Akron fire has confirmed that one person is dead after Monday morning house fire at 675 Grant Street, near the University of Akron.
The victim, identified as 26-year-old Kevin McCollum of Grant Street, was found in a second floor bedroom, while two other people who lived in the home made it out. It is believed that the fire started in that bedroom where firefighters found McCollum, around 4:45 a.m. Monday.
McCollum was a former University of Akron student, attending from August 2010 through December 2015. While initial reports indicated that the home was occupied by University of Akron students, a spokesman for UA clarified that none of the residents of the home were current students at the school. In addition to McCollum, another resident had graduated from UA in the Spring of 2016. The third never attended the school.
Meanwhile, the investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.
The City of Akron announced Wednesday the purchase of 10 new thermal imaging units for the Akron Fire Department.
In a press release, City of Akron Press Secretary Ellen Lander Nischt describes the new devices as "life-saving" equipment that will help the City's fire department "advance its mission to protect the lives, property, and environment of the Akron Community."
Akron Fire Chief Clarence Tucker is quoted in the press release saying, “Heat-detecting cameras will allow our first responders to locate a victim in an environment with very limited or no visibility. For a firefighter searching for a trapped victim, little is worse than losing your ability to see due to darkness or dense smoke. In a rescue operation where every second counts, these units can make the difference between life and death, by enabling us to find victims faster and increasing their chances of survival.”
Akron City Council unanimously voted to approve the purchase of the equipment at an estimated cost of $50,000 for the ten thermal imaging units.
The new thermal imaging units were purchased with funds from the passage of Issue 4 last November.
“Once again, we thank the Akron community for their support of Issue 4, which has made critical safety investments like this possible,” Mayor Dan Horrigan said. “In the months and years to come, will continue to invest these funds in ways that make all our neighborhoods safer and stronger.”
Former Akron Fire Department Union Treasurer Joseph Ruhlin, 41, has pled guilty to embezzling nearly half-a-million dollars from the Union while he was in charge of the funds, according to a release from Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh's office.
Ruhlin, who was treasurer of the department's Union Local 330 from January of 2011 through March of 2017, admitted to stealing about $500,000 during his time in office.
When he was charged with Theft in Office, Ruhlin fled Akron to North Carolina. Authorities eventually caught up with him and he was extradited back to Summit County.
Ruhlin, who is charged with Theft in Office and Tampering with Records, both 3rd degree felonies, is due in Summit County Common Pleas Court on March 13, 2018 at 1 p.m. for a restitution hearing and is scheduled to me sentenced by Common Pleas Court Judge Alison Breaux immediately following.
Update: Summa St. Thomas Hospital in Akron is still closed after the fire that started in the basement early Friday morning.
No one was injured, as medical staff and first responders were able to evacuate patients and staff in time, but there is severe smoke damage throughout much of the hospital.
The following is a statement, released Monday morning, on the status of when St. Thomas will open:
Summa Health has contracted with ServiceMaster to lead the cleanup efforts at Summa Health System – St. Thomas Campus, which suffered significant damage as a result of the fire last Friday morning. ServiceMaster crews of more than 100 individuals worked in tandem with Summa Health employees all weekend, and plans call for the clean-up work to continue through this week.
A firm date for re-opening the hospital has not been set yet, though the target for inpatient services is early next week. There is a possibility that outpatient services could open sooner.
We will provide more details as they become available. In the meantime, the hotline number for additional information for patients and their families is 330.375.7702.
Akron Fire Department responded to a fire just after 6 a.m. Friday at Summa St. Thomas Hospital at 444 Main Street.
Reports from Akron Fire officials is that the fire started in a storage area in the basement of the hospital. No one was injured in the fire. Patients and staff were evacuated shortly after the fire was reported. Patients have been transported to Akron City Hospital, the Barberton Campus, and the Western Reserve campus.
In a statement released at 9 a.m. Friday, Summa Health System confirmed that the fire was extinguished. In a later press release, Summa Health added that they have set up a hotline for family and friends of patients at St. Thomas: 330.375.7702. Summa also recommends checking the health system's Twitter and Facebook accounts for updates, as well.
WAKR will have updates on this story as they come in.
Akron officials are making the case for the proposed 0.25 percent income tax increase that is expected to appear on the ballot later this year. The $16 million projected annual revenue increase will be earmarked for police, fire, and road improvements.
Chief Clarence Tucker of the Akron Fire Department joined Jasen to explain the dismal condition of several of his firehouses, discuss additional needs that could be fulfilled by the added tax revenue, and talk about what his department has done to be fiscally responsible.
Akron Fire responded to a call in the 1000 block of Copley Road early Wednesday morning, just before 7 a.m.
Upon arrival, the house was engulfed in flames. Five adults were in the home at the time of the fire; one of them, an adult male, was treated by Akron Fire/EMS on the scene and did not require further medical attention.
All of the residents have been displaced, and Akron Red Cross is assisting with their needs.
At the time of the fire, Copley Road between Packard Drive and Hardesty Boulevard was closed to traffic.
Because of smoke from the fire and the location, Akron Public Schools closed Buchtel High School and Buchtel Middle School for the day. Both schools are expected to be open Thursday.
The investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.
UPDATE Thursday, May 18 7:14 a.m. Akron police are disputing the characterization of Patrick Boggs as a "person of interest" in the case, but haven't gone into more details following Boggs' arrest on a parole violation hold by Portage County deputies. The Portage County Sheriff's Office is referring media inquiries regarding Boggs to Akron police.
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The man described as either the ex-husband or estranged husband of one of the Fultz Street fire victims is being held in the Portage County Jail on a parole violation charge.
Channel 3 News is reporting Patrick Boggs served a 12 year sentence for arson and on domestic violence charges after threatening to kill Angela Boggs by dousing her with kerosene and threatening to set her on fire in 2001.
Police say he's not "considered a suspect", according to the Channel 3 Report, but a "person of interest" and referred any questions to the Akron Police Department.
Angela Boggs was among the seven left dead after the blaze Monday morning. Also killed was Dennis Huggins, father to four of the five children who died in the fire. They were identified as one year old Cameron Huggins; three year old Alivia Huggins; five year old Kylle Huggins; six year old Daisia Huggins, and 14 year old Jered Boggs.
An 18-year old family member was not home at the time of the fire as she was living in Sandusky.
Akron Public Schools had a crisis team including counselors at Helen Arnold CLC, where six year old Daisia attended elementary school classes. 14-year old Jered was reportedly an online charter school student.
Official cause of death and ID's are pending release of the Summit County Medical Examiner but a grandmother of the children made the ID's.
After a long morning waiting for conditions to improve for the safety of firefighters in their recovery efforts, seven victims have been indentified from the blaze on Fultz Street in the predawn hours.
The victims have been unofficially identified as:
Dennis Huggins, father and age unknown; Angela Boggs, mother; one year old Cameron Huggins; three year old Alivia Huggins; five year old Kylle Huggins; six year old Daisia Huggins, and 14 year old Jered Boggs. An 18-year old family member was not home at the time of the fire but was working in Sandusky. Official cause of death and ID's are pending release of the Summit County Medical Examiner but a grandmother of the children made the ID's.
A cause of the fire has not been determined, but Akron Fire Chief Clarence Tucker said the death toll matched the city's previous most deadly fire. In December of last year, a family of four was killed when fire swept through their home on Tallmadge Avenue. Members of the Ohio Fire Marshal's office were in Akron to assist in investigating a cause of this morning's fatal blaze.
WAKR Facebook Live coverage
Mayor Dan Horrigan issued a statement this morning:
"Early this morning the Akron Fire Department responded to a house fire in the 600 block of Fultz Street. The Fire Department acted quickly to extinguish the flames, but were unable to immediately access the upper level of the structure due to significant, internal structural damage. Tragically, multiple lives were lost in the fire. The Fire Department is on scene for ongoing recovery, investigation, and safety efforts.
My family, the Akron Fire Department, and the entire Akron community, are profoundly saddened by this devastating incident and this tragic loss of life. My deepest sympathies and prayers are with the family and loved ones of those who perished, and we pray for strength and healing in the difficult days to come. We will see to it that the victims' families are supported in this time of great sorrow and need.
I thank the Akron Fire Department for their bravery in quickly responding to this scene in the early hours of the morning. I offer my full support and confidence as the professionals work to investigate the cause of this fire."
Akron firefighters fear there are "multiple" fatalities involved in a single-house blaze that was reported at 2:46 this morning.
The status is unknown because the burned-out shell of what remains of the two-story home at 693 Fultz Street was still too dangerous to conduct a more involved search mission. Akron Fire continues to say there are multiple fatalities and the exact number isn't know.
There have been reports this morning of at least one, possibly others dead in the blaze based on accounts from neighbors, who said a family lived in the home. AFD Lt. Serjie Lash told News5 the interior was badly damaged, and firefighters would have to use ladders to access the second floor to do a thorough search.
Firefighters closed Fultz Street between Manchester and East Avenues; the smoke from the blaze could be seen from the nearby expressway early this morning.
Akron Fire is investigating after a house at Courtland Avenue and South Hawkins Avenue exploded Tuesday night around 7:30.
Crews responded to the fire and had flames put out by about 10 p.m., according to the press release.
Fire investigators are still looking into the cause of the explosion and ensuing fire, but they believe that it was a natural gas-related incident.
One man was seriously injured and remained at Akron City Hospital as of Wednesday afternoon.
Akron's Fire Department releasing results of it's investigation into the fatal Tallmadge Avenue fire that killed four members of a family and left two survivors.
"Unattended cooking" on the gas stove is the ruling; even though the stove itself was burned, at least one the burners was in the "on" position and the blaze originated in the kitchen. Despite no evidence of working fire detectors in the home, the Fire Department says it was unable to determine conclusively whether detectors were in the home.
Parents Omar Riley and Shirley Wallis died in the blaze, along with their daughters nine year old Aniyla and eight-year old Shanice Riley. A 12-year old daughter, Shaniya Wallis, was burned in the blaze. Family friend Jennifer Grubbs was able to escape from an attic bedroom by crawling out a window.
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(AFD Release) – The investigation by the Akron Fire Department (AFD) into the December 3, 2016, fatal fire at 266 East Tallmadge Avenue has been completed. In the course of the investigation, AFD companies forced entry to all doors of the structure with exception of the east door.
The structure was examined using a systematic approach starting with the areas least damaged to most damaged. Inspection of the interior revealed heavy damage to the first floor kitchen area at and near the gas stove. The knobs of the stove were completely burned off, and evidence shows one burner was in the “on” position. Materials on the first floor show evidence of reaching their ignition temperatures.
Evidence shows the fire traveled upwards in a chimney effect reaching the second floor. The occupant of the attic stated that after smelling smoke, she went to the second floor landing and opened the attic door. Being immediately overcome with smoke, she ran upstairs to get away from it and was able to escape from a third floor window.
While firefighters did not see any smoke detectors, fire investigators were unable to conclusively determine whether or not they were present. After processing the fire scene and interviewing witnesses, the Akron Fire Investigator determined that the origin of this fire was in the first floor kitchen area at or near the gas stove. The cause of this fire was determined to be unattended cooking.
A fire in an electrical vault underneat the Everett Building located at 39 E. Market Street in downtown Akron lead to about 220 FirstEnergy customers sitting without power for about an hour Monday morning.
According to Akron Fire Department, the fire started just before 7:30 Monday morning. As Akron Fire crews responded, FirstEnergy was called to the building to shut off power. Due to heavy smoke, Mark Durbin with FirstEnergy says crews could not access the vault to shut off power. They were forced to de-energize the nearest substation, which in turn shut off power to roughly 220 downtown FirstEnergy customers, Durbin says.
As of 10:30 a.m., power to those most all of those customers had been restored. Durbin said power at the Everett Building and two nearby buildings was still affected at that time.
Akron Fire was still on the scene as of 11:30 a.m., Monday, and power to the Everett Building had not yet been restored.
Meanwhile, Akron Municipal Court offices closed their operations for the remainder of the day, Monday, as of 10 a.m. In a press release, Akron Municipal Court advised anyone with scheduled court business call the office on Tuesday for rescheduling instructions.
Stay with WAKR.net for updates on this story.
UPDATED 4:50 a.m. The victims of Saturday's fire that left four dead and two injured were identified by their pastor. Rev. Zach Prosser of Celebration Church in Akron told Cleveland.com the adults are Omar Riley and Shirley Wallis, who had been together for 12 years. Their daughters, nine year old Aniyla and and eight year old Shanice, also perished in the blaze. Prosser identified the 12-year old victim as Wallis' daughter Shaniya, who was listed in critical condition at Akron Children's Hospital.
Another victim, Jennifer Grubbs, was also injured when she jumped out of the attic from the flames according to her fiancee. He was not in the home at the time of the fire. The flames first showed in the back of the house according to a neighbor's home security camera video, according to reports.
An early morning Saturday blaze left four people dead, two injured. The Akron Fire Department reports the house fire at 266 East Tallmadge Avenue was "heavily involved" when they arrived about five minutes after the call at 1:33 a.m. Arriving firefighters were able to pull five of the six victims from the home. Among the dead are an eight and nine year old; News5 reports a 12-year old jumped from a second floor window to escape the flames and is in critical condition. An adult was also pulled from the home and was also injured.
Video from the scene is at the News5 link above
Names and other details of the victims were not released. There is no cause of the blaze at this time.
No smoke detectors were found in the home, which reportedly was a rental property. The American Red Cross is reminding area residents smoke detectors are free throughout northeast Ohio, and the Akron Fire Department provides free installation in partnership with the Red Cross. Mayor Dan Horrigan said he was "deeply saddened" by the tragedy...and will see to it hat the victims' families and the survivors are supported in this time of great sorrow and need."
The children were enrolled in Akron Public Schools, one at Seiberling Elementary and another at Forest Hills Elementary. The 12-year old is a student at Hyre Middle School. APS spokesman Mark Williamson said ""Akron Public Schools and its community of families are profoundly saddened by this loss of two precious children and other members of their family. Three of our schools have felt this tragedy, deeply, and will be visited by our counselors this week for assistance. We offer our heartfelt prayers."
There was also reaction from LeBron James and the LeBron James Family Foundation; the children were members of his Wheels for Education program. James tweeted he was "unbelievably saddened to hear the news. My heart hurts...our family lost two bright, bright stars."
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(Akron Fire Department) Firefighters responded to a two and a half story residential house fire. Upon arrival the first floor was heavily involved in smoke and flames. People were reported to be trapped inside so an immediate interior fire attack was taken for rescue. The call came in at 01:33 and by 01:38 the first Engine was on scene.
Through the heavy heat and smoke (no visibility) 5 of the 6 victims were pulled from the house within the first few minutes of arrival. The cause of the fire is still under investigation but it was noted that smoke detectors could not be located throughout the house.
The fire caused four fatalilties. Two adults and two children, 8 and 9 year old. Two other victims were transported and are still ithe hospital. Unknown condition at the time of this press release. Names, relationships, and genders were not given while investigation is on going. One firefighter was transported for minor injuries and released.
(American Red Cross) We are deeply saddened by the loss of life resulting from a home fire in Akron early Saturday morning. Our hearts go out to the families affected by this tragedy.
The Red Cross partners with many Fire Departments in Northeast Ohio, including the Akron Fire Department, to provide and install smoke alarms, free of charge, to any resident who requests the alarms. We also provide valuable fire safety information, and help residents develop plans to escape from their homes should a fire occur. The initiative is call Operation Save-A-Life.
Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan helped launch Operation Save-a-Life at a home in Akron earlier this year.
Akron residents can call 330-535-2030 to request a home fire safety inspection and free smoke alarms. In Cleveland, residents can call 216-361-5535. Youngstown residents may call 866-319-7160. Elsewhere
throughout Northeast Ohio, residents can log onto redcross.org/neo to request smoke alarms for their homes.
We are grateful for our partnerships with so many fire departments, corporations and community groups for helping to provide this valuable, potentially life-saving service, and we urge all residents to check their homes for working smoke alarms, and to contact us at the numbers or website above if they need smoke alarms for their homes for working smoke alarms, and to contact us at the numbers above.
(City of Akron) Early this morning the Akron Fire Department responded to an advanced-stage fire in a three-story house on East Tallmadge Avenue.
The Fire Department acted quickly to extinguish the flames and rescue the individuals inside. Tragically, two adults and two children lost their lives in the fire. One adult and one child have survived and are being treated for their injuries.
"My family, the Akron Fire Department, and the entire Akron community, are profoundly saddened by this devastating incident. Any time our community experiences a loss such as this, it reminds us how precious life is," said Mayor Dan Horrigan. 'My deepest sympathies and prayers are with the family members of those who lost their lives, as we continue to pray for strength and healing for the survivors being treated. We will see to it that the victims' families and the survivors are supported in this time of great sorrow and need.
There is no higher duty we have as city leaders than to protect the health and safety of our residents and I thank the Akron Fire Department for their bravery in responding to this fire and for their attempts to rescue those trapped inside. I offer my full support and confidence as the professionals work to investigate the cause of this fire."
(Akron Public Schools) "Akron Public Schools and its community of families are profoundly saddened by this loss of two precious children and other members of their family. Three of our schools have felt this tragedy, deeply, and will be visited by our counselors this week for assistance. We offer our heartfelt prayers."
Akron has a new fire chief, and Chief Clarence Tucker will be the second African-American to hold the post inthe Department's history.
Mayor Dan Horrigan made the announcement today following several months of interviews; he fills the void left open when Chief Edward Hiltbrand retired in September. Retired Akron Fire Department Chief Larry Bunner served as Interim Chief during the selection progcess.
Tucker becomes the AFD's 19th chief and has 28 years of service with the department.
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(City of Akron) Today Mayor Dan Horrigan announced his selection of Clarence I. Tucker to serve as Akron's next Fire Chief. This announcement comes after a months-long competitive selection process and several rounds of interviews. Tucker currently serves as a District Fire Chief, where he manages the City's Fire Prevention Bureau, which oversees fire inspection, public education, and arson units. Mayor Horrigan administered the oath of office to Tucker this morning at Akron Fire Station No. 7 on Tallmadge Avenue—the firehouse where Tucker was first stationed when he joined the Department nearly three decades ago.
Tucker will be the City's 19th Fire Chief and the second African American to hold this top post in the 180 year history of the Department. Charles R. Gladman served as the City's first African American Fire Chief from 1997 to 2007. Tucker's promotion was prompted by the retirement of Chief Edward Hiltbrand in September of this year. Retired Akron Fire Chief Larry Bunner temporarily returned to the City to serve as Interim Chief while the Mayor selected a permanent successor.
Clarence Tucker will enter the position with 28 years of dedicated service and experience with the Akron Fire Department. He will lead a Department of 326 uniform personnel and 24 support personnel beginning Monday, December 5, 2016. Tucker joined the Akron Fire Department on September 12, 1988 as a firefighter/medic. He was promoted to the position of Lieutenant in 2000, Captain in 2005, and officially promoted to District Chief in 2015 (having served provisionally prior to that). Among many other leadership roles he has undertaken during his career, Tucker has managed the City's hazardous materials response team and chaired the Summit County Local Emergency Planning Committee.In 2005, Tucker completed a five-year program of Executive Fire Service
Management training from the Executive Development Institute through the International Institute of Black Professional Firefighters. He went on to earn his Bachelor's Degree in Business Management from Malone University in 2009, and this month he completed the program to receive his Executive Fire Officer certification from the National Fire Academy, where he was exposed to a cutting-edge curriculum designed to teach leading fire officers how to address difficult and unique challenges
facing modern communities.
"I was fortunate to be presented with several highly qualified and exemplary public servants as candidates for this position," Mayor Horrigan said of his selection. "In Clarence, I found an immensely prepared and well-respected leader with an enormous heart for this community."
"My vision for the future of the Akron Fire Department is to forge new, innovative partnerships, develop creative solutions to deep-rooted challenges like the opiate epidemic, and to continue our honored tradition of running a prepared, professional, and compassionate Fire Department. I have full confidence that Clarence will bring strong, steady leadership and a commitment to excellent customer service and patient care to this position."
Of his promotion Tucker said, "It is my honor and privilege to continue my service to this City and this Department as Fire Chief. I join the Mayor in thanking all of the hardworking men and women of this Department for everything they do, both on the
front lines and behind the scenes, every day, to keep us safe. I look forward to working together to continuously improve our performance and our service to the citizens of Akron."
UPDATE 3:58 PM 9/12/16: Akron Public Schools announced Monday afternoon that Ellet High School will be closed again Tuesday, as cleanup continues.
(Previous coverage) Ellet High School will be closed Monday as smoke damage is assessed following a late-evening fire Saturday that apprently started in a room used for building maintenance and the school's construction program.
Firefighters were alerted by an alarm triggered around 11:00 p.m.
Damage estimates haven't been released but the worst of the fire was contained to the room and adjoining area, although firefighters did find hallways filled with "light smoke" on their arrival at 304 Wolf Avenue. AFD responded with multiple alarm calls that included four fire engine trucks, a medical unit, a pair of battalion commanders and additional shift commander on site as well as an arson investigator. Firefighters used a foam truck which also doubles as a ventilation truck to help exhaust the smoke from the building.
Akron Public School opted to keep the school closed tomorrow while clean-up and investigation into the cause continues.
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(Akron Fire Department)Akron Fire responded to a private alarm at 304 Wolf Ave Ellet High School. Companies on scene
investigated the building and found light smoke in the hallways. The alarm was upgraded to 2nd alarm that includes 4 Engines ,2 Ladder trucks, 2 Battalion Commanders, Med unit, Shift Commander, and Arson investigator. After a search of the building room to room, Firefighters were able to locate the fire and extinguish it.
Foam Truck 660, which is also a large commercial ventilation truck, was called in to assist in ventilating the smoke from the building. Unknown at the time of this press release of the extent of the damages or where at in the building was effected most.
The Heroin Epidemic front and center in Akron again; firefighters say they responded to an EMS call last night on Concord Avenue that revealed three people suffering from an overdose, with a three year old child missing. The child was found wandering a street away but is safe; all three were taken to local hospitals.
Even then -- the story wasn't done. Paramedics were sent back to the same house later to treat a fourth victim.
Additionally, another 20 overdoses were reported by NewsChannel 5. One overdose also blamed for a car crash near Macy's at Chapel Hill. The vehicle didn't hit any buildings reports NewsChannel 5 but hit a guard rail and then burst into flames. He was burned but expected to survive. Two other OD victims were found by police on public walkways, one on a South Canton Road sidewalk and another in a parking lot outside a restaurant on Brittain Road.
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(AFD) Akron Fire responded to a multiple overdose. Initially 3 adults treated and transported. A Report that a 3 yo was on scene and wondered off during the overdoses.
A search was performed of the general neighbor hood area. APD located the child in the backyard of an address a street over. An adult saw the child wandering around and started watching the child with her own children until APD arrived.
Shortly after the Med units and fire companies cleared the scene, a fourth patient showed up at the same address overdosed. A fourth Med unit was dispatched and treated/transported the patient.
A retired former Akron fire chief will fill in as chief again, after the retirement of Chief Ed Hiltbrand.
Larry Bunner retired in 2011, after being promoted to chief in 2007.
He'll be interim chief through the end of this year.
Akron mayor Dan Horrigan and city officials will begin the process of hiring a new fire chief.
(City of Akron, news release) Mayor Dan Horrigan announced today the appointment of Larry Bunner as interim Fire Chief of the Akron Fire Department (AFD) effective Tuesday, Sept. 6. Bunner replaces retiring Chief Ed Hiltbrand whose last day is Sept. 3.
Bunner retired from the Akron Fire Department January 7, 2011 after 38 ½ years of
distinguished service to the citizens of Akron. He joined AFD in June 1972 as a firefighter. Six years later he was promoted to lieutenant, then to captain in 1986, district chief in 1991 and deputy fire chief, January 1996. Bunner was promoted to chief in March 2007.
"Larry brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position," said Mayor Horrigan. "I am grateful he has agreed to serve as our interim chief through the end of the year as we carefully work through a progressive process beginning with an internal search for the right candidate."
Bunner will be sworn-in as interim fire chief on Tuesday, September 6. The Mayor will work closely with Deputy Mayor of Public Safety Charles Brown and Human Resources Director Don Rice and to identify, interview and select the next fire chief.
After over 30 years with the Akron Fire Department, Chief Ed Hiltbrand will be retiring next month.
Hiltbrand has been chief since last year, and was deputy chief for 12 years before that.
Akron mayor Dan Horrigan says he'll immediately begin the process of identifying Hiltbrand's successor.
(City of Akron, news release) After three decades of service to the citizens of Akron,
Fire Chief Ed Hiltbrand announced his retirement. His last day will be September 3, 2016.
Chief Hiltbrand entered the fire department in 1985 and successfully moved through the ranks.
He was promoted to Lieutenant in August of 1995, Captain in May of 1998, District Chief in July of 1999, and Deputy Chief in July of 2003 – ultimately earning the division's top spot as Fire Chief in 2015.
"Chief Hiltbrand is a true professional who is highly respected by his peers," remarked Mayor Horrigan. "His leadership and dedication to the Akron Fire Department and the citizens of this city will be sorely missed. He leaves behind a strong legacy of service to his community."
Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Charles Brown added, "Chief Hiltbrand has steered the department through hiring grants, promotions, and was able to provide the Firefighter/Medics with new state of the art equipment that keeps them safer and helps them better serve the community."
Chief Hiltbrand shared, "In understanding the great responsibilities of the Akron Fire
Department to the community, I am honored to have worked with this organization. I have enjoyed my career with the Akron Fire Department and am grateful for the opportunity to serve and retire as their Fire Chief."
Mayor Horrigan said he will immediately begin the process of identifying the Chief's successor.
Akron Fire will do away with the exam it once required for promotions throughout its departments and will lean on education, training, and seniority for advancement.
On Tuesday, Mayor Dan Horrigan, along with Deputy Mayor for Labor Relations Randy Briggs and Local 330 Lieutenant Russ Brode, announced the result of negotiations between the unions and the city; most of the recommended changes came from the Blue Ribbon Task Force, commissioned by the Mayor himself.
Ten years of legal battles over the now obsolete promotional tests have prevented the department from giving its city employees raises. The new education-based procedure provides a "roadmap for firefighters coming in now, to show how they can become officers in this department," says Deputy Mayor for Labor Relations Randy Briggs.
Mayor Dan Horrigan said, during the press conference outside Memorial Station 4 on E. Thornton St., "It's an historical day. I think we've reached an unprecidented partnership with our local unions." He went on to say of the new process, "The true focus is on talent development."
Along with Atlanta, Arlington, Virginia and Alexandria, Virginia, Akron is only the fourth city in the U.S. currently implementing this education and training-based promotion system. That makes them part of the "A-Team" as Deputy Mayor Briggs pointed out at the press conference outside Station 4 on E. Thornton St. downtown.
A fire truck Goodyear doesn't need anymore will help the Akron Fire Department battle fires.
Goodyear has given a 2005 Freightliner truck, a foam engine/pumper, so Akron firefighters will be able to use it.
Akron fire spokesperson Lt. Sierjie Lash says it will replace a piece of aging equipment.
"Some of our trucks are in excess of 20 years plus," Lt. Lash tells WAKR.net, "and a lot of them have a lot of mechanical issues, and it's hard to find the parts to replace those and to get those trucks fixed up to good shape."
One possible use for the truck - to replace a foam truck that dates back to 1995.
Lt. Lash says the department learned Goodyear may no longer need some equipment, and that led to the donation.
The fire truck can put out 1250 gallons per minute. It weighs just over 31,000 pounds. The value of the donation is estimated at $200,000.
It'll keep the Goodyear decals and tires, and part of the donation is what Goodyear calls "a large quantity of foam".
One person was pulled from Summit Lake this morning.
The Dive Rescue Team with the Akron Fire Department was called to a report of a body floating in Summit Lake around 8 a.m.
The woman was pulled from the water and taken to the hospital. No word on her condition.
A fire on Christmas is never a good thing, but this one could have been a lot worse.
Barberton firefighters were called to a fire in the basement of a home on Ford Avenue at just before 7 PM last night.
WKYC Channel 3 reports that they found heavy smoke coming from the home, but the fire didn't spread beyond one basement room.
There were no injuries reported, and firefighters say no one was in the home when that basement room caught fire.
Earlier that afternoon, Akron firefighters say it took just 5 minutes to knock down a small house fire on Brittain Road...minor damage, and no injuries reported.