Home Emergency Management News EDM Monday Briefing: Air Ambulance Crash Kills Three, U.S. Border Agent Killed, Keystone XL

EDM Monday Briefing: Air Ambulance Crash Kills Three, U.S. Border Agent Killed, Keystone XL


Emergency and disaster management briefing for November 20, 2017: Three air ambulance crew members are dead following a helicopter crash; one U.S. Border Patrol agent is dead and another was seriously injured in an alleged attack; high winds being blamed for a scaffolding collapse that injured five in New York City; a TransCanada pipeline oil spill reignites concerns regarding the Keystone XL pipeline; residents fleeing Puerto Rico flood Florida and overwhelming local and state resources; multiple search and rescue vessels face new obstacles while searching for a missing Argentinian Naval submarine; the manhunt continues for a suspected cop killer in Pennsylvania; and at least seven firefighters are injured while battling a massive fire in Hamilton Heights, New York.

1. Three people are dead after an air ambulance helicopter crashed in Arkansas overnight on Sunday. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) noted that no patients were being transported at the time of the crash, but the three people that were killed were all crew members on board. Pafford EMS was noted as the operator of the helicopter, which crashed in Lodge Corner, Arkansas, on its way from Pine Bluff to DeWitt, about 13 minutes away.

2. One U.S. Border Patrol agent is dead and another is seriously injured after responding to activity while they were patrolling Sunday in the Big Bend Sector of Texas. Agent Rogelio Martinez, 36, from El Paso, was killed by injuries sustained during an apparent ambush attack. His partner, who has not been identified, was seriously injured. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), who is now investigating the incident, denies that the agents were shot.

3. High winds are being blamed for a scaffolding collapse at the busy corner of Broadway and Prince in New York City's SoHo district on Sunday that injured five people. One person was trapped when the scaffolding collapsed, but was quickly freed by first responders.

The collapse shut down Broadway and subway service was suspended at nearby stations. The incident has a councilman calling for stricter measures for scaffolding that is not in use to prevent future incidents such as this one.

4. A TransCanada pipeline rupture near Amherst, South Dakota last Thursday has reignited questions about the safety of the Keystone XL pipeline just as a final decision is due from Nebraska's Public Service Commission regarding approval of it through Nebraska. The commissioners' decision is one of the final hurdles for the completion of the Keystone XL pipeline, and the project has already received a two-thirds majority approval from Nebraska state legislators.

5. Many Puerto Ricans are now fleeing the island that was devastated by Hurricane Maria in September and flocking to central and south Florida. Officials estimate that at least 164,000 residents have arrived in Florida from Puerto Rico, including school-age children and the elderly. The influx of people in need of housing and jobs, along with elderly in need of medication and students without transcripts, is straining resources throughout the state as they try to assist the newcomers.

6. New obstacles are hampering the search for an Argentinian Naval submarine that went missing Wednesday off the coast of Patagonia. Winds near 50 miles per hour and waves of 20 feet are battering multiple search and rescue vessels from several nations, including the United States, Chile, Britain and Brazil in waters near where the submarine went missing. Seven satellite signals from the sub reportedly hit Argentine satellites on Saturday, but authorities are now questioning if the signals were from the missing submarine.

7. The manhunt continues in Pennsylvania for an individual suspected of killing a police officer on Friday night in New Kensington, a town northeast of Pittsburgh, during a traffic stop. Officials stated that the suspect, Rahmael Sal Holt, 29, allegedly exited his vehicle and during the foot pursuit, shots were fired and Officer Brian Shaw was shot in the chest.

The wound was fatal, despite Shaw's use of a bulletproof vest. Authorities consider the suspect, who has a criminal record dating back to 2007, to be armed and dangerous.

8. A massive fire in the Hamilton Heights section of upper Manhattan on Friday displaced dozens of residents as more than 200 firefighters battled a blaze that destroyed a brownstone. At least seven firefighters sustained minor injuries while fighting the fire, and a police officer and one tenant of the building were treated for smoke inhalation. Strong winds helped fuel the fire that forced dozens nearby to evacuate"] and destroyed at least the top two floors of the building.

Kimberly Arsenault Kimberly Arsenault serves as an intern at the Cleveland/Bradley County Emergency Management Agency where she works on plan revisions and special projects. Previously, Kimberly spent 15 years in commercial and business aviation. Her positions included station manager at the former Midwest Express Airlines, as well as corporate flight attendant, inflight manager, and charter flight coordinator. Kimberly currently holds a master's degree in emergency and disaster management from American Public University.