Scuttlebutt 4/12

This Month in Fire History

April 1, 1853, Cincinnati, OH

First salaried fire department established


April 4, 1949, Effingham, IL

St. Anthony’s Hospital fire kills 74


April 10, 1917, Eddystone, PA

Eddystone Ammunition Company explosion kills 133


April 15, 1958, New York, NY

Museum of Modern Art fire destroys Monet painting


April 18, 1906, San Francisco, CA

The Great San Francisco Earthquake fire kills more than 315


April 19, 1993, Waco, TX

Religious group complex fire kills 47


April 19, 1995, Oklahoma City, OK

Alfred P. Murrah Federal building bombing kills 168


April 21, 1878, New York, NY

First firehouse pole installed


April 23, 1940, Natchez, MS

Rhythm Club fire kills 207


April 29, 1992, Los Angeles, CA

Civil disturbance fire cause $567 million in damages


Courtesy of NFPA

For details on fires that occurred 100 years ago this month, turn to Paul Hashagen’s “Rekindles” on page XXX.


Oh, Baby!

At about 6:45 am on February 23, Deputy Fire Marshal Mike Horton, of San Bernardino County Fire, was commuting to work on northbound on I-215 approaching Highway 74 West in Perris, CA. Suddenly he was flagged down by a male subject in a black SUV who was frantically mouthing the words “Baby! Baby! Baby!”  Utilizing the PA system in his County Fire vehicle, Chief Horton instructed the driver to exit the freeway.  Once stopped, Jimmy Holmquist jumped from the vehicle yelling “Help me!  Help me! My wife’s having the baby now!”

After calling 9-1-1, Chief Horton immediately prepared Kellie Holmquist for the birth of her child.  The baby was already crowning and shortly thereafter, Chief Horton delivered the healthy baby boy. Minutes later, Riverside County Fire and American Medical Response (AMR) arrived on scene. AMR transported the family to Riverside County Regional Medical Center in Moreno Valley.

The very appreciative father hugged Chief Horton and stated, “I guess my son has a new grandfather.”  They even named their little boy after the Chief, Levi Michael. “It all happened so fast,” said Horton.  “I’m just glad I was in the right place at the right time. It was an awesome blessing and experience.”


Cycling To Remember

The Carolina Brotherhood will ride in the name of its fallen brothers and sisters from the Carolinas. This first annual cycling event, made up of firefighters and police officers from the Carolinas, honors

Captain Jeffery Bowen of the Asheville Fire Department who died in the line of duty on July 28, 2011. Captain Bowen was a dedicated husband, father and firefighter.

This year’s ride will start in Wilmington, NC, on July 22 and conclude five days later in Asheville, NC, covering almost 400 miles. There will be overnight stops in Elizabethtown, Rockingham, Charlotte, Forest City and Asheville. The ride will average 75 miles a day.

For more information, contact Jim Squittieri at


Ocala Gets New Chief

The city of Ocala, FL, welcomed new Fire Chief Bradd Clark during a ceremony at the Feb. 7 City Council meeting. Clark, who began his duties Feb. 1, was presented a new white chief’s fire helmet and a gold badge. He comes to Ocala from Oklahoma where he most recently served as fire chief for the city of Owasso.

“I appreciate the opportunity to serve the citizens of Ocala and appreciate the warm welcome my family and I have received,” Clark stated.

Clark becomes the 26th fire chief for the city of Ocala since 1885.



U.S. Police & Fire Championships Set to Debut

The California Police Athletic Federation (CPAF) and San Diego Sports Commission (SDSC) are bringing the inaugural United States Police and Fire Championships (USPFC) to San Diego, CA, June 16-24.

Formerly known as the Western States Police and Fire Games, the event has brought together full-time law enforcement and firefighting personnel from the Western U.S. to compete in various sporting events.  Now, for the first time ever, the event has expanded its reaches to include the entire nation, bringing together law enforcement officers and firefighters from across the U.S.  From basketball, tennis and soccer to events such as air-rifle shooting, archery and paintball, the USPFC encompasses a wide array of competitions for those who serve and protect communities throughout the country.

For more information regarding the USPFC 2012, please visit


Fire Service TV

Josh Grimes, a captain with the Louisville International Airport Fire Department, has worked in TV for the past 15 years.  In 2001 he was approached by a Chief who asked if he could produce a quarterly TV program for the Fire Service on a limited budget.  In order to avoid costly studio fees, Grimes decided to produce the show at a different firehouse for each episode.  The format and look of the show stuck and 12 years and about 45 episodes later the show is still on the air. 

“We produce four 30-minute shows per year for the Jefferson County Fire Service entitled “In the Line of Fire,” says Grimes.  “The show airs multiple times a week on the Louisville METROTV channel, Faith Channel and is streamed online and via the Louisville Fire Department ERTV closed-circuit network that reaches all Louisville and Jefferson County fire stations.” 

The purpose of the show is to convey Public Information, Public Education and attract Recruitment.  The show typically has a guest interview and a few feature style stories on a news event or profiling a volunteer firefighter.  Recently the show has even taken a focus on the funding issues that the Fire Districts are up against. 

In The Line of Fire has won Telly Awards, Communicator Award of Distinction and was nominated for a regional Emmy Award.  The fire districts have even been featured in several worldwide training videos. The show archives can be viewed at