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Home>Topics>>Week in Review: January 14, 2010

Week in Review: January 14, 2010

Mon, 8 Feb 2010|

Chief Bobby Halton discusses the latest fire news stories, including USAR teams progress in the Haiti earthquake response.



Hello and welcome to fire engineering as we can review. I'm Bobby -- editor in chief of fire engineering and your host for the week in review. This week in review is being brought to you by our good friends at the FD and -- foundation. The foundation sponsoring the 2010 special operations symposium this march 15 and sixteenth. At the FD -- my training facility on Randall's island. Don't miss out on your opportunity to attend this one of -- kind unprecedented collection. Of experienced and knowledgeable officers from the FBI and why share their lessons learned. There was -- And their thoughts on this critical fire service topic -- march 15 and sixteenth on Randall's island the FDNY special operations symposium. Go to WW WFDNY. Foundation dot org and register today. And now to the point of view. This -- -- -- you would like to cover two important issues first it's important to remember that one year ago today we -- the miracle on the Hudson. This is the day the captain Sullenberger became a national hero. For his tremendous skill in piloting his disabled Airbus successfully on -- the Hudson River saving all aboard. The fire service can take many lessons away from the actions of the -- piloting that aircraft on that particular day. First and foremost they're training. Secondly their dedication. Third their ability and calm under potentially catastrophic circumstances. All of this was due to their relentless pursuit of continuous improvement. And their skills as pilots. Check out our fire -- blog and a link to our friend Dave staters thoughts on this event from one year ago today. Point of -- also wants to take a moment. To update you all on the latest developments of our urban search and rescue teams deployment to the earthquake ravaged country -- Here's what we know as of Friday January the fifteenth. In the aftermath of the worst earthquake to hit -- -- hi THE in more than 200 years the urban search and rescue teams of the United States are being deployed to the disaster zone to perform rescue operations. Provide medical care. And other emergency services. Some use our teams were dispatched less than three hours after the earthquake occurred. He's highly trained use our teams consist not only of America's firefighters. But a specialized rescue dog handlers doctors nurses and other highly trained individuals. The federal deployment as of January 14. Is this. We know the Virginia task force one has already sort of a base camp and is rescued one individual video of this is also available on -- 911. The California Los Angeles county team arrived yesterday around 430. Florida task force one and two out of Miami Dade should have departed yesterday. We -- waiting to hear -- landed yet. Activated and awaiting transport to he is Virginia task force one and two Ohio task force one. California task force five and seven. New York task force one and Texas task force one. Additional use our teams are standing by. Point -- feels it's important to remember that these urgent spear these urban search and rescue -- task force. Are only possible to the dedication -- passion of the fantastic men and women associated with this program. There are so effective because they trained so diligently. This is another important lesson for us all to take away. The miracle on the Hudson was only possible -- to the focus dedication and discipline training. The miracle in Haiti only -- because of the same exact diligent and discipline dedication to -- and more importantly. At this uniquely American unrelenting and uncompromising dedication to serving our fellow man. Whenever and wherever we can called upon to help is the primary reason. That we are dispatching these urban search and rescue teams. That -- point of view for the week of January 14. And now to the -- New Jersey firefighter was killed while serving in the United States Marine Corps. We regret to advise you that your ex New Jersey volunteer firefighter. The United States Marine Corps sergeant Christopher her back and senior member of the west would fire department. Has been killed in action while serving in Afghanistan. -- -- -- comes from a family of fire fighters -- the father Jamie Haj is currently -- in the west would fire department. He's the Bergen County fire -- -- Is to step Brothers Jim and -- Hodges are both members of the our sincere condolences. As we must remember we are at war and young men and women like -- her back are risking their lives every day. On behalf fire engineering. The American Forest Service and Americans everywhere. Our deepest condolences for the family and friends a sergeant her thoughts and prayers with -- the story comes out of New York City where a federal judge has ruled that New York City intentionally discriminated. Against black applicants by using a test which the department should have been -- was putting black applicants at a disadvantage. The judge ruled that the fire department used the test in 1999. And 2002. And discriminatory effect on black applicants. The city of New York disagreed with the decision and the chief labor and employment law division stated that they disagreed with the overall finding. Of intentional discrimination. To quote there's simply no evidence that the C ever intended to discriminate against black applicants. Firefighter Paul Washington. Falcons former open society president disagreed. He said that the ruling validated what he had been saying for the longest time. Since 1999 to quote the fire department discriminates intentionally and they just continue to do it. The suit was brought by three members of the Balkans society and city officials say they intend to appeal the decision. And related story a white firefighters Philadelphia who settled a racial discrimination case against the city last year has filed again. Saying the fire commissioner and his top aides have retaliated against him -- going to court. Captain Joseph Lee junior was among five firefighters -- settled 2007 civil rights suit which focused on alleged bias and promotions last January. It's part of the settlement the city pledge to make changes in the promotional process and refrain from retaliation against the plaintiffs. The complaint by firefighter Joseph -- alleges a hostile work environment for whites exists in the department. -- commissioner and top administrators. Are African American. One example of some pilots an article written by commissioner Lloyd Ayers for the club valiants a black firefighter group. In which he discusses his thoughts on the system of white supremacy. In the fire department. The article says is designed to keep minorities particularly blacks -- -- And apathetic and uneducated. And powerless an integrated state. Neither the scene or executive fire chief Daniel -- Williams. Would comment on the suit. In Pittsburgh fire chief Darnell Jones exasperated. By a recent rash of arrests of off duty firefighters. For alcohol related crimes. Following the rest of fire -- -- charged with attacking a man after drinking Jones said the city may have to develop a zero tolerance policy. How public employees act in public when drinking. To quote the chief we -- -- -- fish ball if you can't handle that you need to be in another line of work. Recently several firefighters have been arrested. And alcohol related crimes. One firefighter was charged the -- the second firefighter was arrested for drunken driving. Another was arrested for drunken driving and drug possession. And finally the Pittsburgh police charged another firefighter. For stealing -- security truck drunken driving. And assaulting police officers by spitting on them while being arrested. Several firefighters have been punished internally with suspension and other disciplines. Chief Jones said that the farm bureau regards altered behavior. Including prohibitions including conduct unbecoming a firefighter. He stated that if these problems persist there probably headed in the direction of having to talk about zero tolerance behavior for public drinking. The city of Pittsburgh we'll start random drug testing for firefighters this year -- the city's -- fire -- contract firefighters can be terminated if they test positive. For drugs. Firefighters and Austin are frustrated by the fact that the county Emergency Medical Services seem to receive dispatches to fires. Faster but firefighters themselves. Austin Travis County Emergency Medical Services personnel share space in the stations with the Austin firefighters. And are managed by -- different dispatching system. EMS officials state that there equipment is more efficient than that the fire department. Last month alone fire officials believe that the average call processing time. Was 37 seconds to 21 seconds longer than that of the EMS provider. Austin fire battalion chief rob brawl said the fire dispatchers were seeking to fully understand the scope of the fire. Whether or not flames and smoke visible before sending out the engine. He said dispatchers are now rolling the nearest fire truck then continuing questions to determine what other engines may be needed according to the chief. The key is to get the units out the door as quickly as humanly possible. He also said to be honest with you we probably weren't doing as good a job that before. Austin officials we'll continue to monitor the frequency with which paramedics get dispatched. Before firefighters. On January 12 former chief Sal Fasano. Was sworn in as the commissioner of the New York City Fire Department. Along with the swearing in our good friend and former chief to -- well now commissioner Hasan Al. Was there for some other fantastic news for the city of New York. According to Mayor Bloomberg. 2009. Was a year for the history books with the fewest number of fires and if -- -- -- us. In the history of the city of New York. This is news that we can all celebrate. And America's most noble city home to America's most noble far apart. They're -- efforts are paying off. It's no accident that the most highly trained well staffed and well equipped fire department in America is seeing these kinds of results. According to the mayor 73 people died in fires in New York City last year. The previous low was 77. And that occurred in 1919. When the population was 13 of what it is today. Both Mayor Bloomberg and -- Fasano gave credit to the revamped dispatching protocol. -- controversial new unified call -- system. To quote the -- the system works. The system has been criticized by the union for putting NYPD. Dispatchers. In charge of dispatching FTY. Calls. It appears to be -- positive results according to the -- Chief dishonorable credited the FB -- -- fire prevention program for the drop. Citing the department's outreach to poor neighborhoods to share safety tips in ten different languages. And a new program to step up inspections. Of buildings at greater risk. That's the news remember the FDNY special operations symposium this march 15 and sixteenth. Go to WW WFDA and -- foundation dot org to register today. Don't hesitate -- space is limited for this incredibly important and that. I'll see you at the symposium. And then also see you on Fifth Avenue for Saint Patrick's -- on the seventeenth. Here's your chance to combine two great New York City traditions training and celebration of our Irish heritage. I'm Bobby Alton and remember. Be careful.

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