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Week in Review: March 27, 2009

Mon, 8 Feb 2010|

Fire Engineering Editor in Chief Bobby Halton discusses the major stories of the week, including developments in New Haven firefighters' Supreme Court case.

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Transcript

Hello and welcome. Byron -- things we can review. I'm chief Bobby -- -- this week -- -- being brought to you by. The fire department instructors conference. FDIC will be held April 20 to 25 in Indianapolis Indiana. There's still time to be among the expected 2.5 thousand visitors who partake in 24. Hands on training revolutions. 388 hour workshops. And 166. To our classroom sessions. Publisher opportunities -- be part of the world's largest fire training conference in America and the world's largest exhibition with. With over 900. To -- -- of manufacturers participating. To register go to FDIC dot com or access FDIC. The fire engineering community site or fire engineering dot com. And now the news. Reverse discrimination case involving one Hispanic in nineteen white firefighters New Haven, Connecticut. Which is going to be heard by the United States Supreme Court is being described as the greatest threat to the future of African Americans in the fire service. By Joseph. -- contends that the case would sweep out of existence the consent decrees and settlements that forced departments to diversify. And what he describes. As historically white profession. And response an attorney for the New Haven twenty said that the lawsuit was not trying to undo anything. -- that she said that her clients seeking patent law applied equally to all. To quote Karen -- far from trying to roll back civil rights my clients seek to have these laws respected and enforced equally. Contrary to what some may think all Americans have the same rights and everyone should play by the same rules. And those -- -- on different rules for different races. Are acting contrary to the letter and spirit -- civil rights laws. The underlying question here before the Supreme Court is this. In a municipality throw -- a civil service examination. That was constructive debate race neutral because too few candidates of one race did not do well. The black professional firefighters agree with the Obama administration. That the municipalities must be afforded a degree of latitude. To voluntarily comply with federal anti discrimination laws to prevent an adverse effect which is prohibited under federal law. You'll turn of the city argued. Is that forced -- to certify exams despite obvious discriminatory results. The plaintiffs however contend that race based politics scuttled the tests and that voluntary compliance was a mere pretext. Their lawyers claim. -- throwing out a valid test. The city violated disparate treatment. Protections of the white firefighters. Violated the equal protection rights and perverted the concept of merit based civil service created. To remove favoritism and politics. From the promotional process. The case is scheduled to be occurred in early April before the Supreme Court and fire engineering will keep you apprised of their findings. What can only be described as more tragic news for the town of coastal -- Where arson has been terrorizing the community the last two years of volunteer firefighter Robert -- junior. Has been arrested and charged -- starting to fires. As you may recall there have been 22 arson fires in the small town this year alone which brings the total forty. Since February of 2008. A trial date has not yet been set for Trace with this type of activity by any firefighter career or volunteer. It's just reprehensible. Last November and -- volunteer firefighter ENT 44 year old secede torn -- collapsed and died following a training exercise. Her death was attributed to a previously undiagnosed heart condition. Armed with that information Prince William county fire department rescue services is now mandated. That all firefighters. Will be more thoroughly physically screened prior to conducting any firefighting training or -- fighting activity. Fire engineering like to congratulate the Prince William board of supervisors. For the intelligence and professionalism in this regard. Medical screening for all persons considering firefighting. Must become a national standard. Our final story as humorous note we always tell people that the fire department is doing a great job because you don't see a lot of cats skeletons and trees to U. Well now we can -- dogs that joke chief Jeremy Brown of the Harlow volunteer fire department -- -- -- knows that Sunday. Warning he and his team had to extricate a dog named rocky who had its head stuck in the -- of the tree. She's brown told us that he had nine of his volunteers. Determined that the bottom of the tree was hollow so they saw the tree down to about three feet above -- the dog was stuck. With the top of the tree on the -- to see the bottom hollowed out tree and realized that rocky was pinned between the roots archery. Using the saws from the jaws of life -- able to open the tree on both sides and free -- the dog. Just goes to show area that no matter how many years you have on this job there's always something new. Remember FDIC is just three weeks away the greatest show on earth for the greatest professional earth I'll see you all in Indianapolis. This is chief Bobby -- And remember. Be careful out there.

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