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Week in Review: June 18, 2009

Fri, 19 Jun 2009|

Chief Bobby Halton reviews this week's fire news stories, including communication problems at recent wildfires in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

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Transcript

Hello and welcome to fire -- hearings we can review. I'm Bobby -- Editor in chief -- -- injuring magazine. And now to the news. Officials in North Myrtle Beach say they want to solve the communication problems and turf battles that may have hindered efforts to evacuate. Parts of that region that suffered a devastating wildfire this April. The wildfire which destroyed 76 area homes had many problems. Confusion erupted about the location and direction of the fire also. The inability to contact several key members including the city's public safety director. Firefighters also had some command and control issues which -- between the California division of forestry. And the Horry county fire rescue department. Some reticence. Have criticized the public safety director because he missed a telephone call notifying him of the fire. Further city officials were initially told the fire was contained however the fire later consumed a large portion of the barefoot resort area. Representatives of the local governments public safety agencies. And the barefoot resort agency have formed the highway 31 wildfire task force to present suggestions. On improving fire safe. In the region. Please connect the firefighters captains of policy lieutenant Robert -- -- And firefighters Darwin Ben Nelson are being credited with saving the life of ten year old eighty bill. This connecting fire department arrived at a house fire on June 14. And found -- heavily involved two story home. Firefighters upon being notified of potentially trapped ten year old child. On the second floor immediately deployed and search. Operating in zero visibility conditions and with extremely challenging fire conditions they deployed almost instantly to find trapped trapped child. Additionally -- and fallacies are had been injured earlier in the initial firefight and he was responding on this rescue with a torn tendon in his left arm. Which -- the arm virtually useless. Captain Manhattan was -- firefighter -- rather was able to locate the victim. The three firefighters removed her to safety. Captain policy a paramedic performs CPR on the child -- then began breathing on her own. Young girl is currently still and responsive and local area hospital. Fire engineering in the city of Schenectady are extremely proud of three -- connect these rates. Firefighting crews in Newport Virginia -- a stubborn fire at a residential structure. Complicated by the presence of ammunition in the garage. Further complicating the firefight recent manpower cuts the prevented fire chiefs from calling additional engines when the blaze broke out. -- Diego president of the Newport News professional firefighters association. Said that the incident illustrates the pressures that the fire department is operating under because of the shortage of 31 firefighters. And cuts in the overtime budget. The shortage of firefighters. And restrictions in the overtime budget. Means that to fire engines have been removed from the city fire stations are rotating basis to reduce operating costs. We hear fire engineering fear we're going to see more more fires go to greater alarms. Do -- reductions in staffing and these ill thought out municipal decisions to reduce fire protection to save money. One of the fire truck not a fire truck -- -- pickup truck. The city of Buffalo, New York is currently using pick -- trucks to fill -- gaps created by the city's aging fleet and the lack of spare -- units. The city of buffalo is currently putting -- firefighters and pickup trucks respond to scenario while they're units are being service. -- and Cunningham president of the firefighters union says that precious time and rescues can be lost. If a pickup truck arrives -- like a real aerial apparatus that has -- capable of stretching over 75 feet into the air. The pickup trucks currently only have a capacity of about 35 feet. This practice of substituting pickup trucks which started a few months ago. Is expected to continue. Until a back -- -- is fixed -- it and three new -- trucks which have been ordered. Are received by the end of the year. -- close this week on the somber note in a memorial. To memories of two tragic fires which occurred this week in history. We will never forget them never. 37 years ago on June 17. The syndrome hotel fire claimed the lives of nine Boston firefighters. -- that afternoon when lieutenant. Lieutenant eat him the firefighter Thomas -- -- Firefighter Joseph culture. Firefighter James Charles. Firefighter Paul Murphy. And firefighter Joseph -- In two years ago on the stage unique team. In the great city of Charleston, South Carolina. The sofa sofa super store fire claimed the lives of nine brave Charleston firefighters. Killed that day were captain -- -- Captain Mike and -- Firefighter Melvin Champaign. Engineer William Billy Hutchinson. Engineer Bradford. Brad -- Firefighter James Earl Drayton. Engineer mark Kelsey. Engineer Michael French. And firefighter. Brandon Thompson. -- we never forget any of these eighteen brave men. May their memory serve as reminder to us all of the extreme danger and risk that every firefighter faces every day. And made their tragic deaths -- have a more vigilant. -- more aware and ever more on our guard. We'll always bless and cherish the memories of these brave men and hold dear of the time that we had with them. I'm chief Bobby Alton. That's the news. And remember please. Be careful there.

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