Mon, 8 Feb 2010|
Fire Engineering Editor in Chief Bobby Halton discusses the major stories of the week, including the verdict in the 'Black Sunday' fire trial and the plane crash in Clarence Center, New York.
Welcome to fire -- -- we can review I'm chief Bobby -- And this is the news. The black Sunday fire trial concluded this week in the negligent homicide conviction. Of apartment manager Cesar -- house and the building owner Leisle O'Hara. Family and friends of the two firefighters who lost their lives that day expressed their relief at the conviction. There was a tremendous amount of apprehension. Regarding the possible verdict due to an earlier decision to acquit both the defendants on the more serious charge a second degree manslaughter. Fellow New York City firefighter Jeff cool expressed his relief over the verdict Jeff was also injured in that tragic fire. Just said that the verdict was bittersweet because it's never going to bring back Curtis or John. As result of the conviction the company which owns the building could be find up to 151000 dollars. Our second story this week take suspect eerie county New York fire engineering is extremely grateful for the men and women of the Clarence center volunteer fire department. And particularly to the Clarence center volunteer -- -- department chief David case for providing fire engineering with an exclusive interview. Regarding the tragic plane crash of the continental commuter -- There -- last week. You can find a link to that in depth interview in our podcast section on our homepage. So we are far engineering we're not surprised we reported this week. That the Clarence center volunteer fire department were among the first to respond. To assist the -- real fire department when that far company's fire station was destroyed by fire this week. To quote the Niagara county fire coordinator James falch better than spring out the best in people that is what I call humanity. We could not agree more with the fire coordinator. Although the members of the -- volunteer fire department had to travel over twenty miles they did so bringing aid and support to the fellow firefighters. After having met. Chief case and some of the other volunteer firefighters. Fire engineering can only say that when it comes to customer service the -- volunteer fire department. Has to be admired. But it is not unexpected. To -- our viewers in upstate New York especially in the buffalo Niagara area. Please be advised that the -- -- company's major fund raiser it which is a fish fry. Is going to be held this week that Saturday February 27. In camera it's -- only fund raiser so if you're an upstate New York near the greater buffalo area. This is one fish fry you don't want to miss turnout and support these brave volunteer -- fighters. In another court case this one from San Diego -- should be -- firefighters have won their case in regards to being sexually harassed. By being ordered to participate. In -- gay pride parade. These four firefighters claimed that there were subjected. To sexually charged conduct and lewd comments while riding on a fire apparatus in the July 2007. Gay pride parade. This was the second trial for these foreseeable firefighters. In the first trial jurors were unable to reach a verdict. However this week the jury decided that the four -- should split 34000 dollars in damages. Washington DC two arson investigators claim that they're being punished for speaking out. In a lawsuit which they filed this week DC firefighters Gary Bauer and Gerald Pennington. Who both have more than seventeen years of service and have been assigned to the arson unit since 2001. Allege that because they complained about the department's possible mishandling. Of arson cases including what they say it was a botched probe of the blaze that destroyed the historic east market on Capitol Hill. That they have been reassigned to medial and demeaning duties. Power and Pennington who -- both African American so the beginning in 2007. When fire chief Dennis Rubin took over as the department's chief. Race based staffing decisions in the arson unit resulted in case is being mishandled. The plaintiffs said Rubin who was white assigned white firefighters. To what predominantly had been an African American arson unit. And in doing so the men allege that he -- the selection criteria. Resulting in unqualified. White firefighters. Being assigned to the investigations. After -- complained to -- they claim they were relegated to fire hydrant duty. Battery installation duty and checking residents' alarms as well as passing out snacks to firefighters. At fire scenes -- -- -- four page complaint. They accuse fire chief Dennis Rubin and deputy chief Gary Palmer of violating the district's whistle blower protection act. About half a dozen other African American firefighters joined them to announce this lawsuit this week with their attorney. Finally sadly arson continues in coach -- Pennsylvania. This time the arson destructed destroyed seven school buses sustaining a loss of nearly 400000 dollars. We've been following the coats the horses for several weeks and despite to arrest last week of a twenty year old west -- -- mark -- And nineteen year old Roger Barlow the arson continues. We can only hope that the task force formed by the governor and the director of public safety. We'll quickly restore order to this community. Before any more lives are lost or any more property is destroyed. Serious firefighters. Please remember the registration for the FDNY -- symposium is still open this one of the -- symposium is filling up fast. Go to register at FDNY foundation dot com. Also registration for FDIC 2009 in Indianapolis is open and classes there are filling up fast with several hot classes already close. Both these world class educational events are important -- in -- entire American fire service. I hope I get to see you all there this is chief Bobby -- And remember please. Be careful out there.