FIREFIGHTER KILLED IN GERMANY, 3 CRITICAL–IN THE LINE OF DUTY
(The Secret List-FireFighterCloseCalls.com)
We regret to advise you that 1 Firefighter has been killed and 7 Firefighters were injured in the Line of Duty when a malt silo exploded in western Germany. Word is that firefighters responded early this morning to a working fire at a malt factory in Worms, a town southwest of Frankfurt. While Firefighters were operating at the fire, the silo exploded. The fire and explosion killed a 24-year-old Firefighter in the Line of Duty and injured seven others.The other injured Firefighters were flown by helicopter to nearby hospitals. 3 Firefighters remain in critical condition. We’ll post any additional details on our home page.
While what happened in Germany has not yet been fully identified, in our Country, we have had silo fires as well where Firefighters have been killed. A fairly recent example is in New Bremen, Ohio, where FF’s Kenneth Jutte, 44 and FF John Garman, 42 where were killed in the Line of Duty.
Here is the report with pictures and lessons learned: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/fire/reports/face200332.html
==FIREFIGHTERS STRUCK IN OMAHA (Nebraska):
Two Omaha Firefighters are in the hospital after being struck by oncoming traffic while operating at one of many car crashes early this morning. The original crash happened on I-80…the Firefighters were hit by an SUV that lost control and slid on to the shoulder where they were working, throwing one firefighter 40 to 60 feet down an embankment. FF’s on the scene went to help the initially injured Firefighter when another vehicle lost control, rolling down the embankment nearly hitting them again. Both firefighters are in stable condition and have not been identified. The accident happened just before midnight and involved 8 to 12 vehicles.
==FOLLOWUP: Not JUST in Stamford CT.
The issues between Career and Volunteer Firefighters have been around for centuries-it’s nothing new. Take a look at these links, such as the 1st one…"Our Firemen, The History of the NY Fire Departments" …
……you will LOVE these links if you are any bit of a fire service history buff:
The fact is that these days, volunteer and career Firefighters can co-exist very successfully delivering phenomenal emergency service, and do in many areas. It’s all depending upon how important "service" is to individuals, bosses, leaders, the community and where the organizations priorities are (as planned and in reality). While no place is prefect, we have always felt that Baltimore County (MD) has had one of the best models. Their model has all-career companies and all-volunteer companies each in their own stations, on their own apparatus, under their own station leadership, functioning under one clear unified operational command. It seems to work for many reasons but the one reason is that they can feel comfortable in their own "homes"..or firehouses, so to speak. Here are some links about the Baltimore County system:
http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/fire/overview.html (County FD website)
http://www.bcvfa.org/ (Volunteer Association)
http://www.iafflocal1311.org/ (Career Association)
In many "combo" FD’s, career or volunteer members feel like some unwanted guests have come-and they never leave. Sorta like your Mother-In-Law coming to visit, and never leaving. Jeeez.
Generally, if all "sides" focus on what’s best for the 9-1-1 caller, it generally can work out. But unfortunately it becomes more complicated at varied levels, but we aren’t sure it has to be. And this problem is hardly unique to Stamford, CT. We passed along info a few days ago about a bad fire in the Stamford area of CT-here is a follow-up that also covers some thoughts on the issues of career and volunteer firefighters:
==BE CAREFUL DURING THE HOLIDAYS!
While not on duty, a North Texas firefighter is struggling to survive after he fell while hanging Christmas lights. McKinney FF Richard Smith is in critical condition at Medical Center of Plano….and we sincerely wish for his rapid recovery. Here is more:
ON OR OFF DUTY…this time of year keeps us all busy doing stuff like that. USE CAUTION so these incide
nts are few and far between.
nts are few and far between.
APPARATUS RIDES ?
Additionally, this time of year finds many fire companies allowing kids, civilians and Firefighters to ride the rigs with Santa Claus-all for absolutely wonderful and great reasons…BUT make sure that your FD is truly covered to allow that to happen. Make sure the ones riding are all secure and safe, no different than we have to be riding the rig.
Are we Scrooges? Don’t be dumb.
This is just a simple reality check…as FD’s in the past have found themselves in a legal, moral and PR jams over a kid getting hurt or someone falling off a rig…all with the BEST of intentions. We’re just suggesting to simply take a moment to make sure your written policies allow it…make sure your insurance and legal folks and verifiably cool with it…and don’t be naive into thinking "anyone" getting hurt (or their family) will just think that we the "good guys" doing good things…and they’ll be forgiving.
Take Care-BE CAREFUL.
The Secret List 11-30-08 / 1111 hours