Why register? ...To Enhance Your Experience
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    Forum Member MemphisE34a's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Memphis, TN - USA
    Posts
    2,515

    Default Ever wondered what your worth?

    CHARLESTON, S.C. --

    The city has agreed to pay $3,160 in fines but admits no wrongdoing in a furniture store fire that killed nine firefighters, according to a settlement with state regulators announced Monday.

    The city was initially fined $9,325 for four violations in the June 18 blaze at the Sofa Super Store, the nation's greatest loss of firefighters since the attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Thats $351.11 each - F'ing pitiful.
    Last edited by MemphisE34a; 12-05-2007 at 12:34 AM. Reason: cause I wanted
    RK
    cell #901-494-9437

    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Flanders, NJ
    Posts
    13,537

    Default

    I understand how you guys are looking at this. But let's think about this for a minute.

    What possible good could it do for the State to financially punish the FD for mistakes they made in this fire? There is no city in the US where there is a surplus of money. If Charleston is like all of these other cities, the money is going to have to come from money used for city services-the fire department included. In essence, you would be making it that much more difficult to get money to the FD for equipment and training.

    And what is the State going to do with the money? If it is like NJ, the money is going directly into the general treasury along with all of the other money the politicians **** away.

    Neither one of these scenarios seems to do anything to accomplish the number one thing that should be happening right now; bringing the Charleston FD up to the standards that befit a US urban FD. The insurance co. doesn't pay this type of fine.

    I am not talking about civil lawsuits filed by the victims. That it is the venue to financially punish a party who has committed a civil wrong. That process will bring all of this stuff out into the open and is an appropriate venue for that to happen.

    But I don't think this settlement with the State reflects at all on the guys who died.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

  3. #3
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Maryland (DC Suburb)
    Posts
    5,738

    Default

    Who are they paying this fine to??
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  4. #4
    Forum Member MemphisE34a's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Memphis, TN - USA
    Posts
    2,515

    Default

    George,

    Good points and an angle that I definitely had not thought of.

    However, if an investigating agency concludes that there were violations and decides to levy fines against you, me, or in this case the City of Charleston as a deterrent to future wrong doing, it would seem the fine or punishment would be more substantial than $351.11 per LIFE.

    I do agree with you that Charleston will most likely be paying much more as a result of future allegations, this just feels a whole lot like a slap in the face.
    RK
    cell #901-494-9437

    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Flanders, NJ
    Posts
    13,537

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    George,

    Good points and an angle that I definitely had not thought of.

    However, if an investigating agency concludes that there were violations and decides to levy fines against you, me, or in this case the City of Charleston as a deterrent to future wrong doing, it would seem the fine or punishment would be more substantial than $351.11 per LIFE.

    I do agree with you that Charleston will most likely be paying much more as a result of future allegations, this just feels a whole lot like a slap in the face.
    You and I are not governmental agencies. The chance that a hefty monetary fine would deter us from screwing up in the future is high. With a governmental agency, due to changes at the top that occur almost annually, there is almost zero chance that it would be a deterent.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

  6. #6
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    69

    Default Outside the box

    I'm looking at this a different way. When the FD goes to the city council and askes for 4 man staffing they can say NFPA requires it AND the state ALSO says you should follow it. I see it as another vantage point that the FD can use as leverage to bring the FD up to what they need to do a better job.

  7. #7
    Forum Member MemphisE34a's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Memphis, TN - USA
    Posts
    2,515

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gallagher4663 View Post
    I'm looking at this a different way. When the FD goes to the city council and askes for 4 man staffing they can say NFPA requires it AND the state ALSO says you should follow it. I see it as another vantage point that the FD can use as leverage to bring the FD up to what they need to do a better job.
    Agreed.

    But, the council is also going to look at the expenditure required for the extra firefighters compared to the cost of non-compliance. Therefore, the leverage would be even higher if the fire department goes to the council and says NFPA requires it, the state requires it, and when we previously ignored these recommendations it cost us $90,000 after we lost 9 firefighters. Even that would only equate to the salary of 2-3 firefighters there. How many would they have to hire to get 4 on every rig? I don't know, but it would probably cost them millions.

    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    You and I are not governmental agencies. The chance that a hefty monetary fine would deter us from screwing up in the future is high. With a governmental agency, due to changes at the top that occur almost annually, there is almost zero chance that it would be a deterent.
    I understand. It may have been in the article and I missed it, but what agency with the state levied these fines. I know that OSHA and the state equivalents are capable and often issue fines that are in the $10,000 - $25,000 fine per offense and can be citied against any employers - private or public.
    Last edited by MemphisE34a; 12-05-2007 at 09:57 AM.
    RK
    cell #901-494-9437

    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Flanders, NJ
    Posts
    13,537

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post

    I understand. It may have been in the article and I missed it, but what agency with the state levied these fines. I know that OSHA and the state equivalents are capable and often issue fines that are in the $10,000 - $25,000 fine per offense and can be citied against any employers - private or public.
    You're right. But I have investigated a slew of incidents with OSHA involvement. I can not think of one incident where they didn't initially levy staggering fines, and ended up settling for pennies. The objective with those administrative agencies is to close the case without going to court-for a variety of reasons.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

  9. #9
    Forum Member Haweater's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    THE Rock, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    141

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    George,

    Good points and an angle that I definitely had not thought of.

    However, if an investigating agency concludes that there were violations and decides to levy fines against you, me, or in this case the City of Charleston as a deterrent to future wrong doing, it would seem the fine or punishment would be more substantial than $351.11 per LIFE.

    I do agree with you that Charleston will most likely be paying much more as a result of future allegations, this just feels a whole lot like a slap in the face.
    Don't worry, the final tally will be much much higher. With fines, they pay them and admit being wrong or go to court and fight them. When they lose, you end up with the same end, they are guilty of something that directly resulted in the deaths of the firefighters.
    That will come into play with the civil suits by the families as they won't be able to come up with a defense that they did no wrong - it's either gone through court or they've plead guilty and paid the fines. Only thing to determine in the civil action is how much will go to the families - the ones who should get it.
    G
    Nobody ever called the fire department for doing something smart.

  10. #10
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    2 miles past sane 3 miles before crazy
    Posts
    288

    Default

    By settling with OSHA, out of court with reduced fines, you do NOT admit fault to the violations. You are just agreeing to pay the fine. This actually does help Charleston in future litigation, or at least it is supposed to with the way it is set up.

    This bit about not admitting wrongdoing was in the press release... twice.

    The city has agreed to pay $3,160 in fines but admits no wrongdoing in a furniture store fire that killed nine firefighters, according to a settlement with state regulators announced Monday.
    Under the settlement, the Fire Department was cited for two violations. However, the city "does not admit the truth of any alleged facts" in the citations, which claimed officials failed to enforce requirements on protective gear and breathing equipment, and which faulted its written procedures for command at fires.
    The opinions I post to these forums do not represent any entity to which I am affiliated.

  11. #11
    Forum Member Haweater's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    THE Rock, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    141

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ccfdblehman View Post
    By settling with OSHA, out of court with reduced fines, you do NOT admit fault to the violations. You are just agreeing to pay the fine. This actually does help Charleston in future litigation, or at least it is supposed to with the way it is set up.

    This bit about not admitting wrongdoing was in the press release... twice.
    I caught the part about not admitting any wrong doing. Cop out statement any lawyer will tell you to make when taking a deal, entering a plea for a fine that is cheaper that litigation etc. to CYA
    The thing any competent judge would be looking at though, is that the city would most certainly know that there would be civil litigation coming and that the city would know the importance of paying the fine.

    Simplified example - cop says I'm driving 70mph in a 50 zone. Car next to me on interstate was going faster than me and I claim cop was getting reading off other car. Cop drops charge to fine for 60 and fine isn't all that much. I send in payment because it's cheaper.
    Month later the insurance company sends a premium increase but I claim that I only paid the fine because it was cheaper, I wasn't speeding, it was the car next to me and the cop was an idiot.
    Guess what, I paid the fine; it's not a stated admission of guilt but it sure as hell isn't standing up and making it known that I'm not guilty.
    Hope the city has deep pockets.
    Nobody ever called the fire department for doing something smart.

  12. #12
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    2 miles past sane 3 miles before crazy
    Posts
    288

    Default

    I agree with you Haweater. I know how it is supposed to work... that when you pay the fine it reduces further liability. I also realize that it never works that way.
    The opinions I post to these forums do not represent any entity to which I am affiliated.

  13. #13
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    The Mistake On The Lake
    Posts
    470

    Default

    There is a reason every lawyer makes you have that cop out statement, it works.

    The City of Charleston has admitted no wrong, and in the event of a civil suit, the fact they paid the fine, can not be used to show any fault now. Any half way competant judge, would know better, than to rule based on an assumed fact, from a deal that in and of itself, admits no guilt on any side. The City of Charleston will settle any civil suit, just like everywhere else, because it will be cheaper in the long run than a drawn out civil case. However, it will have nothing to do with admitting guilt, or people assigning guilt. It will have everything to do with the bottom line... the money involved.

  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber ullrichk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Deleted by the forum gremlins
    Posts
    1,663

    Default

    Perhaps OSHA needs to assess a no-fault fine of $500,000 per fatality where an investigation warrants, reducible to $1 per fatality with an admission of wrongdoing.
    ullrichk
    a.k.a.
    perfesser

    a ship in a harbor is safe. . . but that's not what ships are for

  15. #15
    the 4-1-4 Jasper 45's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    ...A great place, on a Great Lake
    Posts
    2,783

    Default

    Instead of fines, they should be handing out jail terms to the powers that be.

    Fining city government only punishes the tax payer, who doesn't make department policy, and often has no clue how operations are conducted.

    The people who are found to be culpable here, in this case the department brass, or city leadership who set policy, jail time would be appropriate.
    A dollar value can never be placed on a human life. If the decisions that these 'leaders' make have a bearing on their lives, maybe they will seriously look into how things need to be run.

    Just a thought.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. For what's it worth
    By E40FDNYL35 in forum Career/Paid Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 11-03-2002, 02:06 AM
  2. Y....Because we're worth it!!!!!
    By Sub16Green in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 10-09-2002, 05:29 PM
  3. Y? Because we're worth it!!
    By Sub16Green in forum Career/Paid Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 06-11-2002, 03:44 PM
  4. What's It Worth to You?
    By rmoore in forum University of Extrication
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 03-25-2002, 02:14 PM
  5. what's it worth ?
    By Profireman in forum Thermal Imaging Cameras
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 10-04-2000, 10:39 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts