Search This Blog

Friday, February 6, 2015


Word out of Chief  Carlos Huerta's  office is that he has removed one of his most recent appointments. Hartford Fire Lt Raul Ortiz who was the Departments Public Information Officer until this afternoon has been reassigned back to the Fire line. No reason was given for the transfer, but it shouldn't be too difficult to figure out. In a department plagued with screw -ups and media disasters like HFD has been recently, being honest and truthful equates to a suicide mission. It is especially bad when the Chief of the Department has created many of the problems through his own actions and isn't happy when people put out the truth instead of covering for him.

The embarrassing situations that Huertas has immersed himself and his department in would be challenging for most seasoned PIO's, never mind someone relatively new to the position and unfamiliar with Media contacts.  Ortiz was making steady progress though and in hi short time was gaining the respect of the media, He came across as honest and trustworthy and not as a propaganda master. This is not easy when you have the severity of the situations facing any PIO for the Hartford Fire Department. A line of duty death of a firefighter under questionable  circumstances to begin with. For whatever reasons, the way the investigation has been handled has many questioning whether the facts will come out or is a cover up underway?

As PIO , Ortiz was able to diffuse much of the rumor mill, but I can almost guarantee that the questions will start rising again. What role did Chief Huertas play in the potential cover up? Why almost months later has no cause of death been determined, not even toxicology results that at the time we were told would be ready in 5 to 6 weeks. A trusted PIO could diffuse suspicion.  I think Chief Huertas will learn that quickly, and most likely the hard way.

With all the DUI and drug abuse issues  facing HFD, who in their right mind would send out an e-mail  warning all of your department how and where to avoid a DUI checkpoint, Wouldn't a leader do something a little more responsible. Maybe something like stay safe this weekend with your family if you should drink, please be responsible, don't drink and drive. Not send out an e-mail where to avoid the cops if you are drunk.

I have no doubt Lt. Ortiz will be an asset to the Hartford Fire Department wherever he is assigned and will make the people of Hartford proud. Chief Huertas could take a lesson as to what pride and integrity is all about.

It is ironic that Ortiz was just returning from Georgia after a weeks  worth of PIO training when he got the call that he was no longer assigned to the Chief's Office. It s an important lesson to remember, "What goes around, comes around"


Anonymous said...

This is a situation Huertas can play to his advantage if he uses his head. Now is a perfect time to recall D/C McLoughlin from the line and return him to the PIO position. Nobody in recent memory has done as good of a job there as Jim. Right now the department could his steady hand to reinstall some confidence from the public.


That would require too much common sense so it is out of Huertas' league. Maybe he could ask Terry Waller to take the position, he is so well respected and trusted, he would be the perfect choice


I think Huertas had already made the correct choice, and if he is half a man, he would admit he made a mistake and put Lt Ortiz back, if Ortiz would go back into the snake's den

Anonymous said...

Sorry Kevin but Terry has a backache, he was diagnosed with a horrific disease; "Severe Chronic Spinelessgranalumatous", he got a back boo boo from his illegal use of a city vehicle accident. No worries SKB took an online course in massage therapy, she is giving him much needed rub downs.

Unless he becomes Chief he won't be back to work.

Anonymous said...

Ortiz was just a leak to the press that has been removed so now that source is gone.


You need to be detailed to the Chief's Office with your moronic thinking. LT Ortiz was doing what a Public Information Officer is supposed to do, answer media inquiries. If he was a "leak" to the media, we would all have the Kevin Bell toxicology report already.

Anonymous said...

If Lt. Ortiz did what he was suposed to do, meaning all his duties faithfully I'm sure the chief would of keep him at the assignment. Kevin this blog is great but the blog never gets the full story. Keep up the good work and I hope you are doing better.