Archive for '2011'

    Politics & Tactics

    July 17, 2012 3:19 PM by PeterP
    ...

    Merit Matters!

    August 7, 2011 9:22 PM by Frank Ricci
    Politics and Tactics August 8th Radio Show

    Merit and why it Matters
    &
    Vacant Fires, Offensive or Automatically Defensive we debate

    Special Guest:
    Deputy Chief (FDNY) & President of Merit Matters Paul Mannix

    Where I Stand,

    Eric Holder stated "when it comes to race we are a nation of cowards" That is because when someone stands up to the absurdity of race politics they are often labeled a raciest. Many have drank from the poisonous well of identity politics. Don't be fooled, these are not the needed marches and civil rights battles of the 60s, but a cry to protect power and an advantage.

    The line in the sand has been drawn at public safety and it is partly our fault. We as a service have failed to educate our elected leaders and the public. We had our heads in the sand believing tactics and our mission was enough to carry the day. We were wrong! By not marketing our service we allowed the public and our leaders to believe that while our calling is noble it only required a weak mind and strong back.

    Our job is complicated and the skills, knowledge and abilities needed go beyond fires. EMS, Haz-Mat, threats from abroad, and everything that comes with answering any call for help within minutes. Did I mention the ability for reading comprehension. Whether a MSDS sheet, saw manual or new standard operating procedure reading and understanding is critical.

    We have seen a intrusion into public safety that we don't see with other professions. The Bar exam, M Cats, SATs and others all have adverse impact on them, however they do not face the same scrutiny. In our profession there are no due overs and when on an alarm there is no time to double check or look something up. We act and have to make almost perfect decisions based off imperfect information. So why the call to dumb down the fire department? The actions of the justice department are deplorable and persist despite legal presidents and the need for sound public policy.

    While there was a time that this country was off course this is not the country I know. I grew up in a nation of possibilities, where I was taught you must rise and fall based on your own merit. That individual initiative would be rewarded and we would be judged fairly based on the rule of law and our commitment to our communities.

    Your heritage, or sex, or the color of your skin does not make you a better firefighter.

    Achievement is neither limited nor determined by one's race or politics, but is determined by one's skills, knowledge, abilities, dedication, commitment and character.

    Firefighting is not a job that can be handed out without regard for merit or qualifications.

    While equal opportunity must be guaranteed for all, it does not guarantee equal outcome.

    The point is, merit matters. We cannot use statistics to choose our firefighters and leaders. We must all be vigilant, get involved and participate.



    Dragon or Paper Tiger "Dealing with OSHA"

    July 10, 2011 8:54 AM by Frank Ricci
    Monday July 11th at 7:30 eastern time on Politics and Tactics

    Dragon or Paper Tiger "Dealing with OSHA
    and
    Placing the Truck at a House Fire

    While Federal OSHA strikes fear in the hearts of the private sector many fire departments have been disappointed with the lack of teeth of state plans and actions when dealing with municipalities. Tonights show will teach you some of the pitfalls of dealing with OSHA and how to effectively utilize the bureaucratic giant to initiate change.

    First up:

    Recent settlements of the Charleston Sofa Store Fire

    What is the difference from Federal OSHA and State?

    How to get things done when dealing with OSHA.

    Dealing with retaliation from filing a complaint.

    Special Guest, Lawyer, NFPA Official and Retired Assistant Chief Curt Varone of the Providence Fire Department.

    Topics to be discussed:

    OSHA & NFPA, laws and standards and how they apply to the fire service?
    Fire Service & negligence, who is responsible?
    legal questions from the front line

    Tonights Tactic: Truck Placement at a Residential Fire
    Leaving the Barn
    Response Direction
    Walking in for the Spot
    Why anyone how blocks out the truck should be shot!

    June show! Flashover and Dealing with the Media

    June 7, 2011 2:16 PM by Frank Ricci
    Flashover and the Handling a Crises in the Media

    Pull up a chair, June's show was the best one yet!

    Special Guest Dave Statter

    Part 1. We cover flashover training the pros and cons along with tactics to address flashover.
    Always keep the mind that many of the warning signs of flashover may be masked by dark smoke:

    Rollover
    Fire Propagation down the wall
    Improperly venting
    and the most reliable, high heat

    While most were taught not to play water on smoke. If you believe flashover in coming on it is alright to hit the smoke to allow you to hit the seat of fire or back out. It all goes back to training, training and training.

    We cover super heated gear and the fact that you can get properly trained without destroying gear!

    Part 2
    Dave Statter interview that all officers and firefighters should listen to!
    Dave covers reputation equity and your departments credibility.

    Facebook and twitter friend or foe is covered and getting the story out first, right and behind you. If you haven't thought about crises management you are stetting your self up for failure.

    Dave is the fire services top guy for crises management. So pull up a chair grab a beer!

    Remember if you are having a political issue in your department and you would like to bring an elected leader on the show give us a call: Frank Ricci 203-285-4907

    Dave Statter
    STATter911 Communications, LLC
    dave@STATter911.com
    STATter911.com
    (202) 487 5678
    Fax- (703) 533 9125
    6312 Seven Corners Center #252
    Falls Church, Virginia 22044-2409

    Our First Radio Show May 2nd. 7:30 eastern time

    April 22, 2011 6:09 PM by Frank Ricci
    Our first guest on Politics and Tactics with Frank Ricci, Anthony Avillo and Chris Pepler will be no other than Congressman Christopher Murphy from the Great Sate of Connecticut and Fire Engineering illustrator Paul Combs

    Where education meets experience and expertise. Learn from the decisions makers and talk one on one with elected leaders. Being a great firefighter is not good enough! Politics effects our staffing, budgets and equipment. Get involved. And now Frank Ricci, Anthony Avillo and Chris Pepler.

    Airing May 2nd at 7:30.

    Some things we will address:

    Getting involved.

    How to advocate for a bill.

    We will conduct a mock phone call to a local, state or federal elected official.

    Two bills we will address,

    Social Security issue, that mandates all professional firefighter will have to pay into SS regardless of their collective bargaining agreements.

    The Public Safety Spectrum and Wireless Innovation Act which would promote the development of a 20 MHz nationwide, interoperable, public safety broadband network.

    The fire coordination triangle and staffing. Standards for paid and volunteer firefighters.

    And the last segment will be Tactical Question of the day. The hosts will field any question about fire ground tactics from a caller.

    Firefighters should not have to pay into Social Security From the IAFF

    April 19, 2011 4:51 PM by Frank Ricci

    Below is from the IAFF we will post issues concerning volunteers as well. If you have never called your state or federal elected official before do not fret. It is easy and only takes a second. Place the call it will be usually answered by a staff rep. Simple state your position and say thank you. It won't be confrontational. They are always polite even if they are not aligned with your position.


    This is disturbing there is not an elected official who will not tell you the social security is a broken system. What is hard to believe is that three Republicans Tom Coburn (OK), Saxby Chambliss (GA) and Mike Crapo (ID) have signed on to this. The Republicans have long favored a private way out of Social Security. Our pensions is viable option to this government provided safety net. To have firefighters and cops now prop up a failed system is insanity! We must call and be heard on this vital issue!!!!!!!!!


    Contact Senator Dick Durbin - tell him not to support any proposal that mandates Social Security participation for fire fighters or that taxes employer-sponsored health care



    As part of the plan to cut $4 trillion from the nation's deficit over the next 10 years is a proposal to remove the tax exemption for employer-provided health care and establish mandatory Social Security for new state employees. These recommendations, if implemented, will significantly increase the taxes IAFF members pay.

    This deficit reduction plan was introduced by six U.S. senators, known as the Gang of Six: Democrats Dick Durbin (IL), Kent Conrad (ND) and Mark Warner (VA) and Republicans Tom Coburn (OK), Saxby Chambliss (GA) and Mike Crapo (ID). The recommendations are based on a plan by the Deficit Reduction Commission, co-chaired by former Senator Alan Simpson (R-WY) and Erskine Bowles, Chief of Staff to President Clinton.

    This Gang of Six is focused on reforming Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security and rewriting the U.S Tax Code.

    Removing the tax exemption for employer-provided health care will raise taxes on health care benefits, slapping fire fighters with thousands of dollars in additional taxes. Under current law, health care benefits provided by employers to their employees are not counted as taxable income.

    Removing the exemption will also force employees to accept greater cost-sharing in the form of higher deductibles and larger copayments and coinsurance.

    For example, if the value of your employer-sponsored health care is $10,000 per year and you fall in the 25 percent tax bracket, removing the exemptions will require you to pay an additional $2,500 in federal taxes and, in many places, increase state taxes as well.

    Under the Gang of Six's proposal, mandatory Social Security for new state employees will require employers to pay their share of the Social Security tax - 6.2 percent of payroll - placing a financial strain on cash-strapped municipalities. Many jurisdictions cannot afford to pay Social Security taxesand make contributions to your pension plan. This proposal will doom your defined benefit pension plans.

    More than 70 percent of the nation’s fire fighters do not participate in the Social Security system. Requiring Social Security coverage of all state and local government employees will completely undermine your pension plans.

    Forcing fire fighters into the Social Security system will amount to reducing your take-home pay by 6.2 percent. Can you afford that loss of income?

    Contact Senator Dick Durbin - tell him not to support any proposal that mandates Social Security participation for fire fighters or that taxes employer-sponsored health care.

    Call, write, email or twitter Senator Durbin's office today:

    Washington Office: (202)-224-2152
    District Office: (217) 492-4062
    Web: http://durbin.senate.gov
    Twitter: @SenatorDurbin; http://twitter.com/SenatorDurbin
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/SenatorDurbin


    First up Secondary Search

    April 19, 2011 4:00 PM by Frank Ricci
    In each post we will cover a tactical issue along with a political issue.

    First up, Secondary Search:
    This week in Flint Michigan a body of a women was located 12 hours after a house fire. To see the news story click on the link below. In this blog we will not throw rocks. We only point out lessons to remind us all that we can all do better.

    When ever declaring a search complete make sure you do it by geographical area. We would not buy property you did not see. Example: "Truck 3 to command 1st floor secondary search complete, Truck 3 is par moving to the floor above" Each room and areas remote from the fire needs to be searched. It is best to radio that the secondary search is complete after the smoke has lifted and the area is throughly checked. This means under beds, in closets and in tubs. Any door that was chocked open should be closed to make sure there is not a closet or another room that the door covered. Remember each year a small percent of our fire deaths occurs do to irrational acts. Plaster has been a culprit in hiding victims. Don't let this happen to you!

    Tactical Tip of the Day: Before you have your crew pull ceilings have them make a hasty search of the area to make sure they don't cover a body. This hasty search is independent of the primary and secondary.


    http://abclocal.go.com/wjrt/story?section=news/local&id=8078522