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    Default DCFD Change to FEMS????

    DCFD Change to FEMS Upsets Some Firefighters
    Firehouse.com News

    Posted: Wed, 03/30/2011 - 04:37pm
    Updated: Wed, 03/30/2011 - 04:38pm

    Much like other fire departments in cities across the county, D.C. Fire and EMS has a familiar acronym that can be seen on the backs of the department's dark blue t-shirts: DCFD.

    But according to WTTG-TV, that will soon change.

    In three months time, the new acronym, "FEMS," will appear on the back of the t-shirts and it isn't sitting well with some firefighters.

    "Some members are upset," union president Edward Smith told the news station. "We haven't had a raise in five years, so everything is taken to heart. They're very sensitive right now."

    New Fire Chief Kenneth B. Ellerbe has also moved to replace the "fold eagle" emblem logo and sleeve patch instituted by the last chief, Dennis Rubin, with a blue, yellow and red patch previously used by the department.

    This "rebranding" of the department was a recommendation of the city's EMS Task Force after the David Rosenbaum lawsuit in order to integrate the role of emergency services into the department.

    While firefighters have complained about the cost of new shirts, hats and jackets they out of pocket for, they are the most upset about the use of "FEMS," according to the report.


    I can somewhat, kinda understand the patch change, but "FEMS" on the back of the guys shirts? Going from "DCFD" to "FEMS" is just plain and simply stupid on so many levels its offensive!
    Stay Safe
    Bull


    “Guys if you get hurt, we’ll help you. If you get sick we’ll treat you. If you want to bitch and moan, then all I can tell you is to flick the sand out of your slit, suck it up or get the hell out!”
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    No doubt a group of people wholly unfamiliar with the Fire Service came up with this "re-branding" idea. While the idea probably looked great on a powerpoint presentation, it practice it will only serve to weaken the morale of a well-respected agency. And anyone who's been around for more than a couple of weeks knows that when morale sinks, so does productivity.

    We in the fire service possess a certain ownership of our profession that few other careers can match. How many accountants collect old account logbooks? Have you ever met a computer programmer who has little models of computers on his shelves at home? Compare this with firefighters you know. We all know people who collect old helmets, old badges, old pictures, and whatever fire memorabilia they can find.

    The level of tradition and respect for the past in the fire service makes for a proud profession. Most of the firefighters I know are incredibly proud of their chosen career and are constantly striving to become better at their job. I have always felt that this culture of pride and tradition is one of the things that makes the Fire Service great. We all have shared ownership of a tradition hundreds of years old, and we are enjoying our turn in drivers seat now. Eventually, we will retire and pass the reigns over to the next generation, but for now it is ours to preserve and protect.

    A poorly thought-out and useless name-change serves only to weaken the ownership DC Firemen have to this great profession. It is a slap in the face to an agency that goes back to 1804. The men and women of DCFD have been through more than enough. Taking their pride in their job away from them is counterproductive and inane.

    Besides, how many kids are going to want a FEMS action figure for Christmas?

    Good luck to our friends in our nation's capitol. They'll always be DCFD to me.

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    Please tell me this is an early April Fools joke.

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    This is not a joke at all. It was one of the many recommendations that come from the task force that was formed after the Rosenbaum death (Google it).

    Read a lot more here, and take the time to read some of the 58 comments: Statter911.com: The Name Game: Does FEMS Mean Anything to the Citizens of the Nations Capital?.
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    This is dumber than wearing steak pants to piranha convention.

    Why is it worth one dadgum nickel to rename and relabel EVERYTHING? Smacks of dumb corporate logic. Put a civil servant back in charge of the civil service, please. We are overdosing on bureaucrats.

    If they made me wear a shirt that says FEMS, I believe I'd ask if I could wear one that says BUTCHES.
    “I am more than just a serious basketball fan. I am a life-long addict. I was addicted from birth, in fact, because I was born in Kentucky.”
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    Thanks BoxAlarm187 for find this article, it is a very Good read! Here is Dave Statter's article for those of you that did not feel like clicking on the link.



    Sometime in the late 1970s Winfield Kelly decided it was an insult to refer to Prince George's County as "PG County" or just "PG." County Executive Kelly was the first of many to try and get us to stop saying "PG". To this day I can't understand why the shorthand is a slight to the people who live in the county.

    Being a somewhat rebellious county employee I always made sure I used "PG Fire" and not "Prince George's" when talking on the mutual aid channel as a dispatcher.

    I couldn't get away with it in my TV job starting sometime in the late 90s, almost 20 years after Winfield Kelly left office. Someone convinced management that it was politically incorrect to call it "PG". If that is so, why does the fire department to this day use the logo "PGFD"?

    Is it also an affront to the residents of the District of Columbia to hear the Nation's Capital referred to by people all across the country as "DC"?

    Which is a roundabout way to bring you the story by my friend Melanie Alnwick at WTTG-TV (having watched the station since the days of Captain Tugg I can't bring myself to say or write the more recent "Fox 5"). The story is about an identity crisis for the District of Columbia Fire & EMS Department.

    I think it was sometime in the late 1990s (could have been later) that those on the EMS side of the house convinced me I was not being very accurate in my reporting when I talked about the "DC Fire Department" or the "DC Fire Chief". The issue wasn't "DC". The agency's name had been changed to include "EMS" and I wasn't keeping up with the times in my reports. I tried to ignore the complaint because it was easier to say "DC Fire". I was also somewhat of a traditionalist. And I could argue "DC Fire" was the term most people, including the citizens, used and understood. But in the end, I realized they were right and I was wrong. It was the correct name and it described accurately the role of the agency.

    Melanie's story is about the a more recent name change. At some point after the move to the "District of Columbia Fire & EMS Department" the bureaucrats in the District government started referring to the agency by the acronym FEMS. It made it easier for the government's internal communications and has been slowly creeping into its external communications like the city website.

    I never once said "FEMS" on the air or wrote it in my copy for the Internet, even though people like City Council member Phil Mendelson use it all of the time in public hearings. The reason I never used it is because those watching the TV report would be scratching their heads asking what the hell I was talking about. I'd be willing to bet good money that if you stopped 100 people randomly on the streets of DC almost no one could tell you what FEMS is.

    That hasn't stopped the new administration in the city from starting to push the name FEMS. That's what Melanie's story is about.

    Good luck to them. I think the city will need a giant advertising budget if they want the public to understand FEMS and start identifying fire and EMS services by that name. It might be real confusing for tourists. But that is just my opinion after covering the department and the city for more than three decades. For all I know the administration of Mayor Vincent Gray has done focus groups that indicate FEMS is the answer and is a short way to communicate the mission of the agency. (After this column was posted, the unsolicited reaction I've received from those not associated with fire and EMS has been consistant. All believe it may a better name for a product associated with women than a way to identify first responders. It would be interesting to learn whether an unbiased focus group produces similar results.)

    Still, I can't imagine when we will hear the first citizen say, "Call FEMS I'm having a heart attack" or "Call FEMS the house is on fire". The public understands "fire", "ambulance", "911" and possibly "EMS". FEMS will probably take a lot of training. Just remember, 35-years later and many of us are still calling it "PG".
    Stay Safe
    Bull


    “Guys if you get hurt, we’ll help you. If you get sick we’ll treat you. If you want to bitch and moan, then all I can tell you is to flick the sand out of your slit, suck it up or get the hell out!”
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    Hey, why not DCES? District of Columbia Emergency Services?

    What about Fire, Emergency Call, and Ems Services?(FECES)

    Its all a bunch of crap that will ultimately confuse the public more than it will clarify the services... And FEMS? Come on, is that FEMA's stepchild? There has gotta be a better acrynom than that....
    A coward stands by and watches wrongs committed without saying a word...Any opinions expressed are purely my own and not necessarily reflective of the views of my former departments

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fireeaterbob View Post
    Hey, why not DCES? District of Columbia Emergency Services?

    What about Fire, Emergency Call, and Ems Services?(FECES)

    Its all a bunch of crap that will ultimately confuse the public more than it will clarify the services... And FEMS? Come on, is that FEMA's stepchild? There has gotta be a better acrynom than that....
    There is/was DCFD
    Stay Safe
    Bull


    “Guys if you get hurt, we’ll help you. If you get sick we’ll treat you. If you want to bitch and moan, then all I can tell you is to flick the sand out of your slit, suck it up or get the hell out!”
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    Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.
    -WINSTON CHURCHILL

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    What about the guys who ride the rescue squads? Their shirts won't say Rescue, how will they know that's part of their job?

    It's been the District of Columbia Fire Department for what, 140 years? Anyone who thought that a name change would go over well is a delusional moron. And they're even more dumb for thinking it's necessary.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BULL321 View Post
    There is/was DCFD
    Amen. We work a job that's lifeblood is our history. F*ck these guys DC, YOU FIGHT FOR YOU HERITAGE. They've taken your money and your moral...DON'T GIVE THEM YOUR PRIDE.
    "It's a living thing brian..."

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    Quote Originally Posted by truckedup133 View Post
    Amen. We work a job that's lifeblood is our history. F*ck these guys DC, YOU FIGHT FOR YOU HERITAGE. They've taken your money and your moral...DON'T GIVE THEM YOUR PRIDE.
    This is likely to ruffle some feathers, however if you consider the functions of DCFD, one of if not the number 1 mission is delivery of EMS. If the agency is the provider of EMS, and the largest call for service is for the delivery of EMS, then it only makes sense that the EMS mission be reflected in the name. With that said, FEMS is retarded, anyone should be able to see that.

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    Bunchas Fems. lol
    Logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead.

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    Think they will change the USAR teams to the FEMA-FEMS ?
    ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BULL321 View Post
    There is/was DCFD
    Or FDDC


    Somehow this whole thing has the stink of trying to erase any memory of Chief Rubin...
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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    Talking

    You guys have it all wrong.

    They aren't trying to embrace the EMS mission at all.

    It actually reads -- F EMS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bossteen View Post
    This is likely to ruffle some feathers, however if you consider the functions of DCFD, one of if not the number 1 mission is delivery of EMS. If the agency is the provider of EMS, and the largest call for service is for the delivery of EMS, then it only makes sense that the EMS mission be reflected in the name. With that said, FEMS is retarded, anyone should be able to see that.
    Of course most of what every department does these days is EMS. So every department should drop their name so a few civilly emt's don't feel left out? F8ck that. They are the FIRE DEPARTMENT. Who you gonna call when your house lights? That fire and emergency medical services company? People know to call 911 and who is gonna come help like usual...the fire department.
    "It's a living thing brian..."

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    Quote Originally Posted by bossteen View Post
    This is likely to ruffle some feathers, however if you consider the functions of DCFD, one of if not the number 1 mission is delivery of EMS. If the agency is the provider of EMS, and the largest call for service is for the delivery of EMS, then it only makes sense that the EMS mission be reflected in the name. With that said, FEMS is retarded, anyone should be able to see that.
    ACTUALLY…

    Our first and foremost *mission* was, is and always will be the suppression of and protecting our citizens and visitors from the deadly forces of fire.

    "The Fire and EMS Department provides fire suppression, emergency medical services (EMS), homeland security and special operations response – collectively known as all-hazards protection – for residents and visitors to the District of Columbia from thirty three (33) neighborhood firehouses that deploy thirty nine (39) EMS transport units (ambulances), thirty three (33) engine companies, sixteen (16) ladder trucks, three (3) heavy-rescue squads, one (1) hazardous materials unit and one (1) fire boat company."

    Averaging over 160,000 annual runs for roughly 600,000 citizens.

    With that said, I will wear out the 2 polyester-blend, non-NFPA compliant uniform work wear I have been issued (you see I was never even issued a full compliment as there were none) in place of the self-purchased shirts, polos, sweaters, various coats and headwear that have saved my Department and City countless amounts of tax-payers $$ on (because of never being issued a full compliment, I have supplemented my work attire with personal purchases and have never demanded the Department fulfill its contractual obligated compliment of work wear).

    And when I wear through those 2 polyester-blend non-NFPA compliant uniform work wear I will go to property and have them replaced. And will do so, with the rest of the members until our supply is depleted and none more are available.

    Then I will wear my compliant navy blue or white undershirt with no markings so that I may present at all times as a clean and efficient member of the firefighting division.

    I will never be caught wearing any uniform with the acronym FEMS emblazoned on the back. I would rather sweat myself into dehydration through my 2 polyester-blend, non-NFPA compliant uniform work wear in our 100 degree heat with 100 % humidity in the back of a broke-@ss ambulance circa 1987 with no working AC providing patient care while being detailed to yet another civilian medic unit that has been downgraded to a basic unit as they have called out on SL yet again.

    The City and Department have made out like bandits, as after-action reports of the LODD's experienced in 1997 and 1999 clearly outlined the need to issue fire-resistive wear via synthetic or natural materials. 3 men died, 1 forced to retire due to burns received and 2 committees comprised of internal and external members of the fire service and STILL. We wear 60/30 polyester blend materials.

    And through it all, my helmet shield will STILL say "FDDC" and I will still be a member of the Fire Department of the District of Columbia.

    FTM
    The good thing about this job is that we have done so much, with so little, for so long that we can do everything with nothing...... which is what is wrong with this job.
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    It's white peoples fault.
    Bring enough hose.

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    I don't even get the point in rebranding. Its not like we need name recognition so that people will chose to do business with us vs. a competing company. Its just like all those depts. in the South calling themselves Fire Rescue Departments. A rename/rebranding so some idiot bureaucrat feels like they accomplished something.


    More importantly, whats the price tag of this? Will the trucks be relettered also? How much dept. letterhead will have to be replaced?

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    [QUOTE=nameless;1260573] Its just like all those depts. in the South calling themselves Fire Rescue Departments. A rename/rebranding so some idiot bureaucrat feels like they accomplished something.




    I concur.
    Bring enough hose.

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    Quote Originally Posted by truckedup133 View Post
    Of course most of what every department does these days is EMS. So every department should drop their name so a few civilly emt's don't feel left out? F8ck that. They are the FIRE DEPARTMENT. Who you gonna call when your house lights? That fire and emergency medical services company? People know to call 911 and who is gonna come help like usual...the fire department.
    Oh please, some of those "civilly emt's" are sworn FF's, does that change anything? Fact is, DCFD does more EMS than firefighting, would you feel better if it was called EMSF? Don't get me wrong, the name change to FEMS is stupid, but including the new #1 mission of the vast majority of FDs in it's title isn't the end of the world.

    Who you gonna call when you child obstructs his airway on a hotdog? The fire department or EMS? Do you think if you call and say "My kid is choking!" that someone is going to confuse what is actually needed there?

    I don't think the FDNY guys like EMS added to their title, or for that matter I doubt the NYC*EMS folks liked having FDNY added to thiers, however it reflects the mission of the one agency.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tree68 View Post
    Or FDDC


    Somehow this whole thing has the stink of trying to erase any memory of Chief Rubin...
    I stand corrected! FDDC

    But never never FEMS what a crock of sh t! and I'll be damn if I had to spend my on hard earn money on this crap. Someone needs to tell the new chief to go play in traffic. I feel for our Brothers and Sisters up at DCFD
    Stay Safe
    Bull


    “Guys if you get hurt, we’ll help you. If you get sick we’ll treat you. If you want to bitch and moan, then all I can tell you is to flick the sand out of your slit, suck it up or get the hell out!”
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    Traditionaly fire departments have the name of "FIRE DEPARTMENT", not "Fire Rescue Department" or "FEMS" or "Public Safety Department". The only name a department that fights fire should have is "FIRE DEPARTMENT", any variation is an errosion of the rich tradition that the fire service was built upon.

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    Talking

    If they only fought fire then there would be a lot fewer brothers on the job as we are seeing in many cities recently closing stations and blacking out trucks.

    Reality is in many places EMS is upwards of 75% of the call volume received by the fire departments. You can adapt or find yourselves out on the street looking at the ambulances making runs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FloridaFireEMT View Post
    Traditionaly fire departments have the name of "FIRE DEPARTMENT", not "Fire Rescue Department" or "FEMS" or "Public Safety Department". The only name a department that fights fire should have is "FIRE DEPARTMENT", any variation is an errosion of the rich tradition that the fire service was built upon.
    Says the guy with EMT in his screen name....

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