Volunteer firefighters in Lee Center walk out
1/2/2006 11:48 PM
By: News 10 Now Web Staff
All 35 volunteer firefighters in the Oneida County Town of Lee Center have turned in their gear, and Chief Kenneth Baker Junior says they have decided not to respond to any calls.
The move follows the fire commission's decision Monday night not to approve the chief, or the first and second assistant chiefs. No word what prompted that decision.
So what does this mean for those of you living in Lee center? Oneida County 911 tells us that every fire department has a mutual aid policy in place, which means nearby fire departments would respond if need be.
Lee Center is 52 miles from Syracuse, NY
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Thread: CNY Fire Department Walk Out
01-03-2006, 01:01 AM #1
CNY Fire Department Walk OutChris Shields
Lieutenant / EMT
East Syracuse Fire Dept
Onondaga County, NY
01-03-2006, 08:14 AM #2
Before everyone jumps on the "firefighters don't walk out" bandwagon, I have to ask: WHY DID THE COMMISIONERS NOT APPROVE THE CHIEF OFFICERS? If it is the departments job to select who leads them, and they selected who they wanted to, but the commisioners said no, why?
further, are the commisioners legally permitted to do this? where I come from, fire commisioners are primarily responsible for financial oversight. The department actually has a contract with the district to provide fire protection. So the department operates as it so choses, as follows it's own bylaws (as well as the rules of the districts). The district has no say, except for maybe the approval of the Chief of the Department, because a justification can be made that he or she operates as a representative and extention of the district.
Final thought: the commisioners obviously don't trust their firefighters to select their own leadership, why should they trust the firefighters to fire fires and protect their district?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!
01-03-2006, 09:40 AM #3
Yup, screw the people you are supposed to be protecting, someone else will take your calls. WHY are they firefighters?
Here's a novel idea, elect new commissioners. You will never justify a walkout to me. It will solve nothing and the FD will look like cry babies in the end."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?
01-03-2006, 09:45 AM #4
- Join Date
- May 2002
- Now in Victoria, BC. I'm from beautiful Jasper Alberta in the heart of the Can. Rockies - will always be an Albertan at heart!
Just saw this thread a minute ago ... started by someone in that department.
http://forums.firehouse.com/showthread.php?t=77184September 11th - Never Forget
I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.
IACOJ CRUSTY CONVENTION CHAIR
RAY WAS HERE FIRST
01-03-2006, 11:01 AM #5
- Join Date
- Oct 2005
NY State Town Laws, s716 (I don't how to make that fancy legal "s")
Fire commissioners powers include:
10. May organize, operate, maintain and equip fire companies,
including the purchase of uniforms to be used by the members of such
companies, and provide for the removal of such members for cause.
11-a. The members of the fire department of the fire district shall
meet at a time and place designated by the board of fire commissioners
...to nominate persons for the offices of chief and such assistant chiefs as
may be provided for in the rules and regulations adopted by the board of
...The person acting as secretary of
such meeting shall promptly notify the fire district secretary in
writing of such nominations. The board of fire commissioners at its
meeting next succeeding the making of such nominations shall consider
the same and shall appoint such persons to the offices to which they
have been respectively nominated or, if a nomination is not approved the
board of fire commissioners shall call another meeting of the members of
the fire department at which a new nomination shall be made to take the
place of any nomination not approved, which procedure shall continue
until a full set of officers is approved. Any such person shall assume
the duties of his office as soon as he has been appointed thereto by the
board of fire commissioners and shall serve until his successor is
I'm not a lawyer, and there could be a fair bit of case law to add to / clarify the statutes in NY. And the law is very, very wordy as it is.
But the statute sure reads that the Fire Companies do not elect their Chief -- they "nominate" them and the Commissioners appoint someone nominated. Now, they may go round-and-round until the fire company nominates someone the commissioners are willing to accept.
And the old Chief is Chief until a new is appointed, unless they're specifically removed for cause (arson, unspecified causes, etc).
I posted #10 here to for one good reason -- talk about shooting yourself in the foot. Sorry, I seldom support or see job actions like this working. You see these situations in the news 2 or 3 times every year, and I think I've only seen one that was "won" by the firefighters.
If there was a dispute, take it to the lawyers if you think it's unlawful, take it to the ballot box if you think it's political. Or do both.
By turning in their gear and openly refusing to respond, the members sure just gave any Commissioners they're ****ing with the grounds to invoke the "removal of such members for cause" clause. Commissioners could very easily now just turn around and say, "We have no members, the department therefore is ineffective, so we're contracting with xyz effective immediately, changing the station locks, and assigning the equipment to another department."
01-03-2006, 02:58 PM #6
- Join Date
- Oct 2002
- The North East
More proof of why elected officers should not be allowed. Too much bias, nepotism, good ole boys, etc. Any one who must supervise anyone or any operation in this business should be forced to take tests to prove their competance, be they verbal, written of performance based.
01-03-2006, 05:42 PM #7Originally Posted by SIGNAL99COMShawn M. Cecula
IACOJ Division of Fire and EMS
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