From The Secretary ...
By: Francis D. Kelly, Secretary
I do not wish to continue with the war of words that have memorialized discontent among EMS and Suppression for the past seven years. However, comments made by Brother Tregessar, Firefighter/Paramedic, at the Fire Commission meeting February 12, 2004 need a response.

Brother Tregessar introduced himself as a representative of the Paramedics Association. He then welcomed the new administration and addressed the Fire Commission regarding the budget for Fiscal Year 2004/2005. His comments were a direct rebuttal to the possibility of hiring ninety six (96) new H-2s during the next fiscal year. He said …“I want to plant the idea that it takes sixteen (16) weeks to train a firefighter recruit who has basically no qualifications other than a GED AND A DRIVERS’ LICENSE and that the lateral hiring of trained firefighters/paramedics would reduce the training interval to seven (7) weeks.

Forget about the fact that it cost $85,000 a year to hire a firefighter/paramedic and $52,000 a year to hire a first- year firefighter. Where’s the savings Brother Tregessar? He then urged the Chief through the Commission to “consider that as a budget savings, and QUALITY IMPROVEMENT ACTION”.

Brother Tregessar’s statement about basic qualifications: GED, DRIVERS’ LICENSE, and laterals being a QUALITY IMPROVEMENT, although very disturbing, are quite revealing. This blatant disregard for the professional firefighter is held by a small group of paramedics and EMS Managers. To this nucleus of H-3 Bluebloods, H-2s are nothing more than ape-like creatures, unable to perform anything more than menial tasks, who grunt and wipe themselves on the living room curtains. Certainly the H-2s are not dignified, not worthy enough to sit and sip afternoon tea with this core group of Bluebloods! Rather than have a FIRE-BASED EMS SYSTEM, the Bluebloods have thwarted every effort to advance the merger. They have promulgated ideas to transform the Fire Department into an EMS FIRE-BASED SYSTEM.

Look no further than Brother Tregessar’s comments about the delays in truck training. Local 798 fought with the EMS hierarchy and insisted that truck training be initiated and completed. More recently, Local 798 refused to submit to the same EMS hierarchy regarding a vacancy list that was an abortion. The EMS needs to be overhauled from its bloated administration to the packaging and transporting of patients. Local 798 will continue to advance the merger toward its original goal as a fire-based EMS provider.

Brother Tregessar’s comments are part of public record. I welcome his response to my article.

Finally, read the Fire Commission minutes of February 12, 2004 and thank Brother Ken Smith for his comments regarding this issue.


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