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“USFA, along with FPP/IFSTA, IAFC and the NFPA believe that these senior fire executives will also represent fire and emergency services with a high degree of professionalism,” said U.S. Fire Administrator Ernest Mitchell. “We encourage participation in the Harvard Program because the experience at the Kennedy School of Government enables fire and emergency services officials to have important conversations with elected officials and appointed executives. Now more than ever we need to think creatively together and enjoy dialogue with others regarding the critical challenges facing our communities and nation.”
New Chemistry Course Added to NFA Online
The U.S. Fire Administration's (USFA) National Fire Academy (NFA) announced the availability of a new NFA Online course: Foundational Concepts of Chemistry (Q228). Completion of Q228 is recommended prior to attending all NFA hazardous materials curriculum courses and is a precourse assignment for Chemistry for Emergency Response (R233) and Advanced Life Support Response to Hazardous Materials Incidents (R247). Beginning in October 2013, Foundational Concepts of Chemistry will be a prerequisite for acceptance into those courses.
There are currently 54 online courses available through NFA Online with topics including Emergency Medical Services, Emergency Response to Terrorism, Fire Prevention, Incident Management, Management Science, Public Education and Wildland Firefighting. Students can access NFA Online at www.nfaonline.dhs.gov.
For more information about the Hazardous Materials / Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) curriculum or other USFA programs and offerings, visit www.usfa.fema.gov.
Firefighter Line-of-Duty Deaths
Six emergency personnel recently died in the line of duty. Three volunteer firefighters and three civilian employees died in five separate incidents. One incident claimed the lives of two civilian pilots. Four deaths were the result of accidents and two deaths were health related.
FIRE POLICE CAPTAIN DAVID WINTZ, 65, of the Bristol, PA, Fire Company died on May 16. Wintz was directing traffic at the scene of a three-alarm fire at Dow Chemical on Route 413 when he became ill. He was taken home, where he suffered an apparent heart attack. He was transported to Aria Health’s Torresdale Hospital, where he died. Wintz was a 50-year veteran of the fire service.
FIREFIGHTER WILLIAM R. DANES, 69, of the Brazos County Precinct 3 Volunteer Fire Department in Bryan, TX, died on May 17. Danes suffered an apparent heart attack and died while performing a ladder training evolution at the TEEX Brayton Fire Training Field in College Station. Danes was a member of the department for one year.
CERTIFIED FIRST RESPONDER ETHAN AMSBAUGH, 22, of the Mount Union, PA, Fire Company died on June 2. Amsbaugh was a passenger in an ambulance that struck an embankment and rolled over on Route 22 in Brady Township while returning from a patient transport to J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital in Huntingdon. Amsbaugh was transported to the hospital, where he died. Reports indicate he was partially ejected from the ambulance. Amsbaugh was a member of the department for one month.
Two pilots from the Neptune Aviation Services Inc. in Missoula, MT, died in a plane crash on June 3. CAPTAIN TODD N. TOMPKINS, 48, and FIRST OFFICER RONNIE E. CHAMBLESS, 40, both of Boise, ID, died when the Lockheed Martin P-2V aircraft crashed on its second run of the day on a wildfire near the Utah-Nevada state line. The 5,000-acre White Rock Fire was sparked by lightning on June 1. The aircraft crashed in the Hamlin Valley area of Iron County, UT. At the time of the crash, the aircraft was carrying 1,600 gallons of fuel and 2,000 gallons of fire retardant.
ENGINE BOSS ANTHONY POLK, 31, of the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs died on June 8. Polk was in a brush truck involved in an accident on Federal Route 19 southwest of Tucson, AZ. The crew was responding to the 1,700-acre Montezuma Fire in the Baboquivari Mountain Range. Two other firefighters were injured in the accident.
—Jay K. Bradish