Over the weekend, firefighters in Conroe, Texas responded to a house fire caused by Christmas tree lights. When they arrived, they were faced with more than 100 snakes and numerous lizards. From CNN:
The reptiles -- which, according to CNN affiliate KTRK included several five- to six-foot-long pythons and boa constrictors -- were in glass cases but still needed to be carried outside the house. With the help of the home's owners, fire crews ferried the snakes to safety...
"The homeowner wasn't willing to give a lot of information on why they had so many snakes. In fact, they told us the snakes don't like people in uniform," Flannelly added. "But as firefighters, we will do anything to help anybody."
Several reptiles died in the fire but the ones that were rescued were transferred to a local facility and are expected to be okay, KTRK reported.
Read the rest
The most devastating fire in California history has been contained.
From The Washington Post:
The Camp Fire — the deadliest, most destructive blaze in California history, which has killed 85 people, destroyed 14,000 residences and charred an area the size of Chicago — has been fully contained, authorities announced Sunday.
Cal Fire, the state’s forestry and fire protection agency, made the announcement after spending 17 days beating back a blaze that has roared through 153,000 acres of Butte County, which is north of Sacramento. Three straight days of rain helped more than 1,000 firefighters get a foothold.
While the news that first responders and prisoners roped into fighting the Camp Fire's flames have been able to bring this hellish inferno to heel, it's hardly a celebratory moment. Thousands have lost everything they've owned, save the clothes on their back. Where thriving towns once stood, there's nothing but ash. What's more, as multiple hospitals had to be evacuated, medical care in the areas effected by the fire isn't great. The overflowing shelters where thousands of displaced Californians currently call home are a perfect breeding ground for the spread of viruses and disease. Additionally, as the Washington Post points out, “Areas experiencing significant rainfall following a wildfire are at risk for debris flows and flash flooding."
Those who have been affected by the fire have a long way to go before their lives begin to resemble anything that could be called normal.
Image by Devin Cook - Own work, Public Domain. Read the rest
Wildfires are a natural part of many ecosystems, though more and more are human-caused. Wendover Productions takes a look at how firefighters work to minimize the spread of wildfires in grueling and dangerous conditions. Read the rest
Waterjets are very useful for many kinds of industrial cutting, including this giant handheld one available for firefighters. The PyroLance allows water to enter an enclosed fire without adding dangerous oxygen from opening a door or punching a larger hole. Read the rest
Oakland firefighter Kevin Moore, who is black, was doing vegetation-management inspections, in full uniform, with a radio and identification, when residents became suspicious and called police. According to a supervisor, the fire department sends out pamphlets before the inspections, hosts community meetings, and does everything else they can to spread the word. If nobody is home, the law permits firefighters to conduct an outdoor inspection anyway. One day last month, a resident called the police about Moore and another sent the cops video of Moore ringing a doorbell to do an inspection. Then last week, it happened again. From the San Francisco Chronicle
As Moore was finishing up, he said he turned around to find the resident outside near the front steps of the house, video-recording him on a cell phone.
“He kind of startled me,” Moore said. “He says, ‘Well, what are you doing here?’ I say, ‘We’re here doing our annual vegetation inspection.’ Then he asks for ID. I say no problem. He takes a picture of my ID and says I need to get a different one. I’ve had that ID for years. It’s kind of dark, and I’m more of a dark-skinned black guy, but you can still see me.”
Moore said he suggested that if the resident were still concerned, he could simply look out onto the street where “a big red fire engine is right there.”
Read the rest
Firefighters sleep together in the same room, eat and risk their lives together. Getting your ya-yas out for all the world to see together? Well, that’s not a part of the job. According to the Akron Beacon Journal, a pair of firefighters from Akron, Ohio may have burnt down their careers by making a pornographic video on city property.
Lt. Art Dean and Provisional Lt. Deann Eller were hired by the Akron Fire Department on the same day in the fall of 2000. For 18 years, they served their community with diligence and honor—a fact that’s reflected in their work jackets. According to their performance reports, Eller rarely missed a day of work and always displayed a strong work ethic. The same can be said for Dean. Over the years, their careers saw them separated to work at different fire halls in the city. But the time that they spent together allowed for the kindling of a hot personal relationship that may have ended up burning them both.
Opportunities for firefighting puns are few and far between. Let me have this.
After receiving an anonymous tip, City of Akron officials launched an investigation whether the city’s next fiscal year should include a larger budget allotment for cleaning supplies: it’s alleged that the Dean and Eller were filming pornography in the basement of one of the city’s fire halls. Apparently at least one of the videos, which were filmed in a readily identifiable gym located in an Akron fire station, features Eller, working out in the nude. Read the rest
This risky rescue could have gone wrong in a number of ways, but the first responders were able to save a horse that had walked onto thin ice without injuring the horse or themselves. Read the rest
The only thing that would make this video of Chinese firefighters jumping rope would be a Yakety Sax soundtrack.
Read the rest
Message to drones: watch where you're going.