By MICHAEL WEISSENSTEIN
Associated Press Writer
NEW YORK (AP) - Two and a half years after the World Trade
Center attack, a plan to improve the city's handling of emergencies
remains incomplete because of bureaucratic delays and infighting
between the police and fire departments.
The federally mandated plan laying out how police and
firefighters handle emergencies ranging from car accidents to
bioterrorism was supposed to be complete by last fall. But it is
stalled over a proposal that would give the police control of any
emergency arising from a terrorist attack, according to fire and
police officials familiar with the negotiations.
Many in the fire department see the proposal as part of a wider,
long-standing rivalry between New York's Finest and Bravest.
"Police want to be in charge of everything," said Deputy Chief
Nick Visconti, who represents chiefs for the Uniformed Fire
Officers Association. "We're supposed to play nice in the sandbox.
That seldom works because there's egos involved."
By October, cities that want to receive federal homeland
security funding must adopt a uniform national program for
responding to disasters. The federal mandate is meant to assure the
smooth interworking of federal, state and local agencies by
assuring that they use a consistent set of terms and roles known as
the incident command system.
The police, fire and other city departments must agree to New
York's plan before it is sent to Mayor Michael Bloomberg for
approval. Police officials describe the plan as 90 percent
complete. The unresolved portion consists of a police proposal to
take ultimate control of any disaster arising from terrorism.
"We say, in the city of New York, the lead agency for terrorist
attack should be the police department. But that doesn't mean we
tell the fire department how to fight fires," said Paul Browne,
the New York Police Department's deputy commissioner for public
information. "There's a certain logic and I think it'll be worked
Fire officials say they fear the police department is trying to
take over traditional fire department duties, such as hazardous
materials incidents - along with the accompanying federal homeland
Giving the police ultimate control of firefighting operations
they have little experience with could put rescuers and civilians
at risk, firefighters say.
"The consequences of terrorist acts - explosions, fires,
structural collapses, toxic smoke and hazardous substances - must
be mitigated to protect the public and all first responders," fire
department spokesman Frank Gribbon said. "Firefighters and EMS
personnel have the expertise, training and equipment to address
these aspects of terrorism."
Police officials say they have no intention of micromanaging
firefighting operations. But it is natural, they say, that the
nation's largest law-enforcement agency manage any response to what
could be complex, simultaneous and geographically dispersed attacks
on New York.
The incident command system at issue was developed by the U.S.
Forest Service to allow dozens of small fire departments, state and
federal agencies to work together battling sprawling Western
Calls for New York to put in place such a single blueprint for
managing massive emergencies began after independent analyses of
the trade center attack revealed serious flaws in communication and
coordination between the police and fire departments.
Along with the structural gaps, the agencies have a
long-standing rivalry that flared most famously in November, 2001,
when police and firefighters scuffled during a demonstration
organized by fire unions protesting changes to the recovery of
human remains at ground zero.
Since then, fire and police have traded accusations over
conflicts at several rescue scenes that have involved the elite
fire and police units that would play prominent roles in any future
City officials initially promised that New York's incident
command plan would be completed by the end of last summer.
Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta said Monday he was
"disappointed" that the agreement remained incomplete.
The city attributes the delay less to police and fire department
discord than to the January resignation of its emergency management
commissioner and to ongoing alterations to the federal mandate that
have made it hard to meet. Brooklyn State Supreme Court Justice
Joseph F. Bruno, the city's fire commissioner from 1987 to 1990,
takes over as emergency management commissioner next week. Through
a spokesman, he declined to comment before taking office.
"We are satisfied that substantial progress has been made over
the last several months and the remaining issues will be resolved
shortly," said Ed Skyler, a spokesman for Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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Results 1 to 20 of 31
04-01-2004, 11:53 PM #1
NYC firefighters, police still at odds over emergency responseProudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
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04-02-2004, 03:16 PM #2
- Join Date
- Nov 2002
- Brooklyn, NY
The NYPD and FDNY have been at odds over who does what for many, many years. The way I see it is that the NYPD is a Police Dept. And thats what they should do, Police. They should enforce the laws of New York City. Not be involved with what the FDNY has been traditionally involved with, such as Haz Mat, car accidents, or any other technical recues. I still think that it is ridiculous that the NYPD ESU responds to car accidents with a hurst tool. This has been our job (Fire Dept) here and pretty much everywhere else in the country. As a matter of fact The FDNY trained the ESU back in the 40's. Why not give a hurst tool to EMS and cut the FD and PD out all together. The NYPD has been gearing up to to do more in the city for years. I think the main reason is money. Do more, get paid more. The FDNY is perfectly capable of handling pretty much anything. The Police play a vital role in NYC and they work hard for their money. Dont get me wrong I think they do a great job. But they want it all, and to be the premier angency in the city. Many, many cops feel that the FDNY is below them and that we should be paid less than them. Some are jealous that we live as a brotherhood in the firehouse. Our hours or charts are better, We even get to sleep on duty. This really miffs somes cops. They forget that they are proactive, and we are reactive. That the nature of the 2 jobs. There is a difference, cops do cop things, and firefighters do firefighter things. The only thing that I do agree with is interagency communications. Which are now non existent. This would be a great help, and would have probably saved many firefighters lives on 911.
04-02-2004, 03:28 PM #3
Only in NY!??? Does anyone else have a PD that functions the same as NYPD ESU?
Why not give a hurst tool to EMS and cut the FD and PD out all together"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?
04-02-2004, 04:39 PM #4
- Join Date
- Feb 2003
police should handle their job, take care of the law breaker(the terrorist) and then take care of potential law breakers(the public). and not worried about the injured, once an attack is made and the attacker is either neutralized or they know the attack is over, FD should handle incident and rescues, just like any other scene. police come take down names, find out what happened take care of crowd then go catch badguy, FD saves the ppl etc. i dont see why police even train for things like ESU. the way i see it they shouldnt be taking over others jobs until their jobs are done 100% correctly. my 2 cents.
04-02-2004, 05:04 PM #5
As a 20 plus year member of nypd (lt) and a vollie I'd like to put my two cents in. The members of the NYPD & FDNY do thier thing and the job gets done. The nonsense seems to be generated every once in a while by the the NYC press. FDNY is almost 10,000 members compared to ESU whose manpower is approx 350 officers assigned citywide. ESU'sprimary assignment is not rescues or tool jobs but armed tactical entries, perp searches, EDPs and other law enforcement functions. The difference is that while FDNY is in quarters, ESU is on the road so the Job saw fit(a long time ago) to have them handle any situation that they encounter.
But lets remember this is NYC and there is plenty of work to go arround so lets stop squabbling, gets both jobs better pay and go home at the end of tour.
04-02-2004, 05:30 PM #6
- Join Date
- Dec 2000
Hey jensam433, this is slightly off topic but I recently saw an older episode of Cops where the ESU guys were doing an extrication in short sleeve uniform shirts, no eye protection, head protection or anything.
Do they still operate this way?FTM-PTB-DTRT
04-02-2004, 05:58 PM #7
I'm not going to pass judgement on a fellow cop or FF without seeing with my own eyes...but we've all "gone outside the guidelines" at one time or another. ESU currently wears a distinctly different patrol unifom from patrol cops ie: BDUs,etc.. that I believe confom with safety guidelines.
back on the previous subject: NYPD ESU provides technical as well as tactical support to the patrol officer that no one else in or out of law enforcement can provide and I add this because ignorant politicians have suggested abolishing the unit without knowing what they actually do. If I need to secure a location, correct a dangerous condition, or a million other things, they are the guys I'm gonna call..
I follow the old saying..."You dont know a man until you walk in his shoes"....and I say this from both the cop and FF sides of the street.
04-02-2004, 10:53 PM #8
- Join Date
- Mar 2002
Can't we all just get along!
We're lucky, we have a great relationship with our PD. We are in the process of training them on the Incident Command System, so we can operate even better together.
04-03-2004, 12:25 AM #9
- Join Date
- Nov 2002
- Brooklyn, NY
Jensam433, I am no way saying that ESU should be abolished like some politicans. They play a vitale role in the NYPD. One of my best friends is an ESU cop. And I am fully aware that the NYC press has started and continued the so called battle of the badges. And yes here in NYC there is plenty to go around for everyone. But some of your fellow co-workers seem to take the battle of the badges a little to seriously. I was working a hurst tool job on thr belt when ESU pulled up, one them actually shut our power unit off and tried to take over. Needless to say that the scene got very tense, to say the least. I know that you, like me are here to do job, and that is to help people. Not get in each others faces. But for the most part we seem to get along doing both of our jobs respectively.
04-03-2004, 02:47 AM #10
I assume there is no state statute in NY like CT's 7-313e, which places the fire officer in charge of any emergency scene? Needless to say, the State Police (and a few others) have been trying to get that changed for years.
Shutting tools off is not cool. We should all remember we are on the same team at emergencies. Instead of fighting each other, we should fight the politicians who play us against each other and receive better funding.IACOJ Agitator
Fightin' Da Man Since '78!
04-04-2004, 09:41 AM #11The way I see it is that the NYPD is a Police Dept. And thats what they should do, Police. They should enforce the laws of New York City. Not be involved with what the FDNY has been traditionally involved with, such as Haz Mat, car accidents, or any other technical recues. I still think that it is ridiculous that the NYPD ESU responds to car accidents with a hurst tool. This has been our job (Fire Dept) here and pretty much everywhere else in the country.
Police should only poilce. They don't have the ablility to learn the skills needed to do what firefighters do. I've heard stories of police officers putting out car fires with extinguishers they carry in thier cars. This is foolish and dangerious. They should wait for the firefighters to arrive and handle these types of emergencies. In the mean time they can take down information from the owner of the vehicle and worry about traffic control. I've even heard of some Police departments which train their officers as Medical First Responders and issue AEDs to be carried in the cruisers. This is insane. You can't train a police officer to save lives. They arrest people and carry guns to shoot the ones they can't arrest. How can they be expected to handle the resonsibility of performing CPR or using an AED? They should perform crowd control or arrest someone until the paramedics arrive. Here in Louisiana the State Police have a Haz-Mat team and have to be notified of every Haz-Mat incident so that an officer can respond. Is that crazy or what? What do they think they are going to do? Shoot the Green Cloud of Death? Arrest the Green Cloud of Death? They should leave this to the Fire Department. I also beleive that firefighters have no business performing EMS duties. Paramedics go through intense training to be able to do the ALS skills they are required to do everyday. Firefighters could never hope to be able to do these tasks as well as fully trained paramedics and should stick to fighting fires. Firefighters have no business perforing trench rescues either. How many firefighters have ever dug a hole bigger than needed to plant shrubs in his yard? So what makes them think they could possibly understand how to dig a trench and properly shore it up so that people could work in it? This job should be left to the people who do it everyday such as the sewer and water board. When a person is trapped in a trench why call the fire department? They don't have backhoes and shoring equiptment. But the sewer and water guys spend all day digging trenches and working in these types of situations. Maybe it's time the public works guys got a piece of the Grant pie from DHS. Maybe they could put some sirens and lights on those backhoes and dump trucks for faster responce when needed.
Let's just all stick to doing what we do best and then we won't step on anyone elses toes. Comments?
04-04-2004, 10:00 AM #12
- Join Date
- Feb 2002
- New South Wales, Australia
So Cellblock, Police should not do Fire or Medical, Fire should not do Medical or Trench Rescue etc. A logical extension of your arguement is the Fire should not do Policing, which brings me to this point....Tell us again, why you as a firefighter carry a pistol on duty, you are not a policeman and your are not going to arrest anybody are you?
04-04-2004, 10:26 AM #13
Cellblock??? DO YOU THINK??
Cell block do you really think before you post?? No I am not a police officer but I work with them with my volunteer squad & FD almost on a daily basis. Sure, some cops arenít the brightest, just like thereís dumb firefighters, emts, paramedic, the list goes on... From what your post says cops shouldnít be first responder....Cops in my town are trained as First responder some even EMT and YES they carry 02 and AED's. They are an essential role in the 911 system believe it not. They are 99% of the time the first ones at the scene of an emergency. Almost all of our CPR saves have been because of the quick response by PD and the use of the AED until the squad arrived. If it wasnít for them the person would have died. For you to say cops canít be trained like that is asinine you say "You can't train a police officer to save lives." See now you just contraindicated yourself by saying that because what do you think cops do during a hostage situation? Hmm...save the lives of those that are held hostage. What do you think cops do when cops take another DWI off the road...may be a large number of people but believe it not they are saving the lifeís of those who were at risk to the DWI hitting there vehicle. The car fire thing. Fine I somewhat agree with you on that one, if the car is fully involved or heavily involved in fire upon arrival I say leave it alone, but if its a fire small enough to control with a extinguisher go ahead....put it out. Also to a side note a lot of squads in my area in central New Jersey still do Extrication...do I believe they should? Sure the more power to you if you have the manpower to staff the rescue truck and 2-3 rigs needed at a MVA...but if not...turn it over to the FD...simple as that...Andrew
04-04-2004, 12:15 PM #14
Oh boy... am I going to have fun with this one!
Originally posted by cellblock
I pretty much agree with this line of thinking.
Police should only poilce. They don't have the ablility to learn the skills needed to do what firefighters do. I've heard stories of police officers putting out car fires with extinguishers they carry in thier cars. This is foolish and dangerious. They should wait for the firefighters to arrive and handle these types of emergencies. In the mean time they can take down information from the owner of the vehicle and worry about traffic control.
I've even heard of some Police departments which train their officers as Medical First Responders and issue AEDs to be carried in the cruisers. This is insane. You can't train a police officer to save lives. They arrest people and carry guns to shoot the ones they can't arrest. How can they be expected to handle the resonsibility of performing CPR or using an AED? They should perform crowd control or arrest someone until the paramedics arrive.
EMS rigs: stationed at the local hospital
police cruisers: on the road
Police officers arrive... "sorry, Ma'am but I can't do CPR or use the AED in my cruiser.. but I am here to control the crowd of relatives and onlookers that may arrive, now leave a path for the medics, they should be here in about 10 to 15 minutes... by the way, I am doing something...scene safety....
I have seen some moronic statements, but this one rates in the top ten.
Here in Louisiana the State Police have a Haz-Mat team and have to be notified of every Haz-Mat incident so that an officer can respond. Is that crazy or what? What do they think they are going to do? Shoot the Green Cloud of Death? Arrest the Green Cloud of Death? They should leave this to the Fire Department.
I also beleive that firefighters have no business performing EMS duties. Paramedics go through intense training to be able to do the ALS skills they are required to do everyday. Firefighters could never hope to be able to do these tasks as well as fully trained paramedics and should stick to fighting fires.
Average acceptable EMS response time :10 minutes
Clinical death in cardiac arrest: when the heart stops beating.
Biological death: begins 6 minutes after clinical death.
Do the math..... (take off your shoes if you have to...)
What happens when a firefighter goes down on the fireground? Wait for EMS?
Firefighters have no business perforing trench rescues either. How many firefighters have ever dug a hole bigger than needed to plant shrubs in his yard? So what makes them think they could possibly understand how to dig a trench and properly shore it up so that people could work in it?
This job should be left to the people who do it everyday such as the sewer and water board. When a person is trapped in a trench why call the fire department? They don't have backhoes and shoring equiptment. But the sewer and water guys spend all day digging trenches and working in these types of situations.
Maybe it's time the public works guys got a piece of the Grant pie from DHS. Maybe they could put some sirens and lights on those backhoes and dump trucks for faster responce when needed.
Let's just all stick to doing what we do best and then we won't step on anyone elses toes. Comments?
"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
04-04-2004, 01:00 PM #15
- Join Date
- Jun 2002
- Glenn Dale Md, Heart of the P.G. County Fire Belt....
On The Road Again......................
Man, Am I hearin' Willie Nelson in the background............. The forums have been, well, a bit dull lately. NOT ANY MORE. (humming the tune) On the road again........ I think CB might be right, the post in question couldn't be real. And, I hope the gentleman from La. didn't hurt his cheek by pushing his tongue too far into it.Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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04-04-2004, 04:03 PM #16
Bad Boys Bad Boys whatcha gonna do?
I caught the episode of COPS last night. I had seen it before and I think it was from the early to mid 90's. Pre FDNY bunker pants and EMS. The ESU pulls up to a pin-in and starts cutting away with no gear or even eye protection. I am not being critical, but it was weird seeing the Police using jaws.IAFF-IACOJ PROUD
04-04-2004, 05:36 PM #17
CaptainGonzo wrote- What happens when a firefighter goes down on the fireground? Wait for EMS?
Exactly. Just like if the question is, What happens when someone assaults the EMS crew with a gun or knife? Same arguement, wait for the Police to handle it. That's what they are trained for.
CaptainGonzo wrote- You are right...we don't have backhoes...but we do have confined space/trench rescue equipment and training. Many of the trench rescue situations are not caused by municipal water, sewer and public works departments... they are caused by private contarctors trying to get the job done as cheaply as possible...and renting a trench box to protect their workers in the trench is just another "added expense" to many of them. When the defaction hits the oscillation... they call us!
I agree that most accidents are the result of poor safety measures taken by someone trying to save a buck. I don't think that firefighters need to be training in trench rescue anymore than they train in hostage rescue or deep sea diving for that matter. The training should go to those who dig trenches and have the equiptment already. The Utilities Department should be in charge and not some hose jockey with a weekend class under his belt. Who would you rather have running the operation? People who are experianced enough to recognise the dangers of the situation because they do it everyday in the course of their normal duties or a official who belongs to a "Jack-of-all-Master-of-None" Department?
CaptianGonzo wrote- Many firefighters (career and volunteer) also have trades that can be used in fire/ems/specialized rescue operations. It is called utilization of resources!
So if a BLS Rescue Squad member has a trade, say as a physicians assistant, and starts IVs or pushes drugs on a patient while responding on that Squads' BLS bus? Then it's OK because it's utilization of resources? The lawers would have a field day with that one. It doesn't matter what your job or training is outside of the department you are responding with. If the department isn't trained or equipted to do the job then they should call in someone who is up to it. My local FD responds to EMS calls at the First Responder level only. While there are some FFs, like me who have higher training, we must operate within department guidelines and not exceed the First Responder protocals. That means that even though the firefighter I am responding with in the truck happens to work fulltime as a paramedic of the ambulance company which is also responding, he must operate as a First Responder because he is under the FDs protocals. So much for utilization of resources.
Everybody should stick to doing what they do best and stop trying to be something they aren't.Steve
04-04-2004, 05:50 PM #18
I'm not so sure about the sarcasm anymore...
04-04-2004, 05:51 PM #19
OK, cellblock........... Are you really trying to be serious or is this sarcasm????????
If you're serious, well I guess I know why you and your department have so many issues........
As for the COPS episode, I also saw it last night. No gear. No eye protection. No helmets. They were doing the patient care....... Amazing.........
04-04-2004, 07:47 PM #20
- Join Date
- Jan 2003
Cellblock you obviously have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. In the city where I work Cops are trained in cpr. We have tiered response with the police and ambulance so that someone can intervene as soon as possible. IT SAVES LIVES! Usually the cops are there first followed by us followed by ambulance. If it was your Mom wouldn't you want early cpr so that she could survive?
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