Scuttlebutt 1-13

Lending a Hand (and a Truck) to Kosovo

When Jakup Jahiri came to Mason, MI, to visit his son, he returned home to Viti, Kosovo, with much more than memories of a fun trip. While in Mason, the then Mayor of Viti, noticed how much fire equipment this small town of about 8,000 had (especially compared to his community of approximately 35,000).

As luck would have it, at the time of his visit, Mason Engine 806 was being prepped for retirement. Soon, a plan was developed to assist the 25 full-time firefighters of Viti by sending them this pumper and associated equipment.

With the help of the Ingham County Sheriff’s Department and the Leslie, Onondaga and Dansville Fire Departments, turnout gear, extraction equipment, SCBA's, exhaust fans and other equipment was packaged and prepared for shipment. The Denton Group was contacted and agreed to transport the truck and equipment on a C-17 Air Force jet.

The project was not without its setbacks. On the first attempt to get the truck to Selfridge Air Force Base, the right-side head gasket blew and the truck was towed back to Mason for repairs. Large repair facilities refused to even look at the engine, but a local mechanic vowed to fix the engine, and at no cost to the City. The second attempt was a success and Engine 806 arrived on October 24, to the delight of the residents and firefighters of Viti Kosovo.

The Mayor of the City of Mason, (a 33-year member of the Mason Fire Department), the City Administrator, an engineer and an officer from the Mason Fire Department met Engine 806 at the airport in Kosovo, and spent a week training the firefighters there in the proper operation of the new equipment.

Story submitted by Leon Clark, Mason Fire Department


Fight for Air Climb Orlando

The Fight for Air Climb is a special fundraising event sponsored by the American Lung Association. These climbs are a wonderful way to show support for someone who has been diagnosed with a lung disease or as a memorial to someone who has passed away.

At the recent Fight for Air Climb in Orlando, FL, Team Deltona consisted of 14 members of the City of Deltona (FL) Fire Department as well as two of their wives. The Deltona Fire Fighters Association sponsored the 14 fire fighters and paid $100 per member to participate in the event. Members also raised additional money to the cause by obtaining additional sponsors who made pledges that raised a total of $1,925. Team Deltona firefighters donned full protective firefighting gear including air packs, tacking on an additional 50 pounds to make the challenge a little tougher. Overall Team Deltona place third in the Firefighters Division and had their first female firefighter take part in the challenge. Engineer Paramedic Katy Christman turned in a time of 6 minutes 43 seconds.

Team Deltona members were FF Jason Pratt and his wife Heather, FF Connor Beverly and his Hannah, Lt. Daniel Bowen, FF Michael Drew, D/E Katy Christman, FF John Fleemin, FF Terry Freeman, FF Ryan Hanley, FF Tony Jacinto, FF CJ Johnson, Lt. Rick Paine (Ret), FF Aaron Quarberg, Lt. John Sabia and Lt. Josh Sievert.


HFSC Addresses Residential Sprinkler Water Supply and Usage

In communities across the U.S. and Canada, a growing number of one- and two-family homes are being built with fire sprinkler systems. But when questions and confusion arise about water supply, they can hamper installations and result in needless costs to homeowners.

To answer common questions about sprinkler technology and provide detailed information about its life-safety and environmental benefits, the nonprofit Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) has developed Understanding Water Supply for Home Fire Sprinkler Systems, funded by a FEMA Fire Prevention & Safety Grant. 

“There has been a clear and growing need for better understanding about fire sprinkler systems in homes and water supply for several years,” says HFSC President Gary Keith. “In particular, misinformation within the water industry results in unnecessary and costly sprinkler add-ons and unfair fees that penalize homeowners who just want greater fire protection for their families.”

Understanding Water Supply for Home Fire Sprinkler Systems includes a comprehensive DVD video that provides an overview of residential sprinkler systems and a full explanation of water supply, connections and usage. It features several local fire and water officials who share their own experience with the systems locally. A detailed brochure complements the information within the DVD. To download or order the free materials, please visit HFSC online at


Memphis FD Receives Grant to Aid in CPR

The Memphis (TN) Fire Department has been provided a $240,000 grant from the Assisi Foundation of Memphis to purchase the latest and best mechanical CPR technology available to save the lives of victims suffering a cardiac arrest.

The grant will allow the Memphis Fire Department to purchase 17 LUCAS chest compression systems. The LUCAS device is an external device that provides chest compressions during CPR, allowing firefighter/paramedics to focus on other therapies.
“We believe this technology will allow us to provide even better care for our patients,” said Fire Director Alvin Benson. “Providing manual CPR can be difficult, inconsistent and tiring. The LUCAS system will give the patient high-quality, continuous and consistent compressions without interruption.”
Commenting for the Assisi Foundation, Executive Director Dr. Jan Young said, “Reports on the use of mechanical CPR devices have been very positive. The Board of Directors for the Assisi Foundation is pleased to make this type of investment for the well being of the community in partnership with the Memphis Fire Department.”


This Month in Fire History

Jan. 1, 1853, Cincinnati, OH: The first fire engine is tested

Jan. 5, 1985, Erath, CA: Texaco gas plant fire causes $51 million in damages

Jan. 6, 1961, San Francisco, CA: Thomas Hotel fire kills 20

Jan. 10, 1976, Fremont, NE:  Pathfinder Hotel fire kills 20

Jan. 11, 1820, Savannah, GA: Fire damages 463 houses

Jan. 12, 1908: Boyertown, PA: Rhodes Opera House fire kills 170

Jan. 14, 1969, Pearl Harbor, HI:  USS Enterprise carrier fire kills 24

Jan. 27, 1967, Cape Kennedy, FL: Apollo 1 launch pad fire kills all three crew members, including Command Pilot Virgil “Gus” Grissom, and causes $413 million in damages

Jan. 28, 1986: Challenger spacecraft explosion kills seven

Courtesy NFPA

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