Thread: D.C.F.D. - "What is going on" ?
03-14-2001, 07:46 PM #51FIREMANPPBFirehouse.com Guest
An interesting article( just a clip ) in Washington Post today.
Teachers Union In Calvert County Md. voted to "work to the rule " of the old contract.
They are having Contract talks that are going nowhere. almost at Impasse.
( sound familar)
They will be still doing 100% of thier jobs,( as we always do too) but nothing before or after hours of school.
I hear of members of our dept Volunteering for trainning classes with no pay , volunteering for new dept projects while off duty , Trying to work on the fire ground as if we still had the 5 man engine -six man (to mention just 5 ) Trucks>
If we "just did Our J-O-B ", Thought of our safety and the Lives of the citizens,
while still having the PRIDE I talk, would it change things?
Any thoughts on this ?
03-14-2001, 10:49 PM #52sefiremanFirehouse.com Guest
I agree no one should be volunteering to work on any project or take any classes for free. This department could find away to pay for activities, but obviously has priorities in other areas. I would hate to see us back down on the fireground, it seems our safety relys on having 4 man trucks work like 6 man trucks and 4 man 1 piece engine companies work like 5 man 2 piece companies.
If you feel the need to do more, go to the union hall they need much more support from all of us.
03-15-2001, 01:06 PM #53SUPER WONDER DAWGFirehouse.com Guest
IF WE WOULD JUST STOP WORKING OVERTIME ( OH EXCUSE ME EXTRA SHIFTS) WE COULD CRIPPLE A FEW GOOD MEN. THEY CAN ONLY HOLD YOU OVER FOR 12 HRS THEN THE UNIT WOULD BE OOS FOR LACK OF MANPOWER. THAT WOULD BE A GOOD START TO DOING YOUR JOB BY THE BOOK. AND YOU WOULD HAVE TO BE CRAZY TO TRAIN ON YOUR DAYS OFF FOR FREE. BUT IF YOU TAKE THIS RESCUE CLASS FOR FREE WE MIGHT LET YOU RIDE "THE SQUAD" I STILL CAN'T WAIT FOR MY NEW PJ'S STAY SAFE AND TALK TO OUR UNION. REMEMBER THERE'S STRENGTH IN NUMBERS!
03-15-2001, 04:36 PM #54sefiremanFirehouse.com Guest
To bad we aren't united enough to implement a no overtime situation. That would cripple EMS and Communications too.
03-15-2001, 08:02 PM #55Trk6DCFDFirehouse.com Guest
I know how you guy's feel but lets not do anything to hurt anyone. " Working to the rule " is a great thing if enough of us do it, 800-1,000. I just don't think it can happen. Were in the middle of contract negoations and I would hate to do anything to hurt them. I have the upmost faith in Local 36 and the way they are representing us. I think we are going to the table every day next week. So far the progress has been very slow but it is still going on.
Unfortunately the compensation portation will probably go to arbitation and that will do nothing but add to the hurry-up and wait that we are going through now. Stay Safe...
03-16-2001, 03:01 PM #56FIREMANPPBFirehouse.com Guest
AGREE SAFETY IS # 1
I just don't think the city realizes what we all do every Day. Giving 100 % or more every day is saving the city money on manpower and they are getting the most "Bang for their Buck" so to speak. True, we need to let LOCAL 36 do what they do best.
But we should not stand for ( any longer) the
present or future treatment that the City is giving us.
WHEN DO WE SAY ENOUGH IS ENOUGH
I AM PROUD STILL BUT ALSO TIRING
The 414 money will probalbly not make any one of us rich or live a higher lifestyle. But is WAS our money in the first place and the principle of the thing is that they owe it to us, and have for many month of unkept promises of pymt.
Again WHEN WILL WE SAY "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH "
[This message has been edited by FIREMANPPB (edited 03-16-2001).]
03-17-2001, 08:44 PM #57Squad 4 dogFirehouse.com Guest
Geez...this new chief is nuts. I know the fire service was founded on doing more with less, but not sacrificing our lives and families for it. I like to live to go on the next call, and training and staffing is all that gets us there, without that we are Kamakazi Firefighters.
I spent 7 years on Ambulance 5, and seems nothing over has changed for the better, in either division.
By the way, I was never offered PJ's and can I get an embroidered set from Elliot????
03-18-2001, 10:25 AM #58sefiremanFirehouse.com Guest
Truck 6, that was my point exactly that there is not enough support to implement any sor tof job action. I think that job action talk is just venting steam anyway. Local 36 has proven that they can negoiate good contracts and I have complete faith in them as well. Just wish they had more support instead of people blaming them for things that are wrong in the department. If it weren't for them we would be in a lot worse shape.
03-19-2001, 08:32 PM #59DCFDLaddermanFirehouse.com Guest
The new helments have been ordered.And a S.O. will be coming down from the Chief's office that non-issued items are not to be wore..ie:Pro boots, Leather helments
03-21-2001, 03:40 PM #60Trk6DCFDFirehouse.com Guest
That was the big rumor last night. Aparently Few thinks those things are part of "The Good Old Boy Network" and wants to do away with them.
This Monday the 26th at 10am, Margret Kellems, deputy mayor for public safety and justice will be at the Union meeting to answer questions on the 414/125 and anything else we have so show-up and voice your concerns.
03-21-2001, 03:58 PM #6115hosemanFirehouse.com Guest
Rumor Control Hotline: "What's this I hear about city council moving to create third service EMS?"
03-21-2001, 05:51 PM #62FIREMANPPBFirehouse.com Guest
" Enough is Enough "
If the Deputy Mayor wants to hear my thoughts on the money owed to me ( 414 ), I will give the Deputy Mayor an earful.
I hope all members feel the same way.
The union hall should be packed in the same way as it was when the RIF's were on the table ( '95 ) or when the Promotion system was being voted on ('89).
"Enough IS Enough "
See you on Monday
03-21-2001, 09:47 PM #63sefiremanFirehouse.com Guest
I believe Councilwoman Swartz introduced the 3rd Service EMS bill again last year. It is the same bill she introduced in 1999 that died in committee. Interesting thought about the 3rd service, how would it affect funding if it was implemented?
03-21-2001, 11:04 PM #6415hosemanFirehouse.com Guest
There are some who think that it would hurt our funding.
I personally think it would be a good thing for us. Despite what they tell you, we are NOT making money on EMS. Right down the road in Richmond (similar demographics to us, just smaller) they have a very efficient EMS system, and they still require a subsidy to stay in the black. They are required, by contract, to get a medic unit on the scene wihtin 7:59 of dispatch...or they give money back to the city, something like $10 a minute, just to keep them honest.
So if we had third service EMS...no more waiting for Ambos and no more details to the Ambo. Also on the plus side, whoever got the contract would set up their own comm center, so we'd probably stop being sent on 3 day old stomach aches.
If you really want to know more look at http://www.napum.com/ and click on Info&Research
03-22-2001, 11:49 AM #65NE DCFIREMANFirehouse.com Guest
The most important thing is to stick together through all of this. Together we have made it through past depressing issues and other fire chiefs that just wanted to flex to show everyone they were chief because no one believed in them. Together we will send this chief on his way and prepare ourselves for the next one.
03-22-2001, 12:11 PM #66DCFD1051Firehouse.com Guest
Hey Brothers, check this out-
FDNY just went to new $10 million digital radio system for fireground opertations last week (utilizing the same type of motorola portables as we just got). A few days a go, a trapped firefighter called in a mayday and was never heard by anyone on the fireground. Fortunately, he survived. As a result, management made the correct call in response to this problem and is pulling these new radios and going back to their old Saber portables until the bugs can be worked out of the new system. Apparently, the safety of their members is a high priority!
We have a $5 million dollar system which sometimes prevents EVERYONE on the fireground from being heard. What is OUR managements solution to this problem? Take away the speaker mikes so that no one can talk or be heard!
When will the stupidity end? Can't the mangement of this job do ANYTHING right?
03-22-2001, 07:52 PM #67FF E5Firehouse.com Guest
I'm sorry to here what is going on in the BEST fire department in the world!! Grew up outside DC and still have friends there. You guys are the best! I hate to see Screwy Fewy messing up another department! He left Augusta a mess and they were glad to be rid of him, well except his "good ole boys" that he appears to be bringing with him.Good luck and stay United.He won't know how to deal with you then.Keep looking into his past practices at Augusta, maybe they will actually find something to charge him with!
03-27-2001, 03:49 PM #68Seagrave52Firehouse.com Guest
It is certainly amazing to read and hear all the major issues that seem not to be on the mind of Chief Few Clues... I really think he is headed to being remembered for some of the fine acts his noted predecessors are know for. Such as: the past Chief who picked up his plate and licked it, while sitting at the head table of a black tie event. Or the past Chief who ordered the snow shoveled off the lawn into the street. Hmmm, was that the same chief who, while enroute to the Air Florida crash, called headquarters and asked how to get to the 14th street bridge from The SE/SW freeway?
It is a good thing that DCFD is so rich in tradition. How else could they survive the idiots that have been picked to lead them ( with exception of a few good Chiefs, not to include the current one ) over the past 25 or 30 years I've been in the Metro area. It doesn't matter if an individual works for a department in Northern Virginia or Maryland. No matter how recognized some of the departments in the Metro area want to be. It still gets down to the fact that DCFD "IS" the department everyone wishes they could or could have worked for at one time or another. They are recognized as THE department who catches the most fire, while there are some good firefighters on all the departments in the area, and I have no desire to take away from brothers and sisters who work for these departments, DC is known for some of the most agressive firefighters in the area.
As I have seen posted before in this forum... hang in there and this idiot, too Few, will be gone.
03-30-2001, 11:27 AM #69huntere6Firehouse.com Guest
EMS and a cutting edge Fire Chief. Can we afford to let these two dismantle the D.C. Fire Dept?
For years now I've listen to people spew talk about how the fire department needs to be more EMS oriented, like weíre not already. ďYou guys don't run that much fire anymore, you run more EMS calls than fire calls, EMS is the Fire Departments bread and butter, thatís where the money isĒ, and so on. Well I'm here to deliver some plain, simple straight and politically incorrect talk. Itís my opinion and Iím entitled to it. It is important to remind the Fire Chief and those of us who may have forgotten, that our First Amendment right guarantees freedom of thought and expression. In a free society, unfortunate as it might be to the politically correct left wing Fire Department, we are still free to speak our mind without fear of retribution, ainít that right Wally?
It's true that we don't run the fires we use to and yes our EMS calls make up probably 75-80% of our runs. Maybe greater depending on which engine company youíre at, but ask yourself this question, why have the line of duty deaths through out the nation, steadily increased over the last 20 years if we are running less fires? Why has property loss due to fire not decreased if we are running fewer fires? Why does it seem that the routine room and contents fire is not so routine anymore and generally turns into a 2nd alarm assignment? I can tell you why; the powers to be are rationalizing that because we don't run the fires we use to, we need to keep busy doing other things like running up and down the street picking up drunk customers and attend diversity and sensitivity training. Itís not about the quality of service anymore; itís about quantity/productivity and being politically correct. A jack of all trades and master of none, if you will. Just a little note to the Fire Chief and others that embrace these classes about the effectiveness of the customer service/ culturally diverse/sensitivity indoctrination classes, they donít work. If a grown man or woman ainít learned manners by the time they get on this job, they arenít going to. You treat people the way you want to be treated, with respect. If you canít grasp this concept, hit the bricks, end of story.
Back to the other things. Just because fires may only make up 25 to 30 % of a jurisdictions runs, does this automatically infer that those fires are less significant? Do we not prepare for them? We are in the business of saving lives. What has the greater life safety risk, the one medical local, ďMy head hurts I want go to the hospitalĒ. Or the rooming house or apartment fire with 10 to 100 lives at stake, not to mention firefighter lives? Because we donít run the same amount of fire calls does this make them less important? Letís be realistic, 90% of our medical locals are trifling calls. Iím not advocating taking engines off all medical locals, just the low priority ones. Assign an engine or TRUCK on a high priority call, a call that we can actually be of some assistance and make a difference in. Donít assign an engine on a medical local just for the sake of making your response times look good. This mind set serves no purpose or benefit to the customer. The numbers game is a big lie to the public and thatís not good customer service.
A fireman is still expected to crawl down that hallway, find trapped customers or other fireman, of which seems to be more the case today, and put the fire out. However we donít run the fire like we use to. We donít train like we use to. How on earth are we suppose to remain proficient at a task if we donít prepare for it? The technology and equipment is state of the art today but the job is actually more dangerous because we are either not prepared mentally to do the job or we are engaged in some other customer service initiative and not available to go in service. We divide our time and attention doing so called customer service things and yet we expect our guys to be as proficient at putting fires out, as they were 20 years ago. To add insult to injury, when the opportunity to fight a fire does present itself to the firefighting crew, itís missed out on because they are either sitting at a customer service indoctrination class or holding the hand of the local drunkard. This has the effect of a double-edged sword. They are missed opportunities to gain valuable experience, missed opportunities that may not be repeated for months, some places years. And it depletes what little morale you may have left in your company. The fire service today does not care to generate good plain, aggressive fireman. They want paramedic/emt/child safety seat technician/culturally diverse/sensitive firefighters. Being a knowledgeable aggressive fire fighter is looked down on in todayís fireservice. Big city fire departments have started buying into this customer service nonsense from a so-called fire chief from the desert. Lets face it, like my wife has always said, ďFireman ainít right in the headĒ. I came to this realization one day on my first basement fire.
As I was preparing to go in, a rat was coming out. A rational thinking man will not place himself in an environment that a rodent wonít even tolerate.
You have to be aggressive and half-stupid to be in our line of work, if not you can forget about making any interior rescues or limiting property loss. If you want to compromise these principles of aggressive firefighting youíll have to wait for the seat of the fire to impinge through the roof so you can put the wet stuff on the red stuff. Then look at your customer and say, ďI respect your loss and I feel your pain, Iíve been to sensitivity training todayĒ. And if your customer is not at a window within ladder reach oh well one dead customer. Howís that for customer service initiative?
Last night about 2am we ran a trouble breathing call. The engine and the ambulance left the firehouse together. While waiting at the front door for our medical local customer, I turned and gazed at the street. There in a perfect line sat a $300,000 fire truck with 4 men, an ambulance 2 men, a rapid response paramedic vehicle 2 men, and a suburban with a so called supervisor with 2 men, actually 1 man, 1 woman. Almost half million dollars worth of equipment and 10 men lined up on the street illuminating the early morning sky. Our medical local customer greeted us at the door; he knew the routine, walked right by me and hoped in the ambulance. I stood there looking at this spectacle of equipment and manpower and slowly turned and stared at Howard Hospital 2 blocks away. It all makes sense if you donít think about it. I truly try not to think about a lot of things here lately. I am perfectly content on being a dumb lieutenant the rest of my career. Where are my PJís?
03-30-2001, 02:21 PM #70NozzleHogFirehouse.com Guest
That was truly beautiful, Lieu. Almost brought a tear to my eye. In the whole time I've been reading these forums, I don't think anyone has quite hit the nail on the head that well.
D@mn it's nice to know there are still a few of us politically incorrect, old school firemen around!
03-30-2001, 02:27 PM #71FIREMANPPBFirehouse.com Guest
" A tale of a happy customer and good service OR just another stupid medical local"
A man falls down INSIDE his car that is parked some 75-100 feet from the front doors of a inner city Hospital's ER , He calls 911 to ask for help.
To his call comes a Fire Engine and a Medic Unit.
As we approach the car , a security guard from the hospital sees us and NOW THINKS to bring out a wheelchair and wheels the customer into the ER.
A happy Customer and good service or just another stupid Medical local?
we having fun Yet ?
03-30-2001, 05:26 PM #72sidney251Firehouse.com Guest
Check out WWW.DCFD.COM, and check out the DCFD NEWS. I love the site. Great photos.
[This message has been edited by sidney251 (edited 04-03-2001).]
[This message has been edited by sidney251 (edited 04-04-2001).]
03-31-2001, 12:31 PM #73FireLt1951Firehouse.com Guest
Huntere6, good post Lt. I hope and pray this guy doesn't take you down the same path Detroits present and past administration has gone. Hold on and fight them with all you have. Wish you all the best and continue doing what you do best.
03-31-2001, 03:49 PM #74DCFD1051Firehouse.com Guest
Don't be so gullable - rumors like that are started every day just to see how far they get. A limited number of helmets were ordered because that's all they could afford out of the current budget. They will most likely be issued to probationers first, and then to the rest of the department as more are purchased. As for your comments on the gupster's website, I agree - he should not be airing our dirty pajamas, er, I mean , laundry, in public!
03-31-2001, 05:08 PM #75Trk6DCFDFirehouse.com Guest
Huntere6, you sum-up how I feel, totally. So far since Chief Few made his apperance I've spent over 8 hrs in the Training Academy. ALL of it has been either "Customer Service" or the "Trya Hunter Diversification" class. I've spent No hrs training on anything else. I do spend time reading manuals, the internet etc. But we are losing track of what we do because of Few. He seems to be taking the Kenndy St, Cherry Rd., and the TRI Data reports and throwing them in the bumpster.All of these are critical of the FD for safety violations, no training, etc.Which lead to 4 of our friends and brothers in arms passing away.
As far as the helmets go the latest rumor was that it is a 3 part program. But we are not supposed to get any until enough is purchased for all Fire and EMS personal. The biggest hold up now is the cost factor. There is no money left in the FY2001 budget so it looks like it we be put on hold until the FY2002 budget in Oct.
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