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New Haven Engine 9

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MrAntiDigital

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I am under the impression that the individual who first suggested the closing of New Haven Engine 9 comes from the Emergency Management Director, with no ties to the FD. He seems to feel that he is now in charge as there is no official Chief of Dept at this time. He has been trying to take command of fires etc. I don't really know if he has the authority to do that. Also word is that he had a lot to do with the closing down of C-med.

Anyway, here is a story about the proposed closing of NHFD Engine 9.

Union: Spring Street fire underscores importance of New Haven’s Engine 9
 

leadjammer

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I thought the idea of going to only two city emergency units years ago was to have a neighborhood engine respond to medical calls. with emts instead of paramedics. Now the EMD director wants to send paramedics instead of fire engines in emergency units like the olden days. Very confusing.. Someone should get their act together.. This would be a fine idea if they were going to keep the engine and just add emergency units. But that would mean extra personnel and that's a no, no I'm sure. I think the city should concentrate on hiring a new fire chief. And while they are at it look for a new police chief as well. New Haven doesn't have either at the moment.
 

MrAntiDigital

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As I understand it, the Emergency Management Director has NO AUTHORITY over the NHFD at all. Rumor has it that he is friends with the current mayor and that gives him the right to be a "Self Appointed Chief".

I believe his expertise comes from the fact that he was a career firefighter in another city just outside of New Haven.

My question is now, how did anything get this far coming from someone with no actual authority over the NHFD. It could have been anyone of us here making a statement thinking we run that department. We would pretty much have the same amount of authority to do so.

So how does a city get so hooked up on this idea ? This plan really doesn't even exist. There is a firefighter union that I don't even think needs to respond to this. Let it happen without that unions approval and the city could find themselves in trouble. Let alone if somebody gets hurt or worse because of it.
 

Firebuff66

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As I understand it, the Emergency Management Director has NO AUTHORITY over the NHFD at all. Rumor has it that he is friends with the current mayor and that gives him the right to be a "Self Appointed Chief".
I believe his expertise comes from the fact that he was a career firefighter in another city just outside of New Haven.
My question is now, how did anything get this far coming from someone with no actual authority over the NHFD.
So how does a city get so hooked up on this idea ? This plan really doesn't even exist. QUOTE]

You hit it on the head, This is a wanabe who has an in with the current administration and they have no idea what's going on, except on paper it will save money for the city.

He just wants another head on his wall, he has C-med New Havens head now he wants E9s head, his only interest is him.

I like the idea of putting a Medic on E9, you get the best of both worlds,

Many departments out west have a medic on every apparatus, fire departments are running 70-80% medical calls now so why not get with the times and provide great medical and fire coverage at the same time, instead of tricky Ricky's idea of cutting one for the other
 

MrAntiDigital

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As I understand it, the Emergency Management Director has NO AUTHORITY over the NHFD at all. Rumor has it that he is friends with the current mayor and that gives him the right to be a "Self Appointed Chief".
I believe his expertise comes from the fact that he was a career firefighter in another city just outside of New Haven.
My question is now, how did anything get this far coming from someone with no actual authority over the NHFD.
So how does a city get so hooked up on this idea ? This plan really doesn't even exist. QUOTE]

You hit it on the head, This is a wanabe who has an in with the current administration and they have no idea what's going on, except on paper it will save money for the city.

He just wants another head on his wall, he has C-med New Havens head now he wants E9s head, his only interest is him.

I like the idea of putting a Medic on E9, you get the best of both worlds,

Many departments out west have a medic on every apparatus, fire departments are running 70-80% medical calls now so why not get with the times and provide great medical and fire coverage at the same time, instead of tricky Ricky's idea of cutting one for the other
Thank you Firebuff, and that confirms what I have been hearing from some very reliable people, including former South Central C-med employees, as well as New Haven Firefighters themselves.

At first nobody really knew much about this guy. But now the word is out.
1) About how he pushed for the closing of C-med
2) How he is the City of New Havens Emergency Management Director.
3) That he has personnel friends within the New Haven City Administration.
4) How he was once a career firefighter elsewhere who got out on a disability injury pension.

Now he comes in and tells the City of New Haven FD how it should be run and that Engine 9 should be closed to make way for two medic units. I think even if his friends in city hall were to make him Chief of Department, he would most likely find that he has ran himself into a brick wall.

Maybe he succeeded in closing C-med, but the NHFD is much more powerful with many members. And the local Firefighters union may not be so willing to accept his offer, being that this is a huge concern for both the firefighters, as well as the publics safety.

And I really doubt that the people within the response area of Engine 9, one of the busiest in the city, will readily accept the closing of their neighborhood firehouse without a good fight.

Not only that, if the day comes when his city hall buddies decide to take care of their friend and make him chief, this guy is already off on the wrong track and it could very well be an uphill battle for him. Wanting to be Fire Chief so bad that you suggest closing companies even before you start, might not be too good of an idea. If you are a new Chief of Department, it might be to your advantage to talk to the officials of those union firefighters first to hear what they have to say about it. Then you could offer your proposal.

I don't believe he was even an officer within his career department. Now of course he has no comment to make after his story spread throughout the fire service of Ct., and farther.
 

joetnymedic

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the guys and gals of NHFD know what is right for their operations.
I think this part sums it up 100% correct Izzy. Those running the show day to day know what works. Not a pencil pushing Mayor or someone who isn't with the FD. You can bring up that he was a firefighter, but he has never worked nor does he work New Haven FD's system whereas the Union guys are there on the front lines EVERY day
 

joetnymedic

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Jon and Willy,
You both hit the nail on the head. Look who was the main mouthpiece fighting to get CMED shut down (and succeeded) Now who is the main mouthpiece in the Engine 9 battle? Maybe he should stick with emergency management and let the Fire Department handle it's own affairs.

As I understand it, the Emergency Management Director has NO AUTHORITY over the NHFD at all. Rumor has it that he is friends with the current mayor and that gives him the right to be a "Self Appointed Chief".
I believe his expertise comes from the fact that he was a career firefighter in another city just outside of New Haven.
My question is now, how did anything get this far coming from someone with no actual authority over the NHFD.
So how does a city get so hooked up on this idea ? This plan really doesn't even exist. QUOTE]

You hit it on the head, This is a wanabe who has an in with the current administration and they have no idea what's going on, except on paper it will save money for the city.

He just wants another head on his wall, he has C-med New Havens head now he wants E9s head, his only interest is him.

I like the idea of putting a Medic on E9, you get the best of both worlds,

Many departments out west have a medic on every apparatus, fire departments are running 70-80% medical calls now so why not get with the times and provide great medical and fire coverage at the same time, instead of tricky Ricky's idea of cutting one for the other
 

CentracomGold

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This Mayor cannot distinguish between an Engine, a Truck or a Squad let alone ALS or BLS. We had an AC on the PD who when first appointed admitted to sleeping with his NHPD jacket on. He just resigned the other day as Chief. I get the impression that this EM Director also does the same.

His predecessor James Moore was never like that. He had at his disposal a marked unit complete with lights & siren but he hardly drove it. He knew that there was no need for him to show up at a fire scene although he was on the call out list for every 3 alarm fire in the city but he seldom responded. He had a call sign of car 98 but the only time he used a radio was to do a radio check from the EOC radio room before an event that required the EOC to go active. He was never starving to be on TV like this guy is. I am sure he sets his DVR & watches himself over & over again.

What happened with C-Med is a sad joke. An ambulance had a pending code going to Yale & was told to use Med 4 where St. Rays Campus acknowledged the radio transmission & when it arrived at 20 York St nobody in the ED knew anything about it. It also happened with a GSW where the patch never went through. I hope that there is someone noting all these errors happening at "Med-Com"

As I said before, people with his mentality are very dangerous. I worked with many in my day. It is unfortunate that he holds such authority.
 

MrAntiDigital

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These "wanna be's" and "self promoters" come along everyday. One such case was the Boston Fire Chief who came from outside the city with the sole purpose of cutting whatever he could. On the day of the Boston Marathon Bombing, he ran away from the scene, while people were killed and more severely injured.

About two days after this incident, he visits a firehouse which was one of the first companies on the scene of this major incident. His job was not to thank the firefighters for the great job they did in saving so many lives as most people ran for their life. He was there to tell a guy he was wearing the wrong tee shirt.

Like so many others of this style, they ran him out of town never to be heard from or seen again. He was replaced by a well respected chief from within the ranks of the Boston Fire Dept., and he still serves today.

A lesson learned by the City of Boston officials.
 

CentracomGold

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This is the story in the NH Register regarding this

NEW HAVEN >> Acting Fire Chief Matthew Marcarelli Sunday called the closing of any fire company at the Ellsworth Avenue station “reckless and irresponsible.”

Marcarelli said to his knowledge “no command staff” has sanctioned the closing of Squad 2, which is located at the Ellsworth station with engine 9.

He said neither Fire Chief Allyn Wright nor Acting Chief Ralph Black indicated that they had approved the closing of any company at this station before they left office.

Marcarelli said it has not been agreed to, nor has he been ordered to do so and the reallocation of personnel that would ensue would require a deployment assessment, which has not occurred.

He said a television reporter told him that he was directed to contact Deputy Director of Emergency Operations Rick Fontana on fire policy questions, rather than Marcarelli.

“Sounds to me like a gag order,” Marcarelli said.

The administration has proposed closing Squad 2 and putting one of two new paramedic units there in order to better answer medical calls with more advanced personnel. The other unit would go to the Whitney Avenue station.

Under the proposal, the 10 engines — one at each fire station — would no longer have to respond to routine calls where they administer basic life-saving skills before a paramedic arrives.

They would continue to respond when the paramedic units were tied up and for more serious calls, such as heart problems, as well as at shootings in the city, according to Fontana.

The deputy director has already been in a fight with the union for allegedly overstepping the boundaries of his position, something that the state Labor Board will hear this month.

Fontana has said the plan resulted from an analysis by the city controller, chief administrative officer, the Emergency Medical Services supervisor and himself, as well as Wright and Black.

Fontana has said on several occasions that he speaks for the administration, but Marcarelli speaks for the Fire Department.

Fontana and Black are cited in a presentation made to the aldermanic leadership in January on the paramedic units that lists the need to review strategy for redeploying personnel from current apparatus to meet the medical needs.

In December, the city applied for a $900,000 federal grant for a heavy rescue truck to take the place of both Squad 1 on Whitney Avenue and Squad 2 at Ellsworth Avenue, which apparently it did not get.

“The trained personnel from one of the existing companies will be redeployed to meet an existing need for additional paramedic units for medical response,” the application for the grant reads. It does not mention any more details on personnel or the potential closing of a company.

Local 825 of the International Association of Firefighters is opposed to the plan, charging on a website devoted to the issue that it “could delay firefighters getting to your home for a fire or medical emergency, all while decreasing your chance of survival and increasing your insurance rates.”

Harp has accused the union of irresponsibly spreading fear in the neighborhoods. The union has suggested that the city put paramedics on each engine, which would double the 20 who have recently been hired.

A rally organized by the union, with the help of some neighborhood residents, will be held in front of Engine Company 9 at 120 Ellsworth Ave. at 4 p.m. today. Marcarelli said he will be there.

Attempts to remove apparatus in previous years failed and the topic is always an emotional one even though there is a consensus that something has to be done about the medical calls.

Laurence Grotheer, spokeman for Harp, says the plan to increase paramedic services to residents will not negatively impact its ability to provide fire service, while it greatly improves emergency medical care for residents.

“It doesn’t impact the city’s preparedness in terms of fire safety. This is a data-driven plan to address the need for better medical responses because nearly 80 percent of the calls are medical,” said Grotheer said.

Grotheer accompanied Fontana to a recent meeting about the proposed staffing changes with the Editorial Board of the New Haven Register.

Fontana addressed the issues raised by Battalion Chief Frank Ricci, who is president of the local.

They center on Engine Company 9, which now houses a fire engine, also referred to as Engine 9; a batallion chief’s vehicle and Squad 2, one of two heavy rescue trucks that carry extrication equipment and hazmat gear and respond citywide.

Squad 1 is located at Engine 8 on Whitney Avenue and it would remain there as a consolidated citywide resource.

In 2011, the fire union and the city signed a contract that gave the fire chief the right to re-deploy personnel from one engine company, which is four employees, for the purposes of staffing two additional advanced life-support vehicles, which is a paramedic unit or paramedic ambulance.

New Haven currently has one paramedic unit and an ambulance and plans to have at least three ambulances, possibly four to serve the city. Ambulances give the city the ability to transport patients to the hospital.

Now, on average, New Haven calls for ambulance service from neighboring towns some 12 times a month when American Medical Response is tied up, according to Fontana.

The union says the city can’t decide to shut down a squad, rather than an engine to carry out its plans.

On the Local 825 website, however, it says a squad “can either function as a engine company or a truck company” depending on the needs of the incident commander. Ricci said that is a secondary function and the city will violate another section of the contract if it puts Squad 2 off duty.

That section says the city will operate with no less than 18 companies, including two squads, 10 engines, four ladder trucks and two emergency units.

The city has already hired twenty paramedics, who will also be trained as firefighters. Those who pass the background check will start that training in early October.

Fontana said the second squad was added in 2000 when fire incidents almost doubled to 9,288 that year. He said it was never changed even though they have not been that high since. The deputy director said Brooklyn, New York, only has one tactical squad.

Fontana said the proposed changes are driven by the high number of medical calls to the Fire Department, the heavy burden on the current two paramedic units and the change in demographics, which projects an aging population.

The ambulance located at Woodward Avenue on the east side of the city responded to 7,270 calls in 2015; the paramedic unit on Howard Avenue answered 6,104 medical calls.

Out of 25,561 alarms received by the fire department in 2015, 18,789 of them were medical calls, as opposed to 6,772 fire incidents, Fontana said.

This doesn’t include 14,000 calls triaged by the 911 center as lower priority requests that were answered by AMR alone.

Structure fires have been dropping for years with 347 in 1995 down to 76 in 2015.

Currently, a fire engine and a paramedic unit and an ambulance will respond to a medical call. Personnel on an engine can give basic life support, but only a paramedic can administer more advanced techniques.

They include “giving medications, starting an intravenous line, providing advanced airway management for patients and learning to resuscitate and support patients with significant problems such as heart attacks and traumas,” according to a training program at the University of California.

Fontana said ambulances don’t always have paramedics, which means the fire department paramedic will then have to accompany the patient to the hospital with an engine following to take them back.

He said directing the calls to the paramedics frees up the engines to deal with fires.

Fontana said all calls to 911 follow the same standard operating procedure in sending them to the proper unit or AMR. Ricci said it is safer to have the engine continue to respond in case the person calling in the emergency doesn’t characterize it correctly.

Ricci said the city’s population continues to increase and more apartments are being built, which means services should be added, rather than consolidated. Fontana said new technology is making buildings safer.

Grotheer said the paramedic initiative began in the mayor’s office.

Fontana said he is part of a working group that makes recommendations on “preparedness, responses and recovery. It says I will analyze problems. I will make recommendations and I will implement changes.”

The ultimate decision will be made by a new fire chief. The aldermanic leadership was recently introduced to Jersey Battalion Chief John Alston Jr. as the mayor’s apparent choice.
 

joetnymedic

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The fire department knows what's best for them not an outsider also I don't think it's a gag order but more of manipulation. Hopefully the neighborhood stands together and stops this. BTW you are going to take an engine out of a fire department or relocate the squad and put two shiny new ambulances there in its place. Just how much fire suppression ability do those ambulances have? Need I say more?
 

MrAntiDigital

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Thank you "CentracomGold". that about wraps it all up into what is going on. Once I had heard the basics, I know a little bit about New Haven and a few of the members. So I wanted to follow this story. Personally, I think Mr Fontana may have met his match when dealing with those guys.

Here is a QUOTE from one of them.

"What a joke". If Mayor Hart wants public safety in the city to provide the best service possible, that is cost effective and move in the right direction for the future with success, she should make Asst Chief Marcarelli the chief right now and stop listening to a political hack who lacks credibility as a leader. Never promoted past a working Private in rank at Sikorsky or West Haven.

Chief Marcairelli promoted in his career to Lt, Capt, Battalion Chief, and Asst Chief, and has an exceptional resume that rivals most chief officers on any job"

End of QUOTE
 
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