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Friday, December 12, 2014

TIME TO ACT MAYORAL

Now that Pedro Segarra  appears to have a very serious challenger for the mayor's Race next year, is it time we start to actually expect him to start acting like a Mayor?

I doubt it, but we'll see. The first challenge can be reshaping the Hartford Fire Department. But in true Segarra fashion, it most likely won't be about action. It won't be about appointing strong leadership and supporting that leader. In true Segarra fashion it will probably be about studying the issue.

Lets form a blue ribbon panel to study what has happened. We could invite a couple of former chiefs back to dissect the problem and offer their opinions. Probably no one will notice that these would be the same Chiefs that created the majority of the problems in the first place with their practices. If you though enough gold on the uniforms you sit around the table, no one will notice.

Ignore the fact that these are the same Chief's that started the downward spiral by inserting people that should have never been hired into the HFD friends and family rewards plan. But as we all know with Segarra, it is not about change, it is about appearances.

Yes, that will look Mayoral, a blue ribbon panel of former Chiefs to study the problem, and when they finish studying in a couple years, everyone will have forgotten there was a problem.

Oh, one last problem. The former Chief's aren't the most credible. Between taking bribes at Springfield strip clubs and threatening Mayors, strong arming employees for loans to get their kids out of jail and don't forget the daily coffee stops funded by the taxpayers p-card. We would need to add some credibility to the panel. Maribel, quick, what we can we do to add credibility. You say order Foley on? Right , the media loves him. Let's go one better though order Chief Rovella on, everyone will believe what he says

So it is done then. Our first Mayoral looking act for the campaign season. Call the press conference, we will roll it out this afternoon at 2:00PM. Let the dog and pony show begin, we have an election to win.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

PRETTY UNTIL THEY IGNITE

 
I tried to get a comment from HFD but apparently they were settling a grudge match between the Mayor and Acting Assistant Chief Waller behind the Fire Tower. Today a tragic fire may may have taken the lives of four adults in a house Fire in Enfield. Preliminary indications are that the fire may have been caused by a Christmas Tree.

Below are fire safety tips for Christmas trees from the National fire Protection Association. Please keep your trees watered daily. if  the tree appears to be excessively dry and needles are dry and brittle, don't be afraid to take the tree down early. it's much more convenient than a fire.

Maybe the Mayor's Communication Staff could do something worthwhile and put similar tops out to Hartford residents in conjunction with HFD's PIO. Happy and Safe Holidays.

Does anyone have any info on the summit meeting that was was held today  or is being held this week at the Hartford Insurance with lawyers and insurers for the Bell case? Please give me a call if you do.

 

 

Christmas tree safety tips



Each year, fire departments respond to an average of 210 structure fires caused by Christmas trees. Carefully decorating Christmas trees can help make your holidays safer.
Picking the tree
  • If you have an artificial tree, be sure it is labeled, certified, or identified by the manufacturer as fire retardant.
  • Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
Placing the tree
  • Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 1" - 2" from the base of the trunk.
  • Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.
  • Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.
  • Add water to the tree stand. Be sure to add water daily.
Lighting the tree
  • Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs. Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of LED strands to connect.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
After Christmas
  • Get rid of the tree when it begins dropping needles. Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home. Check with your local community to find a recycling program. Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.

SOME GOOD NEWS FOR HFD

According to sources, something positive happened at the Hartford Fire Department earlier today. Apparently, inspectors from the State of  Connecticut Department of Health showed up unannounced for a surprise inspection at Engine 16 on Blue Hills Avenue. The inspectors were apparently there for a check of the first responder  status and emergency preparation of  Engine 16.

Engine 16 is the same apparatus that was detailed in weekend reports regarding deficient equipment and empty air-bottles.  Engine 16 was also  the home apparatus of firefighter Kevin Bell just before he died.

Although no written reports are available at this time,one HFD source said Engine 16 "passed with flying colors"

You would think that the HFD administration would already be doing this on every piece of apparatus in the City, but it is good to know that the State health Department can take the initiative to make sure things are right. Maybe Chief Waller you should be dropping into Fire Stations instead of padding your overtime on fire calls where you aren't needed.

Oh well Terry, it was good while it lasted





Tuesday, December 9, 2014

THE BATTLING HFD LIEUTENANTS, THE POLICE VERSION

The Hartford Police report is out regarding the two Hartford fire lieutenants fighting last weekend. The report seems to clearly show Lt Tyson as the aggressor after striking out at Lt. Cunningham not once but twice and then putting Cunningham in a headlock type choke hold. If zero tolerance truly means zero tolerance, it will be interesting to see how this incident will continue to be swept under the rug. Hartford apparently has a "Zero Tolerance Policy" for violence in the workplace

Sunday, December 7, 2014

MORE ON THE DUELING HFD LIEUTENANTS

HFD Fire Lieutenant Tyson , left, LT Cunningham, Right, in the basement of 16 Chatham St. Hartford
 
 
Let's recap the incident first, here is the official HPD version:

On December 6, 2014 at 11:56am, the Hartford Fire Department was dispatched to 16 Chatham Street for a working fire. Following the fire, at 1:40pm a Hartford Police Officer was dispatched to the Fire House at 25 Blue Hills Ave. on a report of a disturbance between two Hartford Fire Department Lieutenants. 

The incident involves a reported altercation between the two lieutenants at the 16 Chatham Street fire scene. Both the involved Lieutenants and a witness (HFD employee) were interviewed.  Neither of the parties involved wished to press charges. The incident was not in public view.  There were no reported injuries.  The HPD officer documented the incident and his actions. This report will be available through the FOI process. HPD Case# 14-39394.

HFD Chief Carlos Huertas offered the following comment:
“We are a Fire Department as well as a family. The women and men of this department are performing a very technical and dangerous job during the most difficult and stressful of times. Today’s incident only proves that our brave firefighters are human. Rest assure, we will examine this incident and take appropriate action to ensure public safety"
 
I already wrote some of my initial thoughts on the incident immediately after it happened, but the more I thought about it overnight, the more aggravated I was by these so called "professionals" and their behavior. More importantly though was my disappointment and disgust with the explanation given by Hartford Fire Chief Carlos Huertas.
 
According to HPD's Deputy Chief Brian Foley's release:
 
HFD Chief Carlos Huertas offered the following comment:
“We are a Fire Department as well as a family. The women and men of this department are performing a very technical and dangerous job during the most difficult and stressful of times. Today’s incident only proves that our brave firefighters are human. Rest assure, we will examine this incident and take appropriate action to ensure public safety"
 
There doesn't seem to be any upset, it doesn't seem to bother Huertas that two ranking members of his Department were fighting at a Fire scene. That two of his "officers" have just embarrassed all other members of His department who have had more than their share of embarrassing news coverage recently, but I guess it is no big deal to Huertas ( Most likely they will have plenty more as things unfold over the next weeks and possibly months)
 
To seem to explain this as a minor family type squabble is insensitive and offensive to every victim of domestic violence. Chief, when family members punch another family member in the head and then put them in a headlock trying to choke them out, that is called Domestic Violence and the aggressor gets arrested and protective orders are issued whether they are having a "stressful" time or not. They aren't defined as minor firehouse wrestling matches, they are dealt with by the Police and the Courts as the serious incidents they are.
 
It is no wonder why your Department members that have been making the news  who seem to think they are above the law. You are setting the tone for them.  They probably feel that professionally  there will be no repercussions for their bad behavior . Whether it is shooting a friend in the head while intoxicated  or driving drunk at almost 3 times over the limit and causing and then fleeing  from an accident, Don't Worry, Chief  Huertas has your back.

We deserve far better when we dial 911 for help. Not the basement version of human "Rock em  Sock em Robots"
 
Oh and lets not forget who is really running HFD, their Union. The fact that two of the Unions Executive Board members are now on administrative  suspension over their bad acts should not escape the attention of anyone. Lt. Tyson , who from all sources I spoke to about the fighting incident was the aggressor in yesterdays fight , and has been while on the job with similar incidents in the past and Firefighter Vendetti was the alleged drunk driver that caused the Farmington accident and was arrested . They both serve on the HFD Union Executive Board.
 
And lets not forget that the Union President apparently ran interference for the firefighter, Douglas Caldwell who eventually resigned after his drunken scandals while on duty.That was another proud moment for the Department and should have been dealt with immediately if the Department had a strong leader. Instead the Union protected Caldwell and ran interference for him, until their hand was forced when the behavior was exposed here on this blog. You can read that initial posting here. You can read much more about Caldwell by entering "Caldwell" in the search box at the top of the blog.

I know that there are some great firefighters that aren't thrilled  about having their dirty laundry exposed here  and in the media, but they aren't the problem causing this.  The self respecting members of HFD who do their jobs day in and day out deserve our respect and appreciation. But you also have the power to set the tone for your Department. You should be calling for the Chief  to stand up and run your Department, not the puppetmaster at City Hall .

You should be loud and clear about calling for the appointment of an Assistant Chief who is deserving of the position.You should also demand that your Union Executive Board represents you and your professional standards. Insist that they stop supporting  bad firefighters and bad behavior, and if they are part of that bad behavior that is embarrassing the rest of you force a recall or resignations . Set the tone, please . The residents of Hartford are counting on you.

In the mean time Chief Huertas stop condoning this reprehensible behavior. Stop supporting those that are embarrassing you and start supporting those that are willing to work with you and clean things up, they aren't your enemies. There are people that have a long and proud  tradition with HFD and aren't there for just ego's and paychecks. I think you know that SKB or Mayor Segarra don't have your best interests  and success at heart and the sooner you stand up to that the better you and all the good members of the Hartford Fire Department  that are counting on you and your leadership to remain safe and succeed. And maybe an apology to victims of Domestic Violence that you seemed to trivialize might be in order

Let me use the words you use at the end of your e-mails Chief, "Be impeccable with your word, don't take anything personally, Don't make assumptions. Always do your best".  Chief, can you say you are doing that or does it just look good on your e-mails?

 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

MORE EXCUSES FOR BAD BEHAVIOR

What is going on at HFD?

The following statement was received from the Hartford Police department late this afternoon after an incident involving two Hartford Lieutenants at a fire scene at 16 Chatham Street:


On December 6, 2014 at 11:56am, the Hartford Fire Department was dispatched to 16 Chatham Street for a working fire. Following the fire, at 1:40pm a Hartford Police Officer was dispatched to the Fire House at 25 Blue Hills Ave. on a report of a disturbance between two Hartford Fire Department Lieutenants.

 

The incident involves a reported altercation between the two lieutenants at the 16 Chatham Street fire scene. Both the involved Lieutenants and a witness (HFD employee) were interviewed.  Neither of the parties involved wished to press charges. The incident was not in public view.  There were no reported injuries.  The HPD officer documented the incident and his actions. This report will be available through the FOI process. HPD Case# 14-39394.



HFD Chief Carlos Huertas offered the following comment:

“We are a Fire Department as well as a family. The women and men of this department are performing a very technical and dangerous job during the most difficult and stressful of times. Today’s incident only proves that our brave firefighters are human. Rest assure, we will examine this incident and take appropriate action to ensure public safety"

 Chief Huertas, stop making excuses for your Department's childish behavior. Insist that they act like the well paid professionals that the residents of Hartford expect. To the best of my knowledge, the City of Hartford claims to have a zero tolerance policy for work place violence. Enforce it.
 
I am told that this is not the first incident of Lt. Tyson using violence against a coworker. If he struck Lt Cunningham hard enough to knock his helmet off, that is a violent act that you need to deal with. How long can HPD's PIO be counted on to bail you out with these releases.
 
And did Waller put in for his overtime to be your shadow at this incident? Did you really need him there sucking up your valuable overtime hours to tell you what to do?
 
Chief  Huertas, step up and run your department. Don't give the puppetmaster the reason to run you out of 253 High Street.