1. #1
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    distchief60b's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Ft. Lauderdale Chief uses Ambulance for Personal Favor

    It seems that no matter where the Former D.C. fire Chief (Latin) goes, controversy follows.

    Tampa Tribune

    Fire Chief Sent Ambulance On Personal Errand

    Published: Apr 24, 2005


    FORT LAUDERDALE - As a favor, Fire Chief Otis Latin pulled an ambulance out of service for at least four hours to bring the father of a mayoral assistant up from Miami, city officials have acknowledged.
    Latin ordered the trip, worth $600, even though Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue is not licensed to transport patients between hospitals except in emergencies and is not licensed to pick up patients in Miami-Dade County, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Thursday.

    City Manager George Gretsas said he talked to Latin but that no discipline report would be put in the chief's personnel file.

    The favor Feb. 16 came a month after the city, in an ethics crackdown, disciplined a police officer for accepting a Wendy's salad and soda worth $5.50. The officer got a written reprimand.

    The two-person paramedic crew picked up the dying patient in Miami-Dade, took him to Fort Lauderdale, then made the trip again to return equipment to the Miami-area hospital. During that time, there were 41 ambulance calls in Fort Lauderdale, according to dispatch logs.

    The Sun-Sentinel independently confirmed the employee was Safeea Ali, 25, Mayor Jim Naugle's $44,000- a-year assistant. Although no one was billed, Ali said that she paid for the February transport last week, the newspaper reported.

    Gretsas said Latin assured him it never would happen again, and a new policy will make clear the city is not licensed to transport stable patients from one hospital to another.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
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    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
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    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
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    Default A Brief Editorial on the Subject...

    Ft. Lauderdale Sun Sentinel

    Pulling rank

    Arnold Swartz
    Coconut Creek
    Posted April 29 2005

    Again the ugly notion of rank hath its privileges arises. In contrast to the disciplinary action taken against a police officer for accepting a $5.50 serving from a fast-food restaurant is the no-action decision by the rankest official, City Manager George Gretsas, against the serious breach of ethics by Fire Chief Otis Latin. Latin's action deprived Fort Lauderdale of the service of a rescue vehicle and two paramedics at a time when there were 41 ambulance calls to an understaffed force.
    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
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    Default

    Classic example of "do as I say, not as I do".
    Fire Marshal/Safety Officer

    IAAI-NFPA-IAFC/VCOS-Retired IAFF

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  4. #4
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    Default Another Editorial

    Ft. Lauderdale Sun Sentinel Letter to the Editor

    Ambulance trip vs. free salad

    Denise Melanson
    Fort Lauderdale
    Posted April 29 2005

    It figures. The constant bashing of employees (or peons) from City Hall continues.

    First in question is the list of the 300 highest paid employees. It doesn't reflect accurate numbers and is misleading to the public. The figures are, in reality, what the employees cost the city. It includes what the city (like any employer) pays for FICA, Social Security, pension, medical, dental, etc. The top-out of pay for a police officer is $60,216, and they pay for (like any employee) taxes, Social Security, medical, dental, pension, deferred compensation, union dues, and other items. They do not take home anything close to what was in the paper.

    Next is the article that the Ethics Committee was so up in arms about a police officer taking a $5.50 salad for free, which was given to him by choice from an outside company. Now, however, the city is not going to write up anyone after the abuse of government equipment and possible threat to citizens' lives when the Fire Department took an ambulance for personal reasons to another county on a transport they are not authorized to do legally.

    The paramedic/firefighters themselves are not to blame since they were following orders (they do not take it upon themselves to take equipment to another county, let alone out of the city). This comes from someone in City Hall. No one does something like this unless it comes from the top.

    Since the assistant is now allowed to pay the $600 bill after the fact (and City Hall employees are just willing to donate, too), why wasn't the same option given to the officer to pay for his salad after the fact to avoid being written up?

    As they say, it's who you know.

    So, endangering people's lives and adding a $600 bill is less severe than a $5.50 salad? Is that fuzzy math? Just the continuance of the rift between the city and its employees. The employees are always blamed when the blame should be on City Hall.
    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.

  5. #5
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    Default

    Kudos to whoever wrote that letter to the editor...

  6. #6
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    That kinda sucks that an officer is being written up for the salad but the chief doesn't get one for misuse of an ambulance.
    NREMT-P\ Reserve Volunteer Firefighter\Reserve Police Officer
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  7. #7
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    What bothers me beyond the obvious misuse of the equipment, is that an officer was penalized for accepting a salad and a coke? As long as it wasn't a bribe (It may very well have been, but I'm assuming it wasn't), then who cares if someone gave the man something to eat? Even if it was a bribe, that's one hell of a cheap officer

    But, back to the topic, we're not allowed to directly take money. If offered, we direct them to donate the $$$ to the department itself and provide them with the appropriate forms. But just about every Christmas, Easter, Labor Day, July 4, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving, etc. we have an abundance of food donated from businesses and the like to the department...No one has ever raised a stink here....
    "Captain 1 to control, retone this as a structure and notify the fire chief...."

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  8. #8
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    Exclamation

    Send the dogcatchers to Ft. Lauderdale. There are some mutts at Fire HQ and City Hall!
    ‎"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."
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  9. #9
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    disciplined a police officer for accepting a Wendy's salad and soda worth $5.50. The officer got a written reprimand.
    That is weak.

    Now this officer will have this in his file and may get passed over when it comes time for promotions. And people wonder why we are so miserable all the time.......you get comped a 75 cent soda at a sub shop and its front page news the next day.

    And then the same dam lemmings want no no EXPECT a break when I pull them over!!!!!!!!!
    Last edited by stm4710; 05-01-2005 at 10:57 PM.
    I dont suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.

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