There has been a contentious relationship between firefighters and the Mayor of North Providence, Rhode Island, Charles Lombardi, for some time. Lombardi is himself a former firefighter. Yesterday WPRI-TV investigative reporter Tim White aired a 14-mont-old recording of Mayor Lombardi confronting Firefighter Thomas Guibealt because Lombardi says the firefighter insulted a member of the mayor’s family while off-duty in a bar. At the time Mayor Lombardi was dealing with a battle with the firefighters’ union over the closing of a fire station.
The recording was made last Spring at fire department headquarters at a meeting the mayor called that also included Chief Leonard Albanese and a battalion chief. The mayor told reporter White he was not aware someone was recording him but believes he acted appropriately:
Early video of house fire in Tinley Park, Illinois: A neighbor boy with a camera catches this one before firefighters arrive. Listen to the questions asking where is the fire department (did they call?). You can read a few more details about the fire here.
Fire engines, but no fire department: I urge you to take a few moments to watch the videos and read the information about the state of fire protection on Mudge Island in British Columbia. It is a place with two fire trucks and no real fire department. But the citizens have taken the matter, and the hose lines, into their own hands. Some of our readers find what they see inspiring. Other think it is ridiculous. Either way it sure is interesting. Click here.
Another police chief makes the case for taking over the fire department: In Auburn, Maine the acting fire chief feels the bosses showed disrespect toward him and the fire department for failing to include the fire service perspective in the city’s study of combining the police and fire departments. That job went to the police chief who says it could work just fine having public safety officers showing up at fires, putting down their weapons and going in to fight a fire. Watch the story.
Bourne’s back: For a while the Bourne Fire Department in Massachusetts just stayed in the news as the department dealt very publicly with a series of problems (click here and scroll down). The recent quiet from Bourne has now been broken. Two paramedics are claiming an on-call firefighter drove his personal vehicle recklessly through a crash scene on the way to a fire call. The medics says they were almost struck while tending to a patient. Here is the story.
Probation in hazing incident: A judge has given a year probation to three Connecticut firefighters and another person after a hazing incident we had told you about. This is where a 14-year-old member of the Quaker Hill Fire Department, who had pulled a chair out from underneath a firefighter’s girlfriend, found himself bound to a backboard, gagged and shot with an air gun. Here’s the update.
Consulting firm fired because it had never recommended layoffs: In Palo Alto, California a consultant was dropped midway through a staffing study of the fire department. Council members were shocked to learn the firm had never recommended layoffs in any of its previous studies. According to MercuryNews.com, some on the council were hoping the study would pave the way for cut backs. The official reason for the dropping of the consultant is a “conflict of interest”. Check out this line from the article – “they were surprised to learn at an April 20 finance committee meeting that consulting firm Emergency Services Consulting International was affiliated with an international fire chiefs union.” I knew those fire chiefs would eventually unionize.
What happens in Las Vegas may be shared with Clark County: With both Nevada jurisdictions in battles with firefighters over budget issues, leaders hope to share services like hazmat and heavy rescue in an effort to save money. Here is the latest.
CFSI: The Congressional Fire Services Institute’s National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner and Seminars start today. Click here for details.
It is Bonanza time: May 7 is the start of the two day Bonanza Extravaganza put on by the Professional Firefighters of Hagerstown, Maryland (IAFF Local 1605). This event, involving music, gaming, big money prizes and much more has become a real happening. The union says, through a foundation set up to handle the profits from the event, firefighters have given away hundreds of thousands of dollars to non-profits in the community and ”a $40,000 donation to Children’s Village that funded every second grader in Washington County to be able to attend a two day fire and police safety educational program”. Click here to read more background information on the event. Here’s the website.
Another fired DeKalb County, Georgia firefighter makes the case for reinstatement: William Greene goes public in his efforts to get his job back after being fired with four others following a botched response to help an elderly woman who said her house was on fire. Greene says he was not given complete information by dispatchers. Read the story.
Mayor’s fund raiser attracts firefighters: We have shared with you a number of stories about the relationship between North Providence Mayor Charles Lombardi and his firefighters (click here and scroll down for a recap). If you have read any of them you know that if a large group of firefighters showed up at a fund raiser for Lombardi it wasn’t because they were invited. There were about 250 firefighters with picket signs outside the restaurant last night. Click here for the story. Watch the video.
How sad: During a retired firefighter’s funeral in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, burglars broke into the home the firefighter shared with his brother. Read more.
Union called out for stealing story of 1953 fire: A paranormal researcher who had written a story in 2008 on the 55th anniversary of a nursing home fire that killed 33 people says IAFF Local 2427 reposted that same story on its site. The author says her name wasn’t on the story but credit inhstead was given to someone affiliated with the union. Here’s the story about the story, that we are crediting to TampaBay.com.
Man’s duck story apparently doesn’t hold water: The man admits he set the fire inside the Ride the Ducks building in Seattle. But the story about why he did it might quack you up. (Seriously, what kind of an idiot writes this junk?) Here’s the story.
A story you will want to see: They moved out of North Providence’s fire station on Douglas Avenue yesterday. Part of the Rhode Island city’s budget cutting. Mayor Charles Lombardi wants to see the property make money for the city. Captain John Cagno, in uniform and standing at the door of a fire department vehicle, makes it very clear he trusts his judgment and 28-years of experience that closing Engine 3 is a bad move. The mayor cites a study saying things will be just fine and is moving ahead in restructuring the fire department. Late yesterday a judge has ordered a temporary reopening of the station so the court can hear arguments in the union’s legal bid to stop the closing. This all follows an emotionally charged council meeting that Firegeezer has covered.
The answer to the question most asked of Dave Statter over the last two days: Number 1. (If you don’t know the question, don’t worry about it or click here.)
Christmas is back on in North Andover, Massachusetts. Officials now think better of ordering firefighters to remove the 50-year-old Merry Christmas sign from the front of the fire station. Click the image for the latest from WBZ-TV.
Now don’t go out on a limb: Five house fires in detached homes in one Detroit neighborhood yesterday evening are being called suspicious. Read the story and watch the video.
Arrest in fire we showed you yesterday: We topped yesterday’s Quick Takes with a fire in some closely built homes in Pendleton, Indiana. Now a woman has been arrested for starting the fire. News reports indicate that despite a restraining order she returned to her former home and set it on fire. Here’s the story.
Cindy Schuenke still battling: It has been a while since we caught up with Cindy Schuenke and her efforts to ride a fire engine again in Overland, Missouri, four years after burns that almost killed her. She is appealing her second firing. Here is the latest. Click here for a previous story.
Remembering six in Worcester: On the tenth anniversary of the Worcester Cold Storage fire there is a lot to read about that night. Click here, here, here and here to read more about the loss of Thomas Spencer, Tim Jackson, Jay Lyons, Jeremiah Lucey, Paul Brotherton and Joe McGuirk. Also, here is the link we brought you earlier in the week of the material Firefighter Close Calls put together about the fire.
New Haven promotion ceremony set for next Thursday: It was made official at the Board of Fire Commissioners meeting on Tuesday and the firefighters are already getting paid at the new rank. They will receive their badges on December 10 at 3:00 PM. Click here for more.
Raw video from Missouri house fire: This fire in the early morning hours of Tuesday was on Honeysuckle Lane around the corner from Battlefield Fire Protection District’s Station 1. According to the description with the video there were hydrant problems which delayed the fire attack. News reports indicate the fire started in the kitchen and there was enough water, but the closest hydrant was 1300 feet away.