Sunday, October 19, 2008

KPFF ANNUAL AWARDS DINNER


The Kingston Professional Firefighters had their annual awards banquet this past Friday. Celebrating their 100 years of service as the premier firefighting team established in Kingston.

The theme of the evening was focused on the family lineage and the tradition within those families since its inception. With a brief video/slide show following the early years on up to today, the proud service of many local families beamed from the faces around the room.

With most of the Council, a few County Legislators and candidates Delarose and Hein, in attendance, the banquet room at Wiltwyck was filled to capacity with current and retired firefighters. Many of whom had received awards in the past.

This night was different. While we did have high regard for the men and women who put in 20 & 30 years, as we had experienced before, we did have the privilege of meeting and honoring Seamus Reily, a young man who, while in route to school last January, discovered an older gentleman who had fallen, broken something and couldnt get off the icy street.

Seamus quickly notified a neighbor and had our rescue team there in minutes. Without Seamus’ quick thinking, this could have had a sadder ending. Seamus received the “Berardi Humanitarian Award” for this thoughtful act and will probably join the KFD in the future.

Congrats to the firefighters who reached the goals of service that brought us to this happy gathering:

Vince Hart – Retiring
Mike Lefevre – 30 years
Maryanne Misasi-White – 20 years
Tom Chase – 20 years
Mike Glotzl – 20 years
Wayne Platte Jr – 20 years.

To our friends in the Local 461, we thank you for your years of service. Providing Kingston and the surrounding area with competent and passionate safety. We sometimes we forget what we have invested in as taxpayers, but when the smoke rises and the sirens wail, we see you in action and we are proud.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

These are the people running in when others are running out. GOOD JOB

Anonymous said...

Why no volunteers?

Anonymous said...

I trust that you extend your thanks to the volunteer firefighters of the Kingston Fire Department as well?

Rapid Hose Co 1, located on Hone Street is one of four volunteer companies in the City of Kingston. Additionally, volunteer fire fighters also "man" the Fire Boat located on the strand.

In many ways, their call to duty extends beyond the term volunteer when they are away from their families for hours on end.

In this case all a volunteer gets for remuneration is the term - Thank you.

Thoughts?

Anonymous said...

Time are tough,and this is not NYC with 5 alarm fires, it's time to cut the fire department and let the ambulance company increase jobs in Kingston my taxes are more important to me then to see firemen at the Mayors play house acting like we can't do without them.Remember that Ulster Hose 100%volunteers put out all the real fires in Kingston, and when they need help Port Ewen,Bloomington fire companies are called to help,it's to find some cuts in this department and save us tax payers PLEASE!!!!

Anonymous said...

where the heck was the mayor shouldnt he have been the greeter at the door.he did win their votes for relection.DIDNT he.wonder what the voter tally would have been if he didnt have their support.i think rich cahill would have been mayor.

Anonymous said...

Seamus was at the right place at the right time and acted accordingly. Good for you Seamus. When I need help in the distant future, I hope you are availible.

I am thrilled that this award exists for such heroic acts by everyday people.

Anonymous said...

It was so nice to see Majority Leader William P Reynolds sitting
next to Al Teetsal had having
red wine.

Did he give up on trying to make the 1st a Democratic Seat?

Anonymous said...

For years the Common Council and the Mayor has ignored the Volunteer fire fighters in Kingston, this is just further proof. During these tough economic times would it not make sense to develop the Volunteers who provide many of the same services free of charge. The Fire Dept. budget is 5 million or more and most of the people working for the fire department do not even live within city limits. Volunteer fire fighters on the other hand are required to live within the City of Kingston.

Anonymous said...

10:32 - I wish your numbers were true - it's worse than $5 million: last year it was over $6 million out of a $33 million budget, or more than 18% of the city's budget. And, 92% of the $6 million is for salaries and benefits - leaving 8% for equipment, etc. (I don't know how much goes to renting movies at Blockbuster.) So, in all, 16.5% of the city's budget is for salary and benefits for the fire department.

Anonymous said...

6.4 Million dollar for 64 fire department employees. No wonder they can afford Wiltwyck Country Club.

Anonymous said...

What if the city worked a deal that would put an ambulance at the uptown,central and down town stations?Then they would be the first responders,our guys and rigs stay at the station,which would save some money(fuel,wear and tear etc.)and then maybe think about making our volunteer force stronger.Thank you C.C.

Peter Mack said...

As a former U.S. Army airfield commander, I know firsthand the oversight and management of a fire department. They sit in the background, unnoticed, doing their constant training, holding classes, busy preparing for the worst and unexpected. Theirs is a 24 hour/7 day mission--never a day off, and always at the ready.

I have personally observed the fire department in action several times. This group of dedicated men and women are the unsung heroes of Kingston. It is easy for some to criticize their budget now, but when a loved one is injured or your house is on fire--you can count on the Kingston Fire Department to respond swiftly and effectively. They are worth every penny and much more.

Anonymous said...

Fire department is out of control. Almost 7 million for 60 people. If something is not done now they will bankrupt the city.

Remember sottile gave them 3.25% in 08, 3.25% in 09, 3.25% in 2010 and 4.25% in 2011.

What is supplimental pay? And why is it $230,000.00 for the fire department and only $20,000.00 for the police.

Anonymous said...

4:50 p.m. has a good idea - I know there are many communities who give tax breaks to volunteer firefighters to give them incentive to sign up....

Anonymous said...

Peter Mack do you even live in Kingston. Yes the fire fighters do an excellent job. They are always at the ready.

But when almost 20% of the budget is devoted to thier salaries something is wrong.

The Sottile Noble team has given them hidden raises, increases in longevity, extra money for being an EMT, extra money for staying in shape, clothing allowance. The average firefighter makes $50,000.00 a year with all thier perks the average firefighter costs the tax payer over $100,000.00 a year.

Anonymous said...

This was a dinner paid for by the firefighter's UNION, not by the City. That is why there were no volunteers there. It is meant to honor retirees, and those with 20, 25, 30 or more years of service. It also honors those that have committed exceptional tasks. No one is stopping the volunteers from having their own dinner.

As for Supp Time - KFD does not get overtime or differential pay for working nights, holidays weekends, etc. They get supplemental time instead. This is a savings to the City. I don't know about KPD maybe they get additional pay for working those hours.

Firefighters also receive Kelly Time - They work an average of 42 hours a week and only get paid for 40. The other 2 hours (104 hours a year) can be taken in time off or paid out in straight time. Another savings to the City.

The Fire Dept. has traditionally done more than their share to work with the City. The last time money was tight, they voluntarily lowered the manning clause to help with the budget. No other union works as close with the city to control costs than the FD.

It is true that the FD relies on outside agencies to assist at major fires. That is only because the Dept. is under staffed to handle an initial fire call. Once off duty personnel have been called in, these outside agencies are allowed to go back to their homes.

As for the support of the Mayor and the Democratic Party- it is usually the long standing policy of the Republicans in Kingston, that when elected, to either lay off firefighters or not hire new ones when there are retirees. That's a no brainer.

As for those taxpayers that think volunteers alone can handle the nearly 6,000 calls and training requirements as well as work and raise a family - I ask a question, Do you volunteer?

Anonymous said...

It's not the FD that will bankrupt the city but the leadership and the tree huggers that either fail to bring in new business or try stop stop new ones from coming in!

Anonymous said...

Ulster Hose is not 100% volunteer - They pay for "custodians" to be around the station and answer calls. They just don't call them firefighters so they can illegally get around the training requirements.

Anonymous said...

Let's get rid of all the long term employees from rec so the firemen can have more celbrations at fancy country club. SHAME ON SOTTILE/NOBLE getting rid of a 25 year employee so Noble's nephew can have a job.

Anonymous said...

Hey 3:43.
So firemen don't get paid overtime, then why the line item for $178,000.00 for overtime.

I don't thik you know what you're talking about.

Anonymous said...

I didn't say they didn't get paid overtime, they don't get overtime for working holidays. Overtime occurs when then more than 4 firefighters are off at one time. They bring in people to maintain proper staffing levels and get paid overtime when that happens.

And, by the way 7:11, your the one with all the questions and doesn't know what they're taking about. You get some random figures that you start shouting about and have no comprehension on how those numbers are reached. You just bitch and complain about issues you have no understanding about hoping that someone will take you seriously.

Anonymous said...

9:54
What are you a fireman sitting watching tv or just on the computer wasting tax payer money.

The fire department have negotiated themselves on of jobs.
Those numbers came right from the budget, you do not work for NYC, this is Kingston, I hear no one elsl in ulster County saying they need a paid fire dept. Your greed is killing all of us.

Anonymous said...

Hey fireman let me get this right, you only recieve OT when 4 or more of you are off. So why does the chief give 4 or more of you off?

Or is it that you have UNLIMITED SICK TIME AND ARE ABUSING IT TO THE TUNE OF $178,000.00 A YEAR.

Anonymous said...

We must start rebuilding the vounteers so we can start downsizing the paid firemen. We need paid professionals fighting fires, we also need paramedics not EMT's responding to medical emergencies. We can no longer afford duplication of services.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mr. Fireman. As for the support of the Mayor and the Democratic party, you say its a long standing policy of Republicans in Kingston to lay off or not hire new ones when there are retirees. That is called Attrition you Jack ASS! If you were a real union you would understand that terminology well. As it stands, you and yours has never suffered Attrition since other departments including DPW and Kingstons REC. Dept. have been cut for years under the Democratic Administration. Oh, I forgot, its ok as long as its not your firemen taking the hits. Soon, the firemen can plow the streets and pick up the trash and oversee our children in our parks because there wont be anybody left from other departments. Oh Well, maybe it will keep you out of Blockbuster while working on the clock.

Anonymous said...

You guys still play that game I call in sick today so you get overtime, and then you call in sick tommorrow and I get overtime. That's abuse of time. Mr. fireman you have got to get your act together.

Anonymous said...

Concerning the unlimited sick time - people are less like to use it if there is no fear of it being removed. If you do your research you will find, like in the county, if people are given a set limit of sick days, they will use all of it as not to lose it. Sick time actually went down when the unlimited policy was instituted. Sure , I imagine as with anything, there are those that will abuse it and I would hope there are procedures in place to reprimand those that do. $178,000 is allot of money to be sure but compared to a 35 million dollar budget it really is only a small percentage.
Whine all you want but it is the trend throughout the country that people can no longer devote time to volunteer. I am willing to bet that you don't volunteer for anything. Even in this county many volunteer departments go to 2nd or 3rd dispatches and call for mutual aid for the most minor of calls. Many departments in Dutchess county are switching over to paid departments and it is just a matter of time in this county that departments like Ulster Hose and Highland will have paid staff.
Did you know that this county has more fire apparatus than the City of New York? There is so much waste, but, because they volunteer, they are allowed to purchase equipment that is not needed. The answer would be to consolidate on a County level. Absorb Kingston's department in a county one. That would serve the greater good and everyone would benefit.
Do you have any productive suggestions or are you just going to blame the employees who put in twenty or more years of serving you for the crisis that we are in.

Anonymous said...

The City gutted the volunteers by requiring strigent training over and above what is practical - but of course the paid department set these rules

Anonymous said...

If their was a fire at Wiltwyck the Ulster Volunteers would respond with better equipment since it's not all sucked up in manpower - check the earnings of Firemen retiring - overtime is packed and they make over 100,000 K

Anonymous said...

I know the definition of attrition well, it occurred to ONLY the fire dept in the late eighties and early nineties, under republicans. They screwed everything up so bad back then that they have not been able to hold a majority since. Their stance has not changed. It is because the firefighters union is a strong union that you are having this conversation. A strong union would not allow things to progress to a point of layoffs and attrition. They would engage in productive talk and reach a compromise perhaps that is a word you don't know. As for the Jack ass comment, well, I guess it takes one to know one. Surely you can do better.

Anonymous said...

Hey 6:37
Your just another poor misguided individual. Get your buddy from 7:11 with the budget and even he will tell you that no retired firefighter comes near to $30,000 little lone the 100,000 your state you know. I suggest you look it up. As far as better equipment, last I checked it still takes a person to actually put the fire out, not a pretty truck. I hear Ulster hose paid 1.9 MILLION DOLLARS for their new ladder truck. Can that be right? Woodstock has a new ladder truck and only 2 people can drive it. Does that make sense.