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Quick Takes: December 15, 2010

Ignoring the rules saved the day: A Grafton, Vermont volunteer lieutenant and his chief have an honest discussion about how breaking a department rule saved the life of an elderly woman. Richard Thompson isn’t supposed to go directly to the scene of a fire when the call is dispatched. But he’s glad he did. 

Tragedy in Baltimore: A picture was sent our way late yesterday showing the fire conditions on Homewood Avenue in East Baltimore yesterday morning. That’s where three children and three adults were killed. If you missed it, we also have fireground audio and news coverage of the two-alarm fire. Click here.

Lots of news at Video of a 1931 Ford Model A fire truck decked out for the holidays. Keep up with who is buying what. And much more. Check out THE site for apparatus news – by Glenn Usdin.

Video from Jersey City, New Jersey fire: The two-alarm fire was eight days ago in a vacant house. Ed Gray got his usual up close video. You can find it here.  

New Jersey steroid story fallout: The Star Ledger investigation we told you about Sunday of a dead doctor’s former practice that prescribed anabolic steroids and HGH to hundreds of cops and firefighters continues with articles yesterday and today. Here’s Part 3 with links to the other stories. While looking into all of this, the reporters discovered a firefighter/patient of the practice who retired on disability from a New Jersey department and is now working in North Carolina. Here’s that story.

Paid administrative staff for volunteers cut following defeat of ambulance transport fee: In  Maryland, the Montgomery County Council has agreed to cut 20 administrative positions for the county’s volunteer fire departments in an effort to reduce mid-year spending. Some see it as retaliation for volunteers leading the charge against an EMS transport fee County Executive Isiah Leggett and his staff say would have brought in 14 million much needed dollars. At the same time the council refused to eliminate 11 ambulances. Here’s more.  

Where’s the fire?: Bill Carey at knows the answer but reporters don’t. A fire in Prince George’s County last night near Fed Ex Field has the news media describing the location with the names of four different communities or towns. Two are municipalities whose borders are far from the scene of the fire. One problem, which I always ranted about when I was in the news business, is news people and PIOs using the post office address. For example, Capitol Heights, Maryland has a post office that covers a very large swath of PG County. But it’s a tiny town. Many years ago I would get regular calls from the mayor and former fire chief of Morningside, Maryland Gerald Glaubitz. Mayor Glaubitz, who I knew well, would give me on the line to give me a great deal of grief because my TV station referred to a violent crime as being in his little town near Andrews AFB when it was actually outside the borders. Read more about this issue, the fire, and watch an interview with the new PGFD chief, Marc Bashoor, at

U.K. firefighter admits siren caused elderly man to die: You may recall the story of the firefighter who blew a siren starting a stampede that killed a farmer. Now that firefighter admits he is to blame in a plea deal. Read more.

Husband & wife firefighters file suit against Cape Cod fire district: In Cotuit there is a rather complicated story involving a fire captain and his firefighter wife. They have filed suit claiming discrimination. Politics apparently plays a big role in this case. Take a look.  

Geezer must have been nice: He’s got Santa hawking his Firegeezer mugs. A nice gift for all those old firefighters in your life. Check it out

Fire chiefs take on road crews: In Missouri two local fire chiefs go after the state roads department claiming they aren’t doing enough to keep the highways clear during storms. State officials say otherwise

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