WFC News

Posted: Jan 19, 2016

Faster, improved fire boat docks in North Kitsap

When part of a road near Kingston washed away last month, North Kitsap Fire and Rescue warned residents along the road that emergency vehicles wouldn't be able drive to them until the road was repaired. In these situations, North Kitsap Fire's boat could be key to providing emergency service to the district's 75 miles of shoreline, said Michele Laboda, the fire district's spokeswoman.
- PUB DATE: 1/19/2016 5:30:19 PM - SOURCE: Kitsap Sun - metered site
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Posted: Jan 19, 2016

Apparatus Symposium—the Detroit Experience

Two years ago, retired deputy commissioner Craig Dougherty, Detroit (MI) Fire Departent (DFD), presented at the FDSOA’s Apparatus Specification and Maintenance Symposium, after news had leaked that the DFD’s apparatus fleet was in dire need of repair. At the time, none of the aerials had had annual inspections and only one was deemed suitable for manned master stream operations. Dougherty, then chief, hit the topic head on and discussed it and what the department was working on to fix the problem.

Two years later, Dougherty was back at the event. Now retired, Dougherty spoke with pride about what he had been able to accomplish fleet-wide. In the interim, Detroit filed for bankruptcy, and there were a number of challenges before Dougherty including department traditions, which sometimes can be harder to navigate than the political waters.

After navigating through the political and bankruptcy waters, the department secured a loan that totaled $24.5 million. With it, the DFD was able to add/replace 15 ambulances; replace 10 engines; and purchase 10 rapid-response vehicles, 21 SUVs, and 16 fire marshal vehicles. Additionally during Dougherty’s tenure, the department acquired new SCBA for the department, which introduced 45-minute cylinders into DFD’s PPE ensemble. A huge shift in the DFD was having firefighters trained to be EMTs.

Today, after having to brown out or close multiple companies, the department has opened seven companies. All aerial ladders are NDT-inspected, and all have had their yearly inspections. Twelve aerial ladders are fully inspected and certified. The DFD has taken delivery of 10 new pumpers and has six on order. At the time of Dougherty’s first presentation, the DFD had three aerial platforms all out of service, but today all three are in service and certified.

As the session wrapped up, Dougherty took questions, some of which included the plans for aerial replacement and how the department improved the fleet maintenance program to help avoid previous mistakes. As far as the aerials, the plan before Dougherty’s retirement was to replace them at a rate of two per year. In terms of maintenance, much of it is outsourced, and that was a big part of the ten-pumper order. The DFD, according to Dougherty, wanted to go with an apparatus manufacturer that had a maintenance facility nearby and would service the rigs. 

Dougherty also mentioned that the original plan was to also replace pumpers at a rate of four per year. However, since his retirement, leadership of Detroit has changed. Because of the change, he was not sure if those two replacement programs were still going to move forward. It is a reality of leadership change anywhere and is not specific to Detroit. Dougherty is hopeful that what started under his leadership will continue.

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Posted: Jan 19, 2016

Ambulance Involved in Crash in Maryland

A Prince George's County (MD) ambulance was involved in a crash on the Beltway Monday night, according to news reports.

FOX 5 D.C. reported that the ambulance was traveling southbound on Interstate 95 when it was sideswiped by a vehicle in Oxon Hill.

Two paramedics were transported to the hospital with serious but nonlife-threatening injuries. The driver of the vehicle was not injured, according to the report.

Prince George's County Fire and EMS spokesperson Mark Brady said the ambulance also struck a light pole on the side of the road during the crash.

Read more HERE.


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Posted: Jan 19, 2016

Blackjack Flashlight Holder Family of Products Now Available from Pelican Products Inc.

1445 Designs Inc. maker of the Blackjack “Family” of Helmet Flashlight Holders announces that Pelican Products Inc., will be adding several Blackjack models.

1445 Designs Inc. maker of the Blackjack “Family” of Helmet Flashlight Holders announces that Pelican Products Inc., will be adding several Blackjack models including the Ace, Full House, All In, and the crossover product Double Down to Pelican’s stunning lineup of lights. The original Blackjack BJ001 was introduced in 2005, and the current product lineup including the Ace, Full House, and All In continue in the revolutionary design of the first Blackjack and remain the first and only patented, under-the-brim flashlight mounts that have always been: Designed by Firemen, for Firemen. The Double Down is an innovative product designed to hold headlamp straps, and other accessory straps such as goggles in place on any hard hat, or wildland firefighting helmets.

Chris McCorkle, inventor of the Blackjack and veteran Phoenix (AZ) Fire Department firefighter says, “The Blackjack was designed out of my frustration with available helmet mounts on the market. In the last 10 years, we have been able to reshape the market for helmet lights in a better, safer direction due to pioneering design and real-world application. The first Blackjack I made was designed around the Pelican Stealthlite as that was what the PFD issued to us at that time. I think it is great to see us come full circle with Pelican. I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish thus far, and I know that this partnership with Pelican Products Inc. will benefit not only my fellow firefighters, but with our new “Industrial” crossover products like the Double Down, this partnership is going to be a game changer for anyone who wears a helmet, or a hard hat, and works in the dark, or low light environments on a worldwide scale.”

Partnership expected to be a game changer for anyone who wears a helmet, or a hard hat, and works in the dark, or low light environments on a worldwide scale.

For more information about the Blackjack or 1445 Designs LLC please, visit

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Posted: Jan 19, 2016

Fire Apparatus Solutions Expands Territory for Smeal Fire Apparatus in California

Smeal Fire Apparatus Co. today announced that Fire Apparatus Solutions (FAS), the authorized sales and service dealer for Smeal™, US Tanker™ and LTC™ brand apparatus in southern California, has expanded its territory to the entire state. This follows a merger with Smeal’s company-owned sales operation in northern California to expand its sales team and coverage. Joining FAS from the northern California sales operation, Scott Beck has been appointed sales manager and will lead sales and business development efforts for FAS.

“We are excited to be expanding our sales and business development efforts, to maintain and expand sales of Smeal, UST, and LTC in our newly enlarged territory. Many California departments already recognize the exceptional customized designs, reliability and value of the Smeal family of fire trucks, and we’re looking forward to demonstrating that to more customers,” said William Kalmikov, FAS’ general manager.

“Our path to success has always been through listening to our customers, and then delivering on the customized apparatus and service that they expect. The combination of Will, Scott and their team working to serve current and prospective customers in California will certainly continue us on this path,” said Jeff Wegner, Smeal’s Senior Vice President – Global Sales.

Fire Apparatus Solutions was established in 2005. The company is owned by and operated by William Kalmikov. FAS has traditionally been a serviceoriented organization, offering preventative maintenance programs, major aerial repairs, pump testing and repairs, chassis service, electrical and hydraulic system repairs, and refurbishment services.

FAS is headquartered and has a large service facility in Bloomington, Cal. The dealership also offers mobile service throughout a large portion of California, and and they have established service partnerships in areas where their mobile service doesn’t yet reach, so that customers receive prompt, convenient service, regardless of their location. To learn more, visit

Smeal Fire Apparatus Co., including US Tanker Co. and Ladder Tower Co., is recognized as a premier manufacturer, inventor, and innovator of customized fire apparatus. The company offers a full line of custom and commercial pumpers, rescue pumpers, mini and rescue pumpers, stainless steel tanker / tenders, aerial ladders, platforms, TDAs, wildland, and urban interface vehicles. Smeal is committed to leading the industry in high quality fire apparatus, delivery times and customer experience. Smeal sells its products worldwide and is based in Snyder, Neb. To learn more, visit

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