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    Default Dc fems

    I know next to nothing about DC FEMS, but if the media is to be believed, they are not very good. Nor is the rest of their emergency services including police willing to play well with others.
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013...rom-navy-yard/
    http://www.firehouse.com/news/111732...-yard-massacre

    This is just this incident. So in all fairness, what is the true story. You people not in fly over zone must have a better take on this than the media. A quick Google check doesn't do much to bolster much of an opinion either.
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    The DC FEMS department is mismanaged hell it borders on negligence. Their administration is terrible, in a city like DC it was only a matter of time till something like this happened. DC is a huge target for terrorism and active shooters like this with all the govt offices.

    I mean DC FEMS can't even staff their own minimum of ALS providers on any given day. If they cant even get medic units on scene of everyday priority medical calls, what makes you think they would be prepared to respond to something like this?

    I am sure their are many fine firefighters and medics that work with DC, the blame does not fall on them but rather their administrations failure to adequately staff and prepare the dept for everyday calls let alone instances like this.

    also here is an interesting aritcal of DC EMS
    http://www.jems.com/article/news/iaf...s-one-worst-co

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    I can't speak for the present situation in DC. But several years back I was there and I spoke to a LEO at one of the Federal buildings and he told me there were 37 different Law Enforcement Agencies in Washington DC proper. He said most of them did not share radio frequencies, training, uniforms, or weapons. It was so silly that the street in front of the Whitehouse was DC Police, the sidewalk was National Park Police, and the Whitehouse grounds were uniformed secret Service.

    Seemed to me, though the officer I spoke to never said it directly, that there were a TON of turf wars.
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    you just have to love fed government and a city run by feds


    Yes I agree it must be a difficult city to work in with all the various agencies there.

    Just look at any state capital in any state, and the push pull you get there.

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    I can honestly say that Washington DC left me with 2 distinctly different emotions the last time I was there. A sense of pride in the memorials, museums, and Federal buildings, and a sense of HUGE embarassment by the ghetto, slums, horrifically run down and crime ridden sections of the city.

    I mean seriously, it is our nation's capital, it should be a shining jewel of all the best of the United States. Not a poorly managed, inadequately emergency services protected, train wreck. But because the city is run by the federal government it is just destined to be ruled by ineptitude, infighting, and lots of meaningless talk with little or no action.
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    I think the bottom line with DC as a whole is corruption at every level in every department city wide, people talk about Detroit corruption DC is every bit as bad. The only difference is DC has money Detroit doesn't.
    Hell the only reason DC even has money is because its being held up by the federal industrial complex

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    As Snarff said, the leadership of the DCFD (call me a traditionalist) is so poor it's laughable. The guys on the street are completely fed up with it, as well as the fact that the department's chief is protected by the Mayor.

    If you haven't already, check out the many, many stories about the department's chief over at Statter911.com.
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    If you haven't already, check out the many, many stories about the department's chief over at Statter911.com.
    That's where I started thinking a little more in-depth about this. Lets be honest, we firefighters gripe, we like to gripe, we are good at griping. Put to our own devices, we could, with enough time and effort, hang ourselves with the tiniest piece of rope.
    But when you start to see a very well developed pattern of failures that parallel both what is being griped about on sites like Slatter911.com and the media, it's a real issue.
    Sad part, as we have all scene, it's the poor bastards on the street that will take the brunt of the blame.
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    When an ambulance for the motorcade runs out of gas??

    One of many reasons I left Fed employment, not DC

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    I know a couple of DC firefighters through my son. At the line firefighter level, they're no different than any of us - in the job because they love it and doing the best they can.

    One might say they're doing their job in spite of their "leadership" at the top.

    And, as has been mentioned, there are places where you lock your car doors and don't linger unless you have to.
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    True story.

    Several years ago I was in Dc with my family and we were driving trying to find the National Zoo. We were hopelessly lost and flagged down a police officer passing by. We are white midwesterners and the officer was quite a large Black man. He looked at me and said "What are you doing in this neighborhood?" I explained we were tourists and lost looking for the zoo. He said in a stern voice "Go to the next light turn right and continue on (giving directions I don't remember now) and whatever you do, even if people step out in front of you, DON'T STOP. No matter what, DON'T STOP." To say the least he scared the **** out of my family and shook me a bit too.

    I know some of you will think I made this up but I did not.
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    The problem is that this will never make the evening news. And it's everywhere. Not nearly as bad as DC or Detroit, but it's there, little by little. And unfortunately it takes something like a local 9/11 to get at least a temporary respite from the cancer of mismanagement. Sometimes it's a Chief, sometimes it's a mayor, city councilman, or a township trustee. Sometimes the best you can hope for is a thank you from a citizen you've helped.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    True story.

    Several years ago I was in Dc with my family and we were driving trying to find the National Zoo. We were hopelessly lost and flagged down a police officer passing by. We are white midwesterners and the officer was quite a large Black man. He looked at me and said "What are you doing in this neighborhood?" I explained we were tourists and lost looking for the zoo. He said in a stern voice "Go to the next light turn right and continue on (giving directions I don't remember now) and whatever you do, even if people step out in front of you, DON'T STOP. No matter what, DON'T STOP." To say the least he scared the **** out of my family and shook me a bit too.

    I know some of you will think I made this up but I did not.
    My experience has been quite the opposite, though I don't doubt someone might try and stir up tourist. We've been visiting DC once or twice a year for the past 15 years, not once did I feel unsafe. Of course I'm sure there are some places we might feel out of place, but we do a lot of walking in a lot of neighborhoods and have yet to even remotely feel out of place.

    I've also spoken to a bunch of DCFD guys and as has been said, like most of us, the line guys are doing the best they can with what they're given and poor management seems to be the major issue. They are a proud group who are constantly fighting the terrible stigmas their admin continually attaches to the department with ridiculous policies and poor decisions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM02 View Post
    My experience has been quite the opposite, though I don't doubt someone might try and stir up tourist. We've been visiting DC once or twice a year for the past 15 years, not once did I feel unsafe. Of course I'm sure there are some places we might feel out of place, but we do a lot of walking in a lot of neighborhoods and have yet to even remotely feel out of place.
    You must not have accidently wandered into Anacostia...
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    I saw the extremes the one time I was in the DC area. The first few nights we stayed in a $300 a night motel in Virginia because my ex-wife's job paid for it because she was there for a conference. The last couple of nights we stayed in what I would call a less than desirable nighborhood in DC. We heard gunshots, and when we got the courtesy van ride to the metro we drove through parts of the city that looked like classic ghetto areas, boarded up, burned out, abandoned buidlings, with all kinds of wonderous, interesting, people wandering around.

    So frankly, while others experiences may vary my bet is they weren't exactly in the less affluent areas of DC.

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    I've been going to DC annually for the last decade or so, and I definitely agree that there are wide variations in what you'll find. I'd feel perfectly safe taking my family on an evening stroll around the National Mall and much of the surrounding area. You don't have to go very far, however, before you find neighborhoods that don't feel safe to drive through even during the middle of the day. I know from experience (cursed GPS failure!).

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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    I mean seriously, it is our nation's capital, it should be a shining jewel of all the best of the United States. Not a poorly managed, inadequately emergency services protected, train wreck. But because the city is run by the federal government it is just destined to be ruled by ineptitude, infighting, and lots of meaningless talk with little or no action.

    Once upon a time it was administered by the Federal Government. It was run by a City Manager appointed by Congress. Then the inmates got home rule and it was a race for the bottom of the league with Detroit for the worst run city in the country. They are a line item in the federal budget and the budget is monitored by Congress who has final authority but the inmates run the nuthouse in DC. At one point with Marion Berry was mayor, The only thing he had ANY input on was the Chamber of Commerce. The Congressional Oversight Committee for the District of Columbia had taken his authority away with respect to everything else.

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    The speed of the leader is the speed of the pack.
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    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


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    I doubt DC is any different than any other big (or not so big) city. They all seem to have their "less desirable" parts of town. Federal control probably has very little to do with it.
    I bet lots of cities would struggle to come up with enough ambulances in a major crisis while still providing their every day level of service.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    You must not have accidently wandered into Anacostia...
    Not walking, inquisitive traveler? Yes. Foolish and naive to potential issues? Not so much. Though we drove all over Anacostia one trip looking for some place that remains a secret to us, albeit during daylight. I'm not saying there's nothing to fear, but in general we've had very positive experiences all over DC, hence the continuous returns. DC is a urban city and like most there are places that are more troublesome than others.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    You must not have accidently wandered into Anacostia...
    HAHA! I was thinking the same thing.... RFD has not made it to SE DC yet.... Northwest is your safest bet.

    Disclaimer: I love DC and would move back in a heartbeat.
    Last edited by backsteprescue123; 09-20-2013 at 08:29 PM.
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    Posted by SPFDRum...
    That's where I started thinking a little more in-depth about this. Lets be honest, we firefighters gripe, we like to gripe, we are good at griping. Put to our own devices, we could, with enough time and effort, hang ourselves with the tiniest piece of rope


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    The DCFD, not FEMS, has some amazing firemen. Until the current chief came in, people actually came to us for training. We would have hundreds of people from all over the country come to DCFD Training Days every summer and take classes. An extremely large training company on the east coast, Traditions Training, is run by DC and NYC firemen. It's an aggressive fire department that has saved a lot of people and property.

    The problems we do have all stem from management. It's really rather simple to figure out by watching the news or reading Statter 911. We are understaffed by about 200 people. Our equipment is constantly breaking down. Partially because they are run to the ground.

    The department is usually rated as the 10th busiest department in the country according to Firehouse Magazine. DC is nowhere near the 10th biggest city. Obviously there's a problem. We have plenty of engine companies that run 20+ runs per tour. Engines aren't meant to run that often. I rarely get more than 2-3 hours or sleep on an engine company. On the ambulance, it's a guaranteed zero. Like the engines, they aren't meant to be run like that. The units are running nonstop 24/7. The apparatus shop can not keep up and many of them aren't the best mechanics. One of those ambulances that started on fire was on it's first run from leaving the shop for electrical problems. Yet, management still likes to blame the firemen for "sabotaging" them. Most of them don't even have air conditioning.

    We are constantly being held over. A 24 hour tour will turn into 36. Paramedics get the worst of it. Firefighters are also constantly staffing the medic units which used to be staffed by single role civilians. They have been getting phased out for years and now our chief recently decided to start hiring them again. Many of the firefighters being hired aren't from the 2008 recruit list.(08 was our last test) The chief is trying to hire only city residents so he picks up kids straight out of high school. This cadet program has picked up some great firemen. Unfortunately A LOT of them have been fired and end up being terrible at their job. They never wanted to be a firefighter. However it was a good paying job so they took it.

    I'll stop ranting here but the problems are all from management. A city council member asked for the chief's resignation and the union had a vote of "no confidence" that wasn't even close. Unfortunately he's been buddies with the mayor since they were kids. Hopefully the mayor loses his job since he's under criminal investigation but I doubt it. Despite all of the problems in the department, the firefighters show up and do an amazing job. We've done a lot of good on the ems side, which is where most of the problems are. On the fire side, we never make the news for anything bad. We are still an aggressive department that I'm extremely proud of.

    As for the city you're talking about, it's changing. It's changing FAST. In 1991 is was the murder capitol with almost 500 homicides. Last year I think the number was around 80. This year I've heard we are pace to break 100 again. Most of the city that any of you will see is very nice. It's an urban, walkable city with amazing public transit. Many of the rough areas are east of the river. It's currently the fastest growing city in the nation. I've heard about 1800 new residents per month. If you look at the skyline, it's filled with cranes. They really want to turn it into a 24 hour city like NYC. The population rises to about 1.5 million during the day. The metro area is around 5 million, and it's 8 million including Baltimore metro. There's a lot to do.

    Unfortunately it's the third most expensive city behind NYC and SF. Our chief wanted to cut a shift and change the schedule to three 12 hour days, three 12 hour nights, three days off. We currently work 24/72. There's really no need for this considering we have a lot of money. His real reasoning is to drive out the guys who live far from work. It's funny though because they are the first ones in every day and if a major event happens. However it's impossible to live in any decent part of the city with our salary. We haven't had a raise in seven years. The department owes everyone money since we are not paid time and a half for overtime. Every other department in the area just received raises from 12-20%. New homes, even in the worst parts of town, are starting at around $300k. These are small row homes. So it's hard to actually live in our city of employment.

    I hope this cleared some things up for you guys. I kind of went of on a rant for a bit but I'm extremely passionate about my department.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyChiefGonzo View Post
    Posted by SPFDRum...


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    I'm betting we'd be able to figure out how to hang ourselves with a bowling bowl, a Q-tip, a paper clip and a Twinkie.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaFireEducator View Post
    I'm betting we'd be able to figure out how to hang ourselves with a bowling bowl, a Q-tip, a paper clip and a Twinkie.

    Unravel the Q-tip to make the noose, attach it to a strudy anchor point using thr paper clip, eat the twinkie as a last meal and then roll off ofthe bowling ball to end it all....
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