Boston Fire Department
The Herald reports all 13 deputy fire chiefs signed a letter declaring they have no confidence in Fire Chief Steve Abraira, the department's highest ranking uniformed officer, in part because he didn't want to assume command in the minutes after the Boston Marathon bombings.
Abraira reports to Fire Commissioner Rod Fraser, who hired him from Dallas - the first time the job has ever gone to somebody not from Boston. He explains to the Herald why he left Marathon response to commanders in the field.
The Boston City Archives posted this photo of BFD fire dogs lining up for some serious chow back in the 1940s.
Officers assigned to the Drug Control Unit observed a white male walking and talking on a cell phone while also carrying what appeared to be a plastic bag in his hand. The suspect was seen entering a vehicle which then went for a short drive around the block before dropping the suspect off. Believing that a drug transaction had taken place, officers approached the suspect after he exited the vehicle and found him to be in possession of a plastic bag containing a tan powder believed to be heroin.
Hogan is the son of Fire Chief Gerald Hogan. However, he is no longer a Boston firefighter. Fire spokesman Steve MacDonald says he resigned after his arrest Hogan had been a probationary firefighter - he had served less than a year.
Why the firefighter may have flipped: Department treatment after he stopped another firefighter from killing himselfBy adamg - 2/21/13 - 11:28 pm
A firefighter charged with threatening to go on even worse of a rampage than that Los Angeles cop was angry when the fire department ordered him back to work from a leave granted after he tackled another firefighter trying to kill himself in the Engine 49 firehouse in Readville, a source says.
The incident, about a week ago, ended with Kenneth Veiga covered in blood - and the other firefighter still alive - the source says.
Because of the traumatic nature of the incident, his commander gave him time off. On Tuesday, however, he failed to convince superiors that he be allowed to see his own physician, rather than a department doctor, before returning to work.
Boston Police allege he told a union representative and a superior officer that "I am Army trained and have weapons and ammunitions in a storage locker. Dorner will be child's play."
Veiga was suspended with pay and now faces a March 4 hearing before a West Roxbury District Court clerk on whether he will face criminal charges.
Department spokesman Steve MacDonald declined to comment on the incident, except to say that Veiga "is a 24 year veteran who is on paid administrative leave while police look into alleged statements."
Boston Police report a firefighter apparently unhappy at being told he was healthy enough to return to work allegedly threatened on Tuesday to use his army training to destroy anybody who got in his way:
The firefighter made the following statements to the BFD Commander, "smashing a fire truck into a wall. I am Army trained and have weapons and ammunitions in a storage locker. Dorner will be child's play." The firefighter further stated he was “upset with City Hall, Fire Department Headquarters, and the Firefighters Union Hall."
Police say detectives responded to BFD headquarters on Southampton Street Tuesday afternoon after a fire commander and a union rep got off the phone with the firefighter. Police did not identify him, but WBZ reported he was Kenneth Veiga, a 24-year BFD veteran.
Police say the firefighter was summoned for a clerk's hearing in West Roxbury District Court on March 4.
Government Technology reports Boston is looking for proposals from vendors on how to upgrade the city's network of 2,200 fire alarm boxes, which still use the same basic telegraph technology as when they were first installed in 1852.
"We're interested in having multiple communication types and really enhancing the ability to send more specific messages so that we can use them for both emergency and non-emergency purposes, but also get more specific messages," [Deputy Fire Commissioner Justin] Brown said. "Is this actually a fire? Is this a law enforcement call? Do you need medical assistance? And maybe be able to communicate back and forth."
When an alarm on one of the boxes is pulled, it sends a series of tones to the department's dispatching center, identifying its number, which dispatchers then use to dispatch firefighters. Even when calls come in via more modern technologies, such as telephones, dispatchers always identify the nearest alarm box in their broadcasts to fire crews.
The Boston Fire Department reports that for the second year in a row, "the City of Boston recorded the lowest number of fire deaths for large cities nationwide."
In 2012, only one person died in a fire in Boston, compared to 12 in Baltimore, 25 in Philadelphia, 8 in Milwaukee, 6 in Phoenix and 7 in Washington, DC.
The department credited full staffing, active training, regular inspections and a well maintained fleet of firetrucks - much of which was assembled due to the outcry following the 2009 death of Lt. Kevin Kelley in a poorly maintained truck going down a steep hill with failed brakes.
Boston Fire Rescue 2 on Columbus Avenue in Roxbury found itself involved in an unusual rescue yesterday when somebody dropped off an Arctic Little Auk that had apparently been blown into town by the storm the other day. The species, not normally seen in these parts, dines on seafood and cannot take off without an assist.
Firefighters named the exhaused bird Olive. After a Twitter effort to find someone to care for her, Boston animal control showed up at the station and took the bird before an anticipated hand off to the New England Wildlife Center in Weymouth today for a little R&R.
The tugboat Liberty suffered an engine fire off Georges Island shortly after 8 a.m. today - just as a man was falling off a fishing boat.
The Boston Fire Department promptly summoned its dive team, which promptly got stuck in traffic because it's not based on the water. However, the Coast Guard reports the fire was declared out before the BFD marine unit got out to the tugboat and that a passing boater picked up the person in the water.
UPDATE, 9 a.m.: Tug was able to get to East Boston under its own power, with an escort by the BFD marine unit. The Globe has more.
The Dorchester Reporter reports city officials shut a Chinese restaurant on Blue Hill Avenue yesterday after inspectors found its kitchen air vent clogged with grease - and its basement clogged with rats and cockroaches.
The Fire Department in particular has paid close attention to the condition of restaurant air vents since the 2007 Tai Ho fire in West Roxbury, which started in a grease-filled vent and which killed two firefighters.
The Herald reports on the sad state of hydrants on roads around the Convention Center in South Boston and north of the Zakim Bridge.
Video from inside a Boston firetruck navigating downtown traffic and
Boston firefighters gathered at Forest Hills Cemetery today for their annual memorial for firefighters who died in the line of duty. The Globe has more.
The Boston Fire Department reports Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask stopped by Engine 7 and Ladder 17 on Columbus Avenue today to talk about the Muscular Dystrophy Association and get a tour.
A federal appeals court today tossed the First Amendment claims of a group of Boston Fire Department clerical workers passed over for promotions, saying that while it's unfortunate they may have lost out because they weren't friends with the mayor's cronies in management, that doesn't rise to the level of a violation of their First Amendment rights.
The workers alleged they were passed over repeatedly for promotions in favor of friends or members of "the Hyde Park Group" affiliated with pals of the mayor and a similar "South Boston Group."
The Boston Fire Department yesterday announced the appointment of Steve Abraira of Miami as its new fire chief, replacing the retiring Ronald Keating. Abraira will report to Fire Commissioner Roderick Fraser.
Abraira, who started as a Miami firefighter at 19, was fire chief in Palm Bay, Fla., when Fraser selected him over several other candidates, including five from Boston.
BFD training video by McElroy Films, filmed at the department's training facility on Moon Island and featuring a simulated "Mayday" situation.
The other day, I ran a photo from Mt. Ida Road in Dorchester showing what can happen when you park in front of a hydrant. Turns out it was for a fire on the second floor of a three decker at 36 Mt. Ida that was declared out about a half hour after firefighters arrived around 1:36 a.m.
Steve MacDonald, spokesman for the Boston Fire Department, explains why firefighters might have run the hose right through the car. He emphasized he was not at the scene and had yet to talk to any firefighters who were, so he had no firsthand knowledge of the specific incident:
UPDATE: City increased estimate of number of customers without power Sunday evening.
The mayor's office reports some
5,000 11,000 NStar customers in Boston are without power and that it's "possible that some outages could last days."
Meanwhile, city crews received roughly 500 reports of downed trees and tree limbs across the city (including this one in Roslindale).
The Boston Fire Department reports firefighters responded to calls across the city, but especially in West Roxbury, Roslindale, Jamaica Plain and Allston-Brighton.
Peter Gelzinis spends the day in court watching the trial of Albert Arroyo, the bodybuilding firefighter with the bad back. He is not impressed.
While he testified he was spooked by stairs, he nevertheless kept climbing them, even when an elevator was nearby.
The Boston Fire Department shows off the newly renovated Engine 51 in Oak Square.
In October, 1921, the Boston Fire Department's Engine 30 in West Roxbury officially and finally switched from horses to a truck. Herald-Traveler photographer Leslie Jones was there to watch the horses leave the station for the last time. From the Boston Public Library's fire department collection.
Centre Street regulars will notice that one thing hasn't changed: The firehouse itself, still home to Engine 30 (and Ladder 25).
Posted under this Creative Commons license.
The Boston Public Library just posted a ton of photos of Boston firefighters and firefighting back in the good old days (like, when horses still pulled fire engines) from its Leslie Jones collection. Do not click on that link if you don't have some time to spare. I'll be posting some photos from the collection over the next few days, but had to start with this photo of a firetruck trying to get out of a fire house because it's just so Boston: Massholism is obviously not a new phenomenon.
Click to see the photo in all its glory; post if you know where that station was.
Posted under this Creative Commons license.