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Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Edward Smith
The D.C. fire department has hired a polarizing former Prince George's County chief to its No. 2 spot in charge of the department's operations.
D.C. Council candidate Patrick Mara on Tuesday called on Mayor Vincent C. Gray to replace the city's fire chief, saying Kenneth Ellerbe is "not the best person for the job."
D.C. firefighters overwhelmingly voted no confidence in D.C. Fire Chief Kenneth B. Ellerbe at a Monday morning meeting, citing mismanagement of the department's fleet, staffing and safety failures and a pattern of retaliatory actions taken by his administration.
The District's ambulances have been sabotaged. The assertion, laid out in a D.C. inspector general's report, is the latest tit-for-tat allegation highlighting the erosion of relations between labor and management within the city's Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department.
The head of the D.C. firefighters' union says a plan to keep two fully stocked, reserve ambulances ready to be put on the street in case others have mechanical problems is too little, too late.
D.C. Fire Chief Kenneth B. Ellerbe obviously has a lot to learn about leadership ("D.C. arbitrator: Fire chief guilty of retaliation," Page 1, Wednesday). Being in charge means more than just holding a title. The most important aspect of leadership, and one from which all else evolves, is how the leader treats those who work for the organization.
An arbitrator's ruling that D.C. Fire Chief Kenneth B. Ellerbe unlawfully retaliated against the president of the city firefighters union is "sobering" and "not good for the department," D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson said Wednesday.
D.C. Fire Chief Kenneth Ellerbe unlawfully retaliated against the president of the city firefighters union by transferring him from his work assignment and seeking to manufacture a justification for the move, an arbitrator has ruled.
The District's police and fire unions are asking the city's inspector general to investigate the destruction of personnel files found burning inside trash bins and a car at the D.C. fire training academy.
A new uniform policy for the D.C. fire department would have allowed the agency to make use of nearly $70,000 worth of polo-style shirts that have gone unused since they were ordered in October 2010, officials said.
D.C. firefighters and department officials are disputing whether orders were issued to rein in the possibility of protests at Mayor Vincent C. Gray's State of the District address, scheduled for Tuesday.
The removal of the District's fire department spokesman and neutering of the agency's Twitter account has left a void in the District's "Twitterverse," but members of the agency's union say they plan to pick up the slack.
At least three people were injured in four shootings in the District over a 24-hour period Sunday and Monday, according to fire and police officials.
The D.C. fire department is considering increasing the number of days an employee can work a light-duty assignment after complaints from pregnant firefighters that the 30 days now offered keeps them in physically demanding positions too far into their pregnancies.
A Districtwide shuffle to fill in gaps left by out-of-service ladder trucks adversely affected the response to a Friday blaze that injured five firefighters, one critically, in Northeast, according to union leaders.
"D.C. is absolutely a whole different world than PG," said Edward Smith, president of the D.C. Firefighters Association.
While Mr. Smith said he was not familiar with allegations made by the county union about Mr. Jones, he questioned the decision to hire from outside the city and the department.