Cincinnati Firefighters threatened to be arrested
CINCINNATI (AP) -- A team of volunteers from the Cincinnati Fire Department are back on the streets of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, after officials told them they'd be arrested if they tried to help the city's fire department.
Caught in red tape, the team had to clear their volunteer emergency services with the governor and the health department Saturday.
Hattiesburg Fire Chief Jim Fiero says a Health Department official told team members Thursday to ignore emergency calls.
The team was kept off the street for a day while officials put in calls to the governor's office and the Health Department.
They were back Saturday morning.
Fiero says if the Health Department order stood, volunteer operations along the Gulf Coast could have been shut down.
He says the volunteers should not be caught up in so much red tape.
The team operates the ambulance service in Cincinnati and brought an ambulance to Hattiesburg.
Thanks to the Cincinnati firefighters
I was on duty as the officer over emergency operations in Hattiesburg the day that the order came down to stop the Cincinnati Ambulance from responding. This was nothing more than a political play by our private ambulance service who were thought the the Cincinnati guys were going to transport a patient, thus taking some of their money! They managed to get someone in state govt to agree with them! The guys that came down from Ohio to assist us were a great help and the average citizen as well as the Hattiesburg Fire Dept, along with our city government did appericate the help. Their ambulance was here for the firefighters only! I worked 48 hour shifts, on the command truck with one of the Cincinnati District Chiefs, thus getting to work with two different shifts of our helpers and they were all fantastic. I hope and pray that our brother firefighters across the country did not see this incident as nothing more than it was, a business that cares more for profits than people along with a govt offical that has his head in the sand.
Truth is our ambulance service is scared that we are going to take over, and this may be what we need to do to serve our citizens better. We respond to many medical emergencies and our response time usually beats theirs by an average of 5 minutes. Minutes count. It has gotten to were their Director has ordered (thats a joke) our department to NOT respond to medical emergencies until they get on scence and ask for it. Is this the way to protect the citizens of our city? I think not!
Again, they guys from Cincinnati were great, they all volunteered to come down here, giving up their lives, to help out brothers in need.
Thanks to all of the people who has assisted us in these trying times. I have seen firefighters from all over the country here is South Mississippi dedicating their time and efforts. I hope that whenever help is needed by our brothers in antother state t hat we will be able to return the favor.
Marion is right, FEMA is a joke!