Polk Firefighter Resigns Amid Rescue Controversy

LAKELAND, FL — A Polk County fire captain, accused of posting photos to Snapchat from the scene of a failed rescue, has now resigned, county officials said Tuesday. It was back in November when fire broke out at the home of Lorretta Pickard. Recordings of her 911 call revealed the 67-year-old, who relied on a walker, was told to wait for rescuers, but that rescue never happened. “Yes, they…

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Baltimore City Fire Department Using Overtime To Fill Nearly One-Third Of Shifts

BALTIMORE, MD — The Baltimore City Fire Department is paying overtime to fill nearly a third of its firefighter and medic shifts every day, blowing through its overtime budget. The department is relying heavily on volunteer “callbacks,” in which firefighters or medics who have just finished a shift are asked to work another, said a department spokeswoman. It also is shuffling personnel around, moving firefighters who are also certified…

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Aurora Fire Department Set To Get Bulletproof Vests After Firefighters Responded To Active Shooting Without Them

AURORA, IL — Aurora aldermen are set to approve purchase of 60 bulletproof vests for Aurora’s firefighters. The purchase comes in the wake of the Feb. 15 mass shooting at the Henry Pratt Co. building that claimed the lives of five workers, and injured six police officers. On that day, firefighters accompanied police officers into the building to find and confront the shooter as part of special tactical units….

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Detroit Medics, Firefighters Told To Clean Up Bloody Scenes Without Training, Equipment

DETROIT, MI — Mike Nevin figured it was a prank. There’s no way the city is now requiring firefighters and medics to clean up blood from crime and accident scenes without the proper training or equipment, the president of the Detroit Fire Fighters Association told himself. “I thought it was a joke when I first saw it,” Neven tells Metro Times. “This is beyond insane.” Beginning Tuesday, firefighters and…

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Firefighter Sues, Says He Grew Beard As Born-Again Christian

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ — A New Jersey firefighter has filed a civil rights lawsuit alleging that he is being forced to shave a beard he says he grew for religious reasons. NJ.com reports that Atlantic City firefighter Alexander Smith says in his lawsuit he began growing out his beard in December as a born-again Christian. He says the department is threatening to suspend him without pay. Fire department guidelines…

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Hollywood cut pension benefits in 2011. Eight years later, they’re being restored.

HOLLYWOOD, FL — Slashed pay and extreme pension cuts caused a rift between Hollywood and its police and firefighters that has lasted almost a decade. Hollywood took steps to end the feud with the city’s firefighters on Wednesday, a month after mending fences with police. A plan that would restore pension benefits at an estimated cost of $2.6 million a year won unanimous commission approval. A final vote will…

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Alleged Sexual Assault Victim Of Former Fire Chief Sues City For Negligence

KINGSTON, MA – The alleged victim of Kingston’s former fire chief has filed a lawsuit against the town alleging negligence for failing to protect him from sexual assault. The lawsuit has been filed by attorney Tyler H. Fox on behalf of Ryan Williams in advance of former fire chief Robert Heath’s trial on one count of indecent assault and battery on a person 14 or over, scheduled for April…

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California Supreme Court Ducks Major Pension Issue But Rules Against Employees On ‘Air Time’

The California Supreme Court on Monday upheld a pension law that stripped a retirement perk from public employees, issuing a narrow ruling that sidestepped a bigger question about whether employers can reduce pension benefits for current workers. The court held that the perk at issue in the case was distinct from an employee’s core pension rights, such as the formula used to calculate retirement income, and not protected by…

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Police Officer Fired After Snapchat Controversy In Detroit

DETROIT, MI — A Detroit police officer who officials say posted racially insensitive comments on Snapchat about a woman whose vehicle was being impounded has been fired, according to the city’s police chief. Chief James Craig said Wednesday that 24 allegations were brought against Officer Gary Steele, 11 of which were sustained. “Former police officer Steele has lost the trust of those he served,” the chief said. The allegations…

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Pa. Supreme Court Rejects FOP Appeal On Police Pay

An effort by Pittsburgh’s police union to overturn a five-year-old arbitration decision that limited officer raises failed Tuesday when the state Supreme Court ruled in the city’s favor. Union officials indicated that their efforts to address the issue are not over. “The city is happy with the Supreme Court’s decision, which affirms what we’ve been saying for years – that the contract followed the state-mandated recovery plan, its salary…

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