Home>Topics>>Week in Review: December 14, 2009

Week in Review: December 14, 2009

Tue, 15 Dec 2009|

Chief Bobby Halton reviews this week's major fire news stories, including a report on a tragic apparatus driving death in Boston.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Hello and welcome to homes we can review on fire engineering dot com. -- it -- editor in chief of larger and magazine and this week were brought to you by our good friends at the Hearst Corp. -- -- a company that you can trust to bring you the finest and education equipment and cutting edge innovation. Please visit WWW. Jaws of life dot com for more information on the -- products available from our good friends of hers. And now to the news. On January ninth 2009. Boston fire department suffered -- tragic loss. When -- 126 being driven by firefighter O'Neal while descending steep hill suffered complete brake failure. Firefighter O'Neal quickly notify -- technicality of the situation. Inform the lieutenant that he intended to crash the -- into some nearby parked cars in order to slow it down. Lieutenant Kelly directed the firefighter not to do so as he noticed several civilians nearby and felt they could be injured. Attending Kelly ordered our program -- to continue downhill and try to find something more substantial discretion to. In his final selfless act of bravery. Firefighter lieutenant Kelly ordered all the rest of men including -- front of -- to brace for impact. In the ensuing crash. Lieutenant Kelly was killed. This week Suffolk County district attorney Daniel Connolly. Has conducted an investigation into the event and issued a report the findings underscored the Boston fire departments woeful lack of training. -- -- wrote in his report that the Boston fire department had only limited classroom instruction. And no driver training and proper use of air brakes in downhill. And emergency circumstances. Boston firefighters' union president Edward Kelly issued this statement. It's our sincere hope that the ultimate sacrifice. Made by lieutenant -- the catalyst to true management reform and -- prop department. Boston fire department officials now say that they're providing intense driver training to all firefighters and also overhaul their truck maintenance practices. According to commissioner Robert Frazier you've already taken steps to remedy the issues raised by the district attorney. Including increasing our driver training and hiring civilian supervisors. And mechanics. In Chicago this week a storm of controversy erupted when a reporter for the sometimes. Neil Steinberg wrote a story about the Chicago Fire Department. His stated goals -- to talk about firefighting accurately. To portray the Chicago firefighters and a good light. As to impress the Chicago brass so that would allow him to write more stories about the Chicago firefighters. Sadly Neil I don't think that's going to happen. Unfortunately -- was not aware that some of the comments he decided to -- his story. We're extremely hurtful and demeaning and probably not intended to be printed. Only taken somewhat out of context and clearly not reflective. Of how the majority of Chicago firefighters feel about their suburban Brothers and sisters. The Chicago Fire Department had to -- several retraction the statements. The Chicago Fire Department has an incredibly stellar reputation. As being extremely supportive and inclusive to a suburban community neighbors. Granted this was not always the way. But under the current leadership of the Chicago Fire Department it it is. Chicago Fire Department gets a hearty congratulations from fire engineering Ford's leadership during this controversy. The Chicago Fire Department quickly set the record straight by issuing several statements from the top brass including the commissioner and Bobby -- Hopefully these will written statements including one by our good friends -- Bironas. We'll help to -- on the heels caused by the comments reported mr. Steinberg's column. In related story out of Chicago good news off duty firefighter Jason -- had just finished eating his lunch on Clark street. When the off duty firefighter noticed smoke pouring when -- by high rise. Durbin who was working on his private ambulance our job. Raced up the twentieth floor of this 29 story condominium building and -- the door for heat after noticing smoke issuing from it. He then opened the door and determined that he would be able to make a quick search of the immediate interior opt out the door. -- and close the door took several deep breaths open the door and proceeded inside the far apartment where he found an unconscious woman. Durbin then pulled the woman to safety. Put her on his back piggy back style and carried her down twenty flights of stairs to -- waiting ambulance. Firefighter Durbin -- 33 years old. And has been a firefighter for only fifteen months he's quoted as saying about the rescue it was the best day of my life. I'll tell you what it's the best feeling in the world. Now many critics may second guess his actions. Your fire engineering we're proud to say that -- of Chicago's bravest Jason Durbin did what we hoped we would all do he acted in the finest traditions of the fire service. He acted in the finest traditions of being an American citizen. Our heartfelt congratulations. And admiration. To Chicago firefighter. Jason -- -- you've used -- fire department has uncovered. Incidents of discrimination and harassment. Most egregious occurred last summer when sexist graffiti was scrawled on the walls inside. But the sleeping quarters for the female firefighters. -- -- -- Has interviewed 112 Houston firefighters as part of an examination. Of the department's employment practices. The review found -- departments inconsistent management. In the workplace and it very difficult dispute rental resolution process needs to be upgraded. So that everyone knows how to raise -- complaint and how to resolve complain. Report concludes that this will help relieve some of the tensions currently existing in Houston fire department. Houston fire chief -- Brodsky said that he welcomes the review and believes that they will find recommendations. Extremely useful. And now my final word. This week it like to discuss very briefly. How important it is that we all recognize how grateful we should be but it gives we have been given by being allowed to be part of the American -- service. What's fascinating to me is what family tradition our profession really -- it's like to make a special mention this week. Of the son Michael from -- gulf that are right -- better. This Sunday will graduate from the University of Maryland. During his entire state University of Maryland he's been functioning as a College Park fire -- when he's done exceptionally well. He's gotten his degree in fire and he intends to do two more years to get his degree. That's the caliber of the kind of people that generation after generation step up and become American firefighters. For this I'm eternally grateful for having been allowed to -- part the American Forest Service as I know each everywhere you -- On an even more selfish -- I would like to ask that all of you remember. That many of our sons and daughters our Brothers and sister firefighters. Are actively engaged in our current military deployments. I would ask that as we celebrate Christmas holidays and our New Year's celebrations. That we take time to send something to troops to see a reference prayer for the troops and to let them know that they're always in our hearts and in our minds. To my -- -- currently serving -- United States -- god bless you son and keep you safe until you return. I'm Bobby -- that's the news. And remember. Be careful.

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