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Sunday, February 10, 2013



I don't want to sound like whining because I can look out my window and see we had a historic snowstorm. I can also look out my window and see that no City of Hartford plow truck has passed in over 24 hours. The few trucks I have seen while I am out have been driving with their plow blades up in the air.

Now I understand that the city is divided into specific plow routes, but even as those trucks go to their route, in this case those blades should be on the pavement pushing every flake of snow they can.

This is not just an inconvenience now, it is a public safety emergency when firefighters and EMT's are carrying people blocks in a stokes basket to the closest street that has been plowed. I am getting calls from across the City from residents telling me that their streets haven't even had one pass from a plow yet.

Yesterday, a woman on South Marshall Street a woman went into labor. I happened to be in the neighborhood and heard the EMT's radio that they couldn't get to her because the street wasn't plowed. Everything was in place at the right time and I saw a large bucket loader coming down Farmington Avenue. I got out and stopped the loader and asked the operator if he would do me a favor.

I explained the situation and asked if he could make a pass down South Marshall Street to open it up for the ambulance. He quickly agreed and opened up the street and the Ambulance was on it's way to deliver a baby.

Sadly, the only plow truck doing anything was operated by two Hartford Police Officer's, Officer's Cavanna and Stackewitz, driving a City plow truck assisting stuck motorists and police cars.Maybe if I at least saw a DPW truck moving about I would feel better, but I don't see any.

Hartford always settles for less than stellar plowing operations. This storm is historic, but then again so is Hartford's response, it is what we have come to expect from the DPW, there is no excuse for it.


Anonymous said...

The top floor of the fire dept just ordered a gag order on saying that the streets are impassible over the air, Due to many phone calls be made downtown.

Anonymous said...

Is Mayor Nagin, ah Segarra going to hold anyone responsible? That's the question.

Anonymous said...

"White-out conditions", too dangerous for the snow plows to be out according to the Dept. of Public Works supervisor. The mayor, police and fire chiefs were out and about looking at the conditions of the city streets on Saturday. This is what we were told. Some EMS units were told by their supervisors not to leave the ambulances unattended and or let the firefighters use their equipment. Some crews ignored that order and were outstanding in helping us firefighters carry sick / injuried parties for blocks in waste deep snow using stokes baskets. Ask the company members of Engine 5 about the party with the compound fracture they responded to. Ask them about the AMR crew that refused to leave their ambulance, and also ask them about the party who carried that person on their back thru the snow to see that they get medical attention. The supervisor of DPW supervisor should be fired immediately or given the opportunity to resign (so he can collect his pension)! The mayor should also step down for endangering the citizens, the commuters, and the emergency personnel for going along with his department heads decision not to plow the streets. Also, a big kudos to the Deputy Chiefs of the Hartford Fire Department who made the decision that if a ambulance isn't / can't repond to a medical emergency, to transport that party in your apparatus.
P.S. Ask those seriously injuried individuals on Wethersfield Avenue where there was a 2nd alarm fire early Sunday morning on what they thought of the cities job on plowing their streets, allowing the fire department to respond safely in a timely manner!


Anonymous 6:57PM,

Hartford Firefighters went above and beyond for the residents of Hartford , as they usually do. during and after this storm. Luckily the braintrust in the EOC didn't pull them off the road like they did the City plows at the height of the storm. How is it that we can send police officers and firefighters out in the middle of the blizzard, but we don't send out the plow trucks. That is part of the reason why our streets are a mess, imagine if DPW had kept up with the accumulatoion and made at least one or two passes down every street in Hartford, they would still be passable now. As far as the Wethersfield Avenue fire, we should be thankful it happened there and not on Grafton Street or Laurel Street, there would be many more victims because of the apparatus unable to access the scene in a timely manner. As far as the brain trust ordering no radio traffic saying streets were impassable, are you just supposed to wait at the corner and pretend you are there. Does the Administration care more about their image than actually protecting the residents of Hartford? Ok, I know, stupid question. But if it makes you feel better, DPW was I-calling all of their drivers ordering them to remain professional on the radio because the Mayor and Council were monitoring their Channels.

J. Stan McCauley said...

6:00 pm I confirmed that Plainfield DPW did indeed get all 124 miles of roads plowed with 18 truck by Saturday morning. Maybe Hartford and other towns could learn something from them. They got the job done by working through the night. I know this because the team that just plowed our place works for the town and he told me that they worked through the night, but they got the job done!!! Hartford's Public Relations people will work hard to make you think the problem was the snow and not a lack of vision. Trust me Hartford, they did not do the job right. My street, Wadsworth Street still has seen on plows.

That said let me restate what I posted earlier:

Snow removal policy – The benchmark of municipal accountability.

For the second time in two years 2011 and now 2013, the city of Hartford finds itself in the same snow bound situation. You see it is the little things that matter most. If one can not find creative and forward thinking ways to handle little things, why would anyone be surprised that the big things just languish in reactionary mediocrity and incompetence?

Accountability from leaders, be they elected, appointed, or self-anointed begins when you hold them responsible for the LACK of delivery of services they have been charged to deliver. Accountability is not showing up at city hall with a flash mob, it is making sure that executive and legislative city leaders don't have a second or third chance to make the same mistake over and over again.

The big three city services are education, economic development, and crime. We can examine how they are handled by looking at the service that matters most, SNOW REMOVAL!

Leaders make promises that are usually projected far into the future. That way it is hard to tell if they deliver or not.

Education policy, economic development, and crime fighting strategies can be milked along for a long time, that way your leader does not really need to have a plan because no one will know if anything is really happening, and after all things take time. But when it comes to snow removal, time is the elected officials worst enemy.

Snow removal policy is where the men get separated from the boys. An elected leader's snow removal policy needs to be in place and acted upon when it snows, because no matter how big the snowfall is the clock on delivery of service begins to run the minute that first little snow flake falls from the sky.

The snow flake by itself is no threat, much like the day to day problems that face the city. But teamed up with a few of his friends, the snow flake can and will shut down your town, city, or state.

Next election day, don't ask the candidates what they will do about Education, Economic Development, and Crime. Ask them the one question that matters most, what is your SNOW REMOVAL PLAN?

It is not what they say they will do. It is when they do what the say.

Billy Bob said...

I was out in Hartford during the storm and saw plenty of plows. To say the "the only truck" on the road was being driven by police officers is a blatant lie.

Anonymous said...

All I know is that the tax-payers of Hartford pay good and high taxes in Hartford, and this is nothing new for Htfd, everytime it snows, this problem has been going on for over 50 years or so, I was born and raised in Htfd, so I know, but when you look around at other towns surrounding Htfd, they get it, they are cleaned up ! Why does Htfd still have this problem ?

Anonymous said...

All surrounding highways and town roads are passable. How do they do it?? Hartford D.P.W. should find out their secrets

Assdeep said...

It comes down to this. Hartford has the exact same plows and equipment (and a lot more of it) as all the smaller towns around Hartford. So why cant Hartford get the streets cleared? It's not the equipment. It must be the staff. Smaller towns hire plow drivers who have been plowing their entire lives. Hartford hires only city residents as plow drivers who just barely got their CDL 2 years ago. You can hire the best candidate, or you can hire the best Hartford resident candidate. You reep what you sew. Driving a plow is an art, a learned skill developed over time. Look at the other towns, ask yourself, "what is the difference in equipment?" the answer: none. But look at their streets.


Billy Bob,

time to work on those reading skills, or do you only read what you want to see? there is no staement in that posting as you quoted."the only truck on the road was being driven by police officers is a blatant lie". Are you a plow driver trying to defend your lack of working skills? Read the rest of the comments, they seem to support what I am saying.

Anonymous said...

Kevin Burnham should be relieved of his duties. This situation is an embarrassment to the city and to the mayor. But then again what does the mayor care when his STF body guard, who's making 160k, is picking him up in a toasty warm SUV on Sunday (and of course on overtime).

Anonymous said...

What about all the overtime pay the DPW drivers are getting, they have been working since Friday... For what??? They all should have stayed home and at least the City would have saved on OT money. Employees feel too proud they have worked over three days in a row, I would not say that so proudly, what are the results of that? Many streets were not plowed, and when I type many, I mean the majority. Those that have worked through the storm, please don't do it anymore, and find new personnel to manage snow storms. We need smart people to lead!

Anonymous said...

By the why, West Hartford Fire Department had snow plows respond with them on their calls, besides having their Public Works Department plow out thier station's parking area and front ramps! In Hartford, us firefighters had to do our own parking areas and front ramps inbetween responding to emergency calls (along with digging out our stranded apparatus while responding / returning from calls) I saw this first hand as I was on my way to work (Hartford Firefighter) on Saturday morning. In fact, one of the major reasons I got to my station was because I was behind four, four city snow plows in West Hartford clearing their streets. 24 years on the job and I thought I'd seen everything, but evertime I show up for duty the city seems to go down one more notch. Stop being a santuary city and known as a welfare city, obviously it isn't working so take the funds and put them to better use. But what do you expect, everyone who works for the city knows that the Dept of Public Works is the dumping ground of the city! Once again, they proved themselfs to be true durring the storm.
Like alot of my brother and sister firefighter's who moved out of the city years ago because we saw that "Rome was starting to burn", I grieve. Hartford was once a wonderful place to grow up in, full of history and plenty to do.

Billy Bob said...

Kevin, I think you need a little work on your comprehension skills. This is cut and pasted from your lying post: "the only plow truck doing anything was operated by two Hartford Police Officer's"

Anonymous said...

Burnham does NOT live in Hartford.


Anonymous 5:08PM

You are correct the Public Works Director is not a Hartford resident. According to the section of the Charter that requires Department heads to be a Hartford resident also exempts those that are an upward promotion if they are already a City employee, which Burnham was when he was made DPW Director. Others dance around the issue by renting an apartment in the City and stay here a couple nights a week
before heading back to Providence or wherever thay maintain their permanent residence, that to me does not show the investment in our community that the Charter intended.Chief Rovella and his wife recently sold their home in Wethersfield amd permanently moved into Hartford to comply with his contract, one of the few.


"the only plow truck doing anything " is a lot differnet than your claim that you made that I said "they were the only truck on the road" I think that you are the one that needs to adjust your comprehension skills. Probably an issue with you smelling too many diesel fumes at City Yard, toughen up and admit you did a terrible job, the truth is the truth, not lying at all.

Anonymous said...

The city looks like a third world country. A complete embarassment when other city workers are laughing at htfd. Rising star my ass. look at the xl center? it reminds me of a doctor's bathroom from 1985!!!!

Anonymous said...

So when an aetna employee gets hit walking in the roadway, because snow covers everything else, changes will, hopefully the car is not a htfd special...

Anonymous said...

This is beyond my understanding, my street has not been plowed once!!!!!!!! how much longer Public Works, how much longer Mayor Segarra? Who is to blame for this stupidity? the street my daughter resides (York Street) was just plowed today, and the truck got stuck! But why don't you go check the Mayor's area and COO's area and their friends... since my daughter is not "important" to them I guess my daughter and everyone else in that category will have to wait! that's a transparent administration!

Anonymous said...

I was a member of HFD for over 30 years. Loved nearly every moment of the job. I started at a time when those of us who served on the FD, PD, and DPW were full of pride to serve the public. It was more than just $$$. Helping others is what drove us.
In the early 80's, the plow operators, FD, and PD were unified to deliver services even placing themselves at risk during weather events. We helped each other to assist others. There were some great DPW drivers then.
It saddens me to see plow operators pulled off the road and let the FD, PD, and EMS providers fend for themselves. It's disgraceful! I listened to an apology (for a plow truck that never showed) by a
communications dispatcher to an officer and her crew taking out by foot an overdosed, frostbitten woman to a firetruck a block away. The officer, a bit frustrated by all of this responded, I'm not these one you should be apologizing to. She was correct!
To the DPW Supervisor who made that decision you lost your way.
You abandoned your public safety providers and
somehow forgot about that professional and moral obligation to serve regardless of how unpleasant it may be outside.
To HFD I am so proud of the men and women that did
their day at the office on the streets, regardless of the snow, wind, and risk.

Anonymous said...

The city needs to hire private drivers for the plows. Experienced hillbillies who have been driving snow plows their entire lives. Pay them hourly during the storm, cut them when it is over. Real drivers, expert operators, that is what is needed. Same circus, different clowns....

Anonymous said...

Well its 9 27 am in Hartford on Tuesday Feb. 12th and city yard cant say it did its job correctly when I am seeing John Deere 410d heavy lift backhoes on the streets of Hartford. the funny part about these backhoes is that they are desert tan instead of John Deere yellow oh I see now! their property of the national guard completely armored and have nuclear biological and chemical protection (nbc) maybe we would not have needed this if the majority of city yard workers understood that you cant drive a single axel rear wheel dump truck into three feet of snow with no weight in the body and while not running chains while your plow is up in the air. Its nice to see a group of 20 year old national guards men taking the fight to the snow. City yard was scared witch is why they stood around in public works all night drinking coffee.

Anonymous said...

Day 5 in the EOC:
PS: "let's go out to a street that still has not been plowed, put a yellow ribbon across it, then when we plow it ill cut the ribbon and rename the street!"

JK: "I'm in charge! At least until I have to be home for dinner"

BH: "I don't really want to make a decision. I just like telling people that I do."

AJ: "thank goodness for my lights and the HOV lane, otherwise I'd have to leave Suffield a lot earlier."

EOC topic 1: Where should we get lunch from today?
EOC topic 2: Since we watched Jerry Springer yesterday, should we watch Ricky Lake today?
EOC topic 3: Who has the most twitter followers?


Anonymous 4;42PM,

just for clarfication for those reading:

PS- Pedro Segarra
JK- Jared Kupiec
BH- Brian Heavren
AJ- Andrew Jaffee,

Let me know if I am correct , Thanks