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    Default Dcfd cheif is at it again!

    As if trying to change the DCFD to FEMS was not bad enough, Chief Ellerbe, is now making the Brothers and Sisters in D.C. work without providing them a winter coat. It a good thing that this winter is "mild" compared to those in the past. He was nice enough to buy the brass and the paramedics new jackets but told the engine and truck guys that they were on their own. This guy is a real tool!

    http://www.firehouse.com/video/10617...-<br /> change

    http://www.wjla.com/articles/2012/01...ges-71689.html


    A new departmental uniform policy is keeping some D.C. firefighters from wearing sweaters or coats while they brave the elements.

    The new policy concerns the logos and patches that can be worn by emergency responders.

    Under the change, uniforms bearing "DCFD" must go and the old plain black of blue winter coats paid for by the firefighters are no longer allowed.

    D.C. Fire and EMS views itself as a para-military organization and is striving to no longer be a homeland security risk by allowing firefighters to wear unmarked uniforms, a spokeswoman said.

    This latest change to the department's uniform policy is the fifth in less than a year.

    Firefighters say all the changes are affecting morale.

    "Our stance is that if the department wants to keep continuing to make uniform changes, they should purchase the jackets and the tools we need to do our job," said Ed Smith, president of Local 36, a firefighters union.

    The city pays for standard uniforms, but if emergency responders want sweaters, coats or hats, that comes out of pocket. Those items can cost as much as $750.

    The firefighters are asking for taxpayers to foot the bill.

    Northeast resident Monsoor Ali didn't mind.

    "I don't think that the city can afford for their firefighters to become ill," Ali said. "And I don't think they can afford for their firefighters to walk off the job or become suspended."

    Chief Kenneth Ellerbe was out of town and unable to respond to the story. Neither Ellerbe nor a department spokeswoman provided a written statement.

    Short URL: http://wj.la/yP07eP


    D.C. firefighters banned from using ‘DCFD’ clothing
    By: Scott McCabe | 03/29/11 7:10 PM
    Examiner Staff Writer Follow Him @Scott_McCabe

    D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Chief Kenneth Ellerbe is banning firefighters and paramedics from continuing to wear on-the-job attire that says “DCFD.”

    New clothing must say “emergency medical services” or “FEMS,” or firefighters could face discipline.

    Firefighters and emergency medical technicians will have to bear the costs of the change themselves — typically in the hundreds of dollars. Not all of the department’s more than 2,000 workers have embraced it.

    “The department is in a crosscrunch. We haven’t had a raise in five years, they’re considering layoffs, and we’re worrying about T-shirts?” grumbled one firefighter with more than 25 years with the department.

    He asked to not be identified by The Washington Examiner for fear of retribution.

    D.C. Fire and EMS spokesman Pete Piringer said the change was a result of the 2006 Rosenbaum task force, which recommended cross-training firefighters and EMTs in both disciplines and recognizing both equally.

    “I wouldn’t say it’s an identity crisis, but most of what we do is EMS related,” Piringer said.

    Another veteran firefighter told The Examiner he is concerned because the back of the new shirts must read “FEMS” in 4-inch-high letters, and some residents may mistake firefighters for federal agents and flee, putting them and the rescuers in danger. Prince George’s County firefighters are taught to keep their helmets on so they won’t be misidentified as being part of some tactical police squad, he said.

    The new logo is actually the one used from the mid-1990s until 2007, when then-D.C. Fire and EMS Chief Dennis Rubin came up with a different design.

    D.C. fire union President Ed Smith said he has received numerous calls from members upset over being forced to buy new clothes again.

    One recent hire just spent more than $400 on clothing—five T-shirts for $14 each, a $140 jacket, three heavy-duty sweat shirts for $144, three caps for $45 and a skullcap for $12.

    The union was not consulted in the recent changes, said Smith, who said he’s more concerned about the safety of his members and a lack of fire-retardant gear for all of the firefighters.

    “If a sane person steps back and looks at it, it’s petty,” he said. “But it would have gone over a lot easier if the firefighters were involved at the outset.”

    On Tuesday, Smith asked Ellerbe to give the firefighters a 120-day grace period. Ellerbe met with D.C. Councilman Phil Mendelson and has agreed to give firefighters 90 days to make the change, Mendelson said.

    Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://washingtonexaminer.com/local/...#ixzz1kJLy1vLA
    Stay Safe
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    “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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    He is the FEMS Administrator.

    He is no Chief.
    I can't believe they actually pay me to do this!!!

    One friend noted yesterday that a fire officer only carries a flashlight, sometimes prompting grumbling from firefighters who have to lug tools and hoses.
    "The old saying is you never know how heavy that flashlight can become," the friend said.
    -from a tragic story posted on firefighterclosecalls.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by IronsMan53 View Post
    He is the FEMS Administrator.

    He is no Chief.
    I stand corrected Sir!
    Stay Safe
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    “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!”
    - Capt. Marc Cox CFD

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    See http://statter911.com/ about mid way down on his page, new items of DCFD.
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

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    I cannot believe the city council and mayor are putting up with his games. I feel for the DCFD guys.



    YES....I said "DCFD"
    Jason Knecht
    Assistant Chief
    Altoona Fire Dept.
    Altoona, WI

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dickey View Post
    I cannot believe the city council and mayor are putting up with his games. I feel for the DCFD guys.



    YES....I said "DCFD"


    Dickey, they are backing this slug. Remember they brought him back. He had retired and was living in Florida and get this: he was still on the full payroll and the city knew this all along.

    All new chief want to make their mark on the department. Some do well and some as this one don't do squat. He was a slug when he was on the job before and still it one.

    Interesting note the 24/72 is the best shift members could ever want. They left the 10/14 and were happy to do so. Philadelphia is now considering leaving the 10/14 for the 24/72!
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

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    Hell I feel sorrow for the guys in DC, on top changing the name of the dept., wasting the guys money on new uniforms he is now screwing up their work schedule. I said it before and I'll say it again what a fracking TOOL! Maybe they will get lucky and he will get hit by a truck while crossing the street. One can only hope.
    Stay Safe
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    “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.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BULL321 View Post
    Hell I feel sorrow for the guys in DC, on top changing the name of the dept., wasting the guys money on new uniforms he is now screwing up their work schedule. I said it before and I'll say it again what a fracking TOOL! Maybe they will get lucky and he will get hit by a truck while crossing the street. One can only hope.
    As far as the schedule .... schedules change. It happens all the time in the private sector, so i don't have much sympathy. I understand that they have built lives around that schedule, but likely so has the guy working at the factory who has now been transferred to the night shift.

    The reality is that in a busy department like FEMS, members probably should not be working 24 hour schedules as sleep deprivation later in the shift is a real safety concern.

    I know that when I was working shifts in private EMS we worked a 5/6, which is the same schedule as most of the fire departments, including ours, and both neighboring cities work. When call volume increased to a level that the crews were getting little or no sleep at night, we went to a 3/4 to cut down on the number of days in a work period the crews would be deprived of sleep. At first there was a lot of grumbling as it did affect many of the employees schedules and side jobs, but we adjusted, and after a couple of months, we actually all say the benefits of a 3-shift work period compared to 5.

    Yes, I understand that some members have built thier lives around that schedule, and some may have built businesses as well. And I understand that part of the "benefit package" of the dire department is the schedule and the days off that go with it. That being said, employees in the private sector have to adapt to schedule changes all the time, so basically they have the same choice as any employee ... if they don't like the changes they are free to find employment elsewhere.

    As far as the finances of the schedule change, if in fact going to a new schedule will save the city money, it's the admin's call as they are responsible for managing the budget ..... Not the firefighters or the union. We should be in the business of proiding fire protection at the lowest cost possible, and if in the admin's judgement, the schedule change will do that, that what is right for the taxpayer.

    Maybe the sense of entitlement to the 24-hour schedule that some firefighters feel towards thast schedule, is part of the problem some departments have with public perceptions. yes, it is a a unique benefit that no other job offers, but the fact is that it is not a right, as it's simply a condition of the job that can be changed by the department's administration if they are so inclined. Being a firefighter means working whatever schedule tle boss chooses ... No different than any worker in the private sector. Just because they "always have worked 24's" doesn't change the fact that it is a condition of the job set by the employer, not tradition, union, or whatever sense of entitlement some members may feel towards it.

    As far as the uniforms, if the department chooses to change the name, which I have no problem with by the way, given the fact that EMS is likely a higher percentage of their workload than fires and I have no issue with that role being reflected in the new department name, I agree the department should have provided a full compliment of clothing including one winter jacket. Here we are issued one three season jacket (with a removable liner) jacket. If we want to wear fleece pullovers or sweatshirts with the department name on them, we do have to pay for them out of our pocket as they are not issue items.

    I do agree that there likely should have been a short grace period, say 2-3 months, where the old stuff could be worn while the transistion to a new name and new uniforms take place.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 01-25-2012 at 11:37 AM.
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    LA,
    The chief wants to move to a 3-3-3 shift. 3 12 hour days in a row, 3 12 hour nights in a row and three off. (6 12 hour shifts in a row). This is a 25% reduction in force. The previous administration also looked at a 3 platoon system and their numbers were inverse. It would've cost millions more to transition.

    Please take a look at the Canadian study of urban firefighter schedules where the ONLY shift to restore cognitive function to 100% is the 24/72. It is not entitlement, it is the highest quality service.

    You appear to be a "facts" man that likes data and studies to support theory. If that is the case... please show me the study that supports 6 12 hour shifts in a row alternating day to night, with only three days off for recovery.

    Recently a sleep study expert stated that nobody EVER should work 6-12 hour shifts in a row. Not ever! Much less a shift that alternates day to night.

    The Canadian shift study was supported and co-authored by an expert in sleep and fatigue from the US Air Force.

    Seems to me that for the safety of the members but more importantly the citizens, visitors, and high level officials of the center of the free world, the 24/72 hour shift is a no-brainer.

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    If in fact, that schedule will reduce the on-duty force, that is certainly something that needs to be considered.

    That being said, a three-platoon syetem, does, in my experience, tend to be the norm in the fire service. Again, I could be wrong, but in the areas that I have been in, it does seem to be the case.

    Is there any reason why Washington uses a four-platoon system compared to a 3? Have they looked at conversting to a three-platoon system as a way to save money and consolidate staffing? Woul;d that acco0mplsih the same in terms of savings? Is a 4-platoon system common in that area?

    As far as the pros and con's of the 3-3-3, I frankly can't comment one way or the other. I do know of a department in south LA near New Orleans that uses a similiar schedule but over a longer time frame (6 12-hour days shifts/4 days off/6 12-hour night shifts/4 days off ....) and they seem to by and large like it.

    As far as working 24's, I have hard time beleieving that a department where members could potentially be up all night after running a number of significant calls during the day imprroves safety. As I stated, I worked for three years on shift for a busy private service running 14-20 runs in a ttypical 24 hour period, including many if not most nights without sleep, and there were times towards the early morning hours where I felt anything but safe, both in terms of driving and some aspects of patient care.

    My department, as well as all other departments in this area use a 5/6, with the shift starting at night (4PM) running to 4)M the next day. I also have a hard time beleiving that a member who may be up all night is safer during the day than a member working a 12-hour shift.

    I would be interested to read the reports though. Any links?
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 01-25-2012 at 01:04 PM.
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    We work 12 hour straight shifts (no flip flopping from day to nights) at the Sheriff's office, 60 hrs on our long week, work Monday Tuesday, Off Wednesday and Thursday work Friday Saturday and Sunday. and 24 on our short week, working only Wednesday and Thursday. I'm here to tell you that 3 12 hrs shifts in a row is long enough. I would hate to have to work 6 in a row with a change from days to nights in the middle. On top of being hard on the "body" it would take a lot of time away from my Family.

    I agree that the Boss man has the right to run his dept. as he sees fit, but this guy has done nothing but crap all over his men and woman in an attempt to kiss the Mayor's arse. This is the type of admin that we all have or should have nightmares about. The quicker he leaves the better off the citizens and the members of the DCFD will be.
    Stay Safe
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    Quote Originally Posted by BULL321 View Post
    We work 12 hour straight shifts (no flip flopping from day to nights) at the Sheriff's office, 60 hrs on our long week, work Monday Tuesday, Off Wednesday and Thursday work Friday Saturday and Sunday. and 24 on our short week, working only Wednesday and Thursday. I'm here to tell you that 3 12 hrs shifts in a row is long enough. I would hate to have to work 6 in a row with a change from days to nights in the middle. On top of being hard on the "body" it would take a lot of time away from my Family.

    I agree that the Boss man has the right to run his dept. as he sees fit, but this guy has done nothing but crap all over his men and woman in an attempt to kiss the Mayor's arse. This is the type of admin that we all have or should have nightmares about. The quicker he leaves the better off the citizens and the members of the DCFD will be.
    Fully agree that 6 straight 12-hour shifts is a difficult schedule, and quite frankly, i wouldn't want to work it.

    That's why I asked about the 4 platoon system they use v. the far more common 3-platoon system. It just seems to me as an outside observer that if they went to the 3-platoon system they could do it with one shift less manpower, which likely would obtain the savings the admin is looking for out of saleries and benefits.

    I was wondering if there was a particuliar reason that DCFEMS, as they are now known, is using this system. And were there any 12-hour alternative shift plans offered?
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    The line about EMS and "top staff" getting winter gear already while the line guys don't floored me.

    This guy is no leader and needs to get his act straight.

    Is the shift changes just a minority hiring grab? Inventive way to do it.
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    Another question, has this FEMS Administrator done anything at all good at all for the men and woman of the DCFD? Or has he fracked things up?
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    A 4 platoon system has everyone working 42 hour weeks, a 3 platoon system has people working 56 hours a week. The 40 hour work week tends to be the norm in the regular world, and LA you love comparing the fire service to private industry so you should like the 4 platoon system.

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    @LA. Please take the time to read the entire study here and become informed.

    http://pubs.drdc.gc.ca/PDFS/unc48/p524652.pdf

    Keep in mind this is a government study! Not a labor organization study. It is specifically clear that urban environment fire/EMS on a 24/72 is best shift as it restores cognitive function fully. It shows that sleep deprivation is cumulative and it is much better for the health and safety of firefighters to power through one 24 hour shift with a full three days to recoup. The 24/48 was listed as the "second best" but does not fully restore cognitive function.

    Clearly, however, a 6 12 hour shift period alternating from days to nights with only 3 days rest in between is probably dangerous.

    The chief has not proposed any other shift, just the 3-3-3 which he states will save money through the loss of 470 or so jobs (about 25%). Again, I'm told that the Rubin administration looked at this shift change which they quickly abandoned due to the increase in $$$ it would take to implement and run. (Two shift changes in a busy system will create lots of OT with holdovers on runs.)

    Again... please read the study, and let me know which shift you feel is the safest for our brothers in DCFD. You can only choose between the 3-3-3 and the 24/72, as those are the only two options.
    Last edited by Prydentradition; 01-26-2012 at 03:46 PM.

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    @bull.

    He uses the inclusion of EMS on the logo as his excuse to spend tons of money on the change, and as an excuse to keep our brothers from wearing DCFD.

    Again, in my opinion, the inclusion of EMS is smoke and mirrors. When he took over, we had an Asst Chief of EMS, a Deputy Chief of EMS, four on-duty EMS Battalion Chiefs, and an EMS Battalion Chief of Training. The EMS training at the academy was the best it had ever been. Within months, he fired two of the EMS Battalion Chiefs without cause (those two happened to be the only two hired by Rubin.) He demoted the Asst Chief of EMS to Battalion Chief, and took him away from EMS and placed him in operations. He did not fill the EMS Deputy Chief spot after a retirement, and got rid of the 24/7 operational EMS Battalion Chiefs.

    The Rosenbaum Task Force recommendation CLEARLY states that there should be an EMS Assistant chief, Deputy and on duty battalion chiefs.
    Last edited by Prydentradition; 01-26-2012 at 03:57 PM.

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    @firemanlyman-
    Two things: In the last year, Ellerbe has only hired city residents through a cadet program.
    Second. It has been stated that a shift change to the 3-3-3 could be construed as a "de facto" residency requirement as it would force members to quit, move into or close to the city. This is not an affordable option to families.

    To me, it seems this would have a disparate impact on those who live further away.

    I hope this answers your question.
    Last edited by Prydentradition; 01-26-2012 at 03:54 PM.

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    Prydentradition

    Thank you for your insight. I truly feel sorry for the Brothers and Sister at the DCFD. It seems that this ***** of a FEMS director is trying his best to destroy the proud tradition and morale of the DCFD. I hope that his moronic actions will get the attention of his handlers before someone gets killed. But since he seems more focus on screwing with caucasian employees and hiring only certain minorities they will more than likely hold him up as a visionary and a true trail blazer in the modern fire service.
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    LAFE, Just a couple observations. YOUR agency on it's BEST day doesn't come close to the run #s of DCFD. NO,I will never disgrace my Brothers in DC by referring to Fems. I've worked the 24/72 and I know it works, and it works WELL. If that is what the brothers want,it's what they should work toward.
    Last edited by Rescue101; 01-26-2012 at 07:31 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    My department, as well as all other departments in this area use a 5/6, with the shift starting at night (4PM) running to 4)M the next day. I also have a hard time beleiving that a member who may be up all night is safer during the day than a member working a 12-hour shift.

    I would be interested to read the reports though. Any links?
    That's great if you can afford to live where you work. According to citydata.com the average home price in Bossier Parrish is roughly $135k. In DC it is $444k. Try and make that one work on a fireman's salary. Plus, we get to pay for the privilege of more than double the rapes and assaults and four times the auto thefts that Bossier experiences.

    Thanks, but no thanks.

    Yes, I'm aDCFD fireman.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue 2 Training View Post
    That's great if you can afford to live where you work. According to citydata.com the average home price in Bossier Parrish is roughly $135k. In DC it is $444k. Try and make that one work on a fireman's salary. Plus, we get to pay for the privilege of more than double the rapes and assaults and four times the auto thefts that Bossier experiences.

    Thanks, but no thanks.
    .
    I never actually commented on on the merits or downsides of either schedule, and frankly, it really doesn't matter one bit what shift DCFEMS works. I was simply stating that like any job, firefighters are not immune from having thier schedule modified just because they are firefighters. I certainly understand that this may change the communte significantly, however, that being said private sector workers often have the same issues when their employer signifcantly changes their schedules. My only point was that the feeling of near-entitlement that some firefighters feel towards the 24-hour schedule and the noise they make about it the administration attempts to change it can work against them in the eyes of the public, who simply never will have the benefits of the off-time that come with 24-hour shifts.

    I did ask why the department couldn't simply switch to the 3-platoon system, which is far more widely utilized, as a way to meet the city's apparent goal of reducing the staff? I understand that it would mean a 56-hour work week, but given the fact that it does seem to be, for most departments, the norm, why would the members not accept it as a compromise to meet the admin's goals?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    LAFE, Just a couple observations. YOUR agency on it's BEST day doesn't come close to the run #s of DCFD. NO,I will never disgrace my Brothers in DC by referring to Fems. I've worked the 24/72 and I know it works, and it works WELL. If that is what the brothers want,it's what they should work toward.
    Never said we came close, and never said anything negative about DCFEMS.

    I'm sorry you don't like the new name. While I agree they may have been able to come up with a better way of encorporating EMS into the name itself, it does better reflect what is the primary service that the department delivers. Like it or not, most large urban departments have become agencies that deliver EMS as their primary mission.

    I have worked a 24 as well and it is nice. That being said, at the end of the day it's the admin that has to answer to both the city and the public, and in the end, it's thier responsibility to manage the personnel in the way they see fit, and deal with any fallout from those changes as well. I asked a couple of the members would consider going to a 3-platoon system, compared to the current 4, and if the current chief would consider that as a compromise, if put forward as a way of reducing staff and payroll. I have yet to recieve an answer on that question.
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    The municipalities want reduced cost, not necessarily reduced staffing. If they switched to a 24/48 schedule, like you said, it's a 56 hour work week, which means everyone's salary is going way up as opposed to the 42 hour (I believe?) work week that the 24/72 provides.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FFMedic31 View Post
    The municipalities want reduced cost, not necessarily reduced staffing. If they switched to a 24/48 schedule, like you said, it's a 56 hour work week, which means everyone's salary is going way up as opposed to the 42 hour (I believe?) work week that the 24/72 provides.
    Yes, saleries may increase based on hors worked.

    That being said, benefits, which are often a big driver of payroll costs, would remain constant, or most likely decrease as the number of members would decrease. In addition, those saleries from the slots no longer being paid could be used to compenstate for the increased saleries.

    Obviously, to determine this would require a study of the costs involved v. the costs no longer in play specific to the department.
    Train to fight the fires you fight.

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