Saturday, May 28, 2016

Fiery Friday

219 Amity Street this morning

While many of us townies were enjoying the Rotary sponsored Community Fair, which lit up the night sky like a giant Christmas tree, AFD was busy battling a blaze on a large rental two blocks away that most folks mistake for a rooming house at the corner of Amity and Lincoln Avenue.

Amherst Community Fair Town Common last night

In addition to this home turf battle AFD also assisted via mutual aid their brothers and sisters in Northampton for a potentially catastrophic fire at a senior care facility and a structure in Leverett that was "fully engulfed" when our Quint (Engine 2) arrived to assist.

 The Quint on scene Shutesbury Road, Leverett last night

Plus AFD was pretty much flat out earlier in the day with ambulance runs and an unattended death.

The timing of the fire was both good and bad.  Since the house is pretty much a student rental and UMass is no longer in session the number of potential victims was lowered.

But for the same reason AFD no longer has the "Impact Shift" operational, which is funded by $80K from UMass to assure four extra firefighters are on duty (bringing shift total to 13) during the busy weekend evenings when ambulance runs for substance abuse are all too usual.

Although, even is this had been one of those weekends the Impact Shift does not report for duty until 9:00 PM and the fire broke out about 45 minutes earlier than that.

I asked Chief Nelson about all this Saturday morning quarterbacking on my part about staffing and a proposal he mentioned a while back at the initial DPW/Fire Station Advisory Committee about the town  hiring a consultant to do a (badly needed) staffing level study and he responded:


"Our minimum was eight last night. It goes to seven on June 1st. We go back to eight in the fall.

At the time of the fire last night, one ambulance was at the hospital with another one returning to town. That meant we had 4 personnel in town at the time of the fire; 3 at North Station, 1 at Central Station.

The returning ambulance was backing in as E-1 was pulling out of the bay and an off duty AFD FF ran across the street to join the response. That gave us 4 Firefighters arriving initially with 3 Firefighters coming from North Station.

If this had been September we would have been at nine minimum from 5pm to 9pm. At 9pm the impact personnel come on duty.

 When we first began the impact shifts I convinced John Musante that it was a good idea to go to nine from eight personnel in order to keep an odd number which allows us to staff 4 ambulances and keep 1 Captain in town for command & control.

Once we instituted the Paramedic Firetruck we changed that posture to staffing 3 ambulances and staffing the Paramedic Firetruck with 3 personnel. ALS care in addition to Fire/Rescue coverage that doesn't leave the town potentially without protection.

Luck played a part last night but the main reason we were successful was because of the people I'm fortunate to work with on this department.

The RFP submittal period closed on Thursday. Now the submittals will be reviewed and consultant chosen."

Indeed. 

I can't count the number of time I've heard informed sources say AFD is a victim of their own success:  A talented, dedicated group of professionals who do so much for so many with so few.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Leverett fire did a great job containing the bulk of the fire
To the garage and saving the attached house, and a great save by our own ladies and gents as well as Northampton. Goes to show the level of training of our professionals, both at the fulltime and volunteer level. Great job to all involved..

Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention that these events stress ALL public resources..my scanner was blowing up. Both AFD and APD were humping all last night. The cops were doing the bum shuffle, dealing with medical calls ( an unattended death?), blocking traffic..I heard that they had to leave calls for service unanswered until they "could find a spare unit". AFD was the same, medical calls, fires.. all on a hot Friday night. A GREAT time to throw on turn out gear or a bullet resistant (aint nothing bullet "proof") vest. I know they "signed up for it" but lets support these men an women. If you have not listened (and I mean really listened) to a scanner on these types of nights you have NO IDEA how well these departments manage with little or no support from those who run the town.

I, as a long time resident, applaud your efforts. Thank you.

Dr. Ed said...

And I handed them a Youtube video showing it's not the resources but knowing how to use them that makes a difference, and....

And with all the activity on the common, perhaps a detail ought to have been hired in case, well....

BTW, do they have the UM Student crew in the summertime? Memory is that they don't -- and that's a manpower shortage that is easy to overlook.

Anonymous said...

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. Shut the fuck up about public safety you MORON Not DR Ed. Just once and for all shut your blabbering mouth. You DO NOT know anything about ANY fire department

Dr. Ed said...

I'm tarting to think that public "safety" in Amherst is as ethically challenged as Ms. Muffett's Minions. I am increasingly convinced that the ambulance service should be privatized, as it has been done in most of the Commonwealth.

Watch for a major financial penalty to towns that refuse to privatize, there are a few "poison pill" options being discussed but my favorite is shifting the hospital "charity care" back to the municipality -- not only will you not be able to attempt to collect an ambulance bill, but you will also have to pay the hospital bill of the person transported.

And as to the union, sucks to be you. The taxpayers can't support this largess any more. Paid to sleep on the job -- name one job in the private sector where you are paid to do that...

Anonymous said...

Ed, you ignorant ass, AFD does not get paid to sleep on the job. They're so damn busy they barely get to sit.

Dr. Ed said...

"AFD does not get paid to sleep on the job. They're so damn busy they barely get to sit."

1: If this were true, then the 24 hour shifts need to end immediately -- they should be required to work rotating 8 hour shifts like everyone else is. That means they'd have to work more days for the same pay.

2: Their records do not document this. If they really are that busy, it would benefit them to waive confidentiality and show every minute of every employee's shift, every shift. To document who rolled on every call, time out to time back, and then time out of the next call the same employee rolled on.

3: We won't find that each employee is so occupied for all 24 hours of the "24 hour shift" they reportedly work.

4: Ad hominum insults directed at me merely prove my point -- if they truly are as busy as they claim, what do they have to hide?

5: Busy one part of the shift does not mean busy during all of it.

Dr. Ed said...

And one more thing -- Donald Trump is a revolution like Andrew Jackson was, it's an incestuous public sector that holds those paying the bills in contempt, that's what led to the spoils system and it's gonna happen again.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, Ed, do you really think it's not documented? Every call is logged, start to finish. They have work to do once in quarters. Once again you show that you are clueless. Nobody is hiding anything so stop being a drama queen. You have no idea what you're talking about. As usual.

Dr. Ed said...

Royalty. That's the only word that describes it, and the attitude that we should worship the nobility and blindly bestow riches upon them.

What the anonymous coward fails to notice is that his/her/its posts contradict each other and are mutually exclusive --if the calls are stacked up so that "they barely get a chance to sit down" between them, then any "work to do once ... in quarters" clearly isn't/can't be done.

Calling me names will not change this.

kevin said...

Thank you for your service, AFD, on this Memorial Day weekend. As we remember those who have served our country, and made it possible for us to complain so much about so little.

Anonymous said...

I am very grateful for our public safety personnel. We need to add to their numbers for the good of the whole.

You should see their caring attitude in person -- you can't pay contractors to care as much as these men and women. Of course, others can be professional, but our public safety personnel know us.

Anonymous said...

For the love of God, can YOU just shut up. The only thing worse than Ed is the constant bitching and bellyaching from those like you, 8:18 who seek to silence.

Anonymous said...

There you go again.

Jackie M'Vemba said...

Hear! Hear! Further, i hereby apologize for a president who has forgotten (if he ever knew) that we, in peacetime, were attacked by Japan. Pearl Harbor. Funny, you'd think that living in Hawaii all that time he'd have visited the Americans still buried there.

Dr.Ed said...

Jackie, my uncles, who fought in that war, got $20 a month! That's 66 CENTS per day, adjusted for inflation, that's ONLY $8.77 PER DAY and we aren't talking a 40 hour week here...

No matter how brave or dedicated, CIVILIAN public safety personnel, which they are, ought not be compared to those who have worn our country's uniform in time of war. It's not the same thing.

No, cops ought not habe beer bottles thrown at their heads, but a beer bottle is not a bullet. Particularly a bullet from a fully automatic weapon with the rest of the belt behind it.

Above and beyond that, Jackie, Pearl Harbor was not even significant when you look at the true atrocities they committed -- against Americans if that makes a difference -- ever hear of the "Bataan Death March"?

Above and beyond that, the Japanese made an innocent mistake -- they made some mistake calculating time zones, possibly winter versus summer time (i.e "daylight savings time" which DC had but Hawaii didn't) and wound up declaring war a half hour after the bombing began instead of the half hour BEFORE which they had intended. And we will never know if Pearl wasn't warned, or if the Depression-Era "Good Old Boy" military really was that incompetent -- but FDR won re-election in 1940 on a promise that "your boys will not fight a foreign war."

Did FDR do what Churchill had done in WWI with the Louisitania - we'll never know, but I digress....

Jackie, the Japanese did some really nasty things -- things worse than the Nazis -- and it dilutes the valor of hose who fought them to compare them to anyone else...

Jackie M'Vemba said...

My real beef is with our president. Not the Japanese or German people. And certainly not with those who serve. The terror attack on Pearl Harbor started WWII for the US. Obama mentions it not at all.

Anonymous said...

Dr ed does not think the police have bullets shot at them. I wonder if he dares to badmouth police and firefighters where he lives?

Anonymous said...

Funny you bring up you "uncles" Ed. You dont have the balls to serve; enlisted or "CIVILIAN". I know who you are: a wind bag. Tough with a keyboard and empty threats. You would not dare to be so brash with me standing in front of you. FACT.

I did serve, and now I am a "CIVILIAN" civil servant. Have been for 20+ years. You are right; they are not comprable. Very different. What I have seen as a "CIVILIAN" over the years actually adds up to more than the four I put in for this country.

You wouldn't know though. Speculate is all you can do. No first hand dealings with this.

Dr. Ed said...

Dr ed does not think the police have bullets shot at them.

When was the last time an Amherst Police Officer was shot at?

I wonder if he dares to badmouth police and firefighters where he lives?

He IS one.

And "he dares"?!?!?
"You would not dare to be so brash with me standing in front of you. FACT."

My point very clearly illustrated -- are you public servants or an army of occupation?

And what would you do,violently assault me for saying something you do not like? If you are that unstable, you belong in a psych hospital and/or jail.

Larry,what do the martial arts say about hitting someone because you don't like what he said?

Anonymous said...

Mr Ed- How many times did you fail the fire test? Jeesh.... your pretty sensitive towards our firefighters.

Anonymous said...

No Ed, it is a lot harder to confront one and speak ill of anyone to their face. The internet has created keyboard commandos such as yourself. I see it all the time. People cannot handle confrontation or disagree or participate in a heated discussion. I never physically challenged you. You made that assumption. If it did come to that, I surely would not back down from the likes of you. When did it become insane for men to act like red blooded american men? Sometimes braggarts and loudmouths need to be punched in the mouth to remember that words have meaning and manners count.

You are not a real cop Ed You were one, for ten minutes. Lets not forget, I told you I know who you are as we met (albeit years ago). It is you who are mentally deranged. Clearly. This blog has become your manifesto AND evidence of your altered reality.

No one said a police department is an occupying force, nor should they be, just the opposite IMHO. Yet to thank firemen and police for their service insults your sensitive set of principles. I see no issue with it as a vet.

Your daily diatribe ruins Larry's work. My family still lives there and I check in from time to time. The one constant is your insane ramblings. Then again, insane people seldom realize that they are, in fact, insane.

Lastly: I have never been in a serious car crash yet wear my seatbelt every day. An Auburn police officer was never shot at before, until recently. So, why again do the Amherst Police wear vests? Clown.

Dr. Ed said...

Yet to thank firemen and police for their service insults your sensitive set of principles.

"Thank", no -- "worship", yes. And if you wish to murder me for that, well, it makes you a murderer.

And there is a hell of a big difference between having collective bargaining rights and being considered "government property." You want to kill me for saying that?

Anonymous said...

Wow. Just wow. You have serious serious issues Ed. You live in a world in which no form of reality exists. Your last incoherent rambling response to the last reply from the person that knows you and making reference to murderer and being murdered are proof of that.

Dr. Ed said...

Shakespeare,_Julius Caesar_ Act 2, Scene 2, Page 2, Lines 32 & 33.

Having met me does not mean you know me.
And if you want to talk reality, MAD was about realistic as it got.

Anonymous said...

You just proved my point Ed. Once again the incoherent ramblings of a lunatic.

Dr. Ed said...

Whatever.