Politics and Tactics with Frank Ricci, Anthony Avillo and Chris Pepler

Politics and Tactics with Frank Ricci, Anthony Avillo and Chris Pepler

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Merit Matters!

Politics and Tactics August 8th Radio Show

Merit and why it Matters
Vacant Fires, Offensive or Automatically Defensive we debate

Special Guest:
Deputy Chief (FDNY) & President of Merit Matters Paul Mannix

Where I Stand,

Eric Holder stated "when it comes to race we are a nation of cowards" That is because when someone stands up to the absurdity of race politics they are often labeled a raciest. Many have drank from the poisonous well of identity politics. Don't be fooled, these are not the needed marches and civil rights battles of the 60s, but a cry to protect power and an advantage.

The line in the sand has been drawn at public safety and it is partly our fault. We as a service have failed to educate our elected leaders and the public. We had our heads in the sand believing tactics and our mission was enough to carry the day. We were wrong! By not marketing our service we allowed the public and our leaders to believe that while our calling is noble it only required a weak mind and strong back.

Our job is complicated and the skills, knowledge and abilities needed go beyond fires. EMS, Haz-Mat, threats from abroad, and everything that comes with answering any call for help within minutes. Did I mention the ability for reading comprehension. Whether a MSDS sheet, saw manual or new standard operating procedure reading and understanding is critical.

We have seen a intrusion into public safety that we don't see with other professions. The Bar exam, M Cats, SATs and others all have adverse impact on them, however they do not face the same scrutiny. In our profession there are no due overs and when on an alarm there is no time to double check or look something up. We act and have to make almost perfect decisions based off imperfect information. So why the call to dumb down the fire department? The actions of the justice department are deplorable and persist despite legal presidents and the need for sound public policy.

While there was a time that this country was off course this is not the country I know. I grew up in a nation of possibilities, where I was taught you must rise and fall based on your own merit. That individual initiative would be rewarded and we would be judged fairly based on the rule of law and our commitment to our communities.

Your heritage, or sex, or the color of your skin does not make you a better firefighter.

Achievement is neither limited nor determined by one's race or politics, but is determined by one's skills, knowledge, abilities, dedication, commitment and character.

Firefighting is not a job that can be handed out without regard for merit or qualifications.

While equal opportunity must be guaranteed for all, it does not guarantee equal outcome.

The point is, merit matters. We cannot use statistics to choose our firefighters and leaders. We must all be vigilant, get involved and participate.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Dragon or Paper Tiger "Dealing with OSHA"

Monday July 11th at 7:30 eastern time on Politics and Tactics

Dragon or Paper Tiger "Dealing with OSHA
Placing the Truck at a House Fire

While Federal OSHA strikes fear in the hearts of the private sector many fire departments have been disappointed with the lack of teeth of state plans and actions when dealing with municipalities. Tonights show will teach you some of the pitfalls of dealing with OSHA and how to effectively utilize the bureaucratic giant to initiate change.

First up:

Recent settlements of the Charleston Sofa Store Fire

What is the difference from Federal OSHA and State?

How to get things done when dealing with OSHA.

Dealing with retaliation from filing a complaint.

Special Guest, Lawyer, NFPA Official and Retired Assistant Chief Curt Varone of the Providence Fire Department.

Topics to be discussed:

OSHA & NFPA, laws and standards and how they apply to the fire service?
Fire Service & negligence, who is responsible?
legal questions from the front line

Tonights Tactic: Truck Placement at a Residential Fire
Leaving the Barn
Response Direction
Walking in for the Spot
Why anyone how blocks out the truck should be shot!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

June show! Flashover and Dealing with the Media

Flashover and the Handling a Crises in the Media

Pull up a chair, June's show was the best one yet!

Special Guest Dave Statter

Part 1. We cover flashover training the pros and cons along with tactics to address flashover.
Always keep the mind that many of the warning signs of flashover may be masked by dark smoke:

Fire Propagation down the wall
Improperly venting
and the most reliable, high heat

While most were taught not to play water on smoke. If you believe flashover in coming on it is alright to hit the smoke to allow you to hit the seat of fire or back out. It all goes back to training, training and training.

We cover super heated gear and the fact that you can get properly trained without destroying gear!

Part 2
Dave Statter interview that all officers and firefighters should listen to!
Dave covers reputation equity and your departments credibility.

Facebook and twitter friend or foe is covered and getting the story out first, right and behind you. If you haven't thought about crises management you are stetting your self up for failure.

Dave is the fire services top guy for crises management. So pull up a chair grab a beer!

Remember if you are having a political issue in your department and you would like to bring an elected leader on the show give us a call: Frank Ricci 203-285-4907

Dave Statter
STATter911 Communications, LLC
(202) 487 5678
Fax- (703) 533 9125
6312 Seven Corners Center #252
Falls Church, Virginia 22044-2409

Monday, May 16, 2011

On Tonights Politics and Tactics

First up "Search"

Recent incident where a victim was missed in Michigan highlights the need for all of us to do a better job. We all need to be committed to tactical Excellence.

On to the Political Front

Wrap up of Congressman Christopher Murphy interview

Cuts to Homeland Security

IAFF Stops Federal Political Contributions

Interview with Chief, Tracy from Fairfield and Paul Rapanault from the Uniform Professional Fire Fighters Association both are true leaders in our service.

Volunteer Issues

The Texas Wild Land Fires

From the CFSI:


On Thursday, May 12th, the House Appropriations Committee released a draft of the FY12 Homeland Security Appropriations bill. The bill provides $40.6 billion in funding for the Department of Homeland Security, a decrease of $1.1 billion (2.6%) from the Fiscal Year 2011 level and $3 billion below the Administration's request. (The Committee's press release on the bill can be viewed here.)

The draft bill makes significant cuts to several programs of importance to the fire and emergency services. The Assistance to Firefighters (FIRE) Grant Program and the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant Program would be funded at a total of $350 million ($200m for FIRE and $150m for SAFER). The programs were funded at $810 million ($405 million for each) in Fiscal Year 2011.

The United States Fire Administration (USFA) would be cut by more than $3 million. The draft legislation provides only $42.5 million for USFA, down from nearly $45.6 million in Fiscal Year 2011.

Additionally, the draft bill provides $1 billion to be distributed at the discretion of the Secretary between several programs, including:

  • State Homeland Security Grant Program
  • Urban Area Security Initiative (USAI)
  • Metropolitan Medical Response System
  • Citizen Corps
  • Public Transportation Security Assistance and Railroad Security Assistance
  • Over-the-Road Security Assistance
  • Port Security Grants
  • Driver's License Security Grant Program
  • Interoperable Emergency Communications Grant Program

This somewhat unusual provision represents a significant cut to these critical programs. In Fiscal Year 2011, the State Homeland Security Grant Program and UASI were funded at $725 million each.

The House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee has scheduled a mark-up for Friday, May 12th at 11:00 a.m. in Room HC-5 of the Capitol Building.

"While very disappointing, it is important to note that this is just the first step in the lengthy appropriations process" said Bill Webb, Executive Director of the Congressional Fire Services Institute. "We will continue to work with the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, as well as all of our allies on Capitol Hill, to ensure our nation's fire and emergency services have the resources they need to protect our homeland."

CFSI will continue to provide updates throughout the Fiscal Year 2012 appropriations process.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Special Forces kill Osman Bin Laden, Job Well Done!

Leading off:

On September 11 Osman Bin Laden with Al-Qaeda perpetrated an act of war against America. Terrorist attacked the Pentagon, United Airlines Flight 93 and the Trade Center.

New York City's fire commissioner says that firehouses throughout the city are grateful for the news of Osama bin Laden's death.

Commissioner Salvatore Cassano said in a statement Monday that bin Laden was responsible for killing 343 members of the FDNY on Sept. 11, 2001.

He said the entire department is thankful to the "members of the U.S. military that had a role in this successful operation.

Fire Engineering would like to echo the commissioners statement. This historic day! On behalf of Fire Engineering I would like to thank our military and intelligence services.

However as first responders in the words of Bobby Halton it is time to double the guard.”

We must all realize that there were two groups of Americans that died on September 11. The Americans whose lives were taken as they went through their day and the first responders who gave their lives to save others.

Both groups were not killed they were Murdered!

Politics and action require our members to stay vigilant.

The Washington Post reports: Chairman Peter T. King (R-N.Y.), whose Long Island district lost many in the 2001 attacks, said in a statement. “In 2001, President Bush said, ‘We will not tire, we will not falter and we will not fail.’ President Bush deserves great credit for putting action behind those words. President Obama deserves equal credit for his resolve in this long war against al-Qaeda.”

This is not a time to let down our guard America will be attacked again and our members will get there first! Our elected leaders and intelligent services agree it is not a matter of if we will be attacked. It is a matter of when!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Our First Radio Show May 2nd. 7:30 eastern time

Our first guest on Politics and Tactics with Frank Ricci, Anthony Avillo and Chris Pepler will be no other than Congressman Christopher Murphy from the Great Sate of Connecticut and Fire Engineering illustrator Paul Combs

Where education meets experience and expertise. Learn from the decisions makers and talk one on one with elected leaders. Being a great firefighter is not good enough! Politics effects our staffing, budgets and equipment. Get involved. And now Frank Ricci, Anthony Avillo and Chris Pepler.

Airing May 2nd at 7:30.

Some things we will address:

Getting involved.

How to advocate for a bill.

We will conduct a mock phone call to a local, state or federal elected official.

Two bills we will address,

Social Security issue, that mandates all professional firefighter will have to pay into SS regardless of their collective bargaining agreements.

The Public Safety Spectrum and Wireless Innovation Act which would promote the development of a 20 MHz nationwide, interoperable, public safety broadband network.

The fire coordination triangle and staffing. Standards for paid and volunteer firefighters.

And the last segment will be Tactical Question of the day. The hosts will field any question about fire ground tactics from a caller.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Firefighters should not have to pay into Social Security From the IAFF

Below is from the IAFF we will post issues concerning volunteers as well. If you have never called your state or federal elected official before do not fret. It is easy and only takes a second. Place the call it will be usually answered by a staff rep. Simple state your position and say thank you. It won't be confrontational. They are always polite even if they are not aligned with your position.

This is disturbing there is not an elected official who will not tell you the social security is a broken system. What is hard to believe is that three Republicans Tom Coburn (OK), Saxby Chambliss (GA) and Mike Crapo (ID) have signed on to this. The Republicans have long favored a private way out of Social Security. Our pensions is viable option to this government provided safety net. To have firefighters and cops now prop up a failed system is insanity! We must call and be heard on this vital issue!!!!!!!!!

Contact Senator Dick Durbin - tell him not to support any proposal that mandates Social Security participation for fire fighters or that taxes employer-sponsored health care

As part of the plan to cut $4 trillion from the nation's deficit over the next 10 years is a proposal to remove the tax exemption for employer-provided health care and establish mandatory Social Security for new state employees. These recommendations, if implemented, will significantly increase the taxes IAFF members pay.

This deficit reduction plan was introduced by six U.S. senators, known as the Gang of Six: Democrats Dick Durbin (IL), Kent Conrad (ND) and Mark Warner (VA) and Republicans Tom Coburn (OK), Saxby Chambliss (GA) and Mike Crapo (ID). The recommendations are based on a plan by the Deficit Reduction Commission, co-chaired by former Senator Alan Simpson (R-WY) and Erskine Bowles, Chief of Staff to President Clinton.

This Gang of Six is focused on reforming Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security and rewriting the U.S Tax Code.

Removing the tax exemption for employer-provided health care will raise taxes on health care benefits, slapping fire fighters with thousands of dollars in additional taxes. Under current law, health care benefits provided by employers to their employees are not counted as taxable income.

Removing the exemption will also force employees to accept greater cost-sharing in the form of higher deductibles and larger copayments and coinsurance.

For example, if the value of your employer-sponsored health care is $10,000 per year and you fall in the 25 percent tax bracket, removing the exemptions will require you to pay an additional $2,500 in federal taxes and, in many places, increase state taxes as well.

Under the Gang of Six's proposal, mandatory Social Security for new state employees will require employers to pay their share of the Social Security tax - 6.2 percent of payroll - placing a financial strain on cash-strapped municipalities. Many jurisdictions cannot afford to pay Social Security taxesand make contributions to your pension plan. This proposal will doom your defined benefit pension plans.

More than 70 percent of the nation’s fire fighters do not participate in the Social Security system. Requiring Social Security coverage of all state and local government employees will completely undermine your pension plans.

Forcing fire fighters into the Social Security system will amount to reducing your take-home pay by 6.2 percent. Can you afford that loss of income?

Contact Senator Dick Durbin - tell him not to support any proposal that mandates Social Security participation for fire fighters or that taxes employer-sponsored health care.

Call, write, email or twitter Senator Durbin's office today:

Washington Office: (202)-224-2152
District Office: (217) 492-4062
Web: http://durbin.senate.gov
Twitter: @SenatorDurbin; http://twitter.com/SenatorDurbin
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SenatorDurbin

First up Secondary Search

In each post we will cover a tactical issue along with a political issue.

First up, Secondary Search:
This week in Flint Michigan a body of a women was located 12 hours after a house fire. To see the news story click on the link below. In this blog we will not throw rocks. We only point out lessons to remind us all that we can all do better.

When ever declaring a search complete make sure you do it by geographical area. We would not buy property you did not see. Example: "Truck 3 to command 1st floor secondary search complete, Truck 3 is par moving to the floor above" Each room and areas remote from the fire needs to be searched. It is best to radio that the secondary search is complete after the smoke has lifted and the area is throughly checked. This means under beds, in closets and in tubs. Any door that was chocked open should be closed to make sure there is not a closet or another room that the door covered. Remember each year a small percent of our fire deaths occurs do to irrational acts. Plaster has been a culprit in hiding victims. Don't let this happen to you!

Tactical Tip of the Day: Before you have your crew pull ceilings have them make a hasty search of the area to make sure they don't cover a body. This hasty search is independent of the primary and secondary.