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5 Investigates: Overhaul of troubled Boston Fire Dept. fleet called ‘abject failure’


OVERHAUL THE DEPARTMENT. KATHY CURRAN IS HERE WITH WHAT SHE’S FOUND.>>THE MOVE IS BEING CALLED A MAJOR FAILURE. AT THAT TIME THE ENGINES AND LADDERS WERE NOT BE MAINTAINED. NOW WE HAVE LEARNED THAT THE CONDITION OF THE FLEET IS NOT ANY BETTER AND MAY EVEN BE WORSE. BOSTON POLICE ARE ALSO INVESTIGATING POSSIBLE CORRUPTION. JANUARY 2009, LADDER 26 AERIALS DOWN A HILL HEADING TOWARDS A INTERSECTION. THE TRUCK SLAMMED INTO A BUILDING KILLING THE DRIVER AND INJURING TWO FIREFIGHTERS. INVESTIGATORS FOUND BRAKE FAILURE CAUSED BY IMPROPER MAINTENANCE WAS PARTIALLY TO BLAME. THE ACCIDENT EXPOSED MAJOR FLAWS IN THEIR MAINTENANCE PROGRAM. THE CITY OVERHAUL THE FLEET MAINTENANCE DIVISION REPLACING FIREFIGHTERS WHO WERE PERFORMING MAINTENANCE WITH A LICENSED MECHANICS. THIS REPORT OBTAINED BY FIVE INVESTIGATES CALL THAT MOVE AN ABJECT FAILURE. SUGGESTING THE HARD LESSONS ARE LIEUTENANT KELLY’S DEATH HAVE NOT BEEN LEARNED. DAILY INSPECTIONS HAVE BEEN ABANDONED. PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE IS IN DISARRAY. SOME TRUCKS MORE THAN 200 DAYS PAST DUE. NO ONE KNOWS HOW TO USE THE COMPUTERIZED FLEET MANAGEMENT SYSTEM. TESTS ON ENGINES TO MAKE SURE THEY PUMP OUT ENOUGH WATER AT THE RIGHT PRESSURE WERE NOT PROPERLY DONE.>>ABOUT 60,000 INSPECTIONS SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE. LEFT WITH 500 — LESS THAN 500 WERE DONE.>>RICH HARRIS HEADS OF THE UNION.>>THEY HAVE CONCERN WHEN THEY GO OUT THE TRUCK. WILL THE DOOR OPEN. CAN I STOP AT THE RED LIGHT? WILL I GET WATER?>>THE MAINTENANCE DEPARTMENT ALLOW THIS HEAT DAMAGE LADDER TO STAY IN SERVICE FOR A YEAR. PUTTING FIREFIGHTERS AND CIVILIANS AT RISK. THE DEPARTMENT DODGED A BULLET. THERE IS ALSO PLENTY OF WEIGHT. THE DEPARTMENT PAID ABOUT $200,000 FOR A MOBILE REPAIR TRUCK THAT HAS SAT UNUSED FOR YEARS. THE REPORT ALSO QUESTIONED THE PURPOSE OF 22 ENGINES. INCLUDING THIS ONE. AT A PROBLEM — TIME WHEN PROBLEMS WITH THE MOTORS WERE WELL KNOWN. THESE TRUCKS WERE CONSISTENTLY OUT OF SERVICE, COSTING THE CITY TIME AND MONEY. MANY OF THOSE REPAIRS WERE UNDER WARRANTY AND FIXED BY BOSTON FIRE MECHANICS. FLEET SAFETY DIRECTOR PETER ADMITS THAT HE NEVER SAID THE MANUFACTURER A BILL SO THE CITY COULD BE REIMBURSED. HE RESIGNED NINE DAYS BEFORE THIS REPORT.>>I WAS COMPLETELY AT MY WITS END WHY WOULD THE SAFETY CONCERNS COME FORWARD. IT WAS A BIG RISK. A BIG RISK. THE BIG RISK FOR THE PERSON INSIDE THE BUILDING AND FOR OUR FIREFIGHTERS. YOU CAN PUT A DOLLAR SIGN ON SOMEONE’S LIFE.>>WE REACHED OUT BUT OUR CALLS WERE NOT RETURNED. THE COMMISSIONER HAS ALREADY MADE CHANGES AND NEW TRUCKS ARE ON THE WAY. THE MAINTENANCE DIVISION’S OVERTIME COST TAXPAYERS HALF A MILLION DOLLARS LAST YEAR ALONE.

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Comments
  • one of the most corrupt Police Departments in the Country (read Boston Globe expose) is going to investigate corruption of the BFD?
    J .Finn & the Union (one in the same) knew all about this and were principals in the decimation of the BFD along with and for Menino.
    these are the same fools that couldn't run a Pumper and Killed Firefighter Kennedy & Lieutenant Walsh , and had no clue on what to do to rescue them.
    believe me they have "put a Dollar value on lives" both Fireman & Civilians. when I gave the Union documents given to me by an Individual that showed a Fire Gear Procurement scam , but worse it was uncertifiable (like selling Police Ballistic Vests that couldn't stop a BB Gun ) the Union , Department retaliated against me relentlessly with the aid of some in the BPD.

    As for the KME Apparatus , the problem is like every other aspect of the BFD they have incompetent & corrupt individuals that know nothing about Equipment or Apparatus selecting them, just as they have unqualified & uncertified people teaching Emergency Medical, so what do you expect??
    there is nothing wrong with KME's they had International (Navistaer ) Engines that had a Wire Harness defect to there Emissions System (Fire Trucks should be exempt!!) that was known. thats all it was.

  • More than that. The Back Bay Fire, explained.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvnZ4YdCW7M
    James Berlo Explains Corruption, Racism and Death in the Boston Fire Department

  • Maybe, but look at what Boston has done since then. I think the engines and ladders are 80% brand new.No other major city has replaced like Boston.  i'm impressed

  • Politicians,are the problems they look at how much money they can put in there pockets put firefighters in charge of the department a volunteer or paid ones who take it to heart

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