Saturday, October 20, 2007

Press Release for Awards Ceremony

ISSUING OFFICER: Brian Schaeffer, Assistant Chief
DATE OF INCIDENT: 10/19/2007
INCIDENT TYPE: Information
INCIDENT ADDRESS: 44 West Riverside
CITY: Spokane
ZIP: 99201

NARRATIVE: Last night, the Spokane Fire Department honored our own personnel and special community heroes during the 1st Annual Meritorious Awards Ceremony.

The following personnel were recognized for their recent promotions within the calendar year: Captain Jim Schaffer, Captain Ben Olson, Deputy Fire Marshal Brett Hatcher, Deputy Fire Marshal Tom Yergen and Deputy Fire Marshal Mike Miller

The citizen and Spokane City personnel listed below were honored for the following awards:

Jack Schoonover, a resident from Idaho, was recognized for an incident on June 16 when the vehicle he was driving (a tractor trailer carrying 4000 gallons of gasoline) was struck in the rear of the trailer by a passenger car which resulted in leaking gasoline and a subsequent fire. Realizing the immediate danger to the occupants of the vehicle and nearby businesses, Mr. Schoonover immediately moved the tractor trailer to a less-populated area and positioned it in the center of Ruby allowing fire crews to make a safe attack on the fire. Mr. Schoonover was directly responsible for preventing a catastrophe which may have resulted in severe property damage and probable fatalities and was awarded the CITIZEN COMMUNITY LIFE SAVING AWARD.
Firefighters Jesse Ayotte and Patrick Sanders both received Letters of Commendation from the Fire Chief for special actions that demonstrated their commitment, competence and compassion.
The MEDAL OF VALOR award was awarded to Lieutenant Ryan Reding due to actions he took on September 20, 2006 at the State Street Apartment Fire. As companies were enroute it was reported that numerous persons were trapped on the upper floors of the building. On arrival, part of Engine 4's crew advanced a 2 ½ line through the front door and attempted to move down the basement stairs to extinguish the fire. Members were met with extreme amounts of fire and nearly un-tenable conditions. Lieutenant Reding remained on the first floor landing where he held the fire in check and protected the only means of egress route out of the building.

On December 3, 2006 Lieutenant Bill Schaech and Firefighter Ron Weston vent/entered/and searched a second floor bedroom without the protection of a hand-line while under heavy heat and smoke conditions at the scene of a residential structure fire. The men were able to locate and remove a young girl and carry her to awaiting paramedics
A SPECIAL UNIT CITATION was awarded to Captain Dave Haworth, FEO Calvin Groth, FEO Gary Holmes and FF Rick Pennington based on their actions on September 20, 2006. The members responded as the crew of Ladder 4 and arrived on the scene of the State Street Apartment fire with several persons reported trapped on the upper floors of the building. Ladder 4 split into teams A & B and began raising ladders to the windows of the second floor. Due to their efforts, 5 tenants of the building who were unable to escape due to interior conditions we successfully rescued. The crew was also responsible for rescuing one tenant from his basement apartment where he was transported to the Hospital.
On March 13th 2006 at 2:00AM a structure fire at 1923 W. Broadway was reported to Fire Dispatch by Police radio. The fire was discovered by Officer Zachary Dahle who then notified dispatch, asking for assistance from other patrol units. He then entered the front door and began yelling and pounding on apartment doors to awaken residents. He started with the upper unit as it appeared to be where the heaviest smoke was coming from. He was assisted within two-minutes by Officers: Derek Bishop, Frank Erhart, Scott Haney and Paul Gorman. Some of the Officers entered the upper unit with Dahle where they awakened and assisted three residents out of the structure. Gorman reported extremely thick smoke conditions and paint melting off walls in this unit. Officers also awakened residents from two other apartments and led them to safety. These Police Officers made a significant difference in the survival of the occupants any if not all of whom could have perished in the fire.
On September 26, 2006 BC Bob Hanna was returning home in his department vehicle when he witnessed an SPD Motorcycle Officer strike a mini-van at a high rate of speed. The inertia threw the officer several feet and injured him critically. Chief Hanna calmly reported the incident and requested appropriate resources from his radio and immediately took command of the situation by protecting the scene and triaging patients. Chief Hanna delivered medical care to the injured officer, secured his weapon and protected him until additional responders arrived.

On April 8, 2006 a single car drove off of the 5th floor of the River Park Square Garage. The vehicle ended up on its top with one female trapped inside the vehicle. According to the nominator, while everyone involved at this scene worked very hard and cohesively. The recipient distinguished himself by remaining in the vehicle, giving the victim every possible chance of survival. The patient was still seat belted in, unconscious but breathing with multiple blunt force trauma injuries, in an upside down position with her right arm pinned underneath the vehicle. Lt. Andy McLeod was able to maintain an airway and start an IV on the patient, in a vehicle interior that was severely compromised. All patient care and assessment was performed by Lt. McLeod while he was in a prone or supine position. Lt. McLeod remained focused on his patient and gave her every possible chance of survival.
The first member retired in March and his career spanned 30 years where he served as a FF, PM, LT, CAPT and Commissioned Fire Investigator. In his 12 year tenure as the Captain overseeing Investigations Mike Zambryski attained CFI credentials and literally raised the level of performance and professionalism for current and future investigators in the Department. His career is an illustration of commitment, excellence and dedication to service.

The second member was nominated due to his 32 year record of providing outstanding service to the SFD. In his career he has been known throughout the job as a role model and mentor for many junior members. In the nomination there were dozens of examples which rise to the level of this award; however the main theme in all were that Jack Tritt simply has demonstrated in his career that he has always worked to make the lives of everyone he touched better.

DVD copies of the event will be available within the next 2 weeks for media if requested.
MUTUAL AID: None Given

Friday, October 19, 2007

Awards Ceremony

Congratulations to all of last night's award recipients. What an amazing turnout for this event (I guess that is a theme lately). I think everybody did a great job. Besides recognition for the award winner, it's nice to see everyone (mgmt and labor) working together to pull this thing off. We're going to have a link (I hope) on the website to download the nomination form for next year's ceremony. Also, there's one you can download on your city email acct from Brian Schaeffer. If there is a link to the video, I will post it here. I'm sure it will be repeated on channel 95, but I'm not sure when.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Media Bias 101

Hopefully, you had a chance to watch the local news’ take on the debate and the alleged assault by Mayor Hession’s wife. I find it always interesting to see how a story is put together.

First, KXLY started with a montage of the debate – with Hession making strong accusations and Mary not saying very much. And if you saw the debate, you know it was just the opposite!

The headline of the article on the KXLY website is “Fallout from mayoral mudslinging hits wife, firefighters.” A lady holding a sign critical of Hession claims she was assaulted by the mayor’s wife. So is this mud #1? What about firefighters and mud? The mayor’s wife grabbed one of our firefighter’s hands because she was clapping for Mary. So is this the flip side, the balance – that somehow a firefighter put herself in the grip of the mayor’s wife’s hand? Bizarre.

Hession is making political hay out of his wife’s alleged assault(s) upon others – playing the victim. Interesting that his wife all but admits that she did assault these folks – just not as “hard” as they’re claiming. Look for many anti-firefighter and pro-Hession letters to the editor around this issue in the next few days. I would wager that the Hession campaign’s PR firms are busy crafting them right now.

Lastly on bias, it’s interesting that at this event (according to KXLY) there were Hession supporters and then there were “protestors.” Protestors?!? Maybe next they will be calling those who don’t support Dennis “insurgents.”

I don’t know about you, but I think my wife would be pretty angry at people who didn’t like me if I were running for mayor, so I can understand Mrs. Hession’s feelings. And this election is not about Dennis Hession’s wife. Whatever happens, as far as assault charges go, shouldn’t have any effect on the election one way or the other. It’s still the policies, the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate that should decide this thing - I hope. It’s just too bad KXLY couldn’t have filed a straight and unbiased story on this and let it go.

However, it was nice to hear the always right-purty Karina Shagren quote from the blog and purr “meow” and “snarl.” Ahhhhhh. Too bad the producers didn’t follow with a cat food commercial. Hey, that’s a freebie KXLY!

1743 10/11/07 Addendum. Check out the latest on KXLY. They have assigned a Spokane Sheriff Deputy to the case and this is the first line:

"Instead of solving rapes, murders and burglaries, a Major Crimes detective with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office is now investigating a police report that Spokane Mayor Dennis Hession’s wife shoved a supporter of candidate Mary Verner so hard her bursitis flared up."

One question for Karina or whomever wrote the copy - Did the Hession PR team provide you with this line, or are you moonlighting for them? Beautiful!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Last night's debate...

Wow, a great showing by Local 29! We packed in a bunch of folks. Great job Rochelle and Frank W! Rochelle even had her hand grabbed by the mayor's wife because Rochelle was clapping. Meeeeeoooooow! Snarrrrrrrrrl!

It was a very entertaining debate. Actually Dennis Hession did much better than in previous debates. But, the impartial observer would have come out endorsing Mary, just like we have, after watching the two spar.

One funny line went something like this:

"I hope my legacy is that people will know that I left my integrity at city hall." - DH

One unbelievable line:

"It was the Fire Department that brought the AMR overbilling to my attention." - DH

Hats off to both MV and DH. Thanks for debating over and over again. It seems like every night you two are on stage someplace. Keep this up and you might displace CATS as the longest running show in history.