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  • DCFD Change to FEMS????

    DCFD Change to FEMS Upsets Some Firefighters
    Firehouse.com News

    Posted: Wed, 03/30/2011 - 04:37pm
    Updated: Wed, 03/30/2011 - 04:38pm

    Much like other fire departments in cities across the county, D.C. Fire and EMS has a familiar acronym that can be seen on the backs of the department's dark blue t-shirts: DCFD.

    But according to WTTG-TV, that will soon change.

    In three months time, the new acronym, "FEMS," will appear on the back of the t-shirts and it isn't sitting well with some firefighters.

    "Some members are upset," union president Edward Smith told the news station. "We haven't had a raise in five years, so everything is taken to heart. They're very sensitive right now."

    New Fire Chief Kenneth B. Ellerbe has also moved to replace the "fold eagle" emblem logo and sleeve patch instituted by the last chief, Dennis Rubin, with a blue, yellow and red patch previously used by the department.

    This "rebranding" of the department was a recommendation of the city's EMS Task Force after the David Rosenbaum lawsuit in order to integrate the role of emergency services into the department.

    While firefighters have complained about the cost of new shirts, hats and jackets they out of pocket for, they are the most upset about the use of "FEMS," according to the report.


    I can somewhat, kinda understand the patch change, but "FEMS" on the back of the guys shirts? Going from "DCFD" to "FEMS" is just plain and simply stupid on so many levels its offensive!
    Stay Safe
    Bull


    “Guys if you get hurt, we’ll help you. If you get sick we’ll treat you. If you want to bitch and moan, then all I can tell you is to flick the sand out of your slit, suck it up or get the hell out!”
    - Capt. Marc Cox CFD

    Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.
    -WINSTON CHURCHILL

  • #2
    No doubt a group of people wholly unfamiliar with the Fire Service came up with this "re-branding" idea. While the idea probably looked great on a powerpoint presentation, it practice it will only serve to weaken the morale of a well-respected agency. And anyone who's been around for more than a couple of weeks knows that when morale sinks, so does productivity.

    We in the fire service possess a certain ownership of our profession that few other careers can match. How many accountants collect old account logbooks? Have you ever met a computer programmer who has little models of computers on his shelves at home? Compare this with firefighters you know. We all know people who collect old helmets, old badges, old pictures, and whatever fire memorabilia they can find.

    The level of tradition and respect for the past in the fire service makes for a proud profession. Most of the firefighters I know are incredibly proud of their chosen career and are constantly striving to become better at their job. I have always felt that this culture of pride and tradition is one of the things that makes the Fire Service great. We all have shared ownership of a tradition hundreds of years old, and we are enjoying our turn in drivers seat now. Eventually, we will retire and pass the reigns over to the next generation, but for now it is ours to preserve and protect.

    A poorly thought-out and useless name-change serves only to weaken the ownership DC Firemen have to this great profession. It is a slap in the face to an agency that goes back to 1804. The men and women of DCFD have been through more than enough. Taking their pride in their job away from them is counterproductive and inane.

    Besides, how many kids are going to want a FEMS action figure for Christmas?

    Good luck to our friends in our nation's capitol. They'll always be DCFD to me.

    Comment


    • #3
      Please tell me this is an early April Fools joke.

      Comment


      • #4
        This is not a joke at all. It was one of the many recommendations that come from the task force that was formed after the Rosenbaum death (Google it).

        Read a lot more here, and take the time to read some of the 58 comments: Statter911.com: The Name Game: Does FEMS Mean Anything to the Citizens of the Nations Capital?.
        Career Fire Captain
        Volunteer Chief Officer


        Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks BoxAlarm187 for find this article, it is a very Good read! Here is Dave Statter's article for those of you that did not feel like clicking on the link.



          Sometime in the late 1970s Winfield Kelly decided it was an insult to refer to Prince George's County as "PG County" or just "PG." County Executive Kelly was the first of many to try and get us to stop saying "PG". To this day I can't understand why the shorthand is a slight to the people who live in the county.

          Being a somewhat rebellious county employee I always made sure I used "PG Fire" and not "Prince George's" when talking on the mutual aid channel as a dispatcher.

          I couldn't get away with it in my TV job starting sometime in the late 90s, almost 20 years after Winfield Kelly left office. Someone convinced management that it was politically incorrect to call it "PG". If that is so, why does the fire department to this day use the logo "PGFD"?

          Is it also an affront to the residents of the District of Columbia to hear the Nation's Capital referred to by people all across the country as "DC"?

          Which is a roundabout way to bring you the story by my friend Melanie Alnwick at WTTG-TV (having watched the station since the days of Captain Tugg I can't bring myself to say or write the more recent "Fox 5"). The story is about an identity crisis for the District of Columbia Fire & EMS Department.

          I think it was sometime in the late 1990s (could have been later) that those on the EMS side of the house convinced me I was not being very accurate in my reporting when I talked about the "DC Fire Department" or the "DC Fire Chief". The issue wasn't "DC". The agency's name had been changed to include "EMS" and I wasn't keeping up with the times in my reports. I tried to ignore the complaint because it was easier to say "DC Fire". I was also somewhat of a traditionalist. And I could argue "DC Fire" was the term most people, including the citizens, used and understood. But in the end, I realized they were right and I was wrong. It was the correct name and it described accurately the role of the agency.

          Melanie's story is about the a more recent name change. At some point after the move to the "District of Columbia Fire & EMS Department" the bureaucrats in the District government started referring to the agency by the acronym FEMS. It made it easier for the government's internal communications and has been slowly creeping into its external communications like the city website.

          I never once said "FEMS" on the air or wrote it in my copy for the Internet, even though people like City Council member Phil Mendelson use it all of the time in public hearings. The reason I never used it is because those watching the TV report would be scratching their heads asking what the hell I was talking about. I'd be willing to bet good money that if you stopped 100 people randomly on the streets of DC almost no one could tell you what FEMS is.

          That hasn't stopped the new administration in the city from starting to push the name FEMS. That's what Melanie's story is about.

          Good luck to them. I think the city will need a giant advertising budget if they want the public to understand FEMS and start identifying fire and EMS services by that name. It might be real confusing for tourists. But that is just my opinion after covering the department and the city for more than three decades. For all I know the administration of Mayor Vincent Gray has done focus groups that indicate FEMS is the answer and is a short way to communicate the mission of the agency. (After this column was posted, the unsolicited reaction I've received from those not associated with fire and EMS has been consistant. All believe it may a better name for a product associated with women than a way to identify first responders. It would be interesting to learn whether an unbiased focus group produces similar results.)

          Still, I can't imagine when we will hear the first citizen say, "Call FEMS I'm having a heart attack" or "Call FEMS the house is on fire". The public understands "fire", "ambulance", "911" and possibly "EMS". FEMS will probably take a lot of training. Just remember, 35-years later and many of us are still calling it "PG".
          Stay Safe
          Bull


          “Guys if you get hurt, we’ll help you. If you get sick we’ll treat you. If you want to bitch and moan, then all I can tell you is to flick the sand out of your slit, suck it up or get the hell out!”
          - Capt. Marc Cox CFD

          Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.
          -WINSTON CHURCHILL

          Comment


          • #6
            Hey, why not DCES? District of Columbia Emergency Services?

            What about Fire, Emergency Call, and Ems Services?(FECES)

            Its all a bunch of crap that will ultimately confuse the public more than it will clarify the services... And FEMS? Come on, is that FEMA's stepchild? There has gotta be a better acrynom than that....
            A coward stands by and watches wrongs committed without saying a word...Any opinions expressed are purely my own and not necessarily reflective of the views of my former departments

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Fireeaterbob View Post
              Hey, why not DCES? District of Columbia Emergency Services?

              What about Fire, Emergency Call, and Ems Services?(FECES)

              Its all a bunch of crap that will ultimately confuse the public more than it will clarify the services... And FEMS? Come on, is that FEMA's stepchild? There has gotta be a better acrynom than that....
              There is/was DCFD
              Stay Safe
              Bull


              “Guys if you get hurt, we’ll help you. If you get sick we’ll treat you. If you want to bitch and moan, then all I can tell you is to flick the sand out of your slit, suck it up or get the hell out!”
              - Capt. Marc Cox CFD

              Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.
              -WINSTON CHURCHILL

              Comment


              • #8
                What about the guys who ride the rescue squads? Their shirts won't say Rescue, how will they know that's part of their job?

                It's been the District of Columbia Fire Department for what, 140 years? Anyone who thought that a name change would go over well is a delusional moron. And they're even more dumb for thinking it's necessary.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by BULL321 View Post
                  There is/was DCFD
                  Amen. We work a job that's lifeblood is our history. F*ck these guys DC, YOU FIGHT FOR YOU HERITAGE. They've taken your money and your moral...DON'T GIVE THEM YOUR PRIDE.
                  "It's a living thing brian..."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by truckedup133 View Post
                    Amen. We work a job that's lifeblood is our history. F*ck these guys DC, YOU FIGHT FOR YOU HERITAGE. They've taken your money and your moral...DON'T GIVE THEM YOUR PRIDE.
                    This is likely to ruffle some feathers, however if you consider the functions of DCFD, one of if not the number 1 mission is delivery of EMS. If the agency is the provider of EMS, and the largest call for service is for the delivery of EMS, then it only makes sense that the EMS mission be reflected in the name. With that said, FEMS is retarded, anyone should be able to see that.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Bunchas Fems. lol
                      Logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Think they will change the USAR teams to the FEMA-FEMS ?
                        ?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BULL321 View Post
                          There is/was DCFD
                          Or FDDC


                          Somehow this whole thing has the stink of trying to erase any memory of Chief Rubin...
                          Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

                          Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            You guys have it all wrong.

                            They aren't trying to embrace the EMS mission at all.

                            It actually reads -- F EMS.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by bossteen View Post
                              This is likely to ruffle some feathers, however if you consider the functions of DCFD, one of if not the number 1 mission is delivery of EMS. If the agency is the provider of EMS, and the largest call for service is for the delivery of EMS, then it only makes sense that the EMS mission be reflected in the name. With that said, FEMS is retarded, anyone should be able to see that.
                              Of course most of what every department does these days is EMS. So every department should drop their name so a few civilly emt's don't feel left out? F8ck that. They are the FIRE DEPARTMENT. Who you gonna call when your house lights? That fire and emergency medical services company? People know to call 911 and who is gonna come help like usual...the fire department.
                              "It's a living thing brian..."

                              Comment

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