[cifnmedia] Cops, Firefighters Hash Out Emergency Leadership

  • From: Sean & Kimberly Aaron <cifn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: CIFN LIST <cifnmedia@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 6 Jan 2004 11:35:00 -0800 (PST)

Cops, Firefighters Hash Out Emergency Leader
Cops, Firefighters Hash Out Emergency Leadership

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By Dan Janison
STAFF WRITER

January 2, 2004


More than six months after a cluster of nasty clashes began between police and 
firefighters, their agencies still lack an agreement on who will take command 
at various emergency scenes.

"It's in the final stages of review," said one city official on New Year's Eve, 
speaking of the agreement discussed for months at City Hall.

Administration insiders say Mayor Michael Bloomberg has granted wide discretion 
on such matters to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, whose department has 
traditionally opposed ceding any command authority.

The delay continues as the Office of Emergency Management, for the moment, goes 
leaderless.

City officials say the search for a successor to John Odermatt, whose 
resignation as OEM director became effective this week, has narrowed to three 
candidates.

In a 2001 charter change made by referendum, OEM became a full-fledged 
department that would "coordinate the city's response to all emergency 
conditions ... which require a multi-agency response."

Those protocols could play a role in the federal government's distribution of 
homeland security funds to the city.

At a mock bioterrorism drill in Brooklyn in May, police threatened to arrest 
firefighters - for real - if they didn't move a certain truck.

In mid-July, a firefighter involved in efforts to dislodge a burglar stuck in a 
chimney said he was thrown down, cuffed and arrested by a police officer, 
allegedly for obstructing a crime scene.

Barely two weeks later, fire and police diving teams became embroiled at the 
scene of a man's drowning in Newtown Creek. A police officer allegedly threw a 
grappling hook in the water that dislodged a firefighter's face mask.

At that time, Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta said it seemed "this was a 
dangerous situation that could have resulted in serious injury to our 
firefighter." He added at the time that he and Kelly were close to an agreement 
on protocols. 
Copyright © 2004, Newsday, Inc. |  Article licensing and reprint options 


 
 
By Dan Janison
STAFF WRITER

January 2, 2004


More than six months after a cluster of nasty clashes began between police and 
firefighters, their agencies still lack an agreement on who will take command 
at various emergency scenes.

"It's in the final stages of review," said one city official on New Year's Eve, 
speaking of the agreement discussed for months at City Hall.

Administration insiders say Mayor Michael Bloomberg has granted wide discretion 
on such matters to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, whose department has 
traditionally opposed ceding any command authority.

The delay continues as the Office of Emergency Management, for the moment, goes 
leaderless.

City officials say the search for a successor to John Odermatt, whose 
resignation as OEM director became effective this week, has narrowed to three 
candidates.

In a 2001 charter change made by referendum, OEM became a full-fledged 
department that would "coordinate the city's response to all emergency 
conditions ... which require a multi-agency response."

Those protocols could play a role in the federal government's distribution of 
homeland security funds to the city.

At a mock bioterrorism drill in Brooklyn in May, police threatened to arrest 
firefighters - for real - if they didn't move a certain truck.

In mid-July, a firefighter involved in efforts to dislodge a burglar stuck in a 
chimney said he was thrown down, cuffed and arrested by a police officer, 
allegedly for obstructing a crime scene.

Barely two weeks later, fire and police diving teams became embroiled at the 
scene of a man's drowning in Newtown Creek. A police officer allegedly threw a 
grappling hook in the water that dislodged a firefighter's face mask.

At that time, Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta said it seemed "this was a 
dangerous situation that could have resulted in serious injury to our 
firefighter." He added at the time that he and Kelly were close to an agreement 
on protocols. 
Copyright © 2004, Newsday, Inc. |  Article licensing and reprint options 




Sean A. Aaron (CIFN*1)
Central Illinois Fire Network
cifn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
www.geocities.com/central_illinois_firenet


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