1. #26
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    It's not really what is being said as How it is being said. Most will agree that there is all ways more then one reason for a LODD...But the out right attacks and unwillingness to listen to others veiws is why I think A lot of people get upset
    "DON'T GO IN THERE!!! DON'T YOU KNOW THERE IS A FIRE IN THERE!!!!"

    "YOU'RE KILLING ME ROOK"

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    Default Chief IS ultimately responsible; however...

    Under normal circumstances, I would say that this is an internal matter for the Houston Fire Department, but the city AND the union have chosen to take it public.
    noholdsbared might have had some valid points had they not been lost in the "nya, nya, nya nya, nya" delivery. I was intrigued by the points that were raised, but the TONE of the post was very combative. Rubbing the faces of people who were on the fireground that day that they had an LODD and accusing some of cowardice was just wrong.
    Pulling at the widow the way they did doesn't improve my opinion much either.
    But to address an issue posed by LadyCapn; yes, the chief is ultimately responsible for the performance of the team. However, if SOGs were not followed, then it must be addressed. In a town Houston's size, I would believe that the Chief is mostly administrative. He has Asst. Chiefs, Battalion Chiefs or Deputy Chiefs, Captains and Lieutenants that he must rely upon to "run" the fireground. If it did not come off according to plan, then it needs to be addressed. If there were breakdowns and violations of policies and procedures, then it should be addressed. If the department lacks SOGs, then it is the job of this new chief to get it done.
    He is a new chief in a department that still uses fog for interior attack. He has bigger problems facing him right now. He has a union nipping at his butt and already calling for his ouster. The city, by coming to the new chief's defense has put them on the wrong side of the issue.
    I don't think, other than the NIOSH report, any meaningful report will come out because of all the posturing.
    I agree with Mikey 100%; we have a fallen brother who has left behind a family and fellow firefighters. Instead of making this a poster for dysfunction, they should be supporting each other and searching for ways to improve their department.
    Here's to the fallen.

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    Who is this mystical Larry anyway?

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    Don't you remember... He is our worst nightmare..... He is a guy that can't cut it as a firefighter...You can tell that by the way he talks to other brothers...
    "DON'T GO IN THERE!!! DON'T YOU KNOW THERE IS A FIRE IN THERE!!!!"

    "YOU'RE KILLING ME ROOK"

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    I guess Chief what I was trying to get at was what would we do to change a situation like this? It is fine to say that the Chief is ultimately responsible Mikey, but if so, and if faced with these particular problems (I'm using a hypothetical, not singling out HFD)what can he do to address this?

    If SOP's and SOG's are in place, and they are disregarded and this disregard contributes to the death of a co-worker, is this grounds for dismissal? Would you support your Chief in this?

    What about as a Steward? Can you defend someone who has blatantly disregarded SOP's and SOG's and contributed to an LODD?

    I'm just trying to get some dialogue going here. We are quick to slam both sides, but how would we deal with it?

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    ...In the hypothetical.....

    Ladycapn,

    After every LODD or even evey near miss, you have to re-evaluate your procedures, both written and practiced (yes there is a difference).

    If the SOP's were violated, was this the first time....or is it a common occurence that has never been corrected. That would be a major factor in the whole termination discussion.

    How many times do we have problems on the fireground, but we refuse to address these issues? Even when they are brought to the attention of those in charge.

    Dave

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    Is Larry Stevens a hired consultant for HFD? Yes. The last Fire Chief brought him in for the then upcoming ISO evaluation. The current Fire Chief has kept him. Does he have valid points about the fire? Yes. I believe however, that manpower is being downplayed by him and others in the administration. Did everyone do exactly what he/she should have and at the exact moment they should have? I doubt it. If anyone has ever made a fire of any kind you know that true perfection on the fire ground is the exception rather than the norm. You adapt, overcome and move on while still doing your job. The rub, atleast for me, has been the way in which he airs the laundry here and with such disdain and contempt. The over all "I've got this video and this time stamp" attitude adds up to alienate rather than educate. Pass on the facts as they are and leave the personal opinions, attacks and over all superiority kick at home in Nevada. Was this the first time that SOP's were violated? I don't know that they were because I wasn't there and either was he. I do know we now have ANOTHER revised high rise policy that is even more vague and general than the last. It leaves alot of flexibility for the District Chief in charge. Is this for the betterment of Incident Mangement OR so if something goes wrong they can go after him? The general moral is pretty poor because of a complete, total and all around lack of faith in the experience, plans, ideas, capabilitites and intentions of the leader of the department. Being the largest acredited fire department in the world means what to the guys and girls on the rigs? Nothing because they don't feel like they are part of the plan. They feel as though they are another stepping stone for the admin as they elevate themselves. Being an ISO Class 2 means what? Nothing to they guys and girls on the rigs. It does however mean retrofitting 21 or so Engine Co.'s with an aftermarket, all in one CAFS system in a back, transverse compartment. The same system that weighs in at about 950lbs. and that the rig was NEVER designed to carry. Why is it being done? ISO, plain and simple. The 1st Engine Co. to get one has already cracked body supports because of the weight. Just an example of the situation.
    Stay low and move it in.

    Be safe.


    Larry

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    Station2 - it sounds like the HFD members are making the best with what they can. Can't offer any great solution, best of luck to them.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  9. #34
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    Larry,

    Very well said....

    Sometimes its not what you say, but how you say it...

    Dave

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    Default Meet the Chief

    Well as ironic and unexpected as it was, Chief C & Mike H & Assistant Chief T, visited District 46's on the C Shift for a District wide meeting to primarily cover FLT. Talk to anyone from 25's, 35's, 46's, or 55's and they will give you all the details. But in a nutshell: Powerpoint presentation, time lines, Video, Dispatch excerts, and the opportunity to ask any and all questions.

    With everything going on with the Postings on FH.com; and the Pending Vote of No Confidence from Local 341; and the implementation of CAFs... it couldn't have been timed any better, don't ya think?

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    Sorry, I've been away for a few days. Nice to see some rational responses. HoustonFD46C, how do you feel after the presentation? Does it seem that some meaningful dialogue has been initiated?

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    Default An Opinion

    In my personal opinion, I think the "unexpected and unscheduled" meeting with Chief & Company at the District Houst came about three weeks too late....

    This is due, to what most of us "Houston Firefighters" (aka Classified Suppression Personnel) and "avid" FH.com Forum Readers found about three weeks ago...

    A very abrasive, long winded, detailed, laundry airing, and opinionated post from firewalker on a topic that he did not experience "IN THE TRENCHES" with the Suppression Crews of Four Leaf Towers (FLT).

    It seems as though the perceived "issues and items" aired on FH.com FIRST.....and then miraculously three weeks LATER an "unexpected and unscheduled" meeting with Chief & Company primarily highlighting items which coincidentally aired online (and originated from firewalker).

    Whether the perceived "issues and items" are "unsubstantiated or substantiated" it seems our Leaders would have chosen to handle this within the RANK and FILE within Houston FD FIRST rather than displaying a "knee-jerk-crisis-management style" of handling a FH.com posting on FLT.

    We can all agree that we can "monday morning quarterback" FLT many more times, but that the only opinions and observations that have any real merit are from those Suppression Crews that were at FLT (and not the opinions or comments circulating from Dispatchers or Non-shift Personnel).

    Like I said before, this is my personal opinion, and in no way represents my crews, units, districts, departments or unions opinion.

    46C
    "Bring 'em Out Alive"

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    HoustonFD46C

    Why do you think they picked your shift and district to show this to??? out of what 21 districts 88 stations and 4 shifts. Just wondering...I would have liked to have seen it. Sorry to hear about your Sr, Captain leaving.
    "DON'T GO IN THERE!!! DON'T YOU KNOW THERE IS A FIRE IN THERE!!!!"

    "YOU'RE KILLING ME ROOK"

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    District 46 "C" is not the only district to see the presentation. District 82 "A", my district, was called together for the same presentation yesterday afternoon. The topic was the FLT fire and we are the 2nd district to see it. We were told by the Fire Chief that all 21 districts on all 4 shifts will be seeing it.
    Stay low and move it in.

    Be safe.


    Larry

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    Larry
    i was told the samething about 30 minutes after i wrote that post. hope it doesn't take to long to get around to me.
    "DON'T GO IN THERE!!! DON'T YOU KNOW THERE IS A FIRE IN THERE!!!!"

    "YOU'RE KILLING ME ROOK"

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    I just got back from the event in Houston. Much to my surprise the chief gave the Four Leaf presentation everyone has been talking about. I did not see anything wrong. I hear the union was out front handing out a flyer that was so grammaticly incorrect I could not get past anything else, this is a professional union right. I also heard they were given the oppertunity to make or add changes to the presentation but they refused. There is nothing left to say. Now I know the truth.

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    TO: noholdsbared

    I have read your post and if you are all so Firewalker then here is your chance to have a meaningful discussion with someone that was at the fire and has an open mind. So if you would like to talk about issues that you brought up, in a respectful and intelligent manner by all means let’s talk. I am not here to attack you or anyone else and would appreciate the same courtesy in return. Let’s keep it to the issues surrounding the fire. I'll be waiting to hear from you
    "DON'T GO IN THERE!!! DON'T YOU KNOW THERE IS A FIRE IN THERE!!!!"

    "YOU'RE KILLING ME ROOK"

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    Default Spelling and grammar counts!

    On the subject of grammar, let's take a look at your most recent post.
    There should be a comma after "surprise"(second sentence). You should insert the word "that" after "presentation in the third sentence. You never end a sentence with a preposition, as you did in the third sentence. "Hear" should be past tense(heard)in the fourth sentence. You spelled "grammatically" incorrectly in the fourth sentence. There should be a comma after "incorrect" in the fourth sentence. There should be a period(.) after "else" instead of a comma in the fourth sentence. Start new sentence "This is a professional union, right"?(Question mark after "right", since you are asking a question-fourth sentence)
    "Opportunity" is misspelled(oppertunity)in the fifth sentence. There should be a comma after "presentation" in the fifth sentence.
    I would suggest, that, in the future, if you are going to attack someone else's grammar, you should make certain that your's is correct.
    IMACOJ-spelling bee champ of 1961.

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    I wasn’t at the fire, I don’t claim to have been, and I don’t work for Houston Fire.

    I have, however, read all three reports, listened to the chief’s report, looked at the HFD’s equipment, rode calls, and spent some time talking to firefighters and officers from the department.

    One of my primary observations was that many (not all, but many) members of the department have clearly not read the reports they are commenting on and know very little of what went on the day of the fire. Much of it is all rumors. One firefighter told me that “The chief is trying to blame it all on us. It was staffing. The NIOSH report made three recommendations on Jay’s death: staffing, weather monitoring, and sprinklering of the building.”

    I have the report right here in front of me. They make eleven recommendations, and sprinklering isn’t even mentioned. In fact, the first recommendation that NIOSH makes is “Fire departments should ensure that the department’s high-rise Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are followed and refresher training is provided.” Obviously the firefighters think sprinklering is important, but it’s only listed in the internal and state fire marshal’s reports, both of which they seem to have already dismissed as inaccurate.

    With all due respect to the Houston firefighters (and the ones I was with are a great bunch of men and women), how can they say they have no confidence in the chief if many of them aren’t even informed on the situation?

    While I was down there the chief’s presentations seemed to be going across quite well, but that is only the first step. If the firefighters want to have a strong voice on the situation, it seems that they need to take responsibility in fully informing themselves.

  20. #45
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    Was staffing the cause of Captain Jahnke’s death? I won’t answer this directly, but how could anybody say that any one thing was the cause of a LODD like this?

    Could additional staffing have made a difference in the outcome of the fire? Of course. But we need to look at the big picture here. I am not convinced that staffing alone would have changed the outcome. Everybody would have still made mistakes, and Captain Jahnke could have still run out of air and been left on the fire floor.

    What if the call had been dispatched five minutes earlier, all crews were equipped with full one-hour bottles, and an imager was brought to the fire floor. Could that have made a difference? Of course.

    What about if the crew had a 2 ½” line? What if the line were withdrawn with the crew and the door shut? What if Engine 3 were sent to the right floor, or even notified command when they realized they were in the wrong place? What if E-2/L-28 had a search rope? What if the crews had notified command that they were leaving the fire floor? What if the entire building were sprinklered? What about if there had been a WORKING SMOKE DETECTOR in the condo?

    This is the same kind of stuff that has been killing firefighters for years! We were all taught to close doors behind us, protect stairwells and hallways, and notify our supervisors as to the current situation of our crews and the fire.

    We all know the data on sprinklers and smoke detectors. We all know what a major role air has to play in so many LODDs. We all know how valuable imagers are and what can happen when we leave our equipment behind.

    Weren’t there bigger causes to Jahnke’s death than staffing?

    Somebody stated that staffing is being downplayed by the administration. What about the fact that every other cause is being virtually ignored by the union? How could anybody listen to them when they single out the parts they like from three reports and put it all together to form a lie?

    Staffing has already been increased – maybe not as much as some would like it – but it has been increased. Don’t the firefighters think that some of the other issues should be addressed too?

    The biggest concern I gathered from the firefighters that had seen the chief’s report was they didn’t trust that the recommendations would be followed through. They are worried about things like training, sprinklers, proper equipment, and communications.

    Aren’t these the same kind of things that the chief has said he wants to change?

    If so, then why are the firefighters talking about voting “no confidence” in him? If these issues mean something to them, if they want to ensure that incidents like this don’t happen again, wouldn’t it be more effective for them to get behind the chief and support him? Wouldn’t the mayor be more likely to support the fire department if you firefighters were behind the chief? Or is he more likely to say “hey look, the chief wants new air packs, new imagers, new communications systems(etc, etc). The firefighters don’t support him. I guess I should give him the money.” A union and administration working against each other is just counterproductive.

    Some firefighters felt that things had been left out of the report. Maybe they have, maybe they haven’t. Either way, this indicates the need for better communications between the suppression personnel and the administration. Why would the chief want to talk to any of his firefighters if they do things like stage a walk-out at his presentation? That is ignorance.


    The firefighters need to admit that they made mistakes that morning. Nobody likes to do it, but they have to. Every time somebody mentions it they say “yes, there were mistakes made, but when was the last time you went to a fire that there weren’t mistakes made?” You have to answer “um, I don’t know…never?” But if we really made mistakes like that every time we fought fires, we would all be dead. Let’s face it: there were big mistakes made at the Four Leaf Tower fire. Why can’t the union just admit it?

    The chief/department is even willing to take responsibility for it all. Throughout the all the recommendations in the internal report, the only thing it says the firefighters must take responsibility for themselves is fitness (and it even states that the department should expand it’s physical fitness program). The rest of it says things like the department should ensure this, or make certain of that, or establish training, etc, etc. It doesn’t say “the department will terminate firefighters failing to follow SOPs”.

    Furthermore, how could anybody listen to them if they won’t even admit that “yeah, every company should be equipped with one-hour bottles”, “we should start using search ropes in high-rise fires”, “all high-rises should be fully sprinklered”, or “we need better training”?

    If the firefighters are really concerned for their own safety, they’ll acknowledge ALL of the causes of Captain Jahnke’s death. They owe it to him. I doubt he would have been satisfied with a union that wouldn’t admit to something that could have saved his life.

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    Station2:

    On the topic of rumors....I’m sure you consider yourself to be a well-informed member of the HFD.

    However, it doesn’t seem that CAFSystems are being retrofitted just for ISO. The HFD scored 97.01 points on their rating. 97.01 minus 1.5 equals what....95.51? Aren’t there other reasons that CAFS are being implemented? I understand that Houston has had quite a few apartment roof burn-offs. Couldn’t it be that out-of-shape firefighters who are dragging heavy hose lines around might work a bit better with piercing nozzles and lighter CAF lines??

    Isn’t your volunteer department buying CAFS on your new rig? Why?

    As far as the cracked body supports...

    I think we both know this is not true either. Aren’t all the new engines on bid going to have CAFS? The HFD was already awarded their Class 1, and ISO won’t be back for ten years. Why would they waste their money?

    Wasn’t there a pump module crack on one rig? Perhaps that could be where the rumors came from. But couldn’t that have something to do with running into an automobile? Or was it the CAF unit that hadn’t been installed yet? And aren’t the systems more like 630 lbs., not 950?

    At any rate, wouldn’t you agree that a department like Houston could have all kinds of rumors flying around in no time? Especially when the firefighters really want to believe in them?

    Chief Reason:

    An attack on grammar on an attack on grammar. Interesting... “Presentation” should have a quotation after the word. “I would suggest, that, in the future, if you are going to attack someone else's grammar, you should make certain that your's is correct.” There is not supposed to be a comma after suggest. Since when is “yours” spelled with a apostrophe?

    My point: Who cares if somebody screws up their grammar in a post on the FH forums? I’m sure you could find a million mistakes in my posts. The document handed out by the firefighters on the 17th was supposed to be (or at least should have been) a professional document. It made no sense. The whole idea was just out of ignorance. “Hi, we have no idea of what the chief is going to talk about. Please step outside so that you won’t either. We really don’t want you to know anything about the fire if we don’t.”

    Please feel free to email me if you would like to discuss anything.

    pgvfd1:

    “A lot of people are attacking noholds but no one has refuted, or even tried refuting what he/she has said. noholds, are these reports accessible on the internet?”

    If you’d like to read them, they’re at: http://www.ci.houston.tx.us/hfd/fltreport.html

    Download them fast - they will probably all disappear forever if the union and their lawyer have their way.

    MIKEYLIKESIT/Chief Reason

    “When you pin the five bugles on your chest, You take ultimate responsibility for the actions of your department.”

    “yes, the chief is ultimately responsible for the performance of the team.”

    Of course. Read the reports. Doesn’t it seem to you that that’s what he’s doing?

    “they should be supporting each other and searching for ways to improve their department.”

    It seems that many ways have already been found. The next step is to work together in implementing them.

    Oh, yes…
    “He is a new chief in a department that still uses fog for interior attack.”

    Why don’t you ask Station2 about this one. Owning a combination nozzle does not mean HFD uses fog to fight fire. I saw combi’s, smooth bores and vindicators while I was down there. I think the firefighters have their choice. As could be expected, I saw plenty of tip switching going on. However, it looked like most of attack lines and deck guns were equipped with TFT’s. This does not mean that anyone gets steamed, and does not mean that they have other bigger problems.

    Ok, I won’t turn this into a nozzle debate....but that would be fun...no...well...NO

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    As far as HFD and the preciously mentioned issues, I am not gonna bite and will only address some of the issues you mentioned.

    As for my volunteer department and CAFS, yes we are getting our next pumper with both CAFS and a tele-squrt. Both of those are for not only ISO credit but tactical advantages on the fireground. The ability to have a more effective knockdown and deliver that kind of a knockdown from an elevated device are just as important as ISO credit to the people we serve. The people who have a fire in their business at 02:00hrs are gonna appreciate a more rapid knockdown of the fire and the saving of more of their property than they are the saving of $400.00 a year on their insurance. In the end it is a win-win for our tax payers, the people we are tasked to protect.

    I have chosen not to reply to some of the "leading" comments directed at me, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I also will refrain from speaking on the topic of the FLT as enough has been said already on that topic and the trajic loss of Captain Jahnke.
    Stay low and move it in.

    Be safe.


    Larry

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    Default Well,well,well!

    HFDCLanger:
    Noholdsbared was attacking the grammar that was used in the presentation. He did so by displaying his own poor grammar. I was merely pointing that out. I do not take anyone to task in the forums over grammar or spelling unless challenged to do so.
    I did not put quotation marks around "presentation" because that may indicate sarcasm to some.
    I put a comma after "suggest" because I was taking a pause.
    I put an apostrophe in "yours" because I thought it was being used as a possessive pronoun. I saw nothing wrong with it.
    I don't pretend to be the grammar police, but I think that I am capable of stringing together a few properly constructed sentences.
    It is not an exact science.
    I am often amazed at how many want to break an argument down to a personal level and especially where the chief of department is involved. Some of you have all of the answers, but have never looked at it through the eyes of the white helmet. Some should quit their whining and try to find ways to help make their departments better, instead of always blaming the chief and trying to run his *** out of town. There are some good chiefs out there, if you'll give them even half a chance.
    How was my grammar this time? More importantly, who cares?

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    Originally posted by HFDCLanger
    I understand that Houston has had quite a few apartment roof burn-offs. Couldn’t it be that out-of-shape firefighters who are dragging heavy hose lines around might work a bit better with piercing nozzles and lighter CAF lines??
    I sure pose you have a young fit no out of shape firefighters in your department. If your going to make a statement like this I hope you can back it up. It leads me to believe one of two things. 1) You don't make a lot of fires in your town. Because if you had you would know you can't save them all. I guess you have never burnt the roof off anything. Oh ya, that's right you don't have any over weight lazy firemen do you? 2) Just because you came here doesn't mean you know the tactics of HFD. Do you have apartments where you have to lay 600' 4" from the pumper to the fire? Then another couple hundred feet of 1 3/4 to get to it before you can even think of putting water on it? Takes sometime.


    Originally posted by HFDCLanger
    At any rate, wouldn’t you agree that a department like Houston could have all kinds of rumors flying around in no time? Especially when the firefighters really want to believe in them?
    I will admit that the rumor mill in HFD like everywhere else is strong, but to blame it on just the union or just downtown would be wrong. It stems from both places. Neither our chief nor the union does a good job when it comes to informing the membership. But I guess you have a perfect department and know everything.

    Originally posted by HFDCLanger
    “A lot of people are attacking noholds but no one has refuted, or even tried refuting what he/she has said. noholds, are these reports accessible on the internet?”
    I guess you didn't bother to read my earlier posts were I stated not only was I at the fire. I offered an open discussion with noholds. Funny he never responded to me...hmmmm wonder why?

    Originally posted by HFDCLanger


    “When you pin the five bugles on your chest, you take ultimate responsibility for the actions of your department.”
    “Yes, the chief is ultimately responsible for the performance of the team.”
    Of course. Read the reports. Doesn’t it seem to you that that’s what he’s doing?
    I had to laugh. How long were you in Houston for. Did you talk to the chief? Did you talk to the mayor? Who did you talk to? You have fallen for one of the best smoke screens I’ve seen courtesy of the chief and mayor. Reading 3 reports on the Internet does not give the whole story. So much more happens on both sides that doesn't make the papers or is heard from outsiders. Things that the chief, mayor and the union say. So unless you are here to hear everything. It is easy for people to make judgments that are not accurate based off of 3 reports. That would be like me looking at your web site and judging your whole department off of what I saw on the site.

    Originally posted by HFDCLanger
    Oh, yes…
    “He is a new chief in a department that still uses fog for interior attack.”
    Again if you don't want to use fog nozzles in fires don't come to Houston. My district uses them for all most every fire and till this date I have yet to see any one burned from it and Love using them. I used to be a smooth bore preacher. Now i just preach one thing. Use what you want to get the job done.

    HFDCLanger I was glad that you came to Houston and hoped you enjoyed it. I wish I had the chance to meet you and show you around. Maybe next time. If the above sounds like I’m attacking you sorry, but reading your post to me just bothered me.

    And to Noholds......I'M STILL WAITING!!!!!
    Last edited by hfd838; 12-03-2002 at 03:00 PM.
    "DON'T GO IN THERE!!! DON'T YOU KNOW THERE IS A FIRE IN THERE!!!!"

    "YOU'RE KILLING ME ROOK"

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    Posted by HFD838, answering to HFDCLanger...

    I sure pose you have a young fit no out of shape firefighters in your department. If you going to make a statement like this I hope you can back it up. It leads me to believe one of two things. 1) You don't make a lot of fires in your town. Because if you had you would know you can't save them all. I guess you have never burnt the roof off anything thing. Oh ya, that's right you don't have any over weight lazy firemen do you? 2) Just because you came here doesn't mean you know the tactics of HFD. Do you have apartments where you have to lay 600' 4" from the pumper to the fire? Then another couple hundred feet of 1 3/4 to get to it before you can even think of putting water on it? Takes sometime.
    HFD838....

    for the record, HFDCLanger's department had a grand total of 8 reported fires in 2000...the data comes from the Department of Fire Services 2000 annual fire report. Here's the web address of the report to see for yourself!

    http://www.state.ma.us/dfs/firedata/...nualreport.pdf
    ‎"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

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