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  • Houston's LODD Politics

    Brother and Sister Firefighters,

    I AM OUTRAGED !

    On October 13, 2001 Houston Fire Department Captain Jay Jahnke (Station 2) was killed IN THE LINE OF DUTY. There were some hints and allegations at the time that Houston's policy of "three on a truck" had contributed to his death. At his funeral, Mrs. Jahnke put it to Mayor Lee Brown and asked "point blank" how many deaths would it take to put the fourth man onboard. Mrs. Jahnke has a lot of class and a lot of intestinal fortitude.

    Today (January 25, 2002) while traveling to work, I heard a news story reporting that the Houston Medical Examiner still has NOT issued a death certificate for Captain Jahnke's death and this action is holding up some benefits that Mrs. Jahnke is entitled to receive. (Kudos to the union and its pension fund, they are helping out.)

    Here's my outrage, IS THIS THE PRICE THE JAHNKE FAMILY IS PAYING FOR MRS. JAHNKE'S COMMENTS AT CAPTAIN JAHNKE'S FUNERAL ?

    Jay Jahnke died serving the City of Houston. Is this a way to honor his memory ? Mrs. Jahnke expressed her opinion on fire truck staffing. Is this any way to help her through her sorrow ?

    If there are any Brothers or Sisters from the Houston Fire Department on this forum, please let us know if there is anything we can do to help. We're all part of the same family, and the Jahnke's deserve SO MUCH BETTER.

    NEVER FORGET OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS WHO FALL IN THE LINE OF DUTY.

    Regards to all,

    Jim Boyle (aka 1261Truckie)
    Captain, Porter (TX) Vol. Fire Dept.

  • #2
    Here's a link to the Firehouse.com story regarding the lack of manpower in Houston.

    http://www.firehouse.com/lodd/2002/houston.html

    It is absolutely an outrage that Houston FF's have to deal w/ this. Houston's ISO rating even got better in the same month that this happened. Figure that one out.

    Stay Safe

    Comment


    • #3
      I have no idea how to react to the7tuwer without physical violence...
      See You At The Big One

      Comment


      • #4
        THE ONLY WAY FOR THINGS TO CHANGE IS FOR THE MAYOR TO LEAVE AND TO GET A CHIEF WITH SOME N*TS TO CHANGE HOUSTONS WAY. THE FACT THAT THE DEATH CERT. IS BEING HELD UP IS TOTAL BS. THE MAYOR AND HIS FRIENDS ARE MAD BECAUSE THE WIFE SAID AT THE FUNERAL ABOUT THE 4 MAN ISSUE. I WAS THERE AND IT WAS A VERY MOVING MOMENT WHEN SHE GOT UP AND SAID WHAT SHE DID.
        I BELIEVE IF YOU WANT TO HELP THE FAMILY YOU CAN GO TO WWW.LOCAL341.ORG TO FIND OUT WHERE TO HELP.
        AND YES 4 WOULD HAVE HELPED ON A PUMPER AND LADDER. .
        Chris
        FF/Lic-Paramedic
        Galveston FD "The Big House"
        IAFF Local 571
        www.galvestonfiredept.org

        Comment


        • #5
          That makes 3 in 2 years all on 3 person crews
          Stephen J Bourassa
          Latham FD (NY)
          member since 1969
          challenge competitor since 1993

          Comment


          • #6
            xxxThat makes 3 in 2 years all on 3 person crew

            If you believe the lies told by HFD union that is true. NIOSH, NFPA, HFD call reports, and even press reports all name the crew by name 4 on the rig at McDonalds 90 total onscene. Jay's fire 56 onscene before any problems were reported in the first 13 minutes over 150 total in 30 minutes. How many FD's run that man guys? Maybe 15 in the entire US.

            The above are not staffing problems! There is no need to lie about the facts to play politics with the death of three firefighters. Every stinking fire engine in the city of Houston runs FOUR. FOUR is minimum staffing even though the union cotract says 4 is the maximum nd 3 is the minimum. That is just the way it is. No one can dispute those facts. THe UNION suported the wrong guy so the old Mayor is there for 2 more years, tisk tisk.

            The average firefighter in HFD makes 8 to 10K more than he did last year. The whole staffing issue was about overtime. The guys wanted more overtime not new hires and held out it is simple as that. GREED!

            Yeah get a new chief, new mayor and they will still have 4 per rig. The FD is fully accredited as a Class 1 and a fully accredited with an in house through the ranks Chief. No other city is even close to that size has all three. NONE!

            HFD is a great FD, where else can a union man fall a sleep last week driving a fire truck o the way to an emergency and total it and not get fired???

            Comment


            • #7
              Looks like the7tower aka fcvfd has changed his login name again, or could it be his twin. Post sounds exactly like Larry huh.

              Comment


              • #8
                3 man engines is a staffing problem - this has been proved in many parts of the world and 4 or sometimes 5 are the minimum number of firefighters for an engine to ensure a safe working enviroment.

                However, Larry makes a point, although rather bluntly! The report I read states -

                'They exited the apartment and headed down the hall, but a nasty thing happened when they opened the stairwell door, sources say. The stairwell acted like a ferocious maw, sucking heat and smoke down from the burning apartment. For Jahnke and Green the effect was overwhelming. The smoke grew thick as a blindfold; a torrent of hot air whirred past. The captains reportedly tried to beat a retreat by following their hose out of the apartment and down the hallway, a task made brutally complicated by the coiled, irregular pathway of their lifeline.

                The violent shift in the air current created high confusion by sucking the heat away from the fire. To Jahnke it seemed as if they were headed toward the fire, not away from it, as they followed the path of the hose, Hauck says'.

                This is a tactical problem - it is well established that stairshafts will most likely 'suck' the fire once a pathway is created in high-rise fires. The result, on opening a doorway to the stairs, is an escalation of the fire; possibly even a flashover; and unexpected transportation of gases and heat.

                I have seen and heard of this effect in several such fires and this is not the first time it has taken a brother. I have experienced this effect under regular staffing of four man engines - it was not the staffing that caused the problem.

                http://www.firetactics.com/HIGH-RISE.htm

                Don't get me wrong - HOUSTON ARE UNDER-STAFFED according to most other cities research and staffing plan. It most certainly MAY have been a factor in this LODD.....but I can see Larry's point.........I think!

                [ 01-26-2002: Message edited by: Paul GRIMWOOD ]

                [ 01-26-2002: Message edited by: Paul GRIMWOOD ]

                Euro Firefighter 2008 - Strategy & Tactics from the World's Firegrounds

                Comment


                • #9
                  fcvfd: Where in the world are you getting your information from? Did you pull your information out of Connealy or Browns rear end?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You know I'm not sure where I got my info on the 3 person staffing. Have been on several sites that I thought were related to HFD and were giving acurate info. While I personally knew none of these ff's though Kim Smith and I did share a common thread. As I said I had never met her but we were both members of a group of ff's that take part in the Firefighters Combat Challenge. Because of that her loss was closer to me than it might have been. No one wants a LODD, it is such a waste. Was staffing part of the problem, I don't know.
                    Stephen J Bourassa
                    Latham FD (NY)
                    member since 1969
                    challenge competitor since 1993

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      NIOSH says:
                      SUMMARY

                      On February 14, 2000, a 44-year-old male and a 30-year-old female, both career fire fighters, died in a restaurant fire. At 0430 hours, Central Dispatch received a call from a civilian who reported that fire was emitting through the roof of the restaurant. Medic 73 was first to arrive on the scene, followed by Engine 76 (Captain, Fire Apparatus Operator (FAO), and two fire fighters (Victim #1 and Victim #2). Upon arrival, dispatch was notified by the two companies that there was visible fire emitting through the roof. The Captain on Engine 76 radioed dispatch reporting that he and his crew were going to complete a "fast attack" (enter the structure with a 1¾-inch hoseline and knock down the fire with the water from their engine).

                      HMmm, 2 on a medic unit and 4 on an enginee. That is 6. Three goes into 6 twice.....

                      [ 01-26-2002: Message edited by: fcvfd ]

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        fcvfd,

                        I sincerely hope the reason you are slamming your fellow firefighters in Houston (assuming you are a firefighther) and speaking so maliciously is because you are misinformed.

                        ///"How man FD's run than man guys? (I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you meant "many") Maybe 15 in the entire U.S."

                        I'll give you an example of the Houson area, Sugar Land, Woodlands, Village... Just to name a few, all VERY near Houston. All four man engines.

                        Even if you were correct, HFD is the third largest department in the country and has the nations busiest port, loaded with haz-mat potential and daily incidents. Any reason why they don't deserve the MINIMUM standards??????

                        ////"Every stinking fire engine in the city of Houston runs FOUR. FOUR is minimum staffing...///

                        Where did that information come from?????? That may be what it looks like from fcvfd (wherever that is), but in Houston three is a reality!
                        Yes, even first in on a high-rise fire in your own territory with three is a reality!

                        PAUL GRIMWOOD: You definitely approach the situation with a little more decency and respect, and MUCH more logic (thank you for that), but look at it this way. Would you rather attack a high-rise appartment fire six floors up, people trapped, with only one other firefighter?

                        Even if your guess were true about what happened, would you rather have two guys with you to pull you out, or one. How many do you want searching for you while you run out of air and call for help???????

                        fcvfd,
                        ////NIOSH Summary///////

                        You are right on track!! Keep reading, and you'll see that many engines and ladders had only 3. Note NIOSH recommendations that HFD raise their staffing levels to a MINIMUM of four per apparatus, higher in high risk areas!

                        How would you like to be warned by NIOSH specifically to increase to FOUR-man staffing, and then lose one of your prominent Captains on a high-rise apartment fire, after reducing staffing even further????

                        Local 341 backed the candidate with the best interests of the firefighters. It's not often a Local with back a Republican to the end.

                        Do you want to know when Connealy and Brown raised staffing? Two weeks before the election, and HOURS after Jay's widow pleaded and told this story:
                        Dawn: "What is it going to take to get them to improve staffing?"

                        Jay: "Heck, I guess somebody's going to have to die."

                        Leroy, Connealy, AND Larry: You should be ashamed of yourselves!!!

                        Kim Smith, Lewis Mayo, Jay Jahnke

                        Your sacrifice will never be forgotten!!!

                        [ 01-26-2002: Message edited by: First In ]

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          First In - All your brothers/sister(s) are in our prayers and memories....and never forgotton.

                          'Would you rather attack a high-rise appartment fire six floors up, people trapped, with only one other firefighter?'..........well

                          In a similar situation in central London, at that stage of the fire, we would have had a similar number of firefighters on the initial alarm - around 22 if we were lucky - but less engines. In a high-rise situation such as this you need twice that many! However, in New York you would probably get around another 5 or 6 and in Tokyo you would get 57 firefighters!

                          I would want a minimum of four firefighters working the fire apartment with another two in immediate back-up.......I'd be lucky! I would want the remainder deployed in water supply; incident command; staging and search & rescue on upper floors. I would be considering further alarm calls depending on circumstances and location (floor) etc. In the USA you would definitely call them on.

                          In USA you guys have less duration in your SCBA than us (30 mins UK working) and we can stay on the fire for a bit longer - this means you need still MORE firefighters on-scene!

                          Bro.......I HATE second guessing and commenting on such incidents but I have seen this phenomena before and if we can use a situation to remind others and bring the hazard to the attention of those who have not seen it, then maybe.......just maybe we can be ready for it next time.

                          God bless those who died and their families, colleagues and friends.
                          Euro Firefighter 2008 - Strategy & Tactics from the World's Firegrounds

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            It is a shame anyone died but their is plenty of blame to go around and staffing certainly wouldn't be part of that.

                            ....Where did that information come from?????? but in Houston three is a reality!

                            i simply called the staffing office at admin today, there is four on all rigs. And has been everyday since October. Where do you get your info?

                            ...I sincerely hope the reason you are slamming

                            Simply keeping the record straight.

                            ... Keep reading, and you'll see that many engines and ladders had only 3.

                            MANY?

                            Only 20% had 3 per rig. overall the average was 4.6. If four per rig was essential the department would not have llowed a contract stating 3 was the minimum would they? The offer has ofered several times to staff 4. The union turned it down. Its public record. The fact they won't negociate fairly is why PD got a 21% raise a FD got 6% LOL. Bad union management.

                            HOW ABOUT 66% of 6 engines and trucks on first alarm, 62% on 2nd 6 or 8, 86% on 2nd, 6 of 7 rigs on 3rd 86% AN AVERAGE OF 4.6 PER ENGINE AND TRUCK 81% with 4. 21 major rigs with 95 guys. 95 ON A mcdonalds burning! Staffing problem huh?

                            ...Note NIOSH recommendations that HFD raise their staffing levels to a MINIMUM of four per apparatus.

                            Yeah, pretty hard to do that when it is already 4, Of course you left out the fact the union contract say minimum of 3 but the mayor insists on 4.

                            ....How would you like to be warned by NIOSH specifically to increase to FOUR-man staffing, and then lose one of your prominent Captains on a high-rise apartment fire, after reducing staffing even further????

                            Old chiefs problem,(ex union boss lik that made any difference) the new chief had a plan in place in just three months.

                            Staffing had nothing to do with the death. 56 guys on scene and command could only get two to the fire floor. 95 onscene on the the event.

                            ....Do you want to know when Connealy and Brown raised staffing? Two weeks before the election, and HOURS after Jay's widow pleaded and told this story:

                            SO? First of all, cheifs don't raise staffing. Mayors and council do. THE STAFFING IS 4 PER RIG A 25% INCREASE IN STAFFING IN ONE YEAR. WHAT OTHER FIRE DEPARTMENT OF ANY SIZE DID THAT IN 2001? Did every other FD with 3 or less who had an LODD add 25%?

                            ...Dawn: "What is it going to take to get them to improve staffing?"

                            Well obviously the old chief wasn't impressed with the death of two firefighters and the new chief and mayor were impressed with one, plus you left out the part about Sept 11 (country at war) that started the whole plan in the first place. Typical union slant. We didn't do anything wrong it had to be the Mayor. It was the Mayor's fault the captain didn't take the high rise 60 minute air packs up and instead took the 30's, huh? What other FD has four 30's and 4 - 60 minute air packs on a rig inthe highrise compartment on thier rig? How easy could it be. Their station had their choice of 200 bottles and one died with an illegal pack on that was clearly labeled out of service. Department memos sent to the captains make i clear who was supposed to switch them out, not he mayors fault is it?. It was the mayor's fault the captain sent his crew down stairs huh? It was the mayors fault the back up crews didn't want to go to the fire floor as directed, huh? It was the mayors fault no water from the attack line ever hit the fire from the initial attack line huh? that a towerladder stream, exterior attack was made almost an hour into the fire? If the mayor had provided 1000 guys on first alarm are we supposed to believe more would have made the fire floor? When only 2 or 56 made it in the first place?

                            ...Your sacrifice will never be forgotten!!!

                            Sure it has! No accountability system to this day. Lots of anything goes on the fire ground. Doors not opened for hours. Imagers not making it into the building. Lots of stupid rules on who can go in and who cannot go into a building, that drivers must stay with their rigs, etc. Crews not knowing McDonalds is a Truss building with AC on the roof. Crews thinking fully locked up buildings are somehow occupied at the early morning hours and risk their life with fire in the truss space above their heads. Captains coming and going as they please leaving their crews. 800 portable radios in the FD and you can't figure out how to get one in the hands of the attak crew. Captains not keeping track of their crews. Guys not wearing full gear. etc.

                            Lots of work and no amount of staffing will fix operational issues.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hey George,

                              I think the best way to deal with people like the7tuwer is to just ignore them... Isn't there some way to block out posts from mutts like that, (or is it just that they're blocked out from your personal viewing and everybody else still has to see their nonsense.)

                              Either way, I'll sure plug that *** into the ol'"blockout" feature... He sure doesn't have anything to say I'd care to read...

                              Comment

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