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  • #46
    It has happened again. Deaths blamed on faulty hydrants.

    Here is the link:
    http://www.freep.com/news/locway/fire14_20001214.htm

    Clearly, the city administartion does not take firefighting seriously.

    Eric

    Comment


    • #47
      Well after a little more than 2 months, I see the administration and city officals have no desire to fix the problems in the Detroit Fire Department. Instead they try to hide the facts, and cover up the problems.

      Comment


      • #48
        Yea, its terrible that the DFD is not going after the whistleblower. I hope the union sticks up for this guy.

        This type of stuff is exactly why I will never live in the city of Detroit. Problems galore that they never even WANT to fix. They just let things slide, just like they let the city slide in the godawful mess it is now.

        Eric

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        • #49
          They say there is power in numbers. Why doesn't the membership and the union take a strong stand against the department brass, and city leaders? Is the union politically active?

          Comment


          • #50
            The men and women of the department should start filing lawsuits against the city for faulty equipment, and get the public to do the same.

            Comment


            • #51
              I sometimes find that people are so simplistic when it comes to serious problems envolving departments like ours. I've heard that its the unions fault, seniority, officers and firefighters. We as a group have approched the city council, community groups and so on. The political climate here is horrible. If community groups raise hell, the city says we will no longer give you money for your community programs etc. Our union at the present time is almost broke because of negotiations that are still in progress, our legal bill are staggering and mounting daily our contract ended July 1, 1998 and the city still wants to drag it out. The only option we have found is a possible strike, but it is illegal in Michigan. the mayor would have no problem firing the entire department. Suing costs money, we have none. By March are union will be $100,000 in debt. Ask why our Mayor choose a Police Officer to run a fire dept. I wish there was a simple solution but the politics are, they will do it thier way and to hell with what we think. The firefighters and officers have documented everything and have proven it. Now the city is attacking the whistleblowers and bringing charges daily. Lawsuits will follow, but the city doesn't mind spending millions fighting this. Give the dept back to the fire professionals and get rid of the civilians running this dept. This is a city that operates backwards and until they choose to put qualified fire professionals in charge, things will never change. We are a proud group and will continue to protect the people of this city regardless of the city and its inept structure. We still have 7 of 21 ladder trucks that are inoperable (no pumps or ariels working). Staffing is still low and we can't even get toilet paper . We may eventually have to use garden hoses because we have no 21/2" or 11/2" line in stock. Every engine is short on the full compliment of hose. We have even had to patch line with duct tape. Stop blaming the firefighters and put ther blame in the lap of a cop and a mayor who doesn't give a damn!!!!!!!!! OSHA has fined the city to a tune of over a million dollars and they would rather pay that than bring this dept up to par.

              [This message has been edited by FireLt1951 (edited 01-25-2001).]

              Comment


              • #52
                WOW! Just when I was starting to feel sorry for the members of the Detroit Fire Department, I looked on their web-site and changed my mind. Please tell me that the site isn't the offical web-site of the Detroit Fire Department! I realize the site is probably maintained by the city, BUT! To have members of the department engage in discussions like the ones on the site is, well lets just say it's sad! Please tell me that I'm wrong, and that no Detroit Firefighters engaged in the type of foul language that appears on the discussion section of the site. If I'm wrong, I APOLOGIZE!!!

                Comment


                • #53
                  Some are and others aren't. Most D.F.D. members are getting tired of the consistent attacks, most unjustified. For those who choose to be crude I apologize. The emotions are running very high because a few outsiders think they know everything about this dept. Actually it's sad that other firefighters have choosen to attack the firefighters of the D.F.D. I don't think you would take kindly to the attacks that have been directed at us if it were you.
                  Originally posted by Ladder Man:
                  WOW! Just when I was starting to feel sorry for the members of the Detroit Fire Department, I looked on their web-site and changed my mind. Please tell me that the site isn't the offical web-site of the Detroit Fire Department! I realize the site is probably maintained by the city, BUT! To have members of the department engage in discussions like the ones on the site is, well lets just say it's sad! Please tell me that I'm wrong, and that no Detroit Firefighters engaged in the type of foul language that appears on the discussion section of the site. If I'm wrong, I APOLOGIZE!!!

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Holy SH*T, let this one die already. Yes there are issues (some serious) the DFD is wading through right now. Many lie in the administration not the FF's and yet the FF's are the guys taking the abuse on these forums. Do you think they chose to create the working conditions they are in? I highly doubt it! I think it was created for them by an administration that sucks. But you know what? I give them (most of them) a lot of credit for dealing with it every shift. A few people need to take a step back and realize that until you have taken a walk in a person's shoes, you don't know who they are or what it is like, yet you feel the need to criticize.

                    Just take a minute and realize that things may be great for your FD right now and your image is swell (hey can the Beaver come out and play?? ), but that can all be wiped out with one stroke of a members 'genious.' DFD is going through the down swing right now, but with every down swing an upswing should be coming and for that I keep my fingers crossed for our brothers in Detroit.

                    [This message has been edited by FFTrainer (edited 02-04-2001).]

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      This didn't occur to me until the other day when I re-read the article on the now infamous Ladder 7 in Detroit.

                      I was visiting a friend at Sutphen when the truck was in for repairs at the plant here just northwest of Columbus. I was horrified when I looked over the truck. Like the other person who posted about seeing an LTI rig in for repair, I shuddered to think of the wars this truck has to have been through. Leaks everywhere, broken windshields, inoperable this and that. I couldn't believe it.

                      To think this truck was (and still is, I believe) a front line rig made me cringe. Looking at it made me scared, and I can only imagine what LT1951 and the other members of DFD are having to go through. It's amazing to think of the bang up job they do when one stops to think that these types of trucks are the rule more than the exception in a LARGE metropolitan city.

                      Also, I've read the threads on the drunk personnel, and have looked over the website forums in question. There's no doubt each of these people were/are out of line, and this type of behavior can not bring much good to the cause. But, as has been mentioned, this type of problem is not specific to Detroit. I KNOW many departments around the country have this problem, and while someone should have apologized to that poor woman (has been mentioned she may have been a relative of a fallen fireman), its doubtful they were the only people who were acting inappropriately. Singling them out like this didn't help either.

                      I grew up in the inner city. There was this apartment complex down the street from me called 'Oozie Alley'. A night didn't go by where I didn't hear sirens or have the light of a police chopper shine into my window. Many of you who live in comfortable suburbs don't understand the impact this leaves on a person. People in many sections of Detroit deal with this daily. And the firemen in the city find themselves in the middle of situations such as these. Again, this isn't making excuses, but cut the guys a break. The real blame needs to go to the administration of the department, who probably haven't worked a scene in 15 years or more, if at all. They probably don't truly understand the trials and tribulations that the line officers and firemen are going through.

                      To LT1951, DetroitFire, and the rest of the personnel on the front lines, keep the faith....

                      Be safe...

                      (my opinion..not those of my dept)

                      [This message has been edited by TruroFAO (edited 02-05-2001).]

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        I've read this thread thoroughly, I've read the articles posted, and I've even had an email or two on the political issues. It looks like we can all find someone to place the blame on from the top to the bottom. I just have a couple of questions on this issue. It sounds like, from the posts I've read, that Detroit is predominantly African American, and a low income city. Michigan, too, must have an affirmative action policy.
                        My question is are the Mayor and Commissioners elected by the people? If so, the blame lies with the voters, and they're getting what they asked for. I'm sorry if that sounds harsh, but an elected Mayor that was there for over 20 years must have been pleasing the masses. People don't continue to elect officials they don't like, or whom they don't feel is doing the job.

                        The other question is, can't the DFD's combine their efforts, and find a candidate to support that will work for them? It's appalling to me to think that there's not one person in an administrative position that is looking out for the welfare of these ff's.

                        I don't know anything personal about the politics or demographics of Detroit, but I think the first thing I'd be looking at is the citizenry. Find out why they're satisfied with the status quo? Look for some community leaders who will support the fire departments and attend commission meetings with loud outspoken voices.

                        I know there's no easy answer, and no easy solution. I have to agree that the problem is from the top to the bottom, but I think the problems starts with the voters. Inform them.

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Comwhite, good questions. First the Mayor is elected and at that time he came to our union and stated he wanted to help build the department back up to its needed levels. He did not do so,he chose to keep the situation as is. The commissioner, deputy commissioner and the 3 general managers are all appointed by the mayor and not elected. If you want to be an administrator here you must always and I mean always agree with the mayor. The previous mayor had removed all power from the chief of department and the board of batallion chiefs,giving them no power or authourity over the fire department.The present mayor has refused to remove that order. Therefore the chiefs, officers and other department heads i.e. Fire Marshall,Training Supervisor,community Relations and Chief of Arson have no input into the running of the system.Any chief Officer that has consistently fought the administration was usually forced into retirement,and god forbid you should ever drop a dime on the administration to OSHA or the FAA. We have a Sgt. that did this out in the open and now they have charged him with 8 violations of the rules and regulations. 2 of the charges do not even exist. The Sgt. will prevail,but has been transfered and sent to purgatory.When myself and another Sgt. appeared before city council over 2 years ago and proved with statistical graphs,city comparrisons,injury rates,mileage covered by each apparatus,staffing levels etc. that we were in trouble, we met with much resistance.The community started to react.When this happened, the commissioner at that time came to my quarters and stated that I had better watch my back,you can guess what that meant.I refused to stop and stated to them that i would be happy to sue the city and retire a rich man.They chose not to come after me after that.Now the Commissioner calls us discruntled employees and our complaints were unfounded. The administration just kept on a campaign of it's the firefighters fault, it worked. Then the news did their article and reaction was good.Nothing has come about yet, but we will continue to fight for our needs and the protection of the community as a whole.The members of the D.F.D. will always live up to their oath and continue the best protection we can with what we have.The problem here is that the political system is similar to the old style city bosses, the politicians and administrators are more interested in lining their own pockets than doing what is right and just.
                          Originally posted by comwhite:
                          I've read this thread thoroughly, I've read the articles posted, and I've even had an email or two on the political issues. It looks like we can all find someone to place the blame on from the top to the bottom. I just have a couple of questions on this issue. It sounds like, from the posts I've read, that Detroit is predominantly African American, and a low income city. Michigan, too, must have an affirmative action policy.
                          My question is are the Mayor and Commissioners elected by the people? If so, the blame lies with the voters, and they're getting what they asked for. I'm sorry if that sounds harsh, but an elected Mayor that was there for over 20 years must have been pleasing the masses. People don't continue to elect officials they don't like, or whom they don't feel is doing the job.

                          The other question is, can't the DFD's combine their efforts, and find a candidate to support that will work for them? It's appalling to me to think that there's not one person in an administrative position that is looking out for the welfare of these ff's.

                          I don't know anything personal about the politics or demographics of Detroit, but I think the first thing I'd be looking at is the citizenry. Find out why they're satisfied with the status quo? Look for some community leaders who will support the fire departments and attend commission meetings with loud outspoken voices.

                          I know there's no easy answer, and no easy solution. I have to agree that the problem is from the top to the bottom, but I think the problems starts with the voters. Inform them.
                          [This message has been edited by FireLt1951 (edited 02-05-2001).]

                          [This message has been edited by FireLt1951 (edited 02-05-2001).]

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Lt.,

                            I have an idea, I don't know if it will work, or if it's even worth pursuing but here goes.

                            First of all, have you tried contacting your senators and representatives? State laws always supercede municipal codes, and most mayors and elected officials don't want to be contacted by state officials investigating.

                            I think I read somewhere here that the ff's weren't allowed to attend Commission meetings. Sorry, that's unconsitutional, they can not forbid you from attending and to threaten repurcussions for doing so would bring about a "federal" issue.

                            I hear all the time "brothers", on this forum, if that's the case then it's time for all of us to act like it. I don't think the Mayor or the Commissioners would be to happy if they knew this was an issue that made the whole country upset. Maybe if all the "brothers" here wrote a letter or sent an email to the Mayor and Commissioners they would sit up and take notice.

                            #2, someone mentioned Dateline, 20/20, etc. If you got some results with local public attention, then the threat of attention from one of these might be get bigger and better results. My advice would be that threat come from someone outside the DFD. What are they going to do, fire me?

                            I'm really not a rebel, ok so maybe I am, but I've heard enough about the politics of this to make me angry. When a person's livihood is threatened because they bring attention to a safety concern, I get angry. And you're the second person to tell me this.

                            My advice would be to get all the DFD members together with their stats, thier research, and their recommendations, and attend a Commission meeting UNIFIED. I don't think they'll fire all of you at one time. Present it to the Commission, request the Secretary include all of it as part of the minutes VERBATIM, then request a copy of the minutes at the meeting. If the Commission chooses to ignore, threaten, or do something you have it in writing.

                            I would also urge all the fire fighters on this forum deluge the Mayors office with letters of concern for their brothers. I would have no problem in writing one of your behalf, and I don't think most of the members here would. I don't know that any of this would help at all, but it's worth a shot. You make the call.

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              Some good ideas there. I wish I could get every firefighter and chief in the country to write the mayor and the commissioner.There has already been a lawsuit filed for the Sgt on the grounds that the city violated the whistle blowers act. I'm hoping he'll win big,then the city may backoff.We have attended so many meetings I've worn the soles off my shoes from walking the halls of the city/county building.We will keep trying to make this city understand, but I'm not sure they will listen. I've contacted 20/20 and nightline. Have heard anything yet. Keepthe comments coming. I apprieciate it.

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                FireLt1951 -

                                Would you be interested in posting the names and email addresses of the mayor and commissioners responsible for this? Possibly add newspaper email addresses/websites for writing letters to the editor? If you could make that known to the forum members, more people might take the time to send emails. I would be willing to email your mayor and commissioner.

                                Comment

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