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From the Eye of the DRONE

NE Charlotte Fire

By Justin Sellers, August 7, 2015

You pull up on scene, smoke is billowing and firefighters are everywhere. You are a chief, you have no clue where your people are. You are supposed to establish IC (Incident Command), but you feel that you are already behind the power curve.

Fire officials responded to the fire around 2:30 a.m. at an apartment in the 6400 block of Countryside Drive. They reported arriving to heavy flames coming from the three-story complex.

Confidently, you reach into your case and pull out your UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle), power it into the sky, and immediately you see where your people are and what they are doing. Many departments across the U.S. are now able to relate to the above scenario due to the fact that UAV usage in emergency services is drastically increasing. Departments across the U.S. are acquiring, training and utilizing these pieces of equipment all on their own. However, many departments are puzzled as to what they can use them for, how to use it legally, and how to train with the assets.

Most departments in the U.S. right now are actually not using UAVs legally. They just pull them out and throw them up, which is not proper protocol according to the FAA.

Hepatitis C increase

By PATRICK WHITTLE, Associated Press
08/13/2015

MACHIAS, Maine (AP) — Public health agencies and drug treatment centers nationwide are scrambling to battle an explosive increase in cases of hepatitis C, a scourge they believe stems at least in part from a surge in intravenous heroin use.

In response, authorities are instituting or considering needle exchange programs but are often stymied by geography — many cases are in rural areas — and the cost of treatment in tight times.

In Washington County, at the nation's eastern edge, the rate of the acute form of hepatitis C last year was the highest in a state that was already more than triple the national average. The problem, health officials there agree, is spurred by the surge in the use of heroin and other injectable drugs and the sharing of needles to get high.

 

 

NFPA Post-Holiday Safety

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there are more home structure fires in the cooler months than any other time of year. As pine needles begin to drop on living room carpets, NFPA is offering suggestions for safe storage and removal of holiday decorations.

“It’s not uncommon to see residents keeping lights and Christmas trees up past December,” said Lorraine Carli, vice president of communications for NFPA. “The reality is, continued use of seasonal lighting and dried-out Christmas trees can pose significant fire hazards in and outside the home.”

Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they have a higher chance of being deadly. NFPA recommends getting rid of the tree when it’s dry. Dried trees should not be kept in the home, garage, or placed outside against the home. Check with your local community to find a recycling program.

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Beech Mountain Volunteer Fire Department Reinforces Newer Smoke Alarm Recommendations during Fire Prevention Week, October 9-15, 2011

What’s the best way to protect your family from fire? Be ahead of the game, of course. With more than 360,000 home fires reported in the United States in 2009, according to the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), your best defense is a good offense. That’s why Beech Mountain’s Volunteer Fire Department is teaming up with NFPA during the October 9-15, 2011, to let our community know: “It’s Fire Prevention Week. Protect your Family from Fire!” This year’s campaign focuses on preventing the leading causes of home fires -- cooking, heating and electrical equipment, as well as candles and smoking materials. Additionally, it urges people to protect their homes and families with life-saving technology and planning.

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Shedding Light on Another
Potential Fire Hazard

A couple of years ago, I moved into a new house and found in virtually every light socket a compact fluorescent lamp. These are the spiral light bulbs that are supposed to be much more energy efficient than the incandescent light bulb, which had been the standard since Thomas Edison perfected it in 1879. Indeed, CFLs last up to 15 times longer and use only one-third the energy of traditional light bulbs. Finding that my new home was festooned with them pleased me greatly, as I am equal parts environmentalist and cheapskate. I had read that should a CFL ever shatter the hazmat team should be dispatched because of the bulb’s high mercury content, but I wasn’t very concerned about that, as clumsiness is not amongst my traits.

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Smoking Safety

Careless Smoking: The #1 Cause of Fire Deaths

Fires started with smoking materials are the leading cause of fire-related deaths in the United States and also a leading cause of fire injuries among older people. Cigarette fires occur from being carelessly discarded in the trash, smoking in bed and being dropped in upholstered furniture. Many times alcohol and medication use plays a role. Often the smoker falls asleep, the cigarette falls on a sofa or chair cushion where it can smolder for hours.

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