Category: Sirennet Blog

As Yellow Vest Protests in France Continue, Support Drops

For 13 consecutive weekends, Paris has witnessed demonstrations by the Yellow Vest (Gilet Jaune) protestors which have often broken out into violence.

Yellow vest demonstrators marching on the Champs Elysees in Paris, on November 24, 2018. /AFP

For 3 months, hundreds of anti-government protestors have marched through the French capital leading to violent clashes between demonstrators and riot police, arrests, vandalism, and recently a conviction.

French boxer Christophe Dettinger, a retired national light-heavyweight champion, was sentenced to one year in jail for punching an officer during a protest on January 5. The attack was caught on camera. Dettinger maintains he was defending a woman he believed was a victim of police violence.

What initially began as a protest against high diesel prices and high cost of living has become a demonstration against inequality and anger towards French President Emmanuel Macron.

However, recent polls show that French residents do not believe the current group of protestors represents the initial demonstrations, as both extreme left-wing and extreme right-wing members and anarchists have joined the Yellow Vest movement and been blamed for turning to looting and rioting during marches.

Protesters wearing yellow vests at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France, January 12, 2019. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

A survey conducted by polling company Elabe indicated that 56 percent of French citizens think the weekly protests should end. This is up 11 points from early January and is also the first time a majority of citizens have shown opposition to the demonstrations.

While support is waning for the yellow vest activists, the movement still hopes to achieve a seat in government though they are not politically unified and lack an appointed leader.

Federal Signal Announces Products Compatible with 2019 Ford F-150 PPV MU759 l 2-8-19

The company announced the following product applications
and brackets can be used for the 2019 Ford F-150 PPV MU759 l 2-8-19.

Product Applications:
• HKB-FRD15-44 is the recommended hook kit for mounting 44-, 45-, and 46-inch light bars. HKB-FRD15 is the
recommended hook kit for mounting 51- and 53-inch light bars.
• New ESB2-FRD15ND can be used to mount (2) DynaMax®/ES100C speakers in the grille of the vehicle using pre-drilled holes.
• Existing RB-FRD15 is the recommended Rumbler® bracket for models without Ecoboost. New RB-FRD15E is the
recommended Rumbler bracket for models with Ecoboost®.
• New IPX-GRL14 can be used to mount IPX/MPS lights in the grille of the vehicle using pre-drilled holes.
• New CNSM-FRD18ND can be used to mount a 4-head CN SignalMaster™ in the grille of the vehicle using pre-drilled holes.
• Existing vehicle specific SpectraLux® ILS Low-profile Center Focused (SIFM) models can be mounted to the front headliner
of the vehicle.
• New MPSMW9-FRD15MIR can be used to mount MPSMW9 lights to the side mirrors of the vehicle.
• New SLB-FRD15ND can be used to mount an 8-head CN SignalMaster or Latitude to the rear headliner.
• New FR-F150FOG can be used to mount (1) 4×3 FireRay® in each fog light of the vehicle.
• New MPSM6-FRD15RB can be used to mount (3) MPS6U/MPS620U lights to each running board.

A link to the full press release can be found here: https://www.fedsig.com/sites/default/files/news/pdf/MU759%20product%20applications%20and%20brackets%20can%20be%20used%20for%20the%202018-2019%20Ford%20F-150%20PPV.pdf

#SirennetStreetReporter Honolulu Police Department Closer Look

#SirennetStreetReporter Anthony Chang sent us 2 photos of Honolulu PD vehicles last week, and his reporting was so thorough we felt we had to share it on the blog.

The first photo features a Ford Taurus Police Interceptor with full HPD markings and logos.

Admitting that he could be mistaken, Chang spotted a Liberty II lightbar, Mirror-Beams with ION lightheads in blue, as well as blue ION lightheads on the sides below the vehicle number, and white IONs in the Setina push-bumper, all from Whelen Engineering.

“There also seems to be white LINZ6 lightheads on the side of the push-bumper. At the back, the lighting package is finished off with Vertexes mounted in the brake light and reverse light housings, along with a pair of SpitFire SFP1s on the rear deck. There’s also a siren speaker mounted on the push-bumper, and I suspect there’s a Howler since I’ve heard the lower tone siren from these Police Interceptors before,” Chang writes.

Honolulu PD’s Ford Taurus Police Interceptor
Courtesy of Anthony Chang

Chang also sent in a snapshot of an unmarked Toyota 4Runner, which can be used as both for personal and patrol purposes by some HPD officers. These lucky officers get to choose what car they want from an approved list featuring the Toyota Camry, Dodge Charger, Nissan Altima, and the Nissan Murano, among others. Most officers tend to go with the Toyota 4Runner or Toyota Camry.

Unmarked Toyota 4Runner used by Honolulu PD.
Courtesy of Anthony Chang

When it comes to lighting, Chang says most rigs feature Whelen products. “4Runners and other subsidized vehicles use the permanent mount version of the Whelen Responder LP Mini. At the back, a Whelen Dual Avenger is either mounted on the deck or to the headliner. Officers are also free to add on a dash light, surface-mount lightheads, and/or hideaway strobes,” writes Chang.

“Although the permanent mount version of the Responder is used, the mini bars are actually mounted to a custom-built crossbar that clamps to the door jamb of subsidized vehicles. The wiring for the bar is then run through the door jamb, just like you would with a magnet mount light. The crossbar is removable, allowing officers to dismount the Responder when they’re off-duty.”

Thanks again for all the information and photos, Anthony! We’ll just be sitting here picturing ourselves on the beach in Honolulu with our tricked out 4Runner parked somewhere nearby.

Snowball Fight between Washington Police and Kids goes Viral

A rare snow day in Puget Sound, Washington State called for an epic snowball battle between Duvall police officers and a group of local kids.

The video of the showdown, which has since gone viral, shows policemen pulling up to the scene in squad cars. The officers repeat “No mercy, boys, no mercy!” as they take on a “group of hostiles” but eventually retreat as the kids’ firepower turns out to be too much for the cops.

Check out the video, which was posted on Duvall PD’s Twitter page, below:

Greenville, N.C. Buys New Ambulances to Help Shoulder Fire Crews’ Burden

New ambulances at a Greenville, North Carolina fire department feature heavy-duty stretchers to help reduce workplace injuries among firefighters.
Courtesy of: WITN.com

A fire department in Greenville, North Carolina has received several new vehicles that will act as ambulances to help with patients and take some of the burden off of paramedic teams.

The vehicles are equipped with special stretchers that will make it easier to move heavy patients, as the department has seen a 25% increase in workers comp injuries in recent years. The stretchers aim to take some of the weight, literally, off of firefighters’ shoulders.

The special stretchers can hold up to 700 pounds.

This story was first reported by WITN.com

Massive Fire at UK Supermarket Warehouse brings out over 300 Firefighters

A warehouse used by United Kingdom online supermarket chain Ocado in the town of Andover went up in flames in the early hours of February 5, bringing out over 300 firefighters to put out the fire.

200 firefighters were initially called out to help extinguish the blaze that was first reported on February 5 at 2:44am GMT. Fire crews confirmed that automated packaging machinery was involved in the blaze.

Aerial footage of Ocado warehouse fire in Andover, Hampshire, UK.
Courtesy of: Sky News

On February 6 the fire escalated, causing 100 residents in the surrounding area to be evacuated from their homes due to fears of possible explosions from a three-tonne cylinder of toxic ammonia gas located in the burning building. The fire service deemed the event a “major incident” and called in additional crews of firefighters. The total number of firefighters working the blaze is estimated to be 300.

Four of the firefighters have been treated for minor smoke inhalation, but no other injuries or issues were reported by crews or staff at the warehouse.

Speaking with the BBC, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Services said the fire was “no longer considered to be a major incident and roads around are the site are open” but said crews would be at the warehouse “for weeks”.

Crews working to put out the blaze at Ocado warehouse in Andover, Hampshire, UK.
Courtesy of: BBC

Firefighters Respond to Floods in Northern Italy

Italy’s national fire service, Vigili del Fuoco, said it carried out water rescues on Saturday, February 2, as widespread flooding in the northern region of Emilia-Romagna left people stranded in vehicles and buildings. The fire service shared footage on Saturday said to show one of their helicopters working to airlift three people at Castel Maggiore, north of Bologna, where the River Reno had flooded. The rescue was executed with the help of the Carabinieri, one of Italy’s major law enforcement agencies, which said a woman with motor function difficulties was among the three people who were rescued. On Sunday, the fire service released aerial footage showing the extent of the floods in the same area.

Credit: Vigili del Fuoco via Storyful

Italian firefighters use planks of wood to rescue people from floods in Northern Italy
Courtesy of Euronews.com

Alaskan State Troopers Wanted!

Alaska is remote, sparsely populated, and the largest state in the nation, presenting profound challenges for public safety. Our troopers overcome incredible challenges every day to serve our citizens. Alaska State Troopers are a special breed, trained to meet incredible challenges. The department is currently hiring new troopers and no experience is needed. If you are currently certified as a police officer, the department offers generous pay for the experience you bring with you. Successful applicants from outside Alaska are eligible for up to $10,000 in move reimbursement. Find out more at www.alaskastatetrooper.com

Photo courtesy of Lieutenant Derek DeGraaf

Cold Front in Midwest Presents Problems for Firefighters

As temperatures continue to drop in parts of the Midwestern United States, firefighters are faced with mechanical and technical issues due to icy vehicles and frozen hoses, as well as higher rates of house fires.

Eight people have died as a result of the Polar Vortex and many states have declared a State of Emergency with limited services taking place until the freeze begins to thaw.

In an interview with ABC Nebraska, fire chief of Grand Island Fire Department Scott Kuehl said “We do have an uptick in fires this time of year because of space heaters being used. Things like appliances and heaters malfunctioning because of such strenuous use and the cold weather here. So yes, we do see an uptick in those types of fires.”

Not only are instances of fire more common in winter, they can also be more difficult for fire crews to put out, especially when temperatures drop as low as -24 Fahrenheit, as they did in Des Moines, Iowa this week.

WHOtv.com reported that firefighters in Des Moines, Iowa working through the night to put out a house fire had to take extra precautions to avoid slippery surfaces and to keep their gear from freezing while they worked.

Fire crews help with a 24-vehicle pileup in Ottawa County, Michigan during snowy conditions
Courtesy of: DUTTON FIRE DEPARTMENT, GAINES TOWNSHIP, MI

And in Madison, Wisconsin, fire crews who responded to a late night blaze had to take turns putting out the flames so that no one was put at risk of frostbite or other weather-related injuries.

Speaking with local television station WKOW, Madison Fire Chief Steve Davis said the emergency was during one of the coldest nights he’s ever worked in his three decades at the fire department. The thermometer read -21 degrees, but with the windchill it felt more like -46 degrees.

“Our people just did a phenomenal job. We asked a lot of them,” Davis said. “To do those 10-minute rotations in this cold was a big ask of anybody and our people just performed phenomenally.”

The shifts prevented any firefighters from sustaining a serious injury during the emergency but there were reports of hoses, hydrants, and even breathing masks that froze in the time the crew showed up on the scene and put out the fire.

Scott Kuehl says another big challenge for firefighters, apart from freezing gear, is freezing water. When we are spraying water, the water tends to freeze before it actually runs off the structure. The structure is already being compromised because of the fire so it could lead to a catastrophic failure of the roofs or walls because the water weighs eight pounds a gallon, and our trucks pump 500 gallons a minute.”

Please check with state and local emergency services in your area to follow the safety precautions recommended by them.