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FF Critical-Texas, FF December, EMS Gets Booted (The Secret List)


Sunday, December 2, 2012


An East Texas volunteer Firefighter is critical after being involved in a one-vehicle accident Friday night. 3 members of the Jackson Heights Volunteer Fire department, were involved in a one vehicle rollover Friday night as they were responding to the call of an accident in the area. They were on their way to their firehouse in a personal vehicle when the accident happened.
20-year-old Jalen Smith, 21-year-old Cornelius Redwine, and 18-year-old Gary Robinson, all of Tyler, were in the vehicle when it rolled over multiple times off of FM 2767 near County Road 387.
The preliminary investigation reveals that the driver had to take evasive action and the car then rolled several times. All three men were taken to ETMC Tyler Friday night. Cornelius Redwine and Gary Robinson were treated and released Friday night, and Jalen Smith was last listed in critical condition. We'll keep you updated-keep'm in your prayers.




Each December, there are some very significant dates with tragic results for the fire service, worthy of note and well worth discussion with Firefighters-especially with the younger ones.


THE OUR LADY OF ANGELS FIRE anniversary was yesterday. That school fire in Chicago left 92 kids and 4 nuns dead-a day in 1958 where the heroics of Chicago FF's were well documented.


More HERE:



2 YEARS AGO IN CHICAGO: December 22, Chicago Firefighters Corey Ankum and Ed Stringer were killed in the Line of Duty in a collapse-----actually on the 100th Anniversary of the Union Stock Yards fire that killed 21 Chicago Firefighters.




BUFFALO, NEW YORK: Every Firefighter should well familiar with the multi LODD loss in Buffalo (NY) when 5 BFD Ladder 5 Firefighters (and 2 civilians) were killed in a propane explosion on December 27, 1983. It was initially a response for an "odor gas" investigation. HERE is Chief Mike Lombardo's article:

BRACKENRIDGE, PA: December 20th in 1991, 4 Hilltop Hose Company Firefighters were killed when they were trapped in a partial floor collapse in Brackenridge, PA. Ever read that report? Here it is along with photos:




In December of 1999, there were also 2 other very significant multiple Firefighter Line of Duty Death fires that we must remember.
The first is the Worcester Cold Storage fire that occurred on December 3, 1999. The second, discussed below, is the loss of 3 Firefighters in Keokuk, Iowa.


We all remember wonderful but also (and sadly), tragic events that have occurred in our lives as well. On December 3rd of 1999, I was attending a community Christmas celebration in our town when beepers started to beep providing initial details about missing Firefighters in Worcester (MA)-and then more details-and then even more info and the final incredible details came out.

The Worcester Fire Department responded at 1813 hours that night to Box Alarm 1438 for a fire at 266 Franklin Street.(NOTE: 266 Franklin Street is now the the address and location of WFD's E-6, E-12, L-1, R-1 and Scuba-1 quarters)

2 members of Rescue 1, Firefighter Paul Brotherton and Firefighter Jerry Lucey, entered the building searching for occupants. Fire conditions worsened in the building at a rapid and unexpected rate. FF's Brotherton and Lucey, on the fifth floor, became disoriented in the smoke-filled building. Lost, and running low on air, they called for help. Several crews began searching for the lost Firefighters. Two crews reaching the fifth floor also found themselves disoriented in the smoke and trapped by the maze of interior walls: Lieutenant Tom Spencer and Firefighter Tim Jackson from Ladder 2, and Firefighter Jay Lyons and Firefighter Joe McGuirk from Engine 3 were now trapped. Though many more highly heroic Worcester Firefighters attempted to locate their missing brothers, their efforts proved futile.

Be sure to read the link below, entitled "A Chiefs Perspective" about WFD District (Ret) Chief Mike McNamee, who made the beyond difficult decision to end search operations for the missing members-and saved more lives by doing so.

The Line of Duty Deaths of Worcester Firefighters Paul A. Brotherton, Timothy P. Jackson, Jeremiah M. Lucey, James F. “Jay” Lyons III, Joseph T. McGuirk, and Lt. Thomas E. Spencer devastated Worcester, the Fire service, the nation and the world. Their Line of Duty deaths marked the worst loss of Firefighters’ lives in more than 20 years in a building fire in America, and the third worst fire in Massachusetts’ history. R.I.P.

HERE is the USFA report as well as the "must read" Esquire Magazine/Sean Flynn article: (Esquire Magazine) (USFA Report on the fire)

HERE are links that we hope will be of value and interest to you and YOUR members:
Excellent Collection of Stories, Photos, Audio:
A Chiefs Perspective:
X Marks The Spot:
WFD Sites:


At 0824 Hours on Wednesday, December 22, 1999, a fire was reported in a multifamily dwelling in Keokuk, Iowa. Several neighbors phoned the Keokuk 911 center to report smoke coming from a residence, and that a woman was outside screaming that there were children trapped inside.

Assistant Fire Chief Dave McNally, 48, Firefighter Jason Bitting, 29, and Firefighter Nate Tuck, 39 were killed while attempting the rescue of 3 trapped kids in that fire-who also perished. The 3 Firefighters left 8 kids of their own behind. The Firefighters died when a flashover occurred while the 3 were doing their search. The fire started in the kitchen of an old wooden two-story b/f home that had been converted into apartments. Staffing is a major issue in Keokuk, and that morning, 4 of the 5 total (+ the Chief) on duty firefighters arrived on scene with heavy smoke showing, and upon hearing the mother screaming that her children were trapped inside, they immediately and understandably went in after them.When "Mom" screams that her kids are inside-we go in.

The 3 were inside, (the Asst Chief and 2 FF/pump operators) a Lt. was on the hydrant-couldn't see the building and one Firefighter was on side "A"... starting to pack up, to back the interior members up. The Chief made the terribly difficult decision to leave the scene for 3 minutes to personally transport a non-breathing rescued child--there were no other resources available... none. The hospital was a minute away. When he returned, the flashover had already occurred with only the Lt. and the one Firefighter left outside. A/C Dave McNally, FF Jason Bitting, and FF Nate Tuck perished in that duplex. R.I.P.

There are several excellent reports out on the Keokuk fire:
HERE is the NIOSH report:
HERE is the NFPA report:
KFD Link:

One of the best quotes I have ever heard came from KFD's Chief Mark Wessell. Mark, who retired this year, is a good friend who has shown true leadership in taking the KFD forward-I don't know anyone who doesn't agree with that. Since that fire, Mark and I have become pretty close and I am continually in awe over how he has made it clear that his FD will (and has) change. Mark makes it clear that as horrible as this was-he did whatever he had to, to make sure it never happens again. To all of us, he made a statement that sums it up... "Always remember that we as firefighters are there to help people with a problem, while also doing ALL that we can to never become PART of that problem"

The above information-and plenty from many other resources and websites as well-provides each of us with an opportunity to share:
-so younger Firefighters understand our history.
-so we all are reminded of the losses.
-so we learn from the lessons learned.
-and so we can honor all of the above members who gave their lives in the Line of Duty.


The Quicky's convenience store in Mid-City New Orleans (LA) takes its parking lot rules seriously. Very seriously. Or very stupidly. About 1600 hours Friday, New Orleans Paramedics rushed inside the store for a man with a life-threatening medical issue. They worked on the patient with chest pain, put him inside the vehicle, then started to speed off. The paramedics “heard a loud noise,” and the vehicle came to a screeching halt, and the medics stepped out and found a boot on their ambulance. Convenience store employees allegedly put a restrictive parking boot on the ambulance. And now it was stuck. The Paramedics were perplexed. Ya think.


Take Care-Be Careful,
Billy G
The Secret List 12-2-12 1809 hours


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