Quick Takes

Mountain Thunder sparks a major blaze: An annual gathering of motorcyclists in the Catskills was interrupted by a fire at the dining hall of the Blackthorne resort on Saturday. Click here and here for more video and here for Firegeezer’s details about the fire

Elvis has left the building and jumped into his car with lights and siren. A must see video of a man accused of impersonating a firefighter: This is truly one of the strangest fire stories I have seen in a while. In New Zealand, Elvis Piggot was recently arrested for dressing up as a firefighter and showing up at car crashes in his vehicle decked out with lights, sirens and a fire insignia. Elvis decided to go public with his side of things. It turns out he had been a firefighter in two departments many years ago, but in both cases it ended poorly after just a few months. This is a case where telling your own story may not have been the best idea. Click here to watch this rather interesting video.

PGFD house fire video sparks debate: As if that is a surprise. We posted the video yesterday of a fire two weeks ago in Boulevard Heights, Maryland. There are already more than 35 comments about tactics. As usual, some of the remarks are interesting and well thought out. Some are just about my hose being bigger than yours. Read at your own risk

Drinking policy for volunteers scrutinized in South Dakota after arrest of firefighter: Two weeks ago a Madison, South Dakota firefighter was arrested on a DUI charge after driving a fire truck to a call. The firefighter had just finished his shift working at a local bar. The arrest has sparked controversy and has prompted a local paper to look closely at drinking policies among the state’s volunteer departments (along with a few other issues). Click here for the article.

Dave’s been a bad boy: Even though I am no longer the one digging up stories about the fire service in the Washington area, some think I shouldn’t be linking or posting stories on the blog from other news organizations that aren’t flattering to firefighters. That’s the reaction of a few after I posted the naked chef story from DC. Here’s the story and the comments.

Community shows appreciation for the work of firefighters: The firefighters and other first responders who handled the Fourmile Canyon fire in Colorado were celebrated by a grateful public with a mile-long parade through Boulder yesterday. Read more.

No parade here – union official wants to know how the public image of firefighters took a dive in the nine years since 9-11: In a battle with New Jersey’s governor over pensions and benefits a letter to the editor from the president of Fireman’s Mutual Benevolent Association Local 46 asks for the public’s support, saying they are the same firefighters who the community looked up to after 9-11. Read the letter.

Some pension relief in Arizona was ignored: Dozens of communities and fire districts in Arizona failed to apply for state tax dollars to offset some firefighter pension liabilities. Here’s the story.

$2 million and 37 firefighters could go in Gary, Indiana: It isn’t a pretty budget picture for the fire department in a city that continues to struggle with money issues. Check it out.

Newspaper profiles one of our regulars: The Southeast Missourian takes a look at Cape Girardeau, Missouri fire training coordinator John Sachen who has been known to lurk on this site. Click here.