Wednesday, June 24, 2009

South Fire District Hires Three new Firefighters

The South Fire District of the City of Middletown has hired three new candidates for the the position of firefighter and has made history in doing so.

The three new candidates , Christopher Bodie, Kori Kelly and Cody Soule are scheduled to start on July 6, 2009 and expected to be on shift sometime by the end of July.

Kori Kelly is the first female firefighter to be hired by the District making history. This most recent hire shows the willingness and diversity of the District as we move forward in this rapidly growing department.

The Commission has been plagued with constant concern from a select group of taxpayers regarding the overtime that is being paid out to the current staff of firefighters and that they would like it to be addressed. In response to this the Commission offered up a plan of hiring additional personnel to reduce overtime and meet the obligation of minimum staffing.

The current staffing consists of four platoons with five firefighters and one lieutenant on duty at all times as well as a full time day shift firefighter and lieutenant, this staffing is well below the NFPA recommendations for fire ground staffing and safety but along with mutual aid from surrounding communities the District has made due. The addition of the three new hires will increase each platoon by one firefighter and in turn reduce the overtime by not having to replace when someone is out.

In some other unrelated but updated news the District has adorned their apparatus with their new Motto " Pride of the South Side" along with a banner posted on the sides reading , "Desire - Courage - Ability" , The desire to serve, The courage to act, The ability to perform.


Anonymous said...

They should maintain "full staffing" at 1-6 and bring back the day shift firefighter, they are not filling that postion anymore.....

Anonymous said...

NFPA 1710 calls for between 17 and 19 firefighters for an ordinary 2.5story building fire. This includes a dedicated incident commander responsible for all firefighter safety. 1 and 5 falls very short. Larger structures call for additional manning which includes rapid intervention teams to help trapped firefighters. The new logo's instill a much needed pride, but with budget struggles in this district every single year its hard to stay motivated. Maybe the commissioners should be instilling knowledge into their taxpayers, instead of fighting battles with other entities. It makes no sense to bite the hand that you depend on. Just a thought. Food for thought, City wide there is more than enough man power, sometimes losing the little brother syndrome helps you fix bridges that have been damaged.

Anonymous said...

-Anonymous 12:05 is giving you the facts---just not ALL the facts.
NFPA 1710 does indeed suggest 17-19 firefighters-- WITHIN 8 MINUTES.
With the current mutual aid agreement between the three departments this guideline is usually met.( By usually I mean that even Hartford runs out of firefighters on occasion).
Let's not take things out of context.

Anonymous said...

I was not aware that firefighter safety could be taken out of context. NFPA 1710 is specific, within 8 minutes 17 to 19 firefighters. 6 plus 4 and 4 is only 14. Maybe you should read the standard that applies to you. That doesnt mean when you arrive on scene you get to call the extra 4. How about the places where your response time is over 4 to 6 minutes? Keep in mind your on scene and operating, and the additional help isnt even out of station yet! Maybe the Districts leadership should have spent sometime running on a lead engine.

Mutual aid takes some time to gather. Especially when your dependant on volunteer companies to fill out your responses. Again, dont defend a grossly under manned under funded Fire Department. By the way, Hartford, initial building fire responses, 2 engines, 2 ladders, District Chief, Rescue company. Thats 22 firefighters on the initital alarm. So even Hartford, makes sure they do not run out of firefighters.

NFPA is a standard set for firefighter safety. Your doing your firefighters harm when you dont follow it. What is funny is how you think everyone is picking on you. Again read the post. The leadership of the District is doing an injustice to you, when your left to wonder where your help comes from.

So does USUALLY mean you get to ignore the fact your initial response to building fires is not adequate? Well you always have the CVH medical calls. Thank god for the little things in life.

Anonymous said...

Does NFPA have a standard for funding its standard? Most departments in Connecticut would not be able to meet 1710. Otherwise it would be a regulation or law or code or statute, instead of a guideline.
More firefighters die of heart attacks and stress than from fireground trauma,falls, asphyxiation,burns ; yet I do not see the IAFF demanding mandatory physical fitness requirements. No per capita gains there I guess.

Eye Spy (Anthony R. Lancia, Jr.) said...

I would say that if the City of Middletown political faction would guarantee the mill rate that the South Fire District now enjoys within the Central District as well and that no firefighters would lose thier job then the thought of consolodation would be on the table, with that being said I know factually that this is not a reality and there for we work with what we have for now and continue to try and improve upon it.
The NFPA Standards are just that Standards not mandates or laws due to the absorbatant cost of them.
We would love to be on a rig with a full crew ready to go to work as well as I'm certain those in charge would love the same but can not justify it to the taxpayers.
We are grateful to the taxpayers of the South Fire District for our jobs and remain proactive with saving and safety as well.

NOBO said...

Eye Spy is correct. While the firefighters at South Fire would love to consolidate and have a REAL PENSION, the villagers would be up in arms if their taxes increased! They were up in arms when their taxes DECREASED!
Also, ponder this: would not the politicians be more tempted to gnaw away at one large department instead of three smaller departments?
As for this "big brother","little brother" thing,the main difference between the two is that "big brother" responds to about 2,000 more false alarms than "little brother".
That CVH thing must be a pretty sweet deal in order for "big brother" to try to backdoor its way into responding there.

The Maestro said...

Interesting comments from the big brother. As a musical guy i find it amazing that they know how to be safety. I know a lot about fire stuff, and some union things too. With standards like what your arguing about, there is really no need to follow them. You are allowed to pick and choose which ones fit. OSHA doesnt even makes us follow 2 in and 2 out. The big brother should mind their own business, and quit putting our fires out. I dont understand the thing about extra 2000 alarms. We doo 90 percent medicals and have no issues handlin them. We have a ladder truck we bought to cover middlesex hospital, and it goes there a lot. We know that they want to take us over and fire us. But really we r small and they should leave us alone. We can do the job better just ask us.

Befuddled Accountant said...

I am just befuddled that a city of this size would have three fire departments with three chiefs, three offices of Fire Marshalls, three administrative staffs, three mechanics, and three different response strategies.

It is high time that the political leaders of this city get off their high horses and consolidate into one fire department.

Anonymous said...

To Befuddled, one part of Middletown has been able to keep taxes low by maintaining a volunteer fire department, while another part of town has professionalized its fire department and is paying a lot more taxes because of it. Why should the Westfield Fire Department merge, lose its volunteer investment, and raise taxes? So the South Farms fire department can get "a real pension"? Well, guess what, we all wish for "real pensions". But that privilege seems reserved for only state and municipal employees in 2009, on the backs of the taxpayers who will likely end up with nothing in our 401ks, courtesy of corporate greed and the international casino called the stock market. So get a fiscal reality check and understand why Westfield wants to keep its volunteer force; it is because we can't afford any more municipal pensions or overtime.

Anonymous said...

Befuddled must be a tax and spend democrat. Public service without remuneration is a foreign concept to democrats because there is no public employee union involved and no massive benefit and retirement package. Most importantly of all is that a volunteer is not beholden to some democrat political hack for their job so there is a lost vote! I am surprised Middletown hasn’t been sued for having volunteer firefighters. These lawsuits happen with the support of municipal unions.

This NFPA 1710 regulation must be taken in context. Who made this regulation? Who lobbied this regulation? The firefighter unions? Is this regulation really about protecting the public or is it about trying to eliminate volunteer fire departments?

Befuddled must be an Obama operative. Obama has done a great job to pay off his public employee supporters and running up an outrageous deficit to keep state and local government employees employed (every one a voter)at a time when governments should be cutting expenses. Why not add some more? Maybe there is some stimulus money out there to hire some full time firefighters, replace the volunteers and then after the stimulus dries up, Middletown (the taxpayers) are left to pay for these positions in perpetuity.

What a racket. Wait people voted for this “change”. They will pay for it long after Obama is voted out of office!

NOBO said...

Once again, it must be repeated. NFPA 1710 is NOT a regulation! States create regulations to supplement codes that are adopted by the states (e.g NFPA).States create regulations in lieu of codes but which mimic such codes (e.g. Fuel Gas Code).The NFPA only suggests minimum requirements that try to appease all and slight none.

Befuddled Accountant said...

So Westfield has no paid employees? Last I looked there were quite a few paid positions.

I stand my original post. Having three departments is redundant and costing the taxpayers much more than what is being portrayed here.

Anonymous said...

I just received my current tax bill. The mill rate for the city is 25.50 and fire is 5.oo mills extra.If the Board of Ed. is 70% of the total and we subtract that we have 7.65 mill rate to run the entire rest of the city excluding Bd. of Ed.. How can the fire dept. be 5 mills and the city be 7.65?

Anonymous said...

ur math only works if the BOE did not get any dollars from the State or Feds...the BOE is 70% of the Budget not 70% of the tax rate. Study up shankopotomus.

Anonymous said...

Re: Anonymous 4:38
I do not like to put a price on my family's safety. I may pay more but I know day or night, ice or snow, when I dial 911, whether it's Middletown or South District,even without mutual aid, within a couple of minutes equipment will be rolling with enough manpower to at least flow water or begin rescue operations IMMEDIATELY. Having to wait till someone scrapes the ice off their windshield so he or she can drive the 3 miles to the station to grab a truck is not my idea of a bargain.
There is a common sight when you drive into towns with volunteer fire departments. It's usually a large sign begging people to please join.

NOBO said...

I have found that the people who slam career firefighters the most are the ones who don't have the stones to be firefighters themselves. Come see what a "racket" is really is!

Eye Spy (Anthony R. Lancia, Jr.) said...

The job of a firefighter today as compared to days gone past are well beyond the scope of what Benjamin Franklin envisioned I am certain.
We walk the walk and we do what is asked of us to be the front line of defense to our community, so be it that some of us chose to embark upon this as a career, does this make us all crooks and undeserving of benefits? I do believe that the doors of opportunity could not be more wide open to anyone who wishes to share in our so called great municipal job.
Instead of seeking out all of the negative feelings that come to mind, dig deep and bring forward solutions with merit to solve the budget crisis, pension and health benefits the whole country suffers with.
One only need to look to the Middle East to a small country call Dubai and look at what they are doing with their economy and how they are progressing as we Americans sit at home with empathy and complain online and fear getting our hands dirty by getting involved in local politics.
Your feeling and opinions are valid now get off your duff and help out don't just sit on the computer and complain.

Steven LaRosa said...

Facts Not Fiction

"Headquartered in Quincy, Massachusetts, U.S.A., the NFPA oversees the development and maintenance of over 300 codes and standards. A cadre of over 6000 volunteers representing the fire service, insurance, business, industry, government, and consumers develops these documents. Many state, local, and national governments incorporate the standards and codes developed by the Association into their own law either verbatim, or with only minor modifications. Even when not written into law, the Association's standards and codes are typically accepted as a professional standard, and are recognized by many courts as such. This widespread acceptance is a testament to the broad representation and input received on all the NFPA's projects."

How about NFPA 1901 the standard for Fire apparatus, you cannot buy one that doesn’t meet it. The gear you wear, NFPA 1971, it HAS to meet that for flashover protection. NFPA 1981 covers the air packs that provide you air to do your job in less than desirable interior conditions. NFPA 1407 is the standard for Rapid Intervention Crews. We know that you provide that service mutual aid, and have been trained to it.

NFPA 1001 is a Firefighter Standard. Your training at the CT Fire Academy meets and exceeds that standard. NFPA 1021 covers the Fire Officers who run and supervise your scenes and firefighters. You meet that one. NFPA 1006 is the standard for Confined Spaces, something you have researched lately and are trying to comply with. NFPA 1500 is a firefighter health standard. You are given Respiratory testing, and have a physical to meet that requirement! Just because OSHA hasn’t adopted it, it does not mean you wont be cited if something happens!

The reason I point these out is you cannot just pick and choose which standards you want to comply with and call them ridiculous when you want to! These are standards that are set for the good of the fire service and the people we protect. I agree that it becomes a funding issue, and we just cannot comply with all of them. But for our own safety, and the safety of the public we serve it is really in our best interest to demand that from our political bodies. Do you allow building owners to comply with the ones they want to, and ignore the others? You owe the public you serve to try and meet each and every one of them. What boggles my mind is to meet 1710, all you have to do is add additional mutual aid companies, and you comply! How can anyone charged with firefighter safety choose to ignore the one standard specifically designed to keep us safe? 1710 is not met by a number of FD's in the Northeast because of the mindset; this is our fiefdom, get out! 169 Towns in Connecticut, with over 360 FD's. If that doesn’t make you shake your head, nothing will!

The members of the public do not understand these standards, so I do not expect them to know. I do however find it disturbing that our own Union the IAFF backs these standards daily, but our Locals ignore them because it just doesn’t fit. Yes costs are quite high to conform to them, but for firefighter safety, we must all DEMAND them. Even the IAFC has backed 1710. That’s why 1720 was established, as a compromise for the volunteer services, because it would be difficult for them to gather those numbers.

To quote Chief Goldfedder, make a difference, change your mindset. Demand these standards be met, so that EVERYONE goes home! Keep this in mind, if something happens that Slick Lawyer is going to find these standards, apply them, and our communities will pay dearly. You cannot pick and choose which ones you comply with. You MUST try and comply with all of them. Someone will be held accountable. Blinders do not work in this instance! Quit complaining, make a difference