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    Default Fire NYC Fire Safety Compromised By FDNY Inspections

    VIDEO LINK: Officers union speaks to CBS2 regarding response delays to alarms.

    NYC Fire Safety Compromised By FDNY Inspections
    Emergency Service Response Times Delayed By New Requirements
    City Hall, NYC Landmarks 'Jeopardized'


    WCBS 2

    New York City's move to increase fire department building inspections in the wake of the Deutsche Bank fire has reportedly created chaos, delaying some units responding to emergencies. Union officials tell CBS 2, it could endanger lives.

    If fire breaks out at City Hall on any given morning, people inside the building might be out of luck.

    "Anybody in City Hall, including the Mayor and the city council would be in jeopardy," said Uniformed Fire Officers Association President John McDonnell.

    McDonnell told CBS 2 that under new fire department guidelines instated after the Deutsche Bank fire, five of the eight ladders and engine companies located below Canal Street would all be doing building inspections at the same time and could be delayed reaching City Hall, the Court Houses, 26 Federal Plaza and even the Stock Exchange. In emergencies, seconds count, said McDonnell.

    "There's always a delay and constantly over the department radios you can hear it, 99 engine will be saying we're responding but we're going to be delayed due to building inspection," said McDonnell.

    Documents were revealed to CBS 2 representing just a fraction of the delays that have been reported in the last three weeks.

    Union officials say the delays began occurring citywide after the fire department required its units to increase building inspections from six hours to nine hours a week.

    For example, Engine 10, located next door to the Deutsche Bank building missed two emergency calls Wednesday. Why?

    "They were on building inspection. In this particular case, they were on the 22nd floor of a building under construction," said McDonnell.

    The Union argues there should be a dedicated team of building inspectors so fire safety isn't compromised. But the fire department says it's too expensive. It would cost an estimated $26 million.

    The FDNY insists its new building inspection plan was well thought out and carefully planned. A spokesman said the new program will enhance firefighter safety and protect the public.

    FTM-PTB
    Last edited by FFFRED; 11-29-2007 at 09:42 AM.

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    Union officials say the delays began occurring citywide after the fire department required its units to increase building inspections from six hours to nine hours a week.
    Honest question. When they were doing 6 hours a week, were they then better able to schedule their inspections around other companies inspections, therefore not have so many out at once?
    "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?

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    I saw that on the rant didnt check it out yet. 26 million is nothing to a city with a 40+ billion dollar budget. It will be fun when ***** goes down in the 1st or 3rd divisions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42 View Post
    Honest question. When they were doing 6 hours a week, were they then better able to schedule their inspections around other companies inspections, therefore not have so many out at once?
    The problem was and still is that it is ineffective program that needs to be scrapped.

    When there were fewer periods a week....most companies weren't out at the same time...now you have adjoining Engine companies (sometimes 3 or more) out on BI at the same time. Sometimes the Engine and Ladder from the same house are out at the same time. It was always a problem...but now it is compounded by our Commissioners short sighted plan.

    The most insulting thing is that it is all a cover-up and smoke screen for the Administrations faults in regards to the Deaths of Fr. Bedia and Graffanio and their inaction on the Deutche Bank Fire. Much like the lifts of the Capt. Batt Chief and Deputy it is all to distract from those who are ultimately responsible for those men's untimely deaths.

    Also our BI districts don't jive with our 1st due areas either...So while My Engine is in their 1st Due on the 2nd Alarm territory(essentially 5th Due), the next Engine is on BI in their 2nd Due on the opposite end of their territory.

    And it gets worse...just remember we aren't looking at 1-story taxpayers...we could be on the 6th floor of a tenement or the 45th floor of a commercial highrise or the 22nd of a apartment building under construction (buildings under construction or demolition must be inspected every 15 days) and I can't even begin to tell you how long it takes to get a construction elevator when you need one.

    We routinely loose radio communications with the rig in some of these large buildings and we usually don't make it to the box or if we do we are severely delayed in getting there.

    Also recall that our idiot commissioner and COD takes companies out of service for training at the fire accademy, EEO training and other non-emergency issues. So there are even more companies not available for alarms. Delays...Delays...Delays....

    This is even without addressing some other very unplessant facts about the consistancy and effectiveness of AFID (now changed to BISP) when we are actually able to get to it.

    FTM-PTB

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    Default The Chief-Leader November 16, 2007

    Question FDNY Policies
    Unions: Inspection Changes All Smoke


    By ARI PAUL

    Firefighter unions denounced Fire Department changes in inspection procedures last week, calling them cosmetic, lacking in substance and counter-productive.


    NICHOLAS "Mr. Magoo" SCOPPETTA: Singed by unions.

    The changes were made in response to the Deutsche Bank building fire Aug. 18, which killed two Firefighters. It was later revealed that the department had not inspected the building, which was undergoing demolition, in more than a year, although protocol required an inspection every two weeks. An FDNY statement announced Nov. 7 the "Implementation of a third inspection period each week for every field unit, increasing the amount of time - six to nine hours - units will be scheduled for weekly building inspections," and "added oversight of field inspections by or at the Borough Command level, and additional oversight with compliance measures implemented at FDNY headquarters in Brooklyn."

    Boost Inspection Hours

    The department also announced a program to update software containing building inspections and making them more accessible, in addition to strengthening relations with the Department of Buildings and making inspections a bigger focus of probationary Firefighter training.

    It changed the name of the department's inspection program from Apparatus Field Inspection Duty (AFID) to the Building Inspection Safety Program (BISP).

    Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta explained in a statement, "By increasing inspection time and providing more tools and information to our members, these initial steps will give firefighters a better opportunity to uncover any challenges they may face while fighting fires. What they see could ultimately save their own life or the lives of others."

    UFOA: He Doesn't Listen

    Calling the changes "pathetic," a statement from the Uniformed Fire Officers Association claimed that the department's change to give units more inspection hours would increase response times. The union said it suggested to the department that it create a task force led by a Deputy Chief in each division with the assistance of a Battalion Chief whose only job would be conducting inspections. A Captain would supervise four to six inspection teams in each division. The teams would be made up of Firefighters and led by a Lieutenant.

    But, the union said in its statement, the "splendid idea went by the wayside."

    Uniformed Firefighters Association President Steve Cassidy said the department chose to give firefighters more work rather than hiring more people. "It's going to compromise public and firefighter safety," he said.

    John Bosco, the lawyer for and brother of Capt. Peter Bosco, one of the three fire officers who were reassigned after the Deutsche Bank building fire, also blasted the changes in an e-mail, saying the most notable difference was a new acronym for inspection duties.

    "Cool name change, Scoppetta," he said. "However, didn't you forget something while you were busy thinking about what to name the new baby? The defects in the FDNY's building inspection program that were exposed by the tragic August 18, 2007 fire at the Deutsche Bank building were that FDNY still lacks a plan to inspect toxic buildings and the local firehouses lack the ability - no training or safety gear - to safely do the inspections."

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    FFFred, thanks for the info.
    "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?

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    Offhand it sounds like a no brainer for NY city management. Considering the result of the Deutche Bank fire, the loss of life and the fault finding, for Ch*** sake hire some more building inspectors. I mean, this question could be put to a third grade class and they would probably come up with the same answer. I know in my old fire dept, the city had a fully staffed building inspection dept, the FD did work with them and quite often would co-operatively go along on building inspections. The idea about a dedicated team of fire fighters/officers conducting this job seems to be interesting, but maybe their talents are more valuable on the front lines. I can't see that in a city the size of NY that that cost could be the main reason for not doing this. Any possibility that if they hire more inspectors, they are tacitly admitting they F***ed up in the first place?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BryanLoader View Post
    Offhand it sounds like a no brainer for NY city management. Considering the result of the Deutche Bank fire, the loss of life and the fault finding, for Ch*** sake hire some more building inspectors. I mean, this question could be put to a third grade class and they would probably come up with the same answer. I know in my old fire dept, the city had a fully staffed building inspection dept, the FD did work with them and quite often would co-operatively go along on building inspections. The idea about a dedicated team of fire fighters/officers conducting this job seems to be interesting, but maybe their talents are more valuable on the front lines. I can't see that in a city the size of NY that that cost could be the main reason for not doing this. Any possibility that if they hire more inspectors, they are tacitly admitting they F***ed up in the first place?

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    Default The Chief-Leader

    News of the week January 18, 2008

    Dispute Whether FDNY Improved Response Speed
    By ARI PAUL

    The Fire Department Jan. 6 announced a reduction in average citywide response times for 2007 despite an increase in workload, but one FDNY union questioned the claim, contending that there has been slippage in response to structural fires.


    JOHN J. McDONNELL: 'A cheaper, slower FDNY.'

    In a statement, the department announced that "the average citywide response time to all incidents was 4 minutes and 49 seconds in 2007, a decrease from 4 minutes and 54 seconds in 2006. In 2005, the average citywide response time was 5 minutes and 9 seconds." It also reported that there was a 1.19-percent increase in incidents to which firefighters responded.

    'We're Better-Prepared'

    "With the addition of more advanced training and state-of-the-art equipment in 2007, we have ensured our firefighters and EMS members are better-prepared to respond to any crisis, any time, anywhere," Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta said in a statement. "This past year has proven that when it comes to handling emergencies, the FDNY does it better and faster than any other department in the world."

    But Uniformed Fire Officers Association President John J. McDonnell argued that the response time to structural fires, which averaged 4 minutes, 27 seconds for 2007, needed to be reduced.

    "Since the elimination of six engine companies in May 2003, we are experiencing significantly slower response times to fires, with an accompanying 15-percent increase in workload," he said in a statement.

    An FDNY spokesman responded that companies are responding faster and fire deaths have gone down. Calling the department a "slower, cheaper FDNY," Mr. McDonnell continued that "In 2002, the last full year of a full complement of 203 engine companies, total incidents were only 426,542, and average response time to structural fires was 4:13. Measured against those 2002 yardsticks, that is a staggering increase of almost 64,000 responses by 2007 (or 15 percent), with an accompanying 14-second delay in arrivals at the fire scenes."

    FTM-PTB

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    Quote Originally Posted by FFFRED View Post
    Also recall that our idiot commissioner and COD takes companies out of service for training at the fire accademy, EEO training and other non-emergency issues. So there are even more companies not available for alarms. Delays...Delays...Delays....
    so what is your point? you go out of service for stuff. it happens.

    I'm not a career FDNY FF, so please help me understand. Should firefighters just respond to fire calls? no EMS calls (let EMS handle them), no rescue calls (let ESU handle them), no hazmat calls (well, only the hazmat company should response to that), no BI (we should have a dedicated BI unit for that), no training at the fire academy (can't be out of service for training, not like training ever helped save anyone's life), they should only handle fire calls. This way you can minimize any and all delays right? or am I just taking what you suggest and expanding it to absurd proportions?

    But who knows, with additional fire inspectors who get hired performing those inspections, maybe overall fires will go down, which the bean counters to close more suppression companies. didn't norm actually mention this a while back?
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    Or, when thought about it reasonably....

    Let's say Fred would be getting four engines and a truck on his first alarm. Not sure if that's right, but that's what we're going with.

    Fred's engine crew is out on the fiftieth floor of a building under construction.

    The second due engine in his territory, is out with another BI, and they are in some subbasement somewhere, with no radio reception.

    The first due truck of Fred's alarm assignment, is out at the training academy, miles and miles away, and out of service.

    The third engine is in quarters doing regular drill and house work.

    The fourth engine is out at the grocery store getting the stuff for lunch. From reading, i would say this wouldn't be an unreasonable situation. So when the alarm comes in for a building fire.....

    Fred's crew is delayed responding and getting there, because they have to get off the fiftieth floor of this building, and are waiting ten minutes for the elevator.

    THe second crew didn't even hear the call, because no one has radio reception in that spot.

    Another truck is coming, but is also delayed because they are coming from somewhere outside of the first due area for that call.

    The third engine has a normal response, but ends up being first in by a good few minutes, because they were the only ones to actually be on the road in the required time.

    The fourth engine encounters only a slight delay while out, and makes it in a reasonable time as well.

    However, this means only two, of the intial FIVE assignments are filled in any kind of manner that could be considered timely. The fact what would normally be your third of fourth in is now assuming first in duties points to a problem. A truck isn't even coming from the first due, 2 of your engine crews are trying to even make it to the rig, much less respond. What about that isn't a problem.

    Fred doesn't seem to be advocating not training, he seems to be advocating letting fire fighters be able to respond timely to things like fire calls. Mandatory training at the fire academy, can be well and good. However, how many other department's effectively take the entire first alarm out of service at once, and then expect a better than average response.

    And Fred, please correct anything i may have misinterpreted. This is what i got from what you put. I'll gladly take this down if I've grossly misinterpreted the problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FFFRED View Post
    Also recall that our idiot commissioner and COD takes companies out of service for training at the fire accademy... Delays...Delays...Delays....
    Perhaps I'm naive here, but how many career departments don't take companies out of service for training at the academy?
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    Perhaps I'm naive here, but how many career departments don't take companies out of service for training at the academy?
    We do, but our county runs 1/4 of what FDNY does, doesnt have the traffic or the same size buildings. I know how long it takes to get from the 20th floor to the rig, but not 50th or more.
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    Sounds like the "national trend" is starting to hit the Bigger Cities.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    Perhaps I'm naive here, but how many career departments don't take companies out of service for training at the academy?
    We really don't care what passes for acceptable fire protection in other cities...I've been at jobs in both the Engine and Ladder when the other company is OOS for BullSh*t as I've listed above. It isn't pleasant for us and it is certainly less plessant for the civilians either awaiting a hoseline or Forcible entry and rescue...people are already dead from delays...this is documented.

    Just because other cities run with less men or like Detroit have rolling compnay closings doesn't make it acceptable or desirable. We are the financial center of the world and certainly have the money to avoid such inadequacies in fire protection.

    Training should be done without compromising the field strength of the Department...our mission is to put out fires and we can't do that while sitting in a classroom/brainwashing us with EEO sillyness or whatever nonsense the liberal protected classes can come up with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    Perhaps I'm naive here, but how many career departments don't take companies out of service for training at the academy?
    Being taken out of training to drill on job functions is one thing. Being taken out of service for speciality training is one thing.

    Being taken out of service and crossing a City for EEO training that could be done in house is another. Being taken out of service and crossing a City for HIPA training or some other form of training that can be done in house......you get the idea.
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    My earlier statment was a bit tongue-in-cheek.

    Fred: In your opinion (or the department's opinon) what ARE acceptable reasons to go out of service? Are there any? Let's not even mention drug tests!

    Dave: We're in the same boat. My statement was directed about training only. I do understand and agree that responding to an alarm from the 20th floor is taking to take valuable time away from the response.

    Doc: I agree. Like you, I work in a department with an advanced in-house television production group that allows us to do much of this training in quarters.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoxAlarm187 View Post
    My earlier statment was a bit tongue-in-cheek.

    Fred: In your opinion (or the department's opinon) what ARE acceptable reasons to go out of service? Are there any? Let's not even mention drug tests!
    The only acceptable reasons are unforseen emergencies.

    Fires, MVA, Gas leaks...etc. And the rig suddendly breaks down.

    Anything that is schedualed...or planned. Can be schedualed or planned at other times.

    FTM-PTB

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