Download Slower arrival at fires in US is costing lives PDF

TitleSlower arrival at fires in US is costing lives
LanguageEnglish
File Size2.7 MB
Total Pages120
Document Text Contents
Page 1

Today's Globe Politics Opinion Magazine Education Science NECN Special reports Obituaries Traffic








> >



Select a community ...



> >



Or browse complete list

PHOTO GALLERY: Fire stations

It took 9 minutes for firefighters to arrive Jan. 3 at
this house owned by Michelle DuBois and Dr. David
Gambill at Stage Point in Plymouth. (Boston Globe
Photo / Tom Herde)


Slower arrival at fires in US is
costing lives
(By Bill Dedman, Globe Correspondent)
While cities and towns are closing fire stations,
America's firefighters are taking longer to get to
fires. This first installment of a Boston Globe
investigation examines the effect on public
safety.
GRAPHIC: Fire department response times


In Concord, a high price for
suburban serenity
(By Bill Dedman, Globe Correspondent)
Concord -- like Carlisle, Boxford, and many
affluent suburbs around Boston and other US
cities -- has too few fire stations and too few
firefighters to protect all of the town.

Concord fire response times, 1990-2002

WEB EXCLUSIVE

Who is watching the fire
department?
(By Bill Dedman, Globe Correspondent)
Homebuyers can do their homework when
choosing a community for their dream home.
It's easy to check the Web for a community's
crime rate, tax rate, and school test scores. But
who is monitoring the performance of fire
departments?

WEB EXCLUSIVE

20 questions for your fire chief
(By Bill Dedman, Globe Correspondent)
Are your community's resources adequate?





www.boston.com/fires

Page 2

ABOUT THIS SERIES

The Boston Globe examined fire response
times by looking at public records of fires
reported by fire departments across the
United States to a federal database, the
National Fire Incident Reporting System.
About this report
WEB LINKS: Fire resources online

E-MAIL THE GLOBE

If you have questions or wish to respond to
this series, send an e-mail to Bill Dedman at
[email protected]

REPRINTS

Looking for reprints?
Download all the articles (1503K PDF)

RANKINGS

The Globe ranked communities and fire
departments in Massachusetts on these
measures:
On-time response ratings
Department's share of municipal budget
Per capita spending on fire protection
Square miles per fire station

Find out for yourself by asking your fire chief
these questions.

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS

Facts on 20,000 US fire departments
(1677K PDF)
On-time response ratings for 20,000 US fire

departments (2800K Excel spreadsheet)
On-time rates for larger US fire departments

State investigative report on the Ipswich fire
(424K PDF)

Chief's report on the Ipswich fire (198K PDF)




Fewer resources, greater risk
for firefighters
(By Bill Dedman, Globe Correspondent)
Fire departments are not only taking longer to
get to fires, but often arrive at the scene with
too few people to do the job safely. Such
inadequate response increases property
damage from fires and endangers occupants as
well as firefighters.

A death on the border, a call for
towns to work together
Nearly once a day in Massachusetts, a fire
department puts out a building fire by itself
although a neighboring town has a closer fire
station, the Globe determined, using computer
maps showing fire locations over the past
decade.
GRAPHIC: The death of firefighter Marty

McNamara

Teamwork could save money,
lives
(By Bill Dedman, Globe Correspondent)
A computer simulation by the Globe illustrates
the scale of the state's deficit in fire stations and
gives a glimpse of the potential cost-savings if
communities worked together.

GLOBE EDITORIAL

Fire alarm
The high public regard for firefighters is not
always reflected in municipal budgets,
especially in areas outside the big cities.
Firefighters appreciate public respect. But that
alone can't keep the engines running.

WEB EXCLUSIVE

Staffing, response times in fires
where firefighters died
In 52 fires where firefighters died, only 18 got a
full force of firefighters in the first 10 minutes,
The Boston Globe found. Here are details on
each fire.



Medical Laboratory
Caritas Good
Samaritan Medical
Center

Sterile Processing
Techs at
Norwood Hospital

Administrative Clinical
Coordinator / RN
Hebrew Rehabilitation
Center

Recreational Therapist
at Caritas St.
Elizabeth's Medical
Center

Nursing Supervisor
Faulkner Hospital

Physical Therapists
HealthSouth Braintree
Rehabilitation Hospital

Advertiser Information

www.boston.com/fires

Page 60

© Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

The love-hate relationship between the neighborhood and the firefighters goes both ways. "As a rule we keep the shades down," said Bernard. Next to
the door is a burglar alarm, because the station house has been broken into several times before.

Still, the houses of the firefighters and residents have some similarities.

Dominicans have stamps and candles of San Miguel, an archangel in Roman-style clothes and boots, who holds a sword and a balance while casting
down Satan. The firefighters have a small picture of St. Florian, a helmeted Roman soldier standing next to an angel, pouring water onto a burning
house.

During the annual citywide Hispanic week, the firefighters say, neighbors enjoy seeing the crew hang plantains from a tree outside the station or
Dominican and Puerto Rican flags from the firetruck.

But more often, firefighters get no response from the neighborhood.

When fire investigators canvassed the district looking for the suspects believed to be responsible for various fires last June, they hung posters
announcing a $5,000 reward and broadcast the reward on the radio. Two residents -- a mother and her 3-month-old daughter -- had died in one of the
fires.

In six months of intensive investigation, the department received only one phone call regarding the case, but the caller offered no information.
Ultimately, an Arlington resident was charged with arson and murder.

The mistrust was felt more personally by firefighters when a young man was shot in the chest last summer. Firefighters recall that when they arrived on
the scene at Bromfield Street, they met a hostile crowd of teenagers who cursed at them and shouted for them to save the boy.

Ana Luna, who has lived in the neighborhood for 20 years and is the director of a nonprofit group called Arlington Community Trabajando, said that
while firefighters and the station are seen as a positive presence, it would be helpful to have more of them who speak Spanish.

"If they speak Spanish, it removes the communication barrier between the firefighters and the communities and takes away the possibility of
misunderstanding," she said. "If someone is calling you and you don't speak the language, how are you going to help them?"

Despite the strained relationship with neighborhood residents, the members of Engine 7 are loyal to the 109-year-old firehouse.

For a time this winter, the firefighters would call Chief Joseph Marquis, complaining there was no heat. When Marquis asked them to move to the
central station while the boiler could get repaired, the firefighters refused.

Why?

"We love it here," said Cyril Lane, a 13-year veteran of the department. "We would never leave. This is home."

www.boston.com/fires

Page 61

© Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company


THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING


Emerging from ashes of a scandal
February 20, 2005

When two emergency dispatchers were videotaped using drugs at work last November, the scandal marred the Fire Department and its emergency call
center.

The tape, the result of an undercover investigation by Lawrence police, appeared repeatedly on the news and showed the pair, one a firefighter,
snorting cocaine and drinking beer during their shift.

Three months later, the wounds haven't completely healed.

Both of the workers were dismissed, but the firefighter is scheduled to appear before the state Civil Service Commission next month to appeal for his
job.

Meanwhile, firefighters still voice mixed feelings about the involvement of the Police Department in a misconduct case that could have avoided media
attention if it had been handled internally. Others, however, say Fire Chief Joseph Marquis's decision to handle the situation openly set a precedent of
fairness in the department.

Whatever the fallout, some firefighters see the emergency call center as an operation that is remote from the rest of the department. The dispatch
center, on Bodwell Street, fields emergency calls that have been routed by the police and contacts the appropriate fire station.

The hidden cameras are gone, but deputy fire chiefs now are expected to visit the building and its dispatchers every night. In the past, deputy chiefs
would call at irregular intervals.

Despite the recent bad publicity, the center will gain a new status as early as next month. The Essex County Fire Chiefs Association selected Lawrence
as the county's second network center to coordinate mutual assistance between 34 fire departments during large-scale emergencies. (The other center
is in Beverly.)

With the title comes new money. The Lawrence call center will receive a share of a $468,000 federal grant for the regional effort. Computer systems
will be updated, and staffers will receive new training.

''This will be a feather in our cap," said Marquis.

www.boston.com/fires

Page 119

272 Berlin $24 $25 -4.3% 91.0% $67 $4,472

273 New Braintree $24 $17 46.5% 85.3% $72 $1,097

274 Rehoboth $24 $15 58.3% 3.2% $73 $5,536

275 Groveland $24 $20 18.3% -24.8% $74 $16,151

276 Medway $24 $9 158.9% 38.1% $77 $27,746

277 Ashby $23 $17 39.8% 44.8% $69 $2,795

278 Rutland $23 $20 14.7% 1.9% $71 $4,406

279 Swansea $23 $17 33.7% 15.9% $62 $15,636

280 Goshen $23 $14 64.1% 25.3% $59 $1,216

281 Douglas $22 $8 161.2% 42.0% $69 $4,509

282 Hancock $22 $32 -31.6% 12.4% $56 $465

283 Rockport $22 $13 66.0% 48.0% $49 $23,715

284 Georgetown $21 $14 53.3% 3.1% $65 $12,590

285 Granville $21 $13 58.8% 55.6% $59 $769

286 Peru $21 $12 79.2% 10.1% $59 $671

287 Lanesborough $21 $1 2249.4% 72.3% $51 $2,062

288 Ashfield $21 $14 42.7% 13.0% $51 $935

289 Stockbridge $20 $28 -28.0% 30.2% $45 $1,897

290 Washington $20 $11 84.0% 50.6% $51 $269

291 Northfield $20 $19 7.6% 47.7% $52 $1,706

292 Hadley $20 $33 -39.7% 33.4% $53 $4,066

293 Brookfield $20 $7 188.4% 101.8% $51 $3,693

294 Williamsburg $20 $14 35.6% 65.7% $46 $1,826

295 Holland $19 $12 55.6% 76.9% $53 $3,645

296 Petersham $19 $13 48.9% 44.3% $52 $335

297 Hardwick $19 $14 34.4% 41.2% $52 $1,268

298 Lancaster $19 $12 59.1% 14.3% $70 $5,114

299 Blandford $19 $21 -11.8% 30.9% $50 $428

300 Shutesbury $19 $13 38.5% 109.6% $54 $1,306

301 Belchertown $18 $15 23.7% 67.3% $52 $4,563

302 Sunderland $18 $19 -3.8% 73.8% $44 $4,800

303 Grafton $18 $19 -7.6% 36.0% $49 $12,074

304 Granby $18 $24 -24.9% 28.3% $51 $4,069

305 Leicester $18 $19 -5.0% 64.8% $51 $7,646

306 Warwick $18 $10 81.6% 78.5% $46 $355

307 Boylston $18 $35 -50.4% 44.4% $47 $3,737

308 Templeton $17 $13 30.0% 51.9% $50 $3,744

309 Monson $17 $25 -30.0% 72.5% $48 $3,337

310 Tisbury $17 $30 -43.2% 47.2% $42 $10,458

311 Whately $17 $23 -26.5% 81.3% $44 $1,351

312 Colrain $17 $17 -2.1% 13.6% $45 $708

313 Spencer $17 $25 -33.0% 60.5% $42 $5,684

314 West Brookfield $16 $15 9.1% 0.4% $46 $2,969

www.boston.com/fires

Page 120

315 Pepperell $16 $12 29.4% 41.4% $47 $7,845

316 West Stockbridge $15 $10 42.9% 85.3% $35 $1,117

317 Bolton $15 $8 77.0% 60.7% $47 $3,333

318 Southwick $13 N/A N/A -10.7% $36 $3,802

319 Montgomery $12 $13 -4.9% 84.9% $29 $487

320 Plainfield $12 $16 -26.9% 5.2% $29 $333

321 Oxford $12 $20 -42.0% 25.2% $32 $5,864

322 North Brookfield $12 $11 3.1% 40.4% $30 $2,539

323 Becket $12 $24 -51.6% 27.2% $31 $455

324 Huntington $11 $15 -22.5% 13.8% $32 $959

325 Lee $11 $10 11.0% 26.6% $28 $2,507

326 Clarksburg $11 $5 132.0% 43.3% $28 $1,452

327 Windsor $11 $13 -11.1% 16.0% $31 $291

328 Cummington $11 $15 -25.4% -7.9% $31 $507

329 Conway $11 $11 -1.6% 74.4% $31 $562

330 Westhampton $10 $10 -1.7% 73.1% $28 $546

331 Middlefield $9 $16 -45.4% -25.0% $25 $216

332 Chesterfield $9 $1 967.9% 0.1% $24 $348

333 Wendell $8 $6 46.2% 28.9% $22 $263

334 Cheshire $8 $4 85.9% 51.1% $19 $918

335 Wales $7 $6 11.6% 56.6% $18 $752

336 Sheffield $5 $7 -31.8% 32.3% $13 $368

337 Dunstable $5 $12 -56.4% 78.9% $17 $933

338 Hampden $5 $7 -36.4% 6.0% $13 $1,246

339 Adams $1 N/A N/A 42.1% $2 $264

340 Williamstown $0 N/A N/A 34.3% $1 $78

-- Barnstable N/A N/A N/A 32.7% N/A N/A

-- Buckland N/A N/A N/A 6.3% N/A N/A

-- Dalton N/A N/A N/A 23.9% N/A N/A

-- Dartmouth N/A N/A N/A 11.4% N/A N/A

-- Deerfield N/A $1 N/A 78.3% N/A N/A

-- Montague N/A N/A N/A 31.6% N/A N/A

-- Mount Washington N/A $2 N/A -35.6% N/A N/A

-- Palmer N/A $1 N/A 75.3% N/A N/A

-- Shelburne N/A N/A N/A 10.6% N/A N/A

-- South Hadley N/A N/A N/A 46.5% N/A N/A

-- Wareham N/A $10 N/A 46.0% N/A N/A

feedback | help | site map | advertising | globe archives
© 2005 The New York Times Company




www.boston.com/fires

Similer Documents