m., and then the impact happened. I heard a crunch. I don’t think it pancaked. I think it hit rotors first,” Daehlin said. “I immediately called 911.”

The pilot, identified as Ara Zobayan, and eight passengers — including Bryant and his daughter — were killed. Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, 56, his wife, Keri, and their daughter Alyssa, who played on the same club team as Gianna, also were killed. Christina Mauser, who was the top assistant coach of the Mamba girls’ basketball team, as well as a mother and daughter from Orange County, identified by family and friends as Sarah and Payton Chester, also died in the crash.

Officials say the recovery effort at the crash site is expected to take days.

As officials work to find answers about what went wrong during the flight, Southern Californians continue to mourn the death of an athlete who over the course of his 20-year career became one of the greatest shooting guards in the history of basketball.

In Newport Beach, where Bryant lived with his family for years, two young girls dressed in Lakers colors — purple and gold — dropped flowers off at a bench outside Harbor Day School, adding to a makeshift memorial that has sprouted over the last day. The Bryant family was active at the private school, where at least one of his daughters had attended.

Two bouquets propped up under the school’s entrance sign were left with letters, one addressed to “Gigi, Mr. Bryant and Mrs. Mauser, Forever in our Hearts” and the other “To Mr. Bryant, Gigi and Mrs. Mauser, Our 3 Angels.”

Maria Paun, 81, used her walker to deliver an assortment of pink flowers to the front of the school, depositing them on a bench. It was years ago, she said, that she sat with Bryant on a bench at the school when he was waiting to pick up one of his daughters and she was waiting for her granddaughter.

“He gave me a hug and he said, ‘I like your accent, Grandma,’ ” she said. “He was tall, and he was somebody and I’m nobody, but he bent down to give me a hug. And I never forget this hug.”

Paun said it was no accident that she wore a purple sweater Monday morning. She did so because “he liked the color.”

“It’s hard for me, and it’s hard for everyone,” she said, her voice cracking with emotion.

During a vigil Sunday night, Bryant’s fellow Newport Beach residents spoke of the athlete’s life outside of his storied NBA career. He was, first and foremost, a dedicated father whose love for his family was apparent to anyone who came across him, friends say. He was also the type of man whose fame never got in the way of his sharing a warm greeting at Starbucks or the grocery store.

Mario Nunes, 50, hung his Kobe Bryant jersey from one of the tables in front of the Pavilions grocery store on Newport Coast Drive, where Bryant was known to frequent, on Monday. Nunes, a job trainer with the Rehabilitation Institute of Southern California, said he used to see Bryant at the store every few weeks. Nunes was quick to whip out his phone to show some of the pictures he’d taken with Bryant over the years, including one he said was from shortly after the Lakers’ last championship in 2010.

“He was always cool with me,” he said. “He was always friendly. He signed a couple basketballs here and there.”

Michael Young, 40, said he also saw Bryant periodically during the three years he’s worked as a courtesy clerk at the grocery store. When he heard the news about Bryant’s death, Young said his first reaction was tears.

“He brought a lot of good energy … a lot of positive energy, a lot of good stuff for the community,” Nunes said.

Both Young and Nunes said the shock of seeing the superstar in the flesh never completely wore off, no matter how many times he came to the grocery store or made a run to the Starbucks in the same shopping complex.

“It’s like he’s still here,” Young said. “His spirit is all around us.”

Product Post: SoundOff Ghost LED Multi-Mount Light

The SoundOff GHOST is a line of exceptionally small, extreme angle, mid-level 6 LED warning lights. The GHOST light eliminates flashback and ‘deadened’ warning power from tinted windows with our new exterior Edge Mounting system. Edge Mounting utilizes a unique u-bracket to mount the small inconspicuous lights to the hood or trunk edge on any type of vehicle. Pivotable light head can be adjusted up to 30 degrees so that the Extreme Angle output is just where you need it.

GHOST lights are also perfect for Dodge Chargers because they snap right into the grille and are permanently attached with supplied Permanent Mount Screws, or Automotive Grade 3M Tape. Lights meet or exceed SAE J595 requirements.

Available with a Black Housing and Black Bracket or White Housing and White Bracket.

Features:

  • 33 Flash Patterns.
  • 6 Powerful Gen3 LEDs.
  • Optics designed for maximum, extreme angle output.
  • Light includes three versatile mounting options:
    • Permanent Mount for any kind of exterior or interior application.
    • 3M Automotive Grade Adhesive Mount holds the light securely in place without drilling holes.
    • Edge Mounts with single or dual U-brackets that mount on the hood or trunk edge.
  • Light Sync Technology – synchronize all your GHOST lights to flash simultaneous or alternating.
  • May be used with other SoundOff Signal Light Sync compatible lights.
  • Moisture and vibration resistant for heavy duty applications.
  • Lights meet or exceed SAE J595 and CA Title 13 requirements.
  • Low amp draw at 0.75 amps per module.
  • 10 – 16 VDC.
  • Dimensions: 4′ L x 0.88′ H.

SoundOff Signal 5 Year No Hassle Warranty.

Australia Works to Recover Bodies of American Tanker Crew: Canadian-based company identifies crew

From the Associated Press

Captain Ian McBeth (left), First Officer Paul Hudson (center) and Flight Engineer Rick DeMorgan Jr. (right) (Coulson Aviation photo)

SYDNEY (AP) — The American tanker plane that crashed while fighting Australian wildfires had just dropped a load of retardant on a fire before it went down in New South Wales state, investigators said Friday.

The crash of the C-130 Hercules tanker Thursday killed Capt. Ian H. McBeth, 44, of Great Falls, Montana; First Officer Paul Clyde Hudson, 42, of Buckeye, Arizona; and Flight Engineer Rick A. DeMorgan Jr., 43, of Navarre, Florida, their employer, Canada-based Coulson Aviation, said in a statement.

The crash occurred during an unprecedented wildfire season that has left a large swath of destruction in Australia’s southeast.

Specialist investigators were sent to the crash site in the state’s Snowy Monaro region and a team was working to recover the victims’ bodies, Australian Transport Safety Bureau Chief Commissioner Greg Hood told reporters in the nearby town of Numeralla.

He described a difficult process of securing evidence of the crash and the victims’ remains, since the wildfire is still burning and potential hazards such as aviation fuel are present.

In this photo provided by the Rural Fire Service (RFS), U.S. and Canadian firefighters, who are wrapping up their deployment to Australia, pause for a minute’s silence in Sydney, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020, for the three American crew members killed Thursday. The three American firefighters were killed when the aerial water tanker they were in crashed while battling wildfires. (RFS via AP)

Upward of 500 firefighting aircraft from several countries are fighting Australia’s wildfires, Hood said, adding “So, if there are lessons to be learned from this particular accident it’s really important that not only Australia learns these, but the world learns them.”

He and other Australian officials extended condolences on the deaths of the three Americans.

Coulson Aviation said McBeth “was a highly qualified and respected C-130 pilot with many years fighting fire, both in the military and with Coulson Aviation.”

McBeth, who is survived by his wife and three children, also served with the Montana and Wyoming National Guard, the company said.

Hudson “graduated from the Naval Academy in 1999 and spent the next twenty years serving in the United States Marine Corp in a number of positions including C-130 pilot,” Coulson said. He is survived by his wife.

DeMorgan served in the U.S. Air Force with 18 years as a flight engineer on the C-130, the company said. He had had more than 4,000 hours as a flight engineer with nearly 2,000 hours in combat.

“Rick’s passion was always flying and his children,” Coulson said. He is survived by two children, his parents and his sister.

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian said a memorial service would be held in Sydney on Feb. 23 for the American firefighters and three Australian volunteer firefighters who have died during this wildfire season.

“We will pay tribute to the brave firefighters who lost their own lives protecting the lives and properties of others,” she said.

“I know that many members of the public, the RFS (Rural Fire Service), and emergency services personnel will want to come together as families and communities work their way through this unbelievable loss.”

People climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge stop under flags flying at half-mast as mark of mourning and respect in Sydney, Australia, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020, for three U.S. crew members of an aerial water tanker that crashed Thursday while battling wildfires in Australia. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

The three deaths brings Australia’s toll from the blazes to at least 31 since September. The fires have also destroyed more than 2,600 homes and razed more than 10.4 million hectares (25.7 million acres), an area bigger than the U.S. state of Indiana.

Coulson grounded other firefighting aircraft as a precaution pending investigation, reducing planes available to firefighters in New South Wales and neighboring Victoria state. The four-propeller Hercules drops more than 15,000 liters (4,000 gallons) of fire retardant in a single pass.

In this Jan. 10, 2020, photo, Rural Fire Service large air tanker 134, operated by Coulson Aviation in the U.S. state of Oregon, drops fire retardant on a wildfire burning close to homes at Penrose, Australia, 165km south of Sydney. Three American crew members died Thursday when this C-130 Hercules aerial water tanker crashed while battling wildfires in southeastern Australia, officials said. (Dan Himbrechts/AAP Image via AP)

Berejiklian said more than 1,700 volunteers and personnel were in the field, and five fires were being described at an “emergency warning” level — the most dangerous on a three-tier scale — across the state and on the fringes of the national capital Canberra.

All contents © copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Cypress Creek EMS in Texas Deploys Axon Fleet In-Car Video System

From FirefighterNation

Cypress Creek Emergency Medical Services, a 911 EMS provider in North Harris County, Texas, will deploy 37 Axon Fleet 2 in-car video systems across the agency’s emergency service vehicles.

Each in-car video system includes a forward-facing and rear-facing camera and is backed by the digital evidence management system, Axon Evidence.

“We look forward to furthering our partnership with Axon by rolling out its in-vehicle video technology to our fleet of ambulances,” says Cypress Creek EMS Executive Director Bradley J. England. “Our agency has a reputation for being an innovator in prehospital emergency medicine and this is the latest example. The expansion of this program with Axon will help drive our passion to protect life.”

This order was received in the fourth quarter of 2019 and will ship in multiple phases.

Product Post: Whelen HHS4200 Hand Held Programmable Siren

Whelen’s innovative HHS Series features standard switching and a completely redesigned molded amplifier housing, providing excellent durability. Various control heads are compatible with the HHS Series. Completely configurable by the user, these control heads are ergonomically designed for situational awareness of the officer.

This model is th same as HHS3200, Except with WeCan Port that Supports the Inner Edge FST, XLP and RST Series, WeCan Lightbars, and a WeCan External Amplifier (Not for Use with the CANEM16 Expansion Module)

HHS4200Siren Amplifier with Hand-Held Controller (CANCTL5)
HHS4206Siren Amplifier with Slide Switch and Rotary Knob Controller (CANCTL6)
HHS4207Siren Amplifier with 21 Push-Buttons and Slide Switch Controller (CANCTL7)

Features:

  • Meets Class A requirements of SAE, AMECA, KKK1822, and California Title XIII when paired with one Whelen 100 watt speaker
  • Windows based programming software for full customization and configuration
  • Three control heads available
  • Two year warranty

Specifications:

  • Durable Black molded housing
  • Wail, Yelp, Piercer, Manual Siren, and Airhorn tones are preset standard
  • 37 total tones, including mechanical tones
  • Includes 20′ interconnect cable
  • External spade-type fuses
  • Size: 7.46″ (18.95cm) H, 8.49″ (21.56cm) W, 2.35″ (5.97cm) D
  • Eight 10 amp relay outputs and one 15 amp relay output
  • Includes WeCan port that supports the Inner Edge FST and RST Series, WeCan lightbars, or WeCan external amplifier
  • Operates one or two 100 watt speakers

Whelen Two Year Warranty

Product Post: Code 3 Defender QuadCore LED Lightbar

The Code 3 Defender QuadCore LED Lightbar is the latest edition of the Defender series lightbar. The QuadCore Technology uses a patented micro-optic diffuser and low-profile faceted optic shape to provide a more uniform spread of light. The QuadCore modules have 3 sub-optics for each LED to capture light efficiently for superior light concentration, providing high color intensity in either daytime or low light situations. The QuadCore lightheads utilize a streamlined design that uses less parts and a new, more efficient heat sink that allows for outstanding heat dissipation. Along with the new lightheads, a new central controller board opens up a whole new world of flash pattern options. With the new central controller board, you can synchronize individual banks of lightheads giving you the ultimate in flash pattern customizability.

NOTE: Light bars come with clear outer domes unless otherwise specified.

QuadCore Technology Benefits

  • Patented micro-optic diffuser and low-profile faceted optic shape provides a more uniform spread of light.
  • 3 sub-optics for each LED capture light efficiently for superior light concentration, providing high color intensity in either daytime or low light situations.
  • QuadCore lightheads require lower amp draw, reducing strain on a vehicle’s electrical system.
  • A new heat sink provides better heat transfer to the frame keeping the lightheads and interior of the bar cool.
  • A redesigned interface between the lower lens and mounting plate provides an improved sealing system.
  • QuadCore lightheads utilize less parts for maintenance free operation.
  • Each lighthead is internally grounded therefore less wires are required for the lighthead to function.
  • A locating tab allows for quicker replacement of lightheads.
  • Redesigned connectors eliminate pinch points.

Design Features

  • Single and MultiColor in Red, Blue, Amber, White, or Red/Blue, Red/White, Blue/White, Red/Amber, Amber/White.
  • 3” Single Color (6 LED) and MultiColor (12 LED) Lightheads Available.
  • 6” Single Color (12 LED) and MultiColor (24 LED) Lightheads Available.
  • Alley Lights and Scene Lights.
  • New Central Controller Board allows for a multitude of new flash patterns.
  • Provides the capability to synchronize banks of lights.
  • New Flash Pattern Software (1000 Single/1050 MultiColor).
  • One Touch Setting/Changing of Flash Patterns.
  • Flasher/Steady Burn Feature for Work Lights and Scene Lights.
  • Dimming Feature.
  • Built-In NarrowStik Function.

Standard Options

  • Serial Interface.
  • Opticom 795H Infrared LED Emitter (E795LP).
  • NASCC ArrrowStik Controller Shows Emulation Patterns.
  • Quick Disconnect Switch.
  • Auto Dimming with Photo Cell.
  • Solar Panel with Battery Charger.
  • Black Intermolded Solar Barrier is Standard – Red, Blue or Amber optional.

Specifications

  • Standard Lengths: 23′, 35′, 36′, 44′, 47′, 48′, 52′, 58′, 70′, 82′, 94′ L x 13.5” D x 2.25” H.
  • Voltage: 12 VDC
  • Meets applicable SAE, J845, NFPA, California Title 13 and ECE65 specifications when properly configured.

Code 3 One Year Warranty on the entire lightbar and Five Year Warranty on LED modules

Forest Grove, Ore. PD offering free vests to cyclists

A great example of local law enforcement looking out for their fellow citizens.

From Forest Grove Police:

“In all this dark, foggy, and all around yucky winter weather, the Forest Grove Police Department would like to offer a free reflector vest to pedestrians/cyclists who might want/need one! Just come on by the station Monday thru Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. and we’ll get you one!

They are brand new, adult one-size fits all, bright orange with reflective stripes. No kids sizes, unfortunately… But as you can see, they work!

Special shout out to our friends at Forest Grove UnCorked, Life Safety Corporation, and several generous members of our community for donating vests for the program!

Product Post: ECCO Vantage LED Exterior Lightbar

The ECCO Vantage LED Exterior Lightbar is designed to offer excellent value in terms of cost, performance, durability, flexibility of configuration and of course, easy installation and use. Suitable for a wide variety of applications where width of vehicle warning is required, the Vantage lightbar is available in 8 configurations to suit most needs. Call us for custom configurations.

NOTE: Light bars come with clear outer domes unless otherwise specified.

This price is for All Amber Warning Modules Only. For all Blue, Red, Green, and White needs call for a quote.

The Vantage (12 Series) lightbar is now available Dual Color modules. Please call for a quote.

Part#: Length – Configuration

  • 12-20001-E: 48′ – 16 LED Warning Modules
  • 12-20004-E: 48′ – 16 LED Warning Modules, Add Alleys and Worklights
  • 12-20002-E: 54′ – 16 LED Warning Modules
  • 12-20005-E: 54′ – 16 LED Warning Modules, Add Alleys, Worklights and STT
  • 12-20003-E: 60′ – 16 LED Warning Modules
  • 12-20006-E: 60′ – 16 LED Warning Modules, Add Alleys, Worklights and STT

Features

  • 48 flash patterns.
  • Five color options: Amber, Blue, Clear, Green and Red.
  • 16 Wide-angle Warning LED modules.
  • Three length options: 48”, 54” and 60”.
  • Aluminum chassis, polycarbonate base and lens.
  • All lenses and domes are clear.
  • Optional 5 Function Controller (See in side-bar).
  • Range of strap mounting accessory kits (See in side-bar).
  • Optional LED Modules: Worklights, Alley Lights and Stop-Tail-Turn.
  • Customizable configuration available (Call for custom configurations).

Specifications

  • Voltage: 12-24 VDC
  • Current: 7.2 Amps
  • Flash Patterns: 48
  • Height: 2.5”
  • Width: 11”
  • Temperature Range: -22F to +122F (-30°C to +50°C)
  • Approval: SAE J845 Class I, California Title 13, CE, R10

ECCO 3 Years Warranty

More than 50 injured after Delta jet dumps fuel on L.A. schools during midair emergency

By Doha Madani at NBC

Scores of people were exposed to jet fuel or fumes on Tuesday when a Delta flight was forced to dump fuel over a Los Angeles schoolyard and school buildings during an emergency shortly after departing Los Angeles International Airport.

At least 20 children were treated for minor injuries after being exposed to the jet fuel, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. The department said a total of 60 people were treated from six schools in the area.

Delta Flight 89, on its way to China, Shanghai, experienced an engine issue that required it to return to LAX shortly after takeoff, the company said in a statement. The plane landed safely after the fuel release, which the airline said was required as part of the procedure.

“We are in touch with Los Angeles World Airports and the L.A. County Fire Department and share concerns regarding reported minor injuries to adults and children at a school in the area,” Delta said.

The Federal Aviation Administration said it was looking into the reports that school children were being treated for fuel exposure.

The FAA also said that there are special fuel-dumping procedures for any aircraft operating from any major U.S. airport: “These procedures call for fuel to be dumped over designated unpopulated areas, typically at higher altitudes so the fuel atomizes and disperses before it reaches the ground.”

LAX confirmed that it was aware of the Delta flight reporting a mechanical issue and conducting an “emergency fuel release” before returning.

“We are concerned about reports of impacts on the ground from the fuel release, and are in close communication with Delta and first responders as their investigations continue,” the airport said on its Twitter account.

Rosenbauer delivers the 2,000th PANTHER to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL), Florida

From FireFighterNation

Two brand new Rosenbauer PANTHER 6×6 HRET aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) vehicles were put into service on January 13 at the Broward County, Florida, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) in an event featuring a traditional push-back ceremony. In the future, these vehicles will act as the flagships of the airport fire brigade. The performance, safety, and ergonomics of the high-end devices exceed the NFPA and FAA requirements.

The PANTHER is the premier class among Rosenbauer fire engines, an ARFF vehicle with outstanding performance values executed with a breathtaking design. The PANTHER 6×6, which is the variant in use at FLL, is powered by a 700-hp Volvo Penta D-16 engine (Tier IV final), which accelerates the 39-ton vehicle from 0 to 50 mph in less than 34 seconds and allows it to achieve a top speed of 72 mph. The all-wheel chassis, together with a low center of gravity and its proven rigid axle system, give the PANTHER stability and safe driving characteristics. The crew is optimally protected during the drive by the certified cabin, which is crash-tested according to ECE R29-3 requirements.


The extinguishing technology is at the heart of the PANTHER and has been the core competence of the Rosenbauer Group for more than a century. The vehicles for FLL provide a system output of 2,100 gpm, whereby the water and foam admixture can be simultaneously discharged. The fully integrated extinguishing technology includes two high-performance turrets, one of which is mounted on the extinguishing arm (HRET), and a high-volume low-attack (HVLA) turret on the front of the vehicle. Up to 1,200 gpm of extinguishing agent (water or water/foam mixture) can be applied via the HRET and/or HVLA monitor. Throw reaches from both monitors of approximately 85 m enable firefighters to work from a safe distance while covering the entire length of any aircraft fuselage. The extinguishing arm can be raised up to 16.5 m and enables targeted firefighting from an elevated position.

The extinguishing arm is also equipped with a piercing tool, the spike of which can be pushed through the shell of the aircraft in order to deliver extinguishing agents to an aircraft’s interior cabin or cargo compartments. For self-protection, such as when jet fuel may flow beneath the vehicle, it is equipped with under truck nozzles that allow the operator to apply a foam blanet under the truck.

The PANTHER at FLL has 3,170 gallons of water, 396 gallons of foaming agent, and 250 kg each of extinguishing powder and extinguishing gas (Halotron) on board. Powder and either water or a water/foam mixture can be applied simultaneously via a twin-agent hose reel or the HVLA bumper turret. The extinguishing gas (Halotron) is either applied via its own rapid attack unit (including reel) or via the piercing tool located at the tip of the extinguishing arm.

All of the PANTHERs’ firefighting equipment can be controlled from the cabin. The displays and controls in the cockpits are ergonomically optimized and arranged so that they can be operated and viewed by both the driver and the front passenger. The extinguishing arms and turrets are controlled by means of joysticks, which record the movements of the human hand very precisely and transmit them in an equally precise and targeted manner.

For more information, visit www.rosenbauer.com.

Product Post: Federal Signal LEDTCL97 Traffic Clearing Light

Alert Drivers Faster
Federal Signal’s LED Traffic Clearing Light (TCL) is designed to bring attention to drivers as a fire apparatus or ambulanceis approaching from the rear of their vehicle. The LED TCL’s optics and unique sequence of flash patterns direct light to the driver’s rear-view mirror warning them of the emergency vehicle.

LED TCL and perimeter warning lights work together to help warn roadway traffic. While perimeter lights provide 360-degree of warning light around the emergency vehicle, the LED TCL produces 250+ feet of directional light to the front of the emergency vehicle.

Specifications

  • Current Draw 3.0 A/1.5 A (6×4) – 7.0 A (9×7)
  • Input Voltage 12/24 VDC (6×4) – 12 VDC (9×7)
  • Operating Temperature Range -40˚C to 80˚C
  • Physical Specs. (HxWxD) 6×4 – 4.15 in (10.5 cm) x 6.56 (16.7 cm) x 1.67 in (4.2 cm)
  • 9×7 – 7.15 in (18.1 cm) x 9.16 (23.3 cm) x 1.66 in (4.2 cm)
  • Ship Weight 6×4 – 3.6 lbs (1.6 kg)
  • 9×7 – 2.0 lbs (0.9 kg)

Product Post: Code 3 Chase Dual Color Deck/Dash Light

The Code 3 Chase Dual Color Deck/Dash Light (CD3766-VDL) is a low profile two color LED light for interior applications. This Dual Color Directional LED Warning Light that can be programmed to flash either color individually or alternately. Available in 4 color combinations, the CD3766-VDL is a deck/dash dual color warning light that is ideal for a wide variety of auxiliary warning applications. Featuring linear optics, 12 high intensity LEDs (6 per color), 11 flash patterns, individual control of each LED color and an aluminum housing with encapsulated electronics. The CD3766-VDL is an extremely bright, versatile and robust warning light. 

Available Color Combinations:

  • CD3766AW-VDL  (6) Amber and (6) White LEDs
  • CD3766BW-VDL  (6) Blue and (6) White LEDs
  • CD3766RB-VDL  (6) Red and (6) Blue LEDs
  • CD3766RW-VDL  (6) Red and (6) White LEDs

Features:

  • 12 high intensity LEDs (6 LEDs of each color).
  • Each LED color can be controlled independently.
  • 69 flash patterns.
  • Aluminum housing, polycarbonate lens.
  • Encapsulated electronics.
  • Deck/Dash Mount: 4 suction cups or 2 ‘L’ brackets.
  • 9 foot long cable 2 switch plug.

Specifications:

  • Voltage:12/24 Volt
  • Current: 0.9 Amps
  • Temperature Range: -22F to +122F (-30C to +50C)
  • Meets SAE J595 Class I, California Title 13, R65, and R10 when properly configured.
  • Dimensions: 2.25′ H x 7.75′ W x 4.50′ D (57 mm x 197 mm x 114 mm).

Code 3 Five Year Warranty

Product Post: The Vertex Super-LED Hide-A-Way Light

The Vertex Super-LED Hide-A-Way Light (VTX609) is an ultra small, self-contained, hemispheric LED light, for surface mount or internal mount within composite head lamps, cornering lamps and tail light assemblies. This self-contained unit uses an in-line combination lamp driver/flasher which means a simple installation with no separate lamp drivers, flashers, ballast or power supplies to install. The VTX609’s lens technology enhances light distribution for optimum dispersion and intensity of the warning signal at critical angles. Includes pre-wired and sealed 8 foot neoprene cable to the lighthead and lamp driver, with 4-22 gauge power, pattern and synchronize pigtail wires. Only 7/8″ in height, this small hemispheric LED lighthead is perfect for most applications where size and intensity are critically important.

Features:

  • Each light module contains 6 – Gen3 Super-LEDs.
  • 25 Scan-Lock flash patterns.
  • Includes synchronize feature for alternating and synchronous flashing of multiple lamps.
  • Aluminum base and advanced thermal heat management system is designed for endless years of trouble free service.
  • Pre-wired and sealed 8 foot neoprene cable to the lighthead and lamp driver, with 4-22 gauge power, pattern and synchronize pigtail wires.
  • Lamp and in-line lamp driver are fully encapsulated for moisture and vibration resistance.
  • Omni-directional lighthead mounts in any position (orientation), vertically or horizontally.
  • Available in amber, blue, white and red.
  • SAE Class 5.
  • No RFI noise emitted.
  • Voltage: 10 – 16 VDC.
  • Amp draw: .750/peak and .300/average.
  • 1″ hole makes this LED module backwards compatible with all standard 1″ Hide-A-Way style lamps.
  • Two screws hold the lamp securely in place.

Available Versions:

  • VTX609A – Amber
  • VTX609B – Blue
  • VTX609C – White
  • VTX609D – Red/White
  • VTX609E – Blue/White
  • VTX609J – Red/Blue
  • VTX609R – Red

Whelen 5 Year Warranty

NOTE: LED color must match color of the lens it is installed behind, except for clear lens.

Vertex Hide-A-Way Light assemblies are sold individually.
Price shown is for ONE (1) Vertex Lighthead.
This product is NOT sold in pairs.

Product Post: Whelen HHS4200 Hand Held Programmable Siren

Whelen’s innovative HHS Series features standard switching and a completely redesigned molded amplifier housing, providing excellent durability. Various control heads are compatible with the HHS Series. Completely configurable by the user, these control heads are ergonomically designed for situational awareness of the officer.

This model is the same as HHS3200, Except with WeCan Port that Supports the Inner Edge FST, XLP and RST Series, WeCan Lightbars, and a WeCan External Amplifier (Not for Use with the CANEM16 Expansion Module)

HHS4200Siren Amplifier with Hand-Held Controller (CANCTL5)
HHS4206Siren Amplifier with Slide Switch and Rotary Knob Controller (CANCTL6)
HHS4207Siren Amplifier with 21 Push-Buttons and Slide Switch Controller (CANCTL7)

Features:

  • Meets Class A requirements of SAE, AMECA, KKK1822, and California Title XIII when paired with one Whelen 100 watt speaker
  • Windows based programming software for full customization and configuration
  • Three control heads available
  • Two year warranty

Specifications:

  • Durable Black molded housing
  • Wail, Yelp, Piercer, Manual Siren, and Airhorn tones are preset standard
  • 37 total tones, including mechanical tones
  • Includes 20′ interconnect cable
  • External spade-type fuses
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Ore. police chief named as new Philadelphia police commissioner

By Chris Palmer, David Gambacorta and Anna Orso of the Philadelphia Inquirer

PHILADELPHIA — Mayor Jim Kenney on Monday named Danielle Outlaw, the chief of police in Portland, Ore., as Philadelphia’s new police commissioner, marking a new chapter for a 6,500-member force plagued by scandal.

The appointment is a landmark decision for Kenney, who is just days away from beginning his second term, and it comes as the department continues to grapple with fallout from allegations made in lawsuits and news accounts that the department’s culture is marred by rampant sexual harassment, discrimination and racism.

Mayor Jim Kenney on Monday named Danielle Outlaw, the chief of police in Portland, Ore., as Philadelphia's new police commissioner, marking a new chapter for a 6,500-member force plagued by scandal. (Photo/John Rudoff/Sipa-USA/TNS)
Mayor Jim Kenney on Monday named Danielle Outlaw, the chief of police in Portland, Ore., as Philadelphia’s new police commissioner, marking a new chapter for a 6,500-member force plagued by scandal. (Photo/John Rudoff/Sipa-USA/TNS)

Outlaw, 43, will be the first black woman to lead the city’s police force, and the second woman to take over as commissioner. She has led Portland’s 877-member force since 2018 after a 20-year career as an officer in her hometown of Oakland, Calif.

Her short tenure in Portland — one of the nation’s most liberal and whitest cities — did not pass without controversy, as some critics questioned her department’s handling of rallies and counterprotests, as well as a decision last summer to clear a protest camp that surrounded an Immigration and Customs Enforcement office.

Still, in an emailed statement, Kenney said Outlaw was the right person to take on Philadelphia’s host of challenges — including persistent gun violence that continued to rise in 2019.

“I am convinced she has the conviction, courage and compassion needed to bring long-overdue reform to the Department,” Kenney said in the email. “After meeting and speaking with her at length, I came away confident that Danielle Outlaw possesses the strength, integrity and empathy vital to the tasks ahead.”

Outlaw, in the same statement, said that although she was new to Philadelphia, “I am not new to the challenges of big-city, 21st-century policing.”

“I will work relentlessly to reduce crime in Philadelphia — particularly the insidious gun violence that plagues too many communities,” Outlaw said. “And I will do so in a way that ensures all people are treated equitably regardless of their gender identity, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation.”

Her appointment comes after a four-month search process largely cloaked in secrecy. Christine Coulter has been serving as acting commissioner since the abrupt resignation of former Commissioner Richard Ross in August, after a woman accused him in a lawsuit of retaliating against her for breaking off their affair — an allegation Ross has denied.

Stakeholders in the city’s criminal justice and political establishments reacted generally favorably to the news Monday.

“Most of us are very encouraged,” Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell said of colleagues in City Hall. “They’re especially happy that she’s a woman — and happy of course that it’s an African American woman — but especially happy that she’s a woman.”

Rochelle Bilal, president of the Guardian Civic League, a black police officers’ organization, said in a statement that the group was disappointed Kenney did not appoint a woman of color from within the department, but that “we are committed to embracing (Outlaw) and ensuring her success here in the city of Philadelphia.”

John McNesby, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5, said in a statement that the police officers’ union also was hoping an internal candidate would win the job, but that “we look forward to a professional, working partnership with Chief Outlaw that includes making our city safer for our residents and our (6,500-plus) police officers.”

Former Philadelphia Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey called Outlaw’s selection “a good choice.”

“She’s very bright, very talented,” said Ramsey, who first met Outlaw several years ago when he was president of the Major Cities Chiefs Association. “(The Police Department) is in a position now where an outsider will be a breath of fresh air.”

Outlaw took over in Portland in 2017, and she faced several controversies during her time leading the force.

Her department was criticized last year for using flash-bang devices and some chemical irritants during a right-wing rally and anti-fascist counterprotest, and she also made a decision last summer to clear a protest camp that surrounded an Immigration and Customs Enforcement office.

This year, after a video showed right-wing activist Andy Ngo being punched by counterprotesters, Outlaw drew scorn from national figures including Donald Trump Jr. and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who claimed that her officers allowed violence against right-wing activists for political reasons. Portland’s mayor denied that assertion.

The Oregonian reported Monday that Outlaw told Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler on Friday about her impending departure, and that the mayor rejected her request to continue in the post through Jan. 1.

Kenney said Outlaw would begin in Philadelphia on Feb. 10.

Daryl Turner, president of the Portland Police Association, the local police union, said in an interview that he learned Monday morning from the Portland mayor’s police policy liaison that Outlaw was to be introduced as Philadelphia’s new commissioner.

“You’re getting a damn good chief,” Turner said. “We hate to lose her.”

Outlaw will inherit challenges. The lawsuit that prompted Ross’ resignation also claimed that the Police Department had been overrun by a culture of sexual harassment and discrimination — allegations that seemed to gain steam when one of Ross’ former high-ranking commanders, chief inspector Carl Holmes, was subsequently arrested and charged with sexually assaulting three female officers.

Ross’ departure came less than a week after he had helped negotiate the end to a violent standoff with a gunman in Tioga, who allegedly shot and wounded six cops during a botched drug raid.

Earlier in the summer, more than 300 active-duty cops were accused of posting racist or offensive material on their personal Facebook accounts, a scandal that included other jurisdictions around the country and attracted national attention. It led to the benching of 72 Philly officers and the forced departures of 15 — the department’s largest disciplinary action in recent memory.

After Ross stepped down, Coulter was named interim commissioner, the first woman to lead the department. But she soon had to apologize for a controversy of her own — a photo from the 1990s that surfaced showing her wearing a shirt that appeared to refer to the infamous Los Angeles police beating of Rodney King.

The tumult has come amid a backdrop of ongoing gun violence: More people have been shot in the city in 2019 than in any year since 2010, and the annual homicide tally has matched last year’s decade-long high.

Kenney’s search process was largely conducted behind closed doors, with key players in the city’s criminal justice system saying as recently as last week that they had been largely out of the loop on whom the mayor was considering to fill the post.

Outlaw has a sociology degree from the University of San Francisco and a master of business administration degree from Pepperdine University. She joined the Oakland Police Department just out of college.McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Police program clears homeless infractions in exchange for shelter stays

By Gary Warth from The San Diego Union-Tribune

SAN DIEGO — Homeless people who face a ticket or arrest by San Diego police officers are being offered a chance to have the infraction cleared if they agree to stay for 30 days in one of the city’s large tented bridge shelters.

San Diego police Capt. Scott Wahl said the new program could help stabilize lives and get people connected with services, while also allowing officers to enforce laws on the street.

Homeless Outreach Team member Deputy Aaron Bert looks for a person who was living under a bridge and had asked for an appointment to talk with them about getting help. (John Gibbins/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS)
Homeless Outreach Team member Deputy Aaron Bert looks for a person who was living under a bridge and had asked for an appointment to talk with them about getting help. (John Gibbins/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS)

“I feel like we’ve started this division because we wanted to be a positive impact on ending homelessness,” Wahl said about the department’s neighborhood policing division that was formed last year. The division includes homeless outreach teams and officers who enforce quality-of-life laws that often involve homeless people.

“We’re all trying to do our part in ending homelessness, and we want to do it in a way that’s compassionate, but also has accountability,” he said.

The incentive is a revision to a similar effort that began in July. Police officers last summer began offering shelter beds in lieu of citations to homeless people who had been contacted for encroachment, illegal lodging, littering or other minor quality-of-life infractions.

Wahl said about 300 people took the offer, but there was a problem.

“We noticed that 67 percent of people blew out the back door on the very first day,” he said about people who took the offer to avoid citations but had no intention of staying sheltered. “They’re circumventing the criminal justice system intentionally.”

The revised approach still offers shelter beds in lieu of citations, but the tickets aren’t torn up quite so soon. If somebody leaves the shelter before 30 days, the citation will be enforced.

Wahl sees the incentive as having a two-fold benefit. While addressing quality-of-life infractions in neighborhoods, it also gives homeless people a month to learn about programs that could help them find housing and overcome issues related to their homelessness.

“They can still go outside,” Wahl said about the shelter. “It’s not jail. They’re still free to come and go, but they have to be in at night.”

Under the program, 50 of the 128 beds at the new shelter run by the Alpha Project are reserved for homeless people brought in by officers. The shelter opened at 17th Street and Imperial Avenue in November, and the police incentive program began shortly afterwards.

The shelter was the site of the Dec. 28 fatal shooting of Alpha Project security guard Ernest Buchanan. Police are still investigating the shooting and have released no new information.

Bob McElroy, president and CEO of the Alpha Project, said the 50 beds are filled most nights, and the incentive program has shown some success after working out a few early kinks. One homeless person has found housing after being brought in by officers in the program, he said.

The shelter incentive is an outgrowth of a program the Police Department’s Homeless Outreach Team, or HOT, has been conducting for several years. Officers who encounter someone who is homeless may offer the person one of 50 beds that have been reserved for the department at Father Joe’s Villages.

Only one in 10 homeless people police encounter on downtown streets accept the offer of a shelter bed in a non-enforcement encounter, Wahl said, a situation he admits is frustrating.

He and others say they have seen better retention for those who do accept the officer of a shelter bed under the revised program, but it’s still too early to judge whether it’s effective.

In the first few weeks, Wahl said 46 percent of people brought in under the new program walked away before the 30 days were up. He acknowledged that’s a better outcome than the 67 percent who left under the earlier program but wondered if the cold and wet weather might have motivated people to stay longer.

McElroy said he believes people have been staying longer in recent weeks, and he sees some potential  for the program.

“That month gives us an opportunity to find out who they are, and they can find out who we are,” he said.

McElroy had reservations in the beginning. He said some people who were brought in had kits to use heroin and methamphetamine because they had not been properly searched, and others showed up with many more bags of possessions than are allowed inside the shelter.

McElroy said better communication with law enforcement ironed out those problems. In another issue, he said people in the program originally were not offered the same services as others in the shelter, but rather limited services from the county. McElroy said he made it clear in meetings with county officials that people in the facility would have access all of its resources.

“If they come in, they have the same access to our case manager and housing navigators,” he said. “We made it clear… we’re not changing any of our programs.”

Some advocates for people experiencing homelessness have expressed a few concerns about the incentive program, noting that reserving shelter beds for people brought in by the HOT teams reduces the number available for others who want to get in. Homeless advocate Michael McConnell said people who walk away from the shelter before the 30 days are over could find that prosecutors use that information against them in court.

The new incentive program is one of a few changes that have been made to the Police Department’s outreach efforts since the neighborhood policing division was formed. Wahl said changes include expanding the homeless outreach teams with four county Health and Human Service Agency specialists and three Psychiatric Emergency Response Team members who patrol with officers daily.

Earlier this year, two case workers were added to specifically work with people who accept offers of a bed at Father Joe’s Villages, and Wahl said he is hopeful that the change will lead to a greater success rate for homeless people who accept offers of shelter beds from officers.McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Australia Sends Military to Help Wildfire Towns

In this Monday, Dec. 30, 2019 photo provided by State Government of Victoria, a helicopter tackles a wildfire in East Gippsland, Victoria state, Australia. Wildfires burning across Australia’s two most-populous states trapped residents of a seaside town in apocalyptic conditions Tuesday, Dec. 31, and were feared to have destroyed many properties and caused fatalities. (State Government of Victoria via AP)

By TRISTAN LAVALETTE Associated Press

PERTH, Australia (AP) — Australia deployed military ships and aircraft Wednesday to help communities ravaged by apocalyptic wildfires that have left at least 17 people dead nationwide and sent thousands of residents and holidaymakers fleeing to the shoreline.

Navy ships and military aircraft were bringing water, food and fuel to towns where supplies were depleted and roads were cut off by the fires. Authorities confirmed three bodies were found Wednesday at Lake Conjola on the south coast of New South Wales, bringing the death toll in the state to 15.

More than 175 homes have been destroyed in the region.

Some 4,000 people in the coastal town of Mallacoota fled to the shore as winds pushed a fire toward their homes under a sky darkened by smoke and turned blood-red by flames. Stranded residents and vacationers slept in their cars, and gas stations and surf clubs transformed into evacuation areas. Dozens of homes burned before winds changed direction late Tuesday, sparing the rest of the town.

This Monday, Dec. 30, 2019 photo provided by State Government of Victoria shows wildfires in East Gippsland, Victoria state, Australia. Wildfires burning across Australia’s two most-populous states trapped residents of a seaside town in apocalyptic conditions Tuesday, Dec. 31, and were feared to have destroyed many properties and caused fatalities. (State Government of Victoria via AP)

Victoria Emergency Commissioner Andrew Crisp told reporters the Australian Defence Force was moving naval assets to Mallacoota on a supply mission that would last two weeks and helicopters would also fly in more firefighters since roads were inaccessible.

“I think that was our biggest threat in terms of what are we doing with the children if we need to go in the water to protect ourselves given the fact that they are only 1, 3 and 5,” tourist Kai Kirschbaum told ABC Australia. “If you’re a good swimmer it doesn’t really matter if you have to be in the water for a longer time, but doing that with three kids that would have been, I think, a nightmare.”

Conditions cooled Wednesday, but the fire danger remained very high across the state, where four people are missing.

“We have three months of hot weather to come. We do have a dynamic and a dangerous fire situation across the state,” Crisp said.

In the New South Wales town of Conjola Park, 89 properties were confirmed destroyed and cars were melted by Tuesday’s fires. More than 100 fires were still burning in the state Wednesday, though none were at an emergency level. Seven people have died this week, including a volunteer firefighter, a man found in a burnt-out car and a father and son who died in their house.

Firefighting crews took advantage of easing conditions on Wednesday to restore power to critical infrastructure and conduct some back burning, before conditions were expected to deteriorate Saturday as high temperatures and strong winds return.

“There is every potential that the conditions on Saturday will be as bad or worse than we saw yesterday,” New South Wales Rural Fire Service Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers said.

In this Monday, Dec. 30, 2019 photo provided by State Government of Victoria, a helicopter tackles a wildfire in East Gippsland, Victoria state, Australia. Wildfires burning across Australia’s two most-populous states trapped residents of a seaside town in apocalyptic conditions Tuesday, Dec. 31, and were feared to have destroyed many properties and caused fatalities. (State Government of Victoria via AP)

The early and devastating start to Australia’s summer wildfires has led authorities to rate this season the worst on record and reignited debate about whether Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s conservative government has taken enough action on climate change. Australia is the world’s largest exporter of coal and liquefied natural gas, but Morrison rejected calls last month to downsize Australia’s lucrative coal industry.

Morrison won a surprise third term in May. Among his government’s pledges was to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26% to 28% by 2030 — a modest figure compared to the center-left opposition Labor party’s pledge of 45%.

The leader of the minor Australian Greens party, Richard Di Natale, demanded a royal commission, the nation’s highest form of inquiry, on the wildfire crisis.

“If he (Morrison) refuses to do so, we will be moving for a parliamentary commission of inquiry with royal commission-like powers as soon as parliament returns,” Di Natale said in a statement.

This Monday, Dec. 30, 2019 photo provided by State Government of Victoria shows wildfires in East Gippsland, Victoria state, Australia. Wildfires burning across Australia’s two most-populous states trapped residents of a seaside town in apocalyptic conditions Tuesday, Dec. 31, and were feared to have destroyed many properties and caused fatalities. (State Government of Victoria via AP)

About 5 million hectares (12.35 million acres) of land have burned nationwide over the past few months, with at least 17 people dead and more than 1,000 homes destroyed.

Some communities canceled New Year’s fireworks celebrations, but Sydney’s popular display over its iconic harbor controversially went ahead in front of more than a million revelers. The city was granted an exemption to a total fireworks ban in place there and elsewhere to prevent new wildfires.

This Monday, Dec. 30, 2019 photo provided by State Government of Victoria shows wildfires in East Gippsland, Victoria state, Australia. Wildfires burning across Australia’s two most-populous states trapped residents of a seaside town in apocalyptic conditions Tuesday, Dec. 31, and were feared to have destroyed many properties and caused fatalities. (State Government of Victoria via AP)

Smoke from the wildfires meant Canberra, the nation’s capital, on Wednesday had air quality more than 21 times the hazardous rating to be reportedly the worst in the world.

The smoke has also wafted across the Tasman Sea and into New Zealand.

This Monday, Dec. 30, 2019 photo provided by State Government of Victoria shows wildfires in East Gippsland, Victoria state, Australia. Wildfires burning across Australia’s two most-populous states trapped residents of a seaside town in apocalyptic conditions Tuesday, Dec. 31, and were feared to have destroyed many properties and caused fatalities. (State Government of Victoria via AP)

All contents © copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Product Post: 4 inch Round Quad-Flash Warning Lights

From A.L. Lightech comes the 4 inch Round Quad-Flash Warning Lights featuring A.L. Lightech’s Quad-Flash pattern.

No steady burn, not suitable for Stop/Tail/Turn use.

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SHELLS Reflector LED &
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Product Post: Code 3 Micro Reflex Mini Lightbar

The Code 3 Micro Reflex Mini Lightbar is a compact, powerful, warning solution that offers the flexibility of either permanent or vacuum-magnet mounting. Available in single and dual color, the Micro Reflex microbar is ideal for volunteer markets or applications where sleek styling and high performance are needed.

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NY State Police testing new vertical light bars on vehicles

From PoliceOne

NEW YORK — The New York State Police has modified the light bars on top of their police cruisers to make emergency vehicles more noticeable.

WHEC reports the new light bars sit both horizontally and vertically atop police vehicles. The goal is to make vehicles more noticeable, especially from the side of the road, so drivers have more time to move over.

New light bars installed on New York State Police vehicles are designed to increase visibility. (Photo/NYSP)
New light bars installed on New York State Police vehicles are designed to increase visibility. (Photo/NYSP)

“It’s incredibly dangerous on the side of the roadway and most of the people don’t have any idea because they’ve never been on the side of the road and if they have it’s only been for moments,” Trooper Mark O’Donnell told WHEC. “But the police officers, the firefighters, the EMS people…their 8 to 12-hour shift is in the roadway or on the side of the road, so give us a break.”

NYSP plans to test the new lights to see if they impact driver behavior and emergency vehicle safety, WHEC reports.

O’Donnell couldn’t say how long NYSP is planning to test the impact of the new light bars or how much they’ll cost.

Massachusetts police start new program to build community relationships, locate suspects

From Jeanette DeForge at MassLive.com

CHICOPEE, Mass. — For 22 years, police Sgt. Thomas Gazda has been responding to call after call, mainly arresting or warning suspects before heading to the next problem.

But starting in January that’s going to change. Gazda has been selected as the leader of a three-person team that will take a new approach to crime-fighting by working with business owners, community leaders, social services agencies and the troublemakers themselves.

A three-person 'C3' team was created to address crime and build community relationships in downtown Chicopee, Mass. The program follows similar models used by the military. (Photo/TNS)
A three-person ‘C3’ team was created to address crime and build community relationships in downtown Chicopee, Mass. The program follows similar models used by the military. (Photo/TNS)

The Police Department is instituting a “C3” policing unit in Chicopee Center. The name stands for Counter Criminal Continuum, and the program follows practices used by the military in war zones, having officers form friendships with law-abiding people in the neighborhoods and using those relationships to identify criminals and connect people who need help with services.

“We know what we are doing is not working in the center. We want to bring in a new strategy,” Police Chief William R. Jebb said.

In the past year or so, there have been a number of problems downtown including a homicide, several shootings and assaults, and a brawl involving at least 300 teens.

“We have seen a spike in crime in recent years and there have been a lot more problems with nuisance crimes … vagrancy, car breaks, small disturbances,” Jebb said. “We want to attack it now. We want to be proactive.”

As part of that effort, the Police Department is renting a former bank office at 35 Center St. for a substation that will be staffed by the C3 officers, with the assistance of volunteers, and open to residents. The department had a downtown office in the Chamber of Commerce building, but it was difficult to find. Now the building is being repurposed and the police are being evicted, Jebb said.

The new office is easily accessible and will be very visible. Residents will be encouraged to drop in to talk to the officers. There are conference rooms for community meetings and other gatherings.

The key to the program is to have officers work with business owners and community leaders, such as members of the Chicopee Center Neighborhood Association. The effort is wide-reaching and will involve anyone who wants to get involved, and the C3 officers will hold regular meetings, Jebb said.

Jebb said he remembers Chicopee Center was always busy when he was growing up. Now major development is being planned for the downtown with the conversion of the Cabotville and Lyman mills into apartments. But people must feel downtown is safe to attract new investments in the city, he said.

In addition to the C3 effort, police will have a downtown walking beat around the clock and regular patrols with cruisers. The difference is while officers rotate in and out for the walking beats, the same C3 officers — Gazda, Keith Hevey and John Slachetka — will be a constant presence downtown so they can build relationships with the community, Jebb said. The three officers will work flexible shifts so they can attend evening meetings, weekend activities or other events, he said.

The program takes extra resources, but this month a regional dispatch center with civilian dispatchers opened in Chicopee, freeing up six officers daily from previous duties of handling calls and enabling the city to try C3 policing, Jebb said.

The C3 team will be in close communication with school resource officers, who will share information about youth gangs and other issues likely to spill into the neighborhoods, as one violent gang of youths did about four years ago.

They also will work with the building and health departments to crack down on code enforcement issues. “We want to attack quality-of-life issues,” Jebb said.

Jebb used an example of Lucy Wisniowski Park, which had become such a gathering spot for gangs and drug activity that families avoided it, even though most children in the nieghborhood had no other place to play. In a case like that, the C3 officers might organize basketball games or simply spend time in the park to make children feel safe and show the gangs they’re unwelcome, he said.

One of the goals is to not just arrest people, but also to help them get into a better situation.

“When you are dealing with gangs and posses some people need to be locked up, but others can get out if they are offered an opportunity to get a GED or a job,” said state Trooper Michael Cutone, who developed the C3 program based on military methods he witnessed while serving overseas with the U.S. Army. He is training the Chicopee C3 officers.

Gazda was selected as the leader of the team because he is highly motivated, community-oriented and has the personality and experience for the position, Jebb said. The chief asked other interested officers to apply and nine responded. Applicants put together PowerPoint presentations and were interviewed. Hevey, an officer for 3\u00bd years, and Slachetka, a 7-year officer, were selected. Jebb said he hopes to eventually expand to a five-person C3 team.

The three C3 officers agreed that, under the old system, they didn’t have time to talk with people and find out more about their circumstances or follow up on problems they learned about on calls.

A suspect may be shoplifting because he is living in a tent on the riverbank and doesn’t know about the city’s soup kitchen, Gazda said. An addict may want to stop using heroin but not know where to turn.

“We have a homeless population downtown and we get a lot of calls about them trespassing, shoplifting,” Gazda said. “Maybe we can help them.”

Jebb said he consulted with Springfield Police Commissioner Cheryl C. Clapprood, who has been involved in C3 policing since her department started using the model about 10 years ago.

“What we have seen is a drop in crime in the areas that we put it in,” Clapprood said. The city now has C3 units in four neighborhoods, the South End, the North End, Hill-McKnight and Forest Park, which were selected due to income levels, home ownership, education levels of residents and crime problems. About 45 officers work in the C3 units.

The key is to work with community partners, Clapprood said. Springfield’s C3 units have a close relationship with Baystate Health, which now has a trained medical professional who often responds with police to calls for people who are suicidal or in crisis, she said.

“I think the most important piece of advice I have is to encompass and embrace the social service partners,” Clapprood said. “They have to be there for you to address alcohol and addiction and truancy.”

Baystate will also have an office in the Chicopee Center police substation to assist those who have an addiction or are mentally ill, Jebb said.

The C3 units in Springfield also work closely with Quebec Team officers, who work in the schools. “That is a big factor if you can reach kids at risk who are likely to join gangs,” Clapprood said. Sometimes one mentor — a coach, a teacher, an officer — can make a big difference in ensuring a child becomes a good citizen, she said.

“You can’t do it for everyone, it isn’t a panacea,” she said. “For some of these kids it is day-to-day, they are used to surviving. But if you can make them understand they can be what they want to be, it helps.”

Wildfire Damages Homes in Chile

From WildLandFireFighter

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The federal government in Chile declared an alert Tuesday over a wildfire that had damaged dozens of homes on the outskirts of the port city of Valparaiso.

Photo by Hemerson Coelho on Pexels.com

News video showed large tongues of flames along the hills overlooking the city. People walked through smoke carrying bags and even pets.

The National Forestry Commission of the Agriculture Ministry said on Twitter that at least 100 hectares (250 acres) were burned by afternoon and people had been evacuated from the area.

Firefighters from Valparaiso and Viña del Mar were being aided by helicopters and airplanes in battling the blaze.

Agriculture Minister Antonio Walker said late in the day that at least 120 homes had been affected by the fire.

All contents © copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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Whelen’s innovative HHS Series features standard switching and a completely redesigned molded amplifier housing, providing excellent durability. Various control heads are compatible with the HHS Series. Completely configurable by the user, these control heads are ergonomically designed for situational awareness of the officer.

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California Department Gets a Look at All-Electric Fire Apparatus

From KPIX 5

The Menlo Park (CA) Fire District recently demonstrated an all-electric fire apparatus and the department’s chief also announced plans to add one to the department’s fleet by the end of 2021.

The truck made its United States debut at FDIC International 2017 and is manufactured by Rosenbauer.

Although the drive line is electric, it uses diesel to fuel its generator for the rigs backup battery.

The district’s chief said the department plans to make changes to the unit to fit the department’s needs and will test it first as a rescue truck for for as a pumper for fighting fires.

Although the cost of the rig is about $1.2 million, department representatives claim it will save money in the long run because the electric motor does not require fluids, filters, or fuel.

Firefighters Rescue Man Stuck in Well for Four Hours

From Firefighternation

Technical rescue work for Pearl River firefighters

Rockland Report – On Thursday, December 5, 2019 at 6:23 pm, the Orangetown Police Department responded to a residence on West Washington Avenue in Pearl River in regards to an injured male. A 20 year old male working for a private company was inspecting the driveway when he fell into a dry unused water well on the property.

The individual was in the hole for 4 hours before he was discovered. The Pearl River Fire Department were able to remove the man from the hole In less than 27 minutes. In the video above we interview Pearl River Fire Chief Spoelstra and have some exclusive photos of the rescue.

The man was transported to Westchester Medical Center for further elevation.

Tualitin Valley Fire and Rescue Donating Medical Supplies to Nepal

One of our local organizations, Tualitin Valley Fire and Rescue, is collecting medical supplies to donate to Nepal Medics throughout the holiday season. Read more below.

‘Tis the season for giving! We were honored to donate medical supplies to a fantastic local organization that is serving halfway around the world to support the people of Nepal in South Asia.

Our emergency medical services team recently evaluated our procedures and equipment for supporting patients who cannot breathe on their own. Also known as airway management, we found there was a more effective tool that would better serve our patients.

This left a surplus of about 200 of our previous airway tools. We connected with Nepal Medics and learned the organization could use them in its efforts to provide medical supplies and training to the Nepali people. Nepal has approximately 29 million people and has been identified by the World Health Organization as one of the areas of the world most in need of emergency medicine.

Nepal Medics, which is based in the Pacific Northwest and comprised of doctors, nurses, paramedics, and EMTs, is working to build an emergency response system that can be sustained by the local Nepali people. Nepal Medics was one of the three organizations chosen to do this important work and is making great strides to build a network of responders (56 percent of whom are women) who can serve a region that has elevation points of 70 meters to 8,848 meters above sea level.

We are thankful for the selfless work this group is doing, hope they can use these supplies to save lives, and encourage you to learn more about this region and this program.

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Tech Aims to Predict Power Line Problems Before Disaster

By BRIAN MELLEY Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — B. Don Russell wasn’t thinking about preventing a wildfire when he developed a tool to detect power line problems before they cause equipment failures, blackouts or even deadly accidents.

The electrical engineering professor at Texas A&M University figured he might save a life if his creation could prevent someone from being electrocuted by a downed live wire.

But fire prevention may be his product’s biggest selling point in California and other places that have experienced devastating wildland blazes blamed on electrical equipment.

“If we can find things when they start to fail, if we can find things that are in the process of degrading before a catastrophic event occurs, such as a downed line that might electrocute someone or a fire starting or even an outage for their customers, that’s kind of the Holy Grail,” Russell said.

This undated photo provided by Texas A&M Engineering College shows Professor B. Don Russell. A new technology being tested by California utilities is aimed at diagnosing problems before they could cause power outages or spark wildfires. Russell, who invented the technology, said the software detects problems on power lines long before they occur and could be used to determine when to shut off electricity to prevent a fire from starting. (Texas A&M Engineering College via AP)

The technology he bills as a one-of-a kind diagnostic tool called Distribution Fault Anticipation is now in use in Texas and being tested in California by Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and Southern California Edison. The utilities have been blamed for some of the most destructive and deadliest fires in California.

Texas A&M said the technology will also be tested in New Zealand and Australia, which is currently reeling from destructive wildfires.

The tool detects variations in electrical currents caused by deteriorating conditions or equipment and notifies utility operators so they can send a crew to fix the problems, Russell said.

It can anticipate many problems in their early stages — sometimes years before they cause an outage — or direct a utility where to pre-emptively shut off circuits to prevent sparking wildfires, which utilities in California are now doing during fire conditions.

Before the technology was developed, electric companies often didn’t know they had a problem until there was a failure or a customer called to report sparks on power lines or a loss of electricity.

“The assumption the utility has to make today is it’s healthy until we get a call that says somebody’s lights (are) out,” Russell said. “By then the fire’s started or the outage has happened or the person’s electrocuted.”

Pedernales Electric Cooperative Inc. that serves about 330,000 customers outside San Antonio and Austin, Texas, began implementing the system after successful tests that began in 2015. The utility serves areas so rural that before the technology was installed, electricity powering a pump on a well could have been off for days before being detected by a farmer.

The devices installed at substations are now trouble-shooting all kinds of problems, said Robert Peterson, principal engineer for the utility.

“We’ve found tree branches on the line. Failing arrestors. Failing capacitors. Failing connections,” Peterson said. “It’s pretty amazing.”

In California, the testing process has just begun and there are no results yet, according to PG&E and SoCal Edison.

In Southern California, the software is running on just 60 of Edison’s 1,100 circuits in the utility’s high-risk fire zone, which accounts for about a quarter of its total circuits.

It’s just one of several tools the utility is testing to continue to modernize its system.

“There is no silver bullet,” said Bill Chiu, managing director of grid modernization and resiliency at SoCal Edison. “This is really more of a preventive measure. … The important point is this will be one of the suite of technology that will help us better assess the condition of the grid.”

Chiu said the technology was not at the point where it could be used by the utility to determine where to shut off power when dangerous winds are forecast during dry conditions. He also said it won’t pinpoint problems but can help dispatch crews closer to the source of equipment that needs to be fixed, saving time that would be wasted patrolling miles of power lines.

One question is whether the technology is economically feasible to deploy across tens of thousands of miles of power lines, Chiu said.

At an expense estimated between $15,000 to $20,000 per circuit, it could cost the utility $22 million in its high-risk fire area and that doesn’t include installation, operation and maintenance costs.

That’s a fraction of what a moderate wildfire sparked by a utility could cost, Russell said.

FILE – In this Oct. 18, 2019, file photo, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, workers bury utility lines in Paradise, Calif. A new technology being tested by California utilities, such as Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and Southern California Edison, is aimed at diagnosing problems before they could cause power outages or spark wildfires. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

PG&E, which is testing the technology in nine locations, was driven into bankruptcy protection this year while facing at least $20 billion in losses from a series of deadly and destructive wildfires in 2017 and 2018.

SoCal Edison recently agreed to pay $360 million to local governments to settle lawsuits over deadly wildfires sparked by its equipment during the last two years. That figure doesn’t include lawsuits by thousands who lost their homes in those fires or family members of 21 people killed when a mudslide tore down a fire-scarred mountain. Two other people were never found.

Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative found the cost was feasible and has installed it on about a sixth of its circuits for the utility that has about 100,000 customers in Central Texas, said Eric Kocian, chief engineer and system operations officer.

While the system has helped proactively diagnose problems and detect the cause of outages, the university team that developed it can often find problems the utility’s control room operators don’t detect.

Pedernales Coop is working with an analytics company to streamline the analysis of the myriad information the software evaluates to find and fix problems in a day, Peterson said.

FILE – In this Oct. 31, 2019, file photo, smoke from a wildfire known as the Maria Fire billows above Santa Paula, Calif. A new technology being tested by California utilities is aimed at diagnosing problems before they could cause power outages or spark wildfires. The technology invented by Texas A&M University was designed to provide greater reliability for utility customers, but its biggest selling point could be its use in preventing disasters. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)

Russell said he never had a hint the device his research team created 15 years ago would have fire prevention applications until a series of bad wildfires in Texas in 2011. They were focused on keeping power systems safe and the lights on.

“It’s obvious now in today’s context of the drought that we’ve had in California and other places,” Russell said. “Serendipitously, that’s where we find ourselves today.”

All contents © copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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Wildland Firefighting Fund Proposed for Washington State

By NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS Associated Press

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The state’s commissioner of Public Lands released a proposal Monday that provides some $63 million each year to fight wildfires and take steps to prevent them in the first place.

The bill would be the largest investment Washington has ever made to expand its wildfire team and restore the health of forests, the commissioner’s office said.

“Wildfire poses a clear and present danger to the health of Washington’s people, environment and economy,” Public Lands commissioner Hilary Franz said.

The bill is designed to “reclaim the clear, blue summer skies we know and love,” Franz said.

The bill will be introduced in the state House of Representatives by Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, D-West Seattle.

FILE – In this Aug. 21, 2015 file photo, a tanker airplane drops fire retardant on a wildfire burning near Twisp, Wash. The state’s commissioner of Public Lands released a proposal Monday, Dec. 2, 2019, that provides some $63 million each year to fight wildfires and take steps to prevent them in the first place. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

Money for the fund will come from a surcharge of $5 per year on each policy sold by property and casualty insurance companies across the state. Franz estimated it will cost the average household just over $1 per month, based on one homeowner’s policy and two auto policies.

“That’s cheaper than a Bud Light,” Franz said. “By sharing the burden, we acknowledge that wildfire effects all of us and minimize the cost to each household.”

Senate Minority Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, criticized the bill as a bad idea.

“This is a wrong-headed approach,” Schoesler said. “Just handing money to the system is not the answer.”

Schoesler said the proposal would dramatically raise costs for farmers and small business operators who own substantial property.

“It’s not pennies a month,” Schoesler said, adding that the fund could also be plundered in bad economic times to pay for general state expenses.

Schoesler said the state needs to do a better job of managing forests and fighting fires.

“We’re being asked to pay taxes to support management that is not good,” Schoesler said.

Franz noted that a 2018 wildfire near Twisp cost more than $40 million to fight. In 2018, state firefighters responded to a record 1,850 wildfires that burned 440,000 acres, Franz said. The 2019 fire season featured 130,000 acres burned, she said.

About 40% of wildfires the past two years were in western Washington, Franz said.

Costs to fight wildfires averaged $153 million per year the past five years, Franz said, and more than 2.2 million homes in the state are exposed to heightened wildfire risk.

The new money would pay for 42 new fulltime firefighters, 15 fire engine leaders and trucks, a helicopter, and various efforts to prevent wildfires in the first place, Franz said.

The Nature Conservancy supports the bill.

“It’s time to recognize the reality of fire in our forests and make the long-term investment our forests and communities need,” said Mike Stevens, state director of the environmental group.

Wayne Senter, director of Washington Fire Chiefs, said the group supports the bill because “it is local fire chiefs and the citizens we serve who depend on and benefit from” reducing wildfires.

State Sen. Kevin Van De Wege, D-Sequim, said climate change is causing more frequent and dangerous wildfires.

“Merely responding to fires, as we have traditionally done, costs far more in dollars, property and even human life than if we actively remove ground fuels” and take other steps to make forests more fire resistant, he said.

“That kind of strategy requires a stable revenue source,” he said.

This bill is different from a more complicated 2019 bill that failed to pass, in that the new bill contains a flat surcharge on insurance policies, Franz said.

It’s too early to predict how the 2020 fire season will look, Franz said.

Life after law enforcement

The transition to civilianhood is not easy, even under the best of circumstances

Originally published on Apr 11, 2019 by Psychology Today.     

For a law enforcement officer, leaving active duty can be a difficult time. Whether or not the person freely chooses to leave, is forced to leave, medically retires, or just hits that “mark” of retirement, a strong camaraderie among fellow officers has been developed.

At some point, officers must be prepared to become civilians. A loss of police power and a feeling that one is no longer part of the cop family strongly accompanies the change. To leave this interpersonal web of protection is not easy and is likened to removing an integral part of your personality. In research conducted by police psychologist and author J.M. Violanti, an officer commented: “It’s like I belonged to a big club. I made my mark, I was one of the guys, I did my job. Everyone in the station respects you. Suddenly, all of that is gone and you are on the outside looking in. I felt so different. I called the guys almost everyday to see if they still related to me the same way. I visited the station, wondering what was going on and wanting to be part of the action. Somehow, it wasn’t the same. I wasn’t one of them anymore. It’s hard to explain. I left, but I couldn’t let go of this strong attachment.”

At some point, officers must be prepared to become civilians. (Photo/Pixabay)
At some point, officers must be prepared to become civilians. (Photo/Pixabay)

It is further suggested that officers continue to experience residual trauma even after separating from police service. A residual stress hypothesis proposes that prior trauma exposure leaves residual effects that are widespread, deep and long-lasting.

Consider that officers spend much of their time preparing for the worst. Day in and day out scenarios are played out in their minds. What if? On or off duty, training emphasizes the worst possible case scenarios and prepares officers to deal with that event only. As a result, they become occupationally and personally socialized into approaching situations with considerable suspicion, distrust and anxiety. They are hyper-energized, sensitive, irritable, tired and secreting various stress hormones when seemingly trying to relax on the sofa.  

Although law enforcement is often routine, it’s also jumbled with quick cuts – responding to death, destruction, violence, interpersonal human aggression and within a confine of personal excitement – goodwill, compassion, indignation and vigilance. Officers can become addicted to this excitement and cannot function well without it when they separate from service.

An interesting hypothesis by police psychologist K.M. Gilmartin examines adrenaline as an addiction that may be a result of learned behavior. Police work creates a learned perceptual set that causes officers to alter the manner in which they interact with the environment. Statements by officers that “it gets into your blood” are illustrations describing a physiological change that becomes inseparable from the police role. An interpretation of the environment as always dangerous may reprogram the reticular activating system and set into motion physiological consequences. This is interpreted as feelings of energy, rapid thought patterns, and speeding up of cognitive and physical reactions.

The police subculture is another factor and pervasive microcosm in which a closed mini-society perpetuates a sense of strong cohesion, a code of silence and secrecy, and dependence upon one another for survival. Most research suggests that one of the major regrets of separated officers is that they no longer feel a part of the department. Separation and loss of support from the police group may serve to increase the already heightened physiological and psychological state associated with elements of post-traumatic stress disorder up to, and including, guilt.

Upon separation from active law enforcement, officers exposed to trauma will lose ready access to the group and may no longer be able to depend on other officers, the police agency, or police benevolent groups to reinforce a sense of understanding and recognition of their trauma. This is most significant for officers who retire with a disability. While others are in some mode of exit, the disabled officer is immediately “thrown” into a new life and one in which they are often ill-prepared to handle. There’s a great quote from the 2005 war movie “Jarhead”: “A man fires a rifle for many years. Then he goes to war. And afterward, he turns the rifle in to the armory and believes he is finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands – love a woman, build a house, change his son’s diaper – his hands remember the rifle.”

Another factor upon separation is adapting to new work. With such consistent exposure to trauma, cops devote psychic energy to deal with those traumas, often leaving them void of energy to direct towards other things. As as result, a lack of adequate and satisfying work for the trauma-exposed person has its emotional costs in family and friends.

Law enforcement officers will tell you that it is not a job or a career but a way of life – how they look at people, where they sit in restaurants, scanning locations and people, questioning their children and spouse, being suspicious and distrustful of others and hyper vigilant in the safety and security of loved ones. The pendulum will often swing “back” the other way and there are times of great depression, isolation and a sense of being lost that they had never felt before. In essence, many officers define themselves by their job.

The transition to civilianhood is not an easy one, even under the best of circumstances. Transitions are difficult in general. A new baby, divorce or a new relationship and marriage, a new home, a new boss, going back to school or even a new car. The old program is, in a strange sense “safe.” Change is uncomfortable, and no one likes to feel uncomfortable.

Finding relationships that substitute for the police subculture is necessary for officers when they leave (or are forced to leave). When a primary role is no longer there to occupy, they must spend time seeking out activities which structure their lives. Suggestions to buffer the anxiety and toxicity of unchecked post-separation fallout include: 

  1. Use family and friends as support structures;
  2. Use department-offered or local mental health services (you’re only as sick as your secrets);
  3. Maintain ties with your agency (auxiliary or special duty work);
  4. Maintain ties with your police colleagues (coffee, get-togethers);
  5. Enjoy a hobby or activity that gives you personal satisfaction and meaning;
  6. Be a guest speaker at a police academy (become a point of reference);
  7. Write articles or blogs for the law enforcement community;
  8. Teach criminal justice at a local college;
  9. Enjoy a second career completely outside of law enforcement.

When a law enforcement officer leaves the “job” for another life, some are pleased and yet others will wonder. They know that after a career of camaraderie that few experience, it will remain as a longing and nostalgic outlet for those past times. We know in the law enforcement life there is a fellowship that lasts long after the badge, gun and uniforms have been turned in. Even so, they will be with them every step and breath that remains in their frame.

Vocatio is Latin for “to call.” The burdens of the job are ones claimed by cops who have accepted such a call. Although you will still look at people suspiciously, will see what others do not see (or choose to ignore), you will always look at the rest of the law enforcement world with respect for what they do – accomplished only by a lifetime of knowing.

Copyright © 2007-2019 by Dr. Brian A. Kinnaird. Reprinted with permission by the author.

For more articles, visit The Hero in You column at Psychology Today. For law enforcement-related books, articles, networking, training, or speaking opportunities, contact Brian Kinnaird at brian.kinnaird@gmail.com.

REFERENCES & SUGGESTED READINGS

Figley CR. Psychological adjustment among Vietnam veterans: an overview of the research. In C.R. Figley (Ed) Stress Disorders Among Vietnam Veterans-Theory, research, and treatment. New York: Brunner/Mazel, 1978.

Gilmartin KM. Hypervigilance: A learned perceptual set and its consequences on police stress. In J.T. Reese and H.A. Goldstein (Eds) Psychological Services for Law Enforcement, (pp 443-446). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1986.

Jarhead. Don Michael Paul. Universal Pictures, 2005.

Violanti JM. Traumatic stress in critical occupations: Recognitions, Consequences, and Treatment. Charles C. Thomas Publisher, 1997. 

Violanti JM. Police Retirement: The impact of change. Springfield, Illinois: Thomas, 1992.

About the author

Brian A. Kinnaird, PhD, is a cop-turned professor, author, trainer and police advocate. A 10-year law enforcement veteran in Ellis County, KS, he started his career as a deputy sheriff assigned to the jail division prior to being promoted to patrol. During his tenure, he served as an FTO, lead DT instructor and tactical team operator. He was a guest use of force instructor at the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center, teaching defensive tactics to recruit academies.

Dr. Kinnaird is a charter member of ILEETA and served as editor of the Use of Force Journal and ILEETA Review. He has trained and presented to corrections, law enforcement and human services agencies for over 20 years. He is judicially qualified as an expert and continues to consult and train current and former law enforcement.  

As a career educator, Dr. Kinnaird is a criminologist, professor, researcher and author. He holds a B.A. in sociology, M.L.S. in criminal justice administration, and Ph.D. in criminal justice. He is a columnist in the law and crime section of Psychology Today. Contact him at brian.kinnaird@gmail.com.

Product Post: The Vertex Super-LED Hide-A-Way Light

The Vertex Super-LED Hide-A-Way Light (VTX609) is an ultra small, self-contained, hemispheric LED light, for surface mount or internal mount within composite head lamps, cornering lamps and tail light assemblies. This self-contained unit uses an in-line combination lamp driver/flasher which means a simple installation with no separate lamp drivers, flashers, ballast or power supplies to install.

The VTX609’s lens technology enhances light distribution for optimum dispersion and intensity of the warning signal at critical angles. Includes pre-wired and sealed 8 foot neoprene cable to the lighthead and lamp driver, with 4-22 gauge power, pattern and synchronize pigtail wires. Only 7/8″ in height, this small hemispheric LED lighthead is perfect for most applications where size and intensity are critically important.

Features:

  • Each light module contains 6 – Gen3 Super-LEDs.
  • 25 Scan-Lock flash patterns.
  • Includes synchronize feature for alternating and synchronous flashing of multiple lamps.
  • Aluminum base and advanced thermal heat management system is designed for endless years of trouble free service.
  • Pre-wired and sealed 8 foot neoprene cable to the lighthead and lamp driver, with 4-22 gauge power, pattern and synchronize pigtail wires.
  • Lamp and in-line lamp driver are fully encapsulated for moisture and vibration resistance.
  • Omni-directional lighthead mounts in any position (orientation), vertically or horizontally.
  • Available in amber, blue, white and red.
  • SAE Class 5.
  • No RFI noise emitted.
  • Voltage: 10 – 16 VDC.
  • Amp draw: .750/peak and .300/average.
  • 1″ hole makes this LED module backwards compatible with all standard 1″ Hide-A-Way style lamps.
  • Two screws hold the lamp securely in place.

Available Versions:

  • VTX609A – Amber
  • VTX609B – Blue
  • VTX609C – White
  • VTX609D – Red/White
  • VTX609E – Blue/White
  • VTX609J – Red/Blue
  • VTX609R – Red

Whelen 5 Year Warranty

NOTE: LED color must match color of the lens it is installed behind, except for clear lens.

Vertex Hide-A-Way Light assemblies are sold individually.
Price shown is for ONE (1) Vertex Lighthead.
This product is NOT sold in pairs.

See California police dogs sit down for Thanksgiving dinner in funny video skit

From The Sacramento Bee

Placer County sheriff police dog handlers made a video starring their K9 units as a family sitting down to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal.

The sheriff’s office shared the video to Facebook November 25, 2019.

“Thanksgiving is a time to spend with family and friends, enjoy delicious foods and wear stretchy pants,” the sheriff’s office posted. “If you find yourself stuck in that awkward conversation with a relative you only see once a year, we suggest you show them Placer County Sheriff’s K9 Thanksgiving Day video. We hope you have some good laughs!”

The video stars K9s Knox, Axel, King and Ronin as they share boring dad stories, browse “Dogstagram” and burn a pie in the funny clip, which had over 12,300 views as of Tuesday morning and nearly 550 shares.

Southbury, CT Fire Department Velocity® PUC™ Pumper

Take a look at Southbury’s new fire engine

From FirefighterNation

Pierce Mfg. – Take a walk with J.D. McAulay around the Southbury Fire Department’s #Velocity #Pumper. The department wants to carry as much water as they can to adapt to the commercial and residential terrain. The PUC design was chosen for many reasons including increasing storage and the crosslays. The hose location is key being on the side of the pump panel, instead of under it.

CHASSIS
Chassis: 70” Velocity cab with 10” raised roof
Seating capacity: 6
Overall height: 9’ 9”
Overall length: 31’ 5.50”
GVW rating: 50,000 lb
Safety: Side Roll and Frontal Impact Protection
Front axle: #TAK4 Independent Front Suspension, 22,800 lb
Rear axle: Meritor RS30-185, 31,000 lb
Engine: Detroit Diesel DD13, 525 hp, 1,850 torque

BODY
Material: Aluminum
Shelving: Adjustable, up to 500 lb
Doors: AMDOR roll-up
Pump: #PUCpump, 1,500 gpm
Tank: 850 gallons
Pump panel: Control Zone, 31” pump panel
Foam system: #Husky12
Foam cell: 30 gallons

Job No: 33511
Dealership: Firematic Supply Company, Inc.

Weather Shift Eases Oklahoma Wildfire Danger

From Firefighter Nation

Cooler temperatures and gentler winds

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Authorities say wind-whipped wildfires in northwestern Oklahoma that forced residents from their homes and destroyed two single-family residences were mostly contained Wednesday as cooler temperatures and gentler winds reduced the fire danger.

Woodward County Emergency Management Director Matt Lehenbauer says two homes and several outbuildings were destroyed by a fire Tuesday that also forced residents from their homes in the towns of Fargo, Gage and Mooreland.

The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management said Wednesday there were no immediate reports of injuries or fatalities, and authorities were still investigating the cause of the fires.

The agency says the federal government already has approved the state’s request for grant money to help reimburse local governments, volunteer fire departments and first responders for costs associated with fighting the fires.

All contents © copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Product Post: The Federal Signal Allegiant Lightbar

The Federal Signal Allegiant Lightbar is packed with Federal Signal exclusive technology and options to provide a superior multicolor warning. Designed to keep you safe on the road, the Allegiant includes 28 high performing, attention-getting flash patterns, built-in SignalMaster, and impressive flood light capabilities. The Allegiant features a bed light option which shines a steady work light down from the light bar onto the bed of the truck for added visibility for operators. 


Takedown and alley positions are also configurable to fit your needs. Exclusive to Federal Signal, the SpectraLux multicolor LED technology provides the ability for a LED light source to change color while in operation. Built with Solaris LED reflector technology, the Allegiant light bar is engineered to significantly increase off-axis warning and maximize the LED light source.

ROC technology minimizes potential failure points in the light bar — replacing wires, connectors, and assemblies with PCB assemblies to reduce labor repair time. For maximum performance, the FS Convergence Network provides ‘plug-n-play’ installation. Utilizing standard RJ45 connections, the Allegiant can be easily programmed using a SmartSiren Platinum system or 6-button serial controller. With control head programmability, the user can customize the keypad to meet their needs. 

The Allegiant is also available with a traditional cable (discrete). The discrete version features front/rear control, two modes of operation and low power mode. Options including front flood, rear white lighting, bed light and S/T/T are available.

NOTE: Light bars come with clear outer domes unless otherwise specified.

Features:

  • Low profile, dual color, linear light bar
  • ROC (Reliable Onboard Circuitry) reduces potential failure points
  • Solaris LED reflector technology
  • SpectraLux LED reflector technology is configurable in combinations of Amber, Blue, Red, White, and Green
  • Models are available with FS Convergence Network for “plug-n-play” installation and programming
  • 28 Built-in flash patterns
  • Available in 45” (ALGT45) and 53” (ALGT53) lengths
  • Top domes available in Amber, Blue, Clear, Gray and Red
  • Configurable alley and takedown positions
  • White LEDs can be utilized as takedowns and flood lighting
  • Auto dim option

Specifications:

  • Voltage: 12 VDC
  • Current Draw: ALGT45 = 9 Amps Average, ALGT53 = 11 Amps Average

Dimensions (LxWxH):

  • ALGT45 – 44.5 in (113.0 cm) x 11.2 in (28.4 cm) x 2.0 in (5.1 cm)
  • ALGT53 – 52.7 in (133.9 cm) x 11.2 in (28.4 cm) x 2.0 in (5.1 cm)

Federal Signal Five Year Warranty

Product Post: Able 2 SHO-ME Multi-Port Accessory Box

  • This versatile accessory box combines three adapter plug outlets with four USB ports to provide a space-saving and hassle-free way to control equipment.
  • The four 5VDC USB ports provide a convenient way to stay connected on the road without the clutter of separate USB charging devices.
  • Ideal for cell phones, digital cameras, tablets and dash cameras.
  • Each pair of USB ports is rated at 2.4A total with individual ports handling 1.2A each OR one port of each pair handling 2.4A.
  • Three 12VDC outlets, rated at 15A total, accommodate most auxiliary devices like spot lights, air compressors, laptops and radios.
  • Attached plugs keep receptacles clear and free of dirt and moisture.
  • A 15A automatic re-set circuit breaker provides overload protection.
  • The sturdy, fully-enclosed, black ABS plastic box has chrome accents and mounts under the dash with screws (provided).
  • Ideal for trucks, autos, boats, campers and RVs.
  • Includes a 3′ wire for simple installation.
  • Two year warranty.
  • Made in the U.S.A.

Product Post: The Whelen ION T-Series SOLO Linear LED Surface Mount Lighthead

The Whelen ION T-Series SOLO Linear LED Surface Mount Lighthead provides high performance warning or illumination and features a sleek and low profile design, with a depth of only 1/2″. This super low profile light packs plenty of punch from it 6 Super-LEDs and linear optics.

The built-in 25 or 69 Scan-Lock flash patterns combined with its ability to synchonize not only with other IONs, but many other Whelen lightheads as well. The included Black flange makes it easy to surface mount this light just about anywhere using the 2 screws provided.

Features

  • Extremely Low Profile, Ultra Thin, Surface Mount, Linear lighthead.
  • 12 LEDs available in Amber, Blue, Red, or White.
  • Available in single or split color models.
  • Single color versions have 25 Scan-lock flash patterns.
  • Split color versions have 69 Scan-Lock flash patterns.
  • Hard-coated lenses minimize environmental damage from sand, sun, salt, and road chemicals.
  • Synchronize to other Whelen sync products.
  • Easily surface mounts with two screws, included.
  • All SOLO versions have a 4 wire 6″ pigtail.
  • Includes Black flange.

Specifications

  • Voltage: 12 VDC
  • Amp Draw: 0.82 peak, 0.33 average
  • Certifications: SAE Class 1 Certified.
  • Size: 1.5″ (38mm) H x 0.5″ (13mm) D x 5″ (122mm) L.

Whelen Five Year Warranty

New policy focuses on Minn. LEOs’ mental wellness

A yearly mandate to seek counseling has had a positive impact on officers’ mental health

PoliceOne Staff

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The West Saint Paul police department has modified its mandatory counseling policy, which officials say has gone a long way in improving officer mental health. 

Last year, Interim Police Chief Brian Sturgeon mandated that every officer in his department see a counselor once a year whether they needed to or not. He told KTSP the response to that mandate was positive, so he raised the required number of visits to two. 

“Our officers see a lot of bad things and we need to ensure that they’re dealing with those properly,” he said.  

Matt Hagen, president of the Minnesota Fraternal Order of Police, told KTSP the stigma around seeking mental health help has started breaking down, especially as younger officers who are interested in maintaining good mental health join law enforcement.  

This mandate is part of a broader focus on officer mental health in the state. KTSP reports that, this week alone, two Minnesota officers died by suicide, which has sparked a state-wide emphasis on officer mental health. 

“We have to understand that the stress that our officers are going through on a personal level and the stress that comes with the job,” Sturgeon told KTSP. “Our officers see a lot of bad things. We have to ensure that they’re dealing with those (things) properly.” 

Product Post: Whelen Tracer Series SOLO Light Array – Five Modules

Whelen Tracer Series SOLO Light Arrays are engineered to increase vehicle visibility, utilizing Whelen’s Super-LED technology to provide high intensity warning and illumination in an extremely low profile package. Each SOLO module has 12 Super-LEDs. Available SOLO (single color) modules: Amber, Blue, Red, and White. The Tracer Series is designed from the ground up, using a durable and versatile clamshell design allows for easy reconfiguration and serviceability. 

The Tracer Series. Pictured is the Four Module version.

Lightheads are daisy-chained together in lengths from 1 to 6 modules using the provided Aluminum extrusion for rigid support between multiple modules. Sleek vehicle specific mounting brackets conform to vehicle rocker panels, and the universal mounting “L” brackets will mount Tracer Series to a variety of applications such as running boards and push bumpers. 

Features

  • Available SOLO (single color) modules: Amber, Blue, Red, and White.
  • 12 Super-LEDs per module.
  • Lightheads are daisy-chained together in lengths from 1 to 6 modules using the provided extrusion.
  • 30 Scan-Lock flash patterns.
  • Easily serviceable clamshell design.
  • SOLO models include Traffic-Advisor in 4-6 lamp versions.
  • Cruise light control includes seven adjustable intensity levels
  • Custom light configuration choices are achieved via the mode control wire.
  • Hard-coated lenses resist environmental damage from sand, sun, salt, and road chemicals.
  • Mounts easily via slide bolt with vehicle specific brackets or universal “L” brackets.
  • Includes 15 feet of cable with fully encapsulated in-line lamp driver.

Specifications

  • Operating Voltage: 12 VDC
  • Current Load: 0.5 amps peak per module
  • Certification: SAE Class 1 Certified
  • Ingress Rating: IP67 rated for dust and water resistance
  • Size per module: .75″ (19mm) H x 1.75″ (44.45mm) D x 12.5″ (317.5mm) L

Whelen Five Year Warranty

This item is heavy and/or oversized and will incur additional freight charges. Standard shipping charges do not apply to these items. A sales representative will contact you with the actual freight charge for your order.

This is a Special Order item. Special order items are non-cancelable, non-returnable, and non-refundable. All sales for special order items are final.

Seattle Launches Non-Emergency EMS Unit

“Health One” will address non-emergency 911 calls

Seattle Channel – Mayor Jenny Durkan, Fire Chief Harold Scoggins, and Councilmember Sally Bagshaw help launch Seattle’s new “Health One” unit to address non-emergency 911 calls downtown.

The unit is staffed with a team of specially trained Seattle Fire Department (SFD) firefighters and a civilian social worker that will help people with non-emergency 911 requests for issues like substance abuse, non-emergency medical issues, and a need to access services.

The team will provide alternatives to transporting individuals to emergency departments, allowing SFD units to focus on emergencies like structure fires and vehicle collisions.

Fire, Police Crashes Raise Concerns Among Florida City Leaders

Recent crashes cost Jacksonville an average of $1.5M a year

FirefighterNation Staff

JACKSONVILLE, Florida – With 31 crashes in one week involving Jacksonville fire and police vehicles, city leaders expressed concerns about safety according to News4JAX.

Investigative reporters found that of those 31 crashes, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office was involved in 27 and at fault for 17 of those.

Jacksonville Fire-Rescue was involved in seven additional crashes and at fault for five.

54 sheriff’s office vehicles are out of service as are 22 fire-rescue vehicles.

Last year News4JAX reported that crashes involving city vehicles cost taxpayers an average of over $1.5 million each year.

Chris Hancock, Public Information Officer for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said that the crashes are a hazard of the job and emphasized that training before driving a vehicle is a priority.

Interim Fire Chief Keith Powers said that every accident is subjected to extreme scrutiny and reviewed to determine cause and identify need for driver improvement.

Wheeled Coach Unveils New Voice-Of-Customer Transit Van

MILWAUKEE, WIWheeled Coach, part of REV Group (REVG), the largest manufacturer of ambulances in the U.S., is debuting a new Type II Transit Van. Designed and developed after a year of research and significant voice-of-customer (VOC) input from dealers around the country, the new Wheeled Coach Type II Transit Van will replace the existing configuration.

The new Wheeled Coach Ford Transit features several key differentiators, resulting from customer input, including significantly more cabin space than comparable vans on the market.

  • Emergency providers who use Type II Transit Vans generally sit in their trucks up to 12 hours a day, so the cab wall has been moved back 4 to 6 inches which allows the cab seats to recline and give added comfort.

To further maximize space, the van features aluminum constructed interior and cabinetry, instead of the standard ¾” plywood. Not only is this easier to clean and disinfect, it widens the aisle space to 41”, and gives the emergency provider more access to the patient.

  • A move from ducted AC to free-flow AC has increased the headroom for more height, now at 69”. The free-flow AC system is also more effective in hotter climates as well as ensuring greater airflow throughout the entire cab. 
  • In addition, the oxygen system has been relocated to the rear of the truck, to allow for ease of access to the oxygen cylinders, as well as the ability to conveniently exchange tanks at the rear of the ambulance.
  • The attendant chair has a flip seat to lift when not in use, providing more space in the aisle.

Other enhancements include a durable diamond plate bumper at the vehicle’s rear, not typically found in Transit Vans, that provides a better stepping service for emergency providers. For added convenience when families are being transported, a child’s seat can be flipped down on the Attendant Chair. And for added safety, the exclusive and innovative Per4Max seat belt system is included on the seat bench, which allows emergency providers the flexibility to move about, while staying safely restrained in case of a collision.

“We have listened to our customers’ needs , and have designed a new Transit Van which is crew-centric, designed from front to back to give more room in width, headroom and cab room for a more comfortable and safer environment,” said Anoop Prakash, president of the Ambulance Division at REV Group. “We are sure this new model will delight the end user and look forward to feedback at AAA.”

For more information, visit www.wheeledcoach.com.

Evacuation Orders Lifted for Southern CA Wildfire

By CHRISTOPHER WEBER Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Authorities lifted all evacuation orders as firefighters made progress Sunday on a large blaze that sent thousands fleeing homes and farms northwest of Los Angeles.

Crews working in steep terrain were tamping down hotspots and keeping an eye on lingering gusts in mountain areas that could carry embers, said Ventura County Fire Capt. Steve Kaufmann.

FILE – In this Oct. 31, 2019 file photo flames from the Hillside Fire consume a home in San Bernardino, Calif. President Donald Trump on Sunday, Nov. 3 threatened to cut U.S. funding to California for aid during wildfires that have burned across the state during dry winds this fall. (AP Photo/Noah Berger,File)

“I’d say we’re cautiously optimistic,” Kaufmann said, citing calmer winds overall and rising humidity levels.

Firefighters have contained 70% of the blaze, which has burned nearly 15 square miles (39 sq. kilometers) of dry brush and timber. Three buildings were destroyed.

More than 11,000 people evacuated after the flames spread Oct. 31 during dry winds that fanned fires across the state this fall.

In his first recent comments on the California fires, President Donald Trump threatened to cut U.S. aid funding to the state.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has done a “terrible job of forest management,” Trump tweeted. When fires rage, the governor comes to the federal government for help. “No more,” the president tweeted.

Newsom replied with a tweet of his own: “You don’t believe in climate change. You are excused from this conversation.”

California has increased fire prevention investments and fuel management projects in recent years while federal funding has shrunk, the governor’s office said in a statement.

“We’re successfully waging war against thousands of fires started across the state in the last few weeks due to extreme weather created by climate change while Trump is conducting a full on assault against the antidotes,” Newsom said.

The state controls just 3% of forest land in California, while the federal government owns 57%, according to numbers provided by the Newsom’s office. About 40% of the state’s forest are privately owned. Neither of the two major fires currently burning are on forest land.

Last year Trump made a similar threat as wildfires devastated Malibu and Paradise, California — accusing the state of “gross mismanagement” of forests.

At the time Newsom defended California’s wildfire prevention efforts while criticizing the federal government for not doing enough to help protect the state.

In Northern California, more people returned to areas evacuated from a huge fire that burned for days in the Sonoma County wine country.

The 121-square-mile (313-square-kilometer) fire was 76% contained on Sunday, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

The tally of destroyed homes reached 175 and there were 35 more damaged, authorities said. Many other structures also burned.

The causes of both fires were under investigation but there was a possibility that electrical lines might have been involved — as was the case at other recent fires.

Southern California Edison said Friday that it re-energized a 16,000-volt power line 13 minutes before the fire erupted in the same area of Ventura County.

Edison and other utilities around the state shut off power to hundreds of thousands of people last week out of concerns that high winds could cause power lines to spark and start fires.

Southern California Edison will cooperate with investigators, the utility said.

___

Follow Weber at https://twitter.com/WeberCM

Missing Arizona Fire Chief Found Safe

Software took chief down a wrong wilderness route

FirefighterNation Staff

PAYSON, Arizona – “I’m gonna go home to the hot tub,” is how Pine-Strawberry Fire Chief Gary Morris summed up being located by search and rescue crews after being lost in the Mazatzal Wilderness, according to AZ Family.

Chief Morris, 73, was reported missing Tuesday morning when he failed to call in that he had completed his hike.

He was hiking the Arizona Trail from Sunflower to the Doll Baby Ranch across the Mazatzal Wilderness.

Morris told AZ Family that new routing software took him down a wrong path and out of cellphone range.

He ended up in a dead-end canyon and decided to spend the night there and hike to a peak the next day to be able to send a text.


The Gila County Sheriff’s Office received a text message from Morris at approximately 3:00 a.m. Once his GPS location was known an Arizona Department of Public Safety helicopter was called in to lift Morris out of the wilderness.

Uninjured, Morris said he was packed for all possibilities and that getting taken down a wrong route won’t deter him for going on future hikes.

Product Post: Federal Signal Vision® SLR light bar

Redesigned from the inside out, experience the new Vision® SLR light bar. The distinct non-linear shape and exclusive SLR (Solaris LED Rotator) provide a maximum of 360-degrees of light output not achieved by a linear light bar. Vision SLR maximizes light output to help clear the roadway in critical traffic intersections. It is obvious as soon as you see the Vision SLR that it was engineered for safety.

• Distinctive “V-Shape” and SLR technology provides superior optical warning at critical intersection angles
• Powerful Flood lighting feature provides significant tactical benefits
• “Jogging” capability
• “Aerial view” feature improves ability to see vehicle from a helicopter
• Optional SignalMaster™ directional light
• LEDs offered in Amber, Blue, Green, Red and White
• Top-dome colors are offered in Amber, Blue, Clear, Green and Red
• Available in 46-, 53-, and 60-inch lengths
• Five-year LED warranty
CloseAdd event to your calendar

Tualitin Valley Fire and Rescue Press Release: Oregon Strike Teams Assigned to Two Wildfires in California

Fifteen strike teams comprised of members of the Oregon fire service arrived in California today and have been assigned to assist with separate wildfire incidents threatening structures and property.Following a late afternoon briefing with California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection officials in Redding, California, Oregon’s strike teams are being deployed to two separate incidents.

One group, comprised of six strike teams, headed by Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Mariana Ruiz-Temple, of the Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM), is being sent to the Burris Fire, a 250-acre fire in Mendocino County.The second group, comprised of nine teams, headed by Assistant Chief Les Hallman of Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, has been assigned to respond to the larger Kincade Fire in Sonoma County.

The mobilized strike teams, comprising 271 personnel total, have been sent from the following counties: Klamath, Douglas, Yamhill, Linn, Columbia, Clatsop, Benton, Multnomah, Marion, Washington, Clackamas, Lincoln, Jackson, Josephine, and Lane Counties.All teams from Oregon should be arriving at their staging areas around midnight tonight.The OSFM mobilized the teams following a request through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) from California. The request allows for the OSFM to mobilize resources through the Oregon Fire Mutual Aid System (OFMAS).

The teams are comprised of Oregon’s structural firefighting agencies, which provide structural firefighting and all-hazards assistance.The current deployment marks the third year in a row that the OSFM has mobilized strike teams through the OFMAS and deployed them to support firefighting efforts in California, following requests made through the EMAC.

In 2018, the OSFM sent three strike teams to the Mendocino Complex Fire starting in late July 2018, and then another15 strike teams to the Camp Fire in November 2018. In October 2018, also through an EMAC request, the OSFM also sent two incident management teams to Florida to respond to Hurricane Michael.In November 2017, the OSFM mobilized 15 strike teams to respond to an EMAC request from California to fight wildfires. In December 2017, California sent another request for assistance on the Thomas Fire, near Ventura. The OSFM sent 15 strike teams in response.

Ballistics database helps bring Houston gang war into focus

The National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) has evolved into more than a database of forensic information

Juan A. Lozano and John L. Mone
Associated Press

HOUSTON — Kenneth Roberson’s lyrics chronicled the gang violence he saw in his hometown of Houston.

“Momma’s crying, son is dying on this crime scene,” he rapped. Those words became prophetic as the aspiring artist was killed during a September 2018 drive-by shooting that left his mother, Yvonne Ferguson-Smith, heartbroken.

Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office crime scene investigator Dominic Sodolak examines a bullet casing in his Richmond, Texas office, from ammunition that was test fired from a handgun confiscated during a drug arrest. (Photo/AP)
Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office crime scene investigator Dominic Sodolak examines a bullet casing in his Richmond, Texas office, from ammunition that was test fired from a handgun confiscated during a drug arrest. (Photo/AP)

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“I don’t know how to move on,” said Ferguson-Smith, who has started a nonprofit group called TEARS to help grieving mothers. “It’s like he was speaking (in his songs) on his own death.”

Roberson’s killing, which had no witnesses, might have gone unsolved if not for a federal ballistics database that linked the 24-year-old’s death to a series of fatal shootings that seem unconnected but that authorities say are part of an ongoing gang war in Houston that’s claimed more than 60 lives the past six years.

The National Integrated Ballistic Information Network, or NIBIN, is a database of scanned bullet casings that has been around for two decades but in recent years has evolved from a purely forensic tool to one that generates leads for investigators. While it has been successful in cities like Houston, the network still faces challenges, including questions about the accuracy of the science behind it and whether it’s being fully utilized by local agencies.

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said the database is invaluable.

“NIBIN is how many of the (Houston) shootings were connected. Once it was brought to me, it was pretty clear this is a gang war,” Ogg said.

Authorities say the shootings are part of a battle between two gangs: the 100 Percent Third Ward or 103, and the Young Scott Block, or YSB. The conflict has claimed the lives of gang members and others, including an 8-year-old boy.

Bullet casings recovered at crime scenes or test-fired from confiscated weapons are scanned at computer stations and images are uploaded to the database, managed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or ATF. The database looks for possible matches with other bullet casings that have similar marks indicating they were fired from the same weapon.

Authorities can use potential matches to pursue leads from other cases not previously known to them. These leads can be investigated much more quickly than confirmed hits — information that must be verified by a firearms examiner and can take longer to complete.

“It takes cases that otherwise have gone unsolved … and it breathes new life into them,” said Fred Milanowski, special agent in charge of the ATF’s Houston office.

Authorities say the database helped Houston police connect casings from Roberson’s shooting, along with casings from two fatal shootings in November 2018, to one individual who remains jailed and is a suspect in four other killings.

Police say Roberson appeared to have been affiliated with the YSB gang. Ferguson-Smith said she doesn’t believe her son was in a gang, but that he knew gang members and might have been killed because of that.

Ogg said gang-related cases can be difficult to prosecute because witness testimony can be an issue. She said some witnesses may have their credibility questioned because of their gang affiliations, while others might be afraid to testify for fear of retaliation.

“So objective evidence that doesn’t require personal testimony … it’s a benefit to us as prosecutors, it’s a benefit to the community,” Ogg said.

NIBIN has helped Houston authorities make arrests in other crimes as well.

Levi Byrd said he was riding his horse, Freedom, in November 2016 through a partly rural neighborhood in south Houston when someone in a truck shot five times at him and his horse. Freedom was hit twice, dying instantly.

A 9 mm handgun seized two months later at a drug house was matched with shell casings found next to Freedom. A suspect was arrested and sentenced to 22 years in prison.

“Freedom was family,” Byrd said. “For them to catch the killer, I felt justice was served.”

In fiscal year 2019, NIBIN helped solve 68 shootings and lead to 36 arrests in the Houston area, while also resulting in 122 solved shootings and 95 arrests in San Antonio, according to the ATF.

The agency said that since March 2018, the database has played a critical role in an arrest or prosecution in 754 cases nationwide.

There are 215 NIBIN sites in 42 states around the country that have worked with more than 5,700 law enforcement agencies.

A 2017 report by the Police Executive Research Forum highlighted ATF-led task forces in Chicago, Denver and Milwaukee that use NIBIN. It found that while those cities continue to face “serious challenges with gun violence,” the task forces “are an innovative and promising approach for enhancing the investigation of gun crimes and identifying offenders.”

Laurie Woods, a lecturer at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, and a former law enforcement officer, said the database should best be used as a generator of investigative leads, adding that while there can be a lot of commonalities between two bullet casings, “there’s no absolute match.”

Some studies in recent years have questioned the reliability of such firearms analysis or called for additional research into the subject.

Ogg said technology like NIBIN always should be partnered with “good old-fashioned gumshoe detective work.”

A February report from the Department of Justice’s Inspector General found budget and personnel shortages and lack of technical expertise might hinder the ability of law enforcement agencies to “effectively participate in the program.”

For the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office, which patrols parts of suburban Houston, NIBIN is worth the extra work it takes to scan bullet casings into the database while also responding to calls and processing other evidence.

“Finding a casing for us, I look at it as better than finding a fingerprint,” said Dominic Sodolak, a crime scene investigator with the sheriff’s office.

Associated Press

Copyright Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

FBI will seek ‘way forward’ on body cams for task forces

By Michael Balsamo
Associated Press

CHICAGO — FBI Director Christopher Wray vowed Saturday to “find a way forward” to allow police officers who serve on federal task forces to wear body cameras, affirming that the government will try to reverse a policy that has strained its relationship with some law enforcement agencies.

Speaking to a packed room of police executives at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Chicago, Wray cautioned that the policy would have to strike a balance to ensure that the recordings do not compromise any sensitive investigations or reveal the identities of informants.

In this July 23, 2019 file photo, FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
In this July 23, 2019 file photo, FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

The announcement comes months after Atlanta’s police chief withdrew city police officers from federal task forces over the issue. The Justice Department’s current rules do not allow federal agents to wear cameras and prohibit local officers from wearing them during joint operations.

Wray said the FBI needs to maintain strong relationships with police departments and their officers who work with agents at FBI field offices across the country to investigate violent crime, gangs, drug smuggling and terrorism.

“We want to make sure that we find some middle ground that we’re all comfortable with,” Wray said, warning there were complicated considerations at stake. “The good news is we’re talking about it. We’re getting it all out on the table, and I’m actually confident we are going to find a way forward here.”

In a speech and brief panel discussion that lasted about an hour, Wray steered clear of any mention of the Justice Department’s criminal investigation into the origins of the Russia probe that shadowed Donald Trump’s presidency for nearly two years.

Attorney General William Barr appointed a U.S. attorney, John Durham, to examine what led the FBI to open a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign and the roles that various countries played in the probe, which morphed into special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Trump, who is scheduled to speak at the conference Monday, has long claimed there was political bias at the FBI and that the probe was part of a “witch hunt” to discredit him and his presidency.

Wray warned that FBI agents and police officers cannot be distracted by the opinions of “armchair critics” and said instead that the “opinions that truly matter come from people who know us, who work with us, who depend on us.”

The FBI director also addressed a new pilot program aimed at ensuring law enforcement can get fast information about threats that are called in to the FBI’s tip line. The bureau has faced criticism in recent years for not acting quickly or strongly enough on tips that were received before mass shootings and other incidents.

More than a month before a gunman killed 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Florida, the FBI received a tip warning that the suspect, Nikolas Cruz, wanted to kill people and was planning a school shooting. The FBI said the information that was provided by the caller should have been assessed as a potential threat to life and passed to agents in Florida, but it never was.

After the Parkland shooting, the FBI made changes to its tip line protocols, bringing on additional employees and requiring that more calls need to be reviewed by a supervisor before they are closed.

The FBI received tips about a social media post threatening violence against Jews just minutes before a gunman killed a worshipper and wounded three others at a Southern California synagogue. The agency also got calls from a man who just minutes later killed seven people in September in West Texas.

Of the 3,000 to 4,000 tips received each day, about 50 are assessed as “threats to life,” the highest priority. Under the pilot program underway in a half-dozen states, the tip line essentially routes the calls to both FBI offices and state and local law enforcement command centers at the same time. That aims to cut down on the amount of time it takes to notify local police of a potential threat.

“The volume and the speed that’s needed to deal with it is maybe the greatest challenge we face in law enforcement right now,” Wray said. “We have some kinks we have to work through, but I think it is on the right path.”

Associated Press

E-ONE’s Typhoon Cab

Updates and refinements suggested by you

From FirefighterNation

E-ONE Fire Trucks – E-ONE’s new Typhoon Cab features updates and refinements suggested by you: Greater visibility with the new windshield design and reduced profile dash, slim profile air conditioning, and optional raised overhead console.

Wind whips embers from a tree as the Kincade Fire burns in unincorporated Sonoma County, Calif., on Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

The new Typhoon offers full size/full opening door windows and exterior vertical pull door handles.

Learn more in this video.

Product Post: Whelen TIR3 Super-LED Lighthead

The TIR3 Series Super LED light module offers small size but super bright light output. This compact lighthead is perfect for mounting in the grill, on side mirrors, on bumpers, or numerous other applications. The TIR3 uses Generation III LED’s and over-sized reflectors with spreader optic lenses to fill the entire lighthead.

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Whelen Five Year Warranty

NOTE: This lighthead cannot be used as a Brake/Tail/Turn lighthead.

Nation’s first statewide system debuted Thursday

By JOHN ANTCZAK Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Earthquake early warning alerts will become publicly available throughout California for the first time this week, potentially giving people time to protect themselves from harm, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services said Wednesday.

FILE – In this Jan. 3, 2019 file photo a mobile phone customer looks at an earthquake warning application on their phone in Los Angeles. Earthquake early warning alerts will become publicly available throughout California for the first time this week, potentially giving people time to protect themselves from harm, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services said Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019. Warnings produced by the ShakeAlert system will be pushed through two delivery systems: a cellphone app called MyShake and the same wireless notification system that issues Amber Alerts, meaning people may receive both notifications. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

The nation’s first statewide quake warning system will debut Thursday, coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake that ravaged the San Francisco Bay area on Oct. 17, 1989, as well as the annual Great Shakeout safety drill.

Warnings produced by the ShakeAlert system will be pushed through two delivery systems: a cellphone app called MyShake and the same wireless notification system that issues Amber Alerts, meaning people may receive both notifications.

“This app is at a place now where we’re satisfied with the performance and the testing, which has been very well done, (so) that we think we’re at a place where it’s not perfect but we can keep people safe, and that’s our ultimate threshold,” said Brian Ferguson, deputy director for crisis communication and public affairs at the Office of Emergency Services.

The state earthquake app, developed at the University of California, Berkeley, is available for download to IOS users through iTunes and through GooglePlay stores for Android phones.

“The alerts will only go to people that are going to feel shaking,” said Richard Allen, director of the UC Berkeley Seismological Laboratory.

The thresholds for an alert are an earthquake of magnitude 4.5 and shaking intensity level 3.

“Intensity 1 is you don’t feel it; intensity 2 is some people may feel it; intensity 3 is many people do feel it,” Allen said.

The ShakeAlert system is being developed by the U.S. Geological Survey and partners for the West Coast states. It is most complete in California.

The system does not predict earthquakes. Rather, it uses numerous seismic stations to detect the start of an earthquake and light-speed communications to send the data to computers that instantly calculate location, magnitude, intensity of shaking and create alerts to be distributed to areas that will be affected.

Depending on distance from the epicenter, the alerts may give warnings of several seconds to a minute before shaking arrives at a given location — enough time to duck under desks, pull a knife away from a surgical patient or shut down elevators, trains and industrial processes.

After lengthy testing, alerts were made broadly available to businesses, utilities, schools and other entities last year. The only large-scale public notification is in Los Angeles County, where an alerting app developed for the city of Los Angeles hasn’t been triggered yet.

The MyShake system maintains a database of which cellphones are in 10-kilometer-by-10-kilometer (6.2-mile-by-6.2-mile) cell grids and pushes the alerts to phones in zones where at least level 3 shaking will occur, so receiving an alert is not based on which tower the phone is communicating with, Allen said.

The Wireless Emergency Alerts system, known as WEA, operates slightly differently.

WEA creates polygons that include cellphone towers, said Ryan Arba chief of the seismic hazards branch of the Office of Emergency Services.

“If your phone is currently communicating with that cell tower, the message will be broadcast to your phone,” he said.

A person will get an alert if they are outside a polygon but their phone is communicating with a tower inside the polygon, he said.

Arba said none of the alerting systems are perfect, and it may also be possible that people feel quakes without receiving alerts.

“When live alerts go out, we’ll know how the system performs from the alert distribution side, which is something we have no visibility into now,” he said.

The developers expect to improve the system through experience.

Most recently, the MyShake system was tested this week by a magnitude 4.5 quake in the San Francisco Bay Area and a 4.7 in central California. The median times from detection to alerts hitting phones was 2.1 seconds and 1.6 seconds, respectively, Allen said.

“An important caveat here is this is measuring delivery of alerts to a relatively small number of phones, not to the millions of phones that we will want to do in a big earthquake with many more people having the app. But this is encouraging,” Allen said.

The Los Angeles app was criticized because it did not alert users when two powerful earthquakes struck an area of the Mojave Desert more than 100 miles north of the city on July 4 and 5.

Experts said the goal was to alert people who might experience potentially damaging shaking rather than simply feel some shaking. But the city later announced the threshold will be lowered to alert of “weak” shaking.

All contents © copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Product Post: Code 3 CB7265 Series Mini Beacon

Code 3’s CB765 Series LED Beacon produces a warning signal that is ideal for industrial applications. The long, maintenance-free service life of LED technology, backed by a 5-year warranty, makes this a perfect replacement solution for existing strobe beacons. This cost-effective light features 12-24V operating range that also makes it ideal for use on electrically powered vehicles and equipment.

For more information, head over to our @SirennetTV Instagram page and see this light in action.

Pierce Manufacturing Introduces New Ultra Highrise Pumper at China Fire 2019

Pierce Manufacturing announced the introduction of the new Ultra Highrise Pumper at China Fire 2019 in Beijing on October 16. The pumper includes momentous features including the ability to pump fire suppression agents up to 420 meters (1,378 feet) in height, and its first highrise test was UL certified. 

APPLETON, Wis. (October 16, 2019) – Pierce Manufacturing Inc., an Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE:OSK) company, announced that it has introduced the new Pierce® Ultra Highrise Pumper (UHRP) at China Fire 2019 (Booth E2-9), in Beijing on October 16. China’s continued urbanization and economic growth, including the development of buildings reaching extraordinary heights, have led to a critical need for advanced fire protection throughout many provinces. With its first highrise test UL certified, Pierce’s new UHRP includes momentous features including the ability to pump fire suppression agents up to 420 meters (1,378 feet) in height.

In 2019, 60-percent of the world’s “super-tall” buildings currently under construction will be completed in China. Now with over 110 buildings exceeding 350 meters (1,148 feet) in height, China boasts a significant number of the world’s tallest buildings dispersed throughout various geographic areas including Chongqing, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Shenzhen, and more.

“Pierce continues to build momentum on a global scale while being recognized as a company that produces high-quality fire apparatus with superior features and performance,” said Jim Johnson, president of Pierce Manufacturing. “The introduction of the new Pierce Ultra Highrise Pumper is one example of our team’s commitment to developing the most innovative apparatus to support the lifesaving work of dedicated men and women in the fire service across the world.”

The UHRP is manufactured at Pierce’s production facilities in the United States and built on Pierce’s custom Arrow XT™  chassis with Cummins ISX engine (550 horsepower) and Three-stage Waterous CMU/CGV fire pump (1500 GPM). Pierce’s in-country customer support team remains ready in China to provide world-class after-sales service and parts support across the country.

On September 28, 2019, the Oshkosh China team and Guangxi Fire Rescue Corps jointly completed a successful UHRP test at the 403-meter-tall China Resources Building in Nanning, China.

“Fire fighting in highrise buildings is a worldwide challenge,” said Kebin Liao, deputy chief of staff at the headquarters of the Guangxi Fire Rescue Corps. “This pumper is deployed to provide water for fighting fire at ultra highrise buildings in the event the built-in fire fighting system fails.” The water reached 384 meters (1,259 feet), the 85th floor through a line of high-pressure hoses with total length of 1.2 km (3,950 feet). This test was UL certified and the pumper could have sent the water to a higher floor if the construction was complete.

For more information about Pierce Manufacturing and the company’s booth offerings at China Fire 2019, visit www.piercemfg.com.


Typhoon Kills Dozens in Japan; Rescuers Search for Missing

At least 48 dead, 17 missing and around 100 injured

By JAE C. HONG and YURI KAGEYAMA Associated Press

NAGANO, Japan (AP) — Rescue crews dug through mudslides and searched near swollen rivers Monday as they looked for those missing from a typhoon that left dozens dead and caused serious damage in central and northern Japan.

Typhoon Hagibis unleashed torrents of rain and strong winds Saturday, leaving thousands of homes on Japan’s main island flooded, damaged or without power.

A riverside section of Nagano, northwest of Tokyo, was covered with mud, its apple orchards completely flooded and homes still without electricity.

Japan’s Kyodo News agency reported that 48 people died from the typhoon, 17 were missing and some 100 were injured.

The government’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency, which is generally more conservative in assessing its numbers, said 24 people were dead and nine were missing.

Two search and rescue team members walk along the mud-covered street Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, in Hoyasu, Japan. Rescue crews in Japan dug through mudslides and searched near swollen rivers Monday as they looked for those missing from a typhoon that left as many as 36 dead and caused serious damage in central and northern Japan. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Experts said it would take time to accurately assess the extent of damage, and the casualty count has been growing daily.

Hagibis dropped record amounts of rain for a period in some spots, according to meteorological officials, causing more than 20 rivers to overflow. In Kanagawa prefecture, southwest of Tokyo, 100 centimeters (39 inches) of rain was recorded over 48 hours.

Some of the muddy waters in streets, fields and residential areas have subsided. But many places remained flooded Monday, with homes and surrounding roads covered in mud and littered with broken wooden pieces and debris. Some places normally dry still looked like giant rivers.

Typhoon-damaged cars sit on the street covered with mud Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, in Hoyasu, Japan. Rescue crews in Japan dug through mudslides and searched near swollen rivers Monday as they looked for those missing from typhoon Hagibis that left as many as 36 dead and caused serious damage in central and northern Japan. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Typhoon-damaged cars sit on the street covered with mud Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, in Hoyasu, Japan. Rescue crews in Japan dug through mudslides and searched near swollen rivers Monday as they looked for those missing from typhoon Hagibis that left as many as 36 dead and caused serious damage in central and northern Japan. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Some who lined up for morning soup at evacuation shelters, which are housing 30,000 people, expressed concern about the homes they left behind. Survivors and rescuers will also face colder weather, with northern Japan turning chilly this week.

Soldiers and firefighters from throughout Japan were deployed to assist with rescue efforts. Helicopters could be seen plucking some of the stranded from higher floors and rooftops of submerged homes.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the government would set up a special disaster team, including officials from various ministries, to deal with the fallout from the typhoon, including helping those in evacuation centers and boosting efforts to restore water and electricity to homes.

“Our response must be rapid and appropriate,” Abe said, stressing that many people remained missing and damage was extensive.

Damage was especially serious in Nagano prefecture, where an embankment of the Chikuma River broke.

In one area, a few vehicles in used car lots were flipped over by the waters that had gushed in, covering everything with mud. Apples swept from the flooded orchards lay scattered in the mud.

Search and rescue team members wade through floodwaters Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, in Hoyasu, Japan. Rescue crews in Japan dug through mudslides and searched near swollen rivers Monday as they looked for those missing from a typhoon that left as many as 36 dead and caused serious damage in central and northern Japan. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Areas in Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures in northern Japan were also badly flooded.

In such places, rescue crew paddled in boats to reach half-submerged homes, calling out to anyone left stranded.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said 35,100 homes were still without electricity early Monday evening in Tokyo and nearby prefectures that the utility serves. That was down from nearly 57,000 earlier in the day.

East Japan Railway Co. said Hokuriku bullet trains were running Monday but were reduced in frequency and limited to the Nagano city and Tokyo routes.

Mimori Domoto, who works at Nagano craft beer-maker Yoho Brewing Co., said all 40 employees at her company were confirmed safe, though deliveries were halted.

“My heart aches when I think of the damage that happened in Nagano. Who would have thought it would get this bad?” she said.

Tama River in Tokyo overflowed, but the damage was not as great in the capital as in other areas. Areas surrounding Tokyo, such as Tochigi, also suffered damage.

Much of life in Tokyo returned to normal on Monday. People were out and about in the city, trains were running, and store shelves left bare when people were stockpiling were replenished.


Kageyama reported from Tokyo.

Follow Kageyama on Twitter at https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

On Instagram https://www.instagram.com/yurikageyama/?hl=en

All contents © copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

100,000 Ordered to Evacuate from California Wildfire

“It was a whole curtain of fire,”

By STEFANIE DAZIO and JOHN ANTCZAK Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A wildfire raged out of control along the northern edge of Los Angeles early Friday, forcing thousands of people from their homes as firefighters battled flames from the air and on the ground.

Police Chief Michel Moore said mandatory evacuations encompassed about 100,000 people in over 20,000 homes.

Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas said the fire had grown to more than 7 square miles (18 square kilometers) and at least 25 homes had been damaged. A middle-aged man who was near where the fire was burning went into cardiac arrest and died, the chief said, but he did not have details.

The blaze erupted around 9 p.m. Thursday along the northern tier of the San Fernando Valley as powerful Santa Ana winds swept through Southern California. Smoke streamed across the city and out to sea.

Terrazas said there were sustained winds of 20-25 mph (32-40 kph) with gusts over 50 mph (80 kph) and relative humidity levels had fallen as low as 3%.

“As you can imagine the embers from the wind have been traveling a significant distance which causes another fire to start,” Terrazas said.

Jerry Rowe uses a garden hose to save his home on Beaufait Avenue from the Saddleridge fire in Granada Hills, Calif., Friday, Oct. 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker)

The fire erupted in Sylmar, the northernmost portion of the valley, and spread westward at a rate of 800 acres (324 hectares) an hour into Granada Hills and Porter Ranch, part of a so-called urban-wildland interface where subdivisions crowd against the foothills of the Santa Susana Mountains. The cause wasn’t immediately known.

Porter Ranch, an upper middle-class suburb that was the backdrop for the 1982 movie “E.T.” is no stranger to evacuations. Four years ago, a blowout at an underground natural gas well operated by Southern California Gas Co. in the neighboring Aliso Canyon storage facility drove 8,000 families from their homes.

In Northern California , the lights were back on Friday for more than half of the 2 million residents who lost electricity after the Pacific Gas and Electric Co. utility switched it off on Wednesday to prevent its equipment from sparking wildfires during dry, windy weather.

PG&E restored the power after workers inspected power lines to make sure it was safe to do so. The winds had increased the possibility of transmission lines toppling to the ground and starting wildfires.

Helicopters made repeated water drops as crews in Los Angeles attacked flames in and around homes. Water- and retardant-dropping airplanes joined the battle after daybreak. About 1,000 firefighters were on the lines.

Edwin Bernard, 73, said he and his wife were forced to leave their four cats behind as they fled their Sylmar home.

Bernard, standing outside the evacuation center at the Sylmar Recreation Center on Friday, said they were only able to grab their three dogs. During a previous wildfire, they’d had time to find their passports and photo albums, but not Thursday night.

“The fireman said, ‘go, go, go!’” Bernard said. “It was a whole curtain of fire,” he said. “There was fire on all sides. We had to leave.”

Evacuations were also still in effect in the inland region east of Los Angeles where a fire erupted Thursday and raged through a mobile home park in the Calimesa area of Riverside County.

Seventy-four buildings were destroyed, others were damaged and Riverside County authorities were trying to determine if anyone was missing.

One person who couldn’t be immediately located was Don Turner’s 89-year-old mother.

Lois Arvickson called her son from her cellphone to say she was evacuating shortly after the blaze was reported in the small city of Calimesa, Turner said while with relatives at an evacuation center.

“She said she’s getting her purse and she’s getting out, and the line went dead,” he said.

Arvickson’s neighbors saw her in her garage as flames approached, according to Turner. A short time later the neighbors saw the garage on fire, but they don’t know if she’d managed to escape, he said.

Melissa Brown said she moved to the mobile home complex earlier this year from Arizona, in part to help take care of her mother who has since died. Brown said she now also faces the loss of her home.

“The hardest part is my mom’s remains are in there,” she said Friday morning, choking back tears.

Fire danger is high throughout Southern California after the typically dry summer and early fall, and the notorious Santa Ana winds — linked to the spread of many wildfires — bring a dangerous mix of witheringly low humidity levels and powerful gusts.

The Calimesa fire erupted when the driver of a commercial trash truck dumped a smoldering load to prevent the vehicle from catching fire.

Dry grass quickly ignited and winds gusting to 50 mph (80 kph) blew the fire into the Villa Calimesa Mobile Home Park about 75 miles (120 kilometers) east of downtown Los Angeles. The park has 110 home sites and was built in 1958, according to its website. Fire officials were investigating what caused the trash in the truck to catch fire in Calimesa.

__

Dazio reported from Los Angeles and Calimesa. Christopher Weber and writer John Antczak reported from Los Angeles.

All contents © copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Product Post: Whelen Avenger II DUO Combination Linear/TIR Single LED Dash/Deck Light

The Whelen Avenger II DUO Combination Linear/TIR Single LED Dash/Deck Light with their compact and inconspicuous design are simple to transfer from vehicle to vehicle. Newly designed combination Linear/TIR optics provide high intensity warning and illumination and a smaller profile maximizes space for optimal versatility. The Avenger II builds on the Avenger’s reputation for excellent functionality and efficiency.

Features

  • 12 Super-LEDs total: 6 TIR and 6 Linear.
  • DUO color combinations include:
  • Multiple flash patterns (See PDF flyer).
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  • Universal swivel bracket with three suction cups will fit the contour of any windshield or can be used for permanent mount.
  • Black polycarbonate housing.
  • Includes 10 foot straight cord with cigar plug featuring two switches: On/Off for Color 1, On/Off for Color 2.

DUO model features two recessed buttons in the housing: 

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  • Voltage: 12 VDC
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Whelen Five Year Warranty

Pierce Secures Order for 11 Custom Fire Apparatus for the Indianapolis (IN) Fire Department

From FireFighterNation

APPLETON, WI—Pierce Manufacturing Inc., has secured an order for 11 custom apparatus for the Indianapolis (IN) Fire Department in Indiana. Placed through Indianapolis-based Pierce dealer, Global Emergency Products, the order is made up of six Pierce® Saber® pumpers, two Enforcer™ Ascendant® 110’ heavy-duty Aerial Platforms, one Enforcer 105’ heavy-duty aerial ladder, one Velocity® heavy-duty walk-in rescue, and one Ford® F-550 tactical support unit.

“I am excited to be able to purchase our apparatus through Global Emergency Products and Pierce. They have always gone above and beyond to assist us in any way,” said Ernest V. Malone, Chief of Fire for the Indianapolis Fire Department. “While the quality of the equipment that the department receives continues to meet our high level of expectations, it is the relationship and trust we have built with Global and Pierce that makes the Indianapolis Fire Department want to continue to work with them as our apparatus manufacturer.”

Pierce Manufacturing has secured an order and begun production on 11 custom fire apparatus for the Indianapolis Fire Department including Pierce® Saber® Pumpers, Enforcer ™ Ascendant® 110’ Heavy-Duty Aerial Platforms, an Enforcer 105’ Heavy-Duty Aerial Ladder, a Velocity® Heavy-Duty Walk-In Rescue, and a Ford® F-550 Tactical Support Unit.

The Indianapolis Fire Department has 43 fire stations serving 278 square miles in the most populated area in Indiana. The apparatus order is part of a 10-year apparatus acquisition plan that will replace aging frontline equipment, while allowing the department to improve the quality of its reserve fleet.

“The City of Indianapolis allows its fire department representatives the opportunity to select fire apparatus and equipment specifications that will best meet their needs. Together, we designed vehicles that have proven to meet their particular needs,” said Mike Mikoola, President of Global Emergency Products. “It’s been a true honor to work alongside Chief Malone and his team. We remain committed to providing the Indianapolis Fire Department superior quality and customization options, as well as convenient access to service support and parts replacement.”

The delivery of the Indianapolis Fire Department’s six pumpers is scheduled for November 2019, and the aerials will follow in January 2020. The rescue and Ford unit are expected to arrive in Indianapolis in April 2020.

Malone continued, “What we ask our firefighters to do is very dangerous. The needs of our communities are multidimensional and continue to grow in complexity, hazard, and risk. Our firefighters must be up to this challenge every day, every shift, every time. Through fire suppression, emergency medical, special operations, and many other calls for service, the new apparatus will help us continue to meet that missionprotect our firefighters,and keep our promise to our community.”

For more information, visit www.piercemfg.com.

Product Post: Whelen SpitFire ION Super-LED Series Dash Light

The Whelen SpitFire ION Super-LED Series Dash Light is a super-tough, ultra compact Super-LED light that is perfect for mounting in the front windshield or rear window. The 6 Ultra-bright Gen 3 Super-LEDs give this light serious output and the multiple flash patterns will attract a lot of attention. The ION lighthead in mounted in a black molded polycarbonate integrated hood and housing. Includes bail bracket and two suction cups for mounting.

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    • SFIONJ – Split Red/Blue
    • SFIONR – All Red
  • Multiple flash patterns.
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PHOTOS: Not all heroes wear capes – some volunteer

Committed community members risking their lives to save others

From Jarryd Westerdale of the Roodepoort Record

Chris Montgomery next to his neatly packed vehicle. Photo: Jarryd Westerdale.

After a long week of work and caring for children, most people look forward to Friday and Saturday nights as a time to relax or unwind. There are some though that suit up and prepare to aid their fellow community members. These are not would-be superheroes but simply passionate and concerned members of the public. They are the voluntary fire and rescue squad of Emergency Control South Africa (ECSA).

Keagan Townsend, Tiana Pailman and Josh Davidson enjoying a snack. Photo: Jarryd Westerdale.

ECSA is a non-profit organisation that operates a 24-hour fire, search and rescue service free to the communities of Johannesburg Fire District Six. Registered with the Department of Social Development, they operate solely on donations and the funds of its members. ECSA members are on standby throughout the week, but it is Friday and Saturday nights when the crew come alive. ECSA will scan the airwaves in search of people in distress ready to race to their aid.

ECSA’s emergency response vehicle on scene. Photo: Jarryd Westerdale.

ECSA has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the leadership of Ian Janse van Rensburg, Chris Montgomery and Harold Pailman. Ian has decades of community involvement, Chris has 10 years’ paramedic and rescue expertise and Harold has served almost two decades of fire rescue and paramedic duty. Their crew is trained to deal with fires, both structural and grass, and they also have the capability to handle search and rescue operations as well as motor vehicle accident response and clean up.

Lee Lerm, Martin Snyman and Harold Pailman waiting for a call. Photo: Jarryd Westerdale.

ECSA has a loving family bond to it. The crew consists of fathers, daughters, mothers, cousins and husbands. Every shift begins with a reminder that keeping each other safe and remembering the basics are paramount. The bond that guides the crew also provides the inspiration to help those in need. The spirit they have as a collective is evident in everything they do, whether it be the banter while sharing a few coffees between calls or the precision with which they secure a scene.

Ian Janse Van Rensburg standing with Engine One. Photo: Jarryd Westerdale.

ECSA will continue to grow and with the next generation of heroes already in training, they will form a formidable unit. As a passionate collective with determined bravery, the community can rest a little easier, knowing that ECSA is ready to help.

If you care to assist with donations of any kind, please search for them on Facebook at ECSA.JHBWEST or call 072 641 0111.

Attack Inside Paris Police Headquarters, Four Officers Dead

Four officers killed in attack inside headquarters

By SYLVIE CORBET and LORI HINNANT Associated Press

PARIS (AP) — An employee armed with a knife attacked officers inside Paris police headquarters Thursday, killing at least four before he was fatally shot, a French police union official said.

Armed soldiers patrol after an incident at the police headquarters in Paris, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019. A French police union official says an attacker armed with a knife has killed one officer inside Paris police headquarters before he was shot and killed. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu)

Police union official Loic Travers told reporters the attack appears to have begun in an office and continued elsewhere in the large police compound across the street from Notre Dame Cathedral.

The number of people injured was not immediately known.

Travers said the motive is unknown, but that the 20-year police employee allegedly responsible for the attack worked as an administrator in the intelligence unit and had not posed known problems until Thursday.

He said he could not remember an attack of this magnitude against officers.

Emery Siamandi, an employee at police headquarters, said he heard gunshots and immediately saw two officers come outside an office weeping. A third officer, who Siamandi described as the person who shot and killed the assailant, came out on his knees, also in tears.

The attack came a day after thousands of officers marched in Paris to protest low wages, long hours and increasing suicides in their ranks.

France’s prime minister, interior minister and the Paris prosecutor were on their way to the scene.

The Paris prosecutor’s office said no information could be provided at this stage.

The neighborhood, one of Paris’ busiest tourist attractions, was locked down, the Cite metro stop was closed and the bridge between Notre Dame and the headquarters building was blocked off.

Extremists have repeatedly targeted French police in France in recent years. In 2017, a gunman opened fire on the Champs-Elysees boulevard, killing one officer before he was shot to death.

In 2016, an attack inspired by the Islamic State group killed a police officer and his companion, an administrator, at their home in front of their child.


Claire Parker contributed to the story.

All contents © copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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One Dead, Nine Wounded in Attack at Finland Shopping Center

Attacker wounded by police and in custody

HELSINKI (AP) — A man with a knife-like weapon killed one person and wounded at least nine others Tuesday at a shopping center in central Finland, police said. The attacker was also wounded and he was taken into custody.

Police said they were forced to use a gun to stop the violence at the Herman shopping center, which was evacuated in the town of Kuopio. But police didn’t confirm that they shot the suspect, and they didn’t immediately provide further details.

The conditions of the wounded, including the attacker, weren’t immediately available and police haven’t provided a possible motive.

Prime Minister Antti Rinne tweeted that the violence was “shocking and totally condemnable.”

Emergency services attend the scene of a violent incident at the Hermanni shopping centre in Kuopio, Finland, Tuesday Oct. 1, 2019. Finnish police say that a man with a knife has killed one person and wounded at least three others at a shopping center in central Finland. (Jaakko Vesterinen/Lehtikuva via AP)

Finnish newspaper Ilta-Sanomat reported that the shopping center houses a vocational school, which the attacker allegedly tried to enter. Finnish media also reported that the man used a type of sword.


A previous version of this story was corrected to show that the name of the shopping center is Herman, not Hermanni.

All contents © copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

NVFC Awarded Grant to Expand Fire Service Behavioral Health Initiatives

Grant will focus on creating psychologically healthy workplaces and available counseling resources

The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), the leading organization representing the volunteer fire, emergency medical, and rescue services, has been awarded a federal Fire Prevention & Safety (FP&S) grant from FEMA to focus on responder behavioral health initiatives. The $278,900 grant will allow the NVFC to develop new tools and resources to help volunteers who are experiencing issues impacting their mental wellbeing.

Firefighters have a high rate of many behavioral health issues, including PTSD, depression, and addiction. The Firefighter Behavioral Health Alliance reports that more firefighters and EMS providers die from suicide each year than in the line of duty. To address the need for support services and resources, the NVFC launched the Share the Load program in 2014. This program includes outreach materials to raise awareness about the signs, symptoms, and options for those in need of support as well as a toll-free helpline that responders and their families can call for help with any behavioral health issue.

With the new grant, the NVFC will be able to expand the Share the Load program by working to further reduce the stigma in the fire service surrounding behavioral health as well as make support more accessible. Working with partners including the American Psychological Association, the NVFC will develop tools and training for departments to help them create psychologically healthy workplaces. A national directory will also be created of counselors, psychologists, and other qualified healthcare providers who have experience working with first responders.

“Firefighters and EMS providers experience things on a regular basis that can significantly impact their mental wellbeing,” said NVFC Chair Steve Hirsch. “Having tools and resources to help them cope with the challenges and get assistance if needed is critical in supporting our nation’s fire and emergency services. We thank FEMA for awarding us this grant so that we can continue to help departments address behavioral health and provide real solutions to our brothers and sisters in need.”

The FP&S grant is awarded by FEMA to support projects that enhance the safety of the public and firefighters from fire and related hazards. Previous FP&S grants have assisted the NVFC in developing and implementing groundbreaking health and safety initiatives including the Share the Load program, Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program, Serve Strong outreach campaign, and cancer awareness and risk reduction resources.

About the National Volunteer Fire Council

The NVFC is the leading nonprofit membership association representing the interests of the volunteer fire, EMS, and rescue services. The NVFC serves as the voice of the volunteer in the national arena and provides invaluable resources, programs, education, and advocacy for first responders across the nation. Learn more at www.nvfc.org.

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Demers Introduces New Plan and Product for U.S. Market

From EMS1.com

Van Wert, Ohio – Demers Ambulances USA Inc. (‘’Demers’’), a Van Wert, OH based company, is pleased to announce that it will be introducing a new model line of ambulances, the Crestline CCL 150, at EMS World Expo in New Orleans, Louisiana on October 16th 2019. The new product line will be marketed, distributed and represented by Demers dealers that have signed on as Crestline brand dealers for the United States market.

The Crestline CCL 150 product line is representative of a continuing commitment to innovations for the U.S. market. Demers Ambulances USA Inc. boasts some of the largest ambulance dealers in the U.S. market.
Over the years, its dealer network has successfully grown the Demers brand into a leading brand within all segments of the U.S. ambulance industry.

“Demers merged with Braun Industries in January 2018, creating the second largest ambulance manufacturer in the U.S. market, doubling the size of U.S. dealerships offering both Demers and Braun ambulances,” said Alain Brunelle, President and CEO of Demers Ambulances Inc. Brunelle continued, “This move has provided opportunities for improved customer service and the ability for Demers and Braun dealers to offer new products. With the acquisition of Crestline by Demers-Braun in the fall of 2018, we are now able to add the Crestline CCL 150 to this offering.’’

Demers Ambulances USA Inc. has contracted with eleven (11) dealers that have the ability to offer and service all three brands of ambulances from coast to coast. To learn more about Demers products or to find your local dealer, visit www.demers-ambulances.com. New applications for dealerships are welcome since some markets are still open for new appointments. Please visit Demers Ambulances and Braun Industries websites or social media pages for information on how to become a dealer or call
1 (800) 363 -7591 to speak with a representative.

About Demers Ambulances
Braun Industries and Demers Ambulances merged in 2018 creating the second largest
ambulance manufacturing organization in North America. Crestline Coach, a global leader in
ambulance and specialty vehicle manufacturing and a Canadian distributor of small to mid-sized
commercial buses joined the brand lineup in 2018. These three great brands are recognized for
leadership in innovative design, quality product, and for their over 100-years of rich history
serving the emergency response market in over 20 countries worldwide. Demers, Braun and
Crestline offer ambulance models ranging from the price conscious value ambulance to the
highly customized specialty vehicle. To learn more about how Demers Ambulances, Braun
Industries and Crestline Coach can help you save more lives, visit www.DemersAmbulances.comwww.BraunAmbulances.com and www.CrestlineCoach.com.

Laughs, Masks and a ‘Sense of Community.’ Most People Came in Peace to the Area 51 Raid. Here’s What Actually Happened

By Rachel Greenspan for Time

With lime green alien suits and tin foil face masks, guests of the original Alienstock music festival gave extraterrestrials a run for their money.

One small Nevada town was bracing itself for the original alien-themed music festival that the viral internet joke that gave birth, anticipating that anywhere between 5,000 and 25,000 attendees would descend on their tiny desert town of 40-50 residents.

But what happened over the weekend in Rachel, Nevada, wasn’t remotely the catastrophe many had feared.

“It was honestly breathtaking,” says Matthew Carswell, 22, who flew from Miami to Nevada for Alienstock. “It was a really good atmosphere.”

Despite a small handful of arrests, it was mostly an invasion of friendly humankind. Most people came to the gathering in peace.

The number of guests for the Sept. 19 to Sept. 22 program peaked at only 3,000, according to the Reno Gazette Journal, after the event’s original organizer, Matty Roberts — the 21-year-old who started it all with the viral Facebook event, “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us,” in June — parted ways with the festival earlier in September. Roberts’ Facebook event had gone so viral that millions of people said they’d actually “storm Area 51,” the nearby mysterious military base that’s long mystified conspiracy theorists and pop culture aficionados alike who believe there’s proof of extraterrestrial life inside.

Revelers were mostly “chill,” Carswell says. “There were people ranging from kids, to couples, to families, to older people, just looking to have a good time.”

Roberts had cited his departure from the event as a result of “the lack of infrastructure, poor planning, risk management and blatant disregard for the safety of the expected 10,000+ AlienStock attendees,” according to his statement shared with TIME and other outlets. Some residents of Rachel, a town with only one business in its city limits that quietly sits 27 miles north of the ever-elusive Area 51, were also concerned.

Attendees dance to music during Alienstock festival on the  Extraterrestrial Highway in Rachel, Nevada on September 20, 2019.
Attendees dance to music during Alienstock festival on the “Extraterrestrial Highway in Rachel, Nevada on September 20, 2019. Bridget Bennett—AFP/Getty Images

“The people that are coming, I don’t know what they expect,” Bob Clabaugh, a retired pilot who lives in Rachel, told TIME on Thursday.

Another resident, who runs the town’s website and has owned property in Rachel since 2003, was upset from the beginning. “The locals are not on board, nobody asked us, and we don’t appreciate anyone threatening to take over our town,” Joerg Arnu told TIME back in August.

So when the crowd was manageable, music wasn’t too loud and fewer than ten arrests were made, mosts attendees — locals and visitors alike — were pretty surprised.

People gather for Alienstock in Rachel, Nevada on Saturday.
People gather for Alienstock in Rachel, Nevada on Saturday. Bob Clabaugh

“Everything went super smoothly,” Carswell says. “People had water, they had access to toilets. Everything people needed, they had access to.”

Danny Philippou, a 26-year-old YouTuber from Australia who attended Alienstock, was one of the hundreds who tried to mildly, jokingly “storm-but-not-really-actually-storm” the gates of Area 51 — but it was nothing the Air Force would be afraid of. “We were expecting a bigger, crazier event,” he tells TIME.

Photographer Josh Edelson shared a video on Twitter of Philippou and friends doing the “Naruto run,” as Roberts’ original Facebook event had called for.

But when Philippou ran up to the gates of Area 51, authorities were laughing. “The guards were unbelievably nice. They took photos with everyone and were pretty much just smiling,” he told TIME.

Carswell, who also visited the gates of the military base, echoed that sentiment. “They were really just there to act as a deterrent,” he says of the local law enforcement officials stationed at the entryway. “They were having just as much fun as us.”

As for whether he’d do it all over again, Carswell says he’s still surprised by just how much fun he had — and the “sense of community” at Alienstock was the best part of all. “I had a lot more fun than I thought I would,” he says.

While it ended up being quite calm, the county had enlisted the help of neighboring sheriff’s offices to assist in keeping the peace at the festival. “We will file charges where they’re necessary,” Lincoln County District Attorney Dylan Frehner told TIME on Thursday.

But only seven arrests were made during Alienstock, the county’s sheriff’s office said on Saturday night, and at least four of them were booked and released with citations. Though residents previously told TIME they feared violence and disorder in their tiny town, the biggest dangers were nearby car accidents.

“Looks like we dodged the big bullet,” says Clabaugh.

Write to Rachel E. Greenspan at rachel.greenspan@time.com.

Calif. governor grants clemency to 21 violent offenders

By Michael McGough
The Sacramento Bee

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gov. Gavin Newsom is commuting the sentences of 21 violent offenders incarcerated in California prisons, including four men who have convictions related to homicides in Sacramento County, the governor’s office announced Friday.

Jacoby Felix, Crystal Jones, Andrew Crater and Luis Alberto Velez were convicted of separate murders in the 1990s. All four, now granted commutations by Newsom, were convicted in Sacramento County and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

California Governor Gavin Newsom granted clemency to 21 offenders on September 16, 2019. Photo Credit: KTLA

The clemency action was announced Friday in a statement from the governor’s office, which describes the crimes committed by those four men and 17 other state prisoners, and explains the reasoning for commuting their sentences.

“The Governor carefully reviewed each application and considered a number of factors, including the circumstances of the crime and the sentence imposed, the applicant’s conduct while in prison and the applicant’s self-development efforts since the offense, including whether they have made use of available rehabilitative programs and addressed treatment needs,” a statement from Newsom’s office said.

Youth offender status was another important factor considered, with 15 of the 21 total commutations involving inmates convicted before the age of 26. The four Sacramento County grantees were all between ages 18 and 26 at the time of their crimes.

Velez has served more than 28 years of his sentence for killing an armed guard during a robbery in 1991. Velez was 26 at the time.

Felix, 18 at the time of his crime, fatally shot a man in 1993 during a carjacking, and has served 26 years.

Jones has served nearly 20 years for a 1999 drug-related murder.

Crater was convicted of first-degree murder for the death of musician Jim Pantages. Evidence shown at separate trials indicated that while it was Crater’s partner Thomas Robinson who pulled the trigger, Crater had supplied the gun, the car and the plan used in a June 1995 crime spree that included a string of armed robberies. Crater has served more than 24 years of his sentence.

Newsom’s commutations would make each offender eligible for suitability hearings with the state Board of Parole Hearings.

The commutations can be upheld or rejected by the California Supreme Court. The court blocked 10 clemency actions by former Gov. Jerry Brown in his final weeks in office, marking the first time since 1930 that a California governor’s commutation requests had been denied.

But Velez and Jones’ cases have already been reviewed and recommended by both the Board of Parole Hearings and the California Supreme Court, according to Friday’s news release. Those advance reviews are required by law for any commutation case involving an applicant with multiple felony convictions.

Velez, Felix and Crater would be eligible for parole suitability hearings in 2020. Jones would be eligible in approximately 2023 after serving 25 years of his life sentence.

Also included in Newsom’s commutations are Marcus McJimpson, who has served 31 years of two life terms for a 1988 Fresno County double murder, and 80-year-old Doris Roldan, who has been imprisoned since 1981 for the first-degree murder of her husband.

Roldan of Los Angeles County – who now uses a wheelchair, as noted in the governor’s statement – was recommended for clemency by her warden.

©2019 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.)

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Hundreds of Water Rescues as Imelda Soaks Texas

HOUSTON (AP) — The remnants of Tropical Depression Imelda unleashed torrential rain Thursday in parts of Texas, prompting hundreds of water rescues, a hospital evacuation and road closures as the powerful storm system drew comparisons to Hurricane Harvey two years ago.

Although the amount of predicted rainfall is massive — forecasters say some places could see 40 inches (100 centimeters) or more this week — Imelda’s deluge is largely targeting areas east of Houston, including the small town of Winnie and the city of Beaumont.

Still, the Houston area faced heavy rains Thursday, leading forecasters to issue a flash flood emergency through midday Thursday for Harris County. In that area, forecasters said 3 to 5 inches (7.5 centimeters to 12.5 centimeters) of rain is possible per hour.

Imelda is the first named storm to impact the Houston area since Hurricane Harvey dumped nearly 50 inches (130 centimeters) of rain on parts of the flood-prone city in August 2017.

No reports of deaths or injuries related to the storm were immediately reported Thursday.

A man walks into high water into his neighborhood as rain from Tropical Depression Imelda inundated the area on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, near Patton Village, Texas. (Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle via AP)

East of Houston, some local officials said the rainfall was causing flooding worse than what happened during Hurricane Harvey. In Winnie, a town of about 3,200 people 60 miles (95 kilometers) east of Houston, a hospital was evacuated and water was inundating several homes and businesses.

“What I’m sitting in right now makes Harvey look like a little thunderstorm,” Chambers County Sheriff Brian Hawthorne told Houston TV station KTRK.

Hawthorne told The Associated Press that emergency workers rescued about 200 people overnight, and that an additional 50 households were on a waiting list to be rescued Thursday morning. He said airboats from the sheriff’s office and the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department were helping with the rescues, along with high-water vehicles.

“It’s as bad as I’ve ever seen it. Right now I’m in an absolute deluge of rain,” Hawthorne told the AP on Thursday morning as he took cover under a carport at an auto dealership in Winnie. The town “looks like a lake.”

“Right now, as a Texas sheriff, the only thing that I really want is for people to pray that it will quit raining,” he added.

In Beaumont, a city of just under 120,000 people about 30 miles (50 kilometers) from the Gulf of Mexico, authorities said all service roads were impassable and two hospitals were inaccessible, the Beaumont Enterprise reported. Beaumont police said on Twitter that 911 has received requests for more than 250 high water rescues and 270 evacuations.

“It’s bad. Homes that did not flood in Harvey are flooding now,” Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick said. During Harvey, Beaumont’s only pump station was swamped by floodwaters, leaving residents without water service for more than a week.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood emergency for several counties, saying “life-threatening amounts of rainfall” have fallen and more was expected Thursday. Imelda’s center was about 110 miles (180 kilometers) north of Houston early Thursday and was moving north-northwest at 5 mph (7 kph), according to the National Hurricane Center.

Heavy rainfall occurred Wednesday in many areas. Thunderstorms spawned several weak tornadoes in the Baytown area, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of Houston, damaging trees, barns and sheds and causing minor damage to some homes and vehicles.

Coastal counties, including Brazoria, Matagorda and Galveston, were hit hard by rainfall through Wednesday. Sargent, a town of about 2,700 residents in Matagorda County, had received nearly 20 inches (50 centimeters) of rain since Tuesday.

Karen Romero, who lives with her husband in Sargent, said it was the most rain she had had in her neighborhood in her nine years living there.

“The rain (Tuesday) night was just massive sheets of rain and lightning storms,” said Romero, 57.

She said her home, located along a creek, was not in danger of flooding as it sits on stilts, like many others nearby.

In the Houston area, the rainfall flooded some roadways Wednesday, stranding drivers, and caused several creeks and bayous to rise.

The National Hurricane Center said Imelda weakened to a tropical depression after making landfall as a tropical storm Tuesday near Freeport, Texas, with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph (64 kph).

The flooding from Imelda came as Hurricane Humberto blew off rooftops and toppled trees in the British Atlantic island of Bermuda, and Hurricane Jerry was expected to move to the northern Leeward Islands on Friday and north of Puerto Rico on Saturday.


Associated Press writers Diana Heidgerd in Dallas and Jill Bleed in Little Rock, Arkansas, contributed to this report.

All contents © copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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Greensboro firefighters wearing special wristbands to analyze chemicals they are exposed to

By Natalie Wilson, Fox News 8

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Greensboro firefighters could find out what toxins they’re being exposed to just by wearing wristbands.

Greensboro, Raleigh and Durham fire departments are partnering with the Duke Cancer Institute for a study analyzing chemicals that could put firefighters at risk for cancer.

“I’ve been very involved in training firefighters my whole career and I’ve been exposed to a lot of different things and it’s really crossed my mind an awful lot,” Greensboro Fire Department Assistant Chief over Health & Safety Alex Gossett said.

Duke Cancer Institute will study what’s collected on the wristbands to get more concrete answers on what firefighters are exposed to.

“We’re going to have one group of firefighters who wear a wristband continuously all day long and that will give us a longitudinal measure of their entire exposure history from sun up to sundown. We’ll have another group of firefighters who only wear the wristband when they’re going into a fire situation,” said Dr. Steven Patierno, deputy director of the Duke Cancer Institute.

The goal is to have 1,000 firefighters participate across the three departments.

The hope is the collected data will provide better guidance on cancer prevention methods, including the equipment cleaning process.

Some of Durham’s firefighters are currently wearing the bands as part of a pilot program.

It’s expected to be several months before the larger study fully begins.

Rescues in the Bahamas as Hurricane Dorian Moves Toward U.S. Coast

U.S. Coast Guard and Britain’s Royal Navy work to get people to safety

By RAMON ESPINOSA, DÁNICA COTO and MICHAEL WEISSENSTEIN Associated Press

FREEPORT, Bahamas (AP) — Bahamians rescued victims of Hurricane Dorian with jet skis and a bulldozer as the U.S. Coast Guard, Britain’s Royal Navy and a handful of aid groups tried to get food and medicine to survivors and take the most desperate people to safety.

Airports were flooded and roads impassable after the most powerful storm to hit the Bahamas in recorded history parked over Abaco and Grand Bahama islands, pounding them with winds up to 185 mph (295 kph) and torrential rain before finally moving into open waters Tuesday on a course toward Florida.

People on the U.S. coast made final preparations for a storm with winds at a still-dangerous 110 mph (175 kph), making it a Category 2 storm.

At least seven deaths were reported in the Bahamas, with the full scope of the disaster still unknown.

Volunteers rescue several families that arrived on small boats, from the rising waters of Hurricane Dorian, near the Causarina bridge in Freeport, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019. The storm’s punishing winds and muddy brown floodwaters devastated thousands of homes, crippled hospitals and trapped people in attics. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

The storm’s punishing winds and muddy brown floodwaters destroyed or severely damaged thousands of homes, crippled hospitals and trapped people in attics.

“It’s total devastation. It’s decimated. Apocalyptic,” said Lia Head-Rigby, who helps run a local hurricane relief group and flew over the Bahamas’ hard-hit Abaco Islands. “It’s not rebuilding something that was there; we have to start again.”

She said her representative on Abaco told her there were “a lot more dead,” though she had no numbers as bodies being gathered.

The Bahamas’ prime minister also expected more deaths and predicted that rebuilding would require “a massive, coordinated effort.”

“We are in the midst of one of the greatest national crises in our country’s history,” Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said at a news conference. “No effort or resources will be held back.”

Five Coast Guard helicopters ran near-hourly flights to the stricken Abaco, flying more than 20 injured people to the capital’s main hospital. British sailors were also rushing in aid. A few private aid groups also tried to reach the battered islands in the northern Bahamas.

“We don’t want people thinking we’ve forgotten them. … We know what your conditions are,” Tammy Mitchell of the Bahamas’ National Emergency Management Agency told ZNS Bahamas radio station.

Julia Aylen wades through waist deep water carrying her pet dog as she is rescued from her flooded home during Hurricane Dorian in Freeport, Bahamas, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019. Practically parking over the Bahamas for a day and a half, Dorian pounded away at the islands Tuesday in a watery onslaught that devastated thousands of homes, trapped people in attics and crippled hospitals. Julia Aylen is the daughter of Photojournalist Tim Aylen, author of this photo. (AP Photo/Tim Aylen)

With their heads bowed against heavy wind and rain, rescuers began evacuating people from the storm’s aftermath across Grand Bahama island late Tuesday, using jet skis, boats and even a huge bulldozer that cradled children and adults in its digger as it churned through deep waters and carried them to safety.

One rescuer gently scooped up an elderly man in his arms and walked toward a pickup truck waiting to evacuate him and others to higher ground.

Over 2 million people along the coast in Florida, Georgia and North and South Carolina were warned to evacuate. While the threat of a direct hit on Florida had all but evaporated, Dorian was expected to pass dangerously close to Georgia and South Carolina — and perhaps strike North Carolina — on Thursday or Friday. The hurricane’s eye passed to the east of Cape Canaveral, Florida, early Wednesday.

Even if landfall does not occur, the system is likely to cause storm surge and severe flooding, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

“Don’t tough it out. Get out,” said U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency official Carlos Castillo.

In the Bahamas, Red Cross spokesman Matthew Cochrane said more than 13,000 houses, or about 45% of the homes on Grand Bahama and Abaco, were believed to be severely damaged or destroyed. U.N. officials said more than 60,000 people on the hard-hit islands will need food, and the Red Cross said some 62,000 will need clean drinking water.

“What we are hearing lends credence to the fact that this has been a catastrophic storm and a catastrophic impact,” Cochrane said.

Lawson Bates, a staffer for Arkansas-based MedicCorps, flew over Abaco and said: “It looks completely flattened. There’s boats way inland that are flipped over. It’s total devastation.”

The Red Cross authorized $500,000 for the first wave of disaster relief, Cochrane said. U.N. humanitarian teams stood ready to go into the stricken areas to help assess damage and the country’s needs, U.N. spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said. The U.S. government also sent a disaster response team.

Abaco and Grand Bahama islands, with a combined population of about 70,000, are known for their marinas, golf courses and all-inclusive resorts. To the south, the Bahamas’ most populous island, New Providence, which includes the capital city of Nassau and has over a quarter-million people, had little damage.

The U.S. Coast Guard airlifted at least 21 people injured on Abaco. Choppy, coffee-colored floodwaters reached roofs and the tops of palm trees.

“We will confirm what the real situation is on the ground,” Health Minister Duane Sands said. “We are hoping and praying that the loss of life is limited.”

Volunteers walk under the wind and rain from Hurricane Dorian through a flooded road as they work to rescue families near the Causarina bridge in Freeport, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019. The storm’s punishing winds and muddy brown floodwaters devastated thousands of homes, crippled hospitals and trapped people in attics. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Sands said Dorian rendered the main hospital on Grand Bahama unusable, while the hospital at Marsh Harbor on Abaco was in need of food, water, medicine and surgical supplies. He said crews were trying to fly out five to seven kidney failure patients from Abaco who had not received dialysis since Friday.

The Grand Bahama airport was under 6 feet (2 meters) of water.

Late Tuesday, Dorian was centered about 95 miles (155 kilometers) east of Cape Canaveral, Florida, and it was moving northwest at 6 mph (9 kph). Hurricane-force winds extended up to 60 miles (95 kilometers) from its center, while tropical storm-force winds could be felt up to 175 miles (280 kilometers) from the core.

The U.S. coast from north of West Palm Beach, Florida, through Georgia was expected to get 3 to 6 inches of rain, with 9 inches in places, while the Carolinas could get 5 to 10 inches and 15 in spots, the National Hurricane Center said.

NASA satellite imagery through Monday night showed some places in the Bahamas had gotten as much as 35 inches (89 centimeters) of rain, said private meteorologist Ryan Maue.

Parliament member Iram Lewis said he feared waters would keep rising and stranded people would lose contact with officials as their cellphone batteries died.

Dorian also left one person dead in its wake in Puerto Rico before slamming into the Bahamas on Sunday. It tied the record for the strongest Atlantic storm ever to hit land, matching the Labor Day hurricane that struck Florida’s Gulf Coast in 1935, before storms were given names.

Across the Southeast, interstate highways leading away from beaches in South Carolina and Georgia were turned into one-way evacuation routes. Several airports announced closings, and hundreds of flights were canceled. Walt Disney World in Orlando closed in the afternoon, and SeaWorld shut down.

Police in coastal Savannah, Georgia, announced an overnight curfew. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper ordered a mandatory evacuation of the dangerously exposed barrier islands along the state’s entire coast.

Having seen storms swamp his home on the Georgia coast in 2016 and 2017, Joey Spalding of Tybee Island decided to empty his house and stay at a friend’s apartment nearby rather than take any chances with Dorian.

He packed a U-Haul truck with tables, chairs, a chest of drawers, tools — virtually all of his furnishings except for his mattress and a large TV — and planned to park it on higher ground. He also planned to shroud his house in plastic wrap up to shoulder height and pile sandbags in front of the doors.

“In this case, I don’t have to come into a house full of junk,” he said. “I’m learning a little as I go.”


Associated Press journalist Ramon Espinosa reported this story in Freeport, AP writer Danica Coto reported from San Juan, Puerto Rico, and AP writer Michael Weissenstein reported from Nassau, Bahamas. AP writers Tim Aylen in Freeport, Russ Bynum in Georgia and Seth Borenstein in Washington contributed to this report.

All contents © copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Product Post: Able 2 LightStorm Split Signal Stick

The Able 2 LightStorm Split Signal Stick is a great warning/directional solution for the back of any vehicle. Twenty-four 3-watt Luminator LEDs (12 in each half) utilize Total Reflection optics to provide exceptionally bright light. Comes with a deluxe controller with 12 selectable flash patterns, variable speed control dial and LED flash pattern indicator lights. Black anodized aluminum housing has T-slot (slide bolt) mounting channel on back and underside for easy installation.

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Suitable for interior or exterior use.

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  • Twenty-four 3-watt Luminator LEDs utilize Total Reflection optics to provide exceptionally bright light.
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  • Comes with a deluxe controller with 12 selectable flash patterns, variable speed control dial and LED flash pattern indicator lights.
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Fiat ambulance fleet rolls out in the eastern region

From the Emergency Services Times

Bespoke ambulances which have been specially designed to give patients a smoother journey while improving the care East of England Service NHS Trust (EEAST) crews are able to provide have started to hit the roads.

A total of 12 vehicles are going into service in Norfolk and Waveney, with a further 43 set to be rolled out across the eastern region in the coming months and another 171 by next April. EEAST has invested around £21m in the 226 vehicles, which have been developed following extensive consultation with staff, patients, carers groups and trade unions.

The ambulances have been designed to make transfers smoother and more comfortable for patients, who will be positioned in the centre of the vehicle rather to one side, in turn allowing family members to sit with them or specialist medics to work around them.

In a first for English trusts, EEAST is installing automatic self-loading stretchers as standard so staff no longer need to push patients up a ramp or onto a tail lift into the vehicle, reducing the chances of musculoskeletal problems while also improving the patient experience. The trust is also the first to begin using powered carry chairs so that staff do not have to lift patients when going up or downstairs.

In addition, the new vehicles include a camera and intercom system so the clinician in the cab can communicate with their colleague looking after the patient in the back. The internal layout will also make equipment easy to access in any clinical situation, while electronic checklists will be used to monitor stock and ensure each ambulance carries the correct supplies, saving crews from verifying items manually.

The vehicles are also significantly lighter than EEAST’s existing fleet, making them more efficient and environmentally-friendly, as CO2 emissions, fuel costs and maintenance will be reduced. This will save an estimated £3.3m every year when all of the vehicles have been replaced.

The final design for the ambulance was chosen after staff were given the chance to test four prototype vehicles in a real working environment before feeding back their views.

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Technology Preview: Detecting Weapons with Radio Waves

By David Griffith at Police Mag

In the wake of the El Paso and Dayton mass shootings, many American law enforcement officers and private security professionals are asking how these attacks can be prevented or at least mitigated. Canada’s First Responder Technologies believes it may have the answer, a new way of detecting concealed firearms.

The new Concealed Weapon Detection Device being developed by First Responder uses WiFi signals to detect hidden threats. The technology was developed by researchers at Rutgers University in the School of Engineering’s Wireless Information Network Laboratory. First Responder recently secured exclusive rights to commercialize the concept.

Artist rendering of how the WiFi technology licensed by First Responder Technologies can detect concealed weapons. The company hopes to have a beta product by next summer. Image: First Responder Technologies

Robert Delamar, CEO of First Responder Technologies, says the Rutgers research is a “very impressive feat of engineering.” He likens the technology to radar. The WiFi signal is transmitted around the area being protected and when it is reflected off of a suspicious object it can alert security personnel.

First Responder says there are advantages to using WiFi instead of millimeter wave technology currently in use at many of the nation’s airports. The WiFi system uses a lower frequency for better penetration of clothes, cases, and packs; there is no need for an FCC operating license to use it; and there are no known health risks, the company says on its website.

The inventor of the WiFi weapon detection technology, Yingying (Jennifer) Chen, a professor at Rutgers, believes it’s a “game changer” for the security profession. “The cost will be much lower than X-ray-based systems,” she says on a First Responder Technologies’ video. Because of the lower cost, Chen says more facilities will have better security. “Public safety could be significantly improved,” she says.

The WiFi signals can be used to detect cans, laptops, batteries inside bombs, and liquids as well as guns. But Delamar says his company’s primary focus at the moment is developing a practical tool for detecting guns in areas where they should not be, especially long guns.

He envisions the system augmenting other security measures at schools and other public buildings. The First Responder system would not require additional security personnel and it would not inconvenience the public. “It will produce a detection field that people can walk through,” according to Delamar. “It could look like fence posts around the building, so it’s relatively inconspicuous,” he explains.

Delamar says the system uses WiFi points like the ones used for internet connectivity and three access points are sufficient for covering 20 meters (66 feet) of space.

First Responder is currently working with Rutgers and the Canadian engineering firm Misty West to develop a prototype, and Delamar says he believes the company will be able to demonstrate it soon. The next step after that is a beta product, which he believes will be available for testing in summer 2020.

“This is all about finding a way to create a better perimeter detection system,” Delamar says. And he realizes the urgency for such a new security concept and what it could mean for law enforcement and the American public.

“A mass shooter is intent on killing as many people as quickly as possible,” he says. “If this technology can give law enforcement and security a 10-, 15-, or 30-second heads up, that can save a lot of lives.”

In addition to developing the WiFi weapons detection technology for facility security, First Responder is working on a wearable WiFi weapon detection system for law enforcement. And the company is even working on a short lifespan pepper spray. As Delamar is quick to point out, the “technologies” is in the company’s name for a reason. “It’s plural because we are actually developing several technologies for first responders,” he says.

www.1strespondertechnologies.com

Lion and Dinges Fire Company Partner to Distribute First Responder PPE

From FireFighterNation

DAYTON, OH—In an effort to improve customer support and coverage throughout the Midwest, LION and Dinges Fire Company are partnering to distribute first responder personal protective equipment (PPE).

LION is the largest family-owned manufacturer of first responder personal protective equipment (PPE) in the United States. In addition to producing some of the most high-quality, cutting-edge turnout gear available, LION also offers a holistic suite of critical fire service products and services that no other U.S. manufacturer provides. From state-of-the-art digital fire training tools to live-fire training products and custom builds, LION’s training product portfolio covers a large spectrum of fire department training needs. Additionally, LION TotalCare® provides first responders with professional PPE cleaning, repair, and inspection services as a verified Independent Service Provider.

“Growth is always on our minds at LION, and we are relentlessly looking for partners who share this mind-set,” said Mark Smith, senior vice president of LION Americas. “Dinges is a first-class company that has proven it knows how to grow and is truly passionate about this industry for the right reasons. They are exactly the type of distributor LION is looking for, so we are more than excited to begin this partnership that will allow us to expand our shared purpose of protecting and educating first responders.”

Dinges Fire Company, based in Amboy, IL, is a growing emergency service distributor, committed to protecting America’s emergency responders with the best safety and protection equipment on the market. With over 200 years of firefighting experience among their team, they take tremendous pride in being firefighters serving firefighters.

“We are proud to align ourselves with a company that shares so many of our core values as well as the same passion for the safety of our first responders,” said Nicholas Dinges, CEO of Dinges Fire Company.  “We look forward to growing this partnership with LION for many years to come.”

Dinges Fire Company began distributing LION products in early September 2019. 

For more information, visit www.lionprotects.com or www.dingesfire.com

Product Post: Tomar Dual Channel Mini LED Warning Light

TOMAR’s RECT-14LS dual channel, ultra high intensity, LED warning light delivers a huge impact in a small footprint. Dual channels offer independent function of up to two lamp colors with 41 user-selectable flash patterns. Made of optical Lexan and hermetically sealed, this one piece, fit anywhere design makes installation a breeze.

At only 4.5″ x 1.25″ x .75″ the RECT-14LS is one of the smallest warning lights on the market to meet SAE J845, SAE J595 and CAL Title 13 specifications. The RECT-14LS’s compact size makes it the perfect auxiliary light for all the hard to fit locations. Mount directly to the body, the rearview mirror, grille or the license plate. A complete line of brackets means you can mount this light practically anywhere.

Interested in buying a Tomar Dual Channel Mini LED Warning Light? Click here.

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Product Post: Code 3 LED Visor Flip Light

The Code 3 Visor Flip Light is a High Functioning, Low Cost, Undercover Emergency Visor Light. Lightweight and only 1 inch thick with extremely bright LEDs that provide effective emergency lighting when needed. Fits snugly on visor and is unseen until power is applied. Simple to operate and easily plugs into cigarette lighter. Meets all applicable SAE and California Title 13 specifications when properly configured.

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Specifications:

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Storming Area 51 started as a joke. But it’s a mystery as to how many will show up

By David Montero, Staff Writer for the LA Times.

This article originally appeared in the LA Times.

LAS VEGAS —  It was supposed to be a fun joke. Create an event on Facebook that was so absurd, everyone would have a laugh, share a meme and then move on with their lives.

Terris Williams visits an entrance to the Nevada Test and Training Range near Area 51 in Nevada
Terris Williams visits an entrance to the Nevada Test and Training Range near Area 51 in Nevada in July. The Air Force has warned people against storming the top-secret Cold War test site.
(John Locher / Associated Press)

Instead, Matty Roberts got a visit from the FBI, the Air Force has warned it is ready for anything, and rural Lincoln County, Nev., is preparing to declare a state of emergency.

In late June, Roberts, a 20-year-old from Bakersfield, posted his Facebook event: “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us.”

The idea was simple. Overwhelm the top-secret Nevada military site with people — a mass of humanity that would storm the gates in pursuit of long-hidden truths that have long fueled conspiracy theories and television shows including “The X-Files.”ADVERTISEMENT

It would all happen on Sept. 20. Finally, alien autopsies, UFOs in hangars and other off-the-books government research would be exposed. Vindication, Mulder and Scully!

The post got little attention at first, but a few days later it started to go viral, and by mid-July more than 1 million people said on Facebook they were planning to attend.

“We will all meet up at the Area 51 Alien Center tourist attraction and coordinate our entry,” wrote a video game streamer with the handle SmyleeKun. “If we naruto run, we can move faster than their bullets.”

Naruto run is a reference to anime ninja Naruto Uzumaki, who runs with body and head leaning forward while keeping his arms straight behind his back.

Good luck with that.

The authorities soon heard about the plan and, unsurprising, weren’t amused. It wasn’t long before Roberts began backpedaling.

Interviewed by ABC News, he had a simple message for those who planned to carry out a raid on Area 51: “Please don’t.”

But it was too late. As of Wednesday, more than 2 million people were signed up to attend.

Air Force spokeswoman Laura McAndrews issued a statement to the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday suggesting any attempt to rush Area 51 would be an ill-fated endeavor.

“The United States Air Force is aware of the Facebook post. The Nevada Test and Training Range is an area where the Air Force tests and trains combat aircraft,” she said. “As a matter of practice, we do not discuss specific security measures, but any attempt to illegally access military installations or military training areas is dangerous.”

Not to worry. Roberts told the “Today” show this month that the event was no longer a wholesale raid on Area 51 but instead a gathering dubbed “Alienstock.”

A website for the event describes it as a festival “aiming to establish something unique here, a meeting place for all the believers … a place to freely discuss Aliens & the Unknown!”

It would take place in the 50-person town of Rachel, pending a formal permit approval by the Lincoln County Commission on Sept. 3. The application came from a local inn owner, who estimated the crowd would number between 5,000 and 30,000. Humans, that is.

Lincoln County has a population of about 5,000 and covers 10,000 square miles of high-desert mountain landscape.

Commissioner Bevan Lister says the county gets its biggest crowds for the Pioche Labor Day Weekend Celebration, when about 1,400 people come for food, games and festivities.

He said for that event, they staff up on volunteers to help coordinate the heavy traffic that comes via two-lane state highways.

The county, he believed, could deal with 30,000 visitors. But 50,000? Or 100,000? Or more?

“There will be some serious challenges,” Lister said.

The governor’s office is aware of the situation and has been monitoring it, according to a spokesman. If the county follows through with its plan to declare an emergency, the state would help with the costs of resources used to maintain order during the event.

The National Guard could be deployed, if needed, but Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee said his department had already contacted law enforcement in Reno to assist with large crowds.

The town of Rachel is already gearing up for large numbers to arrive.

The city’s only lodging — the Little A’Le’Inn — is booked, according to its website. There is no gas station in town. No grocery stores either.

The town of Rachel put on its website a caution to those planning to arrive anyway.

“If you plan on attending the event you must be experienced in camping, hiking and surviving in a harsh desert environment and have a vehicle in good shape,” the website reads. “You must be prepared to be completely on your own for food, water, gas, etc. We expect cell service and the internet in Rachel to be offline. Credit card processing will not work, so bring enough cash.”

Then came this ominous warning: “Law enforcement will be overwhelmed and local residents will step up to protect their property. It will get ugly.”

The town website also urged people to attend a different event scheduled for the same day a few hours away in Nye County: Peacestock 51.

Tickets are advertised for $51, with 18 bands scheduled to perform in the town of Amargosa.

Or at least they were. The country commissioners voted Tuesday to deny a permit. An organizer said in an email that he was “still trying to save the event in one form or another.”

Area 51 is a military base in use since the 1940s that is primarily used for testing military aircraft and has been cloaked in secrecy for decades. One of the more notable aircraft to be tested there was the U-2 spy plane in the 1950s.

It has been the subject of many conspiracy theories. In 2017, the New York Times and Politico revealed the existence of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, which the Pentagon ran to study unidentified flying objects and unexplained phenomena.

It was also revealed that Nevada Sen. Harry Reid had helped push through $22 million in funding for studying UFOs. In 2017, after the publication of the stories about the Pentagon’s studies, he tweeted: “The truth is out there.”

This year, responding to a Freedom of Information Act request by the Federation of American Scientists’ Project on Government Secrecy, the Pentagon declassified documents showing it funded projects that examined wormholes and alternate dimensions.

The big questions now are how many people will show up in the Nevada desert and what will they do.

The Facebook event page has remained active, with a steady stream of posts that remain mostly sarcastic.

“Has anyone consulted Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum about this?” said one post, referencing the 1996 blockbuster film “Independence Day.” “I feel they are the Leading experts for Area 51.”

Art Frasik, who signed up to attend, said in a Facebook message that he had been interested in aliens since he was a kid and saw “Independence Day.”

Frasik, a 33-year-old real estate investor from Ohio, said he was looking for transportation to get to Area 51 for the storming event and that he believed the site contained “extraterrestrial related stuff.”

“There’s more people who are serious about it than what you think,” he wrote. “We understand that there is more power in numbers and the only way this is going to work is to show up.”

Grant Fielder, a delivery truck driver in Arkansas who posted that he wanted to storm the mysterious site, said in an interview that he believed Americans had a right to know what was going on at the base.

“There is something out there,” he said.

But the 24-year-old said he wouldn’t be able to make it for a more terrestrial reason.

“I have to work,” he said.

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Product Post: Whelen 18 Super-LED Strip-Lite Compartment Light

The Whelen 18 Super-LED Strip-Lite Compartment Light with level 3 intensity has a slim rectangular shape that offers mounting versatility in tight spaces. Put lighting on stairs and doors, under handrails and steps, in trunks compartments and on motorcycle boxes or wherever you need a low current, high performance surface mounted light. All Strip-Lites have an unconditional Five Year HDP, Heavy-Duty Professional Warranty.

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International Association of Fire Chiefs CEO and Executive Director Mark Light Retires

From FireFighterNation

On August 19, 2019, the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) announced that Mark Light has retired from his position as CEO and Executive Director.

Mark Light said, “It is with mixed emotions that I announce my retirement. It has been my sincere honor to lead the IAFC as CEO and Executive Director for the past 12 years. IAFC has accomplished many things during my tenure and I am proud of these accomplishments. None of those accomplishments could have happened without the full support of the IAFC Board of Directors and the IAFC staff. I cherish the relationships I’ve developed with so many of individuals over the years. Know that I am sad to step away from working with and for a vibrant and remarkable organization. The fire service is the most noble industry on planet Earth. It has been my sincere privilege to serve this profession for over 42 years.”

IAFC President (2018-19), Dan Eggleston, said, “Under Mark’s leadership, IAFC has expanded learning opportunities and executive fire officer training for leaders and emerging leaders, promoted diversity and inclusion in the fire and emergency service with iDELP and Women Chiefs Council, increased its operating budget from $10.5 million to $22.5 million, relocated its headquarters to a location that is better suited for IAFC business needs, implemented a social media and the conneXions education programs, and experienced a growth in IAFC staff from 32 to 68 employees. On behalf of the Board and the membership, we thank Mark for his contributions and wish him well.”

“We now begin a search for a new CEO and Executive Director to lead IAFC in achieving its short- and long-term strategic goals. The Board and I look forward to working with the next CEO and Executive Director to advance IAFC’s mission of supporting current and future fire and emergency service leaders worldwide through vision, information, education, services and representation to enhance their professionalism and capabilities.”

The Deputy Director will be the interim lead for the organization, reporting directly to the IAFC Board of Directors until the new Executive Director is selected and onboarded. More information regarding the Executive Director position will be available on the IAFC website, www.iafc.org, in the coming weeks.