Archive for '2011'
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.
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
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:
Fire Propagation down the wall
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.
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
STATter911 Communications, LLC
(202) 487 5678
Fax- (703) 533 9125
6312 Seven Corners Center #252
Falls Church, Virginia 22044-2409
Some things we will address:
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.
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
Twitter: @SenatorDurbin; http://twitter.com/SenatorDurbin