The City of Buffalo will pay a total of $1.2 million to a dozen white Buffalo firefighters who claimed they were passed over for promotion because of their race.
The $1.2 million settlement was approved Tuesday by the Buffalo Common Council and brings to a close a 2007 lawsuit that accused the city of illegally allowing two promotional lists to expire because minority firefighters had performed poorly on civil service exams.
The 12 Buffalo firefighters alleged that if the promotional lists had not been allowed to expire and instead had been extended – as had been historical practice – they would have received promotions within the fire department, according to papers filed by the city’s law department with the Clerk’s Office.
In 2007, former State Supreme Court Justice John A. Michalek ruled the city illegally passed over the 12 firefighters for promotions because of their race.
Cambridge Mayor Marc McGovern toured three of the city’s eight firehouses June 6, calling the conditions at Monday’s City Council meeting “extremely disturbing.”
Firefighters were sleeping on mattresses with holes. Floors were being held together by duct tape. Some stations didn’t have carbon monoxide detectors or Wi-Fi, McGovern said.
Seeing the conditions in those fire houses -- Station Two at Lafayette Square, Station Nine on Lexington Avenue, and Station One at the Broadway headquarters -- prompted the mayor to call for a facilities survey of all buildings. McGovern was told the state of these three facilities was representative of conditions across the department, according to a follow-up email with McGovern’s chief of staff, Wil Durbin.
“These folks deserve much better,” McGovern said.
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A Lehigh Acres firefighter went into cardiac arrest, and fellow firefighters resuscitated him inside Station 105 to save his life.
Rick Pride, 47, was on the treadmill inside the firehouse workout room when the nearly 13-year firefighting veteran wound up unresponsive on the floor in the firehouse.
"Our firefighters reacted very quickly that day, immediately going into emergency mode and starting to help him," Chief Robert DiLallo said of his team at Station 105 of the Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue District.
"They did not give up. They worked him and worked him until they had a shockable rhythm."
Pride is missed this week around the firehouse where he's best known for his witty humor, love of the Red Sox, and an engineer who everyone wanted to work with.
"He's one of our key team members," the chief said. "We're a family here. We work together."
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The Chicago Fire Department said Tuesday it was “not acceptable” for paramedics to leave a teen unattended after he was shot in the head and severely wounded as they treated others hit by gunfire at a party on the Near West Side this week. “It is not the policy of the Fire Department to leave people on the street, even if they are mortally wounded,” said department spokesman Larry Langford.
Asked whether the department would discipline any responders, Langford said, “Our investigation will determine if any rules were violated which may have contributed to this delay.”
Erin Carey, 17, was among six people who were shot after two cars circled a party in the University Village neighborhood around 4:50 a.m. Monday, according to Chicago police. A sheet was draped over his body — his bare arms, jean cuffs and boots exposed — as paramedics tended to other victims.
Brownsville’s former fire chief, Carlos Elizondo, has appealed a ruling denying his claim that the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office has charged him twice for the same alleged crime to a higher court in Corpus Christi.
Authorities arrested Elizondo last October and accuse the former city official of stealing $8,000 from the Brownsville Firefighters Association Political Action Committee through unauthorized ATM withdrawals, according to a police report filed by the association’s president.
Elizondo has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
On June 11, 107th state District Judge Benjamin Euresti Jr. denied a writ of habeas corpus filed by Elizondo’s attorney, Eddie Lucio, which accuses the DA’s office of charging the former fire chief for the same crime twice. On Friday, Lucio appealed to the 13th Court of Criminal Appeals in Corpus Christi.