USFA: Cardiac Arrest Claims New York Firefighter

40-year old Sayville firefighter suffers cardiac arrest after a parade
United States Fire Administration Published Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The U.S. Fire Administration has announced the official on-duty death of Firefighter Lawrence G. Sesso, 40, of the Sayville Fire Department on August 22, 2015.

An hour after responding to a commercial structure fire, Firefighter Sesso participated in a fire department parade including multiple fire departments. On his way home, Sesso suffered a cardiac arrest. Firefighter Sesso was transported to the Southside Hospital but did not survive his injury.

Tribute is being paid to Firefighter and Ex-Fire Chief Lawrence G. Sesso at http://apps.usfa.fema.gov/firefighter-fatalities/

To date, 57 firefighter fatalities have been reported to USFA in 2015.  Year-to-date and annual USFA firefighter fatality reports are posted online at http://apps.usfa.fema.gov/firefighter-fatalities/fatalityData/statistics


Fatality status is provisional and may change as USFA contacts State Fire Marshals to verify fatality incident information.

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To date, 57 firefighter fatalities have been reported to USFA in 2015.

FDNY Responds to Queens Bus into Building

Casino bus crashes into a three-story building and injures six people
A bus remains on the scene after crashing into a building in the Rego Park neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York, Monday, Aug. 24, 2015. The New York Fire Department says the Resorts World Casino bus driver swerved to avoid hitting a car when he crashed into the building Monday. (Judy Ausuebel via AP)
Published Tuesday, August 25, 2015

NEW YORK (AP) — A casino bus crashed into a three-story brick building Monday, sheering off a large part of the structure and injuring six people, authorities said.

The Resorts World Casino bus, swerving to avoid hitting a car, struck the building that houses a law office at about 2:30 p.m. in the Rego Park section of Queens. The vehicle came to a stop on the sidewalk behind the building.

The driver of the bus was cut from the wreckage, and four others onboard were injured, fire officials said. At least one person in the building was injured. Two other people at the scene refused treatment and all of the injured were expected to survive, officials said.

Fran Ferraro, a receptionist at Professional Mortgage Solutions Inc., said her office shook when the bus struck.

"It was like an explosion," she said. "We were like four doors away."

The front of the bus was demolished and the front window was out. Rescuers combed through the rubble of bricks and siding.

"I think everyone got out OK," Ferraro said. "God was on somebody's side today."

A spokesman for the casino said the company's thoughts and prayers were with the injured and the company was cooperating with the investigation. The casino did not say how many people were on board or where the bus was headed when it crashed.

Resorts World Casino, based in Queens, bills itself as the most successful racetrack casino in the world, and it offers a free shuttle bus service at several pickup locations around the five boroughs.

The buses are operated by Brooklyn-based Trans Express, which is part of the public transport operator, National Express.

"We are working with the local authorities as well as conducting our own investigation into the accident," said company spokeswoman Molly Hart. "Those involved in today's accident are in our thoughts and prayers."

___

This story has been revised to show New York officials updated their injury count to six people, not at least nine.



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  • Toddler Injured in Brooklyn Fire Brooklyn Videos: Two-Alarm Fire, Box 3316

    FDNY Celebrates Anniversary with Diversity

    At 150 the FDNY continues to become a more diversified department
    JENNIFER PELTZ and COLLEEN LONG, Associated Press Published Saturday, August 22, 2015

    NEW YORK (AP) — With a ladder truck, a rescue demonstration and a chance for children to spray a fire hose, a Harlem block party this month honored the 150-year history of the nation's largest fire department. But the recruitment table was there to help shape a changing future.

    It drew a steady stream of passers-by, virtually all minorities in the predominantly black neighborhood. Some, like James Dennis Jr., said it was the first time they'd considered joining the Fire Department of New York, which is under a court order to diversify its overwhelmingly white and male ranks.

    "I guess times are changing, and things are changing," said Dennis, a van driver for the disabled.

    Three years into a process that has changed recruitment and hiring, the FDNY is making headway. Minorities make up 17 percent of its uniformed members, up from about 10 percent in 2012. Women represent half a percent. By comparison, the New York Police Department is about 47 percent minority and 17 percent female.

    "I want to see us be a more diverse department, and we are becoming that," Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro told The Associated Press.

    Still, it's far from representative of a city where over half of residents are members of minority groups. Minority firefighter leaders say the department needs to do more, and demographic shifts haven't always changed a firehouse culture that grew over generations of near-uniformity, as largely Irish-American and Italian-American men followed their fathers, uncles and grandfathers into the job.

    A current of antipathy spilled into the forefront recently, when Deputy Chief Paul Mannix was docked 50 days' pay amid an investigation into leaks of damaging information about minority firefighters' performance.

    "There's been a lot of progress made ... but still, there's a long way to go," says Lt. Paul Washington, a former president of the Vulcan Society, a black firefighters' group that sued to increase diversity.

    Diversity struggles date to the 1970s in many fire agencies. The FDNY agreed to hire one minority firefighter for every three white ones from 1973 to 1977.

    The FDNY again faced hiring-discrimination complaints in the early 2000s and took steps to expand its applicant pool, including eliminating a college-credit requirement. Minorities made up 35 percent of a 2008 fire academy class.

    But a judge found in 2009 that entrance exams had unfairly eliminated over 1,000 black and Hispanic candidates over a decade. His rulings led to a new entrance exam, a court-appointed monitor, priority hiring opportunities and $98 million in back pay for minorities who took the disputed tests.

    With 10,800 uniformed members, the FDNY is more than twice the size of any other U.S. city fire department, complicating comparisons. The San Francisco Fire Department, for instance, went from 17 percent to 30 percent minorities in five years after a 1988 legal agreement; it's now more than half minorities and 15 percent women. But it's about one-seventh the size of the FDNY.

    The FDNY has hired over 500 minorities — more than half of academy graduates — since 2012, when the judge approved a new entrance exam. About 42,000 people took it.

    The FDNY has paired candidates with veteran firefighters for help navigating the hiring process and is advocating to create "fire cadet" jobs as an entree to firefighting, the court monitor said in a June report.

    But the monitor noted some unresolved questions, including why minority hopefuls fail medical tests at higher rates than whites and whether character reviews are unfair to minorities. The FDNY has agreed to study portions of the medical exam and has removed race, gender and names from applicants' files before background reviews.

    But that hasn't made the job colorblind, minority firefighters say.

    Some minority firefighters hired after the judge's rulings were greeted with criticism that their hiring was unfair, and some have found little welcome for religious or other differences in a culture that prizes tradition and shared identity, said Vulcan Society President Regina Wilson.

    "(Firefighters) don't have to be a certain color or gender to say they're willing to die for their community," said Wilson, a 16-year veteran. "We just need people with their own biases to get out of our way."

    Mannix was a leading voice of opposition to the diversity case, which he portrayed as a dangerously lowering standards and "the imposition of idiocy." His critics say he ignored the advantages white firefighters enjoyed and the shortcomings some had.

    After his recent discipline, Mannix acknowledged that firefighters' personal information had been leaked to the media and wrote that he wanted to help the FDNY "become not only more diverse and inclusive, but stronger than ever."

    He declined to comment afterward.

    The FDNY wouldn't comment on specifically on Mannix, but Nigro noted that "the department is not immune to problems" at a time of big change. Diversity training is planned soon for all firefighters.

    "There may be slow learners. We'll help them," Nigro said, but "we want everyone treated with dignity and respect."

    ___

    Reach Jennifer Peltz on Twitter @ jennpeltz and Colleen Long @ ctlong1.

    Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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    In this Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015 photo, a firefighter with Fire Department of New York Engine 69/Ladder 28, the "Harlem Hilton", rushes to the firetruck after receiving a call during an FDNY block party in the Harlem neighborhood of New York. At 150 years old, the nation’s largest fire department is undergoing a massive shift in hiring and recruitment after a court ordered changes to diversity the almost all-white, all-male department. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
    In this March 26, 2015 file photos firefighters work at the scene of a collapsed building in the East Village neighborhood of New York. At 150 years old, the nation’s largest fire department is undergoing a massive shift in hiring and recruitment after a court ordered changes to diversity the almost all-white, all-male department. (AP Photo/Louis Lanzano, File)
    In this Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015 photo, firefighter Idrus Bey, left, and EMT mascot Siren, a chocolate Labrador decked out in EMT personal protective equipment and helmet, pose for photos with children attending a FDNY block party in the Harlem neighborhood of New York. The block party honored the 150-year history of the nation’s largest fire department. Also, a recruitment table was there to help shape a changing future. Three years into a process that has changed recruitment, testing and hiring, the Fire Department of New York is making headway, statistics show. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
    In this Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015 photo, firefighter Khalid Baylor of Truck 14 grills hamburgers during a FDNY block party in the Harlem neighborhood of New York. The block party honored the 150-year history of the nation’s largest fire department. Also, a recruitment table was there to help shape a changing future. Three years into a process that has changed recruitment, testing and hiring, the Fire Department of New York is making headway, statistics show. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)


    Video: Gas Explosion at Bronx High School

    Explosion at John F. Kennedy High School injured three construction workers
    Published Friday, August 21, 2015

    NEW YORK (AP) — A gas explosion during construction at a New York City high school Thursday night seriously injured three workers and caused heavy damage to several floors of the building.

    Fire officials said it happened at the John F. Kennedy High School in the Marble Hill section of the Bronx. Nearly 140 firefighters responded to the scene.

    Authorities said construction crews were working on a sixth floor gas line when the explosion occurred, seriously burning the workers.

    New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said work was being done by private contractors to improve the school's science labs.

    He said the Department of Buildings was investigating the structural integrity of the building, which suffered major damage. It wasn't immediately known what triggered the gas explosion.

    A 73-year-old man who lives across the street from the school told The New York Times he ran outside when he felt the force of the blast.

    "The whole building shook for a very short time, like an earthquake," said Eric Kumaga, adding that he saw no fire or smoke.

    The mayor said the building housed eight schools with over 4,000 students, but he couldn't confirm if the damage would impact the start of school.

    "If part of the building can be opened, if all of the building can be opened, we won't know until that full assessment is done," de Blasio said.

    The first day of school is Sept. 9.

    Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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    FDNY Firefighters Says Wounded Lieutenant Was Unaware of Barricade Situation

    Fire and police departments squabble over whether or not lieutenant knew about violent scene
    C.J. SULLIVAN and GEORGETT ROBERTS, The New York Post Published Wednesday, August 19, 2015

    Fuming firefighters say an FDNY lieutenant almost died because he wasn't told by law-enforcement officials that the home he was racing into housed an armed Bloods gang leader suspected in two murders.

    The firefighter, James Hayes, was shot twice by suspect Garland Tyree in the smoky Staten Island home Friday morning.

    "[Hayes] absolutely didn't know he was heading into a situation that dangerous," one firefighter told The Post on Sunday. "We're the Bravest, not the Stupidest."

    A task force of heavily armed NYPD cops and federal agents had gone to arrest Tyree early Friday for a violation of his supervised release. The violent ex-con had a long rap sheet and also was being eyed in two murders, sources said.

    When the agents got to the home, Tyree told them to beat it. They got a key from his landlord, entered and were met by smoke pouring up from his basement apartment.

    The squad called the Fire Department and Hayes' unit was the first on the scene.

    The lieutenant went in first - he was concerned that someone could be in serious danger, sources said. He was shot in the hip and ankle.

    "They didn't tell us about anyone in the house or what was going on,'' a second firefighter said. "They allowed us to walk in there without telling us what was going on."

    But law-enforcement sources said Hayes and his men were definitely given a summary of the situation and told that Tyree might be armed. Hayes was warned not to enter the home with Tyree still inside, they said.

    A source added that the scene was teeming with heavily-armed law-enforcement agents and that Hayes should have had an idea the situation was volatile.



    Regardless, he put duty over his own well being, the source said. It turned out that Tyree had set off a smoke bomb, and there was no fire.

    "At the end of the day, his heart was in the right place," the source said of the Bravest's Hayes.

    FDNY personnel rarely take part in fugitive arrests or warrant executions, so protocols for those situations are murky at best, several sources acknowledged.

    Tyree held cops at bay for six hours before being fatally gunned down by members of an ESU team after he finally emerged from the house firing an AK-47 assault rifle.

    Hayes left the hospital on crutches Saturday to wild applause from friends and family and is expected to make a full recovery.

    csullivan@nypost.com

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    Lexis Nexis
    Copyright 2011 Lexus Nexus. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
    In this photo provided by the New York City Police Department, a fully automatic AK-47 assault rifle lie against a railing of a home in the Staten Island borough of New York, Friday, August 14, 2015. Police say that Garland Tyree, a wanted high-ranking member of the Bloods street gang, used the weapon in a firefight with members of the New York City Police Department before dying in the exchange. Tyree wounded a veteran New York City Fire Department Lieutenant who responded to the scene after Tyree set fire to the house. (New York City Police Department via AP)
    New York City firefighters carry their gear near the scene of a standoff, Friday, Aug. 14, 2015, in the Staten Island borough of New York. Garland Tyree, a high-ranking member of the Bloods street gang who was to be arrested on parole violations when he shot a firefighter responding to a call of smoke coming from his girlfriend's home, died Friday in a gunfight with police after a six-hour standoff, two police officials said. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
    Friday, August 14, Lieutenant James S. Hayes, 53, of Engine 158 was shot after responding to early morning reports of a fire on Staten Island. Lt. Hayes, a 31-year veteran of FDNY who has been cited twice for bravery, was conducting a search for the fire and for potential victims. He was removed to Richmond University Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. (Fire Department City of New York photo)


    FDNY Firefighter Shot During Barricade Situation

    Staten Island man set his house on fire while authorities tried to serve a warrant
    Published Friday, August 14, 2015

    NEW YORK (AP) — Authorities say a New York City firefighter was shot in the leg by a man who barricaded himself inside a house, then set fire to it while authorities were trying to serve a warrant.

    U.S. Marshals arrived at the 2-story apartment house in the Mariners Harbor section of Staten Island shortly before 6 a.m. Police say the man then set a fire and started shooting.

    A 54-year-old firefighter who responded to the blaze was struck in the lower leg. He was taken to an area hospital in stable condition.

    No other shots were fired. Police say the gunman was believed to be the only person inside the house.

    A hostage negotiating team and other emergency personnel are on the scene.

    Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

    WABC: Firefighter Shot Responding to Staten Island Fire

    Staten Island Advance: Shot Firefighter Rushed to Hospital

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    FDNY Firefighters Receive Raises, Benefits

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