Wednesday, November 21, 2012
The entire house is a loss but the family of five is safe, because of the quick response of a grandmother who awoke to the crackle of flames.
Gulfport Fire Chief James Marenkovic says the 911 call for help came in just before 1 a.m. Wednesday regarding a fire at 4711 Coronado Way. A husband and wife, in their 50s, their 26-year-old son and two grandchildren were inside. The woman was sleeping in a front bedroom just feet from the garage and heard the crackling of flames. She woke up, saw a glow coming from the garage and got the rest of the family out of the house safely, according to Marenkovic. Merenkovic says the fire started in the garage and spread to overhead trees. Because of the fire damage and heavy smoke, the entire house is a "total loss." He says flames reached as high as 20 feet. In all, Gulfport Fire received help from South Pasadena, Treasure Island and St. Pete …
Friday, October 12, 2012
Gulfport Firefighters are not only raising trying to increase awareness by "thinking pink," they're also sharing how breast cancer has affected the women in their lives.
During the month of October, Gulfport Firefighters are trading in uniforms for pink shirts in an effort to increase awareness, communication and raise money for various breast cancer charities. Like thousands of Americans, the firefighters of Shift B have also been affected by breast cancer. Scott Burford Firefighter and Paramedic Scott Burford says the awareness today has brought questions, fears and personal stories to light. He's thankful the nation has come together to "fight" breast cancer and has encourages people to come forward with their struggles. "It's amazing," he said. Burford says his mom, Patsy, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003. Back when the awareness wasn't what it is today, he says. "I don't recall any information…
The Gulfport Fire Department is a "safe haven" location for mothers, fathers or others to leave unharmed newborns with no questions asked.
Since Florida's "Safe Haven" law was created in 2000, 181 newborn babies have been saved. The law allows anyone to drop off a baby, seven days old or younger, at any hospital, 24/7 fire rescue station, or 24/7 emergency medical service stations, with no questions asked. Gulfport Fire Chief James Marenkovic says the Gulfport Fire Station is one of those locations. Marenkovic is reminding people about the service after he heard a newborn was dropped off at a St. Petersburg Fire Station recently. This comes after a 14-year-old Lakeland girl was charged with first-degree murder after detectives say she choked her baby after giving birth in her bathroom in September. Marenkovic says the news was tragic to hear and he hopes people become more …
Saturday, July 21, 2012
WOW! There are more than 160 photos in our "Pics & Clips" gallery on Gulfport Patch! We asked and you guys responded! Yes, you're sending in awesome one-of-a-kind photos taken right here in Gulfport!
Attention photographers of all ages, experiences, backgrounds and more! We're seeing new photos every week in our neighborhood photo gallery called "Gulfport Pics & Clips." We're asking people to upload their favorite videos and photos to our gallery and we're very happy to see nearly 170 photos in "Gulfport Pics & Clips" so far! To say "thanks" for taking the time to share your pics with us, we're picking a photo of the week and highlighting it every Saturday. This week's photo of the week is from Diane. This pup looks packed, prepared and ready to help the Gulfport Fire Department respond to Mother Nature's summer storms! The rain coat is a nice touch! Thanks for uploading your photos to "Gulfport Pics & Clips." We appreciate it!
Friday, July 20, 2012
Next year's city budget would have received a $133,000 boost in revenues if the Gulfport Fire Department would have been awarded the contract for services in parts of unincorporated Pinellas County. However, the numbers are not in the city's favor.
"I wasn't pleased," Mayor Mike Yakes after hearing about the city's chances of receiving the contract. City Manager Jim O'Reilly told councilors, during a workshop on Thursday, that they were not going to get the bid. That's because Gulfport's proposal for fire services for a nearby unincorporated area of Pinellas County, currently served by the South Pasadena Fire Department , was not the lowest bid. The bids: Although the outcome is not yet finalized, O'Reilly says the county will likely accept the lowest bid. Pinellas County Commisioners have to vote on accepting a bid and then award a contract before all is said and done. Regardless of who receives the contract, all cities in Pinellas County have a mutual aid agreement. The closest …
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
The Gulfport Fire Department's shiny new apparatus is more than a showstopper, it's a made-to-order Advanced Life Support Vehicle that came in more than $200,000 less than comparable cities.
New Engine 17 Gulfport Firefighters are putting the finishing touches on their new E-One Typhoon eMax 2012 apparatus. The truck isn't ready to go just yet because officials purchased the truck without a few extra items, upgrades and equipment in order to save money. Cost Effective Fire Chief James Marenkovic says the final price tag was $391,427 compared to about $600,000 to $800,000 if the truck came fully loaded. The truck was paid for by the Penny for Pinellas sales tax program. Marenkovic says they made several cost saving decisions like requiring less paint, re-using hoses, tools, nozzles and other equipment and installing many of the tools themselves. Marenkovic says it all adds up. He adds that they'll be able to put money into the…
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
It's not Fourth of July without fireworks, but officials urge people to leave it up to the professionals.
"The Fourth of July means fireworks," says James Marenkovic, Gulfport's Fire Chief. "But given the potential injuries and the extreme risk during this drought, go watch the professionals," he said. Except for fireworks classified as sparklers, it is illegal to purchase fireworks in the state of Florida. Two loopholes in the law allow purchase. They can be sold to those who need to scare away birds on agricultural lands and to clear a railroad. When you purchase fireworks, you actually sign a paper stating you won't set them off in Florida, Marenkovic said. That's why you won't find them for sale anywhere within Gulfport city limits, he said. He also discussed the dangers inherent in using even those fireworks classified as sparklers. …
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
The Gulfport CERT team welcomed its newest members at Tuesday night's city council meeting. Certificates were handed out to those who completed the basic training course.
The Gulfport Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program is offered to citizens in the area so that they can become educated and efficient on a number of subjects. Some of the topics include fire safety, life search and rescue, triage and medical operations. Basic disaster response skills are instilled in CERT members from day one. The course to become a CERT member is seven weeks long and covers classroom time as well as exercises. On Tuesday night, 9 new CERT members were welcomed to the famiy. CERT's goal is to offer support to local emergency response agencies. Members become a more active element in the community and lend a hand, when needed, to the professionals.
Friday, April 13, 2012
When a Gulfport couple saw flames approaching their property they used years of CERT training to get out safely and call for help.
Elaine Amandola started cooking dinner just before 5 p.m. on Thursday while her husband Louis sat in his office working when loud banging at their front door interrupted their night. Louis said a woman knocked on their door, said the house was on fire and told them to get out. The woman was referring to the flames behind the Amandola's house at 2819 53rd St. S. A garage fire broke out in the alley just behind their home and the flames were getting larger and moving towards their house. Without hesitation, Elaine knew exactly what to grab and quickly. Elaine had prepared paperwork in a "to go" bag. In it, she had copies of identification and insurance documents, and even their dog's vet records. "You have to be prepared and you never know …
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Emergency officials say at least one propane tank exploded in a garage fire Thursday night.
At least one propane tank exploded at a Gulfport home early tonight, causing flames to shoot up in the air and firefighters from four municipalities to respond. No one was injured in the dramatic blaze, which is still under investigation. When Gulfport firefighters responded to an emergency call to 29th Avenue South and 53rd Street South, flames were at least 15 feet tall, Lt. Erick Fuchs said tonight. Emergency officials with Gulfport, St. Petersburg, South Pasadena and Treasure Island were called in to help at around 5:15 Thursday night. At least three engines battled the flames. Fuchs saw three propane tanks in the small building and says at least one "exploded," because he saw a "flash" while fighting the fire. Fuchs was unsure if the …