Category: Sirennet Blog

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
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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

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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