A Mike Legeros picture from a few year’s ago at the Firegeezer/STATter911 booth at Firehouse Expo back when young Rhett Fleitz had hopes and dreams of taking over the STATter911.com empire. He’s grown up a bit since and now has his own dreams and aspirations (and special events). See more below. I’m very proud of him.
Once again, I get to hang out with my friend Firegeezer Bill Schumm over the next few days as I head back to my home town of Baltimore, Maryland for Firehouse Expo. We are again in Booth #743. I’m only there part-time due to other duties, but I will announce on Facebook & Twitter when I am staffing the booth on the off chance someone would want to stop by and chat with me.
You will also see me popping in at the MN8-Foxfire booth (#228) the folks who bring you those great illuminating products, including my good friends Zach Green and Capt. Willie Wines (and a great crew to help you find the product you are looking for). As you know, MN8-Foxfire is a STATter911.com site sponsor, helping me make sure you get the best in fire videos and news.
But a prank in Houston is making headlines and has Jeffrey Caynon, the president of the Houston Professional Firefighters Association, telling KHOU-TV, “We have a storied history in the fire service in terms of pranks and jokes. But I think everybody understands that there’s a limit and where that limit is.”
I am guessing if eveyone really did understand the limit, Houston’s Office of Inspector General wouldn’t be investigating some of the members (or at least one of the member’s members) of Houston Fire Department Station 29.
HFD sources told KHOU 11 News that the incident occurred last month at Fire Station 29. According to sources, it involved a firefighter who allegedly placed his privates or a sex object on the back and neck area of another firefighter.
Sources said the incident may have been intended as a prank, but it prompted an official complaint and an OIG investigation.
Firefighters in Wayne Township, Indiana think a trio of thieves waited for just the right moment to grab a TV from a firehouse. The delayed closing of the bay doors and others in the station sleeping while firefighters handled a medical call was that moment.
The incident happened at Wayne Township Fire Station 84, 7606 W. 10th St., the fire department said.
It was late Tuesday night – nearing midnight – when fire crews left the station for the medical situation. Fire officials said they believe people were waiting for firefighters to be called away so they could steal the TV. Although other personnel were in the station at the time of the crime, they were asleep.
Former Columbia Township, Michigan on-call firefighter Michael Freislinger told WOOD-TV the night of a deadly crash where a woman and two children died he “was not acting as a firefighter” when he went to the scene. He claims he was a just a good Samaritan who happened to hear of the accident on his scanner and went to help out law enforcement or medics in any way he could. Freislinger says he didn’t have any gear with him.
Freislinger told reporter Ryan Takeo he is now considering legal action against the Columbia Township Fire Department for firing him for violating department protocal that only allows the chief, assistant chief and captain to go directly to the scene of an incident instead of the firehouse. The firehouse was 9.2 miles away from Freislinger while the scene of the November 13 wreck in Van Buren County’s Geneva Township was half that distance.
Citing policy, the department’s chief did not comment on the story for WOOD-TV.
“I heard all this stuff going on the police scanners — that there were children involved and there were bodies all over the place. So I went to the scene and gave a hand, whether it be with traffic with the police or CPR with the medics on scene,” said Frieslinger.
Freislinger admitted he has gone straight to scenes before and was on probation violating other department rules, all of which he disputes.
He said he doesn’t want his job at Columbia Township back. “Just a clean slate so I can put in my applications in other departments,” he said.
Freislinger went to Tuesday evening’s township board meeting to try and get his record cleared. He said the township supervisor told him the board is investigating.
Three Nashville firefighters accused of paying for sex and having women strip at a local firehouse resigned Thursday as the fire department and Metro police continue their investigation of the allegations.
Quincy Corbitt, Kerry Sales and Jason Copeland resigned, while Capt. James Overton remains under investigation. Another firefighter, Darrin Bell, was cleared of any wrongdoing.
“Evidence showed that most likely these allegations did occur on multiple occasions, at least three times that we know of, at (Fire Station 24 on Clarksville Highway),” said Deputy Fire Chief Kim Lawson. “Obviously, it’s awful. We think that it’s very disrespectful to the citizens in that area, disrespectful to the Nashville Fire Department, to their co-workers and to the people they work for: Metro government.”
This incident came to light in late August when Metro police responded to General Hospital in regard to a woman who believed that she may have been drugged after visiting the Antioch home of Copeland.
In addition, the 23-year-old told officers that she and two friends had actually been to a fire hall on at least one occasion when Copeland was present to strip for money. There were also allegations of a woman or women performing sex acts for money.
Days later, during a police interview with Copeland, detectives learned that he was being extorted by a friend of the 23-year-old woman.
Copeland reported that he was called by suspected gang member Ray Dontrell Johnson, 26, and told that there would be “blood” if Copeland did not leave $500 at the Clarksville Pike Pizza Hut.
Copeland’s employment was also allegedly threatened by the disclosure of his relationship with the 23-year-old.
A suspected gang member and another man are under arrest in Nashville, Tennessee. Five firefighters are suspended with pay. Police say the case involves an attempt to extort a firefighter by a local gang and charges of sex at the firehouse
Capt. James Overton, engineer Kerry Sales, firefighters Darrin Bell and Quincy Corbitt from Station 24 and firefighter Jason Copeland from Station 11 were placed on paid administrative leave after fire officials learned about the incident.
According to sources, Copeland took three females to Station 24 in the Bordeaux area on Aug. 21. At the station, the women allegedly stripped for money, then performed sex acts.
The case began when a 23-year-old woman on Saturday told Metro Police that she suspected she had been drugged when she went to a firefighter’s home. She also told police that she was at a fire station while someone stripped and another person performed sex acts for money.
When Metro Police questioned the firefighter in the drugging allegation, identified as Jason Copeland, he told them that he was being extorted by a suspected Gangster Disciple gang member for his relationship with the woman.
Deputy Chief Kim Lawson said Sales, Corbitt and Copeland participated in the firehall incident, but Bell wasn’t on duty that day and Overton was asleep.
Metro police spokesperson Don Aaron said the investigation began Saturday when officers responded to Metro General Hospital in regard to a 23-year-old woman who believed she may have been drugged while visiting the Antioch home of Nashville firefighter Jason Copeland.
In an interview Tuesday, Copeland, 32, told police he was being extorted by a friend of the woman.
The beautiful and very talented Mary Arnold, owner of Box Alarm Leather, visited Booth #743 at the Baltimore Convention Center on Thursday. Mary brought two things with her, her husband Andrew (not as beautiful and talented, but a great guy) and a surprise gift for the publisher of this rag you are reading. The present is in the picture above and the Arnolds are in the one below.
Apparently Mary must be familiar with someone who is a Keyboard Incident Commander (KIC) at STATter911.com. So, now that we have a shield for KICs we need to work on certification and continuing education. While at Firehouse Expo I was engaged in discussions with some of the top fire service educators in the nation about providing the courses. I don’t have a lot of details yet, but the one thing I am certain about from these talks is that whatever we come up with will involve sending me a lot of money. That’s something we like at STATter911.com.
If you are not aware, Box Alarm Leather specializes in handcrafted custom leather fire helmet shields and firefighter radio straps. Please check them out. An exceptional product from exceptional people. I still haven’t stopped chuckling over this.
Thursday’s NFFF 9-11 Memorial Stair Climb was, as always, a joy to witness. If you missed it, there was a lot of news coverage. You can read and watch those stories here, here, here, here, here, here and here.
One of the other high points for me at Firehouse Expo was the Chief’s Leadership Forum on Wednesday. Thanks to all of those who were at the session and helped further the discussion on handling bad news.
Documenting the booth’s visitors, as usual, was Mike Legeros of Legeros Fire Blog fame. Mike shows up each year just to take pictures of old broken down firefighters to go along with the many photos he has of old and broken down firehouses.
But Mike went for the younger crowd too with his visit to the MN8-Foxfire booth. Each time we stopped by, MN8-Foxfire President Zach Green begged me to take THE Fire Critic Rhett Fleitz back. But all the geezers at the Firegeezer booth said no. They were enjoying not having the disruptive environment of a teenager under foot as in previous years. The only way they would take Rhett back is with his guardian IronFiremen.com’s Willie Wines Jr. to provide adult supervision. Zach was not about to give up Willie. Willie is way too valuable to the MN8-Foxfire operation (read Fireboy’s somewhat fictional account of Expo).
Below is a complilation of Mike’s pictures from three days embedded with the Geezer Gang (which includes actual geezers and geezers in training). Missing from the booth this year was our friend FossilMedic Mike Ward who couldn’t join us because of business obligations. It just wasn’t the same without you Mike. Notice I didn’t say it was worse Mike. Just not the same.
While some members of the Hummels Wharf Fire Department responded on an engine to a car crash around 11:00 PM, two people were calling Snyder County 911 about a fight at the fire station. According to news reports, the fight between two members occurred right after a company meeting where one of the men found out he would no longer be the assistant chief. A deputy chief confirms both men had been drinking before and after the meeting. Police say they were stretched a little thin handling both the accident and the fight.
State police at Selinsgrove say Tony D. Wells, 37, of Hummels Wharf, became angry during the meeting when he lost a bid for retention as assistant chief. Wells started swearing at various members. When another officer, Bruce W. Bickel, 47, of Shamokin Dam, headed toward his office, Wells accosted him, tackling Bickel into a stack of chairs. Several individuals restrained Wells.
During the melee, Wells struck his head on the ballot box being carried by Bickel, causing him to bleed. Bickel suffered scratches to his face and neck and a shoulder injury. Afterwards, Wells also threatened to beat up Christopher J. Eppley, 20, of Hummels Wharf, according to police.
The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation has been working with the family of Hal Bruno to coordinate funeral arrangements. The funeral will take place at 11:00 am on Friday, November 11 at Temple Shalom, 8401 Grubb Road, Chevy Chase, Maryland. The event will be open to anyone wishing to attend. For fire service coordination issues please contact Victor Stagnaro at 240-508-7731 or John Proels at 301-712-7201.
Family, friends and fire service members will be received between 1:00 and 5:00 pm in the Anastasi Room at the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad, 5020 Battery Lane, Bethesda, Maryland.
Flowers can be sent directly to Temple Shalom, and will be displayed in the front lobby of the synagogue. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, PO Drawer 498, Emmitsburg, Maryland 21727 and marked In Memory of Hal Bruno. A special fund has been established to memorialize his years of service and accomplishments within the American Fire Service Community.
On behalf of the Bruno Family the Foundation would like to express their sincere appreciation for all of the outpouring of love, concern and sympathy received. It truly is a fitting tribute for what Hal meant to all of us and a testament to the legacy he leaves.
To me, Hal Bruno is one of the most important figures in the history of this country's fire service. Hal died last night at age 83. I imagine that many of the younger firefighters and a few older ones who read this site aren't familiar with the name Hal Bruno. Hal wasn't a fire chief and his expertise wasn't in fireground tactics, hazardous materials, truck company or engine company operations. Hal's specialty was firefighters. He was the best friend a firefighter and the fire service could have.
But Hal Bruno wasn't the friend who just slapped you on the back and told you what you wanted to hear. Hal cared enough to tell us all what we needed to hear.
Whether it was through his "Fire Politics" column in Firehouse Magazine, or in countless talks and presentations at conventions and seminars, or privately with fire chiefs and union leaders, Hal Bruno provided invaluable guidance, counseling and advice on how the fire service could win the hearts and minds of the American public, elected officials and other government leaders. The effort behind the victory at the polls in Ohio for firefighters and other government workers at the same time Hal was leaving us is right out of the Hal Bruno playbook.
Hal knew that it took a lot more than just doing the job of fighting fires and saving lives to secure the resources needed to have an effective fire department that is properly supported by the people it serves. Hal Bruno's decades of work helped create the modern fire service leader who not only knows his or her way around the fireground but who can also navigate the corridors of City Hall or Congress and answer the tough questions from a reporter.
Hal shared with all those connected to the fire service what he learned from his long career as a political reporter. He was a distinguished observer of the political scene. After 18 years at Newsweek, Hal Bruno became the political director for ABC News. He had direct contact with those elected to lead this country. In 1992 Hal moderated the Vice Presidential debate between Dan Quayle, Al Gore and James Stockdale. It was one of the liveliest of these type of debates (click here and take a look for yourself) with the unflappable Hal Bruno in the middle of it trying to keep order. A style that served him well when he kept the politicians and the fire chiefs (and their egos) in check after assuming the role of MC at the annual National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner in Washington.
But Hal Bruno did show bias and exactly where he stood when it came to firefighters. As Hal related to many, he was practically raised in a Chicago firehouse and always felt indebted to firefighters. He later became a volunteer firefighter and was a member of many fire service organizations, including DC's Friendship Fire Association. It was not unusual to see Hal on a multi-alarm fire in the Nation's Capital handing out coffee on a cold winter's night.
Being there for firefighters took on a new meaning, well beyond providing refreshments and giving advice on politics, when Hal Bruno became a charter member of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation's Board of Directors in 1993. In a big way, Hal Bruno was now able to practice what he had been preaching to firefighters for so many years. He used his political skill and insight to help guide the Foundation in its role of honoring the fallen and caring for their survivors. In 1999 he took over as Chairman of the Board.
His accomplishments in that role were many. They will long have impact on the safety and well-being of firefighters and the survivors of those who died in the line of duty. Current Chairman Dennis Compton and Executive Director Ron Siarnicki continue to build on that legacy.
In his final years as chairman, Hal Bruno worked tirelessly to make sure the families of fallen firefighters received federal benefits promised them. I listened to Hal, of course, explain the politics behind the issue as we stood watching the Georgetown Library burn in April, 2007.
At that time I had already been listening to Hal for almost 40 years. I first became aware of his as a young teenager reading my parents' Newsweek. But the name Hal Bruno became permanently etched in my mind in1974, the same year I became a volunteer firefighter. What caught my attention was an article he had written for Argosy Magazine about the 1958 Our Lady of the Angels fire in Chicago that killed 92 school children and three nuns. It was a tragedy that Hal Bruno witnessed. Hal's recounting of that event and his analysis of fire safety in the United States made such an impression on me, to this day, I have held onto that magazine.
Like many of you, I also became a big fan of Hal's columns on politics when Firehouse began publishing in 1976. In 1983 I finally got to meet Hal Bruno. That was when Rich Adams, the editorial director at Channel 9, who worked across the alley when I was a reporter at WTOP Radio, invited me to a cookout at the Bruno home in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
Hal and Rich were close friends who shared a bond of journalism, bluegrass music and the fire service. Rich wrote the EMS column for Firehouse and was a long time member of the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad.
While jazz is more my style, I was on board with the rest of what these two had to offer. In fact, both Hal and Rich were important influences on my career. They showed me how to combine a job in broadcast news with a passion for firefighting. In addition, when I went to work at Channel 9 in 1985, Hal and Rich each gave me a great deal of encouragement, and even some news tips.
In 1996 Hal asked me to fill in for an ill Rich Adams, who each year hosted the annual satellite telecast of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Memorial Service. When Hal called I really wasn't sure this was something I should be doing as a reporter who covered the fire service. Hal reassured me that it was fine and essentially held my hand through the first year's broadcast. Sadly, Rich passed away not long after Memorial Weekend. I kept coming back to Emmitsburg year after year because no one, including Hal, told me not to. I was learning that this connection to NFFF was something quite important to me and will always be grateful to Hal for making it a part of my life.
Despite all that I've written here, I am not the biggest Hal Bruno fan in my family. That honor goes to my wife Hillary Howard. In 2002 Hillary helped produce the Candlelight Service for Memorial Weekend when it was held in Washington, DC because of the large loss from September 11, 2001. She will tell you that the highlight of those couple of months was working with Hal.
Hillary often talks about Hal's warmth, charm, intelligence, smile and quiet strength. All of those attributes were still on display for us one last time, a month ago, as we stopped and chatted with Hal and his beautiful wife Meg in the dining hall at Emmitsburg at the end of Memorial Weekend. As we caught up, the conversation quickly turned to a mutual friend who had recently found himself forced out of a fire department job. Hal Bruno, of course, wanted to hear all about the politics behind this move.
It should be noted that Hal Bruno died on election day.
An arrest was made last night after the latest in a series of five attacks at Toledo, Ohio firehouses since Wednesday. Arrested is the son of Chief Mike Wolever. Chief Wolever retired on July 1 of this year.
Kevin Wolever is a civilian fire inspector for Toledo who went on administrative leave earlier in the week. Wolever was arrested after a bullet was fired into Station 6 last night. The bullet ricocheted and struck a firefighter in the chin.
Shot were fired outside Station 6 and Station 9 on Wednesday. An incendiary device was discovered burning at Station 18 on Thursday. On Friday, damage from a bullet was noticed on the door of a fire truck at Station 18.
As you will hear in the press conference, Kevin Wolever was identified early on as a suspect and had been under surveillance by police.
Kevin P. Wolever 32, the son of former Toledo Fire Chief Mike Wolever, has been arrested and booked in connection with the recent series of incidents against fire stations in Toledo.
Wolever a Toledo fire inspector, is charged with felonious assault and improperly handling a firearm and one count of shooting into a habitation. Saturday night Wolever fired a shot at the exterior fire station 6 on Star Avenue in east Toledo. The bullet hit a fireman in the chin, he was not severely injured.
Wolever was arrested soon after the incident Saturday night near fire station 6. At the time of his arrest he was wearing a ballistic vest and had a nine-millimeter gun in his possession, with two full clips and one shell missing. Police recovered a nine-millimeter shell and casing at the scene.
According to Fire Chief Santiago, Kevin Wolever went on paid administrative leave earlier this week for an undisclosed reason. He says that Wolever was having "issues" but did not go into any further detail.
Wolever is charged with felonious assault and improperly discharging a firearm into a habitation. Wolever is set to be arraigned Monday at 9:00am in Toledo Municipal Court.
From the AP:
The son of a former Toledo fire chief has been arrested in connection with a string of attacks at city fire stations.
The Blade (http://bit.ly/r8bdcb ) newspaper reports that Kevin P. Wolever was taken into custody Saturday night. In a Sunday morning news conference, authorities had announced that he is expected to be charged with felonious assault and shooting into a habitat.
Wolever, a city fire inspector, is the son of former Toledo Fire Chief Mike Wolever, who retired July 1. A phone number listed for the former chief had been disconnected as of Sunday afternoon.
Toledo firehouses had been attacked five times this week, including gunshots outside of 2 stations and a burning package found outside of a third. Officials did not give a motive for the attacks.
You have watched and read the battles concerning EMS in the Nation’s Capital over the last three years here at STATter911.com. I have been covering the very same issue from my first days at Channel 9 25 years ago and before that at WTOP Radio. But the problems precede my reporting.
The video above has two stories from the late Bob Strickland in 1976 reporting on difficulties during the early stages of providing ALS in Washington, DC.
Below is a half-hour special (in two parts) by reporter Steve Gendel that takes a wider view. Besides the District of Columbia it covers the suburbs in Maryland and Northern Virginia. When you look at the credits you will see the name Tad Dukehart as the photographer for the broadcast. Tad retired from Channel 9 and is now a volunteer firefighter in Wisconsin.
You will also see the name Rich Adams. Up until his death in 1996 Rich was a columnist on EMS issues for Firehouse Magazine and was a member of the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad. Rich was also the editorial director at Channel 9. In that role Rich helped pushed the fire and EMS community to improve EMS in the region. There were many other similar public safety issues where I believe my friend Rich left a lasting mark. He is greatly missed.
Tell the entire truth the first time and every time that you are asked. Understanding that our most precious resource is our people and that our people are human, the possibility does exist for deception, so it makes sense to talk about it in the rules. It seems like quite the irony that the folks that Americans trust the most, firefighters and paramedics, can sometimes withhold information, mislead or otherwise not be truthful in the workplace.
For many years now there has been so much talk about leadership in the fire service. It seems the word is in the title of dozens of classes at each of the major conventions and gatherings around the country. A recent email conversation with Mike Dallessandro, who has RespondSmart.com and thinks and talks about this stuff all of the time, prompted me to ask is there anything more important from the people who lead the firefighters, paramedics and EMTs of today than providing an example of honest and ethical behavior?
If that is not your priority as a leader, aren’t you telling the troops the chief can get away with it, so anything goes?
Besides the issue of personal responsibility, could leaders who fudge the truth and blur ethical lines be one of the other major contributing factors behind the problems outlined in the CVVFA report?
As usual, I don’t have the answers to these questions I am asking. I just think they are worth pondering.
My only question about what Chief Rubin has written is shouldn’t always telling the truth be bumped up to rule number one?
Isn’t that be the starting point and basis for everything else that goes on?
For the people who go all around the world helping others when their buildings collapse due to natural disasters, this one couldn’t have been any closer to home. Overnight there was a collapse of the roof over the equipment bay at Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department Station 410. Now, there is a roof problem at a neighboring firehouse. Firefighters report sagging in the roof at Station 408 in Annandale, about three miles south on Columbia Pike.
Dan Schmidt, spokesperson for Fairfax County Fire and Rescue, says 18 firefighters were in the bunk room of Station 410 located in the 3600 block of Firehouse Lane when they heard a loud noise coming from the bay area around 3:00 a.m. Schmidt says the firefighters discovered the flat roof over all four bay areas collapsed under the weight of this weekend’s heavy snowfall.
Firehouse in Bailey's Crossroads at a better time. Click the image for Google Maps Street View.
There were no injuries.
Schmidt says a good portion of the roof is now sitting on top of the ladder truck and the engine. A full evaluation of the damage has not been made, but the damage at Station 410 is extensive.
After the collapse at Station 410 Schmidt says an alert went out to firefighters to do an evaluation of flat roofs at other fire stations. That’s when sagging was noticed at Station 408 in Annandale.
Officials say there is a two to five inch deflection in the center portion of the roof at that station. For now crews are running out of the newer bingo hall at the firehouse.
Firefighters are no-shows and one quits: As you will see at the end of the above story, there may be more behind the resignation of one volunteer, but what is clear is none of the 35 volunteers of the Fresno City VFD in Texas (about 20 miles south of Houston) showed up for a Sunday morning house fire. The fire chief says he will investigate. You can read the story here.
LEAD STORY – Paramedic in scuffle with trooper last May arrested yesterday during traffic stop off-duty: It was our top story last year and it keeps on giving. Creek Nation Paramedic Maurice White Jr. was put in jail yesterday morning in Vian, Oklahoma, accused of resisting arrest and other charges. White was in that widely seen video where OHP Trooper Daniel Martin had him in a choke hold. Click here for all of the details known so far.
Win one for the Geezer: I made my choice for the best fire and EMS blog of 2009 a long time ago and I am glad to see that Firegeezer Bill Schumm has been going back and forth for the top spot with his sudden surge yesterday. There are some really good blogs in the running, but we have long admitted our bias for the retired fire captain from Fairfax County. Thank you to my mom and dad for voting for me (I think the wife and son voted for Bill), but if your choice is between Firegeezer and STATter 911, may I suggest a vote for my favorite blog. Click here. Voting ends at 5:59 PM EST.
More on burned firehouse in Ashland, New York: WTEN-TV has now posted some early pictures from a passerby as efforts were made to salvage the rigs in Sunday’s fire that gutted the firehouse. Click here for the video. There are also some new details on the fire and the impact on the community here and here. Click here for earlier coverage.
The story behind the picture. The Los Angeles Times discovers why this 1948 fire truck from a different town has sat on the roof of a building in Vernon, California for decades. Click the image for the answer. Photo by Anne Cusack, Los Angeles Times.
Collapse, explosion, video and pictures as NJ bowling alley goes up in flames: Fifty-years old, the Loyle Lanes in Vineland are no longer. We have put together a lot of elements including a video that shows a bit of a collapse, what it looked like before firefighters arrived and even something exploding. Check it out.
As I recall, the last major bowling alley blaze we ran was also in New Jersey. That was last June in Shrewsbury at Memory Bowling and it had some pretty spectacular video and pictures. If you missed it, check here.
House fire audio and pictures from Fairfax County, VA: Click here for the audio/visual elements from Sunday night’s two-alarm house fire.
Looting at large apartment building fire in Massachusetts: So, what the fire doesn’t take, your local thief grabs. That’s the story from Malden following Saturday’s six-alarm fire. Read and watch what is a pretty sad state of affairs. Thanks to Jimmy Daly for finding this one.
Firefighter resigns over concerns about police impersonation: From Lee, New Hampshire, an Epping volunteer firefighter resigned after pulling over a friend in what some perceived as a case of police impersonation in a community that recently has had such a problem. Read more.
Kennebunkport fire chief indicted: This is an update on a story we brought you in September where there was a bit of a lover’s triangle causing a problem that left a man’s face smashed by a motorcycle helmet.
37 firefighters pack their bags in Cleveland: The layoffs took effect yesterday, but it is possible that they could return soon. Read and watch the story.
Baltimore City Fire Chief Jim Clack tells STATter911.com that at a meeting this evening he learned the City Council and Mayor Sheila Dixon are trying to come up with money for the department’s overtime for the rest of the year. This comes at a time when Mayor Dixon has modified the chief’s plan to close three fire companies and continue rotating closings for two others.
The mayor’s decision to permanently close only one of the three companies means the department, without approximately $3.5 million in overtime between now and June 30, 2010, would still have to close at least four companies each day.
Before that meeting occurred this statement from Mayor Dixon was issued from City Hall in the afternoon:
“Yesterday, I listened to Chief Clack’s proposal to permanently close fire companies, and we had a follow-up meeting again today. Both the Chief and I are confronted with the difficult challenge of keeping the residents of this City safe during difficult economic times. We simply do not have the funds to maintain every City service at our historic levels.
Baltimore City Fire Department photo of Chief Jim Clack.
However, I support Chief Clack’s recommendation to close Truck 16 at 405 McMechen Street because that fire station will remain open and will continue to be staffed with a fire engine and a medic unit on site. The nearest truck company to Truck 16 is Truck 10 at 1503 W. Lafayette Avenue, which is 0.76 miles away from the station housing Truck 16. The closure of this truck company will decrease the number of citywide rotating closures from five to four per day.
To be clear, we are facing unprecedented deficits heading into the next fiscal year. Budget cuts to the Fire Department and every other City department will be on the table as we work to develop next year’s budget.”