Why register? ...To Enhance Your Experience
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 34
  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber TruckSkipper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    202

    Default Firemen call layoffs suspicious

    Firemen call layoffs suspicious

    Published in the Asbury Park Press 12/08/04
    By BOB JORDAN
    FREEHOLD BUREAU

    HOWELL -- A fire district has disbanded its paid firefighters unit by laying off all five firefighters, including two who were suspended in October after they had complained about workplace safety.

    Fire district officials said the unit was primarily used for EMT response, and that the unit's work was duplicated by a Police Department EMT unit that was created this year.

    But some of the fired workers said the disbanding was a result of the friction that had existed since the workers complained to state agencies about safety issues.

    "This is direct retaliation to complaints," said Lt. Kevin Franz, a Fairfield (Essex County) resident who was fired along with Peter Sykes, Howell; Scott Alvarez, Toms River; Steven Spera, Wall; and Robert Underhill Jr., Wall.

    "We had been threatened with our jobs and our pensions anytime we've asked about safety issues, pensions or anything job-related," Franz said.

    William Donahue, the Freewood Acres district commissioner and a supervising administrator of the paid firefighters, could not be reached for comment.

    Sykes and Alvarez were suspended for several days in October by fire district officials.

    Thomas Canzanella, head of the Professional Firefighters Association of New Jersey, said the two firefighters had complained that the work uniforms issued by the fire district were not compliant with state safety and health directives.

    Other workplace complaints that were made to the state Department of Labor and other agencies are still being reviewed, Canzanella said.

    Sykes and Alvarez were reinstated by the township Board of Fire Commissioners at an October meeting that was attended by 50 uniformed firefighters from throughout the state.

    The Freewood Acres firehouse is on Route 9 near West Fifth Street.

    Lane Biviano, attorney for the fire district, said the unit's disbanding will save the fire district roughly $300,000 annually in wages and equipment.

    Howell is among several local municipalities that augment their volunteer forces with a handful of paid firefighters. The township's Southard Fire Company on Route 9 began employing paid firefighters in 1989, and Freewood Acres added that component in May 2003.

    The five Freewood Acres paid firefighters worked 7 a.m.-to-5 p.m. shifts, Mondays through Fridays, with each member having one day off during that span.

    Sykes, 27, said he was paid $29,500 and was due to receive a raise to $31,500 next month.

    "I bought a house in Howell to be closer to work and be part of the community," Sykes said. "I wanted to be a career firefighter, and I finally got the privilege to be one. Personally I think this is all due to retaliation."

    Township Manager Bruce Davis said the fire districts are separate from the municipal government and have their own administration and budgets.

    In June, the township Police Department launched its EMS Unit, which department officials said was designed to help volunteer first-aid squads cover weekday emergency calls.

    The unit is staffed by about a dozen part-time special police officers cross-trained in first aid and law enforcement, Police Capt. Robert Scott said.

    Scott said it was not expected that paid firefighters would be laid off because of the extra EMT coverage.

    "Our unit can handle extra calls," Scott said, "but they better not come in all at the same time."

    -- Bob Jordan: (732) 308-7751
    Last edited by TruckSkipper; 12-13-2004 at 10:56 AM.
    DKK
    Truck Man
    APFD
    IAFF Local 384:


    "Above all, an assignment to a truck company should be considered a promotion."

    Chief John W. Mittendorf-1998


  2. #2
    Forum Member MIKEYLIKESIT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Division 24
    Posts
    4,360

    Thumbs down

    "Two hatting" never hrt anyone. I see that the local just recently organized. It looks like pure retaliation to me. These elected officials are going to find out just how painful it can be to pull crap like this. Good luck Brothers.
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    1,098

    Default

    Expect a press conference, rally and possibly a picket line should they elect to use mercenary scabs.
    I would like to see how useful that is going to be considering the guys have already been FIRED. But if it makes the local feel better to parade around with signs, I guess that's their right!

    I ask that no IAFF or other AFL-CIO Trade Labor affiliate who serves as a volunteer work in any capacity whatsoever for profit or during the times our members would have been on duty.
    So basically the IAFF advocates the possible deaths and destruction to property to advance it's own agenda? That's real professional... I am glad the IAFF is now attempting to represent members of other Trade Unions by telling them what to do on their time off too.

    I hope the IAFF and the PFANJ get their Dogs Smacked in the Dirt with this one. It's pretty sad when you get replaced by COPS and VOLUNTEERS. Have a nice day....
    Proud Right-Wing Extremist since 1992

    "Extreme Liberalism is a Mental Disorder"- Michael Savage

  4. #4
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Pt. Beach, NJ
    Posts
    10,570

    Default

    "Two hatting" never hrt anyone
    Has absolutely nothing to do with this situation.
    "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?

  5. #5
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Somewhere between genius and insanity!
    Posts
    13,556

    Default

    Originally posted by TillerMan25


    I would like to see how useful that is going to be considering the guys have already been FIRED. But if it makes the local feel better to parade around with signs, I guess that's their right!
    Estero Florida pulled this stunt and fired their IAFF organized FD in favor of a private FD. The Etsero FF's picketed, the "private FD" managed to screw the pooch royally, killing one of it's own members in the process. Continous "parading" with signs got their jobs back.



    So basically the IAFF advocates the possible deaths and destruction to property to advance it's own agenda? That's real professional... I am glad the IAFF is now attempting to represent members of other Trade Unions by telling them what to do on their time off too.

    I hope the IAFF and the PFANJ get their Dogs Smacked in the Dirt with this one. It's pretty sad when you get replaced by COPS and VOLUNTEERS. Have a nice day....
    Not true. the key words are
    I ask that no IAFF or other AFL-CIO Trade Labor affiliate who serves as a volunteer work in any capacity whatsoever for profit or during the times our members would have been on duty.
    Most unionized employes will not cross a piket line in a labor dispute out of professinal courtesy. This has nothing to do with emergency response as a volunteer.
    ‎"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

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    1,098

    Default

    Captain, the story did not indicate that the paid Firefighters would be replaced. It said they are being disbanded. To me that means there is not going to be any SCABs used, it's just going to be like it was before the Paid Staff were hired. I mean it sucks to lose your job, But that is a chance alot of people take when they get employed by one of these small towns. How come these Firemen don't get together and form a County Fire/Rescue Department?

    Most Union Members are not in a line of work where lives and property are at atake either. I don't think someone is going to die if a plumber decides he isn't going to cross a picket line.
    Proud Right-Wing Extremist since 1992

    "Extreme Liberalism is a Mental Disorder"- Michael Savage

  7. #7
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Pt. Beach, NJ
    Posts
    10,570

    Default

    Fire district officials said the unit was primarily used for EMT response, and that the unit's work was duplicated by a Police Department EMT unit that was created this year.
    This is actually getting to be a somewhat common occurrence around here. Police departments are starting "Public Safety Officers", which is basically a cross between a cop and an EMS provider. It does nothing to address the needs of the fire department needing more FF's at a fire. It has everything to do with getting ambulances on the road to answer EMS calls.

    Towns with faltering volunteer EMS have a couple choices. 1 is to go and combine FD's and EMS. Not real common around here on the vol side. Another choice is to hire/contract private EMS. Also not real common around here. Some towns went and combined the FD and EMS and then had to hire/pay people to staff their department part time. These people almost always are there for EMS response with an occaisional fire call. They may be in ambulances, they may be first responding on a truck. Like most, their percentage of calls is greatly on the EMS side. Now towns are looking at saving money and instead of paying a FF to standby at the building, they create the public safety officer. They can be doing some police work while awaiting an EMS call. For FF's, it kind of sucks as there goes the job and they are not getting any FF's to help at fire calls. For the PD, it gets them some extra help. For EMS, it gets the calls answered. For a taxpayer, they are paying for people's work full time, not the "insurance" of having them available.

    And Cap, your right, it has nothing to do with volunteering/paid.
    "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?

  8. #8
    Forum Member HeavyRescueTech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    2,460

    Default

    Originally posted by Bones42
    Another choice is to hire/contract private EMS. Also not real common around here.
    not sure about down south, but in central jersey (where freehold and howel are located) this is becoming more of a common thing. MONOC is becoming the primary paid backup service for monmouth and ocean counties. Rural Metro is getting into several of the northern middlesex suburban towns during the daytimes. and Monroe is coving must of the southern end of middlesex county. and Rutgers EMS is also doing north middlesex county when called.

    most FD's don't want to merge with EMS because then they will absorb all the staffing problems that EMS has.
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

    FF/EMT/DBP

  9. #9
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Pt. Beach, NJ
    Posts
    10,570

    Default

    Until MONOC buys Alert, which may be sooner than later, they will have a hard time making any dent into Alerts Ocean County coverage as the paid "backup". Alert is even "Primary" in parts of OC.

    Funny thing is, if Alert offers to come into a town, the BLS squad usually is in favor of it, if MONOC offers, the BLS squads go nuts about it. MONOC is not well liked here in central NJ (where I am). Don't know too much about who covers down south...
    "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?

  10. #10
    Forum Member MIKEYLIKESIT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Division 24
    Posts
    4,360

    Default WRONGO BONES

    Originally posted by Bones42
    Has absolutely nothing to do with this situation.



    It most certainly does. The SCAB Chief/Commissioner is a IAFF member at Ft.Monmouth.

    Tillerman,Your take on this whole thing is a new low. If you think that speaking out about safety,work conditions etc. should get you fired, then you should move to somewhere nice like China or North Korea. This is a sad situation. only made sadder by the ignorance displayed by some people.
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

  11. #11
    Forum Member MIKEYLIKESIT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Division 24
    Posts
    4,360

    Default Some more for you

    Published in the Asbury Park Press 12/11/04
    By BOB JORDAN
    FREEHOLD BUREAU
    HOWELL -- The labor union for five paid township firefighters had complained to a state agency about alleged dual officeholding by superiors. Seven weeks later, the firefighters were dismissed from their jobs.

    The firefighters said their dismissals this week were in retaliation for workplace safety complaints and a complaint to the state Department of Community Affairs about two Freewood Acre Fire Co. members serving in positions for both the volunteer company and the fire district.

    A longtime member of a state firefighting regulatory group contacted by the Asbury Park Press said the Freewood Acres superiors serving the multiple roles have conflicts.

    "They should eliminate the conflicts," said Roger S. Potts, who in September stepped down after 10 years as president of the New Jersey Association of Fire Districts. Potts remains an association trustee.

    The letter to the DCA on Oct. 12 by Thomas Canzanella, president of the state Professional Firefighters Association, stated that William Donahue is the volunteer company's chief, the administrator of the Career Firefighter Program and treasurer of the publicly elected Board of Fire Commissioners. His father, Donald Donahue, is the volunteer company's president and clerk of the Board of Fire Commissioners.

    The Local Ethics Board several years ago issued a blanket opinion that presidents, chiefs and other upper officials of a fire company cannot also serve as a fire commissioner in the same district, Potts said.

    "If one is a chief and one is a president of the fire company, they have a conflict if they're on the commissioner board," Potts said. "It's a built-in conflict. As a member of the company, you could come before the Board of Fire Commissioners and ask to buy a new firetruck, then you could walk around the table and vote or influence it as a commissioner."

    Potts, a South Brunswick resident, said he was unaware of the particulars of the Howell situation. But he said he believes in the case described to him, the DCA is likely to "tell that person to remove the conflict if someone files a complaint."

    Canzanella filed the complaint a week after two of the paid firefighters were suspended and then reinstated three days later. Canzanella said the suspensions were retaliatory because the firefighters had raised issues about workplace safety.

    Susan Jacobucci, chairwoman of the DCA's Local Finance Board, responded in a letter to the union about the complaint about dual roles, saying the matter is being considered for "any necessary formal investigation."

    Attorneys for Fire District No. 5, which is the Freewood Acres district, said a conflict is not established by officials serving in dual roles, and the firefighters' dismissals are unrelated to the union's complaint.

    One of the Fire District No. 5 attorneys, Richard Braslow, also represents the association of which Potts is a member. Braslow said the Local Finance Board's opinion that an executive fire company official can't also serve as a fire commissioner "is not meant to be a treatise," and an association handbook that cites the opinion does so "with the purpose of making you aware there's issues that you should consider."

    Braslow said the opinion on fire company and district dual officeholding has never been tested in courts in the state. He said some towns would be unable to fill all fire company and district positions if the opinion was legislated and enforced.

    Lane Biviano, the fire district's labor attorney, said complaints about the roles of the Donahues were not an issue in the dismissal of the firefighters. Requests to William Donahue for comment were referred to the attorneys.

    "The unit was disbanded because it was primarily an EMT unit, and its work was being duplicated by a new Police Deparment EMT unit," Biviano said. "An October letter to a state agency by the head of the union has nothing to do with a well thought-out and discussed decision to disband something that was no longer needed."

    Two of the firefighters who lost their jobs -- township resident Peter Sykes and Scott Alvarez of Toms River -- had been suspended in October after they had complained about work-place safety.

    The others who were dismissed were Wall residents Steven Spera and Robert Underhill Jr. and Kevin Franz of Fairfield in Essex County.

    Biviano said the unit's disbanding will save the fire district roughly $300,000 annually in wages and equipment.

    Howell is among several local municipalities that augment their volunteer forces with a handful of paid firefighters. The township's Southard Fire Company on Route 9 began em-ploying paid firefighters in 1989. Freewood Acres added that component in May 2003.

    The five Freewood Acres paid firefighters worked 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, with each member having one day off during that span. Each received a salary of about $30,000.

    In June, the township Police Department launched its EMS Unit, which department officials said was designed to help volunteer first aid squads cover weekday emergency calls.

    The unit is staffed by about a dozen part-time special police officers cross-trained in first aid and law enforcement, Police Capt. Robert Scott said. Scott said it was not expected that paid firefighters would be laid off because of the extra EMT coverage.

    Bob Jordan (732) 308-7751
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    1,098

    Default

    MIKEY, where did I mention anything about the safety issues? I agree, people should be able to speak out about workplace safety issues without the threat of being fired, however working for an individual Volunteer Fire Company can have it's disadvantages. There was a big problem with that in this area back in the day, that's why you now have the PGFD, the Montgomery County DFRS etc. Prior to this, all career staff worked for the individual VFD's and when problems like this began occuring, the county Fire/Rescue Departments were formed.


    What IS a new low and a Sad day is when a Union Leader is encouraging Volunteer Firefighters to not respond on calls during the day to prove his point. I guess he has no family or interests in this particular area. For Profit, Not for Profit, whatever....encouraging any firefighter to NOT respond on calls is ludicrous.

    The guy resigned from his IAFF local BTW, so I guess all your SCAB comments are pointless.
    Proud Right-Wing Extremist since 1992

    "Extreme Liberalism is a Mental Disorder"- Michael Savage

  13. #13
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Pt. Beach, NJ
    Posts
    10,570

    Default

    New Jersey Association of Fire Districts
    In my 23 years of fire service in NJ, this is the first time I have ever heard of such an organization. My guess is it's just another powerless NJ group that is trying to make a name for itself somewhere.

    I'll have to look them up and see what they are about.
    "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?

  14. #14
    Forum Member MIKEYLIKESIT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Division 24
    Posts
    4,360

    Default

    I use the term "Scab" in good conscience. If you want to believe that this department suddenly didnt need fulltime personnel, then I am not going to change your minds. This Chief/Commissioner should be ashamed of himself. He reaped the benefits of IAFF membership, yet denied it to his men. Big deal, he resigned. He will forever be linked to this nonsense. He will be remebered not for his career at Ft. Monmouth, but how he screwed fellow firefighters.
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

  15. #15
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    1,098

    Default

    He reaped the benefits of IAFF membership, yet denied it to his men.
    No, he reaped(and is still reaping, as IAFF Membership is NOT a requirement of employment with the Federal Government) the benefits of the Federal Government. The IAFF has little to do with Federal Government Benefits and Pay. There is an Agency called the "Office of Personnel Management" that takes care of that for the feds. If the IAFF was so powerful with the Feds, those guys would be working 24/72 with OT after 42 hours. But, they work 24/24 with OT after 56 hours or something crazy like that....they work a 144-hour pay period.
    Proud Right-Wing Extremist since 1992

    "Extreme Liberalism is a Mental Disorder"- Michael Savage

  16. #16
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Pt. Beach, NJ
    Posts
    10,570

    Default

    suddenly didnt need
    No, Mikey, I won't tell you they suddenly didn't need fulltime firefighters, I'll tell you they didn't need fulltime firefighters when they were originally hired. There was nothing sudden about it at all.
    "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?

  17. #17
    Forum Member MIKEYLIKESIT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Division 24
    Posts
    4,360

    Default So the question remains...

    Originally posted by Bones42
    No, Mikey, I won't tell you they suddenly didn't need fulltime firefighters, I'll tell you they didn't need fulltime firefighters when they were originally hired. There was nothing sudden about it at all.


    WHY WERE THEY FIRED?
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

  18. #18
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Pt. Beach, NJ
    Posts
    10,570

    Default

    Duplication of services. PD now has an EMS unit which the town said "Gee, we can save taxpayers money by not duplicating the same service."

    As for all the "alleged" reasons, they are simply that, alleged at this time. Although, I am willing to bet, they are probably true.

    Freewood Acres continues to answer their fire calls, the first response to EMS calls was too large a time committment to the FF's, which led to the paid guys.
    "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?

  19. #19
    Forum Member MIKEYLIKESIT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Division 24
    Posts
    4,360

    Default

    This whole situation stinks. The entire leadership of this department should be removed for incompetence. You dont hire fulltime people that you allegedely dont need, then fire them. I hope the good volunteers of this department are happy that now they have police doing what they should be doing and 5 men are out of a job.
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

  20. #20
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Pt. Beach, NJ
    Posts
    10,570

    Default

    This whole situation stinks
    Yes it does.
    "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?

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