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DCFD: Incompetence Writ Large

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Technology as Cover-up The Washington Post reports that the city released a scathing review this week on the choking death of  a 13-month old infant after the closest unit failed to respond. Thanks to the apparently faulty rollout of a dime-store solution to GPS tracking, the communications center had inaccurate information regarding who was available […]

The Apocalypse and John Houser

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Hitler and Westboro Baptist Tea Party supporter and Hitler-admirer John Houser killed two and wounded nine more in a shooting rampage in Lafayette, LA, this week. News sources report that Houser admired Oklahoma City bomber Tim McVeigh and often described America as a “financially failing filth farm” a not especially optimistic alliteration. He also was […]

Safety: Drunks R Us

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Long Island Crash Kills Four Four young women riding in a chauffeured limousine making a U-turn were killed when their car was rammed by a pick-up truck. The driver of the truck has been charged with driving while intoxicated and is being held on a $1M bond. Risk Factors? Being on Long Island is apparently […]

Nepal to Rescue Teams: Bye-Bye

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Pack it Up Nepali officials have requested that all foreign rescue teams leave the country with a Friday deadline. NYT reports that some rescue teams, such as one from Spain, said they had no intention of leaving. Sounds like the nasty in-laws who refuse to depart. Don’t expect to be invited back next time. Should […]

13 @ 45 / Houston, We Have A Problem

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Change as an Accident Cause Friday last was the 45th anniversary of the splashdown of Odyssey, the Apollo 13 command module, after it survived a nearly disastrous explosion on the outbound journey to the moon. The enroute spaceship consisted of command, service, and lunar modules. Odyssey was equipped with two spherical liquid oxygen tanks for […]

Kentland’s “Gone With The Wind”

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Statter911 posted a story last night entitled “Kentland VFD (33) Tells How Fire Engines Were Caught in Wind Driven Fire”. The epic film “Gone With The Wind” is very briefly summarized by IMDB as, “A manipulative Southern belle carries on a turbulent affair with a blockade runner…” In the KVFD remake, 33’s crew is the bosomy […]

Safety and Firefighting: Of Romance and Religion

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Kentland’s Messianic Zeal The news is awash this morning with photos of Prince George’s County, Maryland’s Kentland Volunteer fire rig, itself afire, during a working incident. Kentland (FS 33) is an all volunteer fire department in an urban county with a population of 900,000, an oddity in itself. On their website they trumpet: “100% volunteer […]

Safety Gaps: Learning from Columbia

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STS-107 On February 1, 2003, space shuttle Columbia experienced a loss-of-control and catastrophic break-up at about 180,000 feet altitude during re-entry at hyper-sonic speeds. All crew members were killed as the orbiter rapidly depressurized. Years after the original investigation, a followup study closely examined crew survivability. The NASA  study touches on every aspect of safety from […]

Australian Firefighters Score Major Victory

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United Firefighters Union (UFUA) Over Country Fire Authority (CFA) The Federal Court in Australia recently  overturned an earlier lower court decision governing staffing in the Country Fire Authority which is responsible for emergency response across the state of Victoria excluding areas covered by the Melbourne Fire Brigade. CFA is roughly comparable to California’s CAL FIRE […]

Train Safety: The Lessons of 9/11

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Stay or Go? In this era of terror mayhem it behooves us all to think through how we would react in a potentially lethal environment. This past Monday afternoon a Washington, D.C., metrorail train stopped in a tunnel after an arcing incident occurred on the track. The loaded train apparently remained stationary as heavy smoke […]

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