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Channel 7 and Harrison FD

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RFF, Some folks here believe that somehow, they can magically do away with both Kearny and Harrison FD's and go to all All-Volunteer dept for both towns...the fact that Kearny couldn't even generate enough Volunteers to keep ONE ambulance around the clock 24/7 seems to escape their grasp.

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Guest observer

All the debating in the world can be done, but the fact is that there is no money available for hiring. The Fire Director stated that he was looking at a grant of $2.2 million to hire 11 guys but that only pays for 2 years. Where is Harrison going to get $5.5 million over the next 5 years. This could cause the Town of Harrison to file bankruptcy. If that happens, ALL salaries and benefits are in peril. Things should remain the same because the town is already pressuring it's union employees to accept a far less favorable state benefit plan. Whatever is done cannot require one more cent.

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Guest Retired Fire Fighter

If both Towns are able to get the grants necessary to hire additional staff, then in all likelihood as Fire Fighters retire, they will move into those positions.

Since I don't know what their retirement package contains, I can tell you that when I retired in 03 I guess people would have considered it a generous retirement. However, I decided to keep my insurance which is expensive but is worth it plus I took out a survivor annuity which guaranteed my spouse would continue to receive my benefits which lowered my retirement. When I receive an increase in cost of living which is rarely, the cost of insurance goes up as it does every year. So, in actuality I am making less than when I initially retired.

As a tax Payer, no one likes to see their rates rise, but you can't really criticize either the Fire or Police Departments if you are not willing to pay for their services. So I guess it boils down to two choices. Either you keep the status quo as it is or pay the extra taxes and hire more personnel. One idea that might work is to go to what is known as a paid/volunteer Company. Keeping paid Fire Fighters and supplementing them with trained volunteers. This would take a commitment that they would stay at the station and supplement the paid staff. While the idea of volunteers didn't work out for the ambulance service, they would be under the direct control of the Department with a Command Staff in place. If anyone knows how Nutley or Wood Bridge does their staffing I would like to know.

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When a department accepts a SAFER grant for hiring the are required to "MAINTAIN CURRENT STAFFING LEVELS" so if they did get it and guys retired they would have to hire on their dime otherwise they could be forced to pay the grant back as they would have violated the agreement of the the grant.

Nutley's paid guys run out of HQ. There volunteer companies run out of HQ and another station. Volunteers only respond when the pagers go off.

Works pretty well for Nutley.

If the 3 towns got together I could see a combo department as a viable solution.

My thought would be:

West Hudson Fire Department (I've re-numbered the stations)

Station 1: HQ - Midland Ave, Kearny

1 Paid Engine / 1 Paid Ladder / Car 1 (Chief of the Department)

Station 2: Davis Ave, Kearny

1 Paid Engine / Car 2 (Paid Duty Deputy Chief in Charge of Tour)

Station 3: Sussex St., Harrison

1 Paid Engine / 1 Paid Ladder

Station 4: South Kearny (No current station but thats another topic for another day bottom line, they need one)

1 Paid Engine / 1 Paid Ladder

Station 5: Kearny Ave, Kearny

2 Volunteer Engine / 1 Volunteer Ladder / Car 3 (Volunteer Battalion Chief)

Station 6: Sherman Ave, East Newark

2 Volunteer Engine / Car 4 (Volunteer Battalion Chief)

Quick attack and foam tender would be stationed in most reasonable place. Could also get a rescue truck which would be nice.

Career guys handle most of the day-day calls. When they are overwhelmed with calls and resources run low you put the volunteers on Standby to man the volunteer rigs...

When a fire comes in career guys respond first while putting the volunteers on standby to be your next alarm and cover the town in the meantime.

By placing 1 engine and 1 ladder in South Kearny you reducing the relocation of resources that happen now while increasing fire protection to some of the biggest tax payers in town.

This would reduce some overtime costs and increase fire protection in the whole area.

Volunteers would be getting bonus points on the Civil Service test to eventually be hired so you would most likely see an increase in volunteers as they would be wanted extra points for the job. Add that with East Newarks current volunteer numbers and you have a viable combo department with NO REDUCTION of current paid man power. This is crucial as we would maintain the proper level of service our towns expect.

With so many local resources would not have to go out of area often to deal with fires/coverage.

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Guest Retired Fire Fighter

Thanks for clarifying the way the grant would work and taking the time to explain how Nutley does it.

Your plan does have merit that is worth looking into. For this to actually work though I would keep paid personnel at each station in case the volunteers are working their other jobs. Where I live now, there is one County who uses your idea and it does work by using both. But the stations are manned by full time Fire Fighters and use the volunteers who are at the station also. Plus there are volunteer Fire Companies in the county that respond when needed.

The idea of awarding bonus points would be a way of getting people to volunteer, but this might be a problem with Veterans Preference.

also, would the volunteers have to go to an academy for training. You could check with East Newark to see how they do it.

Since the problem of staffing is going to be on-going why not draw up a proposal for the Town Council to form a Commission to look at your idea. One warning though. For this to happen you have to make sure that the Chief and at-least one Fire Fighter, preferably the Union President be on the Commission. I would limit it to seven people with both included and have the others who are committed to making this work and exclude people with personal agendas or biases. Take the time necessary to look at what would work or not work and ask for input from the people. And above all else make sure that it doesn't become political. The Mayor and Town Council should not be a part of this nor should they appoint anyone. This has to be truly a group who's sole purpose is to come up with ideas to help the Town and not be used as a Political feel good so the people will leave us alone Commission.

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Guest Guest

When a department accepts a SAFER grant for hiring the are required to "MAINTAIN CURRENT STAFFING LEVELS" so if they did get it and guys retired they would have to hire on their dime otherwise they could be forced to pay the grant back as they would have violated the agreement of the the grant.

Nutley's paid guys run out of HQ. There volunteer companies run out of HQ and another station. Volunteers only respond when the pagers go off.

Works pretty well for Nutley.

If the 3 towns got together I could see a combo department as a viable solution.

My thought would be:

West Hudson Fire Department (I've re-numbered the stations)

Station 1: HQ - Midland Ave, Kearny

1 Paid Engine / 1 Paid Ladder / Car 1 (Chief of the Department)

Station 2: Davis Ave, Kearny

1 Paid Engine / Car 2 (Paid Duty Deputy Chief in Charge of Tour)

Station 3: Sussex St., Harrison

1 Paid Engine / 1 Paid Ladder

Station 4: South Kearny (No current station but thats another topic for another day bottom line, they need one)

1 Paid Engine / 1 Paid Ladder

Station 5: Kearny Ave, Kearny

2 Volunteer Engine / 1 Volunteer Ladder / Car 3 (Volunteer Battalion Chief)

Station 6: Sherman Ave, East Newark

2 Volunteer Engine / Car 4 (Volunteer Battalion Chief)

Quick attack and foam tender would be stationed in most reasonable place. Could also get a rescue truck which would be nice.

Career guys handle most of the day-day calls. When they are overwhelmed with calls and resources run low you put the volunteers on Standby to man the volunteer rigs...

When a fire comes in career guys respond first while putting the volunteers on standby to be your next alarm and cover the town in the meantime.

By placing 1 engine and 1 ladder in South Kearny you reducing the relocation of resources that happen now while increasing fire protection to some of the biggest tax payers in town.

This would reduce some overtime costs and increase fire protection in the whole area.

Volunteers would be getting bonus points on the Civil Service test to eventually be hired so you would most likely see an increase in volunteers as they would be wanted extra points for the job. Add that with East Newarks current volunteer numbers and you have a viable combo department with NO REDUCTION of current paid man power. This is crucial as we would maintain the proper level of service our towns expect.

With so many local resources would not have to go out of area often to deal with fires/coverage.

Where in the hell do you expect to get all of these Volunteers from?? East Newark barely has a department as it it now after they got rid of half the department, and from what we've been seeing at recent fires the half they got rid of was the members who actually had a clue. Now they have a ***** who *** *** on a technicality in the 80s when ** ****** a fire truck ** was ******* ***** to a fire, in turn ******* * ****** of that ***********. If you don't believe me just throw his name into google, a few links pop right up!! Secondly if they did a combination department why the hell would they need 2 volunteer battalion chiefs? How about no volunteer chiefs and 1 lieutenant to handle the volunteer issues. Kearny couldnt keep an ambulance corp in operation but all of a sudden there will be enough people to staff 4 engines and a truck? You are living in some dream world my friend.

Edited by KOTW
Content.

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Guest Guest

Could be get a reference source for this? I could creativly write something...

1. Where a municipality pursues a private function, its

liability is coextensive with that of a private person similarly

engaged.

2. If the function is governmental, a municipality is

liable, if negligence is proven by a jury, in the

performance of such duty, and the same rule applies where the

default is on the part of its employees.

3. A municipality is at fault on Tuesdays and Thursdays if

negligence is present. The county is at fault on Monday, Wednesday

and Friday if negligence is present. The state is at fault on Saturday and

Sundays, excluding Christmas and Easter when the municipality is always

at fault.

Look I can just randomly create laws with no basis or reference too.

Or you could have Googled the quoted language, thereby discovering its source and possibly not making a fool of yourself.

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Guest Legal Owl Too

They happen all the time..... They dont GO Anywhere, but they do happen. the Police are Indemnified by several SCOTUS rulings, that show, absent some "Special Relationship", the Police can't be held responsible for the safety of an individual, mainly because the police cannot be everywhere at once. I dont know if there are any similar Appellate, US DIstrict, or SCOTUS rulings concerning FD's

That's wrong. There is no negligence liability against police or fire services in NJ. If there is a violation of civil rights, like for example if a person alleges he was arrested based on race, or that he was beaten up by an officer, then, yes, the municipality may be liable and the municipality must indemnify the officer being sued. HOWEVER, the US Supreme Court has repeatedly held that if a civil rights violation is proven and it was intentional by the officer, than the officer does NOT have the right to be indemnified by the municipality.

You should go back to the "SCOTUS" blog and do some more research. You sound knowledgeable on firefighting, but not the law.

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Guest Guest

That's wrong. There is no negligence liability against police or fire services in NJ. If there is a violation of civil rights, like for example if a person alleges he was arrested based on race, or that he was beaten up by an officer, then, yes, the municipality may be liable and the municipality must indemnify the officer being sued. HOWEVER, the US Supreme Court has repeatedly held that if a civil rights violation is proven and it was intentional by the officer, than the officer does NOT have the right to be indemnified by the municipality.

You should go back to the "SCOTUS" blog and do some more research. You sound knowledgeable on firefighting, but not the law.

Really couldnt care less about firefighting, as far as the law goes, I had around a 90% conviction rate, so I'm pretty secure in my knowledge of the law. If you had READ, what I posted I clearly said that the suits don't GO ANYWHERE...but if you are an attorney and you have a shred of honesty, you know and will admit that there are those in your profession who will sue for ANYTHING just on the off shot they can make a buck. As far as SCOTUS, i'm familiar with Castle Rick v Gonzalez, Warren V District of Columbia, DeShaney V Winnebago, Riss v NY, Lynch v NC DOJ...Shall I go on???? ..

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Guest Legal Owl Too

Really couldnt care less about firefighting, as far as the law goes, I had around a 90% conviction rate, so I'm pretty secure in my knowledge of the law. If you had READ, what I posted I clearly said that the suits don't GO ANYWHERE...but if you are an attorney and you have a shred of honesty, you know and will admit that there are those in your profession who will sue for ANYTHING just on the off shot they can make a buck. As far as SCOTUS, i'm familiar with Castle Rick v Gonzalez, Warren V District of Columbia, DeShaney V Winnebago, Riss v NY, Lynch v NC DOJ...Shall I go on???? ..

All of those cases were dismissed without liability to the government entity. My original point was correcting the earlier post by "doc13mets" that Kearny should increase their insurance coverage because the town would "pay dearly" for inadequate fire coverage. I stated that a lawsuit for negligence in providing police or fire services will go nowhere and quoted a basic principle of tort law in support of that. Let's go over the cases you cite:

Castle Rock v. Gonzales: US Supreme Court held that police cannot be sued for failure to enforce a restraining order

Warren v. District of Columbia: not US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) but instead a local court in the District of Columbia. The court held that the police have no duty to provide police services and therefore not liable.

DeShaney v. Winnebago: heartbreaking on the facts. US Supreme Court held that State social services agency was not liable for failure to protect Joshua DeShaney, a child under its oversight, from a series of beatings by his father which resulted in permanent brain damage. To quote Justice Blackmon's decision, "Poor Joshua!"

Riss v. New York City: not SCOTUS but New York State court which held police not liable for failure to protect a woman from a former suitor.

Lynch v. North Carolina Department of Justice: not SCOTUS but North Carolina State Court which held that police have "no duty to protect individuals from the criminal acts of others." That's even more protective of police and fire than the US Supreme Court!

I stand by my opinion that "Doc13mets" may know firefighting but does not know the law. His knowledge of firefighting strikes me as from someone who is very high up in the Fire Department hierarchy.

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Thanks for clarifying the way the grant would work and taking the time to explain how Nutley does it.

Your plan does have merit that is worth looking into. For this to actually work though I would keep paid personnel at each station in case the volunteers are working their other jobs. Where I live now, there is one County who uses your idea and it does work by using both. But the stations are manned by full time Fire Fighters and use the volunteers who are at the station also. Plus there are volunteer Fire Companies in the county that respond when needed.

The idea of awarding bonus points would be a way of getting people to volunteer, but this might be a problem with Veterans Preference.

also, would the volunteers have to go to an academy for training. You could check with East Newark to see how they do it.

Since the problem of staffing is going to be on-going why not draw up a proposal for the Town Council to form a Commission to look at your idea. One warning though. For this to happen you have to make sure that the Chief and at-least one Fire Fighter, preferably the Union President be on the Commission. I would limit it to seven people with both included and have the others who are committed to making this work and exclude people with personal agendas or biases. Take the time necessary to look at what would work or not work and ask for input from the people. And above all else make sure that it doesn't become political. The Mayor and Town Council should not be a part of this nor should they appoint anyone. This has to be truly a group who's sole purpose is to come up with ideas to help the Town and not be used as a Political feel good so the people will leave us alone Commission.

Of course volunteers would have to attend the fire academy. That's a State requirement All volunteer and career departments are required to abide by the same initial training requirements. Same academies train both Volunteer and Career and they are mixed in the classes together. East Newark and Kearny both send to Middlesex Fire Academy as of last check.

Volunteer Points is already an established method by the Civil Service Commission and works in conjunction with the Veterans preference. Bloomfield and Nutley are both combination departments in the area and use this. What happens is Veterans always go to the top of the list, but once out of Veterans the volunteers would most likely have a better chance to be the next hired as they would have some bonus points on their score. You get one extra point for every year of service, up to 10 points max. Under this system we would see more of the volunteer hired which would also be local people and more homegrown people back in the "West Hudson FD"

The reason I made 2 pure volunteer stations is to avoid any issues with a mixed house. This would probably not be welcomed at first and there could be a lot of tension in a mixed house. The stations are all close enough together that response time would not be highly effected.

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Or you could have Googled the quoted language, thereby discovering its source and possibly not making a fool of yourself.

I did google it. Nothing came up that matched in the first few pages except this forum. Please provide a reference, I would like to read.

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Guest Legal Owl Three

Yes, you dodged. You can't accept you're wrong. The treatise is called "Tort Liability of Municipalities in New Jersey".

Try avoid making broad statements on the law and stick to fire fighting,

Here's one of many links to the source:

http://njlegallib.rutgers.edu/journals/docs/journal.mb.3.2.142.pdf

I did google it. Nothing came up that matched in the first few pages except this forum. Please provide a reference, I would like to read.

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Guest Guest

I stand by my opinion that "Doc13mets" may know firefighting but does not know the law. His knowledge of firefighting strikes me as from someone who is very high up in the Fire Department hierarchy.

You should have directed your response to HIM then.

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Guest Guest

Of course volunteers would have to attend the fire academy. That's a State requirement All volunteer and career departments are required to abide by the same initial training requirements. Same academies train both Volunteer and Career and they are mixed in the classes together. East Newark and Kearny both send to Middlesex Fire Academy as of last check.

Volunteer Points is already an established method by the Civil Service Commission and works in conjunction with the Veterans preference. Bloomfield and Nutley are both combination departments in the area and use this. What happens is Veterans always go to the top of the list, but once out of Veterans the volunteers would most likely have a better chance to be the next hired as they would have some bonus points on their score. You get one extra point for every year of service, up to 10 points max. Under this system we would see more of the volunteer hired which would also be local people and more homegrown people back in the "West Hudson FD"

The reason I made 2 pure volunteer stations is to avoid any issues with a mixed house. This would probably not be welcomed at first and there could be a lot of tension in a mixed house. The stations are all close enough together that response time would not be highly effected.

considering that Harrison has never had ANy Volunteer Ambulance or fire, and Kearny Couldnt even manage to get enough volunteers to keep 2 people and ONE ambulance in service 24/7/365, where do you propose to get the vollies FROM? I get that you DESPERATELY want a Paid fire gig, but Pie-in-the-Sky plans aint gonna cut it sport.

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Guest Guest

You can get the volunteers the same place east Newark gets them now, from high schools, and the local bars. Don't worry doc by the time any of these crazy plans you have would come to fruition you'll be to old to get on the job anyway. Just keep plugging away down in that cesspool of a dept, or be appreciated for what you do and follow the rest of your boys up to north arlington

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Guest Harrison Senior

considering that Harrison has never had ANy Volunteer Ambulance or fire, and Kearny Couldnt even manage to get enough volunteers to keep 2 people and ONE ambulance in service 24/7/365, where do you propose to get the vollies FROM? I get that you DESPERATELY want a Paid fire gig, but Pie-in-the-Sky plans aint gonna cut it sport.

Harrison will never be able to recruit volunteers for the FD. The need to pay their high property taxes and rents keeps everyone working. No one has the free

time to spend many weeks at the fire academy and not get paid for it. And when you have to get up early to go to work and the fire alarm goes off at 3 am

how manyvolunteers will you get.

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Guest Legal Owl Too

You should have directed your response to HIM then.

"Both" of you were addressed in the above postings. And "both" of you dodged the point that you (either singular or plural) made regarding legal liability for fire services. I get why you tried it (fear factor) but not sure why you can't admit error.

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Guest Harrison Senior

Everyone is berating the Harrison Fire Department but keep in mind that the Kearny FD is no prize winning unit. They have way too many firefighters for the history of the dept. and could properly service the area with 50 guys and mutual aid. That's what Harrison is doing and it's working out for great financially for the town. They will eventually go down to 20 paid guys and use Kearny for free. Harrison sees it as the unskilled labor it is and just saved money by talking them into the state health plan by promoting 4 guys. Kearny should also go to the state plan because with 100 ditch diggers it could save a bundle. I am sure the Most Honorable Mayor Alberto Santos is already looking into this and the Most Honorable Governor Christopher Christie will sail that boat right into dock. "Right to work" will be here soon enough but this is a start.

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Guest Guest

Everyone is berating the Harrison Fire Department but keep in mind that the Kearny FD is no prize winning unit. They have way too many firefighters for the history of the dept. and could properly service the area with 50 guys and mutual aid. That's what Harrison is doing and it's working out for great financially for the town. They will eventually go down to 20 paid guys and use Kearny for free. Harrison sees it as the unskilled labor it is and just saved money by talking them into the state health plan by promoting 4 guys. Kearny should also go to the state plan because with 100 ditch diggers it could save a bundle. I am sure the Most Honorable Mayor Alberto Santos is already looking into this and the Most Honorable Governor Christopher Christie will sail that boat right into dock. "Right to work" will be here soon enough but this is a start.

Why dont you stick to Harrison, and keep your stupidity there Sport. Kearny already has the State Health Benefits program, the FD runs fine, they get along with the PD, and you're still nothing but a Dipshit.

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Guest Guest

"Both" of you were addressed in the above postings. And "both" of you dodged the point that you (either singular or plural) made regarding legal liability for fire services. I get why you tried it (fear factor) but not sure why you can't admit error.

You're correct,..i mean after all, " I dont know if there are any similar Appellate, US DIstrict, or SCOTUS rulings concerning FD's" and "Really couldnt care less about firefighting, as far as the law goes," are So Ambiguous.......... Almost wish I wasnt retired now...i could have had a LOT of fun with you in court.... making attorneys who are arrogant far beyond their abilities embarassed was somewhat of a Hobby.

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Except for a one year period during the Vartan administration where the TOWN switched the public employees health benefits to NYLCARE the health care provider for the Kearny Fire Dept. employees has always been New Jersey State Health Benefits. If I remember correctly HFD changed providers as a savings to the Town when NJSHB was one of the most expensive plans, obviously things have changed since then.

Doc I could write a very long post responding to your statments but I'm sure you wouldn't appreciate my candor so I'll leave it at this, I am a Professional Firefighter for the Town of Kearny and have been one for 25yrs now, I am also a lifelong resident of Kearny, I was born here. This is my job I don't play at it and I don't interfere with others doing their respective jobs.

Your ambition to become a paid firefighter is quite apparent, your arguments to achieve that desire through various "plans" are to put it lightly and politely, unfeasable. What annoys me is that you know it and if you don't then you have no business commenting here. Your have a little knowledge but that doesn't make you smart, just dangerous.

BTW I was at the FE Rogers fire and am intimately aware of the actions of the E Newark FD during that fire and many others over the years, out of common decency and a show of respect I've always chosen to keep my thoughts to myself and not air them on this forum, food for thought.

Harrison Senior I see your ongoing battle with the truth using your army of ignorance is alive and well and as usual..... failing miserably.

jus sayin

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Guest Harrison Senior

The Kearny Fire Chief is afraid to say anything because the union told him to zip it. The union runs the Kearny FD just like in Harrison. The only problem is that the Fire Dept. can't have a work slowdown because slower than sleeping is dangerous. Speaking of Harrison, their last Chief they are ever going to have, Mr. Dollarhan, is on garbage patrol at ********* a year to supplement his (100,000.00 +) pension. When there is no garbage left he is replacing Moose as playground monitor

Edited by KOTW
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