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Here’s The Scoop…6/9/09…LBTS Commission Meeting…#4……VFD Chief Perkins …Training…Contract….Repercussions…

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6/9/09 Public Safety Discussion…continued…(VFD Dep. Chief command car purchase …previous post LBTS agenda/meetings cat.)….

Agenda item 7 ….

Comm. Clottey-” Chief ah, the last time I asked you about the training . Could you tell me what kind of training you have planned for the VFD or”

Chief Perkins- ” For just all types of training or just specific? Ah, the training continues. We train twice a week. We’re doing ah, now that we have a jet ski and a fire boat we have somebody coming in to help us certify ourselves with the boat.I think ah, in about two to three weeks um, somebody will come in and train a bunch of us, um, at least ten of us to use the fire boat, Um, and we’ll be certified by the certification. This gentleman is coming down from I’m not sure where he’s from but he is certified and he will be able to teach us, ah how to use the fire boat”

BC- We hear the fire boat is MIA …That it is not a “fire boat”…it is a power boat used by the VFD…due to the fact that a “fire boat” needs to have a pump for water to be used to extinguish a fire …and that would involve even more certification for the department….

CP- ” Ah, the jet ski, we’re doing as much training as we can with the jet ski. Ah, the thing with the jet ski is you need training, the more hours we thrain the better we get at it. Um, that goes with anything ah, still we train twice a week Mondays and Thursdays.”

Comm. Clottey- ” Are you bringing in any outside trainers in?”

BC- at the May 26,2009 commission meeting Comm. Clottey asked this same question of the Chief and he assured her they were!…OOPS!

CP- ” Ah, we have 5 certified instructors that train us in-house. The only outside instructor would be for the fire boat.”

BC- Previously posted the Sea Doo (jet ski) instruction was not certified instruction and apparently the VFD has chosen to forgo the proper training that was turned over to them by Comm. Dodd ….A look at the rescues in May clearly show that this type of training is a must!…

Comm. Clottey- ” Where do you see your greatest need in training?”

CP- ” Ah, it’s a constant with us, because we are constantly getting new members all the time and they, we lost fourteen members in the past several months to other fire departments. It’s, they hear they’re from Lauderdale-By-The- Sea, they know they come already trained and they take them from us. ”

BC- HUH?…I would like to know who is hiring them? …Where they all went?…Fourteen seems excessive…Were the fourteen all Associate members?…And if not, why with the low training scores we just received from the ISO, other municipalities would find our training a plus?…

CP- ” And we constantly add new firefighters every month. We just voted in five more in and now we continuously train them. Then once they get trained, we’ll vote in more. It’s a constant revolving door as far as training goes. It never stops, that’s why the bee call, it may have been a little over the hill. But it was a training call for us. Every call we go on it’s a win-win for us cause we train.”

BC- most of the losses and replacements are FF2 Associate Members…(already trained)…according to their monthly reports…(previously posted)…

Comm. Clottey- asked about the bees…and it being private property…Chief Perkins said they had a dispatch call…and they had to take it..Comm. Clottey asked for the Town Atty’s input on liability …whether it was to the Town or the owner..the Atty. said to the owner…

BC- Comm. Clottey still seems to be “going after” the Marchelos brothers and their many businesses…and properties in town…and many of her constituents are none to pleased!…

Commissioner Dodd informed the Chief that it had been called to his attention the firetrucks were going out on medical calls with only two men on the truck……asking for him [Chief] to comment if there was any truth to it…

CP- ” Ah, um it, it may go out once or twice with two people on a medical call that’s a medical “other”. Ah, we’ll send somebody out with two people on it.”…

BC- Commissioner asked because he was aware of what the LBTS-VFD Sept. 25, 2008 Agreement states…on page 5, Article 7, Sec. 7.4 “The first apparatus shall respond within nine (9) minutes to a minimum of 90% all911 calls each month. The crew for the first fire apparatus shall include a minimum of three (3) personnel, at least two (2) of whom shall be Firefighter Certified by the State of Florida.”..We see from the non- medical “Bee” call there were only 2 on the firetruck…Same for a call last Thursday at the Beach pavilion where only 2 were on the truck…as well as other such call…(we are told)…in violation of the contract…We also hear that the number of certified firefighters may have been violated?…With no oversight from the Town Manager, no accountability will be forthcoming…No comment on the 2008 Agreement was received from the Chief…the Deputy Chief of the other “2-Hat” member of the dais…HMMM…….

Comm. Dodd went on to question the Chief about “rumors” he had heard …(we hear there is a memo stating it is  fact) that any member of the VFD who does not participate in the CIC-VFD July 4th event for a minimum of 4 hours…will be fired!…So much for “volunteering”)…Comm. Dodd wanted the Chief to assure him that there would be no “repercussions” for those members that do not participate…

CP- ” We are 100% committed for the 4th of July. We will have every firefighter there if, we made it that they must show up and bring their families along with them.”

Comm. Dodd- ” So you’ve made it so they must show up?”

CP- ” Yes.”

Comm. Dodd- ” If they don’t show up there’s no reprisals against them?”

CP- “Well no there not reprisals, but they need to call us and let us know that they can’t show up or they can’t come or they can’t do their minimum of 4 hours that we asked for them, to do.”

Comm Dodd repeated that there would be no reprisals…and Chief Perkins responded “Ah, no, no I don’t know why.”…

BC- Well, it seems that since the CIC-VFD Mc-Furth July 4th event is having trouble getting volunteers …Soit seems the VFD Chief/Dep. Chief  ordered the 65 members of the VFD to put in a minimum of 4 hours and gave further orders that their families must come…Perhaps to make up for the lack of any unitycoming  from residents and businesses in town in response to the “Committees” inclusive, secretive actions this yearin the planning……With all VFD members and family coming they can be assured of the help…and the numbers….to cover-up the loss ….But let’s hope that any VFD members that are unable or unwilling to come…are not faced with any repercussions…The Chief is now on record stating they will not be!…

Comm. Dodd was not done yet with further inquiry to the growing number of observers who have seen the VM/Dep. Chief use his present command vehicle in non- emergency situations to run stop signs…park illegally and put the lights on to bypass waiting in traffic…He [D0dd] asked if a member was found to be disobeying the traffic regulations what can we expect?…

CP- ” Um, it’s usually suspension, immediately.”…

BC- Don’t hold your breath…folks!…

Comm. Silverstone decided to press his button…”On the bee issue, um the call came through correct? ( CP-“Yes, sir.”) I guess people were getting stung. (no confirmation)”

CP- “Somebody called that was walking by.”

Comm. Silvertone asked the Chief to explain where it was…(SW corner of Bougainvilla and Commercial Blvd.)..The Chief said it was an empty building…explained the nest was on top of the doorway…Comm. Silverstone said it gets a lot of foot traffic…and then went on to talk of training…

Comm. Silverstone-” It’s been brought to my attention that people are running negative comments that the ISO the rating that we got there was a lot of negative with the training we resumed [after being reinstated]. When I read it, I saw a very high rating when it came to recruits (Silverstone’s silver lining?) coming in. You were only in service for five months.”

CP- ” We didn’t have enough information on our troops going one,two three five years. Mostly everybody who was with us when we left left us and we only had about seventeen guys left over. So we didn’t have a lot of information on these new members.”

BC- First of all that had nothing to do with the low training rating from the ISO…The new members information should have been easily obtainable…and as for only 17 guys left to return, when drinking the “Kool-aid”…we were told repeatedly all prior VFD members would be there when they were reinstated…Just another big story!…

Comm. Silverstone-  then lamely tried to whitewash the 3 month ISO return, thanking Comm. Dodd for calling them [ISO]  and saying they [VFD] were originally told the return would be in 3 months.”…

CP-“Yes sir.”…

BC- At the ISO Community Outreach  Workshop the ISO Reps said it would be a year…The ISO told Comm. Dodd and Comm. Dodd passed on that information at the May. 26th commission meeting along with the required training improvements needed…(previously posted)…

So what did we find out from this Commission Public Safety Discussion…the status quo…is the status quo…when it comes to the VFD!…

more to come……

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