Quick Takes

Fire in New Philadelphia, PA: “An early morning fire destroyed four homes and a former restaurant Thursday and damaged at least 19 other homes.” – from RepublicanHerald.com.

Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in: After a couple days of coverage and posting the fireground audio my hope was to give the Obion County, Tennessee story a rest today. But that changed with the lengthy comment sent overnight from Union City Chief Kelly Edmison. Chief Edmison’s department is also one providing subscription fire service to residents in Obion County. Please take the time to read his comments here.

You will find some not as well thought out remarks from Fire Critic Rhett Fleitz. When you don’t have a good argument you usually do two things: attack your opponent and blame the news media. Rhett does both. Check it out for yourself. He’s turning into a master of distortion.

A Presidential MCI – President Obama dispatches EMS: PGFD PIO Mark Brady tells us what happened when President Barack Obama starts dispatching EMS from the podium during his speech at Bowie State University yesterday. Exhaustion and dehydration seemed to be the major symptoms. Click here for pictures and details from Brady’s blog.

Another new fire service expert tells us four firefighters on a rig aren’t needed: A columnist for the Orlando Sentinel apparently has all the answers on fire department staffing. Lauren Ritchie seems to think even two firefighters is adequate staffing for a fire truck as she is encouraging of Leesburg, Florida’s decision to take another vote after approving money that would save the jobs of two firefighters-

For example, precisely how does service to a citizen drop when two rather than three firefighters go to a call? If there is a full-blown fire, clearly the more firefighters the better. More hoses can be pulled more quickly and so forth.

However, 85 percent of the 8,000 calls to which Leesburg firefighters respond are medical emergencies. And the number of major fires? 1 percent? Less?

So just how many columnists does a paper need anyway? If there is a full blown news emergency, can’t we get opinions from columnists at other papers further away? You be the judge. Click here.

A clean start: In Boston, after years of controversy, a random drug testing program for firefighters has finally started. The first 50 tested apparently have nothing to worry about. Here’s the story.

Firefighter dies after collapsing at brush fire: In California, Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District Firefighter James Saunders died in the hospital yesterday morning after suffering an apparent heart attack during a grass fire on Saturday. Read more about Firefighter Saunders here and at Firefighter Close Calls

Paramedic found murdered in her home: A tragic story from Ontario, Canada about an hour southwest of Toronto. According to GuelphMercury.com, Adrienne Roberts, a Guelph-Wellington EMS paramedic, “was found murdered in her Arthur home Wednesday evening. She was reportedly the victim of a violent domestic dispute.”

Firefighter’s gear stolen during graduation ceremony: In Utah, Colby Robison had just graduated from the West Valley Fire Academy and was celebrating in a restaurant. When he got back to his car it had been broken into and his PPE and badge had been stolen. Here’s more.

Like father, like son: Anyone who has met Vinnie Brennan Jr. likely won’t forget him. The still hard working retired FDNY firefighter can only be described as a character (in the absolute best sense of the word). I’ve known him through my work at the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, an organization Vinnie has worked with since the death of his firefighter brother Peter on September 11, 2001. Susan Nicol at Firehouse.com tells us the story of Vinnie’s son, Vinnie Brennan III, also an FDNY firefighter, who tackled a cell phone thief at about the same spot his father came to the aid of a police officer who was being attacked by drug dealers 30-years earlier. Check out the story.