Archive for first responders

"Why Save Lives? That Costs Money," Maine Gov. LePage

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MaineGovLePaigew398h240

HuffPo:

Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) appears set to oppose a bill increasing access to a lifesaving anti-overdose medication because of concerns rejected by public health experts that it could encourage more drug abuse, according to the bill's chief sponsor.

Fatal heroin overdoses in Maine quadrupled from 2011 to 2012. Naloxone is a drug that can reverse overdoses from heroin and other opioids like morphine. State Rep. Sara Gideon (D) is sponsoring legislation that would place the drug [naloxone], which is sold under the trade name Narcan, in the hands of police, firefighters, at-risk users and their families.

With statistics like those above, why wouldn't any caring public servant not want to provide all possible life-saving options to all first responders? Do they send firemen to fires without water? Do they send cops out on the street without guns? So why this stand by the governor, and why now?

Part of the problem is this man is insane. He's no stranger to controversy. For a quick refresher course on his antics, he's the man who  had some words for Democratic State Senator Troy Jackson, whom he battled over the state's budget.

"Senator Jackson claims to be for the people but he's the first one to give it to the people without providing Vaseline," LePage told Portland station WMTW.

So now who's shoving something where it doesn't belong without lube? Here's LePage's twisted logic: he believes increasing the availability of Narcan will lead the drug user or drug abuser to have this feeling of invincibility. Therefore, why save their lives? Why should we keep alive someone who's a drug user?

Heroine overdosers

Ask Janis Joplin, Philip Seymour Hoffman, River Phoenix, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Cory Haim, Lenny Bruce, Billie Holiday, Heath Ledger, Jimi Hendrix, Chris Farley, Curt Cobain, Whitney Houston, or tragically so many more. Maybe the cost of carrying the drug on first responders is a concern. But think of the value these drug overdosers' lives would have had for all of us if they had lived. You can't put a price on a life, but this GOP ultra-conservative believes he can. And he's not alone. Maybe they need to look at this:

In 2010, police and firefighters in Quincy, Mass., started carrying Naloxone as part of their standard equipment -- a scenario similar to that envisioned in Gideon's bill. Since then, Naloxone has been credited with reversing 188 overdoses in Quincy alone, and the head of the Boston suburb's police narcotics unit has become a Naloxone evangelist.

People of Maine, you deserve better. Whatever your reasons for putting your life into this wachadoo's hands, he has certainly not earned your trust. Make sure your state representative knows that the cost of saving lives is nothing compared to what a living person can contribute to you and the rest of society.

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Few Glitches In Republican Shut Down List

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beavers

Those Republicans have been busy little beavers. They've been working so hard at building a better mousetrap, dam.

Things already checked off their "to do list" according to many sources, including the HUFFPO:

check mark Kids With Cancer Blocked From Clinical Trials...

Thousands Of Airline Inspectors Off The Job... 

Asylum Applications Delayed...

Sexual Assault Investigations On Hold...

Science Stops...

Food Safety Inspections Suspended...  National Parks Closed... 

Head Start Closures... 

100,o00 Furloughed At Joint Bases... 

Grand Canyon Closed...

85,000 Meals For Kids At Risk... 

1,282 Marines Furloughed... 

Fire Management Unit Closed... 

U.S. Attorney's Office Furloughs 40 Staffers... 

500 Furloughed At Air Force Base... 

Mars Spacecraft Launch Preparations Put On Hold... 

3,100 Workers Told To Stay Home... 

Scientific Research Stalled... 

Search For Missing Woman Temporarily Put On Hold... 

National Forest Closes Campgrounds... 

Reduced Staff At Federal Building... 

NASA Work Halted... 

Local OSHA Office Closes... 

State Receives 4,000 Unemployment Benefit Applications Due To Furloughs... 

Gov't Employee Union Official: 95 Percent Of Staff Members In Dept. Furloughed... 

State's $18 Million Per Day Cost... 

Social Security, Medicare Card Snags... 

Supplemental Food Program Shut Down... 

Widow Of Firefighter Killed On The Job Temporarily Denied Survivor Benefits... 

Lady Liberty Closed... 

VA Halts Vocational Rehabilitation Services... 

Naval College Instructors Stay Home... 

Tribal Funds For Foster Care Halted... 

Thousands unable to Pay Taxes At IRS Office... 

Delays In College Financial Aid... 

Supplemental Nutrition Program Halted For 65,000... 

217,000 Pounds Of Food For Hungry Jeopardized

Oil And Gas Leases Halted..

Marlin Stutzman

So now, what's left? Let's ask US Congressman, Marlin Stutzman. He's always good with simple answers to tough questions:

"We're not going to be disrespected," Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.) told The Washington Examiner. "We have to get something out of this. And I don't know what that even is."

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9/11 Redux-- First responders: Radios failed during #NavyYard massacre

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failure to communicate

Sadly, very very sadly, there is a piece in The Hill that is all too reminiscent of an old post of mine, "Hey Rudy, can you hear them NOW?" Here's an excerpt:

On September 11th, 2001, this was heard from a police helicopter hovering over the World Trade Center:

''About 15 floors down from the top, it looks like it's glowing red,'' the pilot of one helicopter, Aviation 14, radioed at 10:07 a.m. ''It's inevitable.''

Orders were given to evacuate. There was just one hitch. One fatal hitch:

Yet most firefighters never heard those warnings, or earlier orders to get out. Their radio system failed frequently that morning. Even if the radio network had been reliable, it was not linked to the police system. And the police and fire commanders guiding the rescue efforts did not talk to one another during the crisis.

At least 121 firefighters died as a result.

That was over a decade ago. Heartbreaking. Infuriating. Fixable.

Not so fast:

Radios for federal firefighters and police officers failed during Monday’s mass shooting at Washington’s Navy Yard, according to union representatives for first responders.

Union officials said police and firefighters resorted to using their cellphones and radios from D.C.’s emergency responders to communicate with each other during the attack. [...]

After the first shootout with the gunman, one officer found his radio’s battery was dead, while another officer could not receive a signal from his radio and was unable to call for help. That forced them to use an officer’s cellphone to call others outside the building, according to Meely. [...]

[Anthony Meely, chairman of the Fraternal Order of Police Naval District Washington (NDW) Labor Committee], who was on the scene at Navy Yard and took part in the search for a potential second shooter, said problems with their radios have been “a known issue” on the base with radio batteries not being able to hold charge and being unable to receive signals inside buildings.

The union representative said he thought it was “sad” that police officers had to use a cellphone to call for help.

Firefighters + police + problems with their radio signals = Disaster-in-waiting. Preventable disaster-in-waiting.

It's 2013. 2001 was twelve years ago. After twelve long years, lives are still at risk from the same type of communication problems that existed on September 11, 2001. This is mind-boggling. And it is also unacceptable.

You'd think fixing something this crucial to the safety of our first responders and those whose lives they try to save would be a priority, wouldn't you?

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Firefighters under investigation by department for appearing with Pres. Obama. "It leads us to question the chief's motives."

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obama firefighters dc

When President Obama held a news conference last week, he was surrounded by men and women in uniform to make the point that austerity (spending cuts) doesn't work (it doesn't). He was trying to emphasize the impact such cuts would have on police officers, firefighters and other first responders. As it is, hundreds of thousands of public sector workers have already been laid off.

In fact, “we have never cut government jobs when we were trying to save the economy. Until this time.”

And now something else happened that usually hasn't. Until this time:

(CNN) - Washington firefighters who stood with President Barack Obama at a public appearance Tuesday are now under investigation by their department. [...]

The White House sent a request to the International Association of Fire Fighters, said Ed Smith, president of DC Fire Fighters Association Local 36. Firefighters are routinely requested for events such as 9/11 memorial ceremonies and it has "never been a problem," Smith said. "It leads us to question the chief's motives."

Smith is right, something doesn't feel kosher about this.

DC Fire & EMS Chief Kenneth Ellerbe says he's not considering any disciplinary action.

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Thanks to Fellow Officers, Newtown Police Don't Have to Work on Christmas

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Kindness

What a wonderful gesture. I'm sure spending time with their families is just what they need.

The holidays have been rough for the Newtown Police Department, which is why officers from across Connecticut joining forces, so that not a single Newtown officer has to work on Christmas Day. The plan has been kept on the down low for the past few days, since the various police departments are making the effort not for the press but as a gesture of solidarity with their fellow officers. After whispers of the touching gesture from local law enforcement emerged on Twitter over the weekend, however, the Newtown Police Department confirmed the news in an interview with The Atlantic Wire on Monday. "They've been actually non-stop with their aid. It's pretty amazing," said Newtown police spokesperson Sergeant Steve Santucci said of his fellow Connecticut officers. "And tomorrow, they'll be at our assistance so that Newtown [officers] can be home with their families."

But wait there's more. One of the only perks about working on Christmas Day is overtime and holiday pay. Just as they're not doing it for the press, though, many of the officers filling in at Newtown aren't interested in the money, so they're reportedly donating their paychecks to Newtown and Sandy Hill Elementary School charities. At least, those ones that are even accepting payment are. Santucci said that he knew some of the officers were volunteering their time on Tuesday but wasn't able to say who was making donations or how much money would be raised, since the Christmas Day pay would be coming from officers' hometown departments.

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Video- President Obama on the American Jobs Act in Chesterfield, Virginia

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I went looking for this vid after I saw this headline-

Obama ends bus tour with pitch to subdued crowd

Just wow.

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VIDEO: Parallels between 9/11 & BP oil disaster: Government collusion with big business to cover up health effects

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The Big Fix - New Orleans Premiere - Hugh Kaufman from Jason Berry on Vimeo.

The Big Fix - New Orleans Premiere - Press Question 1 from Jason Berry on Vimeo.

I've relied on my longtime pal and excellent source Hugh Kaufman , (senior policy analyst with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response) for many a post, as you can see here. Now you can see why.

The Big Fix Press Conference, in New Olreans, LA, October 14, 2011. EPA Whistleblower, Hugh Kaufman, discusses the parallels between the 9-11 disaster and the BP oil disaster in regards to the government's collusion with big business to cover up the health effects.

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