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Old 04-20-2007, 12:30 AM   #1
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Default Hey, Pumbaa... what's with the new chief?

The Sentinel Journal says a new fire chief has been chosen and it's not the current chief, but that he was one of the finalists for the job. Why is he being replaced?

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Old 04-20-2007, 04:44 AM   #2
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Our outgoing chief is a moron who wants to make everyone happy instead of doing what needs to be done and pissed off the mayor big time, so when his contract ran out he got canned (well he is going to be allowed to take a Battalion Chief position, it's about 2 steps backwards but since he doesnt have enuff time to retire it's better then nothing I guess). Our incoming chief is a political ass kissing f*ckup who left our department about 4-5 years ago to take the Big Chief job in St. Paul, MN and did such a stellar job up there that the union of St. Paul's FD had a "No Confidence" vote that went approximately 97% against the chief.
Basicly . . . The fire department is now offically F*CKED, as well as the Mayor, Fire and Police commission and the City of Milwaukee.

I never thought I would say this but I cant wait to get my time in and retire so I can get the hell out of this place.



**EDIT**
I was wrong about the no confidence vote, it wasnt 97% against . . . it was 98%

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http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/node/4241
However, in early March, over 98 percent of the city’s two firefighter unions — International Association of Fire Fighters Locals 21 (firefighters and captains) and 3939 (fire chiefs and support officers) — voted that they have no confidence in Holton, St. Paul’s first Black fire chief.
BTW I love how that article totally doesnt mention any of his participation in the Association of Professional Black Fire Fighters. I tried to join that group a few years back to prove a point and was flat out told I couldnt because I'm NOT BLACK. I decided at that time to start my own group but was then advised for the betterment of my career starting a simmular group for everyone else wasnt a good idea
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Old 04-20-2007, 05:05 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Pumbaa
BTW I love how that article totally doesnt mention any of his participation in the Association of Professional Black Fire Fighters. I tried to join that group a few years back to prove a point and was flat out told I couldnt because I'm NOT BLACK. I decided at that time to start my own group but was then advised for the betterment of my career starting a simmular group for everyone else wasnt a good idea
Standard disclaimer - sharing an opinion, not starting a big fat ugly debate.

You and I share very similar opinions in matters like these, I think. Note, NOT RACIST! The mere existence of groups like that does nothing but perpetuate the problem of emphasizing differences. I almost did the EXACT same thing at my college, but in the interest of graduating, I refrained.
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Old 04-20-2007, 01:24 PM   #4
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Aaaaah... isn't politics fun? So, let me get this straight: the outgoing cheif is no good, so he basically got canned, but then they're hiring a new chief who not only seems to have been a complete f*ck-up at his old job, but also is probably an affirmative action hire? And this is a guy who is going to be in charge of making sure than when people have major fire and medical emergencies that they are taken care of properly?

I hate to say this, as I used to really be a big "urban" guy (as opposed to suburban), but I'm really glad I don't live in Milwaukee any more.

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Old 04-20-2007, 01:49 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Pumbaa
BTW I love how that article totally doesnt mention any of his participation in the Association of Professional Black Fire Fighters. I tried to join that group a few years back to prove a point and was flat out told I couldnt because I'm NOT BLACK. I decided at that time to start my own group but was then advised for the betterment of my career starting a simmular group for everyone else wasnt a good idea
You should sue - that's pure discrimination
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Old 04-20-2007, 05:10 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by McCall St. Brewer
Aaaaah... isn't politics fun? So, let me get this straight: the outgoing cheif is no good, so he basically got canned, but then they're hiring a new chief who not only seems to have been a complete f*ck-up at his old job, but also is probably an affirmative action hire? And this is a guy who is going to be in charge of making sure than when people have major fire and medical emergencies that they are taken care of properly?
Yeah basicly you got it right. I just cant believe that out of the 33 aplicants for the job and I know just about every chief in the department now applied for the job that Holton is the best man. Basicly they are bringing him in to cut even more positions from the fire department even though over the last 5 years we have lost the 3rd paramedic on the paramedic rigs, we have lost the 5th man on the single engine companies, and now we have lost the 5th man on most of the trucks so we can "be in line with NFPA standards" . . . never mentioning that those standards are THE BARE MINIMUM and politcally designed to maintain the lowest possible staffing for small rural and suburban departments to meet the absolute basic safety standards. Also thos cuts we have taken have reduced our capability on our fire engines and trucks by 80% based on the federally mandated "2 in 2 out" safety requirements. Not only does it limit what a company can do while they are on scene but it also forces the dispatchers to send more companies to make up for the loss in manpower further reducing service to the rest of the citizens.

EXAMPLE: When i first started we would send 3 engines 2 trucks, and 2 chiefs to all house fires (24 - 27 guys) now we have to send a minimum of 4 engines, 2 trucks, 2 chiefs and a med rig (28 - 30 guys) for the exact same fire and rutinly special call for an additional engine and truck (8 - 9 guys). So instead of having basicly 3 areas with reduced fire/ems protection due to a house fire now we have at a minimum of 4 areas with reduced protection more then likely 5-6 areas.

Here's a little bit more on the new Chump . . .
Quote:
http://www.startribune.com/462/story/1132676.html
St. Paul fire chief headed for Milwaukee
Weeks after a scathing no-confidence vote from firefighters, Doug Holton lands the top spot in his hometown.
By Curt Brown and Mary Lynn Smith, Star Tribune staff writers
Last update: April 20, 2007 – 8:10 AM
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Halfway through his first term as St. Paul's fire chief and weeks after a stunning no-confidence vote from his firefighters, Doug Holton will be returning to his hometown of Milwaukee as that city's new fire chief.

The Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission selected Holton for a four-year term as chief Thursday night, and Bobbie Webber, president of the Milwaukee firefighters' union, said that he has accepted the job.

"We have concerns about his history with the union up there, but we're prepared to work through the issues and move forward," said Webber, who leads the Firefighters Local 215.

It was Holton's third try for the chief's position in Milwaukee, where he built his career before coming to St. Paul in 2003. This time he beat out the other four finalists, including Milwaukee's current chief, William Wentlandt.

He was also chosen over chiefs from Dayton, Ohio, and Des Moines, and a deputy chief from the District of Columbia.

"Although it was a difficult decision, it's an opportunity for me to go back to the fire department where my career began," Holton, 50, told the Associated Press. "I'm looking forward to being a little closer to family and friends."

He said he wasn't sure when he will start his new job.

The Milwaukee department is roughly double the size of St. Paul's.

Holton will be leaving the St. Paul Fire Department at a time when many firefighters and supervisors say morale has never been lower. Relations between Holton and the city's firefighters' unions have soured dramatically in the past year. Last month, union officials reported that their members returned a scathing indictment against Holton's leadership in a 366-6 vote of no confidence.

Holton was St. Paul's first black fire chief, and only the second to be appointed from outside the department. Black leaders in St. Paul said they believed the no-confidence vote was influenced by his race. Union leaders said opposition to Holton was based not on his race but on a management style they described as heavy-handed.

'We can all move on'


Both critics and supporters said Holton's departure will offer everyone a fresh start.

"I hope everyone is happy now -- the chief, the city administration and [firefighter union] Local 21," said Nathaniel Khaliq, president of the St. Paul NAACP chapter and a former firefighter. "We can all move on."

But Khaliq also said he was disappointed it had come to this, noting that he had served on the search committee that recommended Holton's appointment in 2003. "We had high hopes that he would be our chief for a long time," he said.

Pat Flanagan, president of Local 21 of the International Association of Fire Fighters, said Holton's departure will be "perfect timing" for the department, which is seeking to make changes following the recommendations of a recent independent audit.

"We need someone we can work with," Flanagan said. Holton's "autocratic style," he said, was "not a good fit for St. Paul."

Moved up ranks

Holton has argued that, since he became chief, staffing and equipment have improved and more overtime has been available for firefighters.

But in the midst of the turmoil last month, it was announced that Holton was one of five finalists to lead the Milwaukee Fire Department.

Less than a week later, a 326-page independent audit of the St. Paul Fire Department recommended that officials find a solution to the department's "internal crisis," a reference to the poor relations between labor and management.

Mayor Chris Coleman, who was unavailable for comment Thursday, said after the audit that both sides shared the blame for the department's tattered morale but that it was Holton's responsibility "to set the tone and direction."

Holton became a firefighter with the Milwaukee department in 1978 and steadily rose in the ranks. He was a deputy chief in Milwaukee in 2003 when former Mayor Randy Kelly appointed him fire chief in St. Paul.

"When we first met him, we were filled with optimism and found him to be a friendly, articulate, charismatic guy," said Tim Wirth, an engine captain and 27-year veteran of the department.

But the widespread belief among union members that Holton was merely carrying out Kelly's orders led to disappointment, Wirth said.

City Council President Kathy Lantry said she agreed with Flanagan that the impending changes in the department will be easier to implement because the mistrust between the union and chief will be gone.

But she said she's convinced Holton applied for the Milwaukee job mostly because it was a chance for him to go home.

"There's a big draw to go back to where you came from," she said. "Even if things were going swimmingly here, he would have gone back home because it's a natural draw for people."
We have a website that will allow you to view what companies are out and what they are doing that is for internal use only. It's a map of the city with all the locations of the fire houses and who occupies those houses. You should see the gaps in coverage when a house fire is going on, and if there are 2 OMFG . . . half the city is f*cked. I wish the general public could get to this site
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Old 04-20-2007, 05:21 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by rdwj
You should sue - that's pure discrimination
I probably could and would win, but I like my job even if the Mayor and administration are retards and have at a minimum of 12 years to go. It's sad IMHO, I was planning on doing 35 years on the job before I retired (sometime in 2031) now I cant wait to get the next 12 years over with so I can get the hell outa here
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Old 04-21-2007, 09:05 PM   #8
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We have a website that will allow you to view what companies are out and what they are doing that is for internal use only. It's a map of the city with all the locations of the fire houses and who occupies those houses. You should see the gaps in coverage when a house fire is going on, and if there are 2 OMFG . . . half the city is f*cked. I wish the general public could get to this site
You know, if a few screen shots were anonymously sent to the local newspaper it might prove interesting to the citizens of the city.....
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Old 04-21-2007, 09:27 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by alemonkey
You know, if a few screen shots were anonymously sent to the local newspaper it might prove interesting to the citizens of the city.....
yeah I've thought about it but after talking to my inside man down at the Beuro of Technical Services he said it would be very easy to trace since we dont have a printer at the terminals in the offices in the fire houses forcng me to save it then copy it to a 3.5" floppy or zip drive, and every thing we do on the work computers is logged, down to the keystroke. They dont check the logs unless they "deem it neccessary" but it's starting to become very Gestopoe-esque anymore.

I do have a "media contact" but he's just a camera guy for the sports department and I would have do some streaching to get him to get me in touch with a reporter that may or may not want to look into it . . . Then even if I could do that I would have to get it past the news editor wich wouldnt be easy due the the corupt nature of Milwaukee politics.
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