2015 Fall Third Rail Newletter
The Fall Edition of the Third Rail Newsletter is now available in the Document Library.
Featured articles include:
"Donnie Chin Remembered", "Six Full Response in Six Hours!" and more!
Read It Now!
AP: Memorial service for firefighters set for Sunday
WENATCHEE — The memorial service for three firefighters who died while battling the Okanogan complex of wildfires will be Sunday in Wenatchee.
Officials say the service will begin at 1 p.m. at the Toyota Center.
Three firefighters were killed and four injured when flames overtook them Wednesday while they were fighting the Okanogan Complex. One firefighter remains in critical condition at Harborview Medical Center with burns over 60 percent of his body. The other three injured firefighters have been treated and released.
Tom Zbyszewski, 20; Richard Wheeler, 31; and Andrew Zajac, 26; died when their truck crashed as they tried to escape the fast-growing wildfire and flames consumed their vehicle. All three lived in North Central Washington.
Full Article Here
KIRO TV: Help for FF that Money Can't Buy
By Essex Porter
The heat, the danger, the pressure, they all take a toll. Now Seattle is sending a new team of firefighters, not to battle the flames, but to take care of their colleagues.
Firefighters in Washington State are in the middle of what is shaping up to be a long, exhausting summer.
“This is an unprecedented cataclysm in our state. There are 390,000 acres burning, last year was bad with 250,000 acres,” Gov. Jay Inslee told reporters at a news conference in Chelan.
Some 3,000 firefighters are on the lines and the governor says they will be getting more help from out of state and overseas,
But with long deployments taking their toll and grief over the three firefighters who were killed, commanders in Okanagan have asked the Seattle Fire Department to send four members from its Critical Incident Stress Management Team.
The head of Seattle's Firefighter Union says they are peer counselors who can speak firefighter to firefighter.
“We want to make sure that their health, their emotional well-being is taken care of so they can continue to protect the public,” Stuart said.
Firefighting costs are expected to run in the tens of millions of dollars.
The head of the U.S. Forest Service says he'll exceed his budget by the end of the month.
“That does not have any effect on the job that we're doing out here to work with our partners to be able to suppress these fires.”
There are 16 Seattle firefighters deployed right now, and Stuart just wants to be sure they and all the other firefighters have the resources they need to stay safe.
“We want to make sure that firefighters are always kept safe, that the number of firefighters, our staffing our resources and our equipment are always at their highest level so we avoid fatalities we avoid injuries whenever possible.
Full Story Here
KOMO News: Okanogan wildfire is now largest in state history
OKANOGAN, Wash. (AP) - Firefighters from as far as Australia and New Zealand have arrived in the West as massive wildfires raging in Washington state and elsewhere in the region taxed resources and led officials to put out a wide call for help.
In Washington, a series of fires raging in the north-central part of the state that earlier killed three firefighters has now grown to become the largest in state history, fire spokesman Rick Isaacson said Monday.
The lightning-caused Okanogan Complex of fires were measured overnight at just over 400 square miles. That's slightly more than last year's Carlton Complex blazes, which also were sparked by lightning and burned in Okanogan County.
"I'd like to set some different records," Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers said Monday.
Last year's fires were grouped closer together and destroyed some 300 homes, Rogers said. This year, wildfires are burning across the large county and officials have no idea how many homes have burned.
The Okanogan Complex of fires grew by more than 26 square miles Sunday and is expected to spread even more in coming days.
Read the Full Article Here
3 Firefighters Killed In Washington State Wildfire
TWISP, Wash. (AP) - Three firefighters were killed and three to four others were injured, at least one critically, on Wednesday as raging wildfires advanced on towns in north-central Washington, authorities said.
Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers said the deaths, in a wildfire near Twisp, had been confirmed, but he said he was not immediately releasing specific details about the circumstances or the victims, pending notification of their families.
"It was a hellstorm up here," he told KXLY-TV of Spokane. "The fire was racing and the winds were blowing in every direction and then it would shift. ... It was tough on 'em up here."
One firefighter had been taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle in critical condition, a nursing supervisor there said.
"My heart breaks over the loss of life," Gov. Jay Inslee said in a written statement. "I know all Washington joins me and Trudi in sending our prayers to the families of these brave firefighters. They gave their lives to protect others. It was their calling, but the loss for their families is immense."
Read the Full Story Here
Press Release- BULLET HOLE FOUND IN FIRE DEPARTMENT VEHICLE
AlertSeattle Launches for Seattle Residents
The City of Seattle Office of Emergency Management has launched a new emergency alerting system called Alert Seattle.
Residents can sign up for the free system which will send you customized alerts by:
· Text message
· Voice Message
This service is provided by the City of Seattle at no cost; however, message and data rates may apply.
Emergency alerts would be sent when there is a significant risk to life and /or property at any time of the day.
Alert Seattle can also send you customizable and are sent only during the hours of 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. These notifications include:
· Severe weather
· Utility service disruptions
· Major traffic incidents
You can sign up online for Alert Seattle or visit the Facebook and Twitter pages.
For even more information, visit alert.seattle.gov.
Kiro TV: Firefighters rescue 2 dogs from burning home
SEATTLE - Fire investigators are working to find out what ignited a fire at a home in which two dogs were rescued overnight.
The fire started around 11 p.m. Wednesday in a backyard in Seward Park.
The flames quickly shot up the back of the house and spread into the attic.
One witness said they could hear a boom from a block away.
"It sounded like a big firework went off. We looked over here and there were just big clouds of smoke and it looked like a house fire," said witness Jeffrey Owen.
The residents weren't home, but two dogs were trapped. After the rescue, firefighters reunited the owners with their pets.
Fire officials say the damage is too extensive for the residents to move back in.
Full Article Here
Brothers and Sisters,
Local 27 is fully engaged in the political process to protect and support you, your family, and public safety. Our American democratic process relies on citizens and organizations for elections and for governance. Local 27 informs and supports candidates and elected officials on all issues related to fire fighters and public safety including: health and safety, training, equipment, department policies, compensation, benefits, retirement, staffing, response times, service levels, hazards, etc.
Local 27, the WSCFF, and the IAFF rely on your voluntary financial contributions to fund these efforts.
Many members already do their part and contribute, but many still do not.
If you have not yet signed up for the Local 27 SAFEPAC or the WSCFF Fastpac, or the IAFF Firepac, please follow the link below to get started now. Thank you.
Seattle Fire Fighters Union
IAFF Local 27
SAFEPAC, FASTPAC, FIREPAC Contribution Forms
Local 27 Political Action Volunteer Form