WFC News

Posted: Apr 18, 2018

Butler (OK) Volunteer Fire Department Shares Photos of Fire Apparatus Destroyed in Wildfire

As the weather conditions made it particularly dangerous for residents in the area, several evacuations occurred. Amazingly, only a few new fires started in spite of the conditions.  

The Dewey County Sheriff says that about 50 area homes have burned in the Rhea Fire so far. Fortunately, he says that they are lifting all of the evacuation orders so people can go back and check on their homes.

One volunteer fire department lost a fire truck due to the wildfires.

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Posted: Apr 18, 2018

Rocky Ford (CO) Fire Apparatus Flips After Being Cut Off

According to the Colorado State Patrol, the fire truck was going north on Highway 71 near Otero County Road CC when a red SUV turned right in front of it shortly after 2 p.m. The driver of the fire truck swerved to avoid the crash, but the truck went off the left side of the road and rolled two-and-a-half times before resting on its roof.

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Posted: Apr 18, 2018

ResponderX Offers Live Demo of Firefighter Tracking System at FDIC International 2018

Texas-based startup ResponderX, Inc. will provide attendees of the Fire Department Instructor’s Conference (FDIC) 2018 with an opportunity to see a live demonstration of its firefighter tracking system at the conference’s trade show April 26-28. First unveiled at last year’s show, TaskForce Tracker was described by Erich Roden, Editor-in-Chief of PennWell Fire Group’s FireRescue Magazine, as “Hands down, one of the top three products at FDIC.”

The system is comprised of a device the size of a deck of cards which is worn on a firefighter’s protective gear that communicates with an apparatus-mounted computer. These two devices transmit data to a tablet managed by the incident commander or safety officer, which displays each individual firefighter’s exact location on an emergency incident scene. In the event of a mayday, rescue crews know exactly where to find the downed firefighter, rather than spending precious time searching for him or her.

. The passively-deployed system tracks firefighters both inside and outside of a structure and collects data on fire conditions to relay back to fire officers outside the hazard zone. There is currently no other device on the market available to emergency responders which is comparable to the TaskForce Tracker system; the ability to precisely locate firefighters inside of a structure has long been sought by firefighters, and is described as industry insiders at the “Holy Grail of firefighting”. ResponderX currently has approximately 20 agencies around the country, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, & Firearms’ National Response Team, identified as pilot sites. Piloting is scheduled to begin later this year, and additional agencies are still being considered as pilot sites.

Inspiration for the idea came to company founder and CEO Andrew Jarrett after a 2013 fire at a Knights of Columbus Hall in Bryan, TX which claimed the lives of two Bryan Fire Department lieutenants and severely burned two firefighters.

Mr. Jarrett and the ResponderX team will be providing information about the system and speaking to departments interested in piloting and/or purchasing the system. Interested attendees and media may contact Director of Client Relations Cody Blount to schedule interviews or individual meetings with Mr. Jarrett during the conference.

Please visit for more information.

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Posted: Apr 18, 2018

FDIC International 2018: If You Were Stranded on an Island... - Firefighter Training

Firefighter in front of a burning home during FDIC training

If you were stranded on an island and you could pick one individual from the annals of the history of the American Fire Service to accompany you, whom would be your choice? This question was posed to some of FDIC International 2018 instructors. Here are their responses...

Markus Vogt, instructor, International Fire Academy in Switzerland (Tunnel Training Centre for Tunnel Firefighter): I would take my wife to this lonely island. She is a firefighter (Group-Chief) in our hometown. I trust her blindly; our communication works quite well; and we are used to working together.

Captain Brian Zaitz, Metro West Fire Protection District, Cottleville, MO: I would have to say I would want to spend some time with the late Chief Brunacini. He would already be dressed in island attire with his trademark Hawaiian shirt. The ability to spend some time listening and learning from such an icon would be priceless. I know I would be in pain laughing from his jokes but still taking in the life lessons related both to the fire service as well as humanity in general. 

Chief (Ret.) Richard Marinucci, educational director, Fire Department Safety Officers Association: I have three choices. All were as passionate about the fire service as anyone I had ever met.

  • Jim Page. He was a great guy; I was just getting to know him when he died (too young). I had much more I wanted to discuss with him. He was brilliant.
  • Tom Brennan. I had known Tom for a while, and he was quite a character and always positive. He treated everyone like a brother (or sister) regardless of the size of their fire department. He was a down-to-earth guy who was enjoyable to be around.
  • Alan Brunacini. He was such an amazing guy on a personal level. He was way smarter than most of us, but he had the ability to explain things so simply. He had a great sense of humor and an unbelievable commitment to the fire service.

Assistant Chief Douglas Cline, Horry County (SC) Fire Rescue:  Chief Alan Brunicini. He was a dynamic forward-thinking visionary. He had the ability to see every dimension of the situation with a window to the wider worldview of where to go or take the situation.  He was one of the greatest mentors I had, and he never stopped mentoring even after 27 years of mentoring me. He gave me a huge opportunity at FDIC 1993 when I was selected to participate in one of his main stage programs. He had so much more knowledge and wisdom I would have loved to have been able to learn from. He was always progressive and understood the true meaning of servant leadership.

Chief Buddy Cales, Paramus (NJ) Fire Department: Deputy Chief Fire Marshal Joseph M. Kelly. Coming from the world of fire investigation, I can only imagine what it was like in 1961 when he started his fire investigation career with the Fire Department of New York and what it evolved into when he retired in 1995. I can only speculate on the things he saw, the changes he adapted to as technology moved forward, and the major fire scene investigations he oversaw, which included the Happy Land Social Club Fire in March 1990 and the infamous Honesdale, Pennsylvania, nursing home fire in 1971 in which all 15 patients died. His ability to adapt and to remain at the top of his field for this amount of time must have been as a result of his resourcefulness, dedication to his field, and his tenacity. Having him with me while stranded on an island would guarantee my survival. 

Assistant Chief Eddie Buchanan, Hanover Fire & EMS in Richmond, VA: Ben Fra

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Posted: Apr 18, 2018

FDIC International 2018: If You Were Stranded on an Island... - Firefighter Training

Firefighters participating in hands-on training

If you were stranded on an island and you could pick one individual from the annals of the history of the American Fire Service to accompany you, whom would be your choice? This question was posed to some of FDIC International 2018 instructors. Here are their responses...

Deputy Chief Billy Goldfeder, Loveland-Symmes (OH) Fire Department: Here are a few:

Curt Varone and Brad Pinsky: They would take immediate legal action and get the decision of being stuck on an island reversed.

Bobby Halton: He would know exactly what quote from history would allegedly make me feel better about being stuck on an island with him.

Frank Brannigan: He would be able to construct a boat from the trees on the island and get us the heck out of there.

Alan Brunacini. He would figure out a way for me to still be nice even though I am stuck on the island.

Mike Dugan: I could stand on his shoulders and easily be able to see and wave to any approaching ships.

Harry Carter: I would sleep well because he would never run out of stories to tell me ... that would put me to sleep.

Dave Dodson: He would be able to make a fire for cooking, ensuring that the smoke would be safe and readable.

Bill Gustin: As island native cannibals approached us, he would offer them "peace cigars," and the odds are that they wouldn't eat us for dinner.

Ron Kanterman: On the slight chance that "two Jews are better than one" when stranded, he would bring measurable value to the situation.

John Salka: In the case that pirates attack, his command presence and voice would scare the life out of them.

Ray McCormack: His ability to keep fire in our life would ensure cooking ability and a signal at all times.

Frank Montagna: If life got too exciting, he would keep things calm, relaxed, and perhaps even slightly boring.

Frank Ricci: If we are attacked and treated unfairly, he would take the case all the way up to the Supreme Court.

Ron Siarnicki: He would come up with a way to do fundraising.

Mike Wilbur: He would ensure that our boat--once built--would have approved seat belts. 

Steve Chikerotis: When we DO get rescued, there would be a great TV show about our being stranded.

Steve Kerber: We would have a scientific understanding of why we got stuck on the island. 

Paul Combs: Our adventure would be graphically documented in nice colors.

Father Tom Mulcrone: We will be well-protected from up above while on the island. 

Jerry Wells, battalion chief, Lewisville (TX) Fire Department:  For me, it would be a Dallas firefighter named Jerry Keith Henderson. Jerry was killed in the line of duty in Dallas on February 16, 1964, in the downtown "Golden Pheasant Fire.” He left behind a wife and five children. He was a great friend to my dad, who also was a Dallas firefighter). I was born March 9, 1964, and was named Jerry Keith Wells in his honor. It would be an honor to meet a man that was so well thought of by my father that he would give me that name. Jerry and I could catch up on so many things: family, fire

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