For the Record 2/22

Feb. 14, 2022
Mike Jerums was presented with the 2021 Emergency Vehicle Technician of the Year award during the opening ceremonies of the annual Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FDSOA) Apparatus Symposium in Scottsdale, AZ.

EVT of the Year Recognized

Mike Jerums was presented with the 2021 Emergency Vehicle Technician of the Year award during the opening ceremonies of the annual Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FDSOA) Apparatus Symposium in Scottsdale, AZ.

Jerums is the senior fire mechanic for the City of North Las Vegas, NV, having worked for North Las Vegas’ Fleet Services as an EVT for 16 years. He worked for an auto dealership before focusing on fire and emergency vehicles. Jerums attained Master Fire and Ambulance EVT certifications.

The award was presented in partnership by Firehouse and the FDSOA and sponsored by Spartan Motors.

Read an interview with Jerums at

Blackline Safety to Double Its Manufacturing Capacity

Blackline Safety is making a $2 million investment in its manufacturing process that will allow the company to double its hardware production.

The upgrade—implemented in preparation for an anticipated increase in global customer demand for Blackline’s products in 2022—in particular will enhance manufacturing horsepower as the company gears up for high-volume production of its soon-to-launch G6 entry-level single-gas wearable safety device.

The investment includes bringing in additional surface mount technology to Blackline’s in-house production line, which has proven to reduce assembly and ship times to 24–48 hours from as much as five weeks when using the company’s contract manufacturing. The technology—which involves directly mounting electrical components onto the surface of a printed circuit board—also is more cost-effective, with Blackline realizing payback on the equipment in just 10 months.

For more information, visit

Life Safety Summit Postponed

The National Firefighter Life Safety Summit 2022 Planning Committee postponed the Summit because of the current effect of the coronavirus pandemic on fire departments across the country. A new date for the Summit, which was scheduled to take place Feb. 14–16 in San Antonio, will be announced in the upcoming weeks.

Summit 2022 builds on previous gatherings in Tampa, FL, Novato, CA, and a series of mini-summits. During these meetings, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation’s Everyone Goes Home program and 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives were born and continue to evolve.

Attendees don’t need to reapply to attend. The committee asks that any inquiries be sent to John Tippett, director of fire service programs ([email protected]).

For more information, visit

Line-of-Duty Deaths

10 U.S. firefighters recently died in the line of duty. Four firefighters died from health-related incidents, two were killed in a motor vehicle accident, two were struck and killed at accident scenes, one firefighter was killed in an explosion and one firefighter died after contracting COVID-19. This issue of Firehouse is dedicated to these firefighters. For the latest on COVID-19-related LODDs, visit

BATTALION CHIEF JOHN T. RUDDY, 49, of the Jersey City, NJ, Fire Department, died on Dec. 8. Ruddy responded to numerous fire calls, including two cooking fires and a gas leak. After shift change, he returned home. Approximately four hours later, Ruddy suffered a heart attack and was rushed to the hospital, where he died a short time later.

FIREFIGHTER JESSIE HENRY, 28, of South Bossier Fire District #2 in Elm Grove, LA, died on Dec. 18. Henry was performing maintenance on one of the department’s fire trucks when the apparatus’ tire exploded. He was transported to Ochsner LSU Health Shreveport, where he died from his injuries a short time later. 

FIREFIGHTER ANTHONY MICHAEL CARFAGNO, 58, of the Atlantic City, NJ, Fire Department, died on Dec. 21. Shortly after working a shift on Nov. 25, Carfagno began showing symptoms and signs of COVID-19. He died after a lengthy battle with the disease.

FIREFIGHTER/EMT MASHAWN PLUMMER, 30, of the Chicago Fire Department, died on Dec. 21. On Dec. 16, Plummer was at the scene of a two-story apartment building fire when he suffered a medical emergency. He was rushed to the hospital, where he remained until he died. The fire also took the life of a civilian and injured two others. 

ASST. CHIEF BRYANT GLADNEY, 58, of the Boone County Fire Protection District in Columbia, MO, died on Dec. 22. Gladney was on scene at a vehicle accident on Interstate 70 when a westbound semitrailer hit his staff SUV at high speed before also hitting a University Hospital ambulance and the vehicle that was involved in the original crash. Gladney was extricated and rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

FIREFIGHTER/EMT THOMAS JOSEPH REES, 38, of the Jefferson Township Fire Department in West Jefferson, OH, died on Dec. 28. When Rees didn’t wake for an emergency call, another firefighter checked on him and found Rees dead in his bunk. An autopsy revealed that Rees died from a major coronary event.

FIRE INSPECTOR/INVESTIGATOR DONALD GENE GROSS, 57, of Lincoln, NE, Fire and Rescue, died on Jan. 4. After returning home from being on scene at a residential house fire, Gross complained of chest pains. The next morning, he was found dead at his residence.

CAPT. BRIAN CECIL BUSCH, 43, and FIREFIGHTER JAMES MICHAEL LUDLUM, 69, of the Mineral Point, WI, Fire Department, died on Jan. 6. Busch and Ludlum were responding to the scene of a vehicle accident on U.S. 151. Their fire apparatus was attempting to use an emergency crossover when it was struck by a northbound semitrailer. The apparatus sustained major damage and caught fire. Both men were killed at the scene.

ENGINEER DAVID SPINK, 56, of the Barstow, CA, Fire Protection District, died on Jan. 9. On Dec. 5, Barstow responded to a vehicle collision on Interstate 15. While on scene, he was struck by an oncoming automobile. He was airlifted to Loma Linda University Hospital, where he remained until his death.

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