New Hire - #18 = #42

Local 2029 would like to congratulate Career Firefighter Clyde Pitts on graduating from the Westchester Career Fire Academy. FF Pitts spent the last four months at the Career Academy receiving over 25 NY State Fire Certifications and National Firefighter Certifications I & II. That is over 600 hours of training. We look forward to your years of service with the Rye Fire Department, best of luck!

$10,000 More for Children's Hospital

Today, members of Local 2029 donated $10,000 to the Maria Fareri Children's Hospital. That adds to our total of over $100,000 over the past 10 years. We raise money through our Fill-the-Boot drive and annual golf outing. All of which would not be possible without the support of the Rye community and merchants like the Rye Roadhouse. Thank you for helping us achieve our goal year after year.

#StaffedForFailure Two-Year Anniversary

Today marks the TWO year anniversary of the former city manager informing the city council that the fire department is "Staffed for Failure". It was recommended that the city hire four additional firefighters. To date, no additional firefighters have been hired. Today, there is one additional firefighter in the 2017 budget, but it is unknown if the one will stay in the budget by the time it is voted on in December. For more information, click on the #StaffedforFailure tab at the top.

New Hires

Local 2029 is pleased to welcome two new members: Career Firefighters Cea Fong and Ryan Iarocci. Both highly trained firefighters were sworn in this morning at City Hall. Having already gone through the Westchester Career Fire Academy, Firefighters Fong and Iarocci will begin their in-house training before being put on shift. They replace our two recent retirements this past summer. Congrats and welcome to the Rye Fire Department.

Over $100,000 Raised For Children's Hospital

Today, some members of Local 2029 had the pleasure of presenting representatives of the Maria Fareri Children's Hospital at Westchester Medical Center with a $10,000 check and pushing us over the $100,000 mark over the years. Members of Local 2029 would like to thank the many members of the community who helped us raise the money, particularly those who played in our annual golf outing, and those who helped during our fill the boot drive.

Advisory Committee Recommends Additional Firefighters and Public Safety Commissioner

Last week in an article that appeared in the Rye City Review, the Fire Department Advisory Committee is set to recommend the hiring of four (4) additional Career Firefighters. The committee, which is made up of members of the council, city staff, and volunteer firefighters, is also recommending a change to the City Charter with the creation of a Public Safety Commissioner. The City Council will discuss the change at the next council meeting. 

The Rye City Review webpage is under construction.

Rye City Council Agenda: http://www.egovlink.com/public_documents300/rye/published_documents/City%20Council/Agenda/2016/Agenda%2005-25-16.pdf

Support Port Chester Professional Firefighters Local 1971

Earlier this month, the Village Board of Port Chester voted to eliminate the entire career staff of the Port Chester Fire Department. Taking this action not only put the lives of the citizens of Port Chester at risk, but the lives of Rye Brook as well. The Board decided to remove the firefighters before discussing it with the Village of Rye Brook, of which they have a contract to staff their firehouse with Career Firefighters. If you support public safety, you should support the reinstatement of all members of the Port Chester Professional Firefighters Local 1971. 

Board of Fire Wardens Weakens Qualifications to be Chief

Per agenda item 8 from this week's City Council meeting, held tomorrow evening, the City Council is set to approve changes to the Fire Department's By-Laws. Changes have been made to weaken the qualifications to hold the office of chief with the goal to allow more people to become chief officers. Qualifications include, but not limited to, minimum 18 years old, responded to 12 alarms out of 900-1000, Firefighter 1 Training (basic training) or equivalent, and must have been an officer in a fire company. Advanced training is not required.  

Agenda: http://www.egovlink.com/public_documents300/rye/published_documents/City%20Council/Agenda/2016/Agenda%2003-30-16.pdf

Ice/Cold Water Rescue Training

Members of Local 2029 continued their training this week in ice water turned cold water rescue. While short staffed, firefighters learned how to operate within their means and safely work to rescue a swimmer in distress. All Career Firefighters are trained to the same level to ensure the community receives the same level of care no matter who the 3 firefighters are on duty.

70 Years Ago WW2 Vet Joins Rye Fire Department

Please join us in congratulating Edward Dempsey on 70 years as a member of the Rye Fire Department. Ed joined the department on this date back in 1946, after he was honorably discharged from the Army Air Corps. After serving his country, he came home to serve his hometown and in 1949 he join the Career staff of the fire department where he worked for the next 35 years. You can read more about Mr. Dempsey in this article that appeared in the Rye Record back in 2012: http://ryerecord.com/features/veteran-tales-ed-dempsey-heart-and-soul-of-rye.html

2015 Fill-the-Boot for the Children's Hospital

On Saturday December 12th, the Rye Professional Firefighters Local 2029, will be out on Purchase Street holding our annual Fill-the-boot drive in support of the Maria Fareri Children's Hospital. Last year we raised over $9,500 bringing our total of money raised over the years to over $95,000.

The Maria Fareri Children's Hospital at Westchester Medical Center is THE children's hospital for New York's Hudson Valley region and Fairfield County. They are the regional and national leader in children's health, serving more than 20,000 children a year. With your help, we can aid in the complete care of our children. If you are near Rye, please take a drive down Purchase Street and fill our firefighter's boots with your donation and help us do better than we did last year. 

Busy Fall Season for Local 2029

The Fall season is always a busy time for Local 2029 members and this year is no different. As we remember the victims of September 11th, 2001, this year we are holding a free CPR class to honor the victims and remember the events that took place 14 years ago. Members of Local 2029 will continue to their support of the Stephen Stiller Foundation when we run in the annual Tunnel to Towers 5K at the end of September. In October we will continue to raise awareness for breast cancer as we will don our pink shirts once again. October is also the time of year for Fire Prevention week. Firefighters will return to all schools within Rye to talk with students about fire safety. All this, while on October 13th, we will hold our annual golf outing to raise money for local charities.

Every Hero Has A Story

On July 24th, 2015, Local 2029 members participated in the Rye Free Reading Room's Every Hero Has A Story. The event, open to K-5th grade children celebrated local heroes who serve the Rye community everyday. Firefighters were joined by members of the Rye PBA, PCRRB EMS, and a retired member of the armed services and teachers' association. All groups discussed what task they perform while on duty. Firefighters talked about different types of emergencies they respond to, what to do if you have an emergency in your home, and the gear they use when they are called to help. It was a fun time had by all and Local 2029 was happy to be a part of it. 

Staffed for Failure Continues

In the 7th month of this year 2015, the mayor is ready to focus his attention on a top priority of which he outlined in the state of the city address back in January: the fire department. 

It took 232 days, but the day has finally come. The clock is still ticking, don't get too excited, but at the last city council meeting, Mayor Sack announced that he would be creating a fire department study group. The group will consist of the mayor, Councilman Mecca (volunteer member of the fire department), Councilwoman Bucci, and the three volunteer chiefs. No career staff member was named, although the mayor did leave it open that additional firefighters would be added to his committee. 

The mayor would like the study group to focus on all aspects of the department citing issues with management, staffing, and recruitment. The goal of the group is to gather as much information as possible and make a presentation to the council during the budget season. 

So now we wait... 233, 234, 235.

June 9th, 1974

Today marks the 41st anniversary of Local 2029's first and only line of duty death. On June 9th, 1974, Career Firefighter Joseph Pasquale responded to a structure fire on Davis Avenue in the City of Rye. Shortly after arriving on scene, Firefighter Pasquale suffered a heart attack and was rushed to the hospital where he later succumb to his injuries. The plaque above hangs in our main hallway as a constant reminder of his sacrifice for the community and that this job should never be taken for granted.

Staffed for Failure Clock

This past Thursday marks the re-retirement of our city manager, who, last November, advised the city council that the fire department was "Staffed for Failure". Since then, the proposed four additional firefighters were removed from the budget, an additional day-time lieutenant was proposed by the mayor, but never came to light, and a number of other situations with direct relation to staffing has occurred. To celebrate his call for additional Career Firefighters, we have added a count-up clock to our home page marking the days since the city was notified of it's "Staffed for Failure" fire department and the zero action taken to make improvements... because you know... we can wait another year. 

More Training for Professional Staff

Over the last two months, members of Local 2029 have received additional training in elevator emergencies and stabilization procedures. Every year we respond to numerous calls for people trapped in elevators and motor vehicle accidents, making this training very useful for us. Unfortunately, as our instructors pointed out, many important task need to be performed within the first few minutes upon arriving at these emergencies. With our below standards staffing levels (not having enough qualified personnel on scene quickly), we are putting both ourselves and the public at risk.    

Ice Water Rescue Training

Last week, members of Local 2029 participated in Ice Water Rescue Training. A refresher for some, the training reviewed the proper and safe way to conduct an ice water emergency. The instructors were particular to our current situation of "short-hand firefighting" and helped members understand how to handle an emergency with reduced manpower.