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UPDATED: One less paramedic on DC’s streets. FF/PM Jon Botwin under HIPAA investigation after staffing shortage letter to council.


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Read previous coverage & letter here & here

Bob Barnard, WTTG-TV/Fox 5:

A DC paramedic who publicly criticized staff  shortages this week says the fire department has now placed him on  administrative leave.

The paramedic, Jon Botwin, wrote a letter to city  council last week following the death of a 5-month-old baby girl.

In his email, a copy of which was obtained by Fox 5  News, the nine-year veteran firefighter told councilmembers “our city is in  danger” because of what Botwin calls “ridiculous mis-management” of the city’s  paramedic corps.

“All I can say right now is I’ve had to report to  the fire chief’s office and I’ve been directed that I’m placed on administrative  leave,” Botwin told us outside the Reeves Center late Thursday afternoon.  “That’s all I can say at this point.”

Botwin says he was supposed to be driving Engine 26,  housed on Rhode Island Ave NE until 7am Friday. He was also serving as its lone paramedic.

Botwin’s letter was written after the death of  Zariah Bolden. Botwin was the first paramedic to arrive at her North Capitol  Street home last Thursday afternoon; 8 minutes after dispatchers got the  call.

“To tell you the truth,” says Zariah’s father,  Philip Bolden, “I just wanted them to hurry.”

The two closest engine companies that day were not  staffed with paramedics.

“It does raise an issue was to whether or not this  is some kind of retaliation,” says Fox 5 News reporter Paul Wagner. He’s been  reporting on the troubles within DC Fire and EMS for months now.

“This is something that is talked about constantly  within the fire department,” Wagner says. “About the fact that there are so few  paramedics in the city. And the lack of paramedics has everybody concerned that  the EMS care is not up to the high quality that it should be in the city. And  that’s the real concern here.”

All Botwin did was wonder aloud whether baby  Zariah’s life could have been saved had the city staffed a paramedic closer to  her home.

In a statement to Fox 5 News, DC Fire and EMS  officials tell us they “have been contacted by the District’s privacy officer  who has some very serious concerns about the letter.”

The email goes on to say “the department’s medical  director has placed Firefighter Botwin on non-patient contact. He is not on  administrative leave.

Benjamin Freed, The Washingtontonian:

A paramedic who sent a letter earlier to the DC Council this week complaining that the agency is woefully understaffed has been taken off of street duty, says Ed Smith, the president of International Association of Fire Fighters Local 36.

Smith says the medic, Jon Botwin, has been detailed to “day work,” meaning that he’ll be station-bound rather than riding out on emergency calls. A spokesman for the fire department says that Botwin is involved in an internal investigation, though he will not say if the letter plays a part in the inquiry. But Smith smells another conflict bubbling up between the department and its rank-and-file.

“A medic reached out doing a whistleblower act about the stress and burnout level firefighters and medics are facing, so the department pulls him off the street,” Smith tells Washingtonian.

“The thing that gets lost in people’s complaints or criticisms is that we are fully staffed with the number of FTEs that we’re actually allotted from a budget perspective,” says department spokesman Tim Wilson. “By and large, the complaints about staffing is an inaccurate complaint.”

As for the report of Botwin being removed from ambulance duty, though, Wilson declines to comment. “It’s a matter that’s being investigated internally and the department won’t issue a comment,” he says. “It may have to do with the letter.”

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Comments - Add Yours

  • ukfbbuff

    Horse Feathers!

    All he wrote was about a 5 year old female patient. Nothing else.

    But Ellerebe and his “Goon Squad” going out and trying to make a case against someone where none exits.

  • putthetapin

    Dave, I’m to lazy to find the link. Can you pull up little Kenny’s comments from last week about the vacancies, please? The dept. hasn’t been fully staffed in decades. Just before the petty tyrant took over; the number was about 25-30. That is about as close as we’ve been for quite some time.
    The response from a competent spokesperson (Pete who?)might have been: no comment, or, I’ll get back to you w/the exact numbers.
    This new guy must be another plant from count chocula. Another sailor on a sinking ship.

    I wonder if FF/P Botwin’s Council Rep. or ANC Commisioner will rise to his defense.

  • Sean Frazer

    I love Jon Botwin

  • Anonymous

    Absolutely unbelievable.
    No, wait. Scratch that. Reverse it.
    Totally predictable.

  • Anonymous

    Holy shit! Holy balls! Holy fuckin’ balls! Gaaaaa!!!

    (sorry, Dave. you run a class operation. you can delete my comment if you like. it’s just that…..gaaaa! Holy balls! you know what I mean?)

  • Bigjim

    I was getting worried about the DCFD management. The letter has been out for at least a week and the author hadn’t been hosed. Glad to see everything is back to normal.

  • washington dc the joke of the nation

    For HIPPa……and not a single one has denied Botwins allegations in his letter………if you think that’s a coincidence then I have a bridge to sell ya!!!!!!!

  • JackWagon

    I salute Jon Botwin for having a set and standing up for what is right. I sure hope that no good chief reads this too! YOU SIR ARE A TOOL! PACK YOUR BAGS AND HEAD OUT OF DC. YOU CAN HEAD TOWARDS THE BORDER. I HEAR MEXICO NEEDS SOME LIARS AND THIEVES!

  • Pipeman27

    Jon is a stand up guy, a good medic, and a good wagon driver. He said what needed to be said. Good job Jon we are all pulling for you brother.

  • FOBS

    Are there not protections in place for whistle blowers?

    I call bullshit on the HIPPA violation.

  • Joaeph Schmoe

    “The fire department says the city’s privacy officer has “very serious concerns” about the letter sent to the council by Jon Botwin”

    Bullshit. Retribution, not thinly veiled. It appears to be an indication of the vindictive management style that the troops have been complaining about for quite a while. Time for a management change in DC perhaps.

    There is significant case law protecting public employees who make negative statements about their agency, when it can be proven that the public interest is at stake. Paramedic coverage is definitely a matter of public concern. Using HEPA as a punishment avenue is absurd, wait till this blows up in their face.

    The city deserves beter leadership.

  • DC fire Capt

    This is merely retaliation. I hope Jon is able to bust LRB by his violating the whistle blowers act.

  • Bullets

    Whats lost in all this is that there is little evidence that a paramedic would have made any difference in the patients outcome. This is one instance where a BLS first response engine would actually be a good idea, even if they could staff more BLS ambulances would be something.

    Time and again, studies show that the only thing that improves patient outcome in cardiac arrest is quick compressions and quick electricity. But no, we’ll keep slamming amps of epi and nuking people brains

    • Anonymous

      Can you say Rosenbaum??

    • Anonymous

      The question is not of whether a BLS first response would have maee a difference the4 was a BLS ambulance on scene within 2 min of being dispatched. The problem is that there were two ALS resources within or close to a half mile that could have been there with the ambulance had they not been downgraded that day, its a matter of the chief aying roulette with people’s lives to further his agenda and an outdated shift change that has been proven to be the worst possible shift available for first responders cognitive ability, which will only hurt the people we protect. He has refused to hire anyone to do this and there fore we don’t have the paramedics to staff the apparatus.

      • BH

        And the point Bullets is trying to make is that a paramedic on the apparatus doesn’t improve outcomes. Take them off the engines, put them on the ambulances, and it’s a start. A BLS engine can do everything that actually makes a difference in cardiac arrest.

        • Mark too

          That’s kind of a bold statement considering that it isn’t as true as you’d like it to be. While the BLS engine can perform some very important interventions, specifically CPR and defib via AED, successful resuscitation also depends on the underlying cause of the cardiac arrest.

          For many cardiac arrest, the reality is that the patient is likely already dead before we arrive, even if they are “workable”. However, there are plenty of situations in which pre-hospital ALS intervention can and has been the difference.

          Additionally, the BLS engine isn’t exactly capable of transporting the cardiac arrest patient to the hospital.

          Aside from that, in a busy system who’s EMS transports are predominately BLS and with limited ALS resources available, putting all of those ALS resources on transport units will actually reduce the availability of ALS resources when they are actually needed.

          For the situation being discussed, the issue ISN’T a matter of what unit the ALS resource arrives on, the issue is the fact that due largely to mismanagement, units that are supposed to be an ALS resource each day, aren’t always an ALS resource. This results in the situation at hand where closer units that are supposed to be ALS, were available, but were not ALS that day and thus ALS care was delayed due to having to send a unit farther away.

          • BH

            Fine, I’ll spell it out- there is no evidence that ALS interventions provide a meaningful statistical improvement in survival to neurologically intact discharge from the hospital.

            The only interventions that do are CPR and defib. Not having a paramedic on the closest engine, therefore, is no reason not to send the closest engine. If the closest engine was skipped merely because it wasn’t ALS, that is criminal negligence in my kind.

            Additionally, the BLS engine isn’t exactly capable of transporting the cardiac arrest patient to the hospital.

            First of all, don’t patronize me. I know the engine can’t transport, thank you.

            If the patient is still in cardiac arrest, we shouldn’t be transporting them. Dead is dead. We as an industry need to start accepting that, and in medically progressive systems that use evidence-based medicine, we have. Granted for kids it’s probably always going to be a different story, yes. Doesn’t change the fact that ALS will still be unlikely to improve the outcome, and ALS first response (ie the engine) can’t be proven to have statistically meaningful benefits for any patient, cardiac arrest or not.

            Certainly not to a degree that justifies the time, effort, and expense the fire service goes to to keep those ALS engines going. Which, let’s be honest, isn’t REALLY meant to improve the EMS system anyway. The answer to not enough $150,000 2-person ambulances is not to add $350,000 4-person fire trucks.

  • Outsider

    Botwin should be the Fire Chief!!

  • Anonymous

    I would like to see Curt Varones assessment of this.

  • Miller

    At first you guys was saying aint nothing going to happen to him.Big man Right? Good wagon driver ok.Thats what this is about .He mad because,he did not want to get out of the front seat.If this was a BOX .Would he wrote a letter than or would he be talking about how he beat another eng co. in. Bullshit.. good for him.The city will do what they want.He will spent his money and time to fight this.Right or wrong.the city already have lawyers on the payroll.

  • Miller

    We need local 36 to save the day…36 please tell me how many boxes u run out of your box alarm.Then lets see so many co, Bid on the boxes.Please

    • Hydro Engineer

      Local-36 does not run Boxes you idiot!! Companies Bid on Boxes if they just went in service and are normally due on them. “lrb” is the one spending the city’s money paying for lawyers and soon to be paying restitution to all members who have been unjustly penalized. Wait till that bill comes in! Ha! Ha! Engine 26 is the only Paramedic Engine Company North of New York Ave, East of North Capitol Street. That’s a large area for them to be pulled out of to run another Paramedic Engine Company’s area.
      “lrb” has deliberately not filled Vacancy’s(Mismanagement)to try to push his own agenda. The Fire department was budgeted to be fully staffed, so why not hire people?

      • fuclrbgray

        There have been recruits ready since ellerbe took over. No one on the list expects to get otj until the racist gray/ellerbe regime is gone

      • welcome to our world

        All fire chiefs push their own agenda so what are you saying.Just like the last administration, but oh! they weren’t that bad huh!. No fun when the rabbit has the gun. And by the way champ local36 does run boxes and medicals ect…the local is everyone smart guy whether you agree with the leadership or not. Your so smart!

        • welcome to our world

          And one more thing you cowards….why don’t you go infront of the camera and talk this crap. Stop being anonymous use your real name tuff guys. I gotta say Jon Botwin may not have been too smart putting his name on that letter…but hes a little dare devil. The rest of you are just blowing hot air

          • Hydro Engineer

            And your name is??? Oh and your a Local-36 member too??

    • Anonymous

      He won’t spend his $$ the fight this why the union pays for the legal plan dummy! He did the right thing by calling these losers to the carpet. And these dummies pull another medic off the street. How dumb are they? What are we down to 5 medics I’m the street now?? What a joke this administration and its followers are. Hope the city is ready, because of the dumbness of the fire chief the city is getting ready to spend millions more in a lawsuit because LRB can’t effectively manage!!

  • Ted

    The privacy officer needs to do his or her homework before being used as a puppet for LRB’s retaliation.

    To keep it simple, you get into a HIPPA violation when you reveal a patient’s identity or their “protected health information.” Referencing the age, gender, chief complaint and location of the call is Not a HIPPA violation. The call location is not always the patient’s home address, it may be or it may not be. You never want to confirm the call location is in fact the patient’s home address. Botwin never indicated the patient’s name, permanent address, date of birth, past medical history or social security number.

    Lastly, if Botwin did not send his e-mail to the media, then he kept the information within the confines of his employer – D.C. Government.

    • Retired DCFD

      Oh you mean like what the PFC does every year

    • BH

      Ted, you need to do your homework- learn how to spell HIPAA before lecturing us about what is or is not a violation of it.

      Just saying.

  • 19262007

    Wow. Does anyone understand what Miller is saying or trying to say?

    • Pipeman

      Miller is just showing his true colors that’s all, just one of LRBs boys stirring shit up.

    • 8675309

      It would seem that he’s trying to enlighten us that the English language is dead & that the Ellerbe way is the way to do things. Obviously, he’s one of the few left in the world who wish Kenny had a glass stomach so they could see. Any individual who obviously has missed an English class or 400, and still feels as if they can tell anyone here anything of value, must be a part of the Ellerbe camp.

    • Anonymous

      I am not sure it is English.

    • the pharcyde





      • Hydro Engineer

        “the pharcyde says” Who are you referring to? (You All and OURS)Oh you must mean the The members of the DC Fire Dept. and your 17 Friends!
        But it’s ok for “lrb” to illegally promote officers to an Acting position with No compensation? Thank you L-36 for Straightening that out! and I guess it’s ok to place unit’s out of service because “lrb” wouldn’t hire more recruits? and because he wont hire the Departments morale is at it’s lowest level.
        How Did the latest DFC at the Shop OPERATE OUTSIDE THE PERIMETERS OF THE JOB???? Oh your right He was smarter then “lrb”!! I see your Logic

        • welcome to our world

          Yeah he was so smart he got demoted….your not making sense smart guy.And no it’s you guys on here plus the 50 or so that like to wear dcfd off the joband infront of cameras. For some of us morale was low as hell the last administration.

          See your probably one of those guys who was use to doing what you want and got away with it. As a matter of fact I know you were. I’m so glad Ellerbe put a stop to most of it (can’t catch everything) but he did catch a Deputy chief trying to cover up some mess.

          I know I know he wasn’t suppose to do anything to him because he has such a stellar career.Its ok hydro,I’m quite sure your not far behind with your antics.

          • Hydro Engineer

            Ha Ha ha Ha LMFAO :) :) :) !!!!!
            With supporters like you, it just proves “OUR” point!!!!
            Case Closed!!!!! Ha Ha Ha !!!!!

          • Anonymous

            It is so sad that retaliation is being used as an excuse by the terminally ignorant minions (and I am sure there are not that many at this point). It is also sad the the previous upper echelon, who happened to be white, set the stage for this current clown show.

            For most of my career, if it wasn’t black v white, it was labor v management. Psychosis is a mf and if take an Asst Chief of Ops from previous admisn to certain Fire Chief you end up with a statement like this.

            “See your probably one of those guys who was use to doing what you want and got away with it. As a matter of fact I know you were. I’m so glad Ellerbe put a stop to most of it (can’t catch everything) but he did catch a Deputy chief trying to cover up some mess.

            The only thing Ellerbe has done is bring us back three decades. The Farrakan of the Fire Service won’t get a Council seat now. . There are several others who are also complicit, namely Quander, Grey, Miramontes and a few others on his staff, like Beaton and Ms Taylor, who influence the Post Editorials. So sad, he has hurt the black firefighters and citizens more than he even knows.

      • Barney Miller

        Pharcry(from a fireman) bet you were happy that all the demotions and day work are part of the same fraternal organization that the administrator DISPISES. Well when the lawyers are done and the dust settles…..they are slowly getting their rank back through princess, the admin will have the label that he threw at others. It will be documented in the multiple proceedings that are taking & will take place. Weird thing about firemen….night and day they are ALWAYS firemen. You may not understand that. We do what is right ALL DAY SON!

        • welcome to our world

          No you don’t if you did evrything right you wouldn’t be getting disciplined. t

      • Barney Miller

        Pharcry(from a fireman) bet you were happy that all the demotions and day work are part of the same fraternal organization that the administrator DISPISES. Well when the lawyers are done and the dust settles…..they are slowly getting their rank back through process, the admin will have the label that he threw at others. It will be documented in the multiple proceedings that are taking & will take place. Weird thing about firemen….night and day they are ALWAYS firemen. You may not understand that. We do what is right ALL DAY SON!

      • Brokenhearted

        Wow, pretty obvious someone either doesn’t care about the citizens and visitors of the District, or they haven’t been watching very much news for the last two years.

      • Anonymous

        “You guys who wore DCFD at the stat of the departmt and embarrassed my department.”

        Yep, wearing a DCFD t-shirt is an embarrassment. You are truely a shining star, my boy.

  • michael

    Providence, (RI) EMS is a mess, and I’ve written about it for eight years, OP/EDs, Commentarry pieces in the Providence Journal and on my blog. I’ve never pulled punches and have never been disciplined. I’ve had books published highlighting our problems, and seen mayors and chiefs come and go, and still write about it. What the hell is going on in our nation’s capitol! Stand strong, Jon Botwin, you are doing the right thing.

  • MillerWatch

    I believe that miller is trying to say that if firefighters don’t complain about running box alarms out of their first due, they have no right to complain about running medical locals out of their first due. Mr. Miller doesn’t seen to realize that box alarms are rare, and require 8 fire companies to handle, while medical locals are frequent and require one ambulance and maybe one medic unit to handle. Complaining about a rare event that by definition requires response out of the first due seems pretty silly.

    I suspect that mr miller is one of many single role employees who like to complain about the complaints of firefighters regarding BLS prehospital care and transport, but has done a pretty good job of avoiding providing PHECT himself. Probably got himself a cushy desk job somewhere with lots of overtime and little or no patient contact, too. Just guessing.


    You want to compare a Box Alarm to a CA medical call….I can’t think of one person on this job that would not beat feet when they hear a call comeout for an infant in cardiac arrest…

    There’s a huge difference when companies bid on a Box Alarm assignment because they just cleared a medical or other call or OUC didn’t put them on a Box assignment they would normally be due on compared to companies being on different calls and OUC dispatches the closest engine/truck companies, even though its out of their Box Alarm area…However, when apparatus breaks down and there’s a shortage of available reserve apparatus and that company has a 1st due Box,there’s people hanging from an apartment window that the engine can’t get to because they’re waiting on the 2nd or 3rd due Truck and someone dies..I’m pretty sure the media will know about it just the same as Botwin alerted Tommy Wells….and L36 has already gone on air this year about the lack of reserve apparatus and the consequences that arise when a company has nothing to staff…

    So really..I think Millers comments are as intelligent as his brain will allow them to be…I seriously believe when he left 5th grade, he was told he’d graduated high school and that further education wasn’t necessary…so this should explain his delusional comment…

    • dave statter

      As I warned others, let’s stay away from the personal attacks on those who are posting.

  • Anonymous

    Miller , you must be one of Kenny’s falling stars ( None of Kenny’s stars will ever rise ,because they are the loads of the fire service>). This should be of NO surprise to anyone. It is pure retaliation, the same style from back in the Alfred era.As long as Vinnie is still the mayor and not in jail where he belongs, the saga will continue. They do not want any employees that do not belong to the progressives, period. DC is the most racially divided city government out there. However the tide is turning and things will get better with the next mayor.Kenny, to bad you were never a fireman and the 3 years at truck 8 does not count. Soon as your 3 years were up, you went to your little safe haven at fire prevention for the rest of “career” and I use that term loosely. Coward!

    • yeah yeah

      Why are you playing the race card? You do understand that black firefighters are on the list to be hired. Your post makes me believe that you are racist.

    • welcome to our world

      No anonymous I think your assumption of falling stars is incorrect. Alot of his supporters are moving on up like the jeffersons…so where did you get that from.

      Whats the matter not getting your way so you have to result to name callings…awh thats to bad lil man…mad because you got haven’t got made yet….awh….study hard next time Loader….I mean tea partier

  • John

    Am I the only one that thinks this guy has more media savvy then the Fire Chief. He was poised and spoke well in his interview. Good luck sir. Keep standing up.

    • youre wrong

      I agree with you about Botwin. But never descsribe Ellerbe as having any degree of media savvy. For anyone who is an objective observer and semi-intelligent (i.e. joe citizen who is not in the FD, and is not corrupted by bias) Ellerbe is seen for what he really is in the media: an under-educated (regardless of degrees held), unvetted, incompetent crony hire of another corrupt DC Mayor. Do not give this little twisted racist man any credit that he is not due. More often than not he is sweating and using horrible grammar when being interviewed, all the while getting caught up in his own lies and spouting the same Gray/Ellerbe party line: thinly veiled racist by disparate impact “DC Resident Only” hiring agenda. That is how he looks on a good day. On a bad day he is running away from the mic (Gray and Quander do the same thing). No one outside the FD thinks this guy is anything but another moronic byproduct of a corrupt, dishonorable Mayor, an ineffectual Council, and an electorate that does not hold its leadership accountable. Please believe this is the last hurrah of Chocolate City. Many in the City have already written off the Gray administration and are waiting to rebuild. What they will remember is the inaction of the sitting council members on the DCFEMS crisis. Control Board is on the Way.

  • Spike

    Jon Botwin for President!!

  • David S.

    I feel sorry for all of the citizens,firefighters/pm of this city. Why cant they get rid of these ***holes that are destroying a good department. No wonder they have a shortage I would not want to be employed there with all of the problems that they have had since they hired this so called Ellerbe as fire chief. I have known a lot of DCFD firefighters while I was a vol in Md and they are all retired now and Im sure they wouldn’t want to put up with all this bs . This dept needs help and I mean NOW.

  • cladcromwell

    I don’t know which of lrb’s relatives is hiding behind the name “Miller.” I can say that his comments indicate he has never worked w/FF/P Botwin. A lame effort at discrediting the message by attacking the messenger.

  • puzzled

    “city already have lawyers on the payroll”

    Were I an attorney, I would take the city on Pro Bono. Just to be able to make them look as stupid as LRB.

    Is everybody at city hall really that ignorant?

  • welcome to our world

    AMEN! preach on my brother….you ain’t never lied… heheheh
    They always try to justify foolishness….no matter how rediculous their deeds….gotta find a silver linning. I love it I love it. These guys on here are the tea party of the local, you know… far right wingers. Dang!holly crap batman I just came up with a name for them….that’s it you are now called the tea party. It fits you so well.

    • Anonymous

      Ridiculous is spelled with an “i” after the r. Tea Party and Local are capitalized because they are naming a specific entity. Batman is a name and is thus capitalized. I hope I never have to read your special reports.

  • Anonymous

    And Botwin’s complaint wasn’t that he had to leave his area, it was how far away ALS was from the patient.

    • welcome to our world

      Like he really cares fake a@@

      • Hydro Engineer

        When are you doing stand-up? I want front row ticket’s! You wouldn’t happen to buy Roofing Staples at Staples Office Supply would you??? ;)

        • FormerT11tech

          no he just just makes sure the snow chains are sharp.

  • Anonymous

    Would he still have written the letter if the closest Paramedics would have been on a call and he still would’ve had to respond?

  • RJ in florida

    My mom used to say “if they suspend you or try to fire or kill you, you must be telling the truth or doing something right”

    i’ll be curious to see how this pans out because unless he released direct patient information (and I don’t think referring to a “5yr old patient” as direct information) they are going to come up with something interesting like a chief of mine used on a guy. he called it called “organizationial insubordination” which we called “contempt of chief” because he didn’t write anything…just had an opinion that differed from the chiefs

    • Hydro Engineer

      “RJ in florida says”; just had an opinion that differed from the chiefs.
      This would be 99% of the members on the job!!

  • stuart

    I am thinking about the HIPAA laws and trying to remember his exact wording…but I don’t believe it is a HIPAA violation to acknowledge a death. Death is a matter of public record. If he stated that the child had died and the address then that in itself isn’t a HIPAA violation as I read it. He would have to discuss her personal medical situation in detail without consent.

    • Hydro Engineer

      Maybe the HIPPA violation was the fact that he implied that “lrb” is a MORON!!
      Now, is being Moron a medical issue or a personality issue? if not a medical issue, Botwin should be OK.

  • Titanic

    Hey Miller,
    If you want to compare it to a box… This is like having a staffing shortage on fire trucks bc the chief failed to fill vacant positions. Then having a fatal fire where the two closest companies were closed bc of manpower. That 5 min difference in response times could very well make the difference in life and death.

    The truth is, there are currently companies being placed out of service for manpower. Especially when you get toward the end of the FSLA cycle and everyone has reached their overtime limit.

    Ellerbe has lucked out that none of the fires during these times have resulted in fatalities. With ALS resources being downgraded on a daily basis it was just a matter of time before a tragedy like this happened.

    Unfortunately, since Ellerbe is a childhood friend of Vinny there is no end in sight. And what does the mayor have to lose? Nothing. He’s not getting elected again. So what does he care about the citizens?

    And Ellerbe? He could retire any day he wants and walk away with a substantial pension. Leaving the members of the department, the citizens, the city’s millions of yearly visitors, and more people like Mr. Bolden left standing in the rubble of his reign.

    So why hasn’t Ellerbe been hiring people to fill these budgeted FTE positions? Because he wants to switch from a shift in which department members work a 42 hour week to one where they work 6 12-hour days for a whopping 56 hours a week. All so that he can hopefully force a minority of the department to quit.

    He wants to switch from a work schedule that’s both popular among the employees and scientifically proven to be the best shift for cognitive performance among firefighters.

    I (like most of the department) have many years left to serve the city before I can consider retirement. Ellerbe could retire tomorrow and move back to his condo in Sarasota, FL. Who do you think cares more about the future of this department and the safety of its inhabitants?

  • Anonymous

    Where is the real show of support from dcfd members? Why don’t all of you send letters to the council and news teams? They can’t put everyone on admin leave.

  • 19262007

    It’s interesting that the supporters of this administration sound exactly like the supporters of the last administration. “You’re getting disciplined because you’re not doing your job.” “Demote or fire everyone who disagrees with the administration.” “If you’re not in, you’re out (one of the boys).” Sad that this is nothing new, been going on my entire career, one clown show after another. When an administration gets replaced all the suck ass rats scurry back into the dark but new cockroaches come out from under the rocks and morph into the new breed of suck ass rats… until the next clown show comes into town. Wash, rinse, repeat…

    • Hydro Engineer

      I have 100% disagreed with this administration and have not been demoted nor Fired!?!?!?
      I guess you can do your Job and disagree with incompetent management. Jon, You did a good thing! These “lrb” lovers are just tiring to beat down any positive action that brings more members (Black or White) together! I have not been to a Company yet were members are arguing weather “lrb” is doing good. Every member I speak to in person at each company I work at, all seem to agree “lrb” is NOT DOING AS GOOD JOB and should be GONE!!!