Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Did Bureaucrats Kill Two Philly Firefighters?

Guest Post by SYLGF's Wyatt Earp

The Keystone Report (formerly Grassroots PA) posted a story on the Kensington warehouse fire that claimed the lives of Lt. Robert Neary, and FF. Daniel Sweeney.

It’s pretty damning. I’ve posted excerpts here, but make sure you read the entire post at the link.

"There is currently an ongoing investigation and the Fire Marshall has yet to make a determination as to the origin and cause. The results of that investigation could possibly lead to criminal charges being filed against the building’s owners, a trio of New York brothers. These real estate speculators (slumlords, some would say) have a penchant for buying up properties, allowing them to fall into or remain in a state of disrepair while not paying their taxes and ignoring repeated, multiple building code violations. The owners of the Kensington factory building were cited over and over for numerous code violations yet never bothered to take appropriate corrective action. They live in Brooklyn."

And now, only after two firefighters are dead and buried, city lawmakers want to find out who is responsible? They need to look in the mirror.

"The Nutter administration has declared war on Philadelphia’s premier emergency services department. Talk to any of the firefighters who have been around and they will tell you the same thing: they are scared. That’s a word that tough guys don’t use very often. But in quiet conversations over a couple cold ones in Philly’s firefighter hangouts the truth comes out. The rank and file are tired of being led by those they have no confidence in. They are worried that the next time it could be them buried in a pile of bricks or crippled because they had to jump out a window to escape the flames.

At the core of their fear is the Nutter administration’s disastrous policies of cutbacks, closings and brownouts, and its appointment of civilians in positions of authority; positions they have no business holding. A prime example is Eryn Santamoor. She’s another faceless bureaucrat no one outside the halls of Fire Department Headquarters knows. Yet the consensus from veteran firefighters is that the policies she is trying to force on the department (many outlined in the poorly-produced and fatally-flawed Berkshire study) will lead to more firefighter and civilian deaths and injuries. Dangerous staffing cuts, ridiculous, hybrid fire and EMS combinations, and many “efficiencies” that will do little to straighten out the city’s financial problems, yet will devastate the department’s ability to safely and rapidly respond to fires and emergencies, are be pushed from behind closed doors, out of the public sight."

I showed this to two firefighters this morning – we share the building a fire station – and both of them agreed the analysis is spot-on. If that’s the case, then a lot of people’s heads need to roll. They won’t, though, because this is Philadelphia; an uber-corrupt city run by a man who has shown utter contempt for the PFD.

In my opinion, Mayor Nutter, City Council, and Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers are responsible for the deaths of Lieutenant Neary and Firefighter Sweeney. The firefighter cutbacks – closing seven stations and browning out many others – contributed to this disaster. We know it, and they know it.

(You can read Wyatt daily at: Support Your Local Gunfighter. ***ALSO, in case you didn't know...Wyatt co-wrote a crime novel! How cool is that! It's called Only Son and you can Read about it here and you can buy it here! Congrats Wyatt!!!!***)

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