Terrorist Attack at U.K. Parliament Building Grounds, Deafville to Build Seven Deaf-Friendly Communities in the U.S., Deaf Firefighter Honors Fallen Firefighters from 9/11 Attacks [Interview]
*Correction: The sign for "Poconos" is wrong. The index finger should be used to point to the nose, instead of the middle finger.
Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Wednesday, March 22. Ready for news?
There was a terrorist attack at the U.K. Parliament Building area in London that killed at least three people.
A person drove a SUV into people walking on a bridge leading to the parliament building, hitting at least 10 people.
One woman died on the scene and many were seriously injured.
A female body was floating in the river but was fortunately pulled out to safety, but with serious injuries. Some French high school students were wounded.
The SUV crashed into the gate leading to the main building (just outside of the Big Ben clock).
Then — a man ran towards the Parliament building with a large knife and stabbed a police officer. The man was shot, ending the attack. Sadly, the police officer died.
It is not clear if the driver of the SUV and the knifeman was the same person or two people possibly working together.
This happened while Members of Parliament were in session and voting. The Prime Minister Teresa May was there. The Parliament was locked down and PM May was taken away to safety in a car.
There was a big police presence that cordoned the area off. There were multiple ambulances and helicopters circling.
There is not clear information on who the knifeman is — but from this image of him handcuffed on a stretcher with apparent gunshot wounds — he seems to be a middle-aged man with brown skin. He had a beard and wore black pants and a black shirt.
In total, four people died — the knifeman, a pedestrian on the bridge, the police office, and an unidentified fourth person — probably another pedestrian on the bridge.
I’ll update you on who the attacker is and what his possible motives were. No terrorist organization has accepted responsibility.
It is the latest attack in Western Europe — on Sunday there was an attempted attack at Paris’ Orly Airport when a 39-year old man, Ziyed Belgacem, a French citizen, grabbed a female solider from behind and help a 9mm pellet gun against her head, then tried to grab the solider’s gun, shouting that he wanted to die in the name of Allah and that there would be deaths. He was shot dead by two other soldiers.
Today is also the one-year anniversary of last year’s terrorist attacks in Brussels, Belgium — where there were two explosions at the airport and at a metro station that killed 32 people. ISIS was responsible.
The rest of Europe is on edge right now. There will be increased security everywhere.
Daily Mail Article/Photos: http://dailym.ai/2nJSKNe
There is a “new” organization — Deafville — that hopes to build at least seven “Deaf-friendly” neighborhoods in various states in the U.S.
Deafville made a major announcement last weekend that they are organizing a new Deaf community in El Paso, Texas at an already-established community named “Villages at Rio Valley.”
They’ve announced they will build a new community at the Poconos region in Pennsylvania and plans to build another in Nashville, Tennessee. The remaining four cities have not yet been announced.
Those communities are not “brand-new” — rather Deafville seeks out various already-established planned communities with roads, businesses, services — that might not be “doing well” — not attracting enough buyers — and then makes a proposal to bring in people from the Deaf/ASL community to fill up the vacancies.
Deafville also plans to build Ahava senior citizen living center in each those communities. The Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) will have to undergo at least 300 hours of ASL training before working with Deaf senior citizens.
Deafville is working with a home builder based in Canada — MgO Systems — to build the new homes — and they plan to bring in the building factories at the local communities and offer Deaf people job opportunities to work at those factories, which will pre-build 70% of the homes. Their building material is interesting — it can withstand very hot temperatures and is said to be energy efficient. The homes will be Deaf-friendly with doorbells/lights and open spaces.
Those communities will also have rental properties at condos and apartments.
The communities will not be “all Deaf” — but will have a high percentage of Deaf people spread out in a small area. Deafville said they’d train local businesses on basic ASL knowledge so it’ll be completely accessible for everybody. Regular hearing people can continue to live in those communities.
This is a somewhat mind-blowing news for the Deaf community — but it didn’t happen overnight. This was in planning since 2013.
I reached out to two representatives of Deafville — Phil Cabbage (Regional Director) and Brian Smithson (Director of Operations, El Paso) to find more about this.
This all started when a large nonprofit organization named Help The World Foundation (HWF), who was formed by four hearing investors from Indiana — who worked in real estate and in the medical field, decided to do something to support Deaf people’s needs.
HWF met with Phil Cabbage and his father, Don Cabbage, who is a late-Deafened person and a Deaf church leader — and they talked about the idea of building a Deaf community. Phil said he explained them about Deaf culture and the idea and desire by many Deaf people to “live” in a Deaf-World — mentioning Eyeth and the concept of Laurent, South Dakota.
The four investors were interested in it and gave a sum of money to them to start researching the concept of Deafville. Deafville staff then attended several DeafNation expos across the U.S. for four months in 2015 and asked people to fill out surveys to gauge if Deaf people were interested. They received over 600 surveys and said 80% of people said they would be willing to move more than 50 miles to live in a Deaf-friendly community.
So they did a “second round” of surveys — with more details on income levels, whether they would be able to afford a home, or preferred to rent, or if they needed government assistance. They found that many senior citizens had money ready to buy a home, many were ready to buy a home, and that many needed government assistance.
The surveys were enough to convince the four investors from HWF to go “all in” on this concept.
Deafville also seemed out city, state, and federal money to support the project to offer both homes and employment opportunities to deaf/disabled people. They’ve worked with banks to offer loans to Deaf people and special assistance if there are credit issues.
El Paso is the first Deafville community — they hosted an event on March 4 to explain about the concept. They invited DeafNation co-founder Joel Barish to give a presentation. They say they had many people interested and that there are already 10 Deaf people who had their applications approved to build new homes there. They can move in within 90 days.
Poconos and Nashville is expected to open up next, then four more cities will be announced. Those communities are expected to have similar models of having a senior citizen living center and local businesses offering employment opportunities for Deaf people. Next Monday there will be new job postings for the community in El Paso on the HWF website.
So, Deafville is definitely a big new addition to our Deaf-World. If you’re interested in living in one of those cities or want to know more, you can check out the deafville.com website — their contact information is there.
There is a Deaf volunteer firefighter in New Jersey — who passed fire academy and hopes to pass the state examination to become an official fireman. His name is Matt Gilmore. He is one of several Deaf firefighters in the U.S.
Last Sunday, he was with a group of firefighters from all around the world who went to the new WTC 4 building to climb 72 stories with full equipment to honor the 343 firefighters who died during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He finished the climb in 29 minutes and was the only Deaf firefighter there. Here is a short clip of his experience.
[Clips of Matt in NYC saying he will climb up WTC #4 to honor a fallen firefighter, Frederick Ill, Jr. He says it was “hell” to climb up the 72 stories and that he threw up, lol. He shows the view from the top of the tower.]
Wow. I asked him to explain more about the stair climb and several other questions about his experiences as a firefighter. Here is the interview — and I must inform you that the ASL might be a little blurred, but here it is.
Hello, my name is Matt Gilmore — everybody calls me “Happy.” I am a volunteer firefighter — I work at a warehouse for my job/pay, but volunteer with the Parkertown Fire Dept, and before that I volunteered at the Barnegat Fire Department. I moved to that department when I moved to a different city.
I’ve been doing this for a year and a half. I’ve gone through a lot of oppression and I have show myself so they can be comfortable with me. They have a lot of trust issues — they are uneasy about hiring Deaf, disabled people (with no arms), or a woman. It is commonplace and you have to work hard to prove them and earn their trust — this is important.
When they ask me, “how do you communicate?” I interrupt them and ask them how they can communicate with a Deaf victim? They will be stumped and invite me to “come in.” That’s how I get in. I went to fire school, but it’s tough because they won’t provide an interpreter. It’s because the NFPA - the National Firefighter Protection Association — says that Deaf people can’t be firefighters because of hearing loss. So I went through school without it, and I did just fine. It’s all visual. It’s all reading, hands on training, and following what others tell you to do. It is no different for me — different for them, but not for me.
Firefighters admit they can’t hear each other — they often use physical touch to get each other’s attention. I use a cochlear implant, so that helps, but most of the time you can’t hear anything, anyways. What helps is that they often use gestures to represent different things, such as “hydrate,” “go back to the truck,” or “360” — which means to check around the house.
I’ve had experience with real fire situations, but they are in training/fire school — I will have a state examination in two weeks and I hope to pass, then I will become a “real certified fireman.” In fire school, you can’t see at all — the mask is one inch thick. But I’m proud because I was the first to find a victim — I managed to find it before the others. Last week I went through an obstacle course — this job is really hard and stressful, but I love the job — I was the first to find the victim there, too. I showed them that I could do it. You’ve got show them.
[Holds picture of fallen firefighter Frederick Ill, Jr. and shows a badge from his experience at NYC on Sunday]
There are 343 firefighters who died — and all who participated in the ceremony were assigned a firefighter. I was assigned with his name. I had to learn his story and his history. I learned that he was a volunteer firefighter and managed to climb up the ranks to be a member of the FDNY. People loved him and sadly he died during 9/11 when the building collapsed. He was missing for a month until his body was found and buried in peace. I found his name at the South Tower.
[Image of Frederick Ill, Jr’s name engraved on a stone memorial]
It was really emotional.
It was really hard to climb the tower — at the 42nd floor, I was really tired. I didn’t know how I could make it to the 72nd. But I made it in 29 minutes. The FDNY average is 14 minutes. I’m getting closer and closer!
Question: Do you have any experiences you want to share?
I was at a structural fire at Long Beach Island - a famous place in NJ. When I got there, I saw an aggressive blaze that was two stories high. It was my first time. I didn’t go in, I stayed outside as I’m not certified yet, I’m halfway there. I saw a firefighter being helped off — he was injured. It made me feel nervous, but I didn’t let it impact me.
Then a man came to me and asked me if his house was okay. I looked at the house and asked, “Is this your house?” He said yes. I looked at it and told him the most important thing was that he was okay. Then I told him that the house was gone — it was destroyed. He had tears in his eyes and said that his parents were gone and that it was their house — now the house is gone, too. It really hit me hard, but I refused to show my emotions. I just reassured the man and continued to work. It is emotional work, firefighters are guaranteed to get PTSD at some point, but I won’t let that happen to me. it is tough. I have to be calm. Even if I know someone died inside, I have to tell family that everything is okay — and let police deal with them — so I can do my job.
Wow, thank you for sharing, Matt. I learned something new from this interview — that there is a human impact in this job, that it’s not just about putting out fires — but that you will deal with people and experience their pain as they see their homes damaged and as they fear for the lives of their loved ones. Thank you for representing us well, Matt.
That is all for today. See you tomorrow and stay with the light!