Mon, 15 Mar 2010|
Chief Bobby Halton reviews this week's major fire news stories, including FDNY layoffs and settlement for sick 9/11 responders.
Hello and welcome to fire -- -- we can review -- your host bombing -- and this week will be covering two very important topics. Both coming to us from New York City. This week's we can review has been brought you by FDIC. The fire department instructors conference held annually in the great city of Indianapolis. Where for the last 83 years firefighters have gathered to share knowledge experience. And enjoy this incredible community of fire service professionals. Since 1927. This has been the premier show for the North American fire service and this year will be the most comprehensive ever. In the pre conference events which begin on April 19. In over 74 tracks for hands on training currently 32 are sold out. And of the 38 workshops. There are also filling out just as quickly. Register now at FDIC dot com to avoid missing the opportunity to be among the best in the nation. There's no more critical time refocused on training -- right now. FDIC is a lot like Woodstock. Everyone claims they were there. But we know that the best the brightest and most motivated. The most influential firefighters. In the world. Will be in Indianapolis. From the nineteenth to the 25 of April. We know that FDIC is not just about education though it's about community. North American training directors will be holding their annual meeting. The international society of fire service instructors will be holding their annual meeting and teaching classes as well. The international fraternity of leather -- will be the fools will be holding their annual leadership meeting. And on Wednesday evening the annual fools bash in event of unparalleled celebration. Thursday evening as the third annual courage and -- -- We're gonna run at 6 o'clock in the evening this time. The awards going to be presented. At the annual stop -- rock and roll if you say you're serious about line of duty deaths. You've got to get out and run that five K but FDIC dot com and register today for the fun run. Now that it stop drop rock and roll is also going to be held that's a fund raiser for the national fallen firefighters. Remember. Leaders teach and teachers are constantly trying to learn. Expertise is the goal the ever unattainable goal -- FDIC. And that FDIC is dedicated towards is that relentless pursuit of excellence. Seal all there April 19 the 25. And now. The point of view. I was very fortunate this past weekend spent some time at the annual everyone goes home summit and and -- -- Merrill. This gathering of the advocates of the courage to be safe program and the everyone goes home program. And others who were interested and motivated in lowering line of duty deaths and injuries in the American fire service. This year we celebrated. That there were nine. And celebrated is not the right word. We were encouraged is probably a better word that line of duty deaths had significantly decreased. In in 2009. To ninety. From point of -- standpoint. -- -- is 92 -- We are all steadfastly committed to zero. Another perhaps unattainable goal. Given the dynamic nature of our mission. But that is our goal on the lots. While at the summit I was honored to be allowed to participate in an -- -- with ten cent a -- Janet will bow and Harvey Eisner. We took questions from the audience and gave our opinions on the state of the fire service and its current challenges and direction. What particular question stood out for me. That was whether I thought the culture of safety. Was being challenged by the culture of extinguishment. This question was posed in reaction to last year's keynote address by lieutenant -- McCormick -- FDIC 2009. My answer is this to begin with there's no more dedicated safety advocate that lieutenant -- McCormack. Often one's message -- clouded by several factors. The style of presentation. Can affect how people hear the message. Often times were not listening to the message was simply waiting and preparing our own response. And then. There are those who lack the experience -- to understand. That there is no one solution to our problems facing the American -- service. But rather several -- must be walk down at the same time to reach our destination. Of zero line of duty deaths. When one considers the culture of extinguish -- purpose the relentless pursuit of expertise at every level of our mission when cannot deny. That it's naturally crucial to being safe on the fire ground. If you don't have a -- goal the pursuit of excellence the pursuit of expertise. -- you are simply not a firefighter. You're just someone who works for the -- department. The culture of safety has to do with our mindset. It has to do with our attitude. It has to do with how we approach the cultural extinguishment. It's the synergy. Of these two cultural aspects of our overriding culture of honor duty and integrity. The push -- to be the very best resource we can possibly be for our communities. Our families. And one another. Those who truly want to see line of duty deaths eliminated. Must embrace the culture of extinguishment and the pursuit of excellence. As well as the culture of safety and the relentless embrace of an attitude of caution and responsibility. Tempered by the knowledge and dedication. And now to two major news stories of the week. Hearing the tragedy in staffing that is happening all around the country. The FDNY is currently looking at the threat of laying off over 1000. Firefighters. And potentially closing 62 fire companies. Many of us remember last year when -- -- and why was going to have to close twenty companies until the City Council jump in at the last moment. It gave the FDNY. A one year reprieve. That one year is over in July. And with state budgets and city budgets continuing to shrink. The -- and why is now considering closing. -- staggering. 62 fire companies. Commissioner Sal Fasano a long time advocate of firefighter safety and one of the most competent and eloquent firefighters in America stated his position clearly. To quote the commissioner. We're going to try to not close a single company or single fire house. She Fasano told this to the fire in criminal justice services committee this week. We hope the commissioner successful. We can think of no greater injustice to the citizens of new York and every community -- to have their fire service is diminished in order to save money. There is no savings and lowering the level of safety and protection in the community. There will only be increased cost in terms of loss of property loss of life. And loss of confidence in the community's ability to provide the number one responsibility of government. Which is the protection of its citizens. -- second story also comes to us out of New York City where settlement has been reached with the WTC captive insurance company. A company that was established -- government by the city and contractors. Against potential legal action as -- cleaned up the side of America's worst attack. -- zero. The settlement provides for 657. Million. To be paid out to -- who are suffering from the effects of breathing in the dust and debris of the world trade senators. The settlement makes the city. And companies represented by the insurer liable for at least 557. Million. With more money available to the sick if certain conditions are met. This is a tragedy of unbelievable dimensions the cancers and other illnesses which -- -- the responders. Are devastating families and taking more and more lives -- day. Whether or not 657. Million is going to be enough is of grave concern. We need to be sure that all of those who responded -- cared for to the best of our ability. To quote the Greek philosopher. Humanities. The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them. Glory and danger -- and yet notwithstanding. Go out and beat it. What the grateful -- permit those brilliant words without the responders and of 9/11. Knew they were putting themselves a tremendous risk. Those who responded after the towers fell -- that that risk still existed and yet respond they did it. To every single one of them -- -- a tremendous debt of gratitude. To every single one of them we owe a responsibility. To ensure that their needs are bet. If this 657. Million does not cover the needs of those who are sick and ill. Then we need to ensure that what ever it takes is provided to knows who clearly all are. The bravest. On Bobby hall. Remember that FDIC 2010. Is only four weeks away. April 29225. And it is selling out fast. Go to FDIC dot com now if you intend to participate in hands on training. Get your seat at the best training conference in the world. Come spend five days with 30000 like minded fire service professionals sharing in an unparalleled environment in our industry. This is FDIC. The granddaddy of all shadows if you've never -- you're doing yourself a disservice. This is the show that almost 90% of us pay our own way. And when it's your own money you spend it wisely. There is no better investment in your training in your safety and in your profession. The NF DIC. I'll see you there. Remember. Careful.