A special series in the Boston Globe reports on various alleged problems within Boston's emergency services.
Read the series http://www.boston.com/globe/metro/pa...re_department/ here and then talk about it in our message forums.
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02-13-1999, 11:37 PM #1
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Boston Fire Department Under Fire
02-14-1999, 06:35 PM #2RickFirehouse.com Guest
This story is a prime example of the amount of waste in fire departments today. As a firefighter and taxpayer I feel we need to do everything possible to reduce the size of fire depts to a more reasonable level and eliminate waste. I am sure the Boston FD is an excellent dept. but like all government there are areas that could be streamlined to reduce cost. I think as public servants it is all of our jobs to do the best job possible at a reasonable cost. The taxpaying public deserves it.
[This message has been edited by Rick (edited 02-15-99).]
02-14-1999, 06:40 PM #3STA2Firehouse.com Guest
I applaud Commisioner Pierce for standing his ground. I understand the need for fiscal mindedness in these frugal times but to cut is to sacrifice. The report speaks of the Marine Unit and its inactivity. I would be willing to bet that the commercial occupancies along the waterfront would be greatly concerned if that unit was to be disbanded. Those businesses would also see a probable increase in its insurance rates for the sacrifice in coverage. Every major dept. in the country with a habor or port and waterfront maintaines a Marine Unit or Units. There lack of activity should be scene as a positive in the respect that increased safety is being implemented by the public sector. If you have a slow compamy such as the Fire Brigade it is easy to say close it down. But when that once in a decade incident occurs it is needed. On the opposite hand look at the busy companies. These "experts" are not advising to bolster coverage in these areas. These "experts" are also being payed by a city government do do a cost study. The mere nature of the study indicates that cost cutting is to be indicated. The Fire Department is an easy target b/c of societies perception. You then take one of these "experts" down the hall with you and they will probably not make the door without you dragging them there. I know these people have a job to do but do it equally. Look at all aspects of the recommendations not just the ones from the comfort of a highrise office and airconditioning looking from afar down upon the people that risk their lives everyday for the very same "experts." As far as the media is concerned they have 0 room to talk. At the risk of going off on a tangent, the media is the source of many of our societies problems. There job is to present the news in an informative fashion. Not the news with slanted opinions and editing to prove their point only. The public sees there angle and only theirs because the replies and justifications are edited and lying on the cutting room floor. My department went thru an incident with one of these "investigative" journalist about a year ago and I learned. The attacks where against our administration like Bostons. They however did not attack the companies or their need. This reporter pointed out legitimate points that needed attention and that were brought to the forefront. However it is my opinion that some of the interviews were not fair in their conclusions and the way they were presented to the public offered a slanted view. So called "experts" were brought in to show that fire trucks were leaking water and what not. Yes, a valid point but show how the department is trying to rectify the situation. The reason behind the apparatus problems was never even pointed out. The problems began two mayoral terms prior because of a lack of funding from the city. I guess we are our own worst enemy in that we continue to do the job and help the public despite funding iussues. I wonder if the police department would do the same? The public wants to see the police driving around and being visible. But what about the slow beats or districts, do they want to reassign these officers to other areas? I think not. I do however agree that 4 drivers might be excessive but I am not there to see. If the need is there and the justification can be made then what is the problem? You all take care and be safe.
02-14-1999, 07:33 PM #4rescujakeFirehouse.com Guest
After reading the Boston Globe article it seems easy to jump to conclusions about the Boston Fire Department. When you are not presented with all of the facts, do not jump to conclusions. Like any other department in the world, Boston has it's bigots, it's overpaid personnel,it's management problems, and it's corrupt polititians. Show me a police department, fire department, mayors office,or private corporation that doesn't. Every occupation has it's problem employees, however, I'm sure for every "rotten apple" ,there are 20 "good apples".
The best thing Boston, and every other department could do is "sell themselves". A properly informed and educated public will quickly dismiss any incorrect information distributed by the press. A good line of communication between the fire department, the press, the politicians, and the general public will only benefit all parties involved. Major corporations invest millions of dollars every year promoting themselves, and telling the general population "what we can do for you". Why a service that is so noble, full of pride, and steeped in tradition, makes public education such a low priority is beyond me. Fire departments need to educate the general public (every day), about the many "hats" we wear to work.
I agree with the fact that many "traditions" should be done away with, however, there are many traditions makes being a firefighter so great. It only takes a moderate amount of common sense to realize which traditions are outdated and absurd.
In my opinion the problems noted in the Globe article are things that are wrong with the world in general-it is truly sad however, that these things have tainted such a noble profession.Good luck and stay safe.
[This message has been edited by rescujake (edited 02-14-99).]
02-14-1999, 09:08 PM #5trk1Firehouse.com Guest
I can't believe they force a good union chief's aid's to drive the chief around in a Crown Vic. Obviously a high profile chief should be in a Lincoln, Caddy, beamer, MB, Lexus, Infinity, or other luxury car! These are grounds for a grievance!
02-14-1999, 09:11 PM #6kaFirehouse.com Guest
Boston firefighter's are horribly underpaid, LA and LA counties top end firefighters and captains with overtime had 10 exceed $150K. You need to go back and get what's owed you!
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