As I write this month’s article, I see breaking news from East Palestine, OH where 50 train cars, ten of which were carrying hazardous materials derailed in a fiery crash on the night of Feb 3.
Governor Mike DeWine activated the Ohio National Guard to help local authorities with a myriad of duties including the orderly removal of approximately 100 individuals who were refusing to evacuate the danger zone.
Authorities were worried of possible explosions along the Norfolk-Southern rail line and were threatening to arrest those who did not comply with the evacuation order. Good luck with that.
Back here in “Big Red” country, the weather is warming up. I am convinced we can expect more hot and dry (summer) fire conditions. I wish I could be more optimistic but the wildfires that have ravaged the state in the past few years will continue at a pace more rapid than ever.
We must be ready and preparation is the key. Red Card classes are being offered at various locations across the state. Please check the Nebraska State Fire Marshal’s website for additional information.
Your NSVFA lobbyist and legislative committee are currently monitoring three (high priority) pieces of legislation. I won’t go into detail as Lobbyist Jerry Stilmock offered a good explanation in the February issue of the Nebraska Firefighter.
1. LB #415: Provide for additional EMS funding (via MVD tax) to help off-set increased operational expenses as well as dedicate an additional $150k annually to assist in funding for an anticipated (new) state-wide patient care reporting system and trauma registry.
2. LB #459: Firefighter Cancer Benefits Funding
3. LB #460: Post Traumatic Stress Injury & Worker’s Compensation
There is a good amount of excellent training on the horizon. I am headed to the National Regional Wildland Symposium at the Black Hills State University in South Dakota next month.