1. #1
    District Chief
    distchief60b's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    6,413

    Post Port Orange Florida--City Shakes up Fire Department

    Chief Michael Ertz recently announced his retirement from the Port Orange Fire Department amidst a controversy. Although his retirement is not effective until the end of the year, I do not think he is working.


    DAYTONA BEACH NEWS JOURNAL

    Costs fuel Port Orange fire department demotions
    By JOHN WISNIEWSKI (john.wisniewski@news-jrnl.com)
    Staff Writer
    PORT ORANGE -- City Manager Ken Parker has ordered the demotion of the Fire Department's three battalion commanders to captain and their return to engine duty next week.

    Commanders Dave Amos, Gary Parker and Bill Whelan will return to engine duty Oct. 1 in an attempt to reduce the number of administrators in the department and increase the number of firefighters. On that same day, in addition to their regular duties, three division chiefs, Tom Bazanos, Dana Carter and Russ Rafferty, will begin serving in rotation as shift commanders.

    Parker said his orders stem from his understanding of the City Council's wish to reorganize the department's command structure in an interview Monday at City Hall.

    In July, the City Council rejected Fire Chief Mike Ertz' request, based on increasing overtime costs to meet a rising number of service calls, to hire three additional firefighters.

    Instead, led by Mayor Dorothy Hukill and Vice Mayor John Jackson, who included a pair of secretaries in counting administrators, the council maintained the department was overstaffed with management and some should be returned to engine duty.

    In a memo he e-mailed to the council over the weekend, Parker noted there will be no reduction in salary for the three battalion commanders demoted to captain or the three division chiefs.

    As per-shift firefighters, however, Amos, Parker and Whelan now will be eligible for overtime pay and will get holiday pay, while Bazanos, Carter and Rafferty each will gain 112 hours of vacation time per year in lieu of holiday pay. Bazanos is the department's training officer; Carter is its operations chief; and Rafferty heads its emergency medical services division.

    Hukill couldn't be reached for comment Monday. In an interview, Jackson was asked about the cost of overtime eligibility and holiday pay for the captains and additional vacation time for the division chiefs.

    "I don't know how that would compare to the cost of hiring three firefighters," Jackson said, adding the council "will have to ask the city manager to provide a comparison."

    Of the three battalion commanders and three division chiefs, only Carter -- who said he preferred not to comment -- could be reached Monday.

    Meanwhile, Civil Service regulations require the three battalion commander posts to remain part of the department's organizational structure, Parker said.

    The posts must be retained for one year because the demoted commanders have what Parker termed "recall rights" if another realignment results in the posts being refilled.
    Last edited by captstanm1; 09-27-2002 at 10:43 AM.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  2. #2
    District Chief
    distchief60b's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    6,413
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Somewhere between genius and insanity!
    Posts
    13,584

    Default

    It appears that the City Manager had a epiphany and realized the costs of paying the additional OT and vacation time to the 3 personnel demoted as opposed to hiring additional staffing...staffing won!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  4. #4
    District Chief
    distchief60b's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    6,413

    Question Maybe he's not quite done yet???

    Fire chief fires back

    By JOHN WISNIEWSKI
    Staff Writer

    Last update: 04 September 2003


    PORT ORANGE -- No one will talk about it yet, but a controversy may be in the making over the status of Fire Chief Mike Ertz.

    In a letter to City Manager Ken Parker, Ertz' attorney, Basyle Tchividjian states Ertz does not intend to retire Dec. 31 after all. Ertz in essence was intimidated into announcing his retirement because he was being pressured not only by Parker, but some City Council members as well, Tchividjian contends.

    Ertz' announcement last fall came in the wake of an e-mail in which he vehemently protested council budget-cutting actions he insisted would severely hamper Fire Rescue Department operations.





    The Dec. 31, 2003 retirement date would allow the chief to reach 20 years of service to the city.

    "As you may remember, Chief Ertz was warned that he would be terminated if he refused" to make the announcement, Tchividjian stated.

    "Furthermore, my client was under a tremendous amount of pressure from you and a select few members of the City Council" at the time, the lawyer said.

    "In fact," the letter continued, "we are currently investigating whether the irresponsible actions of these council members violated" the City Charter.

    Under the charter-mandated council/manager form of government, the council sets policy only, which is carried out by the manager.

    Among the charter provisions cited by Tchividjian is one that prohibits council members from acting "in any manner to dictate the appointment or removal of any city administrative officers or employees."

    It also states that "neither the council nor any of its members shall give orders to any such officer or employee, either publicly or privately."

    When asked to comment, Parker said he'd given the letter to City Attorney Margaret Roberts and "once in the hands of attorneys, it's up to them to comment."

    Roberts, in a telephone interview, said she expects "to be talking with him (Tchividjian) shortly and we'll take it from there."

    Tchividjian, also in a telephone interview, said that "since I have not yet received a response from the city, I'm not able to comment."

    Ertz refused to comment.

    Sept. 15 is the reporting date of Thomas Weber, former Manchester, Conn. Fire Chief/Director of Emergency Management, who was chosen to work with and then replace Ertz.

    john.wisniewski@news-jrnl.com
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register