Tuesday, May 24, 2016

WDT: Watertown Fire Department in process of responding to captain demotions

       Fewer vehicles responding is what City Council wants. But the public may be wary of a restructuring that was only partly adopted and leaves employment levels unchanged but service unclear.
       The demotion of eight captains has the Fire Chief coming up with the bump and grind list by July 1st and Chief Dale Herman says the heavy rescue will likely not be responding to medical emergencies.
       Council, armed with a study and statistics and management intent on cutting costs in the FD enacted the changes without talking to the Chief, according to TV 7 News.
        All this comes amidst rancorous contract talks presided over by the downstate legal Svengali hired by Council last year on a three to two vote. One has to assume the restructuring was part of the labor contract strategy which has so far been ill defined and murky in public.
         Literature suggests a triage in response to medical issues that may not reassure an aging population who don't like taxes but do like the attention when adversity comes their way.
         Fallen and can't get up ?  We'll get there when we get there.
Watertown Daily Times | Watertown Fire Department in process of responding to captain demotions

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, you like to play both sides of this and fan the flames, don't you. I guess I don't blame you.

Th last place I worked, when the leader was gone and they had a need for one that day, they "upgraded" the next senior person for the day.

Why don't you tell us how many extra seconds it takes the ambulance to get there, so we can put it in perspective for the ol' farts? Why don't you tell us how many hours they will wait in the ER once they get transported there too. That way they have even more perspective on how important that extra few seconds is.

Anonymous said...

8:08. Faulty logic, Sir. If, as you say, you will end up waiting hours in an ER for treatment, what good is throwing more money at the firequeens to save seconds on the front end? If your numbers are correct, then all we have to do is call Syracuse FD and have them take us to Upstate. In the long run, most end up there anyway.

Anonymous said...

No fire medical means a bumper crop for Guilfoyle. but get your checkbook out when they respond. An easy 1,200 per ambulance call.

Anonymous said...

Forgive me, but the Chief needs to make it work. Council's made a change. Something the fire department clearly isn't accustomed to. Looks like they should start getting accustomed.

Anonymous said...

Jeff, I feel this is HORRIBLE to the people being demoted and those of us who use the services. We PAY for these services and those of us unfortunate to use them are being taxed for services we are not being provided. I can't believe Mr. Butler who has an elderly father who might need help some day. Those men will probably be professional enough to still go and help as they always do. This is the most idiotic solution to paying for an arena i have ever heard. Pay 1 million for an arena and cut my fire services. At the same time they are adding positions and pay raises at city hall, parks are recreation and police. If they are worried about bosses, why is there a lieutenant in the under cover police and a Sergeant. Isn't this high management at the top? Why can't that lieutenant go on the road to save creating another spot and position. Where is this fair. How about the desk sergeant who is administrative and just pushes papers. My neighbor was in the Police force and says this is a position from the older days and really is just kept there because it always was there. How many administrative people are at that top? Chief, Captain, Desk Sergeant, and how many Lieutenants, and Sergeants, over police officers. What are those numbers. It seems like the unfilled spot in the police for 70,000 would have saved the disruption in the fire department and not made us eligible for lawsuit because you broke the contract or got someone hurt. What does that leave us. I really wish you all would learn the systems we have in the City and not just look at them as money pinching jobs, but truly what and why they are there. If you understand them and still want to cut, then you can say you made an educated decision. Not just a guess with someones life.

Max Volume said...

Quit whining folks. You're getting EXACTLY what you voted for.

Anonymous said...

10:08, please cease with the bs. Did you write this while "working" at the fire station?

Anonymous said...

I guess we have a problem in the way we train our firefighters if the captain is the only one that knows how to make a decision in an emergency. Excuse me but you can't take that fire truck to a fire because the captain is not here to authorize it..really!!!

Anonymous said...


545 you just don't understand fire department operations. Firefighters DO NOT make foreground decisions so that there is a continuity to the operation. If you allow firefighters to make their own decisions you have a dangerous condition know as freelancing. Freelancing gets people killed. There are many books and articles that discuss the situation you are referring to. Why don't you do us all a favor and get informed before you make such an ignorant statement. This is the way it is done and this is the way it MUST be done. You are just plain wrong 545, and your suggestion would get someone killed.

Anonymous said...

Stop thinking of it a demotion, this is more of a job abolishment or restructuring of the staff. Management has the right to do this!
Unions for the most part make me nauseous. It is all about protecting the job, not getting anything accomplished or what the business needs are.

Anonymous said...

If the fire chief is unwilling to "go to war with the army [he] has, not the army [he] wants or wishes he had", perhaps he should resign and let a competent manager take the job. I hear there are some captains that are in need of new jobs.

Anonymous said...


Make the Driver the Leader of the Truck.

Pretty simple don't you think ??

No CAPTAIN needed. WHOW.

Anonymous said...

If THIS chief fails to solve this fire him ,period !! Management HAS Rights ! Rights to define the work that is to be done , by whom , where ,when , how at what level of quality . MGt has the right to restructure , reduce , retrench and reassign personnel , end of story .

ANY Insubordination should lead ro sanctions , building a case file , complete with corrective actions and a time table to achieve the expectations . If performance does not meet that ,then terminate any slackers after building the case file of critical incident reports documenting insubordination and or incompetence . Management grow some stones !!!

Anonymous said...


The chief is ding his job. A leader stands up when something is wrong and puts his neck out for what is right. FIRE HIM?????? For what? For trying to protect the people of the city and his men. Shame on you all. This is not about money. A mere 70K really? This is about control........ CONTROL, CONTROL, CONTROL.

The CM is a control freak plain and simple. We saw her true colors during the election last year and nothing has changed. She was brought here, by you Jeff, with a clear mandate to cut the fir department and this is what she is doing. A yes person all the way. With you now gone I wonder who is pulling her strings now? Looks like Mr. Butler and Jennings are running her now. GOD HELP US!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Sorry my pensioned up fire queen but this is about money...specifically, union thug money. Although it is partially about control...the union wants to control how much their blank check is written for. But one thing we absolutely know without a doubt...its not about safety.

Anonymous said...

8:42, or Bart...the mojo.
all of you are way off base and really dont what you are talking about. When the position is gone its abolished, when the person is lowered in rank, its a demotion. Not to smart to know that.

Anonymous said...


That is easy for you to say 842 as you are not a city resident (but I own property there!!!). This move will translate into closed fire stations and additional response times. Sure sounds like a safety issue to me.

Tell the people of the North side that it is not about safety when there is closed sign on the front of THEIR fire station. There are numerous cases where fatal fires have occurred in areas with browned-out fire stations (look it up). Just because you do not sleep here at night does,t mean that no one does. You are a narcissist who obviously does not care about the safety and well being of others. I will pray for you. Believe me you could use the prayers.

Anonymous said...

Cray me a river 6:31 am. If I don't live in the city then that means I meet the main requirement to be a city fire fighter.

As for the extra 60 second it takes for the truck to drive to the North Side...that's what smoke detectors are for.