WFC News

Posted: Feb 5, 2023

Fire Truck Frozen at Scene of Manchester (NH) Multi-Family House Fire

Firefighters in two New Hampshire cities faced challenging conditions battling fires in the bitter cold weather, reported.

A multi-family home on Elm Street in Keene went up in flames Saturday morning, displacing nine people, the report said.

Keene fire Chief Donald Farquhar said in addition to slippery roads, firefighters responding to the scene were met with several frozen hydrants so they had to use one from the next street over, according to the report.

It was so cold Friday night that a Manchester fire truck got stuck, the report said.

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Posted: Feb 5, 2023

FDNY Firefighters Use Ladder Truck to Nab Vehicle that Struck Department Apparatus

Freedom News was on the scene of an accident in New York Friday night between an FDNY SUV and another vehicle that ended with a ladder truck boxing in the second vehicle while police arrived.

The incident happened at West 43rd Street and 8th Avenue in midtown Manhattan at about 6:15 p.m. The driver of the vehicle hit a piece of department apparatus but did not immediately stop.

“FDNY reportedly caught up to the alleged hit and run vehicle and boxed the car in until NYPD responded to their location,” Freedom News reports.

More Freedom News video here.

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Posted: Feb 5, 2023

Orland (ME) Voters Approve New $4M Fire Station

Bill Trotter
Bangor Daily News, Maine

Feb. 2—Orland voters on Wednesday approved a proposal to build a new fire station.

Voters approved the measure 259-105 during a special town meeting referendum.

The new building, projected to cost $4 million, will replace the existing station, which was built in 1974. It is too small for modern fire trucks, which has caused the town to custom-order smaller and more expensive trucks. It also sits on a flat, low-lying lot that makes the building prone to flooding.

A new station will have a drainage system, making it easier to clean the department’s fire trucks, as well as an exhaust system for the building and a washroom for firefighters — all of which the current station lacks.


(c)2023 the Bangor Daily News (Bangor, Maine)

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Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Posted: Feb 5, 2023

Kern County (CA) Fire Department Gets Nearly $400,000 in FEMA Grant to Purchase New Lifesaving Equipment

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has granted the Kern County Fire Department $397,000 for the purchase of new electrocardiogram monitors for firefighters, EMTs, and other first responders, reported.

Alongside the equipment that firefighters and EMTs carry, ECG monitors are one of the most essential tools needed when they are on the scene of a life-or-death situation, the report said.

KCFD originally applied for the grant one year ago, in January 2022. A fire official says he expects the department to have the 10 new monitors by next month.

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Posted: Feb 5, 2023

San Diego Plans to Create Pact with Labor Unions for Construction Projects Like Fire Stations, Libraries

Big changes that favor labor unions could be coming soon to large municipal construction projects built by the city of San Diego, such as fire stations, libraries, sewer pipelines and bridges.

San Diego officials say they plan to create a blanket project labor agreement with local unions that would apply to projects citywide.

A PLA sets the wages, safety protocols and regulations for contractors and all their subcontractors on projects. It also sets goals for hiring of local workers and the awarding of contracts to construction firms led by disadvantaged people like former foster children.

Some cities work out PLAs on a project-by-project basis, but Mayor Todd Gloria wants the city and local construction unions to create one consistent set of rules.

City officials have held preliminary talks with union leaders and are exploring how other government agencies, such as the San Diego Unified School District and the Metropolitan Transit System, have handled their blanket PLAs.

This month or next, officials plan to present the City Council with a potential framework that could include proposed hiring rules and how small a project would need to be for an exemption from the PLA — probably less than $1 million.

“We are starting the process of putting a framework together,” said Jessica Lawrence, Gloria’s director of policy. “We’re looking at what other cities and agencies are doing.”

City voters made it possible for San Diego to consider a citywide PLA in November when they easily approved Measure D, lifting a ban on PLAs they had approved a decade earlier.

Supporters say PLAs help projects get built on time and under budget, because they require contractors to use mostly trained union workers who are more efficient and less likely to make mistakes or perform tasks out of order.

“Our members are well-trained and very good at what they do,” said Carol Kim, who will help negotiate San Diego’s citywide PLA as leader of the San Diego Building and Construction Trades Council.

Supporters also tout that PLAs include policies encouraging contractors to hire local workers and favoring contractors owned by people deemed disadvantaged, such as formerly incarcerated people.

By laying out a comprehensive set of rules and guidelines, PLAs also protect workers by making it much harder for contractors to withhold wages, pay workers “under the table,” intentionally misclassify workers or flout prevailing wage mandates.

Labor unions say PLAs also boost the middle class by requiring at least 20 percent of work be performed by apprentices, creating a pathway to middle-class jobs for young people willing to get the proper training.

Critics say PLAs make projects more expensive by shrinking the number of contractors willing to submit bids, reducing flexibility for contractors and creating confusion between them and workers that slows projects down.

The Associated General Contractors of San Diego, which represents mostly non-union contractors, estimates costs for city projects will rise 30 percent under a blanket PLA and suggests more projects will be handled by contractors and workers from outside the region.

“A blanket PLA will have major impacts to the city,” said AGC chief executive Eddie Sprecco. “The city should do a project-by-project justification and analysis for a PLA. If done honestly, the city wouldn’t need a threshold, but likely it would only apply to projects above $40 to $50 million.”

Other critics say PLAs have typically not done enough to help workers of color.

Supporters and opponents of PLAs poured millions into the campaigns for and against Measure D, which voters

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