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Thread: Detroit Mayor says 164 Firefighters will be laid off by end of July.

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    Default Detroit Mayor says 164 Firefighters will be laid off by end of July.

    Link to original page: http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/D...z/-/index.html

    Well... With the state of the city I can't say I didn't expect this...

    "Since I became mayor, I’ve made public safety my top priority and I’ve said I would protect the jobs of police and firefighters, but fiscal realities have made this untenable," Bing said.

    Bing said his administration has "every expectation" of being awarded an federal grant to rehire 108 of the firefighters.

    "Many, if not most, of the remaining 56 firefighters are expected to be recalled to the fire department through attrition," Bing said.

    Until the Fire Department receives the grant, Bing said Fire Commissioner Don Austin and his staff have developed a plan to maintain safety in the community.

    -Better deploying engines from adjacent sectors and using newly installed GPS systems in the engines and rigs to best dispatch fire department personnel;
    -Conducting thorough risks/gain analysis of interior versus exterior fire suppression;
    -Increase the use of CERT and Fire Corps
    -Continue community fire prevention education

    "Again, laying off any of our courageous and dedicated public safety personnel is the last thing I want to do at this point, but I have to face this hard reality. I have every confidence in Commissioner Austin and the men and woman of the Fire Department to maintain their highest standards of fire services and public safety for our citizens," Bing said.
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    What is this "CERT" and "Fire Corps" mentioned in the article? Anyone know? If it is what I suspect it is I am gonna schit a brick.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    What is this "CERT" and "Fire Corps" mentioned in the article? Anyone know? If it is what I suspect it is I am gonna schit a brick.
    I hope you have your proctologist on speed dial....

    I know that CERT stands for Community Emergency Response Team, basically a group of volunteers who mobilize in the event of an emergency.

    Fire Corps? Wasn't that an idea that Mayor Kwame Kirkpatrick had to recruit members of the "minority community" into the DFD?
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    What is this "CERT" and "Fire Corps" mentioned in the article? Anyone know? If it is what I suspect it is I am gonna schit a brick.
    Someone correct me if I'm wrong, I believe the CERT is a community emergency response team... kind of like.. basically just volunteers from the community that have some type of WMD/Fire Safety/etc (Probably similar to a 'community fire/police academy' you'd take for neighborhood watch or something)

    Either way... absolutely sad to hear this...

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    Chief gonzo beat me to it :-p

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    Quote Originally Posted by WhatNow View Post
    Someone correct me if I'm wrong, I believe the CERT is a community emergency response team... kind of like.. basically just volunteers from the community that have some type of WMD/Fire Safety/etc (Probably similar to a 'community fire/police academy' you'd take for neighborhood watch or something)

    Either way... absolutely sad to hear this...
    If they follow the California CERT model it's 24-hour class that teaches civilians about disaster prerparedness, fire prevention, extinguishers, assessment, light collapse rescue, terrorism, disaster pscyhology and a few other areas. it was originally designed to teach organized neighborhood teams of civilains on how to respond to an earthquake before the arrival of responders.

    There are other places that use it but have tweaked the basic class formula fo the types of disasters that they would encounter.

    Fire Corps is a national program that assists fire departments in recruiting and utilizing civilians in non-firefighting roles within the department including administration, public education, public relations and other such roles.

    I have no idea how that program would benefit Detroit.
    Last edited by LaFireEducator; 06-26-2012 at 11:57 AM.
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    As long as they are not volunteers manning hoses and fighting fires that the laid off guys should be, no Proctologist office visit will be needed.
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    Another example of a city that has fires every day losing firefighters. Brilliant. I would expect the Devil's Night crowd to take advantage of that.
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    Dumping nearly 20% of the firefighters with as much fire as they deal with. Brilliant. Hopefully the grant comes through.

    Here's another good article from a few days ago describing some of the issues they are dealing with: http://www.firefighterclosecalls.com.../newsid/165399
    Last edited by fyrmnk; 06-26-2012 at 08:46 PM.
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    DETROIT, Mich. -- Mayor Dave Bing's plan to lay off 164 firefighters by next month met with fierce criticism from union brass who argued Monday the move will compromise public safety.

    Calling the cuts "indefensible," Detroit Firefighters Association president Dan McNamara said the layoffs - an 18 percent reduction of the ranks - will put residents and the city's overworked firefighters at a greater risk.

    "This is not going to work in the city of Detroit. Something's got to give," McNamara said at a hastily called news conference downtown. "And we're concerned that it's going to be the safety of the citizens and the safety of its firefighters."

    In a statement Monday, Bing said he regrets having to resort to layoffs but that the city's budget picture is dire. He said he hopes the city can win a federal grant to rehire 108 of the laid-off firefighters, and he expects many of the remaining layoffs to be eventually rescinded through attrition.

    "Since I became mayor, I've made public safety my top priority, and I've said I would protect the jobs of police and firefighters, but fiscal realities have made this untenable," Bing said.

    The announcement came just hours after firefighters fought a series of 16 fires on the city's east side overnight and early Monday morning. One firefighter was injured. As of Monday afternoon, officials from the arson unit said there were no good leads on who may have set the blazes.

    The city's 2012-13 budget, effective July 1, calls for $250 million in cuts from nearly every city department and slashes 2,600 jobs. It cuts the fire department's budget about 13 percent, to about $160 million.

    The fire department has 1,257 employees, including approximately 881 firefighters and 248 EMS technicians. The department responds to 30,000 fire calls annually, plus 135,000 EMS calls, according to the city.

    McNamara said Detroit will have 16 fewer fire companies - or about 50 - under Bing's budget.

    "You'll have diminished responses," he said.

    McNamara said if the cuts remain, "there will be times when we won't have the necessary resources to respond."

    Ron Foster, 49, a 12-year veteran firefighter, said he is sickened by the cutbacks and hopes the jobs get restored.

    "It's going to be terrible for the firefighters on the street," he said.

    Until the fire department receives the grant, Bing said Fire Commissioner Don Austin and his staff plan to maintain service by:

    Deploying engines from nearby fire stations when needed and using recently installed GPS systems in fire trucks to improve dispatch response.

    Conducting a thorough risk analysis of whether it's better to fight fires from inside or outside a structure.

    Increasing the use of support personnel.

    Continuing community fire prevention education.

    "Laying off any of our courageous and dedicated public safety personnel is the last thing I want to do at this point, but I have to face this hard reality," Bing said.

    Detroit City Council President Pro-Tem Gary Brown said the cuts are painful but necessary in a city trying to right-size itself financially. Brown said his hope is to see firefighters called back as soon as possible.

    "I'm confident that Fire Commissioner Austin will devise a plan that won't leave any gaps in service," Brown said.

    "Certainly no one likes to see firefighters or any public safety employees laid off at a time like this. But it's been coming for a long time."

    McNamara said the city and the firefighters union sat down and worked out an agreement that would have kept the cuts to the city's fire department at a minimum while keeping the city protected.

    "However, at the last minute, (the city) decided not to honor the deal - even though it had already been signed," McNamara said.

    Meanwhile, the Detroit Police Department's largest union continues to fight proposed cuts to its ranks.

    The city's 2012-13 budget calls for a $75 million cut to the police department, a reduction of 18 percent.

    Detroit Police Officers Association President Joe Duncan said Monday that an Ingham County circuit judge granted a temporary injunction preventing the city from voiding that union's contract when it expires June 30.
    More information from: http://www.firehouse.com/news/107349...ensible?page=2
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    Are these SAFER Grant positions?
    DFW



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    Detroits population has declined 25% over the last decade. The fire department has better equipment, more stations, better support, better technology, and more men per population then they did 10 years ago. They got the job done then, they will get it done now. No one can realistically expect population and business decline without proportionate cuts to public services. Its just good business to cut your costs and supply when demand goes down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dfwfirefighter View Post
    Are these SAFER Grant positions?
    Of course they are.

    Your tax dollars at work to protect Detroit.

    I feel for the brothers and their situation, but it is not the federal role to deliver dollars to local communities for fire protection. That is a local responsibility.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rialaigh View Post
    Detroits population has declined 25% over the last decade. The fire department has better equipment, more stations, better support, better technology, and more men per population then they did 10 years ago. They got the job done then, they will get it done now. No one can realistically expect population and business decline without proportionate cuts to public services. Its just good business to cut your costs and supply when demand goes down.
    Spare us your business adages. The fact is, Detroit has gotten a few new rigs, but the rest of the fleet is beat to crap. The firehouses are old, decrepit and should be be condemned, and the amount of fires the Detroit FD has been responding to keeps increasing; meanwhile, the City of Detroit is building a Taj Mahal for the brass while raw sewerage seeps from the firehouses.

    Get your head out of your alimentary canal, wake up and see what's going on before making assinine comments like you just did.
    Last edited by DeputyChiefGonzo; 06-27-2012 at 01:29 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    Of course they are.

    Your tax dollars at work to protect Detroit.

    I feel for the brothers and their situation, but it is not the federal role to deliver dollars to local communities for fire protection. That is a local responsibility.
    How can you feel for the "brothers" when you open admit you are not one?
    Hypocrite!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rialaigh View Post
    Detroits population has declined 25% over the last decade. The fire department has better equipment, more stations, better support, better technology, and more men per population then they did 10 years ago. They got the job done then, they will get it done now. No one can realistically expect population and business decline without proportionate cuts to public services. Its just good business to cut your costs and supply when demand goes down.
    Thanks for that awesome opinion there Steve Jobs. However, your model is flawed. Detroit's fire demand has gone UP, not down. SO shouldn't they be hiring more firefighters?
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    10 years ago, Detroit had a total of 1310 firefighters. Detroit has never requested a grant until this year, so that point is somewhat moot. They now have around 879 (loss of 431 positions), so they have been cutting back for the last 10 years. They have also taken positions ( approx 30%) away from the Arson unit, Fire Prevention and Training over the last 10 years.

    The firefighters have to live in what would be termed squalid conditions. Even their PPE is in a sorry state and they can't get replacements because the city doesn't have any the vast majority of the time.

    They also brownout 9 to 12 companies a day because they can't staff them. Unfortunately the number of fires have increased while manpower is lower and the apparatus are in poor condition. Injury rates have continued to rise with the cutbacks too. Remember they still have to cover 139 sq miles.

    Back in the early 70's when I was snot nossed beginner, the fire department wanted to continue to go on medical responses. The city said flat out, NO NO NO. They simply stated that they could hire EMT's for less money.

    Back in the late 90's we also agreed at the city's request to take over the medical runs (it was a pretty good back and forth on it too). In the end the city stated that it was to costly to train the firefighters to even the EMT-B level and they couldn't afford to let members out in order to attend the classes because of the cost factor. It would have added more than 105,000 runs (taking us to around 135,000 to 140,000 runs a year). They were told by an outside consultant firm hired by them, that they would have to open a minimum of 12 more engine companies, they estimated that up to 60% of all engine companies and squads would be on a medical run at any given time and fire response would suffer. They also mentioned the wear and tear on the apparatus that would occur, causing a replacement problem and the city still had to cover the 139 sq miles.

    I feel for the medics because they actually have it worse. They have become a taxi service demanded by the so called citizens (sitting out front with suitcase in hand). The city doesn't or maybe can't refuse transport for even the most BS crap that EMS has to do and that effects their response to the more life threating runs that end up being delayed.

    As far as their pay and benefits, they actually get a lot less than the vast majority of the cities in Michigan. They've had no raises in the last 6 years but did have pay cuts, increases in medical co-pays, lowered retirement benefits and the pension system will no longer accept any new hires, they will be under a 401 K. The only good thing is that the Police and Fire Pension Fund is presently funded at 101%, even with the city reps and 1 other member (not a FF) handing out sweetheart deals that lost 10's of millions of dollars. There's a federal investigation into these dealings right now.

    The P & F Pension system has also given the city 700 million dollars over the last 8 years. I would say that the firefighters and police officers have tried to help and not asked for anything in return. They have actually given back a lot.

    To add insult to injury, the administrations of the all city departments have been spared a lot more than the grunts out in the field. They even paid the new Fire Commissioner the highest salary ever recieved in that postion (appox-$30,000 more) and he has only cut 3 (one of those was fired just recently) of his many, many minions working next to him on the 3rd floor but he actually got to hire his own department attorney to the tune of $100,000 +. In other words, a lot of Chiefs (not fire) and fewer indians so to speak.

    If the city had back all the money the politicians a.k.a Coleman Young and Kwame (the Kwampster) Kilpatrick stole they would be better off. I didn't even cover the 9 Clowncil members with each having a budget of 1.4 million dollars (as far as I can find out, it's one of the most lucrative and costly in the entire country), who get free city cars, free fuel, police protection 24/7, some are even chauffered by police officers to city hall from their homes and back. This is not even considering the sweet heart deals for the contractors (who charge 30-40% more than it costs other cities) but that's another whole chapter.

    Another problem is that the city (self insured) gets sued on a pretty continuous basis to the tune of around 300 million a year between the Police Dept. and the Dept. of Transportation. One present clowncil member who is a retired Police Officer and another one who also retired recieved an $8.2 million judgement just a couple of yars ago. When a DOT bus has an accident and there are 15 people on the bus, by the time the P.D. shows up there are 40 people on that same bus claiming injury (this is very common here). Every lawyer around Detroit knows that if you sue, you'll get paid. They call it easy pickens because the city attorneys are so poor at actually being trial lawyers.

    I don't think even hollywood could come up with a story like Detroit and its politicos.

    On another note......Welcome to the arson capital of the U.S. The 4th of July (Devils Night is passe now) should be very interesting to say the least.
    Last edited by FireCapt1951retired; 06-27-2012 at 05:29 PM.

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    FireCapt. Thank's for your knowledgeable post. Their Fire Department is subject to some of the craziest things, with no budget, and no protection. Thanks for the read, I know quite abit about DFD but I'm always open to learn!
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireCapt1951retired View Post
    Detroit has never requested a grant until this year, so that point is somewhat moot.
    That was the answer I was looking for. Where I was "going" with my question was "if" the potential numbers to be pink-slipped were due to the city having to fully-fund the positions that were initially Federally-funded.

    Although it appears to be a moot point in Detroit's situation (because these were not SAFER grant positions), I've always been very cautiously optimistic with how SAFER grants for employing firefighters shifts from fully Federal-funded to local-funding.

    It's kinda like getting a credit card when you are 18 and begin to have a blast with all this newly-found, "free" money. A short time later, your credit card is maxed out, your paying a ridiculously high interest rate, have not way to consistently make monthly payments, and have to suffer the consequences of not fully understanding (or appreciating) the situation you got yourself into.

    Back to SAFER Grant funding for hiring firefighters - it's potentially a great means to providing staffing to areas that could otherwise not afford it. The problem occurs when communities undertake the hiring of firefighters and then lay them off when the Feds shift fiscal responsibility to the communities that could not afford them in the first place.

    Good luck to all of our Detroit brother and sister firefighters. They are stuck in a grand old city that is dying (if not already dead). I hope the lay-offs are avoided.
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    dfwfirefighter,

    The Fire Department was told yesterday that they will recieve 22.5 million from the SAFER grant in September. This will allow for the return of 108 of the 164 layed off. The others will be rehired though attrition. I have always been leary of these programs and I'm still somewhat leary. The city administrators are not exactly the smartest group of individuals around.

    Right now the city is under a consent agreement with the state. The Governor didn't appoint an Emergency Financial Manager but allowed the head honchos (Mayor and Clowncil) to keep most control over the city and its budget under the watch of a state appointed and approved financial board. Hopefully this will stop all the underhanded financial shenanigans that have been so prevelant for the last 40 years.

    The 2 year period should not be a problem because there are over 120 individuals that will retire in that 2 year period and unlikely to be replaced. The average age on the D.F.D right now is around 47-48 years old. Many of these are in there 50's and will more than likely retire in the next few years. The youngest are in their mid 30's. The layoffs actually hit people with over 12 years on. There hasn't been any real significant hiring (they hired 45 over the last 8+ years) since 2000. They actually brought in individuals from other city departments and gave them city seniority rights for lay off purposes. One class of 30was hired back in late "06", another 15 were hired about a year after that. Of the 30, the oldest being 51 and the youngest 38, 14 dropped out of the academy, 7 quit before their probabtion period was up and I believe that 3 went off on duty disbilities. Of the 45, I believe that only around 15 are still on the job.

    When I retired back in "05" things were crazy but they are even crazier now. They love to burn things down in Detroit, it's kind of a neighborhood entertainment thing.

    As far as hiring goes, I doubt Detroit will do any hiring (except for the remaming 54 that will be recalled through attrition) for at least another 3-4 years minimum, which will raise the average age even higher than at the present time. I believe that along with the age of the firefighters and the lower staffing levels and continued increases in the number of fires have caused injuries to increase 2 fold. I guess I can only hope for the best. It's not uncommon for a lot of companies to have 6-9 structure fires a day along with the other runs they respond to.

    I'll end it here and continue to hold out hope for the firefighters in Detroit because they are one of best group of dedicated individuals I've ever had the pleasure to work with.
    Last edited by FireCapt1951retired; 06-28-2012 at 09:40 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Picc.93Truck View Post
    Link to original page: http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/D...z/-/index.html

    Well... With the state of the city I can't say I didn't expect this...
    Did Detroit Fire do as the Police Department did and get rid of the pension system for any future hires, I believe for a one time payout after 20 or 25 years I think it was?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andyboyfire View Post
    Did Detroit Fire do as the Police Department did and get rid of the pension system for any future hires, I believe for a one time payout after 20 or 25 years I think it was?
    I'm not sure, that would be a question for FireCapt1951retired
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    The Police and Fire are in the same pension system. The system will be closed to any new hires and they will be offered a 401K. All present members will stay in the system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    Spare us your business adages. The fact is, Detroit has gotten a few new rigs, but the rest of the fleet is beat to crap. The firehouses are old, decrepit and should be be condemned, and the amount of fires the Detroit FD has been responding to keeps increasing; meanwhile, the City of Detroit is building a Taj Mahal for the brass while raw sewerage seeps from the firehouses.

    Get your head out of your alimentary canal, wake up and see what's going on before making assinine comments like you just did.
    That's what people don't get sometimes. I see it in our politicians all the time even though I try to educate them until I'm blue in the face. They somehow think that population growth or decline has to be tied to call volume. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't. I'm in a significantly growing area, where we experienced 20% call volume increases in just the last 6 years. But our population has only grown by about 10% in that period of time. This one councilman basically accused me of cooking the stats because he couldn't see how it was possible for call volume to increase faster than population (sigh).

    Communities like Detroit are not the exception. I myself worked for a department that had been experiencing declining population for over a decade, yet call volume continued to increase by up to 5% each year. Poverty, age of population, drugs...they all impact call volume more than simple population and industry numbers. Now if Detroit's population and industry decline also corresponded with a 30% decrease in fire department call volume...few would likely be able to tell you with a straight face that they needed to maintain the same level of service/employees. But that's not the case with Detroit. They need to find a way to maintain these people or they can simply watch the city burn to the ground.
    Last edited by Chief_Roy; 07-03-2012 at 02:36 PM.

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