Playing With Fire

23Jun11

It's OK. It's rented.

Driving on Main Street yesterday we happened to notice a different fire truck parked outside Fire Headquarters. This one said “Waterbury” on the side. It occurred to us that the Town may be nearing the end of it’s rental options. Are we already up to the “W’s”? We’ve seen fire equipment from Bridgeport, Milford, Shelton and now Waterbury. Are we already on the phone with West Haven or Westport?

Six months ago, in January, our two shiny new Fire trucks were demolished by two tractor trailers on I95. It is understandable that borrowing/renting/leasing replacement equipment would be necessary. But 6 months with no resolution in sight seems to be a dangerous game to play. These replacement vehicles are not frontline equipment. They are generally back-up or reserve equipment. Someone has already decided that they had outlived their usefulness, yet we are using them as our primary equipment.

Where is the Council and the mayor on this? When can we expect the Stratford Fire Department to be supplied with the equipment we paid for? If I recall, one of the first actions Harkins took as mayor was to order these new firetrucks. What is the delay now? Forgive the the use of the words, but someone has to light a fire under the mayor and council.

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64 Responses to “Playing With Fire”

  1. 1 1george1

    Why BUY more FIRE TRUCKS?

    They aren’t maintained.
    > Several times there were claims of unrepairable brakes

    They keep using them for bumper car practice.
    > Fire Dept rear ended almost as often as my (female) family
    and friends and I > Monthly from July 1999 to Jan 2000,
    (except Dec 2000)

    They kept delaying purchases since the late 1990s/early 2000,
    arrest related to a certain Town Councilor who BID to sell Fire
    Truck to the Town on the Council.
    > Making money from the Town while on the council was against
    the Town Charter. That didn’t stop the lawyers from having the
    Town Council Chairman serve, while his wife was on Town Payroll.
    > Conflicts of Interest R US?
    > Leverage to raise Attorney Fees from $ 60 to $ 125.
    > Voccola – Guberman friends with T.I.P.S. Lauren & Faye had
    turned documentation to F.B.I. & Kevin Kelly that a certain Attorney
    and Law Firm was paid $ 125 an Hour by BoE for couple years.
    >> However Town Council N E V E R approved that FEE HIKE, until
    they appointed KELLY and it snuck through a special meeting July
    2001. – – EVEN ED (BEEFY HARGUS didn’t know about it and there
    were NO PUBLIC FORUM SPEAKERS?
    > Check my Math? Is $ 60 to $ 125 over the 2 % CAP and against the
    Referendum of PROHIBITION against FINANCIAL SELF INTEREST?

    I forgot…the FEE raise was for TOWN ATTORNEYS.
    I guess they are exempt from the LAW, ORDINANCES, & CONSTITUTION?

    YO JEZE, will this BLOG get posted on da PATCH?

    How cum Miron’s blog is on da PATCH and yours is deleted?

  2. 2 jezebel282

    George,

    “How cum Miron’s blog is on da PATCH and yours is deleted?”

    Apparently his actual name was Mayor MIRON not Mayor MORON. Go figure.

  3. 3 1george1

    Figures don’t lie, but liars figure.
    – Samuel Clemens (alias Mark Twain).

    If your experiment needs statistics,
    you ought to have done a better experiment

  4. 4 jezebel282

    But back to the topic.

    The three most essential services any municipality provides are Fire, Police and EMS. Luckily for Stratford residents and businesses, we have access to the best trained fire fighters, police and emergency medical personnel. The basic and continuing education of our personnel is the finest (and most demanding) of anywhere in the U.S.

    All of the problems spoken of on these pages, and there are many, have to do with the management of these resources. It is incredibly simple. Whatever detracts from or hinders the provision of these services is a bad thing. It’s bad for business, it’s bad for residents and it’s bad for visitors.

    Having fire fighters reporting to work and finding, say, a completely different ladder truck parked in the driveway must be a bit unnerving. By the time a firefighter becomes familiar with the new equipment (like at a fire) it is replaced again. Who wants them figuring out how it works while putting out a fire at your house?

    The recent stories of a rogue cop pulling up at a citizen’s driveway in a Lexus to collect a debt for a friend with his badge is equally unnerving. Trust in ethics and honesty is crucial to any law enforcement agency. When that disappears, so does community support and the effectiveness of the PD.

    The same is true when one highly paid EMS administrator sues the other one. Does the staff now have to choose sides? Who is in charge and for how long?

    We are now on our second mayor and it is apparent that politics, egos, and well, stupidity are endangering our welfare. Phin was absolutely correct when he said that is about time citizens start getting what we have paid for.

  5. 5 1george1

    Three most essential municipal services are Fire, Police and EMS.

    This Mayor and Town Council will have spent $ 1.35 Million for
    3 firetrucks, which might have been available for $ 600,000?
    See Website searches
    > Follow the money on Fire Trucks, O.T., & Pensions.
    > The prior Town Council bonded for the 2 “Emergency” Trucks

    The past and present Mayor, Police, and Attorneys support the
    highest pensioner, despite the Police Union grievance and Town
    Council Financial Advisory Commission Report both concluding
    it was impossible for anyone to have worked the hours to earn
    the OVERTIME that was paid. No Criminal investigation?

    The EMS had a paid leader. The Mayor created a NEW $ 100,000
    position to be over the EMS and DISPATCH, despite the Town
    Charter listing NEW positions and Budget being the exclusive
    purview of the Town Council.

    Sikorsky Airport airplane crash at 10:10 pm. Air traffic controllers
    shift ends 10 pm. Sunset was 8:31. Bridgeport wants Judge to give
    1 acre of AVCO Land, which Stratford could use for economic
    development. At least 2 Law Firms represent Bridgeport and
    Stratford and may have interest conflicts?

    1986 Town Attorney legal fees. 2011 Town Attorney budget with
    added money from Human Resources exceeds $1.8 million?

    2011 Fire Department Overtime likely to exceed $2 million.
    2011 Police Department Overtime likely to exceed $1.5 million.
    2011 Website Budget shows Pension cost are $19.65 million.

    Grand List related Mil is $4.4 million.
    $ 19.65 million pension cost equals 4.465 Mils.

    Net cost to Tax Payer for Town and Board of Education family plan
    Health Care exceeds $ 23,000 average.

    Should Stratford change our name to Nottingham?
    Who plans negotiations, buying and budgeting, Willie Sutton?

  6. 6 1george1

    1986 Town Attorney legal fees: $ 120,000
    (I missed typing the $ #)

  7. 7 1george1

    We seem to get personnel and now loaner fire truck from Waterbury.
    Bridgeport DTC seems to give direction to our law firms?

    I wonder if Waterbury or Bridgeport politicians care about Stratford’s
    residents, businesses, or workers.

    Moved to: https://stratfordcharter.wordpress.com/2011/02/05/the-dark-side-ii/#comment-16944

  8. 8 jezebel282

    Update:

    Fire Truck Purchase Talks at a Stalemate

    “It’s a little difficult for me to swallow if two trucks may be coming back,” he said. “The committee came up with a truck that doesn’t go under all bridges, [which] doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.”

    After Barnaby’s motion to strike the item failed, the Town Council tabled the fire truck purchase for its next meeting.

    Mayor John Harkins, in a closing remark, said before the town buys a new fire truck it has to be sure that the apparatus can be used throughout the entire town.
    http://stratford.patch.com/articles/fire-truck-purchase-at-stalemate

    “If two trucks may be coming back?” Shouldn’t that be “when’? And, oh yeah, WHEN?

    And we can’t proceed because one truck doesn’t fit under the Bruce Ave trestle? That’s the reason? Did anyone mention that that tiny portion of Bruce Ave can be reached from either Stratford Ave or Barnum Ave?

    Here wait…let me solve this problem. If there is a fire north of the trestle, make a right turn out of the Fire Station on Main and then make your first left (at the light), proceed westerly until you get to Bruce Avenue and make a left. If there is a fire south of the trestle, make a left out of the Fire Station, proceed southerly to Stratford Ave and make a right. Make a right when you get to Bruce Ave.

    What is wrong with this Council and the mayor?

  9. 9 1george1

    FENTON FIRE TRUCK WEBSITE has over 700 vehicles for sale,
    including 2011 + 2010 pumpers $ 180,000 to $ 299,000

    Instead of BUYING 1 Fire Truck for $ 600,000 to replace 1 of 3
    1997 Front Line Fire Trucks, would Stratford be better off buying
    3 Fire Trucks for the same money, which also fits under bridges.

    Instead of firemen using 300 hours to research what they want in
    a Fire Truck and then find it, why not use the RFQ BID PROCESS
    to Manufacturers and RESELLERS for them to find and supply
    those Fire Trucks and equipment necessary to do the job the right
    way.

    Is Stratford better off with 3 quality Fire Trucks 2009 to 2011 or
    1 demo 2011 Fire Truck, and still need 2 more to replace the two
    1997 Front Line Fire Trucks?

    Geen + Sue have looked like fools on Budgets, Bonding, Sewer
    Fees

    Harkins, Malloy, and Conners look bad on EMS + the Sewers
    where Mike Costello lives

    The Town Council has been made to look bad by the antics of the
    Fire Department with run away over time since Feehan was chair.

    The Budget is out of control due to the excessive OT and the secret
    deals in BoE, Police, and Fire, with the lawyers.

    The 2011 Pension cost of $ 19.65 million is 4.65 Mils.
    Mils was $ 4.5 Million under Miron – Now $ 4.4 Million.

    The RTC + dtc + certain Lawyers
    – delayed opening AVCO SAEP
    – blew Mobil Chemical
    – blew Dianon
    – blew so much economic development while thieves
    ruin Stratford and the USA.

    After awhile some voluteer people on the Town Council get tired
    of being made to look like they are liars, and thieves or fools and
    puppets!

    The RTC + DTC are going to have to reach for people with zero
    self respect for the NEXT TOWN COUNCIL and BOARD of ED
    and ZONING.

    Sylvia once told me that a certain Law firm should have everyone
    in it disbarred. ……

    I am not sure tere are any law firms who deserve to retain ….

  10. 10 1george1

    I do not believe you would find Murray or McNeil’s
    finger prints on most of this non sense.

  11. 11 jezebel282

    George,

    “The Town Council has been made to look bad”

    Not really. This council mostly make themselves look bad. They don’t require any assistance.

    The overtime issue is not a Fire Department problem, it is a management problem. You can either adequately staff the FD and not pay overtime or understaff the FD and pay overtime. Take your pick.

    It is the same situation for Dispatch, except in that case there is no management whatsoever.

    As for the “excuse” being that it won’t fit under one bridge in all of Stratford, that is just insulting to our intelligence. It’s as if we don’t live here and know how to get to Bruce Ave, Stratford Ave, Barnum Ave or Bishop Ave. Actually, I’m not sure who the Council is insulting, citizens or the Fire Department.

  12. 12 jezebel282

    Update:

    There is yet another firetruck (from Shelton) sitting at the FD. One of them broke down on Saturday and a replacement couldn’t be found until today. That means we were down a firetruck over the holiday weekend. Who needs a firetruck over the 4th of July?

    Luckily (really luckily) no fires were reported. Whew! I guess we got away with it again, huh?

    How many rolls of these dice do we get?

  13. 13 1george1

    Who is the mechanic – Bonzo the CHIMP?

    Do you believe E V E R Y T H I N G the FIRE DEPT feeds you?

    Even people within their rank and file recognize the antics have
    destroyed their credibility.

  14. 14 jezebel282

    George,

    First of all, they ain’t our firetrucks.

    Secondly, it was a very, very busy weekend filled with false alarms.

    Thirdly, we bought two new firetrucks. Where are they?

  15. 15 1george1

    First – They got here somehow.

    Second – I can believe many
    A) False Alarms
    B) Legitimate Needs

    Third – We bought 2 Fire Trucks, which should have been bought
    3 and 9 years ago.

    We could have bough several other trucks just a year or two old
    from a fraction of costs, as most cost is within 5 years.

    Please check FENTON FIRE TRUCK Website.
    > I stopped looking after I found that one!

    I do NOT care where we buy Fire Trucks or anything else. as long
    as quality is competatively good and the price is reasonable & fair.



    The FIRE DEPT O. T. and POLICE O. T. surprizes along with the
    loss of $ 2 million from the STATE of CT (so far) has put squeeze
    on Town Council and many Town Departments.

    Certain officials, elected and in government, believe CT Unions will
    come to senses and deal. No concessions are expected locally,
    despite claims about negotiation. It will have to happen in arbitration.

    Certain financial people are expecting the bubble to pop at the FED
    level at the worst possible time, when no one expects it.

  16. 16 jezebel282

    George,

    I think your first and third points are the same. I seem to recall some involvement in the purchase between Miron and Cybart ultimately costing Chief Cybart his career. I suppose that’s what happens when you only read documentation that your 20 year old ‘assistant” thinks is important.

    Be that as it may, the point is that the taxpayers have purchased two new firetrucks that were demolished in an accident on I95 seven months ago. Where are they? Will they be back?

    As for finding used firetrucks on the web (was that Google Shopping or Groupon?) I think it is a bit more complex than that. Stratford does have existing equipment that will be required in different events. There are fire suppression events, hazardous material events, extrication events, motor vehicle events, aircraft events and even boat fires and drownings. It is awful to contemplate. No offense, George, but rather than you telling us what we need I would prefer someone who does it for a living specifying our requirements.

    As for the OT issue, once again, you can fully staff the FD or pay overtime. We have 21 on duty firefighters that protect a Town of 50,000+. And how many are there that can work any given shift at regular pay? 22? What do you suppose happens when one of them calls in sick, takes holiday or vacation time?

    There are labor issues and management issue. This appears to be a management issue. Unfortunately the management prefers to use excuses like a firetruck won’t fit under a lone bridge in Town so it can’t be considered.

  17. 17 jezebel282

    One more thing. We have heard comments from a certain councilman who’s solution to the OT problem seems to be depending upon volunteers.

    Let’s take a serious look at that. It is probably the first time. It may seem unusual to some but you can’t just walk into a firehouse and say,” sign me up”. There is that whole education and testing thing you have to go through. Among other things there are physical requirements like the Connecticut Physical Aptitude Test (CPAT). Think carrying 75lbs and a stairmaster. Then there is the extensive course at the Fire Academy. IF you are able to finish that, you are now qualified to be a Newbie. That still doesn’t mean you can volunteer. Someone is going to have to think you are needed. As the FNG (F%$#$%g New Guy) guess which shifts and duties you will be “needed” for?

    And then we come to that whole “commitment” thing. “I’m sorry honey, I’m on duty tonight. I’m sure you and the kids will be OK till morning while I risk my life for free.”

    Beyond that, you will be working with rented, used equipment from other towns.

    So this “solution” would require attracting and maintaining about 100 qualified volunteers. Maybe much more to provide adequate coverage. 200? 300? And how does this Town perform when it comes to attracting volunteers? Look no farther than Stratford EMS. According to the Town, EMS is still located in the basement of 900 Longbrook Ave. As far as we can tell, nothing has changed since 2008. I guess we can be thankful that at least calls are forwarded to EMS.

  18. 18 1george1

    JEZE: “the point is that the taxpayers have purchased two
    new firetrucks that were demolished in an accident on I95
    seven months ago. Where are they? Will they be back?”

    GEO: The telephone #s and e-addresses to Town Councilors,
    Mayor, Fire Dept, purchasing are on the Town Website.
    1) One can contact them
    2) One can ask rhettorical questions

    JEZE: As for finding used firetrucks on the web
    (was that Google Shopping or Groupon?)
    I think it is a bit more complex than that.

    GEO: The Fire Chief stated the choose Fire Truck
    1) Would not fit under a bridge
    2) Took 300 manhours to be selected

    What happened to the BID PROCESS with SPECS and RFQ
    or RFB, whereas the prospective sellers do the legwork?

    Has anyone contacted any legitimate equipment sellers?
    Or do they go to places which intentionally fail, like having
    mirrors duct taped, rather than screwed into position?

    JEZE: No offense, George, but rather than you telling us
    what we need I would prefer someone who does it for a
    living specifying our requirements.

    GEO: As noted above,
    1 – The BID PROCESS would SPEC or describe NEEDS.
    2 – Professional sales staffs would scramble to BID to FIT
    the DESCRIBED NEEDS (or close to it) at prices that are
    competative, rather than inflated.

    Why do I believe prices are inflated?
    I emailed information and requested pricing based on SPECS.

    JEZE: As for the OT issue, once again, you can fully staff the FD
    or pay overtime. We have 21 on duty firefighters that protect a
    Town of 50,000+. And how many are there that can work any
    given shift at regular pay? 22? What do you suppose happens
    when one of them calls in sick, takes holiday or vacation time?

    GEO: If you watch / listen to Sue Collier June 13, it seems this
    O. T. problem with FIRE DEPT started about 6 – 7 years ago.

    If you go back to Budgets in the 2,000s, 1990s, 1980s, there was
    NOT this type of O. T. I wonder IF JEZE is BLINDLY guessing
    rather than researching at the Library (if the old Budget books
    have not yet been lost or destroyed?)

    JEZE: There are labor issues and management issue.
    This appears to be a management issue.

    GEO: It is a political issue. If honest government was elected,
    we would not have these problems!!

    JEZE: Unfortunately the management prefers to use excuses
    like a firetruck won’t fit under a lone bridge in Town so it can’t
    be considered.

    GEO: Maybe it was done intentionally, so the right alternative
    could be discovered OR maybe to give 300 hours OT for doing
    nothing?

    At least when I guess, I use the word MAYBE.

    I also do legitimate research like:
    1 – Finding Fenton Fire Truck as an alternative
    2 – Researching OLD Budget RECORDS for comparison.
    3 – Asking questions of various people in Town Hall & BoE,
    who are supposed to know the answers and provide them
    under F O I
    4 – Stay through entire Town Council meetings and watch /
    listen.
    5 – Ask questions to various press and politically connected
    people and Business Owners, and Residents.

    >

    I recently praised JEZE and agreed with everything posted by
    JEZE in that string.
    This time I have to take JEZE to task for sloppy investigation,
    faulty reasoning, and political posturing, supporting people
    who I support in their professional abilities, I NO LONG find
    CREDIBLE in their financial disservice to the Town, which
    includes: politicals + management + craft..
    > Across the town, they have lost credibility.
    > Stratford HS graduates, come back or never leave town,
    and in many instances know people, who know people who
    know the truth about others.
    – They went to school with each other and their familes.
    – They are related with huge long term families of 2nd, 3rd, 4th
    cousins.
    – The families in friends have neighbors, fellow church/social
    groups, and move from one district to another, and back.

    The OLDER retirees were excluded = not smart
    The YOUNGER hires were excluded = not smart
    The Administrators and other Town Workers were excluded.
    Parents, Aunts/Uncles on Social Security have over taxed homes.
    Low income people see money spent on Pensions Health Care
    Same with families who want money todards Educating their kids.

    Instead we have ranking FBI + DEA + STATE POLICE + LOCAL
    POLICE (Rank/Senior) who are effectual TRAITORS/CRIMINALS,
    in the I GOT MINE mentality! (Many are honest/patriotic)

    Our troops die and are permanently damaged, with families under
    financial duress, while WAR PROFITEERS and OIL / GAS / WALL
    STREET insider traders (traitors) raped (stock, bond, real estate)
    MARKETS, being sent to pretextual wars (WMD + 9/11 no Air cover?)

    I favor the ballot (votes) and civic participation for peaceful change!

  19. 19 jezebel282

    George,

    I feel we are moving far away from the point which is playing games with our safety…for those of you just tuning in.

    However, it is up to our Fire Department to tell us what is required. As for issuing and publishing Request for Quotes, we have an entire paid Purchasing Department for that as well as negotiating the best pricing. In addition we have a CAO, Chief of Staff and Mayor who is supposed to oversee that process.

    To use a weak excuse like not being able to travel under one lone bridge when the alternate route is a block away is frankly insulting.

  20. 20 1george1

    JEZE: I feel we are moving far away from the point which is playing
    games with our safety…for those of you just tuning in.

    GEO: Agreed

    JEZE: However, it is up to our Fire Department to tell us what is required.

    GEO: Too bad we have greedy clowns, calling acts.

    JEZE: As for issuing and publishing Request for Quotes,
    we have an entire paid Purchasing Department for that
    as well as negotiating the best pricing.

    GEO: Too bad we have greedy clowns, calling acts.

    JEZE: In addition we have a CAO, Chief of Staff and Mayor
    who is (are) supposed to oversee that process.

    GEO: Too bad we have greedy clowns, calling acts.

    JEZE: To use a weak excuse like not being able to travel under
    one lone bridge when the alternate route is a block away is
    frankly insulting.

    GEO: If we were only insulted instead of being the ongoing
    targets – GEO: Too bad we have greedy clowns, calling acts.

  21. 21 jezebel282

    Posted with permission;

    I appreciate your comments regarding the firetruck and although I dont post on blog sites, no offense to you or yours, I wanted to pass along some information to you to correct some of the posts I have seen on your site lately. This information is not meant to be insulting to you. I just wanted to pass along this so you would know the truth about the fire truck situation and why decisions were made. As far as Georges comment about 300 hours of overtime that is insulting. The Apparatus Committee, which I am part of, spent 300 hours of off duty time to research and develop a specification that we feel fits the needs of the Department and Town while saving the most amount of money for the Town. The plan we put forth saves the Town substantial money as we will essentially be replacing two trucks, that were slated to be replaced in upcoming Capital Budgets, with one truck. The new truck will replace E5 and the repaired E5 (from the accident) will replace E2. Both were originally slated to be replaced in the next few Capital Budget cycles.

    If you remember the Town tried the RFP process 3 years ago. This resulted in a return of bids for apparatus that were overpriced and not available for a minimum of a year, due to having to be built. The town also felt these prices were too high and that the fire department apparatus committee had bid more than they needed. Stratford then decided to have a professional fire apparatus company come in to write specifications for a pumper that they felt Stratford needed based on population, fire load, target hazards, types of incidents and building construction. The department had no say in what was put into this specification. The lowest price came back at $675,000. The fire department apparatus committee felt that there were excessive items on the pumper specified by this company and was able to go back with specifications from the original bid and find two demo pumpers that the department needed for $805,000 for both. This saved the town a substantial amount of money and again all of the man hours put in to research these trucks was done on the firefighters own time and free of charge to the town, while the professional company they hired charged them $10,000 just to write the specifications.This is when Miron refused to purchase the trucks because he and many members of the council were proven wrong. It showed the apparatus committee knew what they were doing and had the best interest of the Town, considering both spending and equipment, in mind.

    For this current apparatus the RFP process was also used. http://www.townofstratford.com/filestorage/1302/402/627/5524/BID_2011-003.pdf 6 bids were returned and the truck selected by the apparatus committee was the lowest price truck that met the specifications included in the RFP. One truck came back cheaper but had over a dozen exceptions to the specifications and was not that much cheaper. Once the equipment required in the specification would have been added to this truck it would have far exceeded the price of the one selected by the committee.

    The used fire trucks that Fenton sells are not what the Town of Stratford needs. Just because it is a firetruck doesnt mean it has the necessary equipment needed to perform its duties. I will guarantee none of the pumpers on Fenton, for the prices George quotes, have generators, light towers, adequate storage space or extrication tools just to name a few of the required items. All of the apparatus on Fenton’s site were researched and considered when looking for a new piece of apparatus. They simply do not have what is needed to provide adequate service in town. If you look at Fenton’s website and research the apparatus available for the prices George is quoting, http://www.fentonfire.com/engines_and_pumpers/, you will see the 2011 Internationals they have are 2 seaters. Our apparatus run 3-4 members so this simply will not work. They are also under powered (motor) and have small pumps on them which do not provide adequate water flow to handle the fire loads we encounter.The 2010 Spartan and 2010 International offered have very small motors and smaller pumps as well and do not provide enough storage space to carry the tools required in a town like Stratford. Fenton simply does not have any apparatus that suit the needs of the department at this time. The apparatus committee certainly does not care where we buy apparatus from as long as they can offer an apparatus with the equipment needed for a good price.

    You must understand that there is a minimum size pump that is needed to flow adequate water to handle the fire loads we are presented with in Stratford.

    The motor must also produce ample horsepower for the pumper to be able to get from point A to point B in a timely manner and be able to move all of the equipment stored on the pumper. It must also have enough power to be able to maneuver the hills in town. The motor specified by the apparatus committee is in the middle range for horsepower. It is a medium block 6 cylinder motor. This provides adequate horsepower of over 420 HP and allows for a significant savings over a big block 8 cylinder motor. The small block motors only provide horsepower in the 300 range, which is nowhere near enough to perform the duties needed. The Town of Stratford tried to run a small block motor some years ago and found that the increase in maintenance and repair far exceeded the cost of the medium block motor and it was also realized that the lower horsepower was simply not efficient or powerful enough for the conditions encountered in Stratford.

    A generator of adequate size is needed to provide electric service to run lights and tools at the scene of emergencies. We obviously remove power from a building during a fire so electrical service is needed during overhaul and investigation stages. Also most motor vehicle accidents dont occur near an electrical outlet so a generator is also needed there to provide power for lighting and tools.

    The size of the pump is important so that we can ensure that the pumper we be able to flow enough water to extinguish the fire load encountered in town. Unknown to many there are actual mathematical equations that calculate the amount of gallons per minute needed to extinguish a pre determined fire load. Fire pumps cannot “make” water. In simple terms they can only move the water that they are provided by a domestic water system (hydrants). The water system in town allows for 1500 gpm in most areas and 2000 gpm is other areas. This is why we typically specify 1500 gpm pumps for our apparatus. We need to be able to deliver the maximum amount of water provided to us. If we were to use smaller pumps we would again need more apparatus at the scene of an incident to “move” the water needed to extinguish fires. This would certainly increase the wear and tear, maintenance and repair costs.

    The light tower is necessary to provide scene lighting when performing at rescues, extrications, motor vehicle accident, and structure fire at night. It provides ample lighting to ensure that the firefighters can see what they are doing allowing them to safely operate, reducing injuries and increasing efficiency.

    The extrication tools included with this apparatus are also a necessity. The current extrication tools being used by the department are old and outdated and have not been replaced or updated in almost 14 years. There are new materials used in vehicles today that our current tools will not cut or spread making it much more difficult to effectively remove a patient from a motor vehicle accident that requires extrication. We are also unable to cut or spread many of the materials used in the mass transit systems that are in the Town of Stratford. The extrication tools selected by the committee are $6000 cheaper than the tools bid by other manufacturers.

    The same goes for the hand tools specified for the pumper. Our tools are well maintained by the firefighters but have been in service well beyond their life expectancy and are in dire need of being replaced or placed into reserve status (sound familiar?) The Town has never allowed for scheduled replacement for tools in the budget and every Chief that has presented any type of tools or vehicle replacement plan has been shot down in the budget process. The only way that we have been able to replace tools is to purchase a limited amount of key items when a truck is replaced.

    Adequate storage space is needed to carry all of the equipment so that multiple units are not needed to provide the same amount of equipment. This reduces wear and tear, maintenance and repair costs. It is also safer to have the least amount of units needed to respond to incidents as responding to incidents is one of the highest causes of death and injury in the fire service.

    The size of the cab is important so that we can carry the proper number of firefighters on the vehicle as well as have room to be able to rehab firefighters at prolonged incidents.

    The size of the hose bed is also important to make sure that the pumper can carry enough hose to be used at incidents. We have to lay supply lines from hydrants to the scene of emergencies and as most people are aware there are some areas of town that do not have an abundance of hydrants meaning that some hose lays require more than 1000 ft of supply hose to be used. This is the minimum amount of hose storage that we specify on a piece of apparatus. It is difficult to find many manufacturers that can provide more than this while still providing adequate equipment storage space.

    We are unable to use light duty axles due to the weight of the equipment we are required to carry. Stratford has also tried light duty axles on apparatus before which resulted in suspension issues, vehicles being overweight when loaded with equipment, and tire wear issues which all resulted in increase maintenance and repair costs.

    One thing I would also like to add is that the Department has researched neighboring shoreline departments with similar viaducts and all of them, to include Milford, Bridgeport, Norwalk, and Fairfield, experience the same height issues and all of them also have apparatus that will not fit under certain viaducts in their municipalities so they have altered response routes just as Stratford will. As you brought up the Bruce Ave underpass is on the Westernmost part of the Town and there are plenty of ways to respond without having to use Bruce Ave. (Barnum Ave and Stratford Ave) Also the bridge on Bishop Ave in Bridgeport is 3/10’s of a mile roundtrip longer and has the height clearance to allow any of our apparatus to, include the new proposed rescue pumper, to pass through in the event that a piece of apparatus is on that side of Town and needs to respond North or South.

    We appreciate the Council’s consideration to purchase this new piece of apparatus and truly feel it is what is needed to adequately and effectively protect the health and safety of the residents of the Town of Stratford.

    I appreciate you taking the time to read this and hope it helps with some insight into the issues. If you have any questions or I can further clarify anything for you please let me know.

    Bill Hansen
    Stratford Fire Department
    2750 Main St. Rm 105
    Stratford, CT 06615
    C 203-627-7476 / W 203-275-8804

  22. 22 jezebel282

    Mr. Hansen,

    That you for your time in developing your post.

    What would be exceptionally interesting would be anyone’s response from across the street in Town Hall. Why are we continuing to rent/borrow/lease used equipment? Why are firetrucks budgeted yet not purchased? Which is more beneficial to residents, $1.8 million to the Town Attorney or needed fire equipment? The silence from across the street is deafening.

  23. 23 mikereynolds

    Great post by Mr. Hansen.

    I draw two conclusions from this:

    1. You don’t buy a firetruck like a car.
    2. George doesn’t know what the hell he is talking about.

  24. 24 jezebel282

    Mike,

    There is a third conclusion:

    3. Neither does the Council nor the Mayor.

  25. 25 1george1

    A fine and detailed presentation by Mr. Hansen.

    This has specifics and details unlike anything presented to the
    Town Council. Unfortunately between a variety of government,
    department, and elected past actions – the FIRE DEPARTMENT
    has lost credibility in the eyes of many people. (squandered)

    What happened to PATCO in 1981 (only union who backed Reagan
    in 1980) is likely to happen to ALL government union workers, who
    have had MONOPOLY MONEY thrown at them and will be used as
    SCAPE GOATS to the general public which does not have:
    – Benefits
    – Health Benefits
    – Similar Pay
    – Pensions

  26. 26 1george1

    As for Fenton Fire Truck – The Website shows:
    > there are limits to what is available and NOT available
    > what comes with what equipment
    > which equipment at what price

    If I had more than 3 minutes to speak at Town Council Meetings,
    while touching a variety of issues … it might make a difference?

    However – I do NOT believe the BUYING PROCESS related to the
    FIRE TRUCKS, nor do I believe certain people and certain supposed
    circumstances.

    Bill & Mike & others are entitled to their opinions, as am I.

    If I were the unions, maybe affadavits might be in order related to
    Tom Murray asking Esquire Richard Burturla about who is responsible
    for Pension computations and related issues?
    I had suggested this to Tom, because I believe national and States Republicans and Democrats want to be able to scapegoat the workers.

    The O.T., Pensions, Buying and other things have a paper trail a mile
    wide and the former political protectors are dead, retired, protected,
    and some will be scape goated too.

  27. 28 jezebel282

    George,

    “Bill & Mike & others are entitled to their opinions, as am I.”

    Here is something that is not an opinion. In January we had two new firetrucks. Now we don’t.

  28. 29 1george1

    JEZE: Here is something that is not an opinion.
    In January we had two new firetrucks. Now we don’t.

    GEORGE: 1 – As soon as they go into action, they become used.
    2 – Why did HARKINS Administration SETTLE for ONLY 1 replacement
    (temp) FIRE TRUCK from the INSURANCE COMPANIES, when two
    were damaged.
    3 – Why did the FIRE DEPT go ALONG with the 1 instead of TWO,
    unless some one (perhaps) was being or gonna be PAID?

  29. 30 jezebel282

    George,

    “3 – Why did the FIRE DEPT go ALONG with the 1 instead of TWO,
    unless some one (perhaps) was being or gonna be PAID?”

    I hope you are not alleging that it is anyone wearing a firefighter’s uniform.

  30. 31 1george1

    Maybe, just maybe, someone wanted to create illusions and hardships,
    so that needs for replacement vehicles could be hyped and steered?

    Someone claimed they saw a Fire Truck parked in someone’s yard in
    a part of town, near Shelton. I am not chasing rumors.

    I respect the courage of police, fire, EMS, and military like those who
    died or were hurt on 9/11.

    The are some whose lack of integrity, just like any profession, hurt the
    image and reputation of others. Same way 100 % of Detectives & Judges
    in NYC were on the Mafia payroll inNY, from the Knapp Commission, before
    the results were revised?

  31. 32 jezebel282

    George,

    “create illusions and hardships, so that needs for replacement vehicles could be hyped and steered?”

    Perhaps I have a smidgen of naivete left but if Jack Conway, Tim Brennan and Tom Murray say we need this firetruck, I have no doubt whatsoever that we need it.

    In fact (to go another step) if they told me the sun would not go down tonight I would be at BJ’s stocking up on SPF15 suntan lotion right now.

  32. 33 1george1

    JEZE – You missed the point!

    Two firetrucks were HIT, by 2 Tractor Trailers, who had TWO separate
    Insurance Companies – YET the TOWN, FIRE DEPARTMENT MANAGERS,
    and FIRE DEPARTMENT UNION accepted that arrangement and rolled
    over playing possum for months?

    I know, like, and respect Jack and Tom. I know Tim by sight. Jack and
    Tom are very, very outspoken and compentent to protect the interests
    of the FIRE DEPARTMENT and WORKERS.
    The are highly competent professionals who put their lives on the line
    and I have confidence they do the right things related to protecting and
    saving lives and property.

    This is just another Stratford Fire Department situation or antic, which
    does not pass the SMELL TEST.

    There are differences between physical courage and moral courage.

    You also have not check the records related to W H E N the FIRE
    DEPARTMENT OVERTIME started – have you?

    People can rationalize and justify anything …. especially when it
    benefits them and mutually reinforcing group.

    Instead of hiding behind the reputations of Tom and Jack, why not
    do some honest unvestigation?
    You will find that besides certain Republicans, there are the same circle
    jerks of Demoncrats, involved in the MONOPOLY MONEY give away.

    You will also find they had blessings from State Troopers and FBI, along
    with the Criminal Justice Commission and Justice Department.
    Balance moved to: https://stratfordcharter.wordpress.com/2011/02/05/the-dark-side-ii/#comment-17024

  33. 34 jezebel282

    George,

    Sometimes you have to read what someone else writes.
    ““If two trucks may be coming back?” Shouldn’t that be “when’? And, oh yeah, WHEN?”

    “Instead of hiding behind the reputations of Tom and Jack, why not
    do some honest unvestigation?”
    Really? “Hiding”? That’s your accusation? If I have chest pain, I go see a cardiologist. If my car makes noise I go see a mechanic. If I have a toothache, I go see a dentist. If I have a question about fire equipment I go see a firefighter. If I want to find out about the Masons, Bilderberg Society, CIA, or the Trilateral Commission, I ask you.

    In this particular instance, I rely on the people who do this job day in and day out. In terms of providing accurate and unbiased assessments you could do far worse than Jack Conway, Tim Brennan, Tom Murray or even Bill Hansen.

  34. 35 1george1

    We know who the FAR WORSE are.

    Only Joe McNeil went Public in Letter to Editor.
    There are major limits in CT POST and PATCH (bow) coverage
    Star has limits.
    Forget TV and RADIO = Completely worthless for Public and do
    whatver government and politics wants covered.

    I think Bill Hansen had letter to editor, but only about Fire
    Truck.
    Nothing about types of abuse & possible criminality like
    McNeil wrote about.

    Besides Masons, there are other Ancient Orders, religions, philosophies,
    Ethnicm and others the powers which are have learned to tap.

    JEZE – How do you exlain
    Dec 1998 OIL = $ 10.58 Barrel
    June 2008 OIL = $ 147 Barrek

    Y2K = no computers crashes, but FED caused Monetary drain?
    9/11 – NO AIR COVER
    IRAQ = NO WMD
    Real Estate crash
    Stock Market crash
    T.A.R.P. & Stimulus

    Do you claim NO ONE makes money on WAR + CRIME?

    Do Trilateral Commission, Council Foreign Affairs, Bilderberg,
    CIA abuses, DOD abuses, FBI abuses actually exist = documented?

    Who STAFFS them, except the people in the HIGHEST LEVELS
    of GOVERNMENT and PRIVATE SECTORS?

    In your estimation, since they were created and their TRACK
    RECORD since IKE > JFK, MLK, RFK, LBJ/McNamara, Nixon
    Have they benefitted the
    AMERICAN POPULATION?
    THEMSELVES?

  35. 36 jezebel282

    George,

    “Do you claim NO ONE makes money on WAR + CRIME?”

    Wrong question.

    Here is the correct question for this topic:
    What is the difference between the fire equipment the Town of Stratford has in place now versus what is necessary to keep Stratford residents and businesses safe?

    Hint: it does not involve the Trilateral Commission, Council Foreign Affairs, Bilderberg, CIA , DOD nor the FBI.

  36. 37 1george1

    The more correct questions:
    Why was the proper equipment not bought on proper intervals
    over the last several years, at correct prices for the proper needs?

    Why has the fire department become a running joke the way like:
    – Raymark
    – AVCO
    – Shakespeare
    – Town Charter
    – Excessive Taxes
    – Atorney Fees
    – etc

  37. 38 1george1

    If the FIRE DEPARTMENT personnel are completely above reproach
    (and I respect their professional competence) why have they NOT
    actively sought FIRE TRUCKS years ago, one at a time, when each
    SHOULD have been phased in ONE AT A TIME?

  38. 39 jezebel282

    George,

    “If the FIRE DEPARTMENT personnel are completely above reproach”

    Where in any Charter does it say a firefighter can order up a new firetruck? We are arguing in circles here.

    We paid for two new firetrucks. Where are they?

  39. 40 1george1

    Ask Harkins about Fire trucks.
    The Mayor runs the Administration & day to day.
    The Council authorizes money and creates legislation & blather.

  40. 41 jezebel282

    George,

    “Ask Harkins about Fire trucks.”

    I would but the word is that he has been driving up and down Bruce Avenue trying to figure out how to get back to Town Hall.

  41. 42 1george1

    Harkins was pretty amused watching and listening from the bunked
    about issues I raised for 17 requested questions I asked the Town
    Council to raise to him, with suggestions.
    > I gave a 2 sided handout of email of what I asked entire Town
    Council to place on the Agenda.
    > I gave 2 sided handout including the questions and points.
    – I asked about DEFUNDING: Mayor, Town Attorneys, Tax Assessors,
    Ranking Police, and Ranking Fire, among other items.
    – By the end of the MEETING neither HARKINS nor KELLY were smilin.
    – If the entire Town council actually represented the TOWN …
    point, game, match!

  42. 43 jezebel282

    More Fire Department games:

    We are soon to get our fifth assistant fire chief at a cost of only $85,000/year plus benefits and pension. Why is that? Apparently our Human Resources Department after being late (by about a year) developing testing procedures for the position promoted an applicant out of order. Thus we will have an additional position. No problem! Unless you’re a taxpayer of course.

    Fortunately for us, the HR Director has new “global” IT responsibilities. That is probably why the Town website hasn’t been updated in months and months. There are no listings for the new assistant chiefs, James Cavanaugh is still the Fire Chief. EMS is still in the basement of the Police Department and John Buturla is still the Police Chief.

    What is the solution? Give the HR Director a raise and increase his outsourcing budget by 32%.

  43. 44 jezebel282

    Sometimes we are a bit slow here. It just occurred to us that with this very expensive HR blunder which will cost the Town hundreds of thousands of dollars ($85K plus benefits x however many years we have 5 assistant fire chiefs) it could cause mayors and councilmen to forget how to get to Bruce Avenue without going under a trestle.

  44. 45 jezebel282

    Update:

    “Engine 1, a 2008 Smeal pumper and the department’s newest apparatus, is fully repaired, Acting Fire Chief Brian Lampart said Friday evening. He said he expected to launch the rig into service later that night…
    …The truck shortage inspired the department to campaign, albeit unsuccessfully, for the purchase of a new truck. http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Stratford-rig-returns-to-service-after-severe-1751437.php#ixzz1UL9F4fyP

    And because the Council was unable to act, that new truck (already scheduled for purchase) will cost the taxpayers a minimum of $200,000 more.

  45. 46 1george1

    And because the Council was unable to act, that new truck
    (already scheduled for purchase) will cost the taxpayers a
    minimum of $200,000 more.

    Maybe a different manufacturer might have better pricing
    and features in the future?

    Maybe new technologies related to solar, electrical, mechanical,
    and manufacturing might create a lighter, stronger, better truck
    with better features and lower cost to run?

    Maybe as part of a future national stimulus package the FEDS
    would assume cost of certain vehicles?
    – It is not like the FEDS can’t print money, nor mobilize the
    economy, when they choose to ACT.

  46. 47 jezebel282

    George,

    “Maybe a different manufacturer”
    “Maybe new technologies”
    “Maybe as part of a future national stimulus package”

    Maybe if you print out your post and put it under your pillow……

  47. 48 1george1

    You do not believe the technolgies, manufacturing, and
    financial situations will not change in 2 – 3 years?

  48. 49 jezebel282

    George,

    “You do not believe the technolgies, manufacturing, and
    financial situations will not change in 2 – 3 years?”

    It depends on what you mean by “change”. Here is one thing I think will change: The price of a fire engine will go up.

  49. 50 1george1

    Well, if there were proper management, O.T. shoudl go down
    from $ 2 million to under $ 500,000.
    over 3 years that $ 4.5 million is just over 1 Mil or $ 4.4 million.

    If we save $ 4.5 million over 3 years, we could replace ALL of the
    FIRE TRUCKS and EMS Vehicles

  50. 51 jezebel282

    George,

    “Well, if there were proper management…”
    LOL! I told you; print out your post and put it under your pillow…

    We are paying money to an outside consultant to “find” a new Fire Chief. NOT ONE SINGLE member of the Stratford FD has been interviewed or contacted. Not one. Aside from the obvious waste of money, what message does that send to members of the FD from Harkins/Ing?

    If you have difficulty with that one, let me help: Not only am I not going to support your acquisition of essential fire equipment, I don’t think any of you are compliant enough to even consider for the position of Chief.

  51. 52 1george1

    The American people have been double crossed,
    why should others be exempt?

  52. 53 ronmoreau

    Jez,

    Compliant enough or competent enough?

  53. 54 jezebel282

    Ron,

    “Compliant enough or competent enough?”

    You already trust your life and property to them.

    But, to answer your question they are absolutely competent enough. But what seems to matter to mayors the most is compliance.

  54. 55 1cyclops

    What do you mean “he promoted an applicant out of order and now we have to fund an additional position?”

  55. 56 jezebel282

    Cyclops,

    Tell me which part you didn’t understand?

  56. 58 jezebel282

    Update:

    City fire chief retiring
    By KARA O’CONNOR
    Times Staff Writer

    STAMFORD — Stamford Fire & Rescue Chief Robert McGrath will be retiring at the end of June after 41 years of working in the department.
    “It’s time to move on,” said McGrath. “I’m looking to expand my horizons.”
    http://www.thestamfordtimes.com/story/504594

    By coming to Stratford…..

    How many retired fire chiefs are there in Connecticut anyway?

    Much more on this later, but honest to goodness, why is it so impossible to “find” a Fire Chief (one who actually goes to fires) when so many of them are across the street from Town Hall? Across the street!

  57. 59 1george1

    No comment about deaths your precious police & fire do nothing about?

    Here is a real playing with Fire issue – complete loss of Pensions and
    Health Care by Jeze’s beloved buddy

    Anyone READ CT POST syndicated column about a corrupt town which went Chapter 9 wiping out all government employee contracts.
    – No more free medical
    – No more retirement pensions

    I believe the local hogs ruined it for people getting legitimate pensions
    and decent Health Care.

    People who put in pensions for 20 – 30 years, deserve to have the
    EQUALENT of the DEFINED CONTRIBUTION PENSION, which would
    likely be about $ 20,000.
    It is not great, but it is twice Social Security.
    I can retire from USPS in 3 years, if I live that long.
    I will have some USPS & some Social Security, which is better than
    many people can get and worse than others.

    IF Stratford goes Chapter 9 or whatever,
    ALL PENSIONS can be lost.
    ALL HEALTH CARE can be lost.
    It does not make a difference if people are working or retired.

    I tried to warn people.
    I didn’t make this stuff up.
    It is only gonna get worse!

    What kind of support do those people with $ 60,000 – $ 100,000
    Pensions think they are gonna get, when active workers and low
    pensioners lose their Health Care and Pensions due to Chapter 11?

    What kind of support do those people with $ 60,000 – $ 100,000
    Pensions think they are gonna get, when Taxes already @ 4.65
    Mils, just to 605 people, DOUBLE?

    The old party bosses like Voccola are dead and many of his political
    connections are getting up in age or dying.

    Sylvia believed Berchem’s firm would be disbarred and jailed.
    So far they have the political pull.

    If the DJIA drops to 6500 the pension portfolio could be wipe out
    or become so low as to be unable to recover …
    NEVER HAPPEN?

    The T PARTY & REPUBLICANS showed they just do NOT care about
    Government employees, the same way some government employees
    do not care about tax payers, residents, and businesses.
    The free lunch is almost over.
    And the greedy are making more and more into the NEEDY.

    I support working people in government, corporate, private sector,
    and the military and all of those who work to make this the best
    country in the world.

    My focus has always been at the top of the pyramid who are making
    matters worse. They employ private security and have their own
    medical and fire personnel. Do you think for a second they care
    about anyone reading this blog?

  58. 60 jezebel282

    George,

    “No comment about deaths your precious police & fire do nothing about?”

    Nope. First of all, they are not “mine” they are “ours”. Second of all, aside from the meddling and incompetence of our elected “leaders”, the rank and file police and fire personnel only want to do their job; save your life and property.

    “complete loss of Pensions and Health Care by Jeze’s beloved buddy”
    I’m not sure which “buddy” you are referring to. It is very difficult for avatars like me to have 3 dimensional buddies.

  59. 61 jezebel282

    It is clear that Stratford residents and taxpayers have completely lost control of the Town. It is thoroughly in the grip (primarily) of the Republican Town Committee and the only competition they have is the incredibly weak Democratic Town Committee (yet another Miron legacy).

    Once again, we see a vital Town department being subject to political decisions and costing taxpayers a fortune. We will end up spending tens of thousands of Taxpayer dollars on another consultant (actually it is the same one; CBG Associates) to find a Fire Chief. CBG completely ignored candidates from Stratford (not even an acknowledgement by email) and “selected” yet another retired Fire Chief. This time from Stamford where he worked for Dannel P. Malloy. Say, don’t we have someone by that last name on our Town Council?

    In the meantime, this Town has let two more-than-qualified candidates for Chief simply slip through our fingers. It will let another one slip away within months and a fourth not long afterwards.

    Apparently, if you are mayor, compliance and obedience are far more important than knowledge and leadership.

  60. 62 1george1

    Nope. First of all, they are not “mine” they are “ours”. Second of all, aside from the meddling and incompetence of our elected “leaders”, the rank and file police and fire personnel only want to do their job; save your life and property.

    There are remarkable differences in physical courage and moral courage.

    If people did their investigative jobs, would we have lost some of “our”
    fellow citizens?

    Some people appear to only care about money & pensions.

  61. 63 1george1

    Good jobs with benefits?

    Moved to: https://stratfordcharter.wordpress.com/2011/02/05/the-dark-side-ii/#comment-17222

    Don’t you have jury duty, George?


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