Boston Fire Department
The Globe reports.
The Boston Fire Department reports a caravan of firefighters and trucks left Boston at 4 a.m. to help with rescue and recovery in Springfield:
Boston Fire dispatched Engine 14 & Engine 41 to Springfield as part of a Statewide mutual aid task force. ... Boston Fire also sent its Technical Rescue Team; Engine 10, Tower 10, Rescue 1 & District Chief 6 along with our box truck of tools to Brimfield at 4:30 am. They are staged there for deployment as needed. This team is made up of 15 firefighters
Boston Police are investigating a mid-afternoon crash that sent a police officer and a firefighter to the hospital - and a traffic signal to the ground - at Morton and Harvard streets.
According to the Boston Fire Department, Ladder 29 from the Blue Hill Avenue station was responding to a car accident on American Legion Highway around 3:40 p.m. when it collided with an SUV driven by the police officer.
The firefighter suffered head injuries, the cop leg and head injuries; none life-threatening.
The Boston Fire Department reported today that random drug testing conducted since September has found two positives out of 1,053 tests done:
In one case, the person served a 30 day unpaid suspension and entered the Employee Assistance Program. In the other case, the person entered a treatment program and served a 30 day unpaid suspension when the program concluded. This person has also entered the Employee Assistance Program.
About half the department's firefighters have undergone random tests - because the test is random, some have had to undergo more than one test (and by random, the department includes tests done on holidays, nights and weekends).
Firefighters agreed to random drug and alcohol screening as part of their current contract.
Boston has more than 13,000 fire hydrants, and this winter it's been a struggle to keep them clear for firefighters.
Although the Boston Water and Sewer Commission and the Boston Fire Department are responsible for making sure hydrants actually work, there's no law regulating who has to keep them clear after snowstorms, Boston Fire spokesman Steve MacDonald said.
The Globe reports on abuse of a shift-swapping system designed to replace firefighters out sick.
Post update with further information from BFD.
This statement just in from Fire Commissioner Roderick Fraser:
I have reviewed the evidence provided by the Boston Police Department regarding the events at the Rise nightclub as well as the documentation provided by my Nightclub Inspectors and have determined that the Rise was in violation of their posted capacity and have fined them accordingly. The Boston Fire Department takes overcrowding or any other violations of the fire code which would endanger the public's safety, very seriously.
Department spokesman Steve MacDonald said that even the club's own counters showed the club had exceeded its 292-person capacity by 25 to 30 people, and that the club was fined $100. He added the department told club owners yesterday they were free to re-open.
MacDonald said the department couldn't get into the dispute between the club and the police department over the exact number of excess people inside because its inspectors did not get to the club until most people had already left. Police allege 800 people were crammed into the club; the club says that is physically impossible.
In hindsight, MacDonald said, he shouldn't have told the Herald yesterday the department wouldn't cite Rise, because inspectors were still compiling their reports at the time.
Local 718 reports firefighters on Ladder 26 had to call police tonight when some guy stole a firefighter's helmet out the truck while it was at Fenwood Road and Huntington Avenue. Police quickly responded and nabbed the helmet thief, returning the helmet to the firefighters so they could get back to their station down Huntington Avenue.
The Boston Fire Department reports it's just signed a contract for a wicked fast new fireboat. The $4.2-million aluminum John S. Damrell (named after the fire department's chief engineer during the Great Fire of 1872) will be able to pump 12,000 gallons of water per minute - when it's not racing somewhere at speeds of up to 35 knots (40 m.p.h.).
The 69-foot Damrell is also designed to respond to biological, chemical and even radioactive attacks, according to the department. It's being built by Metalcraft Marine, Inc. of Kingston, Ont., and is expected in Boston Harbor in August, 2011.
About half the money for the boat comes from federal stimulus funds; the rest from the city. The Damrell will replace a boat in service since 1972.
NorthEndWaterfront.com pecks out the story (and posts the exclusive photo) of an ungrateful seagull trapped in a harbor piling that rewarded his rescuer with a bite that drew blood - sending the unlucky firefighter to the ER for a tetanus shot.
Mike Durant rounds up the coverage of the contract signed late Tuesday.
Chuck Turner interrupted a lovefest among other councilors, firefighters and the mayor's office this afternoon: As much as he admired the work firefighters and the administration did to finally come up with a contract, he could not vote for it without a guarantee councilors would press the mayor to stop the planned layoffs of hundreds of other city workers.
"You can bake cats, but that doesn't make them biscuits," he said.
The Globe reports on a breakthrough following eight hours of negotiations involving three city councilors as mediators. The Globe's Donovan Slack tweets the deal calls for a 1.5% drug-testing pay raise (an arbitration panel had awarded 2.5%) that will only apply to current firefighters.
The City Council, which has the final say, meets tomorrow morning to vote on the contract.
They called a meeting at 10:30 p.m. tonight. No immediate word on what could fire them up like that. One presumes it's one of those "emergency" meetings to get around the 48-hour notice otherwise required under the state open-meeting law.
The City Council met briefly this morning to urge Tom Menino and Firefighters Local 718 to get a room and hammer out a contract that's fair to both firefighters and taxpayers.
Possible breakthrough in firefighter contract talks: Union proposes one-year freeze on drug-testing pay increaseBy adamg - 6/3/10 - 12:41 pm
UPDATE: Administration to City Council: Just say no to firefighters; that would create a tidal wave of other unions demanding similar drug-testing deals. City council to administration: With all due respect, you suck. Councilor Ayanna Pressley: "There's some sort of conflicting shell game going on here."
Local firefighters union President Ed Kelly this morning offered to freeze for one year a 2.5% raise awarded by an arbitration panel in exchange for drug testing.
City councilors Mike Ross and Steve Murphy immediately congratulated Kelly for making the "significant concession."
"I think, frankly, it's extraordinary," Murphy said.
After six hours or so of testimony and debate, the City Council adjourned tonight a without voting on the proposed contract for firefighters. The council will reconvene tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. to continue testimony, but council President Mike Ross ended the session by saying councilors will vote on the matter "at a later date" (they have until mid-July to approve or deny the contract).
The fun starts at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, June 2 in the council chambers on the fifth floor of City Hall. According to Council President Mike Ross, the council will not actually vote on the arbitration panel's proposed settlement until another meeting, as yet unscheduled.
UPDATE: Mike Ross tweets the council WILL discuss the issue, along with an analysis of the award by an MIT managment professor brought in by the council, at today's meeting. Starts at noon in City Hall. No vote, however.
The Globe reports Mayor Menino yesterday filed his plan for paying for the contract awarded the firefighters by an arbitration panel - mostly through money the city had been saving plus money from the new meals tax. The council has 60 days to decide whether to reject the proposed contract.
City Council President Mike Ross reports Thomas Kochan, a professor of work and employee relations at MIT's Sloan School of Management to review the 19% retroactive pay increase an arbitration panel recently agreed to give firefighters.
In a letter to Mayor Menino, Ross writes Kochan has already found "a number of differences in the estimates and methodologies used to arrive at them."
The council can reject the proposed settlement. Although councilors had talked of discussing the issue tomorrow, they may hold off until after Menino forwards them details on how he would fund the proposed contract.
Rick Nohl was on scene when Marines used one of their vehicles to pull Engine 37 out of the mud at Moakley Park on Saturday.