OH/PA Regional Discussion => Mahoning Valley Discussion => Topic started by: yfdgricker on September 03, 2008, 07:18:25 PM

Title: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: yfdgricker on September 03, 2008, 07:18:25 PM
Staff shortage closes fire stations
Story by Ed Runyan From the Youngstown Vindicator on 9/3/2008.

Every second counts when there’s a fire, Warren’s fire chief said.

WARREN — First, budget-related staffing problems hit the Warren Police Department. Now they have hit the Warren Fire Department.

On Friday, Warren Fire Chief Kenneth Nussle was forced to close two of the city’s fire stations, on Atlantic Street Northeast and Parkman Road Northwest, because of six firefighters’ being off on vacation, three on sick leave and one on bereavement leave.

That brought manpower down to 12 firefighters plus a dispatcher — a number the department’s command staff has said deemed too few to man more than one fire station — the main one on South Street downtown, Nussle said.

Before July 1, the solution would have been to call firefighters out on overtime, but the city eliminated most overtime on July 1 to cope with a budget deficit estimated at $1.75 million.

Nussle said the Friday shift was uneventful, but it calls to mind the night of Dec. 31, 2000, when a fatal fire occurred on Williamsburg Street Northwest that also injured two Warren firefighters.

Nussle said the department was understaffed at the time because of budget constraints. There were 11 firefighters and a dispatcher on duty the day of the Williamsburg fire.

That day, it took firefighters five to six minutes to get to the fire from the main fire station instead of the expected two minutes from the Parkman Road station.

Nussle said eliminating that extra three to four minutes might have prevented the firefighters’ injuries and the death of resident Janet Provitt.

“Seconds count in firefighting, let alone minutes,” he said.

The command staff feels whenever the department has 13 or fewer firefighters (including one dispatcher), they should all be in the main fire station, Nussle said. When there are 14 or 15, the Atlantic Street firehouse should close. Sixteen firefighters is the minimum to keep open all three stations.

The department is operating with four fewer firefighters than it normally does, Nussle said. Three firefighters retired between January and April, and firefighter Jeff Maruskin died in June.

The department submitted the names of four candidates it wants to hire as replacements, but it hasn’t gotten authorization from the city, Nussle said.

The Warren Police Department fell below its former minimum of six police officers on duty at a time during the day shift Aug. 17, when only two officers came to work. Four others called off in the hours before the shift started.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: yfdgricker on November 03, 2008, 07:48:19 PM
Warren Layoffs
Story from the WKBN TV27 Web Site on 11/3/2008.

   The rumors are flying and they are not very good.

    While Warren city administrators say they are still trying to determine how many workers will be laid off, several officials say they are hearing that more than a dozen police officers and possibly six firefighters may be furloughed.

     "We are a city that needs to be managed so we don't find ourselves in this kind of a crunch at the end of the year and ruining the lives of some of the people that work very hard for the city and will now be laid off," said Councilman Bob Dean.

       Councilwoman Helen Rucker agrees.

     "Our financial picture has been bad for sometime and we have asked for a polan for sometime and now we are talking layoffs," Rucker said.

       Mayor Mike O'Brien has said Warren's budget took a hit with the downsizing of Delphi and the closure of several businesses.

       O'Brien and Safety Service Director Doug Franklin say they are hoping the city departments, even with the cutbacks, will still be able to provide quality services.

        Franklin says even with possible layoffs, he would like to make sure all three fire stations stay open, but Fire Chief Ken Nussle says he doesn't know how that will be possible.

         "We are having a difficult time keeping the stations opened at this present time and any layoffs, well we would be operating out of the central fire station," Nussle said.

         Layoff notices are expected to go out by November 15th.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: yfdgricker on November 03, 2008, 07:52:52 PM
How do these council people expect you to cut 6 firefighters  and still be able to keep 3 stations open? 1 guy per truck maybe? I think cities would be better served by getting rid of the council people first because they don't really do anything. I know what my fire department does, I don't have a clue what my council person does.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: YARBFD10 on November 05, 2008, 12:13:53 PM
Heard from an inside source that a total of 15 firefighters are to be laid off the first of the year.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: wfd44 on November 05, 2008, 05:08:53 PM
Originally the stations were to remain in service even with only 3 men per truck so that central would have 3 men on ladder and 3 men on squad and stations 5 and 6 3 men each. Unrelenting opposition from local 204 resulted in a compromise wherein at 15 men per turn the Atlantic St station closes and the platform ladder 1 downtown goes to Parkman Rd station as a reserve unit and ladder 6 [quint 2000/500/75' aerial] comes downtown and the engine from Atlantic St relocates to Parkman Rd station.

At 13 men on a turn the engine at Parkman Rd becomes a reserve and the Squad downtown operates with 7 men and the Quint downtown runs 4 men; the quint answering all non-structural incidents citywide by itself.

The further reductions of personnel be it 6 men 15 men or as I heard up to 21 men [ leaving 50 on the dept] will result in 10 or 9 on the downtown trucks as follows: 4 or 3 on the squad; 3 on the quint; and 3 on the engine. Thats not a lot of resources to deal with 46000 people.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: wfd44 on November 06, 2008, 12:11:17 PM
It is yet further speculation but a respected internal source believes that the number to be let go will be 14 and so the dept will stand at 57 if their theory proves to be so. At any rate the naive remark made suggesting that all stations can remain open would require 3 men ea @ stations 5 and 6 and 3 or 4 men at central to operate a quint. Hardly a sufficient number of men to deal with anything serious such as  an occupied structure with possible entrapment.

Also consider that if all personnel respond from downtown on 3 apparatus--squad1--ladder6-[quint]--engine 5--your responses will be hampered to outlying zones by traffic congestion and sheer distance thus allowing fires to escalate to major incidents requirung offduty recalls and staffing of reserve units such as the  platform aerial 95ft and heavy rescue hazmat1 that will be moved to station 6 to enjoy semi-retirement since there are no men to operate them on a first-out basis

. The latter option is the one that the dept will go with and that Local 204 will agree to so that whatever 1st alarm resources are available they will operate together on any structural fires even if the response time is compromised and fires that may have been in incipient stages may esaclate to more serious ones involving greater risk and loss.

The really difficult task is how to cover a city when the 3 units are operating at a scene. The offduty recall plan will have to be employed asap at the discretion of the ic in order to provide resoures to protect the balance of the city during a working fire. There is one reserve engine and it will be determined if it can be quartered behind the first-out existing
engine 5 when both apparatus are required to fit into a cramped central station apparatus room.

Some talk suggests that layoffs are merely a band-aide on a far more serious ailment. How to raise more income? Certainly there is little appetite for additional taxation at a time when basic commodities are unaffordable to many working people. Youngstown has a 2.5% municipal tax and consequently all present stations will remain open.

Warren at 2% tax rate doesnt seem to be able to make ends meet. Niles has a fund from a special tax levy from way back that is spent entirely on police-fire and NOT added to the general fund wherein amphitheaters and ice skating rinks and other impressive amenities can be had at the cost of possible injury and death.

Then there is the matter of a tipping fee for the disposal of infectious waste in Warren at 5 dollars per ton. Here again the money collected is added to the general fund but merely 'tracked' separately and can be ''spent'' only for 1st responders. The problem here is that since the money is put into the general fund and merely ''tracked'' on a computer that there is the possibility that the fund will NEVER be tapped for use for needs of first responders but continue to instead subsidize the ailing general fund to time indefinite.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: wfd44 on November 11, 2008, 12:21:47 PM
14 sad and unfortunate brave Warren ff's will be let go in response to a national economic crises. National because other depts like philly are having to downsize via attrition and soon browouts or more serious closings of units to cover a huge deficit in the upcoming budgets. The soon to be installed new US govt has said that they want to offer aid to municipalities to avoid layoffs. How and if this will work out remains to be seen. For now WFD is thinking of decentralizing their operations.

Present Ladder 6 --quint 2000/500/75ft would run from downtown with 4 men

Present Squad 1--1500/750/ff a-b would operate from sta 6 w/ 3 men

Present Eng 5 --would operate from its quarters with 3 men

Reserve Eng would serve from downtown as a rescue unit

Platform ladder 1 would be mothballed at sta6

Heavy Rescue 1 would remain downtown

if the above scenario isnt approved then all units will operate from downtown

The dept brass has been structured around a much larger dept--
96 persons at its zenith.

Consequently with the downsizing to merely 57 in 2009 and likely 55 with
2 persons going on leave of absence for various reasons; there is some talk of the elimination of 3 captain positions and 9 lieutenants.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: YARBFD10 on November 11, 2008, 12:28:44 PM

With no new revenues coming this could be a permanent thing.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: wfd44 on November 11, 2008, 11:45:37 PM

With no new revenues coming this could be a permanent thing.

It is highly unlikely that under the present economic hardships that anything good will be forthcoming. Time will determine when and IF the dept will ever regain what it is now losing and if not woe to the city and ff's cause this will be a very difficult undertaking as things now stand.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: pgoogs on November 12, 2008, 04:05:10 PM
Nobody wants to see layoffs and station closings but I would think it would better serve the city to keep all 3 stations open even if it means only 3-4 guys per rig.  At least that way a unit could be on scene faster than 1 central station.  Boardman has been doing this for years and they do medical calls also.  But if the main goals is cutting as much money as possible, then a single central station may be a better option in that the money saved may allow more FF on duty at a single station.

Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: wfd44 on November 12, 2008, 07:58:41 PM
Local 204 will likely demand a one-station only approach for its members as a matter of increased  ff safety.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: yfdgricker on November 13, 2008, 08:47:49 PM
Warren layoff notices being issued
Story from the Tribune Chronicle on 11/13/2008.

WARREN - Layoff notices for city employees are going out starting this afternoon.

City Human Resources Director Gary Cicero confirmed Thursday that calls were going out through his office informing city employees that they can come in to City Hall for a verbal notice or wait for a notice in the mail. He would not release numbers, though Cicero said the layoffs will affect the safety forces and the AFSCME union.

Marc Titus, president of the firefighters union was outside the City Hall with firefighters who received notice today. Titus told the Tribune that 14 would be laid off in the fire department.

The layoffs are effective Jan. 1.

A message was left with city administration for more information.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: wfd44 on November 13, 2008, 11:07:24 PM
The chatter regarding demotion of officers incorrectly presupposes that since substations will be eliminated officer duties would then not be required. It has not been definitively determined how the wfd will reorganize in its greatly reduced incarnation. The slim possibility does exist iin which the stations shall ALL remain open and be staffed with 1 officer and 1 driver per apparatus the same holding true for the 2 central station apparatus thus requiring merely 10 persons assigned to suppression- the extra above the bare minimum of 2 per unit being assigned to squad1 and ladder1 in that order.

Whether the above scenario materializes or not it is on the table pending further action from the city. If the city attempts to demote on the erroneous presupposition that stations are closing they may find that they are mistaken and that the Ohio Revised Code gives the chief officer EXCLUSIVE authority to deploy human resources as he deems appropriate under the GENERAL direction of the safety-service director. So if the chief decides to keep his stations open and thus require the present number of officers to command the 4 apparatus currently staffed then he has the legal authority to do so.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: yfdgricker on December 16, 2008, 12:30:35 PM
Warren ponders ambulance service
Story by BILL RODGERS in the Tribune Chronicle on12/15/2008.

WARREN - People who have been in the ambulance business cautioned that Warren needs to plan carefully if it wants to provide its own service.

"There's literally a hundred questions they need to answer to the public," said Jack Popadak, president of Action Ambulance in the city.

A plan for the city Fire Department to transport patients was discussed last week at a meeting of the Police and Fire Committee. Committee chair Councilwoman Sue Hartman, D-7th Ward, said the service could be free for Warren residents and a way to stabilize the Fire Department, which will lose 11 people to budgeted layoffs in January.

Hartman said if the program is effective, it could be used to bring back firefighters. She will draft legislation soon to allow the city to bill healthcare plans for the transportation.

Mayor Michael O'Brien and Safety-Service Director Doug Franklin, however, each said the city needed to study whether it could afford the equipment and training firefighters to be medical staff.

A new ambulance would cost about $110,000, plus equipment, according to Hartman. At the meeting last week, firefighters said they were talking to surrounding departments about possibly getting their older equipment.

"The city is just in an exploratory stage at this point of the concept. There's a lot of work that needs to be done," O'Brien said.

Girard Mayor James Melfi agreed that the city needs to be careful before starting its own service.

Girard ended its own city-run ambulance service in 2003 as it was trying to tighten its budget. At the time, the service brought in about $200,000 annually, but cost significantly more to run, according to archive reports. Melfi noted that communities that run their own ambulance service are typically funded by a levy.

The goal for the council committee, firefighters and administration in Warren would be to bring money into the fire fund, or at least allow the ambulance transportation to break even. Melfi said Girard ran into problems of paying the salaries and benefits of full-time medical staff along with other costs of equipment, workers' compensation, training and insurance.

Melfi said many patients the ambulance transported were not insured. One idea for the Warren transportation service was to collect money from a city resident's insurance provider or Medicare while forgiving the the rest of the balance. Councilman Bob Dean, D-at Large, said the extra fees were a major worry for the city's older population.

Non-residents could play the full price for transportation, according to the discussion.

The city could collect $150,000 for every 500 transports, according to Hartman. She said Warren Township collected $165,000 a year, and Howland collected $770,000 a year on ambulance runs.

Department heads said MedStar ambulance in the city handles about 3,135 transports a year.

At the meeting, the committee discussed sending the Warren ambulance out first based on 911 calls. Both Popadak and Joe Robinson, of MedStar ambulance, claimed another ambulance service in the city could hurt them.

"With all respect to the Warren firefighters and the department in general, trying to maintain their numbers would ultimately cut our numbers," Robinson said.

Warren would need to have its emergency medical service up and running before applying for government grants, but fire Chief Ken Nussle said some of the 11 laid-off firefighters may have to come back to work for the program to run successfully.

"If we're running EMS with the current staffing, then fire suppression will suffer a little bit. ... We'd need additional personnel to make this a reality," Nussle said.

Of the 11 laid-off employees, seven were EMTs, he said.

If the city goes ahead with the plan, however, he could begin training department members after January. The department has about $10,000 in training funds for 2009, and training 12 technicians would cost about $10,320.

Council finance Chairman Al Novak, D-2nd Ward, said the idea could be an "invaluable plus," but said it could be unfeasible if the medical staff wanted additional pay for their training.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: daysleeper47 on December 16, 2008, 01:44:42 PM
The largest point of failure in FD-based EMS systems is billing. Unless Warren hires an administrative person to exclusively do billing or works with a contracted agency, they won't see enough return on their investment to warrant a continuation of the program. In my department, with 7 full time ALS units and 2 part time units (1 ALS and 1 BLS), we recoup a significant portion of our funding because we have a full time person doing billing. It isn't detailed firefighters or another administrative staffer who has this as an additional responsibility. I know Girard's system failed (although am not fully aware of the situation) so Warren would be wise to look at this aspect with a larger lense.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: YARBFD10 on December 16, 2008, 03:13:54 PM
There is no way they will get this to work with just one ambulance.  Where I work we have 3 serving 55,000 people and some days its not enough.  Is the WFD going to transport 3,000 people in just one ambulance?  Are they going to do what Akron does and hand off all the B.S. to MedStar or Action?  If so, that is revenue they won't be making.  So what's the point of it?  If they expect to do this and do it right, they need an ambulance at all 3 stations.  EMS is part of the fire service these days, no way around it.  If you cannot adapt, then you are doomed to fail.  You can't expect residents to pay more taxes for less service.  Good luck WFD!
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: wfd44 on December 16, 2008, 08:09:55 PM
project ems wfd is at present on standstill
i have suggested a used but low mileage rig for starters
i will forward  joe lowry's observation to the powers that be coz he has a valid point
as to how many units; we eventually would like each station to have its own but that is in the distant future
till then any suggestions as to how to get the ball rolling AGAIN will help coz the ems was instituted at wfd b4 1979 when they bought a unit as it had run up to then with a makeshift van of sorts
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: pgoogs on December 17, 2008, 09:18:09 PM
I'd suggest talking to Howland, Liberty and others that seem to make a go of the ambulance service and see how they do things.  I do have a question, do the FDs that run first responder (Niles, Boardman, Austintown, Girard, etc) get any kind of payment for doing it or is it just a service they provide?

Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: dcmkris on December 18, 2008, 06:14:53 AM
Working in the industry as a salesmen I cna give you a little advice.

Have them look at munincipal leasing/financing they can lease every thing that's non-disposable.  Usually making payments from 4-7 years.  Makes the upfront cost much less, plus at the end of the term you own everything. 

Plus I would have them look at purchasing refmanufactured units.  That can save them 15-40 thousand depending on the type of unit that is remanufactured.  A remanufactured truck has a new chassis and reworked module.

If you want I can e-mail you info on all of this stuff.  I can also give you contact info for looking further into these options.

Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: yfdgricker on January 07, 2009, 09:41:47 PM
Warren idles fire stations
Department struggles with staffing after 11 firefighters laid off
Story by MARLY KOSINSKI in the Tribune Chronicle on 1/7/2009.

Article Photos
A Warren fire truck responds to a call in 2006. The department shuttered its two satellite stations Tuesday.

WARREN - The Fire Department made it four days into the new year before it had to close one of its satellite stations because of low manpower.

On Monday, the Atlantic Street station was shuttered. On Tuesday, it was joined by the Parkman Road station, leaving the main station downtown as the only open fire house in the city.

Fire Chief Ken Nussle said the outlying stations were being closed periodically before 11 firefighters lost their jobs last week in the wake of citywide layoffs. And now with his staffing level at 60, he thinks all three stations being open will be the exception rather than the rule.

"It's going to be a big, ugly mess," Nussle said Tuesday, referring to the scheduling challenges that will be posed in 2009.

He said with 60 firefighters, the maximum number that can work on each of the department's three shifts is 19 plus one inspector who does not respond to calls. Nussle said the main station and both satellite stations can open with at least 16 firefighters.

However, with each firefighter averaging 28 vacation or personal days per year and the need to account for sick time, workers' compensation and bereavement days, Nussle said it's rare to have full staffing in any given week. In fact, he said he sets aside five slots on each shift to allow for vacation, personal days and holiday compensation.

"And that doesn't include unplanned time off like sick leave, bereavement days and injury leave," Nussle said.

There are shifts when only three or four firefighters are off, but if all five are off, that leaves 14 firefighters on a 24-hour shift - the minimum staffing level agreed upon by the city and union before someone is called out for overtime, he said.

International Association of Firefighters Local 204 president Marc Titus said by telephone Tuesday that the city is trying to eliminate the minimum-staffing requirement to save money on overtime.

However, Safety-Service Director Doug Franklin said officials are not talking about eliminating minimum staffing but are considering lowering the number. The city has no target number, he said.

Franklin said officials are in "intense discussions" with the union, and both entities are concerned about firefighter and property safety.

Nussle said a minimum of 10 firefighters is needed at the main station, which includes an assistant chief and dispatcher.

"That is the bare-bones minimum, but I like to have more than that for safety reasons," he said.

Before the layoffs, which took effect Thursday, there were 71 firefighters. That was still four short from the maximum level of 75 promised to residents when voters agreed in November 2007 to make an income tax for safety forces permanent.

Nussle said the Atlantic Street station closes first when staffing levels fall below the minimum because it is closer to the downtown station and doesn't affect response times as much as closing the Parkman Road station does.

Tribune Chronicle reporter Bill Rodgers contributed to this report.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: yfdgricker on January 16, 2009, 11:03:24 AM
Warren Council mulls plan to restart EMS by fire department
Story from the Youngstown Vindicator on 1/15/2009.

WARREN — City council has given a first reading to a resolution that would allow the city to purchase or lease equipment so the fire department could get back into the emergency medical service business.

Fire Chief Ken Nussle said it has been about 30 years since the department last provided EMS to the city.

In addition to acquiring all the equipment needed to provide the service, firefighters would need to be trained and additional personnel would need to be brought on board.

Eleven firefighters were laid off Jan. 1, and four other positions were left unfilled through attrition during 2008.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: yfdgricker on January 16, 2009, 11:10:05 AM
Warren considers reuniting fire department with EMS
story from the Youngstown Vindicator on 1/16/2009.

A councilman questioned whether the emergency service idea is a good one.

WARREN — City council has given a first reading to a resolution that would allow the city to purchase or lease equipment so the fire department could get back into the emergency medical service business.

Fire Chief Ken Nussle said it has been about 30 years since the department last provided EMS to the city.

In addition to acquiring all the equipment needed to provide the service, firefighters would need to be trained and additional personnel would need to be brought on board.

Eleven firefighters were laid off Jan. 1, and four other positions were left unfilled through attrition during 2008.

Councilman Bob Dean, D-at large, one of the sponsors of the legislation, said one reason for the proposal was to bring back laid-off firefighters, but he is not convinced that it makes sense to give the work to laid-off city employees at the expense
of personnel working for a private ambulance company.

MedStar currently has a contract to be first responder to ambulance calls in the city, Dean said.

Nussle said it is possible the city could acquire a great deal of equipment, including a vehicle, at a small cost.

He said the department would run the service in such a way that it would not cost residents any money. Calls would be billed to insurance and Medicare only, Nussle said.

The service also would have to be self-sustaining, meaning its fees would have to pay for all of its operating expenses, Nussle said.

The fire department also would not replace MedStar but could operate at the same time, Nussle said.

It is feasible for the department to get back into the EMS business, Nussle said, adding that fire departments providing that service are working in numerous communities.

He was unable to name any fire departments that have recently made the switch back into the EMS business.

Nussle said he doesn’t know how long it would take to get the service up and running.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: yfdgricker on January 16, 2009, 11:13:35 AM
Committee to explore ambulance plan
Story by AMANDA SMITH-TEUTSCH in the Warren Tribune Chronicle on 1/15/2009.

WARREN - The Police and Fire Committee will consider the question of starting up a public ambulance service while council waits for a report on the proposal from the auditor.

"This is something that can be very good for the Fire Department and for the city," fire Chief Ken Nussle said. "The timing may be bad and there may be some startup costs."

But overall, a city-run ambulance service would provide value to city residents and ease budget crunches in the Fire Department, he said.

"We cannot do this with existing staff," he said. "We have 15 fewer firefighters today than we did a year ago."

Sue Hartman, D-7th Ward, obtained a first reading of the ordinance at Wednesday's City Council meeting. The ordinance allows the mayor and safety-service director to "advertise for bids for the purchase and/or lease of equipment and like items (including a motor vehicle) for use by the city's Fire Department in providing emergency medical services and enter into any contract that may be useful or necessary to accomplish such purpose."

Hartman, who chairs council's Police and Fire Committee, proposed the service as a money-making enterprise for the city. The proposal came last month amid budget talks and layoff notices for 40 city employees, including 11 firefighters and 20 police officers.

The service could bring hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue for the department, with services charged and collected from insurance companies, Medicaid and Medicare, Hartman said. The city's private ambulance operators can't keep up with the call volume, with dispatchers often calling crews from other communities to help with medical calls, she said.

Al Novak, D-2nd Ward, said he wanted hard figures on the service before being asked to vote on it. The city auditor's office is preparing a feasibility study to determine if the service could work, he said.

"I would be concerned that we aren't taking any more service away from the residents," he said.

Novak said he was concerned firefighters would be tied up answering medical calls while there were calls for fires or other emergencies.

Startup costs could be minimal, Hartman said. Several communities have offered to sell Warren their old ambulance for $1, and the firefighters union has agreed to keep their pay the same even if they become certified as an emergency medical technician or paramedic, she said.

The current contracts for police require all new hires to be EMT-certified, Hartman said.

Costs for equipment could be handled through a contract through Trumbull Memorial Hospital, which would cost $6,000 yearly, she said.

Nussle said that of the 11 laid-off firefighters, seven were EMTs. Others are already certified as paramedics, he said.

The matter will be explored in the police and fire committee, which meets next week. A meeting time will be announced.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: yfdgricker on February 11, 2009, 03:05:38 PM
Ambulance Service Considered For Warren
Story from the WFMJ TV21 Web Site on 2/11/2009.

Warren's fire chief is hoping to offer another service to residents that would generate revenue. City council is looking at a proposal that will have fire fighters responding to medical calls. The goal would be to eventually generate enough revenue to bring back some of the laid of fire fighters. But the city will have to spend money to make money and it's not clear if will be worth it in the long run. The equipment and training for EMS could cost the city between 12 and 45-thousand dollars.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: yfdgricker on February 25, 2009, 08:54:09 PM
Warren Firefighter Shortage
Story from the WKBN TV27 Web Site on 2/25/2009.

Officials with the Warren Fire Department continue to feel the effects of their layoffs.

The Fire Chief says since 11 firefighters were laid off January 1st, his department has been doing its best to keep all three stations properly manned, but Monday four firefighters were off sick, leaving only 11 firefighters on station.  When a fire broke out around nine, additional firefighters had to be called out to handle the blaze.  The chief says while his firefighters were working the fire, another call came in about a gas odor.  He had no one to send and had to call the police department to check it out.

"It's very stressful for the firefighters knowing they are understaffed.   I am just glad no one was hurt," stated Warren Fire Chief, Ken Nussle.

"We have been sitting back and pretending it is like business as usual, but we have 1/3 of our firefighters gone and 1/4 of our police department gone.  It is not business as usual and we cannot go on as usual," added Bob Dean, Warren Councilman.

Councilman Bob Dean says he would like council to soon come up with ideas to raise revenue for the city so that it may be possible to bring back some of the laid off workers.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: yfdgricker on February 25, 2009, 08:59:37 PM
Chiefs expect more issues
Story By DARCIE LORENO in the Tribune Chronicle on 2/25/2009.

WARREN - Bare bones staffing during a fire left police, not firefighters, to investigate a natural gas leak Monday. Fire Chief Ken Nussle said he forsees similar situations happening often as spring and summer approach.

While police won't hesitate to help during emergencies, police Chief John Mandopoulos said it's a trend he wants to avoid.

"We're only going to be up there sniffing with our noses, and that's not a real good idea," he said. "The Fire Department can't handle gunmen and hostage situations. The two really and truly should not be co-mingled."

Safety-Service Director Doug Franklin said it is not unusual for police to assist firefighters even when the Fire Department is fully staffed.

Due to layoffs, sick leave and vacations, Nussle said only 11 firefighters were on duty Monday. About 8:35 p.m., nine of them responded to a Deerfield Avenue fire that destroyed a garage and three cars. That left only a dispatcher, who remained at the station, and an investigator, who went to the fire.

Four off-duty firefighters also were called in for the fire, so when a possible natural gas leak on Parkman Road was reported about 8:50 p.m., there was no one available to investigate. A police officer responded instead. The leak ended up being a false alarm.

Nussle said, "We, on a few occasions, have worked with 11 members. Up until last night, we have had no major emergencies with that number. But inevitably, sooner or later, we will have emergencies and we will be understaffed."

If another call had come in, he said, the department would have utilized mutual aid - calling in neighboring fire departments - something it likely will use more of this year than in the past.

"We were making the best of a bad situation and working with reduced staffing," Nussle said, referring to budget-cut layoffs of 11 firefighters, plus call-offs, vacations and normal days off. "We will also recall off-duty personnel more readily than in the past."

Another effect of lower staffing is fewer stations being open, Nussle said.

When 16 or more firefighters are on duty, all three of the city's fire stations are open. With 14 or 15, the stations on South Street and Parkman Road are open. With 13 or fewer, only the South Street station remains open, he said.

Franklin said there have been eight days this year when all three stations were open. He did not know how many days two stations have been open versus one, but said he thinks it's about even.

"Call-offs hamper the department's ability to have all three stations open," he said.

Mandopoulos said that in such emergencies, officers will assist. But they're trained in different ways and in many cases aren't properly equipped to handle fire calls, he said.

"The stuff we carry is specific to our jobs," Mandopoulos said. "We have no fireproof clothing."

With natural gas leaks, officers can speed up the gas company's response or evacuate when needed, he said. But they don't have meters needed to read gas levels in a home.

"We'll do what we have to do to save people," Mandopoulos said. "We'll go into harm's way any time we have to ... but it's not fair when they're asked to when they're not equipped or trained."

Likewise, Nussle also is concerned about the safety of not only residents but also of his firefighters.

"We know from past experience one of the major causes of firefighter injuries is reduced staffing," Nussle said. "This is the hand we've been dealt. This is the economic condition here in Warren. We understand that. We don't like it and are making the best of the situation."

Franklin said there is money in the recently passed federal economic recovery act to hire police officers through a Community Oriented Policing (COPS) program. However, city officials have some concerns about the parameters and guidelines of the money being offered, he said.

"There are a lot of strings attached to that money, and we're looking into the legislation every day to see how the city can use those funds to hire police officers," Franklin said.

He said as far as he knows, the Senate version of the bill cut funding for fire department staffing.

Franklin also said Monday night was an example of why he is concerned about pending legislation that would allow the city to start an ambulance service. He said the Fire Department's main focus should be firefighting and he needs to be convinced that firefighting efforts will not be compromised by an ambulance service.

Councilwoman Sue Hartman, D-7th Ward, who is sponsoring the legislation, said Monday night's staffing shortage concerns her regardless of whether there is an ambulance service in the city.

The 1706 Deerfield Ave. fire still is under investigation, Nussle said, but losses totaled about $27,000. Firefighters were on the scene about three hours. The homeowner, Peggy Cooks, reported the blaze and was at home with her three teen-aged children, fire reports state.

Though the garage was unattached, the power ran from the house and had to be shut off. The Red Cross of Trumbull and Mercer counties assisted the family, which was staying in a local hotel Tuesday.

Cooks would not comment on the fire.

Reporter Marly Kosinski contributed to this report.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: yfdgricker on April 22, 2009, 10:31:12 AM
Warren Fire Department Facing More Cuts
Story from the WFMJ TV21 Website on 4/22/2009.

Warren's fire department could see more cuts. Union leaders tell 21 News the city is giving the fire fighters a choice either take $430,000.00 in concessions, or 15 more fire fighters will be laid off.

The department already lost eleven fire fighters in January and accepted a wage freeze. Union President Marc Titus says if the mayor can't balance the budget without cutting police and fire, he should resign.

The mayor says the city is not giving the firefighters an ultimatum and he's disappointed the firefighters have made the negotiations public.

The mayor says the goal of the discussions is to avoid lay offs.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: yfdgricker on April 22, 2009, 10:36:24 AM
Warren Firefighters Asked to Take Concessions
Story from the WKBN TV27 Web Site on 4/22/2009.

Warren City Firefighters say they are being asked by administrators to make concessions or face additional layoffs.

City administrators say they are working with all the unions to try and balance the budget.

Firefighters say they feel City Hall is threatening them and they are losing faith in the Mayor.

The Mayor says he has also been in contact with state and federal officials hoping he will be able to get some additional funding for the fire department.

Several firefighters met with us Tuesday morning to say they were called into a meeting at City Hall on Monday to discuss Warren's financial situation.  The firefighters say they are being asked to help save the city about $430,000.  If they are not willing to make the concessions, they were told 15 more firefighters could be laid off.  Eleven firefighters were laid off in January.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: yfdgricker on April 22, 2009, 10:37:16 AM
Warren Firefighters Call for Mayor to Resign
Story from the WKBN TV27 Web Site on 4/22/2009.

Warren City firefighters are calling for the Mayor to resign.

The city is asking the fire department to make concessions of $430,000 or else they could layoff up to 15 firefighters.  Marc Titus, President of the local firefighters union, says that would make it impossible to run the department.  He says Mayor Michael O'Brien should resign, saying he is not the person to lead them through these tough economic times.  The mayor has not responded to the union, but we will have more on this story as details unfold.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: yfdgricker on April 22, 2009, 10:39:37 AM
Firefighters call for mayor to quit
Story by MARLY KOSINSKI in the Warren Tribune Chronicle on 4/22/2009.

WARREN - The president of the city firefighters union, who believes firefighters have done enough to save the city money, says the mayor should resign if his only solution to the city's financial crisis is to cut more jobs.

Marc Titus, president of the International Association of Firefighters Local 204, said Tuesday that union representatives met with Human Resources Director Gary Cicero and personnel supervisor Brian Massucci on Monday. He said the union was told the city is trying to trim a $1.6 million deficit and wants the fire department to cut $430,000 of that shortfall.

Titus said the union was told if they did not find a way to cut costs, 15 additional firefighters would be laid off.

''Losing 15 more firefighters is not safe for us, and it's not safe for the residents. We understand the economy is bad, but we are asking the administration to make safety a priority and make cuts in other departments. Mayor O'Brien needs to resign. He is not the right person to lead us through these tough economic times,'' Titus said.

Mayor Michael O'Brien said the Human Resources Department has been meeting the past several weeks with all labor unions to discuss city finances and the sole purpose of avoiding layoffs.

''To control the budget, we have to control labor costs and 82 percent of the budget is labor costs. We all have to work together. These discussions are being held in response to the city having to recertify the budget twice since January because of declining income tax revenue,'' O'Brien said.

Fifteen firefighters were furloughed Jan. 1 as part of citywide layoffs in an effort to trim a $3.9 million shortfall in the general fund budget.

Also among the layoffs were 20 police officers. Talks between the patrol union and the administration earlier this month led to an agreement that saved an additional 20 officers from layoff June 1. The agreement calls for a four-year wage freeze for the patrol union in exchange for the city using millions in stimulus money to retain the jobs in jeopardy and call back some of the officers laid off previously.

''We're asking the city to cut expenses in other areas before coming back to us,'' Titus said Tuesday.

He said the IAFF Local 204 took a pay freeze and shed nine ranking positions through attrition during the last round of contract negotiations. The union also is the only bargaining unit in the city not to have full pension pickup, Titus said.

Three lieutenants were among the firefighters laid off in January, he said.

The department is budgeted for 60 firefighters since the layoffs but several are on medical leave, leaving the department with 57 plus Chief Ken Nussle, Titus said. He said the central station downtown is the only one open most days because there is not enough manpower to keep the satellite stations on Parkman Road and Atlantic Street open because of days off, sick time and scheduled vacations.

O'Brien said the city's layoffs were made to plug a $3.9 million hole in the general fund budget and an additional $500,000 was cut in January. The recertification passed in March included an additional $1.6 million deficit, he said.

The mayor said the city applied for stimulus money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which includes money to retain and rehire police officers. However, no similar money is available for the fire department.

"I was on the phone Monday with representatives from Congressman Tim Ryan's office, Congressman Barney Frank's office, Sen. Sherrod Brown's office and Governor Strickland's office to find out how the stimulus money for fire departments disappeared from the legislation. No one seems to have an answer," O'Brien said.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: wfd44 on May 02, 2009, 03:36:08 AM
The number had been bumped up to 17 more layoffs and also the mechanic was to have been transfered to operations. The daily roster would end up at 4 men plus dispatcher a/c and safety officer. Hardly much of a compliment for any serious fire.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: pgoogs on May 02, 2009, 06:32:01 AM
Warren Tribune 5/2/09

WARREN - More than 100 picketed City Hall Friday with the message the community's safety is at risk and that the administration should reexamine its priorities amidst its ongoing budget problems.

While the picket was planned about two weeks ago, they also emphasized that Tuesday's fire that seriously injured a police officer and three women could have had a different outcome if a closer fire station had been open and more firefighters been on staff.

"We want the residents to know the numbers we're running with right now are unsafe," said firefighter union president Marc Titus. "We can't afford more cuts."

Atlantic Street N.E. and Parkman Road stations are periodically closed, and the department is down by 19 after ongoing budget problems and layoffs.

The union has been told if it does not find a way to cut costs, 15 additional firefighters would be laid off. The city still faces a $1.5 million deficit. Last week, the union suggested Mayor Michael O'Brien resign.

The manpower issue and station closure came up again this week, after a fire at 368 Bonnie Brae Ave. N.E. Police officer Doug Hipple was injured in the intentionally set fire along with three women who lived at the group home.

Officials said firefighters could have arrived one minute earlier if the Atlantic Street station had been open. The department has 56 firefighters but capacity for 75.

Mike Taylor, Ohio Association of Professional Firefighters representative, said at the picket even with 75 firefighters, the city by national standards would be running short ''of what they should have.'' Taylor said he represents 53 departments in northeast Ohio, and Warren's has the largest number of firefighters laid off.

"We're asking the city to set priorities," said Titus. "Are we going to keep another park open?"

O'Brien said the administration is frustrated with the financial situation as well. He said he would like to see the laid off firefighters brought back to work, but asked where the money would come from.

"According to the auditor's figures, each firefighter costs $85,000 per year with wage and fringe benefits," O'Brien said.

He also provided a spreadsheet that shows estimated income tax collections for 2009 is $15.1 million, the lowest amount collected since an income tax increase for safety forces was approved in 2001. The collection amount in 2001 was $15.8 million, the spreadsheet shows.

It also shows 84.1 percent of the income tax collection in 2001 went to safety forces, while 99.3 percent of the collection is going to safety forces this year. O'Brien said that means salaries for police and fire are eating up a larger portion of the income tax collection as the collection amount gets smaller.

"That's why we're asking that all employees, not just safety forces, to come to the table to reduce labor costs," O'Brien said.

But as some citizens grabbed T-shirts and signs at the picket, Union Street resident John Hanick said he believes they were picketing the wrong people.

"The firefighters, if they want to picket someone, I think they should picket Lordstown (GM),'' said Hanick. ''The revenue comes from those taxes that pay their wages, and get them back to work to get money back to the city.''

Hanick said he lives close to the closed station on Palmyra Road, but said the city is doing what it can with its current finances.

''It depends on the city's finances, and that's what they're doing,'' he said. ''The city is watching their budget and choosing to shut manpower off.''

Titus said the city could have planned for the problems sooner, with the closure of Delphi and declining population.

''Nothing has changed since December 31,'' said Titus. ''We're spending money now just as we were before. We feel there's still money to be made around here.''

Reporter Marly Kosinski contributed to this report.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: pgoogs on May 02, 2009, 06:35:13 AM
The cuts they made already had an affect with the fire that the police officer was injured at and now they want to cut more.  Not sure where the money will come from but they better figure something out pretty quick.  If nothing else they better consider some mutual aid and/or automatic aid agreements.

Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: yfdgricker on June 06, 2009, 12:50:11 PM
More Furloughs For Warren City Workers
Story from the WFMJ TV21 Web Site on 6/6/2009.

Layoff notices go out Friday to 19 employees in the financially strapped city of Warren. Human Resources Director Gary Cicero tells 21 News that notices will be sent to five police officers.

Fourteen city workers represented by the AFSCME union will receive notices. The city won't decide on layoffs in the fire department until the city meets with their union on June 17th.

Cicero says the police and AFSCME layoffs can be avoided if the unions come to a concessions agreement. But right now, no talks are scheduled.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: yfdgricker on June 06, 2009, 12:51:03 PM
Fewer layoffs than expected in Warren
Story from the WFMJ TV21 Web Site on 6/6/2009.

The city of Warren will lay off fewer employees than originally expected.

Five police officers and ten members of the AFSCME union will receive layoff notices on Friday. It was originally believed that as many as 14 could be laid off.

Other city employees will meet with city officials some time next week to discuss ways to reduce the cost of health care coverage.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: yfdgricker on June 20, 2009, 10:33:38 AM
Warren, firefighters reach deal to avert 18 more layoffs
Story by Ed Runyan in the Youngstown Vindicator on 6/18/2009.

Tentative deals also were reached with all city unions on health-care premiums.

WARREN — City officials and union representatives for the Warren Fire Department reached a tentative agreement Wednesday to avert the layoff of 18 more firefighters July 3. That deal must be approved by firefighters.

In a separate meeting earlier Wednesday, representatives of all six unions representing city employees tentatively agreed to begin paying a percentage of their health care for the first time.

Meanwhile, Gary Cicero, the city’s human resources director, said the layoffs of five more police officers and 11 other city employees this Sunday appear certain, as no further negotiations are scheduled on that front.

The city laid off 20 police officers, 11 firefighters and eight other city employees Jan. 1 to offset a $1.2 million budget shortfall.

Marc Titus, president of Firefighters Local 204, wouldn’t say whether he will urge the membership to approve the agreement.

“That’s up to the membership to say what they think about it,” he said.

Neither Cicero, Titus nor Safety-Service Director Doug Franklin would give any details of the agreement. The ratification vote is expected to take place this weekend.

Patrol officers with the Warren Police Department accepted a four-year wage freeze in an agreement they ratified in April. They hoped the agreement would allow the city to use federal stimulus money to bring back some of the 20 police officers laid off on Jan. 1.

Titus said the tentative firefighters’ agreement anticipates the possibility that federal stimulus money being considered in Congress will pay for some of their laid-off members to be brought back to work.

Wednesday’s agreement does not give the city enough money to rehire any firefighters but does allow the city to retain all 58 of its current firefighters through 2009, Titus said.

Franklin praised the firefighters, saying they “stepped up to the plate and addressed the issues of safety in good faith at the bargaining table. It benefits the residents of Warren and the firefighters.”

Without the agreement, 18 firefighters would have been laid off July 3, Cicero said, reducing their ranks to 40.

The notices will still go out Thursday, but if the union ratifies the agreement, the layoffs will not be implemented, Cicero said.

The agreement reached with all of the unions regarding health- care concessions will help reduce the city’s $1.5 million budget deficit for 2009, but will not avert any layoffs on its own, Cicero said.

Cicero would not say what percentage of health care employees will contribute. Warren workers are among the only government workers in Trumbull and Mahoning counties not yet paying a portion of their health-care premiums.

Also, four patrolmen and one narcotics officer will lose their jobs effective Sunday, along with two of the four employees at the Packard Music Hall and nine employees in the water and wastewater departments.

, Cicero said.

The five layoffs in the police department will reduce its staffing level to 56. Before Jan. 1, the department had 81 officers.

Auditor David Griffing said in late March the city would need to cut another $1.5 million from its 2009 general fund budget as a result of health-care cost increases for 2009 and lower revenue projections because of job losses at the Severstal steel mill and other businesses.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: yfdgricker on June 20, 2009, 10:35:03 AM
Warren firefighter union accepts concessions
Story by Ed Runyan in the Youngstown Vindicator on 6/20/2009.

WARREN — By a 75 percent margin, Warren’s firefighter union has ratified a contract covering the last six months of 2009 that reduces wages and benefits by about 10 percent and saves the cash-strapped city about $473,000.

The concessions include a 2.5 percent reduction in pay, elimination of the city’s paying the 6 percent pickup of the firefighters’ pension costs, $400 annual uniform allowance, $500 annual attendance bonus, longevity pay and changes in their health-care coverage.

Marc Titus, president of Firefighters Local 204, said the concessions result in the 58 firefighters giving the city 29 percent of the money needed to offset its $1.6 million shortfall, even though the firefighters make just 23 percent of the wages in the city’s general fund.

“We’ve always stated that safety is paramount,” Titus said.

“We voted for our safety and citizen safety,” he said — adding that the vote was not a vote of confidence for Mayor Michael O’Brien.

“This is not saying we agreed to the way the mayor is running the city,” Titus said. “If we took that vote, it would be 100 percent against.”

Titus said he believes city officials such as council members and administrators should also take wage cuts that match the concessions firefighters have made.

Titus noted that the firefighters are working under a three-year contract signed Jan. 1 that called for a one-year wage freeze, reductions in rank for three firefighters, elimination of nine positions through attrition and layoff of 15 firefighters (four of them being vacancies not filled).

The city had threatened to lay off 18 more firefighters July 3 if the union did not accept the most recent concessions.

Under the agreement, starting firefighters will earn $12.24 per hour, firefighters with three years’ experience will earn $17.48, lieutenants will earn $20.11, captains will earn $23.15 and assistant chiefs will make $26.59.

Titus declined to explain all of the changes to the firefighters’ health care plan but said the change does not require firefighters to begin paying a percentage of their health-care premium. Instead, it involves higher co-pays for office visits and the like.

The city expects to save $250,000 in 2009 as a result of health care changes tentatively approved by all six of the city’s unions on Wednesday.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: yfdgricker on June 20, 2009, 10:40:18 AM
Union chooses cuts over layoffs
Warren firefighters accept reduced pay, challenge others in city to follow suit
Story by DARCIE LORENO in the Tribune Chronicle on 6/20/2009.

Fact Box


- Elimination of pension pickup

- A 2.5-percent wage cut

- Change in design of health care plan

- Elimination of longevity pay

- Elimination of annual $500 attendance bonus

- Elimination of annual $400 uniform allowance

- Elimination of 15-minute overtime pay during roll call

WARREN - The city's firefighters Friday agreed to a six-month contract addendum giving up $473,000 worth of benefits and pay to avoid the layoffs of another 18 firefighters.

With a 44-14 vote, they also hoped to send a message to other workers in the city, starting with its leadership and administration.

"We're going to challenge leadership and administration to make the same concessions," Marc Titus, president of the International Association of Firefighters Local 204, said. "We didn't do this because we agree with the way the mayor is running the city. We did it to protect the people of this city."

The union held the vote Friday morning. The addendum is good for the remainder of the union's current contract, which expires Dec. 31.

Among concessions - which equal a total 10 percent cut - was elimination of a 6 percent pickup of firefighter pension costs, longevity pay and an attendance bonus which gives firefighters $400 if they don't call off sick during the summer and another $100 in the fall.

Also gone is a yearly $400 uniform allowance and 15 minutes per shift of overtime, which was paid based on the time firefighters spent getting briefed and during roll call before their shifts began.

Lastly, the union accepted a 2.5-percent pay cut. Under the new rates, firefighters with three years of experience would make $17.58 per hour vs. $18.01 before the cut, for example. A starting firefighter would begin at $12.54 per hour.

Eighteen firefighters faced layoffs by July 1 before the agreement was reached. Thursday, the union and city officials reached a tentative agreement after the union approached the city with a counterproposal to a concessions package sought by the city.

The union already has given up the reduction of 15 firefighters through layoffs and attrition, a reduction in rank for a handful of firefighters and a pay freeze, Titus said. Eleven firefighters - along with 29 other city workers - were laid off Jan. 1 to help trim a $3.2 million general fund budget shortfall. The city faced a $1.5 million shortfall.

If the 18 had been laid off, shifts would have gone down to 13 firefighters each, with only two to three available to fight a fire, Titus said.

He hopes City Council and city administration will look other places to find revenue sources.

"We're always stepping up to the plate," Titus said. "No one likes to give up their money."

Safety-Service Director Doug Franklin said Friday he was grateful to the union and hopes all unions - including for management - will accept similar concessionary agreements currently being sculpted.

"We worked hard at it," Franklin said. "There were a lot of hours of back and forth discussion of each and every concessionary point. I want to extend my gratitude to the entire membership of the firefighters union for doing what's best for the city and citizens."

The city intends to "pursue aggressively" similar agreements to other city unions so equal sacrifices are spread across the board, Franklin said. The concessions will be taken before management, he said.

"We have a lot of work ahead of us," he said.

Titus said the city is still banking on funding through the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Act grant, which would bring back laid off firefighters and retain current firefighters.

"We're hoping to have that money this year," Titus said.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: pgoogs on December 19, 2009, 07:59:48 AM
From Warren Tribune 12/16/09

WARREN - When City Council votes on the 2010 budget next week, it could include 15 fewer employees.

A worksheet provided by Auditor David Griffing outlined major changes he made to the budget prepared Oct. 30. One of the most significant changes is a reduction in staffing, including eight employees in the general fund and seven in the enterprise funds.

Two firefighters, Jim Poptic and Tyler James, received layoff notices Monday. Both have been with the department since 2002.

In addition to the two firefighters, layoff notices have been prepared for two police officers and one employee each in the health, finance, parks and purchasing departments. Four employees in the water pollution control department and three in the water department also are to be laid off, according to Griffing's report.

Safety-Service Director Doug Franklin and Mayor Michael O'Brien stressed during a finance committee meeting Tuesday that the layoffs can be averted with concessions by the city's five bargaining unions. Human Resources Director Gary Cicero was not at the meeting because he was in union negotiations, O'Brien said.

In July, the administration received wage and benefit concessions from every union, which helped make up a $1.5 million shortfall caused by lagging income tax revenue. Those concessions came on top of 40 layoffs Jan. 1, including 19 police officers and 11 firefighters.

Council approved a contract with the police dispatching union last month that includes a change in hospitalization and the use of part-time dispatchers. Five union contracts expire Dec. 31, including those with the police ranking and patrol unions, firefighters and two American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

The budget prepared Oct. 30 had a $692,000 shortfall that Griffing plugged by shortchanging employee healthcare. The administration planned to make up the amount through healthcare concessions.

On Tuesday, Griffing said the revised budget fully funds the employee health care and instead includes the layoffs as well as separation pay for the affected employees. He said $400,000 was saved in healthcare costs by the city switching to a PPO plan, but the city needs to save $1.2 million to avoid layoffs.

"In order to get to the full amount of savings, we need the unions to agree to paying a portion of their premiums. There is no indication the unions are willing to do that, so we had to cut staffing," Griffing said.

Franklin said the city is developing a plan to deal with the staffing shortages but he said the administration hopes the plan will not be needed.

"Our goal is to not have any more layoffs through cooperation from the unions," he said.

Councilman Doc Pugh, D-6th Ward, said he is disappointed the police department will shrink again after all the recent progress that has been made with drug raids in cooperation with the Trumbull Ashtabula Group Law Enforcement Task Force. He said he was hoping an officer could be dedicated to the task force so the city can rejoin it.

Police Chief Tim Bowers said the cuts will leave him with 57 officers, which he said is "a bare bones operation." He said the staffing level is so low that he has to call an officer out for overtime almost daily.

"With these numbers, I cannot attach an officer to TAG," Bowers said.

Fire Chief Ken Nussle said the two losses in his department will leave him with 50 firefighters compared to 75 one year ago. He said four retired at the end of 2008, 11 were laid off Jan. 1 and eight more retired in 2009.

"I am just angry, but it doesn't do any good to voice my opinion," Nussle said prior to the meeting.

His main concern was the lack of training funds, which are budgeted at $1,000. There was $5,000 budgeted in 2009 and less than $2,000 was used, but Councilwoman Sue Hartman, D-7th Ward, who chairs the police and fire committee, said there were two-year certifications expiring in 2010 that would need renewed.

After some discussion, council voted to transfer $2,925 from its budget to the fire department training budget. Griffing said $1,000 came from council's travel expenses and $1,925 came from training and education. Hartman suggested leaving $75 in for training because $62 was spent last year.

Griffing said the law department will need to prepare new legislation for passing the 2010 budget to reflect the change. There is another finance meeting Tuesday and council is expected to vote on the budget Dec. 23.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: Buckeye 53 on December 19, 2009, 10:50:00 AM
Unfortunately, this has been happening, is happening, and will continue to happen for many communities in Ohio and all across America.  You see lots of posts on this site & others about this decline of our fire service. I really feel for the laid off members and those who remain.  It was always a tough job when you had money and now I can't imagine what it's like to be on the job.  City leadrers really don't have any comprehension what it takes to do this job safely & effectively.  And most don't have the tools or knowledge it takes to stem the bleeding of their revenue as the good paying jobs of yesteryear disappear.  I really like to visit & photograph in cities like Detroit, Cincinnati, and Dayton and they have been taking a beating since the mid 1970's.  They are not the only ones either.  I look back at their department strengths back when I started on the job in 1974 and it's amazing how they have continued to do the great job they do. And,  I am afraid that the cuts are not over for them or others that are struggling with budget issues right now.   This will be a very dark chapter in the history of the fire service.  Good Luck & God Bless.
Stay Strong & Stay Safe :'(
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: cbk1 on December 20, 2009, 08:00:25 AM
we are all in the hurt right now... unfortunately my city IS fiscally stable but finds it convieniant to lower manpower just because the neighboring cities are doing it.

it's a mess here and everywhere.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: smketrfdny on December 23, 2009, 10:32:07 AM
we are all in the hurt right now... unfortunately my city IS fiscally stable but finds it convieniant to lower manpower just because the neighboring cities are doing it.

it's a mess here and everywhere.

IMO, the cities across this country know that the Fire Departments are the most dedicated employees in any city.  They can put a Clapp and Jones Steamer in a firehouse with 3 men and they would still find a way to respond.

FWIW, mostly in the bigger cites, sitting rooms are more than likely furniture one of the Brothers brought in when the wifey wanted new stuff. Same thing for sliverware, and drinking glasses are cleaned out spaghetti sauce jars. Maybe (and luckily) smaller cities furnished firehouse quarters decently to sustain a 24 hour tour, but you never see that in a big city. How many Brothers are good with a hammer, saw, wrench and a paintbrush and did repairs or painted around a firehouse. Something you would never see a teacher do.

The Fire Departments are always the first to do more with less. This Chief has lost a big percentage of his men with 25 or so layoffs and retirements (33%), which is a big hit anywhere. With 12,000 officers and men, that would be like the FDNY laying off 4,000 men. We are hearing rumors of 25 companies closing next year,though I'm sure it will be 'negotiated' to maybe 10.

Even with these cuts, the Brothers will still do the job. And these cities know it as well.

The economy is tough all over, yet fire protection is always one of the first. Our zeal, dedication and tradition to do what we have to do no matter what is now being used against us. JMO.

Good Luck to the laid off Brothers.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: yfdgricker on June 06, 2010, 09:01:30 AM
Car crash attests to Warren’s ambulance-response problems
Story By ED RUNYAN from the Youngstown Vindicator on 6/5/2010.


When Crystal Lough’s 1998 Oldsmobile was rear-ended Wednesday afternoon on Youngstown Road near the Trumbull County Board of Elections, it caused extensive damage to the car.

Though her sons — Landon, 18 months, and Bryce, 21/2 — were in the back strapped into car seats and appeared to be OK, she still was concerned.

She called 911 from her cell phone about 4:10 p.m. And although a police officer arrived about five minutes later, and firefighters were there about 10 minutes later, it took until about 4:35 p.m. — 25 minutes after her call — for an ambulance from Howland to arrive.

Warren 911 records say Lough, her boys and her mother were taken at 4:43 p.m. to St. Joseph Health Center.

“The guy told me Warren was busy, all the ambulances were busy at the same time,” Crystal’s mother, Crystal Richmond, said of the Warren policeman and firefighter who waited with the family for the ambulance.

“It’s a good thing they [her grandsons] weren’t bleeding to death,” Richmond said Thursday from her home in Warren Township.

In fact, the ambulance company under contract with the city of Warren to provide ambulance service — Med Star EMS and Transport — was so tied up that it was unable to respond to three ambulance calls Wednesday afternoon between 4:03 p.m. and 4:28 p.m.

In addition to the Lough crash, Med Star was unable to send an ambulance to a call of a man shot in the chest on Southern Boulevard Northwest and a minor emergency on Tod Avenue Northwest.

An ambulance from Lane LifeTrans Paramedics responded to the gunshot wound, which turned out to be a suicide, and Warren Township firefighters responded to the minor emergency on Tod Avenue.

Warren firefighters also responded to all three calls because the city has unwritten agreements with the Howland and Warren township fire departments that Warren firefighters will respond to all calls in Warren to which the Warren Township and Howland Township ambulances go.

The Warren Fire Department sent firefighters to the gunshot call answered by Lane LifeTrans because Warren firefighters knew that Med Star didn’t have an ambulance to send and was searching for another ambulance company to take the call, said Ken Nussle, fire chief.

But what concerns Warren firefighters is that because its department doesn’t provide ambulance services, and few of its employees are trained to provide medical care, they are of relatively little help at such calls.

“The problem is feeling helpless at times,” Nussle said.

Nussle added that because his department does not run an EMS service such as most paid fire departments, it isn’t authorized to provide such service and could run into liability problems for providing medical care under such circumstances.

Nussle said city officials had a meeting with Joe Robinson, owner of Med Star, a couple of months ago after noticing that Med Star was not responding to an increasing number of calls.

“Joe [Robinson] said he wanted to put another ambulance on, but he couldn’t afford to,” Nussle said.

Robinson was not available to comment Thursday and Friday. A woman at Med Star, who declined to provide her name, said she was an officer of the company.

“In this day in Warren, where the majority of people don’t have insurance, we’re doing the best we can,” she said, explaining that a population without insurance or a job is a poor source of revenue for an ambulance company.

To make a profit, Med Star has to operate as lean as possible, which means sometimes Med Star is “pulling [employees] out of the hospital [to get to another EMS call], and they haven’t even finished their paperwork yet” from the previous call, she said.

In the case of the shooting victim Wednesday, Lane Life Trans of Niles was the third ambulance company Med Star called that afternoon for help because Action Ambulance and Clemente McKay of Warren also were too busy to take the call, she said.

“What people have to remember is we’re in a tough economy. We’re trying to survive,” she said, adding that police officers, firefighters and EMS workers all deserve thanks for “doing more with less” during these tough economic times.

Warren Police Chief Tim Bowers said the relationship with Med Star is “not working as well as I’d like,” adding, “All I know is when I need an ambulance, I need one, and when they say they don’t have one, that’s unacceptable, and it happens too often. By contract, they [Med Star] are supposed to respond, but what do you do about a it?”

Marc Titus, president of the union representing Warren’s firefighters, said the proposal he and his colleagues made in January 2009 to have the Warren Fire Department provide EMS service again after about 25 years without it would provide Warren residents with a better quality of ambulance response and make Warren firefighters more efficient by having them cross-trained to provide two types of service.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: yfdgricker on August 13, 2010, 08:00:44 PM
Warren fire grant ‘in the air’
August 12, 2010 - By JOE GORMAN Tribune Chronicle

WARREN - City officials said they still are waiting to hear from the federal government if they will receive a grant that will replace laid-off firefighters and hire others lost to attrition.

Fire Chief Ken Nussle and Melinda Holsopple, who writes grants for the city, both said they have not heard officially whether the city's application for the SAFER - or Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response - grant has been reviewed.

''It's still up in the air,'' Nussle said.

The grant, offered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Homeland Security, gives municipalities money to replace firefighters who have been laid off, Nussle said.

The city laid off 11 firefighters at the beginning of 2009 because of the city's financial woes and also has lost an additional 12 through retirement that have not been replaced, Nussle said. He said he was hoping to use the grant funds to replace all 23 firefighters.

The city can receive funds to replace up to all 23 of those firefighters or just one or two, Nussle said.

Warren is competing with more than 2,000 departments nationwide for part of $210 million. The grants are to be handed out by Sept. 30. So far, Niles has been the only local community to receive any SAFER money, according to FEMA's website. It received about $240,000.

The funding pool is now down to $28 million for departments across the country, Nussle said.

Anyone hired with the money will be funded by the grant for two years, according to the chief.

Nussle said the grant is needed because the city lost so many firefighters in such a short period of time. The department had 75 firefighters before the layoffs.

He said if the city receives the grant, they will start to bring back laid-off firefighters who wish to come back first. He said he is pushing for a new entry level Civil Service test for firefighters because there is no hiring list now and he wants to have one available should the city need it.

If Warren is left out of this round of funding, it can re-apply under the 2010 SAFER grant this fall.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: wfd44 on September 03, 2010, 12:22:30 AM
More contact with DC has suggested that the application is under serious consideration for successful award.

The WFD has narrowed down the vendors for a new engine to 2 located in Wisconsin. However one of these did not show at Firehouse Expo at Baltimore. Not a good indication.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: wfd44 on September 08, 2010, 10:06:55 PM
The prelim specs for a new eng5 for wfd are pierce arrow xt puc 2000/750 at an approved sum of 600k fully equipped as an engine and rescue unit
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: wfd44 on September 11, 2010, 07:05:22 AM
Budget trimming has reduced cost for new engine 5 to 500k

also the repair to sta 6 at 68k would now have to come out of a citywide sum of 250k for all repairs to structures

prelim specs for  eng5 r pierce arrow xt puc 2000/750 fully outfitted as both an engine and rescue pumper upon delivery

Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: wfd44 on September 16, 2010, 09:07:58 PM
The ff union of WFD has indicated that at a meeting in California FEMA officials reportedly stated that WFD is going to receive a Safer Grant to rehire old and new ff's to the previous level of 75 men effectively restoring the FD to its previous numbers and making possible the reopening of substations.

The station on the Northwest side at 2454 Parkman Rd is in serious need of major structural repair to cost 68,000 dollars. The apparatus floor must be reinforced to withstand the weight of the newer heavier apparatus used by the dept. At present it is believed that station 6 will house Ladder 6 and Rescue 1.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: wfd44 on September 22, 2010, 09:57:30 PM
Almost 5 million bucks have been awarded to WFD to rehire around 24 guys or so give or take laid off for 2 years now.The way it works is the city must pay them and be reimbursed every 3 months. The auditor seemed at a loss on where to get the bucks. Rep Tim Ryan told him to smile--this was a big day for Warren. Ten guys are available for rehire and will staff station 5. Additional men will be new and will need to undergo testing, both written and agility, interviews, background checks and then put on the job. Then station 6 will reopen.
The new rescue engine may be numbered 2 and yet assigned to station 5 whenever it is delivered. The final details are not yet ironed out as to its exact specs. Prolly a 2000 gpm with 750 tank; no foam or hydraulic ladder rack; tak-4 ind front suspension, raised roof,either side mounted or puc pump, both engine and rescue tools included in the delivery; budget approved at 500k.

Station 6 needs 68k of structural repairs. If this is not completed b4 reopening the quint ladder 6 will operate from the rear bay in the mechanic shop.

The platform aerial will then return to downtown. Sta 5 will be running a 1989 Pierce when it reopens till a new apparatus is delivered.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: wfd44 on September 23, 2010, 03:40:14 AM

Grant allows firefighters to return
September 23, 2010 - By RAYMOND L. SMITH Tribune Chronicle
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WARREN - A nearly $5 million grant will enable the city to recall 10 firefighters laid off in January 2009 and hire up to 13 new ones to boost its roster to 74 firefighters.

The city learned Wednesday during a news conference hosted by U.S. Rep. Timothy Ryan, D-Niles, that it has received a two-year, $4.9 million Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant. The announcement was made at the Central Fire Station downtown.

"We expect to send out the recall letters as soon as possible," Warren fire Chief Ken Nussle said. "What is most important, this will increase the level of safety for our residents and our firefighters."

"This has been a huge issue in Warren," Ryan said. "We have been working with fire and city officials to make this day possible."

The S.A.F.E.R. program awards grants to assist local fire departments with staffing and deployment.

The grants provide money to hire new firefighters, rehire laid-off firefighters, and programs for recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters. The grants are administered by the Department of Homeland Security. Language in the original grant had to be changed to allow communities such as Warren to use the money to recall laid-off crews.

"Originally, the language of the grant only allowed departments to use it for the hiring of new firefighters," Ryan said.

Since the creation of the S.A.F.E.R. grant, there have been 169 grants awarded, according to a FEMA website. Ohio has received approximately $24.4 million. Ryan estimates fire departments in his district have received about $12 million in grants since they have been available.

"This is a shot in the arm for the city of Warren," Ryan said. "There were a lot of cities that received the grant and did not accept it."

Mayor Michael O'Brien said the city already is writing the recall letters needed to bring back the laid-off firefighters, and the civil service commission is crafting the examination for new hires. The union, city officials and the civil service commission recently agreed to require applicants to be certified as paramedics, so the legal notice must be changed.

The laid-off firefighters could be back on the job within the next 30 days, but O'Brien does not expect new hires to come on board until after Jan. 1.

The city laid off 11 firefighters in 2009. O'Brien expects to bring back 10 of them because one of the firefighters has found a new job, he said.

Since the initial layoff of the 11 firefighters, the department lost 13 firefighters through retirements, bringing its roster to 51.

Bringing back the laid-off firefighters will put the department back up to 61 personnel. With the addition of 13 new firefighters, the department will be at 74 firefighters.

O'Brien said the city has not decided whether it will reopen the closed fire stations, which were shuttered because of inadequate staffing.

The central station is the only one open in the city. Prior to layoffs, the department operated out of three stations.

Nussle said city officials already are looking at ways to pay for the firefighters after the two-year grant period ends. The city also will apply for the next round of S.A.F.E.R. grants.

"This grant will provide 100 percent of the wages and benefits for two years with no matching funds from the city," said Marc Titus, president of the International Association of Firefighters Local 204. "We applaud the administration for accepting the grant. There are neighboring communities that were awarded this grant to make their city and their citizen's safe, but have refused to accept this grant."

Jeremy Rodgers, a laid-off firefighter hired in 2002, said the last two years has been tough on his family.

"I've been working three part-time jobs and have not had health insurance," he said. "I thought this day would never come. This has been a long road. This will be a blessing for my family."
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: YARBFD10 on September 23, 2010, 02:24:08 PM
I have been told by an "inside" source that fire department based ambulance service was a must in order to secure the grant.  SAFER people told WFD union reps since no new income was projected for city that a billable EMS service needed to be started.  Hence the need for new applicants and hires to be certified as paramedics......  SAFER grant is only a band-aid, not a solution.  Look for WFD medic units to be backing into the stations soon.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: START WATER on September 23, 2010, 07:52:41 PM


Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: wfd44 on September 23, 2010, 08:29:02 PM
True new hires will be as you state
Dont look for any ems units tho
I said sta 5 wud be opening first
Now is gonna be sta 6 instead
about one month
will operate from rear mechanic bay
new pierce not ordered but will be from state coop purchase
am glad its gonna be an arrow xt
budget is generous
for truck and all eng/resc equip
fires lately on west side have been related arsons by vandals
all 3 vacants
late nite
fire thur the roofs
total losses
with 3500 vacants and bored hoodlums wfd will be moderately busy for a small city under 50k pop
hoping fema will eventually award wfd a new eng
austintown purchased a wisconsin-built contender
then recd a generous grant of around 400-450k from fema for a new kme quint
yfd supposedly is looking to replace 24s tower in 2011 if the rumormill is correct
wonder what it will be
how bout an 85ft pierce midmount platform????
that wud be a sweet addition to yfds awesome pierce fleet
85 ft job is 8ft shorter than the comparable 95ft midmount platform
wfds platform was cleaned at adventech eone rep so that the boom and aerial is entirely white not silver-colored
looks sweet
eone sales rep said platform shud last another 15 yrs
its a 1992

Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: wfd44 on September 25, 2010, 12:59:36 AM

Warren to recall 10 firefighters, hire more
September 25, 2010 - By MARLY KOSINSKI Tribune Chronicle
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WARREN - Recall letters will be sent out Monday to 10 of the 11 firefighters laid off Jan. 1, 2009, after a $4.9 million federal grant was received by the fire department earlier this week.

The 11th firefighter, Michael Stryffeler, is working in Youngstown and has waived his recall rights, according to firefighter union president Marc Titus. Of the 10 expected to return, eight of them were hired in 2002 and two were hired in 2006, according to personnel records.

Two of them - Leslie Hathaway and Jeremy Rodgers - were among four firefighters sworn in May 1, 2002. The other two, who started at the same time, were not laid off.

Titus said when layoffs occur, the first criteria considered is hire date. If multiple firefighters were hired the same day, layoffs are done according to civil service examination scores. If there is a tie, the city uses the date listed on their application, Titus said.

He said because Stryffeler is not being recalled, the city will be able to hire 14 new firefighters instead of the 13 originally planned. The new hires will be certified as paramedics after an agreement was reached earlier this month between the union and the city requiring all applicants to have the higher certification.

Applicants also must already have completed a physical agility test at a certified testing agency.

Titus said the openings must be advertised for 30 days, expected to begin soon after the Oct. 6 Civil Service Commission meeting.

Mayor Michael O'Brien said previously the new hires will not be on board until after Jan. 1.

Titus said the recall of 10 firefighters will allow the Central Fire Station to have more than minimum staffing levels for the first time in nearly two years. He said that in addition to the 11 laid off, 12 more retired and have not been replaced.

''We have lost 33 percent of our staffing,'' Titus said.

He said once the 14 new hires are on board, the city can consider opening its two satellite stations on Atlantic Street and Parkman Road, closed after the layoffs took effect.

Titus said the roof on the Atlantic Street station needs replaced before it can open, but he thinks the city already has budgeted for the capital improvement.

The $4.9 million Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant is given by the Department of Homeland Security through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It is for use by municipalities to recall laid off firefighters, retain current personnel and hire new ones.

Titus said in addition to paying for salaries and benefits for the 24 firefighters for the next two years, the grant also pays for physical exams, drug testing, equipment, training and gear for the new hires.

''This is at no cost to the city and covers everything needed to get the new hires ready to work,'' he said.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: wfd44 on September 25, 2010, 01:00:52 AM
Fact Box

The following firefighters laid off Jan. 1, 2009, will be recalled Monday:

Leslie Hathaway (hired May 2002)

Jeremy Rodgers (hired May 2002)

Jarrod Perry (hired July 2002)

Michael Loftus (hired July 2002)

Casey Klein (hired July 2002)

Bryan Binko (hired July 2002)

David VanDevender (hired July 2002)

Mark Thigpen (hired July 2002)

James Gillen (hired April 2006)

Brett Anderson (hired May 2006)
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: YARBFD10 on September 26, 2010, 05:21:39 PM
True new hires will be as you state
Dont look for any ems units tho

I'm willing to bet my posting priveliges on this one Steve!  EMS units will run from the WFD in the not so distant future.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: wfd44 on September 26, 2010, 10:45:17 PM
my doubts r born of living int his corrupt locale
i dont see the privates allowing this to cut into their profits
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: wfd44 on October 07, 2010, 12:25:56 AM
6 men back on job at wfd thus 3 apparatus are fully staffed:
squad with 6
quint with 3
rescue pumper with 3
eventually sta 5 will open
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: daysleeper47 on October 07, 2010, 01:29:19 PM
Why not staff the Squad with 3 and Engine 5 with 3?
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: yfdgricker on October 07, 2010, 09:05:41 PM
New firefighters in Warren must have paramedic training
Story published October 7, 2010 By Ed Runyan in the Youngstown Vindicator.

WARREN - While the city prepares to hire 13 firefighters with money from a $5 million federal grant, Warren Civil Service Commission member Frank Hearns expressed hope that the city might hire its first female firefighter — or any minority, for that matter.

But Neil Heller, who became the department’s first black assistant fire chief last year, said at Wednesday’s Civil Service Commission meeting that he thinks it’s unlikely any local black or Hispanic man or woman will take the test because the 13 positions require for the first time that the person hold a state Paramedic Certificate, which takes about two years of training.

Heller said he tried years ago to recruit minorities to apply for firefighter positions and had no luck. There is no recruiting program in place now, he said.

The department has never had a female firefighter, and the last minority hired into the department was in 1992, said Ken Nussle, Warren fire chief. The department has five black male firefighters among its 62 employees, he said.

The department will have 62 employees on Saturday, when the last of 10 laid-off firefighters return to work. The pay and benefits of the 10 returning firefighters also are being paid for with the two-year grant.

Heller said he thinks few minorities train to become firefighters because their “mentality” is “You’re not going to hire me in the first place.” He said he thinks the physical-agility test, which will be given at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland this time instead of locally, prevents some women from getting hired.

Nussle said the department is requiring paramedic certification for the 13 new hires for two reasons. One is so that the department can return to providing emergency medical (ambulance) service to the city. Roughly 90 percent of fire departments across the country provide some level of emergency medical service, Nussle said.

Second, the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant the city received pays for 23 to 24 additional firefighters for two years. After that, the city must pay for them on its own or lay them off, Nussle said.

Having paramedics in the department will improve the odds of having a way to keep them after the two years, Nussle said. Providing EMS to the city won’t cost citizens any additional money because ambulance runs won’t be charged to the resident, only to their insurance or Medicare, he added.

Nussle said the department has “come a long way” in the 221/2 years since he became a firefighter because he was not required to have the 240 hours of firefighter training that was added in the early 1990s or paramedic certification.

Because of the requirements, people who haven’t already started their training probably won’t be eligible to get hired, Nussle said.

The commission said it will accept applications for the jobs from 10 a.m. to noon Dec. 4 and 11 at the Warren Fire Department, and the written test will be given Dec. 18, with registration starting around 9 a.m., at Warren G. Harding High School.

Applications, which will be available at Warren City Hall and the fire department, are not available yet, Nussle said.

Other requirements are a high school diploma or GED, valid driver’s license, and applicants must be between age 18 and 35.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: doomonyou on October 08, 2010, 07:00:02 PM
So what happens in 2 years when the cash runs out? Will Warren be able to keep these guys, is this the idea behind EMS? My dept got rid of EMS back in 86 or 87, I think with the way the economy has been wishes they still had.

We have been re lucky though, no station closures, man power cuts, just some vacant spots not being filled. Heck we just took delivery of 2 engines and ladder.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: YARBFD10 on October 09, 2010, 09:35:00 AM
New firefighters in Warren must have paramedic training
Story published October 7, 2010 By Ed Runyan in the Youngstown Vindicator.
Nussle said the department is requiring paramedic certification for the 13 new hires for two reasons. One is so that the department can return to providing emergency medical (ambulance) service to the city. Roughly 90 percent of fire departments across the country provide some level of emergency medical service, Nussle said.

Having paramedics in the department will improve the odds of having a way to keep them after the two years, Nussle said. Providing EMS to the city won’t cost citizens any additional money because ambulance runs won’t be charged to the resident, only to their insurance or Medicare, he added.


Hey Steve, you believe it now???
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: wfd44 on October 10, 2010, 08:46:46 PM
politics political machines and corruption are rampant and i do not believe it cuz words mean nothing action does when it happens lets talk till then dont count ur chickens b4 they hatch or u mite lay an egg
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: yfdgricker on December 29, 2010, 03:26:24 AM
Fire budget raises alarms
Story posted December 29, 2010 by MARLY KOSINSKI in the Tribune Chronicle

WARREN - Despite passing a 2011 city budget of $70.6 million last week, several council members said they have concerns about adding more than a dozen firefighters to the payroll without a clear plan on how to pay for them after a federal grant expires.

In September, the city received a $4.9 million Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant that was used to recall 10 firefighters laid off Jan. 1, 2009, and hire an additional 14 firefighters who are expected to be on the payroll in April. The grant pays for salaries, benefits, training and equipment for the recalled workers and new hires for two years.

Councilman John Brown, D-3rd Ward, voted against passing the 2011 budget at the Dec. 22 City Council meeting. City spending surpassed income by nearly $2 million in 2007, by more than $500,000 in 2009 and nearly $100,000 so far this year, he said.

"How will these firefighters be paid for in the third year when we are relying on a grant to hire them in the first place?" Brown said.

Sixth Ward Councilwoman Cheryl Saffold also voted against the passing budget because of concerns over the S.A.F.E.R. grant. She asked if the grant required firefighters to be paramedic-certified and Human Resources Director Gary Cicero told her it did not.

"Then why did we require applicants who took the test on Saturday (Dec. 18) to be certified?" Saffold asked.

Michele Scala, Civil Service Commission clerk, said applicants did not have to have their paramedic certification to take the test, but they must have it at the time of their appointment.

Auditor David Griffing said previously he does not expect the new hires to be on the budget until after April because of background checks and physical agility tests.

Scala said 67 people applied for the firefighter positions, with 62, including one woman, taking the test on Dec. 18. She said 99 people took the test three years ago, but she would not speculate on whether the paramedic certification played a role in the decline this time around.

Fire Chief Ken Nussle said the firefighters union and Civil Service Commission decided to require paramedic certification to provide a better trained department. Eventually, the fire department would like to move toward providing an ambulance service for residents, he said.

"One of the questions on the grant application was how the city would generate income to sustain the personnel hired with the grant money. Providing emergency medical services could be a way to do that, but it was not a requirement for us getting the grant," Nussle said.

Councilman Al Novak, D-2nd Ward, said he plans to hold Finance Committee meetings after Jan. 1 to continue discussing the fire department staffing issue as well as other budget matters, which is why he agreed to pass the budget.

"This grant scares the hell out of me because we will be taking on so many more people and we still don't have union contracts with the existing personnel," Novak said.

Councilwoman Helen Rucker, D-at large, said she voted to accept the budget because she knew it needed to pass, but had some reservations about the fire grant.

"You're asking me to accept the responsibility of bringing firefighters back, but there is no clear plan by this administration on how to keep them," she said.

Mayor Michael O'Brien said the administration would not have accepted the grant unless it knew the positions could be sustained. The administration is hoping the economy continues to improve, which will boost income tax revenues, he said.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: yfdgricker on January 06, 2011, 07:44:40 PM
Chief: Hiring 14 firefighters good idea
Story by Ed Runyan ( Published in the Youngstown Vindicator on January 6, 2011


Forty-seven people passed the civil-service test given Dec. 18 at Harding High School to qualify for one of the 14 firefighter jobs Fire Chief Ken Nussle hopes to fill with money from a $5 million federal grant, but first he must convince Warren City Council that hiring them is a good idea.

Michelle Scala, clerk of the Warren Civil Service Commission, said Wednesday that 47 of the 62 people who took the test passed it. The exam tests general knowledge and doesn’t require firefighting knowledge, but being hired to one of the jobs requires a candidate to have emergency-medical-technician training by the time of hiring.

At 5 p.m. today, Nussle will discuss the grant with members of council’s Police and Fire Committee. Some council members have voiced concerns regarding the cost to the city to keep the firefighters after the two-year grant runs out or to pay for unemployment benefits if they are laid off.

Nussle said there is no obligation to keep the firefighters after the two years expire, but he admits he doesn’t know where the money will come from to pay unemployment benefits.

“But we have no intention of laying them off,” Nussle said. “Our goal is to use EMS to retain the firefighters.”

Nussle said 90 percent of fire departments across the country provide some level of emergency medical service. Warren does not, relying instead on private ambulance companies.

Warren did provide EMS services many years ago but did not transport patients at that time, which meant the city didn’t have a good source of revenue to pay for EMS services. The transport part of EMS is what makes the money, Nussle said.

Nussle said hiring 14 more firefighters with the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant it received last year will be a first step toward restoring EMS service.

That’s important, Nussle said, because people expect firefighters who arrive for an emergency to do something to help the wounded.

Currently, fewer than 10 percent of his firefighters have EMS training, so there’s little they can do.

The department used the SAFER grant already to rehire 10 laid-off firefighters in late September-early October, bringing staffing to 60.

If the department hires 14 more firefighters this year, it would have 74 — three more than it had when the city laid off 11 firefighters and left four vacancies unfilled Jan. 1, 2009.

David Griffing, Warren auditor, said the 11 firefighters laid off in 2009 cost the city $114,359 in unemployment benefits, or $10,396 each.

Scala said two of the 62 people who took the test were black males, and one of them was a female. She said she doesn’t know how many of them passed the test.

The department has never had a female firefighter, and the last minority hired into the department was in 1992.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: yfdgricker on January 27, 2011, 10:04:00 PM
Warren fire station to reopen
January 27, 2011 - By MARLY KOSINSKI Tribune Chronicle

WARREN - The city will open one of its two satellite fire stations today for the first time in two years thanks to a $4.9 million federal grant that allowed for the recall of 10 laid-off firefighters.

Station No. 6 on Parkman Road will be open today because there are 14 firefighters on duty - 11 for the central station downtown and three for the secondary station, according to firefighters union president Marc Titus. He said the station will be closed Friday because the staffing level will be at 13 due to vacations, personal days and other scheduled days off, but he expects it to reopen Saturday.

Titus said 11 firefighters are needed to man the downtown station, 14 are needed to open one secondary station and 17 are needed to have all three stations open. He said the Atlantic Street station cannot open until the engine truck housed there gets its ruptured water tank repaired.

Titus said he would have preferred waiting until the No. 5 Atlantic Street station could be open before opening the Parkman Road station, because it appears to residents that the city is favoring one side of town over the other.

"It's safer for us to all respond from the downtown station even if we have enough manpower to open one of the secondary stations because it's like rolling the dice opening one and not the other," Titus said prior to Wednesday's City Council meeting.

He said if there are three firefighters at the Parkman Road station and there is a fire in the northeast quadrant, the 11 firefighters at the main station will respond first and there will be a lag time for the three men at Parkman Road, which could put firefighters in danger.

Safety-Service Director Doug Franklin said he spoke to Fire Chief Ken Nussle Wednesday afternoon and Nussle indicated he wanted to open the Parkman Road station because he thinks there is less coverage on the south and west sides of the city from the central station. Nussle was not at Wednesday's meeting.

Franklin said the city's goal is to have all three stations open permanently.

Councilman John Brown, D-3rd Ward, said he reviewed personnel sheets from a 100-day period since the 10 firefighters were recalled in October and the reports show there have been enough firefighters on duty 80 percent of the time to open at least one outside station, and there have been several instances when there was enough manpower to open both.

"In 2007, Warren residents made an income tax for safety forces permanent and they were promised the outlying stations would be open on at least a rotating basis. We have not kept that promise and I hope that changes with the additional manpower," Brown said.

He was referring to 14 additional firefighters who will be on the payroll by April using money from the $4.9 million Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (S.A.F.E.R.) grant received by the city last year.

The additional hires will bring the total number of firefighters to 74. Titus said the 10 recalled personnel brought the number to 60, which is where the roster stood after layoffs Jan. 1, 2009. He said in addition to the layoffs, the department lost an additional 10 men in 2009 and 2010 through retirements that were not replaced.

"Once we get to 74, we will have enough manpower to staff all three stations on a regular basis," Titus said.

Franklin said Station No. 6 has some structural issues with the floor, but some equipment was moved around to lessen the weight load there so the Parkman Road station can be used. Titus said the roof at Station No. 5 needs to be replaced, but several leaks have been repaired enough to make it useable.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: yfdgricker on January 28, 2011, 07:24:49 AM
Reopening of Warren fire station sparks optimism
Published: 1/28/2011 By ED RUNYAN ( in the Youngstown Vindicator

WARREN - With Thursday’s reopening of the Parkman Road Northwest fire station, the city has a second operational station for the first time since April 2009.

The Parkman Road station won’t operate quite the way it did in 2009 and won’t be open every day of the week, but having a second station could

reduce response times to some calls on the west side, Fire Chief Ken Nussle said.

The station is across from the Trumbull Plaza, about four minutes from the main fire station on South Street downtown.

The fire engine at the Parkman Road Station probably will get to fires first on 15 percent to 20 percent of all emergency calls, Nussle said, and could shave minutes off of response times.

To reopen the Parkman Road station now, Nussle had to “compromise” on a guideline that each firetruck should have four firefighters on board, he said. Trucks at Parkman Road sometimes will have only three.

Joe Vescera, owner of Sorrento’s Restaurant, just north of the Parkman Road station, said he’s pleased the station is back open.

“We’re fortunate to have it only two doors away. They can get here much faster than if they had to come from downtown Warren,” he said.

He added that the future of the city depends on people’s having confidence in the schools, police department and fire department.

“They’re the reasons people come to a city,” he said.

Because engineering consultants A.C. Charnas & Associates of Warren indicated in 2009 that the Parkman Road station’s main floor area wasn’t strong enough to support the weight of 63,000-pound ladder truck, Nussle has moved an engine truck there that is about half the weight.

The station will house three firefighters 24 hours a day on the days when there are enough firefighters to man the station. That will happen about 70 percent of the time, Nussle said.

Any time there are 14 firefighters working on a shift, there will be enough to open two fire stations. When there are at least 17 per shift, the station on Atlantic Street Northeast will open, Nussle said.

The department has 61 firefighters now, including the chief. That works out to 19 firefighters plus one inspector on each shift, but there are up to five people off per shift for vacations and other reasons.

The 15 firefighters to be hired in waves over the next two months with the money being received from a $5 million, two-year federal Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant will give the department 75 firefighters, or 19 to 24 per shift.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: yfdgricker on January 30, 2011, 04:25:32 PM
Warren applied for second S.A.F.E.R. grant
January 28, 2011 - By MARLY KOSINSKI Tribune Chronicle

WARREN - Just weeks before the city learned it was receiving a $4.9 million federal grant to recall and hire firefighters, a nearly identical application was submitted for the following year.

During a police and fire committee meeting Thursday, fire Chief Ken Nussle said the fire department had not yet been awarded the 2009 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (S.A.F.E.R.) grant when it applied for the 2010 S.A.F.E.R. grant.

Nussle said a representative from the Federal Emergency Management Agency told him that if Warren wins a second grant, it cannot be used for anything except personnel and it cannot be used to extend the life of the 2009 grant, which expires in two years.

Safety-Service Director Doug Franklin said the city only applied for the 2010 grant as an "insurance policy" in case its 2009 application was rejected. The deadline to apply for the 2010 grant was approaching and there was no indication Warren received the 2009 grant, so an application was submitted.

Councilman Eddie Colbert, D-7th Ward and committee chair, questioned whether the city would accept a second grant if awarded since their staffing level will be at 75 once an additional 14 firefighters are on board. The city already has recalled 10 firefighters who were laid off using the S.A.F.E.R. grant.

However, International Association of Firefighters Local 204 president Marc Titus pointed out that the fire department's authorized strength - which is set by City Council - is 84. If the city accepted the 2010 grant, it would be required to retain any new firefighters hired with the money for one year after the two-year grant expires.

"The 2009 grant did not have any strings attached because we were bringing the staffing level back up to where it was before layoffs and retirements,'' Titus said. ''Under the grant guidelines, any firefighters beyond 75 are considered new hires instead of rehires and the city would have to keep them the third year.''

It is unknown how likely it is the city could receive a second grant amount of $5 million.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: yfdgricker on January 30, 2011, 04:27:20 PM
Parkman station reopens
January 28, 2011 - By JOE GORMAN and MARLY KOSINSKI Tribune Chronicle

WARREN - There was little fanfare as city firefighters reopened the Parkman Road station on Thursday.

The first three-man crew who will be staying there since the station was shuttered in April 2009 spent part of the day cleaning lockers and the kitchen, and trying to make the station livable.

Safety Service Director Doug Franklin credited a federal Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grant with allowing the city to hire more firefighters to open the station along with another station on Atlantic Street.

''We owe a lot to the S.A.F.E.R. grant,'' Franklin said.

Fire Chief Ken Nussle said he expects the Atlantic Street station to reopen shortly. Both stations were shuttered at the beginning of 2009 when massive layoffs in the city's safety service forces took place because of a budget deficit.

Capt. Bill Monrean said the opening of the station will increase the department's response time in the northwest part of the city. A crew of three can either begin rescue operations at a fire or begin to pour water on a vacant building that is on fire.

''Our goal is to get firefighters on the scene as quickly as possible,'' Monrean said.

There were concerns about the floor of the station, but Nussle said the floor should be fine because an engine is being housed there instead of a ladder truck. An engine weighs significantly less than a ladder truck, Nussle said.

Also, half of the roof is new after it was damaged by high winds a few years ago and the rest of the roof has been patched, Nussle said.

The schedule will be set up so the station can be operational every day, though there may be some days when it is closed due to short staffing such as for illness or other time off, the chief said.

''More times than not it will be open,'' Nussle said.

During a City Council Police and Fire Committee meeting on Thursday, Councilman John Brown, D-3rd Ward, asked why Station No. 6 on Parkman Road was reopened first rather than Station No. 5 on Atlantic Street.

Nussle answered that the Parkman Road station is 2.6 miles from the downtown station, while the Atlantic Street station is 1.5 miles from downtown. Also, Monrean also said, Station 6 houses the department mechanic and all of the utilities have been kept on there, while Station 5 was "mothballed."

"You argue that residents near the Atlantic Street station feel slighted, but I am sure the residents living near the stations that closed one by one also felt slighted," Monrean said.

Brown also wanted to know what happened to a plan Nussle formulated after layoffs in January 2009 to keep the Parkman Road and Atlantic Street stations open on a rotating basis. Nussle said that had been his intention, but he later decided it was safer to house all the firefighters at the central fire station downtown to ensure there was adequate personnel.

Brown and Councilman Vince Flask, D-5th, both requested a copy of a 2000 study that showed the city needed more substations to reduce response times. Titus said the study was used to determine which stations to close as the city's population dwindled.

Franklin said the ultimate goal is to have all three stations open, which he said will happen when the 14 firefighters join the roster.

"There is no one in this room that does not want all three stations open. But we are better off today than we were yesterday," Franklin said.

The department was also able to put its rescue truck back in service Thursday because of an increase in staffing, Monrean said. The department was using Engine 6 as its rescue truck. Besides the specialized equipment on the truck, it can also be used as a command vehicle at critical incidents, Monrean said.

Photo caption: Warren Fire Capt. Bill Monrean, left, and Safety-Service Director Doug Franklin, right, talk over the logistics of reopening the Parkman Road fire station Thursday. In the background is firefighter Bryan Binko.
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: wfd44 on February 04, 2011, 03:46:02 PM
Minimum staffing per turn required to operate northwest station 6 is 14 persons.

6 to squad 1
3 to quint 1 [radio designation is Q1]
3 to eng 6

15 persons on shift add an additional person to Q1

16 persons on shift:

squad 1.....5 persons
quint 1..   .3 persons
rescue 1. ..3 persons
eng 6...    .3 persons

plans call for eventual cross-staffing of rescue  1 with an officer,driver and 2 paramedics for first responder program.

wfd firefighter jeremy rodgers has had much tragedy
1] house destroyed by fire
2] unborn baby lost and wife endangered in the process
3] father died today after minor surgery
    was with howland fire/autopsy pending cause
keep jeremy in ur thoughts and send him a card to wfd 111 south st warren oh 44483
Title: Re: Warren Firefighter Shortage
Post by: wfd44 on April 17, 2011, 12:34:52 AM
Atlantic St Station 5 Warren ,Ohio FD reopened quietly on Friday
April 15,2011. It is assigned a 1989 Pierce Arrow  2-door canopy cab 1250gpm/750tank. Future plans call for a new rescue pumper at a budgeted amount of 500k to be paid from  by means of municipal bonds.