FIRST ARRIVING NETWORK
First Arriving Network
Powered by the First Arriving Network, Reaching 1M+ First Responders Worldwide

UPDATE – DC fire chief wants to cut 400 employees & move to 12 hours shifts. Says firefighters living in other East Coast states is a 'homeland security threat'.

Washington Post article with union & DC Council reaction

UPDATE -

From WTOP's Mark Segraves:

D.C.'s fire chief wants to reduce the size of his department by more than 20 percent and make changes to the schedules firefighters now work.

Chief Kenneth Ellerbe told Mayor Vincent Gray and the D.C. Council Wednesday he wants to reduce the number of full-time employees by 475, shrinking the department to about 1,625 employees. Ellerbe also wants to move from 24-hour shifts to 12-hour shifts, more than doubling the number of days firefighters work each month.

"It's an absurd idea," says Ed Smith, president of the D.C. firefighters union. Smith says he doesn't believe Ellerbe's assertion that the moves will save taxpayers $36 million.

"I'd like to see the data on that," Smith tells WTOP.

Ellerbe says the shift change would encourage firefighters to live closer to the District.

"Forty-one percent of our members live between 30 and 100 miles away," Ellerbe told elected officials at their monthly breakfast meeting. "That creates a homeland security challenge if we have to recall our entire workforce right away for an emergency."

Ellerbe says some members of the department live as far away as Delaware, North Carolina and South Carolina. Gray agreed that's an issue of public safety.

"It's very much of a concern," Gray said after the briefing. "If there is a catastrophic event people will be challenged to get back into the city."

Gray said reducing the size of the department and what impact the move would have on public safety also is a major concern.

"We're not going to sacrifice, under any circumstances, public safety," Gray said.

D.C. firefighters currently work a 24-hour shift, then have three days off. Under Ellerbe's proposal, firefighters would work three 12-hour day shifts, then have 12 hours off before returning to work three 12-hour night shifts. They would then have three days off.

Firefighters in the District have not had a raise since 2006, and their union contract expired in 2007. Union officials expect to begin negotiations for the new contract soon, but say they'll reject the proposed shift changes.

Only 25 percent of D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services employees currently live in the District.

From the Washington Examiner's Liz Farmer:

D.C. Fire Chief Kenneth Ellerbe told city leaders on Wednesday that he wants to cut the number of city firefighters by nearly 30 percent in order to save the city potentially $32 million over the years.

Ellerbe said his goal is to reduce the firefighters from 2,200 to 1,600 total, but said there was no hard deadline yet to reach that staffing level. He said he hoped to achieve that throught the department's attrition rate, which he said he did not have immediately available. 

WTOP Radio reporter Mark Segraves (@SegravesWTOP)  was at a monthly DC City Council breakfast this morning attended by Mayor Vincent Gray and some department heads. Among them is DC Fire & EMS Department Chief Kenneth Ellerbe who has been hinting about moving the department away from 24-hour shifts for some time. Segraves' Tweets from the meeting (below) indicate Ellerbe is now doing more than hinting about this significant change in the structure of the department. Read them from bottom to top:

SHARE THIS

Comments - Add Yours

  • A.M.D.

    Ellerbe asks why a 30yr old firefighter is making 80k a year and working 8 days a month?? I would like to know why also.  Between this,  shady shift practices in Buffalo,  and a similar situation a few years back in Las Vegas.   The Gravy Train for firefighters is coming to a quick halt.  Just like I commented on the Buffalo report,  I can almost guarantee this firefighter is not the only one working 8 days a month and earning over 80k a year.  Not to mention what he is making on his other 22 days off.   When I joined the fire department,  I had an honest want and desire to help people.   Citizens are struggling to pay bills, getting layed off, and this is yet ANOTHER slap in the face to them and afterall,  they foot our bill.   There is a line around the block when we open up our application process.  A gov't job, great benefits, work 10 days a month,  get a 2nd job if you can,  sleep "most" nights til the A.M. bell hits,   and  "maybe" put out one or two fires a month. The public knows,   they listen to us on radioreference and the connotation of a fireman fighting 10 fires a day are quickly washed down the drain.  I knew when I joined many, many years ago I would never get rich, however hrough dishonest practices,  fake sick days,  working 8 days a month and having a 2nd full time job,  many are.    This chief is speaking truth, and often times people don't want to hear the truth.   I applaud him.   

    • Anonymous

      WHAT A JOKE

    • Anonymous

      No one care, some even laughed, when firefighters were making this salary when the economic boom was going on.  They traded their chances at huge salaries and to get rich quick for stability.  So you want firefighters who were prepared and played things smart to cut back because the government and businesses did not play things smart.  I dont understand how firemen should be hung out to dry for the financial woes of everyone.  They are in no direct way responsible for the financial problems of the district.

  • Anonymous

    Homeland Security Threat REALLY. Why dont you be a man and say the real reason ! 1.eversince u took office everymove that was made was to get back at the ones u didnt like the reason all the GOOD guys retired earlier than they wanted to..2. As the comment that was once made by you the only ones you are concerned about are the employees that live in the city, and u would make it miserable for the ones who didnt which bring about the shift change. 3. U talk about morale being good ur onlyfooling urself everyone has been miserable since you took office. Homeland Security my A**

  • APU

    "Homeland security threat"? Who is the one using scare tatics?

  • JC

    Those guys downtown earn every bit of the money they are getting paid. Sleep all night? Yeah right. Most of these guys are up all night especially the ones on the EMS units.
    I am not familiar with the pay scale downtown, but you can bet your a$$ that 80K is not base salary. That has to include overtime.  You make 8 days a month cake walk. They still work a 48 hour work week.
    This guy is not a fire chief  he is a city manager ( Mayor's puppet). No interest in looking out for his personnel.

  • East of I-57

    So "many" are "getting rich" through dishonest practices. AMD, you seem like an angry guy. I will never apolgize for making what I do working  2708 scheduled hours a year. It always seems to me that the vast, vast majority in our profession do the right thing. there are exceptions to this..That is newsworthy. The "rule" is never glamorous, hence seldom reported. I remember coming to the table during negotiations and having the city attorney deman we go to 8 hour shifts. We immediately said YES, lets TA that ! Upon further review, the city realized how much it would cost them to put us on a 40 hour week and that was that.
     

  • Proud2BDC

    A.M.D.- are you serious?  I honestly hope that you are not a brother fireman, or that you are seriously screwing around!!!  I can say that there are not any 80K a year Firefighters that are that young, it takes several years to reach that salary, a top step firefighter with all of his seniority bonuses has to work overtime to break the 80K mark.
    This man has come into several firehouses, made it abundently clear that he wants ALL of the people that do not live in the City to leave the Fire Department.  I only wish he said that to me personally.  He rules by intimidation with a lack of respect for anyone.  He is in no way worthy of an applause, and if you are being sincere, neither are you.  It is a sad day when the Firefighers, Police, and Military Personnel of this Country have become the scapegoats for big Government spending.  And his 36 million dollar savings….well that is more like 8 million.  He will have to pay OT at Time and Half rates…there isn't any way around FLSA at 56 hours per week.
    I cannot even begin to define my utter disgust with this man.  He is surely going to pay for all of this one day.  One thing the news person didn't report was the fact that Ellerbe just received a raise himself…hmmmm, and now all of the employees of the DCFEMS Department have to pay almost 40% more in Healthcare costs!!!  Not to mention his wanting to go to a 12 hour shift and what that does to gas costs, daycare costs, and family impact…all for what???  So he can get as many people that don't live in the City to quit???  And you applaud that???
    He is a racial biggot that in the end will fall.  He will one day be gone, then and only then, the Citizens and Visitors to our Nations Capitol will be much better off!!  Until then, we will continue to go to work, on edge, wondering what his next idiotic move will be.  Again, I hope he threatens me personally with my place of residence, or even better my racial make-up (which he has done as well)….I have no problem owning part of DC, and watching him ride off into the sunset because of it!!!
    Keep your heads High DCFD, he will not bring us down!!!!

  • Kk

    Well the guy who is making 80k a year is called an EMS captain and that is why a firefighter is making 80k a year because he or she took a test to get promoted and now goes from making 50k to 80k

  • Fulrb

    Considering that I don't know any 30 year old lieutenants near their top step I am also curious what 30 year old is making 80k per year? 
    Tell me this chief…are those cadets you just hired in this "budget crisis" the first on the chopping block? Why is an election cycle not a good time to negotiate? Might it hurt your political aspirations? If all DC Firefighters lived in the district and the district were attacked wouldnt those living outside the city actually be an asset considering they would be far less likely to be victims of said hypothetical attack? The union will try to scare folks huh? Completely unlike you and the rest of your racist administration that constantly creates a hostile work environment towards 40% of the department based on residence in direct violation of the districts human rights laws? Since you are so concerned with saving money how about not counting reimbursed special event overtime towards the overtime budget and actually trying to recoup that money from the cities general fund, which is where it goes? Better yet, why not give back some of that raise that the city changed salary cap legislation to give you or give back some of the taxpayer money you scammed from the city in your "work sharing" arrangement retirement scam?
    You already have an EMS system that all of your experienced medics are leaving in droves. After you are done villainizing your firefighters who exactly do you expect to want to work here?
    ~a disgruntled employee who DOES live in the city (not that it should matter)

  • Seasoned Vet

    Someone please explain how 12 hr shifts compared to 24 hr shifts saves money. It still takes X number of personnel to staff each rig.

  • Dave LeBlanc

    First of all, do the math folks…..
    8 24 hour shifts = a 42 hour workweek.  If you split that into a 12 day shift and a 12 hour night shift, then you double the calendar days worked to 16.  If Ellerbe is saying 22 12 hours shift, then he is also talking about increasing the hours worked.

    If you are going to make an argument, use all the facts and use the right facts.  If he wants Firefighters to live close so they are "available" then bargain that into the contract.  

  • DCFDmember

    For only working 8 days a month, the DC firefighters still have a 42 hour work week.  All other DC government employees only work a 40 hour work week.  So now, while everyone else remains on a 40 hour work week, the DC firefighters will go to a 53 or 56 hour work week.  
     
    Also, the DCFD is one of the busiest departments in the country on a per capita basis.  So, increasing the work hours is not a good idea as now the members will be more fatigued.  And the higher work hours are detrimental to family life as that will cause the members to have less time to spend with their children, and will most likely lead to higher divorce rates.  

  • Kk

    A firefighter Emt makes 44k coming out of rookie school and doesn't get to 80k until he or she has at least 20 plus years on the job and that's without taking any kind of promotional tests. And these positions are carry overs from the previous administration and he could save a couple million dollars by cutting the  useless positions.

  • FMCH

    A.M.D.
    Can't make a statement on why that firefighter is making $80K without all the facts. Is he a medic and getting medic incentive? How long has he been on the job? Are those 8 days his normal duty days? DCFD work 24/72, so 8 days sounds like normal shift work. How much OT does the person work? etc. etc. etc.
    I'm gonna step out on the ledge here and say that Ellerbe is not the author of the book "How to win friends and influence people".

  • DCFDmember

    LRB's 'homeland security threat' comments are invalid.  When the DCFD did a total recall of the department on 9/11, the people who lived outside the city made it back to work before the members who are city residents.  Also, of the members who didn't go to work that day when the full recall was placed into effect, the majority of those were city residents.  
     
    Also, look at New Orleans during Katrina.  One problem they had in recalling their department was that many of their members were directly affected by the event.  Thus, some were not able to come in to assume duty, and some who did were probably so mentally distraught over worrying about their families that they may not have been as effective.  So, if a major event occurred in DC, it's best not to have everyone live in the city as there is a good chance many of them will be affected by the event and may not be able to assume duty or won't be as effective if they are greatly effected by the event.  

  • me

    This firefighter works a 42 hour work week in a job that kills its workers now in the same number it did when they were doing "10 fires a day". The job has not gotten less dangerous, just different. working more hours a week by losing a shift will only increase his chances that he will die in a fire.
     
    We have some of the most consistently busy companies in the country, so your suggestion of sleeping most nights is laughable at best.
     
    The citizens foot a lot of bills for the priveliege of living in the city, but with the third highest rate of unemployment in the country, it's doubtful that the majority of 911 callers are footing the bill for anything. As you can tell by our lack of a raise in 5 years, our ever increasing insurance premiums, a shift change which will increase our travel time by several hundered percent, and a proposed loss of a shift and 400 personnel being layed off, we too are feeling this slap in the face.
     

  • Tree

    Let's see – eight 24 hour shifts – that's equivalent to 24 eight hour work days.  Most people work 21 or 22 eight hour days a month.  Ah – I see the disconnect – the firefighters are putting in 192 hours a month while the general public works 176. 
    I suppose most folks would be happier paying a firefigher 80K a hear if he worked 16 days a month (in 12 hour shifts) than 8 days a month (in 24 hour shifts).   There are 8760 hours in a year.  Does it really matter whether all those shifts are covered using 12 hour shifts vs 24 hour shifts?
    In the end, not much will change.  In fact, with twice as many opportunities for firefighters to be held over due to incidents, I'm betting overtime will actually increase.
    Methinks somebody has a bone to pick.

  • pipeman

    Far from the truth, I’m 32 and don’t make 55k.

  • Another D.C. Fireman

    AMD,
    I don't know who this firefighter is but I have been on the department for over 10 years and only make about 62K. We have a pay schedule and unless the 30 year old firefighter came on the job when he was 10 he doesn't make 80K a year. As far as your observation of what we do for 24 hours, how would you know? You speak like you are in D.C. so you should know we do run more than just fires. If you are not do all of us a favor and stick to listening to Radioreference for 24 hours then come talk to me. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out 150K runs a year doesn't equate to "sleeping" most nights.
    You and the FEMS Administrator should recite this every night.
    "Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than open it and remove all doubt".

  • Anonymous

    let him do it. id love to see him fill DCFD with the locals. lets see the public reaction to that.  "one firefighter shot by another firefighter during a drug deal at the firehouse while a building was on fire with people trapped 3 blocks away".  ellerbe is a joke. gray is worse.

  • DCFDmember

    The DCFD pay scale is a matter of public record.  Why is LRB worried about the amount of money that we make?  It definitely benefitted him his entire career.  Even now he is making more money than he was supposed to get paid in accordance with DC law.  They recently had to change that law so he can earn his higher salary legally.  So, why is he worried about us making a decent living when he's making close to $180,000?  
     
    He's making it sound like we have a starting salary close to $80,000.  Our starting salary is in the low 40's.  The longer you are on the job, and if you are promoted, the more money you can make.  I don't even know if it's possible for a person at the rank of firefighter and is only 30 years of age to be able to be making a base salary of $80,000.  I don't have the pay scale in front of me, but that doesn't sound right.  

  • Outside the Chief’s Circle

    Everyone inside of the DCFD know exactly what this is about.  I could share, but it could be considered slander.  I would like to know if the 34 new cadets would be part of the 400 employees to be cut.  If not, then this will help you understand what this is all really about. 
    Also, AMD, you and the chief need to look at the salary schedule and see what a firefighter with 11 years on the job makes.  You will see that a 30 year old FF could not make 80K.  Get the facts before you subscribe to this chief's propaganda show.  As far as firefighting being a gravy train, come ride any ambulance in the city for 24 hours and tell me how gravy it was you retard!

  • Anonymous

    If you had any clue how busy this deparment is then you wouldn't be agreeing. After you factor in the amount of rest needed on your first day off, three days turns into two. Obviously you don't work in DC. I do, and I also live in DC. I barely make enough money to live in the city. I can't even afford my own place, I have to live with 7, yes 7, other people to get by. So you know what I do with my three days off. I bust my hump at another job so I can have a place to call home. Also to be noted I am single with out any children. I can't imagine what the cost for these folks would be. One of my brothers at work has 2 kids and one on the way. What are you going to tell him or his children when its time to make the cut. Sorry? Good luck? Shit doesn't cut it
    The firefighters are not the ones to be attacked. It is the upper administraion with their $200,000+ salaries that need to be reconsidered. Go ahead, ask the cheif what his salary is.. I bet you its way more than 80k
    $80,000/yr isn't even enough to buy a decent house in DC. Besides, who knows, that firefighter could have been hired when he was 19y/o and has years of good serivce behind him. 

  • pipeman

    “The union will scare folks”. Saying that ff’s living in other states is a homeland security threat, that sounds like trying to scare folks to me.

  • one of the men

    You sir have no clue to which you speak. If money is such an issue then why doesn’t the chief give back what he is being over paid.

  • We’re Screwed

    How long has the 30 y/o ff worked for DC? What is the 30 y/o ff assignment? Does the 30 y/o ff work his 8 assigned shifts and then a bunch of OT? 
     
    Where do these guys come from? Is this really the chief's most important issue or even in the top 10? 

  • Jim

    AMD, is that you Chief Ellerbe? Sure sounds like it. You are a sad excuse for a fireman if you aren't Ellerbe

  • Fulrb

    Dave, 
    What happened to my last post? It was here for an hour suddenly it's gone? 

    • dave statter

      I didn’t purposely kill any (yet). Let me look.

  • http://DAVE Sid Polish

    Dave. As you are well aware. Our salaries are published and very public.  Any of your readers that might be curious about our salaries should view 
     
    http://dcop.dc.gov/dcop/frames.asp?doc=/dcop/lib/dcop/services/employee_comp/salary_schedules/2007/Fire_Union_FY07.pdf

  • fedup

    How many hours a week does 8 24 hour shifts a month equal? 48 hours a week?  I do not work for dcfd but I dont see how a 48 hour work week is abuse.  Changing to 12 hour shifts just seems to me like it would increase the opportunity to have to make callbacks.  Is 80k the top salary of a 10 year firefighter? Or is that the nonsense computed # of adding salary plus medical benefits and anything else they feel free to add in at the time.  If I remember DCFD has some of the nations busiest engine companies, not to mention the medics.  Im pretty sure most companies in the dcfd are not getting sleep ins.  IF this FF is working 48 hours a week and working another full time job the other 22 days WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?? Hard working americans working 70-80 hours a week is what made this country!! If your struggling to pay bills and you have this type of work mentality then I applaud you and I feel sorry.  But dont knock someone for working hard!! I dont know what the issue is about living where you choose.  My jurisdiction had no problem staffing its rigs and almost 10 additional when the hurricane hit this year, or the snow storm a year before last.  Matter of fact anytime the city was in an emergency FFs were stacked 30-40 deep in stations many of them not being paied, sleeping over and helping shovel, cut down trees, replace snow chains and countless other things in between shifts.  At the time I lived out of state, I spent almost 8 days straight at the station.  A station that on the morning of day 2 lost running water! The DCFD is one of this nations top fire departments and they are extremely busy.  Does it upset me that they make more then myself in a surrounding jurisdiction? Sure, but im sure their union had to make some deep concessions at some point in its history to get where they are today.  The firedepartment is not a profit center for govt.  Its the reason why it needs to be unionized.  Why do you think FF's fight for staffing and new equipment, when doing so risks salary cuts?  This is not your everyday job….and FF are not the greed hogs you all want to believe they are. 
     

  • ABC

    I just ask which department you speak of when you say sleep all night, surely not the one Ellerbe is in charge of more like run all night long.

  • Just getting by

    Firefighters are not making $80K a Year! He flat out lied! Firefighters make about half of that! DC firefighters have forgone raises since 2007. Convent how the chief left that part out. Oh, and when we do work OT, it is for straight pay, unlike other agencies that get paid time and a half. So how are we hurting the city? We work an average of 48hours a week, not many agencies others do that. Now the Chief wants us to work 66 hours a week (22 twelve hour shifts a month). Are you kidding me? Most people in this country only work 22 eight hour shifts (it’s called M-F 9-5).  I don't care about getting rich but I would like to support my family and GOD FORBID actually spend time with them. I don't know what department AMD is (or was) in but I have never slept through the night at work. We are way too busy for that. Sure I have a second job, but who doesn't these days? Why is that a bad thing? And working two jobs is not making me rich by any means.  I try to make sure my kids have everything they need and that includes a father that is involved in their lives. Not just someone that they might see coming and going from the house.
    How about a fire chief making $186,000 a year for only working 40 hours a week? Getting a raise after only 6 months on the job? Hired without a national search or even job posting. Let’s put him on 12hour shifts and see how long this will last.  Oh, and now 400 hundred of you are going to be laid off…Merry Christmas!

  • Former Chief

    To respond to A.M.D.'s question regarding a 30yr old Firefighter making 80k and working 8 days a month, he or she earns that, because that is what their contract allows.  That would be the contract negotiated between the Firefighters and their management.  They didn't give themselves the contract.  They work 8 days a month (that's 24 hour shifts) because that's how many days you work on a 24/72 schedule.  Does the 80k a year include OT?  I don't know that, but I suspect DCFD personnel who post on here will do a much better job of explaining their position than I can.  As far as your other comments A.M.D., I don't know where you get off about the Firefighters Gravy Train.  There are many paid Firefighters throughout the country who don't make a lot of money and who work many more hours.  You are painting with a very broad brush.  Are there abuses? Absolutely, but that in my opinion is the exception and not the rule.  Does the fire service need to explain their position and be aware times are tough out there?   Absolutely.  You seem to be a frustrated individual and I wonder if you are a career firefighter or not.  But honestly, that's not relevant.  All Firefighters need to support one another with the current "attack public employees" climate.  If there are abuses, we need to be the ones to correct them.  But, a Firefighter working the number of hours and earning the salary afforded in their contract is not abuse.  By the way A.M.D., the fire service is supposed to be a Brotherhood.  With your comments, I certainly don't consider you a Brother.

  • Sam Houston

    I don't know what jurisdiction you work for? But DC is certainly NO gravytrain the men and women who protect our city work damn hard for their money.  Absolutely we work 8 days a month this is a schedule we have earned through bargaining and has gone through a very lengthy legal process. They work 24 hr shifts and if you must be reminded DC is home to the busiest Hose Co in the US sure they may not fight 20,000 fires a night anymore but they are STILL up all night answering and responding to medical emergencies throughout the city. So you're still looking at 15 to 20 calls for service per tour. So whether their fighting fires or trying to place an ET Tube or obtain IV Access on an MI Pt its all the same to me. You need 3 days to re-coop from that. As for woking PT jobs that's none of our concern as long as they come to DC and save lives and property effectively which they have done since the beginnig of time. You can listen to our radios anytime you want! you should really tune in during the evening rush so you can hear the "No EMS units available" transmission. As for the 30yr old making 80,000 I call bullshit maybe a 30yr old lieutenant?   God Bless The DCFD DCFD DCFD DCFD DCFD!!!

  • mark

    I must say, quite an interesting discussion. And since I'm usually on the anti-union bandwagon, I would like to ask if there really is a guy pulling in $80k a year, is he doing it within the terms of the contract? If so, big frickin' deal. If he's doing it via fraud, then the management is at fault for not watching closer.
     
    Really though, so what? Do they not deserve it?
     
    Regarding the "chief", just another example of cream NOT rising to the top, but proof that crap does flow uphill. What a flaming idiot. A security threat? Really? Aren't you supposed to be championing your employees instead of villianizing them? Between this and the medic who had nothing to do with a patient not under his care being investigated, you are a complete and total nincompoop who has no business leading anything, much less our capitol's fire department.

  • Anonymous

     
    Base Annual Salary  as of October 1, 2006 = Base Pay #1 $44,301 
    $45,631 
    $47,844 
    $50,060 
    $53,162 
    $56,264
    $59,364 
    $62,463 
    $65,568
     
    that is a salary table for DC Firefighters.  It takes more than 10 years to get to top step.

  • Jason

    ellebe is a racist clown, and will not be happy until he totally destroys this department. 

  • FMES or is it FEMS

    Homeland Security is not the problem, even if we called members back to work they wouldn't have any apparatus to ride the 18 READY RESERVE PUMPERS are either out of service or being used as a front line wagon. That should be investigated why these units are not available when they were bought by a Federal Grant after 911. Maybe the members coming from outside the city could stop by a fire station and barrow an Engine or Truck on their way into the "BIG CITY". If there was a reduction of the force and no reserve apparatus available the ISO RATING in the City would be increased and fire insurance will rise for everyone. As for the shift change lets put more vehicles on the road every morning and evening, and the traffic isn't bad enough. How about air pollution !!!!! Getting your Ass Kicked 6 – 8 days in a row would really improve the performance on-duty, do you think !!!!! As for salaries if your a Lieutenant with many years you might make $80,000 before overtime. Speaking of money we haven't had a pay raise or legit contract in over 6 or 7 years. This department is run by retaliation, rumors and scare tactics. Mayor Gray somebody wants your job and hint your hired him. All we can hope for is the recall in January and maybe the FBI coming in and cleaning house. I don't live in the city but I spend money there, so do all the vistors to the "Nations Capital"….Keepin it Safe

  • DCFD Officer

    The Union backed Gray this past cycle. He didn't mind all the "out of town" support. The members of this department are a resiliant bunch and can directly affect the OT budget almost immediatly. It had been kicked around before, but bu following the order book to the letter, there could be a huge increase in overtime. All a mmeber would have to do is report for duty right at 0700, as opposed to the hours early most usually do. More units will staffed on runs by the offgoing shift at 0700. Just one PM engine comany and an accompaning ambulance gone for an hour past relief equates to 6 hours OT. If the 12 hour shift is implemented, the afternoon relief time will be busier than the one morning relief we have now. Hence more OT. Put in 2 full shift changes in a 24 hour period as opposed to 1 and in just a month, the OT on just relief time alone will break the bank. I say bring it on and let the man whom loved the 24 hour shift before sink and ruin his future career ambitions with the miserable failure he will then be responsible for. The City will see the fallicy, and he will be gone. AS for where persons live being a problem, so much for diversity lol. If a NCBR incident happens in the city, most on duty and or living in the city off duty, will sadly be part of those needing to be rescued if they are still viable. Only a fool puts all their eggs into one basket and thinks it to be secure. Destroy the basket and all the eggs go with it.

  • Mike

    A.M.D. sent that message from under Ellerbe's desk

  • Karl Conrad

    Fire department job
    Currently working 42 hours a week for 2184 hours a year.  A regular job consist of 2080 hours a year.
    New shift 22 day times 12 hours= 264 hours worked a month time 12 months=3168 hours worked a year.  1088 hours more than a normal job.
    A firefighter in DC currently works an average of 42 hours a week will now have to 60.92 hours a week.
    Regular job 2080 hours a year – DC Firefighters possible new hours 3168 = 1088 hours more
    So will this be 1088 hours of built-in overtime??????? 
    Simple solution it is time for DC to get a new Fire Chief with some plain common sense!!!!  

  • http://happymedic.com Justin Schorr

    The San Francisco Fire Department used to have a residency requirement.  It was removed when they were unable to hire specially trained personnel (Lateral Paramedics) from within the mandated zip codes.  We also hold recall drills quarterly where your house will call and ask if you can present ready for duty in 1 hour.
    We are the definition of needing help from the outside in case of "homeland security" (earthquake).
    I myself live over an hour away.  Have to. Can't afford to live in the City anymore.
     

    • dave statter

      DC used to have a residency requirement too Justin.

  • Anonymous

    Are any of the Asst. or Deputy Chiefs that served under Rubin,, still in any of those positions under  Ellerbe?

  • Lt. Cooper

    FYI, they don't make 80K, Paramedic FF's start at 50K, then subtract taxes and benefits so cut that almost in half.  Not enough to work and live in the city.  Furthermore, yeah they work 8 days a month, sure two 24 hour shifts a week.  They work more hours a week than the average employee does per week.  Two nights a week they are away from their families.  How many nights a week do you sleep on a mattress that is probably infested with bed bugs from the projects you go to on a regular basis.  They work all holidays.  Do you work on XMAS, Thanksgiving, etc. and not see your family.  If there is severe weather that cancels all work in the city, guess who must still report for duty on time, yeah Firefighters and public safety.  How many of you regularly respond and see horrible scenes of violence and death.  Many of these companies are the busiest in the country so if you think they are getting paid to sleep you are mistaken.  
    I really love that the Chief who was trying to screw DC taxpaying residents to make more money from a retirement while working in FLA is now trying to get rid FF's who live outside of the city and reduce the workforce so they work more day shifts.  They are busy enough as is, you will burn them out even more with your new shift schedule.  
    People need a reality check.  

  • PPFD

    DC brothers and sisters,
    You all actually have members driving from North and South Carolina? I'd like to hear more on this. 
    As for pay WE in a whole are not paid enough, yeah I said it. If the average hater dealt with what we see on on a daily basis it would change some minds. And I'm not even talking fires and death. 
    For the record, I'm in WV and will make low $40,000's this year. I work PT as a medic and ED RN for the added income. 

  • FKE

    I Believe that these post cover about half of the idiotic and fictatious statement LRB has said. This person is a vendictive incompedent individual. He has no right to be called a Fire Chief in any department GO Back to Sarasota FL. Thats all I have to say can 't find another minute in my life to waste. But I can say Mayor Gray you did a fine job choosing your cabinet members atleast we dont have to worry about you being around for another term. A City resident

  • Oh Lord

    I can tell you right now this wont happen. I suppose Mr. Ellerbe, like every new cat that comes into power wants to make ghanges that the higher up like to see. This poor choice of illusion will bite him in the ass before its over. You wanna talk about a moral killer, this is a perfect one if it happens. You wanna save money….stay on the 24/72. Its more efficient to manage on a staffing basis then day/night shifts. Homeland security risks…ok I can somewhat buy that. Enforce that onto new hires. Trying to impose this on guys already on the job, essecially ones that are close to retirement…..DCFD will start looking like Detroit FD. Hard working fellows with no support from there employer. Be safe out there.

  • Jim

    So a reduction in force by 20% isn't a "homeland security threat", but having some members live 40-100 miles away is? Sounds like a load of garbage to me.
    P.S. this work X days a month is so misleading, if you are working 24 hour shifts thats 192 hours, which for a 4 week month is 48 hours a week.

  • Jeremy

    8 days a month still = a 42 hour week and as said, 80k isn't a base salary. What's the problem A.M.D?

  • K.O.D.A.

    Its time to take the gloves off on this CLOWN of a want to be Chief.Iam sick and tired of being crapped on by a Chief that puts his men down and makes the job hostile.He is a negative poor excuse of a human.I was told as a young man to chose your battles. Well fellow firefighters, this is a battle.

  • Gil

    Why would you recall firemen back if there is no extra fire trucks to ride on.

  • Anonymous

    Ok… I'm a 30 year old firefighter in DC. And I barely make 50k. I have almost 10 years on the job and I have never slept through the night when at work.  Most importantly… we're willing to run into burning buildings to save lives.  My shift averages 18 to 25 runs in 24 hours.  I've been on as many as 42 runs in a 24 hour shift. Hard to believe I know.  In addition,  we currently work a 42 hour work week.  Most of America works 40hours. Why should it matter that we work ours in a larger block?  

  • Jack

    pay around $1.40 a day for a full-time Fire Dept including salaries & benefits. If you own a smart phone, you pay $3.40 on average a day for it. That cell phone won’t die FOR you, protect your property, save your life, perform CPR or drive you to the hospital in an emergency.

    • Jack

      On average homeowners

  • D.C.F.D.

    A.M.D. just to entertain your BS comments and any other a$$clown thats down with these proposed cuts and changes! I am DCFD with 20yrs of Dedicated Service, in my late 30's and an Officer and still don't make $80,000 a year! And NO! I don't live in the City, for one I can't afford it with My KIDS and Mortgage too! So, I went and got a 2nd JOB to help me provide a comfortable living for my family. So get the FACTS before you want to comment and praise someone that doesn't even know about a Department that he was put in command of.
    He's only worried about his own Political gain which will be a DISASTER to this City and Department if it happens! Which frankly this Chief and City can careless about it's Firefighters looking at how they use and abuse us, (ie. Not wanting to Pay us when we work, make us pay over 40% of our own Medical Benefits when we put our lives on the line for them! Have not given us a Pay Raise or Cost of living Increase since 2006! and I can go on and on). This guy has No Kids so it doesn't bother him that our kids will barely get to spend any quality time with there parents or not. He's making OVER $180,000 a year to do what???? NOTHING!! This Chief has not a clue on how to Manage. A College Degree doesn't mean you are qualified to manage/lead Firefighters. Just means you are the Smartest Dumby on the job when you don't use it properly.
    The members of this Department that live outside the City come to work more than the ones who live in the City. Look at the numbers from the last Snow Storm and Hurricane and let me know how many inter-city personnel said they couldn't make it in to work cause of the snow and how many of us outside this City came in the night before or extra early just to be ontime.
    The 400 will include the Cadets that just started, if not, this City, Department and Chief will face Law Suits out the a$$ and will pay Millions along with it!

    • Tower5Ladder

      You sir, are 110% spot on!

    • Anonymous Caring Citizen

      Listen to this anonymous officer! After recent dealings with this DC Fire Chief, we had the unfortunate pleasure of listening to his lies and deception. He promised our department and citizens "wonderful" changes that would save copious amounts of money. However, instead he nearly depleted half of our reserve in order to purposely plan on asking the citizens to pay more in fire taxes within the following two years. He has also stated that he simply is trying to build his resume by becoming a chief in order to move onto politics. He left our presence without so much as a notification and lied again about his where abouts when trying to get hired as chief in DC. Frankly, that is fine with us…we are just glad he is gone. However, our hearts (and our prayers) do go out to our brothers and sisters in DCFD. Watch your backs fellow firefighters and private citizens alike, he will decieve you for his own claim to fame. Good luck!!! 

  • Pissed Off

    I am a 30 y/o firefighter in DC.  I have to work a second job on a FULL TIME BASIS.  It is rare that I work LESS than 6 days a week.  Sleeping through the night is not something that happens, be it runs, or watch.  Missing holidays, birthdays, anniversaries are things that do happen.  I love what I do.  At some point along the line, maybe Chief Ellerbe did too.  Maybe he also had to pull down a second job, maybe a third even, to make ends meet.  But, all of that brass must make you forget.  

  • hahahaha

    Karl Conrad you are one of the ones that the Idiot LRB is trying to get rid of by going to this 12 hour shift. I am glad that I am gone now…..

  • hahahaha

    GOOD LUCK TO ALL OF DCFD…………………

  • Oh Lord

    I suppose the next thing Mr Ellerbe will do to save the save the taxpayers money is to allow Volunteer to staff the stations…..Hope Local 36 has their hand on the pulse for this one and hopefully they can choke it out before it happens.

  • 3MTA3

    Ok… I'm a 30 year old firefighter in DC. And I barely make 50k. I have almost 10 years on the job and I have never slept through the night when at work.  Most importantly… we're willing to run into burning buildings to save lives.  My shift averages 18 to 25 runs in 24 hours.  I've been on as many as 42 runs in a 24 hour shift. Hard to believe I know.  In addition,  we currently work a 42 hour work week.  Most of America works 40hours. Why should it matter that we work ours in a larger block?  

  • Anonymous

    wow weeeeee this moron has not only sipped the KOOL AID but he chugged it and must be out back of his office puffing medical marijuana

  • Anonymous

    OK.  Cut 400 jobs.  25% live in the city.  Does that mean that 25% of those that lose their jobs will be city residents…taking over 100 jobs away from inside the city?!  Or will all jobs be cut from those who live outside the city.  (with place of residence being protected by DC Law, just the same as religion, race, etc…) 

  • Retired T-9

    If I am not mistaken, didn't the 24 on and 72 off get implemented because of a lawsuit the District lost? I believe the 4th shift came to being in late 80's early 90's because of the settlement from the promotional lawsuit….Also, when the Fire Chief was living in Sarasota, FL, it didn't seem to be a homeland security threat while he was still on the active rolls of employment for the Washington DC Fire Department….How did that out come get overlooked when the mayor was vetting for a FC?????

  • Steve in NJ

    Local 36 make sure you do some research. Trenton (NJ) Fire Department worked the 10/14 (42 hour) schedule from the 1960s (when they switched from a 3 platoon to a 4 platoon schedule) up until about 2010 when they switched to a 24/72 schedule on a trial basis and found that the 24/72 actually SAVED money. I believe that they found that firefighters used less sick time on the 24/72 schedule and generated less overtime used to fill in for firefighters on sick leave. The union and city ultimately made the schedule permanent and are still using it today. Many departments in NJ work the 24/72 schedule. Atlantic City is another one that recently switched from 10/14 to 24/72.  Others who work it include Camden, Jersey City, North Hudson, Newark, etc. Most of the urban (and many of the suburban) paid departments also work 24/72.  It is very common here

    • Lizard

      Don't think for a moment it's about saving money or homeland security issue with callbacks, it's all about Elerbe wanting to hire only his 'budies' that live in the city (you can figure out who they are) and getting rid of the "folks" that live a distance away and can only do so becaise of the ability to do shift work.  Read between the lines, hint hint, wink wink…

  • HolyMackerel

    Isn't cutting over 400 firefighters,paramedics and emits the REAL Homeland Security threat?  Isn't DC the Nationa Capital and the center of the free world? Time for the Feds to step in and take over (again)! 

  • No.1 Statter Fan n Virginia

    Union brothers! tell the rest of us how we can help. Maybe we can have a march on the capital. Why is it you guys have hard luck when it comes to your leaders? Seriously, have your union presdent get into contact wth other locals in Virginia (where I live) and North Carolina where I am a proud member of Greensboro NC Local 947! I want to help if I can

  • Anonymous

    Complaining about not living in the city? Check with LA City. There is a guy that lives in Hawaii that is picked up at the airport by a div chief before the start of his shift and taken back. Somehow he has arranged to work many extra days on and have twice as many extra days off to comply with FLSA rules.  

  • JustaDCTourist

    DC Fire is quickly becoming legendary outside the Beltway for all the junk that goes on there – abandoning pts to die, telling dying pts not to go to the ED, eating a meal while GSW pts are 2 or 3 blocks away.  You couldn't PAY me enough to work there.  Maybe the Chief is trying to clear the deadwood, non working bunch out by reducing the workforce by 25-30%.  Working without a union contract for 4 years?  That's a good job there, stewards!  P.S. Nobody in a major city has gotten a pay raise or increment increase in the last 3 years, just in case you want to look around outside your own problems there.

    • Anonymous

      You’re and idioy

  • Kimber_1911

    $80K a year!!!!!!!! My ASS……. Be lucky to see $65K
    In a nutshell all of these responses are great  but DCFD Officer said it best
    Quote
    The Union backed Gray this past cycle. He didn't mind all the "out of town" support. The members of this department are a resiliant bunch and can directly affect the OT budget almost immediatly. It had been kicked around before, but bu following the order book to the letter, there could be a huge increase in overtime. All a mmeber would have to do is report for duty right at 0700, as opposed to the hours early most usually do. More units will staffed on runs by the offgoing shift at 0700. Just one PM engine comany and an accompaning ambulance gone for an hour past relief equates to 6 hours OT. If the 12 hour shift is implemented, the afternoon relief time will be busier than the one morning relief we have now. Hence more OT. Put in 2 full shift changes in a 24 hour period as opposed to 1 and in just a month, the OT on just relief time alone will break the bank. I say bring it on and let the man whom loved the 24 hour shift before sink and ruin his future career ambitions with the miserable failure he will then be responsible for. The City will see the fallicy, and he will be gone. AS for where persons live being a problem, so much for diversity lol. If a NCBR incident happens in the city, most on duty and or living in the city off duty, will sadly be part of those needing to be rescued if they are still viable. Only a fool puts all their eggs into one basket and thinks it to be secure. Destroy the basket and all the eggs go with it.

  • splinterhead

    Firefighters don't get paid to sleep, they get paid to wake up while everyone else gets to sleep.

  • pipeman

    And we really need a BFC of railroads? And a 90-100k year captain as an aide? LRB is a racist ass clown.

  • Anonymous

     

    FOUND ALL OF THIS ON STATTER911.COM
    Never heard the out come how fast we forget 
    http://statter911.com/2010/12/16/more-on-dcs-new-fire-chief-wtop-radio-discovers-tax-problem-kenneth-ellerbe-meets-the-press-fire-chiefs-wilmoth-questions-the-appointment/
    I understand that all’s fair in love and politics, but this decision is wrong for a department that has shown great progress and promise with Rubin at the helm. Once placed in bottom tier of EMS programs across the county by USA Today, the department clawed its way back to prominence, adeptly responding to the 2009 Metro Rail crash. Even FIRE CHIEF columnist Bruce Evans predicted that, “In the next three to five years, the District of Columbia will have one of the premier fire and EMS systems in the United States.”taking the chief’s job in Sarasota in 2009. Six months later, however, reports surfaced that Ellerbe was “on unpaid leave” from D.C. Fire. It turned out that there was a signed agreement “between the [District of Columbia] and Sarasota County“ that allowed Ellerbe to remain employed by D.C. Fire through his 50th birthday in April 2010, which would enhance his retirement benefits to as much as “an additional $600,000.”
     
    Mayor-elect Vincent Gray’s choice for new fire chief has been taking a tax deduction reserved for District residents, despite living and working full time in Florida. 
    Records obtained by WTOP show Kenneth Ellerbe – a former interim D.C. fire chief – is receiving a $67,500 Homestead Tax Credit for his home on Alabama Avenue in Southeast.
    Ellerbe moved to Florida last year. 

    According to D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue records, Ellerbe has filed paperwork indicating that he lives in the District of Columbia and is entitled to the tax break, Natalie Wilson, a spokesperson for the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue tells WTOP.
    Ellerbe says he will not take the tax break on his 2010 taxes. Ellerbe says he was not aware he was responsible for changing his status, and thought it was the responsibility of his accountant.
    Gray says he was aware that Ellerbe was taking the deduction, and anticipates Ellerbe will correct the deduction.
    Wilson says as a result of the WTOP inquiry, they will be requesting an explanation from Ellerbe.
    If the Office of Tax and Revenue finds Ellerbe is not entitled to the tax deduction, he would be compelled to pay the District for back taxes.
     

  • Lamenting

    I can't believe that someone hasn't brought up the fact that we too are feeling the economic pressures.  Live in the city? Many of us came on the job when DC was the MURER CAPITOL and not a very enticing place to live.  We had to settle elsewhere.  Furthermore, many of our families were violently run out of the city during the riots, fearing their lives. So if we wanted to move back… how the F**K am I going to sell my house and move? Have you watched the news in the last 5 YEARS!  Evidently not…FYI the real estate market is not doing well  and people are upside down in their loans.  Alot of us may not even be able to qualify for a home in the city.  Many of our wives have taken pay cuts.  Some of us are helping family members that are suffering too.  Most Americans are not on the "gravy train."  People like this are the reason our country is in the toilet  Many others are now going to spend lots of $$ having someone else raise our kids.  I am convinced this is a big reason many of the young kids are a mess. NOBODY can raise my children better than me or my wife. People used to be able to take care of their own children, years ago, in this country.  Now we are going to work 60 hour weeks on a regular basis?  While others work 40 ?An overworked, exhausted, stressed, and ragingly disgruntled workforce is a recipe for problems…big-big problems.  Enough crying… I really think this is a "stick-up"…they want us to hand over the OT $.  Get bent… 

  • MPD

    I hear were doing a mass hiring, since nobody is passing the lie detector test that lives around here I would think we would hire somebody from south carolina, north carolina or delware

  • http://WWW.elaffhq.com Captain Chaos

    I don't have a dog in this fight…. But WOW….. Sounds like local 36 has their hands full. Dig in those heels hard brothers!  

  • Titanic

    Ok Ellerbe, So far a bunch of uneducated, dumb firemen have thrown out several compelling arguments shooting down your claims. Now is the time to proove your statements. Where is the math on your alleged "savings" from changing shifts. I'm pretty sure Dave Statter would love to post those numbers. You'll have to help me b/c in your mind I am slightly disabled(read: only have one degree), but how are you saving money by paying people more to work more hours? Any 5th grader can figure out that the math doesn't add up.
    Why is it that since you've assumed your position the only things you've cared about are changes to the uniform policy and kicking out non-residents.
    You say you are by the book, right? Well, last time I checked Bulletin 26 (EEO) it is "the policy of the Governement of the District of Columbia in connection with any aspect of District government employment…To provide equal employment opportunity for all persons". According to the law you cannot discriminate against people based on where they live.
    I won't hold my breath waiting for a response.

  • Anonymous

    This article is very interesting. If the figures are right and add up, and staffing is cut, then it will leave 2 million dollars or maybe more to be added to the salaries of city officials and even Chief Ellerbe.

  • PIERCEingNozzle327

    Gonna keep it short and sweet.  Correct me if I am wrong, but isnt it usually the fire chief and his department up against the city politicians?  It seems in this case the roles have been reversed, really??? The fire chief proposes job cuts and shift changes?  This is absurd! Whatever happened to standing behind your men and women, fighting for your men and women, providing for your men and women?  This Ellerbe douchbag should be brought up on charges by union officials!!!  If I was Mayor Gray I would be weary of my job because it sounds like Ellerbe has plans to run for Mayor not Fire Chief! To all members of DCFD keep digging and fighting for what you believe!  This Ellerbe is loner and will always be alone pulling stunts like this.  Let it be a lesson to all metropolitan chiefs…If this clown makes decisons like this on the administration aspect think about the decsions he makes on the line and on scene!  SCARY THOUGHT!

  • “Invisible Man”

    If the shift change is a Homeland Security threat, then back on 9-11 how many firefighters who live ion the city posted for work vs. those living in MD., VA., and other areas? You either have a heart for the job, or you don't. What documantation does the Chief have show the shift work is a concern? This is typical smoke and mirror antics. This is the Chief's way for him to trim the personnel. For those of us who have to deal with this crap, just remember to respect the position, but not the man in the position.

  • What the…???

    Just when you think you've heard it all…WOW!!
    I'm not a DCFD employee, but I am a firefighter/officer in the region. I'm not a rocket scientist or a mathametician for that matter, but laying off 25% of the department?  What kind of moron even thinks about something like this?  Perhaps a politician that is looking at a big city budget, but isn't a Fire Chief supposed to support his/her Dept. however he/she can?  Lobbying the City Council for more $$$/personnel.  DCFD is a busy dept. and to take 25% of the personnel away, would certainly mean closing many fire houses (perhaps even 25% of them to maintain the same staffing levels in the remaining stations).  I've followed this guy's nonsense for the last couple/few years and it just keeps getting "better".  Local 36 guys/gals… time to start getting your stuff together and doing your own lobbying.  Perhaps if this plan does come to fruitition and suddenly there are 400 less jobs, in addition to your new shift schedule, DCFD can also become a combination department.  There are plenty of folks in the suburbs that will gladly come in to volunteer some of their valuable time.  But aside from that, good luck with weathering your storm.

  • Anonymous

    Ellerbee are you crazy? You are supposed to be Fire Chief of our Nation's Capitol. Over the years the current Staffing Levels have been approved through Contractual Negoiations. You maynot want to face up, but you're only making these proposals to make yourself look good in the eyes of the Mayor and City Council. The Work Shifts are also an important Contractual achievement . What in the world is wrong with you?  You should be Proud of the Prestigious Job you are challenged with. Do you know what Time Management is/means, Leadership/ability to reach out to the rank and file of Good Hard Working Professionals who every day do the job of serving the citizens. This makes you look good as a Professional Manager. I must say your idiotic Proposals do nothing more  than place the Firefighters in jeopardy in the performance of their job. Cutting the Staffing Levels speaks of someone who has no understanding nor Basic Body of Knowledge of how,why, whynot, who the DC Fire and EMS Department Functions. Ellerbee you have time and time again proven as someone who cannot Manage a Church Picnic. If you really cared about the DC Fire and EMS Department you would be constantly working to strive and improve the EMS Delivery System so future incidents such as the most recent one never occurs again.
     

  • Anonymous

    Interesting the cost savings are about the same as the overtime settlement numbers?
    This proposal is insane on multiple levels.  The last time the firemen worked this shift in the early 80's, there was minimal ems response, the number of responses were half per company, there was a 20 year retirement, the job satisfaction was significantly higher.  The only thing was the racism which was a vestige of an earlier era.
    Mabye that's what this about?  The sad part is the African-Americans on the job will be hurt equally.  The reality, IMO, is that this Chief has become a fool.  The City is doing better than ever before form a commercial and residential tax revenue prospective.  There is no need for fiscal austerity coming from the FD.  Ellerbe is evidently so near sighted that to get back to an affirmative action agenda, he has created a huge labor management rift that only benefits the weathy developer and elite who want to see the public safety union suppressed.  Sad part is this is no different than what the previous Mayor Fenty had in mind.
    In addition, the article in the Post highlights the salaries of the DC firefighter.  It is a joke and a disgrace.  If anyone knew what the quality of work conditions, accountibility differences, performance differnces on the fireground between a DC Firefighter and most other places in the US that make and have a lot more (a California fireman retires at 90%, a Fairfax and Montgomery county firefighter gets a federally reimbursed overtime for USAR backfills and less than half the workload and operational efficiency- yes, that's a subjective statement).  Not only this, but look at the average salary of a white collar federal worker (bureaucrat).  It is much higher.  
    Oh, let's try vollies in DC and see what happens!  I'm all for it! Maybe like a BCC Rescue Squad!  Unless, this clown and his boss is stopped, the Wash DC Fire Dept (FEMS) is on the verge of collapse and the public has no idea what is going to hit them until it's too late.
     
     
     
     

  • ukfbbuff

    My 2 cents from California.
    As I write this during a "Sanat Ana Wind, 'Red Flag Fire Watch"
    1st.  With all of  DC's Chief Kenneth Ellerbe's "Baggage" you have to ask why he got the job after Rubin left.
    After all, when he took the job, I asked about the "Official DCFD Pajamas" he wanted to issue to everyone.
    2nd.  I feel that,  ALL of US Union Members have a "Dog in the Fight" and as with Wisconsin and Ohio, we need to be able to help the DCFD FF's.( I would also include those Firefighters in the UK and Scotland who are currently involved in  thier own labor issues).
     Deliberate mis- representation of pay and work hours will be coming from the Non- FF side to supposedly "Make the Case" against them and eventually US Nationwide.
    3rd. The Central Issue is; How to Make the case For the DCFD FF's and Against Ellerbbe and send him packing to some place else.
     
     
     

  • ol skool 86

    dc city counsil should all be fired if this is not stopped. Our FC does not care about safety or our members at all.Why dont you ask what he does all day for that fat paycheck as chief.He rides around to ANC meetings,goes to churches and harrassess FF if hes bored . We have had NO fire related training to date. No OIC officer I training either. He has not ordered any apparatus, he has put incompotent people in positions to "level the playing field" last time i checked this wasnt a game and there is no playing field.Wait til the lawsuits roll when someone gets hurt on a fireground that an A/BFC is running or a untrained BFC that screws up on the fireground…millions!!! All his desicions are racially motivated. Where we live has nothing to do with our job. Does MPD or the teachers or HR or DOT get harrassed about where they chose to live??When is dc gonna stick up for their firefighters. The mayor just passed law stating the the cops CAN'T ask illegal imigrants where they are from and ask for papers, so why is it ok for the FC to ask guys on a daily basis where they live followed by "yea,start looking for a job". This is rediculous! I hope you political clowns sleep good at night to even consider this as a possibility.We have saved the city millions by buying our own jackets/shirts/rope/lights/ and showing up to work 2 hours early …….NOT ANYMORE!BESIDES IF WE DO HAVE A CALL BACK WE HAVE no APPARATUS TO RIDE CAUSE ITS ALL AT THE SHOP broke down !

  • Anonymous

    Sad to say, but most Union Brothers around D.C, to include the Virginia and Maryland suburbs are laughing their asses off.  Hell, I am sure some of them are writing letters to Ellerbee and Gray to see about volunteering in the city.  I myself would never kick a man when they are down, but it is nice to see Local 36 squirm like the worms they are!!!

    • DCFD Forever, LRB Not

      You would remain anonymous you worthless coward!! Nice to see we have support, will win without the help of cowards like yourself

      • Anonymous

        You have no support. Only enemies.

        • Watch Out

          This is not the time or place for this arguement. I chose to work in a combo department and have dealt with it. I have DCFD two hatters that have made me miserable and DCFD two hatters that are my best friends in the world. The point here is that if LRB gets his way, who will be next. Don't think the counties are immune from this if some "Tea party" elected official decides we're next. Now is the time to stand beside L-36. Deal with the rest later.

          • Ricky riley

            Nope. I think we will deal with it now.

  • Anonymous

    Most union brothers are not brainwashed "ideologues" who care more about putting out fires than worry  about what their "two-hatting" brother does on his day off.  If someone from another local thinks about volunteering in DC, nobody cares – the workload and standards of our operations are far too difficult for most to last.  You made a conscious decision to work in a combination system that little resembles the career Department that has existed for almost 125 years.  If you are laughing at our issues, it is only jealousy and the kind of brainwashing that is destroying the fire service, in general, my union friend.  
    Believe me, Local 36, is anything but squirming.  It's still all talk from a wack job and 36 is much more powerful and calculating than this "noise."  In fact, even if Ellerbe were to close fire companies and have the surrounding Departments come in(which he is not), it wouldn't last because those same few "union brothers" you say who are laughing that would complain the loudest.

    • Anonymous

      "the workload and standards of our operations are far too difficult for most to last".  LOL, that is too funny.  Is that the DCFD defense against Rosenbaum. Apparently they aren't as high as you think.  It is nice to have self confidence but that statement borders on delusional. 

  • retired BFC

    this clown was ,is and will always be a no firefighting,coward,rasist s.o.b.He has NO,Nada,None when it comer to firefighting experience and hates all who are real firrfighters.He has a great oponion of his cowardly self,hates all who don't livve in the city.Feel sorry for all on the job

  • Anonymous

    If memory serves, doesn't the DC firefighter who was severely burned several months ago live in Maryland (articles mentioned that he is the chief of a suburban department).  He was doing his job bravely.  Didn't matter at all where he lives.

  • Jerome Smiff

    I guess Rubin wasn't so bad after all, huh?  Careful what you ask for because the DCFD definately got it!!!!  The Rube is probably laughing his a$$ off at all of his haters.

  • Jerry

    12 hour shifts is definitely the way to go especially for the Paramedics. Too many mistakes are made on the 24 hour shifts.
    But the 3 – 3 – 3 with going back and forth from day to night in the same week is stupid. The chief could look at any PD or any profession that does 12 hour shift to get a better idea. Some work a shift permanently and some rotate day to night at 3 or 6 months.

  • bert

    what a idiot this guy belongs wi hincley

  • Brokenhearted

    Where are these too many mistakes made on a 24 hour shift?  I mean for Chrissakes we run 160,000 calls a year and you hear about 1-2 calls that go bad?  You show me somewhere else that is pushing out .0000125% failure rates.

  • mike t

    i want to know why are the firemen are useing the  EMS UNIT now.For years ,they never care about it.Fire Fighters with 30yrs on the job pay ,with longivety ,do make about 80 thousand dollars a year.EMS MEMBERS DONT RECEIVE A RETIREMENT OR LONGIVETY PAY. Dcgov is the only city i know,where u can live outside of the city an take a Police or Fire Dept. car home an I glad thats changeing.

  • ol skool 86″

    Its all smoke and mirrors and untrue numbers with NO FACTS. L36 will prevail and the next time we have anyone run for office,instead of supporting someone,our shirts should read "LOCAL 36 FOR NOBODY" because they lie to our faces and make us believe they care..

  • 30+ on the job

    My old captain once told me you could be a politician or a firefighter, The extreme rare exception was that once in a while you found a person who was both.  He always said that firefighters took twice as long to get promoted but politicians usually ran the show.  That old fart new alot more than I thought as i get older.
    We thought the old chief was bad and hopped right into the fire on this one.  If I can last a little less than four more years I will be set.  Unfortunately I no longer look forward to coming to work.

  • Just sayin

    Have to agree with you 30+ … I am finally in a position to retire but would rather go out on my terms than the current administrator’s … who wants to go to work and listen to nothing but “there’s another revenge, er transfer list coming out”, “we’re going back to a 56 hour work week” (which the administrator extrodinaire never worked by the way), and all the rest of the BS. By the way, he has said you will be paid for every hour you work … He never said you’ll get a pay raise … You will be getting the same annual salary you get now, for 25% more hours … for the mathmatically impaired or uninformed like that puke AMD that’s a 25% pay cut … hey administrator, are you giving back 25% or just laughing at us … me thinks the latter … stay strong 36 … Rube we do miss you … and Sarasota congrats on getting rid of the deadwood … sorry about our luck

  • cgs

    The Chief of DCFD needs to lose his job and never return to the fire service. He has truly forgotten what it means to be a fireman.

  • ff/p

    The appointed leader of the DCFD said he doesn't see how a 30 year old firefighter can be making 80k a year and only be working 2 days a week or 42 hours a week….well hes right…he "doesn't" see it because it "doesn't happen"
    Im a firefighter/paramedic (one of the few left) with going on 6 years on the job….i'm 32 years old. I did some math and this is how it works out
    my base salary is 57,592.08 a year and that is 2352 hrs worked
    I get 3164.40 a year if i work every one of the holidays
    Per DC law, I am only allowed to make a max of 20,000 in overtime and if i work 758 hrs total in one year i will make 20,000.
    That is $80,756.08 max for working 3110hrs and that averages 55.53hrs a week
    the average person who works a 40hr work week works 2080hr a year before you factor in days off for holidays and other events.
    Oh and I also get my 10% of base pay of an entry level firefighter to be a paramedic(also notably the lowest incentive pay in the region) so my numbers are higher then the firefighter/emts
     

  • Anonymous

    Hey Pete, I bet your glad you missed this when they moved you to the dungen. Let's see what "spokesperson" comes forward and tries to handle this pr mess. .

  • Anonymous

    Ellerbee, without any doubt, you have destroyed/lost the Trust and Respect from your Professional Fire and EMS Staff through your narrow minded and Racially Motivated attitude.The Breech of thisw critically important role is going to come back and haunt you. It doesn't matter where a Firefighter Lives. In the past when PLAN "E" has been implemented was there any delay in mobilizing DC Fire and EMS to meet whatever challenges that were the cause? ie; A Major Multiple Alarm Fire, Weather related high Incident Activity, Mass Casualty Metro Incident. DC Fire and EMS has always rose to the challenges before them. Yes there is in place a diverse Team of Firefighter Employees who work together. Only your snitches/tattletales who can't make a reasonable Management Decision, they run to you. Ellerbee you need to look yourself in the Mirror and ask (1) You already have an Experienced/Trained Complement of True professionals who like their Job. (2) Please give serious thought and consideration to allow these people to continue doing their job. (3) Changing Shift schedules is only a Political move by you to allow yourself the false sense of believing you look good in the eyes of the Mayor and City Council. (4) Reducing the DC Fire and EMS force again is only a Political move that you have instilled in your mind. In reality all your alledged proposals are is a vindictiveness attitude you have.  (5) You are saying you want to do these things to save Money. Not in reality. What you are doing is throwing away flushing down the Toilet a Time Honored   Department which has built a Nationwide Trust and Respect as being one of the Elite Firefighting Forces in our Nation. Back off Now.

  • Anonymous

     

     
     
    Never heard the out come how fast we forget 
    http://statter911.com/2010/12/16/more-on-dcs-new-fire-chief-wtop-radio-discovers-tax-problem-kenneth-ellerbe-meets-the-press-fire-chiefs-wilmoth-questions-the-appointment/
    I understand that all’s fair in love and politics, but this decision is wrong for a department that has shown great progress and promise with Rubin at the helm. Once placed in bottom tier of EMS programs across the county by USA Today, the department clawed its way back to prominence, adeptly responding to the 2009 Metro Rail crash. Even FIRE CHIEF columnist Bruce Evans predicted that, “In the next three to five years, the District of Columbia will have one of the premier fire and EMS systems in the United States.”taking the chief’s job in Sarasota in 2009. Six months later, however, reports surfaced that Ellerbe was “on unpaid leave” from D.C. Fire. It turned out that there was a signed agreement “between the [District of Columbia] and Sarasota County“ that allowed Ellerbe to remain employed by D.C. Fire through his 50th birthday in April 2010, which would enhance his retirement benefits to as much as “an additional $600,000.”
     
    Mayor-elect Vincent Gray’s choice for new fire chief has been taking a tax deduction reserved for District residents, despite living and working full time in Florida. 
    Records obtained by WTOP show Kenneth Ellerbe – a former interim D.C. fire chief – is receiving a $67,500 Homestead Tax Credit for his home on Alabama Avenue in Southeast.
    Ellerbe moved to Florida last year. 

    According to D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue records, Ellerbe has filed paperwork indicating that he lives in the District of Columbia and is entitled to the tax break, Natalie Wilson, a spokesperson for the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue tells WTOP.
    Ellerbe says he will not take the tax break on his 2010 taxes. Ellerbe says he was not aware he was responsible for changing his status, and thought it was the responsibility of his accountant.
    Gray says he was aware that Ellerbe was taking the deduction, and anticipates Ellerbe will correct the deduction.
    Wilson says as a result of the WTOP inquiry, they will be requesting an explanation from Ellerbe.
    If the Office of Tax and Revenue finds Ellerbe is not entitled to the tax deduction, he would be compelled to pay the District for back taxes.

  • Whadda ya think?

    I think DCFD should become a combination system.  Since so many of there members have time to go to Prince Georges County and other jurisdictions and keep others out of jobs and overtime.  Perhaps they can just volunteer for DCFD sense they are so proud and love the department so much.

  • ClownShow

    Whassa ya think?
    Jealousy is a stinky cologne my friend.

  • ClownShow

    Whassa ya think?
    Come on down and volunteer your service to one of the many ambos, that would be a good starting point for you. Take your pick- A03, A06, and A10. I'm sure any of those guys would love to have you ride with them for 24 hours to help out. But, just a warning, you will probably have at least 2 PT piss or throw up all over the back of your ambo and the rest of your runs you will be talked down to by the public because they see how the fire chief treats us so they think its ok. Also, it's the first of the month which means you will be running alot of people on PCP that love to try to fight and spit on everyone. But its a job that I do because thats what it is- It's a job. I work hard to provide a service to the city and the only thing I ask for in return is a paycheck and a tour that I'm told I'm acually doing my job right. Anthing other than that is just extra.

  • Anonymous

    In response to comments by Whadda ya think? says. First of all Grow up and speak with some Adult level of Maturity and Facts. (1) Volunteers who are Career in the DCFD d0onot keep anyone from being Hired. (2) So a well Trained DCFD Firefighter chooses to Volunteer in any surrounding Jurisdiction is sharing His/Her Training,Experience,Knowledge to help better the Community where they live. Those words by Whadda ya think? says are nothing more than a unwarranted totally uncalled for juvenile mentality against Volunteers. The individual who speaks and instills those words of Bias and predjudice obviously is one who worships and idolizes the IAFF. In the Economy today there are jurisdictions who maynot be as fortunate with Fiscal and ability to Hire Career Firefighters as the other large Urban/Metropolitan Jurisdictions. ie; DCFD our Nations Capitol Fire and EMS Dept. Also the jurisdictions who have Combination Systems do a Respectable job of Firefighting and EMS Service to their Citizens. There are Good well Trained Career Firefighters and EMS People, and also there are Good Well Trained Volunteer Firefighters and EMS Providers. Everyone should stop and take a minute to realize and understand one of those Providers be it Career and/or Volunteer just may pull one of you know it all thinking your superiority is the only thing you need. Whadda ya think? says your immature juvenile mentalitry is out of line. Climb out of your sand box, recess is over.
    Thank You
     

  • STAKEHOLDER

    TO ALL OF THOSE THAT WILL BE AFFECTED BY A SHIFT CHANGE:  STICK TO THE FACTS AND LEAVE FEELINGS AND RHETORIC OUT OF IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The FEMS Administrator will be using FACTS as he further pushes this idea and WE(Local36) need to do the same. Also stop getting in arguments with folks on here who WANNA BE DCFD. Haters gonna hate!!!!! I'm done!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Inside looking in

    We have very divided department (along racial lines). Whether people want to admit that is neither here or there. Some venting in this forum and others present this front like we (dcfd employees) are all in this thing over 24/72 together. There are many who aren't Ellerbe backers of the shft change, but probably wouldn't mind it because it would get rid of some of the people on the job who come to work with so much negativity about the city, but don't mind collecting that paycheck bi-weekly.  The majority of us employed dcfd can't vote in the city, and the mayor and city council knows this. Local 36 didn't elect Gray mayor the citizens did. Putting yards signs up and marking a ballot in the booth are apples and oranges. The mayor and city council owe L36 not a thing. Putting up yard signs just ensures Ed Smith gets his phone calls and emails answered quickly than normal. Also next time you go to a membership meeting take a quick attendance of the room.

  • NeverForget343

    Mr. Mendohlson
    Im not sure I understand how 3-3-3 really works.
    3 days x 12 hours + 3 nights x 12 hours means working 6 days in a row for a total of 72 hours in a work week before getting 3 days off. (I could stop here if I really though this was safer than working 24 hours on 72 off). You try both for a week each and come back here and report your experience!
    Doesnt FSLA say you must get paid time and a half over 56 hours?  wouldnt that be 16 hours OT on every 6 day work cycle?
    Your biological clock can not adjust to the sudden change from days to nights. It shortens your life span.  Its known to be one of the worst work shifts ever, worse than the 2-2-4 that civillian EMTs work now,  and is usually only found in combat situations. (or diasaster management situations)
    In the 12 hours between your shifts you will spend at least one-two hours in traffic even if you live with in the beltway or 30 mile radius. That leaves 10 hours to get back to your next shift.   If you can get 8 hours of sleep that leaves one hour to get ready to work for the next shift and one hour to take care of your family, bathe, cook, eat, do house chores, etc.  Is this even humanly possible?  How can you have a family? How much more are you going to pay in additional fuel? child care? divorce lawyers? The proposal seems to be inhuman, and designed to negatively affect anyone with a famlily, children, paying a mortgage, or not living in DC. (DC Law prohibits discriminating against place of residence)
    If you live in the city, you may have a little less travel time – but it will still be at the peak of rush hour. Those living within DC would have one more hour with their family max.  Where can you afford to live within DC on your ff/emt salary if you have a family?  lets look at map of that on a basic real estate web site where you can plug in your salary, and what level mortgage/housing you can afford.
    Maybe the District can convert Barry Farms in to the DCFD living quarters and subsidize our housing costs in the name of national security.  We can all live together in one big commune – black, white, brown, red, and yellow.  As a lefty altruist, I kind of like that idea, except it would be the biggest unprotected terorist target with all our responders living in one place.
    If this goes thru – I promise the members to take all my highly over paid "gravy train" salary and buy group housing for the members to have crash pads so they dont have to quit the careers they have dedicated their lives to, and risked their lives for the citizens of the Nation's Capital - even so they will never see their wives, husbands, and kids.  I guess the leaders of this great city and department dont care if we have wives, husbands, and kids.  They make two – four times what the rest of us make, work regular 9-5 jobs, get paid holidays off, merit bonuses, and have the nerve to say we are bilking the tax payer, and are a homeland security threat if we live outside the city – REALLY???
    Wake up brothers – the proposal is completely absurd -  this is a bait and switch tactic to get us scared sh*tless into accepting a 24/48 schedule and laying off a shift worth of people by some arbitrary process HQ conconcts.  They have already admitted that we are not leaving by attrition fast enough for their plan to work.  All the right wingers and left wingers need to realize that we need to sit together on the steps of the capital, the steps of city hall, the steps of the judicial branch, and really on the fems administrators lawn until he quits his job.  We dont need to cry race – we need to cry human race.  Go to the union hall and stand together to keep what's right and get back your time and half.
     

  • I’m out

    We don't have a new contract.  We are only working under our old contract.  We tell ourselves that we are unable to "stike" because its in our contract.  This is the biggest load of crap I've ever heard of, and we all eat it everyday.  Mr. Catania said, "We shouldn't pay people to sleep." I think he is clueless when it comes to our profession.  Futhermore, the so called inability to strike, puts members at a disadvantage when you have a Chief who is on a rampage to "get back," his past foes.  I say protest, and strike if needed.  Don't pay out of pocket to clean, paint or repair your firehouses.  Let the city pay to do all the repairs, and cleaning.  After all it is a public space and government building.  They have turned our tradition as firemen, into a business.  So, we should inturn treat it like a business.