Boston Fire Department
The Globe reports a Boston firefighter, in uniform and in a department vehicle, was arrested in Dorchester this afternoon on drug-possession charges after police spotted him smoking what appeared to be marijuana.
The arrest comes one day after the Boston firefighters union stormed out of contract talks that have largely stalemated over the issue of mandatory drug and alcohol testing.
State civil service officials will scrap the results of a Boston firefighter promotional exam after an investigation of cheating allegations showed that numerous firefighters talked during the test, brought cellphones into the testing room, and took unusually frequent trips to the men's room, say two public officials briefed on the probe results. ...
Does Adrian Walker's column offer any new insights on the deaths of two firefighters in West Roxbury?By adamg - 2/26/08 - 9:53 am
Box 4-281 Report is the Board of Inquiry report into the deaths of firefighters Paul Cahill and Warren Payne at the Tai Ho restaurant in West Roxbury on Aug. 29, 2007 (It's a 9M file, so it might take awhile to download; if you have trouble, I've put a copy here).
It contains a detailed timeline of the night, background on the building and firefighting equipment and photos from the night of the fire. And it concludes the fire was caused and worsened by the restaurant's failure to adequately clean accumulated grease out of ducts and that initial efforts to fight the fire (which firefighters did not realize was as bad as it was) helped contribute to "an intense fireball" that helped disorient Cahill, Payne and other firefighters by providing a sudden infusion of oxygen to the fire.
... The substandard construction, installation and maintenance of the kitchen hood, duct and exhaust system, along with the degradation of the duct work were the underlying factors involved in this fatal fire incident. ...
The board does not actually say the two firefighters were not impaired by either alcohol or drugs, but that:
... The Board of Inquiry could find no factual indications supporting that alcohol/drug impairment contributed to or caused these two firefighters to become disoriented or inhibited their ability to perform the firefighting duties assigned to them at the fatal fire incident. ...
Just when I'd given up hope, he files a column that is not only about Boston, but, indeed, makes an actual point (that Maureen Feeney is in the palm of the firefighters' union).
The only nit: Walker stating, as a fact, that firefighter Warren Payne "died on duty last year with cocaine in his system." It might wind up being true, but the union still says it's unsubtantiated.
If the union really thinks Tom Menino's contract positions will make firefighters quit, it needs to show exactly how many firefighters really are prepared to quit right now, Jonathan Kamens writes.
OK, so the jakes (thanks, Boston Herald) didn't show up at the mayor's state-of-the-city address or spit at his family or anything, but that didn't stop the war of words between the two over a contract, drug testing and the reputations of those two firefighters who died in West Roxbury.
John Daly wonders why the Globe only covered the firefighter angle and nothing else that Menino said in his speech last night. Seth Gitell, who, granted, once worked for Hizzona, analyzes his speech. Joe Keohane provides the slice-of-life angle.
Michele McPhee couldn't stay away from the written word, it seems. She's signed on with Boston Magazine's Boston Daily and her first post today is a fun one, unless your name is Tom Menino:
Kevin MacCurtain, the department's highest ranking uniformed officer, will boycott the mayor's state-of-the-city address tonight, in solidarity with the firefighters who will be picketing the speech to protest their lack of a contract (no word if they plan to spit at members of Menino's family again). MacCurtain reports (for now, at any rate) to Commissioner Rod Fraser.
The mayor doesn't take kindly to managers who disagree with him; just ask Bernie Margolis.
Just ask the Hayhurst family, which can now continue its tradition of sending sons into the Boston Fire Department despite bottom-of-the-class test scores, thanks to some meddling by the state senate president, who, last we checked, doesn't actually live in Boston. Oops, we see Tom Menino and the Boston City Council also worked to get the Hayhursts preferential treatment.
TJIC is none too pleased:
... If government fire depts are going to exist, then they have to serve all citizens equally. Positions belong to the commonwealth, not to Therese Murray to dole out as gifts to her "family friends". ...
Actually, he has some harsher words, involving what Murray could do with a few feet of rope and the State House roof.
David Bernstein reminds us this is not the first time Murray helped out a friend get around pesky state requirements for something:
... It's quite a campaign slogan -- Terri Murray: champion of the ineligible contractor and the unqualified firefighter. ...
Dave Alpert was walking by the fire station at Boylston and Hereford yesterday:
... As I was walking past the first garage door, there were some important looking firefighters standing there, talking, making announcements. Just then a torrent of water flew out of the second floor window, entirely drenching one of the guys standing below. Lucky for me, I only got SOAKED! ...
Sure, they were on the way to somewhere in a hurry, but when the driver of one of two fire trucks saw the young boy at the corner, he stuck his arm out the window and waved:
... It made a little boy's morning. I'm proud to have that crew out there saving lives. ...