Safety

CHICAGO FIREFIGHTER INJURED IN POSSIBLE FLASHOVER

Firefighter Close Calls - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 13:39

A firefighter was injured while battling a blaze on Chicago’s West Side Friday afternoon.

The fire broke out in the 100 block of N. Lamon in the city’s South Austin neighborhood.

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Apartment fire- Lamon near Maypole. EMS Plan 1.

3:59 PM – Nov 3, 2017 Twitter Ads info and privacy

Shontell Reed lives in the building and lost  everything. She got the call this afternoon that her home was on fire. Her mother had to be rescued.

“They basically had the ladder up there and she was coming down from the ladder,” she said. “I was scared.”

The situation also turned scary for firefighters.   A backdraft occurred in the two-flat building and it prompted a mayday call.

It was a frantic 18-20 minutes before everyone was fully accounted for. One firefighter was taken to the hospital with injuries not considered life threatening.

Two other firefighters were treated at the scene.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

The Red Cross was at the scene helping residents who are now homeless.

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Chicago Fire Media @CFDMedia

Possible flash over with rapid air blast.

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Building suffered significant brick damage from the event.

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Categories: Fire Service, Safety

OHIO ENGINE INVOLVED IN CRASH

Firefighter Close Calls - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 13:37

A Kettering fire engine was involved in a crash while on an emergency run Thursday morning.

The engine was dispatched to a call around 10 a.m. when the engine reported they were involved in a crash at the intersection of East David Road and Display Lane.

The driver of the SUV told investigators she did not hear or see the engine as it pulled out into the intersection.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

VIDEO: THE REALITY OF POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS

Firefighter Close Calls - Sat, 11/04/2017 - 19:48

The California Professional Firefighters published a new video examining the effects of post-traumatic stress on firefighters and the need to help our own.

The six-minute video that highlights the story of Brendan McDonough, the lone survivor of the Granite Mountain Hotshot crew that was overrun by fire in June 2013, and his struggle with PTSD and suicidal thoughts and how California is addressing its firefighter mental health issues.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

CSB to Hold November 14 Public Business Meeting in D.C.

CSB News - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 08:14
Information on the CSB's upcoming public business meeting
Categories: Safety

U.S. Department of Labor Signs Alliance with Robotic Industries Association and NIOSH to Improve Worker Protections in Emerging Tech Industry

OSHA - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 07:00
November 2, 2017 Contact: Office of Communications Phone: 202-693-1999
Categories: Safety

2 NEW HAMPSHIRE FIREFIGHTERS INJURED IN FALL THRU FLOOR

Firefighter Close Calls - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 19:58

Two firefighters suffered minor injuries when they fell through the floor of a burning house in Dover and landed in the basement.

According to Dover Fire Chief Eric Hagman, crews were dispatched at around 1:30 Wednesday afternoon to a house fire at 28 Quail Drive.

Hagman said the fire was called in by a neighbor.

Arriving firefighters saw what looked like a basement fire, Hagman said.

The first crews that entered checked the heavy hardwood floor and it appeared to be structurally sound, but wasn’t, Hagman said. The two firefighters then dropped through the floor and into the basement. They were taken to the hospital to be treated for minor injuries.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

U.S. Department of Labor Cites Mississippi Company for Exposing Workers To Hazardous Energy, Equipment, and Other Hazards

OSHA - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 07:00
Nov. 1, 2017 U.S. Department of Labor Cites Mississippi Company for Exposing Workers To Hazardous Energy, Equipment, and Other Hazards
Categories: Safety

U.S. Department of Labor Cites Boise Construction Company For Trenching Violations

OSHA - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 07:00
Nov. 1, 2017 U.S. Department of Labor Cites Boise Construction Company For Trenching Violations
Categories: Safety

PIOs: New NFFF App Helps Keep Community & Firefighters Safe

Everyone Goes Home - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 14:04

The new Be a Hero, Save a Hero® mobile app from the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) can help your community stay safe with valuable fire prevention information, special weather and seasonal notifications, and more. It’s available now for you to share with the public as you remind them to change their smoke alarm batteries and the benefits of 10-year smoke alarms on Sunday, November 5th when Daylight Saving Time ends.

The free app provides the latest information and resources on a wide variety of topics including smoke alarm check reminders, creating escape plans, winter and holiday safety tips, and much more. There are even sections targeted for specific groups, such as children and older adults.

“The goal of our Be a Hero, Save a Hero® program is to encourage the public to be fire safe which in turn saves the lives of firefighters,” explained Chief Ron Siarnicki, Executive Director of the NFFF. “This app is the perfect companion as you spread the word of changing clocks and batteries this week and the importance of home fire safety year-round.”

The safety tips on the app include information from the U.S. Fire Administration, the National Fire Protection Association and other partners working together to help prevent home fires.

Be a Hero, Save a Hero® can be downloaded on the Google Play Store or the App Store with links available on the newly redesigned website, www.beaherosaveahero.org.

Be a Hero, Save a Hero® is part of the NFFF’s Everyone Goes Home® program. The app and the redesign of the website were developed with First Arriving Marketing and Technology for Fire and EMS.

The post PIOs: New NFFF App Helps Keep Community & Firefighters Safe appeared first on Everyone Goes Home.

Categories: Safety

Fire alarm “trip” leads to a smoothly executed escape drill

NFPA - Safety Source - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 07:09
On Sunday afternoon I was in a meeting at my church, rehearsing for a skit I’ll appear in at an upcoming Thanksgiving-themed service. Before we finished the second read-through, we were interrupted by the shrill sound of the building’s fire
Categories: Safety

VIDEO SHOWS NASHVILLE FIRE RECRUIT A NEW TRAINING TOWER

Firefighter Close Calls - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 05:53

Video obtained by the News 4 I-Team shows a Nashville Fire recruit fall during a training drill at the city’s new training tower.

The internal review of the accident also reveals that the recruit, Jennifer Lockhart, claims she asked for a safety line before she fell and was denied by the fire captain overseeing the training.

Lockhart has since retained attorney Rocky McElhany, who said in a statement to the News 4 I-Team, “Jennifer’s main focus is getting better and making sure these reckless training drills stop immediately before someone else is hurt or killed.”

The internal review reads on July 17, Lockhart fell during the Nance drill, which teaches how to use to ropes to lower a firefighter down a hole to rescue a fallen comrade.

According to the internal review, District Chief Trey Nelms, who was leading the training, was lowered first.

Lockhart told an investigator for the fire department that she first inquired then if Nelms wanted an additional rope for a safety line.

“I was like, hey chief, can we use this rope? To do safety? And he said, ‘F*** no,’’’ Lockhart said in her interview.

When it was time for Lockhart to be lowered, she told the investigators she made the same request.

“I want a safety line. And he goes, and he just kind of laughed, and he was like, ‘No,’” Lockhart said.

The video showed Lockhart lowered through a hole from the upper floor, and then when she passes through to the first floor, she falls several feet.

It is unclear in the video why Lockhart fell, but when she did, she landed squarely on her oxygen tank.

“I didn’t have any feeling from about my waist down. I just remember waking up and thinking I was paralyzed,” she told an investigator in the HR department. “I remember screaming and then I guess I went unresponsive.”

In the internal investigation, Lockhart told the investigator that the accident was grossly negligent and appeared malicious.

Lockhart said she’d been discriminated against by Nelms for being a female and for having worked on the ambulance shift, creating a very hostile work environment.

In the investigative report, Nelms denied discriminating against Lockhart or any recruit.

While in the investigation, both Lockhart and another recruit claim that she did ask for a safety line, Nelms said he never recalled that occurring.

Nelms said he’d done the Nance drill more than 1,000 times and no accident like this had ever occurred.

“I’m sick about this. I hate it. I’m tore up about it,” Nelms said.

The internal investigation ultimately found there was no evidence to show that Lockhart’s fall was anything other than an unfortunate accident.

While Nelms never said in his interview with investigators if a safety line should have been used, he said he has wracked his brain trying to figure out what could have been done differently.

“If we are allowed to do (the Nance drill) again, I promise you, I’ll be looking at a whole bunch of different things,” Nelms said.

A spokesman for the National Fire Protection Agency, which sets the standards for training, said nothing in the rules pertains to whether or not a safety line should be required for drill such as the Nance exercise.

A spokesman for the Nashville Fire Department said their internal review speaks for itself and declined our request for an interview.

WSMV News 4

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

CT Fire Dept. Graduates Much-Needed Firefighter Recruits

Firefighter Close Calls - Mon, 10/30/2017 - 21:27

Steven Goode On Oct 28, 2017
Source: McClatchy

Oct. 28–With the graduation Friday of 36 recruits from its training academy, the Hartford Fire Department received a much-needed influx of new firefighters.

The 23rd recruit class in department history originally numbered 40 and was culled from an initial list of 700 applicants. The class began 16 weeks of training in July at the training academy on Fisher Road. A graduation ceremony was held at the Black Box Theatre in the Learning Corridor in Hartford.

“You are coming to the only Class 1 fire department in New England,” Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said, referring to the highest classification a department can receive for firefighting services. “You are driven by a sense of service and we are so grateful and proud for that.”

Bronin also warned the recruits that there would be family events missed, long nights home alone for their loved ones and a lot of overtime working for a badly understaffed fire department that has been losing large numbers of experienced personnel to retirement over the past year.

Even with Friday’s graduation, the department is short about 40 firefighters, according to Hartford Fire Chief Reginald Freeman.

This summer the department implemented forced overtimeto cover shift shortages and through an agreement with the union local, officers were allowed to take overtime shifts on apparatus.

More are expected to go by the end of the year to avoid having their health benefits cut under the terms of a new contract that saved the city $4 million, Freeman said. The number of retirees won’t be clear until December, Freeman said

But more reinforcements are on the way. The department recently received a federal grant that will allow it to hire 70 more firefighters in the next three years. A class of 45 is expected to begin in November, Freeman said.

On Friday, Deputy Chief of Training William Kerr, who will be among those retiring by the end of the year, told the recruits that the department would become their second family and that although they were graduating, they weren’t finished learning.

“Your training is never finished. Learn something new every day,” he said.

Kerr also noted that several of the recruits were the children of firefighters he came on the job with.

“I can tell you fathers, they did you proud,” Kerr said.

Hartford native Gloria Gerena was chosen to speak for her recruit class. Gerena, who noted that it was her third time graduating from the theater’s stage in the Learning Corridor, said she grew up in a city where her life could have gone in good or bad directions.

She thanked her mother and grandmother for serving as role models, which she also intends to do for Hartford kids as a firefighter.

“The city of Hartford and your families are in good hands,” Gerena told the audience.

___ (c)2017 The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.) Visit The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.) at www.courant.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

Hazardous Firefighter Bunker Gear?…Uh, Not So Fast

Firefighter Close Calls - Mon, 10/30/2017 - 19:34
So as you read this morning, there were some more than interesting statements made to the Columbus Dispatch regarding bunker gear materials-and what is claimed to be a problem with some of those materials. As we further starting looking for information, we also received a letter from Steve Schwartz, of LION. As you may know, LION is a leading manufacturer of firefighter turnout gear as well as a strong and proven supporter of actions to prevent and minimize firefighter safety and health risks. Their research in improving bunker gear and their active and fiscal participation in the NFFF, the Firefighter Cancer Support Network, the Firefighter Combat Challenge and much more is well documented. As you will read, they (LION) takes strong issue with the newspaper article and potentially misleading information. Just as you read the newspaper article, take time now to read, as Paul Harvey would say “…the rest of the story…” Please see the attached documents. We will also have this letter posted on our home page at www.FireFighterCloseCalls.com.  DOWNLOAD LETTER HERE
Categories: Fire Service, Safety

Study Says MN Dept. Needs Shift Toward EMS

Firefighter Close Calls - Mon, 10/30/2017 - 15:06

Mara H. Gottfried On Jul 11, 2017
Source: McClatchy

An outside study commissioned by the city of St. Paul, MN, has recommended that its fire department begin shifting resources from fire suppression toward emergency medical services.

July 11–An overwhelming percentage of calls to St. Paul firefighters are for medical emergencies, and the fire department needs “a paradigm shift” to best handle the workload, according to an outside study of the department.

Fires account for less than 5 percent of the emergency calls in St. Paul, and about half of 1 percent are structure fires. Meanwhile, demand for emergency medical services has been increasing 3 to 4 percent annually, much faster than population growth, and is likely to continue to increase, the review by TriData found.

“To meet the increasing EMS demand the city must add more resources — either through funding, or by shifting budget resources from (fire) suppression to EMS,” said the report, which St. Paul City Council members received Monday and will begin discussing Wednesday. “Increased medical demand is the No. 1 threat to maintaining services at the high quality they are now.”

Overall, the report said the city “is getting very good fire and EMS service from its fire department, and it is equitably delivered” among neighborhoods. The recommendations “are largely to increase efficiency in light of the burgeoning EMS demand,” according to the report.

One recommendation is to consider eliminating one of St. Paul’s three fire-rescue squads in order to reallocate staff to ambulances. The rescue squads respond to fires and to vehicle crashes to extricate people, and each also has specialty functions.

St. Paul Fire Chief Tim Butler said he does not believe that cutting a rescue squad is the best strategy, but he would be willing to sit down to discuss it with firefighters, union officials and the city’s leadership. The president of the union representing rank-and-file St. Paul firefighters said he does not support cutting a fire rig.

“Our effort has been pretty clear and historical along the way — we have asked for additional resources for EMS,” Butler said Monday. “We don’t think taking fire-suppression units out of service in order to enhance EMS is the correct answer.”

St. Paul allocated $100,000 for the study of the fire department’s deployment and staffing practices, and the final tab was $80,000. The report is intended to be a step toward helping the department craft a strategic plan.

City Council member Chris Tolbert, who pushed for the study, said it’s important to have outside eyes looking at how the department is doing, especially as St. Paul’s population has grown.

“It was clear that we have a great fire department and part of the reason we do this is to ensure it continues to be a leader,” he said. Tolbert said he wants to hear from Butler and firefighters about their reactions to the recommendations and which they think should be prioritized.

BEEFING UP MEDICAL RESPONSE

Ten years ago, the city also hired TriData to conduct a review of the St. Paul fire department. The Virginia-based company found then that medical calls amounted to 80 percent of the department’s business but that they were a secondary priority. The 2007 report suggested putting paramedic rigs at every station and shifting staff so they could be on medical and fire calls simultaneously.

Thirteen of St. Paul’s 15 stations have ambulances. Three of the ambulances are part of a “supermedic” program that Butler started.

All St. Paul firefighters are EMTs and 38 percent are paramedics. At 10 fire stations, there are four firefighters assigned to a fire apparatus and an ambulance. Whether it’s a medical or a fire call, all four crew members respond together. If an apparatus is responding to a call and the same station gets a medical call, an ambulance from the nearest station has to respond.

At the three stations with supermedics, two firefighters are added to the four-member team, allowing them to staff an ambulance and an engine at the same time. Adding the supermedics “have greatly improved service delivery,” the new TriData study said.

The report said the fire department has a fire rig and ambulance respond “to the same calls, thereby reducing the effectiveness of independent staffing for medic units.” Butler, however, said they do not respond to all of the same calls, unless it’s a fire or major medical emergency.

The current supermedics are stationed downtown, on East Maryland Avenue between Hazelwood and Kennard streets, and on Como Avenue near the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.

The study’s recommendations also include:

  • Increasing the fire department’s efforts to recruit paramedics.
  • Replacing a second fire engine at the West Side station with a supermedic unit.
  • Upgrading the medic units to supermedics at the stations at Snelling and Laurel avenues, and Payne and Hawthorne avenues.

RESPONSE TIMES STUDIED

The study also looked at fire department response times. In general, most St. Paul fire front-line units have travel times of four to six minutes to 90 percent of incidents within the city, the report said.

Three of the department’s units exceed travel times of 6 minutes for 90 percent of their responses: a rescue squad at West Seventh Street and Randolph Avenue, an ambulance on Como Avenue near the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, and a ladder truck stationed at Edgcumbe Road and St. Paul Avenue. The three vehicles and their crews help in areas beyond where they are stationed and have longer travel times, the study noted.

But the report said the fire department’s “turnout” time, which is measured from when a call is dispatched to when a unit heading out, is too long — up to 2 minutes and 46 seconds for 90 percent of responses — and that they should aim to improve that. The national recommendation is that turnout times not exceed 1 minute for medical calls, and 1 minute 30 seconds for fire calls.

___ (c)2017 the Pioneer Press (St. Paul, Minn.) Visit the Pioneer Press (St. Paul, Minn.) at www.twincities.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

IN City Hiring More FFs to Cut Down On OT

Firefighter Close Calls - Mon, 10/30/2017 - 15:05

Ken de la Bastide On Jul 11, 2017
Source: McClatchy

The city of Anderson, IN, is looking to hire four new firefighters by the end of the year and several more in 2018 to cut down on mandatory overtime at its understaffed fire department.

July 11–ANDERSON, IN– The city of Anderson is looking to hire four new firefighters by the end of the year with an additional hiring in 2018.

Cody Leever, president of Anderson Fire Fighters Local 1262, asked members of the Anderson Board of Public Safety in June to look at hiring firefighters to eliminate mandatory overtime.

Leever said the Anderson Fire Department is budgeted for 112 firefighters, but is currently working with 105.

Anderson Mayor Thomas Broderick Jr. said Monday the exact number of firefighters has not been determined as administration officials look at finances and future attrition in the fire department.

“We’re looking at hiring in two phases,” Broderick said, “probably looking at hiring four in the first phase and more after the first of the year.”

During Monday’s meeting of the Board of Public Safety, Fire Chief Dave Cravens said the department is looking at manpower concerns but trying to be fiscally responsible.

“We’re committed to hiring,” Cravens said. “Right now we’re scheduling appointments with the PERF (pension) board and starting to determine if people are physically and mentally fit to serve.”

Leever said he was briefed before the Safety Board meeting by the administration, but hadn’t been told a number of firefighters to be hired.

“This is a step in the right direction,” he said. “Maybe we could have a meeting with the administration to plan for future staffing at the fire department.”

Cravens said there is a difference between the number of firefighters that are budgeted for and the actual numbers.

“Our run loads are extremely high,” he said. “We’re doing more with less. Every public safety entity has mandatory overtime.”

Cravens said the department has implemented policies to streamline the necessity for mandatory overtime.

During the administration of former Mayor Kevin Smith, the number of firefighters included in the fire department budget was reduced from 132 by closing some stations and assigning a fire apparatus with an ambulance.

The union and the Broderick administration reached a contract agreement earlier this year providing for a 3 percent pay increase in 2017, 2 percent in 2018 and 2019, and 3 percent in 2020.

The Anderson Police Department is also budgeted for 112 members; in March there were 105 working and two on military leave.

The department started the process to hire five new officers with testing to be completed this month. Once the five recruits are identified they will be required to attend the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy and then spend 15 weeks with an APD training officer in the field.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.

___ (c)2017 The Herald Bulletin (Anderson, Ind.) Visit The Herald Bulletin (Anderson, Ind.) at www.theheraldbulletin.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

CA City Averts Firefighter Layoffs in New Budget

Firefighter Close Calls - Mon, 10/30/2017 - 15:04

Sean Longoria On Jun 22, 2017
Source: McClatchy

Redding, CA, City Council on Wednesday approved a new two-year budget that averted laying off three firefighters on June 30.

June 21–Redding will keep three firefighters who faced layoffs on June 30, the City Council decided Wednesday.

Working through its two-year budget, the

“The math of getting firefighters to a fire is actually really simple. The more firefighters you put on an engine, the fewer engines you have to send,” he said.

Gray said a house fire in the city pulls half the department to respond, effectively leaving half of Redding unprotected.

Six apprentice firefighter positions — low-paid, entry-level jobs — have already been cut. Those positions and the three firefighters were funded by a grant extended for two years by the city’s one-time use of reserve cash.

Vice Mayor Kristen Schreder said she wants the city to reapply for the grant that funded the positions.

The money will come from $600,000 in anticipated savings across the board over two years. An additional $400,000 may be available beyond that, City Manager Barry Tippin said.

“That’s based on our projections of the savings,” he said. “We think it’s pretty accurate and that the actual savings will be in line with what we’re presenting but it could be subject to change.”

Keeping the firefighters was the only major change the council made to Tippin’s budget recommendation, which called for a $300 million budget for the new fiscal year starting July 1. The budget in 2018-19 is $295.3 million.

Most departments submitted spending plans on par with previous years’ with spending increases coming mostly from employee benefit cost increases.

Redding is balancing its budget for the next two years, using some extra money the city won’t see again, Tippin said.

That includes $500,000 from Bethel Church to keep the neighborhood police unit. The church is also behind an ongoing campaign to raise $740,000 more to keep the neighborhood police unit through 2019.

So far that campaign has raised about $30,000, said Cory McCandliss, general manager of the Redding Civic Auditorium, who’s also helping run the fundraising campaign.

“As long as the community is responding to the campaign, Advance Redding — we will keep going,” McCandliss said Wednesday.

Tippin said the city is also pursuing a grant to keep the police unit longer.

Pension cost increases for employees citywide, stemming from lowered investment return expectations and increased contributions to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, are putting greater strain on the city budget.

“We have been working with the employee groups for some time to address some of these issues,” Tippin said, noting the Redding Peace Officers Association is now picking up part of the city’s cost of its members’ retirements.

By 2020, the city could exhaust its reserves and be $28 million in the red in 10 years without action, Tippin told the council.

Tippin said he’ll have a plan to address those shortfalls in place by July 2018 through a combination of working with employee unions, promoting economic development and evaluating the city’s fee structures — including medical and recreational marijuana — and where it might be able to find extra money.

“It’s sort of an all-hands on deck approach right now,” he said.

___ (c)2017 the Redding Record Searchlight (Redding, Calif.) Visit the Redding Record Searchlight (Redding, Calif.) at www.redding.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

Overworked IN Firefighters Seeking Answers to Hiring Delay

Firefighter Close Calls - Mon, 10/30/2017 - 15:03

Ken de la Bastide On Jun 27, 2017
Source: McClatchy

Anderson firefighters have been working mandatory overtime to cover a staffing shortage in the department.

June 27–ANDERSON, IN– The Anderson firefighters union is seeking answers to why the department is short on manpower, which is requiring mandatory overtime.

Cody Leever, president of Anderson Firefighters Local 1262, said Monday at the Anderson Board of Public Safety meeting that the Anderson Fire Department is budgeted for 112 firefighters, but is currently working with 106 firefighters.

The Safety Board tabled the request with Chairman Mike McKinley promising to get answers by the next meeting on July 10.

Leever said a provision of the current contract with the city allows the Board of Public Safety to hire firefighters when there is a vacancy within 48 hours.

He said the union has never used that provision and agreed to waive the 48-hour timeframe to allow safety board members to get answers on hiring plans by the administration of Mayor Thomas Broderick Jr.

“I met with Mayor Broderick and he plans to do some hiring,” he said. “But it has been delayed.”

Leever said firefighters are being required to work mandatory overtime and have been threatened with disciplinary action if they leave work.

“We’re short right now. We need bodies,” he said.

Leever said the department currently has 106 firefighters, which could be reduced to 104 within the next month. He said one firefighter is retiring and another has requested a disability pension.

Board member Nicale Rector asked whether Leever wanted the board to fill the six positions.

“Only the safety board can determine manpower,” Leever said.

City attorney Tim Lanane said the board could set the manpower level at 104.

“I’m confident the city will hire,” Leever said. “The administration won’t tell us when or how.”

During the administration of former Mayor Kevin Smith the number of firefighters included in the Fire Department budget was reduced from 132 by closing some stations and assigning a fire apparatus with an ambulance.

Rector asked Leever what he considered to be the bare minimum of firefighters needed to eliminate mandatory overtime.

Leever said he didn’t expect the city to increase the number of firefighters to the levels during the Smith administration, but that 112 were needed.

He said a benefit for the firefighters is that if they don’t use any of their sick days, they get a $500 bonus.

“They can quickly make $500 in overtime and then start calling in sick because they don’t want to work the extra shifts,” Leever said. “If we get back to 112, it will cut down on the overtime, which will save the city money.”

Leever said the union is hoping to get some answers on the hiring process.

He said the city could take six names from the eligibility list for employment and enroll the new hires in school by Aug. 1. Leever said it will take two to three months to complete the schooling.

“I will get some answers from the administration,” McKinley said.

Lanane asked for time for the administration to figure out the hiring process.

“You’ve put it on everyone’s radar screen,” he said.

The union and the Broderick administration reached a contract agreement earlier this year providing for a 3 percent pay increase in 2017, 2 percent in 2018 and 2019, and 3 percent in 2020.

The Anderson Police Department is also budgeted for 112 members. In March there were 105 working and two on military leave.

The department started the process to hire five new officers with testing to be completed this month. Once the five recruits are identified, they will be required to attend the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy and then spend 15 weeks with an APD training officer in the field.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.

___ (c)2017 The Herald Bulletin (Anderson, Ind.) Visit The Herald Bulletin (Anderson, Ind.) at www.theheraldbulletin.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

 

Categories: Fire Service, Safety

Funds Approved to Keep NH Fire Station Open

Firefighter Close Calls - Mon, 10/30/2017 - 15:02

Paul Feely On Jun 30, 2017
Source: McClatchy

Manchester city aldermen voted Thursday night to close a fire department budget gap with contingency funds, which will halt the closure of Station 9.

June 30–MANCHESTER, NH– City aldermen voted Thursday night to give Fire Chief Dan Goonan money needed to cover a departmental budget deficit and prevent the closure of Station 9 — at least for a few months.

“This is a Band-Aid,” said Goonan. “I appreciate what the aldermen did tonight — but this is a Band-Aid.”

Earlier this week Goonan announced plans to close Station 9, located at 575 Calef Road in Ward 9, effective this weekend. He also proposed reducing staff from four to three per shift at Station 2 on South Main Street, in an effort to close a nearly $49,000 gap between his original budget request of $19,781,502, and the $19,732,544 his department was appropriated by city aldermen when they approved the fiscal year 2018 budget on June 13.

That budget also contained no funding for severance pay, which Goonan says ups his department’s deficit to nearly $239,000 following three anticipated retirements on July 31.

Mayor Ted Gatsas met with Goonan on Wednesday, and together they brought forth a request at Thursday’s special session to use money from the city’s contingency fund to cover the severance pay deficit in his budget.

Board members were asked to send the fire department an additional $138,374 in contingency funds to cover severance costs “to maintain current levels of service, and keep all stations open.”

“If we were to be reimbursed for these expenses, it would eliminate the need to close the station,” explained Goonan in a letter to city aldermen. “I am still concerned that any upcoming or unexpected retirements would result in further severance costs that I cannot cover. I would appreciate the board considering my concerns and assuring me that funding for any future severance costs would be available if needed.”

“This has nothing to do with politics,” Goonan told aldermen Thursday. “I want not only what’s safest for my firefighters, but what’s safest for the community. This is something I never thought I would have to do.”

“I think we pay these guys good money to run their departments,” said Alderman At Large Joseph Kelly Levasseur. “I think we’re jumping the gun. I don’t know why we can’t wait until August and see what the revenues are going to be.”

Aldermen asked Goonan if he felt closing Station 9 presented a safety issue.

“I can guarantee it’s a safety issue,” said Goonan. “It you were living in the South End, and instead of getting there in four minutes we are getting there in 10 minutes … I’ve lost sleep over this. I’m trying to deal with the budgetary card I’ve been dealt. There are going to be longer response times on the South End.”

Aldermen voted unanimously to move $138,000 from the city’s contingency fund into the fiscal year 2018 fire department budget. Aldermen also voted unanimously to move $250,000 from the city’s fiscal year surplus to the severance reserve account.

Several aldermen warned that other departments will likely come calling, looking for additional funds to cover severance pay as retirements roll in.

“Everyone knew 10 days ago we would be here today,” said Ward 2 Alderman Ron Ludwig. “This is baloney. Department heads need money to manage their departments effectively. We’re gonna meet every Thursday to talk to who’s coming in next. I’m sick of it — let’s put the amount of money in the budget that’s necessary.”

The Fire Department noted the closing’s halting on Twitter, saying, “Station 9 will stay open! We are all thankful a solution could be found.”

Aldermen expect to have a discussion on severance funding at their next full board meeting, planned for July 18.

pfeely@unionleader.com

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