I would like you to watch the worst testimony ever heard before a governing body. The man you are about to watch is Lloyd Ayers he is reportedly the Commissioner of the Philadelphia Fire Department. I don’t think he is qualified to be a sewer cleaner. No offense to the men and women in the city that actually do work in the city sewers.
Did you notice that he argued that familiarity with the run was not important? The senior guy was unimportant. The runs are preplanned. But the learning curve for an entire fire local is not one year. It may not even be two years. But Lloyd being the bullshitter he is then says it is about familiarity with schools, businesses and hospitals. We you don’t get familiar by moving people around. One hospital is not the same as another but there are plenty of hospitals. Who would you as a citizen want coming to your fire. I guy who just got assigned with two other guys who might not be familiar with your home or office, or a team lead by a tenured firefighter who has been in the building numerous times and knows the layout like the back of their hand?
What Ayers is proposing is unprecedented in the fire service. Transferring the most senior firefighters is a dangerous and frankly stupid thing to do. Ayers looked like a fool in that video. Now watch as a city council member just blows the commissioner out of the water.
Amazing isn’t it. No former commissioner nor Fire Service leaders from other cities think this is a great idea. If fact as the councilman is dumbfounded by the logic of this plan. Why you ask? Because nothing in this plan is motivated to help the citizens of Philadelphia. Watch that first video again. Listen as he chooses his words. He is making it up as he goes along. But what is really scary about Ayers and I guess his boss Michael Nutter (since Nutter keeps him in position) is they think they can drive fire from the city of Philadelphia. No really they do. Listen to Lloyd on the first video again, Yes I know it is painful to watch the man talk but go back and listen to his logic about the partnership between citizen and the fire department. He thinks he can drive the fire load to zero! That line of thought alone give me reason to wonder about his ability to be a fire service administrator.
Fire is a random act. A loose wire, a faulty switch or a smoker who falls asleep. You will never get the fire load to zero. Lloyd KNOWS this but he pitches the lie that you can by education reduce the fire load to zero. The reality is much of the really old housing stock in Philadelphia is burned out and since there are no new Highway projects (See the 1970’s and the second street corridor) the fire load is down. But to assume by moving firefighters around the city and doing more community outreach you can reduce the danger to the citizens is nothing short of foolhardy!
I once worked in the slowest section of Philadelphia when it came to fires. Guess what area had the highest death rate? Yep the slow section of the city.
Lloyd Ayers is making up a false sense of fire safety by trying to tell you that he can reduce your chances of a fire to ZERO! He is doing a head fake to get his way to punish the Firefighters for calling him on his poor leadership and absolute lack of knowledge. Lloyd was not appointed because he was a great leader. He was appointed because he has influential friends and holds his position for the same SAD reason.
On April 11, 2012 Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers said this in front of city council. This would be his public statement on hiring for fiscal 2013.
Lastly, there was a significant amount of work done to establish the recent eligibility list for firefighter recruit position. The Department is looking forward to hiring a double class of 160 firefighters in July 2012 and additional classes in January or February of 2013 to bring the Department back to its full authorized budget position level.
To be clear ,Lloyd (he will always be Lloyd to me) is talking about staffing at a zero overtime level with the rolling brownouts in place. So the craps game of station closings will continue long into the future. But what concerns me is the inconsistent statements coming from the leadership. The men who the city entrusts the public safety will tell you that they can safeguard the city with 5 million less dollars in Fiscal 13. Yet they want to hire 160 new Firefighters in the summer of 2012 and more in early 2013. These classes offset by the retirement of 150 firefighters by early 2013 do little to change the overtime situation that has been encouraged by the city administration and then used as a club against the union. It was the overtime that Nutter and Lloyd cited for the rolling brownouts. Ask yourself a question, if you know you have X amount of fire companies and it takes Y to fill those positions why would you allow the staffing to drop to 0.
What the people of Philadelphia don’t see is the plan is to reduce fire protection while blowing so much smoke that the people believe that they have their best interest at heart. Nothing could be further from the truth. In the contract with Philadelphia Police they received the right to live outside the city limits. This was given to the police because they accepted a furlough system (time off without pay) from the city. The Firefighters union did not accept the offer of furloughs and can not live outside the city. Things are not adding up. Why do they want that right from the Firefighters?
You have a city department that is understaffed. You use overtime to fill those vacancies. You complain about the overtime. You cut services to the citizens in the name of budgetary constraint. But you ask the Employees to allow the city to lay them off periodically to save money. Lloyd has reduced the firefighting companies by 7 permanent and 3 rolling since he took the helm. How could they possibly furlough anyone when they are paying millions in overtime for staffing shortages they claim forced them to close companies?
ARE YOU SEEING THIS? You Tell Me!
With the news of the long-expected failure from the Super Committee comes the inevitable spin. Now being the right leaning guy I am I am not happy with any of the proposals that were bandied about within the halls of Washington. As I said yesterday the Democrats through both the President and John Kerry laid the blame at the feet of the Republicans. Well today a Republican published an Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal and go figure he blames the Democrats. Here is some of Jeb Hensarling’s piece.
Democrats on the committee made it clear that the new spending called for in the president’s health law was off the table. Still, committee Republicans offered to negotiate a plan on the other two health-care entitlements—Medicare and Medicaid—based upon the reforms included in the budget the House passed earlier this year.
The Medicare reforms would make no changes for those in or near retirement. Beginning in 2022, beneficiaries would be guaranteed a choice of Medicare-approved private health coverage options and guaranteed a premium-support payment to help pay for the plan they choose.
Democrats rejected this approach but assured us on numerous occasions they would offer a “structural” or “architectural” Medicare reform plan of their own. While I do not question their good faith effort to do so, they never did.
Republicans on the committee also offered to negotiate a plan based on the bipartisan “Protect Medicare Act” authored by Alice Rivlin, one of President Bill Clinton’s budget directors, and Pete Domenici, a former Republican senator from New Mexico. Rivlin-Domenici offered financial support to seniors to purchase quality, affordable health coverage in Medicare-approved plans. These seniors would be able to choose from a list of Medicare-guaranteed coverage options, similar to the House budget’s approach—except that Rivlin-Domenici would continue to include a traditional Medicare fee-for-service plan among the options.
These guys cold poke an eye out with all this finger-pointing. But that being said even the Republicans offered up a token tax increase. Pat Toomey a “conservative” from Pennsylvania offered up a 300 billion loophole killing plan that amazingly every Republican would support. That would and should make it easy for the Democrats to back the plan. Well that did not happen. So we have the Republicans offering an anemic tax increase and amazingly the Democrats do not seize on it. They want more. As Kerry said they wanted 1.3 trillion in taxes. The Democrats stuck to that!
Now I will say this. What this committee should have done was broaden the base and spread the burden further over the American people. Notice I did not say the taxpayers. We all know why, the legislature has purchased the votes of many in this country by offering tax breaks. Not only to the rich but to the middle-class and poor. As a matter of fact the proportion of taxes paid by the supposed 1% vastly outweighs the bottom 50%. We all know that at a minimum 47% of Americans pay not federal income tax. Yet this is the group along with our contentious President demanding fairness.
Folks there is no middle anymore. This is a battle for the soul of our country. We can not let the “Gimme Gimme” crowd win this . Nor can we allow the Rich to be burdened with more taxes when many pay none.
Congress is a gutless bunch of cowards. Fix it!
To be fair to Harry Reid I am sure. He is not going to China to see how they keep their people so repressed. Reid I am sure had only the best of intentions. And that is why his trip was a Secret until he and 9 other Senators showed up in The heart of China. For the record there are Republicans on the trio so it could easily be classified as a bipartisan vacation in China. What? You think it is a working trip? It must be a real whirlwind of meetings with the leaders of China. Well actually there was the luncheon at Steve Wynn’s Casino.
Wasn’t Steve Wynn opposed to what the Obama administration was doing? Here listen.
It is amusing that Wynn mentions Macau in the video. It was his casino in Macau that hosted a meet and greet with Reid and the touring leeches. The luncheon was hosted by the other supposed enemy of the Obama Administration, The American Chamber of Commerce. So Steve Wynn and the chamber of commerce, who hate Obama’s policies host the left hand of the Messiah, in the form of Harry Reid and host him to promote more American business in China. Is anyone starting to get worried? You should.
Now you need to ask yourself this question. If the Senators are buddy-buddy with Wynn and the chamber and Obama is best friends with the CEO of GE who is offshoring jobs every chance he gets. Where are they taking us? It certainly is not on the path to prosperity. Get back to the grass-roots of politics. Elect real people not the elite politicians who all the others deem QUALIFIED.
Oh yea, if Reid’s trip was such a secret why did the Chamber send out invitations to meet him a month in advance. The secret was so that you and I would not complain and stop him and 9 other money suckers from taking their wives on a free trip to China.