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Right before Christmas, firefighters in Wellesley suited up in special gear and rescued Crosby the dog who had fallen through the ice along the Charles River. Wellesley officials posted a video of the dramatic rescue to their Facebook and Twitter accounts, and the footage soon went viral.


To show her appreciation for the firefighters that braved the shivering cold conditions of the water, Ellen DeGeneres decided to fly four of the first responders out to her studio in California. The firefighters appeared on Ellen's talkshow yesterday, and the clip can be seen above.


Officials from the department explained that the reason they accepted the invitation to California to see Ellen, was because they believe in the power of positive news stories, and so do we!


 

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Ninety five years ago this week, Boston suffered a most unusual tragedy. A massive storage tank filled with molasses collapsed and sent a powerful wave of the sugary substance throughout the city's historic North End. The event killed 21 people--mostly immigrants and city workers--and injured about 150 more.

In 2011, NFPA Journal chatted with historian Stephen Puleo, who has written a book on the tragedy. “The substance that caused the flood produces a little giggle at the outset,” he said. “If this were caused by fire, water, pestilence, or earthquake, it would have gotten more play.”

The flood’s aftermath was no laughing matter, however. The tank’s construction and safety tests were called into question and prompted a landmark court case and construction safeguards that took effect across the United States. Check out exerpts from the book in Journal, and watch a video of Puleo giving a tour of the disaster sites.

 

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The California Fire Science Consortium is sponsoring its latest "WUI Module" webinar this Thursday, January 16 at 11 am Pacific. Join Molly Mowery, president of Wildfire Planning International, as she discusses actions and strategies that local communities are initiating across the country to be a Fire Adapted Community.  

This webinar discusses tangible and innovative methods in which national Fire Adapted Communities (FAC’s) are moving forward.  Over the last few years, many have been introduced to the term Fire Adapted Communities through national policy and programs.  Many communities have embraced FAC concepts and are displaying positive results on the ground.  What do these efforts look like?  Who is engaged with moving them forward? This presentation will quickly recap FAC’s history, but focus primarily on how ideas are transformed into actions through both national pilot communities and local activities.  Specific examples will be highlighted from the FAC Learning Network, Cohesive Strategy, and other programs.

Free and easy registration at http://cafiresci.org/2013-webinars/. Sign up soon as space is limited.

- by NFPA's Michele Steinberg

Health care facilities
In 1995, the Joint Commission (TJC), responsible for accrediting more than 20,000 organizations (including 4,800 hospitals), developed a method for addressing deficiencies at these settings and battle plans for improvement. Despite this approach, improper fire and smoke barriers remain at the top of the deficiency list. 

A feature story in the latest edition of NFPA Journal examines this issue through in-depth analysis from George Mills, TJC's director of engineering, and William E. Koffel, president of Koffel Associates, Inc., a a fire and life safety consulting firm.

"In recognition of the ongoing magnitude of these issues, TJC has partnered with several other organizations to create the Barrier Management Symposium, a training program for those responsible for making sure that these systems are functional and comply with the intent of NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code®,says the authors.  

Get more details in the January/February issue of Journal.

One of NFPA's most popular wildland fire safety resources is its "Getting Started with Firewise" kit. We're happy to announce that the latest edition is now available through our online catalog.

Blog"Getting Started" provides resources and information for residents who want to raise awareness of their community's wildfire risk, and it provides guidance on the kinds of mitigation activities neighbors can work on together to help reduce the threat of wildfire damage to homes and property.

The information contained in the kit is perfect for homeowners, Firewise state liaisons, wildland fire mitigation specialists, insurance professionals and the fire service. 

Check it out today!

- by NFPA's LisaMarie Sinatra

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