Concord Volunteer Fire Department, Company 13, Serving Campbell County and Appomattox County
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Grand Jury Blasts Consolidated Dispatch Agency
A Leon County grand jury criticized the Consolidated Dispatch Agency in its performance in three high profile shootings.Grand jurors reviewed several calls from the Dan Markel murder case, the FSU Strozier Library shooting and the Caracus Court shoot-out.The harshest criticism was aimed at dispatchers for the incident at Caracus Court, in which Sheriff Deputy Chris Smith was killed by gun-man Curtis Wade Holley."Had this information been relayed (critical officer safety information) , the first responders would have addressed the call very differently and the life of Deputy Smith likely would have been spared."The grand jury blasted the CDA's handling of a Strozier Library victim's call. The wounded caller was placed on hold so that that person could be transferred to FSU dispatch."In reference to the Strozier Library incident, we find that the procedure allowed a victim who had been shot to be placed on hold while the call-taker tried to transfer the call, is not acceptable," said the grand jury.Lastly, the the grand jury called the 19 minute delay in getting paramedics to the home of FSU Professor Dan Markel unacceptable."...we find that human error led to an unacceptable time delay in reaching the victim. Further, a quicker response may have led to the apprehension of the suspect in that case," grand jurors wrote.Recommendations for improvement were also made by the grand jury.One of those included changing the way Director Tim Lee could be fired. Currently, Lee works for the County Manager, the City Manager and Sheriff Mike Wood. As of now, it takes one of those three to fire Lee. The grand jury recommends that two or all three be in agreement to fire the director.Lee could not be reached for comment.An audit of the CDA is expected to be released next Tuesday.You can read the entire grand jury presentment by clicking the attached document....

 A fire truck was stolen in Commerce Township on Friday. We're told a man took it from a station on Commerce Road. "The firefighter who discovered it missing put it over the air right away, we were very lucky to have our aviation unit close," said Sgt. Lloyd Lacey of the Oakland County Sheriff's Office.The fire rescue truck was found at Huron Valley Hospital Friday afternoon.Authorities could later be seen questioning someone and placing them in a squad car.We're told the suspect is in his late 20s or early 30s and is likely to face charges for auto theft. ...

DUMPSTER FIRE HAZARD: Four firefighters transported to hospital in NZ
Four firefighters have been taken to hospital as a precaution after a shipping container containing insect repellent caught fire in west Auckland this afternoon.Northern Fire Communications shift manager Jaron Phillips said the insect repellent contained the chemical dimethyl phthalate, but it is not known whether the firefighters were affected by it or were suffering from heat exhaustion when they were taken by ambulance to North Shore Hospital.Exposure to dimethyl phthalate can irritate the eyes, nose and throat, according to the United States' Environmental Protection Agency.The shipping container caught fire after a controlled rubbish fire on Deacon Rd, in the suburb of Riverhead, went wrong about 3pm. No properties were at risk and more than two dozen firefighters had the fire under control by 6.30pm. ...

FDNY Marks 40th Anniversary of Telephone Company Fire
Active and retired FDNY members gathered at Headquarters on Feb. 27 to mark the 40th anniversary of the Telephone Company fire.“This fire reminds us all of the real dangers of the job,” said Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro, who was among the firefighters who responded to the fire.Chief of Department James Leonard, whose father worked as a switch operator, said “I’ve never seen smoke like that, conditions were brutal. It tested the skills, training and ability of all members responding that day.”The FDNY was called Second Avenue and 13th Street at 12:25 a.m. on Feb. 27, 1975.The fire was at the New York Telephone Company’s main switching centers, housed in an 11-story building constructed in 1924. It started in a large cable vault located in the cellar that contained 488 telephone cables, with anywhere from 400 to 2,700 pairs of lines and covered in either lead or polyethylene.Firefighters encountered numerous structural obstacles when battling the fire, including a partition in the building made of steel and wire glass used to protect the switching equipment from dust, as well as windows made of wire glass in heavy metal frames that were sealed shut and covered in sheets of Lexan plastic or metal screens. On top of that, heavy, acrid smoke poured from the building and around 30,000 square feet on each floor was covered in wires that glowed and radiated tremendous heat.“It was hard to find the exact location of the fire due to the thick smoke,” retired Firefighter Dan Noonan, Ladder 3, said. “There was zero visibility.”The fire knocked out phone service, including 911, to more than 173,000 homes and businesses.It escalated to five alarms, and 700 firefighters from 72 units rotated to fight the fire for more than 16 hours before it was placed under control just before 5 p.m. Nearly 300 of those firefighters were injured.While no firefighters were killed at the fire, many suffered long-term health effects from their exposure to the smoke.“Because of this landmark fire, we knew we had to do better,” Dr. Kerry Kelly, FDNY’s Chief Medical Officer said. “We needed to get it right.”She said the long-term health effects of the fire, including cancer and other diseases, inspired the FDNY’s Medical Office to create the World Trade Center Medical Monitoring Program after 9/11 to better treat both active and retired members.“We strive to do more,” Dr. David Prezant, FDNY’s Chief Medical Officer, said. “We now know the dangers and are focused on prevention.”Everyone attending the commemoration lauded the heroism of the members who responded that day, many of whom were in attendance.Firefighter Noonan said, “The valor was in the finest traditions of the Fire Department.” ...

Things got a little hot for a probie in Brooklyn yesterday morning. Snyder Island E-310/L-174 responded 1st Due to a fire at 334 East 55 Street off Snyder Ave. The injuries sustained weren't serious, everyone eventually went home....

An Estero Fire Rescue truck on the way to a call collided with a car Friday morning.Firefighters say Ladder 41 had its lights & siren on when it was hit by a gold Lexus at the intersection of Three Oaks and Estero parkways just after 10 a.m.No one was injured.Firefighters gave the driver, who was cited by deputies for failure to yield to an emergency vehicle, a ride home after their car was towed.The engine was driven back to the station and will later be towed to a shop for repairs if needed....

AZ Cable Cut
Computers, cellphones and landlines in Arizona were knocked out of service for hours, ATMs stopped working, 911 systems were disrupted and businesses were unable to process credit card transactions — all because vandals sliced through a fiber-optic Internet cable buried in the rocky desert. The Internet outage did more than underscore just how dependent modern society has become on high technology. It raised questions about the vulnerability of the nation's Internet infrastructure. Alex Juarez, a spokesman for Internet service provider CenturyLink, said the problem was first reported around noon Wednesday, with customer complaints pouring in from an area extending from the northern edges of Phoenix to cities like Flagstaff, Prescott, Page and Sedona. Service began coming back within a few hours and was reported fully restored by about 3 a.m. Thursday. CenturyLink blamed vandalism, and police are investigating. The severed CenturyLink-owned cable — actually, a set of cables bundled together in a black conduit a few inches in diameter — was buried several feet under the rocky soil in a dry wash, about a quarter-mile from the nearest houses. Investigators believe the vandals were looking for copper wire — which can fetch high prices as scrap — but didn't find any after cutting all the way through the cable, probably with power tools, Phoenix police spokesman Officer James Holmes said. "Your average house saw and wire cutters wouldn't do it," Holmes said. He said the damage was estimated at $6,000. As the outage spread, CenturyLink technicians began the long, tedious process of inspecting the line mile by mile. They eventually located the cut in the cable and spliced it back together. CenturyLink gave no estimate of how many people were affected, but the outage was far-reaching because other cellphone, TV and Internet providers use the cable, too, under leasing arrangements with the company. Such networks often have built-in redundancies that allow data to be rerouted if a cable is cut or damaged. But there was no such backup in this case. Mark Goldstein, secretary for the Arizona Telecommunications and Information Council, said the problem is that large swaths of the outage area are a mishmash of federal lands under the control of different agencies. "You can't just like go through the mountains and bury fiber. Part of the problems have to do with land ownership in Arizona. So much land is Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service or tribal," Goldstein said. Joseph Hobbs, who does contract work in telecommunications in the Phoenix area and is on the board of the Arizona Telecommunications and Information Council, said that creating backup systems and electronic monitoring to instantly detect breaches in the fiber-optic cables could be costly but could prevent widespread outages and shorten to less than a second the time it takes to restore service. The cable that was severed isn't hard to spot because the trenching machines used to bury it leave a scar on the landscape, he said. "I could take a couple of shovels, and one or two people, a six-pack of beer, find a place that's hidden with not much traffic, and I could have a little party," Hobbs said. "It would be a trivial task to dig up one of these cables. They're not guarded, and they're not protected." Hobbs said CenturyLink should be discussing why the lines weren't backed up and whether there are enough alternative routes for data. "People should be embarrassed that this has happened and that they hadn't planned for a better outcome," he said. Juarez, the CenturyLink spokesman, said the conduit along Interstate 17 is the only one serving northern Arizona. The company is working to complete a backup line by the end of the year for a portion of the affected area, including Prescott, he said. "We're always looking for places where we can have that," he said. The details of the vandalism came to light on the same day the Federal Communications Commission in Washington voted to impose stricter regulation over Internet service providers like Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile. The plan, which puts the Internet in the same regulatory camp as the telephone, requires Internet service providers to act in the "public interest" and bans business practices that are "unjust or unreasonable." Police investigating the vandalism in Arizona asked local residents to come forward if they saw anyone walking or driving in the area around the time service went out. Any charges resulting would not be limited to vandalism, Holmes said. "It's endangerment," Holmes said. "When you think about that, if someone has an emergency and the only means they have of contacting or getting assistance is through their cellphone, that's just not a good thing." During the outage, Flagstaff's 69,000 residents struggled to go about their daily business. Students at Northern Arizona University were worried about finishing assignments without the Internet, bank customers couldn't withdraw money from cash machines, and City Hall employees were unable to make or receive calls. The city relied on the Arizona Department of Public Safety for help in dispatching police and firefighters. In Prescott Valley, about 75 miles north of Phoenix, authorities said 911 service was supplemented with hand-held radios and alternate phone numbers. Weather reports from the region weren't able to reach anyone. During the evening newscasts, Phoenix TV stations showed blank spaces on their weather maps where local temperatures normally would appear. ...

Ambulance, Jeep collide on Vestal Parkway - New York
By Steve MillerBy Anna NorrisVestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) One person was sent to the hospital after a Jeep and an ambulance collided on the Vestal Parkway.It happened at the intersection of Route 434 and Arlington Avenue around 10:30 a.m. Thursday.No one in the ambulance was injured, but the driver and sole occupant of the Jeep was sent to the hospital with unknown injuries.A portion of 434 east was brought down to one lane while crews worked to clear the scene. ...

Firefighters are there when we need them most. These brave men and women run into harm's way as we run from it.They accept that danger is a part of their job. But it's another killer that is taking down these everyday heroes: cancer.Think about it. When a firefighter dies in the line of duty we pause to pay our respects. But hundreds of firefighters are dying each year from cancer."I tell people I didn't see my life flash behind me or before me. But I did see everything I wanted to do that I hadn't done yet," explains Steve Westcott, who fulfilled a lifelong dream when he became a firefighter in Perkins Township back in 2001.Training prepared Steve for what could go wrong while responding to a fire or accident. Nothing could prepare him for the news he got after about seven years on the job.westcott weddingSteve and Aryn Westcott on their wedding day. Just six days earlier, Steve learned his cancer had returned. The couple canceled their planned honeymoon and Steve was admitted into the Cleveland Clinic.(Photo: Steve Westcott)Blood tests showed Steve had acute myeloid leukemia."Utter shock. It wasn't going to happen to me. Wasn't supposed to happen to me," Steve recalls.At the time he was the picture of health. He worked out, ate well, had no family history of cancer and was only 25 years old. For six months Steve endured grueling treatments to regain his health and beat the cancer. He went back to work and got on with his life.But six days before Steve was to marry the love of his life, Aryn, he was dealt another setback. The cancer was back.Steve and Aryn went ahead with the wedding. He made a vow to Aryn that day and everyone in attendance: he would beat the cancer again."Our honeymoon was at the Cleveland Clinic. It was a very expensive one," Steve says with a smile.READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE AT:

A fire in an electrical room led to reports of an explosion at the Palermo Village Retirement Residence Thursday evening.Oakville firefighters arrived to find smoke in the electrical room and preparation was underway for an evacuation of residents for their safety, according to a tweet from Halton police.Two firefighters received minor injuries and residents are reported safe.The Oakville Fire Department responded to the Palermo Village Retirement home around 7:30 p.m., after receiving reports of smoke in the building's electrical room.Halton police, as well as Halton EMS, converged on the scene. Two firefighters received minor injuries. All residents in the home were said to be safe.Power was out in the Bronte Road and Dundas Street area. ...

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Concord Volunteer Fire Department
12573 Richmond Hwy
Concord, VA  24538





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