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Colorado Fire Crew Receives High Honor
Battalion Chief Timothy Hanlon, Lieutenant John Maes, Firefighters Josh Hamilton, Josh Deuto, John Brereton and Mark Maxwell of the North Metro Fire Rescue District are the heroic recipients of the 2012 International Benjamin Franklin Fire Service Award for Valor, co-sponsored by the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and Motorola Solutions, Inc.
The Franklin Award for Valor recognizes firefighters around the world for their expert training, leadership, heroic actions and safe practices and is the highest honor bestowed by the IAFC.
In icy conditions and howling winds, North Metro Fire Rescue Crew 63 of Broomfield/Northglenn, CO, confronted all the elements of a perfect storm: a deranged husband; his battered wife; barricaded doors; an intentional fire; and two young children trapped on the second floor of their home.
Without a moment’s hesitation, and with the pleas of the mother foremost on their minds, Rescue Crew 63 uses their charged hoses to push past the fire and smoke to gain access to the second floor where the young children were trapped. Within minutes, Rescue Crew 63 had rescued three people, treated and transported six people to local hospitals, including two police officers who suffered smoke inhalation, and taken the family’s dog to an emergency veterinarian center.
Alert Neighbor and Burnt Smoke Alarm Saves Family
Ocala Fire Rescue officials credit an alert neighbor and a badly damaged, but still functioning, smoke alarm for saving a family of five from an early morning fire. Firefighters responded at 5:56 a.m. to find a vehicle and carport on fire, with flames extending inside the concrete block house. A tenant told fire officials that she, another adult and three children were asleep when a neighbor awakened them. Firefighters arrived to the three bedroom house in less than five minutes. One firefighter suffered a medical emergency while battling the flames and was transported to a hospital by ambulance. The fire at was placed under control at 6:43 a.m.
USFA Releases LODD Report
The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) has released Firefighter Fatalities in the United States in 2011. There were 83 on-duty firefighter fatalities in the United States as a result of incidents that occurred in 2011. This represents a continuing decline in the overall number of firefighter fatality deaths in recent years and an almost five percent decrease from the 87 fatalities reported for 2010. When analyzing the overall trend in the United States going back to 1977, the 2011 total represents the lowest year of record for the second year in a row.
Heart attacks were responsible for the deaths of 50 firefighters (60 percent) in 2011, nearly the same proportion of firefighter deaths from heart attack or stroke (63 percent) in 2010. Ten onduty firefighters died in association with wildland fires, the lowest number of annual firefighter deaths associated with wildland fires since 1996. Fifty-four percent of all firefighter fatalities occurred while performing emergency duties.
Online Program for EMS Medical Directors
The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), in partnership with the DHS Office of Health Affairs (OHA) and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), has developed an innovative online educational outreach program and focused website for physician medical directors of local departments and agencies who are involved in emergency medical services (EMS) response.
“This web-based program for current and prospective EMS medical directors will provide information in a conveniently accessible format to support key roles in the provision of EMS to communities,” said U.S. Fire Administrator Ernest Mitchell.