ANALYSIS Updated with Input by IAFF President McGoey – Yonkers Burning Issue May Prove Nothing But a Ploy By HEZI ARIS

eHezi Archives 56 Comments

Yonkers Fire Local 628

Update at 8:15 pm, May 8, 2012 with Comment by IAFF Local 628 President Barry B. McGoey

Yonkers Fire Department Exacts 100 Plus Hours of Overtime in Aftermath of 76 Crotty Avenue Fire

Thirteen residents were displaced and a few pets were killed in a late afternoon fire that consumed the third floor and part of the second floor of what is known as a 2½ story multifamily dwelling on April 29, 2012. It would take almost four hours to extinguish the fire that burst into flames that week. The fire demanded the attention of 53 firefighters and 12 vehicles. Mutual Aid was afforded by the New Rochelle Fire Department who were called to man the Yonkers Firehouses until the return of the YFD from fighting the Crotty Avenue fire. Two Yonkers Firefighters suffered steam burns that demanded medical attention diagnosed as not life threatening. A third person was said to have twisted his ankle.

Yonkers Firefighters - 76 Crotty Ave 004
The circumstances seemed straight forward but not yet reported are the 24 Firefighters that have put in for at minimum 5 hours in overtime for medical attention to the Crotty Avenue fire. The bill for the medical attention incurred will ring over $5,000 in overtime.

Were the medical attention legitimately required, the $5,000 plus overtime incurred would not be an issue. If approximately one out of every two people, deduced from the 24 requiring medical attention and the ancillary overtime incurred, out of 53 people responding to that fire, something is evidently very wrong.

At issue is whether the deputy chief on duty was sufficiently knowledgeable enough of firefighting to ascertain whether it was prudent to maintain the Firefighters kkep their effort when one of every two firefighters would need medical attention thereafter. Is he not responsible to equally be concerned over the life and limb of his men as he is demanded to protect property? How can he place his men in harms way? Further, if the fire was of such intensity, is there no fail-safe measure that would permit the Firefighters to contain the fire from spreading beyond its initial imprint rather than putting our Firefighters in harm’s way? When does recognition reveal that life and limb outweigh property, when property  can no longer be salvaged?

Perhaps the deputy chief did understand the fire that challenged the firefighters on the scene. If the deputy chief was knowledgeable of the challenge before him and the Firefighters, are Yonkersites now to infer that YFD is not sufficiently trained to do the job they are tasked?

This reporter cannot believe there was a lack of leadership or oversight of the blazing fire at Crotty Avenue. Further, I cannot believe the YFD is ill trained or deficient in equipment to have fought this fire.

The logic of the questions conjectured above are the subterfuge, the smoke and mirrors tactics that an individual, a group, or a larger body of Yonkers Firefighters conjured up to express their disgust for their not having concluded a new contract with the new administration.

While the pissing match quietly takes place between Mayor Mike Spano and his surrogates and the Yonkers Fire Department, life and limb is held in balance and the Yonkers taxpayer foots the bill at the games the big boys play.

Why is Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano’s office silent over this issue? Why does the Yonkers Fire Department maintain its silence over their issues and concerns?

How many more ploys of deceit will Yonkersites have to endure before all the unions and the Spano Administration begin their respective efforts to find fiscal accommodation through negotiations focused toward a prudent and fiscal end?

A spokesperson for Mayor Mike Spano’s Administration has advised it is studying the Crotty Avenue incident, aftermath, and its implications.

The lack of scrutiny of firefighting throughout the city has evidently been permitted excess by this example due to the lack of oversight by internal mechanisms of scrutiny and because media has been kicked to the curb and become impotent in the process. Shame on us all.

Yonkers Office of Emergency Management and the American Red Cross were instrumental in finding housing for the displaced residents at a makeshift reception center that was situated at St. John The Baptist Parish on Yonkers Avenue.

ADDENDUM made at 8:15 pm – May 8, 2012:

I spoke to IAFF Local 628 President Barry B. McGoey yesterday. We focused on what I believed were the most important issues one need ask when men are sent into the throes of possible death, being injured temporarily or for the balance of their lives. I did not believe the stalemate between the Yonkers Firefighters and the Spano Administration were making headway. That was evident by what I surmised was the telling of the story above. 

Even so, Mr McGoey believes I have misunderstood the circumstances that were confronted at the scene of the fire and that the inferences I made were not on target. His perspective is most pertinent and the integrity of his words reveal his sincerity and relevance.

They are as follows:

“After our conversation yesterday I thought you had gained some better insight into the recent fire on Crotty Avenue.  Then I read your coverage of the fire on the Yonkers Tribune.  I must have been wrong in my assessment of your understanding of the fire scene and the impact of the fire on the Yonkers Firefighters, several of whom were injured and required emergency medical care.

“As I told you yesterday, this was not just a run-of-the-mill small fire.  This was a fire that appears to have started in the rear of the building on an upper floor while no one was home.  The fire was not reported to the fire department until it had grown to a significant size within the structure and was noticed by neighbors and passersby.  By the time the first fire companies were on the scene there was heavy fire on the second and third stories. 

“Not knowing if there were any trapped occupants, the fire companies began an aggressive interior fire attack while simultaneously conducting searches for victims and engaging in forcible entry and roof ventilations.  Each of these various operations is very laborious and requires many firefighters acting in a coordinated manner.  Early on in the fire, interior firefighters could hear screams of some type from within the structure.  It was later determined that those screams and noises had been made from numerous pets who perished in the smoke, heat and fire.  But at the time, the firefighters did not know if they were from people trapped within the structure and within moments of death.

Yonkers Firefighters-76 Crotty Ave 005
“As firefighters outside had to deal with hydrant issues and water supply problems, interior firefighters were making their way to the seat of the fire to begin extinguishment operations.  Two firefighters were attempting to make entry into an upper floor apartment when they were met with a heavy wall of fire.  The firefighters used all efforts to make some headway in fighting the fire but they were unsuccessful and their air supply was running very low.   The flames and heat became so intense that both firefighters had to back out immediately.  One of the firefighters actually had to jump down the stairs head first, landing on top of other firefighters who were making their way up to the same floor.  The second firefighter was able to seek refuge at a nearby window and was able to exit the fire floor by using a ground ladder that was being hoisted up by other fire crews who had responded to the fire scene.  Thank God both of these firefighters who "bailed out" of the fire were not killed and suffered only minor steam burns and other minor injuries.  Attached are two photographs where you can see the second firefighter in the front second floor window as a ground ladder is being raised to rescue him.   You can see in the photographs that smoke was billowing out of all of the windows at this time and the conditions inside were very dangerous.

“Yonkers Firefighters always give at least 100% when there is a structure fire and lives are in jeopardy.  In cases like this fire where there were reports of screaming from within the building and then calls that two firefighters were in distress, all of the firefighters on scene gave it their all.  In such cases, even firefighters can overextend themselves and do things that would otherwise be undoable without the adrenaline boost that comes with calls of distress.  As a result, numerous members became dehydrated, exhausted, twisted ankles, strained joints, and otherwise required emergency medical care during this "crisis period" and during the entire multi-hour operation.  

“It should be noted that there were strong winds on the day of the fire which fanned the fire and allowed it to grow at an even greater rate than normal.  In addition to extinguishing the fire, the firefighters also prevented the fire from extending to the houses on either side.

“I hope the above answers some of your concerns and that the photographs prove just how dangerous the job of a Yonkers firefighter really is.” – Barry B. McGoey, President, IAFF Local 628, Yonkers Firefighters

Final note from this reporter: “The Spano Administration must engage in meaningful negotiations that will lead to an accommodation serving Yonkers, Yonkersites, Yonkers Firefighters, and the Spano Administration.

“The telling of this incident and the enormity of the issues brought forward in the aftermath of fighting this fire are issues of enormous concern for the safety of our Firefighters, the protection of property, the demand for the most up to date training skills and equipment needed to keep the aforementioned functioning, and the culmination of contractual agreements that will afford everyone peace of mind.” – Hezi Aris


eHeziANALYSIS Updated with Input by IAFF President McGoey – Yonkers Burning Issue May Prove Nothing But a Ploy By HEZI ARIS

Comments 56

  1. I hope they cut the FD and then everyone’s house burns and people die…then what will city hall say. ??.”OOPs sorry” they have no idea the timb bomb they are playing with utter morons in Yonkers city hall….always has been..always will

  2. Hammerin Hank is correct sir… How come Yonkers Fire Dept. cannot be fired for drug use? Hard Drugs?
    Yonkers Police are terminated, yet Y.F.D. members are not. How come this is? Party Harty and get down….
    It is a disgrace.. Beer Gutted tea smokers with inked up bodies. Who the hell they think they is..
    Oh yeah!!They Live an hour and a half away, even out of state. Come to Yonkers and wear two sizes to small hero tee-shirts with their beer guts poppin out.
    They walk around like they just got off a horse on the Ponderossa Ranch. They waddle…

  3. Everyone has an opinion but no one has a plan. It sounds like money is there but they do not wish to use it. The more you work the likely chance to get hurt increases. No one wants to work overtime but if man power drops you need to hire someone. Can a blow up doll carry a line into the building think not. So it requires a death or tremendous property loss before some acts responsibly.

  4. Face it you penny pinching cops and do it all yourself fireboyz hate each other and if you think they all live in the rathole they work in your a fool.Crackheads dope sniffing coke sniffing drunks.They make those old time drunks that got evicted from the train station look like ALTERBOYS

  5. THANK YOU LAUGHING OUT LOUD AND MARKO. You both must be proud Yonkers residents.
    The guy who wasn’t hurt but could have died. Where does this horses ass come off.
    His story is just as bad as the love story between cousins that no one believes. The jury has spoken!!
    How stupid do you take us for. “PAY” the “MONEY” back
    you scrounge………. Probably goes to church every Sunday…with the rest of the thieves..
    North Yonkers is PRETENTIOUS, you are proof of this.

  6. Hey “Luckey to be Alive” let go of the radiator, you are being evicted……. Luckey to be alive.. Thanks for the laugh….you pretentious North Yonkers jackass……

  7. Who do use tink use is playen? What do use aspect from a couple a guys dat live in Pokipsie? YONK’s is YONK’s. Do da Math.
    Next time call a jolley volley. At least dey will take pictures.

  8. no he actually wasn’t. I don’t know where you got your info from but it is not correct.
    Maybe you were thinking of the yfd since they don’t have to take piss tests and have many drug users in their ranks.

  9. “For every day collective wounds are left to ooze putrid puss while bleeding about the perimeter, appeasing some and unnerving others, we will come to fear the untimely deaths of our seniors who may be too slow or befuddled to taunts and ridicule due to their suffering various states of dementia, their inability to afford medication to maintain their lucidity, or because they were too slow to react to the demands of police officers inexperienced in life and who believe their badge permits them conduct outlawed everyone else.”
    How are those vacation plans working out Hez-Man?

  10. thanks John and Phil for sticking it to Yonkers
    you suck and your entire cabinet will go down as the worst administrations in the history of Yonkers.

  11. A@@wipes arguing on a site no one pays any attention to.
    there will be a control board in Yonkers by next year
    Mark these words.
    Amicone is gone and Spano will play Pontius Pilate and wash his hands of the whole deal.
    and you Stupid A@@wipes will be left here to argue…….
    that’s the plan.
    have fun with it.

  12. Wasnt that guy Stephen Pastorek who killed his 16 yr old nephew in Wappingers a few days ago a drug addicted member of the YPD?

    1. no he was a member of the yonkers fire department and he was fired for failing drug tests even after rehab and my wife let my son in the car with him and yes he did kill his nephew but he wasn’t charged due to his moms political ties , but watch they would rather arrest me a grieving dad than arrest the real person who should be arrested his uncles speven pastorek fired yonkerd firefighter

  13. Read #28 and the post seems to be on the money-what is your point-turn a blind eye to the nepotism and cronyism that is pervasive in Yonkers and let the taxpayers bear the cost.

  14. Problem with “grant” money is that after the grant runs out you are stuck paying the bills from then on. The hiring won’t fix the OT isues in either Fire or Police. The fix is in folks. The guys on the way ouot pad their pensions and say FU City residents take it up the @ss!

  15. i assure you that i am not a fireman and did not write #28. I just live here, pay taxes, and am getting tired of watching all the different interested parties blame each other while the entire ship sinks.

  16. If there were average citizens on thi site and not just interested parties we would have an intelligent debate. The fact is that we have a budget deficit and that city hall in the past has governed without accountability measures. This is not just about yfd. This is about not having a control board next year. We should not attack yfd for cooking….they must be prepared to respond and they are. We should, however, expect the ff,s to also recognize that their leadership is not representing them well. The time has come for action,

  17. Mayor mike had enough of the ignorance and petty games, stop pulling fire alarms and blaring sirens. Grow up boys, your days are numbered.

  18. Your points are well taken-the problem is the message that Mike Spano sends to the taxpayers in that the majority of his hires for city governance are all politcal hacks-the majority who have ethical issues and who just thumb their noses at the taxpayers with the o.k. of Mayor Spano.

  19. “concerned citizen” above is right. everybody fights back and forth for their own little peice of the pie meanwhile the larger picture is lost (google tragedy of the commons by hardin). There are large structural problems in the city budget that need to be addressed. The longer we wait the worse it will get.
    You can’t run a City the size of Yonkers without firefighters, police, & DPW. You also can’t run this city without white collar workers in building, planning, finance, law, etc. we should start by agreeing on this point. The bickering is getting old. The city as a whole needs to deal with its fiscal problems collectively or in the end all depts will suffer.
    we should also agree that as in any workplace, private, public, or otherwise, there are good workers that do the right thing and bad workers that are lazy, look to get over whenever they can, etc. I am sure this is true in all city depts…anyone that thinks otherwise is not being honest with themselves.
    I don’t think anyone would argue with OT that is needed/necessary. What everyone should have a problem with is 1) OT that can be reduced through new/better management and/or 2) outright OT abuse by bad employees looking to work the system.
    Watching from the sidelines, what i would argue is a problem in this city lack of good management procedures and control of budgets and employees. This is what allows people to do things like sell rock salt for personal gain, or use city trucks to clean out their in-laws basements, or allows a DPW workers to be home with the city truck idling rather than working. The city should institute better management practices to control inventory, account for employee time, fleet control, etc…

  20. Face it folks.
    This City is run, operated and controlled by firemen and cops. Thank John Spencer & Phil Amicone for that.
    Taxpayers and citizens need not apply for a voice in government.
    Spano won’t change it.
    He will however, screw the rank and file of the unions, but “take care” of the union leaders so that any organized opposition is squashed.
    It’s the old “Spano” divide and conquor game.
    Mikey learned a few things during his run for office. One is that (as he parroted last week) Yonkers is headed for insolvency, bankruptcy.
    PS. Firemen who are injured on the job should receive disability pay, not overtime pay. But Tony Pagano thought otherwise and John Spencer gave it to him, because he doesn’t give a crap.

  21. McGoey, the mayor doesn’t care about the FD just like your neighbor, until their house is on fire or other emergency. Life is about me and no other, until something happens. Services are a necessity nobody wants to pay for anymore. Can’t change it!

  22. Yonkers Fire is 10% of the city budget, that’s it. Yet everyone has his opinions to solve the city’s problems on the backs of the FD. Give it up! Thank cityhall for it’s misdealings of all the development over the past 10 years. Including Nick Spano’s negotiating NYS funding Empire City, at the cost to Yonkers. Give me a break..YO gets 19 mill and sends NYS over 310 mill. That’s where our underfunding problem should be centered.

  23. Looks like Local 628 got burned (no pun intended) by Mikey boy and his promises to “take care of them” if they supported him in his campaign. Wonder if they will blindly fall in line and support him come next election?
    Local 628 – sheep or wolves? Remains to be seen.

  24. It may not be about doing more with less but being more effective & efficient. When comparing OT to hiring new you have to be aware of adding new employees will result in the City incurring some ‘quasi-fixed’ costs, costs which are incurred for each employee hired but are largely independent of the number of hour worked per employee
    besides the recurring ‘quasi-fixed’ costs associated with nonwage benefits (such as vacation days and medical plans), there are additional non-recurring (one-time) ‘fixed’ costs associated with increasing the number of workers
    hiring costs: recruitment and personnel costs
    training costs: both supervisory costs and lower employee productivity levels during the training period
    termination costs: probability of having to release a new worker

  25. You got a guy in the YFD who was doled & had more drugs in his system than a pharmacy-was fired but was re-hired because of his skin-color & now picks & delivers supplies to the fire houses-and was collared before he come on the YFD for CPCS 7.

  26. Everyone complains and complains about each department, and yes they may be messed up, but the truth is the city needs them. Maybe the city can benefit from some better practices within each department to save a little money but we need the people we got, it is better to have and not need then to need and not have. The city as a whole needs to come together, for the sake of Yonkers, not each individual employee or department.

  27. The same fights over and over and over again. #1) use the grant…you’ll never get any grant money again if its not used. #2) stop cutting vital services to the taxpayers of the 4th largest city in the state. The salary being paid to Kathy Spencer $100K+….to do what? and add Jereis’ wife for what? How many l FF’s salaries is that? At least 3 or 4. If my house is on fire, which it has been, 2x, I’m not calling Kathy Spencer or Jeries’s wife. If any of you ever had a fire in your house, none of you would be questioning the need for the man(woman)power needed on a fire. I challenge any of you who question the money, the hours or the OT when needed to go try putting a fire out. Just inhale that stuff for a short period of time and see if you do’t think they deserve what they get. Then live with the long term health effects that fighting fire for 20, 30 years will do to you. They deserve every penny….wish I could say the same for half the staff sitting comfortably in their newly landmarked building. Concessions in these are time are needed all around. But let’s start with Spencer….let her concede 1/2 her salary. In fact, let’s get rid of that made up job title. Then go talk to the unions about cutting fire and police. Lessons in this town are never learned.

  28. How do you do more with less in the police and fire departments? Most of the budget expense for these two departments are personnel. Maybe we could put a firetruck on the road with two firefighters, one to drive the other to put out the fire. Maybe just close down a couple fire houses down and spread out the remaining firehouses. Maybe we should put out one man police cars, and use a blow up cop as his partner to make it look like there are two cops. These two departments do a great job with the people they have. The city runs everything using smoke and mirrors. Well someday their mirror is going to crack and some large scale incident will occur and the city wont be prepared. Sure there are times when it may seem that you have too many people working, but you never know when you will need them and its better to have them here.

  29. Anon,
    Very good point. What happened to the 4.8 million grant that was just recieved just last year. It was for two years and there is close to 2 million remaining. They need to hire a new class to solve everything. Unfortunately it appears they are beating around the bush to make OT. How come the city does not force them to use the grant and avoid houses to close? It won’t even cost them much using the remaining fema safer grant.

  30. Why hasn’t there been anything about a federal grant in the news? That’s horrible that they’re letting allotted money just waste away.

  31. The mayor doesnt give a rats arse about the unions, his budget proposal shows that. Giving more money to that cesspool called the Board of Education shows that.

  32. I am not a firefighter, but I think the problem lies with the understaffing of the YFD. Out of the 53 firefighters that responded how many actually fought the fire? Im sure you have a officer (Lt) and a truck operator that stays with the truck. Tha probably leaves half as many men to fight the fire. Im sure with all the trees and overhead wires in the residential neighborhood this fire was fought withb hoses from the ground and a interior fight rather than using ladder/tower ladder trucks which by its nature led to a more prolonged and dangerous fire fight. Having a properly staffed fire and police dept is a necessary insurance policy. Sure there will be down time, but when a fire or major incident occurs you need sufficient on duty personnel at the ready. You cant wait to recall personnel and wait for them to come in from home.

  33. Read the Inspector General’s report about all the YFD abuses with sick time, disability scams, etc. I am still asking why supervisors get an extra $200.00 yearly clothing allowance over the $600.00 non managaemnent receives. And what the hell is the justification for the yearly $3000.00 “Check In Pay” ?????? Are white shirts that much more expensive to dry clean??? But seriously, the public at large is appalled over these blatant contract giveaways…

  34. Mayor Spano should cut half the Hosers, there’s the problem. 100k a yr to sit around and cook. I’m sure the response time to ridge hill would be about 2 min. Being that there always seems to be a truck or 2 hanging at stews. Get over it. Your the problem.

  35. And we still wait for the Fire House that was promised by the developer that was to be built at the Ridge Hill Site once completed. Yes, we all know that the city needs to come up with the funding for the firefighters and officers needed to man an new fire company, but if you look at the response times to Ridge Hill today, you will see that its a disaster waiting to happen (most specifically related to First Responder Responses for Medical Emergencies). If you add to that, the downtown development that is currently on the board, add at least another 2 fire companies needed for this project. Wake up Yonkers and get that “Promised” New Fire Station 10 up at Ridge Hill built.

  36. You do realize that if they would hire new firefighters, overtime would diminish right away, and the city would actually save money. But of course, this is not reported by the media at large, nor is it understood by the fools sitting in city hall. There is a federal grant just sitting there for the city to use in the hiring of new probationary firefighters, yet the city has continued to allow it to sit there and rot; eventually it will expire and Yonkers will be left with nothing. The fact that people (firefighters and civilians alike) are in danger with the obscenely low staffing numbers is disgusting. And just wait for Ridge Hill to expose itself for what it is, a death trap. So good job Mayor Spano and the city council, you are elected by the people yet seem to not even care about their safety.

  37. Gee, I wonder what all of the YFD Good ‘Ol Boys Club (aka: The Pigano and Fatzy Fan Club) has to say about this (most likely the usual suspects chiming in, telling residents to shut up, mind our own business, we don’t know what we are talking about, the reporter is an idiot, etc, etc.). Can’t help but to question the math here. I agree that the Deputy Chief in Charge, if aware that 1 in every 2 firefighter working this job, was being injured, the Deputy Chief would have taken radical measures to prevent this from escalating to the level that it took. The Fire Union (and the members of the YFD Goon Squad) will certainly claim that injuries are a nature of the job and that these things happen. But, injuries can be avoided, if the incident was managed properly, to which again, I agree that the Deputy Chief did everything by the book.(No one within the YFD or the Physicians overseeing the injuries will claim that the injuries sustained were anything but legitimate. HMMMM ????? (LET THE BARBS AND INSULTS START !!)

  38. Mayor Spano is trying to work with the members of the fire department. The president is creating an impossible situation. It is time for everyone to understand that the good times are over. No disrespect for our firefighters when they work they have a very tough job but it is time to come to the table like the rest of the unions and be reasonable. I hope they do. They should not box the mayor into a corner they will not like the response.

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