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Can’t anyone get it right around here? For third time in just 24 hours Chief Kenneth Ellerbe says DC reporters got a story wrong.

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WRC-TV/NBC 4 reporter Mark Segraves is as least the third reporter this week who has had the accuracy of his reporting questioned in statements released by DC Fire & EMS Department Chief Kenneth Ellerbe. Segraves had reported late Friday afternoon that three firefighters, including a lieutenant who had done battle before with the chief, face possible disciplinary action for appearing in uniform at an event with President Barack Obama. A few hours later this statement from Chief Ellerbe was posted on the TV station’s website:

Contrary to reports in local media, the DC Fire and EMS Department is not considering any disciplinary action against uniformed personnel for appearing alongside President Obama. At the request of the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice, DC FEMS is simply reviewing its internal protocols for such appearances to ensure that both the Department and its employees are fully informed.

We fully support the efforts of President to highlight the essential and life saving work that our first-responders do every single day, and welcome his invitation for our members to participate. We’re exceedingly proud of the men and women that wear the DC FEMS uniform, and thank the President for his support.

If this sounds familiar, it’s probably because just 24 hours earlier Chief Ellerbe called into question the actions of reporters on two other stories. On Thursday evening, communications director Lon Walls sent out a pair of statements from Chief Ellerbe saying news reports on sexual harassment allegations at the Training Academy and on the death of a man on New Years at the time of an ambulance shortage were both inaccurate.

Also interesting, is a public Twitter conversation Chief Ellerbe had Friday evening with another reporter who covers the department, Andrea Noble of The Washington Times. Here it is:

This conversation ended with this Tweet from Chief Ellerbe to reporter Noble:

maybe you should schedule some time in our office to establish a foundation for accurate information as some others have done? 

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Comments - Add Yours

  • anonymous

    LRB was considering disciplinary action regarding the event with the President, especially for the one member in attendance who he has had run ins with before. That is the reason why he had them all type special reports. In the DCFD when a member is ordered to type a special report it is usually due to a possible infraction having been committed. He only backed off after the story took off in the media and he saw that the reaction by the public was largely against his initial actions.

    The timeline and additional facts released regarding the delayed ambulance transport on New Year’s Eve is something the department should have put out there early on to clarify things or to correct any inaccuracies which had been reported. Contrary to comments made in the department’s press release, putting those facts out there would not have released any information which should not be mentioned (i.e.: HIPPA issues). It was the department’s Communications Director who regularly does not respond to media requests which helped to make this situation worse. He should be re-titled the NON-Communications Director with the way he does his job. He also only tends to say anything thru an occasional press release, and even then it’s often late into a story. He never is seen speaking in person to the press.

    Who knows what is true with the sexual harassment story. You have a cadet’s mom stating one thing, and LRB saying another thing. With LRB’s history of not telling the truth and the way he plays favorites and likes to protect his buddies and his beloved cadet program, you have to wonder if he is trying to sweep the issue under the rug or make it less than what is really is.

  • Wazzup with this Dude?

    Wow! This dude has issues. He is worse than my kids. Let’$ talk Fleet Maintenance. You are paying those guys to do what? Maybe, your take home SUV is in tip top shape but our apparatus is falling apart. Why are you concerned about members that served the department proudly? Is it because you couldn’t put your Shining Stars up there? Get over it!

  • Former Chief

    Apparently Dave, it is time for you to give a journalism and accuracy in reporting class to the news media in the Washington DC area. Chief Ellerbe is just misunderstood, that’s all. It couldn’t possibly be that the DCFD, oops, I mean DC FEMS public information officer is not providing timely accurate information to the press, or that there is a communications disconnect in the DCFD, oops again, DC FEMS. I just wonder when this guy will become such a liability to the Mayor that he is finally shown the door. Or does the Mayor have so many other more severe liabilities that this guys problems are that minute? Well at least things aren’t quite as bad as Detroit, yet.

    • dave statter

      Yes, the whole damn DC press corps went down the toilet once I left. But then again, I recall a former DC chief who went on WTOP Radio to announce one of my stories was just plain wrong only to three years later acknowledge in a fire service publication that I was exactly right ( ). Funny how that happens. You know the saying, being a fire chief and being a reporter means never having to say your sorry. With apologies to Erich Segal (I can apologize now that I am now longer a reporter).

      • Legeros

        Admit it Dave, you’re still in bed with the news media. We’re not letting you off the hook just because you’re no longer a “reporter.”

        Awaiting your own tweet war with a fire chief some day.

    • Smokey

      Haha, take out DCFD, oops, I mean DC FEMS, and replace it with PFD (150 miles to the North)and you couldn’t tell the difference.

  • LT117

    This guy is as much of a liar and a tool bag as my chief here in South Carolina……..they must have been separated at birth!!!

  • watchdogdc

    The truth of the matter is this is nothing more than another chapter in the Chief’s continued witch hunt aginst Mr. Alvarado. It’s time for Alvardo to seek legal action aginst Ellerbe for his continued harassment. This type of bully style management is how this Chief has worked since day one.This would have never have been an issue if Alvardo was not involved. The other thing taking place here is the Chief trying to deflect attention away from his Cadet program scandal at the departments training academy since it involved his shining stars one of who was terminated for cutting another employee with a knife which is a terminating offense but Chief Ellerbe felt compeled to reinstate him to the department just like he has done several others that were terminated by the previous administration.

    • Anonymous

      “Chief Ellerbe felt compeled to reinstate him to the department just like he has done several others that were terminated by the previous administration”.

      You mean like “HOOKMAN”?

  • haveyouseenmybaseball?

    Actually Dave, that reporting is inaccurate. The Lieutenant mentioned got busted down to Sergeant over some other trumped up BS charges. This is payback and the other guys who stood with the Sergeant and the President will just be collateral damage. Oh wait, we don’t operate in that environment…

  • Anonymous

    After all of the termoil, why does this douchebag still have a job? This guy has been nothing but a black eye for the department as a whole, not to mention he has taken a terrible toll on morale. When will DC see that enough is enough and show this tool his pink slip?

  • SickOfDC

    This DC stuff gets old. 90% of the Fire Chief’s accross this country would be fired after 1 incident like this. Ellerbe has shit like this happen several times a week. What a corrupt city.

  • Ex F.O.E ( Friends of Ellerbe)

    BTW, whatever happened to the burned docs at the training academy, allegations of sexual harrasment in Fla and elsewhere, the bullying, etc. etc…….


    LRB is a disgrace to the fire service and to all the fire chiefs in this country who have served the public honorably for centuries. LRB and his idiot P.R. guy need to be run out of WashDC and out of the fire service. P.S.: He can take the mayor and the mayor’s staff with him! Any number of people would be glad to transport them and their bags to the nearest airport.


    The media did get it right (finally) but when you don’t want to be looked at as being lower than human feces… turn the story around just like this incident nack in September
    Remember a certain DFC who walked into this firehouse and lined the members up after pre determining without any such evidence they’d done anything wrong….told them they’d “BE AT THE MERCY OF THE FIRE CHIEF”…….Seeing that a member had the smarts to record the lil POS…it then becomes news worthy and the recording is aired on TV…..Are we that stupid to believe King Ellerbe didn’t send his lil troll down there to let em know who’s the King….So when interviewed later in the evening….Ellerbe has amnesia and doesn’t remember anything….he has more important things to focus on….Ms. Noble….go ahead and establish a foundation at 1923 Vermont Ave and make sure to wear a nametag so the King knows who you are….because if it comes out of the Kings mouth…it has to be accurate right????

  • Fire21

    There’s a strong stinky smell coming out of DCFD, oops, I mean DCFEMS. Should be time to clean the “house” and start with fresh furnishings. If sh*t rolls downhill, so does good stuff.

  • Captain

    Thank the good Lord that I have a good Fire Chief now!! I have worked for a “im better than God” chief and it sucks!! I feel so sorry for my brothers and sisters that have to dread going to work for this loser everyday. It seems like every couple of days there is a new story about DC and its “wonderful”Chief (sarcasm), how much longer does these fine men and women have to put up with it!!

  • Really Disappointed

    if you all can’t see the racist undertones to every action this guy makes you are just simply blind or in denial. someone should investigate how many black firefighters have been transferred to the position of battalion fire chiefs aides and deputy fire chiefs aides under LRB. not sure but i think it may be close to something like, “all of them”. this is lrb’s way of intimidating the management into doing his bidding by assuring them that he has his spy’s watching there every move. his only objectives are racially motivated and actions are to cause division. how many involuntary transfers has he aimed at black members? none! how many terminations aimed at black members? none! what a joke! the sad part is that because he feels so untouchable because of his relationship to the mayor, he continues to unabashedly harass the white rank and file members every opportunity that he gets. i feel sorry for the black firefighters who are not part of the racist network that lrb has put together because they are treated as outcasts and transferred to undesirable positions where they can cause the least disruption to his plan. that is a fact! check the personnel actions. if this situation had not gained media attention, make no mistake alvarado would have been terminated, period. if you don’t believe that you are truly in the dark. some of you may consider my accusations to be unfair or uninformed but i urge all of my brother in blue of all races to just look closely at the facts. and to those of you that choose to do lrb’s bidding, just remember. fire chiefs come and go. he will not be around to cover up for you forever and you will be sorry you did not dispose of his methods and ideals just like you did yesterdays trash. good luck to all of us. i look forward to defending any and all of my comments. if I’m off by 1 or 2 transfers please don’t nitpick i will just destroy you with more damaging facts.

  • Anonymous

    Ellerbee seems to continue his pattern of unprofesional and plain shameful and disgusting mentality. He should be quite Proud that members of DC Fire and EMS were selected to meet with the president of the United States. As usual Ellerbee has to bring unwarranted and absolutely ignorant attention to himself (what else is new) and the fine mewn and Women of DC Fire and EMS. Instead of threatening Disciplanary Action against these Professionals, let’s speak about the recent news about Delayed Response of an Ambulance to a Tax Payer? Probably done because no Planning for Holiday Staffing. Ellerbee and his Meery Band of Black Panther Racists Tattle Tales seem to thrive on causing disruption to DC Fire and EMS.
    As far as Deputy Mayor Public safety/PIO he knows absolutely nothing about Fire and EMS. He doesnot know the difference between a Medic Unit and a Milk Truck. He speaks only when Ellerbee tells him what,where,when to say anything. Now most recently the Sexual Harrassment Charges at the Academy. Ellerbee is quite well knowledgeable about work placew sexual harrassment. What have you got to say about that Ellerbee?
    To the Brothers and Sisters of DC Fire and EMS, Keep up the excellent Professional Delivery Service to the Taxpayer Public.

  • Dcfireman

    Why was my comment removed?

    • dave statter

      Because in one part of your comment you were acting as a reporter bringing up information about a specific individual that is not in the news or covered in the article or information on the site. I encourage you to state your opinions about any of these topics or people, but I try to leave the reporting to others.


      • Dcfireman

        That’s really really weak Dave. I left the reporting the the reporters as well. Everything I said can be found thru a simple Internet search its public knowledge. Especially people’s salaries and perks. I merely alluded to the fact that a story was there I never said what it was. Far, far worse is on here everyday. All I can think is you have a personal relationship and it skewed your judgement. I find it odd that rubin couldn’t fart without you having it on here 2 seconds. Every council hearing was linked here immediatly not anymore. Only things that I can see that have changed are rubin got on the wrong side of you when he said your correct story was wrong (understandable), and a new PIO.

        • dave statter


          Most of what you wrote was fine, but you made a very specific reference to something that is not in any of the things you mention.

          You can think of my policy as being weak, but I have used that same standard for both Rubin and Ellerbe. In fact, it came about about because of Chief Rubin. My blog and every news organization in the Washington area were inundated with posts and tips about something very specific about the The Rube that had never been reported, and to the best I can tell, is totally fabricated. I realized then I didn’t want the readers being the reporters when it came to information about specific people and I have tried my best to keep that standard (though I am sure I am not perfect). You are free to state your opinion about either chief (and many people do so in a very strong fashion) and other public figures such as the PIO, but if you want to play reporter and investigate them, I suggest you start your own site.

          Let me ask you a question. If you, as a firefighter suddenly found yourself in the news, would you want me to allow one of your fellow firefighters to play reporter and state as fact something that has never been made public that I have no way of verifying whether it’s true?

          Also, in reference to your comments. As far as me putting all of Chief Rubin’s “farts” on, you are correct that there was a lot more coverage that I originated about Rubin that there has been for Ellerbe. I have originated no coverage on Ellerbe. That may seem unfair to you, but the reason is I ceased being a reporter in June of 2010. At that point, no coverage about DC Fire, including Chief Rubin’s final months on the job and the two years of Chief Ellerbe has come from me. All of it has originated with other news organizations in the Washington area. I am sure if I was still a reporter covering DCFD you would have seen something a bit different on this site over the last few years.

          Hope that clears things up.


          • Dcfireman

            Again I made no actual allegations and used no details and everything can easily be verified with a simple search. I was far from a rubin fan but it is simply my opinion everythingwas covered by you in depth even after you retired. Whereas now its more of a pick and choose. I notice you didn’t address the personal relationship aspect so imagine I was somewhat correct and you aren’t going to address it. Fine. this isyour website and you can run it as you choose I can’t and won’t tell you how to run it. That being said, I have to say I find all this ironic considering your stances on many media/ fire dept. related issues and your seminars on the topic. Anyways enjoy the retirement and long live I guess we should stick to watching all the whackers talk about how they would operate at fires if they ever actually had one, tirelessly look for minor or non existent safety violations on fire grounds, trying to justify being a coward and a fireperson, and most inmportantly watching commenter revolutionize the fire service. Ya know the important stuff hahaha

          • dave statter


            1. I want you to do me a favor. Here are the links that will take you to every story I have posted about either Dennis Rubin ( ) or Kenneth Ellerbe ( ). You can also find these links on the side bar of our page. There are 128 stories with Dennis Rubin since 2007. There are 84 stories with Kenneth Ellerbe, mostly since December 2011 (and the coverage before that of the controversy over Sarasota). I want you to scroll through those stories and then explain to me how the hell you can come up with a statement like – “it is simply my opinion everything was covered by you in depth even after you retired. Whereas now its more of a pick and choose”. What do you base your opinion on? What major, or even minor story about Chief Ellerbe did I not post on I get your concern about the comments, but this has me quite bewildered. Trust me, I do my best to try and get any significant DC Fire story on the blog as soon as possible. Why? Because, whether it’s Rubin or Ellerbe in charge, my experience is that a lot of people are interested in it. Which, in turn, is good business for me.

            2. I totally overlooked your concern about my personal relationships. I apologize for that. And who are you concerned I have a personal relationship with that impacted my decision making on your comment? Ellerbe, Walls, Rubin, Hookman, Superfireman Jerry Engle, Fireboy from Roanoke? Having been either a part of the fire service for a short period of time or covering it since 1972, I know a few people, and even made a friend or two along the way. Trust me, most of my friends are not happy when they are mentioned in I try to be fair to all sides and give everyone their say, whether they are popular with the troops or not.

            3. You apparently over looked the question I asked you – If you, as a firefighter suddenly found yourself in the news, would you want me to allow one of your fellow firefighters to play reporter and state as fact something that has never been made public that I have no way of verifying whether it’s true?

            4. Whether you believe it or not, I have the same standard on comments about Rubin as I do the ones about Ellerbe. Just ask Hookman how many negative things he had to say about The Rube that weren’t his opinion but based on what Hookman had uncovered in his own investigations that I didn’t allow.

            5. I think you are overlooking that it was a very small part of your comment that caused me to kill it and I have feeling you don’t know exactly what it was (if you do, send me a note so I can make we are talking about the same thing). Obviously, I don’t want to share it here. But you are free to call me and I will share it with you. It really wasn’t that important in the context of what you had to say, but it was not your opinion. It was something you were stating as fact about another person that is not part of any news coverage I have seen. When and if it becomes such, I will be more than glad to post that news and have you talk about it.

            6. I am totally bewildered by how you believe what I have written is inconsistent with what I teach in my classes. Please explain further.

            7. I am far from perfect, and I will admit I struggle all of the time with the comments. And I have yet to find the perfect way to do to do it that is fair to everyone all of the time. At the moment I am comfortable that I am trying to do my best (as flawed as it is). Provide me with a better system that is workable and I will be a very happy man. I have approved more that 50,000 comments since starting this blog in April 2007. I can’t tell you how many I have killed, but it’s a very small percentage. I don’t like killing any of them, but I feel the need to keep to the minimum standards I have (I have even relaxed the bad language restrictions as long as it’s not used in name calling).

            I appreciate your comments. Please, if you can, answer my questions. It may provide me insight into something I am missing.



          • dave statter


            Should I assume you are working on answering my questions? Or maybe you are researching the material I gave you so you can point out how I have favored Ellerbe over Rubin. It’s okay. Take your time. I do look forward to a reply.



  • Older than Ol’ School

    We had Rubin/Schultz and the favors went towards the white f/f’s. Now, we have Ellerbe. His decision making seems skewed towards black f/f’ s or the one’s that agree with him. I am an African American DC Firefighter and haven’t benefited from either. I would say that I’ve been disrespected by both administrations. For me, Edwards and Tippet were the best chiefs that I have worked for. Being discriminated against is nothing new to me and happens more often than you probably think to African Americans. But when the tables are turned (UNFAIRLY!!!!!) I can imagine how you feel. You see, I had a friend of my Grandfather assigned to E-4 during segregation and Jim Crow. Before he past away, he told me stories about how his engine company was treated like crap.I can’t imagine working for the fire department during that era.
    The Chief is creating a divisive environment for the men and women that put their lives on the line for the visitors and citizens of Washington,DC. Discrimination from any race is wrong! Bitching about appearing in front of POTUS or a reporter saying something you don’t like is ludicrous.

  • Cosgrove

    As the Saga continues you won’t see this in the news. A white officer asks a black officer to turn off the music he is listening too because the lyrics keep using the N word. The white officer finds this offensive, the black officer thinks its a joke. Long story short it gets all the way to the DFC’s office before this guy turns the music off. Guess who gets moved? Yep the white guy , when according to the EEO counselor the black guy should have been moved but he’s a Shining Star. Im telling you the fire administrator is trying his best to take us back to the 80’s and the Human Rights hearings. Just my thoughts.

    • xray

      Hey Cosgrove,there are countless stories that go unreported.It just so happens that some brainiacs choose to post their buffonery on social networks. The last administration had their share (and than some) of so called cover ups. @ (Missed the earth if by 17,000 miles) finally someone who is up front and frank about the situation currently going on here at good ole DCFIRE&EMS. It’s refreshing to read your manifesto,that’s real talk.I agree with 90% of what you said.I like it when you said “now the rabbit has the gun we are trebling”. So Coz,this sh@t goes back and forth both sides complain about eachother.Oh and please dont bring up back in the day 60’s 70’s or 80’s,I’m quite sure of all the people the chief doesn’t want to go back to that era.

      • xray

        sorry for the typo “buffoonery” and “trembling”

  • Anonymous

    Oh so since the media got word of this, he is going to back off and act like disciplinary action wasn’t being considered. Just like he did with the mustache on his picture incident! What a coward! Hold on DCFD brothers and sisters it will get better eventually! Don’t let this moron get the better of you!

  • ANON

    Wonder if LRB got a phone call from the White House. Hey Chief. Are you expecting to receive any more federal grant money?


    @DCFireman….dont get discouraged…ive been down the same road with Dave when it comes to playing reporter….at the end of the day its Dave’s site and he can do as he pleases…however, i feel your pain….since we’re fireman and might have access or knowledge to things a reporter might not be, we tend to play reporter to get it out because we know its wrong…..Problem I find is that there’s too many actual reporters and not enough investigative reporters….Imagine Charlie LeDouf from Detroit here in DC….things would not only get reported, but there would be follow up after follow up after said report hit the news……

    I realize too there’s certain reporters in DC assigned to cover Public Safety etc…but after seeing Ellerbe in the news time and time again, wouldn’t you think one of these reporters would talk to one of their investigative reporters about this guy and start looking into his behavior….or do they think that once a story is published or aired, there’s no need to do a follow up….Like Ellerbe being found guilty by an arbitrator for retaliating against Local 36 President Ed Smith…you would think someone would be all over this demanding why this clown hasn’t been disciplined or terminated because of his retaliatory actions…..this story alone quieted the rumors he was a vindictive person…..heck..this guys brain is wired so wrong, he has the audacity yesterday to say, “WE DON’T OPERATE IN A PAYBACK ENVIRONMENT”….if that’s not calling the kettle black, then I need to get my brain checked…

    @Older than Ol’ School….couldn’t agree with you more because I’ve felt it from both sides as well….Rubin right now is being looked upon the membership as the Patron Saint of the Fire Service when compared to Ellerbe, however, he’s still a scumbag in my opinion….he not only screwed over African American fireman (probably some deserving, but not all), but screwed over the whiteman as well….some may not have been as vocal as I was over the way I was treated, but many of the so called, NOT IN SCHULTZ’S CLUB, were treated unfairly…they just chose to take their lumps and move on….but don’t think for a minute Rubin and Co. were anything close to being ethical leaders……There’s no brotherhood here when I see current members of the DCFD cradling Rubin and treating him like the greatest Chief DC’s ever seen before….Ok..maybe Rubin didn’t treat people nearly as bad as Ellerbe has, but knowing Rubin & Co. treated more than a handful unfairly makes him an ethical person worthy of people begging for him to come back….you treat someone I know personally wrong and don’t make it’re a dirtbag for life..

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  • Missed the earth it by 17,000 miles

    I have never blogged on either site (watchdesk or statter)but feel compelled to do so now.For the record,I am a white firefighter not that it matters, but i’m gonna tell it like it is.Brothers and sisters i’m not advocating nor campaigning for Chief Ellerbe or any chief for that matter,but most of you have short memories.The same things many have blogged negatively about the current fire chief was going on the last administration,and possibly worst.Come on guys,lopsided senior promotions,intimidation,favoritism,cronyism,unfair discipline and unwillingness to balance a budget to name a few.As one put it unfair treatment is unacceptable by anyone.What has happened the last few years is that the white firefighters are not running things,so it hurts not to get what you want.Shame on me and all of you because when the tables were turned we thought everything was ok,didn’t we?.I love DCFD and what it stands for but because of our past, we are experiencing a cause an effect.The blacks on this job not as a whole, weren’t treated the same as the whites back in Rubin’s era.So now that the rabit has the gun we are trembling.There is no integrity on this job (I don’t know if DCFD has ever had it).I dont agree with everything that the current chief has done nor did I for Rubin,but that is human nature.The department was divided back than and has always been so let’s not blame it on LRB.And another thing we rallied behind Alvarado as though he was our savior,this guy was a fool to disobey a moral order from a superior.Its not like they ordered him to go into an inferno without his nomex and coat,come on!.Do I believe people are being targeted, HELL YEAH,but this has been the DCFD way forever…just talk to members back in the day BLACK AND WHITE.I’m just sick of all this BS,I dont want Rubin back and as far as i’m concerned we need new leadership at the top.We need someone who can galvanize the membership and that is fair and impartial,because we don’t have it now and we didn’t have it back than.Although i’m not a fan of LRB,but the guy hasn’t done everything wrong either.I have not read one single positive thing from a white FF about LRB,that lets me know there is a problem that goes deeper than his title.I know a lot of you don’t like what i’m saying but it is the truth.We (white FF)have enjoyed for along time advantages on this job.If you want to talk about division look at the emerald society how many blacks are in the ranks.Do they actively seek to recruit other members?.The answer is No!.I could go on all day but i’m gonna rap things up.Chief Ellerbe get your sh@t in order and steer this department in the right direction.I want a department that is fair,transparent,and professional.I know you can turn things around,you have the intelligence to accomplish this great task.As I close fellas lets stop crying to the media your making us look terrible.Take care brothers no matter what color you are…long live DCFD

    • smoke and mirrors

      And who does the progressives promote? Last time I checked the Emerald Society doesnt say anything about recruiting white ff’s. The progressives send a clear message of who they are looking for. As a represenative stated in my recruit class “all you all that arent residents here and are off a particular list shouldnt even be in this class” People who cant or dont know how to do thier jobs rely on the race game. Give it up and do your job. Positions shouldnt be handed out bc of race, where you live or any of the other crap. Best qualified whether your blue, green, male, female whatever


    Missed the earth……..i agree with most of your comment, however, the current Chief had the opportunity to put the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s etc. behind him, but chose not to….if in your mind he hasn’t done everything wrong…well hoss…he hasn’t done a whole lot right either….in case you missed the headlines, it doesn’t get any worse than a vindictive person who’s leadership style is based on retaliation…..

    If you believe this is the character of someone who isn’t that bad or hasn’t done everything wrong…I want what you’re smoking….it doesn’t get any worse than this brother….

    • Missed the earth it by 17,000 miles

      @ Hookman I’m not on here to go back and forth nor tear down my brothers.All I am stating is that there have been some inequities on this job. Hook, the problem I have is not with you,it’s with the ones in denial.We can’t go back to the days of Rubin and Shultz,the department was out of control.Hook as far as the union pres. which I do have respect for, he dissed Engine 7 by not taking that assignment.Is the union pres.too good to be transferred to engine 7?.Is that what we have become a department of whinners and complainers?.On occassion I have agreed with some of your post here and on the watchdesk.But when you backed Alvarado, as you put it I must be smoking.The sgt. is no hero nor someone I would aspire to be like.What he did was tore at the fabric and core of the basic foundation of any organization (discipline).You thought he was right?,I question your integrity brother. We need to be about solutions not war and aggravation.LRB will be gone soon,but what will we have?,the same divided department back to square one.I’m tired of all this aren’t you?.I am on the rise within this department,one thing I can assure my brothers is that you will be treated fair and given equal opportunity.I have no patience for people who have hangups with race,that’s their issue not mine. I’m solution oriented lets see what we can come up with to steer us in the right direction.Our problems are deeper than just wanting to see LRB gone.If you think things would be ok once the chief leaves than we really have alot of work to do.Okay brothers stay safe and look out for eachother.

  • Missed the earth it by 17,000 miles

    BTW Hook my screen name is in relation to the asteroid that missed the earth a week ago by 17,000 miles(hence miss the earth by 17k miles)


    Btw…I would not say Alvarado was a fool to disobey an order….he just showed a lil testicular fortitude in doing the right thing when it was obvious he was being singled out for what was on the back of his jacket….but im more than sure that at least 5 or more locations at the time Alvarado was told to remove his jacket, there was DCFD on the sign entering the TA and outside on 295 where the sign for the TA is located….and im sure if Alvarado wearing DCFD on his jacket was such a horrible thing, they should’ve ripped down every sign that said DCFD at the same time they were telling him to remove his jacket…

  • Older than Ol’ School

    Hey HOOKMAN. You have a White and an African American (Me) DCFD firefighter that both are sick and tired of the racial favoritism on both sides. I’m not naive to think that a Chief is not going to put a couple of his buddies in his crew i.e. . AFC’s, DFC’s and BFC’s. It is not fair, but that shit happens, we have to get over it. When they go overboard with their power, that is when you bring a PROUD fire department down. Ellerbe and Rubin both have a high opinion of themselves. But, what they fail to realized is that RESPECT, INTEGRITY and COMMON SENSE are characteristics any leader must have to be a leader of men and women.

  • haveyouseenmybaseball?

    Here is what my recruit class was told on our very first day in uniform at the academy.
    “If you have a problem with black people, you should not be here.” Pause while the Lt. eyeballed us. Then he continued, “If you have a problem with white people, you should not be here. If you have a problem with gay people, Christian, Muslim, Jewish people, if you have a problem with men or women, you should not be here because you will be working with and serving all kinds of people. That is our job.” And with that he left the room. Pretty enlightened for 1985, too bad it’s not being applied today nearly 30 years later…
    To Older than Ol’ School: I’m with you brother, the only Fire Chief’s we’ve had who truly cared about the men and the department and not the political bs were Tom Tippett and Donald Edwards.


    I think you both have valid points and its too bad we couldn’t have an open forum to publicly air these type of issues and concerns out….Everybody brings something to the table and I’m glad both of you have been able to look at the last 2 Chiefs as both failures and not favor one over the other…I certainly am in belief that both were terrible, but in the eyes of others (because they weren’t affected) probably take Rubin as the lesser of 2 evils when compared to Ellerbe……

    My thing is that leaders lead and lead with integrity, high standards and with ethical and moral character. Neither of which Rubin or Ellerbe have done…..For me to sit here and say to myself well…Rubin was out of town all the time speaking on the Departmens dime (called using title for private gain), which is beyond ethical and showed how arrogant and untouchable he believed he was, which left the department to be run by 2 of the biggest turds to ever wear the uniform…we all know if you weren’t in the club and you got in trouble within or outside of the department you were going to get screwed…and we know if you were in the club or your daddy was a so called legend in the department…you got a free pass…..if as a member of the department and you concsciously knew that some of your own brothers were being mistreated unfairly, how can you look at Rubin as being this great person and continue to this day to look at him as being ousted unfairly and how much better he was than Ellerbe, so lets keep him apart of the DCFD brotherhood…I mean after all…when I ask people why they liked him so much, the response I usually get was….he got us stuff or he took care of the members….whether indirectly or directly he should have known what was going on with the 2 AFC’s while he was away on the Bube Speaking tour, because at the end of the day, he’s the one in charge….In that sense he failed as a leader…and his continued saga about how poor Dennis continues as he has not been hired by anyone to lead their department and cannot seem to let go of the DCFD, hence his presence still in the area and his pitched documentary to Discovery Channel and now the epic book of the century to be soon, DC Fire….if you can only see Rubin today as an individual portraying the DCFD in a good way by publishing a book or pitching a documentary to Discovery or better yet, showing up at a charity of DCFD function and can’t or don’t see that while he was gone the MAJORITY of the time he was to be here doing his job, then you my friend don’t know what it is to be an ethical leader….Its like befriending a friendly down to earth burgalar…as long as you don’t break into my home….you’re good with me…

    So here we are today suffering under the inept leadership of a person with disturbing behaviorial issues prior to Rubin and post Rubin….The many things he’s reported to have done in the past and since his arrival, are coming to light…like the kid in the candy store who steals a candy bar once a week…he’ll get away with it for oh so long, but eventually he’ll get caught…..All these instances where the department makes the news or Ellerbe is on the news, the stories are reported as such with little to know investigative follow up stories….So we continue to see stories where on the news its reported this and that has occurred, but have a Chief who can’t honestly own up for why he took this action, but instead, tell the media in his other non vindictive, lip tucked under his upper one pissed off face (like the one he gave me yesterday morning outside Grimke)and say this is incorrect, nobody is being disciplined (as in the lastest Alvarado/Obama mtg)or I don’t have time to worry about whether someone drew a mustache on my picture (even though he sent his DFC to that firehouse to dress down the men and let them know they’re at the mercy of the Fire Chief) to all the other BS coming out of his mouth…..He’s not even smart enough to realize that even the people he believed were following him, are no longer following him….Just a few weeks ago, he spoke to an empty audotorium (minus the cadets) and if that isn’t enough to let you know the majority of the membership has lost faith in your ability to lead, than I’m not sure what else can be brought to your attention to let you know YOU ARE A FAILURE…but just like Rubin was protected by King Fenty, Ellerbe is protected by Count Gray…and since Gray is clueless about Public Safety and sees that the only thing Ellerbe has accomplished is cutting down overtime (more like operating as if were in financial ruins), he’ll be looked at as a great leader…

    So there you go…my opinions may not be favorable to those that liked Rubin or the half percent that like Ellerbe, but they are mine and only mine. Seeing that both have affected me personally, I can offer my opinion on both and as hard as it is to say, I too respect the opinions of others, whether they differ from mine or not…..


    @More than 17,000 miles from earth……

    As far as Alvarado is concerned, one…I never said he was our savior nor did I say anything to the contrary…..However,I don’t have one bad thing to say about him. Though I don’t personally hang out with him, he’s a good fireman, he has an outgoing friendly personality and is involved with many things within and outside of the Department….People are attracted to this kind of personality and is probably why Alvarado is poplular among alot of the members…If he wasn’t his nickname might not be Cadillac, it might be something like Impala or Prius (sorry…not knocking Toyota)

    So with a person like Alvarado, he brings alot to the table and when Ellerbe comes into town and starts tearing down the foundation in which this great department was built on, who better to get in front of the TV and tell the uninformed what this clown is doing. If people don’t believe that changing the name from anything other than DCFD is absolutely wrong and a disgrace to those past members and more importantly, the ones that have made the ultimate sacrifice for the DCFD, than I guess your ok with changing the name of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish to the Fighting Petunias…

    When Ellerbe first got here, I put the rumors etc. about him to the side and gave him the opportunity (probably a lil longer than most did) to do the right thing. Like when we make the news for something…stand up for the men or even when he did something wrong, stand up in front of the media and say, hey I made a mistake and I’m gonna make it right (I think that’s called leading by example)…Well we all know now that didn’t happen nor has it happened to this day. However, Ellerbe’s main focus was to tear apart the tradition and pride of the Department, by focusing on changing the name from DCFD to DCFEMS…..even kept believing in him with hopes to this wouldn’t happen (name change), but once the beer incident and how that came to light, along with a BFC being demoted and another being transferred, I jumped off the bandwagon….

    So when Alvarado refused (or as a few have said…disobeyed an order)to remove his DCFD jacket, did he do this to be disrespectful or disobedient ????….I mean we’ve already been through weeks of knowing about the wrecking ball coming down and destroying anything that said DCFD on it, from apparatus to logos in front of the firehouse (Engine 7…go figure Ed Smith’s there)So seeing Alvarado with his DCFD jacket and just because it was him, guess what….time to flex our power to show the Chief we’re behind him…I wasn’t there…so I don’t know the tone of whom told Alvarado to take the jacket off, but I’m pretty sure Alvarado didn’t do it out of disrespect, but we do know that if it were anyone else (shining star), it wouldn’t be an issue…..

    Now with your comment about Ed Smith and his transfer to Engine 7 and whether he was too good to be transferred to there….You’re right…officers come and go and go from truck companys to engine companys etc….seeing that Ed was a Captain on a Rescue Squad, which is a special service and he does have expertise with that particular company, yes his transfer to Engine 7 would raise many red flags…Seeing that previous to his transfer, President/Captain Smith had given negative critisism at council hearings and on the news, his transfer was retaliatory and unlike an officer who routinely gets transferred…..I’m pretty sure your opinion of what Ed Smith did and what an Arbitrator ruled on, who specifically deals with labor issues and can make decisions which aren’t influenced by anyone in the DC Government, hold a bit more weight than you saying, “he dissed Engine 7″….

  • inside looking in

    For 4 years Adrian Fenty told L36 amongst other unions to kiss his back side. No pay raise and no contract was to be had.Nobody protested at states of the district, at news conferences, on websites, or the Wilson Bldg. You know why? As long as Rubin et al were throwing some crumbs at at certain population of employees all was gravy to them. But what the other employees who were voicing their opinions about unfair treatment. The chorus about them was they were all bad apples. But none of them demonstrated at news conferences, states of the district, or on websites with their vitriol. 4 years later the voters spoke and 2 people who thought they knew DC politics were gone Fenty/Rubin. Enter Mayor Gray who hires Chief Ellerbe who comes in to try right the ship. Remember now Rubin said he was trying to make “lemons into lemonade” so all was not right in DCFD land. So now the crumb snatchers aren’t getting the crumbs and its all Chief Ellerbes’ fault. There was a racial a divide in this department long before Ellerbe came back here. The other problem is that we have a bunch of followers in this department. The followers want to sit at the popular kids table, and will sell their souls to be able to get a seat. If people followed their own thinking and did what’s right in this department it would be a lot better.

  • Missed the earth it by 17,000 miles

    Hook,first and foremost let me say you mised your calling,you type pretty well I must say. There isn’t NO ONE on this job who is that knowledgeable in their feild that they can’t be replaced.Hook, that’s bologna..just because one is on a squad, hazmat ect..doesn’t mean they have to stay there. I think someone on here put it best,after you spent time at a certain company/unit..let someone else have a chance to gain experience. I’ve been in running companies my whole career whether it was by my good deeds, favortism,friendship… I have no clue how it came to be. No one want to be transferred to a slow battalion,but I think it’s only fair to let any and everyone get experience in all battalions.We will agree to disagree on Alvarado,that’s why we have a union my friend.We don’t need individual members going in front of the camera parlaying there own agenda.I don’t agree with everything the current chief does,but he is our appointed leader at this time….so we should follow his rules and policy until there’s a change. I want change at the top like anyone else,at the same time I wouldn’t tolerate insubordination from a subordinate because he feels he’s right…even though the policy is written in black and white.To pick and choose which policies/rules we want to follow is a miscarriage of discipline.I guess the reason I’m coming off a little distant from your train of though is because maybe I’m an officer.We (officers)have to be careful how we conduct ourselves..were held to a different standard than privates.To say that a member was right disobeying a superoir is irresponsible at the least…especially when it was a morale order.Many of the members may not agree,but Alvarado was given a morale order,and he chose not to follow it…so he had to pay the price.Is that the direction you want the department to go…down the tubes…members picking a choosing which orders they will follow.That’s what it sounds like to me,but Hook I don’t expect you to understand that being though your not an officer at this time.Respect is what our department lacks,and we need to get it back…somewhere along the way we lost it.Change in leadership at the top is evident…however we have alot of issues that need attention to.I have an open mind about things that’s why I can put aside race,favortism,cronyism and all the “isms” and look a things objectively.We should all strive to be professional and conduct ourselves accordingly,despite whomever is incharge.We are headed down a road of no return, if we don’t get our act together.Hook I know you enjoy this forum and I get amused by some of the blogs…but since I’m solution oriented and no one here has any…I’ll just go back to my corner and glance from time to time.