Boston Fire Department
We'll find out Wednesday, when the council considers a 19% retroactive raise for Boston firefighters awarded by an arbitration panel - the council has the power to reject the award.
The Globe reports the arbitration panel concluded firefighters deserved an extra $2,000 a year in exchange for proving they're not coked up, in addition to a base pay increase equal to that given to other city workers over the same period (well, two of the three panel members; one called the award "a slap in the face" to Boston taxpayers).
This just in from at-large Councilor Ayanna Pressley:
My City Council colleagues and I will certainly take a hard look at this ruling and its impact on the city's finances. I echo what Council President Ross has said - the fire department needs to be partners in the effort to maintain the city's financial stability, both in the short term and in the years to come. As a City Councilor, I have a different responsibility than the arbitrator in this case and must make a decision based on what's in the best interests of our city.
But firefighters will have to pee into cups at random intervals, the Globe reports, noting the amount is far higher than anything other city unions are getting.
Spotted on Winter Street outside the Corner on Tuesday.
Local 718 provides the tally for the Boston Fire Department between 8 a.m. on March 13 and 8 a.m. on March 16: 1,218 calls, including 8 fires (two of them multiple alarms).
UPDATE: Shortly before midnight, he tweeted: There are an awful lot of homes around here without heat, hot water and electricity."
One of the firefighters who mans Ladder 29 out of Blue Hill Avenue has been tweeting today in between runs - and it's a good thing it doesn't take long to tweet because he reports the company has been all out, responding to 20 calls as of around 9 p.m., including:
Ceiling/roof collapse, basement fire, person stranded in 4 feet of water in their car, basements 6 feet under,, etc etc
Boston Ladder 25 had to be pulled out of service last night when a car ran into it as it was racing to a minor accident at 1212 VFW Parkway around 11:40 p.m., Wednesday.
Department spokesman Steve MacDonald said the driver of the car was taken to a nearby hospital for evaluation. No firefighters were hurt, but the collision damaged one of the hydraulic jacks used to lift the ladder, so it had to be replaced with a spare truck until repairs can be completed. He said the truck's emergency lights and sirens were on as it rushed to the first accident.
State Police are now investigating the accident - the parkway is a state road - MacDonald said.
The Boston Fire Department recently took delivery of a trailer full of equipment to help firefighters dig you out (also new: an "urban search and rescue" trailer).
The Globe gets a look at a report by Boston Police homicide investigators into the truck that cost Lt. Kevin Kelley his life in January. The Suffolk County District Attorney's office concluded so many things went wrong but that no one person was criminally responsible for the truck's brakes failing on Parker Hill Avenue.
Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley today blamed a poorly maintained firetruck and human error for the death of Boston Fire Lt. Kevin Kelley in January, but said nobody was criminally responsible for Ladder 26's fatal crash into a Huntington Avenue apartment complex.
Channel 4 points us to a National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health report on the 2007 fire that killed Boston firefighters Paul Cahill and Warren Payne, which says a number of contributing factors led to their deaths:
- Ineffective incident management system at the incident.
- Insufficient incident management training and requirements.
- Insufficient tactics and training.
- Ineffective communications.
- Delay in establishing a rapid intervention team.
- Inadequate building code enforcement and development.
- Inadequate turnout clothing and personal protective equipment.
Feds charge Albert Arroyo, another Boston firefighter with fraudulent disability-pension applications; a BFD clerk with perjury and obstructing a grand jury, Channel 5 reports.
Sad but true: After last week's Orange Line fire, caused by somebody throwing trash on the third rail (not to be confused with the simultaneous Red Line fire caused by old wiring), the MBTA plans a public-education campaign to get people to use trash receptacles instead of the tracks.
Boston Commissioner Roderick Fraser will record one of those public-service announcements today at the T's subway command center, reminding people that the T put those trash and recycling bins in stations for a reason. In addition:
While MBTA train crews are already required to report trash build-up along the tracks, the MBTA is issuing a reminder to all subway employees about the importance of notifying dispatchers so that a clean-up crew will be deployed. The MBTA is also tightening the protocols for trash pick-up by the MBTA track inspectors who work the overnight shifts while trains are not operating.
UPDATE: Putting 2 and 2 together and getting 5? There was a fire drill today at Center Plaza. But the Boston Fire Department tells the Herald there were no firefighters involved. And as you'll see in the comments, people who work in the building say they were told ahead of time about the drill by building management. So my apologies to firefighters for jumping the gun after seeing this tweet.
Boston firefighters decided today would be a good day to test the fire preparations at 2 Center Plaza, which happens to be the location of Tom Menino's campaign headquarters.
Menino campaign spokesman Nick Martin says 50 to 60 campaign staffers - in addition to workers in nearby offices - had to evacuate when firefighters pulled the alarms around 2 p.m.
Martin said workers were kept outside for about half an hour. He added that many took cell phones with them so they could try to do some work.
Firefighters Local 718 was an early supporter of Michael Flaherty. They've feuded with Menino for years over a lack of contract and, more recently, mandatory drug and alcohol testing.
Pedestrian struck 400 yards from fire station, fire department and EMS show up in force...20 minutes laterBy Brett - 9/14/09 - 8:50 pm
This evening, a female pedestrian was struck at the intersection of Longwood Avenue and Huntington Avenue by a hit-and-run driver. Waiting for the T, I saw the aftermath; a MassArt campus police car blocked one lane while the victim, hidden behind the jersey barrier and about 10-20 feet away from the crosswalk, lay on the ground. A young man was possibly an acquaintance. Someone offered their jacket, which was welcomed. A young woman in scrubs appeared to look her over/speak to her.
I started watching the clock when I realized it had been a while and there were no signs of ambulances.
The Boston Municipal Research Bureau, funded by local businesses, says Boston will face even greater financial challenges next year than it did this year. In a report the bureau says the city could tighten its belt by shutting some fire stations, closing the fire-box alarm system, making some 1,700 retirees sign up for Medicare and put city services with analogs in the private sector out to bid on the theory private companies could do the work more cheaply than city workers.
Flaming death on sale at the Hyde Park Shaw's.
On Friday night, a five-year-old girl suffered serious burns in the South End when some moron (sorry, some alleged moron) poured lighter fluid on the fire pit at which she was toasting marshmallows. In this story, at least, a Boston fire official seems a bit more concerned about the fact that the explosion happened with an illegal fire pit than the fact that somebody was putting an accelerant on an already lit fire (I was not the only one to notice the emphasis on the pit, rather than on the lighter fluid).
OK, so in Boston, fire pits are illegal, "even ones you can buy at the store," the story tells us.
This evening, the kidlet and I were down at the Shaw's in Hyde Park (which, last we checked, was still part of Boston), buying some stuff for a barbecue on our presumably legal Weber grill. When we got to the end of one aisle, we saw that not only does the store sell fire pits, it was selling them at a discount (at $49.99, a 50% markdown). Dear BFD, time for a little chat with local supermarkets?
Well, firefighters are now harassing individual citizens. I got a SPAM phone message form an autobot - the firefighters want me to know how Menino is putting me in danger with firehouse brownouts. (but they didn't tell me why so many firefighters called in sick they had to brown out my local FD..)
So why is harassing me going to get me on their side?
Photo taken this morning at the Centre Street firehouse (click on the photo for a larger view).
The Dorchester Reporter fills us in.
Channel 5 reports the Boston firefighter with the alleged pot farm in Maine has resigned from the Boston Fire Department.
The Globe has the details on short career of Boston's new and now former Fire Department fleet safety manager.
We're number 1! Oh, wait, that's not something to be proud of, is it?
Dude's problem was he used a "send to all" function, so fire officials appointed by the mayor, such as the commissioner, also got his missive.
Two disclosures for the price of one: I built the Reporter's new Web site, and made a point of turning on its polling function, and I used the word "jake" in the headline because the Herald didn't, which is very disappointing because I thought the Herald had a standing rule to always use the word "jake" in stories about Boston firefighters. Also, dear Herald: If you write about an online poll, would it kill you to link to it?