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    Default FDNY Commissioner Cassano

    FDNY Chief Cassano was appointed as the Fire commissioner and made a statement that his focus will be on EMS and fire prevention. Is FDNY on the brink of Engine company paramedics as suggested in their strategic plan? Or maybe paramedic response vehicles?


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    Quote Originally Posted by MFDHoseCo3CGR View Post
    FDNY Chief Cassano was appointed as the Fire commissioner and made a statement that his focus will be on EMS and fire prevention. Is FDNY on the brink of Engine company paramedics as suggested in their strategic plan? Or maybe paramedic response vehicles?
    He might try, however there are a number of issues with that EVER happening. Number 1 being Patrick Bahnken, president of Local 2507 who represents EMTs and Medics who most certainly would object to another labor union (the UFA) in doing their work.

    cASSano, is following the same script the city has been using for at least a decade now and one that has worked in many other cities...

    What is that you may ask? Well they want desperately to close over a dozen fire companies throughout the city (probably at least 16). One of the best ways to dampen the opposition is to emphasize the job (a questionable assertion) has a "growing" aspect of EMS and downplay our true primary duty--fire&emergency response. Once again the idea that EMS will improve our departments response capabilities or staffing or pay is a joke.

    We have paramedic response vehicles, they are called ALS ambulances. While they may try something, I don't see any real changes in the forseeable future.

    FTM-PTB
    Last edited by FFFRED; 12-22-2009 at 08:59 AM.

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    Forum Member FHJ718's Avatar
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    Interesting. I find it sad, ironic or maybe depressing when someone who comes up through the ranks gets the top job and then turns around and becomes a city hall hatchet man. All in the name of efficiency. It makes you wonder what things they agreed to do in order to land the job.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FHJ718 View Post
    Interesting. I find it sad, ironic or maybe depressing when someone who comes up through the ranks gets the top job and then turns around and becomes a city hall hatchet man. All in the name of efficiency. It makes you wonder what things they agreed to do in order to land the job.
    Well the job title is Fire Commissioner, not Emperor. He still is an employee of the city and as such must carry out their wishes. I'm not sure why more emphasis on EMS would equate with closing stations but I don't know NYC. I would hope that someone who came up through the ranks would be able to relate with and work with the rank and file. EMS and FD do work well in many places and I'm sure the city will be looking at that.
    Last edited by BryanLoader; 12-22-2009 at 11:27 AM.

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    Another city that thinks a Paramedic on every street corner, on every piece of fire apparatus makes a difference. Flies completely in the face of the evidence which shows otherwise.

    More Paramedics = fewer skills = less proficiency = higher patient morbidity and mortality.

    I understand the push to save jobs, save money, and improve an image to the public - but it flies in the face of the evidence based medicine showing the opposite to be true.
    "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaSharkie View Post
    Another city that thinks a Paramedic on every street corner, on every piece of fire apparatus makes a difference. Flies completely in the face of the evidence which shows otherwise.

    More Paramedics = fewer skills = less proficiency = higher patient morbidity and mortality.

    I understand the push to save jobs, save money, and improve an image to the public - but it flies in the face of the evidence based medicine showing the opposite to be true.
    I'm not sure I follow your post Sharkie. I went through a complete merger of EMS into FD and there were definitely problems. Biggest problem was egos and personalities. It took probably 6 - 8 years and changing of both Fire Chief anf Head of EMS Union, but now it works basically flawlessly. About 70% of FF have qualified as EMT P and 60 to 65% of Medics have qualified as FF. I've never seen a drop in job performance because of increased numbers, but that may be a localized situation. EMTs and EMT-Ps are very closely supevised here and operate at all times under Emerge Dr.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FHJ718 View Post
    Interesting. I find it sad, ironic or maybe depressing when someone who comes up through the ranks gets the top job and then turns around and becomes a city hall hatchet man. All in the name of efficiency. It makes you wonder what things they agreed to do in order to land the job.
    Or is it that once you are are in the position you now realize the realities of it all. It is pretty easy to condemn those who make these decisions until you are n that seat. Suddenly one gains a whole new perspective on things. I have seen numerous people being very critical of those "Stupid Engineers", "Dumbazz Bean Counters", or "Idiotic Managers" until they learn all the facts and have to make the same decisions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FFFRED View Post
    He might try, however there are a number of issues with that EVER happening. Number 1 being Patrick Bahnken, president of Local 2507 who represents EMTs and Medics who most certainly would object to another labor union (the UFA) in doing their work.

    cASSano, is following the same script the city has been using for at least a decade now and one that has worked in many other cities...

    What is that you may ask? Well they want desperately to close over a dozen fire companies throughout the city (probably at least 16). One of the best ways to dampen the opposition is to emphasize the job (a questionable assertion) has a "growing" aspect of EMS and downplay our true primary duty--fire&emergency response. Once again the idea that EMS will improve our departments response capabilities or staffing or pay is a joke.

    We have paramedic response vehicles, they are called ALS ambulances. While they may try something, I don't see any real changes in the forseeable future.

    FTM-PTB

    Well I see we agree on one thing. Fire Fighting and EMS are two distinct functions and should be kept separate. I'm with you on that one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BryanLoader View Post
    I'm not sure I follow your post Sharkie. I went through a complete merger of EMS into FD and there were definitely problems. Biggest problem was egos and personalities. It took probably 6 - 8 years and changing of both Fire Chief anf Head of EMS Union, but now it works basically flawlessly. About 70% of FF have qualified as EMT P and 60 to 65% of Medics have qualified as FF. I've never seen a drop in job performance because of increased numbers, but that may be a localized situation. EMTs and EMT-Ps are very closely supevised here and operate at all times under Emerge Dr.
    The point is exactly what I said. It is not about merging Fire with EMS - FDNY has had that going for a long time now.

    The point is that having a Paramedic on every engine company with a bunch of ALS ambulances does not necessarily equate to better patient care.

    That is the premise used by cities, towns, mayors, and fire chiefs to have ALS providers on every damned engine company in the city, and every town with an ambulance to have its own Paramedics regardless of the number of runs that they have a year.
    "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers

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    "As Americans we must always remember that we all have a common enemy, an enemy that is dangerous, powerful and relentless. I refer, of course, to the federal government." - Dave Barry

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    Forum Member FHJ718's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    Or is it that once you are are in the position you now realize the realities of it all. It is pretty easy to condemn those who make these decisions until you are n that seat. Suddenly one gains a whole new perspective on things. I have seen numerous people being very critical of those "Stupid Engineers", "Dumbazz Bean Counters", or "Idiotic Managers" until they learn all the facts and have to make the same decisions.
    I've sat in plenty of budget decisions so I know the game. Stiil I'm no expert, but if his goal is to shut firehouses then what sh*t is that? If I was offered the job but it was on the condition of closing companies I wouldn't take it. Let someone else be the hatchet man. If I had the time & age I would rather walk out the door than sell my soul.
    Economic realities being what they are this is the job, all we remember is what you did last.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FHJ718 View Post
    Interesting. I find it sad, ironic or maybe depressing when someone who comes up through the ranks gets the top job and then turns around and becomes a city hall hatchet man. All in the name of efficiency. It makes you wonder what things they agreed to do in order to land the job.
    You are absolutely correct. There were two other names out there for finalists, one a lawyer who formerly worked in legal and a retired BC who now works for FEMA I believe.

    Of the three...most of the men including myself would prefer retired Chief Parr. However obviously there were somethings in their interviews that didn't sit well with King Bloomberg. And unless they themselves open up, we'll never know.

    We knew COD cASSano is out for himself and won't let a few dead firemen (Graffanino & Bedia) stand in his way. He has an adgenda that he was able to push once the onerous restrictions of 2 years probation and Union Tenure for COD was removed.

    He was named as shouldering some of the blame for the FDNY steming from the 130 Liberty St. Fire by the Manhattan DA's report, yet he and Commish Magoo scapegoated 3 men who did nothing more than occupy the wrong post at the wrong time and operated within the regs as practiced and promulgated from Metro Tech.

    Our system was designed with a Commissioner and COD being seperate for the purpose of having a professional fireman to advocate for the Citizens and the men, able to offer an independent opinion without fear of reprisal from the Mayor in office. That was dispensed with when the UFOA ****ed away decades and $10,000s of legal fees in defending the rank in court for a fraction of a percent in a giveback. Shorterm benefit, long term conseqences.

    His amatureish attempt at cooking the books on response times are now just being exposed and it most certainly wont stop there now that he is at the helm.

    The reason he was chosen is because he will do whatever Mayor Bloomberg wants him to do...regardless if it stands opposed to what he has learned in his accumilated 40 years OTJ. He will use his training and experience to undermine this Department and its members, he won't use it to strengthen it or improve it.

    How many more bodies will it cost? Lord only knows.

    FTM-PTB
    Last edited by FFFRED; 12-22-2009 at 03:06 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FHJ718 View Post
    I've sat in plenty of budget decisions so I know the game. Stiil I'm no expert, but if his goal is to shut firehouses then what sh*t is that? If I was offered the job but it was on the condition of closing companies I wouldn't take it. Let someone else be the hatchet man. If I had the time & age I would rather walk out the door than sell my soul.
    Economic realities being what they are this is the job, all we remember is what you did last.
    Close a few houses and up the staffing on remaining rigs, what is wrong with that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FHJ718 View Post
    Interesting. I find it sad, ironic or maybe depressing when someone who comes up through the ranks gets the top job and then turns around and becomes a city hall hatchet man. All in the name of efficiency. It makes you wonder what things they agreed to do in order to land the job.
    I'm curious, the brothers in FDNY don't believe for a second that increasing EMS responses has any effect on their suppresion staffing one way or another, why do you think Commioner Frazier and COD Keating want to increase EMS runs, and the IAFF local wants to actually take over EMS, a la NYC? Honest question.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bossteen View Post
    I'm curious, the brothers in FDNY don't believe for a second that increasing EMS responses has any effect on their suppresion staffing one way or another, why do you think Commioner Frazier and COD Keating want to increase EMS runs, and the IAFF local wants to actually take over EMS, a la NYC? Honest question.
    Well bossteen, as far as Commissioner Frazer is concerned he has no idea what the fire department does. He takes his orders from city hall. I really don't want to talk about him because I've talk to him many of times and your wasting your time to try to get him to understand. As for Keating, what was the first thing he did when he was chosen? he closed 2 Districts. He's counting down the days to retirement.
    As far as the locals ideas, they are not unanimous to all members. Stapleton was offered EMS 20 years ago and he said no, was it a good decision? maybe maybe not. As far as going to more EMS runs, some things we should go to and some we shouldn't. Do you really think the average guy wants to go to shootings? cause the local says so? let me tell you the answer is no.
    We have our idiots just like EMS does but one thing we won't do is miscode or prematurely cancel companies. I can have a serious discussion but before we go there let me tell you that I have kept good records and have my own issues with EMS. Most of them are alright but many are clowns.

    My point is when I came on the few WW2/Korea guys still on would tell me to leave the job better than the way you found it. For me that means more not less. Maybe I'm wrong but I see where certain members worry more about their "legacy" than "doing what's best for the job".
    And I repeat I would rather leave than to gut the job. People cry efficiency until it's the firehouse in their neighborhood then it's different. Every place is unique but NYC by far has a population density like no other US city. We might not agree on certain things but I would never hurt the job for my own ego. My goal is not to have my face painted on a leather fire bucket but for my peers to say I was a good fireman.

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    I wonder where the money for this would come from. First you have the equipment alone, then you either have to get a sufficient number of paramedics through hiring or training existing personnel. You either have a mass hiring when we are in a slow economy (NYS is having budget problems and I'm sure NYC is) or pay overtime to send guys to school and cover those slots while they are being schooled. Then what happens? Do you still run paramedic ambos, which frees up your paramedic engines quicker but results in paramedics on firetrucks who may be getting the practice needed to stay profficent? Do you run basic ambos and lose a firefighter and the whole company for the duration of any ALS transports? Its expensive either way.

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    There is a positive benefit to FDNY doing EMS.

    It is hard for me to imagine FF/EMT's sitting in a coffee shop refusing to help a pregnant DFO, telling people to call 911 because they were on lunch.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    So what are the differences between the chief of the department's job and the fire commissioner's job? It seems like the commissioner does a lot of the duties that most chiefs across the country find themselves in...budgets, staffing, etc. Sounds like the commissioner answers to the mayor, does the chief of the dept not? Just curious about the differences there.
    The thoughts and opinions posted here are mine and mine alone and do not reflect the thoughts and or views of city or dept affiliation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bossteen View Post
    I'm curious, the brothers in FDNY don't believe for a second that increasing EMS responses has any effect on their suppresion staffing one way or another, why do you think Commioner Frazier and COD Keating want to increase EMS runs, and the IAFF local wants to actually take over EMS, a la NYC? Honest question.
    First they unilaterally changed the terms of our CFR-D involvement without consultation with the union. There is a reason for this.

    Everytime we look to maintain or improve our staffing (we need at least 5 men on the rig to operate safely and currently most have 4) or improve our pay or benefits they use arguments in the media that focus on our EMS runs or involvement.

    EMS doesn't require as many men (our staffing is based on our needs for fires because no matter how many CFR-D runs we take in, we are still always available for fires when we go 10-8)
    And EMS is a low paid, generally low skill health care field. Being a fireman is not. They would kill to have us making the same pay and benefits as EMS personel.

    While these positions doesn't hold much wieght in an educated forum, it sways the 100,000s of idiots that read the Post and the Daily News as if it came from the mouth of God himself.

    Around here there are many of us who don't care at all what the IAFF has to say. They use us as an ATM and provide nothing while campaigning for the scum of the earth who do nothing for us.

    FTM-PTB

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    Around here there are many of us who don't care at all what the IAFF has to say. They use us as an ATM and provide nothing while campaigning for the scum of the earth who do nothing for us.
    It's a late entry, but this is my nomination for post of the year.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FFFRED View Post
    And EMS is a low paid, generally low skill health care field. Being a fireman is not. They would kill to have us making the same pay and benefits as EMS personel.
    FFFred,

    EMS everywhere is grossly underpaid for the education, training, and responsibility required-I made more $$ on a garbage truck in 1992 than the medics make on the private ambulance here now.

    We can argue all day about the difficulty of firefighting in NYC and elsewhere, but EMS, especially at the paramedic level, is anything but "low skill". You need to come up with a better argument, or the city will point to the amount of college education required to become a paramedic vice a fireman.

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