Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Firemen work too hard to have their budget cut.

While in North Carolina the other day I got a phone call from my dad asking in a hurried tone if my mom was with me he needed to talk to her it was an emergency. I knew imidiately it was my 24 yr old brother. 
He is a Los Angeles firefighter. And he is really good at what he does. He really good at everything he does honestly but of course he chose a career where my mom and dad and I would have to pretend that we don't know he puts his life on the line multiple times on a daily rate.  I take comfort in knowing how smart strong and safety concious he is but I still get scared which is probably why he and many people in jobs like his can't talk to too many people about their daily activities.   
I ran into the restaurant and got my phone to my mom. I watched her looking for confirmation that it was about my brother. She got quiet and just nodded and listened. I was right. But I was wrong in underestimating how strong my mother is. She straightened up stopped her tears and took her place as family captain with out missing a beat. "T is fine." she said to put us at ease first. " He was taken to the emergency room after falling through the roof and they also found some CO2 possioning in his blood. But he is ok. Dad is on his way now to pick him up."
I don't know how she did it but she kept it together. I on the other hand pretended to look at my phone while I shook and sobbed so incredibly thankful he was ok and so devistated at the alternative. 
The problem is the mayor has cut the budget of the fire dept. Which means there are not enough firemen to fight ALL these fires right now and the ones that are on duty are having to do it alone. Which means my brother and his friends and all firemen are having to worker harder than they already do. That makes no sense. 
I have never writen to a government official but I think it is about time. Anyone has some advice?

Here is an article about my brother. It is the first time that I have read " firemen down" and actually knew the person. 

Crews Knock Down House Fire Near Runyon Canyon

Updated 9:30 AM PDT, Mon, Aug 31, 2009

Two firefighters were injured in a blaze that broke out in a Hollywood estate just south ofRunyon Canyon Park.

The fire was held to the house and did not spread to nearby brush, a fire official said.

The fire in the main house at 1800 N. Camino Palmero was reported at 8:29 a.m., said Los Angeles fire spokesman Devin Gales. The residence had a guesthouse in back, which was not burned.

Radio reports from the scene indicated that the fire started in the kitchen. Gales said it spread through the walls and into the attic of the large, two-story home.

One hundred and three firefighters responded to the greater-alarm fire and fought through thick smoke to mount an aggressive attack on the flames, using chainsaws to cut through areas of the Spanish-style roof.

It took just over two hours to get the fire knocked down, Gales said.

Two firefighters suffered injuries other than burns and were taken to hospitals, Gales said.

Gales did not know the extent of the damage caused by the fire. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Sent from my iPhone


Teenie said...

Oh my gosh... so glad he's okay... and that you guys are okay. As far as some advise, I'll put my thinking cap on.
Have a safe trip home today K&J!!!

Anonymous said...

i've been thinking about your brother alot this week - hope he is better. tell him thankyou for being such a hero!

Anonymous said...

thank heavens he's ok! we are so lucky to have brave men like him in our midst.

I found this on the Firefighter Union's Page...I'm calling my council person first thing tomorrow!:

August 10, 2009
Bul 29 -08
Call Your City Council Member

Station Commanders and other firefighters and paramedics having close relationships with members of the City Council are asked to call them immediately to express, in your own terms, your concerns for firefighter and public safety now that the Modified Coverage Plan has gone into effect.

One of the great dangers of the reduction of fire companies, EMS Districts, battalion command teams and ambulances, is the false sense of security that elected officials feel knowing that these closures are being rotated throughout the city. Because no one particular community or neighborhood can say they’ve been singled out for a permanent closure of their life-saving resource, the pressure to correct the problem is minimized.

Please call as soon as possible and let them know the full story, but do so on your own time and from your personal phone. Tell them that your safety, and your ability to do your job, has been impacted. Remind them why we need full staffing of the resources they’ve authorized, and what it means when precious minutes are lost in our business. Each of us has a responsibility to do all that can be done to correct this situation before needless deaths occur. Here are their names and numbers:

Council Dist 1
Reyes, Council Member
Fire Stations 1, 11, 12, 13, 44

Council Dist 2
Fire Stations 24, 74, 77, 78, 88, 89, 97

Council Dist 3
Zine, Council Member
Fire Stations 72, 73, 84, 93, 105, 106

Council Dist 4
LaBonge, Council Member
Fire Stations 27, 29, 35, 41, 56, 60, 76, 82, 86

Council Dist 5
Koretz, Council Member
Fire Stations 37, 58, 61, 71, 83, 92, 99, 102, 108

Council Dist 6
Cardenas, Council Member
Fire Stations 7, 39, 81, 90, 114

Council Dist 7
Alarcon, Council Member
75, 91, 98 (new 7) (future 31)

Council Dist 8
Parks, Council Member
Fire Stations 15, 57, 66 (proposed 54)

Council Dist 9
Perry, Council Member
Fire Stations 3, 4, 10, 14, 21, 33, 46

Council Dist 10
Wesson, Council Member
Fire Stations 26, 34, 43, 68, 94

Council Dist 11
Rosendahl, Council Member
Fire Stations 5, 19, 23, 51, 59, 62, 63, 67, 69, 80, 95, 109

Council Dist 12
Smith, Council Member
Fire Stations 8, 18, 28, 70, 87, 96, 100, 103, 104, 107

Council Dist 13
Garcetti, Council Member
Fire Stations 6, 20, 50, 52

Council Dist 14
Huizar, Council Member
Fire Stations 2, 9, 16, 17, 25, 42, 47, 55

Council Dist 15
Hahn, Council Member
Fire Stations 36, 38, 40, 48, 49, 64, 65, 79, 85, 101,110, 111, 112

Executive Board
United Firefighters of Los Angeles City, Local 112

Kate DiRienzo said...

you should also write an op-ed in the LA Times

Broke-ass Bride said...

Oh my god, I didn't know!
What a blessing that he's ok. And what a blessing he is to our lives.


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