Quick Takes: January 23, 2012.

Furniture store & apartments burn in Syracuse, NY: The fire was Saturday afternoon. YNN.com has more video and these details of a close call – "Mark Mclees, Syracuse Fire Chief said, 'We knocked the fire down, we were advancing in to the structure and the back porch on the back of the building came down and knocked my firefighter down. So we did have a firefighter who was knocked down by a back porch collapse. He's still operating, he's okay. We don't have any other reports of anyone missing.'" Syracuse.com has some good pictures and more details about the fire.

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READ THIS – Special fundraiser for FDNY Rescue 2 Mayday Fund: Our friend Zach Green at MN8-Foxfire, who has those extremely unique and useful illuminating products for firefighters, has teamed up with IronFiremen.com and FireCritic.com to do something really nice over the next week. They are raising money for the FDNY Rescue 2 Mayday Fund to help Firefighter Robert Weidmann and Firefighter James Gersbeck who were burned in the fire in Crown Heights on December 19. From today through midnight on Monday January 30, MN8-Foxfire will donate 50 percent of all product sales through the company website to the FDNY Rescue 2 Mayday Fund. There will also be a way to directly donate.


The uniform crisis in our Nation's Capital continues: Two more TV stories Friday about the battle between DC Fire & EMS Department Chief Kenneth Ellerbe and the troops over issues that have developed after what is being described as the fifth change in the policy for outerwear in the last year. The latest controversy boils down to whether the city can require firefighters to put identifying marks on jackets, seaters, sweatshorts and hats the department does not provide. Union president Ed Smith gets the airtime in the story from ABC7/WJLA-TV. In the other story, Chief Ellerbe, who had previously issued a statement saying he "wouldn't comment further on this one", does an interview with Fox 5/WTTG-TV reporter Paul Wagner. In the same story, Lt. Robert Alvarado again speaks out saying the chief is showing a "lack of leadership" and calls the latest order "unconscionable". Click here.

DC lieutenant's suit against TV station gets thrown out of court: The story is one that I thought, when it aired a year ago, was poorly done, had the wrong focus and tried to hold the wrong people accountable. The lieutenant featured had even stronger feelings and sued the TV news operation. A DC judge recently threw it out of court based on a fairly new law. Click here.

Arrangements for Hopelawn ex-chief Bruce Turcotte: Click here for funeral details following the death of Bruce Turcotte last week during a house fire in Woodbridge, New Jersey. It turns out a neighbor found the firefighter slumped behind the wheel of a rig on the fireground. Here's that story.

The parade passing by may be a record breaker: Glenn Usdin's FireTruckBlog.com has the story from Oklahoma on Friday of what may be the longest fire truck parade ever. They are sending the info to Guinness World Records. Click here.

Lessons in reputation mismanagement: The story of the wife who says she was left on a Maine roadside by the ambulance carrying her dead or dying husband continues to play out in the news. In fact, I think you can say the hospital that runs the ambulance service is helping keep this one alive by failing to follow some basic rules when confronted with bad news. The two most recent stories are here and here.

Mayday audio from Edmonton: Firefighters had a tough time getting out of an apartment building on Thursday when the evacuation order came. Click here to listen.

Firegeezer has the story of a real man: Yes, this guy punches out fire sprinklers in Chicago night clubs and then tries to say his head hit it. The video shows otherwise. Check it out.

Hero Rush: The obstacle race and experience created for firefighters and the general public. And you will be contributing to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation when you sign up. Click here to see when Hero Rush is coming to your town

The message is loud and clear but was it a good idea?: A firefighter with a colorful employment record, who was recently fired in one Ohio town, has his termination letter signed by 13 of his colleagues. Some writing in our comments section are debating the merits of getting the troops involved in the separation in this manner. Read the details and the comments.

House fire in Milton, Kentucky: Dash-cam video from the chief's vehicle.

One firefighter with two off-duty rescues in 12 days: A great story about Omaha Fire Department Firefighter Phil Lopez who has been making the news quite a bit recently.

Singing the blues in Mesa: That's where country singer Lee Brice's tour bus caught fire. Watch the raw video and TV story.

Shift trading limited in Cleveland: After lots of criticism and bad publicity over firefighters living as far away as San Diego, limits have been put on shift trading for the Cleveland Fire Department. The amount of time firefighters can owe to each other or be owed will be 144 hours, or six, 24-hour shifts. Prior to this some firefighters were off for months at a time. Here's more.

High school cadet program for Prince George's County, MD: For two of the people in the picture at the right it was apparently their first time dragging a hose inside a burning building. Can you figure out which two it is? The picture was taken following a press conference on Friday announcing that PGFD will be working with the school system to start a high school cadet program. Okay, so from left to right it is Deputy Chief Ben Barksdale, Chief Marc Bashoor, School Superintendent William Hite and County Executive Rushern Baker. But that still really doesn't answer the question, does it?

Firefighters bury dog: In Wake Forest, North Carolina a house fire Friday night took the life of the family dog. A neighbor was so touched that the firefighters went above and beyond, and took care of burying the dog for the family, she alerted the local news media.  Thanks to Michael Greenham and Mike Legeros at Legeros Fire Blog for alerting me to the story.

Connecticut newsman and emergency services legend dies: Here is an interesting article from Connecticut's Naugatuck Valley about  the passing of 91-year-old Edward Cotter Jr. A founding member of Storm Ambulance, Cotter had also been a photographer and sports reporter with the former Evening Sentinel. When Cotter joined the paper at age 19 his father encouraged him to join the fire department which was next door to the newspaper's offices. Read more about the life of Edward Cotter Jr.  Thanks to Chris Schwartz at firstduefirephotos.com who sent us this and has more on Ed Cotter Jr on his site.

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