People relying solely on their phones in Gatlinburg and Sevier County Tennessee did not receive a text warning them to evacuate. High winds disabled phone, internet and electricity services causing communications to fail.
A fire in a converted warehouse in Oakland, California has killed at least 33 people. The cause of the fire has yet to be determined, but the building had no sprinklers and the only exit from the second floor was a makeshift staircase. Firefighters arriving on scene did not hear any alarms. Oakland's Planning Department had opened an investigation into the premises last month.
The app IamResponding is being used by many fire departments. It allows dispatchers to notify firefighters of an emergency incident and find out who can respond and what their training is. Notifications can be sent to traditional radios and smartphones. Click here to go to the IamResponding website.
Surrey Fire Chief Len Garis, who is also an adjunct professor at the University of the Fraser Valley's Centre for Public Safety and Criminal Justice Research, has helped write a book, "Designing Out Crime", that focuses on what local governments can do to evaluate and put into practice new ways to tackle problems in their own communities.
Sault Ste. Marie Fire Chief Mike Figliola reports a realignment of fire services has had a positive impact on ambulance calls. The number of on-duty firefighters at any time has been lowered and paramedics and paramedic supervisors have been hired as part of the plan.
Are firefighting motorcycles, or fire bikes, the next big thing for urban fire departments? They are already in use in cities in Japan, Singapore and Brazil for fire suppression and to provide emergency first response. Advocates claim the use of fire bikes brings down response times in congested cities and provides cost savings.
Vancouver Fire Chief John McKearney says crews at Fire Hall No. 2, located in the city's notorious Downtown East Side, are overwhelmed by emergency medical calls involving people overdosing on fentanyl. Average calls a month at the fire hall have jumped from 600 to 1,000 since fentanyl started appearing on the city's streets.
Kidde, in a joint recall with Health Canada and the U.S. Consumer Product Saety Commission, has recalled their Kidde NightHawk talking combination smoke/CO alarm KN-COSM-IBCA and KN-COSM-ICA models manufactured between June 1 2004 and March 2011.