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Quick Takes

Busy Sunday morning in Minneapolis: This fire at 1169 14th Avenue, SE is one of three handled by Minnesapolis firefighters early Sunday. Click here for more information.

This is why you should vote for Firegeezer for the best blog: The scene is Sunday afternoon at the World Headquarters of STATter911.com and I have plenty of things to do before I get to work at the TV station after a week-long vacation. So, what is it am I doing? I am mindlessly watching an episode of Emergency! embedded on Firegeezer.com instead of doing my work. This is exactly the reason why Bill Schumm should win FireCritic.com’s Fire/EMS Blog of the Year of 2009 contest. Bill knows his audience and he panders to us big time. Bill realizes fire & EMS types of a certain age can’t resist taking one more look at Johnny and Roy in action. Just like he knows they can’t resist all of his writings about beer and hockey mixed in with a whole mess of fires. If his standards and practices committee (Mrs. Firegeezer) would let him get away with it, Bill would probably throw in some soft porn, too. While I have been accused of being the Jerry Springer of the blogs, Bill is our Phineas Taylor Barnum. Which sort of makes sense, since for five-and-a-half years Bill was assigned to a fire station just down the street (second due) from Bailey’s Crossroads, Virginia. That Bailey is the same family as P.T.’s partner in “The Greatest Show on Earth”. While the name Firegeezer would make you believe the blog is the AARP of the fire/EMS sites, Bill has an instinct for all kinds of news. It’s a talent that many people in my business would envy.  Now that you know who I have voted for and why, make sure you send Rhett Fleitz your nomination at [email protected]. Vote early and vote often.

Our top story of 2009. If you missed the New Year's Day list of our top 20 stories and the name of our contest winner, click the image.
Our top story of 2009. If you missed the New Year's Day list of our top 20 stories and the name of our contest winner, click the image.

It wasn’t Jerry Engle and it had nothing to do with PGFD: In case you missed it, on New Year’s Day we published the most popular stories for 2009 and named the winner of our traditional first-annual, year-end contest (we shall see if it actually shows up again at the end of the year). Your guesses, for the most part, were far off the mark (that’s it Dave, insult the people who actually read this stuff), but they were fun to read. If you click here you can see the top 20 and who won the contest.

On a related topic, the top video for the year on the STATter911.com YouTube channel was the DC Fire & EMS Department sprinkler demonstration mishap. It was followed by the controversial Cincinnati beer commercial video.

Two fired over noose: If you were too busy on New Year’s Eve to check in, you may not yet know the end of the year was also the last day for two Loudoun County, Virginia firefighters. Both were fired for their involvement in an incident where a noose was left in the vehicle of a black firefighter in early December. Read the details.

Remembering Steven Koeser: The funeral for the Wisconsin firefighter killed last week after an industrial dumpster exploded was held on Saturday. We have video and details.

Ladder rescue in Murray, Kentucky: Click the image to take you to WPSD-TV's Facebook entry of a series of pictures taken by neighbor Lisa O'Neal after a woman became trapped on the second floor of a home on Poplar Street on Sunday.
Ladder rescue in Murray, Kentucky: Click the image to take you to WPSD-TV's Facebook entry of a series of pictures taken by neighbor Lisa O'Neal after a woman became trapped on the second floor of a home on Poplar Street on Sunday.

Explorer programs under scrutiny after teens hurt in two incidents in two days: I am just stating fact and not an opinion when pointing out that I, like many others, was in the fire service at a time when 16 and 17-year-olds did just about everything except drive the apparatus (and even that happened once or twice). It was not a rare occasion that I was the only one on the rig who wasn’t in high school. I can think of quite a few of those junior members who are now, or have been, in the upper ranks of some large career fire departments. But times have changed.

We have been getting a lot of comments about the story where one 16-year-old Boy Scout Explorer was hospitalized with exhaustion after apparently taking part in interior firefighting operations in Sonoma County, California. Officials there say it is not supposed to happen that way. Read more.

The second incident was the exploding dumpster in Wisconsin that killed the St. Anna’s Steven Koeser. Captain Adam Schuh, who was on the scene and has been handling press inquiries, says one of those hurt in the explosion is his 17-year old stepson. That teen is of legal age to be a firefighter. Also hurt was a 15-year-old boy who is an Explorer. Captain Schuh indicates the boy was at what was believed to be a safe distance from the fire. Read the details

Politicians home destroyed: A Pennsylvania state senator escaped in the middle of the night as fire tore through his Montgomery County home. Click here.

The latest from Modesto: Two firefighters were burned, one over 40-percent of his body, after falling through the roof at a house fire on New Year’s Day. Our two earlier postings with video and details are here and here.

Snakes alive …. and some dead: In St. George, Utah they rang out the old year with the traditional trailer fire involving 19 pet pythons. Not all of them saw 2010. Read more.

Fireground audio: Our friends at FireSceneAudio.com have been keeping us busy with timely postings of some interesting incidents. One is a Sunday house fire where a Chicago firefighter was burned. Click here.

We have another entry with fireground audio from a Prince George’s County house fire, a triple-fatal Detroit residential hotel fire, a New Orleans three-alarm fire that damaged three home and a Chicago fire where two people were rescued out of a burning basement. All of that is here

Video’s: Since our last Quick Takes way back in 2009 we have posted a few interesting videos. Here’s a run down of things you might have messed if you didn’t take us along for your New Year’s celebration: Major commercial fire damages row of stores in Enterprise, Alabama; Two-alarm frame shop fire in Fairfax County, Virginia; A garage fire in Detroit.

Who made this video?: The folks at SprinklerAcademy.com posted this old flashover video of some time ago and our now trying to figure out who produced the video. Here’s the contact information if you have the answer.

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