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SAINT LOUIS FIRE DEPARTMENT






ST. LOUIS FIREFIGHTERS PLAY HOST TO SOUTH KOREAN COUNTERPARTS

April 3, 2016 - KTVI BY SHAWNDREA THOMAS

ST. LOUIS, MO. - On Sunday morning the St. Louis city fire department became ambassadors to a group of firefighters from Daegu the third largest city in South Korea. The group is on a 6 day tour across the United States to learn how American fire crews battle fires, plan schedules, use equipment and conduct rescues. Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson and South Korean officials say it's a good experience for both sides.

The St. Louis Fire Department has over 600 fire fighters compared to the 2,000 in Daegu and they also have 48 fire houses in Daegu to serve over 2 million people while St. Louis has 30. The next stop for the group is Indiana on Monday.

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ST. LOUIS FIRE DEPARTMENT HOCKEY TEAM WINS OVER ST. LOUIS METROPOLITAN POLICE TEAM


Photo by St. Louis Fire Department

April 1, 2016 - St. Louis Fire Department Facebook

ST. LOUIS, MO. - Congratulations to the St. Louis Fire Department's hockey team! Team #STLFD was victorious over the #SLMPD in tonight's 14th Annual Guns & Hoses "Impact Cup" Challenge.

All proceeds from tonight's match benefit The BackStoppers!

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CITY OFFICIALS ASK VOTERS TO APPROVE BONDS FOR NEW EQUIPMENT FOR FIRST RESPONDERS

KMOV.com

March 30, 2016 - KMOV By Alexis Zotos, Reporter

ST. LOUIS, MO. - Broken ambulances, fire trucks that won't go in reverse, or trucks breaking on the way to a call. Those are problems the St. Louis Fire Department says pose real safety risks for St. Louisans.

"Mechanical breakdowns, failures, it causes me to lose sleep at night," explained Chief Dennis Jenkerson.

That's why they are looking to the voters to approve Proposition F on April 5.

"This provides equipment for us to better prepare, better respond our ambulances are at the end of their life as well. One a daily basis we're running almost 400 calls a day between fire and EMS, and this allows us the same type of protection that they're used to," said Jenkerson.

The $25 million bond would allow the department to replace about 25 percent of the fleet, including fire trucks and ambulances.

"It won't cost anybody one penny," explained Chief Jenkerson.

As explained by the city, "The current 13 cents tax levy is available for utilizing a $25 million bond issue without increasing taxes."

About $15 million will go directly to the fire department. The rest will be used to repair and renovate bridges and other facilities owned by the city.

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SOUTH ST. LOUIS HOUSE FIRE CLAIMS FAMILY DOG


Photo by FirstAlarmphotos Stl (Facebook)

March 29, 2016 - KMOX (Kevin Killeen/KMOX)

ST. LOUIS, MO. - A south St. Louis woman watches her dog burn to death before she and another woman, along with four young children, escape safely from a house fire.

The fire began about 2:15 p.m. Tuesday at a two-family flat in the 3500 block of Nebraska.

Shannon Wade Davis says they were all inside when they smelled smoke and heard an explosion. Opening the back door, she saw flames consuming the two-story exterior wooden porch.

That's when Davis says she heard her dog yelping.

The family's pet pit bull was chained to the burning back porch, and she saw it burning to death.".... I looked in the back and my dog was on fire. Like literally, on fire," Davis says. "There was no way that I could get back there and save him. .... I started panicking and I was like, forget it."

She got everyone out of the house, but had to leave the dog behind.

The fire department is investigating whether the upstairs tenants may have been doing some careless burning in a barbecue pit on the back porch.

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FEMALE FIREFIGHTER TO RETIRE AFTER 25 YEARS OF SERVICE AT LAMBERT AIRPORT


Rhonda Lee is retiring after 25 years. (Credit: KMOV)

March 19, 2016 - KMOV

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO. - First responders throughout the St. Louis area help serve the community.

Firefighter Rhonda Lee is retiring from her post at Lambert International Airport after 25 years. Lee started out in 1990 at Engine House 12 in the Hamilton Heights neighborhood.

Female firefighters are few and far between. Out of nearly 800 on the job in St. Louis, only 15 are women.

Lee was urged to become a firefighter because of her brother. She says that the part she enjoyed the most about her job was helping people in the community and the camaraderie she developed with her fellow firefighters.

Lee says she plans to pursue her doctoral degree in counseling and has also started her own event planning business called Taste.

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FIREFIGHTER'S BLITZ THE ST. LOUIS AREA INSTALLING NEW SMOKE DETECTORS

March 13, 2016 - KTVI BY SHAWNDREA THOMAS

ST. LOUIS, MO. - While we are all springing forward this weekend, fire officials say you should also check the batteries in your smoke detector.

On Sunday St. Louis City Firefighters spent their day installing free smoke detectors all across the city.

It's in an effort to make sure to the public checks their smoke detectors twice a year.

Fire Captain Garon Mosby says the lack of smoke detectors and non-working smoke detectors affects people from all walks of life.

Departments make a push twice a year for installation of new smoke detectors.

Officials say if you missed today's event you can call your local department and they will install a new detector for free. Over the last year more than 600 people have died nationwide from fatal fires.

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ST. LOUIS LOOKING TO VOTERS TO PURCHASE NEW AMBULANCES

March 2, 2016 - KTVI BY SHIRLEY WASHINGTON

ST. LOUIS, MO. - You see them rushing throughout the city with lights flashing, and sirens wailing trying to get patients too much needed emergency care.

However the busiest ambulance service in St. Louis is in dire need of help.

The average cost for one ambulance is $250,000 dollars.

Putting the fire department aside, it will cost the city about $2 million to buy seven more emergency vehicles.

But that purchase depends on whether voters support Prop-F when they go to the polls in March.

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HIBERNIANS SALUTE LOCAL HEROES

February 29, 2016 - St. Louis Post Dispatch PRESS RELEASE BY Ancient Order of Hibernians

ST. LOUIS, MO. - The Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) will honor seven distinguished St. Louisians at a special reception and award ceremony Thursday, March 10th at 6:00 PM at Electricians' Hall 5850 Elizabeth in South St. Louis.

The Hibernian celebration is dedicated to firefighters, law enforcement officers, public safety personnel and union members killed in the line of duty since September 11, 2001. The benefit is being held in conjunction with his year's 2016 AOH Saint Patrick's Day Parade on March 17 in Dogtown (Baile Madra in Irish).

Among those honored will be the Grand Marshal of the 33rd Ancient Order of Hibernians Saint Patrick's Day Parade, Fr. Christopher Dunlap, the pastor of St. James the Greater Parish in in South St. Louis' historic Dogtown neighborhood. Fr. Dunlap is the youngest pastor in the history of the parish. He was ordained 2006 and named pastor of St. James Parish in 2014.

Receiving special honors will be firefighters and law enforcement officers from St. Louis City and St. Louis County. The honorees include St. Louis County Police Officer Sgt. Andy Hale, St. Louis City Police Officer Joe Hill, St. Louis County Firefighter, Vincent Schram and St. Louis City Firefighter, Battalion Chief Michael Shane Fitzgerald.

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster was selected the 2016 AOH Civic Leader. Michael R. Mahler was named the AOH 2016 Labor Leader.

The Irish Session Players and Mayer-Torno School of Irish Dance will perform.

The event is open to the public. The suggested donation is $15.00 per person. Funds raised help underwrite the AOH Parade and help support Irish charities.

"We are really gratified by all the support St. Louis community, especially our civic leaders and labor unions have given the Hibernians, especially Anheuser-Busch/InBev" said AOH spokesman Jim Wahl.

"The Hibernians also want to thank Local 73 of the St. Louis Fire Department, Local 2665 of the St. Louis County Fire Department, the Emerald Society of St. Louis and the IBEW Local 1 for all their support in helping us put on this event to honor these outstanding individuals".

"We would also like to acknowledge a number of local businesses that have assisted us in putting on this year's event including, John D. McGurk's, Pat Connolly's Tavern, Bruno's American Grill, Maggie O'Brien's, Friendly's Sports Bar & Grill, Humphrey's and Keeton's Double Play.

"I also want to personally thank Pat Loughan, Pat Maloney, Jim Mohan, Tori Newman and Larry Magee, who help me put this event on every year."

For more information on the AOH Award Ceremony contact Jim Wahl at (314) 421-3100.

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WB I-44 OPEN AT WASHINGTON AVE FOLLOWING TRUCK FIRE


A semi-truck caught fire in the westbound lanes of I-44 near downtown Monday morning (Credit: Terrence Culton / Facebook)

February 22, 2016 - KMOV By Stephanie Baumer, Online News Producer

ST. LOUIS, MO. - All lanes of Interstate 44 are open at Washington Avenue after a truck fire.

Emergency crews responded to the area and closed down the lanes around 9 a.m. Monday. One lane of the interstate was reopen around 9:30 a.m. All lanes reopened before 11 a.m.

There were no known injuries.

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BEING PREPARED: TERRORISM RESPONSE TRAINING IN ST. LOUIS


The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department held a real-world training exercise on February 20, 2016 where first-responders were called out to simulated terrorist attack situations (KMOX/Brad Choat)

February 21, 2016 - KMOX Brad Choat (Twitter: @choatsnews)

ST. LOUIS, MO. - Acts of terrorism can happen anytime, anywhere.

That's why first-responders in St. Louis were challenged to practice their skills at four different scenes on Saturday, according to Police Chief Sam Dotson, "One involves a car bomb. Another involves a suicide vest. There's also an active shooter at a school, and a hostage situation."

Dotson says they drew upon real-life accounts of what happened in Paris, San Bernardino, and other attacks to come up with their training exercise.

Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson says even off-duty personnel got to benefit from hearing the radio traffic, "We've got firefighters and police officers across the city who are listening to what's going on. This provides them with a critical thinking opportunity. They start thinking about what-ifs."

Mayor Francis Slay gave his full support to the exercise, "Not only does it help us respond better, but it also helps us strengthen relationships that will help protect our city and region in a better way, long-term."

Chief Dotson says command staff will review how the training went and offer suggestions for improvement.

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STL FIREFIGHTERS BATTLING EXTREMES


Fighting fires in freezing temperatures only adds to the existing dangers our first responders face

February 16, 2016 - KSDK By Casey Nolen

ST. LOUIS, MO. - They're known for their courage. And this time of year it's often the elements they're braving. Because on a 17 degree day, the water they bring to the fight, turns on them and equipment can clog in the extreme cold.

And firefighters have to keep themselves from freezing, layering up to keep warm out on a ladder, but not too hot when their up close to the flames.

But even if they get their gear right on the inside, they still have to deal with what the ice can do on the outside.

On Tuesday, February 16, NewsChannel Five On Your Side's Casey Nolen gives us an up-close look at what it takes to fight fires in the freezing cold.

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TWO FIREFIGHTERS PROMOTED TO CAPTAIN


Photo by St. Louis Fire Department

February 16, 2016 - St. Louis Fire Department

ST. LOUIS, MO. - Effective immediately, Fire Chief & Commissioner Dennis M. Jenkerson has promoted Wayne Johnson and Peter Seger from the rank of Fire Private to Fire Captain!

Captain Johnson is assigned to E-2C & Captain Seger E-35B.

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FIREFIGHTERS RECALL RESCUING TRAPPED BOYS FROM FIRE ON CLARA AVENUE

February 13, 2016 - KMOV BY SHAWNDREA THOMAS

ST. LOUIS, MO. - A recent fire left two children in the hospital and their mother facing two counts of child abuse. On Thursday St. Louis City fire crews were called to this house fire on Clara Avenue. That`s were three crews found two boys ages five and two left alone in the home. Their mother Jannetta Maclin allegedly left them alone and went to work. That`s when one of the kids used a lighter to set a couch on fire. FOX 2 spoke to firefighters who say they were lucky to have a team on hand to help them pull the kids out of a closet inside the smoky home. They also worked together to revive the kids and transported them to the hospital.

At this point the boys are still listed in critical condition.

Officials say there were no working smoke detectors in the home.

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MOTHER CHARGED WITH LEAVING SONS, 2 AND 5, ALONE IN ST. LOUIS APARTMENT THAT BURNED


Jeannetta Maclin was charged with child endangerment on Feb. 12, 2016. Authorities say she left her two sons, 2 and 5, alone in her apartment, which caught fire while she was gone and seriously injured the boys.

February 12, 2016 - St. Louis Post Dispatch By Joel Currier

ST. LOUIS, MO. - The mother of two young children critically injured in an apartment fire had left them alone while she went to work, according to felony charges filed against her Friday.

Officials said they believe the Thursday afternoon blaze that injured the boys, 2 and 5, was the result of either a discarded cigarette or a child playing with a lighter. The youngsters remained in critical condition Friday at St. Louis Children's Hospital. Their names were not made public.

Prosecutors accused Jeannetta Maclin, 23, of child abuse and neglect and child endangerment. She was arrested Friday. Bail was set at $15,000 cash only.

Firefighters found the boys in cardiac arrest and not breathing about 5 p.m. Thursday in a first-floor apartment of a three-story brick building at 807 Clara Avenue. Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson said paramedics had revived the boys by the time they reached the hospital.

Jenkerson said rescuers found the children on a mattress in a closet-sized room off the living room where a couch was in flames. He said that apartment had no working smoke detectors.

Initially, firefighters thought space heaters in the apartment could have sparked the blaze. But fire Capt. Gregg Favre said Friday that investigators think it was a cigarette or children playing with a lighter.

The fire started on a sofa, with an ashtray and the remains of a lighter found nearby, according to the charges. They also allege that Maclin kept an ashtray and lighter in the drawer of a side table and apparently was aware that the children had played with the lighter previously while in the care of a relative.

The charges, filed in St. Louis Circuit Court, say Maclin left the children unattended in the apartment about 3 p.m. when she went to work an eight-hour shift at an unidentified business in Creve Coeur. The fire was discovered about two hours later by someone in the building who initially found the door to the apartment locked, but ultimately tried to enter with a key, a resident said.

Firefighters arrived within two minutes of the call, Jenkerson said, and quickly removed the boys from the smoke-filled apartment. He said they were not burned.

There are about 30 units in the building. The fire was confined to the one.

Besides two counts of child abuse/neglect, prosecutors filed alternative lesser counts of child endangerment against Maclin, which jurors could consider if they don't believe her actions meet the criteria for child abuse.

Lurenda Meeks, 61, who lives across the hall with her granddaughter and 15-month-old great-granddaughter, said she was home when the fire started, and escaped when alarms sounded and neighbors began yelling for everyone to evacuate.

"When the firefighters brought the kids out, my heart just dropped," Meeks said. "I said, 'Lord, please let those kids be alive.'"

Several tenants said Maclin is a single mother. Some sympathized with her situation while others were critical of a decision to leave the boys by themselves.

"She should have been there with those kids," said Monroe Williamson, 57. "Or, she should have told someone that the kids were in there by themselves."

Another neighbor, Karren Warren, said that while no one should leave young children at home alone, she wasn't ready to pass judgment based on what she knew.

"Maybe she was proud and scared to ask anybody to watch her children," Warren said. "My heart goes out to her because I know she was doing her best."

Jennifer Mann of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.

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STING OPERATION CATCHES ALLEGED SERIAL ARSONIST IN SOUTH ST. LOUIS


KMOV

February 7, 2016 - KMOV By Adam McDonald, Online News Producer, KMOV

ST. LOUIS MO. - Federal agents were able to catch a south St. Louis serial arsonist after setting up security cameras.

According to police, Michael Naro, 47, started each fire with road flares, setting several garage and dumpster fires in his neighborhood.

"I thought that it had to be somebody that lives in the neighborhood because of the time that it was happening between 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.," said Princeton Heights resident Lois Terry. "I was a little bit upset, a lot upset, I guess."

The damage was extensive at some locations, including a garage that burned to the ground on Hampton Avenue. One victim found road flares in their garage, another clue leading investigators to Naro.

Security cameras were set in the area which allegedly captured Naro leaving his house and walking toward the location of a garage. When police searched his home, they found road flares and other evidence they say linked him to the arsons.

Naro is now facing four felony counts of second degree arson.

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FIREFIGHTERS BATTLE ONE-ALARM FIRE ON GOODFELLOW


St. Louis firefighters show their exhaustion after battling a fire in the 1200 block of Goodfellow Boulevard on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016. The one-alarm fire started on the second floor. Relatives said they had been having problems with the electrical outlets and a space heater. One woman was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation, but she did not require hospitalization. The two-story home sustained extensive damage. Photo by J.B. Forbes, jforbes@post-dispatch.com

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AUTHORITIES SAY THEY'RE CLOSING IN ON SOUTH CITY ARSONIST

February 4, 2016 - KTVI BY ANDY BANKER AND STAFF WRITER

ST. LOUIS, MO. - An arsonist terrorizing a south St. Louis neighborhood.

Residents count at least eight fires in the last month, all of them happening just off of Hampton Avenue. Most have been relatively small. But on Thursday morning, the flames of the latest fire came far too close to a sleeping baby.

Authorities said they've got a possible suspect in mind for the fires and are expecting to announce charges shortly.

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BATTALION CHIEF PROMOTION


Photo by St. Louis Fire Department

February 1, 2016 - St. Louis Fire Department

ST. LOUIS, MO. - Fire Chief Dennis M. Jenkerson has promoted Michael Newbury from the rank of Fire Captain to Battalion Fire Chief. Chief Newbury is assigned to Battalion #1-C. Congratulations!

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SUSPICIOUS SOUTH ST. LOUIS GARAGE FIRE

January 28, 2016 - KTVI BY STAFF WRITER

ST. LOIUS, MO. - A garage fire in south St. Louis is being called suspicious. The fire broke out around 2:30am behind a home on Hampton avenue at Loughborough. The garage and the car inside were destroyed.

The people who live there were not home at the time. Embers from the fire were flying in the area, but nothing else caught fire.

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UNATTENDED COOKING CAUSE OF BLAZE AT NORTH ST. LOUIS CHURCH, OFFICIALS SAY


Firefighters were called to the St. Louis Metropolitan Church of Christ, located in the 6070 block of West Florissant, shortly after 2 a.m.

January 27, 2016 - KMOV By Stephanie Baumer, Online News Producer

ST. LOUIS, MO. - A preliminary investigation indicated that unattended cooking is to blame for a two-alarm fire at a north St. Louis church early Wednesday morning, according fire officials.

Firefighters were called to the St. Louis Metropolitan Church of Christ, located in the 6070 block of West Florissant, shortly after 2 a.m.

Heavy smoke inside the building forced firefighters to fight the blaze from the outside.

Homes on both sides of the church had to be evacuated for safety reasons while firefighters worked to put out the flames.

Nobody was inside the church at the time of the blaze.

No injuries were reported.

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FIREFIGHTERS BATTLE 4-ALARM BLAZE WEST OF DOWNTOWN ST. LOUIS


St. Louis firefighters work a four-alarm blaze at the intersection of 19th Street and Washington Avenue on Monday, Jan. 18, 2016. Photo by Robert Cohen, rcohen@post-dispatch.com

January 18, 2016 - St. Louis Post Dispatch By Tim O'Neil

ST. LOUIS, MO. - Fire extensively damaged a vacant two-story building west of downtown Monday that was to have been renovated into apartments.

The fire, at 1900-1916 Washington Avenue, broke out shortly before 1:30 p.m. About 80 St. Louis firefighters battled the four-alarm blaze with high ladders and a ring of pumpers to pour water onto flames bursting through the roof and windows.

Brisk wind from the west blew smoke into downtown.

No one was injured.

Fire Capt. Garon Mosby said the first units to arrive entered the building but were ordered out as the "fast-moving" fire spread quickly inside.

Mosby said it was too early to learn a cause for the blaze. He said the building utilities had been shut off, and said it was possible that vagrants had set fires inside to keep warm.

But he and police commanders said no one had seen anyone flee the building.

Rothschild Development Co. owns it and planned to renovate it into 34 apartments with an open interior courtyard.

It was built in 1919 as the Gordon Buell Building and had storefront shops on the first floor and warehouse space on the second.

Pete Rothschild said his company had obtained financing for its plan only a week ago after having worked on the project for several years.

The company has owned the building since 2005. It previously developed the Tudor Building on the opposite side of the block.

Michael Schwartz, its development director, said there was a "50-50" chance the brick building could be spared, despite the extensive damage.

It was 17 degrees Monday afternoon. Firefighters used shovels to throw rock salt onto Washington as the street became covered with ice.

Sara Geiger, a witness, said she was working across the street when the fire began.

"I was filling out paperwork and saw the smoke and heard the sirens," she said. "We went out, and the firefighters started to force open the front door. The smoke and flames came rushing out, and they stepped back."

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ALDERMAN SEEKS $25 MILLION TO UPDATE FIRST RESPONDER EQUIPMENT IN ST. LOUIS

January 9, 2016 - KMOV

ST. LOUIS, MO. - There is a new push Friday to find millions of dollars that could help save residents' lives.

The money, $25 million, would go to support first responders in St. Louis and help pay for new equipment and upgrades for firefighters and other emergency workers.

St. Louis firefighters say some fire trucks and other emergency vehicles are nearly 25 years old and sometimes break down on the way to calls.

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen is considering the $25 million plan in order to change that. Last year, there was a push to raise $180 million for the cause, but the bond failed. This time around 24th Ward Alderman Scott Olgilve says passage is critical. He introduced the plan Friday and says it won't require a tax increase.

"We have other debt that we are paying off, so we can borrow up to that limit without raising taxes," Olgilve said. "So we are anticipating paying off debt this year and next."

Olgilve says his plan will now move to committee, and he hopes it will appear on the ballot for voters in April.

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MEHLVILLE FIREFIGHTER PROMOTED TO CAPTAIN


Three children died in a north St. Louis house fire on November 22, 2015 (KMOV photo)

January 4, 2015 - KMOX

ST. LOUIS, MO. - The number of fire deaths was up last year in St. Louis city and the fire chief is searching for new ways to make sure everyone has a working smoke detector.

St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson is frustrated that the city had nine fire deaths in 2015, which was two more than the year before. Out of the nine deaths, six were children.

'We've done everything possible to try and get the smoke detectors out," Jenkerson says. "Unfortunately, the last couple fires we had where we did have fire deaths, were lack of smoke detectors."

He adds that it is aggravating to know that a $20 machine could have saved three children's lives.

Jenkerson says the fire department recently received a $225,000 federal grant for smoke detectors. He is also working on a new program that would require people to have working smoke detectors.

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ST. LOUIS FIREFIGHTERS RETURN FROM TRAINING IN NAIROBI, KENYA


Photo by St. Louis Fire Department

December 29, 2015 - KTVI BY DANIELLE SCRUGGS

ST. LOUIS, MO. - Five St. Louis City firefighters are back home after a trip to Africa. The group was selected to oversee the first-ever Fire Training Academy in Nairobi, Kenya.

Captain Garon P. Mosby, Captain Larry Conley along with firefighters Jessica Jackson, Jeff Weffelmeyer and Chris Tobin joined Kim Hudson on the 9a.m. with more!

The group spoke about the capacity for learning and absorption rate of the students. They also detailed the challenges they faced as instructors.

The St. Louis Fire Department's mission is to seek opportunities to serve. They partnered with the Africa Fire Mission, a non-profit organization that works to improve the capacity of fire departments across Africa.

The City of Nairobi's population is just under 5 million. They have two fire engines, 1 ladder truck and 156 firefighters.

This training was high on their list of needs.

For photos from their trip visit: Facebook.comStLouisFireDepartment

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TWO INJURED IN FIRE AT ABANDONED WAREHOUSE SOUTH OF DOWNTOWN ST. LOUIS


Firefighters on the scene of a blaze in a vacant warehouse on Wharf Street south of downtown St. Louis. Photo courtesy St. Louis Fire Department

December 20, 2015 - St. Louis Post Dispatch By Denise Hollinshed

ST. LOUIS, MO. - Two people were severely burned Sunday afternoon in a blaze in a vacant warehouse on the riverfront south of downtown.

Both victims were transported to a local hospital in critical condition, said Fire Department Capt. Garon Mosby. He said a third person at the scene walked away as firefighters arrived.

Mosby said the victims had driven to the warehouse. He said the fire was under investigation.

Firefighters responded to a call for multiple blazes in the warehouse at 2445 South Wharf Street at approximately 4:45 p.m. Officials said the flames were under control within about 15 minutes.

The warehouse is near the Mississippi River floodwall in the old Kosciusko industrial area, east of the Soulard neighborhood.

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FIRE DEPARTMENT & STATE REPRESENTATIVE JOSHUA PETERS TEAM UP FOR BIKE GIVE AWAY TO DESERVING STUDENTS

December 15, 2015 - The Missouri Times

ST. LOUIS, MO. - State Representative Joshua Peters and the St. Louis Fire Department will be presenting a deserving student, at each of the six elementary schools in the 76th State Representative District, a band new bike. On Thursday December 17th Representative Peters and Firefighters will attend assemblies at Confluence Aspire Academy, Walbridge School, Earl Nance Sr. Elementary School, Ashland Elementary, Herzog Elementary, and Lexington Elementary to recognize a deserving student selected by his or her principal. The student will be given a certificate acknowledging their achievement and told about the prize they have won.

A press opportunity for photos or film coverage for area media has been arranged for the presentation at Ashland Elementary at 11:30 AM on Thursday. The school is located at 3921 North Newstead, Louis, MO 63115.

On Friday, December 18th, Representative Peters and Firefighters will deliver to each student's home their prize of a brand new bicycle. They will also install free smoke detectors in home's on that student's street that need them. "It is vitally important that we provide positive incentives for student achievement and recognize those students who work hard. I am proud to help sponsor this event and to work in cooperation with the brave men and women of the St. Louis Fire Department who always go above and beyond to help the community they serve," said Representative Peters.

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ST. LOUIS COMPTROLLER PROPOSES NO-TAX $25M BOND ISSUE TO EQUIP FIREFIGHTERS


Darlene Green

December 8, 2015 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

ST. LOUIS, MO. - With city voters having already rejected a $180 million bond issue that would have raised taxes to fund new firefighting equipment, city Comptroller Darlene Green is hoping they will approve a smaller $25 million bond issue that won't require a tax hike.

In a written statement, Green proposed that the issue go on the ballot next spring.

"The last time firefighters received any substantial capital equipment was 16 years ago," she noted in the statement.".... If asked, I am confident that St. Louis city voters will support our firefighters and approve $25 million no-tax increase .... bonds this spring. They won't see higher real estate taxes and firefighters can receive essential equipment to better serve the community."

The earliest such a referendum could go on the ballot would be the April 5 municipal elections, Green's office said.

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2 CHILDREN ESCAPE, 1 ADULT RESCUED FROM SOUTH ST. LOUIS HOUSE FIRE

KMOV.com

December 5, 2015 - KMOV By Timothy Godfrey

ST. LOUIS, MO. - Two children and one adult have been freed from a burning home in south St. Louis.

The site of the fire is in the 4100 block of Tyrolean Avenue, near Carondelet Park. Fire crews rescued two children from the house as well as one adult male. All three have been transported to the hospital.

The two children, a young girl and her little brother, are listed in stable condition while the man is listed in critical condition.

According to St. Louis Fire Department, the young girl woke up to smoke and went to go get her younger brother. Both of them escaped the house on their own.

The adult male, the children's grandfather, had to be rescued by fire fighters.

At this time, it is not known what caused the fire in the two-story home. Fire officials have confirmed there were working smoke detectors in the home at the time of the fire.

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FOUR INJURED IN SOUTH CITY APARTMENT FIRE

December 4, 2015 - KTVI BY ROCHE MADDEN

ST. LOUIS, MO. - Four people were injured overnight in an apartment fire in south St. Louis. The fire started around 12:45a.m. at the apartments on Hampton Avenue at Sunshine Drive. There was heavy fire on the second floor of the three-story building. Firefighters used ladders to rescue people from their windows on the top floor.

"To get everybody out of this building in quick time was impressive. We had heavy fire facing the east. they did another good job," said Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson.

Two people are being treated for smoke inhalation. Investigators are looking into whether a space heater may be to blame.

Metro brought in a bus to keep residents warm at the scene.

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FIVE ESCAPE FROM BURNING HOME IN NORTH ST. LOUIS


St. Louis firefighters battle the remains of a first alarm house fire on Monday, Dec. 1 , 2015, along the 3700 block of 25th Street near Salisbury. No one was injured. Photo by Laurie Skrivan, lskrivan@post-dispatch.com

December 1, 2015 - St. Louis Post Dispatch By Samantha Liss

ST. LOIUS, MO. - Five men escaped from a burning home in Hyde Park on Tuesday night after a quick-thinking neighbor saw flames in the upstairs windows and knocked on the door.

The fire broke out at about 10 p.m. at the home in the 3700 block of North 25th Street.

Steven Woodfork, 43, who lives next door to the house with his brother, spotted the flames as he was in his car. He said his neighbors were asleep in the burning house. "I'm beating on their door," he said.

His home sustained some damage from the fire. Nobody was hurt.

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SPACE HEATER BLAMED FOR ST. LOUIS FIRE THAT KILLED 3 CHILDREN

November 22, 2015 - St. Louis Post Dispatch By Denise Hollinshed

ST. LOUIS, MO. - Three children died Sunday, over the coldest night of the season, in a house fire in the Walnut Park East neighborhood that authorities believe started with a space heater. The dead were two girls, 4 and 6, and a boy, 10 months old, officials said.

Viances Hutcherson Sr., 50, who was the father of the boy and uncle of the girls, was in Barnes-Jewish Hospital with injuries suffered in a rescue attempt, according to his son, Viances Hutcherson Jr., 16.

Capt. Gregg Favre of the St. Louis Fire Department said there were no working smoke detectors in the dwelling, in the 4900 block of Plover Avenue, and that arriving firefighters encountered heavy fire on both levels. A neighbor called in the alarm about 4:16 a.m., and said children were trapped, Favre said.

Firefighters found the 10-month-old still alive, and handed him off to paramedics, Favre said, but did not reach the girls until later. The boy died at a hospital; the girls died at the scene.

Favre said the father was hospitalized in serious condition, with burns and smoke inhalation.

The blaze appeared to have begun with a space heater, he said, noting, "We have no reason to believe that it was anything but an accident."

Viances Hutcherson Jr. said the gas was off and the family was using an electric oven and several space heaters to warm the small, 1 1/2-story house. A cold front had dropped the temperature to 25 degrees overnight, about 10 degrees colder than usual for the date.

The girls had been sleeping on a couch in the first-floor front room and were trapped, the teen said, and the baby was sleeping in a crib in a room on the same level with his parents, who escaped. He said he had been sleeping upstairs in a room with four other brothers and that they got out unhurt by going through a window and sliding off the roof. He said he has another brother who was not at home.

The whole family suffers from asthma, he said, which may have worsened with the effects of heavy smoke through the dwelling. He is a sophomore at Soldan International Studies High School.

The teen said the family had just enjoyed a dinner together at a Chuck E. Cheese's restaurant on Saturday night. He said his father is disabled with a shoulder injury and his mother works temporary jobs.

At some point, he said, he woke up to use the bathroom, saw his cousins asleep on the couch and kissed them each on the cheek. He said he went back to bed and dozed off, but not for long, before he heard screaming and found a house full of dense smoke.

He said his mother, Sarah Williams, and the brothers upstairs with him - Arrak, 14; Marquise, 13; Kneely, 11; and Ameir, 7 - were not hurt. He identified the brother who died as Sevon Hutcherson, and said the cousins who died were Antonasia Odom Williams, 4, and Aniya Calvin, 6.

"My brothers needed me and I did the best I could," he said, with tears in his eyes.

"I made sure they were safe and tried to go back for the rest of them and didn't make it in time."

Aniya Calvin's grandmother, Kamesha Williams, 40, said the house was not insured and the family has no money to cover burials, medical bills, loss of possessions, a new place to live or counseling for the survivors.

"It's such a tragedy," she said. "That was three different families that got destroyed in that house today," she said.

The family has set up an account on the gofundme online site to take donations.

Favre, of the fire department, said he was frustrated to see potentially preventable fire deaths in homes without smoke detectors.

"I've been in my job 15 years and we hit every neighborhood in the city twice a year to give them out," he said. "It kills me inside when I have to watch parents grieving over the loss of their children when we give out smoke detectors for free to city residents."

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3 CHILDREN DEAD, 2 ADULTS INJURED DURING HOUSE FIRE IN NORTH ST. LOUIS

November 22, 2015 - KMOV By Timothy Godfrey

ST. LOUIS, MO. - Three children have died in a first alarm fire in north St. Louis.

The fire occurred just after 4:00 a.m. in the 4900 block of Plover Avenue, near Walnut Park in north St. Louis. Firefighters learned their were three children stuck inside the building. After entering the building and searching for the children, firefighters were unable to retrieve the children.

The children who died in the fire were 10 month-old Seven Hutcherson, Aniya Calvin and Anastasia Odom.

Fire officials believe 9-10 people were inside at the time of the fire.

The two adults were also transported to the hospital with serious injuries. The man was injured after entering the building himself to save the children inside. The identities of the two adults are still unknown at this time.

Fire crews believe the fire was caused by space heaters. There were no working fire detectors inside the home.

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BULLET PIERCES N. STL FIRE STATION WINDOW


The window of an overhead garage door at St. Louis Fire Department Engine Company 26

November 20, 2015 - KSDK By Jimmy Bernhard, KSDK

NORTH ST. LOUIS - he window of an overhead garage door at a North St. Louis fire station was struck by a bullet around 6:30 Friday night.

According to Captain Gregg Favre with the St. Louis Fire Department, an "errant round" from a nearby shooting pierced the glass at St. Louis Fire Department Engine Company 26, located in the 4500 block of Margaretta.

No one was hurt and no equipment was damaged. The department doesn't believe the station was specifically targeted.

Captain Favre says this is not the first time the building was struck by gunfire, but says this is "too close for comfort."

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ST. LOUIS FIRE CHIEF BACKS IDEA FOR REGIONAL FIRE DISTRICT

November 17, 2015 - KMOX

ST. LOUIS - St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson agrees with a new study and says we would be safer in St. Louis City and County with one regional fire district, instead of 43 separate fire departments.

The study from the group Better Together says one district covering the entire region would improve response time, and would ensure all departments have the same equipment and firefighters have the same training.

Chief Jenkerson agrees with that and thinks one department would save a lot of money.

"The ability to eliminate some of the redundancies in all of the 43 different departments," Jenkerson says. "Just look at health insurance for all of these different departments. If you are able to get one big health insurance plan into the department, you are going to save money there."

And there's another reason it makes sense he says.

"When you talk about a major disaster that's when we probably have a big issue in the region with the (municipalities) and smaller fire districts," Jenkerson says. "Because they don't have the resources to handle a major disaster."

Jenkerson says there are mutual aid agreements between the departments and there's a good relationship now between all districts.

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DRONES ON DUTY WITH FIREFIGHTERS

November 10, 2015 - KSDK By Casey Nolen, KSDK

ST. LOUIS, MO. - Fires are burning faster and hotter than ever, which puts the public in even more danger and makes firefighters' jobs tougher and more dangerous.

"It has to be more coordinated. It has to be a very fast attack," says St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson.

But soon, his firefighters could have a tactical advantage they have never had before with help coming from the air by way of drones - small unmanned quadcopters capable of providing real-time images to commanders on the ground.

"It's giving us another level of information," says Deputy Chief Les Crews with the Monarch Fire Protection District.

His department and the St. Louis County Special Operations are at the forefront of drone technology in the St. Louis region. Monarch is flying one drone and the Pattonville Fire Protection District houses two drones for Special Operations at a cost of around $10,000 each.

"It's providing situational awareness we haven't had," says Crews.

In five other states, fire fighters are flying drones. But in St. Louis City it is a different story.

Captain Gregg Favre is heading up still budding drone program for the St. Louis Fire Department. He says when it comes to drones the city is in a bit of a holding pattern."This is unprecedented technology we just need to find the right way to harness it for everybody's benefit," says Favre. Because, he says drones need public support before they can fly.

"We also have some very serious policy concerns around individual privacy, around individual freedoms that we want to be great partners with the community ... we don't want rush to get these things in the air and flying at the cost of some of these individual freedoms," says Favre.

The St. Louis County departments are confident their policies can protect privacy while their drones help protect the public. Only chief officers can authorize their use, and all flights are tracked by GPS. They have also consulted with the Federal Aviation Administration.

"We're not using this as a tool to invade someone's privacy. Obviously we've got this for life saving purposes," says Crews.

In the meantime, Favre hopes to have two customized drones in the air in the next six months.

Both the city and the county departments could be setting drone standards for the rest of the country. Captain Favre is working with the Naval Academy's graduate school to write public policies for drones. And the county is part of a three-year, drone case study by the National Fire Protection Association.

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SUSPECT UNDER ARREST FOR NORTH ST. LOUIS CHURCH FIRES


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October 30, 2015 - KTVI BY JOE MILLITZER AND KEVIN S. HELD

ST. LOUIS, MO. - The St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office charged a 35-year-old local man in connection with two of seven church arsons in the St. Louis area.

David Lopez Jackson was charged with two counts of second-degree arson. Jackson is accused of setting fires at New Life Missionary Baptist Church and Ebenezer Lutheran Church. Both places of worship are in St. Louis City.

According to prosecutors, evidence at both scenes links Jackson to the fires. Surveillance video allegedly shows Jackson's car at the scene of the New Life Missionary fire as well. When questioned by police, Jackson confirmed the car belonged to him and that he was the only one using it. Police also found a gas canister and thermos in the vehicle. The canister had a small amount of gasoline still inside and the thermos smelled of gasoline.

The first fire was set on October 8, 2015 at Bethel Non-Denominational Church in Jennings, with six additional fires in the days following. All of the fires originated at the exterior door of each church and were set at a time when the church was empty.

The St. Louis Fire Department believes that the fire activity was meant to send a message.

Jackson remains jailed on $75,000 cash-only bond.

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FIREFIGHTERS BATTLING BLAZE IN NORTH ST. LOUIS

KMOV.com

October 26, 2015 - KMOV By Stephanie Baumer, Online News Producer

ST. LOUIS, MO. - The St. Louis Fire Department battled a blaze at a north St. Louis residence early Monday morning.

A two-story brick dwelling in the 6100 block of North Pointe caught fire shortly after 5:30 a.m.

Skyzoom 4 was over the scene as firefighters battled the blaze.

The cause of the fire is unknown.

It is unknown if there are any injuries.

Turn on News 4 This Morning for more on this breaking news.

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ARSONISTS TARGET 7TH CHURCH IN ST. LOUIS

October 22, 2015 - KTVI BY DANIELLE SCRUGGS

ST. LOUIS, MO. - Arsonists targeted another church overnight in north St. Louis.

Around 1:45a.m., someone set fire to the entrance of the Shrine of St. Joseph Catholic Church on north 11th Street at Biddle.

The fire burned the front doorway of the rectory at the historic church that was built by the Jesuits in 1843. This is the seventh arson attack at churches in north St. Louis City and County in the past two weeks.

Chief Dennis Jenkerson says the damage is very similar. He calls it "very, very disturbing."

According to Chief Sam Dotson, whoever is responsible for this fire did some research. He believes they scouted the area and knew they could get in and out without possibly being seen. He says the rectory is a secluded area that doesn't have video cameras.

The reward had grown for information leading to an arrest in the string of arson cases. It's now at $9,000 thanks to an additional $5,000 from the Missouri Fire Marshal's office.

Firefighters hit the streets Wednesday, handing out flyers in hopes of generating tips. Police have also stepped up patrols.

If you have any information in this case please call CrimeStoppers at 1-866-371-TIPS (8477) or visit stlrcs.org.

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ARSON INVESTIGATORS PROBE FIRES AT FRONT DOORS OF FOUR ST. LOUIS-AREA CHURCHES


Photo courtesy of St. Louis Fire Department.

October 15, 2015 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

The ATF and the St. Louis Regional Bomb and Arson Unit are investigating a spate of small fires that were set at the front doors of four area churches within the last week.

No one was hurt in any of the fires. Officials describe them as minor and to the exterior of the buildings. Investigators are trying to determine if there is a connection. The ATF is the federal agency with jurisdiction over fires and arson.

The fires were all at churches within a few blocks of a four-mile stretch of Goodfellow Boulevard.

The first happened at about 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 8 at the Bethel Nondenominational Church at 6380 Lillian Avenue in St. Louis County. Sgt. Brian Schellman of the St. Louis County Police Department said the fire at Bethel was at the base of the church's west exterior door. The fire damage was minimal and confined to the exterior and underside of the door, he said. The damage was estimated at about $250, Schellman said.

The second was early Saturday outside the New Northside Missionary Baptist Church, at 8645 Goodfellow Boulevard in Jennings.

The third was at about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at St. Augustine Catholic Church, at 1371 Hamilton Avenue, near Minerva Avenue in St. Louis. The fire was extinguished by firefighters after two men noticed smoke and called 911.

The most recent was at 1 a.m. Thursday, at New Testament Church of Christ at 5740 Minerva Avenue.

New Northside discussed the arson attempt on its church Facebook page, posting a photo and saying in part "Satan is BUSY."

St. Louis Fire Department investigators have collected samples from the scenes and sent them for testing to see if an accelerant was used, said Capt. Garon Mosby of the St. Louis Fire Department.

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FIRE DESTROYS HOME IN SOUTH ST. LOUIS

October 15, 2015 - KTVI BY DANIELLE SCRUGGS

ST. LOUIS, MO. - A raging fire overnight destroys a south St. Louis home and damages another house next door.

It started around 1:30a.m. in the two story brick home in the 4400 block of Shaw. No one was home at the time.

Neighbors woke up to glass breaking and saw the fire spreading to another home's attic and roof. That's when they knocked on the door helped everyone exit to safety.

No one was injured.

Investigators are still trying to find the cause.

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PRUDENT TO ASK WHETHER FIREFIGHTERS CAN ASSIST THE POLICE


MAILBAG - by Richard Rosenfeld

October 15, 2015 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

Firefighter Gregg Favre criticized my suggestion that firefighters assist the police in promoting public safety in St. Louis ("In the line of fire," Oct. 13). Firefighters, he says, are already too busy and are not trained to perform police duties. But his comments actually make my point.

Firefighting is an American success story. By getting residents to install smoke alarms and builders to use fire-retardant materials in residential and commercial construction, firefighters have greatly reduced the number of fires they have to combat. As a result, they have expanded their public safety tasks to encompass, according to Mr. Favre, "hazmat, water rescues, advanced emergency medical treatment and disaster preparedness initiatives." Asking firefighters to perform limited police functions augments the widened responsibilities our first responders have already assumed.

Additional training would be necessary, but Mr. Favre points out that firefighters already average 2,000 training hours each year. That's over 38 hours a week. A few of those hours could be devoted to police training without significant loss to emergency preparedness.

St. Louis is not experiencing a fire emergency, but the city does face a firearm violence problem that is hardly an "issue of the moment" as Mr. Favre calls it. As police and city leaders scramble to find the funds to hire more police officers, it is only prudent to ask whether a few of the nearly 780 uniformed firefighters might be enlisted to assist the police. They are all paid by tax dollars from the same public safety budget to promote, in Mr. Favre's words, "long-term regional safety, security and stability."

When a fire occurs, the police routinely assist their fellow emergency responders. Is it too much to ask firefighters to respond in kind?

Richard Rosenfeld - St. Louis
Professor, University of Missouri-St. Louis

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IN THE LINE OF FIRE

October 13, 2015 - St. Louis Post Dispatch By Gregg Favre

At a recent Public Safety Committee meeting of the Board of Aldermen, University of Missouri-St. Louis criminologist Rick Rosenfeld suggested members of the St. Louis Fire Department may be needed to help fight crime in the city. Rosenfeld suggested that in the "down time between fires," firefighters and medics should walk patrols in high-density areas, ensure buildings were secured, and make random checks on unoccupied vehicles.

Crime is the epidemic, Rosenfeld claims, so we don't need the same level of preparedness for other emergencies. Regrettably, his misinterpretations of emergency operations draw shortsighted conclusions that are less than accurate and dangerous to both the public and responders. There are three critical problems with his suggestion.

First, the number of emergency calls answered by the St. Louis Fire Department continues to increase. Two decades ago, the busiest firefighting units in the city averaged 1,000 calls for service annually. Today, those same units are answering upward of 3,500 calls every year. In 2014, the department had one of its busiest years ever, recording more than 141,000 calls for service.

This substantial increase in call volume can be attributed to the fact that St. Louis responders have assumed a variety of additional daily responsibilities, including hazmat, water rescues, advanced emergency medical treatment and disaster preparedness initiatives.

When not managing one of the approximately 400 emergency requests every day, firefighters and medics are engaged in community-focused initiatives, including lifesaving education to schoolchildren, utilizing medical skills at health fairs, and providing safety inspections for neighborhood businesses. When units return to their stations, crews are often sharpening their skills, logging an average of 2,000 training hours per member, annually. While Rosenfeld is imprecise about how much down time St. Louis firefighters and medics have, a truthful statement would recognize that, compared to 25 years ago, a responder's workload has increased more than 350 percent.

Secondly, while Mr. Rosenfeld's idea of combining public safety resources is an interesting theoretical exercise, it is both operationally and politically imprudent. Repeatedly, studies from major universities and national public safety organizations have empirically demonstrated evidence against diluting the number and quality of trained first responders. Eliminating or combining personnel has been directly linked to the loss of lives, increased financial strain to compensate for influxes in workplace injuries, as well as litigation against municipalities for failing to protect their citizens adequately. If Rosenfeld's idea is fiscally motivated, his suggestions are misplaced.

Finally, and most importantly, Rosenfeld's proposal is outright dangerous for both the public and first responders. Policing, especially in a dynamic urban environment like St. Louis, requires specific training and specialized equipment. In violent situations, without this training and without this equipment, a Fire Department uniform is an unprepared target.

In St. Louis, we know this truth all too well. In 2008, while in uniform, St. Louis firefighter Leonard Riggins arrived at a serious car accident. One of the individuals involved in the crash (who was driving a stolen vehicle), believed firefighter Riggins was a police officer, and attacked him. With no equipment to defend himself and no training on handling violent criminals, firefighter Riggins was brutally murdered in the street, shot as he attempted to render aid.

A more complete view of this issue demonstrates that while Rosenfeld may be an expert criminologist, his ambiguous grasp of emergency services vocabulary should not be confused with any actual knowledge of comprehensive emergency services strategy. His call for first responders to have direct action in law enforcement activities is deeply misguided.

With the city's population rising, we must continue to craft policies for police, fire and EMS that accurately identify customer needs and promote accountability. As we have for the last 158 years, the St. Louis Fire Department stands ready to serve our community. We remain committed to being excellent partners with neighborhood, business and law enforcement leaders in an effort to build a stronger, safer St. Louis. In an age of revitalization, and facing an ever-mounting variety of complex threats, we have an obligation to addresses strategic questions with a focus on enduring solutions. Not, as Professor Rosenfeld would have, by haphazardly attempting to address the issues of the moment at the expense of long-term regional safety, security and stability.

Gregg Favre is a captain and a lead policy planner for the St. Louis Fire Department. An alum of The George Washington University School of Medicine, he currently studies public safety strategy at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School. On Twitter: @GreggFavre

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STL FIRE CHIEF SAYS NO EXTRA MONEY FOR MORE OFFICERS

October 6, 2015 - KMOX

ST. LOUIS, MO. - St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson says there's no extra money that can be squeezed out of the fire department to hire more police.

"You look at our trucks, we've tried to get a bond issue passed," says Jenkerson. "Each year we have to become more efficient, because of some of the funding issues."

KMOX has obtained a 2014 outside study on the fire department that found an "excess capacity" in the fire-fighting resources. It recommended reducing the number of fire houses from 30 to 17. The number of firefighters was also cut by attribution to 120 per shift or a total of 360.

"When I came on the job in 1979, I believe at that time we had approximately 1500 firefighters. Im down to 600 right now," says Jenkerson. "We change with the times, we've made our job more efficient."

The study also shows about 74 percent of the calls for service were for medical emergencies and not fires.

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ST. LOUIS FIRE CHIEF TELLS WHAT HIS DEPARTMENT IS DOING FOR FIRE SAFETY MONTH

KMOV.com

October 5, 2015 - KMOV

ST. LOUIS, MO. - St. Louis Fire Chief, Dennis Jenkerson tells us what his department is doing for Fire Safety Month.

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BATTALION CHIEF ELECTED DIRECTOR OF THE EDUCATION SECTION FOR THE NFPA


Photo by St. Louis Fire Department

October 4, 2015 - St. Louis Fire Department

ST. LOUIS, MO. - To kick off Fire Prevention Week, the St. Louis Fire Department is proud to announce Battalion Fire Chief Derrick Phillips was elected as Director of the Education Section for the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Chief Phillips currently serves as Chief Instructor for the STLFD Training Academy and Commander of the Office of Homeland Security.

The NFPA's executive board voted in favor of Chief Phillips due to his impressive Fire Service resume and extensive work in the field of Fire Prevention, including previous assignments as the department's Public Education Officer and Chief Fire Investigator.

Congratulations Chief!

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FIVE ST. LOUIS FIREFIGHTERS SENT TO AFRICA TO TEACH FIREFIGHTING


St. Louis firefighters participating are seated (L to R) Capt. Larry Conley, Capt. Garon Mosby, FF. Jessica Jackson, FF. Jeff Weffelmeyer and FF. Chris Tobin. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

September 25, 2015 - Call News By Bill Greenblatt

ST. LOUIS, MO. - Africa Fire Mission founder David Moore makes his remarks in St. Louis on September 26, 2015, announcing that five fire fighters from the St. Louis Fire Department will join others in Nairobi, Kenya to teach various firefighting subjects to firefighters there in November.

Moore, the former Fire Chief of the Glendale Fire Department in Cincinnati and twenty-two fire professionals will teach the first ever "All Kenya Fire Academy," for ten days in a population of five million with only 150 fire fighters and two fire trucks.

Moore founded the Africa Fire Mission to ensure that the fire service operating in Africa are able to protect the public safety of their citizens and sensure they are able to provide effective disaster relief.

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140 BLACK FIREFIGHTERS SUE ST. LOUIS FOR DISCRIMINATION


Photo By Danny Wicentowski

September 25, 2015 - Riverfront Times Posted By Danny Wicentowski

ST. LOUIS, MO. - Is St. Louis' Fire Department too white?

After years of saber-rattling and declarations of discontent, a group of black St. Louis firefighters is now suing the city over its policies governing promotions. According to the lawsuit, those policies are designed to block black firefighters from climbing the career ladder - and, even worse, the suit claims that the city's Department of Personnel is working to dismantle successful diversity reforms set in place in the late 1970s.

Initially filed in a state Circuit Court in August, the suit was transferred to federal court last week. The 140 plaintiffs, all black firefighters, are described as members of the Firefighters Institute for Racial Equality, or F..I.R.E., an organization which has fought for decades against systemic racism in the Fire Department.

"We're not asking for some kind of rigid proportionality, we're not saying every time a white firefighter is promoted a black one should be promoted, or even that the level of officers should reflect he diversity of the city," says F.I.R.E. attorney Joe Jacobson. But, he adds, "Those things would all be nice. We think those things would be achievable if the tests were done in a fair way."

Jacobson is referring to the tests given to firefighters seeking promotion to battalion chief or captain. The new lawsuit takes particular issue with the tests administered in 2013.

Prior to the test, the lawsuit states, F.I.R.E. contacted the City Comptroller to request that test assessors reflect the same racial and gender diversity as the firefighters taking the test. Among other safeguards, F.I.R.E. also asked that the written test be graded immediately and that the performance portion of the test be recorded on audio or video.

But none of the recommendations were put into place, despite the fact that the city's Board of Estimate and Appointment passed a resolution asking Richard Frank, the city's Director of Personnel, to implement those very safeguards. Frank, we should point out, is granted a special measure of independence by law; he's not bound by resolutions issued by the E&A Board, the mayor's office or the Board of Aldermen.

When the 2013 promotion tests rolled around, F.I.R.E. claims that the Department of Personnel structured the exams "to maximize the adverse impact" on black firefighters. The lawsuit notes that the written tests were graded off-site and were subjected to "undisclosed adjustments." The suit goes on to claim that black candidates for promotion had their test scores altered.

"Following the exam, one of our clients was told by the assessor that he had the highest score, but when the scores came back months later, he didn't have the highest score, he was down in the middle of the pack," says Jacobson. He argues that this kind of discrepancy reveals the rotten intent behind the city's testing procedures.

Questions sent on Wednesday to St. Louis City Counselor Winston Calvert were not returned.

The lawsuit comes after years of advocacy on the part of F.I.R.E.. Along with the U.S. Department of Justice, the group successfully sued the city in 1974 to place a consent decree on the Department of Personnel. The consent decree mandated "50/50 hiring," stipulating that every white firefighter given a job would be matched by the employment of a black firefighter. This consent decree was enforced until 2002. A court order eliminated 50/50 hiring in 2003.

In a 2010 report examining the hiring, retention and upward mobility of black St. Louis city firefighters, F.I.R.E. contrasted the diverse makeup of the Fire Department following the 1970s reforms with the present day's increasingly white-dominated department. The report concluded: "It is F.I.R.E.'s belief that the Personnel Department has made a conscious decision to go back to tests that benefit white candidates over black in an effort to decrease the number of blacks officers on the Fire Department."

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COULD FIRE BUDGET CUTS BE SOLUTION FOR MORE STL POLICE?

September 24, 2015 - KMOX

ST. LOUIS, MO. - St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay's office is not immediately denouncing the idea of cutting money from the fire budget to hire more police.

A spokesperson for the mayor says no idea should be off the table when crime reduction is the top priority.

In a report by KMOX earlier this week, UMSL criminologist Rick Rosenfeld suggested taking money from the fire department's budget and using it to hire more police.

"We don't have a fire public safety crisis in the city of St. Louis. We have a gun violence crisis," Rosenfeld said.

He told the Aldermanic Public Safety Committee the city has too many firemen sitting around waiting for a fire, but police are overworked.

The firefighters union is strongly opposing the suggestion that there's extra money that could be cut to hire more police.

KMOX still has not heard a response from St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson. He is deferring all comments to the mayor's office.

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IDEA FLOATED OF USING FIREFIGHTERS AS POLICE OFFICERS TO FIGHT CRIME IN ST. LOUIS CITY

September 22, 2015 - KMOV By Dan Greenwald, Online News Producer

ST. LOUIS, MO. - A criminologist recently suggested St. Louis City should consider using firefighters to fight violent crime during their downtime.

University of St. Louis-Missouri criminologist Rick Rosenfeld, who is also an informal advisor to St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson, brought up the idea during a St. Louis Safety meeting Tuesday. Rosenfeld said the city should look at the idea of having some firefighters patrol the streets when they are not responding to fire calls.

"I'm not suggesting we arm firefighters, certainly not initially," said Rosenfeld. "Each time a firefighter, which I think should be called a 'public safety officer,' engages in one of those activities, it frees a police officer for that amount of time to engage in hot spot patrols and other activities that can have a real crime reduction effect."

Rosenfeld believes the idea may not be supported by the firefighters union, which has not commented on the proposal. However, the St. Louis Fire Department tweeted that it is very busy, answering 140,000 emergency calls per year.

The St. Louis Police Department and Mayor Francis Slay also refused to comment on Rosenfeld's suggestion. However, Slay's office said no idea should be off the table when tackling violent crime.

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EXPERT: ST. LOUIS POLICE NEED MONEY MORE THAN FIRE DEPT.

September 22, 2015 - KMOX Kevin Killeen (@KMOXKilleen)

ST. LOUIS, MO. - With the police chief calling for more officers and the St. Louis Board of Aldermen looking for some way to fund them, UMSL criminologist Rick Rosenfeld has a suggestion - take the money from the fire department.

Rosenfeld says he thinks the extra money should from the public safety budget, but reallocated from fire services.

"We don't have a fire public safety crisis in the city of St. Louis. We have a gun violence crisis," he says.

Rosenfeld told the Aldermanic Public Safety Committee the city has too many firemen sitting around waiting for a fire, when police are overworked.

KMOX is awaiting a response from Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson.

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BLUE MASS THANKS, HONORS EMERGENCY RESPONDERS


Among the attendees were, from left Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson, Chief of the St. Louis Fire Department and parishioner at St. Ambrose; Jeffrey Beaton, Chief of Glendale Police Department and parishioner at Sacred Heart in Valley Park; and Daniel O'Connor of the Des Peres Police Department and parishioner at Immaculate Conception in Arnold. Photo by Lisa Johnston | lisajohnston@archstl.org

September 16, 2015 - St. Louis Review Dave Luecking | daveluecking@archstl.org | twitter: @stlreviewscribe

ST. LOUIS, MO. - Hanging between aerial ladders of two St. Louis Fire Department trucks parked on Lindell Boulevard, the Stars and Stripes greeted worshippers on a sunny September Sunday afternoon at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis.

The occasion was the Archdiocese of St. Louis' first "Blue Mass" to honor, thank and pray for emergency responders -- police, firefighters, EMTs and others who often put themselves at risk and whose families and friends sacrifice in their absence, all in the name of public safety.

"In a world where a lot of first responders don't always see appreciation of their work, it's awesome that the Catholic Church is supporting us, ... doing this in an official capacity," said Chris Rumpsa, who has been with St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department for 12 years and was detail commander for the honor guard at the Blue Mass.

Jason Schenimann, a firefighter with Mehlville Fire Protection District, described the Blue Mass, simply, as "great." He brought up the gifts, along with Mehlville fire Captain Jeff Martini, St. Louis police Detective Leo Rice and St. Louis police Lt. Tony Aubuchon.

"I was lucky enough to be a part of it," said Schenimann, who joined the fire department in June and is a member of St. Augustine Parish. Fellow Mehlville firefighter Timothy Hunn recruited him to be part of the Mass. Hunn read the first reading.

"We were working one day and struck up a conversation about the Church," said Schenimann, born and raised Catholic through St. Joseph Parish in Scott City, south of Cape Girardeau. "Next thing you know he's asking me to be part of it. I was more than happy to."

Same with Major Rochelle Jones, south patrol commander in the city. A member of Holy Trinity Parish, she handled the second reading.

"I just got a phone call, 'Do you want to be a reader,' and I said, 'Oh, yeah,'" she said, adding that declining the invitation "would be like telling, 'No,' to Jesus. You don't say, 'No,' to Jesus. I was very honored just to be a part of it and very honored to serve the city of St. Louis and just being a first responder."

Before Mass, Jones processed down the Cathedral center aisle with fellow first responders, some in dress uniforms and others in regular work uniforms. Police and fire departments from around the archdiocese were represented. Just about a full house filled the pews, which meant a lot to emergency reponders at Mass.

"I'm glad all the citizens came out to show support, especially during these times when we're not getting a lot of support," Jones said. "Usually, no one says, 'Boo.' This is so nice."

The incidents in Ferguson and other parts of the country in the past year have engendered disdain -- and in some cases outright hostility and violence -- for police officers. Police officers have been murdered in New York City, Texas and recently in Kentucky, in unprovoked attacks.

Those incidents only reinforce the danger under which emergency responders -- police officers in particular -- work. The "thin blue line" often stands between the public and harm, a reality that increasingly has been acknowledged.

"I've been doing this 10 years and I've never seen the support we've seen from people over the last year," said Dave Rudolph of the St. Louis police department. "We know there's a silent majority that loves us."

Lt. Ron Miesner offered kudos to the archdiocese for supporting law enforcement and public safety. He sat with fellow Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers at Mass and reconnected afterward with Father Mike Boehm, his former pastor at Our Lady of Lourdes in Washington.

A former volunteer with the Washington Fire Department, Father Boehm concelebrated the Blue Mass with Auxiliary Bishop Edward M. Rice. Bishop Emeritus Robert J. Hermann and Jesuit Father Joe Laramie also concelebrated the Mass. Deacons Mark Byington and Gerry Knobbe, both former police officers, assisted.

In the homily, Bishop Rice thanked first responders for their service and their families for their sacrifice.

"It's important that we say 'Thank you,' especially in these days where there seems to be an outward scorn and contempt for our public servants," he said, also offering the thanks on behalf of Archbishop Robert J. Carlson. "We the citizens of St. Louis and the Catholic community of St. Louis ... pray for you. We owe you a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid."

Bishop Rice also expressed thanks for the support his family received after the death of his brother John in a house fire last year. John Rice, 61, was a deputy with St. Louis sheriff's department and a former city police officer.

"The kindness of the fire fighters, the police and the medics will never be forgotten by my family," he said.

Perhaps the most poignant moment of the Blue Mass came at the final blessing, when former county police officer Dan Jackson played "Amazing Grace" on the bag pipes in memory of emergency responders who died in the line of duty.

"Eternal rest grant unto them, Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them," Bishop Rice said. "May they rest in peace."

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RAW VIDEO: CAR FIRE IN NORTH ST. LOUIS

KMOV.com

Photo by Call News

September 7, 2015 - KMOV By Christina Santiago

NORTH ST. LOUIS, MO. - KMOV photographer Steve Gurley found a car on fire at the corner of Stratford and Industrial Drive early Monday morning.

Fire crews arrived on the scene shortly after Gurley started shooting video, and worked to extinguish the flames.

News 4 is looking into the incident and will add more details to this story as they're confirmed.

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FIREFIGHTERS USE TRAINING, STAMINA TO CONVINCE JUMPER TO CLIMB DOWN TOWER


Capt. Mario Montero, (left), and Firefighter Thomas Moore, of the St. Louis Fire Department, stand after receivng commendations on Tuesday, July, 25, 2015, during a ceremony at the department's headquarters. Montero and Moore talked a distraught woman down from a high tension power line about 130 feet above the waters of the Mississippi River. Photo by Christian Gooden, cgooden@post-dispatch

September 2, 2015 - St. Louis Post Dispatch By Jack Suntrup

ST, LOUIS, MO. - It takes a special kind of bravery and commitment to climb up a power line tower more than 100 feet in the air and stay there for hours to try to convince a distraught woman not to jump.

Capt. Mario Montero and firefighter Thomas Moore of the St. Louis Fire Department said their education and practice had prepared them for this kind of call.

"Everything you go through - it just makes it smoother," Moore said. "We train for things like this."

On the night of Dec. 8, 2014, the crew of Engine House 1 was dispatched to a call about someone planning to jump off the Eads Bridge. Firefighters launched two boats into the Mississippi River, and units were sent out on the ground.

Then Battalion Chief Robert Shy told the crew the person wasn't on the bridge. She was on a steel tower on the Illinois side that carries high-tension lines at least 130 feet above the water.

The two firefighters climbed up the tower and encountered a woman, 21, who was hardly happy to see them.

"She didn't want anything to do with anybody getting near her," Moore, 50, recalled.

Montero, 49, remembered being told: "Don't come near me. I hate men."

"Then we kind of knew what we were dealing with," he added.

The firefighters reasoned with her, trying to calm her down, in a place many people would be terrified to be.

"We train for things like this. We train to get comfortable at heights," Moore explained. He said he also applied his knowledge as a paramedic. "You know how to deal with people. You know how to talk to strangers."

He added, "You know, you're trying to be like a friend of theirs and be on their level so you understand what they're going through."

Montero said the woman feared that if she agreed to come down she would be swept off to jail. A crisis negotiator relayed the message that she would not. Montero and Moore handed her a phone, and she spoke with family members.

Three hours after the fire department arrived, the woman - who was wearing a T-shirt on a December night - agreed to put on a harness and climb down the tower.

Halfway down, she changed her mind. But she was flanked by Montero and Moore, who blocked her from going back up. On the ground, she was handed over to waiting paramedics. Moore and Montero don't know what happened after that; their part of the job was done.

For their acts, the two were among eight members of the St. Louis Fire Department to be awarded Firehouse Magazine's 2014 National Heroism Award on July 21 at department headquarters.

"That's kind of just what we do," Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson said at the ceremony. "Read some of these write-ups, on what we do every day - it's amazing what firefighters, EMS, members of the fire department do."

Montero and Moore share the same thinking, saying that if they hadn't climbed up the tower to talk the woman down, someone else in their department would have.

"We're always trying to look out for the people we serve and provide them the best possible care that we can give them," Montero said.

Montero has been a paramedic and firefighter for 28 years, Moore has been a been a paramedic and firefighter for 25 years. He also served two combat tours of duty in Iraq with the Marines, as a medic.

"When your adrenaline's going, you forget about everything, you don't think about yourself, you just think about the situation," Moore said. "You're trying to focus. You're trying to focus on your job - what you're supposed to do."

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FIRST RESPONDERS CONCERNED ABOUT POSSIBLE OIL TRAIN DERAILMENT IN ST. LOUIS

August 23, 2015 - KTVI BY CHRIS HAYES

ST. LOUIS, MO. - St. Louis' Fire Chief says our region is not prepared for an oil train derailment and that it could wipe out an entire neighborhood.

'It's a moving pipeline,' Mechelle Minden said. Minden is a member of the group called St. Louis for Safe Trains. Minden added that the pipeline is 'along these rails and it's going through neighborhoods all across the city and state.'

Minden lives in Holly Hills. She said, 'It's a life or death issue. If one of these trains were to derail, we would all be gone.'

After the oil train derailment and explosion in Quebec, Canada, the St. Louis Fire Department created a map to show what it would look like in Holly Hills, showing a similar explosion could destroy hundreds of homes.

Minden added, 'Almost the entire half of Holly Hills would be gone, including a school that's just a couple blocks away from us right here.'

St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson said, 'That wasn't an exaggeration at all. I was involved with the development of that what the fallout would be.'

Jenkerson says his men and women could not handle it. He said, 'One tanker we can handle, but you start looking at 100 of them coming through this neighborhood where I've got 75-80,000 people? I've got a problem.'

Hours after our interview, it appeared nearly 100 oil train cars rolled through downtown St. Louis, right past Busch Stadium, along the interstate and under the Arch Grounds. They appear to be returning north to get more oil. Jenkerson said, 'They are residual cars, which means they can have ten percent of product in that car. So a 30,000 gallon tanker has 3,000 gallons of product probably left in there. Problem. You`ve got vapors and with vapors coming off that new product, there's a big issue there. They're all flammable.'

He says it's part of the new oil boom out of the Bakken Formation in North Dakota. Chief Jenkerson says Bakken oil is being fracked faster than anyone can prepare for. He said, 'It's a different animal. It's shipped under the crude oil DOT regulation but it's not. It's a younger oil. It's a sweet oil. They call it a sweet crude. It's got high ends, which contains 10 times the amount of propane, butane, pentane, hexane, highly volatile products.'

Through St. Louis, the Terminal Railroad Association inspects the tracks constantly, sometimes using x-ray technology that can detect problems inside the steel. Special train cars look for erosion and possible rail problems. Inspectors examine bridges to make sure all the bolts are working and there`s no cracks in the steel.'

Terminal Railroad Chief Engineer Eric Fields said they're looking at big structures like the downtown MacArthur bridge almost daily. Fields said, 'Steel repair is a huge part of what we do. The MacArthur Bridge is the second longest bridge over the Mississippi River and has a lot of structural steel. We do steel repairs constantly.'

Before our interview, we walked underneath finding lots of corrosion. One item seemed to stand out. It was a ground support with so much corrosion that it appeared the walls of the support were bending in.

We sent pictures to Terminal Railroad. About a week later, they showed us a repair. Fields said inspectors identified it long ago and they were watching it. He said, 'It was a concern that came up on an audit finding. We have a lot of bridge to maintain and we rank and prioritize it but it fell into an intermediate category of repair and it was repaired within I think three or four years since it was first audited.'

Jenkerson added, 'Historically the railroads have been fairly safe.' He said they have a great track record, but added that there's a reason we've seen nearly ten oil related derailments since the explosion in Quebec two years ago. Accidents happen.

Jenkerson said, 'We need product. We need foam. You know should something happen, this is what I'm going to need. We've got enough foam to put out a tanker car or two. So we`ve been working with them trying to get some of their products here so we can keep them on site in the region.'

A Union Pacific spokesman said the railroad does have some foam here in St. Louis and a larger amount nearby. He added that they a hazardous materials material manager and air monitoring equipment here too.

The Federal Government has also mandated safer train cars, such as cars with thicker walls and better braking. The railroads say they've already been paying for improvements. The Association of American Railroads told me the railroads have spent more than half a trillion dollars in upgrades in the last three decades.

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FIREFIGHTERS SERVE CUSTOMERS AT SPAGHETTI FACTORY FOR CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL FUNDRAISER


Photo by St. Louis Fire Department

August 30, 2015 - KTVI

ST. LOUIS, MO. - Sunday firefighters joined together for a fundraising event at the St. Louis Old Spaghetti Factory for St. Louis Children's Hospital.

Firefighters spent the day serving a three course meal, and the tips they earn will be donated to the hospital.

The fundraiser continues until 9:30 tonight at the restaurant, on North First Street, two block north of the Arch Grounds.

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FIREFIGHTER HURT AFTER FALLING THROUGH FLOOR OF BURNING ST. LOUIS HOME INTO BASEMENT


St. Louis firefighters finish containing a fire on Monday Aug. 24, 2015, in which a home in the 4900 block of Nagel Avenue was destroyed. One firefighter suffered a minor injury. Photo by Christian Gooden, cgooden@post-dispatch.com

August 24, 2015 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

ST. LOUIS - A firefighter was injured while fighting a house fire in the 4900 block of Nagel Avenue Monday.

The firefighter fell through the floor into the basement, according to the fire department. He was was treated at the scene and was not seriously injured.

The fire broke out in the basement of the home at about 11 a.m. It was a one-alarm fire.

Check back for updates.

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FIREFIGHTER INJURED WHILE BATTLING LATE-NIGHT BLAZE IN NORTH ST. LOUIS

KMOV.com

August 21, 2015 - KMOV By Stephanie Baumer, Online News Producer

ST. LOUIS, MO. - A firefighter was injured while battling a blaze in north St. Louis Thursday night.

The firefighter suffered multiple injuries after falling while fighting a fire in the 4400 block of Lee around 11 p.m. The firefighter did not suffer any life-threatening injuries.

The blaze is believed to have started on the back porch before spreading to the kitchen, fire officials said. Once crews arrived to the scene, they were quickly able to control the fire.

According to fire officials, the fire is being investigated as 'suspicious' because there was a strong smell of an accelerant coming from the home. Fire investigators and the bomb and arson squad were called to the home to investigate.

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ST. LOUIS FIRE DEPARTMENT LOOKING TO HIRE AROUND 50 FIREFIGHTERS

August 17, 2015 - KTVI BY SHIRLEY WASHINGTON

ST. LOUIS, MO. - The St. Louis Fire Department is looking for a few brave men and women to join its elite force. The department is short about 43 firefighters. It plans to hire about 50. Several recruits are undergoing physical fitness tests to determine whether they are fit to join the department. They have a little more than six minutes to complete an obstacle course that includes, lowering and raising a ladder, carrying a hose up a flight of stairs, and dragging a 185 pound dummy. The recruits selected to move forward in the process will go through a series of interviews before being chosen to undergo sixteen weeks of training in the academy. When they graduate they will earn $37,000 a year.

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STL FIRE GIVING YOU UNPRECEDENTED ACCESS

August 11, 2015 - KSDK Ryan Dean, KSDK

ST. LOUIS, MO. - The St. Louis Fire Department is giving you unprecedented access to fire scenes. If you follow the department on Periscope, you can take a tour of a burned building as investigators look for clues as to how the fire started. Behind the camera, narrating what is being shown, is Captain Garon Mosby, the Public Information Officer for the department.

"By and large the public has been intrigued, we are a society that wants information," said Captain Mosby.

St. Louis Fire Chief, Dennis Jenkerson, said the department is using Periscope to show what firefighters deal with on a daily basis. He believes too many people have a Hollywood version of firefighting.

"Too many of these police and fire shows over romanticize our services. This is nothing but a very dirty, hardworking career;" said Chief Jenkerson. "This isn't a Hollywood set where, at any time I say, 'Stop,' the fire goes out. To show the condition of a building to a civilian and to show what happens after the fire is over, gives them a totally different perspective on what we do."

The department describes its use of Periscope as "a work in progress." The Chief said the department is constantly having discussions on when it's appropriate to go live.

"There are some things you don't want people to see. You don't want to see any type of heartbreak or misery of a family because of a fire. You don't want that out there," Said Chief Jenkerson.

The department's live videos are getting noticed by other departments across the country. Captain Mosby was recently asked to share how the department uses social media on a popular website for fire and EMS workers called Statter911.

"I know for a fact when the fire chief travels and talks with other fire chiefs, that is one of the conversations. 'Hey, look at what we are doing with Periscope.' I'm not saying it works for every department, but it works for us," Captain Mosby said.

You can follow the St. Louis Fire Department on Twitter and Periscope-- @STLFireDept

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ST. LOUIS FIRE DEPT. CONSIDERS USING DRONES IN FUTURE EMERGENCIES

KMOV.com

Photo by KMOV

August 8, 2015 - KMOV By Ashleigh Jackson, Online News Producer

ST. LOUIS, MO. - Firefighters in St. Louis may soon use drones in future emergency operations, according to department officials.

The St. Louis Fire Department said the airborne devices would capture better aerial views and add a layer of safety for first response crews.

Authorities recovered a body in the Mississippi River last week, but said their efforts were initially delayed, because crews did not have a good view of the scene. Fire Capt. Gregg Favre suggested drone technology would drastically improve efforts in similar instances.

"This brings a technological advancement that we couldn't match through sheer muscle," said Favre.

The department is considering purchasing $5,000 devices that would sense body heat during searches and provide instant aerial pictures.

According to Favre, the department's operational budget would fund the equipment.

"We're also in talks right now with partners we have in the private sector," said Favre.

If officials decide to move forward, drones could be in service within the next year.

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REJECTED BOND ISSUE MAY HURT ST. LOUIS FIRE DEPARTMENT

August 6, 2015 - KMOX By Kevin Killeen (@KMOXKilleen)

ST. LOUIS, MO. - The St. Louis Fire Chief is disappointed that city voters rejected a $180 million bond issue on Tuesday, which included $40 million for the fire department.

Chief Dennis Jenkerson says some of his fire trucks are so old, they've broken down on the way to fires.

"We're still going to provide the services that we provide," says Jenkerson. "It becomes a daily grind for the members on the department to make sure these things are in operational condition, that we can use them every day."

Jenkerson says that they are going to take a look at how they respond with the apparatus and if there's a way to increase their longevity.

"We have to get something in the works very quickly, because we can't keep operating on 15 and 20 year old pieces of fire equipment," says Jenkerson. "... and 8 and 9 year old pieces of EMS equipment. We have to move forward, we have to get something in place."

The bond issue needed a 66 percent voter approval to pass, but only received 62 percent. The plan would have also included money for new police cars along with money to help keep the defense mapping agency in north St. Louis.

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OFFICERS, FIREFIGHTERS COME TOGETHER TO FORM FOOTBALL TEAM

August 4, 2015 - KMOV

ST. LOUIS, MO. - Local law enforcement officers are testing their skills on the gridiron thanks to a new semi-professional football team.

The St. Louis Heat is comprised of police officers, firefighters and other public safety workers.

The team is a chance for officers to play a sport they love but the real purpose of the team is charity and giving back to the community.

The team will play their first game in 2016.

Click here for more information about the team.

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2 INJURED IN SOUTH CITY HOUSE FIRE


Firefighters responded to a first alarm fire in the 3800 block of Shaw, where two people were injured.

August 3, 2015 - KMOV By Laura Shay

ST. LOUIS, MO. - Two people were injured in a fire at a two-family home in south St. Louis on Monday.

Firefighters responded to the two story brick home in the 3800 block of Shaw with fire in the basement and on the first floor of the home. Responders experienced heavy fire and smoke when they arrived.

A woman was rescued from the first floor and firefighters used a ladder to rescue a man from the second floor of the home.

Both of the victims were transported to the hospital. The woman was in serious condition and the man had minor injuries of burns and smoke inhalation.

No information was released on the cause of the fire.

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ST. LOUIS FIRE CAPT: DRONES WOULD HELP SAVE LIVES


Photo: Getty/Joern Haufe

July 31, 2015 - KMOX By Brian Kelly (@brpkelly)

ST. LOUIS - The body spotted in the Mississippi River south of the Poplar Street Bridge Thursday evening has been recovered. Firefighters waited until daybreak Friday to reach it, because it was tangled up in debris near barges, which had to be moved.

Police are now working to identify the body and determine how it got into the river.

The recovery of victims from the river is just one way fire departments could use drones if they had them in its arsenal.

St. Louis Fire Department Capt. Gregg Favre tells KMOX drones would be able to get on the scene of a reported body in the water in minutes, and locate it faster than the current method of firefighters in boats.

"You are relying on your firemen to usually be hanging off both sides, of both of our rescue boats with flashlights searching in the middle of the night," Favre says.

Favre says a drone with FLIR vision, thermal-imaging infrared cameras, would spot the warm body in the cold water and lead rescuers right to it.

Favor says one thing delaying the use of drones by fire and police departments are legal questions, including privacy concerns.

He says the St. Louis Fire Department is considering buying drones, which would also be helpful in finding victims in burning buildings and safely evaluating hazardous material incidents.

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VOTERS ASKED TO SUPPORT BOND ISSUE NEEDED FOR FIRE DEPARTMENT REPAIRS


St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson said the department has experienced issues with failing fire trucks, some of them reaching 25 years in age.

July 30, 2015 - KMOV By Ashleigh Jackson, Online News Producer

ST. LOUIS, MO. - The City of St. Louis is asking taxpayers to support a $180 million bond issue on the August 4 ballot.

It would go towards improving city infrastructure, including repairs to police and firefighter equipment.

St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson said the department has experienced issues with faulty equipment and deteriorating fire houses for years.

"I would say out of the 35 houses I have in the city, pretty much all of them need to be replaced," said Chief Jenkerson.

If voters approve the bond issue Tuesday, officials said nearly $40 million would go towards the fire department.

Jail upgrades and street reconstruction are other big components of the bond. The $10 million added in by the Board of Aldermen would fund sidewalk repairs in individual neighborhoods.

"That will pave 20 blocks in a ward. That's not a lot, but everything can be paved that needs to be paved," said Todd Waelterman, St. Louis Director of Operations.

Property taxes on a $140,000 house would increase by $50 a year to supplement the bond issue.

The tax increase applies to vehicles and real estate, and it requires a two-thirds majority vote to pass.

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ST. LOUIS CITY FIREFIGHTER APPLICANTS BEGIN PHYSICAL TESTING

July 24, 2015 - KMOX By Brett Blume (@brettblumekmox)

ST. LOUIS, MO. - Forty spots are open for new St. Louis city firefighters and Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson says more than 600 applicants are taking the written and physical tests.

The written portion is complete, now it's on to physical testing where each applicant goes through a series of tests in full fire gear. The national test for firefighter training is called the Candidate Physical Abilities Test (CPAT).

The CPAT is designed to simulate situations a firefighter might confront in an emergency situation. The applicants must be able to generate a certain amount of force swinging a sledgehammer, crawl through a maze to find a victim and climb flights of stairs with limited time among other tasks.

The test lasts a total of seven minutes and Jenkerson says the last portion is always the toughest. The applicant must drag a 180-pound dummy a certain amount of feet to the finish line. St. Louis City Fire Department doesn't use the exact same CPAT test but the obstacles are all designed to test an applicant's abilities in the field of duty.

Jenkerson says he hopes to have his new firefighters in place by September.

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ST. LOUIS CITY FIREFIGHTER APPLICANTS BEGIN PHYSICAL TESTING

July 24, 2015 - KMOX By Brett Blume (@brettblumekmox)

ST. LOUIS, MO. - Forty spots are open for new St. Louis city firefighters and Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson says more than 600 applicants are taking the written and physical tests.

The written portion is complete, now it's on to physical testing where each applicant goes through a series of tests in full fire gear. The national test for firefighter training is called the Candidate Physical Abilities Test (CPAT).

The CPAT is designed to simulate situations a firefighter might confront in an emergency situation. The applicants must be able to generate a certain amount of force swinging a sledgehammer, crawl through a maze to find a victim and climb flights of stairs with limited time among other tasks.

The test lasts a total of seven minutes and Jenkerson says the last portion is always the toughest. The applicant must drag a 180-pound dummy a certain amount of feet to the finish line. St. Louis City Fire Department doesn't use the exact same CPAT test but the obstacles are all designed to test an applicant's abilities in the field of duty.

Jenkerson says he hopes to have his new firefighters in place by September.

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LOCAL FIREFIGHTERS HONORED FOR HEROIC ACTS

July 21, 2015 - KMOX Brett Blume (@brettblumekmox)

ST. LOUIS, MO. - Heroism and humility were both on equal display Tuesday morning at St. Louis fire headquarters.

It came as eight members of the city fire department were presented with Firehouse Magazine's 2014 National Heroism Award, including Frank Carter.

"Her hair was on fire and her skin was just basically burning off of her - she was still unconscious," Carter recalls of the night of December 20, 2014, when he and two other firefighters heading to work came across a single-car crash.

Carter, Licole McKinney and Vincent Smith were all awarded medals for pulling three people from the burning car.

Awards and commendations were far from his mind on that night seven months ago, says Carter."I really didn't consider that, I was just doing what I thought was the best thing to do, doing what I'm supposed to do," he points out.

Also recognized for his quick-thinking actions during another emergency was Rescue Squad 1-B firefighter Thomas Moore.

On December 8, 2014, the St. Louis Fire Department was called to an incident involving a reported "jumper" on the Eads Bridge.

It turned out the person in question was atop a high-voltage power line tower stretching as high as 150 feet above the Mississippi River.

Moore and Captain Mario Montero discovered a 21-year-old female who was distraught and didn't want anyone near her.

"We climbed up the tower and talked to the lady," Moore recalls. "It took a couple of hours just to even get near her and talk her into a safety harness."

But halfway down, the woman became agitated and began trying to climb back up the tower again, before once again being coaxed into being brought to safety.

A tragic ending was averted and now Moore is being called a hero, but don't tell him that."No, not really," he replies when asked about the H word. "Everything came out fine and it's just my job and I didn't really think about it at the time. I would do it again, even taller this time."

The full list of St. Louis firefighters honored by Firehouse Magazine:

- Donald Champ
- Thomas Gaska
- John Whalen
- Captain Mario Montero
- Thomas Moore
- Frank Carter
- Licole McKinney
- Vincent Smith

Montero, Moore, Carter, McKinney, and Smith were all ranked in the Top 13 nationally.

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ST. LOUIS FIRE CAPTAIN CO-AUTHORS DRONE POLICY PROPOSALS


(photo left) Monica Manzella and Gregg Favre

July 20, 2015 - KMOX By Brian Kelly @brpkelly

ST, LOUIS, MO. - As more police and fire departments begin using drones to help find criminals, look for victims and investigate hazardous material incidents, they could rely heavily on a report co-authored by a member of the St. Louis Fire Department.

Captain Gregg Favre teamed up with fellow Center for Homeland Defense and Security master's degree student, New Orleans Assistant City Attorney Monica Manzella, to provide some guidelines for the use of drones by public safety agencies.

Favre looked at the issue from the agencies' angle. Manzella from the legal side.

Manzella says a lack of guidelines, is preventing some agencies from using drones, "There is no federal cohesive standard that governs the use of drones for law enforcement agencies. The regulations that are coming out from the FAA are talking about commercial use and private use of drones."

She says not all states have enacted laws governing their use, and those that have, aren't entirely consistent. Manzella says even Justice Samuel Alito, in a recent Supreme Court ruling, called for a federal standard.

Favre says the report lays out what a model policy, or city, state or federal law could look like."We pulled from a lot of the national experts in drone usage, in privacy, in privacy law," Favre says. "We did a deep dive into what some of the best minds are saying."

He says one challenge is easing the public's fears about drones, especially their privacy concerns, "We think that it is possible to alleviate some of those public fears by putting checks and balances, by putting safeguards in place, in a regulatory manner.

"There are some key cornerstone elements about how you store data. About how you use the drones. About the actions that are allowable for drone use."

Favre says one of the top-tier recommendations is that agencies be clear and transparent about the use of drones, "You build up specific recommendations (in the policy) and you can hand it to the general public and say 'you are going to see the fire department drone in one of the following times, when this is happening'. Give some transparency to the operation."

Manzella says in most cases the agencies have to obtain a warrant or court order to fly drones, but there has to be exceptions, "They would come in if there is an emergency situation that would involve something immediate danger of death or physical injury or threat to national security." But she says there can't be too many, "There are some states that have exceptions that almost nullify the general statement of the rules. We definitely don't want to make that part of the policy."

The gathering and use of the data is also a top concern, "So that the public knows exactly what data is being collected, how long it will be retained, who has access to it."

Favre and Manzella say they have submitted their report to Washington D.C. and it's been shared across the Department of Homeland Security.

Next, they'll be looking next at international norms on drone use and privacy, and updating their report.

Favre says the St. Louis Fire Department is looking at drone use, but hasn't made a decision yet. He says if it does, it's internal policy will closely mirror their report.

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TWO MEN IN CRITICAL CONDITION AFTER HOUSE EXPLODES OVERNIGHT

July 17, 2015 - KTVI BY GEORGE SELLS

ST. LOUIS, MO. - Two people are hospitalized this morning after the house they were in suddenly exploded overnight. Three alarms went out on the explosion shortly after 10p.m. Thursday at a home on Thrush near North Broadway.

There was a furious search for victims.

Firefighters spent more than an hour digging through the rubble after getting word there might be someone inside. One person was able to escape. St. Ann police, who were in the area on an unrelated investigation, rescued the second victim and rushed him to the hospital. Both men are in critical condition.

The house was blown into pieces that were scattered for a great distance causing the entire block to be evacuated.

As for a cause, firefighters say they're not speculating yet, though one neighbor tells us off camera they'd been smelling gas for several days.

About eighty firefighters were on the scene.

This is an ongoing investigation.

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OFF-DUTY FIREFIGHTER RESCUES WOMAN FROM OVERTURNED VEHICLE

July 15, 2015 - KMOX RADIO By Brian Kelly @brpkelly

ST. LOUIS, MO. - An off-duty St. Louis firefighter came to the rescue this morning, on his way to jury duty.

Department Spokesman Garon Mosby tells KMOX that while riding his motorcycle to the courthouse, the firefighter came across an overturned SUV on Eastbound Interstate-70 at Adelaide, with the driver trapped inside.

Mosby says the firefighter cut the woman's seat belt and pulled her from the wreckage. She was rushed to a hospital with serious injuries.

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FIREFIGHTERS BATTLE BLAZE AT WAREHOUSE COMPLEX ON THE HILL


St. Louis firefighters work a 4-alarm warehouse fire in the 4900 block of Daggett Avenue on Wednesday, July 8, 2015. Photo by Robert Cohen, rcohen@post-dispatch.com

July 8, 2015 - St. Louis Post Dispatch By Valerie Schremp Hahn

ST. LOUIS - Firefighters battled a blaze at a vacant warehouse in The Hill neighborhood late Wednesday.

The two-story brick complex is on Daggett Avenue near Kingshighway. It spans at least two city blocks.

The four-alarm fire brought more than 100 firefighters and many trucks to the scene.

St. Louis Fire Capt. Garon Mosby said the fire was reported at 10:11 p.m. Wednesday. The fire was under control in about 2½ hours.

He said there were no injuries.

Mosby said the complex is vacant. The fire started in an office area.

When firefighters arrived, they were met by heavy smoke in the boarded-up buildings.

Firefighters closed fire doors at an enclosed walkway between buildings, helping contain the blaze.

St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson, who was at the scene, said he had driven by the building minutes before the blaze was reported. He had been on his way home from the Muny.

He said fire crews were at the scene within minutes of the call. "Everything was boarded up," Jenkerson said. "Trying to find the right door to go in was a challenge."

He also mentioned the recently closed Kingshighway viaduct, which he said did not present problems for firefighters.

Jenkerson said the cause of the fire was unknown but he didn't believe it to be suspicious.

A worker at Rigazzi's restaurant, near the warehouse complex, said he and two others saw flames rolling out of a window and called 911.

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HALF-MILLION RETIREMENT CASH PAYOUT GIVEN TO ST. LOUIS FIREFIGHTERS PENSION EMPLOYEE


Firemen's Retirement System Executive Director Vicky Grass attends a board meeting in St. Louis on Tuesday, March 12, 2013. Photo by Laurie Skrivan, lskrivan@post-dispatch.com

July 2, 2015 - St. Louis Post Dispatch By Nicholas J.C. Pistor

ST. LOUIS - In May, Vicky Grass left her job with the Firemen's Retirement System of St. Louis having achieved the American Dream.

Grass, 63, who helped firefighters navigate the world of retirement as the department's pension director, retired herself - walking out with a $579,210 cash payout.

In addition to the one-time payment for severance and unused sick and vacation time, Grass will be paid a $4,870 monthly pension, an amount approved by retirement system trustees this week. In addition, she will receive an undisclosed amount from a deferred compensation plan to which she and her employer both contributed over the years.

"I always say that I'm the luckiest broad I know," Grass told the Post-Dispatch on Wednesday.

The retirement is a capstone of a career that took Grass from being a south St. Louis bartender to a payroll benefits specialist with the firefighters' pension system, eventually leading to a job as its director in 2000. Her final job entailed lots of paperwork, but she made no investment decisions for the fund.

Along the way, she became a poster child of a pension system that for two decades gave its office workers some of the most lucrative benefits among public employees in the city.

In 2013, after months of vitriolic debate, city leaders reached an agreement to curb the system's retirement package - but the changes applied only to future benefits.

"You can't change what you've already given somebody," said Grass, who worked for the system since 1986.

Officials knew the day would come when Grass would cash out. But the numbers provide a sobering reminder that the firefighters' retirement system is still costing the city millions, at a time when city leaders are asking voters to approve a $180 million bond issue for infrastructure improvements they say they can't afford otherwise.

After Grass announced her retirement, the city's Board of Aldermen honored her with a resolution, noting her work for the firefighters and previous work as a secretary at the Missouri Pacific Hospital. The resolution also noted her five years as a bartender, including a stint at the Eighth Inning bar near Carondelet Park.

"We pause in our deliberation to thank and recognize Vicky Grass for her long and productive service to the city of St. Louis and to the Fire Department," stated the resolution, introduced by Ward 12 Alderman Larry Arnowitz.

Arnowitz told the Post-Dispatch that Grass' compensation package was a result of long-standing agreements.

"It's certainly not a good precedent, but you can't go back and take these things away," Arnowitz said. "The system has been kind to a lot of people."

Grass made about $117,000 a year as the director of the system. Her retirement package gives her:

- $117,566 for 1,941 hours of unused sick, vacation and holiday time.

- $350,987 for an employee compensation severance package. (The package was approved in 1997, but it gave Grass credit for all years she worked back to 1986.)

- $110,657 from city's deferred retirement option plan.

- An unknown amount from a deferred compensation plan. The city claims these records are not public. Grass paid into the system and received matching contributions of up to 6 percent of her salary, but officials did not include those documents in its response to a Post-Dispatch public records request.

- $4,870 per month in pension payments for life.In 2013, the city reached an agreement with the Firemen's Retirement System that eliminated the six percent match for deferred compensation, as well as significant changes to the compensation severance package.

"The new system is not as good as the one we had," Grass said.

The Firemen's Retirement System pays the salary and expenses of its four office workers, in addition to firefighter pensions. The system's funding comes from firefighter contributions and yearly interest earnings, in addition to tax money from the city.

The city pays when there is a shortfall. In 2013, the city pumped $20 million into the system. Pension reforms have since reduced the city's liability. Paul Payne, the city's budget director, said the city paid $1 million into the system in 2015. And it's not expected to pay anything in 2016.

In February, the Missouri Supreme Court affirmed a decision allowing the city to create a new and separate retirement system for newly hired firefighters, giving them reduced benefits.

Still, the retirement comes as perks throughout city government have come into focus, including elected officials' getting brand-new cars funded by taxpayers. In May, the Post-Dispatch reported that Recorder of Deeds Sharon Carpenter requested a $700 a month car allowance, in addition to her $99,718 annual salary, which she receives while simultaneously collecting about $50,000 in annual pension benefits.

"I know these stories make it hard to pass things like the bond issue," Arnowitz said.

Mayor Francis Slay, who long championed reforms to the pension system, said Grass' retirement cash "sounds like legalized robbery."

"This is part and parcel of the gross abuses and exorbitant salaries the pension board allowed," Slay said in a statement. "It's a clear example of one of the many reasons we so desperately needed pension reform."

Grass, the oldest of seven children, said the money wouldn't change her.

"You retire so you can spend time with your family," Grass said, noting that she will help care for her elderly mother.

She added: "I'm honored to have worked for the firefighters who risk their lives every day. I'm very blessed."

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FIRE DAMAGES BUILDING THAT WILL HOUSE LAFAYETTE PREP ACADEMY


A building at 1900 Lafayette Avenue that is slated to be the location of Lafayette Prep Academy was damaged by a fire early on Tuesday, June 30, 2015. St. Louis firefighters were called around midnight. Photo by Christian Gooden, cgooden@post-dispatch.com

June 30, 2015 - ST. LOUIS POST DISPATCH

MEHLVILLE, MO. - The fire was reported at about midnight Monday. The two-story brick building at 1900 Lafayette Avenue is attached to a church, but the church was not damaged. No one was injured.

The fire was contained to one classroom at the school building. St. Louis Fire Capt. Garon Mosby said the cause of the fire is under investigation. It was not suspicious.

Lafayette Prep Academy plans to renovate the building and open it to students in August 2016.

Construction work wasn't scheduled to begin until September of this year, and the fire won't change that timetable, said Brent Crittenden, managing principal of UIC, which is the developer for the school.

Since it opened in 2013, Lafayette Prep has leased space and operated out of Christ Church Cathedral downtown, but it needs more space to grow. It is moving to a temporary home in a building at 18th and Olive streets for the coming school year before moving to the Lafayette Avenue location for the 2016-2017 school year.

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AMBULANCE IN SERVICE AFTER SHOT AT IN NORTH ST. LOUIS

KMOV.com

June 25, 2015 - KMOV By Laura Shay

ST. LOUIS, MO. - Medics were in the 5900 block of Romaine in north St. Louis on Tuesday night when they reported hearing gunshots.

The emergency crew contacted police to report the shots at approximately 11:45 p.m., but no victims or suspects were located.

On Wednesday morning, the crew discovered the ambulance they were in Tuesday night had ballistic damage, according to police.

"We've had cars hit. we've had trucks, we've had ambulances hit before," said Chief Dennis Jenkerson. "I would hope no one would target an ambulance who is there to help and hopefully correct the situation."

Authorities said the ambulance is still in service after sustaining gunshot damage.

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SECOND ST. LOUIS FIREFIGHTER CHARGED WITH STEALING CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT


George M. Anderson (left) and Brian D. Burton, St. Louis firefighters charged after police say they took construction equipment from a St. Louis business.

June 10, 2015 - St. Louis Post Dispatch By Joel Currier

ST. LOUIS - A second St. Louis city firefighter was charged Wednesday in the theft last month of construction equipment.

George M. Anderson, 49, who has served the department for more than 20 years, was charged with felony stealing. On Monday, fellow city firefighter Brian D. Burton, 37, of the 1600 block of Pine Street in St. Louis, was charged with felony theft.

Police say Anderson and Burton on May 28 took heavy-duty construction equipment from Concrete Strategies at 7400 North Broadway. Police said the stolen equipment, valued at several thousand dollars, was found at a home in Webster Groves. It was not clear why the equipment was there.

Anderson's start date and assigned engine house was not available Wednesday. Burton joined the department in December 2013 and worked at Engine House 33, at 8300 North Broadway in the city's Baden neighborhood.

Anderson's salary is $57,480, while Burton's salary is $40,214, according to 2015 city salary data.

Anderson and Burton each have been booked and released from the city jail. Both have 24 hours from the time of their release from jail to notify the fire department of the arrest, a department spokesman said. When that happens, they are expected to be placed on administrative leave.

Anderson lives in the 6000 block of Wanda Avenue in St. Louis, court records say.

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ST. LOUIS FIREFIGHTER CHARGED WITH STEALING CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT


(photo) Brian D. Burton

June 9, 2015 - St. Louis Post Dispatch By Joel Currier

ST. LOUIS - A city firefighter has been charged with stealing construction equipment from a St. Louis firm.

Brian D. Burton, 37, of the 1600 block of Pine Street in St. Louis, was charged Monday with felony stealing. He posted 10 percent of a $5,000 bail and was released.

Authorities say Burton and another unidentified person were found with heavy-duty construction equipment that had been taken from Concrete Strategies at 7400 North Broadway. The stolen equipment, valued at more than $500, was found at a home in Webster Groves. It was not clear why the equipment was there.

The other suspect in the theft has not yet been charged.

Messages left with Construction Strategies were not returned Tuesday.

Burton joined the city fire department in December 2013, said Capt. Gregg Favre, a fire department spokesman.

Burton has 24 hours from the time of his release from jail to notify the fire department of the arrest, Favre said. When that happens, Burton is expected to be placed on administrative leave.

Burton was assigned to Engine House 33 at 8300 North Broadway in the city's Baden neighborhood, Favre said.

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MAN CHARGED WITH FOREST PARK FIRE


(Photo: St. Louis Metro Police)

June 9, 2015 - KSDK

ST. LOUIS - There's been an arrest in a weekend fire that damaged a building at Forest Park.

46-year-old William Terney of St. Peters is charged with knowingly burning or exploding a building. Flames raced through a storage shed near the golf course early Sunday morning.

He's behind bars on a $200,000 cash-only bond.

There was another fire last month at the golf course, but Terney is not charged in connection with that case.

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STL FIRE DEPARTMENT WINS BATTLE OF THE BARBECUE


Photo by St. Louis Post Dispatch

June 8, 2015 - St. Louis Post Dispatch By Daniel Neman

Fire departments have the reputation for cooking great food. But whose is the best?

Firefighters representing departments from St. Louis and Maplewood went head to head and toe to to - both head and toe - Saturday for the KC Masterpiece Firehouse Challenge. At stake were bragging rights, a trophy (a golden slow cooker) and a $5,000 donation to the winning department's favorite charity.

The rules were simple: The barbecue had to be cooked in a slow cooker and it had to be cooked with one of the KC Masterpiece sauces.

A crowd of more than 200 at the Maplewood Wal-Mart Supercenter chose the winner, the St. Louis Fire Department, as represented by the cooks and firefighters of Engine 28.

This is the winning recipe:

Engine 28's Sweet and Hot Barbecue Brisket
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
- 1 (4 to 5-pound) flat cut brisket, well trimmed.
- 3 tablespoons barbecue rub of choice
- 1 to 1½ cups KC Masterpiece classic barbecue sauce
- 2 small red peppers, sliced into thin strips
- 1 medium yellow onion, sliced thin
- 1 orange, halved
- 1 ghost or habanero pepper sliced in half and seeded, see note

Note: For less heat, substitute a jalapeno or serrano pepper. Always wear gloves when working with extra-hot peppers such as ghost or habaneros.

1. Coat brisket on all sides with the rub and refrigerate overnight. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before cooking.

2. In the bottom of a slow cooker, place the sauce, red pepper slices, onion and orange. Heat the sauce on low for about 30 minutes, then add the brisket, fat side up, and cook until tender, about 6 to 7 hours. Remove brisket and let rest for 15 minutes, covered. Remove orange and pepper. When cool enough to handle, slice brisket thin and return to sauce. Toss well to coat. Add a pinch more of rub if additional seasoning is needed. Serve hot.

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THREE FIREFIGHTERS PROMOTED TO RANK OF CAPTAIN


Photo by St. Louis Fire Department

June 8, 2015 - St. Louis Fire Department

ST. LOUIS, MO. - Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson is proud to announce the promotion of the following members to the rank of Fire Captain, effective immediately.

Photo: From left to right; Captain Dan Sheehan assigned to Truck 33; Captain Matt Buckley assigned to Hook & Ladder 2; Captain Todd Howard assigned to Truck 20.

Please join the department in offering our congratulations.

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May 3, 2015 - FIREHOUSE MAGAZINE Firehouse Magazine has announced their 2014 Heroism Awards. Five members of the St. Louis Fire Department were among the award recipients.

2014 HEROISM AWARDS: TOP WINNERS 11-13

FIREFIGHTERS FRANK CARTER, LICOLE MCKINNEY & VINCENT SMITH St. Louis Fire Department, Truck 20-C & Truck 33-C

On Dec. 20, 2014, Firefighters Carter, McKinney and Smith were each headed to work when they came across a single-vehicle accident with three passengers trapped and the engine compartment ignited in flames. Carter and Smith got the assistance of several bystanders to call 9-1-1 and look for bricks or tire irons to break windows, as the doors were either locked or too damaged to open. Once able to access the vehicle through the backseat, Carter removed an unconscious male victim from the backseat and placed him on the street. Carter and Smith entered the backseat to begin extricating a female passenger who was unconscious. When a bystander was able to break the driver's side window, McKinney was able to pull the male driver out of the vehicle. He was unconscious and his clothes were on fire. McKinney patted out the fire with her hands and clothing and left the patient, who had a pulse and agonal respirations, with a bystander who was a nurse. The female passenger's leg was trapped in the floorboard area, and when the flames intensified in this area, she awoke and was able to free her ankle. Carter and Smith then pulled her out of the vehicle. Her hair and clothes were on fire, and Smith patted the fire out with his hands as Carter and McKinney pulled her to safety. Additional units soon arrived on scene and were able to extinguish the fire and render medical care to the victims. While the victims were severely injured, their lives were saved by the courageous actions of Carter, McKinney and Smith, who went above and beyond their call of duty.

CAPTAIN MARIO MONTERO & FIREFIGHTER THOMAS MOORE St. Louis Fire Department, Rescue Squad 1-B

On Dec. 8, 2014, the St. Louis Fire Department was called to an incident involving a "jumper" on the Eads Bridge. The jumper was atop a high-tension, high-voltage power line tower stretching approximately 130 -150 feet above the Mississippi River. Captain Montero and Firefighter Moore proceeded to the lower portion of the tower near a flood wall. A ground ladder was placed on the flood wall to gain access, and Montero and Moore began to ascend the tower. Upon reaching the top, Montero found a 21-year-old female who was distraught and did not want anyone near her. Through use of a cell phone, Montero conveyed messages from a negotiator on the ground. The female was eventually coaxed to a safer location on the tower and, after several more hours of negotiation, even began descending the tower wearing safety equipment that she insisted on donning herself so that no one would touch her. Halfway down, the female became agitated and began to ascend the tower again. After further dialogue with her, the female descended the tower and was transferred to the care of EMS. Without the combined efforts of all involved, this incident may have had a tragic ending.

2014 HEROISM AWARDS $100 WINNERS

DONALD CHAMP: St. Louis Fire Department

Several units were dispatched to a fire in a three-story home. The owner notified crews that his son was trapped inside. While searching the first floor, Firefighter Champ of Truck 17 found the unconscious victim. The victim was transported to the hospital in serious condition. A week later, fire crews learned that the victim was out of a coma and would make a full recovery. THOMAS GASKA: St. Louis Fire Department

On May 5, 2014, crews responded to a fire in a one-story frame residence with heavy fire and smoke showing. The initial fire attack controlled the scene and allowed firefighters the opportunity to conduct a primary search that resulted in Firefighter Gaska locating an unconscious civilian victim. Firefighter Cheatham and Captain Koch helped remove the victim from the house. The victim was treated and transported to a local hospital.

JOHN WHALEN: St. Louis Fire Department

At an apartment fire, Captain Bricker and Firefighter Bargen stretched an attack line into the fire, while others conducted exterior truck work. Firefighters Fondren and Whalen followed the hoseline to conduct a primary search. While proceeding deeper into the fire, Whalen heard moaning and soon discovered that Bargen had gone down. Whalen dragged the injured firefighter out of the apartment where patient care was rendered.

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EMERGENCY CREWS NEED MORE MONEY FOR NARCAN

June 3, 2015 - KSDK By Grant Bissell, KSDK

"We're having to use more Narcan on each individual patient because the heroin is so strong. As opposed to using one dose, we're using two and sometimes three doses on one patient," Chief Jenkerson said.

The problem isn't just in the city. The chief of the Mehlville Fire Protection District says his crews sometimes run six overdose calls in a day.

Medics with the Metro West Fire Protection District in west St. Louis County have already had to administer Narcan 21 times this year. That's compared to only needing it 28 times in each of the last two years.

The problem is clear, and it's not going away.

"The numbers have gone up in terms of the worst numbers of overdose deaths," Dan Duncan, of the St. Louis chapter of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, said. "In 2014 we had 400 deaths locally in a seven county region and that's the worst yet."

Duncan says it's reached a point where Narcan is a must-have drug for first responders and could change the life of an addict who receives it.

"That's their wake-up call. They get that close to death and that's when they realize I'm in real trouble here and next time I may not be saved. And that's when they go get help," Duncan said.

Duncan was very disappointed when Missouri's legislative session ended without lawmakers passing a bill that would allow anyone in the state to carry and use Narcan. Republican representative Steve Lynch of Waynesville sponsored the bill and says he plans to re-file next year.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction help is available. You can call NCADA's helpline at 314-962-3456 to speak directly to a counselor.

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FIRE CAPTAIN RETIREMENT


Photo by St. Louis Fire Department

May 29, 2015 - St. Louis Fire Department

ST. LOUIS, MO. - Congratulations on your retirement Captain Vince "Vinnie" Webb and Thank you for your 27 years of service to the City of St Louis and its citizens.

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RETIREMENT OF LEAD DISPATCHER


Photo by St. Louis Fire Department

May 26, 2015 - St. Louis Fire Department

SAINT LOUIS - Congratulations to #EMS Lead Dispatcher Nina Hampton. After 19 years of dedicated service to the citizens of St. Louis, Nina is retiring! Saving the precious seconds, that have no doubt saved so many lives ... Thank you for your service, enjoy retirement!

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FIRE CAPTAIN RETIRES AFTER 20 YEARS


Photo by St. Louis Fire Department

May 14, 2015 - St. Louis Fire Department

ST. LOUIS - Congratulations to Captain John Brewer! After over twenty years of exemplary service to the citizens of St. Louis, Captain Brewer is retiring. Thank you for your service, enjoy retirement!

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ONE DEAD, 20 RESCUED IN 2- ALARM APARTMENT FIRE IN CENTRAL WEST END

May 11, 2015 - KTVI BY DANIELLE SCRUGGS

ST. LOUIS - One person has died and 20 people were rescued after a two- alarm fire swept through a Central West End apartment building. The fire started shortly after 8a.m. at the building located in the 4900 block of McPherson Avenue. Fire crews initially received a call for a fire on the second floor with one person trapped. The first crew on the scene asked for a second alarm due to the size of the building, which holds 50 apartments. According to Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson, all units were occupied at the time. Those 20 residents were rescued from the third floor. The chief says they could not escape from the second floor due to the heavy smoke in the building.

Six people have been transported to an area hospital for treatment. One person is listed in serious condition.

Fire officials are not calling the fire suspicious.

FOX 2 will keep you updated as details become avaialble.

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MAN KILLED, 20 RESCUED DURING BLAZE AT CENTRAL WEST END APARTMENT BUILDING


Photo by KMOV

May 11, 2015 - KMOV By Stephanie Baumer, Online News Producer

ST. LOUIS - A man was killed during a Monday morning fire at an apartment building in the Central West End.

According to the St. Louis Fire Department, the fire occurred at a three-story apartment building in the 4900 block of McPherson just after 8 a.m.

According to fire officials, 20 people were rescued from the building. Officials said six people were transported urgently to be treated for smoke inhalation.

Fire officials said the cause of the fire is under investigation.

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MAN RESCUED FROM 18-FOOT DEEP TRENCH


St. Louis firefighters take a worker to an ambulance on Sunday evening, May 3, 2015, after rescuing him from an 18-foot deep trench behind a house at Louisiana at Wyoming. The man was trapped for almost five hours when the trench he was digging collapsed and buried him up to his chest. Photo by J.B.Forbes, jforbes@post-dispatch.com

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FIREFIGHTER DIED FROM INJURIES IN AUTO ACCIDENT

April 30, 2015 - St. Louis Fire Department

ST. LOUIS - It is with heavy hearts that we announce the loss of our Brother, Firefighter Charles Bates.

Yesterday, off-duty Firefighter Bates was involved in a serious rollover accident during evening rush hour. Despite rescue and resuscitation efforts, he succumbed to his injuries. Firefighter Bates was a 21-year member of the St. Louis Fire Department, currently assigned to Truck Company 22.

The Officers & Members of the Department mourn the loss of our Brother, and we extend our deepest condolences to Firefighter Bate's family. We will remember his humor, his compassion and his career of dedicated service to the citizens of St. Louis.

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OFF-DUTY FIREFIGHTER KILLED IN CRASH


Photo by KSDK

April 30, 2015 - KSDK By Alexandra Martellaro and Bailey Kinney, KSDK-TV

ST. LOUIS - An off-duty firefighter was killed Wednesday evening in a crash near the Washington University campus, police say.

It happened around 7 p.m. at the intersection of Forest Park Parkway and Skinker. It was a single-vehicle crash and there were no passengers in the car.

Captain Garon Mosby confirms the victim worked with the St. Louis Fire Department for 20 years. His name will be released later Thursday on the St. Louis Fire Department's Facebook page.

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CREWS RESCUE 3 PEOPLE AFTER CANOE CAPSIZES NEAR STAN MUSIAL BRIDGE


Photo by KMOV

April 4, 2015 - St. Louis Post Dispatch By Adam McDonald, Online News Producer, KMOV

ST. LOUIS - Crews successfully rescued three people after their canoe capsized in the Mississippi River Saturday afternoon.

Officials with the St. Louis Fire Department said the canoe tipped just north of the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge. Units on the ground said they were able to see the overturned canoe from their position.

Three people were reportedly seen holding on to some sort of buoy or channel marker before responders rescued them. Multiple rescue boats were dispatched. No injuries were reported.

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FIREFIGHTER PROMOTED TO CAPTAIN


Photo by St. Louis Fire Department

March 29, 2015 - St. Louis Fire Department

ST. LOUIS - The St. Louis Fire Department and Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson are proud to announce the promotion of Firefighter Ian Sasek to the rank of Fire Captain, effective immediately.

Congratulations Captain Sasek and Justifiably Proud!

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EXPLORER POST MEMBERS COMPLETE FIREFIGHTER PROGRAM


Photo by St. Louis Fire Department

March 24, 2015 - St. Louis Fire Department

ST. LOUIS - Last night, members of the St. Louis Fire Department's Explorer Post completed Missouri's "Basic" Firefighter program and were awarded their Explorer's badge.

Please join us in congratulating these young men and women on their hard work and commitment to public service. Justifiably Proud!

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FIREFIGHTER HURT AS BLAZE GUTS ST. LOUIS HOUSE


Photo by J.B. Forbes, jforbes@post-dispatch.com

March 23, 2015 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

ST. LOUIS - St. Louis firefighter Sidney Jordan (left) is helped from a fire scene by Capt. Russ Brauer of Rescue Squad 2 on Sunday, March 22, 2015, on Aldine Avenue in St. Louis. Jordan was slightly injured when the floor collapsed inside the burned house and he fell into the basement. Jordan was checked out by paramedics. The one-alarm fire was in a vacant house, but neighbors said a man had been living there. No one else was injured.

More on St. Louis Post Dispatch story and more photos

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FIREFIGHTER RETIRES AFTER 35 YEARS OF SERVICE


Firefighter Tom Mindak (right) with Fire Chief Dennis M. Jenkerson - Photo by St. Louis Fire Department

March 15, 2015 - St. Louis Fire Department

ST. LOUIS - Congratulations to Firefighter Tom Mindak, formerly of Rescue Squad-1C.

After 35 years of service, Firefighter Mindak enjoyed his final roll call this morning with family and friends.

Enjoy retirement!

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ST. LOUIS FIREFIGHTERS BATTLE A BLAZE AT WOODWORKING STUDIO


Firefighters such as Aaron Buchanan, in the white shirt, are never really off duty.
Photos by Danny Wicentowski

March 20, 2015 - Daily RFT By Danny Wicentowski Fri., Mar. 20 2015 at 9:15 AM

ST. LOUIS - Gray smoke filled the sky above a St. Louis woodworking shop yesterday as flames spread through a lacquering shed holding antique furniture, church furnishings and commissioned pieces awaiting a craftsman's finishing touch.

The blaze started around 11:45 a.m. Thursday when workers preparing to pave the store's parking lot noticed flames and smoke billowing from front of the structure. Daily RFT happened to be at the scene before the firefighters arrived and captured this photo diary of the department at work -- including the removal of many beautiful, but ruined, pieces of antique furniture from the building.

As firefighters raced toward Round Oak Woodworking in Cheltenham, there was one man who stood out from his suited-up comrades. Aaron Buchanan, who was off duty at the time and happened to be in the area, met the firetruck just as it arrived and ran toward the burning structure dressed in a spiffy white shirt and tie.

After making sure his fellow firefighters had the situation under control, Buchanan walked away.

According to St. Louis Fire Department spokesman Garon Mosby, a worker inside the shed had been grinding the bolts off an exhaust hood when one of the bolts, which had become super-heated from the grinding, fell into some kind of flammable liquid. No one was injured by the fire.

Daily RFT was on the scene as some of St. Louis' bravest extinguished the one-alarm fire. Though they saved the structure, virtually all the work inside appeared to be destroyed.

Mosby explained the firefighters wore masks as a precaution due to the possibility that toxic paint and lacquer were giving off fumes.

After the fire was put out, firefighters assisted the store's owners with carrying out damaged antiques and soot-stained pieces of furniture.

More on Daily RFT story and more photos

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CAPTAIN PROMOTED TO BATTALION CHIEF


Photo by St. Louis Fire Department

March 16, 2015 - St. Louis Fire Department

ST. LOUIS - Fire Chief Dennis M. Jenkerson has promoted Michael Fitzgerald from the rank of Fire Captain to Battalion Chief. Chief Fitzgerald is assigned to Battalion #2-B.

Congratulations!

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FIREFIGHTER PROMOTION TO CAPTAIN


Photo by St. Louis Fire Department

March 9, 2015 - St. Louis Fire Department

ST. LOUIS - Today, March 9th 2015, Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson promoted Firefighter Paul Birchfield to the rank of Captain.

Congratulations to you and your family Captain Birchfield! #JustifiablyProud

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MEDICAL HELICOPTER PILOT KILLED IN CRASH NEAR SLU HOSPITAL

March 7, 2015 - KTVI BY GEORGE SELLS

ST. LOUIS - The pilot of a medical helicopter died late Friday in a crash near Saint Louis University Hospital. The St. Louis Fire Department reports that the pilot was the only person aboard.

The copter was heading from the ARCH Air Medical Services base along I-64 to the hospital to pick up a crew when it went down around 11:00pm near Spring Avenue and Rutger Street.

National Transportation Safety Board investigators are on the scene Saturday morning. The cause of the crash had not been determined.

There are several road closures around the scene of the crash, but patients can get to the hospital by following posted detours.

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HIBERNIANS RECOGNIZES OUTSTANDING ST. LOUISIANS
Receiving special honors will be firefighters and law enforcement officers from St. Louis City and St. Louis County

February 15, 2015 - St. Louis Post Dispatch
BY Ancient Order of Hibernians

ST. LOUIS - The Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) will honor eight distinguished St. Louisians at a special reception and award ceremony Thursday, March 12 at 6:00 PM at Electricians' Hall 5850 Elizabeth in South St. Louis.

The Hibernian celebration is dedicated to firefighters, law enforcement officers, public safety personnel and union members killed in the line of duty since September 11, 2001. The benefit is being held in conjunction with his year's 2015 AOH Saint Patrick's Day Parade on March 17 in Dogtown (Baile Madra in Irish).

Among those honored will be co-Grand Marshals of the 32nd Ancient Order of Hibernians Saint Patrick's Day Parade, Jim and Susan Venincasa, owners of Seamus McDaniel's, a Dogtown landmark, located at the corner of Victoria and Tamm avenues. Hibernian officials selected the Venincasas for their many years of support to the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Dogtown neighborhood.

Receiving special honors will be firefighters and law enforcement officers from St. Louis City and St. Louis County. The honorees include St. Louis City Firefighter, Battalion Chief Ken Mitchell, St. Louis County Firefighter, Bob Burkes Jr. Florissant Fire Department, St. Louis City Police Officer Jason Flanery and Mike Toombs, Jefferson County Sheriff Office.

Mark J. Boyle (Gas Workers) was selected the AOH 2015Labor Leader and Eddie Neill, owner Dubliner restaurant was named the 2015 AOH Civic Leader.

The Irish Session Players and Mayer-Torno School of Irish Dance will perform.

The event is open to the public. The suggested donation is $15.00 per person. Funds raised help underwrite the AOH Parade and help support Irish charities.

"We are really gratified by all the support St. Louis community, especially our civic leaders and labor unions have given the Hibernians, especially Anheuser-Busch/InBev " said AOH spokesman Jim Wahl.

"The Hibernians also want to thank Local 73 of the St. Louis Fire Department, Local 2665 of the St. Louis County Fire Department, the Emerald Society of St. Louis and the IBEW Local 1 for all their support in helping us put on this event to honor these outstanding individuals.

"We would also like to acknowledge a number of local businesses that have assisted us in putting on this year's event including, The Dubliner, John D. McGurk's, Pat Connolly's Tavern, Bruno's American Grill, Maggie O'Brien's, Friendly's Sports Bar & Grill, and Keeton's Double Play.

"I also want to personally thank Pat Loughan, Pat Maloney, Jim Mohan, Tori Newman and Larry Magee, who help me put this event on every year."

For more information on the AOH Award Ceremony contact Jim Wahl at (314) 421-3100.

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PROMOTION TO PARAMEDIC SUPERVISOR


Photo by St. Louis Fire Department

March 3, 2015 - St. Louis Fire Department

ST. LOUIS - Effective immediately, Fire Chief Dennis M. Jenkerson has promoted Colin Mccoy Jr. from the rank of Paramedic Crew Chief to Paramedic Supervisor.

Congratulations!!

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HOMELESS MAN DIES IN DOWNTOWN ST. LOUIS TENT FIRE


Photo by St. Louis Fire Department

February 15, 2015 - KTVI BY JOE MILLITZER

ST. LOUIS - One person is dead after a tent caught on fire in downtown St. Louis.

The St. Louis Fire department says they responded to a fire at 10th and Cass. One of the tents in a homeless encampment started on fire. Emergency crews were able to put the flames out.

Investigators are looking into the cause of the fire

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PERSON POSING AS ST. LOUIS FIREFIGHTER IS BEHIND PHONE SCAM

February 20, 2015 - KMOV

ST. LOUIS - Authorities said a con artist posed as a firefighter in an effort to scam people out of money.

News 4 has learned several people have received a call from someone pretending to be a firefighter asking for donations through either cash or credit card.

Firefighters told News 4 the fire department never calls for donations. If you receive such a call, notify police.

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EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY - PROBATIONARY FIREFIGHTER/PRIVATE

THE CITY OF ST. LOUIS MISSOURI

Salary

Starting Annual Salary: $37,889

Nature of Work This is work as a team member at various life threatening emergency medical scenes and fire scenes, extinguishing fires and operating a variety of fire and medical equipment, apparatus, and tools.

Minimum Qualifications Age: Applicants must be at least 18 years of age by June 30, 2015. Pursuant to Ordinance No. 67310, applicants must not have reached their 33rd birthday by the last date for filing application. Also pursuant to Ordinance No. 67310, qualified applicants who have served in active duty with the Armed Forces of the United States may deduct from their age the length of time spent on such active military duty provided the total deduction for military duty does not exceed six years.

Education: Graduation from high school or possession of a General Education Diploma (G.E.D.) by June 30, 2015.

Driver's License: A valid driver's license is required at the time of filing application. Please note the kind of license, number, class, and expiration date on the Employment Application.

Character Investigation: Applicants will be notified to present a "Police Record Check". Applicants who have unsatisfactory records of convictions (including traffic violations) will be eliminated from consideration.

Military Service: Applicants who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces must have received an Honorable Discharge or a General Discharge under honorable conditions. Applicants will be notified to present their DD214.

EMT License: As a condition of employment, Probationary Fire Privates are required to obtain a Missouri State EMT-B license before completion of the probationary period and to maintain the license thereafter.

Proof of age, education, driver's license, and/or Form DD214 must be provided upon request by the Department of Personnel.

The Examination Components and Their Weights are to be determined. Further information will be provided to applicants at a later date. The examination will likely include but not be limited to a Physical Ability Test which measures the strength and endurance necessary to perform the job. A Character Investigation and Medical Examination will also be included as part of the examination process. The pre-employment medical exam will include a drug/alcohol screen.

All applicants must complete the Employment History and Educational/Training History sections of the Employment Application. Resumes will not be accepted as a substitute to a fully completed application. Applicants must provide explanation for all changes in employment and any gaps in their employment history. Incomplete and/or carelessly completed applications will not be accepted.

Last Date For Filing Application Is March 13, 2015

Applications can be submitted online. A Printable Application Form that can be mailed in is also available.

Examination Components and Their Weights

No waiver of the Residency Requirement will be granted.

City of St. Louis Personnel Department

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VICTIM IN 2009 HOME INVASION THAT WOUNDED ST. LOUIS COP IS CHARGED IN BANK ROBBERY


NICHOLAS KOENIG (left)
Photo by St. Louis Post Dispatch

February 11, 2015 - St. Louis Post Dispatch By Joel Currier

ST. LOUIS - Nicholas Koenig was shot five years ago in LaSalle Park in a violent home invasion that left his then-girlfriend wounded and ended her law enforcement career.

Koenig's cousin was killed in the attack. During a hearing for one of his attackers, Koenig testified that he turned to substance abuse after the shooting.

Now Koenig finds himself behind bars. He was charged Tuesday with robbing a bank in St. Louis.

Police say Koenig walked into a Bank of America, 4301 Hampton Avenue, about 2:35 p.m. Monday and threatened to shoot unless the teller gave him money. Police said he never showed a gun.

Koenig, 34, whose apartment in the 6300 block of Sutherland Avenue is two blocks west of the bank, was charged with first-degree robbery. He was jailed in lieu of $100,000 cash bail.

After surveillance images were published by news media, several tipsters called police to identify Koenig, police said. Officers found him at his apartment, got his permission to search it and found the blue jacket, hat and sunglasses seen in the bank's surveillance images. Koenig admitted robbing the bank, police said.

Koenig, a former firefighter, was shot during a home invasion on Oct. 5, 2009. He and his then-girlfriend, Isabella Lovadina, an off-duty police officer, encountered two men outside a home at 902 Hickory Street. The two men forced them inside the home, where Koenig's cousin, Gina Stallis, and her two children were inside with other relatives.

The intruders terrorized the family, ordering them around and ransacking the home. As one of the intruders ordered Stallis into the basement, Stallis, Koenig and Lovadina were shot.

Stallis, 34, a nurse, was killed. Koenig was shot three times. Lovadina was shot five times, which caused psychological trauma that ended her police career.

The two intruders, Ledale Nathan Jr. and Mario Coleman, were convicted of the crime, which was featured on an episode of CBS News' "48 Hours." Coleman is serving life in prison. Nathan, who was 16 at the time, will not be eligible for parole until he serves at least 75 years behind bars.

Koenig has said in open court that he turned to substance abuse after the shooting, lost his job as a firefighter and had spent winters on the streets.

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ALLEGED ARSONIST SETS FIRE, STEALS FROM BURNING APARTMENT

February 7, 2015 - KMOV

ST. LOUIS - A man is behind bars after allegedly setting fire to an apartment and stealing from the home while its resident escaped the flames.

According to arrest documents, 58-year-old John Williams started the fire at an apartment building north of Forest Park.

Williams allegedly went into one of the units and stole jewelry while residents were evacuating. He initially ran after being confronted, but was caught not long after. Williams is in jail facing multiple felony charges.

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FOR FIREFIGHTERS, WINTER MAKES BATTLING BLAZES MORE DIFFICULT

February 6, 2015 - KTVI BY ANNE ELISE PARKS

ST. LOUIS - Local firefighters work year-round to keep our communities safe. And this time of year, they're not only battling a blaze but they're often times battling Mother Nature as winter presents its own challenges.

"First off, we start throwing water and things freeze very quickly," said St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson. "It makes tools harder to hold onto. It makes your clothing, your helmet, your air tanks, everything heavier because all the accumulated ice. Hauling equipment in and out of the building becomes more difficult. Everything you try and do manually-or physically-becomes a burden."

Look no further than the recent fire on the Eads Bridge.

"We've got guys working 100 feet off the river on a superstructure of a bridge, and they're using water, and there's all kinds of vapor in the air. And everything becomes slick," Jenkerson said. "I've got 35, 40 firefighters on this bridge climbing around trying to get underneath a structure to put the fire out, so it becomes very hazardous."

And not only are crews affected, so is equipment.

"We break a few more items, absolutely," Jenkerson said. "You know, we go through gloves, we go through coats, boots. It's very, very strenuous on all the equipment."

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FIREFIGHTERS RESCUE MAN FROM BURNING ST. LOUIS APARTMENT


A man is pulled from a burning house on the 5000 block of Davison Avenue in St. Louis on Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015. Photo by David Carson, dcarson@post-dispatch.com

February 5, 2015 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

ST. LOUIS - A man was in critical condition after he was pulled from an apartment fire Thursday morning.

The man was rescued by firefighters from the second-floor apartment of a 1½-story building in the 5000 block of Davison Avenue about 9:30 a.m., according to St. Louis Fire Department Capt. Gregg Favre. He said there were no working smoke detectors in the apartment.

Favre said the fire was discovered when a man who lives downstairs smelled smoke. He went upstairs and kicked in the door to the upstairs apartment. He saw flames but couldn't get in because of the fire and smoke.

Firefighters arrived and undertook an "aggressive interior search," Favre said. They found the victim, who was taken by paramedics to a hospital.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. More on St. Louis Post Dispatch story

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THREE FIREFIGHTERS RECEIVE THE FIREMARK HEROISM AWARD


Photo by St. Louis Fire Department

February 5, 2015 - St. Louis Fire Department

ST. LOUIS - Thirty-three firefighters were honored today by Liberty Mutual Insurance.

The Firemark Heroism Award was presented to three firefighters for their selfless actions the morning of December 20th. While en-route to work, they observed a fiery crash with persons trapped. Without any personal protective equipment, they deputized civilians, utilized bricks & tire irons to extricate the victims.

The Firemark Award for community service was presented as a "Company Award." Members were recognized for going above and beyond responding to the dispatched emergency! Specific needs were observed while providing emergency care, and days later, these members returned, to the surprise of the families with truck loads of gifts. Needless to say, their actions put smiles on the faces of families, particularly children during the holiday season>

Congratulations to all!

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MISSOURI SUPREME COURT WON'T TAKE APPEAL OF ST. LOUIS OVERHAUL OF FIREFIGHTER PENSION

February 4, 2015 - St. Louis Post Dispatch By Nicholas J.C. Pistor

ST. LOUIS - The Missouri Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from St. Louis firefighters attempting to block an overhaul of their pension system.

The move on Tuesday by the state's highest court effectively ends a long legal battle.

The Firemen's Retirement System sued the city asking St. Louis Judge Robert Dierker to block fixes made to Mayor Francis Slay's firefighter pension reform plan passed by the Board of Aldermen. Dierker sided with the city in 2013. An appellate court affirmed Dierker's decision last year.

The bill restored some retirement benefits that had been cut for vested firefighters but created a new, parallel system for new and younger firefighters, giving them reduced benefits.

Firefighters with less than 20 years of service have seen reduced benefits because of the bill, which has helped curb rising pensions costs that have strained the city's budget.

Last year, the city said it saw savings of over $10 million.

"I proposed changes that are both fair to firefighters and to taxpayers," said St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay. "I thank the aldermen, who stood up under enormous pressure to fight for taxpayers and sponsor legislation to create the new plan."

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FIREFIGHTERS RESCUE DOG FROM LAKE


Photo by St. Louis Fire Department

January 13, 2015 - St. Louis Fire Department

ST. LOUIS - This morning the St. Louis Fire Department responded to Willmore Park (Hampton & Jamieson) for the report of a dog trapped in the middle of the lake. Upon arrival, members of Rescue Squad #1 quickly entered the icy lake & rescued the shivering dog. Shortly after, the dog (expected to fully recover) was reunited with a very grateful owner!

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BATTALION CHIEF RETIRES


Photo by St. Louis Fire Department

December 31, 2014 -

ST. LOUIS - Congratulations to Battalion Chief Robert "Lucky" Shy who is retiring after 31 years of dedicated service with the Saint Louis Fire Department!

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EMS SUPERVISOR RETIREMENT


Photo by St. Louis Firefighters Community Outreach

December 31, 2014

ST. LOUIS - Congratulations to EMS Supervisor Yvonne Ewing on her retirement after 31 yrs of service to the City of Saint Louis.

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FIREFIGHTERS HELP NEEDY FAMILY WITH GIFTS


Photo by St. Louis Firefighters Community Outreach

December 26, 2014 - St. Louis Firefighters Community Outreach

ST. LOUIS - Engine Company 10 had a call for a fire in a water heater a few weeks ago, during the call they noticed that the family (a single mom and little girl) didn't have anything and were sleeping on the floor. After seeing this the 10's decided to bring a little holiday cheer to them this Christmas. So guys from Engine Houses 10 and 17 bucked up to purchased gifts for the little girl and her mom. As you can see from the pics it turned out great!!

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FIREFIGHTERS HELP NEEDY FAMILY WITH GIFTS


Photo by St. Louis Firefighters Community Outreach

December 26, 2014 - St. Louis Firefighters Community Outreach

ST. LOUIS - Engine Company 10 had a call for a fire in a water heater a few weeks ago, during the call they noticed that the family (a single mom and little girl) didn't have anything and were sleeping on the floor. After seeing this the 10's decided to bring a little holiday cheer to them this Christmas. So guys from Engine Houses 10 and 17 bucked up to purchased gifts for the little girl and her mom. As you can see from the pics it turned out great!!

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OFF-DUTY ST. LOUIS FIREFIGHTERS RESCUE THREE PEOPLE FROM BURNING CAR


Firefighters Frank Carter (left), Licole McKinney and Vincent Smith (right) pose with Fire Capt. James Green (rear). Smith holds a sweater they used to put out the flames on three car crash victims. Photo by St. Louis Fire Department

December 20, 2014 - St. Louis Post Dispatch By Denise Hollinshed

ST. LOUIS - Three off-duty St. Louis firefighters heading to their jobs saw a vehicle on fire and managed to pull three people from the flames Saturday morning.

The victims were on fire, and the firefighters used a sweater to swat out the flames before giving the driver CPR.

The three victims were in a car that crashed at 7:15 a.m. at North Broadway and Humboldt Avenue, according to St. Louis Fire Capt. Garon Mosby.

The vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed on Broadway when the driver lost control and struck a pole, causing the vehicle's engine to burst into flames, he said. The three occupants were unconscious and trapped.

The three firefighters, traveling in three different vehicles, were on Broadway headed to work when they came upon the wreckage along with other motorists.

Two of the firefighters, Licole McKinney and Vincent Smith, work out of Engine House No. 33, at North Broadway and Halls Ferry Road. The third firefighter, Frank Carter, works out of Engine House No. 20, at Broadway and Prescott Avenue.

Mosby said the three quickly jumped out of their vehicles went into action. Several of the civilians were enlisted to help, with one directed to call 911 and another to get something to break the car's windows.

The three firefighters pulled the victims from the burning car, with McKinney burning her hand in the process. They put out the flames and started CPR on the driver, who was in cardiac arrest.

All three victims were transported to a hospital. The driver, 25, was listed in critical but stable condition; the female passenger was listed in critical condition; and the third man, 24, was listed as in serious but stable condition.

Mosby said McKinney felt helpless when she first arrived on the scene because she did not have the tools firefighters normally would use to rescue a victim from a vehicle. He said she and the others quickly overcame that and improvised.

"I have no doubt in my mind that if the firefighters had not been there, they would have burned to death," he said. "By the time our truck would have gotten there, it wouldn't have been good at all."

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FIRST RESPONDERS: DITCH THE SPINE BOARD

December 15, 2014 - MEDPAGE TODAY
By Melissa Kroll, MD, Hawnwan Phillip Moy, MD, and Evan Schwarz MD

ST. LOUIS - (Excerpts from article) It's the middle of the night when the paramedics roll into the ED with a pedestrian that was struck by a car. The patient reports that the car came around the corner and hit his leg. He remembers everything about the accident and complains only of his leg hurting. He appears to have an open, compound fracture to his leg, which was splinted in the field. In addition, the paramedics inform you that, on his initial exam, he did not have any midline neck tenderness or any pain with full range of motion. However, secondary to his distracting injury, a C-collar and backboard were placed on the patient. After the paramedics leave, you're left wondering what the evidence is on C-collar immobilization, and if it was really necessary to place a collar and backboard on this patient without any neck or back pain.

While the data to support spinal immobilization are weak, there is an increasing amount of evidence noting potential risks and morbidity associated with spinal immobilization. Spinal immobilization has been used to prevent aggravating spinal cord injury. However, in a controversial study done by Hauswald et al., non-immobilized patients in Malaysia had better neurological outcomes than similar injury-matched patients who were immobilized in New Mexico (OR 2.03). While these studies were conducted in vastly different countries, the overall notion that secondary injury to the cord due to transport is rare because the forces exerted during transport are weak compared with that required to injure the spinal cord may still hold true. Other studies have shown increased mortality (OR 2.06-2.77) in patients with penetrating trauma and spinal immobilization, most likely because it takes time (approximately 5 minutes, at best) to place a patient into full immobilization, which delays resuscitation and getting the patient into an operating room.

Placing a patient in spinal immobilization can adversely affect breathing and airway management. One study conducted on healthy volunteers showed that placing a patient on a backboard restricts respiration, with older patients having a greater degree of restriction. It is not difficult to imagine that the restriction can have a significant impact on patients with respiratory distress or in those patients with baseline pulmonary disease. Spinal immobilization also can make airway management more difficult, as it is often much more difficult to intubate a patient in a C-collar. In addition, patients not requiring airway management are at an increased risk of aspiration from vomiting.

In addition, pressure ulcers are very painful complications from spinal immobilization. Pressure ulcers begin forming within 30 minutes of immobilization. This is particularly troubling as another study demonstrated that the average time a patient spends on a backboard is approximately an hour. The process of immobilization has been shown to cause increased pain scores in healthy volunteers, so even those without midline spinal tenderness in the field may have tenderness on arrival to the emergency department.

While the evidence supporting spinal immobilization is minimal, especially in patients who are awake and have no neurologic symptoms, the preserved consequence of causing additional spinal cord injury is so severe that randomized, controlled studies on this topic are rare and difficult to do. However, there is increasing evidence of potential harm with full spinal immobilization. In response to the research, the St. Louis Fire Department-Emergency Medical Services Division, American Medical Response/Abbott EMS, and Clayton Fire Department removed backboards from their protocol in September 2014, although C-collar and C-spine stabilization still remain a part of their pre-hospital care.

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FIREFIGHTER PROMOTIONS


Photo by St. Louis Fire Department

December 9, 2014 - St. Louis Fire Department

ST. LOUIS - Congratulations to those recently promoted by the St. Louis Fire Department. (Left to right) Steve Fritsch to Captain, Wayne Luster to Battalion Chief and Mike Richardson to Communications Manager.

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GUNS 'N HOSES FUNDRAISER RESCHEDULED FOR JAN. 30


Joe Stevens of the Overland Police Department (left) tries to hold off Paul Birchfield of the St. Louis Fire Department during the 27th Annual Guns 'N Hoses boxing event, held at Scottrade Center on Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2013. Birchfield won the fight. Photo by Laurie Skrivan, lskrivan@post-dispatch.com

December 8, 2014 - St. Louis Post Dispatch By Christine Byers cbyers@post-dispatch.com 314-340-8087

ST. LOUIS - The region's top fundraiser for fallen first responders, postponed from Thanksgiving Eve because of unrest in Ferguson, has been reset for Jan. 30.

Budweiser Guns 'N Hoses - which pits police officers against firefighters in boxing and mixed martial arts - will go on about two months late at the Scottrade Center, organizers said.

The annual event has been on Thanksgiving Eve for 27 years, but organizers were concerned that participants would be weary from working long hours of extra duty. It is the largest fundraiser for The Backstoppers, Inc., a nonprofit that provides financial support to families of the region's police officers, firefighters and EMS workers killed in the line of duty.

When news of the postponement spread, donations to The Backstoppers soared. Someone launched a Facebook page challenging bars and lounges to charge $1 admission at their doors to benefit the nonprofit, and online contributions jumped, said Ron Battelle, the executive director.

About 60 bars and lounges participated in the Thanksgiving Eve challenge. Coupled with the online donations, Battelle said, the organization has collected about $10,000 in unexpected help.

"It has certainly helped in the cash flow situation," he said.

This year's event will honor Hematite Fire Protection District firefighter Clarence Watson (left) and Louisiana, Mo., Police Chief Richard Hughes (right). Both died of heart attacks shortly after finishing busy shifts.

"This is our one time of year that we get to honor our fallen heroes and recognize all the fine police, fire and EMS officers out there who are working really hard," Battelle said.

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FIREFIGHTERS SUPPORTING THE DREAM FACTORY


Photo by St. Louis Fire Department

December 8, 2014 - St. Louis Fire Department

ST. LOUIS - The St. Louis Fire Department supporting The Dream Factory - "Making a Child's Dream Come True!" Area firefighters shopped for holiday gifts with sixty excited children! A special thanks to Dillard's and their associates!

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NATIONAL GUARD PUTS OUT FIRE AT BANK IN ST. LOUIS


Photo by St. Louis Fire Department

September 15, 2014 - The Times Democrat

ST. LOUIS - Members of the Missouri National Guard who were patrolling St. Louis early Tuesday in connection with the Ferguson protests are credited with putting out a small fire inside a bank.

They saw someone toss something through a window at the Bank of America at Jefferson and Gravois avenues at about 2:25 a.m. Tuesday. When they went to take a closer look, they saw a small fire inside the bank. It wasn't immediately clear what kind of device was thrown into the building.

St. Louis Fire Capt. Garon Mosby said the national guard used a fire extinguisher to put out the fire. Firefighters arrived and helped ventilate the building.

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COUPLE, TEENAGE SON INJURED AS FIRE ENGULFS HOME IN COMPTON HEIGHTS NEIGHBORHOOD


Photo By David Carson, dcarson@post-dispatch.com

November 18, 2014 - St. Louis Post Dispatch By Valerie Schremp Hahn vhahn@post-dispatch.com 314-340-8246 and Kim Bell kbell@post-dispatch.com 314-340-8115

ST. LOUIS - A sheriff's deputy who won the Medal of Valor as a city policeman was in critical condition early Tuesday, along with his wife, after firefighters pulled them unconscious from their home in the 2000 block of Virginia Avenue on Monday night.

John Rice and his wife, Joan, both 61, suffered burns and smoke inhalation. They are in the intensive care unit at St. Louis University Medical Center. Their teenage son, Michael, is being treated for serious but not life-threatening injuries at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but it may have started from a candle in a bedroom. The fire broke out at about 10:45 p.m. Monday.

The son, Michael, who is 17 and a senior at St. John Vianney High School, escaped the burning home but frantically tried to go back inside to rescue his parents. The heavy smoke forced him back, and firefighters arriving minutes later went inside to pull them out.

John Rice is a retired St. Louis police officer who now works for the St. Louis sheriff's department as a deputy and bailiff. In 1979, he won the St. Louis Police Department's highest award, the prestigious Medal of Valor, when he wounded one of two men who tried to rob him as he was riding his bicycle to work.

Joan is a freelance grant writer and worked from home. She had been diagnosed with a disease that affected her ability to walk.

St. Louis Fire Department Capt. Gregg Favre said firefighters got an initial call just before 11 p.m., presumably from someone inside the house, about a candle that had caught fire and had been extinguished. Firefighters responded to the home anyway, as is procedure to check on the situation, and within three minutes of the first call they got another call from a neighbor who saw smoke and fire coming from the building.

Firefighters found the couple in the front room. Both had suffered severe smoke inhalation and burns, Favre said.

Next-door neighbor Ann Quigley said she and her husband, Gaylerd, had already gone to bed when she heard a pop, looked out her window, and saw flames coming from the son's bedroom. She screamed for her husband to call 911, and ran outside, where she saw the teenage son, barefoot, trying to get back into his house. "He was going to go back in," she said. "He was trying to use his phone as a flashlight. Smoke was pouring out."

Quigley said Michael was yelling: "You've got to help my mom and dad."

But the smoke was too much, and she said she convinced him not to go back inside and that she brought him into her house, where they got him a coat and shoes. She said the son told her he had fallen asleep on the couch.

The couple had lived at the house for more than 20 years, neighbors said.

Another neighbor, Frank Absher, said the couple are friendly and good neighbors. "Just salt of the earth, good, working people," he said.

Smoke detectors were working, firefighters said. They could hear them go off as they entered the house.

The couple had several foster children over the years, according to Quigley and Absher. Joan wanted a child and they were finally able to adopt Michael. From that point on, almost everything they did was for him. They recently bought him a car, a Dodge Avenger, that was parked on the street in front of the home, said another neighbor, Janetta Hunter.

Hunter said she saw the son yelling outside the home. "As soon as he started hollering, the house just gushed up, blew up, with smoke," she said. "I was crying this morning all by myself when I came out here. It's so sad."

John Rice works as a baliff in probate court. He joined the department in 2006 after working with the St. Louis University campus police. Before that, he was a city policeman.

John Rice drives a scooter to work every day at the courthouse. He attends department functions wearing a kilt sometimes.

"He is an erudite individual, eccentric for a law enforcement officer, with arcane interests," said Mike Guzy, a spokesman for the St. Louis sheriff's office who also worked on the police force with Rice in the Sixth District years ago. "He is very well-read, knows a lot of interesting history."

One of John Rice's brothers is Edward Rice, who is an Auxiliary Bishop in the St. Louis Archdiocese.

Neighbors say Joan was the driving force of the family and a hard worker, despite having a disease that affects her ability to walk. Recently, her symptoms escalated and she would often need help walking and negotiating the stairs to the house, neighbors say. She continued to participate in Sunday services as a member of the choir at College Church.

Vianney had a prayer service for its seniors Tuesday morning to share the news about Michael and his family and to talk about the importance of faith and brotherhood, said Tim Dilg, principal at Vianney.

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WINDS FUEL FIRE AT ST. LOUIS RESTAURANT

November 8, 2014 - KTVI BY GEORGE SELLS

ST. LOUIS - Winds help fuel a fire at a restaurant just northwest of downtown St. Louis Saturday morning. Firefighters were called to the scene of the Hit Zone Bar & Grill at Jefferson and Dr. Martin Luther King caught fire around 9:40am.

Crews were initially battling the 1st alarm fire from the inside but were evacuated when the building began to show signs of collapse. Firefighters moved to a defensive, outside stance and were able to get the fire under control.

The St. Louis Fire Department said the fire became trapped in the ceiling of the recently renovated building, helping it to spread. Gusty winds carried smoke across downtown St. Louis.

Just last month, three people were wounded when gunshots were fired from the street into the bar.

The Hit Zone has reportedly been open for about a year.

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ONE MAN DEAD AFTER FIRE RIPS THROUGH HOME IN SOUTH CITY


Photo by St. Louis Fire Department

November 6, 2014 - KTVI BY DANIELLE SCRUGGS AND CHRIS REGNIER,

ST. LOUIS - One man is killed after flames gut part of a home on The Hill in South St. Louis. Now investigators are trying to find out how the fire started. It happened at a single family brick home at Shaw and Edwards. Firefighters received the call about 9:40am for a fire with people trapped in the home.

When they arrived, crews got into the home and found a man 35 to 40 years old in the middle bedroom on the second floor.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Authorities believe the man lived in the home.

Fire chief Dennis Jenkerson says it appears the fire may have started in the same room where the man's body was found. Jenkerson also says there were no smoke detectors in the house.

Nobody else was hurt.

Authorities believe a friend of the victim and that person's girlfriend were also in the home when the fire started.

They both made it out safely.

So far a cause for the fire has not been determined.

Bomb and Arson investigators have been called in but that is standard procedure whenever there is a fire death.

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MAN DIES AFTER BEING PULLED FROM HOUSE FIRE


Photo by KTVI

September 15, 2014 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

ST. LOUIS - St. Louis Fire Department officials say a man died after firefighters pulled him from his burning home Thursday.

The fire started just before 1 p.m. in the 4400 block of Neosho. Neighbors spotted flames and called 911. When fire crews arrived, they pulled the man from the home. He was taken to an area hospital were he was later pronounced dead. He was the only one home at the time.

Neighbors say he was married.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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TWO-ALARM FIRE DESTROYS NORTH CITY BUSINESS


Photo by KSDK

October 28, 2014 - KSDK By Brandie Piper, KSDK

ST. LOUIS - A north St. Louis business went up in flames late Monday night.

St. Louis firefighters were called to the 5000 block of Dr. Martin Luther King Drive shortly before 11 p.m. for a two-alarm fire in a two-story brick commercial building.

The St. Louis Fire Department says approximately 60 firefighters helped fight the fire, which was heavy on the first floor. They used three aerial master streams to get the fire under control.

Nobody was injured and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

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FIREFIGHTER INJURED IN FIRE THAT LEFT 7 DISPLACED


Photo by St. Louis Fire Department

October 16, 2014 - KMOV

ST. LOUIS - Five adults and two children were displaced after their Shaw Neighborhood home caught fire Thursday morning.

One person was outside the home, in the 3900 block of De Tonty, when he noticed an electrical burning smell. The man then went to the rear of the home and found there was smoke in the basement.

Firefighters arrived on the scene and found heavy fire in the basement along with a lot of electrical discharge, which forced them out of the house.

One firefighter was transported to a local hospital with a hand injury. No one else was injured.

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ST. LOUIS FIRE CAPTAIN PROMOTION


Photo by St. Louis Fire Department

October 6, 2014 - St. Louis Fire Department

ST. LOUIS - St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis M. Jenkerson has promoted George Clark from the rank of Fire Private to Fire Captain! Captain George Clark is assigned to T-29B. Congratulations!

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MULTIPLE TRACTOR-TRAILERS ON FIRE


(Photo: Rick Meyer/KSDK-TV)

September 15, 2014 - KSDK By Brandie Piper, KSDK

ST. LOUIS - Multiple tractor-trailers are on fire at a contractor supply company in north St. Louis.

The fire started late Wednesday morning at Nu Way Services in the 7400 block of Hall Street. A large plume of smoke can be seen rising above the city.

Capt. Gregg Favre with the St. Louis Fire Department says the trailers contain non-combustibles, meaning there's nothing hazardous inside.

There's no word yet on what started the fire or if anyone has been injured.

This story will be updated as information becomes available.

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SURVEILLANCE VIDEO IN ST. LOUIS SHOWS WOMAN SETTING FIRE TO CAR WITH BODY INSIDE

September 23, 2014 - St. Louis Post Dispatch By Valerie Schremp Hahn vhahn@post-dispatch.com 314-340-8246

ST. LOUIS - St. Louis police are looking for a woman shown in a surveillance video setting fire to a vehicle where a dead body was later discovered. The incident happened on Sept. 4 in an alley in the 1700 block of North 20th Street.

At about 6:30 p.m. that day, firefighters were called to the scene of a car with a fire in the passenger compartment, and discovered the body of a man in the driver's seat when they put out the fire. He had suffered a gunshot wound to the head.

He was later identified as Darnell Robinson, 24, of the 900 block of Maple Place in St. Louis.

Police said the woman appears to be black, 5 feet 8 inches to 6 feet tall, 200 pounds, with a light to medium complexion and short hair. She is shown in the video being dropped off near the scene, walking to the car with a red gas can, setting fire to the car, and then running away.

Anyone who recognizes this woman is urged to call CrimeStoppers at 1-866-371-8477.

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STL CAPTAIN PROMOTED TO BATTALION CHIEF


Photo by St. Louis Fire Department

September 16, 2014 - St. Louis Fire Department

ST. LOUIS - St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis M. Jenkerson has promoted Kenny Mitchell from the rank of Captain to Battalion Chief. Battalion Chief Mitchell is assigned to 804-B. Congratulations!

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MISSOURI APPEALS COURT AFFIRMS ST. LOUIS OVERHAUL OF FIREFIGHTER PENSION PLAN

September 16, 2014 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

ST. LOUIS - The Missouri Court of Appeals has affirmed a lower court's order that upheld the city's overhaul of the firefighter's pension plan.

The higher court simply affirmed the overhaul without issuing a written opinion.

The Firemen's Retirement System sued the city in 2013 asking St. Louis Judge Robert Dierker to block fixes made to Mayor Francis Slay's firefighter pension reform plan passed by the Board of Aldermen. The bill restored some retirement benefits that had been cut for vested firefighters, but created a new, parallel system for new and younger firefighters, giving them reduced benefits.

The ruling means firefighters with less than 20 years of service will see reduced benefits.

The pension overhaul has saved the city millions in recent years and has enabled it to avoid significant cutbacks or downgrades to its credit rating, unlike some other major cities in the Midwest.

The budget this year for police, fire and other pensions is $86 million, about a $14 million drop from last year, when the obligation topped out at nearly $100 million.

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HAPPY 157th BIRTHDAY STLFD


Photo by St. Louis Fire Department

September 14, 2014 - St. Louis Fire Department

ST. LOUIS - Happy 157th Birthday to The St. Louis Fire Department! The second oldest Department in the nation. Justifiably Proud since 1857!

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CARS IN ROLLING GUN BATTLE CRASH INTO ST. LOUIS FIRE DEPARTMENT FENCE


A downed fence at the St. Louis Fire Department headquarters and training center is evidence of a crash after a gun fight between two motorists on Friday, Sept. 12, 2014. Photo by Christian Gooden, cgooden@post-dispatch.com

September 12, 2014 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

ST. LOUIS - Two cars involved in a rolling gun battle crashed into a fence near the St. Louis Fire Department headquarters this morning.

One man, in his 20s, was hit by gunfire but is expected to survive, authorities say. Police were searching for at least one suspect. It happened after 2 a.m. Friday in the 1400 block of North Jefferson Avenue.

Capt. Garon Mosby of the St. Louis Fire Department said one of the cars hit a trailer that was parked on the fire department's fenced lot. The trailer belongs to an instructor from the University of Missouri who was in town to teach a course in Mehlville on trench collapse rescue.

Mosby said it appears from tire marks that the vehicles had come through a field on Thomas Street before hitting a fence that runs along Thomas. That fence encircles the parking lot behind the department headquarters. City crews were on the scene this morning, hoping to replace the fence today.

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THIS IS FIREFIGHTERS' WEEKEND IN ST. LOUIS

September 5, 2014 - KPLR

ST. LOUIS - The weather canceled a vigil Friday night to honor fallen fire fighters. It was part of the annual firefighters' weekend in St. Louis. Organizers aren't letting the weather rain on their parade.

This event is held every year to remember the 195 Missouri firefighters who lost their life in the line of duty and help those left behind honor them.

At 10am Saturday the "31st Annual ,Great Fire Engine Rally" will parade down Market street. Then at 5pm Saturday the 7th Annual Black-Tie St. Louis And Metro Firefighters' Appreciation Ball will take place at the River City Casino.

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2014 ST. LOUIS FIRE DEPARTMENT LIFESAVING AWARDS

September 3, 2014 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

ST. LOUIS - St. Louis firefighters Steve Lodes, Tommy Gardner, Justin Alemond, Mike Love and Mike Schneider will be commended at a ceremony in December for saving a man trapped on the second floor of a vacant commercial building in July 2013.

Also, Donna Cox, a training officer, will be recognized for a key role in getting the department designated as an American Heart Association Award Cardiac Life Support Training Site.

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ST. LOUIS BATTALION CHIEF RETIRES

Photo by St. Louis Fire Department

August 28, 2014 - St. Louis Fire Department

ST. LOUIS - Congratulations to Battalion Chief Douglas Cribbs! After more than 34 years of dedicated service to the City of St. Louis, Chief Cribbs is retiring! Thank you for your service, enjoy the next chapter.

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ST. LOUIS FIREFIGHTER SUFFERS BURNS TO FACE AND NECK IN PROPANE BARBECUE GRILL FIRE

August 22, 2014 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

ST. LOUIS - A St. Louis City firefighter suffered burns to the face and neck after responding to a propane barbecue grill fire Friday evening.

The incident happened at about 5:45 p.m. in the 2900 block of Missouri Avenue. According to Captain Gregg Favre, firefighters responded to a report of a fire at a house and when they arrived, they learned a man had been grilling on his porch and noticed the flames were too big on his grill. Before firefighters arrived, the man pulled the grill into his yard.

When the firefighter reached down below the grill near the propane tank, something malfunctioned in the connector hose and the tank began spitting fire. "Basically this blowtorch hit him in the face and chest," said Favre. "He was only in the fire for a matter of a second and a half, but he did have some pretty significant burns to the face and neck area."

The firefighter, a probationary firefighter in his first year of work with the department, was conscious and talking to firefighters as they treated him at the scene. He was taken to a local burn unit where he was being treated. The burns were considered non-life-threatening and Favre hoped the firefighter would be back to work soon.

Firefighters were able to keep the fire away to the house and let it burn until the tank ran out of fuel. There was no damage to the house, Favre said.

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HEAT BECOMES ISSUE FOR FIREFIGHTERS BATTLING 2-ALARM BLAZE IN NORTH CITY

August 22, 2014 - KMOV

ST. LOUIS - Firefighters are working to extinguish a 2-alarm fire at an abandoned north St. Louis concrete plant.

Firefighters say the fire broke out at Riverview Drive and Chain of Rocks Drive Friday morning.

Due to the dangerous heat, several additional fire crews were called to the scene, as well as a cooling bus. Officials said at least one firefighter became overheated, but he is expected to be fine.

One part of the structure reportedly collapsed. Tankers were called into help transport water closer to the scene of the fire.

The land was owned by the late owner of the City Museum, Bob Casilly, who died in 2011.

Officials said the fire is suspicious because there were no ongoing operations there.

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FIREFIGHTERS HOSE OFF THE AREA WHERE OFFICERS SHOT MAN WIELDING A KNIFE

August 19, 2014 - Getty Images

ST. LOUIS - Firefighters hose off the area where St. Louis police say officers shot and killed a 23-year-old man who was wielding a knife and refused to drop it on August 19, 2014 in St Louis, Missouri. Violent outbreaks have taken place in Ferguson since the shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer on August 9. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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FLAMES RIP THROUGH VACANT ST. LOUIS BUILDING IN WEST END NEIGHBORHOOD

August 13, 2014 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

ST. LOUIS - A three-story, vacant building was engulfed in flames early Wednesday in the 5900 block of Bartmer Avenue, in the city's West End neighborhood.

Capt. Garon Mosby of the St. Louis Fire Department said no firefighters were hurt in the one-alarm fire, reported just before 5:30 a.m. Wednesday. The building partly collapsed, but firefighters fought the blaze from outside.

It took them about 45 minutes to bring the fire under control. They kept the fire from spreading to a home next door.

The building had been vacant awhile and had no utilities. The cause of the fire is under investigation. Mosby said a neighbor told him that an automobile was set on fire behind the residence a week or so ago.

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FIRE TRUCK STUCK AFTER PARTIAL STREET COLLAPSE IN ST. LOUIS

August 7, 2014 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

ST. LOUIS - One end of a fire truck is stuck in pavement up to its axle this morning after a street partly collapsed in south St. Louis. It happened before 6 a.m. near 9th and Wyoming, south of the Anheuser-Busch brewery.

The pumper truck and a medic unit had been rushing to the 900 block of Withnell Avenue, for a report of a "person down." The pumper truck responds routinely with a medic truck on calls like that.

The pumper didn't make it to scene because it was stuck, but the medic unit got there in a hurry and the person was already dead, said Capt. Garon Mosby of the St. Louis Fire Department. Authorities say it appears the person died of natural causes, and homicide detectives have not been requested.

An inspector with the St. Louis streets department is examining the collapse and the pavement surrounding it to decide what the plan should be for getting the truck out. The obvious concern is that the sinkhole will get bigger as crews work to remove the truck.

"Sinkholes, they go small to big," Mosby said. "We basically have this truck sitting in a hole that's already started."

No one on the fire truck was injured in the incident. The front left tire is trapped in the sunken pavement. Police had no additional details on the person found dead on Withnell.

Most of the time it's a sewer that fails or a water main, and those utility companies will have to do the repairs. Normally a sewer collapse is the culprit when the hole is deep, said Todd Waelterman, the city's street director. The gas company will shut the gas off in case a gas line has broken, then the truck will be removed. Some time these holes take two or three weeks to repair.

Since only the truck's front tire is stuck, that is the sign of a small hole. Last September, about the same time of morning, "we had a whole trash truck fall in" when a sinkhole opened up in an alley, Waelterman said. "The guy went to go pick up a Dumpster up and the truck fell in six feet. All you could see was the driver's head."

The trash truck driver wasn't hurt. The city ended up excavating the alley and built a road, then drove the truck out of the hole that afternoon.

The trash truck was brand new, $230,000, and had only been on the road about a month or two. In that case, it was an entire sewer main that collapsed at about 6:45 a.m. Sept. 24, in an alley near Blair and Newhouse avenues.

"The hole was as big as your kitchen," he said. "This hole (on 9th & Wyoming) here is probably the size of a bathroom."

Waelterman said these things happen in a city with aging infrastructure.

"It's a failing infrastructure," Waelterman explained. "We have sewers that are over 100 years old and there are no resources out there to replace them. And the water pipes are just as old. Those two things are reaching the end of their life in many areas."

With only the front tire (of the fire truck in a hole), it could be just a six-inch pipe known as a sewer lateral, which connects to a sewer main.

The streets department gets "a couple thousand calls a year" in which somebody spots the ground sinking a little bit and suspects a sewer lateral has gone bad

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REPORT: ST. LOUIS MOST FIRE SAFE CITY IN MIDWEST

August 6, 2014 - KMOX

ST. LOUIS - In a recent report, St. Louis was named the most fire safe city in the Midwest.

The report from HomeInsurance.com ranks the 10 largest Midwest metros, outlining the area's residential fire risk, preparedness and response time to fires.

"No city is fire proof, but St. Louis comes pretty close," the report says. "This Midwest metro got high marks for having a high percentage of homes that have updated electrical and HVAC. Older HVAC units and electrical wiring often pose more of a fire risk than newer units, which is one reason why home insurance providers consider updated units to be safer."

The rest of the report can be found here.

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LOCAL FIRE DEPARTMENTS PARTICIPATED IN BOAT TRAINING ON MISSOURI RIVER

August 4, 2014 - St. Louis Fire Department Community Outreach

Over the last 2 weeks Firefighters from the St. Louis Fire Department and West County, Monarch, Pattonville, St. Charles, St. Clair, Saline Valley & MetroWest Fire Protection Districts participated in Boat Operations training on the Missouri River.

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FIREFIGHTER INJURED DURING HOUSE FIRE IN ST. LOUIS

August 1, 2014 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

ST. LOUIS - A firefighter was injured Friday afternoon while battling a house fire in St. Louis.

The firefighter fell part of the way through a floor while inside a burning brick home in the 4200 block of Evans Avenue, said St. Louis Fire Capt. Garon Mosby.

The fire was reported about 2 p.m.

A family escaped the burning home safely, Mosby said. Neighbors told firefighters the family of about 10 people had been evicted earlier this week but appeared to have been squatting in the home. Mosby said utilities to the home had been shut off.

Mosby said the fire started on the first floor and caused extensive damage. It was not immediately clear what caused the fire.

The firefighter was hurt when he fell part of the way through a floor, Mosby said. Fellow firefighters caught him and prevented him from falling to the basement. The injured firefighter was hospitalized for treatment and is expected to be OK.

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FIRE DEPARTMENT TAKES CLOSER LOOK AT FOOD TRUCKS AFTER PHILLY EXPLOSION

July 23, 2014 - KMOX

ST. LOUIS - The St. Louis Fire Department is taking a closer look at the safety of food trucks, after a food truck explosion earlier this month in Philadelphia injured more than a dozen people.

The fireball from the propane tank explosion on that Philadelphia food truck shot across a busy street, burning passersby and sending 13 people to the hospital.

In St. Louis, Fire Chief Dennis Jenkierson says there are more than 30 food trucks to keep track of and inspect.

"When we see them in the park gathered for these Food Truck Fridays, we still walk around and make sure that things are secured and things are put on right, because there's always a human error factor," he says. "These tanks are taken off, they're loaded, they're reloaded, so there's always a chance that something could be connected wrong."

Jenkerson admits the food trucks are not inspected daily, and because they are mobile keeping track of them all presents a challenge.

But the fire chief says there are spots checks, especially when several are lined up together.

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ST. LOUIS FIREFIGHTERS PROMOTED

July 22, 2014 - St. Louis Fire Department

ST. LOUIS - St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis M. Jenkerson has promoted from the rank of Firefighter to Captain: Captain Keith Warttig (T-6A) and Captain Vincent Monti (T-20C). Congratulations!

St. Louis Fire Department

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RESIDENTS OF APARTMENT BUILDING THAT CAUGHT ON FIRE PRAISE FIREFIGHTERS

July 18, 2014 - KMOV

ST. LOUIS - An apartment fire forced at least 100 people from their homes overnight in west St. Louis.

Firefighters responded to the apartment building, located at 956 Hamilton Avenue, around 1:00 Thursday morning.

They said 100 residents were evacuated, but most have been allowed to return to their home.

FIrefighters said the fire started on the second floor, but they were able to put it out very quickly. Firefighters told News 4 they began to rescue residents shortly after the fire was out.

"Several people in wheelchairs had to be evacuated and carried down the stairs," said Captain Leon Whitener with the St. Louis Fire Department.

Resident Fannie Haynes told News 4 she tried to leave the building but started to choking and struggling to breathe because of the smoke. She said she turned her wheelchair around and went back inside her apartment before hearing a knock at the door.

"They (firefighters) on the door just as I was praying and came in and those two men stayed with me just like guardian angels until everything was over," Haynes said.

The American Red Cross said they are helping a family with food, clothing and shelter after the fire caused damage to their unit. Two additional families, each two adults, received assistance for shelter.

Four people were treated for smoke inhalation.

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FAMILY DISPLACED, 4 TREATED FOR SMOKE INHALATION IN WEST ST. LOUIS APARTMENT FIRE

July 17, 2014 - KMOV

ST. LOUIS - An apartment fire forced at least 100 people from their homes overnight in west St. Louis.

Firefighters responded to the apartment building, located at 956 Hamilton Avenue, around 1:00 Thursday morning.

They said 100 residents were evacuated, but most have been allowed to return to their home.

The American Red Cross said they are helping a family with food, clothing and shelter after the fire caused damage to their unit. Two additional families, each two adults, received assistance for shelter.

Four people were treated for smoke inhalation.

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FREE LUNCH FOR FIREFIGHTERS, POLICE AND EMT'S AT LUMIERE PLACE CASINO & HOTELS

July 3, 2014 - KTVI

ST. LOUIS - There's a very old saying that claims, "There's no such thing as a free lunch." That is unless you're a Police Officer, EMT or Firefighter who races down to St. Louis' Lumiere Place Casino tomorrow to be met with an old fashioned "Thank you."

Shawn Holmes, Sous Chef at Lumiere Place Casino & Hotels joins FOX 2's John Pertzborn to tell us what's cooking for our first responders and when they should arrive!

For additional information visit: Lumiere Place Casino & Hotels, St. Louis

WHO: All St. Louis County and St. Louis City firefighters, police and EMT's on duty, Friday, July 4th.

WHERE: Hotel Lumire atrium (901 North 1st Street, St. Louis, MO 63102)

WHEN: Friday, July 4 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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PEOPLE RESCUED FROM SINKING TOW BOAT IN THE MISSISSIPPI NEAR THE MUSIAL BRIDGE

July 1, 2014 - KTVI

ST. LOUIS - People have been rescued from a sinking tugboat in the Mississippi. The rescue occurred just North of the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge.

The Fire department tweets that they sent a boat to an area near where Angelica street meets the river. The people in the boat were safely transferred from the sinking ship. They are now headed towards dock.

More details will be posted as this story develops.

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REALTOR BURNED DOWN GIRLFRIEND'S HOUSE FOR INSURANCE MONEY: U.S. ATTORNEY

July 1, 2014 - Riverfront Times

ST. LOUIS - A St. Louis real estate developer burned down the home he sold to his girlfriend and their child and laundered the insurance money through his businesses, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Mardell McGee, 45, of St. Louis, was arrested Monday after being indicted on two felony counts of mail fraud, one felony count of arson to further mail fraud and one felony count of money laundering.

In 2010, McGee sold the home he owned at 926 Bayard Avenue, in the Fountain Park neighborhood, for $100,000 to a woman with whom he had a relationship and a child. He'd bought the house just two years earlier for a tenth of the price.

In the early morning hours of February 27, 2012, McGee caused a fire at the house, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. The owner was not at home, but St. Louis Metropolitan Police officers spotted McGee in the area at the time of the fire.

The owner had a homeowner's insurance policy from State Farm that covered the property in case of a fire, and in October 2012, State Farm sent the owner a check for $88,265.

After paying the insurance adjuster, McGee took the check for the remaining $80,265 -- which was made out to his company, Nationwide Lending -- and deposited it into a new account. When State Farm asked for the check back, McGee transferred $55,000 of the funds into two other accounts he controlled.

If convicted, McGee faces some serious jail time. The arson charge carries a ten-year mandatory prison sentence, mail fraud carries a maximum twenty-year sentence and/or fines up to $250,000, and money laundering carries a maximum of ten years in prison and/or $250,000 in fines.

The U.S. Secret Service, St. Louis Metropolitan Police, St. Louis County Police and the Postal Inspection Service investigated this case.

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CRUDE OIL TANKERS NO LONGER TRAVELING THROUGH ST. LOUIS CITY LIMITS

June 30, 2014 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

ST. LOUIS - Union Pacific railroad is no longer sending cars filled with especially volatile crude oil through the city of St. Louis, though tanker cars with residual oil and vapors are still traveling through, St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson told a group of concerned residents at a community meeting at the Carondelet Park Recreation Complex Monday night.

The residents gathered to find out more about a growing issue of more railroad cars carrying Bakken shale oil, which has resulted in several fires, explosions and major spills around the country and in Canada. One in July killed 47 people and leveled a small Canadian town.

Jenkerson said that in October, about six to 12 cars were passing through the city a day, and about three to four a day this spring. On Friday, he got reassurance from a Union Pacific representative that the cars were being rerouted around the city but he didn't have details where, he said.

He also said that all fire department members just completed training on how to deal with the issue. He said that the department can more easily deal with what's considered an empty car, which can contain 3,000 gallons of oil, rather than a full car with 30,000 gallons.

Residents also voiced concerns about pushing railroad executives to make the oil cars safer and stronger, so that anyone in any neighborhood where the cars may travel might have better protection.

A newly-named group called St. Louis For Safe Trains plans to stand in front of Union Pacific Headquarters on July 8 to raise awareness of the issue.

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ST. LOUIS FIRE CHIEF SPEAKS ON THE VITAL ROLES AMEREN AND COOL DOWN ST.LOUIS

May 14, 2014 - St. Louis Fire Department

ST. LOUIS - The St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson on the vital roles Ameren and Cool Down St.Louis play in assisting elderly and disabled members in our community during the increased summer temperatures!

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FUN WITHOUT FIREWORKS 2014

June 27, 2014 - St. Louis Fire Department

ST. LOUIS - St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis M. Jenkerson and St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson encourage all to have "Fun Without Fireworks" this holiday season! Consumer fireworks are not only dangerous, but illegal in the City of St. Louis!

St. Louis Fire Department

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FIREFIGHTERS DOUSE BLAZE AT SNACK STAND AT ST. LOUIS ZOO

June 9, 2014 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

ST. LOUIS - A fire damaged a one-story frame building at the St. Louis Zoo early this afternoon. No injuries to people or animals were reported.

The fire was reported about 12:30 p.m. at a kettle corn stand, said Capt. Gregg Favre of the St. Louis Fire Department.

The one-alarm blaze involved a snack building on the Zoo's south side, officials said. The flames were quickly brought under control.

None of the zoo workers or visitors were injured; neither were any animals.

The building, about 30 feet by 40 feet, is on the south side of the zoo near the south entrance, Favre said. It was heavily damaged.

The zoo was not evacuated by the area near the damaged stand was cordoned off. Firefighters hooked up to fire hydrants on the perimeter of the zoo and used supply lines to get water on the building, Favre said.

Firefighters remained on the scene while they tried to determine the cause of the fire.

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ST. LOUIS FIRE DEPT. TRAINS FOR FAIR STL WATER RESCUES

June 9, 2014 - KSDK

ST. LOUIS - The St. Louis Fire Department Marine Task Force had three districts training at the Grand Basin in Forest Park Sunday in preparation for Fair St. Louis.

The lagoon - located at the bottom of Art Hill - is only four feet deep, but the fire department wants to be ready in the event that intoxicated people try to jump into the water headfirst, according to STLFD.

The task force even brought out their zodiac boat!

Firefighters practiced deployment of the zodiac boat and were trying to determine what equipment they'll need for the fair.

The heads of each fire department are discussing how to handle security and be prepared for anything, a spokesperson said

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MORE HAZARDOUS MATERIAL BEING SHIPPED THROUGH ST. LOUIS

June 7, 2014 - KMOV

ST. LOUIS - With more shipments of Bakken Oil passing through St. Louis, the St. Louis Fire Department is taking steps to deal with a possible leak

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FOR SECOND DAY IN ROW, ST. LOUIS FIREFIGHTERS RESCUE PERSON FROM A BURNING HOME

May 14, 2014 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

ST. LOUIS - Firefighters rescued a man from a burning home in south St. Louis early Tuesday, the second straight day they've pulled a critically injured person from a house fire.

He was found unconscious and not breathing on the first floor of a two-family brick home at 2827 Victor Street in south St. Louis.

Gregg Favre of the St. Louis Fire Department said rescuers revived him on the front lawn and rushed him to a hospital. His condition was not available.

At about 2:10 a.m. Tuesday, a man on the second floor got out on his own before firefighters arrived. Crews found heavy smoke in the home. The fire started on the first floor. The man who escaped told firefighters the first-floor resident was still inside.

Firefighters found him about 12 feet inside the front door. He was in a front living room area, behind a pocket door.

The fire started in the middle room of the apartment. Fire investigators believe it was accidental but can't pinpoint a direct cause yet, Favre said. The man rescued from the home was a smoker, so that may be a cause.

There was one smoke detector in the basement but none on the first or second floor, Favre said.

This was the second straight day that St. Louis firefighters had rescued someone from a burning home.

On Monday, firefighters carried a bedridden 90-year-old woman from her home in critical condition after cleaning chemicals apparently ignited a fire, authorities say. St. Louis Fire Capt. Garon Mosby said the woman was rescued at about 3:30 a.m. Monday from a home in the 2400 block of Whittier Street, near North Market Street.

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OVER 100 FIREFIGHTERS BATTLED SCHOOL FIRE POSSIBLY STARTED BY LIGHTNING

May 31, 2014 - KTVI

ST. LOUIS - Fire, probably sparked by lightning, damaged the empty Hempstead Elementary School in west St. Louis Saturday. The more than 100 year old building was designed by famous school architect William Ittner. The school had been closed in 2003 and was for sale.

Smoke billowing from the roof line prompted a passerby to call 911. The St. Louis Fire Department called four alarms and brought in 100 firefighters to battle the blaze. Four aerial ladders were used to funnel water onto the roof and through upper windows.

St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson said two companies initially entered the three story brick school and found heavy fire and smoke in the attic. They pulled out when the fire began moving behind them. Outside, firefighters positioned equipment at the middle section of the school to block the fire�s advance.

"They did a good job," said Jenkerson. "I think the building is worth saving."

St. Louis City Alderman Jeffrey Boyd attended school at Hempstead. As he watched the firefighters, Boyd shook his head in disbelief. "I'm disappointed and saddened," he said as he recalled his three years at the school. "I hope it can be saved," he added.

Hempstead had been an anchor for the Hamilton Heights neighborhood for years. It is located in the 5800 block of Minerva.

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ST. LOUIS FIREFIGHTERS LEARN TO RESPOND TO RAIL OIL MISHAPS

May 29, 2014 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

ST. LOUIS - No detail of the empty railroad tank car parked in the old Union Pacific Sarpy Avenue yard was too small to ignore.

Jiwon Bae, a hazardous materials manager with CSX railroad, led St. Louis firefighters on a tour in, around and atop the tanker Wednesday as part of a hazardous materials training class.

The three-hour course, near St. Louis University, grew from concerns by Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson about shipments through the region of especially volatile crude from the Bakken shale oil fields in the Northern Plains.

"What would be the significance of these springs in terms of it being a (partially empty) or a loaded car?" Bae asked, pointing to an axle.

The springs are pressed together in a loaded car, one of the firefighters replied.

"Exactly," Bae said.

Bae detailed markings on the typical DOT-111 general-service tank car.

The classes, with the help of CSX, Union Pacific, BNSF Railway Co. and Alton Southern, will continue, Fire Capt. Garon Mosby said. Hazardous materials teams will participate in a more involved session June 6.

"This is absolutely a response to the Bakken oil situation," Mosby said. "And the first step to getting the members of the fire department acclimated to what Bakken oil is, transporting, and how it associates with the railroads."

Training included how to read shipping papers and identify cargo, and even how to shut down a locomotive.

Derailments involving volatile crude oil have resulted in fires, explosions and major spills in the past year. One in July killed 47 people and devastated a small Canadian town.

While railroads have long carried bulk shipments of dangerous products, safety experts say the Bakken crude trains, which may carry 3 million gallons, are special. The Federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has warned that it "may be more flammable than traditional heavy crude oil."

"Light, sweet crude has a greater flammable range than gasoline," said Clay Reid, a hazardous materials response expert with BNSF. "Just understand that part."

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ST. LOUIS FIRE-EMS RECEIVES LIFELINE SILVER EMS AWARD

May 24, 2014 - St. Louis Fire Department

ST. LOUIS - The St. Louis Fire Department's Bureau of Emergency Medical Services received the American Heart Association's prestigious, "2014 Mission: Lifeline Silver EMS Award"....Of the 207 agencies awarded nationally, 107 received the Bronze Award; 6 were from Missouri. 100 agencies received the Silver Award, only 3 from the state of Missouri!

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STLFD'S HONOR GUARD AT ANNIE MALONE PARADE

May 14, 2014 - St. Louis Fire Department

ST. LOUIS - St. Louis Fire Department Fire Chief Dennis M. Jenkerson and the STLFD's Honor Guard at Annie Malone's 126th annual "May Day" Parade!

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FOUR RESCUED FROM BOAT NORTH OF THE MCKINLEY BRIDGE

May 14, 2014 - KTVI

ST. LOUIS - Four people were rescued from a boat in distress on the Mississippi river just north of the McKinley bridge. The St. Louis Fire Department says the 45-foot boat hit river rocks. These chevron rocks are in the river to influence flow. River water is high and the boat did not see the rocks and hit the rocks. THE Pathfinder was nearby - and 'rescued' the four adults - taking them onto the barge. The - the foot of Branch. The owner of the boat will stay on the barge and wait for the salvage boat to arrive on the scene.

The Coast Guard Command Center says the Corp of Engineers barge helped the four adults off the 45 foot pleasure boat. There are no injuries and the pleasure boat is now tied up to the Corps Of Engineers Path Finder. The St. Louis Fire Department's marine unit will transport the of the adults back to land. The owner of the boat remains on the vessel to wait for a salvage ship.

The owner of the pleasure boat called a salvage boat from St. Charles. Right now the Corps of Engineers Path Finder will remain at the location and wait for the Salvage Boat to arrive on the scene.

The Coast Guard knows the name of the owner of the please boat but will not release it.

More details will be posted as this story develops.

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FEDS ISSUE EMERGENCY ORDER ON CRUDE OIL TRAINS

May 8, 2014 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

WASHINGTON - The Transportation Department issued an emergency order Wednesday requiring railroads to inform state emergency management officials about the movement of large shipments of crude oil through their states and urged shippers not to use older model tanks cars that are easily ruptured in accidents, even at slow speeds.

St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson has estimated that about two dozen of these trains, some carrying more than three million gallons of crude, pass through the St. Louis region every day.

Jenkerson, who has spent considerable time on the issue, said on Wednesday that he's happy with the changes, but would like to see more.

"At least they are listening to the complaints," Jenkerson said.

The emergency order requires that each railroad operating trains containing more than 1 million gallons of crude oil - the equivalent of about 35 tank cars - from the booming Bakken region of North Dakota, Montana and parts of Canada provide information on the trains' expected movement, including frequency and county-by-county routes, to the states they traverse. The order also requires that railroads disclose the volume of oil being transported and how emergency responders can contact "at least one responsible party" at the railroad.

Much of the oil from the region is being shipped across the U.S. and Canada in trains of 100 cars or more that accident investigators have described as "moving pipelines." Local and state officials, fire chiefs and other emergency responders have complained that they often have no information on the contents of the freight trains moving through communities and their schedules. Nor are they able to force railroads to provide that information, they say.

In St. Louis, Jenkerson has been vocal on the issue. He says 12 trains come through the region each day hauling tank cars filled with crude. Others pull empty crude tankers, which he says can also be dangerous.

Jenkerson said he would like to see more federal money to buy equipment that can help handle any emergencies caused from the trains.

Jenkerson, who has met with representatives of the Union Pacific and Alton Southern railroads, said some of the trains pass through the Holly Hills neighborhood.

The Transportation Department also issued a safety advisory on Wednesday urging shippers to use the most protective type of tank car in their fleets when shipping oil from the Bakken region. The order recommended that to the extent possible shippers not use older model tank cars known as DOT-111s. Accident investigators report the cars have ruptured or punctured, spilling their contents, even in accidents that occurred at speeds under 30 mph.

The tank cars are generally owned by or leased to oil companies that ship the crude, not the railroads.

The emergency order follows a warning two weeks ago from outgoing National Transportation Safety Board Chairwoman Deborah Hersman that the department risks a "higher body count" as the result of fiery oil train accidents if it waits for new safety regulations to become final.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced the moves at a Senate committee hearing Wednesday, saying the department was moving as fast as possible on new safety regulations for crude oil shipments. He said the department sent a proposal last week to the White House that included new tank-car standards and regulations on train speeds, and the safety classification of oil based on its volatility. He said he anticipated final regulations before the end of the year.

Unlike the emergency order, the safety advisory on tank cars is voluntary, noted Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash. Pointing out that oil trains move through "every major city in the Northwest ... hitting every urban center in our state," she pressed Foxx to move even faster on tougher tank-car standards that would have the force of law.

There have been nine oil train derailments in the U.S. and Canada since March of last year, many of them resulting in intense fires and sometimes the evacuation of nearby residents, according to the NTSB. The latest was last week, when a CSX train carrying Bakken crude derailed in downtown Lynchburg, Va., sending three tank cars into the James River and shooting flames and black smoke into the air. No one was injured, but the wreck prompted an evacuation of nearby buildings.

Concern about the safe transport of crude oil was heightened after a runaway oil train derailed and then exploded last July in the small town of Lac-Megantic in Canada, just across the border from Maine. More than 60 tank cars spilled more than 1.3 million gallons of oil. Forty-seven people were killed and 30 buildings destroyed in the resulting inferno.

U.S. crude oil production is forecast to reach 8.5 million barrels a day by the end of this year, up from 5 million barrels a day in 2008. The increase is overwhelmingly due to the Bakken fracking boom. Fracking involves the fracturing of rock with pressurized liquid to free oil and natural gas unreachable through conventional drilling.

Railroad and oil industry officials had no immediate comment on the government's action.

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CREWS RESCUE MAN, DOG AFTER FIRE RIPS THROUGH SOUTH ST. LOUIS HOME

May 5, 2014 - KMOV

ST. LOUIS - Police rescued a man who got trapped after a south St. Louis home caught fire early Monday morning.

Authorities responded to the scene in the 6400 block of Colletta before 5 a.m. and found heavy smoke billowing from a one-story home.

Fire crews entered the house and found a man crawling inside a hallway. They got him out and took him to the hospital in critical condition.

Crews also pulled a dog from the house and spent at least 15 minutes working to give it oxygen. The dog was eventually taken from the scene to be treated at a nearby veterinarian.

A woman who lived at the home managed to get herself out. She was in the front yard when firefighters arrived. Her condition was unknown.

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REMEMBERING FIREFIGHTERS DEREK MARTIN AND ROBERT MORRISON

May 3, 2014 - St. Louis Fire Department

ST. LOUIS - Today we remember and honor St. Louis Firefighters Derek Martin and Robert Morrison, who were killed on May 3rd 2002, while operating at Box 3489. Firefighters Martin and Morrison entered the structure looking for a fellow firefighter who had transmitted a "mayday" at the 4-Alarm fire at the Gravois Refrigeration Company.

Martin and Morrison were eleven-year veterans of the department and members of Rescue Squad 1. Both were married. Martin was a father of three and Morrison a father of two.

Their willingness to place themselves in danger to protect their fellow citizens represents a calling of the highest ethos. Their actions serve as a beacon of selflessness and courage, and as a symbol of the commitment to the oath that all St. Louis Firefighters have sworn to our City.

St. Louis Fire Department - Justifiably Proud since 1857.

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ST. LOUIS FIRE DEPARTMENT CAPTAIN WILL BE HONORED AS THE 2014 OUTSTANDING RECENT ALUMNUS AT UCM

April 30, 2014 - University of Central Missouri

WARRENSBURG, Mo. - St. Louis Fire Department Captain Gregg Favre will be honored as the 2014 Outstanding Recent Alumnus during undergraduate commencement ceremonies at 10 a.m., May 10 in the Multipurpose Building at the University of Central Missouri. The 2008 UCM graduate is being recognized for his work protecting more than one million people as a firefighter and medic for nearly 15 years.

"My education at UCM provided the foundation for my life of service and has allowed me to connect and work with all peoples, from the poor on the street of St. Louis, to billionaire investment bankers on Wall Street, to the First Lady of the United States at the White House," Favre said. "Receiving this recognition from my alma mater is a tremendous honor."

Favre was born and raised in St. Louis City, where he attended Christian Brothers College High School, an all-male college preparatory school. He attended UCM for his undergraduate degree, double majoring in crisis and disaster management and criminal justice.

In his current role as a command staff officer, he provides critical, high level counsel to the fire chief of a 1,000-member department that protects a daytime population of over one million people. He serves as principal lead operational planner for the department, with responsibilities that include near-term and long-term research and development of strategic operations. He is responsible for cultivation of both intra-governmental relationships and the department's national profile, managing initiatives across the offices of Special Operations, Emergency Management & Homeland Security, Special Details, and Public Affairs.

Prior to his promotion to captain and assignment to the fire chief's staff, Favre served as the emergency management coordinator where he implemented comprehensive response, sustainability and continuity policies for the department's more than 1,000 members, 36 facilities and hundreds of millions of dollars in equipment and resources. He also developed and maintained comprehensive management plans for more than 3 million people in the St. Louis area.

Favre began his career working from firehouses in neighborhoods throughout the city. After several years learning the craft of firefighting, he was assigned to one of St. Louis's two elite special operation rescue units, where he responded to fires and complex rescue incidents in some of the busiest fire battalions in the nation.

A dedicated public servant, Favre has received numerous citations and commendations for his professional endeavors. He has been awarded the Archbishop John L. May Award from the St. Louis Archdiocese for "dedication to social justice," the St. Louis Fire Department Distinguished Service Medal for a rescue that required "the risk of serious or grave injury," and the Police and Firemen's Association Commendation medal for "actions above and beyond the call of duty."

In 2011, after nearly 10 years of watching other firefighters report for duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, Favre took a leave of absence to work with returning veterans. He was appointed as chief of staff at The Mission Continue, a nonprofit organization awarding community service fellowships to post-9/11 veterans.

Favre's primary responsibilities at The Mission Continues included the coordination and direction of executive staff and organizational strategy. As chief of staff to the CEO, he served as the primary point of contact for events and negotiations with external partners, brokering events and contracts with The White House and the Office of the First Lady, Goldman Sachs, Paramount Studios and ABC/ESPN/Disney.

An accomplished author and public speaker, Favre has been featured on both live and prerecorded pieces for NBC, CBS, FOX, NPR and ABC. His award-winning writing and research has been featured in a variety of outlets, including testimony before the United States Congress, the LA Times and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Favre has published more than a dozen articles on public safety administration and response policies, which have providing training to more than one million first responders. In 2010, his writing was awarded the "Gold Award" at the Hermes Creative Awards, an international competition for creative professionals.

Inspired by the instruction he received at UCM, Favre has continued to pursue "an education for service." In 2008 he was accepted to the George Washington University School of Medicine where he earned his master's degree. He is currently finishing his graduate diploma in politics and policy from the London School of Economics in the United Kingdom. He has held faculty positions at the University of Maryland, University College and Kaplan University.

An athlete and adventurer, Favre also is a competitive CrossFitter, outdoorsman and marital arts practitioner. He has climbed, hiked and camped in several mountain ranges across the country. Together with his team of firefighters, he is a two-time qualifier in the world finals of the Firefighter Combat Challenge, an obstacle course race that ESPN has dubbed "the toughest two minutes in sports." Favre lives in St. Louis City with his wife, Kristin , a 2003 UCM graduate, and their two dogs.

The UCM Alumni Association was formed in 1871, the same year that the University of Central Missouri was founded in Warrensburg, Mo., as Normal School No. 2. The association has changed through the years, but its mission remains constant: to build loyalty and support among alumni, current students and university constituents. The University of Central Missouri currently enrolls more than 12,800 students, including some 2,000 from the St. Louis area. The university's efforts to help reduce the cost of a college education recently included extending in-state rates and fees to students in eight states bordering Missouri, including Illinois.

The Outstanding Recent Alumni Award is presented by the UCM Alumni Association to honor an alumnus who has graduated within the past 10 years. This individual must have achieved career distinction as evidenced by peer recommendations and letters of support; demonstrate integrity, stature, ability and prominence, as well as instill pride in their fellow UCM classmates, faculty and students. Through deed and action, the alumnus must reflect and recognize the importance of their education and bring honor to UCM and demonstrate leadership and service to professional organizations and the community.

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STL FIRE DEPARTMENT RECEIVES GRANT

May 1, 2014 - St. Louis Fire Department

ST. LOUIS - Fireman's Fund Insurance Company has selected the St. Louis Fire Department to receive a grant through their Heritage Program.

With the grant, the St. Louis Fire Department will be able to update the audio visual equipment in the Morton T. Werner Auditorium. This much needed update will undoubtedly enhance student/attendees learning experience in the very near future!




LIGHTNING BLAMED FOR STARTING FIRE AT ST. LOUIS FIREFIGHTER'S HOME

April 28, 2014 - KMOV

ST. LOUIS - Lightning is being blamed for starting a fire at a St. Louis firefighter's house early Monday morning.

The fire broke out at a home in the 6900 block of Winona in south St. Louis around 3:30 a.m.

According to officials, the firefighter was sitting at home late Sunday night when he heard a loud bang and saw a flash of light.

Several breakers inside the home were tripped and the firefighter smelt electrical burning, but did not see any flames.

The family went to bed and were sleeping when smoke detectors alerted them of the fire. Additional firefighters responded to the scene and extinguished flames in the attic and living room area, which sustained extensive damage.

No injuries were reported.

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ST. LOUIS FIRE DEPARTMENT PROMOTIONS

April 14, 2014 - St. Louis Fire Department

ST. LOUIS - St Louis Fire Chief & Commissioner Dennis M. Jenkerson promoted, effective immediately:

From the rank of Fire Captain to Battalion Chief Paul Weil 805-B

From the rank of Fire Private to Captain Craig Duffy T-35-B

Congratulations!

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FIRE GUTS VACANT HOME, SPREADS TO TWO NEIGHBORING HOMES IN ST. LOUIS

April 24, 2014 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

ST. LOUIS - No one was injured early Thursday in a house fire that spread to two neighboring homes, authorities say.

The two-alarm fire broke out at about 1:25 a.m. in the 5000 block of Vernon Avenue, northwest of Fountain Park. The 2 1/2;-story brick home was engulfed in flames when the Fire Department arrived. The home was unoccupied; its residents had recently moved out. The homes on either side were also vacant.

St. Louis Fire Capt. Garon Mosby said firefighters were fighting the blaze from outside when the main home when it collapsed. Winds helped spread the fire to the buildings next door. It took about 2 1/2; hours to bring the fire under control. About 50 firefighters helped fight the fire, including some from University City.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. Police had reports of shots being fired before the fire started and the house being burglarized and sprayed with graffiti.

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MAN DONATES STUFFED ANIMALS TO STL FIRE DEPARTMENT

April 7, 2014 - St. Louis Firefighters Community Outreach

ST. LOUIS - The St. Louis Fire Department received quite the inspirational gift this morning! Mr. Chris Brock, of Baldwin MO, decided that for his 40th birthday (last month), he'd ask all his friends to bring him stuffed animals as birthday gifts. Chris wanted to help "children that have nothing" after a fire or other emergency! Chris, who has been diagnosed with autism, was all smiles as Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson graciously accepted the gift. And it so happens that "April" is National Autism Awareness Month.

Here is the link to KSDK's video.

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PROMOTION TO DEPUTY FIRE CHIEF

March 28, 2014 -

ST. LOUIS - Today, Fire Chief & Commissioner Dennis Jenkerson promoted Battalion Chief Ken Smith to the rank of Deputy Fire Chief, effective immediately.

A 35-year veteran of the St. Louis Fire Department, Deputy Chief Smith has commanded Battalions across St. Louis for the last 17 years. With his promotion to Deputy - the second highest rank in the department - Chief Smith assumes city-wide command of the C-shift.

Please join us in congratulating Chief Smith on his promotion.

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FIRE DESTROYS BUILDING IN BENTON PARK WEST NEIGHBORHOOD

March 21, 2014 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

ST. LOUIS - A fire destroyed a three-story building in the 2900 block of Texas Avenue in the city's Benton Park West neighborhood Thursday morning.

Firefighters got the call at 11:20 a.m., said St. Louis Fire Department spokesman Garon Mosby.

The firefighters arrived but soon went into a defensive mode because of the severity of the fire, making sure the blaze didn't spread to other building.

The building was undergoing rehab and no one was living in it. No injuries were reported.

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FIREFIGHTER HOSPITALIZED AFTER SUFFERING INJURY WHILE BATTLING BLAZE

March 19, 2014 - KMOV

ST. LOUIS - A firefighter was hospitalized after suffering an injury while fighting a blaze Wednesday morning.

According to fire officials, a home in the 3800 block of Indiana in the Marine Villa Neighborhood caught fire around 7:30 a.m. The outside of the home sustained extensive damage from the fire.

The firefighter was injured while advancing the hose and was taken to an area hospital in serious but stable condition.

One person was home at the time of the fire. Officials say both residents of the home will be displaced as a result of the fire.

Firefighters say that the preliminary cause of the fire was cooking.

No other details were immediately available.

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LEGAL BATTLE RESUMES OVER CHANGES TO PENSIONS FOR ST. LOUIS CITY FIREFIGHTERS

March 11, 2014 - St. Louis Public Radio

ST. LOUIS - The Missouri Court of Appeals will hear arguments tomorrow on whether the city of St. Louis had the right to make changes to the pension benefits it offers its firefighters.

In lobbying for the changes in 2012, Mayor Francis Slay cited the financial burden pensions were beginning to place on the city. Its budget for fiscal year 2013 included a $31 million contribution to the system, up from $23 million the year before.

That argument persuaded aldermen to increase the amount of money current firefighters had to pay into the system - nine percent as opposed to eight percent, and without a refund at retirement. Firefighters were also no longer able to retire with full benefits before the age of 55.

Union members sued, arguing that the city couldn't make those changes without getting permission from the state General Assembly.

That additional level of approval is needed to make sure that firefighters have enough money to live on when they retire, said Demetris Alfred, the union president.

"We don't get Social Security, so this is huge," he said. "For anybody to come after our pensions, we would have this type of response because it's our livelihood."

Firefighters also argued that the changes violated the constitutional protections given to pensions, but a city judge rejected both those arguments. The union appealed, and that's what will go before the appeals court on Tuesday.

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SAINT LOUIS FIRE ACADEMY CLASS - 2014

March 11, 2014 - St. Louis Fire Department

ST. LOUIS - Congratulations to the St. Louis Fire Department R. Arris Recruit class of 2014. Justifiably Proud!!!

St. Louis Fire Department Community Outreach




MISSOURI ATHLETIC CLUB COMMEMORATES DEADLIEST FIRE IN ST. LOUIS HISTORY

March 7, 2014 - KTVI

ST. LOUIS - March 8 marks an infamous day in St. Louis history - the 100th anniversary of the city's deadliest fire.

Just before midnight on March 8, 1914, fire broke out at the Missouri Athletic Club (MAC). St. Louis firemen battled the blaze for 12 hours.

More than 30 people died and the original clubhouse was destroyed. The number of casualties make it the deadliest fire in St. Louis history.

The MAC's Tom Dunn talks about what happened that day and what's planned for Sunday. The MAC will be hosting a luncheon to salute the St. Louis Fire Department. It's open to the public and you can call the MAC at 314-539-4470 for reservations.

The cost is $37.50 per person and includes a delicious three-course lunch. The luncheon will begin at 11:15 with registration and exhibits followed by lunch and a program at noon.

More on KTVI story




FIREFIGHTERS BATTLE BLAZE AT 3-STORY ST. LOUIS BUILDING

March 7, 2014 - KMOV

ST. LOUIS - Firefighters were battling a blaze that swept through a three-story building in north St. Louis Friday morning.

The fire broke out in the 4400 block of N. 20th at Newhouse around 6:15 a.m. Firefighters arrived on the scene and found flames shooting from the first and second floors. The flames then spread to the third floor and an evacuation order was given.

Crews on multiple ladders were trying to get the fire out from above to help firefighters on the ground.

Firefighters appeared to have doused the flames by about 7:30 a.m., though smoke could still be seen on Interstate 70.

Officials say the building was vacant. No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

More on KMOV story




HIBERNIANS RECOGNIZES OUTSTANDING ST. LOUISIANS

March 2, 2014 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

ST. LOUIS - The Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) will honor seven distinguished St. Louisians at a special reception and award ceremony Thursday, March 13 at 6:00 PM at Electricians' Hall 5950 Elizabeth in South St. Louis.

The Hibernian celebration is dedicated to firefighters, law enforcement officers, public safety personnel and union members killed in the line of duty since September 11, 2001. The benefit is being held in conjunction with his year's 2014 AOH Saint Patrick's Day Parade on March 17 in Dogtown (Baile Madra in Irish).

Among those honored will be the Grand Marshal of the 31st Ancient Order of Hibernians Saint Patrick's Day Parade, cartoonist Mike Peters, who grew up in St. Louis's Dogtown neighborhood. Peters draws the long-running comic strip Mother Goose and Grimm, that appears daily in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Receiving special honors will be firefighters and law enforcement officers from St. Louis City and St.Louis County. The honorees include Lt. Andy Eagan of the Hazelwood Police Department, Retired St. Louis City Police Officer, Earl Bush, St. Louis City Firefighter, CJ Gore and retired St. Louis County Firefighter, John Corbett.

Dan O'Donnell (Roofers) was selected the AOH 2014 Labor Leader and Rick Riesenbech of Anheuser-Busch was named the 2014 AOH Civic Leader.

The Irish Session Players, Mayer-Torno Irish Dance Group, and Pat White will perform.

The event is open to the public. The suggested donation is $15.00 per person. Funds raised help underwrite the AOH Parade and help support Irish charities.

Seamus McDaniel's, Pat]s Place and Keetons Double Play are catering the food.

"We are really gratified by all the support St. Louis community, especially our civic leaders and labor unions have given the Hibernians," said AOH spokesman Jim Wahl. "The Hibernians also wants to thank Local 73 of the St. Louis Fire Department, Local 2665 of the St. Louis County Fire Department, the Emerald Society of St. Louis and the IBEW Local 1 for all their support in helping us put on this event to honor these outstanding individuals. We would also like to acknowledge a number of local businesses that have assisted us in putting on this year's event including, The Dubliner, John D. McGurk's, Pat's Place, Humphries, Bruno's American Grill, Friendly's, the Haven and Keetons Double Play.

For more information on the AOH Award Ceremony contact Jim Wahl at (314) 421-3100

More on St. Louis Post Dispatch story




ST. LOUIS FIRE DEPARTMENT DEPUTY CHIEF RETIREMENT

February 25, 2014 - St. Louis Firefighters Community Outreach

ST. LOUIS - After 35 Years Of Faithful Service To The City of St. Louis, Deputy Chief John Altmann Will Be Hanging Up His Helmet Permanently On February 28, 2014. We Thank You For Your Dedication And Service Chief Altmann. Enjoy Your Retirement Sir!

St. Louis Firefighters Community Outreach story




FIREFIGHTERS DELIVER COATS FOR KIDS

February 13, 2014 - St. Louis Fire Department

ST. LOUIS - Members of The St. Louis Fire Department deliver needed coats "lights & sirens" to children at The Kingdom House! The coats, all "Made In The USA" were made possible through a collaborative effort between the IAFF, IAFF Local 73, & FF Operation Warm. The goal is to make sure that EVERY child, has a winter coat!

St. Louis Fire Department Facebook




VIDEO - SEMI TRUCK EXPLODES AFTER WRECK ON ST. LOUIS HIGHWAY

February 7, 2014 - KMOV

ST. LOUIS - Traffic was backed up for several miles after a major St. Louis highway closed when a tractor trailer caught fire and exploded early Friday morning.The semi-truck wrecked in the westbound lanes of Highway 40-Interstate 64 just east of Jefferson around 5:50 a.m.

The truck then caught fire and Skyzoom 4 was over the scene when the explosion occurred. Firefighters responded to the scene and got the fire out by about 6:45 a.m.

At least one person was injured, though the victim's condition was unknown.

According to the St. Louis Fire Department, a second trailer - which did not catch fire - contained 550 pounds of hazardous materials.

Traffic at one point was backed up across the Mississippi River into Illinois for at least four miles. Drivers were being diverted to the Market St. exit.

No other details were immediately available.

More on KMOV story & photos




HOMES EVACUATED AFTER UTILITY WORK SPARKS GAS EXPLOSION AT SOULARD BUILDING

January 14, 2014 - KMOV

ST. LOUIS - Residents of a Soulard neighborhood were forced to evacuate after an explosion and fire left high levels of gas in the air Wednesday afternoon.

St. Louis City fire crews, bomb and arson units and Laclede Gas workers responded to a report of an explosion at a 3-story brick building located at Menard and Shenandoah shortly after 1 p.m.

According to the building manager, an AT & T crew was there installing fiber line when a worker allegedly hit a gas line during the process.

Gas filled the basement and believed to have sparked the explosion, sending flames to all three floors of the building.

Those inside were able to make it out without injury. Chief Dennis Jenkerson said it was a close call. The fire captain on scene evacuated all fire personnel moments before the explosion.

Emergency crews have evacuated homes along the 2200 block of Menard as dangerous levels of gas are still read in the area.

Fire crews remain on scene working to completely extinguish the building fire. The extent of damage was not immediately known.

More on KMOV story and more photos




TWO KILLED AFTER HEAVY FLAMES ENGULF NORTH ST. LOUIS HOME

January 27, 2014 - KMOV

ST. LOUIS - Two people were killed after a first-alarm house fire broke out in North St. Louis Monday evening.

According to fire officials, a fire broke out inside an occupied home located on the 5700 block of Bartmer shortly before 6 p.m. Heavy fire was visible from the 2nd floor of the three-story home.

Two people were pronounced dead at the scene. The victims were later identified as Dorothy Jones, 80, who was found on the first floor and her nephew, Thomas McKinney who was found on the second floor. McKinney is believed to be in his 60s

Firefighters have contained the fire and are currently searching for any remaining hot spots.

Further details were not immediately known. News 4 has a crew on the scene now.

More on KMOV story




BEN MAZANEC CAPTURES HISTORY AS ST. LOUIS' OFFICIALLY UNOFFICIAL FIRE PHOTOGRAPHER

January 27, 2014 - Riverfront Times

ST. LOUIS - Whenever there's a fire on the south side, it's a sure bet Ben Mazanec will be there.

His radio, gear and identification are all St. Louis Fire Department official. Mazanec (left in photo with his father) even has his own assigned car number -- 831 -- so police at the scene know he's legit.

But Mazanec isn't a firefighter. A first responder of a different kind, Mazanec has become the unofficially official photographer for the department, using decades of fire-fighting knowledge learned at his father's feet to inform images not just of smoke and flame but of brave men and women saving lives.

"People don't understand why I do it," Mazanec tells Daily RFT. "It's to get the history of the city. You never know when the fire you're going to is the big one that's going to be remembered forever."

Mazanec, 27, wants to be a firefighter. Since he was 20, he's tried to pass medical and training courses, but school, he admits, is just not his thing.

"I hate school," he says. "It's hard for me to pay attention to a lecture. It's like church. I'm religious, but it makes me want to fall asleep."

Despite his disinclination toward school, Mazanec is clearly bright and passionate about photographing fire fighters. A self-trained photographer, he studies fire videos on YouTube so he can predict smoke and flame patterns.

"I research it because it's fascinating; there's so much physics and geometry in use," he says. "And you wouldn't know. It's like fun geometry and fun physics."

The most important rule of firefighting, Mazanec says, is one passed down to rookie firefighters: "Shut up and watch or you'll die."

Mazanec works at Gerard's Restaurant in Des Peres, but he's always looking to the next fire.

"If there's a fire any higher than two alarms, I'll be there no questions asked unless I'm at work," he says, quickly adding, "I'll try to get out of work. I'm like, 'If you don't need me, I have to go.'" Mazanec doesn't get paid for spending hours outside capturing fire photos, but he sells his work, sometimes to firefighters willing to buy an image of themselves at work. He also keeps a Facebook page, First Alarm Photos STL, where he posts pictures and fire updates from around the city.

"I don't ask for money," Mazanec says. "I don't ask for pretty much anything. I just do it because I like to do it. It's not even a question."

Most recently, he's added video to his repertoire. "I wish I had an extra set of hands," Mazanec laments, jokingly.

For Mazanec, fire fighting runs in his veins. His father became a firefighter at the age of 34, relatively late to join the force. As a child, Mazanec rode his bike to the fire house to visit his dad and learn from the firemen.

"My dad, he's something else," Mazanec says. "He works and works and works. He's crazy. he worked his tail off to get in. I remember my dad studying on the couch with books in his lap."

Mazanec's path resembles his father's slightly -- both men felt driven to work as firefighters and to capture St. Louis' fire history on film -- but after seven years of shooting city fires, Mazanec has become an artist in his own right. Reluctantly, Mazanec admits he's welcomed on fire scenes but is no longer allowed, per Chief Dennis Jenkerson's orders, to officially assist firefighters in any way.

"I like to think of it as I give them a different perspective of what they do," Mazanec says. "They don't get to see what everyone else sees. Once the water hits fire, it's black. They see it in complete darkness."

Still, when he talks about a fire, Mazanec's laid-back pace quickens. His eyes pop into big, bright circles and his back teeth are visible in the far corners of his wide smile.

"Seeing these guys do what they do, I get the same adrenaline rush that they do."

More on Riverfront Times story




STL FIRE DEPARTMENT HONORED FOR RESCUING DOG

January 15, 2014 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

ST. LOUIS - On Monday, the front page of the Post-Dispatch carried a dramatic photo of STL firefighter Stan Baynes rescuing a dog Sunday from the frigid waters of O'Fallon Park Lake.

Today, the city's department has been named a winner of PETA's "Compassionate Fire Department Award."

Baynes and fellow rescue-team specialist Demetris Alfred saved Diablo, a Doberman Pinscher owned by Jason Newsome, after the dog fell through the ice chasing geese.

P-D senior photographer J.B. Forbes captured the drama in a series of images.

"The compassion and heroism shown by the St. Louis Fire Department rescue team will inspire others to come to the aid of animals in need," said Tracy Reiman, executive vice president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

The fire department will be awarded with a letter of appreciation from PETA, which said it also would send "a box of delicious vegan chocolates" to enjoy around the firehouse.

More on St. Louis Post Dispatch story




DRIVER FREED AFTER SEMI OVERTURNS ON POPLAR STREET BRIDGE

January 13, 2014 - KMOV

ST. LOUIS - Officials close all lanes of Interstate 70 near downtown St. Louis after a semi overturned Monday afternoon.

All lanes of I-70 westbound were closed on the Poplar Street Bridge shortly before 2 p.m. after a semi overturned. No injuries were reported at this time.

Emergency crews are still working to rescue the trapped driver.

Further details were not immediately known.

More on KMOV story and 33 more photos

Post by St. Louis Fire Department.




FIREFIGHTERS RESCUE DOG FROM FROZEN PARK LAKE

January 12, 2014 - St. Louis Louis Fire Department

ST. LOUIS - St. Louis firefighters from Rescue Squad 1 (in the yellow wet suits) carefully traveled over forty feet on the thinned ice in O'Fallon Park, prior to entering the icy water to rescue a Doberman Pinscher that had ventured to far out onto the ice and fell in. The Doberman was sheltered within the enclosed cab of a fire truck until the Humane Society arrived.













January 13, 2014 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

ST. LOUIS - The St. Louis Fire Department's Rescue Squad 1C rescued a doberman pinscher named Diablo from the lake in O'Fallon Park Sunday afternoon. Diablo's owner, Jason Newsome, from St. Louis, said that Diablo ran onto the ice after a goose and then fell through the ice. The dog was in the ice for about 25 minutes. "He was almost done," said firefighter Demetris Alfred. He and firefighter Stan Baynes went into the water to get the dog. "He kept rolling over and submerging," said Baynes. A grateful Newsome warmed the dog up and took him to a veterinarian.

19 more photos from Post Dispatch




THE ST. LOUIS FIRE DEPARTMENT: THEN AND NOW

January 10, 2014 - KSDK

ST. LOUIS - On this day in 1962, a massive fire was burning at the Ralston-Purina building in downtown St. Louis. And firefighters were not only battling the flames, but also subzero temperatures.

"It was very bitter cold that day. It was something I'll never forget," said former St. Louis Fire Chief Tom Long.

The temperature dipped to -11 that day, causing everything to freeze� from the fire trucks, to the water inside the hoses, to the firefighters themselves.

"You took a breath, your nostrils closed on you. You were gasping for breath all the time," Long said. "It was a long two days, very long two days."

It was two days former Deputy Chief George Jenkerson still talks about with his son, current Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson.

"Our apparatus was completely frozen in, there wasn't anything we could do with it to get it out at that time," George Jenkerson said.

Since 1962, firefighting technology has come a long way, especially when it comes to the gear that firefighters wear. But even today, when the temperature gets below zero, Chief Jenkerson says that gear only goes so far.

"A lot's changed, but a lot has remained the same as far as the conditions we have to operate in," Dennis Jenkerson said.

Just like the generation before them, crews this week have faced freezing water lines, spending hours outside in the bone-chilling temperatures, and air so cold the water they're using to fight the fire becomes a challenge in and of itself.

"Your face stings. Once the water hits you it freezes immediately. Your ability to move is reduced because you're covered with ice," Dennis Jenkerson said.

And so while the trucks and the gear may have evolved over the years, the motivation to keep fighting the flames has not.

"We were not expendable, and that was the bottom line, and why we stuck together," George Jenkerson said.

More on KSDK story




FIRE CHIEF THANKS HIS TROOPS

January 09, 2014 - St. Louis Fire Department

ST. LOUIS - A message from Chief of Department Dennis Jenkerson:

"I tip my helmet to the members of the City of St Louis Fire & EMS Department who over the past four days of brutal temperatures and exhausting conditions have handled approximately 2400 calls, roughly 600 per day. You've have answered multiple cardiac, respiratory, and trauma calls. You've responded to a total of 66 building fires, of which a 2nd alarm is included on one of the coldest nights in memory.

Your dedication and iron-willed tenacity in the harshest of conditions did not go unnoticed by me or the citizens of the City of St Louis. Again, thank you for just doing what you do every day."

St. Louis Fire Department




2 ALARM MULTI-FAMILY HOUSE FIRE IN ST. LOUIS

January 06, 2014 - St. Louis Fire Department

ST. LOUIS - St. Louis Firefighters are currently operating at a 2nd Alarm fire in the 5800 block of Maffitt. Heavy fire from two multi-family units. All occupants have been accounted for. The bitter cold and snowfall is affecting firefighting operations.




FIREFIGHTER, TWO OTHERS HURT IN OVERNIGHT FIRES


Fire in 1400 block of Madison in north St. Louis.(Bill Greenblatt/STLFD)

January 3, 2014 - KMOX

ST. LOUIS - One firefighter, and two people who were staying in a vacant building, were injured in separate overnight fires in St. Louis.

Fire Department Captain Gregg Favre tells KMOX the firefighter was hurt while battling what was a raging fire in a home at East Carter and Fair, "It was a minor injury, a burn, that happened during a firefighting operation."

Favre says the firefighter was treated on the scene and returned to work.

The fire apparently started in the basement at about 5:30 am. Flames engulfed the basement and both floors of the two-story home. Favre says smoke alarms alerted the man who lived there, and he was able to get out on his own before firefighters arrived on the scene. Investigators are trying to determine the cause.

Two people suffered minor injuries late Thursday night when fire engulfed a vacant building in the 1400 block of Madison. Favre says, "(they suffered) minor smoke inhalation injuries which were treated on the scene by St. Louis paramedics and then they were transported to a local hospital for further observation." It's not clear what they were doing in the building.

The cause of that fire is also under investigation.

More on KMOX story




FIRE CHIEF SUPPORTS USE OF RED LIGHT TRAFFIC CAMERAS

December 20, 2013 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

EDITORIAL: By Dennis M. Jenkerson

As your chief of the St. Louis Fire Department, I can tell you that water is not the only way to stop a fire, and that bandages are not the only treatment for a traffic crash. In both circumstances, the best action to take is the one that will prevent the tragedy in the first place, whether that is accomplished through code enforcement, safety education classes or public awareness programs.

Fact is, our department spends more resources doing all we can to prevent a tragedy rather than spending resources to see thousands of gallons of water sprayed onto a burning home or send ambulances to the scene of a horrific traffic crash. It is with this consistent goal of preventing such tragedies that I support our city's red-light safety camera program.

We are the first to the scene at a traffic crash. We are the fire and EMS service and provide the medical services to the injured. We have seen firsthand the property destruction and personal injuries - even fatalities - that result from traffic crashes. Red-light running crashes can be particularly intense due to the nature of the right angle (or T-bone) incidents. It is often combined with speeding as the red-light runner attempts to beat the yellow light, multiplying the danger.

Data from the program's start in 2007 show that drivers are taking notice of the red-light cameras and changing their behavior for the safety of themselves and other people on the road.

The most significant indicator that shows red-light cameras are changing driver behavior in St. Louis and making our streets safer is the small number of repeat offenders. According to a recent report, 84 percent of drivers who received and paid just one red-light running ticket did not get a second ticket. This number is especially significant considering some of these safety cameras have been operational well over six years. This is accomplished through enforcement, education and public awareness. The average number of citations issued per camera per month on our first cameras has dropped by over 60 percent.

According to the latest figures available from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, total traffic fatalities in the city of St. Louis have dropped 19 percent and crashes have dropped 12 percent from 2010 to 2012.

Finally, the results in St. Louis are not unique. A 2011 study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety of 14 U.S. cities with populations greater than 200,000 found that cities with red-light cameras saw the average annual rate of all intersection crashes decrease by 14 percent over five years, while cities without the cameras saw total intersection crashes rise by 2 percent. The study's authors suggest that the presence of red-light cameras in cities positively affected drivers' behavior even in locations where there were not cameras.

Every time we don't have to put out a fire or send medical personnel to a traffic accident reduces the possibility of a civilian fatality or injury. We try to save lives and reduce injuries. We have a way to help stop some of those tragedies. There is no doubt that red-light safety cameras are having a measurable safety effect on driving in our city. Let's support this program as a part of our preventive efforts to do all we can to stop deadly intersection crashes.

Dennis M. Jenkerson is fire chief of St. Louis.

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2-ALARM FIRE AT OBAMA MEAT MARKET IN NORTH ST. LOUIS

December 30, 2013 - KMOX

ST. LOUIS - A fire at a butcher shop has caused extensive damage to two buildings in the Hyde Park neighborhood.

Firefighters arrived at the 2-alarm fire at about 6:00 a.m. Monday.

"When we arrived it was fully engulfed and we had extension into the neighboring building which is also a two-story brick building," St. Louis Fire Capt. Garon Mosby said.

As of 7 this morning, nearly 48 personnel were on the scene.

Capt. Mosby said the sub-degree temperatures has become the main concern. "It's very cold and we are using water so ice, of course, is an issue."

The fire originated from Obama Meat Market in the 2000 block of East Grand Blvd. No injuries have been reported at this time.

More on KMOX story




SQUATTERS BLAMED FOR STARTING TWO ST. LOUIS WAREHOUSE FIRES

December 20, 2013 - KMOX

ST. LOUIS - A warehouse fire Thursday on Papin street south of downtown is being blamed on warming fires kindled by the homeless. It is the second warehouse fire in a week that has been attributed to squatters. A third fire at the Sevco warehouse south of the Arch is still under investigation.

St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson (photo left) said to expect more of these fires this winter, especially if temperatures remain bitterly cold.

"With this type of year the homeless are looking for some place to stay," Jenkerson said. "A lot of these buildings have old junk and they find different things to burn to stay warm, this one got out of control."

Firefighters rescued two homeless men sleeping inside the burning abandoned building at 17th and Papin Thursday. They told investigators that five other people were staying there with them but left the building before the fire broke out.

A warehouse fire on south Broadway Sunday was also started by a warming fire. Investigators are still trying to determine if the people living there were homeless.

The problem of squatters is so widespread that Jenkerson said his fire crews are instructed to assume that all vacant buildings are occupied, until a sweep is done.

"People are ingenious on how they get into these buildings. They'll take a board off and then put it back into place and we don't know anybody is in there," he explained. "All the buildings in the city that are vacant in our opinion could house the homeless, and we're seeing it all the time."

More on KMOX story




ST. LOUIS FIREFIGHTERS COULD SOON TRAIN ON LIFE-LIKE MANNEQUINS THAT BLEED

December 19, 2013 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

ST. LOUIS - The basement of St. Louis EMS headquarters on Hampton Avenue could soon be transformed into a high-tech training center for firefighters and paramedics.

They'll walk into realistic scenes: an alleyway, a bathroom, a tavern perhaps. And the "victim" in distress will be a life-like mannequin that bleeds, gives off cardiac rhythms, takes intravenous fluids and changes color to indicate shock.

Every move the first responder makes - right or wrong - will be monitored by an evaluator who is watching behind glass in a control room. The evaluator has the power to change the patient's condition. And if the trainee makes the wrong healthcare move, the mannequin's blood pressure might plummet or its heart might stop.

That's the goal of the St. Louis Fire Department Lifesaving Foundation, which hopes to raise $400,000 to make it happen. They already have the facilities at the EMS headquarters, which is the basement of about 4,000-square-feet in the old Second District police building on Hampton. It will be named the SIM center, as in simulation center.

Ned Fryer, vice president of the board for the Lifesaving Foundation, said the expense is the mannequins and computer stations.

"We hope to be training people in a month or two with whatever we have been able to raise enough money to acquire," he said.

The training will be for St. Louis firefighters, paramedics and EMTs. Ultimately, the training could be expanded for other agencies at cost, Fryer said.

Capt. Dan Sutter of the St. Louis Fire Department said the equipment is sold by Laerdal Co., a medical supply firm based in New York. Medics, doctors and nurses in a number of scenarios train with the mannequins.

"It allows for very realistic training," Sutter said. "People who do this type of training have a higher level of skill."

More on St. Louis Post Dispatch story




ST. LOUIS FIREFIGHTERS JUMP FROM A LOADING DOCK TO ESCAPE FLAMES

December 16, 2013 - UPI

ST. LOUIS - St. Louis firefighters jump from a loading dock to escape flames at a warehouse in downtown St. Louis on December 16, 2013. The four alarm blaze in the three story warehouse was fought by nearly 100 firefighters. The building contained furniture and no injuries were reported. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

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SMOKE BILLOWS FROM SERVCO WAREHOUSE FIRE ON ST. LOUIS RIVERFRONT

December 16, 2013 - KTVI

ST. LOUIS - Firefighters are responding to a warehouse fire in downtown St. Louis. The four-alarm fire is at a warehouse 709 South First Street, just south of Interstate 64/40. Fire crews arrived on the scene around 11:30am Monday.

The Servco building is a three-story warehouse. The third floor is fully involved.

According to the St. Louis Fire Department, the warehouse is used for furniture storage. Workers inside were able to get out safelyand there are no injuries.

Smoke can be seen for miles. The fire department says they have four aerial units pouring water on the fire. More than 80 firefighters are on scene and mutual aid has been activated to help with the scene and other emergencies in the city during this time.

I-64 is not shut down, but traffic is slower as drivers look at the fire.

The Red Cross has responded to the fire to provide food and drinks to emergency workers on the scene.

More on KTVI story and 35 more photos




ST. LOUIS FIRE DEPARTMENT PROMOTIONS

December 11, 2013 -

ST. LOUIS - Fire Chief Dennis M. Jenkerson and The St. Louis Fire Department are proud to announce the promotion of the following members:



From the rank of Captain to Battalion Chief:

Battalion Chief Derrick D.Phillips-Fire Academy Lead Instructor
Battalion Chief Wayne M. Killingsworth-801-A
Battalion Chief Steve A. Rick-804-C

From the rank of Fire Private to Fire Captain:

Captain Kevin R. Duffy-T-9-B
Captain Matthew A. Taylor-T-29-B
Captain Adam W. Owens-FIU
Captain Ronald O. Jones-T-19-B
Captain Ali S. Shahriary-E-24-C
Captain Daniel J. Clark-E-28-A
Captain Leon Whitener-T-30-C
Captain George J. Horneker-T-17-A
Captain Greggory Favre-HQ/ Public Education Officer
Captain Derek L. Rieger-T-10-C
Captain Mario D. Signorino-T-14-A
Captain Craig Mooshegian-T-33-B
Captain Michael J. Schneider-H&L-2-C
Captain Jacque P. Matthews-H&L-5-B
Captain Brian P. Doane-T-13-C
Captain Michael J. Cracchiolo-E-2-B
Captain Michael T. Dasher-T-30-A
Captain Garon P. Mosby-HQ/ Public Information Officer
Captain Steven L. Womack-T-17-B
Captain Joseph R. Whitrock-T-34-C
Captain Lori Riley-T-22-B
Captain Christopher R. Bradley-T-4-C
Captain Richard R. Vogt-T-29-A
Captain Christopher Schneider-T-27-B
Captain David L. Reinecke-H&L-2-B




ST. LOUIS FIREFIGHTER PENSION FUND BATTLE CONTINUES

December 6, 2013 - KMOX

ST. LOUIS - St. Louis Firefighters continue to fight to save their pension system - despite a court ruling that found the city has the authority to change the plan.

Attorney Dan Tobben with the Firemen's Retirement System (FRS) says the city began its crusade to kill the pension system when the stock market tanked in 2008, but since then the market has gone up, up and away.

"There is no doubt that they can pay pension bills, they would just rather use the money on other things," Tobben said. "The FRS has had very good returns in the last three years and so the projections of how bad it was going to be now have not proven accurate."

The city won a ruling saying it does have the authority to change its pension system for firefighters. The Missouri Court of appeals could hear the case in the spring or early summer, and either way it could go all the way to the Missouri Supreme Court.

More on KMOX story




FIREFIGHTERS SAVE MAN FROM SOUTH ST. LOUIS BLAZE

December 3, 2013 - KMOV

ST. LOUIS - A two story house went up in flames in south St. Louis Tuesday night and a man who was trapped inside is alive thanks to the quick action of firefighters.

The fire broke out around 8 p.m. in the 4100 block of Ohio.

Crews tell News 4 they arrived on scene to find heavy smoke. They rushed in to find a man unconscious and not breathing upstairs.

Firefighters were able to revive the victim and took him to an area hospital. He is in an unknown condition.

Investigators say the fire started in the kitchen, but they still do not have an official cause.

More on KMOV story




CHILD RESCUED FROM HOUSE FIRE IN ST. LOUIS

November 30, 2013 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

ST. LOUIS - Firefighters rescued a 3-year-old girl from a house fire in north St. Louis on Saturday afternoon.

The young girl was trapped by flames on the second floor of a two-story brick home in the 5700 block of Theodore Avenue, said St. Louis Fire Capt. Dan Sutter. Firefighters pulled her from the building just after 12 p.m. The girl was taken to a local hospital, where she was listed in stable condition.

Two adults and five children managed to escape the house in the Walnut Park East neighborhood before firefighters arrived, Sutter said. The adults were taken to a hospital, where they were listed in stable condition.

The cause of the fire had not been determined.

Sutter said it appeared that the home did not have any smoke alarms.

Earlier in the day, firefighters went door-to-door giving out smoke alarms after a fire Tuesday that claimed the life of 14-month-old Antuan Carson in the 4000 block of North 25th Street in Hyde Park.

Any St. Louis resident who needs a smoke alarm can get one free by calling the fire department at 314-533-3406 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. "We know having working smoking alarms in your home will double your chances of survival" in a fire, Sutter said.

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Guns 'N Hoses at Scottrade raises money for BackStoppers


Pari Stocker of the Eureka Fire Protection District lands a punch to the face of Jessica Meier of the St. Louis Metropolitian Police Department during the third round of the Guns and Hoses Boxing Showdown at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on November 27, 2013. The annual event is in it's 27th year, provides funding for the famlies of first responders that are killed in the line of duty. UPI/Bill Greenblatt (Photo: BILL GREENBLATT UPI)

November 27, 2013 - KSDK

ST. LOUIS - It is a Thanksgiving Eve tradition in St. Louis. The 27th annual Budweiser Gun 'N Hoses was held at Scott Trade Center and featured 15 fights between area fire fighters and police officers.

For the first time in the event's history, three bouts were contested under mixed martial arts rules. The total number of fights is down from previous years, but organizers hope the event can still rake in close to $250,000 for BackStoppers, the organization that supports families of first responders who die in the line of duty.

The night's one female boxing matchup featured Pari Stocker, who followed in the footsteps of her brother and father when she became a fire fighter for Eureka Fire Protection District in May, and when she stepped into the ring and won at Gun 'N Hoses. Her brother won in 2012 and her father fought in the first ever Guns 'N Hoses.

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Firefighter Injured in North St. Louis House Fire

September 15, 2013 - KSDK

ST. LOUIS - A St. Louis city firefighter was injured after he fell through the floor of a home while putting out a fire Sunday afternoon.

Firefighters were called to a home in the 5000 block of Arlington Avenue just after 1:30 Sunday afternoon.

When firefighters arrived there was heavy smoke and flames coming from the home.

The battalion chief told us the flames were so bad it weakened the floors and a firefighter actually fell through. Thankfully that firefighter was transported to a hospital with minor injures and is expected to be okay.

The family who lived inside was not home at the time. Investigators think the fire may have started somewhere near the back of the home, but have not pinpointed a cause.

NewsChannel 5 will bring you more information as it becomes available.

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Oats-Boudreau Engagement

September 9, 2013 - Suburban Journal

- Jen Oats and Tom Boudreau announce their engagement and upcoming wedding planned for Sept. 27, 2014. The bride-to-be is the daughter of Eddie and Karen Oats of Hillsboro and Beverly Nation of St. Louis. Her fiance's parents are Gerry and Barb Boudreau of St. Charles.

Ms. Oats studied business and marketing at St. Louis Community College and works in title clearance with Continental REO Services in St. Louis. The future, who is studying fire science at Forest Park Community College, is a firefighter with the St. Louis City Fire Department. The couple lives in St. Louis.

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St. Louis Firefighters Rescued Couple from Burning Home with Just Seconds to Spare

September 8, 2013 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

ST. LOUIS - St. Louis Firefighter Ron Jones, Fire Capt. David Crawford and Firefighter Pat Pollihan stand on debris at the rear of a home in the 8300 block of Vulcan Street. On May 31, the trio, along with Firefighter Lori Riley, rescued a couple trapped on the second story of their home. Fire had cut off the stairwell - the only way out - so they had to be pulled from a window. Photo by Susan Weich, sweich@post-dispatch.com

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St. Louis City Ambulance Bursts into Flames Outside an Emergency Room

August 25, 2013 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

A fire erupted inside the engine and cab area of a St. Louis Fire Department emergency vehicle at 9:06 a.m. today after paramedics delivered a patient to St. Mary's Hospital, according to Richmond Heights Battalion Chief Steve Carmen.

When paramedics returned outside they noticed a haze around the ambulance, Carmen said. The engine and cab area were in flames and burned pretty thoroughly, he said. The 2005 St. Louis City Medic ll ambulance is a total loss, he said. The cause of the blaze is being investigated but Carmen believes the fire was the result of an alternator problem. The vehicle was taken to a mechanic to determine the exact cause, he said.

"We know what side of the engine the fire started on," he said. Carmen did not know the total cost of the destruction but estimated it was at least $130,000.

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Increased St. Louis City Fire Rating Causes Spike in Residents' Insurance

August 12, 2013 - KMOV

ST. LOUIS - The ISO rating for the St. Louis City Fire District is higher than it should be which is forcing resident's homeowners insurance to rise.

The city received a two instead of a one meaning higher rates for city residents. The rating is given based on things like water supply and how quickly the department responds to emergencies.

"There are some issues with how calls are received, in other words, how we monitor circuits. They're working on that but that's going to be a while until we're able to combine dispatch centers," Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson (above photo) said of his disappointment in the rating.

The chief also said some of the equipment is more than ten years only, adding to the higher rating.

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Man Found Dead in St. Louis House Fire

August 9, 2013 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

ST. LOUIS - Firefighters say a man died in a house fire Friday afternoon in St. Louis.

Authorities say the blaze was reported about 3 p.m. in the 5000 block of Lotus Avenue.

Firefighters arrived to heavy smoke spilling from the three-story brick house, went inside and found the man dead in a second-floor bathroom. Flames were shooting from the rear of the home.

Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson said the fire appeared to have started on the first floor about 2:30 p.m. and burned awhile before firefighters were called.

A neighbor who lives across the street, Edrean Pierce, 40, said she saw smoke pouring from the home; she said her uncle and another neighbor tried to get inside the house to rescue him and screamed his name but were pushed back by heavy smoke.

"I was hoping he wasn't in there," Pierce said. "That's so sad."

Pierce said the man has mental disabilities and attends adult day care. She said neighbors knew him as the man who often carried his lunchbox with him. A van from the day care center had just dropped him off about 2 p.m.

"He was always happy with his lunchbox in his hand," Pierce said. "He was a very jolly person."

Authorities had not released the man's identity but relatives had arrived at the fire scene to identify him. They declined to comment.

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Man Found Dead in St. Louis House Fire

August 9, 2013 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

ST. LOUIS - Firefighters say a man died in a house fire Friday afternoon in St. Louis.

Authorities say the blaze was reported about 3 p.m. in the 5000 block of Lotus Avenue.

Firefighters arrived to heavy smoke spilling from the three-story brick house, went inside and found the man dead in a second-floor bathroom. Flames were shooting from the rear of the home.

Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson said the fire appeared to have started on the first floor about 2:30 p.m. and burned awhile before firefighters were called.

A neighbor who lives across the street, Edrean Pierce, 40, said she saw smoke pouring from the home; she said her uncle and another neighbor tried to get inside the house to rescue him and screamed his name but were pushed back by heavy smoke.

"I was hoping he wasn't in there," Pierce said. "That's so sad."

Pierce said the man has mental disabilities and attends adult day care. She said neighbors knew him as the man who often carried his lunchbox with him. A van from the day care center had just dropped him off about 2 p.m.

"He was always happy with his lunchbox in his hand," Pierce said. "He was a very jolly person."

Authorities had not released the man's identity but relatives had arrived at the fire scene to identify him. They declined to comment.

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Wedding Engagement - Moore-Moorehead

August 3, 2013 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

ST. LOUIS - Sandra and Johnny Moore Sr. of St. Louis announce the engagement of their daughter, Monica Moore, to Irving Moorehead, son of Willow and Irving Moorehead Sr. of St. Louis. The bride-to-be, of Ferguson, received a bachelor of science degree in early childhood education from Harris-Stowe State University, St. Louis. She is co-owner of Kidz-Biz Inc., University City. Her fiance received a bachelor of arts degree in business administration from Columbia College, Columbia, Mo. He lives in St. Louis where he is a firefighter for the city. The couple plans to be married Aug. 17, 2013, and honeymoon in Cancun.

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Fire destroys apartment building on North Market overnight

July 31, 2013 - KSDK

ST. LOUIS- Fire investigators continue to search for evidence of what sparked a huge fire that destroyed a vacant apartment building in north St. Louis.

Firefighters got the call around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday and arrived to the fire scene in the 4500 block of North Market near Taylor and found the blaze well underway.

The building where the fire started was vacant and situated alongside two other vacant buildings which were spared.

Firefighters were forced to back off fighting the fire for a time when a portion of the front side of the two and a half story brick building collapsed into the yard.

No injuries reported and the building is a total loss.

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Forest Park Highlands Fire: 50th Anniversary

July 19, 2013 - KSDK

ST. LOUIS - Fifty years ago Friday a fire swept through the Forest Park Highlands, destroying the amusement park, shutting down Highway 40, and injuring nine firefighters.

Smoke was first spotted around 12 p.m. Friday, July 19, 1963 by David Mitchell, a friend of Don Lewis Jr., an employee working that day at the sno cone stand.

Mitchell spotted the smoke coming from the basement of the restaurant. As maintenance workers attempted to put the fire out there was a small explosion, causing the fire to spread more quickly.

The fire traveled between carnival rides until most of the park was ignited.

Nearly 260 firefighters and 46 fire trucks were called in that day.

Pool water from the park's swimming pool was used in the fire truck pumper, and to help cool down firefighters battling the blaze in the day's 97 degree heat.

Located at 5600 Oakland Avenue, people lined up outside the Forest Park Zoo and watched as the Highlands burned to the ground.

The only structures that survived the fire were the Comet rollercoaster, the ferris wheel, and the merry-go-round.

More on KSDK story and more photos




Children of Fallen Firefighter to Be Awarded Scholarships

July 15, 2013 - KTVI

JEFFERSON CITY - The children of two fallen firefighters will be awarded scholarships from the ICMA-RC Vantagepoint Public Employee Memorial Scholarship Award.

This year's award winner will be Megan and Matthew, 22-year old siblings of Robert Bruce Morrison, who died serving the St. Louis Fire Department and April Crockett, daughter of Terrance Crockett, who died serving the Kansas City Fire Department.

A ceremony will be held at 1:00 pm, Wednesday, July 31, in the rotunda on the first floor at the state capitol building.

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St. Louis Firefighters Battle Smoky Blaze in Apartment Building

July 15, 2013 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

ST. LOUIS - St. Louis firefighters put on their air masks before re-entering the building during a smoky one-alarm fire on Monday, July 15, 2013, in a four-family apartment building in the 7900 block of North Broadway in St. Louis. The fire reportedly started in the basement. No one was injured. Photo by J.B. Forbes, jforbes@post-dispatch.com

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Woman's Body Pulled from Mississippi River in St. Louis

June 8, 2013 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

ST. LOUIS - St. Louis firefighters use a boat to transport a body found in the Mississippi River to the bank of the city water treatment plant near the Chain of Rocks Bridge on Monday, July 8, 2013. Photo by Robert Cohen, rcohen@post-dispatch.com

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St. Louis Jury Finds Man Guilty of Arson in Midtown Apartment Blaze

June 27, 2013 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

ST. LOUIS - A jury has found a St. Louis man guilty of setting fire to his ex-boyfriend's apartment, causing a three-alarm blaze that forced several residents out their windows to be rescued.

Prosecutors said on Aug. 4, 2011, Michael Grimes went to his ex-boyfriend's third-floor unit at the Lindell Park Apartments, in the 300 block of Vandeventer Avenue, and pretended he had a weapon, which he threatened to use.

Then, they said, Grimes returned around 10:30 that night and set the place on fire.

When firefighters arrived, three people were hanging out windows in the 100-unit building and had to be saved. One neighbor became unconscious due to smoke inhalation and was on life-support for four days, prosecutors said.

Firefighters brought the blaze under control within about an hour. Most of the damage was confined to the third floor.

Prosecutors said several of the building's residents testified at trial and were vital in obtaining Thursday's conviction.

The jury found Grimes, 51, guilty of first-degree arson, first-degree burglary and third-degree assault after about five hours of deliberation. He was acquitted of a second-degree burglary charge that prosecutors brought on allegations that the earlier trip to the apartment had been a break-in.

Sentencing is set for Aug. 9.

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Underground Fire Doused in Downtown St. Louis

June 26, 2013 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

ST. LOUIS - St. Louis Battalion Chiefs watch an electrical fire come up out of a grill from an underground electrical vault on Seventh street next to One US Bank Plaza in downtown St. Louis on Tuesday, June 25, 2013. Photo by J.B. Forbes, jforbes@post-dispatch.com

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Fire Chief Has New Equipment, Old Worries

June 19, 2013 - KMOX

ST. LOUIS - Standing on the brink of a hot summer, Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson says the fleet is ready, the firefighters are ready, but there's always something to worry about.

The department recently replaced nine pumper trucks, refurbished nine others, and added two new ladder trucks - for a total of five ladder trucks able to reach 125 feet high.

That's high enough to reach the 8th floor of a high rise fire, Jenkerson said. How to fight a high rise fire has been the subject of ongoing training with other departments.

"We coordinated with Chicago and New York and looked for some of those issues," Jenkerson said, "That's been an ongoing discussion for a couple of years now, so I think we're in a pretty good position for fighting a high rise fire."

What worries Jenkerson the most is firefighters getting hurt in abandoned building fires where crews have to go in to check for occupants.

"People say, 'oh, it's vacant why do you go in there?' But we have quite a few homeless people at night they seek shelter in these buildings," Jenkerson said, "We still have to go in and check these buildings. With some of the conditions of some of the older buildings that's always a concern - somebody making a wrong turn, steps falling through, holes in the floors."

The Chief says the department also added a 27-foot boat for water rescues, and plans to get a 47-foot fire boat capable of fighting fires on the river in September.

The fire department also manages the city's ambulance fleet. Jenkerson says they have a dozen ambulances on the streets every day with eight back up ambulances. Most of the city's ambulances are about for years old and will need to be replaced in a year or so, Jenkerson says.

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Workers Call off Search after Motorist Is Rescued from River Des Peres

June 16, 2013 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

ST. LOUIS - Police and fire officials have called off a search of River des Peres after a motorist was pulled from the water Sunday morning and suggested that children may be trapped in his submerged vehicle.

The man rescued was described as incoherent, but he kept mentioning children, police said.

Officials said all of the man's children have been located and are safe. Rescue workers pulled his truck from the river and found no one inside. The man was taken to an area hospital.

They were called to the scene, near interstate 55 and Morganford Road, at about 11:30 a.m.

Chris Dimza, a four-year city paramedic/firefighter who was off-duty, said he was driving in the area with his wife when he noticed other drivers pulled over and getting out of their cars. He got out, too, and saw the truck sinking into the water.

He said he jumped into the river and saw the driver pop out of the water. He then helped him swim ashore.

St. Louis Fire Capt. Dan Sutter said the driver was headed north on Cortois Street when he failed to make a turn and drove into the river.

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Judge allows City of St. Louis to end its retirement plan for firefighters

June 3, 2013 - KSDK

ST. LOUIS - A judge is allowing the City of St. Louis to end its retirement plan for St. Louis firefighters to implement a less expensive plan.

The Firemen's Retirement System will be terminated and a new pension program called the Firefighters Retirement Plan will begin.

Maggie Crane, a spokesperson for Mayor Francis Slay, says firefighters who have been with the department for at least 20 years will not see a change in their pension.

Firefighters who have spent less than 20 years with the department must contribute nine percent to their retirement plan, and if they retire before age 55, they will have a reduced benefit. The changes are effective February 1, 2013.

The new plan also allows for firefighters who are too hurt to work to get a full disability pension, unless doctors find the firefighter fit to do another job. If the firefighter is fit enough to do another job, they will get a smaller pension.

Crane says the changes will save almost $5 million tax dollars in the first year, and almost $50 million over the next 30 years.

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Unconscious Man Pulled from Burning Building in St. Louis

May 30, 2013 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

ST. LOUIS - Firefighters and investigators gather outside the old Rexall building early Thursday morning, May 30, 2013, near North Kingshighway and Natural Bridge Avenue in St. Louis, after crews quickly extinguished a fire on the sixth floor of the high-rise building. A man in cardiac arrest was pulled from the building by firefighters and taken to a local hospital. Photo by Erik M. Lunsford elunsford@post-dispatch.com

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St. Louis Rescue Workers Honored for Lifesaving Actions in 2012

May 23, 2013 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

ST. LOUIS - The fire in the house just south of downtown in January 2012 had flashed over, and a call went out for all the firefighters to exit. One St. Louis firefighter, Currie Neverls, hadn't made it out.

Firefighter Eric Larry rushed in, and met a disoriented and burned Neverls at the top of some stairs. Neverls fell into Larry's arms.

"I just did it," Larry said Thursday night, after receiving an award for his lifesaving actions. "I knew my man was up there."

In August, St. Louis firefighter Rodney Williams was on vacation in Montgomery, Ala., swimming with his two young daughters at a hotel pool when he noticed a 4-year-old boy face down in the pool. He picked up the lifeless boy and began CPR. The boy was awake and talking by the time local paramedics arrived.

"I was glad to be at the right place at the right time," Williams said after receiving his award.

Williams, Larry and 34 other St. Louis firefighters, paramedics and emergency medical technicians were honored at the Third Annual Lifesaving Awards Ceremony, held at St. Louis Community College at Forest Park.

The ceremony was sponsored in part by the St. Louis Fire Department Lifesaving Foundation, a nonprofit group that raises money to provide equipment and training for citizens and the St. Louis Fire Department. The foundation has provided equipment like specially equipped bicycles for an EMS bike team, special needles to more easily administer intravenous fluids, and portable defibrillators for the department and for city buildings like the jail, courts and City Hall.

"Everything the foundation buys goes toward a piece of equipment or training that will save a life - whether that is of a citizen or a firefighter," Chief Dennis Jenkerson explained.

During the ceremony, the Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital announced a $50,000 donation to the foundation, and St. Louis University Hospital announced it also made a $50,000 donation.

It's part of a campaign to build a simulation center to better train rescue workers to work in real-life situations, such as in narrow walkways between buildings or in dim lighting.

The other members of the fire department were honored for reviving a man who had collapsed, a woman who went into cardiac arrest at a casino, a 40-year-old man whose heart had stopped while playing basketball, a toddler who had collapsed during a house fire, a man who went into cardiac arrest after a car crash, and for providing CPR to an unresponsive child. The child later died, but the crew's actions enabled a hospital to use the child's organs to save the lives of eight other patients.

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Firefighters Search for Fisherman on Mississippi

May 21, 2013 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

ST. LOUIS - Searchers aboard a St. Louis Fire Department boat watch for a fisherman who was reported floating in the Mississippi River after a car accident on Monday, May 20, 201,3 near Merchants Bridge in St. Louis. Photo by Robert Cohen, rcohen@post-dispatch.com

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St. Louis Had No Ambulance Service 27 Times over past 6 Months

May 8, 2013 - KSDK

ST. LOUIS - What if you called 911 and there were no ambulances available?

An I-Team analysis of public documents shows it is happening in the City of St. Louis almost every single day. While private companies usually cover the gap, we found multiple times when the city, its hospitals, and its citizens have no ambulances at all.

EMS responded to 90,000 emergency calls last year. St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson is in charge of EMS and the Fire Department.

"I look at the numbers everyday of how many calls we have....everyday," said Chief Jenkerson.

Because of overtime costs, a high turnover rate, and the time it takes to train new paramedics, the chief started taking two of his 12 ambulances out of service, almost daily. First responders call it a brownout.

Paramedics like Melissa Rieger say, "That does put people at risk." Reiger is also 3rd Vice President of The International Association of Fire Fighters, Paramedics, EMTs and Dispatchers Local 73. She says the life and death impact of a brownout results in slower response times.

Chief Jenkerson contends the paramedic's union is circulating misinformation and says the department has adequate resources. Any suggestion to the contrary, he says, is false.

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Fatal fire in St. Louis

April 19, 2013 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

ST. LOUIS - Firefighters work to extinguish a blaze in the 5300 block of Theodosia Avenue in St. Louis on Friday, April 19, 2013. A man died in the fire. Photo by Christian Gooden, cgooden@post-dispatch.com

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Firemen's Retirement System rejects demand to cut employee benefits

April 17, 2013 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

ST. LOUIS - (PHOTO) Firemen's Retirement System Executive Director Vicky Grass and Board Chairman Len Wiesehan disagree with Mayor Slay's Operations Director Eddie Roth's line of questioning regarding pension benefits at the system's board meeting in St. Louis on Tuesday, March 12, 2013. Photo by Laurie Skrivan, lskrivan@post-dispatch.com

The Firemen's Retirement System board rejected on Wednesday a push to cut benefits from its four-person staff.

Eddie Roth, the city's director of operations who was recently appointed by Mayor Francis Slay to sit on the board, made a series of motions to cut what he called lavish severance packages to the employees, in addition to other benefits including automatic annual raises.

The Post-Dispatch highlighted the benefits in a March story. The workers, who run the day-to-day operations of the $450 million Firemen's Retirement System, get up to 61 days of annual vacation, sick leave and holidays.

They also are eligible for bonuses of up to $2,500 a year, get nearly all of their vision expenses paid and receive an annual check to cover medical and dental premiums, the story reported. They also receive cost-of-living pay raises and three separate retirement plans.

But all but one of Roth's 11 motions to trim back the benefits were rejected Wednesday. The only one to pass requires employees to accurately label their bonuses. In the past, the bonuses were reported as "overtime." (Officials said that the practice was done as an accounting convenience, and that employees weren't paid at actual overtime rates.)

"I'm very disappointed with the actions of the board," Roth said after the votes.

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St. Louis Firefighter Injured In Afternoon Fire

March 28, 2013 - KMOX

ST. LOUIS - There's no word on the condition of the St. Louis firefighter who was injured while battling a noon-hour blaze that gutted a south St. Louis home.

Captain Dan Sutter tells KMOX when firefighters got to the three-story brick building at the corner of Magnolia and Louisiana, flames had engulfed the basement then quickly filled the first floor.

When the floor starting giving way, firefighters were ordered out of the building.

The woman and child who live there got out on their own. The cause investigation is underway.

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ST. LOUIS POST DISPATCH - St. Louis firefighter Ron Schroeder, from Rescue Squad 2, recovers after fighting a house fire at Magnolia and Louisiana avenues on Thursday afternoon, March 28, 2013. Photo by J.B. Forbes, jforbes@post-dispatch.com




Boy dies after being pulled from St. Louis house fire

March 20, 2013 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

ST. LOUIS - St. Louis firefighters work to extinguish a fire in the 4500 block of Emerson Avenue on Wednesday, March 20, 2013. A 5-year-old boy rescued from the fire was taken to St. Louis Children's Hospital and later died.

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HIBERNIANS HOLD SPECIAL BENEFIT TO RECOGNIZE SEVEN OUTSTANDING ST. LOUISIANS

March 3, 2013 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

ST. LOUIS - The Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) will honor seven distinguished St. Louisians at a special benefit and award ceremony on Thursday, March 14 at 6:00 PM at the Electrician's Hall (IBEW Local 1) 5850 Elizabeth, St. Louis, Mo. The Hibernian celebration is dedicated to firefighters, law enforcement officers, public safety personnel and union members killed in the line of duty since September 11, 2001. The annual benefit is held in conjunction the 2013 AOH Saint Patrick's Day Parade, March 17 in Dogtown.

The honored include the 2013 AOH Parade Grand Marshal Peggy Skredenske, longtime resident of the Dogtown neighborhood, St. Louis County Police Officer Gary Robertson, retired St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department captain, Henry "Boots" Llewellyn, St. Louis County Firefighter Matt Hogan of West County Fire and EMS and St. Louis Fire Department Firefighter Eugene Floyd, 2013 AOH Labor Leader ironworker, Tom McNeil, and 2013 AOH Civic Leader Rich Callahan, U.S. Attorney for Eastern Missouri.

The event will also feature Irish music and dance and is open to the public. The suggested donation is $15.00 per person. Funds raised help underwrite the AOH Parade and help support Irish charities.

"We are really gratified by all the support St. Louis community, especially our labor unions have given the Hibernians as we try to honor these folks," said AOH spokesman Jim Wahl. "The Hibernians also wants to thank Local 73 of the St. Louis Fire Department, Local 2665 of the St. Louis County Fire Department, the Emerald Society of St. Louis and the Electrical Workers Union (IBEW Local 1) for all their support in putting on this event," Wahl added.

St. Louis will get one more opportunity to honor these individuals at the 30th annual Ancient Order of Hibernians St. Patrick's Day Parade, Sunday, March 17. The parade, a St. Louis tradition, passes through one of St. Louis' oldest Irish neighborhoods beginning at 12:30 p.m. south of the Tamm Avenue overpass at Oakland Boulevard. The route travels south on Tamm Avenue, past historic St. James the Greater Catholic Church, and ends at Manchester Road.

For more information on the AOH Benefit contact Jim Wahl at (314) 421-3100.

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A man's best friend at St. Louis fire

December 28, 2012 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

St. Louis firefighter Bob Maguire tries to get the attention of a dog named Colby who watches firefighters attend to a fire that broke out in his owner's residence in the 1900 block of Coleman Street in St. Louis on Friday, Dec. 28, 2012. According to an eyewitness, when firefighters broke down the door, Colby ran out. He ran up the street four blocks to get the attention of his owner, Jamal Arnold, who was picking up a paycheck at his work. Photo by Laurie Skrivan, lskrivan@post-dispatch.com




1 victim rescued, another jumped from burning St. Louis city home

December 26, 2012 - KMOV

ST. LOUIS - Two people are hospitalized after a fire broke out at a St. Louis city house early Wednesday morning.

According to the authorities, one person was trapped inside the burning home on the 5300 block of Greer when crews arrived shortly after 2 a.m.

Four occupants were able to get out of the home uninjured before crews arrived on scene.

A short time later, firefighters made entry into the home and rescued the trapped victim.

Fire officials say a sixth person was forced to jump from a second-story window to safety. They suffered non-life threatening injuries in the jump.

Firefighters worked to contain the fire while also fighting icy conditions at the scene.

Two victims were transported to area hospitals. Their conditions are not known at this time.

Fire authorities are working to determine the cause of the blaze.

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Fire pension administrators cash in during the holidays

December 21, 2012 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

ST. LOUIS - Three administrators of the Firemen's Retirement System of St. Louis have together received more than $40,000 in holiday bonus pay over the past four years, even as city workers have largely gone without a raise.

Every year during the first week in December, the three fire pension employees collected checks ranging from $2,400 to more than $6,000 - paid via the city's payroll system as overtime.

This year, Susan Degunia, an administrative assistant who makes nearly $70,000 a year, charged the system for 90.4 hours of overtime in the two-week pay period, or $3,032 extra. Marilyn Williams, an administrative secretary who is paid $56,500 a year and is the wife of system board member Bruce Williams, filed for 93.9 hours of overtime, or $2,550.

And Vicky Grass, the system's $120,000-a-year executive director, signed for 84.2 hours of her own overtime, costing the system $4,857.

Over the past four years, Grass has been paid more than $20,000 in extra December cash.

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Bonte-Weffelmeyer engagement

St. Louis Post Dispatch

SAINT LOUIS - Kathy and Charlie Bonte of Fenton announce the engagement of their daughter, Stacie Bonte, to Jeff Weffelmeyer, son of Lynn and Keith Weffelmeyer.

The bride-to-be, of Fenton, received a bachelor of science degree in management information systems from William Woods University, Fulton. She is IT manager for Fleishman-Hillard in St. Louis. Her fiance, of St. Louis, graduated from St. Louis Fire Academy and is employed by the St. Louis Fire Department as a firefighter. A June 22, 2013, wedding is planned.

Jeff Weffelmeyer's father, Keith Weffelmeyer, is a retired Deputy Fire Chief of the Fenton Fire Protection District.




St. Louis Firefighter Dies After Going On Call

December 12, 2012 - KMOX

ST. LOUIS - A St. Louis City firefighter died this morning at a fire station on S. Kingshighway while on duty.

Jeffrey Hudson appeared to have died in his sleep at Fire Station #36 after going on a call early this morning. He was found in his bunk later in the morning.

The department said Hudson's death will likely be considered to have occurred in the line of duty.

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Firefighters edge out police officers in Guns 'N Hoses

Chris Childers with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department (left) boxes against Jimmy D'Angelo with the Eureka Fire Protection District (right) during Bout 5 of the 26th Budweiser Guns 'N Hoses Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012, at Scottrade Center in St. Louis. Childers won the match. Photo by Laurie Skrivan, lskrivan@post-dispatch.com

November 22, 2012 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

Area firefighters edged out police officers with a 12-9 team decision in the 26th annual Budweiser Guns 'N Hoses Wednesday night at Scottrade Center in St. Louis.

The teams traded victories throughout the night, but firefighters won four consecutive fights late to seal the victory, according to a news release.

Proceeds from Budweiser Guns "N Hoses benefit The BackStoppers, an organization that assists the families of police officers, firefighters and emergency medical responders who lose their lives in the line of duty. Funds generated will increase the $3.6 million the event has raised for The BackStoppers through 2012. The amount raised Wednesday night is expected to be announced by the end of the year.

Among the highlights of the evening was an announcement of a $60,000 donation to the BackStoppers from Anheuser-Busch and its area wholesalers through a "Hometown Heroes" promotion. The donation included a contribution by Anheuser-Busch from area wholesaler sales of Anheuser-Busch products and other community support.

The results were as follows, according to the news release:
1. Mark Barnhart, Pattonville fire district, LOST TO Ryan Dunn, Clayton police.
2. Chris Granda, Rock Community fire district, DEFEATED Ryan Counterman, Hazelwood police.
3. Kelly Kennon, Union fire district, DEFEATED Julie Reynolds, St. Louis police.
4. Steve Lodes, St. Louis City fire department, DEFEATED Ben Granda, St. Louis County police.
5. Jimmy D?Angelo, Eureka fire district, LOST TO Chris Childers, St. Louis police.
6. Caressa Williams, St. Louis fire department, LOST TO Lisa Reynolds, St. Louis County police.
7. Dan Oldenwald, Fenton fire district, LOST TO Daniel Book, St. Louis police.
8. Joe Sanchez, Rock Community fire district, DEFEATED Matt O?Neill, St. Louis County police.
9. Jeanetra Thompson, St. Louis city fire department, DEFEATED Rachel Capps, St. Louis police.
10. Thomas Duncan, Crestwood fire district, LOST TO Scott Stickman, St. Louis County police.
11. Justin Wilkinson Rosewood Heights fire department, LOST TO George Henry, St. Louis police.
12. Sydney Jordan, St. Louis City fire department, DEFEATED Mike Sweet, Ballwin police.
13. Chris Buchmeier, Frontenac fire department, LOST TO Joe Fitzpatrick, Department of Corrections (Ill.).
14. Anthony Crawford, St. Louis fire department, DEFEATED Mel Straub, Fairmont City police.
15. Salvo Parrenti, Webster Groves fire district, LOST TO Kevin Sanders, St. Louis police.
16. Keith Skaggs, Affton fire district, DEFEATED Tom Wilkison, St. Charles police.
17. Paul Vessels, Creve Coeur fire district, DEFEATED Larry Wentzel, St. Louis police.
18. Steve Kirdy, Monarch fire district, DEFEATED Bryan Goodfield, Federal Bureau of Prisons (Ill.).
19. Joe Stocker, Eureka fire district, DEFEATED Anthony Davis, Manchester police.
20. Ryan Ahlmeyer, Cahokia fire district, LOST TO Joe Judge, Overland police.
21. Steve Womack, St. Louis fire, DEFEATED Nathaniel Jordan, St. Louis police.

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Reed ranks city firefighters ahead of county's. "And the firemen, the firemen in the county don't really fight fires. They get a call and watch the building burn."

Lewis Reed, president of the city's Board of Aldermen, visits with supporters including Demetris Alfred (left) of Firefighters Local 73 after announcing his candidacy for St. Louis mayor on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, at Sqwires restaurant in Lafayette Square. Photo by Robert Cohen, rcohen@post-dispatch.com

November 21, 2012 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

ST. LOUIS - As if more fuel was needed to spark more City/County feuding ...

STL aldermanic President Lewis Reed attended a neighborhood meeting Monday night at the Club Big Mo's on Tower Grove Avenue. In attendance were a number of STL firefighters, including Demietris "Al" Alfred, who will take over in January as head of Local 73 of the International Association of Firefighters union.

Reed is challenging incumbent Mayor Francis G. Slay in the upcoming March municipal primaries. He could not be reached for comment.

At the meeting, Reed praised to work of city police and firefighters. And when it came to specifics, Reed said, "And the firemen, the firemen in the county don't really fight fires. They get a call and watch the building burn."

Good thing county firefighters tend not to vote in city elections.

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Firefighter, resident injured in building fire on 23rd Street

November 15, 2012 - KSDK -

ST. LOUIS - Old North St. - A smoky fire that filled both floors of a building at the corner of 23rd and Warren Streets early this morning remains under investigation.

Two injuries have been reported at the fire scene, including one St. Louis firefighter who was transported to the hospital, and a man who escaped the burning building, but was overcome by smoke. He was also taken to a hospital for treatment.

Firefighters responded to the fire around 4:20 a.m. Thursday after they received a call from a neighbor who was informed of the fire by a man living inside the building.

Firefighters were able to get inside the building, but not before cutting a hole through the roof of the two story structure due to security bars on all of the ground level windows.

More on KSDK story




Missouri Supreme Court rules St. Louis must let some firefighters move out

November 14, 2012 - St. Louis Post Dispatch

ST. LOUIS - The Missouri Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that firefighters with seven years on the job can move out of the city, altering a decades-old fire department residency requirement.

In a 6-0 decision written by Judge Laura Denvir Stith, the state's high court overturned a trial court and determined that the 2010 state law exempting firefighters from the city residency requirement was legal.

"It's a very, very big deal for us," said Capt. Ken Mitchell, a fire union official who worked on the legislation. "It's a great win. We had overwhelming bipartisan support in the House and Senate."

The ruling further complicates the already troubled relationship between Mayor Francis Slay and firefighters, who have recently fought over such issues as sick leave, after-hours pay and pension benefits.

Slay's chief of staff, Jeff Rainford, called the residency exception an insult to city taxpayers.

"The people of St. Louis should decide their own affairs, not the politicians of Jefferson City," Rainford said.

Slay fought against the state law in principle, Rainford said, not because he stood resolutely against firefighters moving out of the city.

Slay even offered to support a charter amendment accomplishing the same thing, Rainford said, but taken to city voters instead of the Legislature.

"It's not a huge defeat, but it is aggravating for the citizens of St. Louis," he said. "You're basically insulting people, telling them you don't want to live in their neighborhood."

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Woman injured after car goes up in flames in downtown St. Louis



St. Louis aldermen seek to return retirement benefits to vested firefighters

October 22, 2012 - St. Louis Post Dispatch ST. LOUIS -
Aldermen pushed a bill Monday to revamp portions of the city's prospective firefighter retirement plan and return benefits to future retirees' in hopes the compromises will persuade a judge that the proposal is legal.

The plan, passed earlier this year, has been on hold due to the judge's ruling last month.

The revised plan, if passed, will allow "vested" employees' those with more than 20 years on the job, to keep the benefit package currently in place, with retirement cash extras and no minimum retirement age.

It also removes a cap on cost-of-living increases for firefighters who become disabled on the job.

The compromises, however, will come at a cost.

City budget officials said that the revised retirement plan means about $500,000 more in annual costs to the city. It also eliminates part of an accounting change that would have provided an additional $2.8 million in immediate savings.

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One firefighter suffers minor injuries in St. Louis fire

October 17, 2012 - St. Louis Post Dispatch
ST. LOUIS -
Flames were still evident at noon on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012, an hour and a half after firefighters were called to this fire in a two-story vacant building in the 5500 block of Michigan Avenue.

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ENGINE HOUSEWORK

October 16, 2012 - St. Louis Post Dispatch ST. LOUIS -
St. Louis Firefighers Tim Jones (left) and Peter Selvey squeegee the floor of Engine House No. 13 after mopping it clean as part of their daily housework duties on Monday, Oct. 15, 2012. Firefighters have such work to do each day after roll call and before normal training and practice. "While fighting fires is the most dangerous work we do, it's the lowest percentage of all of it," said Capt. Larry Conley, the officer in charge of the station located on Shamut Place at Ridge Avenue on the city's north side. Today's work also included installing carbon monoxide detectors that had been provided by a grant in area homes. Photo by Christian Gooden, cgooden@post-dispatch.com

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Judge temporarily blocks Slay's fire pension plan

September 29, 2012 - ST. LOUIS - A circuit court judge has called a portion of Mayor Francis Slay's long-debated firefighter pension overhaul plan "invalid," and temporarily blocked its start, choosing instead to delay his final decision for trial next month.

At the same time, Judge Robert Dierker said in the memorandum and order, released late Friday afternoon, that the city could indeed terminate the existing Firemen's Retirement System of St. Louis, and start a new plan ? a triumph for Slay, and a point at the core of the fight.

"It is a relief," said Slay's chief of staff, Jeff Rainford. "If it sticks, it will be a landmark day."

Slay's proposal, which passed the Board of Aldermen this year with widespread support and was to be enacted Monday, would cut years of small benefit increases for city firefighters and save millions of dollars a year in city payments.

Firefighters, retirement system trustees and some aldermen ? most notably aldermanic President Lewis Reed ? said the city had to get permission from the state Legislature to end the current system, a point Dierker's memorandum does not support.

"They can see it however they want," Rainford said. "The judge ruled that the city can do this. On that point, the judge clearly and unambiguously sided with the city."

Dierker, however, also sided with firefighters on a few points, declaring that the mayor's plan was "invalid at least in part," leading to the firefighter's own claim of victory.

"It's a clear win for FRS," said Dan Tobben, the attorney representing the retirement system. "At end of the day, the judge said what the city has done is invalid."

Dierker specifically said that one part of the proposal, cutting benefits for vested firefighters with more than 20 years on the force, was illegal.

Dierker also said that the city's means for paying for the new system ? by combining it with the old ? wasn't allowed by law.

Rainford said the mayor may return to the Board of Aldermen to remedy some of the issues.

The trial is set to begin Oct. 22. Either way, it's almost certain that one of the sides will appeal his ruling, a point Dierker has acknowledged. More on STLtoday story




4th annual Firefighters' Vigil held downtown

St. Louis (KSDK) - September 6, 2012 - St. Louis firefighters killed in the line of duty were honored Thursday night. The 4th annual Firefighters' Vigil was held at the firefighter statue at Market and Tucker in downtown St. Louis.

Every year more than 190 names of fallen firefighters from across the area are read.

The event kicks off a weekend celebration of the St. Louis Regional Fire Service.

KSDK.COM story



Dogs rescued from north St. Louis house fire

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- No one was hurt in the fire and the fire department was able to rescue the dogs from the home.
KMOV.COM story